Saturday 31 May 2014

A haystack steals the scene in “Gambit”

Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

This cute film puts art curator, Harry Deane (Colin Firth) into a role that will earn him millions of pounds. It’s a pretty daring plot that he construes that involves  getting his friend, Major to forge one of Monet’s famous Haystack paintings  in order to convince Harry’s hateful boss, multi-billionaire Lord Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman) that he ought to purchase the painting that was handed down to the painter’s great-great-grandson and on to his daughter.

Monet's Haystack

Of course, there is no true tale to this inheritance story, but rodeo gal played by Cameron Diaz poses as the owner of the fake Monet. Things go terribly wrong but in the end, Deane ends up walking away with the real Monet and Shabandar gets the fake. Directed by , the comedy is light-hearted despite some pretty heavyweight actors, including Tom Courtney. A film that is easily forgettable but totally enjoyable to watch. Some of the scenes are humorous enough to make you fall in love with Colin Firth – post-Bridgette Bridgette Jones stardom.

This film was viewed, compliments of Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC.
 Ce film a été visionné, avec les compliments de Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC.

Friday 30 May 2014

“That Awkward Moment” is awkwardly funny

Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

It’s a teen movie with Jason (Zac Efron) leading the way with his two hang-with pals, Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan). They all swear off relationships, and make a bet to avoid getting emotionally involved with any girl they have sex with. But when that “So” moment keeps arriving with gals – when they want to know if the relationship is going to move to the next level, especially since the sex happened first – they pull out. Still, they all end up getting the girl they can’t help falling for – each smitten by the relationship more than they bargained for.  Imogen Poots as Ellie is cute and deep all at the same time with a wicked sense of humour rarely seen in such films. No wonder Jason falls for her. 
Lots of swearing, sexual language and humorous scenes of nudity create a lewd yet charming mix.  Tom Gormican is a slick one to put together a daring film for his directorial debut.

This film was viewed, compliments of Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC. 
Ce film a été visionné, avec les compliments de Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC.

“Vikingdom: Fall of an Empire” dramatizes myth into magic

Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

Based on Viking mythology, the half-god, half-man leader of the Middle World, Eirick finds that in winning back a balance between heaven and earth and stopping the evil thunder God Thor from wreaking havoc by summoning up the Lower World, and abolishing Viking belief in the lord and his holy son, this courageous warrior discovers he has a past where good and evil mixed and where he is far more courageous and powerful than he ever knew. He must retrieve the mystical gilded Horn of Odin – which takes him on a perilous journey under water and on ground. When he finally gets it, he must it during the blood eclipse to stop the apocalypse. Betrayal, trickery and death stalk him and his men, yet he prevails, maintaining and inspiring all followers to be true Vikings – men of honour who worship a Christian God and the Holy Son.
The special effects were most evocative of harsh times and the Northern spheres of barren winter. The acting was mediocre but the complex story and superb costumes nonetheless caught our attention and we became hooked on the suspension of disbelief. Director, Yusry Kru has created a unique film that could be classified as a mythical/science fiction cult classic.

This film was viewed, compliments of Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC.
 Ce film a été visionné, avec les compliments de Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Il Divo Dazzles!

A sensational performance of personality and vocal power

Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

Last night, Salle Wilfred-Pelletier in Place des Arts was packed with adoring Il Divo fans and first-timers about to fall under the magic of this charismatic group. People of all ages were there. Such is the timeless appeal these four fabulous singers have – ever since they joined forces to form Il Divo when music producer Simon Cowell first discovered the ‘power of four’.  Fast forward ten years into 33 countries and four world tours during which the dynamic Il Divo established their god-like stature, sweeping audiences off their feet while making classical cross-over-music history. The foursome has sold over 26 million albums and received 160 gold and platinum awards.
Indeed, their confidence, showmanship and connection to the audience was obvious during this May 28th Montreal tour-de-force performance. 

The show’s fitting title, A Musical Affair: The Greatest Songs of Broadway featured popular songs from their sixth and latest album, A Musical Affair.

The live 18-member orchestra opened up the show with an instrumental medley of our song favourites from musicals, including Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, West Side Story, Les Misérables and more. And then the spell began: Il Divo’s four dashing figures made their entrance. Smoke slowly swirled from the stage floor, and as their faces came into view, applause thundered and voices roared from the hall’s 2,982 seats.
Their powerful voices blended into rich harmonies no matter the register and tonal challenges within the great variety of song melodies. Whether performing such big numbers as Climb Every Mountain or delivering such heart-wrenching numbers as Some Enchanted Evening, If ever I should love You, and Tonight. These romantic songs showed off the tenderness and the restraint each of these classically trained singers possess. Interestingly, each has his own distinct sound and background. The most opera-sounding voices came from Spanish baritone, Carlos Marín and American tenor, David Miller. Their lush tones melded richly with the pop genre tones of France’s Sébastien Izambard and with former rocker heartthrob, Urs Bühler from Switzerland. Together, the four created a varied vocal fest of sensual expressive brilliance. The volume and range each one displayed was rather mesmerizing, and the arrangements perfect – some parts of song strategically parceled off to the most appropriate voice for that passage in the song. In fact, I would have liked to have heard full length solos from each of them, but each song inevitably brought all four together in most moments of the song and always on the last line. I can’t forget how they ended Somewhere from West Side Story, it fluidly slid out as a piece of vocal silk on a single soft waning note. In contrast was the booming crescendo of such endings in I Did It My Way and I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston would have been proud).
Glitzy guest diva Lea Salanga, added yet another exotic element. An acclaimed Filipina singer and actress whose multiple awards are as impressive as her lead roles: Kim (Miss Saigon), Jasmine (Disney’s Alladin), and Éponine and Fantine (Les Misérables) – excerpts from the latter two performed during this performance along with  the song Defying Gravity from (Wicked).

She really belongs on that stage; she immediately captivated us with her intensity and beauty. When she sang I dreamed a Dream, you could hear a pin drop; we felt her emotional anguish. That mood completely lightened when the fellows joined her vying for her attention in the song If Ever I Would Leave You (Camelot).
Indeed, the evening was not without jokes – often made at each others’ expense, such as when Carlos talked about his love and prowess with women; in fact, this boasting would have gone on and on had not one of the guys handed him a small container of those notorious “little blue pills”. That got a big laugh.
Self-deprecating humour about how poorly they spoke French came from Mr. Miller and Mr. Marín, but when the group polished off Céline Dion’s upbeat song, Que Tu M’Aimes Encore, their accents and diction were impeccable. The crowd went crazy cheering, standing on their feet, singing along and clapping the beat.
Projected images on the back wall and effective spotlighting enhanced the show’s presentation. But it was the guys who really stole the stage. Three encores and non-stop clapping continued for about ten minutes after it all ended with the parting song delivered in Italian and English Time to Say Goodbye.

                Presented by:

Tuesday 27 May 2014

James Adkisson Discography / Discographie

with 7% Solution

Born (or based) in / Né (ou base) en?  Austin Texas                                      

Plays: Guitar, E-Bow, Omnichord, Vocals, Engineer, Mix.  
Joue: Guitare, E-Bow, Omnichord, Chant, Ingénieur, Mixeur.   

Solo Projects / Projets Solo:
1.       Blindshore                         “2011 Hollow”,
2.       Dirac C                             “2008 Dirac C”,

As a sideman / Comme sideman:  
                         Artist                       Year Album
1.       A Five and Dime Ship           “2002 A Five and Dime Ship“, “2004 The Way it all would End”,
2.       Hundred Year Storm            “2006 Hello from the Children of Planet Earth”,
3.       Killer Crocs of Uganda          “2007 Almost Lost Tomorrow”,
4.       Lacuna Incorporated             “2009-?”
5.       ST 37                                  “1999 I Like to Talk, if There's Anything to Talk About
6.       7% Solution                          “1993-2004“, “1994 Sugar“, “1996 All About Satellites and Spaceships“, “1999 Gabriel’s Waltz”,