Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Wishes for 2009

10 More Bits of Advice

1. Wear bright colours at night, e.g. pumpkin orange. Dracula can probably survive the impact of a fast moving car. Actors dressed as Dracula are another matter.
2. Skip apartments when trick or treating. There’s little candy there and some some “trick or treat” refers to turning tricks.
3. If it’s raining and you’re trick or treating, sacrifice a bit of style for pneumonia prevention
4. If going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, consider preparing in advance, e.g. watching footage of theatre goers on the DVD. It’s a movie theatre-going experience where practice in advance is advisable.
5. As with New Year’s, if you must smoke pot, don’t do it outside downtown. Again, you might find yourself with people who turn tricks, and this time hang with them and other misdemeanour types for a full night.
6. If you dress up at work, don’t dress so revealing that you decrease overall productivity.
7. If your costume is a bank robber, consider removing the ski mask when entering banks or stores.
8. For “Treat or treat, smell my feet”, remember that the second phrase is a children’s rhyme and not an actual request.
9. If you have no child and wish to trick or treat, consider hiring yourself out as a babysitter. You’ll get more candy with a kid present.
10. If you trick or treat with a child, remember that your kid will probably want some of the candy and your comfort the next feel days might improve by fulfilling this request.

Have a fun and safe Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Canadian Prime Ministers as Characters on Film

This is the flip side of my previous post, this time focussing on how many times and by how many actors a Canadian Prime Minister has been portrayed by someone other than the Prime Minister. I used two sources for this: Wikipedia to get the names of Prime Ministers and when they ran (Wikipedia isn’t always accurate but is generally good for factual stuff such as this) and the Internet Movie Database for screen appearances (again some inaccuracies may appear but this is probably the best possible source for such information). For TV series, appearances are only counted once.

Where the Number of Actors is less than Number of Films, it means that the same actor(s) has/have played the Prime Minister in multiple films. In some cases more than one actor may have played the Prime Minister in the same film.

Gaps in the list of Prime Ministers mean I was not able to find concrete evidence of actors portraying the Prime Minister. For purposes of this list, interim Prime Ministers are given equal weight as elected Prime Ministers. Completely fictional Prime Ministers, however, are not counted.

Due to the nature of the post, this blog entry will be updated periodically.

Sir John A. MacDonald
Prime Minister #: 1st
Years: 1867-1973, 1878-1891
Number of Films: 7
Number of Actors: 3

Pierre Trudeau
Prime Minister #: 15th
Years: 1968-1979, 1980-1984
Number of Films: 7
Number of Actors: 8

And, well, after that big lead-in, that’s all that I can find. If people know of any portrayals of other Prime Ministers including satire let me know and I’ll update this. Surely there must be more?

American Presidents on Film

Similar to my Canadian Prime Ministers blog post, this is an attempt to catalogue how many appearances American Presidents have made on film. I used two sources for this: Wikipedia to get the names of Presidents and when they ran (Wikipedia isn’t always accurate but is generally good for factual stuff such as this) and the Internet Movie Database for screen appearances (again some inaccuracies may appear but this is probably the best possible source for such information). For TV series, appearances are only counted once. Of course it’s impossible to get data on all newscast appearances so later Presidents likely have 100s of uncatalogued appearances; these are probably the easiest to find somewhere.

Actor means this is a rare case (well, not so rare with Ronald Reagan) where a President has played a role other than themselves, though the role may in some cases (e.g. Former President) allude to the real person. Self means the film has new footage as the President as themselves, usually but not always in a non-fictional role. Archive means the film only has footage of the President obtained from other sources. For TV shows a President may appear in both Self and Archive categories as long as the episodes are different. In Personal Collection is mainly for my own interest and that of friends/family; I own a copy of the film in question.

This list is solely of the Presidents themselves, not of people playing them. A separate list for such appearances will be covered in a subsequent blog. Personally I think seeing the actual leader on film is more interesting than a portrayal, no matter how good.

Gaps in the list of Presidents mean I was not able to find concrete evidence of filmed appearances of the President, though again obviously some appeared in news broadcasts. For purposes of this list, interim Presidents are given equal weight as elected Presidents.

Due to the nature of the post, this blog entry will be updated periodically.

Rutherford B. Hayes
President #: 19
Years: 1877-1881
Archive: 1

Grover Cleveland
President #: 24
Years: 1893-1897
Self: 3

William McKinley
President #: 25
Years: 1897-1901
Self: 29
Archive: 8

Theodore Roosevelt
President #: 26
Years: 1901-1909
Self: 34
Archive: 40

William Howard Taft
President #: 27
Years: 1909-1913
Self: 8
Archive: 7

Woodrow Wilson
President #: 28
Years: 1913-1921
Self: 12
Archive: 36

William G. Harding
President #: 29
Years: 1921-1923
Archive: 10

Calvin Coolidge
President #: 30
Years: 1923-1929
Self: 6
Archive: 15

Herbert Hoover
President #: 31
Years: 1929-1933
Self: 2
Archive: 18

Franklin D. Roosevelt
President #: 32
Years: 1933-1945
Self: 15
Archive: 180
In Personal Collection: Nixon, Simpsons season 10 (both Archive)

Harry S. Truman
President #: 33
Years: 1945-1953
Self: 9
Archive: 87
In Personal Collection: Nixon, Why We Fight (both Archive)

Dwight D. Eisenhower
President #: 34
Years: 1953-1961
Self: 20
Archive: 135
In Personal Collection: Nixon, Why We Fight (both Archive)

John F. Kennedy
President #: 35
Years: 1961-1963
Self: 27
Archive: 247
In Personal Collection: JFK, Nixon, The Dish, Lexx season 4, Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked, Why We Fight, Justice League: The New Frontier (all Archive)

Lyndon B. Johnson
President #: 36
Years: 1963-1969
Self: 6
Archive: 107
In Personal Collection: JFK, Nixon (both Archive)

Richard Nixon
President #: 37
Years: 1969-1974
Self: 39
Archive: 199
In Personal Collection: JFK, Nixon, Why We Fight (all Archive)

Gerald Ford
President #: 38
Years: 1974-1977
Actor: 1
Self: 42
Archive: 41
In Personal Collection: All the President’s Men, Quantum Leap season 2, Nixon (all Archive)

Jimmy Carter
President #: 39
Years: 1977-1981
Self: 59
Archive: 60
In Personal Collection: West Wing Documentary Special (season 3) (Self); Nixon, Maxed Out (both Archive)

Ronald Reagan
President #: 40
Years: 1981-1989
Actor: 78
Self: 108
Archive: 235
In Personal Collection: Roger & Me, Dream On season 1 & 2, Nixon, American Psycho, Prozac Nation, Weird Al Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection, Outfoxed: Robert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, Who Killed the Electric Car?, An inconvenient Truth, Maxed Out, Balls of Fury, Heckler (all Archive)

George H. W. Bush
President #: 41
Years: 1989-1993
Self: 79
Archive Footage: 104
In Personal Collection: Nixon, Fahrenheit 9/11, An Inconvenient Truth, Maxed Out (all Archive)

Bill Clinton
President #: 42
Years: 1993-2001
Self: 171
Archive Footage: 140
In Personal Collection: Nixon, Fahrenheit 9/11, Who Killed the Electric Car?, Maxed Out, Sicko (all Archive)

George W. Bush
President #: 43
Years: 2001-2008
Self: 113
Archive Footage: 209
In Personal Collection: The Awful Truth season 2 (Self/Archive; different episodes); Bowling for Columbine, 11’09”01, Unprecedented: The 2000 Election, Fahrenheit 9/11, Uncovered: The War on Iraq, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, Unconstitutional, Why We Fight, This Divided State, Iraq in Fragments, Who Killed the Electric Car?, An Inconvenient Truth, Maxed Out, Shut Up & Sing, The Tripper, Sicko (all Archive)

Barack Obama
President #: 44
Years: 2009-Present
Actor: 1
Self: 94
Archive Footage: 44

Canadian Prime Ministers on Film

This is an attempt to catalogue how many appearances Canadian Prime Ministers have made on film. I used two sources for this: Wikipedia to get the names of Prime Ministers and when they ran (Wikipedia isn’t always accurate but is generally good for factual stuff such as this) and the Internet Movie Database for screen appearances (again some inaccuracies may appear but this is probably the best possible source for such information). For TV series, appearances are only counted once. Of course it’s impossible to get data on all newscast appearances so later Prime Ministers likely have 100s of uncatalogued appearances; these are probably the easiest to find somewhere.

Actor/Actress means this is a rare case where a Prime Minister has played a role other than themselves, though the role may in some cases (e.g. Former Prime Minister) allude to the real person. Self means the film has new footage as the Prime Minister as themselves, usually but not always in a non-fictional role. Archive means the film only has footage of the Prime Minister obtained from other sources. For TV shows a Prime Minister may appear in both Self and Archive categories as long as the episodes are different.

This list is solely of the Prime Ministers themselves, not of people playing them. A separate list for such appearances will be covered in a subsequent blog. Personally I think seeing the actual leader on film is more interesting than a portrayal, no matter how good.

Gaps in the list of Prime Ministers mean I was not able to find concrete evidence of filmed appearances of the Prime Minister, though again obviously some appeared in news broadcasts. For purposes of this list, interim Prime Ministers are given equal weight as elected Prime Ministers.

Due to the nature of the post, this blog entry will be updated periodically.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Prime Minister #: 7th
Years: 1891-1911
Self: 1
Archive Footage: 4

Sir Robert Borden
Prime Minister #: 8th
Years: 1911-1920
Archive Footage: 3

William Lyon Mackenzie King
Prime Minister #: 10th
Years: 1921-1926, 1926-1930, 1935-1948
Self: 3
Archive Footage: 28

Richard Bedford Bennett
Prime Minister #: 11th
Years: 1930-1935
Archive Footage: 3

Louis St. Laurent
Prime Minister #: 12th
Years: 1948-1957
Archive Footage: 8

John Diefenbaker
Prime Minister #: 13th
Years: 1957-1963
Self: 3
Archive Footage: 6

Lester B. Pearson
Prime Minister #: 14th
Years: 1963-1968
Self: 3
Archive Footage: 8

Pierre Trudeau
Prime Minister #: 15th
Years: 1968-1979, 1980-1984
Actor: 1
Self: 14
Archive Footage: 19

Joe Clark
Prime Minister #: 16th
Years: 1979-1980
Self: 6
Archive Footage: 3

Brian Mulroney
Prime Minister #: 18th
Years: 1984-1993
Self: 5
Archive Footage: 10

Kim Campbell
Prime Minister #: 19th
Year: 1993
Actress: 2
Self: 4
Archive Footage: 1

Jean Chr├ętien
Prime Minister #: 20th
Years: 1993-2003
Self: 15
Archive Footage: 9

Paul Martin
Prime Minister #: 21st
Years: 2003-2006
Self: 6
Archive Footage: 5

Stephen Harper
Prime Minister #: 22nd
Years: 2006-Present
Self: 4
Archive Footage: 5

Saturday, October 10, 2009

13 More Movies for Halloween

Okay, you took my advice last years and watched my 13 Halloween movie suggestions. You had a good time but time has passed now you’re feeling too relaxed. You wish to change that. Well, the doctor is here to raise your anxiety back up to acceptable levels. Here are my 13 recommendations for this year:

From Dusk Till Dawn: Two criminals pick the wrong bar to hole up in.

Trapped Ashes: People find themselves stuck in a studio tour’s haunted house and must describe traumatic experiences in the hopes of getting out.

Head of the Family: For people wanting their horror mixed with deadpan humour, a gold ol’ boy tries to blackmail a strange family of twins who are not exactly identical. The head of the family is a giant head with a smaller torso.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The first film on the series is easily the scariest, with a madman named Freddy Krueger who kills people in their dreams.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare: You’ll need to see A Nightmare on Elm Street first to really appreciate this, but if you do, it’s a fascinating look at meta-fiction as Freddy, no longer the clown he became in the previous films, invades the “real world”.

Saw: Not for the faint of heart, this film and its sequels involve a madman named Jigsaw who traps people in order to teach then a lesson. If they escape the trap they’ll be a bit maimed but they’ll probably have learned the lesson Jigsaw was trying to teach them.

Bloodsucking Freaks: a studio audience enjoys acts of torture, not realizing that (in the context of the film) what they’re watching is real.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead: Part horror, part satire, part musical, a fast food restaurant is built on an ancient Indian burial ground. This leads to giant zombie chickens.

Vamp: Teens visit a night club that’s infested with vampires.

The Sixth Sense: A psychiatrist tries to help a young boy who talks to ghosts.

Undead: An Australian zombie movie with a twisted sense of humour.

The Last Horror Movie: A “real” serial killer tapes over a fictional serial killer movie.

Unmasked Part 25: As with last year I’m finishing this list that you’ll need to seek out on VHS because there’s no DVD as yet. A Jason-like serial killer falls in love with a blind woman.