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Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada)
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1987 (Version franšaise)
1987 (Version franšaise)
DVD ~ Jean-Carl Boucher
Price: CDN$ 14.88
10 used & new from CDN$ 10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One Italian-Québec Teenager Plows His Way through Late Adolescence Confronting One Teen Crisis and Misadventure after Another, Feb. 25 2015
This review is from: 1987 (Version franšaise) (DVD)
The year 1987 is one in which the prime artistic creator of this 2014 Québec movie from Les Films Seville (the Canadian DVD edition viewed being Seville/Entertainment-One 201987-DV), Ricardo Trogi himself, was making his way from 17 to 18, finishing high school, with a whole lot of trouble along the way. How many of these adventurous mishaps the film's screenwriter, director, and co-producer, Ricardo Trogi, really endured, as actor Jean-Carl Boucher plays Trogi's teenage self, is not for me to say, but I would vouch that if only half of it is true, Trogi ended his adolescence in a blaze of merrily addlepated glory. One problem complicates one or more of the other hassles besetting him in comically ingenious ways.

Much of the film details young Trogi's girlfriend problem, but there is much, much more, including his soon-thwarted attempts at the ancestral Italian métier of crime, along with misunderstanding of the motives of friends as well as of those of the young ladies. This is a comedy, not a full-out farce, so one smiles wryly and chuckles a bit at well-positioned moments, rather than falls into hysterical laughter every minute or so along the way. However, the complications in the lad's life do pile on more quickly as the film progresses. To reveal or even to hint more specifically than that concerning what this film is about would confront me with accusations of revealing "spoilers" about the plot, so I shall leave matters at what the potential purchaser has just read about this delightful motion picture.

L'Amour dure trois ans
L'Amour dure trois ans
Offered by Prestivo3
Price: CDN$ 38.23
3 used & new from CDN$ 38.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Heady, All-Consuming Love Besets a Temporary Sceptic of Cupid's Powerful Wiles, Feb. 21 2015
This review is from: L'Amour dure trois ans (DVD)
Beloved, spurned, beset, pursuing, pursued, besotted: love casts poor, mightily confused Marc Maronnier every which way! Taking Marc's role is Gaspard Proust (birth name Gašper Pust or Kasper Püst), a Slovenian-French comedian and actor whose work is very much worth following, if one's French is up to the challenge of most of his DVDs. Fortunately, "L'Amour dure trois ans" ("Love Lasts Three Years" being the title in English) has subtitles both in French and in English, at least on the edition viewed (Seville/Entertainment-One 200445-DV), although others of his various DVDs lack English subtitles in the current editions available as listed in their entries on Amazon's various national WWW sites.

Proust is one of those peculiar-looking guys who is both seductively handsome, with at once a sweetly boyish appeal yet having a na´vely comical-looking face which together make him perfect for a role like that of Marc Maronnier. One thinks, in Hollywood terms, of someone like the young Woody Allen, except that Proust really is one obviously very beguiling good-looker. The motion picture which features him is an utterly entrancing sex farce, but one with a feather-light approach to its zaniness and abounding in deliciously delicate irony and parody that none but a few English and even fewer American films manage to achieve. By 2011, the date of this film's release, Proust attained his 35th year of age, but he still looks a bit like a cherubic "twenty-something" with the youthful bloom that a beautifully fresh complexion naturally enhances.

At the film's outset, Marc Maronnier confronts his wife Anne's insistence on a divorce, something that he very much does not want in the very least. However, Anne prevails, obtaining the divorce and leaving Marc with a black eye when he resists too ardently. Marc has made his living in journalism, renowned for his book reviews and entertainment ("night life") column. Humiliated and (temporarily, as it turns out) cynical, he undertakes a book-length examination of real love as a merely temporary phenomenon. (It is the title of Marc's book that lends its name to the film.) No sooner does the publisher release the book than heaven-stormingly besotted love takes hold on him, when he falls for the wife, Alice (the lovely Louise Bourgoin), of his cousin, Antoine (Nicolas Bedos); this hits Marc like a thunder-bolt of love-at-first-sight for Marc, although there is need to wait some time for Marc to coax Alice from her husband; the two lovers start their illicit affair in the aftermath of the funeral of two men's grandmother.

Alice is unaware at first that Marc Maronnier is the real name of "Féodor Belvédère", the pseudonym that the author uses for his book, which attains almost instant best-seller status and, inevitably, renown for Marc, whose real identity a television feature about the book reveals, much to Marc's consternation, for Marc knows that Alice despises the book and everything for which it stands (and which Marc had believed only briefly, after all, to be true). Alice, seeing the TV show, falls into a monumental temper-tantrum and deserts Marc. It is up to the reader of this review to find out for himself how Marc and Alice reconcile, something that happens as the result of many absurd and delightful adventures along the way to their reunion.

There are various sub-plots that occur, mostly involving some of Marc's friends and relatives. The Afro-Gallic character, Jean-Georges (acted by Joey Starr) has perhaps the most amusing one. This womaniser suddenly falls in love with his male surfing instructor (Thomas Jouannet). The two men unite by means of a colourfully New-Age surf-themed gay wedding over which one very wacky guru, babbling gibberish, absurdly presides.

This film is endlessly inventive, spewing fun and froth at the entranced viewer in just about every unexpected way imaginable. Some music lovers will be pleased not only that Marc's favourite songwriter is Michel Legrand, but that Legrand actually makes an appearance in the movie, seen playing the piano and singing his own music. For some viewers, Anglophones who are too staid or stolid of temperament to enjoy this movie's antic revels, it may be "just a bit too much" for their taste, but for others "L'Amour dure trois ans" will be the comedy discovery of the year in which they encounter it!

Miracle Match
Miracle Match
DVD ~ Wes Bentley
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 40.01
7 used & new from CDN$ 38.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Truly This Was a "Miracle Match" & "Game of Their Lives" for an American Soccer Team Skyrocketed to International Sports Triumph, Feb. 18 2015
This review is from: Miracle Match (DVD)
It is odd that the history-making soccer game which this endearing film, which variously has been titled "The Miracle Match" or "The Game of Their Lives", recounts, even with a few pardonable historical errors, has had so little attention in decades after 1950, the year that the U.S. soccer team won the international trophy of trophies in Rio de Janeiro. The U. S. of A. usually, if anything, over-inflates sports lore of that level or, for that matter, of much that is of much less significant import. If a sporting event of this magnitude had resulted in such an unexpected Canadian win under such circumstances, the Dominion of Canada, another soccer-starved nation, would be recounting it from here to kingdom come yearly on the C.B.C. ! Anyway, "The Miracle Match" is an absorbing tale in sports historical reality and on screen.

This viewer hardly ever bothers with sports film -- that is, unless they are about soccer (internationally known as "football"). I only wish that there were more screen time devoted to the games themselves, i.e. to the Saint Louis, Mo./Middle Atlantic States team's trial match with an English team, and the game that made history in Brazil so long ago. The quality of play by the actors depicting the teams is exceptionally good and it would have been fun to see more. However, the background story is an affecting one that pulls at the heartstrings, so I do not begrudge it the amount of time to recount it.

The DVD edition viewed (one of those bearing as title "The Game of Their Lives") was one acquired here in Québec (Fabrication/V.V.S. Films T-034) and is quite satisfactory, including the short but relevant bonus features that come with that edition.

Sports movie enthusiasts, and, naturally, fans of soccer itself, should go out of their way, if need be, to see this motion picture. It is worth it! This movie has a whole lot of heart as well as much skill employed in the making of it.

The Game of Their Lives [Import]
The Game of Their Lives [Import]
DVD ~ DVD
6 used & new from CDN$ 2.18

4.0 out of 5 stars Soccer Is the Gutsy International Game of All Games and This Movie about It Was Made with Heart and Skill Aplenty, Feb. 17 2015
It is odd that the history-making soccer game which this endearing film recounts, even with a few pardonable historical errors, has had so little attention in decades after 1950, the year that the U.S. soccer team won the international trophy of trophies in Rio de Janeiro. The U. S. of A. usually, if anything, over-inflates sports lore of that level or, for that matter, of much that is of much less significant import. If a sporting event of this magnitude had resulted in such an unexpected Canadian win under such circumstances, the Dominion of Canada, another soccer-starved nation, would be recounting it from here to kingdom come yearly on the C.B.C. ! Anyway, "The Game of Their Lives" (which also has been titled "The Miracle Match") is an absorbing tale in sports historical reality and on screen.

This viewer hardly ever bothers with sports film -- that is, unless they are about soccer (internationally known as "football"). I only wish that there were more screen time devoted to the games themselves, i.e. to the Saint Louis, Mo./Middle Atlantic States team's trial match with an English team, and the game that made history in Brazil so long ago. The quality of play by the actors depicting the teams is exceptionally good and it would have been fun to see more. However, the background story is an affecting one that pulls at the heartstrings, so I do not begrudge it the amount of time to recount it.

The DVD edition viewed was one acquired here in Québec (Fabrication/V.V.S. Films T-034) and is quite satisfactory, including the short but relevant bonus features that come with that edition.

Sports movie enthusiasts, and, naturally, fans of soccer itself, should go out of their way, if need be, to see this motion picture. It is worth it! This movie has a whole lot of heart as well as much skill employed in the making of it.

Love Lasts Three Years / L'amour dure trois ans (Version franšaise)
Love Lasts Three Years / L'amour dure trois ans (Version franšaise)
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 10.95
12 used & new from CDN$ 4.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Cunningly Crafted French Cinematic Comedy That Is Bound to Enchant Viewers Who Love to Have Some Fun on the Screen, Feb. 17 2015
Beloved, spurned, beset, pursuing, pursued, besotted: love casts poor, mightily confused Marc Maronnier every which way! Taking Marc's role is Gaspard Proust (birth name Ga'per Pust or Kasper Püst), a Slovenian-French comedian and actor whose work is very much worth following, if one's French is up to the challenge of most of his DVDs. Fortunately, "L'Amour dure trois ans" ("Love Lasts Three Years" being the title in English) has subtitles both in French and in English, at least on the edition viewed (Seville/Entertainment-One 200445-DV), although others of his various DVDs lack English subtitles in the current editions available as listed in their entries on Amazon's various national WWW sites.

Proust is one of those peculiar-looking guys who is both seductively handsome, with at once a sweetly boyish appeal yet having a na´vely comical-looking face which together make him perfect for a role like that of Marc Maronnier. One thinks, in Hollywood terms, of someone like the young Woody Allen, except that Proust really is one obviously very beguiling good-looker. The motion picture which features him is an utterly entrancing sex farce, but one with a feather-light approach to its zaniness and abounding in deliciously delicate irony and parody that none but a few English and even fewer American films manage to achieve. By 2011, the date of this film's release, Proust attained his 35th year of age, but he still looks a bit like a cherubic "twenty-something" with the youthful bloom that a beautifully fresh complexion naturally enhances.

At the film's outset, Marc Maronnier confronts his wife Anne's insistence on a divorce, something that he very much does not want in the very least. However, Anne prevails, obtaining the divorce and leaving Marc with a black eye when he resists too ardently. Marc has made his living in journalism, renowned for his book reviews and entertainment ("night life") column. Humiliated and (temporarily, as it turns out) cynical, he undertakes a book-length examination of real love as a merely temporary phenomenon. (It is the title of Marc's book that lends its name to the film.) No sooner does the publisher release the book than heaven-stormingly besotted love takes hold on him, when he falls for the wife, Alice (the lovely Louise Bourgoin), of his cousin, Antoine (Nicolas Bedos); this hits Marc like a thunder-bolt of love-at-first-sight for Marc, although there is need to wait some time for Marc to coax Alice from her husband; the two lovers start their illicit affair in the aftermath of the funeral of two men's grandmother.

Alice is unaware at first that Marc Maronnier is the real name of "Féodor Belvédère", the pseudonym that the author uses for his book, which attains almost instant best-seller status and, inevitably, renown for Marc, whose real identity a television feature about the book reveals, much to Marc's consternation, for Marc knows that Alice despises the book and everything for which it stands (and which Marc had believed only briefly, after all, to be true). Alice, seeing the TV show, falls into a monumental temper-tantrum and deserts Marc. It is up to the reader of this review to find out for himself how Marc and Alice reconcile, something that happens as the result of many absurd and delightful adventures along the way to their reunion.

There are various sub-plots that occur, mostly involving some of Marc's friends and relatives. The Afro-Gallic character, Jean-Georges (acted by Joey Starr) has perhaps the most amusing one. This womaniser suddenly falls in love with his male surfing instructor (Thomas Jouannet). The two men unite by means of a colourfully New-Age surf-themed gay wedding over which one very wacky guru, babbling gibberish, absurdly presides.

This film is endlessly inventive, spewing fun and froth at the entranced viewer in just about every unexpected way imaginable. Some music lovers will be pleased not only that Marc's favourite songwriter is Michel Legrand, but that Legrand actually makes an appearance in the movie, seen playing the piano and singing his own music. For some viewers, Anglophones who are too staid or stolid of temperament to enjoy this movie's antic revels, it may be "just a bit too much" for their taste, but for others "L'Amour dure trois ans" will be the comedy discovery of the year in which they encounter it!

PHANTOM BY CARNES,RYAN (Blu-Ray)
PHANTOM BY CARNES,RYAN (Blu-Ray)
Offered by moviemars-canada
Price: CDN$ 15.21

4.0 out of 5 stars Without Devil, the Hound, around, or Hero, His Horse, but with Lots of Pluck, Young Heir to the Mantle of Phantom Sallies forth!, Feb. 4 2015
This review is from: PHANTOM BY CARNES,RYAN (Blu-Ray)
Admittedly, the concept of this up-dated "take" on The Phantom, the old-time syndicated comic mystic rider (a more appropriate designation than "superhero" for what that comic used to represent), is better than its realisation. Of course, such a junior Phantom would not be the inscrutable travelling sage and adventurer which that figure was in the "funny pages" (to which he lent some air of "gravitas") in the press of the 1940s and 1950s, as I recall from reading "The Phantom" in the newspapers back then as a child and teen. This 2009 film, rather wisely perhaps, lays out new ground in Phantom lore, in imagining some newly conceived, youthful adventures in a more modern setting for that comics hero. One should be able to tell that this is so from the subtitle which the DVD's packaging presents. The full title thereon (here placing a word entirely in capital letters, for emphasis) is "The Phantom: REIMAGINED and Reloaded". And reconceived, indeed, is the Phantom whom Ryan Carnes depicts!

As for the 1943 moving pictures serial, which can cumulate nicely into a lengthy movie, the portrayal of the Phantom therein, much closer to his image in the comics, differs almost entirely from the 2009 film. I especially miss Devil, the Phantom's trusty, clever, and valiant canine companion (a wonderfully well trained hound, beautiful German shepherd that he was), playing a significant and endearing role way back then in the 1943 production. Kit Walker, the Phantom in the 2009 movie, whose adventures and exploits are more prevailingly urban, has no animal helpers like Devil (a grey mountain wolf in the comics) or the Phantom's steed, Hero.

As the "twenty-something" heir to the family Phantom line, Kip Walker as Ryan Carnes plays the part looks, at this point in his career, somewhat like the boyish Don Johnson at a similar age (i.e., pre-"Miami Vice"), extending to the winsomely sunny smile, but Carnes, already rather physically more robust, is not so downright memorably pretty a lad as Johnson, who was epicene perfection personified. Carnes embodies the youthful Phantom convincingly, clearly having the makings of the character of The Phantom as he would mature, but the entire aura of this once-mysterious figure differs much from the 1943 movie serial, quite apart from the modernisation of the 2009 version's cinematic setting. The other characters suitably fit their parts, dramatically and visually.

While the movie location for shooting it, Montréal, simulates the boroughs of New York City very well, the major roles are assigned to American actors. However. the production team and the rest of the cast do Québec and Canadian cinema proud. I especially enjoyed Peruvian-Québécois actor Victor Andrés Turgeon-Trelles' brief appearances in both parts of the film as Kip's friend and contemporary, Jordy; Turgeon-Trelles' movies have tended to be "art films", so seeing him in this very commercial cinematic mode is an interesting change of pace for him.

The film had its origins as a TV "pilot", presumably in both of the two episodes, which are included together on the DVD. In one of the two bonus features included, there was some indication that a television series had been hoped to result, something which did not come to pass. Perhaps if the conception had been for a motion picture from the outset the film would have had tighter construction; as it is the level of interest and forward momentum sag at times. It is rather refreshing, in a way, to see a superhero film that does not rely on spectacular filming technique, C.G.I., and the like, but which proceeds unspectacularly but nonetheless appropriately for a movie in its genre. I'll be watching this DVD numerous times again (on the North American edition of it that I own, i.e. Vivendi Entertainment RH-2830), if only from pride in so many of its good Québec production values!

PHANTOM BY CARNES,RYAN (DVD)
PHANTOM BY CARNES,RYAN (DVD)
Offered by moviemars-canada
Price: CDN$ 14.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Ryan Carnes Makes a Good Showing in This Drastically Updated Retake on that Mystic Rider, the Phantom, Feb. 4 2015
This review is from: PHANTOM BY CARNES,RYAN (DVD)
Admittedly, the concept of this up-dated "take" on The Phantom, the old-time syndicated comic mystic rider (a more appropriate designation than "superhero" for what that comic used to represent), is better than its realisation. Of course, such a junior Phantom would not be the inscrutable travelling sage and adventurer which that figure was in the "funny pages" (to which he lent some air of "gravitas") in the press of the 1940s and 1950s, as I recall from reading "The Phantom" in the newspapers back then as a child and teen. This 2009 film, rather wisely perhaps, lays out new ground in Phantom lore, in imagining some newly conceived, youthful adventures in a more modern setting for that comics hero. One should be able to tell that this is so from the subtitle which the DVD's packaging presents. The full title thereon (here placing a word entirely in capital letters, for emphasis) is "The Phantom: REIMAGINED and Reloaded". And reconceived, indeed, is the Phantom whom Ryan Carnes depicts!

As for the 1943 moving pictures serial, which can cumulate nicely into a lengthy movie, the portrayal of the Phantom therein, much closer to his image in the comics, differs almost entirely from the 2009 film. I especially miss Devil, the Phantom's trusty, clever, and valiant canine companion (a wonderfully well trained hound, beautiful German shepherd that he was), playing a significant and endearing role way back then in the 1943 production. Kit Walker, the Phantom in the 2009 movie, whose adventures and exploits are more prevailingly urban, has no animal helpers like Devil (a grey mountain wolf in the comics) or the Phantom's steed, Hero.

As the "twenty-something" heir to the family Phantom line, Kip Walker as Ryan Carnes plays the part looks, at this point in his career, somewhat like the boyish Don Johnson at a similar age (i.e., pre-"Miami Vice"), extending to the winsomely sunny smile, but Carnes, already rather physically more robust, is not so downright memorably pretty a lad as Johnson, who was epicene perfection personified. Carnes embodies the youthful Phantom convincingly, clearly having the makings of the character of The Phantom as he would mature, but the entire aura of this once-mysterious figure differs much from the 1943 movie serial, quite apart from the modernisation of the 2009 version's cinematic setting. The other characters suitably fit their parts, dramatically and visually.

While the movie location for shooting it, Montréal, simulates the boroughs of New York City very well, the major roles are assigned to American actors. However. the production team and the rest of the cast do Québec and Canadian cinema proud. I especially enjoyed Peruvian-Québécois actor Victor Andrés Turgeon-Trelles' brief appearances in both parts of the film as Kip's friend and contemporary, Jordy; Turgeon-Trelles' movies have tended to be "art films", so seeing him in this very commercial cinematic mode is an interesting change of pace for him.

The film had its origins as a TV "pilot", presumably in both of the two episodes, which are included together on the DVD. In one of the two bonus features included, there was some indication that a television series had been hoped to result, something which did not come to pass. Perhaps if the conception had been for a motion picture from the outset the film would have had tighter construction; as it is the level of interest and forward momentum sag at times. It is rather refreshing, in a way, to see a superhero film that does not rely on spectacular filming technique, C.G.I., and the like, but which proceeds unspectacularly but nonetheless appropriately for a movie in its genre. I'll be watching this DVD numerous times again (on the North American edition of it that I own, i.e. Vivendi Entertainment RH-2830), if only from pride in so many of its good Québec production values!

Just Dad: Stories of Herman Hoeksema
Just Dad: Stories of Herman Hoeksema
by Lois E. Kregel
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Daughter's Sweet and Personal Memories of Her Father, One of the Great Theologians of the Twentieth Century, Feb. 3 2015
Lois E. Kregel (née Hoeksema) is one of Herman Hoeksema's offspring, the youngest daughter of that toweringly important Reformed theologian who was a founding figure of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America, a rigourously orthodox denomination which came into being when internal doctrinal controversy wracked the Christian Reformed Church. Her memoirs of her father deal mostly with personal and family matters of the Hoeksema family, from recounting family lore of Herman Hoeksema Sr.'s childhood and youth, in Holland then in the U. S. of A., to her more distinctly individual memories of Hoeksema, partly as a churchman, but more directly as a family man.

This small book does not aspire to be in any way an intellectual biography (the kind of book which most certainly would be appreciated), but rather an intimate portrait of Herman Hoeksema the man. There is a place for that, especially as a precious resource for future, more comprehensively biographical works about him. Kregel does provide some idea of the doctrinal controversies which gave birth to the P.R.C. of the U. S. of A. and to the schism in its own ranks which eventually occurred. Hoeksema comes across as an appealing human being, warm, affectionate, and loyal. His image in most people's mind is probably rather austere, due to his strict Reformed theology.

It was debate over the Reformed concept of the Covenant of Grace that was the chief issue, by far, in the controversies in which Hoeksema took part. The Covenantal theology of the Reformed and Presbyterian Churches has provided the battle ground of much division and doctrinal scandal in the ranks of that branch of theology and ecclesiastical history. The more highly developed and specific the doctrine of The Covenant becomes in any of those Reformed circles, the more intensely controversy takes root. As someone of Lutheranism's countervailing views on this particular matter would know, Covenantal Theology is a doctrinal outcome of Reformed thinking that is inherently unstable, so it is no wonder that such dissensions and divisions have arisen over it. A proper soteriological paradigm really does not need the concepts of Covenantal theology to reinforce the high Augustinian and Protestant doctrines of Predestination, Grace, and Salvation; Covenantal doctrinal thinking only "muddies the waters" and, really, is so fiercely maintained to soften a bit the contours of those other Protestant dogmas. However, the Covenantal paradigm still counts for much in many of the world's Reformed and Presbyterian churches. The P.R.C.'s theology, in general so admirably in accord otherwise with Martin Bucer's legacy, goes far to counter some of the few shortcomings of Calvin's theology, adhering very faithfully to the Dutch and German Confessions, especially to the Belgic Confession and to the decrees of the Synod of Dort.

At any rate, such theological considerations account for only the doctrinal background, not for the core of Lois Kregel's pleasing, if lightweight, little book. Many readers will enjoy it as the portrait of a kindly Christian man, of great integrity, of whatever doctrinal persuasion. The book's supplement of some of Hoeksema's correspondence only adds to its value!

The Phantom
The Phantom
DVD ~ Paolo Barzman
Price: CDN$ 10.93
13 used & new from CDN$ 4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Divertingly, an Interesting Portrayal of That Mystic Rider, the Phantom, as a Young Man, Feb. 2 2015
This review is from: The Phantom (DVD)
Admittedly, the concept of this up-dated "take" on The Phantom, the old-time syndicated comic mystic rider (a more appropriate designation than "superhero" for what that comic used to represent), is better than its realisation. Of course, such a junior Phantom would not be the inscrutable travelling sage and adventurer which that figure was in the "funny pages" (to which he lent some air of "gravitas") in the press of the 1940s and 1950s, as I recall from reading "The Phantom" in the newspapers back then as a child and teen. This 2009 film, rather wisely perhaps, lays out new ground in Phantom lore, in imagining some newly conceived, youthful adventures in a more modern setting for that comics hero. One should be able to tell that this is so from the subtitle which the DVD's packaging presents. The full title thereon (here placing a word entirely in capital letters, for emphasis) is "The Phantom: REIMAGINED and Reloaded". And reconceived, indeed, is the Phantom whom Ryan Carnes depicts!

As for the 1943 moving pictures serial, which can cumulate nicely into a lengthy movie, the portrayal of the Phantom therein, much closer to his image in the comics, differs almost entirely from the 2009 film. I especially miss Devil, the Phantom's trusty, clever, and valiant canine companion (a wonderfully well trained hound, beautiful German shepherd that he was), playing a significant and endearing role way back then in the 1943 production. Kit Walker, the Phantom in the 2009 movie, whose adventures and exploits are more prevailingly urban, has no animal helpers like Devil (a grey mountain wolf in the comics) or the Phantom's steed, Hero.

As the "twenty-something" heir to the family Phantom line, Kip Walker as Ryan Carnes plays the part looks, at this point in his career, somewhat like the boyish Don Johnson at a similar age (i.e., pre-"Miami Vice"), extending to the winsomely sunny smile, but Carnes, already rather physically more robust, is not so downright memorably pretty a lad as Johnson, who was epicene perfection personified. Carnes embodies the youthful Phantom convincingly, clearly having the makings of the character of The Phantom as he would mature, but the entire aura of this once-mysterious figure differs much from the 1943 movie serial, quite apart from the modernisation of the 2009 version's cinematic setting. The other characters suitably fit their parts, dramatically and visually.

While the movie location for shooting it, Montréal, simulates the boroughs of New York City very well, the major roles are assigned to American actors. However. the production team and the rest of the cast do Québec and Canadian cinema proud. I especially enjoyed Peruvian-Québécois actor Victor Andrés Turgeon-Trelles' brief appearances in both parts of the film as Kip's friend and contemporary, Jordy; Turgeon-Trelles' movies have tended to be "art films", so seeing him in this very commercial cinematic mode is an interesting change of pace for him.

The film had its origins as a TV "pilot", presumably in both of the two episodes, which are included together on the DVD. In one of the two bonus features included, there was some indication that a television series had been hoped to result, something which did not come to pass. Perhaps if the conception had been for a motion picture from the outset the film would have had tighter construction; as it is the level of interest and forward momentum sag at times. It is rather refreshing, in a way, to see a superhero film that does not rely on spectacular filming technique, C.G.I., and the like, but which proceeds unspectacularly but nonetheless appropriately for a movie in its genre. I'll be watching this DVD numerous times again (on the North American edition of it that I own, i.e. Vivendi Entertainment RH-2830), if only from pride in so many of its good Québec production values.

The Rhythm In Me / Sur le Rythme [Blu-ray] (Version franšaise)
The Rhythm In Me / Sur le Rythme [Blu-ray] (Version franšaise)
Price: CDN$ 22.99
17 used & new from CDN$ 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars See Nico Archambault and a Large Cast of the Best Dancers in Québec and Elsewhere in Canada, Too, Dance up a Storm!, Jan. 24 2015
Nico Archambault is the Québécois male dancer and choreographer (b. 1984 in Montréal) who soared from well-schooled professionalism (but obscurity so far as the greater public for entertainment was concerned) to the heights of popular fame and glory when he won first place in the initial season of "So You Think You Can Dance Canada". He enraptured the public at that widely televised event and his renown was instantly assured. The man's sheer beauty and charisma equal his terrific talent as a dancer in many idioms. In the role of Marc Plainchaud (which would be French for "Fully Hot" except for one spelling difference which, anyway, would not affect pronunciation!) in the 2011 dance film, "Sur le rythme" (the English title of which is "The Rhythm in Me"). In this movie, he appears at his best, moustached and lightly bearded, with thick, wavy auburn hair that, together with his pastel-blue eyes, give him a full yet firm, sensuous face that commands attention, allied with an impressively well-developed body and beautiful complexion. Visually, he is a delight to behold and it is rather a shame that Nico does not shed more frequently the various shirts which he wears so much of the time!

"Sur le rythme" (Seville/Entertainment One 210786-DV being the DVD edition viewed, including English subtitles, rather than the Blu-ray alternative) is, essentially and unsurprisingly, a cinematic show-case for Nico Archambault, but the movie also displays some of the best examples of dancing to be seen in Montréal, or, for that matter, in Canada, from "modern dance" and breakdance, to commercial show dancing, and much in between. It would be nice if there had been an occasional slow number, but there is plenty of variety to the up-tempo, lively fare that prevails. While there is the usual quotient of "squirm and churn" in the choreography, most of it is bracingly vigourous, quite athletic, and even awesomely acrobatic. Some discothèque dancing scenes occur, as well, including a music video that is among the DVD's bonus features, and few people need to be informed that French-Canadians out-boogie any other white folks (straight or gay) anywhere else on the North American continent. The dancers assembled throughout the film are among the best available in Québec and more widely within the Dominion of Canada.

Although Nico Archambault is the leading star of the film, the story, on which so much fine dancing is pegged, revolves around the leading female in the cast, Mylène Saint-Sauveur (as Delphine), whose plight is the frequently told story of going into an artistic profession (dance, of course, in this movie) over the objections of her parents, who press her to continue her medical studies. The story is hardly original, but the drama that plays itself out between the dance scenes is one that is strong on credibility and gratefully free. for the most part, of the kinds of soppy sentiment and clichés that abound in so many other motion pictures with this common variety plot.

Saint-Sauveur dances well enough to make her a believable enough partner for Nico Archambault, surely, in itself, no mean achievement. France Castel, as Delphine's supportive grandmother, had been an highly successful singing star in French pop music (of the middle-of-the-road kind) in earlier decades, and her turn here as an actress is very accomplished, making her character a very appealing old lady. This film is first class from top to bottom, especially in all matters related to dance, but in other cinematic aspects as well. Highly recommended!

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