Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Welcome Visitors!

Legislature Grounds at Christmas

Good day and welcome!  Thank you for visiting my blog.  This site is dedicated mainly for reviews of movies and local restaurants and to spotlight areas/sites I love or find intriguing.  Please feel free to join me here often and comment.  You may follow this blog simply by clicking on the networked blogs "follow this blog" icon or the other "follow" icon on the left side of this screen.  I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Oilers Shuffle Continues

Ok, so this is not a movie or restaurant review but I am an Oilers fan so this is pertinent information!

The following was released as Oiler eNews today, June 22, 2010:


General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have continued with their organizational restructuring. Pat Quinn has been appointed the club’s new Senior Hockey Advisor. Tom Renney will take over the Oilers Head Coaching duties.

So, what do you think about that?

Edmonton Included on New Monopoly Board Game

This photo taken by Jimmy Jeong, Edmonton Journal. Edmonton's campaign to be chosen for the game.

Edmonton makes it on the Monopoly Board!!!

A while ago, there was a contest of sorts that allowed the general public to vote on a city of choice to determine eligiblity to be included on the newest edition of Monopoly. Edmonton was one of the cities of choice so of course I voted for it! Edmonton is in the $3,000,000 spot!

Today, June 22, 2010, Hasbro made the announcement. We will be on the green strip along with Calgary and Sarnia, Ontario. Receiving the highest number of votes was Chatham-Kent, Ontario which gives it the top property, the equivalent of Boardwalk.

The Canadian version of Monopoly will be in stores in Canada June 28.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's Complicated (DVD)

Starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.  

"It's Complicated" is about a divorced couple who seize the opportunity to see if they made the right decision 10 years previous.  He is unhappily married to the woman whom he left his wife for and she is still struggling to move on, emotionally anyway.  Seeking advice from her therapist and three friends, no one can prepare her for what happens next.

Is this a case of "the grass is always greener"?  He wants what he cannot have.  Moral issues and selfishness are at play here.  Baldwin's character thinks what makes him happy is enough but he fails to see the pain and confusion this causes.  The happiness of the family is affected by the choices made by both.   As Streep's character said, "Knowing how to be divorced is nearly impossible".  However true this may be, the risks and pain associated with adultery, as evidenced in the movie, are real and far-reaching.  Complicated or not, there's no turning back. The price to pay is far too steep.

The storyline (though not great) is well acted with a strong supporting cast. Meryl Streep has always been a favorite, especially since "The River Wild" and "Julie & Julia" and Alec Baldwin plays the role of the ex to a "t".   However, due to the nature of this film, the issues of immorality, I rate this movie 2/5.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Lovely Bones

When I first saw the previews for this movie, I decided it was not foremost on my must see list.  However, I watched it the other day and was happy to note this film had neither the gore nor the violence I expected.  Rather, it is the tale of a 14-year old girl, Suzie Salmon, who is murdered and the desperation of her parents, particularly her father, to find the killer. Between heaven and earth, Suzie watches over her family, seeing their anguish, and her killer.  She watches him, after 11 months, feel safe.  Suzie must decide between her desire for revenge and her wish for her family to find peace.  Her choice can help her move on beyond this transitory phase.

Based on the novel  by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones was nominated for and received a Critics Choice Award for Best Young Actor/Actress as well as nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor, Oscar, and Saturn to name a few.  This movie is directed by Peter Jackson and stars Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon, Rachel Weisz as Abigail Salmon, Saoirse Ronan as Suzie Salmon, and Stanley Tucci as Mr. Harvey.

This is a thought-provoking film about life, death, revenge and finding peace.  At times heart-wrenching, it is a good 2 hours spent.  However I would not recommend  family viewing;  parents strongly cautioned due to the subject matter.  Good for an evening rental.   I wouldn't add this to my collection.  As a rental, I rate this movie 4/5. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Iron Man 2

An ego worthy of a superhero?  Tony Sparks seems to think so in this, the second installment in what one hopes will be the Iron Man series. 

A new villain, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) seeks revenge on the Stark empire for perceived wrongdoings in the past.  Using technology adapted from Starks own, Ivan creates a deadly electrifying prototype to pursue his vengeance.  But Ivan is not alone.  Justin Hammer, seeing potential in Ivan, enlists him for his cause, his desire for the greatest of government military contracts. Will Tony's egotistical Iron Man prevail?  The government wants his prototype.  Can Tony win when his own friend, Lt. Col. James "Rhody" Rhodes, is against him?  

Action, suspense and romance make for excellent viewing.  This viewer enjoyed the first and was glad for a second in what is hopefully an ongoing series in the Iron Man superherodom.  Is that even a word?  Anyway, definitely one worthy of my video library.  When does it come out on DVD?  I can't wait!


Iron Man 2 Trailer 2 (OFFICIAL)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Alice in Wonderland 3D

Disney Digital 3D Alice in Wonderland.  A Film by Tim Burton.
 Starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman. 

A 2010 fantasy adventure continues the story of Alice, now a 19 year old, who returns to Wonderland (Underland) where she visited once before 13 years earlier. 

Mourning the death of her father and plagued by recurring fantastic dreams, Alice (Mia Waskiowska) is forced to grow up with a marriage proposal by Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill), son of Lord Ascot.  Advised by her sister she should accept because one's pretty face does not last forever, she is in a conundrum.  She runs off to "think", all the while chasing her childhood friend, the white rabbit in a waistcoat, through the garden. Following to a rabbit hole, Alice falls down the hole, down, down, down to Underland where she is met by the white rabbit, a dormouse, a dodo and Tweedledum and Tweedledee.  The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) feels threatened by Alice for she knows the tale of destiny and orders her playing card knights to capture her.  In her flee from the knights, Alice meets the Cheshire Cat who takes her to the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).  The Mad Hatter helps her escape but in turn is captured.  Alice, now indebted to the Mad Hatter, must help.  But what can a girl of nineteen do in this Underland? Is she "the" Alice who will slay Jabberwocky, the Red Queen's dragon like creature, thus restoring the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) to her rightful reign over Underland?  No, she says, it is not her.  But is it?  Absolem, the caterpillar (Alan Rickman), says "not yet".

An impressive film of dream like quality, Alice In Wonderland, is the best Tim Burton movie this reviewer has seen.    The less enchanting vision he presents as "Underland" portrays a world warped by the reign of the Red Queen.  This world lacks the merriment and mystical aspect one pictures in Wonderland (Underland).  Perhaps that is why it is called Underland to depict the difference between the land initially visited by Alice thirteen years before, a land Alice called Wonderland, and the current visage known as Underland.  A land full of mystery, wonder and danger.

Rated 4/5  Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray