November 21, 2014

Review: Battle for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1'

Jennifer Lawrence | The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is essentially all foreplay. It's the first act of a larger story and serves, as the title would suggest, like half a film, albeit a fairly good one. Jennifer Lawrence returns as the titular symbol of a hope, Katniss Everdeen, and this time around, frames the Suzanne Collins young adult saga as objects of war propaganda, further exploring the military complex in its political themes.

November 20, 2014

Coffee and Chocolate x Chez Christophe x Timbertrain x Gastown

Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie holiday tasting at Timbertrain Coffee Roasters in Gastown on October 17, 2014.

Chez Christophe Chocolaterie | Timbertrain Coffee Roasters @ Gastown, Vancouver

The holiday season is fast upon us and that usually involves copious amounts of sweets and chocolates. Chef Christophe Bonzon (and his storefront located in Burnaby Heights) teamed up with Timbertrain (their coffee used in select chocolates) to set their Christmas selection and offerings of treats and gifts.

November 17, 2014

From the Weekend: Hawkers Market x The Independent

Hawkers Market at The Independent at Main building on Kingsway in Mount Pleasant on November 15, 2014.

Hawkers Market | The Independent at Main

The last Hawkers Market of the year, Vancouver's monthly "underground" food marketplace usually taking place in or around the hip Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, went down this weekend. The series of markets continues to promote local food culture and independently made goods. It's a way to encourage artisan startups and connect with the community over food and drink. New to Hawkers was the roving, collaborative dim sum push cart (crafted by J&S Reclaimed Wood, above), serving Asian fusion style dishes (including kimchi over fresh oysters) and it proved to be a popular hit with the crowd of eaters (the beef tartare was dynamite).

November 10, 2014

Review: Christopher Nolan Goes 'Interstellar'

"We used to look up in the sky and wonder about our place in the stars."
Matthew MccConaughey Christopher Nolan | Interstellar

It's almost maddening how ambitious Interstellar is. The Dark Knight filmmaker Christopher Nolan's foray into big and bold, sci-fi filmmaking is awe-inspiringly wondrous and audacious yet simultaneously creatively frustrating. It represents all the best and worst tendencies of Nolan as an imaginative, visual, and narrative storyteller including an over reliance on puzzle-like plots and dead wives. His cerebral lens and cold representation of thrilling deep space is admirable in its massive scope and  scale executed thoughtfully as it balances theories of relativity with the sentimentalities of parenthood.

November 6, 2014

Review: A Hiro's Journey – 'Big Hero 6'

Disney | Big Hero 6

Walt Disney Animation Studios, along with directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, have taken inspiration from an obscure Marvel Comics title to build their own Asian fusion style cinematic world of heroes and wonder. Big Hero 6 is mostly an adorably pleasing animated hero's journey about relationships and adolescence set in a future amalgamated metropolis of San Fransokyo. The film remixes Japanese-American cultural influences in charming fashion with clever references to anime/manga.

November 3, 2014

From Express to Lunch x Market by Jean-Georges x Shangri-La

Express lunch tasting at Market by Jean-Georges restaurant inside the Shangri-La Hotel in the financial district on October 29, 2014.

Market by Jean-Georges Restaurant | Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

Market by Jean-Georges is looking to bring the dining experience back to lunch and downtown's busy workers. Their new "express" lunch service aims to give diners a satisfying meal in a reasonable amount of time (they say within thirty minutes) with their 3-course set menu (2-course if you want to skip dessert), so you can get back to the office.

October 30, 2014

Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Becomes the 'Nightcrawler'

"Why you pursue something is as important as what you pursue."
Jake Gyllenhaal | Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal is wholly disturbing and convincingly mesmerizing as an opportunist, unemployed grifter turned late night videographer (aka "stringer") who lives on the fringes of society. Longtime screenwriter Dan Gilroy makes his directorial debut in this dark tale of the Los Angeles underworld. Nightcrawler successfully expresses different kinds of human desperation through self-motivation and aggression.