Did Deadpool pass the Alex Armony-Fridman test?

Written by Alex Armony-Fridman

The first Deadpool movie almost didn’t happen, it was only because someone at Fox leaked the test footage and the fans demanded to see a full feature movie that Deadpool was made.

It crushed records, beating all other sony superhero movies while on a relatively low budget, it was the second highest grossing R rated movie of all time, after Passion of the Christ and spawned other R rated superhero movies like Logan.

But even with such a high bar, Deadpool 2 did what few other sequels do and actually built on what the fans loved from the first one.

The movie was fantastic.

The first thing that the movie did right was add way more meta jokes, Deadpool himself mentions all three reasons mentioned earlier as to why Deadpool 1 was so great. The movie had way more meta humour than Deadpool 1, even going as far as to make fun of the DC Universe.

I do however think that most can agree that the best part was the second post credit scene when Deadpool “unfucks the timeline”. The movie’s plot was engaging and fast paced, the humor and action was well balance and some might even say that this movie surpasses Deadpool 1.

In conclusion, if you haven’t seen Deadpool 2 yet, go see it, and stay for the post credit scenes, you will not regret it.

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The Festival Season Opener: The Santa Teresa Festival and the Power of Love

Written by Sabine Demosthenes
This past weekend was such a nice weekend.
It was something we actually needed with all of the bad news we have been getting and the state of this world lately.
For some of us, we witness this weekend the power of love (I just love Reverand Curry).
For others, they meditate on how we can make this world a better place.
Charley-and-Snoopy
And for the young at heart, they dance the night away at the best music festival on the North Shore of Montreal, the second edition of the Santa Teresa Festival.
Santa  Teresa 2018
I pretended I was still a young twenty-something ingenue this past Sunday; trying to act cool like in my twenties with the young folks but, my age betrays me. I still manage to party like it was still 1999 (my favorite sentence).
The atmosphere was electrical.
Santa Teresa Crowd
Everyone was happy. For a split second, I didn’t think about how the world was falling apart. I must have still been under my “Power of Love Spell”. Festivals like this are good opportunities to discover new talent.
I was impressed with the Mount Kimbie band from the UK, just by seeing the crowd sing along, you could tell Montrealers were enchanted.
In my mid-twenties, I was a die-hard fan of electronic music and synth-pop. Listening to Mount Kimbie made me fall in love with this style of music all over again. 
Mount KimbieMount Kimbie and King KruleMount Kimbie King KruleMount Kimbie King Krule
Many others artists were there too: Feist, Charly Bliss, Rose Bush, Milk & Bone, and many more. 
For a small suburban community like The North Shore, they sure know how to get us to groove like there was no tomorrow!
SANTA
I can’t wait to see round 3 next year!

 

https://www.santateresa.ca/en/

Let’s not throw the first stone at Kanye … Yet

Written by Sabine Démosthènes

When I first listened to Kanye’s “The College Dropout” album, I felt like I was rekindling my love story with hip-hop. It was during the era of Ja Rule, DMX and Nelly. I wasn’t feeling the love anymore and had not been discovering new artists.

And then, Mr. West came into my life in an epiphany kind of way.

With his sophomore album, I was still in Kanye’s land. Until this day, listening to both his albums, I had the feeling he was one of my big brother’s childhood friends and I was listening to their conversations discussing   the greatest NBA players to who shot Mr. Burns in The Simpson’s (we all know it was Maggie Simpson).

On those two albums, Kanye was saying some pretty hard cold truths about life in a very clever way. I have to applaud his song writing during that period.

But, as the years passed and the social media empire took control of so many things, including the option of thinking before writing or saying something that could end up being the stupidest thing you read, not of the day but of the minute! Kanye seemed to have been more lost and less focused.

He married a woman whose entire empire and fan base was in big part due to social media creations (and that is okay) but I always expected Kanye to be with a woman of substance. Someone with more going on in the brain department, more an academic girl (hmm hmm like me) or an intellectual. But, it wasn’t the case.

And then, he goes from someone that was not afraid to tackle the subject of slavery in a very smart and clever way, like in his song “We Major” featuring Nas The Great and Really Doe to supporting the current president of the so called free world (I really don’t see what the free world stands for anymore).

In my mind, something seems odd. Last week, Kanye brought up the subject of slavery again. It was as well put, just as he sang in his first two albums. This is what I thought at first, since I didn’t see the video but read the headline on a website that I won’t name because I’m ashamed. I was just numb.

But then, (and of course my brother tried to make see his comment in a different light), I realized the problem with Kanye is that he takes himself way too seriously. When you are really listening to what he said, it’s not almost crazy. The way it came out was damn crazy! As the very black girl that I am, I know that this subject always brought us into discussions.

Actually, in a funny kind a way, Kanye is making us think about this delicate subject. My problem is why do you go to TMZ (of all organisations) instead of having a very intelligent conversation with Christiane Armanpour at CNN or Gayle King at CBS. Those journalists would have pushed the envelope and asked him to be more clear.

No, he went to TMZ.

For him to be a supporter of the man that is the so called Commander-In-Chief of the Free World is so weird. Especially for someone that had blasted George W. Bush. But, can we assume that maybe he is supporting this person for a very selfish reason?

Maybe, because he is going to be less rich, he needs this person?

It’s only a question I’m asking.

Please, don’t throw the first stone at me. I am innocent.

The weeks to come will be something!

We will listen to the upcoming albums and maybe after one song, we will be so mad at ourselves for even listening to it, or maybe, it will be another masterpiece. For the masterpiece part, I wrote it because one of his collaborations will be (if it’s still happening) with Nas. So, it could really be good.

In the meantime, let’s hold our breath for the next Kanye moment.

And let’s not throw the first stone at Kanye… Yet.

Collision 2018 week – A conversation with Beatie Wolfe

This is a special week in the tech world. New Orleans is the place, not only for its festive atmosphere but also for the 2018 edition of The Collision Conference.

Collision 2018

How to start this special week with Beatie Wolfe? She is a very special singer-songwriter that is not afraid to be curious. She is an innovator and sound creator. The perfect musical scientist in my book!

I couldn’t be there in person for this year conference, but Beatie and I managed to squeeze in a really fun interview.

Let’s enjoy the ride.

Beatie Wolfe - Raw Space - London - photo by Stu Nicholls (20)_preview

SD: What are you looking for this year at the Collision 2018 Conference? 

BW: Meaningful connections and conversations with like-minded people who wish to inspire and uplift.

SD: Every time I listened to your album, Raw Space, I feel like I’m in a bubble. It’s a very pleasant sound environment. 

Beatie Wolfe - Raw Space - Bell Labs Anechoic Chamber by Theo Watson (14)_preview

Can you explain to us how you created this special atmosphere? 

BW: That’s very kind. I honestly don’t know. I think that I give an intense amount of focus to the songwriting, arranging and production process and I really do believe that God is in the detail. 

Beatie Wolfe - Raw Space - Bell Labs Anechoic Chamber by Veanne Cao (1)_preview

I was also aware that the stage for the album would be the Bell Labs Anechoic Chamber (the ultimate raw space!), which absolutely makes you feel like you’re in a bubble, so I think that influenced the recording/producing process too.

SD: You are the co-founder of a research project that is looking at the influence of music on people that are living with dementia. What inspired you to take part in this amazing project? 

BW: I was inspired by neurologist Oliver Sacks and his incredible work looking at the power of music to heal and move us, even when nothing else can. 

Oliver Sacks

While reading Musicophilia, I felt that there was no greater application of music than that: pulling people back from the most extreme neurological states, and when I heard that some of my family members had developed dementia, I felt compelled to start applying what I had been reading about. 

The amazing thing about the ‘Power of Music & Dementia’ study is that it was the first study to prove the power of music, outside of memory, (new music) for people living with dementia and this was something that Sacks had theorised but not yet tested, stating that “…music does not have to be familiar to exert its emotional pull…” and “…music is a necessity for those with dementia.”

SD: As a very proud Montrealer, I can see some of Leonard Cohen’s inspiration in your lyrics. Other journalists and bloggers can see it too. Are Leonard Cohen’s poetic lyrics what inspired you to be a songwriter?

Leonard Cohen Montreal Mural

BW: It is a funny story because Cohen did become a big influence on me, but only after I had played a number of shows and people in the audience would come up and say: “Are you a Leonard Cohen fan? Your music reminds me so much of his.” And back then I had no idea who he was (this was when I was about 16/17). 

Then, one guy from a show in Portugal gave me a CD mix of his favorite Cohen songs and from the first time I listened, I was hooked!

I realized that there was someone else who cared as much about the words as I did, someone who was so true to the story, that the music had to serve it. 

Cohen was such an incredible wordsmith, poet, and writer in his own right, that I ended up doing my dissertation on him for my English Literature degree, even though the University advised against it, thinking he could not be classed as a writer. 

Writing that paper, even against the advice of my professors, was what ended up opening a dialogue with Cohen and his team and at one point, just before he passed away, there was a conversation about him adopting one of my musical formats (the intelligent deck of cards) for “I Want It Darker.”

SD: When you see the words “Musical Innovator”, what kind of emotion does that bring to you?

BW: I think it’s definitely something different to just being a musician or singer-songwriter. For me, the music is always at the core, it is the reason I do everything. 

But I love creating worlds for each of my albums and allowing people to feel some of the old school magic that I felt for records at a kid, by creating new formats that combine the best of the old and the best of the new.

Beatie Wolfe - Raw Space - London - photo by Stu Nicholls (16)_preview

So in that way, I am happy to be a musical innovator!

Beatie Wolfe - Raw Space - Bell Labs by Veanne Cao_preview

SD: Can we expect a show in the near future in Montreal?

BW: Yes… 110%!! It is a place I have been meaning to visit and play in for so long.

Leonard Cohen’s city welcomes you, Beatie, with open arms!

Beatie Wolfe - Montagu Square - Montagu Square album cover - by Stu Nicholls (1)_preview

 

Written by Sabine Démosthènes

Photography credited to Beatie Wolfe

Thank you Collision 2018

https://collisionconf.com

https://www.beatiewolfe.com

Advice for the young at heart

Dear Beyoncé fans,

Yes, you guys, even other celebrities.

I would like to address my concerns about your sanity.

Fan mania

Back in the day, we were amazed when Michael Jackson moonwalked his way across the stage at every concert. We were the generation that wanted to be the epitome of cool. We were a Wu-Tang Nation, a Tribe Called Quest Squad. The Brandy and Monica drama was our lunchtime discussion, no hashtags required. Whitney and Mariah were the Diva Queens, but we were reminded that they too were human and flawed. Not the goddesses of planet Earth.

Today, it seems Beyoncé is the only being a walking supreme Mother Earth mother and everything she does is worshipped like she was the Messiah.

Bey

There are some problems guys…

Did she find a cure for any disease? Did she create a new technology with the purpose to give people a better life? Did she fight the good fight, to relentlessly bring justice to the less fortunate?

No.

She is an entertainer, a good one. I do respect her dedication to entertaining us mortals, but that’s it. I respected her more when she was keeping her life more private. Now, all I see is a brand, not a human being.

Madonna, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Cindy Lauper, Joan Jett, Reba McEntire, Bonnie Raitt, Salt’n’Pepa, MC Lite and Lauryn Hill were the ultimate warrior women in the music industry. Yes, they were admired for the passion they brought to their art and that was pretty much it.

I’m tired of reading about or listening to people that put Beyoncé on a pedestal like she was the next best thing after the creation of Nutella (I love Nutella – my life depends on it). I feel even worse when I read about other celebrities acting like total stupid groupies.

Come on, have some self-respect.

Fans crying

To the Beyhive crazy crowd, please chill out. I mean it.

She is not a God. She is an entertainer, one that may take herself a little too seriously (remember the pregnancy pictures of her twins, last year’s Grammy performance with the Mother Mary theme, her Lemonade video clip, and many other examples, unfortunately).

Beyoncé Mother Mary

I still believe she could be a really cool person to hang out with, but you guys are not obligated to be fanatics and idolize her. Admiring her accomplishments as an entertainer, ok, but being a crazy-ass fanatic, hell no!

Beyoncé is a human being, like the rest of us. She is not perfect. I want to see a bit more authenticity from her through sharing less of her private life. By not making a grand spectacle of her every outing with the crazy outfits and the entourage.

Damn, could she be more like Tina Turner?

Tina Turner

Be the big diva on stage and give everything you got, but after, please just be human.

Beyonce 2

So Beyhave’s army, you may want to send me some hateful emails and I guess you will put my name on your blacklist, but please, consider my advice to you, the young at heart.

Just breathe.

Fan Mania

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Legacies are never lost

Do you ever get this feeling?

Sometimes, a certain movie gives you this sense of empowerment and you feel invincible because of one particular actor?

Brandon Lee was this actor in my youth. At home, when I was just a little tomboy, we watched a wrestling show and a Kung-Fu movie every Saturday. It was a serious ritual in our household. Bruce Lee was, in a way, a big part of our family. At that time in the 80s, Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was starting to make some waves as an actor.

Brandon

He was gorgeous and in my five-year-old mind, I was convinced that I would marry him and we would fight the bad guys together (I wasn’t aware that movies are typically fictional… anyhow). He was my Romeo.

Brandon drawing

As I grew older and more aware, I became addicted to Entertainment Tonight. I remember looking forward to seeing the movie that would later be one of my favorites but was symbolic of my life at the time.

Brandon the Romantic

The Crow perfectly represented my state of mind during that period. So badly, I wanted to find a hero that would inspire me to be invincible. Despite being a feisty and sporty kid, I was facing some bullying at the time. Brandon was my hero.

His interview on the set was inspiring for me. He was so calm and philosophical.

Brandon Lee last interview video

I was looking forward to the movie, daydreaming about the script and everything. I felt I just needed wings to fly freely without fear.

Drawing by Eric Draven

In 2018, when you watch Brandon’s interviews, his poetic way of telling us a story and explaining the meaning of life is actually a beautiful legacy that he left for us.

The beauty of legacy is that it can go on and on, from generation to generation.

Brandon’s sister is one of the people that is making sure the legacy of her family will still go on. Like me, Shannon is the baby sister to her big brother.

Lee Family

She was close to him and probably got teased by him, as is the main criterion of having a big brother. We know the expression ”Brotherly love” but Bro and Sisterly love are the best one.

Shannon is proud of her father’s and brother’s legacies and of her own.

Shannon Lee 2

Shannon Lee Ted Talk Be An Action Hero video

Shannon is creative, dynamic and special. She is a very proud sister.

What is next for Shannon?

Shannon Lee

Actually, you should check out her podcast: The Bruce Lee Podcast. It’s insightful and really well-made.

https://nerdist.com/bruce-lee-podcast-91-brandon-lee/

When Brandon died, I felt lost. I would no longer experience his way of explaining something as he did in that interview with such grace.

But, years later, I read this quote from Brandon somewhere and it’s been one of my mantras ever since:

”Immortality is to live your life doing good things and leaving your mark behind”

 Brandon Lee quote

Legacies are never lost.

Brandon Lee Chronicle Collage

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

https://www.brucelee.com

 

What’s next for Stephanie McMahon?

When you can say that one of your childhood friend and hero was in the Princess Bride movie and he is one of the most legendary wrestling figures of all time?

Andre the Giant and Stephanie McMahon

In my book, you are one of the coolest people alive!

Princess Bride

This exact same kid that grew up to be one of the great leaders of our time. During my teenage years, as a wrestling fan, I couldn’t stand the sight of her.

Because of her onscreen character of course. She played the role of a spoiled, snobby daddy’s girl so well. At that point, I was still young and couldn’t differentiate between a fictional character and the person playing the role… Now that I have grown up (now almost 35), I asked myself this question: what made me change my perception of this woman, the perception I had over all those years?

Stephanie McMahon

Yes, I grew up, but over the years, I read some interviews and saw others and I realized, my oh my, I have more in common with her than I ever could have imagined.

This woman is Stephanie McMahon.

She is the COO of the World Wrestling Entertainment.

Stephanie McMahon Leadership

Stephanie couldn’t be more different than the character she is portraying, but she does have something in common with The Million Dollar Princess.

She is ambitious!

Even since she was small, she wanted to be part of the family business.

Young Stephanie

For myself, I never really wanted to be in the family business (entertainment manager of Haitian talent), but I knew I wanted to create something parallel or inspire my father dreams. I was the little helper at the house whenever we had some theatrical rehearsal in our living room (I was the bell girl). I would listen to every business phone call that my father had, I would sometimes even go to meetings with my father. In a way, Stephanie had a similar path.

McMahon

From a young age, she was learning all the different aspects of the empire her parents had created. She couldn’t deny that wrestling would be a big part of her life.

What I have admired Stephanie over the years is the fact that she has encouraged everyone to be a good leader. Not only that, she wanted to give back too. You could see it in her genuine nature; when she met young fans or whenever she spoke about the Connor’s Cure Foundation.

Connor's Cure

That, for me, is a real leader.

Connor, our hero

Honestly, when I saw her during the Attitude Era, my eyes were rolling. But now, when I read or I see an interview, my eyes are wide open and I’m listening.

When she says she was bullied and she finds it hard sometimes to read tweets on her Tweeter feed, we are seeing the real Stephanie McMahon. I learned all of it on the Lillian Garcia Podcast. It is a must!

NOH8

McMahon is a mom. She is a woman that wants to be part of the change in our society, contributing to a revolution, not only in the square circle but in the boardroom too.

We can witness her achievements by just watching the Women’s Revolution in the WWE.

The evolution of us

The fact that she is balancing being a boss lady, a wife, a mother and a leader all at once is admirable.

What can we expect from Stephanie McMahon in 2018?

I guess this question should be answered by the one and only Stephanie McMahon herself, but I will write about what I expect from her in 2018.

I expect Stephanie to continue to bring smiles to faces, especially children. I hope when Raw comes to Montreal in a few weeks, kids from Montreal Hospitals, like Sainte-Justine Hospital (I was born there in the 80s; they saved my life as a premature baby) could maybe have one of their wishes granted from one of the WWE Superstars.

Stephanie and children

I expect her to continue making waves as a woman in an executive role. She didn’t have it easy getting to where she is now, as some people may wonder. She works hard, or even harder, as the boss’s daughter. I can relate to that.

I love to end my post with a question, and I ask this one directly to Stephanie :

What does Stephanie McMahon expect from herself in 2018?

S. McMahon

Stephanie McMahon on Twitter

http://www.wwe.com/superstars/stephanie-mcmahon

Written by Sabine Demosthenes