Last Chance Cafe – A Film Review

Featuring – Kevin Sorbo, Kate Vernon, Jessica Amlee, Samantha Ferris and Scott Hylands.

This is the story of a woman Haley Brown (Helene Waitlin Boyer) who, on the death of her father, discovers that her ex-husband (the district attorney Paul Boyer) has gotten involved with some highly powerful unscrupulous people.

After the funeral, her ex follows her to her father’s home, where they argue ending with her running out with her daughter (Kylie).  It’s only after she has run away and is going into hiding, an opportunity that has been provided by the break down of her car, that she meets Chance Coulter and starts work at the Last Chance Cafe.  One thing leads to another and Haley and Chance fall in love after a bit of a rocky start.

This is a well thought out plot providing something for everyone, a little suspense, a love story and a little violence for those who might be feeling  left out, as well as some amusing bits.

All actors perform well and work well together making for an enjoyable couple of hours of film watching.  Even if you are not a Kevin Sorbo fan (main character) this is a film worth watching.

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Reciprocity

RECIPROCITY – one of my favourites from the ancient world.  Would like to see more of this in the modern world.

The cornerstone of ancient Greek values was reciprocity, or mutual exchange between two or more people. Greek people relied on reciprocity, a simple system of transaction. For instance, if I offered you a jar of olive oil for your spear, and if you considered this a fair trade, then both of us would benefit from this reciprocal transaction. 

There may be times when I may want to give a gift, not expecting something in return immediately. Suppose that something terrible happens to my home like a fire, or someone has stolen all my belongings. I might come to you and ask for some provisions. Since I have nothing to repay you, there is no question of an exchange.  So you reason that if you give me some food, I may not repay you, but some day if something terrible happens to you, I could help you out as you did me. You do this because you would like to rely on the kindness of others at some future date, which is still an act of belief in reciprocity. You are simply not expecting reciprocity at the moment. This sort of reciprocity was used extensively by travellers (especially in The Odyssey). Reciprocity, relies on the honor and good will of all participants.

Wouldn’t it be great to see more of this in the world?

Petronius’ Satyricon

I took part in this play with Alyson directing while studying Classics at Glasgow University in 2006. This play is fun to do especially if you have an interest in Classical literature, well worth a read.

Alyson Dunlop's Blog

This play is a stage adaptation based on the translation by P G Walsh of The Satyricon, a Roman novel by Petronius. Although the subject of a film by Fellini, The Satyricon was staged for the first time in history in the Debating Chambers, Glasgow University Union on 30th January 2006. The play highlighted themes of male rape, mental illness and suicide, which were not necessarily evident in the original text.

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Bacchae: The Pie-Eyed Piper

I took part in this play with Alyson at the Pagan Federation Conference in 2007. It is a creative mix of Euripides “Bacchae” and Robert Burns “Tam O’ Shanter” the play was a lot of fun to do and should be an enjoyable read.

Alyson Dunlop's Blog

This play is based on Euripides’ “Bacchae” and Robert Burns’ “Tam ‘O Shanter”.
The Bacchae was performed posthumously in 405 BCE. Tam O’ Shanter was first published in 1791. Self-educated in the classics, Burns’ poem bears a striking resemblance to the Euripidean tale.
“Bacchae: The Pie-Eyed Piper” was first performed at The Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh for the Scottish Pagan Federation Conference on 9th June 2007.

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What If – A Review

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this film  This is not my usual thing but I thought I would give it a try. If you like things like It’s a Wonderful Life you will definitely like this one. The performances by Kevin Sorbo, John Ratzenberger and Kirsty Swanson are brilliant. The story is of a guy Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo) who 15 years earlier  left his girlfriend Wendy (Kirsty Swanson) in order to pursue riches and success in the business world. When on the verge of marriage to an equally materialistic fiance, he is visited by an angel in disguise as a tow truck driver (John Ratzenberger) who shows him what his life would have been like had he followed his original calling. Before he can argue, Ben is suddenly married to Wendy and the father of two daughters he also discovers that he is the new pastor at a struggling church. If he wants to go back to his old life, he first has to learn some  lessons about commitment, family, and God, and boy, does he mess up along the way. It is quite funny and at times sad. Well worth watching even if it isn’t your usual thing.

The Quiet Man – A Review

Featuring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. 

This has always been one of my favourites and gives us a chance to see John Wayne outside of the Western and War film genres.

It’s the story of a big American guy (boxer) returning to the homestead of his ancesters after he has killed a man in the ring.  Of course Hollywood has romantised Ireland as only Hollywood can but it is a good, feel good film, with lots of amusing bits and an enourmous punch up.  You will also find a clip of this film in E.T.

This is a good film that makes you smile and in this age of troubles a little bit of a smile can go a long way.

Recommended.

The Resident – A Review

Featuring

Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Christopher Lee.

I first watched this at the cinema and more recently on dvd.  A young doctor finds the perfect apartment where she plans to start again after the break down of  a long term relationship.  Things are not all they seem however, behind every wall are secrets and before long she has the feeling of being watched and the dream becomes a nightmare. Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Christopher Lee all give the performances that the audience has come to expect from them and yet there seems to be something missing.  The story line itself is good enough but it lacks something.  Although it tries hard it never quite reaches the depth that is expected of this type of film.

Still, an enjoyable watch.

Avenging Angel – A Review

Avenging Angel featuring Kevin Sorbo and, for a short time, his wife Sam.

Another western, only this one runs more along the lines of the old style with hints of Pale Rider.

A preacher’s wife and daughter are killed by the local rich man’s gang of thugs.  The preacher goes off the deep end slightly and becomes a bounty hunter.  His last catch brings him back to the town where his family were killed.  He decides to stay and help a woman and her daughter, in doing so he also aids the rest of the town.

Kevin Sorbo plays the preacher (the man with no name).  He acts his, not so wee, socks off bringing his character to life.  He brings to life the sorrow, anger, guilt, confusion and emptiness that this man must have felt.  This is a thoroughly enjoyable film although personally I prefer Prairie Fever (see previous reviews).

Prairie Fever – A Review

Growing up I watched a lot of westerns, and musicals.  Both allowed me to escape, for a short while, life as I knew it.  My particular favourites within the western genre were those featuring John Wayne and my favourite of those was True Grit.  So, when I say Prairie Fever is a good western I mean it in every sense.  It is not a western of the John Wayne type  with cowboys, army and indians, but it does give the same sense of escapism and adventure found in the old films.Prairie Fever potrays a romanticised (as most Hollywood films do) idea of individual hardship in the old west, getting away from the constant people fighting against each other.  This film concentrates more on the personal fight, the fight within each person/character to survive whatever hardships that come their way.Kevin Sorbo plays the main character Preston Biggs, once sheriff and now out of work alcoholic who has to take four women from Clearwater to Carson City, a journey that takes about a week.  Three of the four women have ‘prairie fever’ the fourth he has picked up on the road.  Each of these characters have their own story of hardship and this journey is not only a journey to Carson City but one where each of them finds the courage to survive and in some cases actually live their lives beyond just survival.  Of course there are a couple of bad guys thrown in to keep things interesting and there is a gun fight for those who might feel short changed without one  :-)I would rather not give too much of the story away, sufice to say the good guys are triumphant.This is a very enjoyable film and one worth giving some consideration to when next you are choosing a film to watch.  I’d also like to point out that this film has bits for both male and female.  It has the rough outdoors, barfights and gunfights for the guys and along side that is the female and love story 🙂

Nods to the Old Gods: The Pagan and Magical References of the Scottish Romantics

Alyson Dunlop's Blog

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

I’m very pleased to announced the publication of my new book: “Nods to the Old Gods: The Pagan and Magical References of the Scottish Romantics”.

This enchanting collection includes poetry by eight Scottish romantic poets:

Robert Burns
Anne Bannerman
Dorothea Primrose Campbell
Joanna Baillie
Anne McVicar Grant
Janet Little
Sir Walter Scott
George MacDonald

These poets included in their writing poems about ancient gods and other ethereal beings such as ghosts, witches, sprites, mermaids and fairies. Many readers might pass these references without realising the deeper meaning behind their literary use. These poetic tales prove that the Romantics had a respectful knowledge of myth, magic and ancient religion. Their nods to the old gods are recorded for posterity so that we might learn about the Old Ones and the beliefs of our ancestors.

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Paradox – a review

PARADOX

Featuring – Kevin Sorbo, Steph Song and Christopher Judge

Directed by – Brenton Spencer

Based on the comic book trilogy Paradox

I have been a fan of Kevin Sorbo for a long time, on and off.  I’m not one of those fans who have to follow the man around the world, hang on every word, agree with absolutely everything he says, because believe me when I say I don’t, and think he is god (demi-god maybe), although to be honest I don’t think Kevin has many of that type of follower.  I follow Kevin like I follow and love Star Trek, I enjoy the work but don’t really have to go any further than that.  That does not mean I am not interested but I feel that even celebrities deserve some privacy and personal life.  In saying that I participate, on occasion, in the odd discussion on FB, have joined the OEKSFC and I have decided to go to the Interstar Con in Spain Oct 2012 where I can meet both Kevin and William Shatner from Star Trek, two for the price of one, great.

I have maintained following Kevin because I like what he does with his celebrity status, he seems responsible and, although I have not met him, seems to genuinely like spending time with his fans, and he is not afraid of hard work both on and off the set.  I am a very down to earth person who tries to treat everyone equally which is something I see in Kevin’s attitude in his work, his contact with fans, interviews and charity work.

It is because I am happy to contribute towards Kevin’s celebrity by watching his films, reading/listening to his book, heading for the one and only convention I have ever been to that I decided to have a look at Paradox, I had never seen anything advertising this film nor had I heard anything about the film from anyone.

When the film started I thought, oh oh this looks as though it has been done on the cheap with the obvious pretend driving but then I realised that the film is actually based on a comic character and had been produced as such.

Paradox is a story of a detective Sean Nault (Sorbo) living in a parallel universe to the one we live in where magic is the norm and science is the stuff of myth and legend.  While investigating some strange murders his partner is killed and Sean, a homicide detective, is left to investigate the strange goings on with the aid of Lenoir (Song) and Winston Churchill (don’t ask).  Sean uncovers a plot that leads him into another dimension and realises that unless he stops the criminals both worlds will be destroyed.  Sorbo brings his usual presence to the screen with some high kick action reminiscent of Hercules.  Once you get used to the comic style captions (if you put the language to English 5.1 you get these in both English and German) it is easy to get lost in the easy to follow plot.

If you are looking for a film with a deep plot and thought provoking this is not the film to watch.  If, however you are looking for some light entertainment with a little action, not to mention the handsome leading man and pretty leading lady, then this is for you.

Flesh Wounds – A Review

I recently watched a film, Flesh Wounds starring Kevin Sorbo.  This film seemed to be an interesting combinatoin of Predator and Universal Soldier.

Set in the jungle, a group of scientists carrying out top secret experiments disappear.  An elite group of soldiers accompanied by a female CIA agent are sent in to discover what happened, possibly a nearby ‘terrorist group’ has attacked them.

All is not as it seems, however.  The team find the scientists dead, dismembered with missing brains.  They go on the hunt for the ‘terrorists’ and find a large group dead and dismembered and again with missing brains.  The group are becoming increasingly uneasy and they know the CIA agent is with-holding information.

On finding the base of the ‘terrorist group’ they discover American fighting and communications equipment with the USA department of defence headings on all communications, the group are becoming increasingly tense and confused.  What follows is very much in the style of Predator and Universal Soldier with plenty of blood and, not so much guts as, brains.

To find out what happens, watch Flesh Wounds featuring Kevin Sorbo, Bokeem Woodbine and Heather Marie Marsden.

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