December 14, 2009

The plane's the thing


I absolutely love anything to do with air travel. I love airports, airport lounges, airport bars, etc. So with the news that Boeing is launching its new 787 Dreamliner tomorrow it got me thinking, oddly enough, about another related love of mine, the airplane disaster movie.

Now these two loves should be incongruous. For some reason I have always loved the sub-genre of disaster flicks that is the airplane drama.

Here is my list of the best airplane disaster/drama movies:

"Airport" (1970)
This is the best adaptation of the Arthur Hailey disaster novel and it spawned some awful copycats such as "Airport 1975" (1974) and "Airport'77" (1977).

"Flight Plan" (2005)
The tension in this movie is almost unbearable, as Jodi Foster tries to figure out if her daughter is missing somewhere on the plane or whether or not she is actually travelling alone. A real nail-biter.

"Die Hard 2" (1990)
Bruce Willis returns as the indefatigable "John McClane" who gets caught up in a plot by a band of mercenaries who take over Dulles Airport in Washington, DC.

"Air Force One" (1997)
Harrison Ford does what he does best as a U.S. president who takes matters into his own hands when a terrorist cell takes over Air Force One.

"Passenger 57" (1992)
Wesley Snipes is a cop who takes on a terrorist on a domestic flight.

"Con Air" (1997)
Nicholas Cage and John Cusack take on convicts who have taken over a plane transporting them.

"Snakes on a Plane" (2006)
Samuel L. Jackson unintentionally lampoons himself as he portrays a FBI agent transporting a witness for the prosecution who has to battle a plane full of poisonous snakes. Yes, it's terrible but it's a riot and some of the best fun to be had within the genre.

***Special Mention***

"Airplane!" (1980)
This movie is actually a hilarious spoof of the movie "Zero Hour!" (1957) and ranks #10 on the American Film Institute's list of best American comedies. It is packed with politically incorrect humour, slapstick, and perfectly-timed deadpan performances from veteran dramatic actors Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielson.

December 6, 2009

December 6, twenty years later

I was in my first year of university on December 6, 1989. I had returned home for the holidays after my first term of studies and was watching the news with my mom, when the horrific story broke of the massacre at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique.

The events struck close to heart as the targeted victims were female university students, not unlike my new friends back at Queen's. As it turns out my core friends who sustain me and who are my most intimate and trusted circle are all women I met at Queen's.

So when December 6 comes around each year it is these incredible and special women that I think of and cherish just a little bit more than usual. I can't imagine losing any of them in such a brutal and horrific manner.

I wonder about the people left behind on December 6, 1989. I wonder about how they were robbed of these precious 14 women. I wonder about what the future could have had in store for these young women, instead of being wiped out on a fateful day near the end of term on a cold December evening.

20 years later and we ought to cry in remembrance but also promise ourselves that we will do everything we can in our own lives to stop violence against women.

December 4, 2009

100 Years of Les Habs


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.

Winner of 24 Stanley Cups, the Canadiens are the NHL's championship leaders.

Take a look at their storied history here.

December 2, 2009

What would we do, baby, without love?


Meredith Baxter, my all-time favourite TV mom, has come out today as a lesbian.

The actress, known mostly for her role as Elyse Keaton in the smash hit sitcom "Family Ties", revealed that while she had been married to men three times before, she "was never comfortable with herself." Now, she feels like she's "being honest for the first time." You can watch her interview here.

Go Gaels Go (Part 2)

Some more video from Queen's Vanier Cup winning game. Don't mean to bug ya or anything. It's been 18 years since we won, so indulge me.