Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mind Games

** Some wisdom from a talented actor/director/producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt - manipulation of the mind is a serious thing - THINK for yourselves people - decipher what sounds right from what feels right...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Every now and then we are touched with wonderful inspiration. It comes in the form of many things, a smile, a song, an experience - and sometimes in the form of great articles. This story comes as great a time as any and speaks of a young teenaged boy from a rural town in Sierra-Leone who only receives electricity once a week and because of his pro-activeness, dedication and hope for a better life, a bigger dream - he taught himself to make positive changes. Be a part of this movement - pass it on - inspiration for a better world! :))

Monday, July 14, 2014


I must say that it was actor Terry Crews that drew me to watch this film. You may remember him from ‘White Chicks’ and ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ and his comic timing and execution is quite exemplary! Never been a fan of Adam Sandler and he so happened to be the star of this film. Cute-faced, Drew Barrymore, funny-man Kevin Nealon and coming up more often in films ex-pro-basketball player Shaquille O’Neal also joined in on the fun - I’m glad I gave in and had the chance to watch it, because it made for a wonderful night of laughs.

Rated PG-13 for some crude sexual content and language; this was a heart-warming and enjoyable family film. Written by Ivan Menchell, and Clare Sera and directed by Frank Coraci this 2014 Comedy had an estimated budget of $40 million USD and grossed $44 million back at the box-office. Viewers may be surprised to know that this story was actually filmed in Pilanesberg Game Reserve in South Africa and the location, animals and cinematography is all authentic. With a run-time of 117 minutes and the lovely message of forgiveness and giving things a 2nd chance this film left the audience sentimental and engrossed when they weren’t laughing at several antics the families had to deal with. 

I have to say - surprisingly I quite enjoyed this film and every scene with Terry Crews left me gasping for air. If you need a few laughs and want to see some of the beauty of Africa, you’ll want to see this film! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sous les drabs

** It's wonderful when you hear a story or see a story from a photograph, painting, or song...this one does exactly that!

Mr Nobody

I didn’t think much of this film at first - but what a beautiful surprise I was in for! I had found a magnificent film to add to ‘My Favourite Film List’. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me think - 3 ingredients I love to have. Written and Directed by French genius Jaco Van Dormael and starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, Juno Temple, Toby Regbo and Thomas Byrne.

This 2009 Drama-Fantasy-Romance was a story about the incalculable possibilities we’re faced with in life and about making decisions and about being at peace with the decisions we’ve made by the end of our life. It was interesting because what’s done is done - but it makes viewers take to heart the importance of being mindful when making decisions in life because once it’s done - there’s no turning back…only if life were but a dream. :)) Really it seemed much more dramatic and it’s difficult to describe the brilliance involved in the making of this film.

The cinematography, acting, dialogue, soundtrack and story all were spectacular and it made for a very clever movie. For the audience that craves originality and contemplation - then this is exactly the sort of film they would enjoy. 

A run-time of 141 minutes and an estimated budget of $47 million USD, the film didn’t bring much in at the box-office; however received 11 wins and 4 nominations that year. Go ahead - indulge in this cinematic beauty! It was one of the most magical films I've ever seen. :)))

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Precious Love

** Back when songs had good lyrics - enjoy this one by the soul-ful artist Otis Redding! :))

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blue is the Warmest Colour

I remember reading an article a while back about French actress Lea Seydoux a native of Paris, France and about her film recognition and debut in America with the French Film ‘A vie d’Adele’ in which she starred alongside Greek/French Adele Exarchopoulos; and in her interview she exposed that she never had an interest in film or to make films and it just came to be. I also read that this film was getting a lot of “talk” because of its graphic lesbian sexual content. It was said to be the longest and most intense love-making scene between two women. It also received 69 wins and another 48 nominations in 2013 when it was released including one from the Golden Globe.

I was outraged to hear yet again of an actress ‘downplaying her blessings’ because of her privileged background and having the opportunity of challenging and meaningful roles and saying things like, “Acting is stupid.” It turns out that despite her un-inspiring and un-grateful interview, this French actress has been around long before this provocative film. You may remember Lea Seydoux from ‘Inglorious Bastards’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel, and ‘Ghost Protocol’ to name a few; she has been steadily working in France since 2006. 

Once heterosexual women are able to get past the graphic and very intense love-making scenes between these two actresses’ then one can focus on the brilliance and beauty of this film. Men will probably adore it; because of this ‘soft-pornographic’ and ‘invasive’ angles of cameras of women having orgasms but if we omit that (maybe an hour of the 3 full hours of the film); viewers can really admire the beautiful love story, exploration and transformation of young girl to woman in this tale. 

Initially planned to be shot in 2 months writer/director Tunisian Abdellatif Kechiche took nearly five and a half months to complete it. Spending a full 10 days on all the explicit sexual scenes and over 800 hours of footage shot. Both actresses’ said that making this film was challenging and exhausting as director Kechiche really kept pushing them with sometimes 100 takes for one scene and keeping the camera rolling when they were sleeping, eating and taking the bus. For curious minds - prosthetic vaginas were used in scenes for oral sex but everything else was complete commitment on the ‘straight’ actresses’ part. 

This film was definitely a nod for ‘gay-pride’ whatever your beliefs may be; and showed that love is real and intense no matter the people. It was in my opinion a little bit too long; but enticing, thought-provoking and exquisite cinematography enough to keep me glued to my screen. There was expert research done, and marvelous discussions on philosophy, art, and sexuality. This film really touched my heart and the acting (not speaking of the sex-scenes) was honestly some of the best I’ve seen. Both girls were naturals and took great direction. Although I believe sexual situations and especially as invasive as it was in this film should be left to the imagination and not displayed for the world to see.  It really showed the high level of vulnerability, strength and belief these girls had for their craft and in telling this story. It shows in the emotions portrayed though out. ‘JourneywithJair’ recommended!

Under the Skin

Written by Walter Campbell and directed by English Jonathon Glazer this 2013 Drama/Sci-fi/Thriller has gotten a mix in reviews. Nominated for 6 awards that year and winner of one, it may not have been well-recieved in some audiences but was well-discussed among film-lovers and film-circles everywhere. 

Set in Scotland and with heavy guerrilla-style shooting viewers followed a mysterious woman that seduced and preyed upon local men. Magnificent strategy behind some scenes of our star/lead Scarlett Johansson who lured men (whom were not even actors) into her vehicle and them not even noticing her was not only risky with hidden cameras placed inside the vehicle but also a bit un-nerving to think of how easy it was for her to complete this feat.

Very little dialogue throughout and really relying on the smarts of the audience to fill in the gaps of the story - this film is not for those who want to be told everything. The symbolism, some glimpses of Scottish beautiful country-side and message of the  story was marvelous but I found it difficult to remain focused when the lighting was so dim and dark (intentionally so). A film is about showing, not telling, but ultimately it’s about telling a story so well that it is entertaining, inspiring or able to evoke some type of emotion from the persons who watch. 

Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, violence and language you’ll want to keep the children away for this one. I found it was an interesting story but in my opinion not the best of executions. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

With 2 wins and 3 nominations so far this year; this 2014 comedy is one that will be celebrated for it’s beauty and uniqueness in time to come. The audience can see the pain-staking research and detail wrapped into every nook and cranny of each scene. Written and inspired by the writings of the late Austrian Stefan Zweig and adapted into screen play and directed by American Wes Anderson (whose been nominated for 3 Oscars) they bring to viewers the adventures and exaggerated stories of characters Mr. Gustave H and Zero Moustafa. 

Rated R for language, violence and some sexual content this film reminded me very much of ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ minus the foxes. Instead of voices; we had a number of talented actors that committed themselves to each role; Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, and Owen Wilson to name a few. 

Very canny humor and beautiful cinematography throughout; this is a film that you can marvel at without even following the story. But the story as put-together as it was was still quite engaging. Each character was entrancing and unique. It really makes for a light evening with good laughs. 


I’d inundated myself with every interview of Kenyan beauty Lupita Nyong’o since she won and was nominated for all the film awards this year and was blessed with the role of a life-time and in each interview she’d say, “And don’t forget to catch me on my 2nd feature film ‘Non-Stop’ with Liam Neeson!” Well, I finally caught it - and though her role was very slim, the film itself was quite a  riveting and thrilling cinematic culmination!

If you haven’t seen it yet - you’re in for a treat. Starring the serious and soft-spoken Irish Liam Neeson and the lovely red-head Julianne Moore this film is not only action packed but one of the better thrilling mysteries I’ve seen lately. Written by John W. Richardson and directed by Barcelonian Jaume Collet-Serra this film was not only nail-bitingly entertaining but equally clever. 

With a run-time of 106 minutes, fantastic camera-work and techniques (on a small airplane set) and even comical moments, it won 2 nominations this year as well as a huge profit at the box-office - jumping from $50 million USD to $91 million USD only 2 months later. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea and there were moments somewhat incredulous as I have firsthand experience of what its really like on an airplane and the criteria and steps we take to do things - but all in all it was a wonderfully exciting ride! 


**Every day is an opportunity to shine with all you've got - start with a smile! :)))