This was a week we hadn’t planned to spend in Ontario as we were supposed to be celebrating the 4th of July with friends in Cape Cod. However, our son David gave his dad tickets to Bob Dylan’s Wednesday performance at the ACC in Toronto so we modified our plans and rescheduled our Cape Cod visit to coincide with an August trip to Cape Breton to attend a wedding.
Full confession: I have never been a big Dylan fan. I loved his contemporaries on the sixties and seventies folk scene (Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, etc), but I didn’t care for Dylan’s scratchy growl as I’m more of a melody fan myself. I was actually a huge Leonard Cohen fan and preferred him as a poet and songwriter. However, this concert made me a Dylan believer. He sang in a tuneful and melodic voice and was backed up by a band that was incredibly musical as well. What a surprise! The Guardian review of his show at the London Palladium, gives you a real taste of what the show was like.
Here’s a sampling of his playlist in Toronto
From the Great American Song Book:
Make You Feel My Love
That Old Black Magic
Once Upon A Time
From his classics:
Don’t Think Twice, It’s alright
Blowing in the Wind
The Ballad of the Thin Man
Accompanied by a great band with a wonderful sound, it was a very respectful audience; he gave a 1 1/2 hour performance in wonderful voice and was actually warbling. As a bonus, I sat next to a Turkish diplomat who was attending a niece’s university graduation and it gave me a great appreciation for how well loved Dylan is by the whole world.
On the big screen
Baby Driver is an adrenalin fuelled thrill ride with a great soundtrack and terrific performances by leads Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, etc. This is a genre defying heist/coming of age/romance/action flick. Truly original for most of the film, I enjoyed it and left the theatre feeling pretty energized.
Wonder Woman is a delightful campy approach to the Wonder Woman origin story. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are perfectly cast in the lead roles. Danny Huston is magnificently evil and watch for Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen in roles as Amazon mentors to Wonder Woman.
Movies to Stream at home
Logan is a painfully long farewell to the Wolverine character in the X-Men series. I can’t believe George and I watched the whole thing!
Get Out is a fabulous suspense movie by the wickedly talented director Jordan Peele
Kong: Skull Island is much more engaging than I thought it would be and does star Tom Hiddleston (for goodness sakes, if you haven’t watched him in The Night Manager, please do so immediately!)
HBO has a great documentary on Cary Grant, for those of you who still can’t get enough of him.
Series to stream at home
Because I have had a serious espionage obsession since my teen years when I read all of the James Bond novels (not to mention my current fascination with Dan Silva’s Mossad novels), I was curious to catch up with The Bureau, a French series currently in its 3rd season on Sundance. Dark and murky! I have only made it to episode two so far, as viewing it on my Ipad seems to trigger episodes of narcolepsy.
I keep forgetting I actually have the app for this on my IPad. I caught the first episode of Good Girls Revolt (Mad Men without the advertising world and Jon Hamm); the first 4 episodes of A Crisis in 6 Scenes (a Woody Allen series that is quirky to the max); Season 3 of Mozart in the Jungle (we’re now in Venice and Monica Bellucci is a famous opera diva). Not crazy about any of these three series so far, although I did love the first two seasons of Mozart in the Jungle and recommend it unreservedly.
Airfarce 150 Birthday Canada features a terrific La La land parody and a great Ed Robertson/Chris Hadwick duet of “if I had a gazillion dollars” (adjusted for inflation).
Pure – I binged on this one on demand. Crazy Mennonite crime series. I far preferred Banshee which HBO Canada aired for several seasons. Apparently the Canadian Mennonite community was outraged by the inaccuracies of this series, but it made for good fun all the same! My favourite parts were when the Mennonites were forced to use modern technology against their will. Total fish out of water scenes.
Baroness Von Sketch has returned with new episodes of this hilariously female centric sketch comedy show.
Bloodline I finally binged on Season 3 of this once wonderful series. OMG, the last two episodes are quite possibly the most painful 2 hours of television I have ever watched. Disappointment alert: This will spoil your enjoyment of the first two seasons as the Rayburn clan goes seriously downhill, and the last two episodes take a Dallas turn where you wonder if the whole story was some kind of fever dream. Such a sad ending for a series that had so much impact in its first two seasons.
Nashville – this incredibly melodramatic series is now offering pure corn! Sadly, I can’t look away.
Downward Dog sob. I have watched the last two episodes of this show’s first season and I can’t express how sad I am that the show has been cancelled by ABC. Find it on demand if you can and enjoy this talking dog fable.
The Night Shift, ok, I have now given up on this hokey by the numbers mishmash of a medical soap opera set in an ER department at night with nods to veterans from the US wars in the Middle East. Despite TC’s devilish good looks, I don’t care anymore whether he accomplishes his mission in Syria.
The last few summers, CBS has featured some disaster themed shows (Under the Dome) and now Zoo – which includes hilariously fake scenes of animals attacking humans.
In this same vein, stay tuned this week for the Wednesday July 12 premiere of Salvation about an asteroid colliding with earth!
Sunday Night lineup of My Mother and Other Strangers, Grantchester, Tennison. Simply the three most blissful hours of my week.
Preacher has more batshit craziness of any show on TV at the moment
The Strain (dystopian vampire apocalypse series) seems to be returning to wreak more mayhem next Sunday July 16.
We are off to the Shaw Festival this week to see My and My Girl, their big musical of the season. We are headed back to Toronto today for a family reunion with my brother’s and sister’s kids and our own kids. This only happens about once a year as my nieces now have to travel in from LA and this year, Costa Rica. Looking forward to seeing everyone! Hopefully, the threatened rain will hold off long enough for us to enjoy a backyard barbecue. For everyone else, enjoy this great weather, and if it rains, well you know what to do….