Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Power Within

Even though I did not have the day off, I didn't go to work today. But I won't get in trouble with my employer, I was part of a group of employees invited to attend a The Power Within seminar at the Palais des congrès, in Montreal. They tour North America with different groups of motivators and other speakers.

The group that was in Montreal today consisted of Mike Lipkin, Loretta LaRoche, Phil Town, Dr. Antonia Coello Novello (former US Surgeon General), Richard Dolan, Martin Sheen and William Jefferson Clinton (AKA Bill Clinton, who had a gig as the 42nd US President). One deception for me, Garry Kasparov was originally scheduled to appear at this seminar, but that did not happen...

I've had corporate one or two days seminars at the office before, but this was quite different. First, we share a huge room with about 4000 people. Impressive. Second, it was a series of speakers, each with their own style. I did like this experience overall. Not everything applied to my life, but the beauty of the concept is that with this many speakers, at least some of them will be interesting to most attendees.

We learned things, laughed, reflected on issues and had a good time. During the day, people would come and go, some were talking during presentations but fortunately there wasn't a big problem in my area and I was able to follow all the speeches. Beside microphones, there were also two big screens on either side of the stage, so we could see the presenters better. We had pretty good seats, only six rows behind the VIP section.

Of course, the big event was Bill Clinton's speech, which was kept for the end. Interestingly enough, when it was his turn, there was very little circulation from the attendees and it was very quiet. It's not often that "regular people" get to see a former US President give a speech like this and Clinton is certainly respected by many people, including us Canadians. While not pointing fingers at anyone, he talked about political issues, the current economy and what can be done by leaders and citizens to help the situation.

If you are given the opportunity to assist to such a seminar, I would suggest you go. It's very interesting and at the very least, a change to your usual routine, I'm sure!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Movie review - Max Payne

I saw Max Payne a month ago, but I'm a little behind, again, in my blog reviews... In a race to catch up once more!

I never played the game this movie is based on, so I can't compare the two. I can only comment on the movie itself for what it is. That would be an action movie, with revenge in mind and a lot of violence along the way. Hm, that does sounds like a game! The main character is played by Mark Wahlberg and was key in getting me to go see this movie. I've liked Wahlberg since I saw him in The Big Hit and he made me buy a few more movie tickets since. This movie is perfect for his style of acting (sorry for the type-casting, Mark!).

The plot is not very original, but it works. A cop who's family was killed seeks revenge and hunts down the people responsible for their death. He has to find them first and in his quest will make allies and enemies. Many bullets will be used during this story, as well as other weapons. Did I mention this was a violent movie? OK, just checking.

The movie also stars Beau Bridges, Chris O'Donnell, Ludacris, Mila Kunis and Olga Kurylenko (one of the newest Bond Girl in Quantum Of Solace), to name a few. It's not a great movie, but it's fun if you like action, which this movie does have quite a bit of.

Oh, if your the type that leaves the theatre when the credit starts rolling, you don't get to see the whole movie. There is a short scene at the very end. No, it doesn't star Nick Fury, but I bet they're hinting at a sequel...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Upcoming movie - Star Trek

Like most geeks, I'm very excited about the new Star Trek movie, coming out in May 2009. A new trailer came out just a few days ago and we now have a better idea what it's going to be like, most likely. We do have to keep in mind that trailers can lie. But I hope this one is more honest, because I liked it a lot. Lots of action in this one, but hopefully there is plenty left for the movie itself. It is being directed by the talented J.J. Abrams. I believe this is the first time he is involved in a project which is already a huge franchise, so let's hope he doesn't mess this up!

One thing that may take a while to adjust to is seeing Sylar playing Spock. By this I mean that Zachary Quinto, who plays Sylar on TV's Heroes will be taking on the role of Spock in this younger version of the original character. In case you didn't already know, the story is with the original characters, when they were just starting their new Star Fleet careers at the Academy. Other well known actors are Simon Pegg as Scotty, Eric Bana as Nero, Winona Ryder as Amanda Grayson and Leonard Nimoy as "Old Spock". I'm not familiar with the other actors, but that shouldn't be a problem...

I don't know about you, but I know where I'm going to be on May 8, 2009!