Listen to our compete audio interview online by clicking on the URL link below. It may take a few seconds to load onto your desktop. Enjoy! Click here:
Music is not only a God blessed talent but also born out of an artist’s own personal tragedy, heartbreak, failed relationship and emotional struggle. It’s all about connecting with people and building community according to emerging Canadian singer/songwriter RANDI BOULTON. Based in Lacombe, Alberta, her major influences include: Jann Arden, Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay, Blue Rodeo, Adele and Nelly Furtado.
Recently in March 2013, she also became one of the newest top 16 regional finalist winners for CBC MUSIC‘s Searchlight hunt for Canada’s best new artist. The competition continues…
Raised on a family farm near Big Valley in Central Alberta, Randi was introduced to music since an early age. Without any extensive formal training, she was self taught and played by ear on several instruments from voice, piano, six string acoustic guitar and percussive shakers. As on her official web page bio, she indicated that “I know that a good song is much more than theory and pure to sing with pure, raw emotion.”
Last night, I was invited by my pop/soul/blues singer friend Kirby Sewell to hear his latest singing discovery. Randi Boulton’s music was such a pleasure to listen to. On Facebook, Boulton even posted, “I’m stoked to be opening for The Kirby Sewell Band. It’s going to be a smash!” Her performance was powerful, bluesy, and at times, full of emotions and adult rated humor as well. Thanks Randi and Kerby! U two rocked.
For the past decade, Boulton has been performing at diverse venues across North America. Her first independent CD album JUST REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE was a immediate success. It was even sold out at various HMV locations. Since then, she has collaborated with a number of world class recording artists such as the Grammy Award winning Mavis Staples (The Staples Singers), George Fox, Collin Linden, Jazz singer Sandro Dominelli, and Canadian country star Aaron Pritchett.
A new chapter of Randi’s career has begun as her latest 11 song CD album SOMETIMES LIFE is now available for purchase via iTunes, IndiePool and PayPal. Sample her songs on Myspace here ~~ http://www.myspace.com/randiboulton/music
Watch Randi perform one of her music video here ~~ http://youtu.be/MRKfNcOgm4U
Director: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi (SUDDENLY, LAST WINTER)
Screenplay: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi
Length: 75 min., Italy (2011)
Come on an eccentric but muddled road trip as two gay-centric journalist / filmmakers examine media tycoon and former elected Fascist right wing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi‘s contemporary Italy and the country’s nihilistic future. Luca Ragazzi and Gustav Hofer ponder on an opportunity to move to Berlin where rents are a lot cheaper, fewer unemployment, and less homophobic. The two travel all over Italy in a vintage FIAT 500 to discover “the reel Italy” for one last time.
This short and rather quirky little chamber cinema piece is an international hit documentary that’s both informative and self loathing at the same time. The two filmmakers encounter modern Italy as either bad or good. At 75 minutes, I thought it was delightful in the beginning but felt repetitive near the end. Perhaps, it’s a trip that needed some exorcise by the three quarter mark. Yet, the vista and backgrounder information still captivates my interest.
Director: Michael Bay (TRANSFORMERS, ARMAGEDDON, THE ROCK, THE ISLAND)
Screenplay: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE; CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER)
Length: 130 min. (USA, 2013)
I’m not sure how to take this audacious screwball film noir comedy that was loosely based on true events. It’s an absurd tongue-in-cheek satire that resembles some of my favourite Cohen Brothers’ quirky ensemble classics ~ BURN AFTER READING, FARGO and RAISING ARIZONA. The trio of bodybuilders in Florida are as inapt and outrageous as their extortion and kidnapping scheme. Everything goes wrong for them and with the audience as well. I thought these silly characters and situations are not very engaging. You sort of shakes one’s head while their predicaments flash by. At times, director Michael Bay must tell us that this farce is as real as its unbelievably truth!
Director: Shane Black
Screenplay: Shane Black, Drew Pearce
Length: 135 min., USA (2013)
URL ~~ http://marvel.com/ironman3
Does a man create his suit of armour or does the suit make him the man? When the brash but brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man is personally under attack by a formidable terrorist named the Mandarin, he embarks on a harrowing odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. At every turn, Stark/Iron Man must survive all sorts of ordeals and to protect those are closest to his life. Daily American life is a struggle!
For me, IRON MAN 3 surpasses its previous sequel IRON MAN 2 by being less didactic, psychologically darker & deeper, more reflective with the characters and gives the production value with a lot more exciting punches! It’s an alright summer fare if you are into comic book super hero adventures…
Director: Wayne Blair
Screenplay: Tony Briggs, Keith Thompson
Length: 103 min. (Australia, 2012)
THE SAPPHIRES is an inspirational mash up of crowd pleasing comedy, romance, old school Motown soul music and social justice. Set against the turbulent late 1960s, the film is adapted from the hugely successful Australian stage musical of the same name, and is inspired by the touching true story of writer Tony Briggs’ mother and three aunts.
The ladies were a quartet of young, talented singers from a remote Australian Aboriginal mission who were discovered and mentored by a dorky, soul music crazed, manager with a heart of gold. The Sapphires were invited to entertain the American troops fighting in Vietnam. Catapulted onto the world stage as Australia’s answer to the American Supremes, the journey not only showcased their musical skills but find love and personal growth as prejudiced minority women.
I really enjoyed this quirky little musical as light Sunday afternoon entertainment. I had my money’s worth for that matter. The movie had a great heart, clean fun, classic hit songs and great ensemble acting from all the principle leads. The Vietnamese battlefield locales were well photographed. Script and direction were simple and crisp to counter the musical punches. It’s no GOOD MORNING VIETNAM but I had a bubbly good time. I laughed, cried and cheered at appropriate times. It was a good clean fun.
I also really enjoyed the film’s soundtrack, featuring the voices of Australian pop diva Jessica Mauboy and her co-stars. Tracks included R&B standards such as I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, WHAT A MAN, I CAN’T HELP MYSELF (SUGAR PIE HONEY BUNCH), WHO’S LOVIN’ YOU and I’LL TAKE YOU THERE, etc.
Although THE SAPPHIRES garnered only some mixed reviews by critics at the Cannes Film Festival premiere in France, the attending audience gave the movie a ten minute standing ovation. Interestingly, the film won 11 Australian Academy Awards earlier this year. It proved to the world that this little cross cultural celluloid gem has both legs and lungs!
Watch the trailer here below ~~
Dear movie lovers in YYC, happy offbeat viewing dayz! The 10th annual Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) is now officially underway in our city. The celluloid world of genre friendly cinema has spun its flickering webs of passion at the downtown Globe Cinema between April 15th to the 21st. What’s more appropriate than open this festival edition with a gala screening of American director Mike Mendez’ latest movie BIG ASS SPIDER!
BIG ASS SPIDER (aka MEGA SPIDER) is a hilarious sci-fi creature feature comedy about a 50 foot tall mutant arachnid who escapes from a military lab and invades the city of Los Angeles. When a decisive military strike fails, it is up to one unlikely exterminator (Greg Grunberg) and his deadpan Latino security guard sidekick (Lombardo Boyar) to kill the creature before the city is totally destroyed.
I had a great time watching this film. It’s full of laughter and campy thrills that beckoned to those golden days of low-fi monster flicks like the old school Japanese GOZILLA, TREMORS, or EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS. The chemistry and banters between the two leading male actors Grunberg and Boyar were quite priceless. Thanks CUFF for programming this exciting independent gem! I rate this little film a big ass 3.5 out of 5 for shear fun.
On the same opening gala night, I also thoroughly enjoyed director Peter Strickland’s British/Italian import BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO starring Toby Jones. It was a very intriguing film about a British Foley sound engineer who was hired to engineer the sound mix for a 1970′s horror exploitation flick by an Italian maestro that loosely resembles Mario Bava and Jean Rollin. The restrained tour de force acting by Jones, along with Strickland’s colourful baroque mise-
Established since 2003 as a not-for-profit festival, CUFF showcases contemporary narratives, documentaries, animations, shorts and experimental cinema that explore a mosaic content of horror, science fictions / fantasies, comedies, thrillers, music and erotica. These obscured projects are rarely shown across mainstream North American cinemas. This festival not only promotes local, domestic and international independent filmmakers but it also contributes to Calgary’s thriving arts community by hosting a 48 hour short film making challenge and awards. In addition, there is an artist panel discussion session hosted by local and visiting industry professionals.
CUFF continues until this coming Sunday evening at the downtown Globe Cinema in Calgary. For the complete festival schedule, please click here ~~ https://www.calgaryundergroundfilm.org/schedule
Award-winning Canadian filmmaker and environmental conservationist Rob Stewart was in town recently to promote his latest documentary film REVOLUTION (2012). I had the opportunity to watch a sneak preview screening of Stewart’s latest video effort.
REVOLUTION is the latest prize winning true-to-life adventure by acclaimed Toronto-based filmmaker, scuba diver, photographer, conservationist and activist Rob Stewart who aims to change our human world via non-violent environmental activism, education and personal passion. It is his highly anticipated follow up to the 2006 sleeper hit film SHARKWATER. Rob Stewart needs your help!
Are you ready to go beyond sharks and oceans? Are you ready to save our humanity on this great blue planet? Do you want to start a revolution? Acclaimed Toronto-based environmental conservationist and filmmaker Rob Stewart needs your help to address such issues through the media, education and social activism. And that’s just a humble start!
REVOLUTION is Stewart’s sophomore eco-friendly documentary effort following his surprise sleeper hit debut of SHARKWATER in 2006. It addresses the rampant slaughter of ocean sharks around the world. Some Chinese restaurant entrepreneurs even argue that these facts are propaganda based on racial discriminations and hatred. Even Hollywood celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio (THE GREAT GATSBY), Hayden Panettiere (NASHVILLE, HEROES), Ang Lee (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN) and Jackie Chan (SHANGHAI NOON) advocate the banning of shark fin imports after watching the film. Currently, litigations against shark products are in the court systems in several major Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. “Talk to your members of government about Bill C380… show them SHARKWATER and bring everybody on side… Ban the importation of shark fin. The world’s changing. 86% in China are turning their back on Shark fin soup because of public announcements and the film,” suggests Stewart. Bill C380 is a Canadian Parliamentary private member’s bill proposed by NDP MP Fin Donnelly to ban shark fin trade imports into Canada. So far, this film has garnered over 124 million viewers worldwide.
Through the film, Stewart wants Canadians to sink their teeth deeper into the future for our beloved human race. In the new film, Stewart continues his sea & wild life passions by visiting 15 countries over 4 years. The film tracks the evolution of several natural species from the dawn of time to their current state. REVOLUTION is both beautiful photographed but also provocatively inspiring for individuals to attempt their own save-the-planet solutions. Stewart aims to change the world by arguing that “all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth’s ability to house humans.”
“I need the movie to succeed in Canada. I aim to get a billion people to see it around the world!” He acknowledges that today’s audience is much younger, hipper and more social conscious to promote the film. “It’s difficult to step backward… we owe massive debt by building our (mainstream modern) civilization.”
It is also interesting to see how Stewart evolves from a simple photographer and nature preservationist, to an engaging filmmaker and social media activist. “I’m an introvert at heart, I’m a fish nerd, I spend most of the time underwater hanging with fishes,” he claims.
“REVOLUTION hits theatres across Canada on more movie screens than any other theatrical documentary films in Canadian cinema history but we are going up against G.I. JOE which has tens of millions of dollars to market it. And we got you! So, we need you to tell your friends. I need your help. This is the biggest issues on the planet today. Instead of scraping by on this planet with over population, extinction, pollution and inequality, we should go to beautiful lakes and rivers for fish instead of salmon farms… animals should be everywhere. We are smart enough and involved enough to make it happen. I think we can get there if everybody knows what’s going on… We should create a paradise for us and (earth’s) other spices. This is our tool!”
Become a supporter and volunteer to a fin free world ~~ http://fin-free.com
Learn more about Shark Fin Free Calgary ~~ http://sharkfinfreecalgary.org
Checkout Rob Stewart’s nature photography galleries ~~ http://www.
Pledge to save sharks with Rob Stewart ~~ http://www.savingsharks.com
Learn more about the REVOLUTION film project ~~ http://www.therevolutionmovie.
Director: Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE; TRAINSPOTTING; SHALLOW GRAVE; 127 HOURS)
Screenplay: Joe Ahearne (APPARITIONS; DOCTOR WHO TV SERIES), John Hodge (TRAINSPOTTING; THE BEACH)
Length: 101 min. (UK, 2013)
Simon (James McAvoy) is an art auctioneer who helps a gang of criminals to steal a valuable Goya painting worth millions from his work. During the heist, he suffers a blow to the head and awakens in the hospital with amnesia. Through a series of unorthodox physical violence and torture, head gangster Frank (Vincent Cassel) fails to learn where Simon hid the painting. So, he hires hypnotist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to delves into Simon’s subconscious psyche. The lines between good, bad, evil, truth, reality and deceit begin to affect everyone involved. There is no turning back!
TRANCE is not bad of a follow up to director Danny Boyle’s other international hit movies. It is a British crime noir thriller that features some awesome cinematography, color visual palette, fast paced editing, a toe tapping techno soundtrack, course language and gory violence. This film is full of mind bending twists and surprises. Too bad the last two acts become muddle and tedious at best.
I really liked the three main characters who were quite intriguing and continually shape shifting. You would not have guessed their web of deceits until the end. My favorite was Rosario Dawson’s Elizabeth. Her character was well rounded. The original screenplay was also playful and didactic. The art direction was splashy and modern. Best of all, Danny Boyle’s Film Noir direction guided the situations and characterizations dark and sinister, yet with quite a bit of his trademarked quirky humor.
Since this film pays homage to both the modern heist movie and the Hollywood Film Noir genre, Rick Smith of UNDERWORLD wrote several dance tracks for action sequences, while during the hypnosis and dreams sequences, traditional jazz and French torch songs were used to heightened the effects.
Not bad for an evening of suspense and gangster hooliganism.
Watch the official HD trailer here ~~ http://youtu.be/L4_bdS3_gr0
Screenplay: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Length: 100 min. (USA, 2013)
URL ~~ http://www.olympusmovie.com
Psalm 18:34 (Holy Bible) ~~ “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend even the strongest bow”. When a group of North Korean terrorists attacks the American White House and holds President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) hostage at gunpoint inside the underground bunker, former disgraced presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) must single handed use inside knowledge and mighty paramilitary self defensive tactics to rescue the Commander In Chief, his entrapped son, and the innocent people of the United States.
Funny how this outrageously silly and over-the-top violent action thriller about inner redemption opens one week before the Easter long weekend. If you look deeply, there are several teasing references to metaphoric religious notions of endurance, survival and rebirth. Our North American way of life embraces people of all cultures, faiths and rebirth. It is an Eden of gathering hearts and minds including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and other beliefs. When under siege, all hell breaks loose to defend our cherished freedom!
I really enjoy the overall treatment of the movie, from its rather simple but not mindless plot, the well orchestrated action sequences, to the tension filled editing. The actors adequately convey their stereotyped roles as best as the script required them to. However, realism and logic are not this film’s best forte. Some of the situations portrayed get silly and questionable. Overall, it is both exciting and fast paced for your hard earned dollar values. Suspense your beliefs and zealous subliminal religious overtones, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN will resurrect your cinematic desires from the ashes of a blown out darken tomb!
Watch the latest extended HD trailer here ~~ http://youtu.be/74F_pts7Uhg
Here are some excerpts from a recent interview article that I wrote for Toronto’s Press+1 Entertainment Magazine.
The healing power of music enriches everyone. Doesn’t matter if it’s rock & roll, hip hop, blues, classical, raga, opera, disco, Québécois or pop music, life becomes more positive and empowering through rhymes and rhythms. Nineteen year old emerging Canadian country artist TENILLE aims just to do that with her sophomore album LIGHT for Toronto’s Royalty Records Inc.. The song DEAR HEART is currently playing across the Canadian country music radio air waves. She is also currently rehearsing in a Calgary studio for her upcoming national PLAY IT FORWARD concert tour. Press+1 had the opportunity to chat with Tenille briefly at a local coffee brewery over the lunch hour on March 1st. I surely enjoyed this diminutive powerhouse talent as she radiated brilliantly with a glimpse of youthful hope and sunshine during our conversation.
“The theme of my album is based around the concept of light. The fact that everybody has that light inside of them, and if you feel passionate, and when you are able to help others with it, it’ll make the world a better place. The concept of all these songs (in the new album) is in the fact that no matter whether the experience is a lot of fun, or it’s a great time, or maybe something a little tougher to go through, whatever kind of level of emotions you are feeling, there is always something positive that can be taken away. So, as to my title track INTO THE LIGHT says: ‘In the darkest corner of the room, there is light‘. And I definitely would love the listeners to take away from those messages and know that my favorite part of music is that it brings people together. I want the listeners to know that nobody is alone in going through certain experiences and they could relate to these songs. I totally hope they feel that!”
LIGHT is now available in retail stores and online in digital formats:
1) Starts With You
2) Dear Heart
3) Into The Light
4) Maple Grove Road
5) Fall In Love
6) Pay It Forward
7) That’s What it’s Like to Leave
8) Some Will Call it Love
9) Where Did She Go
10) Getting Good at Goodbye
11) Halfway to Somewhere
12) One Last Look Around
13) Dare to Be
Watch the official music video to Tenille’s new single DEAR HEART in 1080p HD here ~~ http://youtu.be/_FE0TrdgQn0