Last night I had an amazing time seeing Raleigh Ritchie perform live at the Velvet Underground in Toronto. Some of you might recognize the name from this blog. That’s because, my very first Top Pick Tuesday post on 5 April 2016 was about Raleigh Ritchie. His debut album You’re a Man Now Boy was released 26 February 2016 and I couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s very rare for me to find an album in which I love every song, but I found that with YAMNB. It still remains one of my most played albums—now joined by Raleigh’s EP Mind the Gap which was released 16 December 2016.
If you haven’t checked out his music any of the times I’ve mentioned it, you really should. You are seriously missing out.
This brings us to the concert last night. Let me just start by saying it was incredible. Raleigh Ritchie sounds exactly the same as he does on his tracks. His voice is basically a gift from the gods! His band was also really good and seemed to be having a lot of fun. I had never been to the Velvet Underground before so I had no idea what to expect, but I really enjoyed the venue. It was fairly small, but it just made the event seem that much more intimate.
When my sister and I first arrived, there weren’t too many people, so I managed to make my way to the very front of the stage—where I stayed for the entirety of the concert! Raleigh just has so much energy and he really made the crowd feel involved. He paused occasionally to share the inspirations behind some of his songs, as well as to tell the crowd when to sing, jump, or shower dance!
Being at the very front was amazing as there wasn’t any kind of barrier between the stage and the crowd. When he was singing, Raleigh kept coming over to our side of the stage—I like to think it’s because we were singing along louder—and he was literally right in front of me! I even got to high-five him!! I also just want to add that he has the cutest smile ever and I adore his accent.
Raleigh Ritchie performed a whole slew of songs and even came back on stage for two encore songs. I was incredibly happy with his set—I even snagged a set list from the stage—and really enjoyed singing along to all the songs. The best moment for me though, had to be Raleigh’s very last song of the night, which is my all time favourite, “The Greatest”. “Bloodsport” is a close second, but “The Greatest” just has such a great beat to sing and dance along to. It was a wonderful way to end such an unforgettable night. I’ll definitely see him again if he ever decides to come back!
Note: I have some more photos and some videos that I’ll post this weekend!
I’m going a bit of a different route again for today’s top picks! I know we’re already well into 2017, but I’ve decided to compile a list of the movies I’m most excited to see in theatres in 2017! I’m also going to include some honourable mentions that look like good movies and I will end up seeing eventually, just probably not in theatres. Also, this post is a bit long, but stick with me, it’s all good, I promise!
Movies I will 100% See in Theatres
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I am so unbelievably excited for this film. First of all, Baby Groot may just be the cutest thing I have ever seen. I also really love Rocket! Not to mention all the hilarious one liners and comedic moments in these types of films. Also, for some unknown reason, I relate to Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. He’s just such a funny, different type of hero—he also loves to dance and has great taste in music! I’ve watched the first Guardians so many times and I am sure I will love this one just as much.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 12)
I have always been a huge fan of the story of King Arthur and this take on the original story sounds incredibly interesting to me. Starring Charlie Hunnam as Arthur Pendragon, this movie looks like it has so much action and many epic battle scenes. Jude Law stars as the tyrant Vortigern whom Arthur must defeat. With a whole slew of other great actors, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword looks like it’s going to be amazing. I’m excited that this movie was directed by Guy Ritchie as I love his style of filming. He has such a unique way of filming fight sequences and I think that style will be perfect for this legend.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26)
This one is pretty self explanatory. Fans of the first four movies will most likely end up seeing this one and enjoying it. With Johnny Depp back at the helm as our favourite pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow, comes the fifth film in the Pirates franchise. With some of our favourite characters returning as well as the introduction of some really cool looking new characters, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales looks awesome.
The Mummy (June 9)
Starring Tom Cruise, The Mummy is a new film and said to be a part of the Universal Monsters shared universe. Anyone who knows me will know that I absolutely love Tom Cruise films. He may be crazy, but he is a great actor. I also love the subject matter for this film. As a fan of the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, I was super excited when I heard that they were making a new Mummy movie. I had no idea what it was about until I watched the first trailer, but I can say that it looks awesome. Another movie full of action and adventure, The Mummy is sure to please fans of all ages. It looks like there might be some ‘grab your chair or the person next to you when you jump’ moments in the film as well!
Rough Night (June 16)
Now, this film is on my list of definitely seeing in theatres for one main reason: it comes out on my birthday weekend! I have plans to see this movie on a girls’ night downtown. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoe Kravitz, this movie looks hilarious. When I first saw the trailer, I thought it looked like a funny, girls’ night out movie. Then the hilarious twist, the girls accidentally kill a male stripper. From here the events in the movie just spiral downhill. With this great cast of hilarious ladies, I think this movie will be a very fun one to see with a bunch of your girls.
[it was difficult to find a suitable trailer for this film, so check it out for yourself if you want]
Dunkirk (July 21)
Now this movie is very different from all the others on my lists. I am a huge history buff and have a deep love for war movies. They break my heart and always make me cry, but I just love them. Dunkirk looks amazing and has such an incredible cast. Starring Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy just to name a few, this film is based on true events from World War II. During the war, Allied soldiers from Britain, Belgium, Canada, and France were surrounded by the German Army on the beaches in Dunkirk. This film is about the evacuation of these troops. I know for a fact that this movie is going to make me cry, but I am still looking forward to seeing it. Directed by Christopher Nolan, you just know that this film is going to be well done.
Thor: Ragnorok (November 3)
If it wasn’t obvious by some of the other movies I’ve listed here, I absolutely love a good action/superhero movie. Who doesn’t love a Marvel superhero? So far, I’ve loved every movie in the Marvel Universe that I have seen and I know without a doubt I will love this one too. These films always have such great casts and music. I’m very excited to see what Thor has been up to all this time since not appearing in Captain America: Civil War.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 15)
This film being on my list also shouldn’t surprise anyone. I’m not sure what to say other than the fact that I am a huge Star Wars fan and have loved all the previous movies, old and new. I’m most excited for the return of Rey and Finn as I loved their characters in The Force Awakens and to see some more Jedi in training. I’m a little sad about the prospect of the end of Jedi, but look forward to seeing where this movie goes.
Movies I Might See in Theatres
Wonder Woman (June 2)
I truly do want to see this movie in theatres, but with so many others coming out this year, this is one I have to think about. Not to mention, I’m not sure if I have anyone to see this film with. Plus, as I’ve seen so far, Marvel films are typically better than DC in my opinion. I’ll probably decide a bit closer to June if I want to see this in theatres or not.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7)
I was super excited for this film when I first heard about it (not going to lie, I’ve loved every Spiderman movie so far), but after seeing the trailer, I’m not sure now. I mean, it does look good, but is it theatre-good? We’ll have to wait and see.
IT (September 8)
Okay, so this one is self-explanatory. I really want to see this film as I love the storyline—not to mention Bill Skarsgard as It—but I honestly don’t know if I can sit in a dark theatre and see this. I’m honestly a little creeped out sitting in my basement by myself watching the trailer. This might be a ‘see at home snuggled up with blankets and my feet up’ kind of movie.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (September 29)
I loved the first Kingsman movie and am looking forward to this one, but again, with so many movies in theatres this year, I’m not sure if this will make the cut.
Justice League (November 17)
With Wonder Woman also on this list, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m not sure about Justice League. Don’t get me wrong, it looks awesome, but I don’t know if I’ll get around to seeing it in theatres or not.
For this week, I only have one top pick, but it’s a great one. I chose the Irish television show Jack Taylor. The show is based off of a series of novels by author Ken Bruen.
Set in Galway, Jack Taylor stars Iain Glen as the titular character, a former Garda officer turned unofficial private-eye. With an eye for clues that others miss—the Garda in particular—Jack has a long list of clients that seek him out for help solving crimes. He often takes on unusual cases or ones that the Garda failed to solve. As a result, the people of Galway seem to trust him and are more willing to talk to him than the Garda.
With his incredible knowledge of his city, as well as the people living in it, Jack manages to piece together obscure clues and bits of evidence. Jack, however, often finding himself in spots of trouble. This is where some of his old Garda acquaintances—mostly Kate Noonan—step in and sometimes lend a hand. As the show continues, Jack and Kate form a closer bond, often working together to solve cases.
Each of the three seasons of Jack Taylor has three feature-length episodes for you to enjoy. When investigating these cases, Jack continuously uncovers secrets and truths that he never knew about his past, his city, and the lives of those around him. The cases are often very dark and have so many twists and turns throughout. Just when you think you’ve figured out who the murderer is, another twist comes along and throws you off the trail.
I’m honestly so in love with this show. It’s brilliantly filmed and put together. Fans of Game of Thrones should recognize Ser Jorah Mormont as Jack Taylor! Iain Glen really is amazing as Jack. He’s just such a believable character. He has so many layers and such depth to him, that sometimes you really do forget that he’s just a character in a show.
If you’re a fan of crime shows and murder mysteries, I would definitely check out Jack Taylor. Let me know in the comments what you think!
I’m genuinely so excited for today’s top pick: Prison Break. So for any of you that don’t know, the Fox television show Prison Break is finally back for a fifth season after ending in 2009!
Lincoln Burrows and Michael Scofield
The first four seasons focused on Michael Scofield, his brother Lincoln Burrows, and a group consisting mainly of various prison inmates, police forces, and government officials. In the very first episode of season one, Lincoln Burrows finds himself incarcerated at Fox River State Penitentiary for the murder of Terrence Steadman—the brother of the US Vice President. Believing his brother to be innocent, structural engineer Michael Scofield, formulates an insane escape plan that requires him to be thrown into Fox River as well. From there, Scofield and Burrows meet all kinds of interesting characters in their quest to break out of prison, and later, prove Burrows’ innocence.
The show really grows as the seasons continued; adding government conspiracies, complicated romantic entanglements—I’m looking at you Michael Scofield and prison doctor Sara Tancredi—and all kinds of drama and action.
I’m excited to talk about this show for so many reasons. Prison Break first aired in the summer of 2005, right before I was starting high school. I didn’t have a blog at the time, so naturally, I never had the chance to write about my love for this show.
I can still remember where I was and what I was doing the day that first episode aired. My family was at my grandparents’ old house swimming and having a bbq that August day. Everyone was outside and having a great time. I had heard about Prison Break weeks before and had seen a few advertisements and I knew it was a show I wanted to watch. Therefore, while the rest of my family was enjoying the weather, I went inside to the spare bedroom upstairs and locked myself away to watch the first episode. I remember coming downstairs afterwards and telling my mom and sister all about it. They weren’t really interested at the time—which is funny, because a few episodes later, they started watching and now love the show.
Prison Break was the first show I ever watched from start to finish! I really loved everything about it and amazingly, it ran for the entire duration that I was in high school. Watching this new season has been like reuniting with an old friend—which it kind of is. It’s bringing back all kinds of old feelings and memories. Not to mention how much I still love Wentworth Miller (Michael Scofield).
There’s only been one episode so far—with the second airing tonight—but I am already so back in love. I was immediately sucked right back in to the amazingness that is Prison Break. This time around, Michael Scofield is the one imprisoned and it’s up to some of the original crew to find him and break him out. I’m really excited to see where this nine episode series is going to go.
Have you ever seen Prison Break? Were you excited for it to come back?
I’m back this week with two top picks—The Brokenwood Mysteries and Mr and Mrs Murder.
Set in the fictional town of Brokenwood, New Zealand, The Brokenwood Mysteries is a television show following a group of detectives as they solve various murders. In the first episode of the show, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd is sent to Brokenwood from Auckland to assist in a murder investigation. Throughout the show, we also meet Detective Kristin Sims and Detective Constable Sam Breen.
With only three seasons—each only four episodes long—The Brokenwood Mysteries is definitely a show you should catch up on. In each episode, a body is discovered and our team of detectives must figure out not only who the victim is, but who the murderer is. The murders that take place in this show are usually really interesting, and it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out who the killer is along the way.
Throughout the show, there’s a reoccurring character that I’m guessing most people will love—Jared Morehu. Jared, a local with many friends and interests in the town, is Mike Shepherd’s neighbour, and often ends up involved in the case. The friendship that grows between Jared Morehu and Mike Shepherd is actually one of my favourite things about the show. It’s nice to see these two guys from very different backgrounds and lifestyles become friends and help each other out when needed.
I’m not sure where you can find this show online, but definitely check your local library’s TV DVD collection—that’s where I borrowed the seasons from. If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, you should definitely check out The Brokenwood Mysteries.
My second pick for the day is the Australian television show Mr and Mrs Murder. Similar to The Brokenwood Mysteries,Mr and Mrs Murder is another murder mystery crime show. This show, however, is more of a comedy.
Charlie and Nicola Buchanan
The two main characters, husband and wife Charlie and Nicola Buchanan, run an industrial cleaning business, specializing in cleaning crime scenes. They are usually called in by Nicola’s friend, Detective Peter Vinetti, after a murder has taken place to clean the crime scene. However, both Nicola and Charlie are very inquisitive and find themselves trying to piece together the events leading up to the murder.
With the help of their niece, Jess, the Buchanan’s kind of become amateur sleuths, asking questions and solving murders. The dynamic between the Buchanan’s, their niece, and Detective Vinetti is absolutely hilarious. Nicola and Charlie are absolutely adorable and really seem to enjoy both their job and sleuthing. It’s also really funny how they manage to drag Jess into so many strange situations. For instance, in the first episode, Nicola and Charlie are cleaning a crime scene in a hotel. In order to find out more information, they get their niece to apply as a maid at the hotel. Posing as a maid, she is able to find out all kinds of information to help the Buchanan’s eventually solve the murder.
If you’re looking for a murder mystery that’s a bit less doom and gloom, this is definitely the one for you. Chalk full of murder and comedy, Mr and Mrs Murder is one to check out!
My top pick for today is the film Kong: Skull Island. I saw this film on opening weekend and have been meaning to post about it, so I figured my latest #tpt was the perfect time!
If you haven’t seen this film, I’m just going to say, go see it! I absolutely loved it. As someone who enjoys action movies, I thought this one was really well done.
Some of you might remember King Kong, the 2005 film by director Peter Jackson about the giant gorilla we know as Kong. Now, I really enjoyed King Kong, up until they brought Kong back to New York. The part on the island was really interesting, but the part in New York kind of lost my interest.
This latest Kong film, Kong: Skull Island takes what I loved about the other movie, and makes it last for the entire film. Skull Island takes place entirely on ‘Skull Island’—once they get to the island, that is. This, in part, is one of the major reasons I loved this film. There’s just so much you can do with an undiscovered/uncharted island, and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts did a fantastic job of portraying everything fans want to see in this kind of film.
From Kong, to other giant monsters, this film had enough action to keep people interested. Not to mention, a killer soundtrack. Seriously, that might be one of my favourite things about this film—the soundtrack. Set in the 1970s, the film features some really great classic rock songs.
Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that I really feel that this film had all the elements fans of previous King Kong movies would be looking for, as well as enough to captivate any new fans to this genre.
Have you seen Kong: Skull Island? I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts!
This past weekend, I volunteered at Toronto ComiCon. Some of you may remember that in September last year, I volunteered at Fan Expo Canada. Toronto ComiCon is similar to that, but on a smaller scale.
The con, which ran from Friday March 17th-Sunday March 19th, was held downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the south building. With celebrity guests, artist alley, merchandise booths, Q&A panels, and a whole range of fandom activities, Toronto ComiCon is a great place to explore.
My role for this con was the same as Fan Expo—to work the autograph lines. As I explained in my post about Fan Expo, the autograph line crew is responsible for keeping the autograph area neat, organized, and running smoothly. If you’re at the front of the line, you work with the celebrity’s handler/agent to find out how they want their line run. You’re also in charge of keeping the front area clean and directing fans when to approach the celebrity. If you’re at the back, you make sure you can answer any questions that fans will ask, as well as keeping the line neat and organized. I had the opportunity to work with some really neat celebrities this weekend.
After a volunteer’s shift, we’re allowed to walk the con like regular fans. As long as you’re not wearing your volunteer t-shirt, you can enjoy the con too. We’re allowed to wait in line to meet celebrities, shop for merchandise, attend panels, etc.
This year, I had the opportunity to meet the man behind my all-time favourite Star Wars baddie—and one of my favourite Star Wars characters in general—Ray Park, who played Darth Maul. He was so incredibly cool. Throughout the day, he kept coming out from behind the table to show off his lightsaber skills to the enjoyment of the fans. Park was just incredibly fun and really kind to all his fans.
Ray Park and I
Ray Park meets Darth Maul!
Meeting Ray Park was an amazing experience for me. I have loved Darth Maul from the very first time I saw him in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It’s kind of ironic how much I love him, seeing as he kills Qui-Gon Jinn, one of my other favourite characters. What’s even more ironic is that he is then killed by my third favourite character, Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, for reasons unknown even to me, I just really love Darth Maul, and I always have.
I also had the opportunity to meet T.J. Thyne this weekend, who plays Jack Hodgins on the television show Bones. Let me just start by saying, T.J. Thyne is literally the nicest person on the planet. He was so incredibly kind to not only the fans, but the volunteers as well—because lets be real, not all celebrities are like that. Thyne, however, was just really nice to everyone. He even made up these little gift-bags that he gave to every single person who came up to say hi to him. They each had a photograph from set, a business card for Hodgins, and a little bug figure with a magnifying glass. The fact that he brought something to give to the fans really made me smile. It was something so simple, but it really does mean so much to the fans.
T.J. Thyne and I
I also made sure to check out the other experiences this weekend. I attended the Bones panel, checked out artist alley—where I picked up some really neat artwork—and just enjoyed walking the floor.
If you’re a fan of pretty much anything, you’d probably enjoy comic con. There’s just so much to see and do. If you missed Toronto ComiCon, there’s always Fan Expo Canada!!