Draft Day – Not just for NFL fans

There was something about Draft Day that intrigued me even before all the marketing hype began for it.  I had decided that I was going to see it in theatre, yes in theatre.  That’s a big commitment these days.  The concept for the movie and the lead characters, Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner really interested me.  Now, I’ve been a fan of Jennifer Garner since her days on Alias, so it’s not a tough sell for me to go to a movie with her in it.

I was all prepared to go and check it out in the coming weeks, but then as luck, or Facebook, would have it I won a pass to an advance screening of the movie the other day.  Thanks to eOne, I got to enjoy Draft Day before everyone else and see it for free.  Not bad.  However, after seeing this movie I would have happily paid for it.

Now understand I’m not a fan of the NFL, unless it’s the SuperBowl, but I am a sports fan.  The business of sports is an interesting one and when you add the tension of deadlines like during the draft, it makes it even more exciting.  The movie is all about time, from the count down of 12 hours until the draft, to putting deals on the table and only giving seconds to accept to the pure excitement of being on the clock for the 10 minutes at the draft and making a decision for your team.

It was all of these deadlines and countdowns that really keep this movie moving.  In between those deadlines comes the other side of the story, the one about family, history, love and dealing with life’s little surprises that offer people a chance to show what they are truly made of.

Now don’t get me wrong, this movie is about sports and sports is the core of it all.  But, an important part of sport is family.  Your family on the field, the one at home, the fans and the possibility of a family.  That’s what sport is all about.  Without the support of all those types of family you don’t really have much.

The lead and supporting roles in Draft Day are well cast.  And the women in this film are strong women in the very male dominated world of sport.  There’s a little good comic relief, lots of stress and excitement which keeps this movie moving a very good pace.  It’s definitely a movie that I will enjoy watching again down the road, as it is a timeless story.  When it comes to sport many are.

So if you are an NFL fan, then this is a no-brainer, you must go. If you like sport in any way, then you should go. And if you like a good story, then why not.  If you can’t make it to theatre, then definitely put it on your list to watch late.

What I’ll be watching this 2013 TV season.

It’s is coming up on the most wonderful time of the year, season premiere season.  Gee, I feel like I’ve said that before.  But, it truly is.  All the excitement of the fresh new shows.  The return of your old favourites and maybe some new ones you’ve picked up in the off season.

You wonder which shows to include in your viewing schedule?  Which ones you should by-pass?  And which ones you will leave until the off season or until recommendations from your other friends who are just addicted to TV as you?

We can’t watch them all and we definitely can’t PVR (DVR) them all.  So what to do?  Well, I’ve put together my choices for new shows that I’ll be giving a chance, at least at the beginning, this season.  Would love to know what yours are.

This TV season looks like the theme is the return of favourite actors from days gone by.  From Robin Williams to Michael J. Fox to Allison Janney and more.  With great credentials like these actors have and memories of how they made me laugh before, I will give their shows a chance.

The new show Mom with Allison Janney, who I love in comedic roles, and the hilarious Anna Faris is definitely on my list.  Really looking forward to this one based on the previews and the cast.

 

The cast of The Crazy Ones brings together a few old favourites.  Some that go much further back than others.  Back to the days of Nanu Nanu.  Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Hamish Linklater, who I loved in the The New Adventures of Old Christine.

 

Taking a bit of a break from comedy, I’m thinking that I will give Hostages a chance, thanks to the great casting which includes the awesome Toni Collette.

 

Really, I don’t have to say much more than Michael J. Fox.  The Michael J. Fox Show is near the top of list for me this season.

 

As the season of favourite actors from years gone by continues, up comes Sean Saves the World with the hilarious Sean Hayes and the one and only Linda Lavin who played Alice in one of my childhood favs, Alice.  Kiss my Grits!

 

I’m liking the cast of Trophy Wife, as another West Wing actor returns to TV, Bradley Whitford, plus the funny Malin Ackerman and straight shooter Marsha Gay Harden along with a few others.  This one has some potential I think.

 

What are you all thinking of this new James Caan comedy, Back in the Game?  Are you going to give it a try?  I like him and the kids look like they’ll be funny.  The cast looks like it’s got some funny characters.  I’ll give it a whirl, at least the first week or two.

 

I’m not 100% sure about this choice, but as a lover of the sarcasm of James Spader from his Boston Legal days (one of the best shows), I’m considering this show, The Black List, on a very trial basis.

 

So I ask this again, what are you thinking about watching this season?  Would love to know and as the season begins tell me how you are feeling about the shows you’re watching and tell me what I might be missing out on.

Happy TV watching!

 

Before Midnight – 18 years and 3 movies later

Back in 1994 I enjoyed a summer living in the UK during university.  I was working and traveling around.  Much of it by train.  Train travel has a certain romance to it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that has romanticized meeting a someone while watching the countryside go by, falling into deep conversations about the most interesting topics and then having that moment when you have to make the decision to continue on your trip or take a chance and get off the train with them.  Well, that did happen.  Only it happened in a movie that following year.  That movie was ‘Before Sunrise‘ with Ethan Hawke (Jesse) and Julie Delpy (Celine). Here’s the trailer to remind you.

This movie was so unique.  It was completely based on intense dialogue between only two characters, in one day of their life.  The backdrop of the beautiful city of Vienna that they walked through played the interesting 3rd character.  ‘Before Sunrise’ for me was perfect timing to remind me of what I, and many of my traveling friends, had felt or dreamed while traveling that previous summer.

Then smartly, nine years later, director Richard Linklater, brought Ethan and Julie back together.  They wrote the a movie that was real time, nine years later in these 2 characters lives.  Each of them had moved on with their lives, but never forgot that moment in time ‘Before Sunrise’. As Jesse and Celine’s paths cross again in Paris, we get to enjoy the intense dialogue between these two in ‘Before Sunset‘.  Over the nine years their lives had definitely changed, but love is love.

Then again, nine years later, Richard, Ethan and Julie came together to give us the next stage in these two people’s lives with the new movie ‘Before Midnight‘. This time set in a small town in Greece, we welcome a few more minor characters as these two people’s lives have now grown together.  Children, careers, lives and intense love all play a big part in this third installment.  Just like the previous two movies, Jesse and Celine give us real dialogue as they walk/travel through gorgeous scenery, which is still playing that important third character of the movie.

I’m not sure what it is about these movies, as my life has not taken anything close to the same path as Jesse and Celine.  Maybe it’s because we are similar ages in each.  Possibly my love of travel.  Or how I romanticize travel and what that first movie represented to me. But I really enjoy these three movies, as I don’t find that I can be as drawn into certain movies, nor find such dialogue intense movies, like these.  I know that many will not feel as I do, but there is just something about having these movies as a constant during my adulthood growing up years (yes we continue to grow up as an adult). These characters have come back into my life every nine years and have offered me an interesting view on life (maybe not mine), while making me stop to remember that very first movie and that time in my life.

 

Hangover 3 – One Last Adventure for the Wolfpack

Did you love the first two?  Maybe you loved the first one, then watched the second because of your love for the first.  Well, you should then definitely go and see this LAST one.  I loved the first two (first more than second), so I had to figure out a way to see it on the first full day it opened.  And it was exactly what I hoped for in this final installment of the coming together of the Wolfpack.  And sadly, but happily, that’s it.  No more Hangover movies.  That’s the way to go out.  Not by dying out with the Hangover 12 when we see their kids meeting up with a grown up ‘Carlos’ for a stag in Vegas.

This one focuses more on story lines for Alan and Mr. Chow.  With the incredible support of Phil and Stu, the Wolfpack ensemble make their mark again with The Hangover III. But, don’t forget Doug , who plays a role that he has played through out the other two films.  You know what I mean, right?

I found that the first part was funny, but more story building than hilarious.  Some of which you see in the trailer with the giraffe, Alan singing like an angel and the crying.  But it’s that situation of putting the Wolfpack back together and hitting the open road.  I won’t tell you more or why they are together, but it’s when those 4 are together that trouble finds them and the movie truly starts!  Plus add Chow to the equation and watch the trouble explode.

The addition of John Goodman , who I must say is on fire these days with roles in Argo, Flight, Trouble with the Curve and much more, plays just the right role.  And inviting Melissa McCarthy into the mix was pure genius.  She makes all comedies so much better.  I love her style of comedy!

With the return of a few that you probably already know about and ones that you wouldn’t expect, wraps this last installment up well.  I must say that there were some surprises for me.  I thought that I had figured out the story by watching the trailer, but happily I hadn’t which made it very enjoyable.

I won’t spoil anymore of the movie for you.  Because if you saw the first two, you will definitely see this one.  And if you didn’t see either or both of the first two, you won’t see this one.  So you’re not interested in what I have to say anyways.

They only advice I will give though, and this should just be obvious if you saw Hangover 1 or 2, don’t leave the theatre right at the end of the movie.  Wait for a bit.  It will be completely worth it.  I laughed the hardest at what comes part way through the credits.  But, also know you don’t have to stay to the very end of the credits, just part way.  FANTASTIC!

One last point, Bradley Cooper‘s hair looks incredible in the movie.  Wow!

 

Memorable videos of 2012

2012 has been another great year of viral videos.  I’ve put together a blog of some of my favourites of this year (and maybe one or two from a few years ago).  Grab a drink and sit back and enjoy.  Please share your favourites with us!

 

 

And a favourite from 2010, but I only just saw it for the first time in 2012.

Please share some of your favourites with us!

Happy New Year and all the best in 2013!

Check out “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

Just saw the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi“, and now I’m definitely dreaming of sushi.  What I can say up front is DO NOT go to this documentary on an empty stomach, as you will leave with your mouth salivating even more than mine was on a full stomach.

The story of this incredible 85 year old sushi master is one to marvel at and enjoy.  From being on his own as a very young child to having a small sushi restaurant that receives 3 Michelin Stars on a regular basis.  He expects everyone that comes to work with him to put in a minimum of 10 years of learning as they start at the bottom and work their way, not to the top, but to being recognized as someone with potential to be good and maybe one day, great.

Jiro’s philosophies are definitely ones to listen to and learn from.  Even though his life has mostly been about sushi, his lessons apply to all of us and we can grow as people and in our careers by looking at the man behind the sushi, not just the man making it.

This documentary will make you want to book a trip to Tokyo and stop in to enjoy a meal at Jiro’s sushi bar.  But, reservations are expected and only accepted a month before you want to eat there.  Plus, meals start at 30,000 yen and there are no drinks and no appetizers.

It’s definitely on my list for my next trip to Tokyo.  But in the mean time, the movie is playing at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto and probably somewhere near you at a specialty theatre.


 

 

Don’t tease us Ferris Bueller!

Last week some of us saw the following teaser for what we could have hoped was going to be a “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” sequel.

But we all knew in our hearts that it wouldn’t happen.  And really didn’t want a great memory like that to be ruined with a full feature sequel.  Then Monday rolls around and we got a special treat, even if it is a commercial for Honda.   Ferris Bueller playing games again.  This time to get out of work.

Smart move by Honda though.  Spot on concept, as the demographic that enjoyed this movie back in the 80s, is just that who’s driving the Honda CR-V now.

If you haven’t seen it, enjoy!

Did you see all the references to the original movie?  No?  Check them out here.  Were any others missed?

Now if this movie were ever to be remade, as so many movies are these days, it would definitely be a lot shorter with all the modern technology.  Just imagine with all the social media (FB, Foursquare, Twitter, etc) and GPS, Ferris would have been located in seconds.  Imagine the scene, Principal calls mother to tell her that Ferris isn’t at school, mother checks Foursquare, FB and Twitter, minutes later Ferris is located and caught.  Or even before all of this, sister Jeanie would have located him, tweeted, facebooked to rat him out.

Thank goodness we didn’t have any of that in the 80s, as this movie changed our lives.  And thank you Honda for reminding us of such a great movie and getting the real Ferris to participate!  SAVE FERRIS!

It’s so easy to love Crazy, Stupid, Love.

How do you choose who you love more in this movie?  Do you love Steve Carell, or Emma Stone, maybe Julianne Moore or Ryan Gosling?  Well, it’s not hard to guess who, or is it?  I could say that I loved all of them for unique reasons…But what about the surprise appearances by Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei and who’s that, Josh Groban.  You don’t have to choose.  They are all great together.

I do suppose that most of us are liking some Ryan and his “Photoshopped” body a bit more than the others.  But, it’s the story, the acting, the chemistry, that make this an incredible movie.

Steve Carell plays a perfect man trying to figure out his new 40 something life.  Very similar to his Dan in Real Life character, but in no way a repeat of that character.  He combines traits of all the characters that we loved him playing.  Dan, Michael, Andy, Phil and even some Frank.  Maybe it is that he’s just playing a great Cal Weaver?

Ryan Gosling (Jacob) has really no problem in the role of the playboy, suave, womanizer.  But, there is a story at the core of his character that he’s really just looking to share.  Like many of us, it’s much easier to fix others than ourselves, so he takes on the job of helping the less fortune in the suave department.  In this case, Cal Weaver.  Maybe Jacob is looking for something more and trying to help some one who is long gone.  Plus, his conquests are just that and truly don’t care until Hannah, played by the incredible Emma Stone (who is quite the well deserving “it” girl right now) comes along.  You wouldn’t think it in the beginning or even after the rain, but she’s the life changing girl.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is full of very entertaining and ever changing love triangles.  Even unexpected ones.  I think that’s what I truly loved about this movie was the surprises.  So many things I just never saw coming.  Recently so many movies have been so predictable.  You know what all the upcoming lines/scenes are probably going to be.  But not with Crazy, Stupid, Love.  It’s unique.  Finally, thank you!!!

There are some great scene stealers in the children of this movie, especially the son Robbie, played by Jonah Bobo.  It’s the lesson from that 13 year old which is the true meaning of this movie, “Soul Mates”.  An interest idea or concept, but something that I think we all hope and dream off, but have trouble logically believing.  This movie might help you believe a bit more.  Ahh, if life was only a movie!

Crazy, Stupid, Love is well worth seeing and to be happily surprised by.  Enjoy!

 

Hangover 2 – Great time in Bangkok!

Thanks for the memories, or lack there of, Bangkok!

The Hangover 2 was another wonderful trip.  Not sure yet if I loved it as much as the first one, but I enjoyed it.  And I’m still smiling as I think about it.

Like I’m sure you know, if you are fan, the Wolfpack is back in full form.  Thanks to a last minute decision to invite Alan, they were all together again.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to give too much of the movie away.  I think that we all know what sort of happens, if you saw the first one.  New city, new people to lose, same problems (sort of) and same Alan (Zach).  Oh Alan, you’re so funny!

After following the story of the Hangover 2 pretty much since the end of the first Hangover, there were some additions I didn’t expect and some that I did but they didn’t materialize.   Maybe I need to see it again to be 100% sure.  Wait, I’m 100% sure that I’ll see it again.

Best line from the movie does come from Alan, “We love to party”.  He does have a knack to say things at the most inappropriate times.  Just wait for it.  This time for Alan, it’s not a baby that he becomes attached to but an incredible monkey.  Now she (playing a boy monkey) does steal the scenes she’s in.  Who doesn’t love a monkey smoking?

We are blessed with another wonderful song from Stu (Ed Helms) this time strumming the guitar.  He can really summarize a situation in a lovely song while cruising down a river in Bangkok.  Sadly Doug, isn’t that involved again, but don’t worry there’s someone else to lose.

I will say just a few more things without giving away too much.  Chow is back and as crazy as ever and their good friend Mike Tyson makes his mark one this movie, not just through the copied tattoo on Stu’s face.

Thank you Wolfpack.  You know how to party.

Wait, did I just forget to mention Phil (Bradley Cooper)?  I can’t believe it.  Phil was great like always.  I love him and the way that he thinks and reacts in these situations.  Plus he is not too hard to look at.

Now, thank you Wolfpack!

I’m still laughing as I watch the trailer again.

Just finished Dick Van Dyke’s Memoir – what a read!

Sadly, I just finished reading Dick Van Dyke‘s memoir, “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business“.  Sad not because it was a bad read, but because it was over.  I just so enjoyed his stories.

I’ve loved Dick Van Dyke for as long as I can remember.  Watching reruns of The Dick Van Dyke show growing up and of course Mary Poppins plus Chitty Chitty Bang and numerous other guest spots, movies and specials.

Mary Poppins

The Dick Van Dyke Show

This book has Mr. Van Dyke reflecting back on his life and the people he met along the way.   Plus the interesting characters he worked with and stories about his life and family outside of show business. Starting back in Danville, Illinois growing up with his brother Jerry, joining the Air Force and his foray into entertaining after some unsuccessful try’s at things like selling shoes.

Mr. Van Dyke has worked all over the US on stage, all different kinds of them, on the big screen and of course on the small screen.  Plus years on radio and in clubs.   He was lucky enough to find love with two wonderful women, not at the same time, but at the right times for both.  Plus he had 4 lovely children and now multiple grand children and great children.

Most of us fans know a lot about what Dick Van Dyke starred in over the years, but it’s the memories that he shares with us and the stories of the people he met that truly make this book a treasure.

Mr Carl Reiner, a man who changed Dick Van Dyke’s life, does a lovely opening to the book.  I guess that Mr. Van Dyke did the same for him years ago.  They are both so appreciative of the role that each other played in the other’s life.

I won’t go on too much about this book, as I think you should read it.  If you are a fan or just want to hear about what life was like as times changed over the years in show business, as told by a true super star, professional entertainer and all round great man, this is the book for you.