Author Archive

Dr. Horrible, Revisited

June 16th, 2010 by Nathan Atnikov

After soaking in the closing night of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog in Calgary, a few things are obvious. First, there’s some serious talent in this city. The guy who played the titular character (why can’t I find cast listings anywhere?) did a bang-on Neil Patrick Harris impression, and hit every note of his insecure, mildly evil character. Second, there is a serious lack of funds for Calgary’s stage productions. With a minimalistic set, it certainly helped if you were familiar with Dr. Horrible before taking in the play. “You saved me from that oncoming car!” she cried. “What car?” asked the audience. But that’s hardly a fair criticism. The fact is that Dr. Horrible was a totally enjoyable, if surprisingly short, production. Settling into our seats at 8:57 p.m., and shuffling out of the theatre at 10:09 p.m. with the sun’s last rays still hovering over downtown, it made for a great start to the night.

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Dr. Horrible, Live in Calgary

May 27th, 2010 by Nathan Atnikov

Back in 2007, the Writers Guild of America went on strike. They felt, rightfully so, that they deserved a cut of DVD sales for the shows that they’d worked on. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but it ultimately had a catastrophic effect on the writers. During the strike, networks were forced to load their schedules with reality TV and game shows – and it turned out that most of these shows were far more popular than the scripted television they replaced. And not only were they more popular, they were cheaper to produce. By going on strike, the writers had proven how unnecessary they were.

But the strike did have some upside, and one of the positive consequences was Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. (more…)

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The defenseless becomes The Defendor

March 3rd, 2010 by Nathan Atnikov

Peter Stebbings’ Defendor is about a (somewhat) ordinary citizen disguising his true identity, putting on a bunch of clothes that don’t quite suit him, and trying to be something he’s not. This is also, not surprisingly, an apt description of the movie itself. Defendor has been widely regarded as another in Woody Harrelson’s already impressive series of goofball comedies – only it’s not. There are some legitimately funny moments but, overall, it’s actually a pretty dark movie that hinges on some very human insecurities. (more…)

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Up in the Air

January 6th, 2010 by Nathan Atnikov

Up in the Air explains, among other things, why every airport looks pretty much the same. For Ryan Bingham, every airport he enters offers the comforts of home – comfortable chairs, a smiling greeting, and everything he needs right at his fingertips. They must offer the comforts of home, because his job keeps him on the road upwards of 300 days a year. He has accumulated many club cards, points, and gold-level memberships at swanky hotels, but when he returns to his actual home – a rented apartment – it is sparse and lifeless. (more…)

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Anju Restaurant and Lounge

November 9th, 2009 by Nathan Atnikov

Sitting in the upstairs bar at the Anju Restaurant and Lounge is a pretty good feeling. A decent view of downtown and some nice quiet music makes for a nice dining experience, even if a large plasma TV above the bar is spewing out images of grown men fighting in a cage. You can’t win ‘em all.

An impressive drink selection is the perfect compliment to Anju’s Korean cuisine, which offers different appetizers and meals in increments of 5, 10, 15 and 20 dollars. (more…)

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Paper Heart

November 3rd, 2009 by Nathan Atnikov

Critics are having a tough time with Paper Heart. Some have complained that they can’t tell which parts of the movie are scripted and which are legitimate documentary footage. It’s a truly unfair complaint. The goal of the movie is to make you think about love – any way it can get you to do that is fair game.


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A Night On The Town, CIFF Style

September 30th, 2009 by Nathan Atnikov

It’s that time of year again – a time when dinner and a movie doesn’t have to mean a $12 hamburger and Transformers 2. The Calgary International Film Festival is in town, so your choice of fine films has no limits, and the convenient location of each theatre will find you surrounded by restaurants that can’t wait to impress you. This week, my dinner and a movie combo is set for Wednesday night at the Redwater Grille Bow Valley, and the 9 p.m. showing of Unmade Beds at the Globe Theatre.

Unmade Beds comes from the United Kingdom and director Alexis Dos Santos. The film follows Axl and Vera, to East Londoners winding their way through the city and crossing paths as they try alternately to find and forget their pasts.


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A Search for the Perfect Nachos: Barley Mill

September 28th, 2009 by Nathan Atnikov

It’s got to be hard to get innovative when it comes to nachos. There really isn’t that much you can do. Chips, cheese, sour cream, salsa, some veggies – that’s about it. However, there’s one server at the Barley Mill in Eau Claire who had an idea that I’d never thought of – “hey, why don’t you get the sauces on the side so they don’t get soggy?” (more…)

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A Search for the Perfect Nachos: The Palomino

September 14th, 2009 by Nathan Atnikov

If you’re heading to The Palomino to grab some nachos as a light snack, you may want to bring some friends. The $17 price tag might seem a little on the steep side at first, but The Palomino’s nachos are pretty much worth it. An extremely generous serving comes with all the usual nacho trimmings, and a big scoop of beans right in the centre. That little addition is enough to make me want to go back, especially with the option of adding pulled pork or brisket next time around. (more…)

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A Search for the Perfect Nachos: The Unicorn

August 31st, 2009 by Nathan Atnikov

Downtown Calgary has its share of pubs and restaurants, and its share of options to sit down with a beer and a plate of nachos. To help you sort out your options and decide which nachos are right for you, has launched a search for the perfect plate of nachos.

Our first contestant is The Unicorn, found at 304, 8th Avenue SW. (more…)

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