Sean, Orlando, Vincent and.... Gizmo?

Saturday, October 07, 2006
Ever have one of those weeks? Yeah me too. And this week has been one of them. It hasn't been bad just...different. Glad it's over, mainly because tomorrow is TURKEY DAY! Woo hoo. Ok, so technically, Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving but our family is getting together on Sunday. I have to say that turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the fixings (including my killer homemade cranberry sauce) is one of my all time favourite meals. FYI, Canada had the first thanksgiving! Score one for the canucks!

This week, we had our annual staff meeting at work. The entire department (which is spread across 2 or 3 different buildings and consists of over 500 people) gets together for a day of awards, presentations, door prizes and a free lunch. Well, free in the sense that it doesn't come directly out of my pocket. However if people knew who I currently worked for, the particular department and how much this event cost, they wouldn't be too happy. (Those are all the clues I'm giving - I could have used the word "taxpayer" but that would have given too much away!). In fairness, the door prizes were donated from various other companies in town... Our guest "motivational" speaker that day was Henry "Gizmo" Williams. Before he showed up, I was thinking of "Pinball" Clemens but realized my error when he walked past me to get to the stage. "OH HIM!" I said to my coworker. I felt like an idiot.
Which is the real Gizmo?

The Giz, as he's affectionately called, is a football god here in Edmonton. He played for the Edmonton Eskimos between 1987 - 1993 and helped the team win two Grey Cup Championships. Inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame last month, he was a seven time Western All-Star and 5 times a CFL All Star. He's pretty short for a professional athlete, any sport, at 5'6" (only an inch taller than myself) but he's solid muscle (now working as a personal trainer and motivational speaker). Who in Edmonton will ever forget the 1987 Grey Cup when he returned a missed field goal 115 yards for a touchdown which was of course immediately followed by his trademark flip in the end zone. Even non-football fans love the Giz.

While his presentation didn't have a lot of structure and he jumped around (only figuratively, there was no flip...alas!), he was a lot of fun. Unlike most speakers they get to do these sorts of corporate gettogethers, he was entertaining and motivating. The fact that he dropped the F-Bomb right at the end of his presentation was noticed by all but that's Gizmo. Definately the most fun I've had at a work function in a long time.

Alun tagged me a little while ago regarding the Police Academy movies. I have to admit that I haven't seen all of the movies - most I believe have gone straight to video. I think I've seen the first four (or five? perhaps only three?) - they all tend to blur together for me. However, I can say that my three faves are the first three movies, in that order. Wow, how pathetic was that. It's been a while since I've seen any of them so I hope he forgives me for my lackluster response to his tag. The first Police Academy was, in my opinion, probably the best thing Steve Guttenburg has ever done. Not that that is much of a stretch, he hasn't had the most successful career. Kim Cattrall before she was Samantha the oversexed sex kitten was wonderful although my favourite role of hers was definately as Gracie Law from Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter is the king!). Did you know she was in an episode of Tales of the Golden Monkey? Of course not, no one remembers that show but me... I was sad to read that David Graf, who appeared in ALL 7 of the PA movies, died in 2001 of a heart attack at age 51. Gene Tackleberry was one of the best characters in the series!

This weekend I decided to rent some movies and realized when I started writing this post that I should have rented the Police Academy movies but I had already picked up a couple of others. Nuts. (SORRY ALUN! I'll rent some of them next weekend!) This weekend has been spent, unfortunately, with Orlando Bloom...I rented Troy and Kingdom of Heaven... It wasn't until I was paying for them that I realized he was in both. The 16 year old kid behind the counter tried to tease me about having some quality Orlando time this weekend (not bloody likely - he looks younger than the video clerk) but was shocked to learn that Bloom was in the LOTR ??? Maybe I should work there instead. (PS I just noticed that his birthday is one day after mine - different year obviously but ... ick). One good thing about KoH was that I noticed right at the beginning, one of the grave diggers, the one with the nicked ear, was the actor who played Spider on Corrie Street! Go figure!

Anyways, I rented Troy because I've been on a bit of an ancient Greece kick lately (one of the next books I've got ready to read is The Spartans) and I couldn't find a similar movie to watch with it. The closest thing they had in stock that struck my fancy and that I hadn't already seen was Kingdom of Heaven. Now I know far, 45 minutes in and I'm bored beyond belief. I won't be finishing it. I had seen Troy when it was first was released but didn't remember much other than the reason I had wanted to see it was because Vincent Regan was in it (god how I love that man!). I now know why I haven't re-rented this one. As much as I'd love to jump VR at the first opportunity, even he doesn't make this movie a keeper. I think Wolfgang Petersen wanted too much to create an epic film rather than focusing on the script itself. Great movies aren't made with the intention of being "great movies". They become great because they're well made, brilliantly acted and are beautifully filmed. Brad Pitt was, surprisingly not that bad. I'm not a fan of his and the "dramatic" shots of him pursing his lips and staring into the distance squinting against the mediterranean sun were a bit much. However, he was H.O.T. in this film. You can tell he worked hard to get that body. This film contained a whole host of fantastic actors who could (and should) have ensured this movie was a great success. However, with a crappy script and bad direction, there wasn't much they could do.

Peter O'Toole, one of my all-time favourites (Larry of Arabia is probably THE most beautifully shot movie ever in my opinion), was wooden and unbelievable as Priam, King of Troy. Sean Bean (le sigh...), Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, James Cosmo, Julie Christie, none of them could save this movie. Why can't someone make a really GOOD movie about ancient Greece and/or Rome? I have yet to see HBO's miniseries ROME and I've heard it's not bad but I have my doubts. I AM looking forward still to seeing 300 (which also stars VR...yippee) but I probably shouldn't get my hopes up...anyone have any historical movie suggestions?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well who is Pinball Clemens then? Was he with Edmonton as well, although I'm thinking Wpg?

You know, regardless of what you think of that guy who goes around starting fights (can't recall his name), Gladiator was actually not a bad film. I don't know how accurate any of it was but it was entertaining.

Rusell Crowe!

Red said...

First of all, you're a fellow Capricorn! So it's you, me and Orly, all clustered with our birthdays between 12 and 15 January. Hurrah for us!

Second of all, you mentioned everybody bar the lowly waterboy on the set of Troy, but not the one actor that truly shone in it, and that's the rather delectable Eric Bana as Hector. The moment he died, that film was over for me. And no Orly, no Brad Pitt, no Peter O'Toole could do anything to save it.

I was looking forward to Troy so much when it first came out. When we went to the cinema (there were three of us), we were split between going to see that and The Day After Tomorrow. Troy won, but I think TDAT was actually a better film, at least it had no pretensions...

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to agree with you about Troy .. I didn't have high hopes going into it, but it didn't even come close to meeting my diminished expectations .. and wasting the great Brian Cox like that is a crime!

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