hoffman 4

Popcorn Banter10 thoughts on A Most Wanted Man

By James Pavel

1. A Most Wanted Man is basically about an elongated, potentially corrupt, charity donation.

2.The final, audible word that Philip Seymour-Hoffman utters is a booming F-bomb in the conclusion of A Most Wanted Man, which turns out, is his last word ever recorded of him playing a starring role. If only we could all ask for such a memorable, everlasting quotable.

3. Unfortunately, this movie will be rapidly forgotten. What will not however is that Hoffman coined the brilliant term “sharted.” For full definition, please see Along Came Polly.

4. The lines and wrinkles on the face of William Dafoe should be studied by engineering and art students for their exquisite symmetry and pronounced depth.

5. It appears Hoffman agreed to do this movie on two terms a) He was permitted to relentlessly chain smoke throughout the entire movie and b) he could inhale a quarter glass of scotch every second scene.

6. The final development of A Most Wanted Man is Hoffman in a state of sour hopelessness. He is beat-purple from screaming and he is walking aimlessly with a defeated stare under grey and hazy skies. It’s awful to think, but it may be possible that he dwelled in a similar cast of clouds shortly before his death.

7. I completely believed Rachel McAdams as a German social worker.

8. Hoffman is one of the greatest actors of the past decade and it is a remarkable feat. He isn’t a dashing, leading man, or a box-office king. He was an unattractive, overweight man with a ghostly, unmemorable face. He has starred in uneventful and terribly overrated movies, such as his final project (A Wanted Man,) and definitely, The Master. And yet every performance was shockingly great. Every role felt like his defining role. He could characterize a movie with a single scene.

9. He was what the majority of us men will eventually look like. He was wonderfully average, dangerously talented, and beautifully ugly.

10. Hoffman looked like a man who enjoyed a good laugh and an even better drink. RIP.

sin city

By James Pavel

1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has temporarily taken over from Ryan Gosling as the most badass actor of the moment.

2. Eva Green is naked the entire movie and I refuse to pretend that this isn’t awesome.

3. This film does what other superhero movies are afraid of attempting, which is transforming a movie into a comic book instead of a comic book into a movie. It is why Sin City is so ascetically pleasing and is a source of non-stop excitement, despite zero plot development.

4. She’s so “Eva Green.” That is exactly how to describe a woman that isn’t necessarily hot, but is astonishingly sexy.

5. If you are going to feature Bruce Willis in any capacity, give him the screen time he deserves.

6. Jessica Alba’s role is greater than the sum of her entire professional career. It isn’t that Sin City is that remarkable, it’s just that her past career choices are that unremarkable.

7. Josh Brolin might be one of the top three leading men in Hollywood.

8. An additional villain as twisted and spooky as Elijah Wood in the original film would have served this sequel well.

9. Besides Charlie Sheen and maybe George Clooney, no actor seems more enthusiastic about playing a version of themselves more than Mickey Rourke. You desire a drug-fuelled, heavy-drinking’ bruiser that loves to reminisce about the long-ago glory days? Sign him up.

10. Powers Booth, the man that plays Senator Roark, is frightening and menacing in all the right ways. He reminds me of The Jungle Book’s “Shere Con.” He is exactly the way a villain is supposed to be; Heartless and a little bit disgusting.



By James Pavel

The personal photos of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence have been purged for the world to gawk at and it demonstrates the disgusting way pornography has infiltrated our minds and behaviours. 

The primary and obvious issue of the leaked images is that it appears that it was relatively elementary for this computer-hacking monster to access these vulnerable and “private” pictures, despite the cloud technology’s security platform.

 But now that the world has behaved like a giant peeping Tom and viewed these stolen properties –  What does one come to understand of these images and what is the effect?

 I have not seen every photo nor do I intend on. But I have seen a handful. And what is plainly obvious, is that the hackers found exactly what they were looking for – porn.

 These are not just whimsical, topless photos taken at some private beach in the Virgin Islands; these are poses generally found on pornographic websites.

 Apparently, celebrated actresses and famous, super-model women are mimicking these provocative and hasty looks, despite their chance to be photographed in whatever they choose on any given day. 

 It provides a bedroom full of irony, considering porn stars are mostly aspiring actresses gone astray, and yet now the upper tier of female celebrity are doing their best version of Jenna Jameson.

 The world has become a pornographic stage with consumers no longer just limited to Playboy Magazine subscriptions, but now host men and women who are aggressively delivering pornographic images and videos of any human, regardless of the consequences.

 These pornographic predators hacked the cell phones and emails of celebrities hoping to find racy, inappropriate photos that no one would believe that these women would capture themselves doing.

 Websites containing the links have been bombarded with visits because our sex-tech conquests are predatory. Many undoubtedly fantasized about Jennifer Lawrence naked, especially after watching say, American Hustle or Silver Linings Playbook.

 But you didn’t need to see it; nor do you deserve to see it.

 This obsessive sense of sexual entitlement didn’t exist until the explosion of internet pornography. Suddenly the bodies of celebrity are ours to seek and to judge, the good and the bad. If Jennifer Lawrence suddenly put on 50 pounds, we would for some unGodly reason believe that we had the right to see her inflated stomach and heavy thighs. Of course this is not the sort of content that was leaked. They are personal photos, that were intended for one viewer and one viewer only and now the opposite has occurred.

 There are arguments made that pornography is actually empowering to women, despite females rarely being seen in a domineering role. The idea that pornography is positive, particularly for women, is bogus. If you believe that a naked woman hosed down in semen by seven different men or a woman being gagged and practically begging for mercy is at all a form of feminism, a century of therapy would not be capable of quelling your delusions.

 It is Jennifer Lawrence that will likely take the largest hit to her stock value. The sweet alluring face of The Hunger Games is now going to have images and videos assembled beside the likes of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.

Kardashian, the most famous woman in the world, could be defined by many adjectives, but one that is undebatable is, porn star. Paris Hilton held a similar position of supremacy through identical means, and it makes one wonder – is being desired as a sexual conquest the most sought-after position for a modern-day famous woman?

If female actresses and models now aspire to be looked upon with the same raw sexual vigor as a Jenna Jameson or Amy Reid, it is a concerning trend.


By James Pavel

I’m awfully fragile right now;  But I will do my best to transcribe what happened. 

Remember that actor I used to rave about? the ‘king of the world’ guy? – he just tossed me to the side like a Blackberry Curve this week and I am still trying to recover emotionally. 

He showed up in my home province unannounced, in one of his gas-inhaling private jets and immediately began stomping his muddy boots all over the place, screaming about how the Alberta oil and gas industry needs to come to a screeching halt. 

This is the actor that convinced a generation of boys and girls to visit Thailand and find themselves while simultaneously converting it into a western-fornicating, utopia. He’s Jay Gatsby. He’s the Aviator. He’s the coolest, model-plowing, wolf-howling, motherfucker on the planet. And yet, that doesn’t seem to matter right now. 

With him visiting, I was thinking it was going to be a weekend of scanning the voluptuous Rocky Mountains, a picnic at one of Banff’s glorious national parks and maybe even floating down the city of Calgary’s Elbow River – boy, was I off the mark.

 He completely sideswiped me. He continued banging on about the way me and my friends make a living around here. He said we should be ashamed of ourselves for the way we are irresponsibly purging from the Earth and destroying nature. 

You see Leo didn’t come to see me or any of his other adoring fans. He came to scrutinize the oil and gas sector and marvel at how supposedly awful we have treated the land we live on. 

As he roared at me that our relationship would never be the same, I sobbed like a child burying his first pet gerbil. I asked “But Leo, why didn’t you unleash this speech in Nigeria or Saudi Arabia?” 

Surely, they are are both oil-producing nations that rely heavily on the consumption of oil for profit too. 

Oh wait I remembered, he probably didn’t go there because those countries would never allow him film a millisecond of footage of their oil industry. You see, it’s way easier to come to Canada, a free country, and go on uneducated tirades about one of the world’s most vital industries without the fear of being imprisoned or worse. Must just be a coincidence.

Also kind of crazy, that James Cameron and Neil Young both gave the same guilt-riddled speech over the past few years and yet none of them, Wolf of Wall Street included, have actually provided any viable alternatives or solutions. 

I told Leo through my blubbering that it was strange that he chose Alberta to sever our bro-mance, considering that this province has the most stringent standards for oil and gas in the world and that we are regularly looking for methods to ensure even tidier and more environmentally-friendly tactics. 

Never mind that, he balked. “But, but Leo,” I managed to utter. 

“Remember during the World Cup of Soccer in Brazil when you arrived on one of the world’s most luxurious yachts and partied with some of the most beautiful creatures ever conceived? Well, that actually wouldn’t have been possible with turbines or windmill energy. That yacht actually ran off of this ‘dirty oil’ you are currently dismissing.”

He shot me an incredulous look, as if I was a character swinging an axe at him from The Gangs of New York film. I began to think that Leo was being duped into thinking he was playing a heroic character in a fantasy movie where oil isn’t necessary and the world can just get by on unicorn kisses and leprechaun dust. 

He abruptly brushed my comments off like a half-assed script emailed to him by Michael Bay. 

I decided I wasn’t going to let Leo get the last word. 

“You know Leo,” I practically screamed, “we are aware that oil and gas is not the ideal method of producing energy. But it remains the most effective, the most desirable and far and away the most successful way of running a vehicle or producing some of the world’s most important products.” 

We can’t wait for a cleaner source of energy to arrive either. But until that miracle resource arrives, we are going to work like hell to make this oil and gas as beneficial to as many nations as possible. We don’t like oil spills either, because just like you, we love the outdoors too. Hiking, biking, running – there’s more to us than just hockey and snow-mobiles. 

Listen Hollywood, we are all ears. But the whole wind turbines, nuclear energy movement? It’s proven to be a major bust. So if you are going to criticize, you better begin to bring some exceptional ideas to the Canadian table. 

I hope this is just a tiff between us Leo, I really do. But until then, maybe you are right. Maybe a break-up is the best thing for both of us. 



By James Pavel

  • Why not just wait until December before unveiling such a (potentially) influential list? You know, when half the decade is actually over?
  • If this list is to be received as scripture, then Kanye West is the greatest and most celebrated rapper in hip-hop history.
  • Pitchfork is remarkable at ignoring albums that are actually culturally relevant. Sure, Deerhunter’s Halcyon is a decent release, but at what point was it ever more recognizable and relatable than Arcade Fire’s Reflektor album? Arcade Fire is the only band in the world where it isn’t insane to mark them as modern-day legends and yet their most recent work is slotted in the 88th position on this list, as if they are some brigade of high-school drop outs still perfecting their instruments.
  • They can argue this point, but Pitchfork is a pseudo-underground site for hipsters and closet hipsters. How can they possibly not crown “The Suburbs” as the greatest album since 2010? It’s the first time in eons where the coolest album of the year was actually recognized as the album of the year at the Grammys. The Grammys remains the highest honour, and it’s a shame Pitchfork can’t at least allow this victory to take significance in the realm of consideration.
  • Number five is a brave and just placement of Beach House’s Teenage Dream. This might be the strongest female vocalist-driven album of the past ten years, never mind since 2010.
  • Pitchfork constantly over-compensate for their strange obsession with terrible new-wave screamo by awkwardly and confusingly awarding hip-hop with the highest accolades (#1 and #2 albums of the decade..thus far
  • Love the inclusion of Vampire Weekend’s Contra


By James Pavel

1. Thou shall not screenshot a woman’s breasts if thy is lucky enough to receive such a snap. 

2. Thou shall not send snaps of thy penis. It is, and never will be, camera friendly. 

3. Thou shall not send snaps that read “I’m bored.” Being bored is for boring people. Do not attempt to  lasso me into your dungeon of tumbleweeds. 

4. Thou shall not send concert snaps because they sound like muffled wild animals screaming into the recipient’s ear and not whatever song you should be enjoying rather than snapping away with God-awful results. Just enjoy the show – I can YouTube it later. 

5. If thou sends snaps of kitchen appliances or other mundane items, thou will surrender Snapchat privileges for officially being too lame for the application.

6. Thou shall consider acting, improvising, and delivering maximum effort for supreme Snapchat enjoyment for recipient. It’s 10 seconds. Make it count. 

7. Thou shall snap homeless people, dogs, and tropical beaches at every opportunity. 

8. Thou shall not send snaps to boss because thy employer does not need to see thou taking hooter shooters off of a Mexican stripper named Loco Maria at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday.

9. Unless thy is Wolfgang Puck, thou shall not snap food pictures no more than once a month. Nobody cares about your overcooked steak and slop of stale corn and mold-ridden broccoli accompanying it.

10. Thou shall not snap selfies more than one in every ten snaps. Thy Lord created Instagram for this self-serving purpose. 


By James Pavel

5. Billy Big Rigs vs. Bombay Bicycles 

In Edmonton, you drive a jacked–up, steel-balls, diesel-running, music-screaming, mother-truckin’, Billy big-rig. F 150s, Chevy Silverados, and GMC Sierras are the howling beasts of the north that remind everyone they’re in Oil Country.

In Calgary, the summer streets resemble the Tour de France. Everyone and their black squirrel cycle to work. They’ve even created bike lanes on main arteries to the city to accommodate this mass locomotive. In Edmonton, unless you’re parading down the River Valley, bikes are for the hardcore.

4. Calgarians have more material, Edmontonians have the best joke

Calgarians could perform a half-hour set of jokes strictly ridiculing the City of Edmonton. They are painfully relentless. I’ve heard “What is the best thing about Edmonton?” (Calgary Trail), no exaggeration, 3 million times.

But when the prairie snow settles, Edmontontians trump the southern cowboys every time. What’s the difference between the Calgary Flames and a bra? Thought so.

3. ‘Mony, Mony’

In Calgary bars, during every slight pause of Billy Idol’s “Mony, Mony” Southern Albertans roar “Get drunk, motherf*cker get drunk,” like a wild pack of booze-riddled banshees.  It’s obnoxious, rude and completely insane, which makes it rip-roaring fun every single weekend in Cow-Town.

Based on zero research, I have come to determine that this trend stems from waiting in line at the Calgary Stampede. How to freshen up an 80s’ classic for the entire lineup to enjoy? Why, drop a couple F-bombs of course.

2. ‘What’s Your Number?’

If you ask someone for their number in the northern chapter, they dial in the digits and press save. Done. You may or may not here from this individual ever again. In Calgary, after pressing save, the individual will call you so you now have his or her phone number on your missed call display. It’s the single, grandest example of shameless, buck-passing you will ever encounter. The ball is no longer strictly in the number-taker’s court. The ball has been placed directly in the centre, and it becomes a riveting, armpit-sweat inducing, blinking contest as to who will text who first.

1.Oiler Pride

“Let’s go Oilers” is the Edmonton National anthem. You could be dropping your child off at summer swimming camp on a Tuesday afternoon and suddenly, but not surprisingly, a “Let’s Go Oilers” chant erupts like a raging volcano. It’s a battle cry. It’s the common tongue. It’s also an urge that does not exist in Calgary. Outside of the Saddledome, I have never, ever heard a “Let’s go Flames” uproar. Calgary loves hockey, this I know. But when the Flames lose, the city still sleeps. When Oilers lose a bout, Edmontonians scream at miserable sports radio hosts about who to trade, who to fire and who to crucify at Rexall Place the next morning.

Edmontonians would actually hesitate if asked to sacrifice their first-born in order for the Oil to capture another cup. They would eventually surrender the child, and out would come a jubilant “Let’s Go Oilers,” chant heard from St. Albert to Nisku.


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