Tag Archives: Toronto

Batman vs. Superman to Film in Toronto: What Does That Mean for the City?

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by J.M. McNab

A lot of movies are filmed here in Toronto– from this year’s Pacific Rim, to the Oscar-Winning documentary about Richard Gere’s inability to sing, Chicago. Still, I can think of no movie I am more excited to welcome here than the new Batman/Superman movie. The only super-hero movies shot in Toronto in recent years have been the disappointing non-Ang Lee Hulk movie, and the admittedly fun Kick-Ass. But to have my childhood heroes Batman and Superman come to town is a pretty big deal, although is does raise one important question: where does the movie take place? Metropolis or Gotham City?

The Dark Knight took a more realistic approach to Gotham City, shooting in Chicago, and eventually Pittsburgh for The Dark Knight Rises, the Adam West Batman series was shot in Los Angeles, and I believe Batman Returns was filmed in a snow-globe inside of Tim Burton’s brain. Conversely, Metropolis has been less distinctively identified on screen– in the Christopher Reeve movies, they make no effort to distinguish Metropolis from New York, even featuring the World Trade towers on the poster for Superman II. Superman Returns made an attempt to portray Metropolis, specifically the Daily Planet offices, as a stylized art deco location, calling back to Superman’s 1930s roots. The TV series Lois and Clark tried the same thing, albeit with a lot more neon because, you know, it was the early ’90s. More recently, in Man of Steel, Metropolis is envisioned as a smoldering pile of corpses and rubble… *cough*

Metropolis and Gotham City have always been twisted reflections of each other, and of their respective characters– Metropolis a bright, gleaming testament to the successes of Western modernity, and Gotham a monument to urban decay. One is mostly seen in the day, the other, at night.

So which city will Toronto be? If the movie takes place in Metropolis, that would be fitting– Superman co-creator and artist Joe Shuster based his vision of Metropolis on Toronto, his home town. According to Shuster: “Cleveland was not nearly as metropolitan as Toronto was, and it was not as big or as beautiful. Whatever buildings I saw in Toronto remained in my mind and came out in the form of Metropolis… As I realized later on, Toronto is a much more beautiful city than Cleveland ever was…” Even The Daily Planet was originally called “The Daily Star” named after The Toronto Star, where Shuster worked as a paperboy.

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Shuster even modeled the Daily Planet building off of the Toronto Star’s (Then known as the “Toronto Daily Star”) old headquarters.

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On the other hand, Toronto’s changed a lot since the ’30s, and today it may more closely resemble Gotham City. Recently, the Toronto Police fatally shot an eighteen-year-old offender armed only with a knife nine times. Nine times! That sounds like something Commissioner Gordon would take issue with, and then one of the cops would be all like, “Lighten up Gordon!” and then they’d all laugh at him. Or take Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford, who allegedly was videotaped smoking crack. He would be a great Gotham mayor! Someone to make The Penguin look like more of a viable Mayoral candidate.

Of course, Toronto’s seedy underbelly or its history with Superman are probably not on the filmmakers’ radar, they’re making this movie in Toronto for the same reason everyone does: it’s cheap! It’ll probably all be green-screened anyway…

UPDATE: Despite numerous reports (like here, here or here) it now appears Batman vs. Superman will be shot in Detroit. The move was made after the casting of Batman, presumably because Detroit will be standing-in for Boston where Batman will live in the new movie.

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LEGOLAND Shitting Bricks Over Adult Visitors

An Editorial by J.M. McNab and Robert Laronde

Rarely do we here at Rewatchability.com get political, but when certain injustices occur, we consider it our responsibility, nay our duty, to take the time out of our busy schedules discussing stupid old movies and TV shows, to make our voices heard. We are, of course, talking about Lego.

According to a report by CTV, an ailing 63-year-old man and his grown-up daughter recently made the three-hour trek from Windsor to Vaughn (just outside Toronto) in order to visit the relatively new Legoland Discovery Center. The man, John St-Onge, had grown fond of Lego having played with it with his kids when they were children. St-Onge who is battling both cancer and diabetes, and recently underwent heart surgery, journeyed to the only Canadian iteration of Legoland, and enjoyed a fun, nostalgic trip down memory la– oh no, wait they didn’t let him in.

You see, this particular Legoland exercises a sort-of reverse R-Rated movie policy: adults not accompanied by children are strictly forbidden. So John St-Onge and his daughter were not allowed in, refused their requests to see the manager, and sent back to Windsor, presumably while the employees of Legoland waved goodbye and yelled, “See ya, good luck with the cancer!”*

* We’re paraphrasing here.

Their website does note “Adults must be accompanied by a child to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre” in relatively small print, understandably overlooked by St-Onge and his daughter. While most of the attractions seem geared towards children, there are still exhibits such as a model of downtown Toronto built entirely in Lego, which would clearly be enjoyed more by adults.

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You can almost see the crack smoke wafting out of Lego City Hall.

Of course, we love Lego too, and would love to visit Legoland– but all of this raises the question: “Who is Lego for?” Of course, the obvious answer is: “It’s for children– it’s a fucking toy, why can’t the twenty-somethings of this world grow-up and stop placing such importance on toys, retro video-games and movies from the ’80s?” (Side Note: new episode of Rewatchability coming this Thursday). Our grandparents didn’t have to worry about whether or not they could get into Legoland, they were busy fighting World War II. And when they were back from that, they were raising families, and working jobs they hated.

Of course, Lego is for kids, right? It’s not like they’re releasing Lego sets aimed directly at adults in order to capitalize on their nostalgia for both Lego and the movies of their youth–

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Oh… Nevermind.

It seems this summer Lego will be releasing a Back to the Future set, with a price tag of around fifty bucks. This is clearly made for so-called adults with disposable incomes and a lack of real world responsibility. It is also clearly amazing. In addition to Back to the Future, there are Lego sets for the original Star Wars trilogy, Ninja Turtles, and the like– In fact, we will probably see more and more children being born to legitimize their parents’ purchasing these products. Think of it like our generation’s Baby Boom, but instead of the end of a war, everyone will procreate in order to sustain their toy consumption without seeming odd.

Clearly then Lego is not just a product for children, it is for everyone, including people who grew-up with it, and who played Lego with their kids. Why then does the Legoland Discovery Centre not simply advise adults that the contents of the centre is mainly for kids, and let them make up their own minds? Oh yeah, creeps. They don’t want creeps there.

Has this been a big problem at other Legolands? Creepy child-less adults behaving inappropriately? Other family-oriented attractions such as the Zoo and the Science Centre don’t seem to have problems admitting adults. Instituting this policy makes it seem as though Legoland would be a hotbed of pedophiles and psychos if it weren’t for this rule– and why would anyone want to bring their family to a place that, save for one flimsy rule, would be full of creeps?

Of course, Legoland has tried to appease everyone by offering a once-a-month “Adults-Only” night. Could anything sound creepier than that? Based on the name, I just picture the Eyes Wide Shut party, but with more Lego. Or people disassembling the Lego Hogwarts and fashioning a giant Lego penis out of the pieces. And “Adults-Only” night didn’t help John St-Onge, who was cast aside like Megablok piece. Until the day when they make Legoland available to everyone during regular hours, adults wishing to visit the attraction will have to continue to do what they’ve always done– ask teenagers to buy tickets for them, then buy them beer in return.

We’re not just outraged as people who love Lego, we’re outraged as Torontonians. We want to go to Legoland, and on a day when the words “adults-only” aren’t involved. Until that day, we’ll have to be satisfied staying at home, playing with our new DeLoreans.

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The Secret to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s Success

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been making headlines recently, embroiled in a scandal involving a video that allegedly shows him smoking crack. Add that to the pile of other scandals that include: alleged sexual harassment, alleged excessive drinking, and generally being a dick… allegedly. How did such a boorish man ascend to the highest office in municipal politics? Rewatchability.com has uncovered the disturbing secret in this photograph–

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Look a little closer–

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That’s right, Gray’s Sports Almanac.

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Ford’s successes in life can all be attributed to this book;  a collection of sports statistics from the future (well, up until the year 2000, but I’m sure he got it before then), which would have allowed the Mayor to exploit knowledge from the future for his own financial benefit. How did he obtain the book? We can only make guesses at this point– presumably, someone from the future, possibly even his own future old man self, somehow stole a time machine, and delivered it to him, thus altering our reality and creating a divergent timeline.

This may seem far-fetched, but it’s literally the most plausible explanation for how this guy became the mayor of a major city. Need further proof? Just check out an artist’s rendering of the casino Mayor Ford has been actively pushing–

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Of course, all of this implies that we are all living in an alternate timeline that never should have been… but in a way that’s kind of reassuring. If life’s not going exactly as you planned, just blame it on the alternate history we’re all living in… I know I will.

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