Friday, July 23, 2010


     2007 saw Hokus Pick receive a Lifetime Acheivement Award from the Canadian Gospel Music Association.  Ten years prior to that, the band released what may well be the strongest album of their career.  SNAPPY contains the hit, horn-filled song 'I'm So Happy', a celebration of good things coming one's way: "Playing guitar in a band/Just got back from Disneyland/Driving a new 4X4/Ed McMahon is at my door."  It's good to see that over the years Hokus Pick didn't lose their quirkiness, even as their musicianship improved.  In this respect they could be compared to Barenaked Ladies.
     Russ Smith and the rest of the guys in Hokus Pick present a realistic view of Christianity on 'We are the People': "God never promised the skies would be blue/Smooth sailing all the way through/He never promised sun without rain/Joy without sorrow, peace without pain."  Love is a theme examined on SNAPPY.  The album opener, 'Faith, Hope and Love' states: "Love is patient, love is kind/It never withers, even in the grind."  The chorus of 'Our God' declares: "Our God loves us all/So let's all love our God."  Fans of the band's earlier, peppy material will enjoy 'Comfort Song' that exposes the fault of putting trust in anything but God: "I put my comfort in my looks/My face has grazed the front of magazines and books/I don't want to get beat up by a crook/I put my comfort in my looks/Give it up, let it go/Step out of your comfort zone/God is great, we are lame/Yeah (x6) really lame."
     I'm giving SNAPPY an 88%.  This is a fun, guitar driven album, conveying truths we all need to be reminded of.  SNAPPY was released on Freedom Records.

Monday, July 19, 2010


CHLOE came out in 2009. This film stars three heavyweights, Julianne Moore as Catherine, Liam Neeson as her husband David, and Amanda Seyfried of Dear John and Mean Girls fame as an escort.

The movie begins with Seyfried narrating matter of factly what her job description is.  In other words she describes what is required of her physically and mentally in her profession.  I feel that this was a good way for the movie to start as the flick is based around Catherine hiring Chloe to see if her husband is indeed being unfaithful to her, as she suspects.  The whole subject of escorts is a touchy one, no pun intended.  It certainly stirs a lot of emotions from people of all walks of life, so I found this tale intriguing. 

You could view this movie from several viewpoints. First, take the viewpoint of Catherine, the wife.  Imagine the betrayal you would feel if your partner cheated on you. The range of thoughts you would have would be wide. Inadequacy, anger, hurt, sadness, grief, despair, jealousy-you'd be a ball of flaming emotion!  Then, the viewpoint of the husband.  The lure of a younger woman, the thrill, the desire, the lust, the unknown, the game. But then, the guilt, the realization of what one has done to his family, and the sorrow and grief.  The matter of whether one could be trusted ever again.  Finally, the viewpoint of the escort, or the prostitute, or just the 'other woman'.  The excitement, the conquest, the need to be loved and feel valued. The worry about being found out. The question as to when the affair will come to an end. The abuse suffered for the money taken. 

This is one of those movies that will make you think about what you are watching. Amanda Seyfried is quick becoming one of my favourite actresses.  The movie is not excessive in its' skin content considering the subject matter.

CHLOE is a pretty good movie.  It was however slow at points and not put together the best in my opinion.  I'll give it a 3 out of 5 stars.