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November 28, 2014

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Retrospective

ENTERTAINMENT

Less than 3 weeks from now the last of the 3 Hobbit films will be released, bringing to end an era of Tolkien-based films... and opening the door for other filmmakers to make their own Tolkien-esque films.

Warner Brothers knows this is the end of an era and thus have released the video below, a retrospective on all 6 films - and incidentally a promo for the last of the 6 films.



The good news however is that these films have made fans hungry for more.

But there are no more Tolkien books worth making. So out of necessity, we should turn to other books that are worthy of note. Here is a list of fantasy books that should be made into films:

The Icewind Dale Trilogy
The Crystal Shard (1988)
Streams of Silver (1989)
The Halfling's Gem (1990)

The Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy
Dragons of Autumn Twilight (1984)
Dragons of Winter Night (1985)
Dragons of Spring Dawning (1985)

The Earthsea Cycle
A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)
The Tombs of Atuan (1971)
The Farthest Shore (1972)
Tehanu (1990)
The Other Wind (2001)

The Wheel of Time
(Although to be fair, this would make a better TV series - similar to Game of Thrones. The Wheel of Time has 14+ books and it would make more sense if it was a TV series.)

The Dark Sun: Prism Pentad
The Verdant Passage (1991)
The Crimson Legion (1992)
The Amber Enchantress (1992)
The Obsidian Oracle (1993)
The Cerulean Storm (1993)

Now if you recognize the books from Icewind Dale, Dragonlance and Dark Sun as being books associated with Dungeons and Dragons and are thinking "Wait, don't D&D movies suck?!" then you are missing the point. Don't base the movies off the game. Base the movies off the books (which are awesome) and ignore the existence of the game entirely. The problem with movies based off video games or RPGs is that they are too closely based off the games when they should be based off the best-selling books. The books are ridiculously popular.

The problem with the D&D film series is that they based the films off the game, and developed pretty lame plots that had not been tested as a book series first. They ignored the first rule of movie making: Only make a movie that is based on a successful book series. If it doesn't have the books to back it up as being already successful, then it is not worth making.

Google the name Drizzt Do'Urden (one of the main characters from The Icewind Dale Trilogy) and Google spits out 370,000 results (that is just slightly less than "Conan the Barbarian", which has 398,000 results). That shows Drizzt Do'Urden has brand name appeal when it comes to marketing the films and has a measurement of pre-existing success. Conan already has 3 films out there, and yet Drizzt isn't that far behind in popularity and has zero films.

Lastly, there are also some sequels that should be made sometime. Namely:

Buttercup's Baby - the long awaited sequel to The Princess Bride - sadly, one of the actors is dead so this will probably never happen.

Conan the Conqueror - with Arnold Schwarzenegger as King Conan, based off the book "The Hour of the Dragon".

The Subtle Knife + The Amber Spyglass - The two remaining books after film The Golden Compass (the book is called The Northern Lights), a film that brought in $372 million at the box office and yet oddly enough the series was cancelled. Why? Because in the 3rd book "god" dies of old age. Apparently the idea of 'god dying due to old age' was too controversial for Christians and they boycotted the film. However the film still managed to bring in $372 million at the box office, meaning it was hugely profitable. So why not make the 2nd and 3rd films if it is profitable??? Finish the trilogy.

Avatar 2, 3 and 4 - They are coming. That much is certain. They are slated for release in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Filming begins just a few days from now in December 2014.

September 2, 2014

The Future of Toronto's Subway System - TTC Map

Below is a rendering of what the new Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension will look like on the TTC system map when the new subway extension opens in the Autumn of 2016.


That is assuming that Rob Ford doesn't start an epidemic of "lying and cheating crack zombies" between now and then. It would totally suck if the "crack zombie apocalypse" happened before the subway extension was completed. Just think of how many more people would be trapped underground thanks to the subway extension when the zombie epidemic spreads to the TTC.

In other news, the 2014 Toronto Mayoral Election will take place on October 27, 2014. Four days before Halloween.

March 31, 2014

How to Dress like a Manly Man

By Monique Bellamont - March 2014

Ack!

It is that word many "manly men" shy away from - metrosexual.

Which we women find silly because it reveals that many men are so homophobic that they refuse to deal with anything that is remotely "gay".

As such men's high fashion has suffered over the decades to the point that men really can only wear suits and uniforms. Anything too risque and they feel they are being emasculated

However done right, men's high fashion doesn't have to look metrosexual.

What it should look like however is:

Rugged.
Cool.
Capable.

And a touch of James Bond doesn't hurt.

As such high end clothing for men really needs to flatter a man - building a bridge between "uniform / suit" and "rugged casual wear".

Check out the image below to see what I mean. The men in the photo below, all wearing clothes from Toronto-based company Kish Wear, look rugged yet sophisticated. And this is what men want when it comes to high fashion. They want to look professional, yes, but they also want to look like they could doff a cowboy hat and ride off into the sunset at the same time looking heroic while they do it.


 Now as a single woman who dates a lot I have to imagine waiting in a coffee shop for the guy I met off POF to show up.

And then he shows up wearing a black bow tie, wearing a white shirt, suspenders, a black jacket with fur collar (I am describing the photo on the right here) then I am going to be instantly impressed and have the following first impressions.

#1. This man is intelligent. He is smartly dressed.

#2. This man knows how to dress properly and takes care of himself. He probably bathes daily, does his laundry regularly, and might even wear cologne on special occasions.

#3. This man probably knows how to treat a lady. If he treats himself well, then he probably treats others well too.

#4. This man has a job / career. He wouldn't be able to afford this quality of clothes if he is still living in his parents' basement.

#5. He looks like Viggo Mortensen. Part of that is just the hair and beard, but the clothes completes the package.

#6. Retro. And anything retro is cool. So that is automatically a bonus.

Thus, first impressions, I would be very happy to meet a man dressed like that. Whether his personality matches mine, that is another topic, but the first impressions means that I will be taking this man seriously and he will be having my undivided attention while I sip my latte and contemplate a second date.

Below are some photos from Kish Wear's 2014 Winter Collection.





March 27, 2014

Hey Toronto, need a hobby? Join a Meetup or Facebook group!

Toronto has literally hundreds of different Meetup.com and Facebook groups that meet regularly to explore whatever topics or hobbies they find interesting.

Thus regardless of your interests, there are lots of hobbies out there for Torontonians (or any other city dweller) for you to try and learn more about.

Take for example

The Toronto Poetry Club operates a Meetup group, a Facebook page, and a poetry website. The poetry club has poetry circle readings and anyone who is a Toronto poet (or even non Toronto residents) can join in.

The Toronto Poetry Club on Meetup.com

The Toronto Poetry Club on Facebook.com

The Toronto Poetry Club official website


The Toronto Feminist Meetup is a group which promotes feminism, equal rights for women and has feminist talks about books, entertainment, politics, legal matters and more.


Toronto Survivalists is a group which enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, and explores a variety of woodcraft skills.


The Toronto Vegan Meetup Group is a group for vegans and vegetarians and veggie-curious people to share recipes, get together for making food together and various vegan friendly social events.


And yes, I realize the hunting/fishing group and the vegan group basically covers everyone who eats food.

But what if you just want to hang out with new friends and play board games? Well there is a group for that too.

The Toronto Area Gamers group is for people who love boardgames, roleplaying games, card games, and even video games. Want to meet other gamers? "TAG" is the place to join.

So if you are bored and browsing the internet - well then you really have no excuse. Go join a club! Get into a new sport like archery or boxing! Hang out with other people with similar interests!

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