Posted by cirvine on June 1, 2015
“Manners maketh the man.” Wise words and also the motto of Lancelot aka Harry Hart, the suave British Kingsmen agent played by the inimitable Colin Firth. In Kingsman: The Secret Service, these words surface again and again as Hart takes it upon himself to mentor his late comrade’s son, nicknamed Eggsy (newcomer Taron Egerton). Eggsy is a young, impulsive delinquent whose lack of structure and support in his home life have obviously taken a toll on his professional and moral choices thus far. That is, until he meets Hart and is taken deep underground to the headquarters and training grounds of the Kingsmen: an British secret spy agency.
He is put to the test among fellow young Kinsgmen contenders, facing trial after trial that judge whether he has what it takes to be a first-rate spy. Meanwhile, the Kingsmen are currently investigating the abductions of public figures from around the globe, and it soon becomes apparent that the eccentric, lisping tech billionaire, Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is involved.
The story arc is one we’ve seen before: underdog kid is miraculously chosen to become a great hero in a subculture institution (“you’re a wizard, Harry!”). But it’s the way it’s mixed with other genres that makes it compelling and entertaining. It’s first and foremost director Matthew Vaughn’s love letter to spy movies, but it’s also shaken (not stirred) with dark comedy and the aforementioned underdog uprising. This play of themes, much like what he did with his cult favourite, Kickass, make it rise above those played out archetypes to become something truly unique.
The characters are another great virtue of this movie. Firth fits his genteel spy role like a well-tailored suit, while the bratty Eggsy grows on you as he becomes the man you want him to be. The villain, Valentine, is also a role we love to hate, as he flips back and forth from evil genius to goofy nerd. His right-hand tough, Gazelle (played by Algerian dancer Sofia Boutella) is a truly entertaining villain as she slices and dices her enemies with her razor sharp prosthetic legs.
Parents beware: on the surface this movie might seem like a fun-filled medley of James Bond meets Harry Potter, but this isn’t a movie I’d go see with kids. There’s over-the-top gore (heads literally explode), non-stop swearing and a few lascivious moments that even made me uncomfortable. Its R-rating is well deserved.
All in all, this movie is about one thing: non-stop entertainment. You aren’t going to find any deep, insightful metaphors here or a heart-wrenching love story. You’re going to find action, fun, humour, and most importantly, cool spy gadgets. If you loved Kickass and the James Bond franchise, this may be your new favourite film.
You can find Kingsman: The Secret Service showing on Execulink’s VOD service beginning June 9, 2016.
Posted by cirvine on May 28, 2015
Finally, a hoverboard Marty McFly would be proud of.
Ok guys, this time it isn't a hoax. Just like Back to the Future Part II promised, 2015 has delivered to us what seems to be a really promising hoverboard! Not only that, but the developer of the cool flying machine is a Canadian: Montreal resident Catalin Alexandru Duru. Duru used his hovercraft to travel more than 250 metres --five times more than the previous record-- at a height of five metres above Quebec's Lake Ouareau, and in the process earned himself a new Guinness World Record.
Duru had been working on the propeller-based prototype for about five years and last August filmed himself hovering over the lake. He sent the film to Guinness Book of World Records who verified the footage, and announced the record on its website on May 22. A Guinness World Records spokesperson said of the achievement, “This is a truly mesmerising and incredible feat in the world of engineering and transportation. It’s always pleasing to see individuals such as Catalin Alexandru Duru achieve a Guinness World Records titles such as this in which personal endeavour continues to amaze us all.”
And this is only the beginning. Duru and his business partner, Philippe Maalouf, hope to have a new prototype finished by the end of the year and have hovercrafts available for purchase across the country. Although he admits the first generation of hovercrafts would be quite expensive, he hopes that Canadians will soon be able to have hovercrafts sitting next to their canoes and other toys at the family cottage.
Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer
I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?
Posted by jfreund on May 27, 2015
IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY.
We've all done it: tried to open a file on your home PC only to find that it's missing, corrupted, or the software to open it isn't working. No matter how many times you try, the files are gone. They're not coming back. "Hindsight is 20/20," your friends say to you, and you die a little bit inside. Now imagine losing that data, but instead of your personal files, it's your business' files. It's sensitive client data. It's irreplaceable budget files. It's essential to keeping the business operating. It could literally collapse your entire company if lost.
That's why it's so important for businesses to think about their backup and storage capabilities. One of the best resources businesses are investing in right now is Data Centres. As a storage facility the Data Centre has a variety of uses. It could house a hot site for your business website; you could use it to store database replication information; or just use it as a simple backup tool. In the end it could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Take a look at our handy white paper on data centres. It could be the solution that your business needs to stay ahead of a potential disaster. Let your foresight be 20/20 for once.
Joel Freund, Manager of Corporate Sales & Services
As a hunter, fisherman, and Corporate Sales Manager, I perfect the skill of patience.
Posted by cirvine on May 26, 2015
Every parent has heard the horror stories, but the internet doesn’t need to be a scary place if you know how to block, restrict, and kid-proof your way through it. Thanks to advances in technology, protecting your children on the internet – including monitoring their activity online and restricting access to certain websites – is becoming much easier to do. This checklist will provide you with a few tips for watching over your child’s internet usage, setting rules online, advice on how to talk to them about difficult subjects, potential warning signs that your child may be keeping secrets about their activity online, and some kid-friendly websites and search engines.
Monitor internet usage:
- Position your computer in a central location in the home
- Remove or disable your computer’s webcam
- Check your child’s browser history every couple of days
Set and Follow Rules:
- Establish strict rules for your children to follow online. For example, tell them never to give anyone their address, phone number, full name, or send pictures of themselves
- Decide which activities and websites are appropriate and discuss them with your children
- Tell your kids not to share their passwords with anyone but you
- Warn your kids not to open emails from anyone they don’t know
- Teach your children to avoid clicking links because of potential viruses
Talk openly about the internet:
- Be up-front and honest about what happens on the internet
- Let your kids know that everything they share can be seen by anyone in the world
- Talk to them about the dangers of strangers online
- Make sure your children know that they should tell you right away if they ever see anything online that makes them uncomfortable, and assure them that you won’t overreact or get mad at them
Your child may be keeping potentially harmful secrets about their online activity if he or she:
- Constantly clears their browser history
- Closes programs every time you walk into the room
- Becomes hesitant to tell you about what they’re doing online
- Starts receiving phone calls or emails from people you haven’t heard of before
- Starts talking about friends you’ve never heard of before
Solutions – Child-friendly websites, search engines and tools:
- Kid-friendly search engine Kid Rex
- Kid-friendly search engine with a fully customizable home page Searchy Pants
- the American Library Association's Great Web Sites for Kids
- UpToTen.com, with over 700 educational games and activities for kids up to age ten
Remember that this is just a beginner’s guide to internet safety for your children. Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right about your child’s online activity, it probably isn’t. Open and honest communication is key.
Safe surfing, fellow families!
Posted by cirvine on May 25, 2015
I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out from the minute the last one ended, so it’s safe to say that I was pretty excited when I walked into the theatre. As the lights dimmed, my excitement peaked, and I was ready for some geeky a cappella goodness.
The movie begins with an embarrassing (and highly inappropriate) mishap while the Barden Bellas are performing for a hefty audience including the guest of honour: President Obama himself. The event goes viral, and the Bellas’ reputation is shattered. They are told that they cannot remain active as a group unless they win the World Championships, so they set out to do just that – but they are faced with some intense competition from the German team led by Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) and Pieter (YouTuber Flula Borg).
For starters, I’m aca-thrilled that they decided not to include so many imaginary words with aca- in front of them, because in my opinion, that idea was incredibly overused in the first film and ended up killing some potentially good moments.
The plot of Pitch Perfect 2 was pretty similar to the original Pitch Perfect, except the romances happen between different characters and the newcomers are played by different actors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it worked for them the first time, and judging by the box office, it’s working again. Another similarity between the first and second movie was that the music was fantastic. I enthusiastically bobbed my head to every performance while wishing that I could be inside the screen seeing them perform live.
One thing I didn’t like was that Anna Kendrick’s character, Beca, seemed to have more of a personality in the first movie; in the second, she came across as angry toward and completely withdrawn from the group. It felt almost impossible to relate to her, which caused an emotional disconnect that wasn’t experienced in the first movie. (Remember the Cup Song audition?) It was so simple and endearing, and that was a quality the sequel lacked.
Rebel Wilson’s character, Fat Amy, is still the overwhelming comedic crux of the film, as she was in the first movie. A few of her jokes felt forced, as if writer Kay Cannon was intimidated by the knowledge that the character had a lot to live up to after the first movie. That being said, most of her Fat Amy humour was still on point, and I’d still say that her character was probably the best part of the movie.
Important side note: if you’re a parent of young children, don’t let the cutesy girl-power vibe cloud your judgment – there is still a lot of over-the-top offensive content that I wouldn’t want my kid hearing or repeating to their friends and classmates. Be aware of the rating (PG-13) and make an informed decision!
If you enjoyed the first movie and you’re looking for a considerably entertaining sequel that will give you a handful of low-blow, cheap laughs but a lot of well-deserved ones as well, then going to see this film is definitely worth your time.