Is Summer Already Ending?

How’s weather for you lovely bloggers? This weekend has been ridiculously chilly in Montreal.  Its dropped to about 10-15C during the day.  Thats a huge difference to the beautiful weekend we had last week.  The sun is gone, the rain is falling hard and the wind is coming in a little also. At least Sunday afternoon warmed up a little more and I managed to do help with some painting and then went outside to scrap up the leaves from our trees that already started shedding in the front yard.

I’m struggling to find things that happened this past week that happened so I’m going to see what little bits I can come up with.

1) Guardians of the Galaxy and A Month Full of Anticipated Movies!

I’m definitely behind with all these movie reviews but truth is, I max out a little with writing these reviews so my brain is demanding a break.  Its the reason why I took so long to have the last review to wrap up Fantasia Festival (which I completed yesterday) and I saw Guardians of the Galaxy last week and totally forgot to mention it, even if the stranger next to me was super abnormal.  Thank you Cineplex for armrests that go up so that I could scoot closer to my boyfriend and enjoy the movie 😉 Review for that coming up!

August is a beautiful month FULL of movies that I want to see: Expendables 3, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, If I Stay, The Giver.  I’ll have to make choices.  It looks like I’ll be giving up The Giver for now and I’m still on the fence for If I Stay.  It all depends on how much time life is going to give me 😉

mental fitness2) Week 1: Nike Training Club- Getting Lean Program

Last week, I started getting back into yoga.  On Monday, I seriously didn’t want to even think about starting the program again.  However, I thought about it and you know, its all in my head: If I believe I can do it, I know I can push through. 100% mental so its time to push.  I slacked off for 4 months, its time to pick up the pace and get back into the beat of things. Tuesday, I pushed myself to start  the program.

I’ve done the Getting Toned program before and that was pretty intense.  Somehow, I don’t know if its just that I haven’t done intense workouts in a long time but every single one in this Getting Lean (even the Dynamic Yoga) made me sweat buckets.  Its disgusting but at least I know my body is working hard and I’m being super nice and trying to rehydrate myself a lot.

Plus, did I tell you that I’ve been doing a 30 day detox from alcohol? I’m at my 3rd week and its been pretty awesome 🙂 Its really just a personal thing since I had a bunch of parties and wedding and whatnot in July and I drank a lot more than usual.  I felt that my body needed a little break from it all.

3) Garden harvest

wpid-20140817_161327.jpg

As the weather is slowly getting chilly and reminding us that fall is getting closer, the upside is that we now have constant harvest.  Sure, I was really  just testing the waters this year so nothing seemed to be in abundance but although not shown here, my raspberries are getting ripe every few days and we always have 4 or 5 to try whenever we go harvest.  Then, I finally got fed up of my boyfriend not harvesting the lettuce so I went ahead and did it. Maybe we will have one more batch before it gets cold? Who knows.  A leaf stunted the growth of my Zucchini so I had to harvest it.  I did so some pruning of the leaves to give room to the four that seem to be growing 🙂

Gardeners, what are you harvests?

4) More TV!

On Friday night, I realized that Netflix is going to expire Pan Am in September so since it only had one season, I gave it a watch.

Pan Am

Pan Am gave me a few little surprises. One was that I was hooked and ended up watching it till 3am and then woke up and continued watching for another few hours.  After going out to take care of stuff for the house, I came home that night and finished it up. Second was that it has my absolute favorite French-Canadian star Karine Vanasse and she is absolutely lovely.  I adore her character. Third is the very handsome Mike Vogel, who reminds me that I need to catch up with the current season of Under the Dome 🙂

Then, I ask why did they cancel this series? It was so awesome! Classy and so much fun.  All the characters were great and the story was fantastic.

Of course that doesn’t end there.  On Friday night, I hung out with two friends watching TV and chatting.  We ended up watching reruns of Shark Tank and it reminded me that I hadn’t seen Dragon’s Den in ages and Netflix has it.

Dragon's Den

So there I was on Sunday starting to devour the 3 seasons available to me 🙂 Still watching Season 6 right now but its pretty awesome!

Aside from that, the other series to expire is two seasons of Justified and a movie called Like Crazy.

Any series you’re catching up with now?

5) Ready to start the eventful months + Planning!

I always try to keep my blog busy and I’ve slowed down a little in the last 2 months just in general to not burnout from everything.  With life in full blaze and picking up the pace with my new house (painting, furniture, arranging and the garden) and work, its really hard to balance. These few months have given me time to think up a few little things and refocus.  I have a few projects I want to start by 2015 but whether you are new or not, I’m personally very proud of my little recommendations month and I’m happy that I’m extending that FINALLY to books.  I already made the official announcement on Friday but just in case, till the end of August, the primary focus will turn to books on my ebook reader from independent writers.  I actually have a perfect timing for the first author I’m about to talk about 😉

Moving on, I hope to continue into September with this and add on movies but seeing as I already did a Recommendations month earlier this year, I’m still deciding on that.

A little glimpse at whats coming up also is possibly the most popular month:

October and Halloween month 😉 I have an event ready and I’m deciding on what marathon to do.  I think I might have promised Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th BUT, that comes with the condition that I have to have finished moving and ALL my and my boyfriend’s DVDs have been organized.

December and Christmas month..also wondering how to approach that this year since I’ve burnt through A LOT of Chrismas movies already.

Still, it’ll be busy and there will be lots of planning 🙂

6) ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By now, a lot of you would have heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  My friend nominated me on Sunday evening for it so I asked my boyfriend to freeze up some ice and came over to help me film this last night.  I nominated three of my girl friends and hopefully they’ll carry forward with it 😉

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10154501204580504

I’m not very saavy with this so I’m hoping the link will work for you as well.  If not, I’ll figure out how to embed the video right after my boyfriend sends it to me.

Have you been called out to this challenge yet?

7) The Power of Music

1 song

I’ve always connected to music strongly so when I saw this quote, it has stuck to me.  Sometimes, I go back and look for music to commemorate a certain time in my life.  At times, I even subconsciously would do it for a renowned singer or just go back to music my dad and I would listen to when I was young.  Sometimes, it just the meaning of what the music meant to me back then.  Every relationship (not limited to love) can be related to at least one theme song and thats what makes life so awesome 🙂

 8) Epic Patty Cake Song

Looks so fun! 🙂

Thats all for me today! Its already taken me a few days to put this together!

HAPPY TUESDAY, MY LOVELIES!

All The Wrong Reasons (2013)

I have to admit that the only reason I saw this was because of Cory Monteith and how is passing brought a lot of attention to this movie.  Who knew sitting on the plane would mean I could catch up with Canadian productions? Although, this one does get a little in the dark and slow side.  Either way, I didn’t know that before it started and there was more than one surprise 😉

Lets start with a little synopsis!

all the wrong reasonsDirector: Gia Milani

Cast: Karine Vanasse, Cory Monteith, Kevin Zegers, Emily Hampshire

An ensemble film about four everyday people: a store manager, a security guard, a fire fighter and a clerk who struggle in the aftermath of trauma.-IMDB

Thats a good start for a synopsis.  A store manager James Ascher (Cory Monteith) who wants to move up to be a regional manager.  While on the side, he deals with his wife, Kate Ascher (Karine Vanasse) who is eyes of the store he manages but has people intimacy issues and doesn’t want to be touched after a family tragedy.  However, the new recruit as store clerk, Nicole (Emily Hampshire) seeks to salvage whatever feelings of youth she has and drowns herself in irresponsible actions and spendings while struggling to take care of her son and ends up seducing James.  Finally, there is the amputated and physically recuperating firefighter, Simon (Kevin Zegers) looking to regain his position at the fire department while working temporarily at the store as security. He and Kate slowly confide in each other as they learn to get pass the traumas they have both gone through.

all the wrong reasons

I watched All the Wrong Reasons over a month ago and its fading a little in my memory (which probably isn’t a good thing). I just felt like I needed to write about it because I’m going to say that although this movie isn’t really for a lot of people, if you can find a deeper meaning to it all, which I did because I had lots of time on a 14 hours flight to ponder my life, it actually felt real.  Real in the sense that its portraying a bunch of flawed people in the world living their everyday lives each with one aspect of their life magnified and obsessed over.  In a world where people can be influenced by others, who need others and grow in good or bad ways depending on the influences.

All the wrong reasons

As I was going off on a ramble up there, thats kind of what I think this movie is trying to say.  I’m not completely sure either but these people all have this skewed view of life.  Cory Monteith’s James and Emily Hampshire’s Nicole being the best in the world of lost and confused and really aiming hard to find a reasons to mess up their lives monumentally without really thinking that its wrong.  You know, getting caught up in the moments that feel so good but are just so toxic for you? James Ascher is that dick of a manager who is so fake that you can see it when he smiles.  He wants to  look good so bad that he doesn’t even know it when he has even lost who he really is and when he loses the uptight act, well, he loses control completely because before you know it, he’s manipulated by the woman who acts like she’s real sweet but actually will do ridiculous things before she’s even put any thought to it and turns everything upside down.  You get the idea, right? Just not such pleasant human beings….

all the wrong reasons kevin zegers

I’m skipping ahead of myself.  I should probably justify why this movie might not be for everyone.  For one, its really heavy and extremely slow.  I had a lot of saved up patience working here because of the length of the flight (and being on vacation helps also).  Either way, this movie moves along really slowly and doesn’t really link everyone together, other than the fact that they work together and that James and Kate are a couple for a while as it tries to give us an idea of everyone’s story. However, the second half of the movie (approximately) does pull itself together and ends this thing in a pretty acceptable way and I actually had a pretty good laugh while having a rather intense moment also. Maybe its just because the characters of Simon and Kate connected with me a lot more and I just really was cheering them on.

all the wrong reasons karine & kevin

While we’re on the subject of Karine Vanasse’s Kate and Kevin Zegers’s Simon, they were possibly the best part of this movie.  I’m not huge on Quebec productions but I’m slowly learning more about them and in all honesty, Karine Vanasse never disappoints me.  At least, so far she hasn’t.  She was my surprise in this one (the one I mentioned in the beginning). You can check out my review of  her other movie which is also one of my faves, My Daughter My Angel HERE. Honestly, when I first saw her here, the surprise came with a little doubt of not being sure how she’d handle the whole English speaking movie but then they also gave her some “random” French speaking moments.   Kate went through a lot of crap and the family trauma she went through caused so much damage that she was scared to literally touch someone else.  We soon realize that it was probably a deeper issue that needed a bit more understanding and care and even trust and the feeling of not getting hurt.  Sure, it was awkward to watch as Simon stood still while she touched him gently but there were times those moments felt like they gave out more than it was just showing and I felt like there was a deeper connection between the characters.  Kate’s story appealed to me the most but in hand, it had to be given to Simon’s character.  Simon was a really good character.  He was really in a similar situation to Kate but his trauma was mentally just accepting himself again with an amputated limb and living with that.

There’s a lot of deeper feelings trying to be portrayed in All the Wrong Reasons.  For that, I feel like if you connect with the characters successfully to whatever extent, the enjoyment will be there.  This movie throws punches at its audience and sets everything so slow that maybe everything gets lost in translation.  Maybe there was even a lot of beyond the lines and not enough shown.  I’m totally basing this on how I felt about it but then maybe Gia Milani (director and screenwriter) wasn’t even trying to show that.  What I’m trying to say is that All the Wrong Reasons is not a perfect movie and its far from it.  Its an average drama that tries to trigger some emotions about the crazy stuff normal everyday people have gone through.  Everyone has their own story and their own ambitions and even their own hidden fears that maybe they don’t know about.  They aren’t perfect and they try everyday to seem like everyday is fine and live in their comfort zone.  There’s a lot that I think is trying to be said here but it is a little fuzzy at times 😉 But the ending really does make up for the whole crazy process of it 🙂

I really don’t know how to end this.  If any of what I said appeals to you, you should check it out.  No strong recommendations either.  I’m sure not rushing out to grab it off the store shelves (but thats because I don’t watch dramas too much) but I’m pretty sure one of these days, I will pick it up and want to rewatch it because I felt there was some strong performances.

Have you seen All the Wrong Reasons? If you have, am I overthinking the whole thing?

My Daughter, My Angel (2007)

My first foreign film review of 2013!

Okay, kind of a foreign movie. This is a  Canadian production set in Montreal.  I live here and understand French without the need of subtitles but to many others, this would probably be never on your radar.  I like to dive into the world of Quebec movies. Its different and many times I limit my viewings because it can get depressing.  This one is a crime thriller and one that I somehow enjoy every time even though I know how things turn out.

ma fille mon ange

Original title: Ma Fille Mon Ange

Director: Alexis Durand-Brault

Cast: Michel Côté, Karine Vanasse, Dominique Leduc, Laurence Leboeuf

The story overlapping a police investigation on a murder, a father’s search for his daughter and the depths of the porn business.  When a father and a political advisor of Quebec political party, Germain Dagenais (Michel Côté) decides one night to log into a porn site, he sees an online date for his daughter’s upcoming live sex session in 4 days.  Devastated and in disbelief, he quickly packs and leaves for Montreal to find his daughter, Nathalie (Karine Vanasse) before she does the unthinkable.  When he arrives, he treads into the porn business and pieces together the information to find his daughter who refuses to answer his calls, he finds his daughter’s best friend, Angelique (Laurence Leboeuf) who happens to be a drug addict and a stripper.  When he finally finds out where this live sex is going to happen, when he arrives, he sees his daughter running of in panic and he goes up and sees that her co-star has died.  A few days later, the police come to question his daughter about the death.

First of all, this is a crime thriller and also listed as a drama.  Most Quebec productions have a very dramatic take and thats something that needs to be noted.  However, this movie is very well-balanced.  The movie is structured in a way where we see the different takes of the story on hand from the father to his daughter, the best friend and what connects it all together.  The characters are all structured in the most basic way we can understand them.  The father tries to protect his daughter in every way possible and brings up the whole concept of how no matter how old she will always be his little girl.  We see his daughter, a small town girl, who gets tempted to go wild in the big city.  The best friend knows that what she has fallen to is not good but its the path that she has chosen.

Character design is pretty good and the actors themselves portray it very well also.  Michel Côté does a really good job at a father who fights to find his daughter every possible way and pull her out of a situation that she can’t take back.  Karine Vanasse is one of my favorite Quebec actresses and it all started with this movie as Nathalie, a perfect daughter who is a law student in unversity from a small town that wants to experience more in the big city with going out to clubs and drinking and eventually lead astray.  There are moments we get the idea that she likes being rebellious. One of the most notable roles though would be Laurence Leboeuf.  Her role as a drug addict and a stripper who tries to be a best friend to Nathalie to not have her follow her own footsteps was one of the most convincing roles and added a lot to the plot.

This movie is probably one of my favorite Quebec productions because of how they set up the whole story.  It has some parts which you wonder what will happen next.  As much as its a crime thriller, its also a drama focussing on the father and daughter relationship.  The idea that no matter how old we always have that loving parent who will pull us out of our mess and our bad decisions.

Have any of you seen this? Heard of it even? How about any other Quebec films?