Movie Review: Fast and Furious [2009, Justin Lin]

Posted on by Ricky in Movies | 2 Comments

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Toronto – God, this movie was so stupid, I feel dumber for having watched it. As you probably know by now, Fast and Furious is the 4th movie in the FNF installation – the twist this time is that this movie features all four of the original actors – Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. So I guess for all you fans of FNF 2 and FNF 3, you will be disappointed to find that there’s no Tyrese or that kid from American Gothic.

The plot of this is really irrelevant, as this movie is really an attempt to reboot the floundering careers of these four actors involved. After the initial hype of the first one, you would figure that one of them would be on the way to big things …unfortunately, Vin Diesel decided to do movies like XXX and the Pacifier, Michelle Rodriguez decided to DUI on JJ Abrams and Paul Walker..well, he’s Paul Walker. I don’t know what happened to Jordana Brewster either. IMDB says she’s on Chuck. Yay.

Here are some notes about the movie in point form..

  • I think Michelle Rodriguez has a contract where she dies in everything she’s a part of..not a spoiler. Revenge is pretty much the premise of this movie
  • Paul Walker seems more intent on patching his friendship with Vin Diesel then patching his relationship with Jordana Brewster, whom he was supposedly in love with..Hello?!?!? I guess this movie is very high on the bromance..the long gazes, the subtle notes of satisfaction, it’s almost Tom Cruise/Val Kilmeresque
  • How desperate is the FBI for agents? I mean, Paul Walker’s character is a hooorrrible FBI Agent, I can’t believe an agency would allow an agent to let a federal criminal go, commit crimes, assault fellow coworkers and consistently disobeys orders.
  • How stupid is Paul Walkers character for continually doing stupid things at work when clearly he’s on his last legs as an agent?
  • The bad guys in this movie make no sense. Why would they hire wanted criminals to carry transport their goods? I would think of a less conspicuous approach
  • WHERE ARE THE ASIANS! This is import racing! We are like, the forefathers of this shit. You wouldn’t make an inner city movie without black kids, why would u do an import movies without AZNS. Russell Wong disapproves.

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I guess this movie was not suppose to be a smart movie, but its hard to overlook so many things. The action scenes weren’t even that good and Jordana Brewster spent the entire movie looking like she spent one too many hours in the tanning salon, which is a shame, since she was really cute in the first movie.

Concert Review: Au Revoir Simone, May 23, Lee’s Palace

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment

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Toronto – Thursday night was a big concert night for the city of Toronto – The National were in town and the Over the Top festival was in full gear, including a Dinosaur Bones/ Sebastien Grainger show at the Whipper Snappe gallery. So I guess it should be to no surprise that Brooklyn’s Au Revoir Simone played to a sparse crowd at Lee’s Palace. The band was in town to promote the release of their new album “Still Night, Still Light” which came out on Tuesday. I reviewed the album here.

All I can say about the show is that the girls from Au Revoir Simone are fricking cute. Vintage dresses, charming smiles and witty banters all added to the show’s laid back fun vibe. They apologized for not being able to party afterwards because of an interview with Q the next day. The band had a minimal setup, as you can tell by the photo. The music was mostly from the new album, with a few tracks from their previous one. I guess the only disappointment from the show was that they didn’t sing “Stars”, a single from their previous album. I guess it was okay because the bands excuse was “we don’t remember the lyrics”.

Au Revoir Simone is touring thru out North America, if you want to see three cute ladies sing some chilled out tunes and have a good time doing it, then I would suggest you check out the show.

29 May 2009 20:00 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York
30 May 2009 20:00 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington DC, Washington DC
31 May 2009 20:00 Southgate House Cincinnati, Ohio
1 Jun 2009 20:00 The End Nashville, Tennessee
2 Jun 2009 20:00 Hi Tone Memphis, Tennessee
4 Jun 2009 20:00 The Cavern Dallas, Texas
5 Jun 2009 20:00 Walters on Washington Houston, Texas
6 Jun 2009 20:00 Mohawk Austin, Texas
9 Jun 2009 20:00 Plush Tucson, Arizona
11 Jun 2009 20:00 El Rey Los Angeles, California
12 Jun 2009 20:00 Velvet Jones Santa Barbara, California
13 Jun 2009 20:00 Bimbo’s San Francisco, California
15 Jun 2009 20:00 Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon
16 Jun 2009 20:00 Neumo’s Seattle, Washington
17 Jun 2009 20:00 Richard’s on Richards Vancouver, British Columbia
19 Jun 2009 20:00 Kilby Court Salt Lake City, Utah
21 Jun 2009 20:00 Fox Theater Boulder, Colorado
23 Jun 2009 20:00 Waiting Room Omaha, Nebraska
24 Jun 2009 20:00 High Noon Saloon Madison, Wisconsin
25 Jun 2009 20:00 Logan Square Chicago, Illinois
26 Jun 2009 20:00 Grog Shop Cleveland, Ohio
27 Jun 2009 20:00 Bowery Ballroom New York City, New York
14 Jul 2009 20:00 Be Cool Barcelona
15 Jul 2009 20:00 El Sol Madrid
16 Jul 2009 20:00 Nocturama Festival Sevilla
17 Jul 2009 20:00 Dour Festival Dour
18 Jul 2009 20:00 Lovebox London
21 Jul 2009 18:30 Pure Groove Records in-store London
22 Jul 2009 20:00 Bungalow & Bears Sheffield
23 Jul 2009 20:00 Night and Day Manchester
24 Jul 2009 20:00 Indie Tracks Festival Derbyshire
25 Jul 2009 20:00 Be At @ Proud Galleries London
26 Jul 2009 20:00 Secret Garden Party Huntingdon
7 Aug 2009 20:00 Astropolis Festival Brest
8 Aug 2009 20:00 Nuits Secretes Festival Aulnoye-Aymeries

Arts Preview: The Book of Judith

Posted on by Brian in Everything, Theatre | 1 Comment

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I hate to use the word unique. I had a writing teacher last year say to my class that unique is one of the most overused and incorrectly used words around, because it means something that’s one of a kind in all the world. However, reading the press release for The Book of Judith, a new play running in Toronto from May 19 to 31, unique is really the only descriptor I can come up with.

From the press release: “In 2005, playwright Michael Rubenfeld was asked to find a lover for a quadriplegic woman named Judith Snow.  Instead, he made her a play.  The Theatre Centre, Absit Omen and Die In Debt are pleased to present: The Book of Judith — a sermon unlike any other.”

Whether or not The Book of Judith is unique because it’s a musical about a quadriplegic woman is something I cannot say. Who knows, somewhere else in the world perhaps someone else has written and performed just such a musical. However, the Book of Judith also features a choir made up of people with varying disabilities performing the musical score. That sounds pretty unique to me.

And maybe the best part is, the score is written by Panic Manual favourite Andrew Penner of the Sunparlour Players, who must be pretty busy lately; the Sunparlour Players new album, Wave North, just came out last week on Outside Music.

Anyway, The Book of Judith runs May 20 to May 31, from Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with 11 AM shows on Sundays, at the CAMH grounds at 1001 Queen West. Look for the outdoor tent when you get there. Tix are $20. More info is at www.bookofjudithplay.blogspot.com, or you can call the box office at 416-538-0988. And watch for my review sometime next week.

Movie Merchandise Review: Star Trek Glasses [Burger King, 2009]

Posted on by Wade in Everything | 4 Comments

When Karen and I decided to get an apartment together, one of the first orders of business was visit IKEA and ‘modernize’ our living quarters. Apparently my growing collection of stolen beer pints were not considered appropriate glassware for company. No problem. You give a little, you get a little. So you can imagine my surprise when Karen asked me if I wanted to go to Burger King for dinner so that we could score a Star Trek glass. I quickly reminded her of my perfectly good set of Mill Street and Hoegaarden glasses, which currently resides in the back of the top shelf, covered in dust and out of reach in the cupboard over the refrigerator.

Now, As far as promotional movie merchandise goes, the marketing team for Star Trek hit the nail on the head with these Burger King glasses. They are retro looking, frosted, nothing fancy, promotional glassware. They look like they could have been sitting in a box in your parent’s basement for the past 20 years just waiting to be found and shipped half way across the country to give you that throw-back-cred at your next dinner party. Whoever designed these bad boys did their Star Wars and Indiana Jones merchandise homework. In all, there are four glasses, each glass depicting a different Star Trek character. There is Kirk, Spock, Nero and Uhura, and at $7.50 each, or $1.99 with a combo, you can’t really complain.

I can’t stand the food at Burger King, but I’m not too proud to drop a few dollars on cutlery at a fast food joint, or gas station for that matter. Hell, if it weren’t for Petro Canada, my parents would still be eating their breakfast directly off the kitchen table.

But like I said at the beginning, you give a little you get a little. Karen and I are now one Spock glass away from having a complete set. You can’t argue with good design.