Author Archives: Andy Burns

Biff Bam Pop remembers Leonard Nimoy

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All of us at Biff Bam Pop are saddened to hear of Leonard Nimoy’s passing at the age of 83. You don’t become a geek without some sort of love of Star Trek, and nobody quite embodied that world like Mr. Nimoy’s Spock. We’ll be adding our thoughts as the day goes on, but in the meantime, here’s one of Andy Burns’ favourite Leonard Nimoy moments, along with the most poignant Star Trek scene you’ll view today:

Amanda Blue:

I saw Mr. Nimoy in person at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo in 2010. I remember the big smile he had on his face and the kindness he showed the neverending stream of fans lined up to meet him. He must have been exhausted, but it was obvious that the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few. You could feel his gentleness and patience from across the room. The world lost a good one to the Final Frontier today. RIP, sir.

Leiki:

Who didn’t love and respect Leonard Nimoy? From Star Trek to Fringe and his cameo on The Big Bang Theory, he improved everything. I will miss his very distinctive voice and presence.

Glenn Walker:

I’m more than a little stunned right now by his passing. Leonard Nimoy was part of my childhood, my education, my love of the genre, and now he’s gone, in this world at least. I can give you this, his last Tweet from his hospital bed:

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”

Later, I wrote this personal essay over on my blog.  Live long and prosper, sir.

Ensley F. Guffey:

As part of the central trinity of Star Trek Leonard Nimoy helped inculcate in me an enduring love of science fiction, a passionate belief in the value of space exploration, and an abiding fascination with fictional television shows that ask more of the audience than passive consumption. On a more personal note, I grew up watching reruns of Star Trek in syndication with my Dad, who was a fan form the series’ original airing. It’s one of the earliest things I can remember doing with my father, who died in 2000, and so Spock, Kirk, McCoy, Checkov, Sulu, Uhura, Scotty, et al. are inextricably tied up with some incredible, and very dear, personal memories. As with the passing of Deforest Kelly and James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy’s death leaves a hole in my heart, and the world is just a little bit less today than it was yesterday. Farewell, Mr. Nimoy, and may your next voyage be even more “fascinating” than the last.

Luke Sneyd:

Thinking on it, I’m a little surprised how much Leonard Nimoy was an influence on me growing up. I LOVED STAR TREK. As a kid I watched all the original series episodes, and the clunky animated series. I had the action figures, the models, the Star Fleet Technical Manual. A friend even built a full-size captain’s chair and bridge console out of wood (or his dad did) and we attempted our own Super-8 Star Trek movie, without any real script of course. I loved all the characters, but Leonard Nimoy as Spock was wonderful, the insistent rationality, the wry detached humour that nevertheless seeped through. Watching McCoy and Spock snipe at each other was endlessly amusing. And in the face of William Shatner’s glorious ham Kirk, all Nimoy had to do was cock an eyebrow on the angle of his pointed ears. Devastating. Post Star Trek, Nimoy’s In Search of… series had a big impact on me, too. Delving into all kinds of unexplained phenomena and the paranormal, Nimoy hosted the series with his trademark intelligent rasp. It anticipated a lot of the mysterious doc series on today, blending talking heads with eerie re-enactments. And Nimoy had success as a director, too, though I stayed far, far away from Three Men and a Baby. All in all, a stupendous career, and an inspiration for the rational, ever-curious, inquiring mind. Dif-tor heh smusma, Leonard, to a life well and truly lived.

Lastly, how cool is this guy?

Robin Renée:

Mr. Spock was one of my first crushes. I think that impulse has continued on for me in my lifelong attraction to the deeply intellectual. I will always love Leonard Nimoy, though, not only for his most famous role, but also for aspects of his art and being I discovered much later – his brilliant eye for photography, his narration of what came to be one of my favorite holiday broadcasts, the way he seemed to never stop creating, and how he, in every aspect I encountered, showed true concern for the heart of humanity.

Jean-Paul Fallavollita:

I grew up watching reruns of Star Trek, introduced to the original television series by an older cousin, and fell in love with it immediately, becoming forever enamored with the onscreen friendship between William Shatner, DeForest Kelly and Leonard Nimoy.

For me, Leonard Nimoy, was always the most venerable member of the Star Trek community. Even with his philosophical battles of being pigeonholed as the character of Spock, over the last few decades he seemed to embrace that visage and grow from it. From narrator on In Search Of… to directing various films, artistic turns in writing books or as a photographer, to reprising the role of Spock in two new generations of the Star Trek franchise and even playing a caricature of himself on both The Simpsons and Futurama, his work has always moved me and has always provided an important point of discussion for my own group of close friends.

I grew up with Leonard Nimoy, and he helped usher me through the future with intellect, with wonder, with wisdom, and always with a strong sense of camaraderie. Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy and thank you for all of that camaraderie in all of its various forms.

Loretta Sisco:

Leonard Nimoy was a beloved actor who brought to life Mr. Spock, an iconic science fiction character. Even I know what a Vulcan salute is, and I confess I have never seen an episode of Star Trek. I remember Mr. Nimoy hosting In Search of . . . when I was a kid, with a voice that was unmistakable. He will be missed.

Leiki On… Live From New York!

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

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Earlier this month Saturday Night Live celebrated it’s 40th year.  I’ve felt a connection to the show for far longer than the moment I realized that we were the same age.  The special treat of being allowed to watch the first half hour when I was still a tween and being introduced to the Bangles, Neil Young and Paul Simon.  Feeling like my favourites could never be replaced when regulars Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Jan Hooks, and Chris Rock left the show when I was a teen.  This mourning was short lived when the brilliance of Will Ferrell, Colin Quinn and Cheri Oteri followed soon after.   Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler took over from there and every 4-7 year stretch there is someone who makes you laugh every time and makes it worth tuning in.  Some hosts, like Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Drew Barrymore and Justin Timberlake hit it out of the park every time, while shows hosted by non-performers (i.e. athletes or politicians) can be a bit trying, but even those can be saved by the Weekend Update segment and recurring sketches.

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Will your focus be on Focus this weekend?

Another weekend, another battle at the box office. Can the latest from a tried, tested and true movie star take down Ana and Christian? Here are our predictions:

imageFocus will hopefully be a return to form for the usually dependable Will Smith. His last flick, After Earth, was a colossal bomb on all fronts, so Will needs a hit to be back on track. Focus is a con flic, and we haven’t really had a notable one of those since Now You See Me from a few summers ago. The film’s not so secret weapon could very well be co-star Margot Robbie, who has some serious buzz around her after having accepted the role of Harley Quinn in the upcoming DC Comics film, Suicide Squad (also set to star Smith). With all these factors in play, I think we’ll see a first place showing for Focus with a solid $25 million.

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Apparently you had no interest in Hot Tub Time Machine 2

A big opening weekend for a film at the box office oftentimes equals a fairly large drop during its second weekend, which is exactly what transpired over the last three days. Even still, last week’s number one still had enough juice to hold off any newcomers. Here’s what went down:

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With horrible reviews and its core audience satisfied during its opening weekend, Fifty Shades Of Grey had a steep, steep drop of 72% week to week. While it still made $24 million, enough to hold on to the top spot, I think we’re going to see this film fade fast from theatres. Mind you, it will likely hit $200 million in North America, so other than director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s obvious embarrassment at having worked on this film and Jamie Dornan’s potentially career killing decision to play Christian Grey, I’m sure everyone is thrilled with the results. Read the rest of this entry

A final goodbye to Comics and More and Rob Charpentier

Today, Sunday, February 15th 2015, marks a sad moment in the little area of Toronto where I live with my Queen and Princess. After 26 years on the Danforth, our local comic book shop, Comics and More is closing its doors. Not for bad retail reasons; not for a lack of audience. But sadly, because of the passing of its owner, Rob Charpentier, who went to the great and wonderful comic book store in the sky this past October.

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I know that his family tried to find someone to buy the shop, but for various reasons it just didn’t work out. I would have liked for his legacy to continue so that I could still walk into Comics and More with my daughter, but it’s not to be. Luckily, we’ll both have memories of the shop and the man, memories that won’t be going anywhere.
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Mr. Grey saw you and you and you this weekend at the movies

It’s a long weekend in the United States, so a shout out of Happy President’s Day to everyone reading there. It also means there will be a big emphasis on the four day weekend box office results; for our purposes, though, we continue to look at the three day estimated totals, which should come as no surprise. Here’s who…I mean, what went down:

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Combating some seriously awful reviews, Fifty Shades Of Grey still had an astounding weekend, especially for an R-rated film. The sex-driven movie managed to score $77 million in its first three days, including $30.2 million on its opening day. The Valentine’s Day timing certainly didn’t hurt the film, and neither did the lackluster critical reaction. The question now is, was Fifty Shades Of Grey front-loaded for a strong opening weekend of devoted fans, or will it manage to have legs over the coming weeks. Something to look out for, to be sure.

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To infinity and beyond with my daughter, Disney and DK

My daughter is four years old. Four and a half, if you want to get technical about it. Her and I, we share what can only be called an obsession. A deep-seeded obsession.

Now, you could be sitting there thinking, what could a dude pushing forty have in common with a little girl. Is it princesses? Is it Frozen? While I can appreciate both, both those answers would be incorrect.

No, our shared love is Disney Infinity. And I’d wager a guess that there are a lot of parents out there who share the same obsession with their children, regardless of their age. It’s just that sort of game.

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Andy Burns On…Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Dead Man’s Party

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

I know exactly where I was when I finally got “it”. It was a Tuesday night (naturally). I was in the wreck room/basement of the home I shared with my mother. I was flipping channels, just a little after 8 pm ET when I landed on channel 20. It was a catch-all channel from out of Barrie, Ontario that would pick up various shows from the WB and the other networks. On this night, they were showing an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It was the second episode of the third season. It was called Dead Man’s Party.

And it’s the episode that got me.

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Fifty Shades Of Grey looks to tie you up at the box office

Let’s be real – this Valentine’s Day weekend, there’s only one movie that’s going to come close to topping the box office, regardless of whether or not it gets good reviews. So just how much is Mr. Grey going to make? Here’s our prediction:

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There’s definitely some mixed reviews out there regarding Fifty Shades Of Grey, the adaptation of the hugely successful novel of the same name. Newcomer Dakota Johnson is getting decent praise for her performance as sexual neophyte Ana Steele; however, the same can’t be said for Jamie Dornan as BDSM practitioner Christian Grey. So strong in The Fall, it seems as though many feel he’s sleepwalking thorough the film. However, none of this is going to stop this hard R-rated movie from making a huge impact. With $60 million in advance ticket sales already, look for the film to debut with a $80 million when it’s all said and done.

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So you actually were waiting for a new Spongebob movie

Sometimes I just don’t have the pulse on the beat of the cinema going public. You know what, though? I can live with that. If you guys find a movie you want to see and enjoy, that’s really all that matters. But really…Spongebob Squarepants???

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Apparently, there is an absolutely huge audience for this character, and it’s not just kids that love him. Adults helped make The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water a huge hit this weekend, as it grossed $53 million to easily debut in the number one spot. Much like the first film, people are really enjoying this film, as our critics, as evidenced by the film’s 74% approval rating over at Rotten Tomatoes. For this weekend at least, Spongebob is on top.

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