Sunday, March 31, 2013

'The Walking Dead' Season 3 Finale Review: A Tale of Two Leaders

The Walking Dead Season 3 finale unleashed the war we've been waiting for.  It delivered on the action, but it ended up being about so much more.  One of the major storylines was the parallel between Rick and Governor.  Tonight we finally found out how different the two leaders were.  I give an in-depth look at the two leaders in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Ep. 7 Recap: Feel the Power of Phillip

Is Phillip the strongest man in the world?  No.  But in the latest Survivor Caramoan, Phillip shows off his strength by arm wrestling a scrawny tribemate. Then he does a bunch of other crazy stuff.  What kind of stuff?  Find out in my latest recap for BuddyTV.

Mid-Week Breakdown Podcast: Can "Olympus Has Fallen" Rise Up in the Box Office?

Scott and I return mid-week once again with another look at the box office.  We offer our in-depth analysis of the winners and losers of this past weekend.  We then discuss and predict how the new releases will do on this upcoming Easter weekend.  We also serve up reviews for two newly released films.  It can be hard to find out about the limited release films, so we also give previews of those motion pictures.

It is a fun time of discussing cinema.  If you enjoy it then please pass it on to others.  As always, we welcome comments and feedback.


Admission Review: Is It Worth Acceptance into the School of Great Cinema?

Trying to get into the university or college of your choice is a stressful time.  It is hell writing an application that you hope will get you ahead of the pack.  Though it is a very significant moment at the time, it may not be an event you think about often or really want to.  But in the latest film Admission, we take a look at the person who decides your university fate.  Is this the material begging to be a dramatic comedy?  It helps that it has the incredibly likable and talented Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.  Director Paul Weitz has the pedigree of making great dramatic comedies, such as About a Boy.  Is this all enough to make a top of the class movie?  Find out in my latest Collective Publishing film review.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Revisiting Jackie Brown Podcast: Did She Get a Raw Deal Back in 1997?

I must confess; I didn't really like Jackie Brown when I first saw it.  I had seen Pulp Fiction, and was likely expecting something with that intensity, action, and violence.  But I also wasn't the only person back then that didn't fall in love with Jackie Brown.  It didn't make near the amount that Pulp Fiction did at the box office. It got some great reviews such as Roger Ebert who called it one of the best films of 1997.  But for the most part, it was one of Tarantino's less praised films.

Like a fine wine, the opinion of Jackie Brown has aged well.  Many film buffs hold it up as a classic.  I've read some glowing reviews of the film in the past few years.  It started making me think if I need to give the film a second chance.  It got me reconsidering my review from way back during a time I was barely out of high school. 

This is why Scott and I revisited Jackie Brown.  Our podcast will look at the time period of 1997 and analyze the hit films of the time.  We'll discuss the reasons that Jackie Brown was not a hit at the time.  We then review the film, look at how it influenced proceeding films, and where it stands in the historic cinematic landscape.  Most importantly, we decide if we were right the first time, or if Jackie Brown deserves to be known as a great motion picture.

Please check out this podcast dissecting a past film.  If you love it, then please pass it on to others.  As always, feel free to leave feedback or comments.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Walking Dead Ep. 15 Review: Merle's Moment of Redemption

I've been complaining that the last few weeks of The Walking Dead have been dragging.  I'm also beginning to suspect the built up Woodbury vs. Prison war isn't going to happen.  But this week we may not have got a war, but we got things like plot and character development.  It was pretty major stuff too.  I detail all the highlights in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Ep. 6 Recap: Aw Geez, I Can't Just Call Them Fans and Favourites Now

Survivor Caramoan shakes up the tribes this week.  Any long time fans know what that means.  You may not have expected it also means possible initiation into the elite "Stealth R Us."  But you probably did expect it allows for even more Phillip craziness.  This kind of crazy is exactly what makes this season so great.  You can read about all the highlights along with my thoughts in my latest recap for BuddyTV.

Mid-Week Breakdown Podcast: Will Oz the Great and Powerful Continue to Weave Magic at the Box Office?

Scott and I return with another discussion on the results of last weekend's box office, and predictions for this coming weekend.  We analyze and breakdown all the elements that led to the successes and failure of the currently released films.  Then we look at the box office chances for the new slot of big films this weekend.  It should be a huge weekend coming up, and we give a deep analysis of each of the wide release films.

We don't just discuss that.  We also offer up two film reviews, look at the limited releases, and discuss the current state of the action genre.  It is a great show for all film fans that enjoy talk about history and film relevance.  Plus it is fun.  Don't you love fun?

If you enjoy it then please share it with others.  As always, we would love your comments and feedback.


The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Film Review: Can It Pull a Funny Movie Out of Its Hat?

The highest grossing film up until this past weekend was a comedy, Identity Thief.  This was proof that a comedy can still draw an audience to the theatres.  It would also make you think a comedy with two of the biggest film comedians of the past two decade would draw a horde of film goers.  Steve Carell and Jim Carrey have become rivals on the big screen once again, and the last time it created the big hit Bruce Almighty.

The box office has already shown that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a flop.  This either means the two stars don't have the power they once possessed or that they were in a film with a story that no one wanted to see.  It is a well-worn and formulaic story that heavily borrows from Talladega Nights (just replace the car racing with magic shows).  But Identity Thief isn't an original concept either and was a very flawed film, yet I still gave it a relatively positive review.

Can The Incredible Burt Wonderstone turn an unoriginal concept into an engaging and funny film?  Does it have want it takes to weave cinematic magic?  Find out in my latest film review for Collective Publishing.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Step One Towards Everett No Longer Needing His Daddy

He already has his own set of wheels.  As you can see, he is quite happy and comfortable behind the steering wheel (toy handle).  I'm slowly drifting away from the territory of usefulness.

The Spoiler Room of Oz the Great and Powerful Podcast

Scott and I return with a further and deeper look at Oz the Great and Powerful.  We are a little hard on the film this episode, but we also offer up a fair share of love.  If you haven't seen the film, then you may want to hold off.  We dish out tons of spoilers.  We talk about our favourite scenes, dissect plot holes, and talk about the significance of the film.  It is a fun hour talking about the first major blockbuster of the year.

Give it a listen, and if you enjoy it, please pass it on to a friend.  As always, we encourage feedback and comments.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

'The Walking Dead' Ep. 14 Review: Nothing Like a Game of Hide and Seek

The stretching out before the war continues.  I am starting to doubt it even will happen this season.  But at least this week had some real and interesting character development.  Plus we had a show long game of "hide and seek", which is always what you want during the zombie apocalypse.  I recap all the action over at BuddyTV.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Ep. 5 Recap: The Great Meltdown

Does Caramoan have any nuclear power plants?  Because there was a dangerous meltdown on tonight's episode of Survivor CaramoanI recount all the craziness in my latest recap for BuddyTV.

Mid-Week Breakdown Podcast: Was Oz the Great and Powerful a Real Success?

Scott and I return with yet another podcast to get you through the rest of your week.  In what will be the Mid-Week Breakdown tradition, we analyze the results from the previous weekend's box office and then offer up predictions for the coming weekend.  We also take an in-depth look into the factors that caused a film to be a hit or a flop.

After that discussion, we do quick reviews of some classic films such as The Wizard of Oz and The Omen.  We discuss what made those films iconic and then compare it to current cinema.  I'll also take a look at some of the upcoming limited release films for those with access.

It is a podcast jammed with film talk, which is great for the movie buff looking for something to get them through the work day.  If you enjoy it then please pass it on to other film lovers.  As always, we welcome feedback and comments.


Oz the Great and Powerful Film Review: Is This Wizard Worth Seeing?

March has recently become the month where some studios release their first major tentpole film.  Disney is hoping for a major blockbuster in Oz the Great and Powerful.  2013 could really use a massive hit.  But is it really worth going off to see the wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz?  Well, that is exactly the answer I provide in my latest film review for Collective Publishing.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Breakdown of Oz the Great and Powerful Podcast

Oz the Great and Powerful is the first big blockbuster film of 2013.  This is the year that really needs a box office smash.  But is this a movie that you should actually help achieve success?  Scott and I break down all the different aspect of this film.  We look at the trailer and critical reviews, and analyze those aspects.  We talk about the rich history of the Oz franchise.  We also predict the success of the film.

Then we actually watch the film, and then return to compare how close the actual film is to the marketing and hype.  Of course, we also offer up our reviews of this film aspiring to be an epic.

It is our largest podcast ever, and offers more depth than any other film podcast out there.  It breaks down all the different elements of the film, and really analyzes the success and failure of the film.

Please check it out, and enjoy it while you do your Monday things.  If you like what you hear, then the best form of payment and appreciation would be the spread the word to others.  As always, we welcome all feedback and comments.

The Walking Dead Episode 13 Review: Welcome to the First Hour of The Talking Dead

I'm a huge fan of character development.  I am not someone that needs nonstop action in my TV series.  Actually, I'm usually a bigger fan of the human emotion and seeing how a person responds to a dreadful situation.  The Walking Dead is a show that allows for many of those situations to possibly happen and force the character to develop in a unique way.  But a unique way isn't several straight episodes of discussions disguised as story and character development where nothing actually ever develops.

This is the rut The Walking Dead is stuck in.  They likely have a killer finale planned, but we're now forced to put up with several filler episodes.  Tonight seems to be the latest instance of biding time until the epic war.  But there are still things worth reading about, even if it is my own ranting against the current state.  You can check out all my thought in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Friday, March 08, 2013

I Would Line Up for this Version of Iron Man 3

I am most likely going to end up reviewing Iron Man 3.  It will be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer, and capitalizing on people's super duper huge interest is what I do.  But I'm pretty stoked to see it because the trailers have been pretty top notch and it looks like a special effects extravaganza that will also serve up a healthy dose of complicated hero wrestling with inner torture.  Plus bad guy Ben Kingsley.  And most likely bad guy Guy Pearce.  Of course, this is the first follow up to the pretty awesome The Avengers.

But yeah, the trailers are an example of how you get someone pumped for a big blockbuster, because it told a story but also didn't give away the whole plot.  I'm intrigued why the suits are attacking Starks or blowing up or why he is out dragging one in the cold.  And I could actually go on and on about this.

Instead, I'll point you to a trailer that isn't fully endorsed by Disney or Marvel.

So yeah, you may have figured out at some point that isn't the official trailer.  The people at CineFix did a rather impressive job of making a homemade shot for shot trailer.  I'd be totally down for their version of the film.

I planned to show you the actual trailer they mimicked so you could compare, except it was the first one and now I can't find it.  There has been about a bazillion Iron Man 3 trailers since that one.  Even one with Don Cheadle in an Iron Man suit, which is another reason to see the movie.  Anyway, you'll just have to trust me they did a good job capturing that trailer shot for shot.

Iron Man 3 trailers are easy to find.  You can probably find the one I mentioned if you're not lazy like me.  But instead, here is a trailer to possibly the first Shia Labeouf film that I've ever wanted to see, The Company You Keep.  This looks like a good old fashioned dramatic thriller with deep and complicated characters.  I'm just as excited for this.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

RIP Stompin' Tom Connors: Canada Says Good Bye to an Icon

In Grade 1, my teacher would occasionally play music.  It was usually either Christian music or children songs, which is understandable since the school was Christian-based and most attendees in a Grade 1 class would be children.  One day she played a song that was being sung by a guy who didn't have the typical soft and cheery voice that was being accompanied by a legion of children backup singers.  It was just one older sounding guy with a guitar and what to 6 year old me thought must be country music.  It sounded like a song about the adventures of a walking potato, maybe the cousin of Mr. Potato Head, or at least, this is where my imagination took me.  The song was Bud the Spud and the singer of course was Canadian legend, Stompin' Tom Connor.

Last night a Canadian institution, Stompin' Tom, passed away.  A man who is a national treasure.  He is one of the distinctly Canadian gems that every citizen of this country knows about, but is almost unknown once you cross these borders.  Stompin' Tom didn't care about having any prominence outside of his home country.  He was a fiercely patriotic Canadian, which is a rare thing.  He decided to sing about very Canadian things.  He resonated with his fellow countrymen.  He connected with thousands upon thousands.  There are many who never went to any of his concerts or would ever call themselves a fan, but still felt a swift blow to the gut when hearing about the passing of a legitimate legend.

It is almost impossible to go to a live hockey game in this country and not hear the famous voice of Stompin' Tom.  The Hockey Song has been blared in every hockey arena in Canada, and any hockey fan can probably recite every word.  This is the anthem for hockey games.  Sure, it is nice to hear O Canada, but to some hockey fans The Hockey Song is the real national anthem.  In most sporting events, the sound guy will blare out some hard rock to get the crowd pumped and ready to root on the home team.  In Canada, it is this little folk song that lights up the crowd and creates an energy that no other song could hope to achieve.

I admit that I probably haven't listened to a Stompin' Tom song close to 20 years.  He wasn't my style of recreational listening.  But as I think about him now, several of his classic songs rush to my mind.  He knew how to create catchy and fun music that sticks with you for a lifetime.  My teacher played a lot of Stompin' Tom, and each time it felt like a massive treat.  He sang music that created vivid images and told fun stories.  For a very imaginative boy, storytelling was crucial, and I remember drifting off to a world of wonder thanks to his music.  Tilsonburg is the song that taught me that such a city existed, and that tobacco picking was a way many of my relatives had made money.  I learned important parts of Canadian culture and history through his classics like Sudbury Saturday Night, Big Joe Mufferaw, Name the Capital, and The Consumer.  It never felt like learning, because it was fun listening to the energetic folk singer.

Stompin' Tom believed there weren't enough songs about Canada.  He also was hurt and upset when Canadian entertainers left the country for greater fame in the United States.  He really loved this country and embraced it in a powerful way.  This is why he'll always be in the hearts of many Canadians.  I'm sure The Hockey Song will be blaring from speakers for several more generations.  It makes me smile knowing there was a man in this world like Stompin' Tom.  He was a man who actually grew up having a hard life, but he made the best of it by turning to art to enrich the lives of others.  His music is his legacy, and like him, it is distinctly Canadian.  You wouldn't have lyrics like his in anywhere else in the world, and that warms my soul knowing that truth.

Some complain that Canada doesn't have a culture.  We borrow and take everything form the United States.  There are artists that are giving us truly Canadian entertainment.  Stompin' Tom was one of those people.  I hope his passing will encourage people to listen to some of his folk music.  When they hear those words, they actually do a bit of research to learn about the places and pieces of history he sings about.  You can't get more Canadian than stomping your feet while listening to Stompin' Tom, and there isn't any shame in that.

Stompin' Tom may have had a hard life, but he apparently was a warm and terrific human being.  He didn't dwell on his hardships.  I'm sure his music is something that helped him overcome.  I've always believed art can save a person.  It can make you a better person being able to take that journey of creation.  I don't know if that is what gave Stompin' Tom a long and happy life.  I do know it was a huge part of who he was.

I wish I could have met him.  I wish I could have thanked him for all those folk songs I loved as a child.  I wish I could have just shook hands with what many say was a genuine and great human being.  Instead, I'll just smile and hold on to those memories.  I'll fire up some Stompin' Tom so that Everett can shake his little butt and wave his little hands to a Canadian legend.  I'll pass him on to the next generation.  This is how you immortalize an icon.

Stompin' Tom may not be here anymore.  He'll be a part of Canada forever.  His legacy will endure.

RIP Stompin' Tom, February 9, 1936 - March 6, 2013.  Thank you for loving this country so much.  Thank you for the memories and the gift of your music.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Recap: Sand is a Pain in the Eye

Survivor Caramoan hasn't been kind to the fans.  Nature is even joining in on the beatings this week.  But could they still recover?  Well, I answer that in my latest recap for BuddyTV.

Mid-Week Breakdown Podcast

Scott and I will be trying something new for the next little bit.  We still plan on offering up podcasts that review and analyze individual films, but we also want to start looking at the box office.  We will offer up detailed analysis of the winners and losers of the previous weekend's box office and explain why films performed a certain way.  We then will offer up predictions for the upcoming weekend.

I also give a quick review of Jack the Giant Slayer.  Meanwhile, Scott tells the tale of torture as he tried watching The Last Exorcism Part 2.  We also look at how the month of February fared, and then predict how 2013 is going to measure up next to 2012.

If you enjoy it, then please pass it on to others.  As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.  Enjoy.

Glenn Coulson's Creative Journey Through Entertainment

The name Glenn Coulson may not jump out at you.  But if I take you back to 1999 and remind you of the time that you used to constantly turn to MuchMusic to watch actual music videos then you may remember one boy band that was a little different than the rest.  A boy band that sang about being shot down rather than about how hot they were.  This group was VIP, and their hit was "It's Just My Luck."

Glenn Coulson is still in the entertainment industry.  He has become a musician, a voice actor, and a record/film producer.  He is always looking for different ways to express himself creatively.  His latest endeavour is creating his first solo record.  A project that is deeply personal to him.

I got the opportunity to interview Glenn Coulson about his record and his entertainment career.  I instantly found a man who was passionate about the creative process and loved the entertainment industry.  It was inspiring and motivating.  It filled me with the energy to continue pursuing my own projects.  It also showcased a great Canadian with an amazing story about what hard work and focus can lead to for someone.

It also led me to writing an article that is one of my proudest pieces.  It is a great story about an amazing journey of inspiration and hope.  You may not like Glenn Coulson's music, but this article is about so much more.  Please give it a read, and if you enjoy it, I'd be honoured if you would pass it on to other readers through various social media.  As always, I welcome comments and feedback over at the Collective Publishing site.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Spoiler Room Dark Skies Podcast

Scott and I return with more thoughts on Dark Skies.  If you listened to last week's Breakdown, you will know that we didn't love it.  We also aren't the biggest fans of the current direction of horror.  But we do realize how significant Blumhouse Productions has been in influencing the genre. 

This time we really analyze and tear apart the film Dark Skies.  We look at the highlights, the lowlights, the plot holes, and all the major story moments.  We then predict the success of the film, and also look at how it will affect the entire genre.  Then we also go down a thousand rabbit trails, and talk about the many movies that did create engaging horror stories.

It is a fun podcast, and a great one for those frustrated with the current crop of horror films.  We also talk about what works in great horror films, and what can be done to fix the current situation. So, please give it a listen, if you like it, the best thing you can do is refer it to others.  As always, we welcome all feedback and comments.

The Walking Dead Episode 12 Review: Return of Morgan Minus Sanity

The series premiere of The Walking Dead is what hooked me on the show.  I'm not sure if it ever has captured the intensity, drama, and excitement of that debut episode.  The Walking Dead seems to want me to remember that landmark episode by returning to the place where it all began.  Is this return as strong as the first time?  I reveal my thoughts in my latest review for BuddyTV.