Elvis – The Movie

I can’t believe someone hasn’t done an Elvis Presley movie before this one. ‘Elvis’ is an in depth look into his life, starting with how he was drawn to music as a child, and later being ‘discovered’ by Colonel Tom Parker. I found it interesting that the rock legend’s story was actually told by the Colonel, a man who defrauded Elvis of much of his fortune.

Why is it that so many great and talented people fall for or trust the wrong person and get taken to the cleaners? Are they too focused on their career’s and assume life the finance will take care of itself. It doesn’t make sense to me, but then I’m no rock and roll star.

The movie seems to have the jitters at first, while it finds it’s footing, but you’ll be tapping your foot or singing along to the awesome music in no time. The flick is almost two and a half hours long but it moved along well. I’d never heard of Austin Butler but I’m sure plenty of folks will now. To me, his awesome performance was only overshadowed by Tom Hanks, who portrayed Elvis’ promoter, the Colonel Tom Parker.

No matter how much you think you know about Elvis Presley’s life and his music, I’m sure you’ll come away with at least a few new facts after seeing this movie. Cathryn and I did. I even learned of other black musicians where the King got some of his inspiration. And I didn’t know that he wrote some of his own songs or that he died at such a young age. Sad.

Cathryn and I saw the movie with her mother and a friend, who spent much of the film singing along with the music. The movie was good and we recommend seeing it. We both give it an 8 out of 10, not worthy of a perfect score from me only because of it was the Colonel’s perspective of the King’s life.

Jurassic World – Dominion

I lost track of how many sequels of Jurassic Park there have been but we’ve managed to see them all and have to admit they are fun to watch. We decided to see this latest instalment in Imax format for extra-sized fun. Add that to the bigger and badder dinosaurs that roamed the earth along with mankind, and this movie was a CGI extravaganza.

Dominion brings back the original cast – some almost dinosaurs themselves, and (spoiler alert) chooses not to have any of them eaten alive during the movie. But don’t fret, plenty of others are snatched up and become dino-food. It is quite amazing how they can blend real people and a gigantic computer-generated animal into the same scene.

And as with other Jurassic movies, there are bad guys and good guys – not the creatures themselves, but people who want to exploit the dinosaurs and our heroes who want to save them. Add in a greedy bio-engineering company and Dominion has all the makings of a scary but lovable family movie.

With nothing else on the big screen these days but superhero movies, Cathryn and I enjoyed the movie. She rated it a 9 out of 10, mostly because nobody really dies. I give it a 6.

Top Gun: Maverick

Bigger, better, louder, and more action-packed than the original, Top Gun Maverick will literally pound on your chest and rumble the floor beneath your seat. Tom Cruise pulled all the stops making this blockbuster, spending $11,000 an hour to use the navy’s F18 fighter jets. Yes, the jets, top gun pilots, and much of the arial action was real. Filmed live with special cameras, designed to fit the aircraft.

Cruise even put his cast of top gun actors through boot camp and had each and every one of them go up in the fighter jets so that they could experience what actual pilots go through. Their distorted faces are the real deal, while they experienced the G forces that would make most of us throw up.

This movie is a must-see on the big screen with surround sound, to truly appreciate the awesome power of the supersonic jets portrayed in this film. There is one scene with Ed Harris where a low-flying jet literally blows the roof off a small building. It was unexpected but really happened so they left it in for effect. There were several other times where the sonic booms and jet wash rumbled our seats.

The story is good, bring back an old flame of Maverick’s who’s referred to in the original. There are a few flashbacks, triggered by Goose’s son, Rooster, who is a Top Gun selected for a dangerous mission that Maverick is called on to lead. The two of them must resolve an unresolved issue between them to survive what awaits them.

Enough said, check out the trailers and behind the scenes clips to see how this awesome movie was made. It is one of a kind. Catherine and I give it 10 out of 10 and will probably see it again before long.

Edmond Gagnon Author in Melaque, Mexico

Greetings to my fellow Readers, visiting or living in the Costalegre, Mexico.

I’m currently staying in Melaque and will be selling my latest titles in the Norm Strom Crime Fiction series, ‘Border City Chronicles’ ‘Moon Mask’ and ‘Trafficking Chen’ at the Sunday (Feb 20th) Morning Market @ Viva Maria 1910, near Tito’s in West Melaque.

The Crafters Market starts at 10am…ish and runs through the morning. There are various crafts like jewellery and pottery, and homemade goodies like clam chowder and cabbage rolls to be had.

I have a limited number of books available so be sure to get your personally autographed copy before I sell out. Feel free to check my website for details on the crime series: www.edmondgagnon.com

Reacher – The TV Series on Prime Video

This is a shout to all you Lee Child and Jack Reacher fans. There is a new series on Amazon Prime, simply called, “Reacher”. And fear not Reacher fans, Tom Cruise is NOT playing the lead. As we all know, little Tommy is about half the size of the main character depicted in the thriller novels.

Alan Ritchson (formerly of Aquaman) fills the role of Reacher, literally. The man is huge, perhaps a bit too buff in my opinion, when you see his six-pack abs and bulging muscles. Reacher, after all, travels the country by bus, eating copious amounts of diner food, and yet we never see him working out. Unless it’s when he’s beating up someone.

The whole first season (8 episodes) is based on Child’s Killing Floor novel, and in my opinion, moves a lot quicker than some of the author’s sometimes excruciatingly over described narrative. There’s a little bit of nudity, both male and female, some profanity, and a fair amount of violence that doesn’t go over the top with gory details.

Cathryn and I both enjoyed the series and give it a 9 out of 10.

The Last Duel

New movies are finally gracing the big screens again, and the cast and director of this film looked impressive. With all the hype about medieval television shows and movies, and the action-packed trailer, we went for it. Our first disappointment was with the uncomfortable old-style seats – how spoiled we’ve become with the more comfy recliners.

The Last Duel is set in France (although you’d never know it by the dialogue presented) in the 12th century, where armor-clad knights on horseback fought for king and country. The story is about two squires, Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), who become friends but then drift apart when one is favored by the king’s cousin (Ben Affleck), more than the other.

Things get worse when Le Gris allegedly rapes Carrouges’ wife (Jodie Comer) and she makes the decision to speak out. The movie goes above and beyond in explaining the repercussions of such a choice in chaotic medieval times. As a result of the allegation, Carrouges challenges Le Gris to a duel to death.

The movie is split into three chapters, each told by one of the main characters. This is where the film gets disjointed and a bit boring, forcing viewers to watch the same scenes over, and then over again. Although the trailer leads one to believe this is a Ridley Scott action-packed thriller, it is not the case. The movie opens and finishes with plenty of bloody battling but everything in between is quite slow.

Although Cathryn and I felt the acting was superb and the cinematography was excellent in this flick, we thought it fell short of being a blockbuster. She gave it a 7 and I a 6 out of 10.

No Time to Die

After over a year of pandemic-related delays, the latest installment in the James Bond 007series has finally hit the big screens. This movie is Daniel Craig’s last fling as the British Agent who’s licensed to kill. The movie starts with Bond living out his retirement in Jamaica, but he’s soon drawn back into service by his old friend Felix Leiter, of the CIA.

The explosive action starts within the first ten minutes, with Bond almost blown up, and then getting into the type of wild and crazy chase scene that 007 fans have come to love. And the action never really stops after that, with lots of fights, more chase scenes and explosions, and a new villain.

James has grown older and a bit tired of saving the world, but as usual he stops at nothing to complete his mission. He only beds one woman in this story, the same one he tried to settle down with, but left behind after he felt betrayed by her. She shows up later in the story with a little surprise.

Ernst Blofeld and Spectre are still a formidable force for evil, but Rami Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin has his own plans for taking over the world. The movie runs 2hours and 43 minutes and may have you fidgeting in your seat, but there’s no time to fall asleep.

The cinematography, film locations, and action scenes were second to none, as per usual in a 007 movie. Although I guessed what was coming at the end, the music and actors played heavy on my emotions. All I can say is that the conclusion was a surprise, and a shock to some viewers around us.

Cathryn hated the ending and refused to rate the movie, but I know she enjoyed the majority of it. I thought it was excellent, and a must-see to any James Bond fan. 10 out of 10 from me. Having said that, I can’t say I agree with those who want the next 007 to be a female.

Downtown Windsor Farmers Market

The fresh local produce of summer is wearing thin and now is the time to visit the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market to cash in on those end of the season deals. If you haven’t been downtown to check out the market this season, here’s what your missing: fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut flowers and potted plants, homemade baked goods, fresh-made perogies and sausages, kettle corn, craft beer, coffee, hand-made crafts, t-shirts, jewelry, books, and much more.

The Downtown Market sets up on Pelissier Street, between Wyandotte and Park, every Saturday, from 8am to 1pm. There are anywhere from 80 to 100 vendors throughout the season, which runs from May 1st to December 12th. During inclement weather vendors move into the lower level of the Pelissier parking garage.

Come visit next Saturday and support a talented group of local authors who write in genres that include women’s empowerment, self-help, crime fiction, travel, paranormal, horror, children’s, mathmatics, and military, along with a collection of colorful book marks.

Here’s your chance to speak with a local author, and get a personally autographed copy of their book. Please come and visit and support local.

RESPECT – The Aretha Franklin Story

Find out what RESPECT really means to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The movie tells her life story from the time she was a little girl singing in her father’s church, until she becomes an international star. If you’re a music lover or a fan of Aretha you won’t want to miss this movie. My first surprise in the flick was learning the extent of talent in her family, from her mother to her sisters.

Her over-bearing father, a Baptist Minister, plays a huge role in Aretha’s life, and is socially connected to important people like Doctor Martin Luther King. Franklin comes of age in an era when blacks have taken to the streets in a quest for equality. Many of Aretha’s singing engagements were in church or to raise money for the movement.

As with many other celebrities, Miss Franklin is haunted by demons from her childhood and continual conflict with her father. Her choice in men only exacerbates her problems, to the point where it all becomes too much and she breaks down. The church and gospel music re-inspire her and she becomes the music icon we all know.

Jennifer Hudson plays Aretha in the movie and delivers one of the best performances of her career. Respect is not a movie you really need to see on the big screen, but the soundtrack is awesome and will surely have you tapping your foot. Cathryn even got up and danced in the isle to one song. We were the only ones in the theater.

We both enjoyed the movie. I gave it a 9 and she a 10 out of 10.