John Wick – 300 (Parabellum)

WickI use the number 300 instead of 3 – for the third installment of the John Wick, the master assassin. Seeing the film with an action-appreciating buddy, we couldn’t keep track of the bad guys killed by Wick. He commented later that it was the highest body count he’d ever seen in a movie, a bold statement considering other slaughter movies we’d seen, like Rambo 3 or Hacksaw Ridge.

I’ve always liked Keanu Reeves and that includes his John Wick character, but I started to chuckle after his first 30 or 40 kills. The man deserves credit for the way he handles himself in the action sequences – basically a two hour long chase and fight scene. He masterfully handles an assortment of weapons that must have taken hours of practice to successfully operate.

If you don’t mind a few dozen blood-spattering head shots and an overly violent plot, this movie could be for you. I do find it odd though, in this day and age, how movie makers can present us with such mindless slaughter, and add a dry touch of humor to make the film more entertaining. In a way this movie reminded me of the Walking Dead – the bad guys weren’t dead until you shot them in the head, in many cases more than once.

Enough about the violence. The movie has a highly paid all-star cast, perhaps to give the flick some credibility with movie buffs. I have to say I was shocked at the other online reviews I read from sites like Roger Ebert and company. So maybe it was just me…and my buddy, who thought there was enough carnage to call the John Wick movies a trilogy and leave it at that.

Cathryn could never have sat through this movie with her eyes open. I don’t think my buddy was too impressed. For the sake of mindless entertainment I give it 5 out of 10.

Cross Fire – James Patterson

7856305Cross Fire (Alex Cross, #17) 
by

James Patterson (Goodreads Author)

 

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

May 19, 2019  


This was not my favorite Alex Cross story by any means…I’d have to go with Kiss the Girls or Along came a spider. Not to say Cross Fire is not a good novel. It was a good rainy weekend read. Maybe I like the other stories because Cross’ family wasn’t dragged into the plot so much…too familiar of a psych-thriller tale, where the protagonists family is targeted or threatened.
As far as this story goes, it moved well with lots of action to keep me turning pages and even chapters, since Patterson likes to keep them to two or three pages. The plot revolves around one particular serial killer but subplots and other serial killers make the read a bit more complicated, but fun.

The New Old Elora Mill

IMG_2932 (2)Cathryn had dropped a few hints that we were over due for a mystery date (an overnight at an undisclosed destination), the comments directed in my direction for her birthday month. It had been a whole two months since our return from Egypt and Africa so I almost felt sorry for her and decided to surf the web for an idea to satisfy her wanderlust itch.

One of my cousins posted on Facebook that she was at the spa in the Elora Mill. The last time Cathryn and I dropped by the village of Elora the Mill was closed, fenced in and under construction. We tried to peek through the fence but couldn’t see what was in the works. I messaged my cousin who said the Mill was newly renovated and open for business.

I browsed the internet and checked the web site, balking at the listed price for spending one night in a hotel room. Reading on I was able to get into the last night of an off-season promotion that made the cost more palatable. Just because I thought my wife deserved a treat I shelled out $350 banana peels for a room in the mill. The clincher for me was a complimentary bottle of premium wine in the room and a hundred bucks off our food and beverage bill in either the lounge or restaurant.

Continue reading “The New Old Elora Mill”

Destination Kingsville

53604772_2361225210789730_7622770010628292608_nAfter retiring I worked for Niagara Wine Tours, a company who was trying to expand into the Lake Erie North Shore region. They were already tapped into the Toronto market and thought the wine industry in Essex County was ripe for the picking. Unfortunately the company couldn’t garner enough interest to keep them afloat. The main complaint from out-of-town tourists was our lack of places to stay.

Fast-forward about ten years and we have fifteen wineries and almost as many breweries or brew-pubs. Existing estates expanded to accommodate tour buses and gatherings such as wedding receptions. Bars and restaurants got in on the action by offering local vintages and brews.

Continue reading “Destination Kingsville”

Norm is Back! Border City Chronicles

Layout 1Maybe you’ve heard the rumors on Entertainment Tonight, Ellen, or WKRP in Cincinatti. Perhaps you only dreamed and hoped it was true. You’ve probably been wondering what Edmond Gagnon has been up to (besides travelling) and where the heck has Norm Strom been.

Let me make it clear…they are not rumors, you haven’t been dreaming, and Ed has finally finished his latest book, Border City Chronicles. Some of you were test-readers, others voted for the title, and a few may find their names used as characters. The book is three short crime fiction stories from the Norm Strom archives.

News of this upcoming book is receiving a positive buzz on the street. Here’s a few comments about Norm’s new stories:

Baby Shay – “The challenges told in this story are heartbreaking and can make strong experienced officers unable to function. This is one story you will not be able to put down.”

Designated Hitters – “This story provides the reader with a unique insight into police work and the thoughts and emotions cops work through every day. Norm doesn’t regret retirement. After reading his story, you will understand why.”

Knock-Out – “Norm introduces Abigail Brown, a Detroit Homicide Detective. He’s her friend and confidant and relies on his expertise to provide her with a little extra help. This is an excellent story and I’m hoping to read more of her exploits in the future.”

Border City Chronicles is coming to book stores and internet sites across the world very very soon! Feel free to reserve a copy with the author now.

The Guardian -Nicholas Sparks

15925The Guardian 
by Nicholas Sparks (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 07, 2019


First of all, this is not the type of book I normally read, but it was either this novel or choosing one written in Russian or German. My choices were limited while on the island of Zanzibar.
I recognized the authors name and his award-winning novel The Notebook. Maybe it was the movie that won all the awards, either way I knew it as what I call a ‘chick flick.’
I sucked it up and started flipping pages, literally, right off the bat I found the plot sappy and the characters predictable. But I carried on, thinking I needed to broaden my genre horizons.
It may have been a bit painful at times, but one of the characters was a Great Dane who captured my attention. I guess the story was okay, but the interaction between characters and the resulting relationships reminded me of high school. Are there really that many simple-minded and gullible people out there?
I trudged on and managed to finish the book, but wasn’t happy with the ending. Without spoiling it I’ll leave it at that.
I’m sure many women readers will love the book. What can I say, I’m a guy.

NYPD Red 3 – James Patterson & MarshallKarp

22674493NYPD Red 3 (NYPD Red, #3) 
by

James Patterson (Goodreads Author),
Marshall Karp (Goodreads Author)
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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 26, 2019  


I can’t remember if it was 1 or 2 of the NYPD Red series that I read, but I enjoyed it more than this installment. Of Patterson’s stable of underwriters, I like Marshall Karp and his stories. As was the last, this one is fast paced with colorful and interesting characters. The police drama and content is believable, but like a Hollywood movie, a bit over the top and too familiar at times. The plot delivers an antagonist who is easy to hate from the first sentence written about him. The banter is fun between the cop partners, and references to their personal lives giving the story it’s sense of humanity. It was a good and easy read.