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Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Backyard Rabbit Has Moved On...

All summer long we've had a freeloading jackrabbit take up residence in our back yard. This is the second year in a row, but much longer visiting this time around...

Now that the weather has cooled off for fall, he (or she) appears to have moved on - as all rabbits eventually do, I expect he (or she) is in the middle of migrating down to a sunnier, warmer climate.

Ah, to live the life of a carefree rabbit...


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Christopher Plummer - "Shakespeare In Word & Music" @thebanffcentre

The Banff Centre Presents
Christopher Plummer
"Shakespeare In Word & Music"

The Sunday Morning 
"Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway" Event Review:

Christopher Plummer,
"Shakespeare In Word & Music"

Of all the surreal moments I have spent in the seat of a dimmed theatre, this one last night may have just taken the proverbial cake. Several times during Christopher Plummer's captivating presentation of a wide range of Shakespeare passages, supported by the equally captivating 20-piece orchestra surrounding him - I almost could not believe I had the good fortune to be where I was...

Not so very long ago, I posted here about the two tremendous HBO features on Plummer's role in "Barrymore". I had no idea at that time that I would come across an ad in The Calgary Herald to see him live, and in one of the most creative centres in the world. I wasn't about to pass on that opportunity, and happily, I can say this morning that it exceeded any expectation that I had brought to The Eric Harvie Theatre.

Owned the stage? Beyond any else I have seen standing on one. A master of his craft? Perhaps THE master...

Alternately gracious, powerful, thundering, and warmly funny, Plummer stayed to the script of this new project, and in short order made me a renewed fan of both The Bard and the classical/popular music that his work has inspired over centuries. I learned a lot from his stories, but most of all I learned that someone who has taken every effort to approach his craft with diligence and commitment will have an audience draw him back to the stage not once, not twice, but three times for a curtain call. Even after the house lights have come back up...

Above all that, this gentleman respected and recognized around the world is Canadian. Can't help but feel an immense sense of pride in that...

If you EVER have a chance to see this production, do not hesitate, do not delay. Christopher Plummer is still at the very top of his game, and I guarantee, you will feel the hairs rise on your neck when his voice booms throughout the room. 

Nothing short of amazing...

PS - apologies for the out of focus picture. Technically, I shouldn't have even taken that...


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Calgary Folk Club 09 27 13: Valdy

Calgary Folk Club
09 27 13
Valdy, Graham Wardrop, and Michael Jerome Brown

The Saturday Afternoon 
"Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

The Calgary Folk Club

with Valdy, Graham Wardrop, 
and Michael Jerome Brown

If you ever want to see a performer that lives to do what he does, you shouldn't have to look much further than iconic Canadian singer/songwriter Valdy - a self-confessed folkie. How very appropriate for his appearance last night!

If he hadn't mentioned to the crowd that he was 68, you'd have been hard-pressed to figure that out unless you've followed him as long as myself and the rest of his fans have - boundless energy, relentless good-natured humour - and those songs - the songs that have stood the test of time for decades now...

The Salt Spring Island, B.C. resident wrapped things up last night to a boisterous standing ovation and encore performance, but not before strumming chords from enduring classics and newer songs over two lengthy sets. 

Peppered throughout with chuckles as he shared stories of both the songs themselves and how so many diverse things can inspire him, it's not hard to see why this was (approximately) his 9th appearance at the club. I couldn't begin to list the highlights, but just a few for me were "The Starlight Lounge", plus a heartfelt tribute to Alberta/cover version of "Four Strong Winds". 

Well, and of course "Rock & Roll Song". Hey, it's a Canadian classic...

Valdy is currently touring with a guitar virtuoso from Christchurch, New Zealand - Graham Wardrop. The two together were seamless, and when left to shine on his own, Wardrop's 30+ years in the business literally illuminated the dimmed quarters, wowing the audience at one point with a Flamenco turn that morphed into a flawless, personalized rendition of "Classical Gas". His own "Lifequake" was another opportunity to strut his unique talents. This gentleman was a very happy discovery for me...

Getting the night started for Valdy and Mr. Wardrop was another pleasant surprise - Quebec bluesman Michael Jerome Brown. Between electric acoustic slide guitar, a gourd banjo (I kid you not), fiddle and some 12-string acoustic (the man does not travel light), Brown showcased a great blend of skills on originals and cover songs. 

"Sing Low", "I'm At It Again", and a solo Cajun waltz on the aforementioned fiddle, even a classic soul hit in his own inimitable style made it profoundly obvious why he has been nominated for and won a handful of awards. Having seen The Neville Brothers perform Randy Newman's elegant "Louisiana 1927", I'd stack his version alongside that without hesitation as a personal favourite.

All in all, another remarkable night in The Calgary Folk Club.

Check out:


See you at the club!


Stage West Cast Interview "I Love You Because"

Wow - what a nightmare - serious technology challenges that have me at my limit of patience (kidding, I'm WAAAAY past my limit of patience) with our current provider.

However, after FOUR hours of trying to upload, here's the podcast version of my cast interview:

Stage West Calgary cast interview


Coming shortly, a bonus blog post - my Calgary Folk Club review!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Crazy Week....

TGIF indeed....

It's been a roller coaster of a week, but here now is the end of it.

Over the next few days I'll be posting two reviews, and hope to have my latest cast interview edited and posted - I'm way behind on that, but outside forces perspired to prevent me from getting that done - relax, I'm not a moron, that's a line from a humour column I wrote awhile back about the language online spammers use...

Well, even giving that away might not prevent a few people from considering me a moron, now that I think about it...

What can you do? At least I've still got my looks...



Tough room!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Here's The Thing...

Not sure what thing it is, but here's "the thing" nonetheless:


It's got me stumped, and I took the picture!!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trying To Imagine Wooden Teeth...

I'm never sure how these thoughts creep into my mind in the morning - often long before my second cup of coffee.

But there you have it - I recall that George Washington for one reason or another had wooden teeth, and now I have to imagine living with that sort of arrangement.

I mean, Pinocchio likely had no problem with that, but he really didn't have any other reference to gauge their efficiency by...

As for the rest of us - wouldn't wooden teeth be a poor choice, given the moisture levels in the average human mouth?? How do you chew gum when an upper plate has warped out of sync with your bottom plate??

Did they swell, like a Cheshire cat with all that moisture? Imagine poor George at the bow of that boat, with a grin bigger than Jim Carrey in "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective"! Not exactly a presidential demeanour - just sayin'...

I'd think one might also have a mortal fear of woodpeckers, with a mouthful of wooden chompers....

On the plus side, you'd never have a shortage of toothpicks.

That's enough speculation for today - just needed to give you all something to chew on...


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Changes Once Again

Just moving over to another computer,which has presented some challenges this morning - and I have lost that short window I need to come up with something clever.

So, humble apologies, and for today - all I can offer is the actual word: "Clever".

Thank you....


Monday, September 23, 2013

A Candle In The Wind...

...just may be something that will make you turn your head to watch as it goes by....


Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Latest Humour Column, and A Brief, Misdirected Rant

Hello travellers of the Web. Welcome to today's humble offering.

At the bottom, you will find a link to my latest humour column, in REM (Real Estate Magazine).

Although it is written for the real estate industry, it is also a general interest topic that could be "informational" for anyone, as long as you consider the source. So please feel free to check it out.

After my brief, misdirected rant:

Yesterday, I went to The Apple Store closest to me, in a friendly suburban shopping mall. I was well on time for my appointment, and prepared, having followed all the instructions in advance of arriving.

It was however, Apple iPhone release weekend. That familiar U.S. patriotic piece rang so true in my head as I waded through a crowd about the size of Ellis Island at the turn of the century - the huddled masses are indeed often unwashed....

After making my way through a gathering not unlike the original Woodstock music festival in size and scope, I arrived at a counter, to blank stares when I announced my appointment. Apparently it is standard procedure NOT to book One-to-One sessions during the organized hysteria that is a new Apple product launch weekend. If God hasn't already found this out, he will soon enough when He's looking for the latest heavenly devices released upstairs...

So, needless to say, I was unhappy. We did come to an arrangement that I was unhappy with, but at least got the wheels moving forward on what I needed. Unhappily...

All the way home, I grumbled to myself. Then I grumbled to Mrs. That Dan Guy when I got home, and was surfing through my computer to find the confirmation email for my allegedly non-existent appointment.

Sure enough, buried in my mail it shone like a gleaming diamond of proof - Saturday, Sept 28. Those maroons at the store were about to get a what-for they wouldn't soon forget!!!

That was about the time MTDG, echoed my announcement - "Saturday, Sept 28"?? Next weekend???

Bloody hell....

Don't forget, click on this link to get to my humour column! Enjoy!!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken - as dictated to a nearby robin...)

Aren't you a nice doggie??


Say boy, is you gittin sleepy at all?




Hows about a game a fetch?? Fetch boy!!

Come on you mangy fleabag rabies drooler - FETCH!!!


Fer tha luvva Pete - why does tha Great Chickin give us wings if we can't fly???


Where's a cluckin' cat when ya need one???

Ah'm gonna miss mah cartoons.....

Cluckin' wild animuls....

Cluck fer now.......... 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Top Posts For Week of Sept 20

Looking at my site stats, the runaway top posts for this week are:

1) My Calgary Folk Club review,
2) My Stage West Calgary review

Scroll back through the archives if you've missed those, and you may pass some of the funny silly bits as well.

You can always click on the montage above to get redirected to my podcast site, and download (for free) video and audio interviews with a variety of authors, actors, and others. Also some are available on my YouTUbe channel, which is just over to the right there.

That is the end of my commercial for TGIF - have a great weekend y'all!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Keeping Our Roads Safe

Any guesses what I may be holding in my hand here??

An electronic cigarette?

A very tiny albino flute??

A trick dribble straw???

Answer: None of the above!

That there is a souvenir from my first-ever Roadside Field Sobriety Test, or as we call it here in Canada, a breathalyzer test at a Chek-Stop.

You know, as long as I've been driving, and especially in the holiday season where caution is often left at home in a dresser drawer with respect to drinking and driving, I have never been pulled over before. 

Not that there's any prevailing chance of my blowing "over the limit" and getting my balding head and shoulders in the Celebrity Mug Shot Hall Of Fame like Nick Nolte or James Brown - the distilleries would all be long shuttered and bankrupt if they relied on Mrs. That Dan Guy and I for subsistence...

However, as fate would have it, I was returning from an AGM meeting last night, and I did happen to have a drink along with my dinner. So, as is typical in situations where I am innocent, I gave all the wrong answers to the officer that was shining a flashlight in my face, and was asked to pull over and get out of my car. What was I thinking - breaking out into a chorus of "How Dry I Am" was going to get a round of applause??

The officer must have been as surprised as I was relieved that I blew a "0". It was at about that time that my coherence returned, and I spoke like a sober adult, rather than trying to stammer out a recollection of my ABC's without a prompt to have done so....

As he eyed me over one last time, handed me my driver's licence back and advised me to be safe, I extended that back - it is not a fun job for these law enforcement officers, in the dark on a cold and rainy night - but if it makes a road safer in those conditions (or any, for that matter), I lift my coffee cup this morning to those efforts.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stage West Calgary's "I Love You Because"

My "official" Stage West Theatre review is in today's Calgary Herald:

"I Love You Because"

Thanks to the multiple social media sites I use, you'll get this in a variety of formats :-)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Miley Cyrus Hullabaloo

Much ado about nothing?

What year is it exactly??

Hello news shows - there are real issues out there that could use a little attention - just sayin'...

Twerking and nude videos. Those two dramatic arcs are keeping Mullet Daughter in the news as of late.

A few things spring to mind:

1) Nudity in music videos? What is the world coming to?? Perhaps none of the panting news anchors reporting this on TV have ever seen a music video before?

There are HUNDREDS of pop artists and not-so-pop performers that have delved into the promotional benefits of a risque presentation. If the pundits and worriers aren't already aware, it might surprise them to know that we are ALL nekked below our pressed, stiff collars....

2) Twerking? What will it be next week? The only difference here is that it used to be called "shaking your ass"...

3) Those were my points. Review. Talk amongst yourselves. Comment if you so desire. Just know that the world will keep on spinning regardless.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)

"Dear Charlie,

There will be a review posted Saturday morning - your column will not be required"

"Dear Charlie,

There will be a review posted Sunday morning - your column will not be required..."

Yup - thass how it goes with me and this here fly-by-night blog space. The cluckin' hooman kicks me ta tha cerb, an mah "weekend" posts git kicked ta tha cerb as well!!



Stuff me inna box in tha garage - I'll be leavin' THAT turkey a sirprise under his pillow, while he's out at work taday....

Thass fer cluckin' sure....


Cluck fer now..... 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stage West Calgary's "I Love You Because" - review

Stage West Calgary
"I Love You Because"
Daniel Abrahamson, Justin Bott, Jay Davis,
Steffi DiDomenicantonio, Lindsey Frazier, Blair Irwin

(photo courtesy of Stage West Calgary)

The Sunday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

Stage West Calgary's production of 
"I Love You Because"

I could subtitle this piece "My Austin Weekend". Friday night I enjoyed a group of amazing singer songwriters from Austin Texas, performing "in the round". Last night, the lead character in this terrific new Stage West Calgary offering was called Austin. Coincidence? Karma? 

Well, that all said, this latest offering makes a person a fast fan of Austin, regardless of the circumstances. Playing on the age-old themes of rocky relationships and finding that special someone, you're bound to find yourself heartily enjoying this cast of quirky characters as they feel their way around in the darkness of the dating world.

I will admit, the introduction of the characters takes a little while, but as the play moves along you get engaged quickly by the trio of three duos (I've got a fun observation about one "couple" that I have to hold back for my official Calgary Herald review). Act Two benefits from knowing the characters and speeds along with a great blend of humour paired with some fun songs - this is a musical love story after all!

Featuring solid, convincing performances by Daniel Abrahamson, Justin Bott, Jay Davis, Steffi D, Lindsey Frazier and Blair Irwin, this youthful modern take on the screwball comedy doesn't linger overlong with stereotypical characters or situations - although the script/book does utilize those to be sure. Where the play rises above those potential pitfalls was in each actor making these characters likeable. No matter how neurotic some may have been...

You know all will work out in the end, but the journey is filled with enough fun to keep you smiling through to that finale.

Awkward segue - I have to mention the enormous set - is the stage there really THAT big? The open, breezy set was effective to move the scenes around different settings, but also caught your attention visually.

I could go on and on, but then what would I have for my Herald review? I'll post a link to that when it runs, and I look forward to having some fun with this cast for my next "Talkin' With" interview - again a link back when that goes live...

If you like quirky characters, lovers that seem to go in opposite directions to find each other, and some delightful music that swings between laughs and heartfelt emotion, you will definitely want to check out "I Love You Because".



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Calgary Folk Club: 09 13 13

Calgary Folk Club
With Kevin Welch, Dustin Welch, Eliza Gilkyson
& Surprise Guests Gretchen Peters, Barry Walsh

The Saturday Morning Afternoon
"Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Concert Review: 
Calgary Folk Club (Season Opener)

With Kevin Welch, Dustin Welch, Eliza Gilkyson
(& Special Guests Gretchen Peters, Barry Walsh)

Want to quickly expand your music library? Start coming out to the Calgary Folk Club, and watch how every night you will find yourself walking out with new treasures - I've got three new CDs from last night's show alone!

To kick off their 42nd season (!!), the venue hosted an Austin Songwriters night with some pretty spectacular talent, and even more amazing surprise guests to end the night - more on that in a bit.

To get the festivities underway, father and son Kevin and Dustin Welch introduced a few new songs from the senior Welch's new album "A Patch Of Blue Sky". 

"Marysville" and "New Widow's Dream" sold me - and the haunting sounds Dustin coaxed from his banjo on the latter song show the potential of that instrument. When I saw Steve Martin in his bluegrass show, he played a song to present the softer side of the banjo. This young fellow has mastered that concept...

Sharing some remarkably similar traits onstage, father and son mesh perfectly on each other's song - including Dustin's "Whisky Preacher". If you're not already familiar with these talented artists, check out Kevin Welch and Dustin Welch online - you can follow them both on Twitter!

Joining the family members for one song before the break was fellow Texan Eliza Gilkyson, who opened her own solo set with the amazing "Blue Moon Night". A wry sense of humour and warm presence, her songs elicited some good natured self-deprecating laughs on the wrong side of the love equation. 

Having had some of those songs recorded by the likes of Joan Baez, her style of sharing those songs was engaging. "Death In Arkansas" and "Rose Of Sharon" made for some mighty powerful moments, and sharing stories of her father really connected with the audience. 

After you finish reading the rest of this review, you should surf over to Eliza Gilkyson's site to check that out...

Highlight of the night? A large representation of Austin's musical population with the surprise appearance of Gretchen Peters, and husband/collaborator Barry Walsh. That got a songwriter's circle worth its weight in gold going...

That actually is the wow factor of the Calgary Folk Club, where the magic really starts. Hearing the lush vocals of Gretchen accompanied by Barry's soft piano or accordion on songs like "Matador", or the hear-a-pin-drop "Five Minutes" just makes time stop in this venue.

Add in the rest of the gang with their vocals and instruments, and you want to pinch yourself. Eliza's "Heart Of A Man", Kevin's "Clean Getaway", all pitch perfect in this format of collaboration....

But of all the gems offered last night, the runaway winner for me was a gospel-style workout with the group on "A Patch Of Blue Sky" As inspirational as it gets - and that right there was also the high-water mark being set for whoever follows this upcoming season. 

I'd be remiss to not redirect you as well to the websites of Gretchen & Barry, plus The Calgary Folk Club itself. This year marks the introduction of new ticket processes, so a visit to that site will provide valuable information for you.

Without a doubt, one remarkable evening of songwriters.....Hallelujah....


Friday, September 13, 2013

Bowling Me Over

Hit the bowling alley last night (not literally - managed to stay upright the entire 20 frames), and it is not at all like riding a bike....clearly not a retained skill set.

It was a team builder event to mingle with colleagues, so not exactly a competitive event. Good thing. You've never seen so many balls in the gutter outside of a toddler tennis match in a French slum...

Funny thing is, I used to bowl in a league! That experience meant absolutely el-zilcho when I donned my bowling shoes, and propelled a rolling boulder towards the assembled pins at the other end of the lane. It was like I had the hand-eye coordination of a cross-eyed lobster. Claws may have helped me a bit, actually...

The first game, I was lucky to break 100. A perfect game is 300. A woeful game is what my colleague bowled, barely getting past 50.

However, with beverages, food and friends (technically co-workers, but let's gild the lily for camaraderie purposes), it was still a good night out.

Now pardon me please - I need to put more ice on my hand, arm, back, legs and ego...


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kid President - "Diabeetus"

So after a 14-hour day yesterday preparing for our diabetes presentation later this morning, one of my colleagues mentioned this hilarious video clip.

I don't think I've ever pointed away from my own site, so this is a first.

But I defy you to watch this and not crack up, once you get past the advertisement:




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Miles From Toronto

Being such a big fan of entertainment of all sorts, it is killing me to be in Mississauga right now, just on the outskirts of Toronto.

I'm here for a week-long conference, but as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is going on right now, our group was forced out of the city proper, due to a lack of hotels.

So while a galaxy of stars are hobnobbing in Toronto (including Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Scarlett Johannson, and Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe), our group is in a remote Delta hotel under the flight path of landing jetliners, with an A & W as our closest link to civilization.

A freakin'  A & W....

The only thing getting me through right now is the release of Apple's iPhone 5S......which our hotel wifi ironically is preventing me from viewing. I suppose I could view the video, it's just that each pixel takes about 20 minutes to download....

Only three more days of this!!!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I've Got A Sinking Feeling....

My bathroom sink here in my hotel room is pretty cool. I could get used to something like this at home.

However, it would be nice if the faucet DID SOMETHING MORE THAN TRICKLE!!!!!!!!!!

Come on, sink designers - is it really that hard to have pressure in your water tap?

(Wow, as rants go, that one was PRETTY lame....)


Monday, September 09, 2013

How To Make A Cake - Simplified Version (For Dummies)

Step 1: Search home. Finding no cake, get into car.

Step 2: Drive to supermarket of choice.

Step 3: Find cake section, scope out choices. TIP: Something called a "Bakery" best bet...

Step 4: Choose cake, purchase.

Step 5: Bring home purchase - voila!! You have just made a cake, appear in your home!!!

Repeat as necessary.................


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Penguin or Bison??

We are finally in the market for a new pet, and I must admit - we are struggling a little bit.

We are down to two choices though. Either a penguin, or a bison.

The bison is a somewhat selfish choice, what with the high cost of buying bison meat in the supermarket. We'd get a baby bison, and fatten the little guy up over the years until the roasts and steaks were clearly evident. Then....we would be in the market for yet another bison....pass the BBQ sauce!!

Our other choice seems longer lasting, at least for the bird - that is unless you know of some great penguin recipes??

A penguin seems like a reasonable choice for a pet. We could go for walks with the little waddler, and be the envy of the neighbourhood. I imagine you could draw quite a crowd of admirers with a pet penguin...

For occasions where one of us would not be able to attend a formal function, the pet penguin could double as a stand-in, already dressed up and ready to go.

My only question so far is how he or she would adapt to a shower - we have no bath tub or pool.

This must be how species learn to adapt.

So, bison or penguin. If you have a strong opinion, or perhaps some experience with either as a pet, please feel free to post a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Also, do you trust Craig's List or e-Bay when you buy your exotic pets??

Thanks in advance!!


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)


Hallo Hoomans....don mine me, juss rakooperatin' here this mornin'....


Yeah, ole Charlie overdid it.

Liftin' wates, praktisin advanced gymnastics, an relentlesslee upholdin' good moral virtues haz kot up ta me!!


Mah back popped like a piece a toast lass nite, an ah think mah spine mussels splatterd over mah inturnal organs!!!

Ah kin barely make it ta tha fridge fer mah mornin' beer!!

Coff!! Coff! Ah'll be OK tho.....

Don you worry about ME!!

Strong like an ox!!


Ah does need someone tah rub me down with some Icy Hot, or other muscle rub - anyone??

Prefurably a young Swedish nurse chick??

Ah ain't fussy - it could be a local beauty pageant contestant, if push kame ta shove....


Ah juss need some tweakin' ah mah pinfeathers is all!!


Cluck fer now.....

Friday, September 06, 2013

New Post

The little widget for starting a new post is aptly named here at Blogger. "New Post".

However, it always does make me feel like I'm building a fence. Maybe it is a metaphorical fence, build of words, paragraphs and liberal amounts of drivel, but a fence nonetheless.

This is yet another new post in my ongoing fence of words. Can I get anyone to help me whitewash it this weekend?? Becky??


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Blog Flashback - Sept 5, 2008

So, what was I up to back on this very day in 2008?

Apparently, pretty much the same as I am right now:

Retro Post

You'd think there may have been some growth over the years.

You'd be wrong......


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Home Depot Fails

Home Depot Fails:

-Cannot find an actual Chim Chim Chimney in the catalogue...

-Sure, lots of ladders, but where's the chutes or snakes??

-Never once been able to strike up "Hammer Time" with fellow shoppers...

-Cannot confirm that any of their staff are actually on the level...

-Management doesn't appreciate my jokes about the highs and Lowe's of the home renovation business...

-Grocery section rather lacking.

-Inequitable ratio between Hardware and software inventories.

-Inventory of actual home depots? Not even a railroad depot!!


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Les Miz - The Film

OK, this is admittedly a bit behind the times - we watched the (recent) remake of Les Miserables on a movie channel last night - one of our favourite musicals - with some degree of apprehension.

It was not necessary to be worried after all - the Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway Hollywood version was (to our minds at least) well treated overall. I wasn't even disappointed by Russell Crowe, who took some grief when this was out in the theatres. I thought he didn't do too bad a job.

I would even go so far as to say this might be a keeper - we will likely pick up the DVD when it plummets in price at the stores...

What I really liked over and above all was the use of original Jean Valjean Colm Wilkinson in a supporting role, which I felt was a pretty classy act. So many of these Hollywood remakes ignore the stars that brought these characters to life to such a degree that a film version is even a consideration. It was a treat to see him early on, and at the end of the movie. Still a powerhouse, as a matter of fact...

Despite several songs in this enduring classic being the show-stoppers, both the live version and this film did my personal favourite proud - "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables". More powerful than even the emotional hits associated with the play.

That's my feeling, anyway...


Monday, September 02, 2013

Windows Computing Shortcuts

1) Shut off Windows computer.

2) Unplug Windows computer.

3) Insert Windows computer into long range cannon, press ignition. Aim at mountain face, or deep part of ocean.

4) Return home. Turn on Mac.

5) Compute.......repeat on a regular basis.


Sunday, September 01, 2013

Lee Daniels' "The Butler" - A Very Short Review

Lee Daniels' "The Butler"





What can I say? At one point, I should have snuck out of the theatre to pee, but for the last 90 minutes I could not leave my seat. I didn't want to miss a single frame of this compelling new movie!

Wonderful acting, tremendous storytelling, and a bit of a unique, criss-cross history lesson spanning decades. What a way to spend a holiday weekend!

I really can't find anything to quibble about - the actors were all well-cast, and in some cases downright spellbinding. Some lines (bearing in mind artistic licence, as this was the Hollywood version of the true life story) spoke volumes about injustice and intolerance. I especially loved the ending back in the cotton field housing - having seen some historical plantation setups for real in Louisiana, it's still unsettling to wrap around. Recent news makes you wonder how far we've really even come as a civil society....

If you want a powerful glimpse into a unique story, you can't go wrong with this film...

Making this outing even more special was a trailer for an upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic that looks similarly captivating. Funny, when Mrs. That Dan Guy and I went to NYC, we took in Mandela Day, and trekked over to Grand Central Station to see what was a special display on this inspiring leader. We were so taken in by the sights of this transportation hub, we forgot to find the Mandela display!!


Go see this movie!!!!!! (Hey, I said this was going to be a very short review...)