Monday, March 31, 2014

Steve and Marilyn

I flew to Los Angeles for business in February.  When I checked in I was assigned a middle seat which I wasn't very happy with, especially with my "restless legs" on long journeys (I've heard that restless leg syndrome is a sign of insanity, hope not).  However I managed to negotiate an aisle seat in the last row designated as the crew seats.  As it turns out, the window and middle seat next to me were claimed by an older couple.  We said our hellos and settled in for the long flight.

Another side note is the disappointment of a faulty headphone jack in my new seat.  One of the pleasures of a long flight on Air Canada is the chance to catch up on some new movies, and I was hoping to watch Rush.  So I was pretty pissed off, but a least comfortable.  But what would you know, the gentleman now seated next to me was now watching Rush. 

After a few hours, a few of us are up and about visiting the washroom and stretching our legs.  With the gentlemen in the aisle I overhear his English accident.  I mention it to his wife sitting in the window seat and we begin a nice long chat.  His name was Steve and his wife was Marilyn.

It turns my seat neighbour was from a small town called Nuneaton which is the next town over from where I grew up in England.  We talked about nearby Coventry where I was born and where my dad worked at Jaguar.  Steve loves cars (he was watching Rush after all), and he told me he owned a Jaguar at one point in his life.  He seems to be more into rarer autos and he mentioned Lee Francis Motors in Coventry - I'll have to ask my Dad about that.

Nice coincidence.

Movie Reviews Q1 2014

The internship

Irresistible if you're a fan of Vaughan and/ or Wilson.  Lots of fun and LOL bits.   Pretty amazing Google allowed it to happen.   A few adult moments perhaps ruins a fun family film moment.   Thumbs up Google.   


Now you see me

A few holes in the plot didn't distract me too much from mystery of the magic.   Pretty unique story with interesting cast.   Lots of fun.  Recommended by and viewed with my daughter.  



I'd seen lots of scenes before from trailers and a past failed Air Canada viewing, and I knew the story a little. But, it was based on the events in 1976, I remember the drivers and Lauda's accident (and comeback), but not the details of that year's championship. Was Hunt that big a playboy, and Lauda, how disagreeable was he really ? Neither drivers will perhaps gain any new fans, but the rivalry, drive and sports drama is magnificent. I'd heard this was perhaps the closet recreation of the world of F1 since the old movie Grand Prix, I would agree. However, I'm not certain of how much was digital effects. The set, cars, and tracks were superbly recreated and it took me back to the simpler years of F1 (before big money from non-traditional places de-humanized the once great sport). 



Very dark and well crafted plot.   Lots of very difficult dramatic elements that crosses a lot of territory.  Scary personal reflection for any father.   What would you do in that horrific scenario ?  Very well acted all around.  


Movie Reviews Oscar Edition 2014

Once again, I'm pleased to say I've managed to see quite a few of the 2014 Oscar nominated movies and performances this year.


Flew by. More of an experience than a movie. Why hasn't it taken 45 years since 2001: A Space Odyssey to get this close to the reality of space in film. No sound. No gravity. Massive challenges and risks. Bullock held it all together masterfully. I've seen a lot of sfx but I can't fathom how they created this complete zero G setting.

12 Years a Slave

Beautiful cinematography
Superb acting ( Fassbender and and were terrific)
Very difficult to watch.  Hardly what you'd call entertaining.
But a very important, horrific historical tale.  To perhaps a similar degree as Schindlers list.

The inhuman treatment of the slaves / no recognition of fellow man - (portrayed not just by the owners and traders, but of the ladies of the plantations as well.   Truly shocking. But what would have done faced with this as a passerby like mr x in the south ?

Heart wrenching, so many negative emotions exercised.   But, survival.  Take nothing for granted.

I didn't hear any gasps I the audience, but many deep breaths (mine included).

Forgot my wallet - any connection ?  Drastic irony, ...



Yes, it was the Joaquin Phoenix show - but I didn't tire of him and the massive breadth of character, mood and emotion - superb performance.  The plot walked a very fine line of believability, but I could only few technical possibilities.  


American Hustle 

Like a superb collection of artistic vignettes.  Captivating characters wrapped around a clever plot.  Fantastic cast and I loved the soundtrack too.  


The Lego Movie

I was a big fan of Lego growing up.  M&D say that one of our suitcases was full of Lego when we emigrated to Canada !

I built all kinds of things, from aircraft carriers, toy guns that used elastic bands to fire Lego blue rails, to cars and planes, and even a speedway game.

I saw The Lego Movie with the kids a few weeks ago.  A must see for any Lego fan. Very clever plot with a nice observation of today's world.  Lots of adult jokes. Mesmerizing Lego digital FX and a lot of humour (several LOLs for me).