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Out of Ottawa: Five Picks

by on 2013/12/01

Hacker RendersIn general, I’ve done all right by Ottawa, but I’d be lying if I said my feelings weren’t more “good riddance” than “goodbye”. For nearly a decade and a half, it’s been the wannabe metropolis I’ve failed to accept as home.

This blog itself has proven to be a valuable coping tool, and I even hoped the city itself would provide me with excuses to love it, not least through the popular culture we write about.

Unfortunately, an overview of videos we’ve covered reveals only a bare handful tied to this fair city and, to be kind, it’s a very, very mixed bag. They range from a television great, to the worst of the mainstream big screen. Perhaps the most common connection between most is a tendency toward DTV cheese.

Consider only the third and fourth picks as worthy of seeking out. This list is definitely not recommended viewing.

Batman & Robin (1997)Batman & Robin (1997)

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“Dear lord this movie, Batman & Robin, is a tragic waste of resources, a perfect model of how to kill a franchise. Every awful thing said about it is absolutely true . . . You’d never know it was shot in Ottawa or Montreal or anywhere in particular. Everything pretty much looks like a rave. Could be a club nearly anywhere, with occasional mansion interiors. Nothing is subtle, visually or “intellectually”.”

Decoys (2003)Decoys (2003)

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“Shot in wintry Ottawa, Ontario, the action focuses mostly [around suspicious deaths] on the campus of St. John’s College, sandwiched in time between Halloween and Christmas.”


Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)

* * * *

“Vampires plague the City of Ottawa, more specifically its “Ladies of Sappho”. The more forward-thinking faithful wonder how to protect their lesbians, especially since their attackers have developed a resistance to crosses and daylight. It’s decided to consult with Jesus Christ (Phil Caracas).”

Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays (2011)Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays (2011)

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“Each episode finds them tackling an issue with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. In practical terms, Michael is set loose on the Ottawa public for some psychological sink-or-swim scenarios. As he thrashes his way to sanity — or at least the semblance of coping — David goes on with his own life of desperation.”

“If there any justice — or national pride — Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays will find popular success. It’s not only a love of CanCon, however, that will drive and reward its audience.”

Sacrifice (2011)Sacrifice (2011)

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“Ottawa actually stands in for Toronto here — a decision that will doubtless spur the locals’ wrath — and parts are set in L.A. It’s a story driven by traffickers moving heroin, baked into religious statues, from the evil haven of Canada to the victimized faithful down south. At least that’s what the numerous pages of expository text suggest. If nothing else, you’ve got to give it credit for stubbornly ostracizing every possible demographic.”

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