Thursday, September 23, 2010

Daybreakers DVD

Starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Sam Neill

It's the year 2019 and human population is dwindling.  It all started with one bat, then vampire after vampire until soon humans were farmed for their blood supply because there were too few left on the earth.  One doctor, a vampire, has empathy.  One vampire seeks a cure.  One vampire can be trusted. 

The vampires are mutating from a lack of human blood supply and Edward Dalton's job is to find a temporary replacement for the blood until more humans can be farmed, as per Edward's boss', Charles Bromley (Sam Neill) instructions.  Times are frantic, there is panic and violence ensues. 

Audrey Bennett (Claudia Karvan) and Lionel 'Elvis' Cormac, a covert group of humans in hiding, are leading the human mission for a cure.  They have the right idea but they must find help and enlist Edward in their pursuit.  But is it too late?

This thriller has an interesting storyline but is filled (and I do mean filled) with language, graphic violence, brief nudity and blood scenes.  If you are at all adverse to this, like me, avoid this film.  Rated R (unbeknownst to me when I began watching). 

Rated 2/5

Confessions of Shopaholic on DVD and Blu-Ray

I'm a bit late with a review of this funny chick flick but having just read the book, I just had to watch the movie yet again.  Yes, I find enjoyment in this movie enough to watch it more than once.  A few times, in fact.  My teenage daughter loves it for the fashion, I for the romantic comedy.  They couldn't have chosen a better lead actress, Isla Fisher, for the role of Rebecca Bloomwood.  Funny and vivacious, she makes you laugh at her schemes to avoid the bill collectors, namely Derek Smeath.

Gucci, Prada, D&G, Chanel....Rebecca (Becky) loves fashion and finds the windows of her favourite shops too compelling to avoid.  Credit card in hand, she buys because for a few moments all is right in her world.  She deserves a little treat afterall, doesn't she?

Based on the bestselling novel, Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, this film is funny and poignant but is also a reminder to oneself about financial goals and the pitfalls of debt.  See my blog for the book review.

If you love comedy, romance and/or fashion, you'll love this movie.

Rated 5/5


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leap Year - now available on DVD and Blu-ray

Matthew Goode and Amy Adams (Julie and Julia) star in this romantic comedy with more twists and laughs than I've seen in a long time.  The ending may be predictable however the plot certainly isn't.  I like that in a movie!  Not your same ol same ol, if you know what I mean.

Anna (Amy Adams) has been dating Jeremy (Adam Scott) for four years with no sign of a proposal in sight.  Her father reminds her of how her Grandmother proposed to her man on February 29, Leap Year, in Ireland.  Remembering this, Anna decides to take matters into her own hands when the proposal she expects turns out to be diamond earrings.  She decides to follow family tradition and travel to Ireland to pop the question.

What happens after she arrives is one event/obstacle after another that will make you laugh despite feeling sorry for the poor girl.  After a storm reroutes her flight to Wales Anna must find a means to get to Dublin to meet Jeremy who is attending a cardiology convention.  She hires a boat to cross the stormy sea and finds herself at a pub/inn/restaurant in search of a taxi.  Declan, the unsuspecting (very good looking) Irish pub owner/cook/taxi driver ends up escorting her across the countryside.  And the fun begins. 

Anna herds cattle in $600 dollar shoes which Declan assures her will come clean in the wash, she hikes up a hillside to see a castle, falls and slides through mud, thus missing her train.  Masquerades as a married couple and, well, I don't want this to be a spoiler.  

A fun and entertaining film which I must find to purchase on DVD.  Not just another chick flick.
Rated 5/5

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Scenic Sunday

For the first time ever, Adventures in a Not So Unusual Life is joining the meme Scenic Sunday.  This photo was taken at Cold Lake during vacation there this August. 
Scenic Sunday

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Watery Wednesday

Sylvan Lake, Alberta, August 2010. These balls which now serve as amusement on the lake are inflatable and hold enough oxygen for 6 hours if you are still or 2 hours if you are thrashing about. They were developed by the military to serve as aids to ocean rescues. They make for great fun on a hot summer day! In the background is the water park.

Join for more watery Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jurassic Forest

Jurassic Forest is located just north of Gibbons Alberta and opened July 2010.  It is a privately funded and operated 40-acre exhibition of prehistoric life presented in a modern day forest.  Fun for the entire family, Jurassic Forest has a children's play area, a north and south trail with excellent informative signage and mechanical dinosaurs, a store, picnic area and concession.  We thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Posted here are a few choice photos to entice you to visit this wonderland of prehistoria.

See for admission rates and hours of operation.

Charlie St. Cloud

Starring Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, Donal Logue, Charlie Tahan, Ray Liotta, and Kim Basinger. Directed by Burr Steers.

Charlie St. Cloud is a romantic drama about a young man, Charlie, who survives a car crash which takes his brother Sam's life.  Charlie flat lines in the ambulance and a paramedic brings him back giving Charlie a second chance to discover a unique way of looking at life. 

Charlie mourns his brother's death for five years, putting aside his Stanford scholarship and his love of sailing to work as caretaker in the cemetery where Sam is buried.  Every day, as promised, Charlie meets Sam at sunset to play catch in the woods.  Then one day Tess, a highschool classmate, returns from a sail and catches Charlie's eye.  Falling for each other, Tess ignites again Charlie's passion for sailing and for life.  Then in a bad storm Tess disappears while testing her boat sailing into a storm and is feared dead.  Can Charlie find her and will his knowledge of sailing be enough? 

Tess rekindles Charlie's passion for life and with Sam's help, Charlie is able to find the courage to move on, to find that the soul worth saving is his own. 

This is a nice twist to the romantic drama genre.  The cast was well selected and the story unique and riveting.  Charlie St. Cloud is a film adaptation of the novel "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud" by author Ben Sherwood.

“trust your heart

if the seas catch fire

(and live by love

though the stars walk backward)”

—E.E. Cummings, Dive for Dreams
My teenage daughter and I both enjoyed this movie.  Bring tissues!  There is a suggestive scene between Charlie and Tess although it is not revealing and the accident scene may be too vivid for children thus the PG13 rating.  Rated PG13 for intense accident scene, language including sexual references and sensuality.
Rated 4.5/5 
Buying this one to add to the collection.  Now I want to read the novel!

Charlie St. Cloud Official Trailer (HD) - Zac Efron

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No Country for Old Men

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson
Director: Ethan Coen , Joel Coen
Genre:  Action and Adventure, Suspense
Based on the novel written by Cormac McCarthy. 

Near Rio Grande, a hunter stumbles upon a violent scene with dead bodies, another's life in peril, drugs and an attache full of money.  Violence ensues as he is hunted down and anyone involved in the matter is hunted and gruesomely disposed of.  A sheriff ready for retirement can't catch up with the man behind the massacre.  He knows this killer.  He once had arrested him but he escaped and now the sheriff seems to always be one step behind, cleaning up after him. 

No Country for Old Men is twisted and violent. The violence is quite graphic and, in most cases, unprovoked.  This killer has no qualms in executing his victims as he carries on in search of the one who holds the money.

Rated 18A for graphic violence and language.  I can't believe I watched it!  I give this a 1/5. 

Pizza Hut - Chicken Spin Rolls

It was a cold evening in Cold Lake.  Hungry, we decided unanimously upon Pizza Hut.  What's this, the air conditioning was on?  After returning to the vehicle for jackets, we were greeted by a friendly waiter who brought us a pitcher of root beer and took our order.  We ordered a half/half pizza, namely one-half was the Mediterranean and the other half was a Deluxe.  The pizza was good but it was our entree that stole the show!  Chicken Spin Rolls!  Such a delightful, mouthwatering accompaniment, because that is what it ended up being as it arrived the same time as our pizza order! 

Chicken Spin Rolls are a decadent, tantalizing dish comprised of tortilla shells rolled and filled with a mix of chicken breast, pesto and a creamy sauce with mushrooms and garlic.  The rolls are coated in Parmesan cheese and baked.  Served with a dipping sauce similar to a marinara, it is delicious!  Mmmmm, my mouth waters just thinking about it!  Seriously, it was a hit. 

A single order of chicken spin rolls to go.  The photo doesn't do them justice.

So this weekend, here in Edmonton we ordered it again.  Alas, the pesto was forgotten!  We consumed an order of it just the same and then Monday night, discovering we had company coming, we went and picked up a triple order and they were a hit folks!  This time they included the pesto in the filling, making all the difference!

This is a must try!  Apparently they've been on the menu for some time.  Where have we been?  Note, we really don't eat out that often as you can tell from previous posts so this weekend was definitely an exception.