Monday, August 30, 2010


Which exotic car is the fastest?  Has the most horsepower?  Can beat a CF18 Hornet in flight?
Race the Base - speed challenge
Location:  Cold Lake Military Base
Date:  August 27 & 28

Featuring the world's fastest car, the Ferrari Enzo. vs. CF18 Hornet fighter jet (Canada's fastest).

CF18 Hornet racing Ferrari Enzo, August 28, 2010 at the Air Force Base in Cold Lake, Alberta.

It was a cold and somewhat dreary day in Cold Lake as we awaited the shuttle bus to arrive.  Two buses served to take attendees to the tarmac where the races were to be held.  Also on site were tours of a tank and the opportunity to shoot the mounted machine gun, static displays, a CF 18 Hornet, an explosive disposal team and more.  

Once destination had been reached, one could check out the static displays or get in place on the tarmac to view the speed trials of over 60 exotic foreign and domestic street legal cars.  The seven fastest cars were selected to race the CF 18 Hornet at 2pm.  A lengthy process which began at 8am that day, it was a very cold sit/stand view.  Five mega screens with speakers were placed along the viewing area.  Winter wear would have made this process more bearable, but I sat snuggled in my sleeping bag which worked fairly well.

2006 Ford GT

Of course the climax of the day was the car vs. jet showdown.  The audience crowded in further still, oblivious to anyone they might be blocking.  Excited to see this spectacle after enduring the cold, showers, bitter wind and the possibility of snow.  Yes, it was frigid enough for it!  For the most part, the jet won! Who would have guessed!  And the couple of races that a car won....who are we kidding....something's up with that!  Still it was exciting to watch!  The vehicle posting the fastest speed was a Ford GT with a recorded speed of 344 km/hr!!

As we parted at the end of it all, it was obvious the drivers hadn't had enough as several of them took another run at the tarmac.  What wouldn't you give to have free run at top speed with no worry of obstacle nor law enforcement?  Especially if your ride were, say, a Maserati or Ferrari or Lamborghini? 

Will this be an annual event?  At this point it has not yet been decided.  It is a definite draw for the community.  Preceding the events Friday and Saturday, Cold Lake main street was lined with the participating cars so one could walk amongst them, take photos and ooh and ahh. The value of one of the cars was about the same as the CF18!!!  Imagine that!!!!!!!!!!

Enzo Lamborghini (above two photos)

CB Spyder

1970 Plymouth GTX "Kong"

Proceeds from the event went to charity including Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Military Families Support Society, Bonnyville Health Foundation, and Hearts for Healthcare.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Despicable Me

I sit near the back in the centre of the theatre.  Surrounding me are several families with young children and a few teenagers.  The wonderful chorus of children's laughter fills the air as the presentation of one of the most delightful 3D Animation films of the year entertains all!

Steve Carrell has been a very busy man, for which I am grateful.  Starring as the main character in Despicable Me, Carrell pulls off a great performance of a wanna be villain complete with accent.

Despicable Me is the story of Gru who, with the aid of the cutest little minions and a mad scientist, is out to be the most villainous scoundrel ever!  When he seeks to steal the moon, he runs into many obstacles, the biggest being three young orphans. 

The 3D animation is terrific and the script is well-written and funny.  This film has appeal for all ages.  My teenage daughter and two friends thoroughly enjoyed the movie, especially the minions!  One of the girls even reached out to touch the ladder extended toward the audience!  The 3D is that good!

Definitely one to see,  I can't wait until it comes out in DVD.  If only technology would catch up in the home theatre market so we can enjoy 3D at home! 

Rated 5/5!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

Set in Viking ages when dragons were the enemy to all Vikings.  That is until one day when young Hiccup, son of a legendary father known for brute strength and courage, shoots a Night Fury.  This dragon is so monstrous and fierce that no one lives to tell about them.  No pictures exist.  Then young aspiring dragon slayer Hiccup befriends the dragon. 

Based on the book, first in a series, by Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon is an animation extravaganza!  I've yet to see it in 3D but absolutely must. 

For all ages alike, this film is a must see and a must-have addition to your library.  Wrought with excellent life lessons, great characterization, and incredible animation, I rate this one 5/5!

Dear John

Starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum
Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks

Yet another very good film based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks.  I am beginning to see a pattern here for myself, a certain leaning towards this author's works and the film adaptations thereof. 

Dear John is the story of John Tyree, a soldier on leave at home, and Savannah Curtis, a student visiting home during spring break.  When he rescues her purse that inadvertently fell into the ocean, the two meet and something clicks.  During the two weeks that follow they are almost inseparable and fall in love.  She must return to school, however, and he must return to his duties.  They promise to write, to tell each other everything.  When the tragedy of 911 hits John's loyalty to his country and the promise he made Savannah to return create a great conflict.  He decides to fight for the cause, hoping Savannah will understand.  But the letters become fewer and further between.  Then one day, the letter arrives.  The letter that changes everything.  Dear John......

I love this movie.  Though it is perhaps not in the ranks of Notebook or Message in a Bottle, this movie tugs at your heart, making you reach for the tissues (something that should always be handy for adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' works).  Well-acted and true to the book, this is a must see.  I added it to my DVD collection.  You may want to too.

Rating 4.5/5

Friday, August 20, 2010

Valentine's Day

Directed by Garry Marshall.  Released in theatres February 12, 2010. 

The February non-holiday; hated by some, endured by others and loved by a few; this Valentine's Day is a romantic comedic look into the lives and loves of people of all ages.

When you don't like Valentine's Day, there's always the "I Hate Valentine's Day" party complete with pinata.  I liked the "open-heart surgery" line here!

Life and love in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day, well it's the same everywhere isn't it.  Either you're in love, looking for love or you've given up on it.  This film is a peek into the lives of ten people, from elementary to seniors, on one day, Valentine's Day.  It is a cute expose`, though it contains some language and adult situations.  In the end it is an assurance that love exists for everyone.

When you find someone better than you, ask her to marry you.

With ten storylines to follow, it gets a tad confusing and the teenage love story between Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift is rather lame and shallow.  Is that the intent of the director or the writers to imply that teenage relationships are shallow? I was disappointed to find the film end with two very good looking men in a same-sex relationship.  But that's society today, isn't it?  All in all, it is a "fluff" piece.  Entertaining but not memorable.

Rated PG-13 for adult situations (partial nudity) and language.

Cast (Cast overview, first billed only)
Jessica Alba ... Morley Clarkson
Kathy Bates ... Susan
Jessica Biel ... Kara Monahan
Bradley Cooper ... Holden Wilson
Eric Dane ... Sean Jackson
Patrick Dempsey ... Dr. Harrison Copeland
Hector Elizondo ... Edgar
Jamie Foxx ... Kelvin Moore
Jennifer Garner ... Julia Fitzpatrick
Topher Grace ... Jason
Anne Hathaway ... Liz
Carter Jenkins ... Alex
Ashton Kutcher ... Reed Bennett
Queen Latifah ... Paula Thomas
Taylor Lautner ... Willy

The sequel to Valentine's Day, "New Year's Eve", will be released December 2011.
Rated 3.5/5 - good evening rental

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Post Grad

Alexis Bledell stars in this romantic comedy about a young girl, a graduate, ready to embark on her career in a publishing house.  She thinks she has everything figured out but the world isn`t what she expects and life isn`t easy as she finds herself unemployed and living with her parents, grandmother and little brother.

Funny and romantic, this movie is quite predictable and not memorable.  The younger audience of high school and university/college grads will appreciate the eye-opener this film can be.  It was great to see Carol Burnett again.  Always a fan of her work!

Cast:  Alexis Bledell, Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett, Jane Lynch, Zach Gilford, Bobby Coleman and Rodrigo Santoro.

Rated 3.5/5  Good rental.

Date Night

Date Night stars Steve Carrell (The Office, Get Smart) and Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock).  Rated PG 13 for crude content, language and depictions of violence.

Action, love, laughter.  This movie has it.  This romantic comedy about a normal, somewhat blasè married couple living in the suburbs with two children is unlike any other.  You'd probably never guess where it's going next which keeps it fresh. 

Phil (Carrell) and Claire (Fey) Foster are looking to spice up their dates beyond potato skins and salmon.  They decide to drive in to the city to dine at a new restaurant "Claw" but, without reservations, they cannot get a table.  When another couple fails to show for their table, Phil and Claire pretend to be them and thus begins a most memorable evening of adventure when they are mistaken for the other couple. 

Steve Carrell, as always, is hilarious and Tina Fey holds her own.  Date Night hit theatres April 9, 2010.  It's a good view if you can ignore the language and sexual innuendos.

Rated 3.5/5

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love in local theatres near you

Eat Pray Love Movie stars Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem and is written and directed by Ryan Murphy.

Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) had everything.  A loving husband, a home, a successful career as a writer and yet she wasn't happy.  She didn't know why.  She only knew she didn't want to be married any longer.  Once her divorce is finalized, she decides to travel for the next year hoping to discover herself and find peace.

Beginning in Italy, she consumes the culture, eating, making lasting friendships and learning to enjoy life by simply being.  Travelling to India, Liz discovers the power of prayer and forgiveness.  Ending her year in Bali, Indonesia, she seeks balance and finds what she was not looking for.  Love.

Initially, I was deeply disappointed in her decision to end her marriage.  Call me a romantic, but it was clear how much her husband loved her. But she was unhappy.  Not that the marriage really made her that way, she just felt something was missing and she didn't know what it was or how to find it.  She said herself, as she explained to her friend, that for years she went from relationship to relationship with men, never having two weeks alone to herself.  Hmmmm.  That speaks of inner discontent, turmoil, a need to find something, but not knowing what that something is.

 At some point in our lives, we all must discover ourselves and what we truly want from this life.  This is Liz's story of her journey towards understanding and self-fulfillment.

The cast is well chosen.  Julia Roberts does an excellent job portraying Liz Gilbert and the supporting cast is very good.  All in all it is quite a good film that makes one ponder their own roles in this life.  Now I have to read the book.

Rated 3.5/5  (nudity and brief language)

'Eat, Pray, Love' Trailer HD

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shrek Forever After 3D

Starring Mike Meyers as Shrek, Cameron Diaz as Fiona, and Eddie Murphy as Donkey.

Released by Dreamworks Animation in 3D.

Shrek, lovable Shrek.  Yes, the villagers love him, his wife and triplets love him and the creatures of fairy tales love him.  So why then is Shrek unhappy?  It grates on his nerves, all this adoration.  What wouldn't he give to be an ogre just one more day?  Perhaps a contract with Rumple? Who?  Stiltskin!!!!!!  Shrek gives one day in his life to have one day as life used to be.  When he could soak in the mud undisturbed by a caravan of "fans".  Frighten the villagers.  Have some "me" time.  When the opportunity presents itself Shrek finds the temptation irresistible.

The 3D animation is well-done (though my glasses were far too large) and the story was enthralling.  But, are you supposed to cry at an animated flick?  I didn't think so!!!  So, call me a baby, whatever!  This film was touching, and like Hook, reminds us of the important things in life.  What does it take to remember what matters most?

Rated:  4.5/5


Last evening our family paid a visit to Neverland via the DVD Hook.  Starring Robin Williams as Peter Banning an overworked lawyer and father of two, with Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell (I like her so much better with long hair!) and Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy Darling.

Yes, the book of Peter Pan was written based on Wendy's adventures.  Wendy, now a grandmother, is being recognized for her work with orphans and Peter and his family fly to be there for the celebration.  While at the ceremony, Peter's son and daughter are kidnapped and Peter must save them.  He must go to Neverland, he must believe, he must battle Captain Hook again, this time for the lives of his children!

I love this version of the story of Peter Pan.  It serves as a reminder to all to never grow old but to live and enjoy life.

Steven Spielberg creates some real magic in this old but never dated nor boring film.  This should be a classic in everyone's library.

Rated  5/5

Monday, August 2, 2010

Something's Gotta Give on DVD

In a new favorite romantic comedy, Something's Gotta Give, divorced and successful playwright Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) has given up on love.  When her daughter Marin (Amanda Peet) visits the gorgeous family home in the Hamptons with her 63 year old boyfriend sparks fly and not just the typical "what's an old man like you doing with my daughter?" but that is the beginning.

Harry is a renowned bachelor with a preference for young women and Erica is a  divorcee accustomed to life on her own with a successful career.  When Harry has a heart attack and Erica takes on the role as caregiver, things change for both of them.
Filmed in the Hamptons in a most gorgeous house, Something's Gotta Give offers comedy and a beautiful story of life and love after 50.  Sure to be a favorite to be enjoyed time and again, I recommend adding this one to your collection.

Rated 4.5/5

Starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Frances McDormand, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet, Jon Favreau

Director Nancy Meyers


Released Production year: 2003

I can't resist sharing photos of the interior of the home.



And the exterior: