Movie Review: Being Mick

BeingMick

Details from IMDB:

 

Being Mick (2001)

TV Movie  -  60 min  -  Documentary | Biography | Music  -  22 November 2001 (USA)

Ratings: 6.4/10 from 136 users

Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Fly-on-the-wall documentary about rockstar Mick Jagger, and his friends and family, during the recording of his 2001 album ‘Goddess in the Doorway’.

Director:

Kevin Macdonald

Stars:

Mick Jagger, Bono, Bob Geldof | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

I’m a fan of the Rolling Stones (saw them in 2013, they were excellent BTW) and my wife heard Lenny Kravitz was in this documentary (she likes the Stones too), so we had a quiet Saturday night and watched it (as you know I also enjoy documentaries).

Main Points:

This was filmed back in 2001 as Mick was working on a album (and had some producer role in the movie "Enigma", he also had a small cameo in it). It shows Mick having a very busy, productive and certainly exciting life. I like how the film shows him as a family man (he has a slew of children) and has other interests besides the Stones and music. He has fun dismissing crazy tabloid headlines and takes time to speak with his fans both child and adult. I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about what Keith, Ronnie and Charlie do in their lives but Mick seemed like a cool guy who isn’t completely obsessed with fame or money. It also does a good job showing the tremendous respect he has in the music industry as he gets many well known people to collaborate with him on his album. Prince Charles also makes an appearance for the premiere of his movie (maybe this is because he is a Sir? I don’t know much about British politics).

Final Thoughts:

The film has it’s flaws, it seems to shot almost entirely by Mick and while he’s talented at many things, he’s not cameraman. The shaky-cam really has no place in a documentary (of this subject at least). Since it was made for TV I also thought it seemed chopped up and does not give hardly any background or social commentary like many documentaries do. Overall though I give this a 7/10 and a recommendation (a little harsh language though, so not for small children). I like Mick and while I’m not sure I’d want his lifestyle, he certainly has a great attitude towards life. So after seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes earlier today, I’m off to see the sequel tomorrow, Have a good one all!

July 23rd Free Ebook Day for "After Frost Ends" by PG Owyns!

AfterTheFrost

Book Description

 

In the Pacific Northwest of 1928, Julian Powell lives a life that for most appears to be one of privilege—a perfect life in a huge house, servants, and carefully groomed grounds. No matter how idyllic it might seem, it has become a prison for Julian. His days are filled with the endless monotony of family gatherings, gossip, and brown suits. Overshadowing him is a life-long illness. Julian finds his only freedom from his overbearing family in secretly writing books celebrating the beauty of nature. Occasionally he escapes to the local bookstore, with the hope of seeing the town’s eccentric, William Neill. Julian’s life changes forever when he makes the boldest decision of his life. He leaves to take care of an ailing childhood friend, moving to a place that will take him away from all he has ever known to an unexpected new life. He becomes part of a family of his own choosing, and it brings him closer to the man that he’s been secretly falling for—a man who has a prison of his own to escape. As William and Julian struggle to overcome their pasts, will their secrets bring them together or drive them apart?
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Movie Review: After Porn Ends

Details from IMDB:

AfterPornEnds

After Porn Ends (2010)

94 min  -  Documentary  -  21 May 2012 (USA)

Ratings: 5.8/10 from 2,363 users
Reviews: 10 user | 12 critic

After Porn Ends is a documentary that not only examines the lives and careers of some of the biggest names in the history of the adult entertainment industry but what happens to them after … See full summary »

Director:

Bryce Wagoner

Stars:

Mary Carey, Amber Lynn, Asia Carrera | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

No surprise here I watch porn (I talked about this in another review) and this was on Netflix, so I gave it a watch (plus I’m a sucker for a documentary, they are usually interesting.)

Main Points:

This get’s a terrible rating on IMDB but I think it’s a little too harsh. While the interviews and camerawork do seem rather amateurish (and no real interesting questions are posed) it’s still interesting to watch. The women here run the gamut of people who used porn as a stepping stone for another career (and one who couldn’t make it as an actor and went back to porn), to those who enjoyed in and are still involved in the industry, to those who have horrible regrets and wish they never did it to other who are somewhere in-between.

I think the movie does speak about the differences between men, women and sex. As a whole it seems all the men in the movie enjoyed their time in porn (which I’m certain isn’t the case for everyone) though it did leave one guy with regrets about how he could have had a full relationship with one woman. Also one guy does seem to lead a lonely life and it is a little sad that he watches his own porn movies to bring back happy memories.

Final Thoughts:

As only a viewer I certainly have a limited point of view on the subject, so I can’t speak for the affect the industry has on men or women. I think one actor points it out by saying that sex in porn movies is just a little bit better than masturbation, there’s no emotional connection (in 99% of cases I’d say) and doing it in front of a camera must be really weird at first. In the end it does make you feel a little guilty for watching and enjoying it as it is to some degree at the expense of others. So I give this 6.5 out of ten and would only recommend to people interested in porn or human sexuality. Of course this should not be viewed by anyone under 18. Well I’m all out of movies to review for now but look for another blog post in 4 or 5 days. Have a great weekend everyone!

Flea market this Sunday! (the 13th)

Hi everyone,

It’s summer here and I’m back on the Flea Market circuit (there are several, though usually I only do one to be honest). So if you’re out in about come see me this Sunday (July 13th) at the C.L.B. Sunday Market from 12-4pm. Aside from my books (Newfoundland Vampire book I and II), I’ll be selling Magic cards and comics (some more expensive than others). Have a great summer and I hope to see you there!

CLBFarmersMarket_thumb.jpg

I’m in a New York state of mind (well I was last week :)

Greetings and salutations all!

So I had my first (hopefully of two) summer trips this year (It’s early July as I write this). As some of you may know I’m a huge fan of concerts and usually once a year (sometimes more) we travel somewhere to see one. This year went to NYC to see Billy Joel and of course while we were there did lots of other stuff. So as I’ve done in the past here is a smattering of pictures (a video if I can get it to work) and my comments on them.

Day 1:

Arrived at LGA around 11:30am and got a shuttle to to the hotel. Our hotel was small and had no restaurant (or room service) but was otherwise conveniently located, had friendly staff and was clean and certainly nice enough. I was pleased to see a healthy take-out style restaurant nearby and we soon set off for a comic book store (it’s what geeks do in any city!) Bought 1 comic and headed back to get ready to go out to an off-Broadway show (after we had supper at an ok pub/restaurant down the street, I’ve really gotten into ciders the past couple of years.)

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So as you can see to the left the show was a little unusual. It was called Skivvies. The club was nice (too full to order food but we had a few drinks) and the show itself was okay (they are talented they just did a lot of songs I didn’t like). The best part of the show for me was when Sophie B. Hawkins came on at the end (she wasn’t in her underwear though) and sang one of her hits (I’ll give you  hint, it wasn’t "Damn I wish I was your lover"). It was a song I actually liked and gave the show more credibility.

Day 2:

Off to the John Lennon memorial, Pommes Frites and the Dakota (where Lennon was shot in 1980) and of course the Statue of Liberty. In case you’re wondering Pommes Frites was in an episode of "Comedians in Cars getting Coffee" (really funny if you love Seinfeld). I’m a huge lover of french fries and I have to say they were excellent (though greasy but I guess the best ones usually are). What makes this place unique is they offer over 50 varieties of dipping sauce, so you have plenty of reasons to go back.

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Now I have to say NYC was VERY hot (I’m Canadian and in the north after all, it very rarely gets to 85F, it was over 100 there for 3 days!). So as such I didn’t get to explore central park as much as I wanted to and our trip to the Statue of Liberty consisted of getting a ferry there, taking some pictures, getting back on said ferry and heading back. We also went to the Museum of Natural History (very cool and interesting place), I’d highly recommend it. They even have an app so you can have a self-guided tour.

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Day 2 was also the Billy Joel concert (you’re not supposed to take pictures or video, so in any case anyone checks I won’t post anything here). He was excellent! Funny, friendly, played lots of his hits. Madison Square Garden is a great building that is well organized and had reasonable prices for beer and snacks (any merchandise is always overpriced wherever you go). My only complaint is I wanted more, Bill played almost 2 hours but I won’t have loved 2.5 or even 3, so really not a complaint at all. I have loved Billy Joel’s music over 20 years and I had tickets to see him in Toronto (the show was canceled due to the SARS outbreak), so it was a great moment for me. Like a lot of things in life when you build it up in your mind it never quite lives up to your expectations but still, a great time, wonderful music and great memories.

BeerMeMSG

Day 3:

I wanted to get pictures for my third book ("The Gathering Dark" currently in the editing process!), one of the chapters takes place in NYC, so I had to get pictures of a statue by central park. We also went to the Discovery Museum and two exhibits. To be honest I thought the Marvel one sucked. It was mainly video games, half of them didn’t work or didn’t work properly. The only good one had a line so long that moved so slow I gave up, maybe I’m just too old for it but I felt $60 was a rip off. We also went to this one which showed dissected people and a horse (I’ll spare you the pictures, it was gross). That one was certainly educational and interesting, just hard to look at (well kind of like a car crash, you didn’t want to look but had to kind of deal.) We should have went to the Lego one, I did get to take one picture of a bored Lego man.

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We also went to a nice restaurant called Serendipity. They are known for their frozen hot chocolate dessert (which we had and was yummy) and $1000 sundae! (Not kidding, we didn’t get that). Nice food and after a long wait (over an hour) we had very good service including two free drinks.

Day 4:

This was the 4th of July and after I went to another comic book store (Forbidden Planet which was another cool place with friendly staff) We also went on a TMZ bus tour (the guide was funny and nice but too much celebrity crap for my liking, that was my wife’s choice). We also went to the Stardust Diner for some good singing, friendly service but not so good food (I guess that’s what to expect), obviously went the singing it can be quite loud in there as well.

173 You’re all wondering about the fireworks (well some of you) and yes of course we went. Amazing show that lasted almost 30 minutes, police were there and it was well lit (in the park area we went to) so I never felt unsafe. I should say here for a big city NYC is a very safe place (from what I saw). There are lots of homeless people but I guess that’s just a sad reality. We took a taxi down to the fireworks and should have gotten one back…instead we came back on the subway, that was a mistake.

The subway was INSANE coming back. The police had to stop too many people from coming though, it was hot down there (even at 10pm at night) and once we finally got on subway care it was super-crowded. Two men almost got in a fight and being a little claustrophobic I was very uncomfortable for a good 10 minutes. So if you’re in NYC (or any big city with a subway) DO NOT take the subway back, it’s not worth saving the money.

Day 5:

Didn’t get to much today as we were heading back and the shuttle service picked us up super-early. I tried to get a shave but the place was closed (Spiff if you’re curious and I did get a nice e-mail back from them a few days later). In their defense I should have called first since the day before was a holiday but I had a nice walk and a final look around the city.

So final thoughts, NYC is a great place. Everyone was friendly (except this one woman who hated TMZ and yelled at the tour guy, what a bitch!), zero crime that I saw, lots to do, good food, great shows but super-hot and sometimes very crowded (at least while we were there) but maybe those things don’t bother you. I would certainly love to go back sometime, just not in July.

Movie Review: Chef

Details from IMDB:

Chef

Chef (2014)

114 min  -  Comedy  -  30 May 2014 (USA)

Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,591 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 68 user | 121 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

Director:

Jon Favreau

Writer:

Jon Favreau

Stars:

Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

Okay once again I’ll admit it, I’ll see anything with Scar Jo in it (this movie did also get a good rating on IMDB), so a couple of weeks ago we saw it with a very small group of people (we have a theater which is usually very quiet, I like it :)

Main Points:

I’ve heard this movie described as food porn and for a lot of this film it’s accurate. Sure there’s a story about a married couple who are separated, father has trouble connecting with his son and the same father is having career problems (he’s the chef) and ultimately quits his job. Really though you’re watching this for the food (or perhaps Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson). All the food in this movie looks delicious (except the pig roast and generally the meat for me) and it makes you want to go to New Orleans to have a Beignet (my wife sure did!) and generally eat out at a nice restaurant (I love eating out and non-fast food places, a little too much as I look at my waist line ;)

To get off the food kick, the story is okay here. It’s about the importance of family and how at least some relationships are worth fighting for. It’s also about finding a career you love and being prepared to suffer to make the right choices in it (something I think a lot of us never manage to get). The acting is fine by everyone (Favreau in particular is quite good) but some people like RDJ seem like they are just thrown in there for the name recognition. His part was so small you barely even notice it. I will say that though while Dustin Hoffman’s part is small, he did do a good job as a restaurant owner.

Final Thoughts:

A nice little movie, it was mostly predictable but still makes you laugh and ultimately feel good if you have a stable relationship (and a job you don’t really hate). Ultimately this movie also makes you think about food trucks and simple food, I’ll have to think about trying one again soon (I don’t live in a downtown area, so I don’t see them much). So 7/10 from me and a mild recommendation (though do to language not for small children). I think I can say unless you’re a huge fan you’d get more enjoyment from this than the latest Transformers movie (I suffered through 2 and 3 and just couldn’t take anymore). So that’s it for the newer movies I’ve seen, next will be a few I saw on Netflix. Have a great day everyone!

Movie Review: The Grand Seduction

Detail from IMDB:

TheGrandSeduction

The Grand Seduction (2013)

113 min  -  Comedy  -  30 May 2014 (Canada)

Ratings: 7.5/10 from 419 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 11 user | 36 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

The small harbor of Tickle Cove is in dire need of a doctor so that the town can land a contract to secure a factory which will save the town from financial ruin. Village resident Murray … See full summary »

Director:

Don McKellar

Writers:

Michael Dowse, Ken Scott

Stars:

Taylor Kitsch, Brendan Gleeson, Liane Balaban | See full cast and crew »

Initial thoughts:

I make an effort to see every movie made here in Newfoundland while it’s in theaters (that means I’ve seen some bad ones like “Stoner FM”). Usually there are worthwhile and I had heard good things about this one, so with some time in a different city (Corner Brook to be precise) myself and my Mom went to see this (first time I had seen a movie with her in 20+ years).

Main Points:

I probably would have seen this movie even if it wasn’t set in Newfoundland as I quite like Brendan Gleeson and of course the best actor from Newfoundland, Gordon Pinsent. While this is a remake of a French film they certainly do a good job to show the way of life in Newfoundland for some small communities and our friendly nature.

The scenery is beautiful (it’s Newfoundland after all!) and the acting is good all around. It’s a nice little story (with some crazy/silly/unrealistic parts) and is very funny. I found myself laughing out loud lots of times and constantly try to figure out where it was filmed (this probably won’t happen for a lot of people who watch it who aren’t from Newfoundland).

It’s been said that any Canadian film has a certain look to it, it looks just a little bit amateurish but such is not the case here. With Kitsch and Gleeson on-board this movie has the same production values as any Hollywood movie (which is nice to see).

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this movie. It has some flaws of course, the ending is a little bit predictable and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend seeing it with your parents (or a small child due to a couple of mild sex scenes), I give it a strong 8/10 and a hearty recommendation to anyone else seeing it. If you’re from Newfoundland you’ll probably enjoy this movie the most but I’m sure anyone else will like it to. See it if you can before it’s gone, you won’t regret it.

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