Posts Tagged ‘tribute’

Happy Anniversary! (well. except for the happy part)

June 30, 2011

Anniversary is generally a term that’s used for celebration or a not so subtle reminder that an expensive gift is due. For people like me, the word is used several times a year for a more forlorn purpose.

I always hit a major funk during this second quarter of the year, in fact May, June and July in particular are heavy going.

In May it’s the anniversary of my brother’s death.
In June it’s my late dad’s birthday, and the anniversary of my cousin’s death.
In July it’s my brother’s birthday, and on the exact same day, the anniversary of my Gran’s death.

Sure there are more deaths and anniversaries spread out across the rest of the year, but for these three months, the world seems like one long cruel joke.

It seemingly gets more difficult as the years pass, I think particular because milestones start hitting.

Things like people being dead for longer than you knew them alive for. That’s always a hard one.

Sometimes for a split second I forget what my dad looks like, and that hurts a lot, of course I’ll never actually forget what he looks like, but for that brief moment I’m angry with myself.

I miss my Gran tremendously. She was always the rock that kept the extended family together. In truth I don’t really feel like I have any family anymore, apart from my mom of course. It sad, but it’s a reality. I maybe see certain family members once every few years, but there are no longer family gatherings like there used to be back in the day. True, we’ve all grown up now…well…those of us that are left.

My cousin’s death was a strange one. Particularly based on what the family went through with my brother’s suicide. There are perhaps more unanswered questions to his death than with my brother’s. I will always be thankful that I got to spend time with my cousin in New York. We all know about my desire to get back there. Andre was the only guy who saw how happy I was there and that for me it was perfect contentment. Nobody else has ever seen me that way. I miss him so much because he truly supported my dream and was proud of all my achievements. I’ve never felt anyone else being that proud of me,

I’ve been into detail about my brother’s death before, so I won’t touch on that now, but what I will say is that my brother’s death is what has put my life into the situation it is now. Both good and bad. I’m angry with him and always will be, but I don’t blame him for what he did. I understand, and I do feel him got the better deal outta all this.

Anyways…I know we all have our share of bad days. I guess in this case, it’s just best to fake a smile and waves boys….

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Thank you Leslie Nielsen! (The Don’t Call Me Shirley edition)

November 29, 2010

I hate having to write these sorta blogs, because it means that the person who has been such an influence on my pop culture life has left this world , yet when I do, so many good memories come flooding back.

It was probably about a week ago that a friend and I were having a debate about the value of The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. Just an ordinary discussion in my life. The end result is that we both praised Mr. Leslie Nielsen, regardless of our thoughts on the movie.

For the record. I was against it.

Yet, in truth, I am one of the biggest Leslie Nielsen fans around. Yes, I subjected myself to purchasing Superhero Movie, Scary Movie 3,4 AND Dracula: Dead & Loving It simply because Leslie was in them.

That’s the kind of adoration he instilled on his fans. He could do no wrong, because after all, surely we couldn’t hate his movies.

No we couldn’t. But stop calling us Shirley.

As most people know my favourite kind of TV shows are 70s cop shows. I nurtured myself on them. Their formula was perfect. The I stumbled across a short lived TV series called Police Squad! Starring Leslie Nielsen and Alan North in the ultimate 70s cop show spoof. Its dead pan humour and wit was like nothing I had seen before.

It was an instant classic!

Soon thereafter the Naked Gun movies started, and when it dawned on me that it was a film version of the TV show, I was practically the first one at the cinema. I always went with my mom to watch them, and despite any problems that existed between us, Frank Drebin made them disappear by the time the police car credits started.

I still quote Frank Drebin and Airplane daily. His quips have become part of my vocabulary.

My love affair with Leslie continued for the rest of my life.

I watched his work in the cult classic Forbidden Planet – which is on TCM almost every night!, his cameo appearance on The Love Boat, Due South, Hotel, Fantasy Island (all of which I stumbled across on VHS and DVD) .

There seemed to be a Leslie spoof every year, from Spy Hard to Wrongfully Accused. None of them ever came close to Airplane! or The Naked Guns, but Leslie could still make a fart joke funny.

A few weeks ago, I came across a gem of a movie called Big Fat Important Movie, and it pleased my heart that Leslie was still making movies. It made me go back and watch my collection of Nielsen classics, including the much forgotten Bad Golf Made Easier and Bad Golf My Way.

Below is something I’ll treasure forever. During my autograph hunting days, Leslie was at the top of my “want” list…..

And I got him…

Thank you Leslie Nielsen for making this world brighter for 6 decades, I can only hope there are a lot of nice beavers where you are now.

This blog could (and should) be so much longer…but Leslie’s work will forever speak for itself.

Tonight, I’ll curl up with a great autobiography….even if it is all made up.

RIP Patrick Swayze…(My 50th Blog is for you)

September 15, 2009

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This past Friday night I said to my mom, I need to order Roadhouse on DVD…because I have a feeling Patrick Swayze is going to pass away this weekend and I don’t want to be the guy who orders his movies after he dies.

In fact, over the last few months I had been increasing my Swayze movie collection exponentially. The man was a movie Icon to me… a symbol of my youth and the epitome of wanting to be cool…except Swayze oozed it, while the rest of us simply just tried in vain.

Back in 1987 my love for movies was taking off, at just 10 years old life was good. Then Dirty Dancing came out. Coolness supreme. In fact, Dirty Dancing stands as the ONLY movie my mom has ever seen more than once at the cinema (3 times to be exact). She dragged me along on two of those occasions. And I secretly loved this chick flick that made me want to be Swayze.

Later that year I begged my mom to buy me the very first issue of a magazine called Top40 because it had Swayze on the cover. I didn’t care what else was in it, I wanted to know more about Johnny Castle.

My mom, being my mom, bought the wrong magazine, and instead picked up another magazine with Swayze on this cover. This was to be my first ever Movie magazine. The article in this magazine talked about Swayze filming his latest movie in Namibia. It was called Steel Dawn, and as far as I knew, that was just up the road!….My parents soon corrected my poor geography and brought me back down to earth.

While all this was going on, South Africans were treated to more Swayze than you could shake a stick at in the form of one Mr. Orry Main. The confederate soldier with a swagger for the ages in the epic Civil War series “North & South”. Of course, I’d later learn that the swagger was in fact a trademark limp.

Youngblood – (yes, South Africa was a bit behind the times), with a slightly younger Swayze playing an Ice hockey player alongside heartthrob of the decade Rob Lowe. I became an Ice Hockey fan. So much so that I bought Ice Hockey magazines, games and dreamed of becoming an Ice Hockey star….just like Swayze.

Red Dawn – Iconic. With the remake that’s currently being filmed, I couldn’t help but wish The Sway would get himself a cameo to justify the remakes existence. But sadly this is not to be.

I caught up with older films as the years passed, but this was difficult living in a pre-Amazon era. It was however the new releases that were the big events.

Road House – Patrick Swayze as a bouncer, Sam Elliot as his mentor and a cameo by wrestling legend Terry Funk. OMG.

Next of Kin – (A movie I revisited just a one month ago on DVD) Swayze rocks the shiz as Truman Gates. A hillbilly detective that teams up with his family to revenge the death of two of this brothers! Featuring Liam Neeson, Bill Paxton and Ben Stiller!

Then, as 1990/1991 ripped my family in half with the deaths of my dad and brother in quick succession, my dependency on the world of movies soared. The safe haven I found losing my self in movies was at fever pitch. My 80s icons of Arnie, Stallone, Bruce Willis, Van Damme and Mel Gibson were keeping me afloat with their over the top action flicks, but Swayze was the one who was mixing it up in all genres.

Point Break – If you weren’t a Swayze fan by now, Point Break was the movie that gave you your induction into the Patrick Swayze fan club. Bohdi was the guru of rebellious cool.

Ghost – My love for Demi Moore was also at its pinnacle. So when she teamed up with Patrick on this iconic tragedy of love flick, the world’s hearts broke and we followed the endless love of Sam and Molly. And secretly all wanted to sign up for pottery classes.

As Swayze’s movies became more and more of a mixed bag, I found myself waning from his movies. City of Joy, Father Hood, To Wong Foo, Black Dog, Waking Up In Reno….they all disappointed. A Few years ago I came across his Chippendales’ skit with Chris Farley on the SNL: Best of Chris Farley DVD…and bowed before the greatness that was Swayze once again.

I currently have a movie called “One Last Dance” on its way to me, which is going to be wrought with irony when in arrives…

Over the years Swayze made the occasional AWESOME performance, such as Donnie Darko, but Swayze never quit hit the mark again.
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Then in 2004 he made a cameo in old friend Whoopi Goldberg’s series “Whoopi”, and I was in shock. He looked frail, haggard and the shell of a man who once vowed never to let Baby be put in a corner.

The years passed and Swayze all but dropped off the radar. Then when his recent cancel battles, the world’s heart broke once again.

When I told my mom the news at 3am this morning. She burst into tears and cried as if we had lost a member of our family.
Perhaps we had.

Swayze could kick your ass, steal your woman, then dance the night away with her.
He was a man’s man.
He was an Icon.
He was The Sway
RIP Patrick Swayze

RIP John Hughes (1950-2009)

August 6, 2009

Another day, another Iconic death.

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Today we lost one of the most loved writer/directors in John Hughes.

Hughes died of a heart attack at the age of 59, but left us with movies that will last us for the rest of our lives.

If you grew up a teen in the 80s, there’s no way his work didn’t have an impact your youth.

He wrote and directed:
Sixteen Candles
The Breakfast Club
Weird Science
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Planes, Trains & Automobiles

When he wasn’t directing however, he continued his writing work with classics such as:

National Lampoons Vacation movies
Some Kind of Wonderful
The Great Outdoors
Home Alone
Beethoven

Of course his body of work included so much more, each of the above movies had a significant impact on both my love for movies and writing.

Hughes showcased the best in young and upcoming talent, and got the best out of comic legends. John Candy, Steve Martin, Charles Grodin, Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez,Macaulay Culkin, Anthony Michael Hall,Matthew Broderick

I always hoped Hughes would give us one more classic, but he long ago retired from directing, and now…well…it just simply one of those thing that will never happen.

RIP John Hughes, and thank you for making me love movies.