Rave: Magic Mike

When we were offered tickets to check out the premiere of Magic Mike (courtesy of Warner Bros.) we jumped at the opportunity. A rom-com combined with a good-looking cast about an all-male revue? We’re in. 



Off we went, popcorn in hand along with our good friend Paul to check out the flick. Below we give you a he said/we said review of various aspects of the show – as we don’t want to give too much away!

On Channing Tatum:
He said: “Loads of charm,
and a hint of that deceiving bad boy-actually-good attitude that just
won’t quit, much like his ass. Obviously, the best dancer and, yes, when he
dances it’s like you’re watching Step Up 2: The Streets one though.”

We said: “We didn’t blink. Between his dancing and abs, he had us at ‘hello’. Well done, Channing. Well done. Now, take your shirt off.” 

On Cody Horn: 
He said: “The role of Brooke (Cody Horn), The Kid’s sister and
Mike’s love interest, might as well have been cast with Kristin Cavallari. I
mean, I just can’t deal. Olivia Munn, who plays risky bisexual Joanna and has
an affair with Mike pre-Brooke, might as well have taken the entire lead to
herself.” 


We said: “Meh. She didn’t do it for us as a female lead. Between her permanent frown/scowl and no-fun attitude, we just couldn’t figure out why this (hot) stripper with a heart of gold was going for a girl like that.” 
Nudity:
He said: “There is a ton of butt cheeks, and bare chests. A few
boobs for good measure. But sadly, the only penis you get to see is almost out
of focus and in a pump. (Yes, a penis pump.)” 


We said: “It was done as tastefully as possible. There was serious eye candy and come on, we are talking about male strippers here.”


Performance
sequences: 
He said: “The ‘performances’ keep the movie afloat because – hah
– as if you would come for anything else. There are some bigger numbers, and
none will bore you. A big plus: smaller montages give a glimpse into the
various acts they perform, each based on traditional male archetypes:
firefighter, doctor, cop, basketball player, etc. Sometimes, you don’t even see
them take anything off. Expect something like this
 and this.
Actually, it’s more like male burlesque, and heavy on the funny factor because,
well, assless leather chaps.”


We said: “There was a great variation in the routines, which, as dance-based movie aficionados, we can appreciate.  We were particularly fond of their ‘It’s Raining Men‘ routine, with Channing’s solo act to Ginuwine as a close second. We went on a cross-country journey with these guys as we saw cowboys, Tarzan, and hip-hop dancers, (oh my!).” 



Story and script:

He said: Mike describes the appeal of stripping as ‘women,
money and a good time.’ That basically sums up the movie. What they don’t tell
you is that it’s set to a soundtrack of drugs, booze and dubstep. And the
conflict is forced at best because, well, just wait until you see the
ending.” 


We said: “Again, it was a story about a male stripper who discovered friendship and good times but more importantly, himself. Aww.”


Does
it live up to the hype/trailer:

He said: “In the era of easy access Internet porn, the trailer
promised the flick would be visually stimulating. And yeah, it lived up to that
promise in spades but with no real climax. There was no promise of a real story
either, so that checks out. But once it’s over, it’s over – just like the
trailer.”



We said: “We went in with lowered expectations, especially in relation to the story line. While the plot followed your standard rom-com format, it was a fun flick to watch, despite the whole Cody Horn element.”

Overall
sexiness:

He said: “I would have liked more screen time with the other
guys. Tatum is hot, sure, but you can only look at his face for so long. Also,
director 
Soderbergh sorely under-used Pettyfer and Rodriguez’s sex symbol
potential. And, as I’ve found with male stripping, sexiness is sacrificed for
humor because, well, you decide.” 

We said: “We agree with Paul. More Manganiello, Bomer and McConaughey would have been nice. We also thought Munn was lovely and would have been a better fit for the female lead.”


Final
thoughts:

He said: Soderbergh is Soderbergh, and he tries to
bring his trademark mix of depth, intrigue and action to a script
that simply can’t support it. You can tell he really tries to stylize the film
in his own way with his sequencing and camera choices, but he’s trying to reach
a level of intellect that no one ends up caring about because – hello! – ABS.
If Gus Van Sant directed this, now that would be some grimy hot realness and
we’d be seeing the full frontal. Still, it was fun in a way that Showgirls and
Striptease and Burlesque was fun.”



We said: “It was fun! Soderbergh brought us some good laughs, we danced in our seats, we (almost) cried and we had a good time watching theses abs. We mean dancers. Just don’t expect a sequel. However, we will want to interview Matthew McConaughey’s children once they watch it.” 


Haven’t seen the trailer yet? Check it out here.









Media, Darling: Jeremy John

Breakfast Television Winnipeg host Jeremy John wakes Winnipeggers up with a smile each and every
morning!


John’s love of storytelling and meeting interesting and
diverse people makes him a perfect fit for Breakfast Television. A Brantford,
Ontario native, John graduated from the Radio Broadcasting program at Humber
College in Toronto. Prior to joining the Citytv team, John has held a variety
of radio and television positions including stints at Rogers Television, 680News, CHFI, The Fan 590, KISS 92.5, 97.7 The Beach, SunTV, and A Channel.
Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his family,
watching live theatre, and is a fan of just about any sport including hockey,
basketball and football. He is also a proud supporter of various local
charities including The YMCA, The Salvation Army and The Humane Society, as well as
local community theatre.
A few fun interesting facts you may not know is that John once worked as a giant jelly bean, got punched by “Tiger” Williams and put in a
headlock from John Cena, swam in a pool of cranberries, acted in a live weekly
theatre soap opera and competed multiple times in the World Championship of
Rock, Paper, Scissors.


Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other
careers were on the horizon? 
I wanted to be an actor. I thought that Canadians just
move to Hollywood and become famous.  Ended up in theatre school, hung out
with a lot of unemployed actors and decided to give radio a try instead.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Here. In a bigger house. With nicer clothes. 
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be ready and able to do anything. Learn as many skills
as possible. The person who can write and host and shoot and edit will
get the job sooner than the person who can do less.
Also be a solution person, not a problem person. If
there is an issue, bring it to the boss. But make every effort to bring a
solution along with you. It may not be the perfect solution but the boss
should see you as a person who always has an answer
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your
own? 
I watch/read/listen to all the local stations, newspapers,
blogs. I also am a big fan of lots of the CBC programming, sites like
reddit and boing boing
      
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Cheech and Chong were fun, so were The Wiggles, but for very
different reasons. I’m a huge Blue Jays fan so interviewing Hall of Famer
Roberto Alomar standing in the infield of Shaw Park was a very big deal to me.
Plus, he was super nice and hung out telling stories before and after the
interview.  
Worst?
Anyone who complains about having to get up early to be on
our show. Sorry, honestly I am, but we’re here and ready for you. The least you could do is put on a happy face for the camera.
  
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Fire it before it quits – a Roz Weston from KISS 92.5 quote
talking about my rapidly receding hair line. I started shaving it that weekend.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Family first. Fifty years from now I won’t regret not
putting in more overtime. I would regret missing a T-ball game or an
afternoon at the park.
  
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Make me understand how this is a benefit to my
audience. Focus on how this will improve the life of my audience and the
rest takes care of itself. The single focus should be the benefit to the
viewer.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear
about #wins.
Whenever the PR folks give me choices. Give me
different ideas about how to present your info. You know your product, I
know our show. Together we can make great bit of TV!
I hate?
People who make my job harder. If you do your work
properly, than I can do mine.
I love?
Making the control room laugh, intentionally or not. It’s great to hear the very busy people (who normally aren’t really giggly)
laughing at something I’ve done.
Reading?
Right now? Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu and Stephen
Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.
Two books at the same time, you ask? One in the upstairs
bathroom, one in the downstairs bathroom. Hey, you asked!
Best place on earth?
In the stands with my family at the ball park.


Dinner guest?

My wife. I know, you think I’m boring right. But
she’s really fun, she likes me a lot and I don’t get to see her nearly
enough. If I have to make a second choice, I would pick Eddie Vedder
Hero?
Terry Fox. It’s a cliché for a Canadian to say that,
but he’s a hero if ever there was one. A teenage kid who did so much for
cancer research.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
New stuff every day. Right now playing Monsters Ate My Condo, and Sid Meyers’ Pirates! 
Pool or ocean?
Pool – I hate jelly fish.
Voicemail or email?
I can ignore emails easier, so I prefer that. If you
need to get a hold of me, you should probably call.

Yum, Yum: Sangria in the City

If you’re like us, there are certain types of drinks that are enjoyed during weekend brunch. Sangria is one of them. While weekend brunching with girlfriends, a fruity sangria option often jumps off the menu as the thirst-quencher of choice, especially on a hot day. And since summer weather showed up a little earlier this year, our patio season and summery refreshment tour has been in full force since, well, March if we’re honest.


As the hunt continues, here are three establishments who have seemed to perfect the boozy punch:

Milagro (Three locations: 5 Mercer St., 3187 Yonge St. and 783 Queen W.)

Juicy and refreshing.

With a broad selection of sangria to please even the pickiest of taste buds, Milagro has six blends, including their ‘American’ blend that’ll put a little hair on your chest, complete with bourbon AND peach schnapps. Why not, huh? Summer suggestion: Sangria de Mango…in a pitcher. 


Psst: They have special deals on sangria on Thursdays. What better day to end the week than a delicious glass or two of this cocktail, for less?

Follow @Milagro_cantina on Twitter.
School (70 Fraser Ave.)



School sticks to the basics: red and white. I mean, sure, you could mix them if you want a rose. School creatively serves their wine concoction by glass and by flask. Suggestion: try both! Sangria white is slightly more innocent, combing pinot grigio with green grapes and apples, while the red is a little more daring, mixing rioja (Spanish wine) with orange and cinnamon. Again, enjoy them in a flask.


If you give their Sangria an A+, tell them @schoolville.
Café Nervosa (75 Yorkville Ave.)

Enjoy a frosty glass of sangria and keep an eye out for celebs on this beautiful patio.

This Yorkville spot comes up on a lot of people’s “fave” lists and yes, their pizza is fantastic. But they’ve mastered their sangria as well. When we’re feeling like some solid people-watching and enjoying the quiet buzz of Yorkville, this is our go-to spot. You feel rather posh sipping on their cute patio, and you never know when you might catch a glimpse of a Jonas brother at the table next to you. Their sangria is strong and fruity, with fruit juice as well as the regular wine and spirits.


Drake Hotel (1144 Queen St. W.)
Ok, so we might be a bit biased about this one, but we can’t help but love every cocktail that comes from the Drake’s skilled bar team. Their sangria lives up to their high standards, and the Sky Yard is one of the best spots in Toronto to enjoy a summer cocktail. They’ve got some other tasty concoctions this summer as well (Rum + Raspberry Lemonade, anyone?) but we often stop by after work for a relaxing glass of wine, fruit juice and fruit chunks, complete with art, indie rock and some eye candy.

As always, Drake offers a classic with a twist – the warm Simmering Sangria.
Image courtesy of the Drake Hotel.



Pssst: this past winter, Drake had simmering sangria – a warm version of their summer recipe. It was amazing. Here’s hoping they bring it back next winter!


Tell them you want them to bring back the Simmering Sangria – @thedrakehotel


Victory Cafe (581 Markham St.)

Another fourth floor fave that takes us back to our days of undergrad, but in a good way. They’ve got one of the best patios in the city as well, and in case we haven’t made it clear yet, sangria + patio = summer perfection. Their white sangria is delicious and won’t stain your summer whites should you happen to spill a drop or two.

White sangria on this patio is pretty much perfect.



Keep up with the latest Annex news @victorycafe_TO.


Happy drinking! 

Fave 5: Summer Camp Movies

Throughout many of our childhood and adolescent years, the end of June meant two things: no more school and the beginning of camp! Whether for a week or an entire summer, day or overnight, camp was a defining time in our lives. Something about hot temperatures, arts and crafts, the outdoors, raging hormones and a respite from teachers and parents combined to make camp a hallowed experience. A place where eternal friendships were forged, first kisses were had and our attitudes to actual camping-related activities established.


Now that the years of two month summer holidays are behind us, our memories of camp become more distant and mythical. If we aren’t able to run away to summer camp, then the next best thing is to relive it through the magic of cinema. So, without further ado, we present our five favourite camp films. 


The Parent Trap


Before Lindsay Lohan turned into Hollywood’s Problem Child she had a promising career ahead of her. This 1998 remake of The Parent Trap showcased Lohan as twin girls who were accidentally reunited at summer camp. The two then switch places and scheme to get their parents reunited. As you can imagine, hilarious hijinks ensue.





Heavy Weights


Heavy Weights tells the tale of a fat camp gone horribly awry when its management is taken over by fitness wacko, Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller). When their idyllic camp turns hellish, the campers plot to wrest back control from Perkis, who is using the campers as test subjects for his slenderizing infomercial. This summer classic was also the first feature film written by comedy expert, Judd Apatow





Meatballs


The inimitable Bill Murray stars in Meatballs, a screwball comedy set at a low-budget summer camp. Murray plays Tripper, the head camp counselor who leads his charges to participate in the annual Olympiad against a rival camp. Challenges include potato sack racing and a disgusting hot dog eating contest, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. 





Moonrise Kingdom


First love is often found at summer camp. In the newest offering from Wes Anderson, Sam (Jared Gilman) escapes from his Khaki Scout troop to run away with the love of his life, Suzy (Kara Hayward). Their idyllic traipse through the wilderness is disrupted by a violent storm and various parents and authorities trying to track them down. Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton round out the cast, but the young protagonists are the stars of the show.





Troop Beverly Hills


Okay, so while this technically has nothing to do with summer camp, Troop Beverly Hills appeals to the office’s Brownies/Girl Guide alumni. Phyllis (Shelley Long) is a Beverly Hills housewife who attempts to deal with her divorce by assuming control of her daughter’s (a young Jenny Lewis) Wilderness Girl troop. Phyllis imparts some Rodeo Drive swagger to the troop, but soon learns that money alone can’t buy badges. 


Fashion-able: Totes, buckets, satchels & more

We On The Fourth Floor understand that not all bags can transition through the seasons. Our bulky black leather purse we’ve been toting around for eight months, while gorgeous, can be a bit heavy and dark when temperatures start to soar. 



We’ve compiled a few handbags we’re coveting, from all different price points, that we think would make a good addition to our summer ensembles. Not to mention also great if you need any Fourth Floor gift ideas. 😉

First up is the always-popular PS1 satchel by Proenza Schouler ($1488), but in a great tropical print. As we’re sure you’ve seen a certain ubiquitous neon satchel, nothing says summer like a fun, bright bag. It may be a bit pricey, but FASHION shows us how to rationalize this investment piece. (Both Natalie & Christina are big fans).




On the other hand Kylie would opt for a classic M.A.C. (Morning After Clutch) by Rebecca Minkoff bag in an army green colour. Always thinking ahead she comments that “their fall colours include maroon and green. They are all pretty beautiful and I’m a big fan of the gold hardware.”

 

This practical chic Filson ($300) satchel caught the eye of Abby who thinks It’s cute, will last forever and the long strap also means that I can wear it while riding my bike. Score.”

For a classic tote at a higher price point Andie opted for a Prada bag ($1730) she’s had her eye on for a while, “I could wear this bag in any season. Though I’m a little wary of a lighter colour getting dirty, I think its the perfect size for taking from day to night. Definitely a good investment.”



Erin is in the mindset for summer and says “all I need is my bright pink rattan beach bag for my towel, sunscreen and a good magazine,” which makes this Rebecca Minkoff tote ($206) perfect for a jaunt to the beach. 


The newest member to our Fourth Floor crew Christie, is a self-proclaimed loyal Coco-follower and heavy advocate of the double C’s. Often the 2.55 is A. overdone and B. not always summer friendly,” but would opt for this Chanel metallic python version if money was no object. Price point? Not in our budgets.  



If money was no object, which bag would have your eye on? 

Photo Friday: Frump-less Floral

Floral need not mean frumpy, à la grandma’s plastic-covered
couch. In fact, it has been one of the spring’s hottest runaway trends. Enjoy in today’s Photo Friday.

Media, Darling: Brett Walther

As Canadian Living’s Home & Garden
Director, Brett Walther shares simply chic décor strategies with the magazine’s
3.9 million readers. With an emphasis on getting high-end style for less, his
do-it-yourself approach stretches decorating dollars, and translates the
hottest design trends into easy, breezy, weekend updates.

Before joining the Canadian Living family,
Brett previously served as the features editor at Style at Home magazine, where
he became a familiar face across the country as a regular guest on CityTV’s CityLine.
After hours, Brett can usually be found at
his Toronto Cityplace condo (where you can “almost, but not quite” watch the
Jays on the Rogers Centre field), making the slow – and expensive – transition
from minimalism to maximalism.


Did you always want to be in the media?
Remember that TVO show from the early ’80s
where the three kids inherited the clubhouse filled with robots, and started a
newspaper as a cover for fighting aliens? That pretty much cemented my career
path, and I’ve never strayed far from those dreams of making it as a real-life boy
reporter. I’d toyed with the idea of playing it safe as an in-the-trenches foreign
correspondent in my late teens, but the danger of the design beat ultimately won me over.
Where would you like to be five years from
now?
I’d love to be where I am now, having spent
the past five years elevating the profile of Canadian Living’s Home &
Garden section to rival our Food content. That’s right – watch out, Test
Kitchen.
Any advice for people getting started in
your industry?
Make yourself indispensible. Your greatest
achievement as an intern is to make your editor wonder how anything got
accomplished before you came on the scene.
What are your favourite media outlets, not
including your own?
I adore House Beautiful and Country Living.
Even if a particular story isn’t appealing to me from a style standpoint, their
savvy packaging pulls me right in. I’m tempted to add CBC to come off all highbrow,
but it’s only on for Coronation Street.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Sherri Donghia, the design director of the Donghia home textiles empire. The interview was a marathon three-hour stroll through her
impossibly inspiring fabric showroom, which ended with her offering me a job in
her Manhattan HQ. I’m sure she was thinking “swatch-room stock boy,” but I was
still rather flattered.
Worst?
Interviewing other journos is rarely any
fun. We tend to be a terribly guarded bunch in the presence of recording
devices. Worse than that are interviews with pseudo-celebs who suddenly decide
they’re designers because a bed-in-a-bag has their face plastered on the
packaging. Barf.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Products on-page should never appear
larger than they do in real life,” “Anniversaries aren’t real news pegs,” “Every
planter pot needs spillers, thrillers and fillers,” “Know your reader,” and “A
person who is nice to you but is not nice to your server is not a nice person.”
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Dorothy Draper wrote the seminal DIY
decorating guide, Decorating is Fun! back in 1939, and it’s basically my
manifesto – even beyond the confines of design. If something stops being fun, I
know that it’s time for a change.
What’s the most important tip you can give
PR pros?
Be as transparent as possible. If access to
a junket or interview opportunity is dependent on specific conditions and
expectations of coverage, I need full disclosure in advance. Is the client
going to push for a specific platform for publication? Are they hoping for release
by a certain deadline? Although I’m obviously not going to accept a seven-night
stay at the new Knightsbridge Bulgari without covering it in some capacity,
I’ll graciously decline the invitation if I know in advance I can’t deliver
anything near what you’re hoping for. It’s common courtesy. My momma taught me
that.

And please – for the love of all that is
holy – enough with those silly supplied hashtags at press events.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro?
We love to hear about #wins.
There’s that gorgeous Helen Mirren line
from Gosford Park when she goes on about how she’s good at her job because
she knows what her ladyship wants before she knows she wants it herself… It’s
always lovely to be furnished with the full complement of high-res images,
product specs, Canadian retails and sourcing deets before you actually have to
request a thing. Jennifer Thompson from Elevator, for example, is a master at
that sort of intuitive approach to PR, and I love her to bits.
I hate?
Karate-chopped cushions, pot light chandeliers,
bun feet, flocked wallpapers and windows without drapes.
I love?
Cabriole legs, grey-washed wood, horizontal
stripes, camelback sofas, button tufting, and blue-and-white transferware.
Reading?
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.
Best place on earth?
My family’s farm in southwestern Ontario.
Dinner guest?
Madonna on one side, and her
would-be-decorator brother Christopher on the other. I’d referee.
Hero?
Jose Bautista. Even if you’re not a Jays
fan (and shame on you if you’re not), the beard is worthy of worship.
Favourite app (or whatever you are
downloading these days)?
I have a full-on, Zak Morris Saved by the
Bell
phone. It’s a miracle I can even text.
Pool or ocean?
Lake.
Voicemail or email?

Email. It’s very possible that phone of mine isn’t voicemail-capable.