Monday, December 26, 2016
Perfectionist and lobbyist, Elizabeth Sloane plays her politically marked cards so close to her chest, no one can predict what scrupulous move she will make next to win at all costs. Dressed to kill, she belongs to the ace suit, but the one of hearts is not one she holds. Winning for her means changing the gun law so ensure dangerous offenders are prevented from buying them. Sloane is Washington’s top lobbyist whose drive to succeed brings her on the brink of ruin. Her life is lonely and without love of any sort. Her passion lies in getting what she must do to win, even if it means spying on her own team or throwing making public a very private incident affecting her key team member.
This is a long film that moves as fast as Jessica Chastain talks and walks in this political thriller that shows just how dastardly everyone plays their hand when it comes to winning the lobbyist game. She's marvelous in this role. Korean script writer Jonathon Perera inserted a tangle of twists typical in Korean films, but this is truly an American Capitol Hill pot boiler.
Friday, December 23, 2016
There is no post political after-killing agenda with ISIS. It is a killing machine, and that is its sole purpose. After the total world annihilation it is determined to achieve, what new society will it create? One never hears about its vision after every non-Muslim is skewered, other than kill, kill, kill.
There will be no music, scientific research to better mankind’s health, in every kind of way.
No there there will be just big black hole, but the hole is here on earth, not in space. And it will be filled with the colour red.
What demented aberrations in family upbringing could nurture encourage and celebrate such a loathsome goal?
What kind of mothers swaddled their babies? What kind of men beat up their wives? The cowardly violence is a genesis that surely started in these control-freak families: husbands subjugating wives, beating them, brothers stoning their own sisters, kids following the commandments that would avoid shame even if it meant family killings.
There is no hope for this kind of human. There is no Western wrath enormous enough to match theirs; there is no way to turn these endlessly ill creatures of death around. Just as mankind went form Neanderthal to fully erect homo sapiens (knowing man), one wonders if ISIS is a collective regression into a homo subspecies whose name has the word "kill" in its Latin form.
ISIS will not be content until the world’s dry earth and seas are brimming blood. They will feel proud only when this happens, knowing they did this, knowing that the impulse to kill can’t be stopped. Hopefully, they’ll turn on one another, and then from our graves we can heave a long eternal sigh of relief.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Alaskan wilderness is the major backdrop for this film with a plot that is highly unlikely – or is it? It's compelling but something doesn’t ring true about it all; that could be because the implausible plot in the film is based on a falsehood.
Miles and Liam (two brothers) intent on saving the fishing boat of their late mother hatch a scheme. Miles, the older sibling will fake getting lost in the snowy wilds in the mountains and stay undetected for 10 days. But this movie is full of hoaxes that don’t bring in the money they hope to get from writing a book about Miles’ dangerous mishap in the mountains.
Instead, the plan gets found out and each brother must conjure up a way to keep the deception going. Ironically, Miles wants out of the plan once he returns from the mountain, but the trek caused severe injury to him.
Once back, he has a change of heart, and this stirs up even more problems. In the end, the mother’s boat is the least of the brothers' worries. The interminable number of big and small plot twists becomes a parody on the reversal of fortune for most everyone involved. Still, the acting wasn’t bad, but the vivid scenery was the true scene stealer of it all.
Monday, December 12, 2016
In 1942, Pitt's Canadian intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) parachutes into North Africa – the best scene in the film with James Bond style, minus the music. He makes his way to Casablanca. His mission is to assassinate the German ambassador with the help of Marianne Beausejour (Cotillard), a French Resistance fighter who will be posing as his wife and who has gotten herself into the good graces of the local Nazi chiefs. Over the next few days, they prepare themselves for the mission while trying to establish themselves as a loving married couple so as not to arouse any suspicion. There is attraction between them despite their professional attitudes of faking things. Still, their masked fiction fades; the two can’t resist one another which culminates inside a car during a desert dust storm (effective indeed). They complete their mission in an equally spectacular manner. During their escape, Max asks Marianne to return to London with him so that they can get married. She eagerly agrees.
A year later with Max and Marianne are happily married and living in London with their newborn baby Anna. (That labor scene outside at night during an air raid was well done).
Bliss ends when evidence suggests that the real Marianne Beausejour was killed a couple of years earlier and that his wife is actually a German spy. Max cannot believe this but the evidence, while not quite conclusive, is fairly damning. To settle the question once and for all, he is ordered to leave some fake information lying around where she can find it—if it turns up in the next intercepted German communique, she is guilty. If she does turn out to be a spy, Max is required to kill her.
If he refuses or tries to tip her off, it will lead to his execution as well. To make matters even more discomfiting, not only is Max not allowed to investigate on his own during the three days it will take to get the potentially damning evidence, he has to go on with Marianne. The ending is epic, but the film falls flat. Marion Cotard was great; Brad Pitt was shockingly boring.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Your dog keeps you company, and he/she is a great magnet for social banter with strangers you meet on the trails.
I was delighted to find Sépaq has opened 4 doggy-
on-leash trails in Oka Park along with Frontenac Park in St-François (250 kilometres form Montreal) and Jacques-Cartier Park in Longueil (a mere metro/bus ride away from Montreal).
I headed up to Oka Park (45 minutes by car from Montreal) on December 3rd to take advantage of this new doggy opportunity. My dog Zak and I took the 7-kilometre trail along the Calvaire d’ Oka. Seven colourful wood reliefs in tiny chapel churches replicating the originals ones crafted by François Guernon from Bellville in the 18th-century dotted the trail and at the summit there were four other. Collectively, they replicated the various stages of suffering in the crucifixion of Christ.
It was an unusual adornment built among the tree-clustered path, but they added a sense of reverence to the surrounding nature.
The view at the summit was lovely indeed; people were unusually quiet. Maybe they were tired from the walk, or respectful of the religious element at their backs – the four final chapels.
Oka Park is a hot bed of activity for the entire family in summer with its beach, and there are multiple activities for everyone throughout the summer – all under the banner of “The Okasions”.
Winter's coming. The park has six ski trails totaling more than 35 kilometres!
Winter's coming. The park has six ski trails totaling more than 35 kilometres!
There’s camping and all-facility cabins. For sure, I will return.
For complete information, visit: www.parcquebec.com/oka
For you and your dog(s), go to www.sepaq.com/animals
Saturday, December 3, 2016
A confusing lame script: a cold atmosphere prevails
In Florence, Italy, Harvard professor of symbolism Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante's “Inferno”. When he wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks, a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories.
All mysteries become more visual clued through Botticelli’s painting of hell.
Against this backdrop, Langdon overcomes his amnesia, battles a chilling adversary and grapples with a confusing riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Can he with another professor with whom he once entertained a romance save the world?
This is the lamest of the trilogies, and if Langdon feels confused by memory hallucinations, we are triply baffled. There is no suspense, no chemistry between either of the two female geniuses he works with to prevent the “apocalyptic demise of the world. One of the dames proves to be on side with evil. The glorious Istanbul concert halls final scene if stunning, and perhaps it is this that makes the film worthy of seeing if you can stick it out to the end. Tom Hanks not only tried to save the world in his role as the professor, but you could see him trying to “feel” the part to make the film work. Fortunately, the novel by Dan Brown is far superior to its film version.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
News about Métropolis
Posted on 1 December 2016
*Copyright © 2016. Tous droits réservés. L’Équipe Spectra.
An updated experience for artists, artisans and audiences
To mark Montreal’s 375th anniversary, TELUS and
L’Équipe Spectra join forces
Montreal, Thursday, December 1, 2016 — L’Équipe
Spectra, which has been seeking a partner to invest in modernizing
Métropolis, its legendary showroom on Ste. Catherine Street East, is delighted
to announce that a partnership agreement has been finalized to that end with TELUS,
a major player in our economy and a leader in the country’s telecommunications
sector. Beginning in late 2016, the two companies, sharing a
passion for the performing arts and new technologies, will pool their expertise
to modernize the venue in order to offer Montrealers an updated world class
performing arts experience.
to ensure the success of the Métropolis
An investment in the future
|Jacques-André Dupont (foreground) & François Gratton|
Photo by Nancy Snipper
François Gratton, Executive Vice-President, TELUS and Partner Solutions and President, Business Solutions East and TELUS Québec, adds: “Montreal is renowned for its vibrant music scene and as an outstanding springboard for emerging artists. Through this partnership, TELUS wishes to mark the city’s 375th anniversary by bestowing it with a lasting cultural legacy, through an investment intended to revitalize this legendary venue and burnish Montreal’s reputation on the international scene. Together, we will ensure the cachet and integrity of the venue is preserved so that spectators, artists and performers alike can rediscover the iconic space they have always loved.”
Get ready for M TELUS
|M TELUS logo|
As a tribute to Métropolis and heralding the new partnership with TELUS, the legendary hall that has thrilled Montreal for 30 years will become M TELUS in May, 2017. And it should be emphasized that L’Équipe Spectra and TELUS are especially concerned with preserving the historic character of the venue; no surprise, then, to find traces of a living legacy amidst the modernized venue.
This is not the first collaboration between these two companies. TELUS has proudly supported emerging Quebec artists for the past 15 years, providing a platform and exposure of their work by including them in the company’s advertising campaigns. In fact, in 2012, it was at the Métropolis that TELUS launched its compilation album of songs featured in its campaigns.
Ranking 1st in Canada and 13th on the long list of the 200 greatest concert clubs in the world in industry magazine Pollstar, Métropolis is, first and foremost, The favourite show venue of Montrealers and the many visitors and tourists who flock to it to cheer on the biggest and greatest artists on the planet, a flagship of the Quartier des spectacles and our downtown culture. And so it will remain.
Under this agreement, TELUS commits to invest more than 5 million dollars over the next 10 years. Architectural and construction work will stretch over three years, notably including a complete modernization of the lighting and sound systems, with additional staging elements as well. Work will feature a bright, user-friendly redevelopment of the Ste. Catherine Street façade, as well as refurbishment of the lobby and loges (boxes). TELUS will bring its technological skill and know-how to bear in order to maximize the spectator experience, offering fans a completely modernized, rejuvenated experience, as well as promotional support for producers and artists.
In addition to preserving the integrity and unique character of the performance hall, the shared goal is to improve the quality and high standards of the shows and concerts presented for the audience, artists, employees and producers, and offer a showroom worthy of the international reputation of the Montreal cultural scene.
There is no closure expected, and the venue will continue to present shows while construction is in progress.
Over its 132-year history, 59 Ste. Catherine Street East has enjoyed a number of incarnations:
- Founded in 1884 as a skating rink.
- The following year, it became Théâtre Français, a summer theatre.
- From the 1920s, the venue became The Loew’s Court cinema, before once again becoming Théâtre Français.
- After two fires, it was rebuilt in early 1930 as a theatre: décor was handled by Emmanuel Briffa, who was also responsible for the Théâtre Outremont.
- From 1960 to 1981, the venue became Cinema Eros, screening adult films.
- After a six-year closure, the space became “Métropolis,” a discotheque and showroom.
- In 1997, L’Équipe Spectra purchased Métropolis and reconfigured it as a venue exclusively dedicated to live performance. Since then, it has welcomed such prestigious artists as David Bowie, Prince, Beck, Les Rita Mitsouko, Kraftwerk, Radiohead, Björk and Stromae, to name but a few. The venue is also an essential creative space for local talents: Jean Leloup, Louis-Jean Cormier, Pierre Lapointe, Daniel Bélanger, Ariane Moffatt and Plume Latraverse have all headlined here.
- In 2017, Métropolis will become M TELUS, continuing to serve as a launching pad for local musicians, welcome the world’s finest international artists, and offer an outstanding venue for performing arts and popular celebrations in the heart of Montreal.
Since its founding in 1977 by Alain Simard, André Ménard and Denyse McCann, L’Équipe Spectra has contributed to developing and raising the profile of the Montreal cultural scene at both the national and international level, with an array of major productions and events including: major popular events such as the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the FrancoFolies de Montréal and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, that celebrate music, the arts and gastronomy; a rich variety of high-quality stage productions, conceived and developed for touring purposes; Spectra Musique, a bold record label featuring both emerging stars and big names on the local and international scenes; the Maison du Festival, a one-of-a-kind cultural complex housing a live showroom, bistro, jazz resource centre and cinematheque, a gallery, an exhibition hall and a boutique, all right in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles; a dynamic artists’ agency representing some of the most talented and highly respected artists on the Québec and French cultural scenes; three renowned concert halls; international-calibre exhibitions that redefine the museum experience, including Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, created and developed with X3 Productions to offer a unique visitor experience; a complete service for organizing corporate events and cultural sponsorship.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12.5 billion of annual revenue and 12.5 million customer connections, including 8.5 million wireless subscribers, 1.5 million residential network access lines, 1.6 million high-speed Internet subscribers and 1 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada’s largest health-care IT provider.
About TELUS in Quebec
Over the next four years, TELUS plans to invest more than $2 billion in the construction of new infrastructure and installations across Quebec. Between 2000 and the end of 2020, TELUS will have invested more than $27 billion in the province to expand its leading wireline and wireless infrastructure. As part of this commitment, TELUS has extended its fibre-optic network directly to homes, businesses, schools and health care facilities in numerous urban and rural communities to deliver innovation and help drive economic growth in the province.
In keeping with the company’s philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, team members and retirees have contributed more than $54 million and 540,000 volunteer hours to charitable and community organizations throughout Quebec since 2000.Created in 2005 by TELUS President and CEO Darren Entwistle, these 15 local community boards are dedicated to supporting local projects. Since they were founded, the three Quebec-based Community Boards have donated more than $12.45 million to thousands of local charitable projects conducted by organizations such as L’Ancre des jeunes, Motivaction Jeunesse and the CRBM foundation, among others.
In September 2012, TELUS opened a state-of-the-art Intelligent Internet Data Centre in Rimouski, Quebec. TELUS chose to build the centre in Rimouski due to availability of a skilled workforce in the community, abundant green features (including an abundance of hydroelectricity) and cool climate. In 2015, the TELUS Intelligent Internet Data Centre in Rimouski, recognized as one of the world’s most technologically innovative and energy-efficient facilities, received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Award for sustainable development.
Director, press relations and social media