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Showing posts from November, 2010

Heath Ledger's Joker to appear in new Batman?

I take this rumour with a grain of salt, but word has it that Christopher Nolan could use unseen footage from The Dark Knight to insert Ledger's Oscar-winning performance into the next film, The Dark Knight Rises.

A report over at Showbiz Spy says fragments of cut scenes and CGI will be used to work The Joker into the new movie, which Nolan is writing as we type this. That way the writer/director can create continuity between the two movies and pay tribute to Ledger's Joker one last time. The sequence would be brief and only done with the consent of the late actor's family.

If done right, and kept very brief, this could be great. I like how the Scarecrow appeared at the beginning of Dark Knight, and this would continue that tradition. The only thing is it all feels a bit . . . creepy. If it were any director other than Nolan I'd balk at the idea completely.

The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for release in July 2012.

Empire Strikes Back director dead at 87

Holy crap! Another day, another legend dies. RIP Irvin Kershner.

Irvin who? He directed The Empire Strikes Back people, arguably the best chapter in the Star Wars saga. He also made Robocop 2, one of my fave underrated sequels. Then there's Never Say Never again, the Bond film that brought Sean Connery back to the role for one last go around.

There's not much more that can be said, other than thanks, Irvin, for make one of the greatest movies in history. May the force be with you, always.

Here's a look at the original trailer for Empire.

Naked Gun star Leslie Neilsen dead at 84

Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen, AKA Frank Drebin, has died from complications of pneumonia. And the world has become a little less funny because of it. He was 84.

The first time I became aware of Nielsen was in the movie Airplane. His "And stop calling me Shirley" sketch had me in stiches. I'd never heard anything so funny. I was also a fan of his Frank Drebin character long before he appeared in The Naked Gun films. The TV series that inspired the films, Police Squad, was a favourite of mine during it's short run.

Sure Nielsen made some bad films in his time. What actor hasn't? But the one's that worked were pure gold.

Saskatchewan-born Nielsen first popped up on early 1950s TV. He received his first big film break playing Commander J.J. Adams in the 1956 sci-fi flick Forbidden Planet. During the next few decades he established himself as a reliable character actor who graced myriad TV dramas and movies like the Poseidon Adventure. Airplane was his first …

Jason and Shawn review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Harry Brown

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Jason: The weakest effort from director Edgar Wright, who won geek's hearts with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. But even weak Edgar Wright is better than the average Hollywood hack. The movie is full of 80s video game and comic book references that will delight any nerd's heart, but the story is razor thin and the characters for the most part unlikeable. That said, funny is funny and once I locked into Scott Pilgrim's world I was laughing my ass off. Not a movie for everyone, but those who will like it should like it a lot. I did, and it rates a Good for it.

Shawn: A gamer geeks wet dream of Easter eggs. Or should I call them geekster eggs? Really, if you are a gamer geek, comic book geek or any other kind of geek then this movie caters to you. Being in love with the martial arts myself, there were some awesome fights for my eyes to feast on. Take away all that, and there's not much left. And the plot is terrible. That's right, I mentio…

Next on the chopping block: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Harry Brown

Zok! Pow! Bamph! Cue video game music. It's time for another episode of Film Reviews From the Basement.

Few comedies are as clever and original as those directed by Edgar Wright. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are modern cult classics, so when word hit the reel world that Wright was adapting the comic series Scott Pilgrim as a feature film, the geek community clapped with glee. That's right, I said glee.

The resulting film, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, received critical praise but bombed at the box office when it was released in theatres last summer. Did Wright get his hattrick, or is Scott Pilgrim his first failure? Shawn and I weigh in on the film tonight.

We're also taking aim at the British revenge thriller Harry Brown, which stars the legendary Michael Caine as an elderly widower who tires of youth crime in his community. Can old people still kick ass? Stick with us!

We've also got an assortment of music for your listening pleasure, a three-minute film rant by Rad…

Pirates director to tackle The Lone Ranger

Gore Verbinski, who helmed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, has officially signed on to producer Jerry Bruckheimer's feature version of The Lone Ranger.

The move will reunite Verbinski with his Capt. Jack Sparrow, as star Johnney Depp has long been attached to the project as Tonto. There is still no word on who will play the titular Ranger or when the film will go into production.

The Lone Ranger last appeared on the big screen in the early 1980s, so the character is due for a revival. I've always had a soft spot for The Lone Ranger as my dad was a big fan of the radio show and I listened to the program on audio tape as a boy.

There's a reason why we've never gone back to the moon

It's the U.S. Thanksgiving "weekend," meaning movie news is about to get scarce for the next several days. But that hasn't stopped us in The Basement from digging up something for your reading enjoyment, no matter how lame it is.

OK, let me clarify. The news itself isn't lame, but the fact that all we can bring you is a teaser poster and brief synopsis is. We want more, dammit! The movie in question is called Apollo 18, and it's another one of those fake found-footage films, this time about NASA's undocumented final trip to the moon. The poster below speaks to what likely happened.

Gotta admit, I'm interested. Night Watch/Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov produces for the Weinstein Company. Apollo 18 is due out March 4, 2011. We'll keep you posted as more material on the film comes out.

Wahlberg says no to The Crow

Thank F-ing God! The boys at and Cinematical report that Mark Wahlberg has decided not to step into Brandon Lee's shoes for a Crow reboot, remake, whatever. And we applaud that.

In Wahlberg's own words: "We never committed to making the movie. They talked to me about it and there was a director attached who I was a fan of, and he's no longer doing it. We just thought about it – 'is there something cool to be done there?' But we're not committed to making the movie."

The director he mentions is Stephen Norrington, who had this to say about Wahlberg's involvement with the project after he left: "I think Wahlberg could be cool if they take a gritty blue-collar approach. He's a truthful actor. I think he could really ground the supernatural stuff."

Shawn and I voiced our displeasure at Wahlberg's potential casting here. Now if they can just deep six the project altogether we would truly be happy.

Plot details revealed for Lionsgate's Dibbuk Box

Last week we wrote on this blog that Lionsgate's next big (they hope) Halloween horror franchise Dibbuk Box would go toe-to-toe with Paranormal Activity 3 but made no mention of what it was about. That's because no one was really sure of the plot, or what a dibbuk box actually is.

Some plot details are starting to emerge, as is word that the film is based on true events. Which, in Hollywood speak, means dibbuk boxes are real. And they are. A dibbuk box is a wine cabinet.

The folks over at Blood Disgusting are reporting that the Ole Bornedal-directed horror film will follow Clyde Breneck and his 10-year-old daughter, Em, who purchase the antique box at a yard sale (apparently, in the real-life story, it was bought on Ebay). Em accidentally releases an ancient spirit from the box that wants to devour her. Clyde must team up with his ex-wife to put an end to the curse.

The story sounds more BS to me than most of the stuff on Fox News. But it does have some potential as a horro…

Jason and Shawn review: Repo The Genetic Opera and Repo Men

Repo The Genetic Opera

Shawn: This has to be the sacrifice of the century for me. It's like watching a really long, weird-ass music video by a bunch of musicians who suck. A fitting role for Paris Hilton. Get it? There are a lot of elements that I really liked: dark, gory with a comic-book style from time to time. Even a decent story. But F-off with the music! It ruined everything! An Ugly from me.

Jason: Finally, a movie where I get to see Paris Hilton's face fall off. A movie for me! Too bad it was a musical. I hate musicals. I think the music gets in the way of the story. I can't engage in the characters or plot because everything is revealed through the music. It's not a method of storytelling that I like. That said, Repo does work on its own terms, with some catchy music and the cool character of the Graverobber. His scenes and songs are great. But it's still a Bad rating from me.

Repo Men

Shawn: I wanted the Genetic Opera to be a real movie. Well, here it is…

Next on the chopping block: our repossession double bill

Every once in a while two movies come along that are so identical you wonder which one ripped the other off. Deep Impact and Armageddon come to mind. So do the underwater adventures Deepstar Six and Leviathan from the late 80s. Most recently there was Repo The Genetic Opera and Repo Men.

What? Haven't heard of either? That's because both films came and went from theatres pretty fast. But each has found some kind of life on the video-store shelf and VOD. The Genetic Opera has become and cult classic. A big part of that success has to be that it's a horror musical along the lines of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We're taking the executioner's axe to both films tonight, attempting to shrug aside a personal bias against musicals in the process. It won't be easy, you can trust us on that. And, in "honour" of our rock opera, Shawn and I will discuss and play for you our favourite piece of movie score.

We've also got new music from a couple of rising ta…

More Paranormal Acitivity will haunt theatres next October

Surprising no one, Paramount Pictures has announced Paranormal Activity 3 will be in theatres Oct. 21, 2011, making it the heir apparent to the Saw franchise as the seasonal horror film of choice.

The film will face-off against Steven Soderbergh's thriller Contagion starring Matt Damon. It should be noted that Damon's last film, Hereafter, opened opposite Paranormal Activity 2 and got its teeth kicked in. Saw distributor Lionsgate hasn't given up on releasing a horror flick at Halloween and will release Dibbuk Box a week after PA3 opens.

What the fuck is a Dibbuk Box?

Paranormal Activity 2 had the highest opening weekend gross ever for a horror movie, $40.7 million, but the final total will fall short of the first film's $107 million. Still, it's performing well and above am average release for the genre.

No word yet on what the plot of PA3 will be. Given that Shawn and I have yet to watch PA2, neither of us can offer advice.

Cowboys & Aliens and Green Lantern trailers hit the web

Guess which one looks horrible and which one doesn't?

Kudos to regular contributor Patrick Eakin for already posting these on the Facebook group page, but I just had to chime in with my own 69 cents! First up, the suck: Green Lantern!

I grew up loving the Green Lantern comic, but have always believed a successful film version could be a dicey prospect. This preview proves why.

The CGI costume has to go and the otherworldly settings just look too . . . fake. I dig Ryan Reynolds as an actor, but I don't think he's brought the right tone to this. Everything here screams kids' movie, which is maybe what Warner Bros. had in mind. Not for me. Judge for yourself by the trailer below.

Now the cool: Cowboys & Aliens. Directed by Iron Man's Jon Favreau (great choice) and starring none other than Daniel "My name is Bond, James Bond" Craig and the legendary Harrison Ford, this looks just awesome. One part Unforgiven, another part War of the Worlds. Throw in Steve…

A good mechanic is hard to find . . .

. . . but I think Jason Statham is up for the job, at least as far as this exciting trailer for his upcoming film The Mechanic is concerned.

Yes, this is a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film of the same name. But, seeing as that Mechanic is as old as I am, it makes sense to give it a little polish. And, as we've stated before on this blog, no one kicks ass Statham!

The trailer look great, but we've been sucker punched in the back of the head by trailers before. That said, as long as Statham is kicking ass and taking names, I'm pretty happy.

The Mechanic is due out in January. Until then, check out the trailer below.

Former president films role in The Hangover 2

WTF? Did I just type that? Yup. I did.

First Mike Tyson turned up in the original, and overrated in my opinion, comedy smash The Hangover. Now it's Bill's turn. Clinton, who'll play himself in the sequel, shot his brief appearance on Saturday in Bangkok, where part of the production takes place. He was in the capital city to deliver a speech on clean energy.

The Hangover 2 recently made headlines for the coming and going of Mel Gibson, who was scheduled to have a cameo until certain cast members took issue. Gibson has since been replaced by Liam Neeson.

And to clarify: I really dug the first Hangover, but watched it long after the buildup of hype, which the film could not live up to. But it's still one of the better comedies to come down the pipe in some time.

Jason and Shawn review: Blood Into Wine and Splice

Blood Into Wine

Jason: Never before has a movie left me feeling so conflicted. On the one hand, I don't think there's enough material here to support a feature-length documentary. But some moments worked so well that I couldn't help but feel completely entertained and moved. Maynard James Keenan is a great screen presence and some of his journey as a winemaker is very interesting. But one can't help but feel that this is nothing more than an extended ad for his wine, or even a bit of a con job. Watch for yourself and decide. A Bad rating from me.

Shawn: Viticulture. Exciting! (sarcasm). I like my red wine. I like Tool. Loud! So when lead singer Maynard James Keenan decides to make wine, I think that sounds cool. But is it worth a feature-length documentary? Not so much. The entire thing comes across as a way to sell more of Keenan's wine in the wake of free music downloads. That way he can still be weird and make money. There are some funny moments, but Blood Into…

Micro Review: Unstoppable

An old-fashioned action/melodrama light on plot and heavy on white-knuckle thrills. By the time Unstoppable played out it felt like I had chased a bottle of Wake Ups with a can of Red Bull. Part of the film's appeal is its likable cast, led by veteran Denzel Washington and rising star Chris Pine. The rest comes from stunts and action scenes done right -- with practical effects and stun men. There are times when you can tell it's Washington and Pine climbing across that train, and it ups the ante considerably. Unstoppable takes a bit of time to get going, but once it does, it emerges as the year's most exciting movie. Sorry Stallone, your Expendables come a close second. A Good review from The Basement on this one.

Trailer Alert: Battle: Los Angeles

I don't believe it's a coincidence the trailer for the sci-fi/war movie Battle: Los Angeles premiers on the same day the similar-themed alien invasion flick Skyline arrives in theatres.

While we in The Basement are hearing nothing but bad mojo for the new arrival -- apparently we follow narcissistic L.A.ers around for 90 minutes -- it's hard not to get jazzed for Jonathan Liebesman's blow-stuff-up movie as the focus seems to be on the military/government/journalistic response. I'll take a right-wing response over boring narcissists any day.

Enough of the gibber jabber. Groove on this effective trailer, which is the whole point of this post anyway.

Next on the chopping block: the Leah Cairns interview, Blood Into Wine and Splice

It's going to be a night of all talk and no rock in The Basement as we present our long-touted interview with actress Leah Cairns!

Leah grew up in Kamloops before embarking on an eight-year backpacking adventure that eventually led her to a career in acting. She's had a starring role in the Canadian TV series Godiva's and appeared on the Chris Isaak Show, Kyle XY and Supernatural. But Leah is probably best know as Margaret "Racetrack" Edmondson on the hit series Battlestar: Galactica and as Al Pacino's love interest in the film 88 Minutes.

Our chat with Leah will take up most of tonight's episode, and we promise it'll be a lot of fun. But don't fear: there's always room in The Basement for reviews and we've got our biased opinions on the documentary Blood Into Wine and the Canadian sci-fi/horror flick Splice starring Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody.

So turn up that dial tonight at 10 p.m. on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops or listen live at

Update! Renner will not be Snake Plissken

Late last week we reported The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner was in line to resurrect Kurt Russell's iconic Escape From New York character for the remake. Turns out that story, widely reported on the Interwebs, was bullshit.

According to The Wrap, Dread Central, Arrow In the Head, among others, Renner hasn't been officially approached by New Line Cinema for the role. In fact casting for Breck Eisener's retooling of John Carpenter's classic is a long way from completion.

Renner would still be great for the part, but does anyone really want this film to be made? Can't Hollywood leave our beloved 80s movies alone? I'm all for retro, but let's focus on making new movies that have the feel of films from the 70s and 80s. The recent House of the Devil is a prime example of how that was done right and, from what we're hearing, so are Due Date and Unstoppable.

Sounds like a topic for a future Who Cares? segment.

Solomon Kane director heads to Silent Hill

Things are finally moving forward on a sequel to Christophe Gan's adaptation of the classic video game Silent Hill. I say finally because the first Silent Hill came out in 2006, which is long enough that you'd think the producers would shoot for a reboot instead.

I didn't mean that. Really. DON'T DO IT!

The good news is British director Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane) has signed on to write and direct the picture, which is produced by Don Carmody and Samuel Hadida. We here in The Basement loved Solomon Kane, so this bodes well.

Bassett spoke with Empire about the film, which is entitled Silent Hill: Revelations 3D. OK, the 3D part is worrisome.

"I spent a long time revisiting the games and reading just about every little piece of material I could find on the mythology.  Of course, my choices may not please everyone, but the ambition is to give the audience a twisted, intense and terrifying experience..."

Sounds pretty good, despite not saying much. At l…

Gimme some sugar baby! Evil Dead iPhone app is on its way!

So says the fine folks at, and they wouldn't lie. Trust me.

The latest attempt by Sam Raimi and company to separate us from our well-earned cash -- it's not that tough. Trust me again on that -- is a brand new game for the iPhone. Not much else is known save for a cool little trailer below, which promises the game is coming soon. Sadly, it doesn't sound like the legendary Bruce Campbell will be adding his voice to the project.

I've never been one for adding games to my trusty iPhone, but this makes me think differently. And I do dig the visual look promised by the teaser.

You'll also have to trust me again when I promise that when we in The Basement know more, you'll know more.

Paranormal Activity director to tackle Edgar Allan Poe, but not literally

Area 51, Oren Peli's follow up to Paranormal Activity, hasn't yet hit theatres but the writer/director is already lining up his next project.

He's signed on to direct the thriller Eliza Graves, based on a short story by horror master Edgar Allan Poe. An adaptation has been in the works for years with the likes of Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger and Natalie Portman attached as stars. The project is produced by Mel Gibson. Yes, that Mel Gibson.

The plot follows a Harvard grad who travels to Maine for a residency at a mental institution. It's not long before he discovers the patients have actually taken over as staff. It's bad scoobies from there on in.

I highly doubt Peli will fall back on any of his found footage tricks for this one, as the story takes place pre-video surveillance. And it will be nice to see if he can generate scares without relying on modern technology.

Jason and Shawn review: The Crimson Rivers and Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse

The Crimson Rivers


A fun throwback to 80s-style buddy cop movies like Lethal Weapon with a nice infusion of 90s serial-killer thrillers like Seven. Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel share a great chemistry and the story moves along at fast enough of a pace that the viewer doesn't realize none of it makes any sense. Some nice action scenes, especially a martial arts battle with a couple of skinheads, and a series of serial murders that are preposterous but effective. The film is highly entertaining despite its flaws, and Reno is always watchable. Hell, he made Godzilla good. And this one rates a Good as well.


Violence and grisly images my ass! There wasn't anything in here worse than an episode of CSI. The film starts off slow and I was wondering how I was going to make it through one of these, let alone two. Then Cassel gets into a martial arts battle with some alleged skinheads and things take off. It's like a French Lethal Weapon with a serial killer instead of…

The Hurt Locker's Renner could be the new Snake Plissken

Another day, another bit of remake news. At least this one offers a glimmer of promise.

An update of John Carpenter's sci-fi/action flick Escape From New York has been talked about for years, with Gerard Butler and Timothy Olyphant previously attached to the role made iconic by Kurt Russell -- eye-patch wearin' Snake Plissken. Now Bloody Disgusting and are saying Renner, who rocked it in The Hurt Locker, is in early talks for the role.

The dude could do it. He's a great actor and actually has a similar look as Russell. He'd also add some street cred to a project that could suck donkey balls.

The New Line redo will be directed by Breck "The Crazies" Eisner and was written by Allen Loeb. It's described as a Plissken origin story married with the plot of Carpenter's original.

Micro Review: Get Him To The Greek

The latest in a long line of raunchy  comedies, and almost as funny as all those that proceeded it. In fact, there is a 15-minute sequence that is by far one of the funniest ever put on film. The flick works because of some winning performances by Jonah Hill and Russell Brand and a script that knows when to slow down and let some pathos and character beats shine through. Another winner from producer Judd Apatow, and a solid Good rating from The Basement.

Next on the chopping block: The Crimson Rivers and Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse

Neither Shawn nor I thought ourselves fans of foreign film before embarking on our Basement project. In the months since we've ended up watching our fair share of films from England, France, Sweden etc. Some Good, some Bad and, if you ask Shawn, some Ugly.

What's impressed me over the years is the French's flair for action films and horror. The French gave us Luc Besson, Jean Reno, High Tension, District 13, Them and many more great genre things. And tonight Shawn, myself and Radio NL reporter Shane Woodford discuss two early 2000 entries in their film cannon: The Crimson Rivers and Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse.

Each film stars the great Jean Reno as a cop who specializes in grisly, unique crimes. Suffice to say the movies are one part Seven and another part Hollywood action film. Doesn't sound like a bad mix if done right. Tonight, we find out if they are.

We've also got great music by Audioslave, Moby and some new Newgrounds selections from Brother S…

Watch John Fallon's The Red Hours

Those who listened to our exclusive interview with John Fallon -- AKA The Arrow of Arrow In the Head -- a few weeks back (and I would assume that'd be all of you) likely remember him talking about the experience he had making his short film The Red Hours. Well, we here in The Basement have that short film for your viewing pleasure.

Fallon has said it's an artsy film, heavy and symbolic, with horror conventions. Think David Lynch and you're on the right track. I dug it, and I'm not huge on Lynch. But the less I say the better. Just watch it!

Thanks to Fallon for letting us embed his film here:

The Red Hours from John Fallon on Vimeo.

Get your mind blown with this new Sucker Punch trailer!

Some days it's tough to find interesting things to share with our fellow Basement Dwellers. On days like this, it's not.

Below is the second preview for Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, and it threatens to melt minds and eyeballs with rampant coolness. Not only is it even more fantastic to look at than the previous trailer, but it shares some of the story too. Yes, there is a story, which is as follows: a young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility.

Sounds very Cinderella, only with ninjas, dragons, robots and hot babes kicking all kinds of ass. Not unlike a certain Jason Statham we talked about yesterday. Consider us sold.

Sucker Punch stars Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens. Currently in post production, the film is set to land in theaters in March 2011. Until then, feast on the awesomeness below! God, I love…

Statham puts foot to ass in Blitz

No one kicks ass like Jason Statham. No one! So when a trailer appears promising the star of  The Transporter and Crank doing what he does best, we here in The Basement applaud.

While he's played a variety of ass-kicking criminals in The Italian Job, Snatch and Death Race, he puts on a badge and packs a gun as a British cop in Blitz. The film has Stathan tracking down a serial killer who's murdering London 5-0. Suffice to say he kicks a lot of ass along the way.

Blitz is from U.K. director Elliot Lester, and was written by Nathan Parker, who also penned the screenplay for Duncan Jones' Moon.

From Moon to ass kicking? Awesome!

Blitz is due out some time next year. Until then, we've got the ass-kicking trailer below.

Blitz trailer
Uploaded by teasertrailer. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

Tron... The Legacy Begins

Disney dips into it's vaults, and returns to the world of "Tron" to bring us "Tron: Legacy".  Fans will remember the 1982 classic, which was ahead of its time for visual effects and concept.  In a time when arcade games were the rage, "Tron" hooked an audience with the concept of being INSIDE an arcade game- and kept that audience with a solid storyline and great acting.  Of all the video game movies made, fans will probably agree that "Tron" was one of the best of all time.

And now, on 17 December 2010, Disney will be releasing "Tron: Legacy", which continues the story of Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges from the first movie), as his son, Sam, gets pulled into the digital world where he's been trapped for the past 20 years.

This movie promises to be a joy ride for fans of the original movie, and possibly a treat for those that were unaware of this franchise.  Given the advances in computer generated imagery, we can only ass…

Guest Review: Bloody Wednesday

Mike S returns with a review of one of his "Top 10 Most Under Rated Horror Movies" as noted in Sunday's entry.  His choice for the No. 1 spot was the 1985, psychological horror, "Bloody Wendesday", where a man with emotional problems begins to experience strange things in the abandoned building he lives in... taking his first steps to a blood bath.

"I found "Bloody Wednesday" bloody entertaining. Feelings of isolation, attacks by gang members, a ghostly bell hop, a murder that did not happen, and the creepiest use of a teddy bear in cinema history.  The mood is set nicely with the music, use of shadows, and erratic camera angles.  The characters themselves were, if not engaging, at least were interesting.  Some of the actors were a little cheesy, but was appropriate for a movie from the 1980's.

As the movie progresses, you're made to wonder what parts of the main character's experiences are real... and which are just imaginary.  I rea…