Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Smile - #366*/365

Smile - #366*/365 by PJMixer
Smile - #366*/365, a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
Apologies for the mixed up numbering, but it's the photo right ?

I've decided to take a break from the daily photo project.  I'm still be carrying a camera with me wherever I go and will be posting to Flickr and perhaps increasing my use of Instagram, but you won't see daily photos here in the blog.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The artistry of the shop window - Mr. Selfridge would be proud - #365/365

Via Flickr:
I've always liked design and fashion. My evening dog walk combines quiet residential streets with a few blocks of window shopping on Yonge Street. I enjoy looking in the shop windows and appreciate the creativity of the displays. My wife and I enjoyed a couple of episodes of Mr. Selfridge on Netflix this evening so I thought this shop window capture was apropos. (And yes, I know my daily photo numbering if off by one).

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Channel surfing and came across Babel.  I remember seeing it but couldn't easily find my review here in the blog.  Finally found it over on Flixster that I thought I'd imported here, puzzled.  Not sure whether to re-watch, hitting record.

Previous review: Subtle with complex characters simply connected with far-reaching meaning.


I-spy my beautiful wife - #364/365

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Madison and co. #353/365

Madison and co. #353/365 by PJMixer
Madison and co. #353/365, a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
I completed my 100 Stranger Project (www.flickr.com/photos/pjmixer/sets/72157618838599209) a long time ago now, but occasionally add to the collection when I meet up with people around town and I take a good photograph of them. This time around I was out taking pictures of The Distillery District Christmas lighting and Madison and her friends were looking for someone to take their photo. They tried giving a smartphone to a security guard then noticed me with my tripod and more serious looking gear. I was really happy she asked and very pleased with the strobist result.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Appropriate attire (and equipment) required - #349/365

Via Flickr:
A good friend of mind once said "there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate attire". I'm not sure where he heard it from, but I quote him often. We've had a very cold week here in Toronto and a nasty snow storm today. My tweet the other day had said "Report from the dog walk: definitely a fur hat & ski mitt kinda morning; thinking of my wife & daughter as they head to colder Manitoba". Well it's still colder in Manitoba, but with the extra snow on the ground, I pulled out the Sorels tonight. I also added an important element for the dog walk - music. Thanks to my wife's Christmas gift last year, these Klipsch buds have beautiful sound and fit comfortably under the fur hat. So tonight's tweet is "report from the dog walk: pretty cosy actually; appropriate attire required".

Monday, December 09, 2013

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Decks and stairs architecture behind the Yonge street shops - #343/365

Security sales guy

We were invited to an open house recently at the new location for Downtown Jam.  I'm no singer, but my wife loves to sing so we went along and had a great time.  As we were leaving we asked if anyone wanted to share a cab home.  One guy said he was heading the same way so we got into a little small talk as we're waiting for the cab to arrive.  I had chatted with him earlier in the evening and complimented him on his singing, but didn't know much about him or how he knew our mutual friends.  As we're leaving, we touch on where we work - turns out he is the new sales rep at the small software company I left a couple of years ago.  Wouldn't think you'd find a great singer in the nerdy world of security software.

Movie Reviews: July - November 2013

Holy Motors

Beautiful. Bizarre. French. Art. Flick.

Never got a chance to watch it again before returning it, pretty fuzzy from 4 months ago. 7/10


Loved looking back to the heights of Hitchcock movie mania - super production and Hopkins' guise. Unfortunately the story wasn't as riveting as a Hitchcock plot. 6/10


Fascinating and tragic story of a man that probably made a significant impact on my life.  7/10

The Place Beyond the Pines

I had to stop the movie to write down some thoughts (watching on Air Canada flight)

Oh what a tangled web we weave. Only flaw was AJ - couldn't connect him, didn't really fit. But otherwise, rich, complex, beautifully acted masterpiece. Raw, real, rugged. Tragic, frightening and glimmers of humanity and hope. Gosling and Dane Dehaan were standouts.  9/10

Great non-baddy.  Humour made it entertaining and took the edge off the violence.  Effects were a bit too much, but still lots of fun.  7/10.

The beauty of imperfection.  Nice near future imagery, well acted and interesting premise.  More in the movie than its thin layer of plot, worth contemplating for a while. 7/10

Difficult subject matter twisted with a superbly crafter plot. Rock solid performance by Washington and a lovely surprise from Reilly.  Goodman's cameos were delightful and provided a little humour and break in the heavy drama.  Thought provoking, but rooted in the beauty of our imperfect human life. 7/10.

Insane, stupid, tasteless - but lots of fun and pretty darn entertaining.  Superb location shots and cameos.  7/10

Wonderful story with passionate performances all around. I'm a little annoyed that it took me so long to see it (and that I missed the exhibit when it was at the AGO). 7/10

Superb dialog delivered beautifully but some top talent.  Very uncomfortable at times, a poor ending, but very entertaining - if you like watching a good fight ! 7/10

All star cast, incl. superb cameos (with one I didn't catch) - lots of really good gags.  Kept me laughing throughout - ridiculous plot bits, but who cares, very entertaining.  Underrated - but I'll give it a solid 7.

Very slow and morose, but complex storytelling and superbly acted by stellar cast.  I can't say I grasped the entire plot but didn't get to watch it again before returning the BluRay rental.  So shocking, unexpected gruesome shots showed the danger of the day.  6/10


Wasn't truly comfortable with the plot - yes, expected some twists and turns, but I wasn't really enjoying the ride, but Boyle made it all come around beautifully.  

Mind bender.  Clever.  Great acting.  Stylish.  7/10

Great extras - what is the online experience of extras ?

Delightful.  Adorable.  Irresistible.  Every shot is B&W photographic art. Amazing how much of a story can be told without dialog.  How much of the story can be told throught body langauge and the eyes. Surprisingly serious and dramatic moments. Wonderful score.  So many different sides to this movie. There are so many elements of this film that are spot on,  Beautiful, top draw entertainment, 5x what I was expecting. Had a smile on my face the whole movie. 9/10.

From the extras - "people don't realize the rise of film was faster than the internet" (approx. 30 years).

So good in many ways - artistically, the performances, the directing, the script, even the soundtrack.  Close to what I expecting from a few skims of reviews and press, but it was much more.   I'm not a huge fan of Cotillard, but I loved her performance and character.   Very rich and rewarding.  Plus superb special fx.  8/10