A few weeks ago, my wife Angela went to see the movie Arrival. She called it “thought provoking” and she absolutely loved it. Angela is not a film buff and to get such a reaction from her meant I had to go see it.Arrival

Arrival was no longer playing at our local theatre, so during a visit to Toronto this week, I stopped at a theatre in Whitby on the way home to catch this movie
I had to see.

Arrival has everything I love in movies. It has a sci-fi connection and hope for humanity. Denis Villeneuve brilliantly directs the movie from author Ted Chiang’s short novel “Story of Your Life” and there’s no unnecessary subplots or obvious bad guys. It’s efficient, smart and beautifully acted.

There’s just one problem. I didn’t understand it.

That connecting piece which brings it all together, eluded me. The moment which left such an impact on my wife, escaped (more…)


Ambrosia's self-titled debut LP
Ambrosia's self-titled debut LP

Ambrosia, I suppose it's an acquired taste. No it's not the apple or exotica fragrance. It's a rock band that dates back to the '70s and began as a prog/rock-type outfit similar to bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Their initial album was self-titled and my favourite to date. It was experimental with one song co-written with author Kurt Vonnegut Jr, along with a spoken verse from Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. Not to mention that the record was engineered by Alan Parsons, who also produced their second album "Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled".

They had a truly unique sound, which became much more mainstream in future records. If you don't remember their debut album, you will remember such hits as  “How Much I Feel, Biggest Part of Me" and “You’re the Only Woman". All the songs did well on radio, and collected their own audience, a thousand miles away from (more…)

I was in Grade 9 when Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road double album was released. For the longest time, my buddies and I would only listen to one song - Benny and The Jets. In fact, we would actually drop the needle on that one song and never listen to any other tracks. Then one day, someone had the brilliant idea of actually listening to the whole side, Suddenly we were enthralled with Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding and the entire album.

Elton John performed Feb. 12 at the GM Centre in Oshawa. PHOTO BY JEFF HURST
Elton John performed Feb. 12 at the GM Centre in Oshawa. PHOTO BY JEFF HURST

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road remains my all-time favourite album and I was fortunate enough to see Elton John perform Feb. 12 in Oshawa.

Elton John's current tour celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and he came to entertain.

During his two-and-a-half hour show, Elton John brought (more…)

I didn't know that Philip Seymour Hoffman had a drug problem, but it comes as no surprise that his life ended tragically. Like the roles he played, Hoffman always seemed to be on the outside looking in.

The frustrated baseball coach in Moneyball, the lonely, lost gay friend of Mark Whalberg in Boogie Nights, and his brilliant portrayal of Truman Capote in Capote, showed an actor who was better than his craft. A truly gifted actor, but he somehow seemed flawed by the characters he played, by the notes he hit in each role.

There was always a darkness no matter what the movie. And other than Capote, he seemed to be bored by the big-budget roles. The Hunger Games seemed a strange fit, and his villainous turn in Mission Impossible III just wasn't quite there.

He was much more comfortable, and brilliant, in the smaller, juicier roles. He stole every scene he was (more…)