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Monday, January 26, 2009

Kiwi-English Dictionary 5: TOP SECRET II: THE SEQUEL

See also!

Kiwi-English Dictionary the First

Kiwi-English Dictionary, Collegiate Edition

Kiwi-English Dictionary 3: In 3-D!

Kiwi-English Dictionary 4: The Final Chapter of The Return of the Dream Master


18. “Hey, thanks again for cooking dinner. You bought a lot of food, you sure I can’t help you pay for any of this?”

“Nah, you get mates rates.”

“Oh, okay, well thanks again then.”

Said conversation took place with a Kiwi counterpart in the New Zealand linguistic underground effort. Had not encountered the phrase prior to this conversation, however given this was the final in a series of rebuffed efforts to help pay for dinner it became clear through established context that ‘mates rates’ must equal ‘free’.

If not, then yours truly is a deadbeat who missed the boat. But at least he did the dishes afterwards ...

19. “Might be an idea to get the washing in before it rains.”

“I reckon you’re right.”

In typical understated Kiwi fashion, something that ‘might be an idea’ would on the surface seem to be a feeble suggestion. It is, however, nothing other than a politely worded command or, if referencing a concept instead of action, an idea that the speaker feels really ought to be taken on board.

As in, “It might be an idea to wear something besides your Wallabies shirt if you're coming with me to the pub tonight.”

20. “Just bring lots of bug spray. The mossies will eat you alive down there.”

Sage advice given to me by a Kiwi when discussing a pending trip to the south island’s west coast, which although stunningly beautiful is a haven for the pest known as the mossie - what yanks refer to in full as a ‘mosquito’, or as a ‘skeeter’ if they are rednecks. Given the choice, I’ll use mossie, thank you very much.

The fact that the nickname for this annoying, blood-sucking little pest sounds an awful lot like ‘Aussie’ has not escaped my notice.

21. “We thought things were going well, everything was set up. But then we talked to the advisors last week and they had moved the goalposts on us again.”

At risk of insubordination, this is something I’ve experienced within my own secret agent profession although I had never heard the phenomenon expressed in this way before. Obviously it derives from sport and can refer to goals in really anything, from health care to finance to personal sales targets.

I could’ve used this phrase when discussing my future with another agent, for example.

“So, Brooksie, have they given you the Kiwis yet? You must’ve put in for that assignment, what, five years ago?”

“Nah, NAME REDACTED, they moved the goalposts on me again. Now I need another hundred new definitions before they’ll reconsider my transfer.”

At the time, I was reduced to using the term ‘screwed’ along with other more colourful, less-printable words to describe my predicament.

Happily, the coveted assignment obviously came to pass.

22. “I told the cops my speedometer was out of tune so I had no real concept of how fast I was going, but they weren’t having a bar of it.”

To not have a bar of something obviously means to either not believe the speaker or to not care about their plight. Unsure as to the origins, however it sounds musical given the mention of ‘bar’ and to not even have a bar of music would indeed mean having little interest in the song or, in this case, the perceived fib being told.

23. “So I’ll just rock in to the Ticketek office, grab our tickets, and then meet you guys at the gate.”


To ‘rock in’ somewhere is often heard when describing either something that is done in the midst of a long list of things to do, or to elevate the status of the person doing the ‘rocking in’.

It’s describing you as if you are surrounded by such an aura of coolness or importance that, like a rock star, you crash a scene and cause a stir simply by your presence. Even if it’s just something as innocuous and unglamorous as, you know, hitting the laundrette.

24. Oh, that's another one! Laundrette. It's easy, though, as we/you* Americans call this a 'laundromat', although my first go round with the yellow pages here was making me panic. Not able to find any 'laundromats' listed, I was beginning to think I'd have no choice but to keep buying new clothes.

25. "Had Christmas with the rellies, then spent Boxing Day with my daughter at the beach."

As is probably obvious to all readers, 'relly' is short for 'relative'. Much like 'telly', short for 'television', relly is not known to be part of the present American lexicon.

26. “So there we were, in three metre swells, unable to fish for anything and still in sight of the coast!”


“Yeah but things got better when wiser heads prevailed and we sailed back into the harbour.”

At first the only person heard to utter the word ‘shivers’ was the, um, girl who cuts my hair. It’s obviously in the spirit of other such exclamations, like ‘Gosh!’ or ‘Whoa!’ but to illustrate all similar such words is way beyond the scope of this entry.

Given that the girl was British in origin, it was initially thought that it was only fashionable to say this back in the UK. But have since heard it spoken by two other confirmed Kiwis who do not, to this agent’s knowledge, know his hairdresser.

So am lead to conclude that either, A) my hairdresser has a truly globe-spanning influence with her vocabulary (they do meet lots of people in their line of work, after all) or B) while it is a favourite phrase of hers it is overall an uncommon one and thus took a little longer than usual to corroborate.

Hmm. Just saw my reflection in the mirror, and shivers! It’s time for another haircut.

27. ‘Australian coach spits the dummy after Kiwis claim Rugby League World Cup title’.

That or something similar was how the headline ran in one of the papers the day after New Zealand’s boys did that very thing.

Curious as to the meaning of this phrase that had certainly never fallen on these ears (or eyes) back in the States, I have come to find that it describes when someone is so riled up about something they get carried away in a pique of whining, name-calling and blaming – much as the Aussie coach did after his side was humbled by the indomitable Kiwis.

Without getting into a sidelong discussion about the match, suffice to say it is never good to 'spit the dummy'. A dummy, and I believe this term is Australian in origin, refers to an infant’s binky or pacifier. To ‘spit’ it describes what usually precedes a crying jag or temper tantrum or both. While this is something we have all done as infants, on numerous occasions, it is bad form to grump about on this level as an adult.

Assuming, of course, that the individual in question can be considered an ‘adult’, as some people just never grow up.

28. “They can’t expect us to keep paying such high prices for petrol when their own costs per barrel have plummeted, can they? Surely not.”

Another elegant turn of phrase, ‘surely not’ is by no means anything remarkably unique. It is just a refreshing alternative to heavy hitters like ‘absolutely not’ or ‘hell no’.

29. “I mean, who gives a toss if she’s at your party? It must be nice to have all that money and always go to posh gigs and be seen swanning about. Won’t someone just end her?”

OK so there are a few good ones in there, but ‘swanning about’ really just nails it when describing someone vapid and vain, doing what they do in their high society ways.

No bitterness from this agent here! I mean, if it weren’t for my undercover status... well, I still couldn’t swan about because I couldn’t afford to.


On to the next one.

30. “All he has is a small biscuit for his breakfast, then he goes for a long walk in the afternoon before I give him his tea at night.”

A pause.

“You feed him tea?”

“Well of course I feed him tea! He’s got to eat sometime, doesn’t he? When do you think I should feed him instead? In the mornings?”

Discussion regarding a client’s pet dog, during which it finally dawned on me that ‘tea’ is a synonym for dinner – dog, human or otherwise.

Not sure of the origins, probably British of course, but that’s one more little mystery solved.

31. “Let me just put it all in a wee bag for you, dear.”

As you might imagine, something ‘wee’ is something small. Also used to describe a person, often a ‘wee lass’ or a ‘wee little chap’.

The very same word also describes urine or the act of making it, but I have yet to hear anyone say they’ve got to excuse themselves for a ‘wee wee’.

32. “Phone your order in today for your Rugby Sevens tickets and whack it on the plastic!”

Akin to the short, violent motion used to slide a credit card through that stubborn magnetic strip reader, to ‘whack’ something on there is suitably descriptive. I say this because, whenever I do this, I also envision my credit rating taking a big ‘whack’.

Savings account? What savings account?

33. “Meanwhile, we're down here doing all the hard yakka, and they’re the ones reaping all the benefits!”

Cannot recall the original conversation, but does it matter? I hold this definition to be self-evident.

Speaking of yakka, or hard yards, you’ve done quite a lot of it just to get this far in this report! Good on ya.

34. “It was a real yakker!”

Enthusiastically spoken as Zimbabwean agent Danie described, with not a little fondness, his memories of the time he got on a party bus in Christchurch.

He was actually referring to the scene at each of the pubs they would stop at. They would ‘bowl in’, have a drink or two, then get back onto the bus to be driven to the next pub in a series of about, oh, two dozen.

Very often, the population of the bus at the end of the night would be quite different from the one that set out on the bus earlier in the day. It was quite normal to lose a few passengers at each pub, only to then pick up replacements along the way. Drinking was allowed on the bus as well, so there really was no need to miss out on one second of the merriment.

I’d be shocked to learn if these things still happen, but if they do then consider this sentence this agent’s formal request for a transfer to the Christchurch branch, Party Bus Division.

Certainly the regulars on those buses must have a set of lingo all their own, different again from the rest of New Zealand’s? Would you want this now-seasoned agent to miss out on such a golden opportunity?

Surely not.
* Identity crisis? What identity crisis? I'm undercover, man!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kiwi-English Dictionary 5: TOP SECRET

Attn: Home Office

From: Linguistic Agent Brooksie

I have now reached Day 929 in deep Down Undercover here in the land of the Kiwis. I apologise for the delay in this latest dispatch but as it is now the New Zealand summer I have had increased pressure to maintain my cover. While day after day of barbies, bachs and lazing by the pool have been nothing short of stellar, it has left me very little time in which to compose my intelligence reports lest I attract too much unwanted attention. While these Kiwis certainly know how to work hard and play hard, it would look mighty suspicious were I to be caught using my satellite phone in the middle of a paddock while all the other guys are crowded round the barbie.

As it is, I nearly blew it when I said I couldn’t find my ‘flip flops’ earlier. It was quite an awkward pause, let me tell you, as the entire room seemed to stop and hold its breath. At first I was unaware of my verbal transgression until Hamish corrected me by saying, “You mean you’ve lost your jandals, mate?”

Only years of top-notch dialect training and acting lessons let yours truly off the hook. I cannot afford any more such slip-ups or they will be on to me. The less said about the time I neglected to serve out chocolate fish with everybody’s flat whites that one Sunday morning, the better!

My time is short, the kebabs are nearly done, and it’s a long sprint back to the bach (in jandals no less), so it is without further delay that I give you my latest insights into that addictive, quirky linguistic curiosity that is


This time given with more context clues from actual conversations so as to better define the terms or phrases. Wherein the author must hazard a guess as to the true origins of a phrase or even as to its true meaning, he maintains a full sense of plausible deniability in the modern parlance of our times. Nothing but denials will be given by the author even under the duress of torture, yada yada and all the other standard boilerplate disclaimer language you can think of applies here as well.

1. “We’re all out of blue top.” (Blue top milk is whole milk, while green top is skim).

“Who wants to run to the dairy to get some more?”

Bags not!” This phrase was uttered by everyone at morning tea save for me, and was accompanied by the touching of an index finger to the nose.

Whereupon they all realised I was the only one not to say this phrase (and/or touch my nose in a similar manner), I played off my mystification as simple surprise and realised I had just failed at a common Kiwi ritual in getting out of doing something. Proclaiming 'bags not' is akin to the universal practice of ‘calling it’, under which the well-known ‘shotgun’ rule applies when setting off for a trip in the car with multiple passengers.

Needless to say, yours truly went to get the blue top, only all too happily as another valuable phrase can now be added to the Home Office’s ever-growing lexicon. Cover was maintained in this instance, and only just.

2. “My, you look as if you’ve been in the wars, chap!”

Spoken by a Kiwi pet owner as they regarded a cat in a cage neighbouring their own cat’s in the hospital. The ‘in the wars’ cat had been in hospital for two weeks and had just finished fighting off an upper respiratory infection as well as a blocked bladder. His skinny demeanour, two shaved front legs and snotty nose attested to his ‘war-torn’ look.

3. "Nah, you can just biff all your old tax records, mate. No need to keep so many dusty boxes around, ay?"

To 'biff', in any other country, means to hit someone or something. Which makes sense, as I can just see it now, appearing inside a word balloon that pops up during one of those fight scenes in the old Batman TV episodes. But here and only here in New Zealand, 'biffing' something means throwing it away or, as we might say in the States, 'chucking it out'.

4. “I’m really exhausted, ay? Think I’m just going to blob out on the couch tonight and watch a movie.”

Rather self-explanatory. Heard when someone was asked if they wanted to go out for coffees with the group after class. Was tempted to offer up an observation as to how similar this was to the American expression to ‘sack out’, which also usually takes place on the couch, but did not want to draw undue attention.

In this report, however, such comparisons can be drawn without fear of breaking cover.

5. I am still working on this one, but after repeated observation and listening, I have started to form a clearer picture of what is regarded as a true Kiwi ‘bloke’.

It’s a man who is a bit rough around the edges and mostly hangs out with his mates. He will often engage in DIY projects, has a local pub at which he downs pints with the boys, and he goes for sport. Possesses a rugged charm and works hard for the money. Would give the shirt off his back to his mates and probably to those he doesn't even know, if they are in a bind. Is equally at home discussing economics as well as the virtues of heavy machinery. Not so much into the arts or café culture. To be referred to as 'a good bloke' is high praise indeed.

As bloke is not in the American vocabulary, might I suggest someone at Mission Control look into finding the equivalent descriptive term, if such a thing exists?

6. “He’s not going to just cark it when he goes under anaesthesia, is he?”

Asked of me by a very concerned owner at the undercover job regarding a Boxer who needed an eye operation. Had to stifle a laugh as it is one of the more wonderfully descriptive, if not grim, phrases this agent has yet encountered.

And no, the Boxer in question did not, in fact, cark it.

7. Speaking of the animals, a chook refers to an adult chicken. Make room for this one right now in the Home Dictionary. What a great farm word. Also seems to double as a term of endearment, although so far only heard when referring to pets.

8. There are no specific recollections of this next phrase turning up in conversation (read: my Sony Memory Stick was full), so it will just be mentioned that to ‘come a cropper’ means to die. To snuff it. Shuffle off this mortal coil, and so on.

Suspiciously British in origin. I don’t know why I write that. But it is suspected that to be a ‘cropper’ means one’s corpse is now nothing more than mere compost for the gardens.

Here is a sample sentence to illustrate:

“If you don’t stop eating pies and cut out the smoking, you’re going to come a cropper, mate.”

9. “So I really don’t need to tip in any of the restaurants, then?”

Dead right, mate. Dead right.”

From a conversation with a fellow linguistics agent from Zimbabwe upon first entering the country. ‘Dead right’ is, as Americans might say, ‘Exactly.’

10. “I was visiting one of my girlfriends in Noosa, and I ran into Ang there. I hadn’t seen her in donkey’s years!”

Spoken by a female co-worker. It is assumed that donkeys must live very long lives but as livestock are not this agent’s expertise, it is left to Mission Control to corroborate or further elucidate the origins of this phrase.

11. “Simon! We don’t have time to go up Ngauruhoe today. Let’s just skip it and move on.”

Don’t stress. We’ll be fine.”

Obvious meaning, however a phrase that is exclusive to the Kiwis as compared to the Americans. Our equivalent might be ‘chill out’ or similar.

Stress was averted and the mountain was climbed, incidentally.

12. “Egg.”


“You’re an egg.”

“Ah, I’m not familiar with that one!”

Was free to admit ignorance on this one, as was speaking with one of our Kiwi liaisons in the Secret Linguistic Service, so cover was not an issue.

‘Egg’ refers to someone who is a bit of a geek with regards to their sense of humour, if not a little obnoxious. Being called an egg is a mild if not affectionate type of insult.

I am one, apparently.

13. “Yeah we’ve been going flat tack since last month.”

Used to describe how busy things have become at work this summer. Probably has origins in sailing terminology as maritime recreation has a strong history here in New Zealand.

14. “But $1800 includes everything involved with the trip, full stop. Registration, airfare, hotel. The lot.”

Heard when discussing the prospect of an advanced learning course with a co-worker. Probably also nautical in origin.

15. “So how’s he doing these days?”

“Oh, he’s as happy as Larry since we brought him inside! Spends his days curled up beside the fire. Sleeps on his bed. No problems.”

Spoken by a client when asked how their older, arthritic dog was coping with a recent blast of cold weather. Unclear as to who the original Larry was, but must have been one happy bloke.

16. “Yeah, we’ve got to bring him in for his jabs. What’ll that cost, you reckon?”

Asked of me by friends (real ones, not ones provided by the Agency) when discussing their dog and not, as it may sound, a boxer in training.

(And by boxer I mean professional fighter, not the dog breed.)

(God, this job can get confusing!)

17. "Do you want to come have a look at his bandage? Where his paw is sticking out looks all manky."

Another word that just sounds so much like what it describes, when something is said to be 'manky' it is usually a combination of greasy, smelly and general nastiness. Have also heard this used to describe another person's hair, on more than one occasion (not mine).



See also!

Kiwi-English Dictionary the First

Kiwi-English Dictionary, Collegiate Edition

Kiwi-English Dictionary 3: In 3-D!

Kiwi-English Dictionary 4: The Final Chapter of The Return of the Dream Master

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not overheard at Café Astoria

Or, Hypothetical Conversation That Took Place During One of Brooksie's Many Visits to Café Astoria*

"Oh my God, here he comes again."


"It's that guy, remember him from last time? He always carries that black satchel with him."

"Oh yeah, I've seen him before. He's not been in for a while though, ay?"

"Nah, mate. You don't remember what happened the last time he was here?"

"Well he always seems to be typing something on that little keyboard of his that he carries around everywhere."

"I know, strange isn't it? Yeah, no, that's not what I'm talking about, though."

"Oh wait! Now I remember. He's the one that went to the loo as soon as his food had arrived. And he was sitting outside. Bloody unfortunate, that was."

"Yeah. Those pigeons made a hash of his food, didn't they?"

"Yep. They dove into his coffee, too, if memory serves."

"They really go for those marshmallows."

"At least he apologised for it. He felt really bad about it, actually."

"I know. Kept trying to pay for the replacement mocha and peach shortcake we brought out to him."

"Yeah. Poor bugger. Must've been so embarrassed! It was right during peak lunchtime. He was surrounded by pigeons and onlookers."

"Well, if it bothered him, he didn't let it show. Kept right on typing, once he got settled in. He sure seems to like the atmosphere here."

"You don't think he ever writes about us, do you?"

"No!" he said, in that long, drawn-out Kiwi version of the word that sounds more like "Naaooww!" It is a more powerful version of the word that is used when expressing serious doubt. "No, I don't know what he writes about on that keyboard of his. Must be taking classes or something."

"He looks a bit old to be at uni, doesn't he? Perhaps he's a teacher."

"Mmm, maybe. But any proper teacher would have a laptop, wouldn't he? What do you call that piece of black plastic he's got?"

"It's surely not a laptop, I can tell you that much. So you don't think he's a restaurant critic or anything?"

"No, mate. He does tell us he really likes our coffee, and he's always trying different things on the menu. I've even seen him in here with different friends on occasion as well. But, if he is a critic, he doesn't write for any of the papers or websites that I read through. And I check them all."

"Dead right, mate, you had better check them all! You're the owner of this place."

"Yeah, yeah."

The sudden sound of breaking glass came from a small table situated at the center of the restaurant, at which was seated a lone figure in front of a small black keyboard. He had been attempting to slide an empty plate across the table, however an empty ceramic yoghurt cup that had been precariously balanced upon the plate's edge came invariably tumbling down and shattered into fragments on the hardwood floor. Small streamers of white yoghurt sprayed out from the crash site, forming a crude starburst pattern.

"He's at it again, mate. You got this one?"

"Yep, I'll get it. Look, he's already starting to clean it up himself. Poor bastard."

"At least there are no pigeons this time," laughed the owner.

"Aye, well, if we don't get that yoghurt up in a hurry, there will be pigeons, mate!"

*While none of the conversation in this review entry is real (it is hoped), the events described therein may or may not be true. What is true, however, is that the food, coffee and most especially the atmosphere at Café Astoria are what make it a favourite stop for this author.

Everything but the pigeons, of course.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Apropos of nothing ...

As I was walking past the Paramount Theatre on Courtenay Place this afternoon I noticed on their chalkboard marquee that "North By Northwest" was playing. And I said to myself, "Self, what a great movie to see on the Big Screen again!"

Which got me to thinking about what other films aside from this great one of Hitchcock's I might enjoy seeing in a proper movie theatre again.

Oh yes, and Happy New Year everybody. May 2009 bring you all that you hope for and more. Look under "Beautiful Photos" to the right or click here to see an album containing 50 pictures from my New Year's camping trip to Hawke's Bay, if you're interested. Had a great time with my friends Sarah, Simon and Monica. They taught me how to say 'water' like a proper Kiwi, and it sounds remarkably similar to how New Yorkers pronounce it!

Back on topic. Here, in no particular order, are the 7* movies I'd like to see re-screened on the, uh, Big Screen. So with that in mind, pop the popcorn, dim the lights way down, kill the mobile phones and cue that cool "The Audience Is Listening" theme from THX!

1. "North By Northwest" (1959) ~ Well, duh, seeing as how I just mentioned this film, let's cover it first. The primary reason for this one being on the list is that epic chase sequence at the end of the film that has the protagonist running across Mount Rushmore. This is a gripping thriller involving a case of mistaken identity and another reason I'd like to see it again is I have forgotten nearly all details of the plot so it'd be like déja vu all over again. And as it first came out on the Big Screen in 1959, it was well before I was born so I've never really had the chance to see it. Until now - thank you, Paramount Theatre!

2. "Conan The Barbarian" (1982) ~ This film is one of my top five favourites of all time, and though you may scoff at that selection allow me to justify it. First and foremost I love how the producer was convinced to drop the crap soundtrack he'd intended to use (apparently he got his wish for the sequel, "Conan The Destroyer", which is not anywhere near my top 100 favourite films list). Instead, the director was able to get Basil Poledouris to compose a score befitting this epic tale. All of the instruments used by his orchestra were of a technology and type found in medieval times so this film to me is a rare marriage of sound and vision. Second, there are some great lines from this film, ranging from the simple yet effective "Crom!" to "Dinner for wolf?" to this classic exchange:

MONGOL GENERAL: "Conan! What is best in life?"

CONAN: "To crush your enemies! See them driven before you! And to hear the lamentations of the women."

MONGOL GENERAL: "That is good."

3. "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" (1981) ~ This is my Number One Favourite Movie Of All Time, and it never fails to cause a stir. I admit with some sheepishness that this film not only inspired me to a future choice of career (which I abandoned, once I grew up and realised that archaeology is not, in fact, the glorified tomb robbing you see in these films), but it also affected my wardrobe at the time. I wasn't the flashest of dressers in high school, but I had very kind parents who indulged me and I did have a kick-ass leather bomber jacket from the original, cool Banana Republic before they turned all vanilla. I also had a hat very much like Indy's, only unlike Harrison Ford I wasn't able to pull this one off with anywhere near the rugged sexiness that he displayed. Shocking, I know. In fact, I looked rather absurd in it, so it spent far more time looking cool on the hat rack in the foyer than it ever did on top of my head.

This is also the kind of movie that's just made for the Big Screen, although admittedly these days with home theatre technology being what it is, justice can be done to it there. Even so, it still only approximates the experience of seeing this film in a proper movie theatre. Also I cannot afford such a magnificent home setup, so for that reason among many others, bring back Indy, Sallah (the Monarch of the Sea), feisty Marion, the idol, the whip and that rolling boulder!

4. "Gladiator" (2000) ~ While not my most favourite film of all time, it ranks right up there on my list and it is perhaps the one I long to see the most on the Big Screen again. I saw it three times when it was first released, and what kept me coming back was that intense opening scene. It gave me goosebumps every time. Such an engrossing battle, what with all the flaming arrows and the camera angles used to show them taking flight. Maximus' pre-battle speech to his troops made me want to man one of the ballistae or, hell, to pick up a sword and charge in there myself and slash at a few Germanics. His rallying cry of "Hold the line!" during the battle was just awesome. This was also one of Oliver Reed's very last films before he died, and while I'd only seen him in one other film, he gave a memorable performance as Proximo in this film.

5. "Blade Runner" (1982) ~ Still my favourite adaptation of one of Philip K. Dick's stories (Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?) and a superb film in every way. Roy Batty is one of the most compelling characters portrayed on screen to date and is my favourite performance of Rutger Hauer's. I fell in love with Sean Young (yes, in spite of that weird hairdo) as probably did every other teenage boy who saw this film. Leon's chilling "Time to die!" scared me witless back then and still gives me a chill today, although it does make for one hell of a good movie quote. I'll never forget that plastic raincoat Zhora was wearing (Rrrrowwwrrr!) and Edward James Olmos' acting was outstanding in the role of Gaff. Another great line, this one his: "It's too bad she won't live! Then again, who does?"

I have also yet to see the Director's Cut of this, which I really must do, so it's another perfect reason for a local theatre to screen that very edition for me. You do read this blog over there at Embassy Theatre, right guys?

I don't know why, but I have a sinking feeling somebody is going to try and remake "Blade Runner" sometime in the next decade. Wait, I do know why: Hollywood can't seem to help itself when it comes to robbing its own graveyard. Some films ought not be touched! This is one of them. I won't even check IMDb.com to see if a remake is in the pipeline. Ignorance is bliss!

6. "Heavy Metal" (1981) ~ All right, so obviously animated films have come a long way from this benchmark film, but you still just can't substitute anything for this movie. It features six stories from the magazine weaved together into one overall cohesive seventh tale, some of which feature sex and all of which have lots of violence. Throw in a killer soundtrack and even more memorable lines (these are big with me), such as, "And if you refuse: you die, she dies, everybody dies." John Candy did a voice or two, along with some of his buddies from SCTV such as Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis and Joe Flaherty. My favourite segment was "B-17" - pure evil!

7. "The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy" (2001-2003) ~ Trilogy Tuesday is something I'll never forget, and I nearly missed out on it. It was in 2003 and was the lead-up to the first official screening of "Return Of The King" in the States. In fact, while other popular films would make their debut at the stroke of midnight the night before the official studio release date, those of us fortunate (and dedicated) (um, and nerdy) enough to be present for Trilogy Tuesday would get to see it at 10:00 PM. Two full hours ahead of the rest of the suckers who'd have to wait to see 'just' "Return" at midnight. Yes, it was fan-boy heaven all right, but it was so much fun to be a part of it all. The first two films in the trilogy were also shown in their full four-hour states as well, with all the bells and whistles Peter Jackson had originally intended to be in there. We were served hot dogs during the first intermission, and pizza during the second. Plus we got to take home a cel from one of the movies, encased in plastic, as well as a few other memorable trinkets.

Nerd Alert!

So why, after spending 14 hours watching these three movies in the theatre once already, would I want to repeat the experience? Well, aside from the explanatory text in red above, the version of "Return Of The King" we saw was not the extended one! So that could be rectified. Plus in a perfect world they would be shown at the Embassy Theatre right here in Middle Earth Wellington, where world premieres for all three films took place.

Honourable Mentions: The original "Star Wars" trilogy (Episodes 4-6) and "Grease". They are merely listed here because I've already seen them in Big Screen re-release, but of course I wouldn't mind seeing them up there again. I'd only want to see "Grease" in the company of a bunch of friends who wouldn't mind making dicks of themselves like I would in singing almost every song (and doing the dance moves to "We Go Together"). And, while we're at it, please put "A New Hope" right by having Han shoot Greedo first, m'kay? Thanks.

So I'm curious! What are some films you'd like to see again on the Big Screen? I know I've left out a few that I'm sure I'd enjoy going to the movies again to experience.

* Why 7? Because it's all I can think of right now!