Monthly Archives: May 2012

Limitless (2011)

Take an average loser, give him a stash of intelligence enhancing pills, and set him loose on a roller coaster of life’s adventures, and you have the plot for Limitless.

It’s a slightly less than typical Hollywood movie, unique enough to keep your attention for the duration. Neither a great movie nor bad, just good enough to enjoy. The lead is lone-wolf enough to want the typical movie watcher root for the underdog.



Leap Motion


I just heard about a new hands-free motion sensitive computer interactive device from Leap Motion. For those that need it dumbed down, it’s a thingy that allows you to move stuff on the computer screen like in a sci-fi show.

They are taking pre-orders, and I think I’ll jump onboard as the thing is only $70US plus delivery. Unfortunately they aren’t shipping till December 2012 or later, so it makes you wonder if the thing is for real. That’s the type of ridiculous lead times on new products as RIM generates, so it makes you question if it will actually come out or be outdated by the time it does. You know, like every product RIM has put out in the last number of years. But the promotional videos look great.

You can read all about it on their website, so get the details there.


John Carter (2012)

Take a rebel cowboy/soldier from the 1800’s, transport him against his will to a colonized Mars, and make him a rebel fighter of the resistance in a Martian war. And you have the plot for John Carter.

Several of the reviews I read when this movie was released complained about how confusing the plot was, and how no one can figure out what is going on, but it was fun to watch. Those reviewers were obviously watching some other movie. And if you are too freaking dumb to follow this movie, and the incredibly well defined story line, then you should go the way of Darwinian idiots. That means you are simply too dumb to live. That was the thought that went through my mind as I was watching John Carter, expecting a bizarre and confusing action movie. Not the case in the least.

John Carter is somewhat refreshing compared to the typical Sci-fi flic. However there are man similarities to the movie series known as Star Wars. Then again, any original Star Wars fan knows that George Lucas admitted early on in the original movies success, that he was simply incorporating the basic elements that make a good exciting story. And John Carter follows the exact same formula; the abandoned young hero with special skills, a hero on his own, a heroin that initially doesn’t like him, a war, a rebel alliance, proving yourself to others, yadda yadda, you get the picture.

I liked the show. It’s a bit campy, and often has the odd feel of 70’s bad Sci-Fi. The lead guy is hot yet not a pretty boy. It’s somewhat unique overall, well done and a lot of fun to watch. If you like Sci-Fi and action films it’s an easy sell.



Cuisinart Keurig Coffee Maker

I’ve purchased 2 of the Cuisinart Keurig single brew coffee makers in the past year. One for home and one for the office. They work very well, and for making one or a few cups of coffee or tea at a time, it’s a great convenience. Once you have one of these it’s like doing without a microwave in your kitchen, you simple fall in love with the convenience.

The first one I bought (July 2011) stopped working, the pump would run but little or no water would come out, and the display was acting up. I contacted the mother company (Conair Corporation) customer service and was told to simply send it back if it’s under the warranty period for repair or replacement. Warranty on the model SS-700 is 3 years. The manual insisted on the user sending a $10 money order for processing on all warranty returns, yet the woman on the phone said it’s no longer required and not to bother.

So I sent it back in the original box with a letter explaining the issues and my return address, and in about 2 weeks I received a brand new unit, delivery paid.

Time will tell if it was just a bad machine or if these coffee makers have a short lifespan, but regardless, this is excellent customer service, and I commend Conaire and Cuisinart on such fantasic customer care.

The Cuisinart brand is often a little more money than other brands, but you typically get what you pay for, and here is another example of that fact.


Puncture (2011)

The only draw to the movie initially for me was Chris Evans. In the end, it was still the only reason I watched it. It’s quite a dark and gloomy tale. Apparently based on a real story of a lawyer that struggles with his own drug addiction, and righting a wrong in the US medical supply industry.

There is absolutely nothing fun or uplifting about this. It’s sad and depressing throughout. You don’t watch this type of movie for escapism. The story is slow to get going, but becomes interesting and holds your attention till the end.

I haven’t researched and confirmed the authenticity of the story this movie portrays, but if it is at least loosely true, it is educational (if nothing else) on the abuses that occurs in big business, when money is more important that life.


Chronicle (2012)

The chronicles of 3 friends that develop super hero like powers.

I wasn’t expecting the entire movie to be shot in the jerky-annoying-handycam Blair Witch Project style. As the movie progresses, it becomes less annoying, and the cinematography starts to show a little more professionalism. Not a lot, but some. The first part of the movie comes across very low budget and poorly done. But we later discover that the special effects are not scrimped on, but rather well done.

The quality of the initial part of the movie is quite bad, so you have to stick it out and wait for it to improve. If you appreciate this type of movie, ride out the crappy first 15 minutes or so, and you may just end up enjoying it.

One of the nice things about this flic is that it isn’t the traditional Hollywood cookie-cutter crap. It’s basically a cast of no-bodies, but they are pretty decent actors in the end.


Underworld Awakening (2012)

It’s been 9 years since the original Underworld movie, and Kate Beckinsale still looks as hot as ever in her black leather jump suit.

Assuming you are already familiar with the premise, Awakening is the 4th movie in this series. Let’s hope it is the last, as it’s a dying a slow painful death. Unfortunately, much like a vampire, I’m afraid it might keep coming back to life, worse-for-wear each time. This is by far the worst Underworld sequel yet. Calling it disappointing is an understatement. They couldn’t even find enough crappy footage to edit together a full hour and a half. Not that we’d want this half hearted crap-piece to be any longer.

It’s basically a one woman shoot. Kate is on camera almost all the time we aren’t seeing some CGI jumping around. The cast is almost entirely extras and nobodies, accept for two standouts; Theo James and Charles Dance. Theo had few lines, but had great stage presence. They made it appear like he’d end up taking the male lead, however, no one takes the male lead here, just a bunch of guys with a few lines here and there. And Charles Dance is an amazing actor. They didn’t take advantage of him in the least. I think he may have been on screen for a total of 2 minutes, and they made him out to be a wuss.

The movie spends the whole time teasing us with the appearance of Scott Speedman as Michael, but that never happens, they obviously couldn’t get him for the movie. So instead they talk about and search for his character the whole time, and even show him frozen in the tube.

The writing, the plot, the use of actors, this whole Underworld episode sucks!


Windy Last Night in Winnipeg

Looks like it was a bit windy last night in St. James, Winnipeg. We ended up with someone’s metal yard shed in our neighbourhood city park.


Winnipeg Police Run 2012 Abuse

The Winnipeg Police Run fund raiser took place yesterday, May 6, 2012.

For some bizarre and unknown reason to us, The Police Run is detoured off Portage Avenue onto our street. Our street is a private non-thoroughfare crescent, with only 2 entrances, both off of Portage Avenue and both blocked on an annual basic by the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Police department for their own fund raiser event.

And as it happens every year, we – the local home owners on Assiniboine Crescent – are abused by the people that work the event. Meaning the civilian volunteers and the Winnipeg Police. What do I mean by abuse? Harass and refuse access to the local home owners when we try to gain entrance and exit to our neighbourhood during this event.

Last year I was verbally abused and threatened at length by a civilian volunteer when I tried to gain exit to Portage Avenue with my car, until a police officer came over to join in the verbal abuse and treat me like I’m doing something wrong. When I wouldn’t back down, he finally yelled at the volunteer to let me pass when there was a break in the traffic. The volunteer said to the officer I didn’t think I had to allow anyone to pass. And the officer said, let the cars through when there is a break in the runners. But this was only after he was also verbally abusive and rude to me. Meanwhile there was a long line up behind me of other local home owners from my street, also waiting for exit.

This year when we attempted to leave our street during the event, there was no one working the intersection. It was partially blocked, and there were both police and volunteers a short distance away, they looked at us and ignored us. So we fended for ourselves, looked for runners and made our exit. Other than the complete disregard for us waiting there at first for some attention, so they could do their job of looking out for the runner’s safety, it was only a minor annoyance. But we couldn’t help but shake our heads at the disinterest in us and for the runners safety of us having to watch for traffic and runners ourselves.

On our return we had the complete opposite situation. There was a Winnipeg Police Cadet, cadet badge C55 to be exact, that blocked the intersection and tried to waved us away, no questions asked. At this point there were minimal runners passing when we arrived. We pointed out to him we live on the street. He said he didn’t care, he instructed us to turn around and leave. He suggested we park the car somewhere on the other side of Portage Avenue and walk home. We said we would not walk home several blocks, when there was no reason to refuse local home owners access. We pointed out there isn’t even any runners blocking our path, only him. We insisted he allow us entrance to our street as we needed to return home. He became rude, and threatened to take some sort of action if we didn’t leave. We refused to leave, there were no runners and we wanted access to our home. He threatened to call a Police Supervisor. We encouraged him to call the supervisor! He yelled at us to park somewhere else and wait till the Police Supervisor arrived. Mean while one of our neighbours was pulling into the intersection making an exit. We asked the cadet if he was going to refuse our neighbour (that lives 3 doors down from us) to exit the street. He was completely dumbfounded and had nothing to say. He finally gave in and let us go through.

Later when my partner left home to go to work, still during this event, he was stopped by a supervisor for a conversation, which was at first aggressive and confrontational. My partner asked if he stopped him to have yet another argument about the situation. He said begrudgingly that he wanted to apologise. I wasn’t at this last exchange, but it seems to me like a poor way to make an apology for the cadet’s behaviour. I’m told they were also now restructuring the access to our street and re-routing the runners. Obviously someone was finally thinking the situation through.

We live on a closed private crescent, with only two entrances. Why is this event re-routed off of a main thoroughfare (Portage Ave.) onto our street and make use of both our private street’s intersections? Why can’t it stay on Portage Avenue? Next, why is our crescent being completely blocked? This is a fund raiser, not a murder investigation, fire or disaster. What right does the City of Winnipeg or the Winnipeg Police Department have to block complete access to local tax paying home owners? Compare this to Wellington Crescent being blocked to all BUT local home owners on Sundays for a bike and walking path. The home owners on our street were not asked for our agreement to be put-out by this or any other fund raising event. If the City wants to block or limit street access, then do so on a multilane highway and stay out of the crescents and private residential streets, or at least seek the home owners majority approval.

Now let’s discuss the abuse. Why aren’t the police and the civilian volunteers working this event being educated on what they should and should not be doing and saying? Make an effort to properly train them on how they should be treating people around the event, and affected by the event. This is a fund raiser, not a criminal investigation! Both the City of Winnipeg, and the Winnipeg Police Department, should be ashamed of themselves for the way people like us on Assiniboine Crescent get treated every single year during the Winnipeg Police Run.

So what would we like to see different? Take your fund raiser off our street! And treat people with at least some sort of respect during your fund raiser!


This Means War (2012)

I was under the mistaken impression that “This Means War” was an action/comedy, somewhere along the lines of a Mr & Mrs Smith. In fact it’s a chic-flic.

It’s a romantic comedy that poses as a pseudo action movie to get us guys interested. But it’s a goofy, sappy, love story comedy. Yes the action scenes are fast moving and well done for what they are. But it’s all tongue in cheek action, with lots of editing cuts so it’s hard to tell what’s happening, it’s not exciting action.

This movie is what a women uses to get a guy to watch a movie she might like, a fantasy where two guys are fighting over her. Young women love a movie where men fight over the girl. If you were to make one guy a vampire and the other a werewolf…well we all know what we have here, don’t we? It’s cookie cutter movie making.

There won’t be too many guys that will watch this and be glad they did when it’s done. Young women will love it, men of any age will wish they watched something else.