Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bernie



‘Bernie’ based on the true story of ‘Bernie Tiede,’ was an excellent portrayal of the warm, charming and generous undertaker who got on the wrong path. Although this Crime/Drama ended a bit tragic there was great humor involved and it is probably one of actor Jack Black’s best performances. Shirley MacLane stars alongside him as the ice-queen widow ‘Marjorie Nugent’. 

Written and directed by Richard Linklater, whom worked with Black for ‘School of Rock’ didn’t make as much at the box-office but his film was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2011, and received 16 other nominations and 9 wins that year. Even though it was filmed in Bastrop, Texas, real residents from Carthage, Texas who knew both Bernie and Majorie provided commentary on actual events for the film. Mathew McConaughey who plays attorney ‘Danny Buck’, along with Richard Robichaux who portrayed stockbroker ‘Lloyd Hornbuckle’ added another layer of depth to this quirky tale. Jack Black also spent time with the real ‘Bernie’ to study his mannerisms for the movie and did his own musical renditions throughout the film.


The details throughout were well seamed with reality and the beautiful landscapes of this small-town painted the ideal picture Linklater needed his audience to see. Engaging and delightful, this film isn’t your typical Docu-drama and despite some very grim events, it’s plenty of ‘laugh-out-loud’ fun! 


Monday, November 30, 2015

The Josephine Baker Story



Before there was Madonna, and Marilyn there was Josephine. Few people know that she was the richest woman in the world, and richest black woman in the world at the height of her performing years. She was the first to have exotic pets like her pet leopard Chiquita, and also the first to adopt children from around the world, 12 children to be exact and raise them in her bonafide castle in France. She was truly an international talent and wasn’t always celebrated but loved and adored especially by the French.

’The Josephine Baker Story’ in 1991, although made for television was quite an excellent revival of the life and times of the late and great dancer, actress, singer, Josephine Baker. This Biographical Drama was written by Ron Hutchinson and directed by Brian Gibson. With a run-time of 130 minutes they won 1 Golden Globe, another 8 wins and received 12 other notations. 

Set in the 1920’s until her death in 1968, viewers are given an in-depth quest from her humble and hated days to super stardom. Lynn Whitfield was the perfect choice to portray Josephine Baker’s life as it was probably one of the best performances in her long career. Diana Ross, Diahnne Abbott, Irene Cara, Holly Robinson Peete, Whitney Houston and Neneh Cherry were all considered for the part, but Whitfield who is a native of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana proved to be the perfect fit.


Not only did the audience taste the glamour but they also enjoyed the intrigue and mystery as well as they learned Baker was a spy during World War II as well as an activist for equal rights in America. This is a movie that won’t soon be forgotten. 


Beasts of No Nation



“I just want to be happy in this life.”

For those of you who don’t have Netflix, you may want to make that small investment. Netflix brought to us an Oscar nominated film ‘Beasts of No Nation’ which is all the buzz and has already won 2 wins and 9 other nominations. Written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), he has brought to us not only a phenomenal and dramatic war movie based on an unnamed western African country but he has also brought to us new and raw talent. Abraham Attah who plays  our main character Agu takes the audience on a fearful, violent, and brutal journey through raging war.

It’s highly recommended to keep the tissues nearby, however it is a must-see! Exceptionally shot and difficult to ingest as the story is one of a child solider being separated from his family; it’s a shameful yet remarkable journey of how young Agu is forced into manhood and battles not only war but his savage transformation. Nigerian/English Idris Elba (Thor, Mandela, Luther) also gives a powerful performance. 

Shot entirely in Ghana  over 35 days, and casting mostly in Sierra Leone, it is Netflix’s First Original Film and most of the cast were actual child soldiers and arrested because of suspicion of them being mercenaries. Fukunaga actually got malaria while shooting and Elba gifted actors with iPods before leaving Ghana.


This is probably my favourite for this year, and in my opinion one of the best child actor performances  I’ve seen. I do hope to be seeing much more of Attah and hoping after all their hard work, and pristine execution and story that they receive some more wins.


Black Mass



2015’s ‘Black Mass’ was based on a true story of an FBI informant tracking down a Mafia family in the South of Boston. This Biography/Crime/Drama had a run-time of 122 minutes and in my opinion Johnny Depp’s character ‘James Whitey Bulger’ stole the show. Eerie, disturbing, un-settling, shocking and exciting are a few words I could use to help you grasp the type of film it is. Reminiscent of other cult crime movies? Perhaps. But If it weren’t for Depp’s Oscar-worthy performance and the strong execution of the rest of the cast including Julianne Nicholson (August Osage County), Jesse Plemons (Battleship, Bridge of Spies), Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement, Star Trek), Kevin Bacon (Footloose, Apollo 13), and Aussie Joel Egerton (Gatsby, Exodus) to name a few, it wasn’t necessarily crafted any differently or significantly unique.

Written by Mark Mallouk and directed by Scott Cooper, the film was indeed beautifully shot and terribly moving, and chilling to see. With a budget of $65 million USD, filmmakers were able to make back a cool $62 million within a few short months. The audience is taken on a very dark journey and understands that even in a close-knit community and love within families there are secrets and corruption that takes over creating something so massive that only evil ensues.


Wonderful soundtrack, thrilling story and interpretation and magnificently rich scenes viewers are sure to enjoy! 



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Peace



**Let them talk...let them spy...you know the truth...and you'll be obliged...to take part in the destiny...you've seen every time you close your eyes...ENJOY!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Master, I want to See



Sometimes we are blind. Spiritually blind. We cannot see our wrong-doings, our faults, our ripple-effects through life. We mean well, we try our best, but we fail at seeing that which we need to remember. Time and time again we fall, and fail, and cannot understand the cause of these unfortunate events. All that we are experiencing however, is because of our own doing. It may be hard to believe, but whatever actions we may be repeating is attracting less of what we need and want and in turn more of the harmful effects based on a cycle of actions. Don’t keep your hearts heavy darlings, because there is a way to finally see, crack the cycle and experience a shift and split from that which is keeping us stunted.

Have you heard the expression, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear’? It is similar in gaining clarity and sight from our blindness. We must ask for sight and for healing. There is a lovely, little story about the prophet Jesus who heals a man that was born blind. People asked Jesus if the man was born blind because of his own sins/wrong-doings or the sins/wrong-doings of his parents. Jesus told them that neither he nor his parents caused his blindness. He went on saying that it happened so that he could see the miracles and be a miracle in the life of others. The blind man asked for healing and his healer appeared. Jesus healed him and he was able to finally see. After this the man not only gained vision for the first time but sight on how to move forward in faith.

So too my darlings, are we to ask for sight and for healing. What can we do to gain consciousness of our actions that are causing us harm? To find healing we must investigate and ask our God/Master/Universe to see with new eyes. The mud and confusion of our lives will be washed away and we will see the truth. We need to listen to others, but more importantly listen within. What seems impossible will finally become a reality in our lives. We have this privilege, this honor and this advantage of gaining light where there is darkness to continue on our path.

Don’t be too hard on yourselves. Falling and feeling the pain is not a strange occurrence. Not knowing why,  is also not a strange situation. Gaining sight from our blindness is a blessing. But for those who know what they do; those with vision and do things intentionally to harm the other; those will not only fall but become blind and their guilt will remain. We must try not to worry too much about those who deliberately and willfully cause us suffering. Instead we must practice focusing on our journey as best as we can. Once we help ourselves see, we can also help guide others to leave their lives of darkness.

Bless-up!


Love Jair

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I AM



** I AM are powerful words of creation. Use it to shift air into your thoughts and ideas. Breathing it into existence helps us experience our desires that were put into our beings. Fill in the blanks of your lives by uttering into the Universe the words I AM...

** I AM unlimited.
** I AM refreshing.
** I AM unique.
** I AM powerful.
** I AM just getting started.
** I AM irresistible.
** I AM wanted.
** I AM stealing the show.
** I AM red carpet ready.
** I AM love.
** I AM sexy magic.
** I AM a best-selling author.
** I AM a successful actress.
** I AM a filmmaker.
** I AM a model.
** I AM made in the image and likeness of GOD! **

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blessings


**Blessed to be a part of this project -- what the cast of Sense8 says! A blessing indeed! We love this multi-dimensional, multi-ethnic, multi-powerful cast from the Wachowskis**

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Grace



Grace [greys] noun
1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action
2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment
3. favor or goodwill

Nothing that transpires in your world, my world, this world is a mistake. The masterpiece of our lives, which we don’t have the privilege of seeing is thoroughly orchestrated in turn creating the best concertos! There are highs and plenty of lows, but that makes for a delightful and interesting listen. ‘Grace’ my friends is handling the constant changes in weather; weather that you’re always unprepared for. 

I’ve been battling lately on what inspiring thing I could write as I’ve been weathering some turbulent moments in life this year; and again and again ‘Grace’ was the word that came to mind. ‘Grace’ to accept the things which we have no control over, ‘Grace’ to stand up to injustice, ‘Grace’ to swallow the pride and the pain, ‘Grace’ to not be distracted by the bumps in the road but to keep moving forward with the vision of greatness!

Remember that these sensationally troubling moments are just that; they will cease, melt away and you will have your life back; we can only hope with more heart, strength, wisdom and grace than we ever had before. For although the wickedness of people stirs something in our hearts and sometimes puts us in an unfamiliar dark and foreign place; we must not succumb but instead use that pain to bounce to realms of magnificence! 

Your trials must not keep you down; we must always result in resilience. Revenge sounds like a tasty fruit but it will only bring us harmful energy. To keep healthy inside and out we must be graceful survivors. Life is about learning and is always fair. It may be hard to believe but one storm makes you stronger and another is given to those whose hearts are filled with malice, hurt and ill-intent. Be grateful for your storms darlings, God/The Universe is opening up new doors as we speak! Handling this situation with grace only makes us blossom into a more prepared soul.

Grace changes everything!

Bless-up!


Love Jair

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Raunchy Limits



**Actress Rashida Jones (father Quincy Jones); discusses the porn industry and the limits young women put on themselves by becoming an object for sex to make money -- she produces original netflix documentary 'Hot Girls Wanted'.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Halo



**The man behind the music. Many think Beyonce was the mastermind -- think again -- meet Ryan Tedder, very talented singer/songwriter -- Enjoy! xx

Cake



“Forgiveness is a bitter pill to swallow”.

I was quite impressed with actress Jennifer Aniston’s performance in the 2014 drama ‘Cake’ written by Patrick Tobin and directed by Daniel Barnz. 102 minute run-time with an estimated budget of 7 million USD; nominated for 1 Golden Globe, 4 other nominations and 2 wins. Tragedy overwhelms and sometime swallows us and actors in this film honestly portrayed the pain, loss and how they try to cope with the intense misery.

Life is not always sunshine and roses and it was a pleasure to see Aniston take on something so serious and meaningful. I’m really proud of her. Adorable and talented Anna Kendrick also joins in and  delivers exceptionally.  English Sam Worthington also shines in his performance. Mexican Adriana Barraza also showered the audience with refreshing faith and patience.


This one hit home. Pain and depression isn’t only mental, it’s physical and can envelope your entire life. It’s a transformation that wasn’t so sweet but oh so real…


You've Got the Love





**His love is real...unconditional and forever...true love xx

"You've Got The Love"

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying, "Lord, I just don't care."
But you've got the love I need To see me through

Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough
And things go wrong no matter what I do
Now and then it seems that life is just too much
But you've got the love I need to see me through

When food is gone you are my daily meal
When friends are gone I know my Saviour's love is real
You know it's real

You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love

Time after time I think, "Oh, Lord, what's the use?"
Time after time I think it's just no good
'Cause sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose
But you got the love I need to see me through

[2x]
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
'Cause I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying, "Lord, I just don't care."
But you've got the love I need to see me through

Albert Nobbs



“A man with a secret. A woman with a dream.”

I’d heard about this 2011 Drama starring Glenn Close and it certainly peaked my interest. It was nice to finally see it and learn about how the world worked in the 19th century. It was a difficult time to be who you were really meant to be; not to mention women weren’t allowed to lead independent lives. Nominated for 3 Oscars that year, with 17 wins and another 35 nominations, it’s a film that was dramatic as it was gripping and heartbreaking.

Written by Gabriella Prekop and John Banville and directed by Rodrigo Garcia they give viewers a peek into our main character ‘Albert Nobbs’ life played by Glenn Close. Her portrayal as a man is impeccable and quite believable to all around her. Sadly she rarely smiles unless dreaming of what the future can be. The life of our main character was a severely tormented one. Our main characters brought some lightness to the film played by Australian Mia Wasikowska who strangely played the love interest ‘Helen’ of almost everyone in the film.


One of the latter lines of the film goes, “Dear Jesus, I don’t know what makes people live such miserable lives.” I feel that this line exposes the main message filmmakers tried to convey during this story. Don’t be stuck — keep moving!


Friday, June 19, 2015

A Girl Walks Alone at Night



A thing of beauty and certainly ‘JourneywithJair’ recommended. There is very little ‘Horror’ in this film, if any at all. This 2014 now ‘cult’ film written and directed by Iranian Ana Lily Amirpour was exceptionally shot, and though the story was highly simple, the execution and allure made it bloom into a magical and magnificent experience. I want to watch it over and over again…

Shot entirely in black & white and although all actors are of Iranian descent and speak Farsi, this film was shot in California where Amirpour did her graduate degree and currently lives. Our main characters, ‘Arash’ played by Arash Marandi and Sheila Vand who plays ‘The Girl’ had wonderful chemistry with each other. There is very little dialogue in this film, but when spoken, it is quite poetic and meaningful. The characters are wonderful to watch and it is exciting to see how much is conveyed with just gestures and motion. In spite of some sexual matter, none of it comes across crude or overbearing and there is no kissing whatsoever. The sexuality comes across with extreme ’close-shots’ and distinct body language.


‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ is reminiscent of another wonderful film ‘Let the Right One In’ the 2008 Swedish film written by John Ajvide Lindqvist and directed by Tomas Alfredson. Both indomitably show the trappings of loneliness, despair and the craving or desire for something more…


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fulfillment



**A little wisdom from those who don't ignore their calling -- here's some words with Ana Lily Amirpour! :)

**Fulfillment - The act or state of fulfilling.
To witness the fulfillment of a dream; to achieve fulfillment of one's hopes...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sense8



**Kinda' obsessed with this show -- thrilling, intense, insightful, exciting, spiritual, sensual, riveting and like a movie you never want to end! Meet most of the cast (missing Doona Bae) and enjoy the latest creation of Andy and Lana Wachowski! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Middle of Nowhere



“You never know where love will take you.”

And I sure hope it never takes me there! What a depressing story! Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can speak about all the other good things. ‘Middle of Nowhere’ written and directed by Ava DuVernay (first African-American woman to win Director award -- for this film) has been working in the film industry since 1999. This film was not only a product of all her hard-work but not only did it bring her ‘Best Director’ award but also 20 other nominations and 14 wins that year. 

This Drama was done with a humble budget of $200,000 USD and no surprise didn’t hit big at the box-office as this ‘serious subject-matter’ film had an all black cast. What it did garner however were people’s eyes being opened to the sensationally good acting abilities, direction, and perspective coming from a crowd that has been ignored a little too long. 

Starring British David Oyelowo, American actors, Omari Hardwick and Emayatzy Corinealdi and from Trinidad and Tobago Lorraine Toussaint this film brought viewers to a dark yet beautiful place. I must clarify when I say ‘depressing’ but when a woman’s husband is sentenced to eight years in prison and he has a chance at getting out after 5 years and things suddenly change is enough for any audience member to become depressed. Viewers are invested in the movie’s characters from the beginning and quickly identified with the love, fear, pain and everything else in between.


Rated R for some language this film is worth the watch - incredible dialogue, wonderful pacing, expert camera work and cinematography and phenomenal acting! The world needs to see more of these films. Switch the leads and this film would certainly be Oscar-worthy; but alas we’re only in the year 2015…


The Boxtrolls



Written by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava and directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi this 2014 Oregon-based studio stop-motion and CG-film was nominated for 1 Oscar and 50 other nominations and garnered 10 wins that year. It goes without saying that it certainly took a great deal of work to complete this film. Delightful from beginning till end; it was loaded with cute comedy and grand adventure!

With an estimated budget of $60 million USD and a run-time of 96 minutes, the story was inspiring and entertaining and the voices were just as colorful and meaningful throughout. English Academy Award Winner Sir Ben Kingsley, English Isaac Hempstead Wright, American Elle Fanning, American Tracy Morgan, and many others brought the children’s novel ‘Here Be Monsters’ by Alan Snow to life! The soundtrack was just as tantalizing and the magic and magnificence created in this film is one to be remembered for years to come! My favourite detail would have to be the ‘teeth’! 


A film I would love to watch with my ‘future’ family and a family fantasy fun you can enjoy today!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Memories


**Love takes time to recover -- but it's so POWERFUL -- it'll never be forgotten...Artist Marina Abramovic meets her ex-lover after not seeing him since the 70's...her reaction is priceless ...

Before I Go To Sleep



An excellent Drama/Mystery/Thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth written and directed by English Rowan Joffe. I found this film to be thought-provoking and quite effective in affecting the audience. Beautiful pacing and even more lovely cinematography. Traumatic truths are revealed and it keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Certainly the challenging and full-of-depth characters I’d love to have the opportunity to bite in to. 

The strategy of repetition worked well here in this film because it allowed us to identify better with the frightening turmoil of our main character. Even towards the end of the film we feel insecure and vulnerable and just the sheer thought of what our main character ‘Christine’ played by Kidman is going through brings unsettling emotions forward. 


Memory is a personal topic for us all and the filmmaker manages to capture this chilling phenomena in the most spine-tingling and intriguing way. The circumstances are dark but all eventually comes into the light. 


Left Behind



Another faith-based film also released in 2014; ‘Left Behind’ starring Nicolas Cage was a weak Action/Sci-Fi/Thriler nominated for 4 awards but despite large explosions and dramatic music failed to deliver big at the box-office. 

Based on novel by Jerry B. Jenkins and probably inspired by ‘Revelations’ in the Bible, this story was directed by Vic Armstrong and led star power like Chad Michael Murray, Martin Klebba, Jordin Sparks and Cage to name a few. I liked the premise and the unfolding of events but felt that it was under-developed and that the character’s lacked depth. It’s confusing to viewers to see how quickly and how much main characters know about the peril that is unleashed suddenly. 

A run-time of 110 minutes and a budget of $16 million USD I think it was an attempt to bring awareness to spirituality and even religion however instead of it being more inviting turned out to be an abrasive tactic to the audience. Acceptance, love and kindness should be what is practiced to instill faith; not punishment and condemnation. Even though I found the flight attendants, passengers and pilot scenes to be non-reality and comical, I don’t think the movie delivered what it set out to.




God's Not Dead



“What do you believe?”

This 2014 faith-based drama didn’t win any awards however with an estimated budget of $2 million USD garnered over $60 million USD at the box-office. It was written by Hunter Dennis and directed by Harold Cronk. Producer of other faith-based films including this one, Russell Wolfe, recently died at 50 years old while producing “God’s Not Dead 2” after being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

This story was a moving one of how one’s faith is tested during life’s adversity; and how one must not settle into anger, bitterness and pain but instead gaining strength and garnering resilience. A battle against religion/spirituality and or philosophy I found to be a poor choice. The same with film-makers trying to taint another person’s religious practices as violent (young Muslim girl who gets thrown out by family) to make themselves seem more open and loving. Casting these sort of subliminal negative messages is anything but kind or loving. However putting those things aside there was decent acting and small tidbits to keep viewers hopeful throughout life. 


This sort of faith not only moves mountains but also created 37 court cases where Christian students sued schools because they felt that practicing their faith was being infringed by college administrators.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Soul Plane



Sometimes you’re in the mood to watch something a little silly. I won’t lie I absolutely loved the ‘The Naked Gun’ series and I never had the pleasure of watching this ‘cult-film’ Soul Plane which was released in 2004. Written by Bo Zenga and Chuck Wilson and directed by Jessy Terrero, this story was incredibly unbelievable but certainly brought in some laughs.

Starring Kevin Hart, Tom Arnold, Snoop Dogg, K.D. Aubert, among others it was a crazy, stereotypical, yet enjoyable film. No deep messages here, but like ‘The Naked Gun’ series with Leslie Nielsen, one could discover jokes in every corner. 


Guaranteed to make you smile, snicker and laugh.

Process

**Creation is a process -- but once you bring it altogether it's magical ...

Ex-Machina



Had the pleasure of seeing this 2015 Sci-Fi/Drama over a week ago now and it’s still fresh in my mind as I’m sure it left  lasting impression on all those who saw it. There’s a lot of buzz on this film written and directed by English Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later); it’s still in the cinemas but has already been nominated for a number of awards.

Starring Irish Domhnall Gleeson, Swedish Alicia Vikander and Guatemalan-American Oscar Isaac, this story was simplistic enough but held bounds and bounds of symbolism, philosophy and thought-provoking material. A wonderful yet eerie experiment gone sensationally wrong when interacting with a beautiful and intelligent robot woman.

Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence it’s not suitable for the little ones; however a thrilling and un-obscene intellectual ride for those willing to be provoked. A run-time of 108 minutes and an estimated budget of 11 million pounds; it’s still making buzz and has already grossed $17 million USD back.


A disturbing and intense ride you wish didn’t end when it did - remarkable from start to finish. 


Friday, May 1, 2015

Veronika Decides to Die



“It wasn’t until she decided to die, that Veronika found a reason to live.”

Based on the novel by famous Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, this 2009 Drama/Romance was certainly unforgettable and a reminder that there’s always worse than worse and somehow we human beings are always reminded to keep things in perspective and try to be resilient. Directed by English Emily Young and starring American Sarah Michelle Gellar, this story centers on a woman who fails at attempting suicide and awakes in a mental hospital. She is told she has a short time left to live and finally she finds meaning and zest for living. 

I thought it was a beautiful film; simple yet unpredictable story. Wonderful adaptation of Coelho’s book and mirrors much deeper messages to our audience about the meaning of life. The pacing is slow but I think worked well with delivering the severity and importance of this young woman’s journey. For anyone who’s been down-trodden, lost, tired, or helpless this film can speak to their souls. Keep the tissues nearby because you may want to shed a few tears.  A fantastic focus on the human behaviour and expertly played by Gellar. Enjoy! 


Sunday, April 26, 2015

God Bless Nepal



**Thinking about that special place I had the pleasure of visiting so many years ago and of the beautiful people I met. I pray they are safe --- God bless Nepal xxx

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Sapphires



Recommended to me by a fellow flight attendant; I had the pleasure of tuning in to this 2012 Biography/Comedy/Drama on a long layover this week. Little did I know that until 1967 Australia’s Aboriginal people, among the eldest people on earth were denied full citizenship by Australian government: they were not classified as human beings but as “Flora and Fauna”. I also did not know that as late as the 1970’s fair-skinned Aboriginal children were taken from their families to be raised in institutions with white families and taught “white ways”. Learning this made me sick; but it wasn’t a surprise as I’ve felt this energy even today when I visit Australia. Beautiful land but strange and saddening history. 

Written and adapted into screenplay by Tony Briggs and directed by Wayne Blair this film had a lot of heart. Following 4 Aboriginal sisters with a dream of singing and becoming famous in 1968 during the height of war in Vietnam and still raging racism in many parts of the world; this story allows audiences to connect to not only their love of music but their journey into learning about soul music and ultimately at being strong in their own skin. 


A lot of dynamics happening in this true story which adds even more to the depth of the already heavy story-line. The singing/music throughout helped to lighten the mood. Like any story of injustice this film makes viewers appreciate the struggles others deal with in this world and the actors successfully exhibit the strength needed to overcome battles sadly still faced today.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Babadook



“If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of … The Babadook.”

Pleasantly surprised by the scare this contemporary Drama/Horror/Thriller gave me! I found myself at moments looking from the corner of my eye because I couldn’t take what would happen next. Written and directed by Australian Jennifer Kent (her first feature film); this film had elements from the classics but was fresh and new in ideas and story. Essie Davis (who went to school with Kent) plays ‘Amelia’ our lead and she absolutely shone portraying a wide range of emotions, all believable throughout the course of this film. 

Although this 2014 film with a 93 minute run-time didn’t triple at the box office, it is one of the most innovative, phenomenal and thought-provoking thrillers which since it’s release has won 36 awards and 45 other award nominations. ‘The Babadook’ was excellently shot and was rich in performance, that the atmosphere created made viewers heart’s skip a beat at all the right moments. I found the soundtrack as equally unnerving and it brought great depth and complexity to this eerie tale. 


Babadook is an anagram of “A bad book” and coincidently if spelt “Baba-Dookh” in Hindi means “Father Grief”. The name of this film was inspired by the Serbian word for boogeyman or babaroga. With all that aside William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist 1973) said he’s never seen a more terrifying film than ‘The Babadook’. The difference between the way the both filmed their stories is that Kent made sure child-actor Noah Wiseman only delivered lines to an adult actor who stood on his knees because she didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make her film. The story is based on a short film she made in 2005 named ‘Monster’, and I must say she did a hair-raisingly good job! It is a masterpiece that will be remembered for years to come. 


Friday, April 17, 2015

Dark Skies



“Two possibilities exist…Either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

This 2013 Horror/Sci-Fi/Thriller was surprisingly quite good. With remnants of other classic film techniques with a new twist this film was able to be set apart. Written and directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Sin City), the pace and the way the film unfolds was quite comfortable. Although it seems quite predictable, it peaks in all the right places and gives us a surprise twist at the end. Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, and Kadan Rockett all give decent performances. But it’s the acting from Canadian Dakota Goyo that stands on his own.


With an estimated budget of $3 million USD they grossed triple at the box-office. Great acting performances and terrifying and disturbing events were all enough to keep the audience gripped to their seats and wanting more. A thrill of the strange and unexplained, viewers could see the research put in this film to give it enough believability for such encounters. There weren’t any over-the-top CGI or camera tricks, instead just a story well-told. 


Colombiana



This 2011’s Action/Crime/Thriller carried a lot of bunch. From fight-scenes, to things blowing up, it was more action and less talking. Written  and based on ‘The Professional’ by French Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen and directed by Olivier Megaton, this film brought in 5 nominations and 2 wins that year. Spanish Jordi Molla (Blow, Riddick) played the excellent villain to this story. Zoe Saldana who stars as ‘Cataleya’ displays wonderful acting chops; not to mention she does all her own stunts (no puns intended). Lennie James plays the Special Agent and helps audience understand the story and Amandla Stenberg who plays a young ‘Cataleya’ shows us her strength with just a stare. 

Not really my cup of tea; nevertheless filmmakers try to explain the senseless killings by explaining that Cataleya played by Saldana has become an assassin to seek revenge of her parents. I can’t say I agree either with the tagline ‘Revenge is Beautiful’ - but I feel that the violence, and intense action could be slightly ignored because it was great to see a woman of colour, and a woman overall as a lead in this European movie. Kudos to Saldana.  


With an estimated budget of $40 million USD this film grossed pretty much all back by the end of that year. It’s a film with gritty action that men will salivate to and women will feel a bit empowered.


The Impossible



“Nothing is more powerful than the human spirit.”

Written by Sergio G. Sanchez and Maria Belon and directed by J.A. Bayonne, ‘The Impossible’ starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor was an unforgettable and gripping film that was nominated for 1 Oscar, nominated for 61 other awards and received 27 wins in 2012. This story was based on a true one and after complete destruction and separation it is one tragic family’s tale remembered. 

This Drama/Thriller was absolutely disturbing and horrifying to think about but was so beautifully told and shot that it kept viewers glued despite the chaotic circumstances. With an estimated budget of 30 million Euros they were able to make back $180 million USD worldwide. Mediaset Espana, Summit Entertainment, Apaches Entertainment among others stood by to help produce this film. With a run-time of 114 minutes Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast made the audience completely believe that they were a real family and that they fought their hardest to stay together. 

This film really gave a first-hand account of what the tsunami in Thailand was like and what this family and many other families may have experienced. It was rated PG-13 because of graphic injury images, brief nudity and intense disaster sequences. McGregor and Watts shone remarkably in this film; just another testament of their acting abilities and their incredible portrayals of this family that they were able to bring to light. I think I was most touched by the camera-work in this film; camera man Sergi Bartroli and all others in the Camera and Electrical department truly brought focus and beauty despite the distressing subject matter. 


Down now as one of the favourites of ‘JourneywithJair Films’. Enjoy!


Stepbrothers



It’s either you get it or you don’t. This type of comedy is specific and may not appeal to everyone. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly excelled in portraying overgrown boys who aren’t at all happy to live with each other. Directed by Adam McKay, Will Ferrell co-writes with McKay and in 2008 they receive 4 wins and 1 nomination for this comedy flick. With a run-time of 98 minutes and an estimated budget of $65 million USD, filmmakers more than double at the box-office that year. 

I laughed and laughed at this one and especially enjoyed the improv banter between actors. Kathryn Hahn, and Adam Scott also both delivered wonderful comic timing and chemistry with our main actors for this film. Rated R this film is crude with pervasive language and sexual content, so it isn’t exactly for the whole family. 


There is no thought-provoking, ultra-meaningful message or anything with depth in this film; however the message is sticking together as a family and if you want to laugh out loud like no-one’s watching this is a good movie guaranteed to make you do just that. 


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Frankie and Alice



Just the sort of challenging film I’d like to roll-up my sleeves for! Now, why didn’t Halle Berry win the Oscar for her role in something like this? Sex-sells I guess, but meaningful, gritty and thought-provoking films will always win in my book! This 2010 Drama also based on a true story was adapted into screenplay by Cheryl Edwards and Marko King and directed by Geoffrey Sax. Starring non-other but bi-racial bomb-shell of an actress Halle Berry (Cloud Atlas, Catwoman, Bond, X-Men) and joined in by smooth and collected Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Nymphomaniac). 

Berry shone in this role and funnily enough her mother is a retired psychiatric nurse and she may have had some personal insight for her character ‘Frankie’. Haunting storyline and great avenue to shed light on the woes of mental illness’ and the struggles such individuals much overcome. Rated R for some sexual content, language and drug use. This film didn’t hit big at the box-office however I’m proud Halle took on such a solid role and gave an outstanding performance! The movie was also nominated for 1 Golden Globe, 4 other nominations as well as 5 wins.


This was a tragic story of what mental-illness can do to someone’s life as well as all the people they are connected to. It’s about overcoming the past that tears us sometimes apart as well as being able to heal and live again. I rather enjoyed this one. ‘JourneywithJair’ recommended!



Perfect Sisters



“Ever since I can remember, it was always my sister and me against the big bad world…”

“Little Miss Sunshine” is all grown up and still making waves in the film industry. I had the pleasure of having her on my flight one day; she was polite and had her head buried in a script. She continues to wow us with her exceptional level of taking direction and acting abilities in 2014’s Crime/Thriller ‘Perfect Sisters’.

Based on a true story which happened in January of 2003, writers Fab Filippo and Adam Till adapted the event into script and director Stanley M. Brooks coached the girls Georgie Henley and Abigail Breslin to play the ‘fed-up’ and ‘distraught’ teenaged sisters ‘Sandra and Beth Anderson’. Quite a chilling tale, and disturbing; however viewers were able to side/feel sorry for our main characters even though they were cold-blooded murderers. 


With a run-time of 100 minutes, despite rudimentary and strange camera effects/special effects (of the perfect mother), I quite enjoyed this film; partly because of the insane subject matter, and partly because of the phenomenal acting by both girls, Henley and Breslin. Makes for a dramatic night and shows that everyone has their breaking points and that even if you think something is wrong, sometimes the bond you have with one another trumps all.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Break the Mirror



It seems that everyone is up to their own agenda these days. Selfish, selfish, selfish. Few of us care too much about others and our feelings, emotions, and good-wishes not only fall by the way-side but come across strangely in this “insta-satisfaction’- world. We’re hooked, brainwashed and running around like hamsters in a wheel - that’s the ‘rat race’ darlings.  No time to stop and think about what you’re doing. Learn. Have self-discipline or will-power, just go go go, this feels good! Truly even if few of us want to help wake people up,  we realize that all these actions of wanting to have ‘fame’, wanting to be ‘loved’, wanting to be ‘seen’, wanting more and more are actually part of our ego. We see that these ugly reflections are also part of us too; It’s what it means to be human after all - perfectly flawed. We are mirrors of each other but does that make it right? To continue in this way seems idiotic - we stay this way because it’s so? It’s about time we break those mirrors and break free from this system! Break free from these excuses! Break free from these human restraints!

There’s nothing left to see.

You are not defined by what society tells you to do. All these industries strategically placed for you to consume. Make-up, Gadgets, Pornography, Drugs, etc etc etc. WE are one human spirit, WE need to stop thinking about me, me, me and start thinking more WE. Life is short, and before you know it; you’ll be old, and forget why you came here in the first place; granted we ever asked ourself the question before.

We were created as sons and daughters of the Most High and have fingerprints of God’s in our DNA. Therefore isn’t it time we put down your mirrors/mobiles/instagrams and look at our brother, look at our sister and give them some love, and some respect. Do we know what love is? Do we know what respect is? If we can answer that, we know that most of what we engage in….isn’t Love. Everything that feels good doesn’t make it good. Sometimes we need to dig deep within and ask ourself, why are we doing this?

Feel more. Your feelings are there for a reason. To guide you to where you’re destined to be. Listen to the sounds of the evening…all your answers are whispered. Stop wishing to be pretty, rich or famous, just start wishing to spread happiness and be happiness, the rest comes automatically!

Bless-up!


Love Jair

Jupiter Ascending



I was more than thrilled to see the latest installment of ‘The Wachowki’s’ new film ‘Jupiter Ascending’; you may remember some of their other films like ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Cloud Atlas’ and the fine quality of their work. This 2015 Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi which runs for 127 minutes and written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski was not the prediction I had hoped for (no pun intended). 

The plot/story-line was a bit weak to say the least and because of it, the audience lost interest rather quickly. Reminiscent of 'Star Wars' (George Lucas)‘Transformers’ (Michael Bay), ‘Fifth Element’ (Luc Besson), or even ‘Pans Labyrinth’ (Guiermo del Toro), this film had some great qualities, but sadly it’s all been done before. It was not an original or thought-provoking piece as their other films proved to be. Well-shot, impressive special effects and drawn-out action sequences; these were the positives of the movie. The acting was poor and direction seemed to lack tremendously. Perhaps there was too much going on in this film which didn’t help viewers really connect to any of our main characters. 


The cast was international with Ukranian-born Mila Kunis, American Channing Tatum and English Eddie Redmayne and Douglas Booth as well as Nigerian Nikki Asuka-Bird and South-Korean Doona Bae. With a solid cast, talented film-makers and an estimated budget of $176 million USD, it’s a shame to see that they’ve only grossed $45 million USD back so far and not very many fans. Apart from exquisite visuals, I have to say that  in ‘Jupiter Ascending’ something was missing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn



“When Henry Altmann fell from the bridge, time had slowed and it occurred to Henry that he didn’t have to be a burden that life was short and unique and that each hour, each minute, each second could have something to offer, something beautiful and astounding. The fact that this only occured to him seconds before he had hit the water and died; made him very very angry…”

Just some of the very poignant narration throughout this 2014 Comedy/Drama. Based on the novel/film “The 92 minutes of Mr. Baum” written by Assi Dayan; and adapted into screenplay by Daniel Taplitz and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, this film’s message spoke volumes.

I feel as though it hit even closer to home because of the world losing a great and remarkable human being ‘Robin Williams’ whom played the lead role of Henry Altmann. Losing Williams was as heartbreaking as it was when the world lost Michael Jackson, John Lennon or Bob Marley. He wasn’t a singer, obviously, however the joy, entertainment and performance he brought to the world was second to none. In this film our lead wants to kill himself and it tugs at the audience’s heartstrings because Williams did that very same thing and succeeded at it.

“In the end all we have is family…” was the main message of the film; however filmmakers showed that today even families are too busy for one another and too caught up in ‘their’ own lives to recognize  the changes that are going on around them. The film was well-shot, excellently acted ( Mila Kunis who played Dr. Sharon Gill, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones to name a few) and like Williams usually does, he expertly made viewers laugh and cry all in the same sentence!


A wonderful story-line and news we hope everyone gets, because we all have bad days, but each day we should use to be happy and make amends before it’s too late! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Yes, it's Love



** Happy Valentine's Day! & Enjoy this groovy and powerful tune by none-other Bob Marley! Now this is Reggae~ from the Caribbean island of Jamaica! :))

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

On my Way



**A little 'SOCA' music - for those who don't know yet -- this is the official music of the Caribbean; derived from Calypso. Listen and enjoy the beauty and the lyrics from Machel Montano (From Trinidad & Tobago)! :))

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

On How to Let Go



We’ve all been through our darkest days and because those days were so disappointing, so frightful and so disturbing we most times keep remnants within our beings or our hearts. We keep it there so that we ‘never forget’, the hurt, the injustice, or the pain. But my darlings, these memories are not meant to be kept forever. These memories not only poison us and cause dis-ease in our bodies; but they also harbor fear. Fear is something we as human-beings need to live without. Throughout my years it has been one of the most difficult  yet significant lessons to date - ‘Letting Go’. It’s much easier said than done; for as all of you know we carry baggage. That ‘baggage’ is again, experiences we’ve had in our past that for some reason we keep as reminders and protections if it were to occur again. 

This is understandable darlings.

Fear is a chain reaction in the brain which releases chemicals that cause the body to react in different ways; fast breathing, a racing heart, energized muscles among other things. The brain is an abstruse and mysterious organ but triggering these responses won’t help one overcome any stressful situation. That is why it is suggested for us to face our fears. Why do we have these fears in the first place? It is because we cannot let go of what happened to us.

This brings us to the age-old question how exactly can one ‘let go’? Well darlings, to let go we must ‘forgive’. Yes, forgive. Our enemies, our friends, our fathers, our mothers, our sisters, our brothers, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, husbands, wives, racists, chauvinists, those who are also in so much pain and unable to let go. Until we do that, we cannot truly be free from fear. Free from the power they hold over us. Once we release and forgive them from their horrible acts; only then will we truly let go and begin to flow again.

Keeping the flow is important because if we are unable to flow in time with the Universe; we will miss out on all the beautiful blessings, and surprises that we can attract into our lives. It’s imperative to keep in the flow if we want what’s best for us. Being strong in this manner we are then able to face our fears/demons when they arise again. We become spiritual warriors and will be able to slay all those who deem to bring us harm.

Sometimes it’s just a little love in your heart — is all you need to let go…

Bless-up!


Love Jair

Interstellar



Reminiscent of ‘Inception’ and ‘Memento’ this 2014 Sci-Fi/Adventure written and directed by English Christopher Nolan; it was a lot more than I had anticipated. Never a real fan of Texan Mathew McConaughey whom I must admit shared phenomenal acting chops in this film and not really an admirer either for the other ‘out-of-this-world’ film ‘Gravity’; I didn’t really have high hopes.

Was I ever in for a ride! This film was enormously thought-provoking, heart-warming, thrilling, and visually appealing, I honestly wasn’t ready for it to end. American Jessica Chastain shone as usual and English Michael Caine, and David Oyelowo (Selma) also held their own and were believable characters. Whom I enjoyed watching and studying throughout the film though was Oscar winner ‘Anne Hathaway’ whom I think is talented beyond her years and magnificent in any character she has the opportunity of playing.

This story had me in deep thought, sitting on the edge of my seat, glued to my screen in awe, smiling because of the riveting soundtrack and crying at it’s heart-warming moments. With an estimated budget of $165 million USD it made back $186 million USD a short 2 months later. With a run-time of 169 minutes and nominated for 5 Oscars this year, the mixed reviews hold nothing against the symbolic and magnificent story that was executed quite wonderfully.


If you want to turn on the ‘Intensity’ dial, this one heats up pretty quickly! Enjoy!