August 01, 2005

REVIEW: Woodbine Racetracks and movies

This weekend has been quite busy, what with the moving and all. I did take the time to enjoy a couple of movies and an outing with E, and here is what I thought:

Movie Review #1: Wedding Crashers
Starring: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson

Comments: Funny as hell! Not just dirty or slapstick funny, but it was almost like bits and pieces of stand-up comedy. I think Vaughn especially was very funny. When Wilson is on, I just see his bent nose. The young girls starring was a bit weird ( that legal?) A bit too much female nudity, but I guess that is what would let the guys enjoy it.
I heard it described as a good date movie -- a bit of romance and touchy-feeling parts for the gals, and the rougher humour and nudity for the guys.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Movie Review #2: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Starring: Johnny Depp

Comments: A little bit twisted, but Johnny Depp always makes a movie a worthwhile experience. Not in a crush way -- he is just a really really good actor! All of the recent movies I saw with him (mainly Pirates of the Caribbean and Finding Neverland) were great movies basically because of him. The movies were so different, and his characters were so different, which shows his strength. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Depp plays Willy Wonka and he is a little bit...plastic, and creepy. The kid who played Charlie was great too! Very innocent and doe-eyed at the right moments. Great imagery, funny songs, a bit of adult humour. I wonder if they actually sell those Willy Wonka bars...mmm...fudgemallow.....
Rating: 4 out of 5

Venue Review: Woodbine Racetracks (555 Rexdale Blvd, Rexdale; website:

Comments: E was surprised by the modernity of the complex. It was a clean, well-lit, well-attended place with lots of families (in addition to I think....a few guys you might expect to see in seedy bars, and lots of Jamaican bettors - their accents are like singing!) It was a lot of fun, especially after we figured out which races we were watching and could pick horses to cheer on..
As the horses flew by, the crowds in the grandstand would rise to their feet, hoarsely (haha) cheering their favourites on. Really fun, especially when you listen to what others are yelling. E thinks that it would be more fun to put money on the long shots. I think it would be more fun to place bets on horses that you have "a feeling" about and win from those. In any event, E wouldn't have won any money today and I would have, so haha. =P Maybe next time we will actually place some small bets. I'm not the gambling type though -- I would restrict myself to some final amount that I'm willing to lose.
If anyone is interested in going, I would recommend going for the thoroughbred races (jockeys ride on backs of horses), rather than the standardbred ones (horses pull carts where jockeys sit). They seem more exciting, because they are faster (1 1/8 mi. in ~2min). Probably the horses are worth more. And if you get bored, there are lots of slot machines and more than a few restaurants to try out.
A good and possibly cheap place to spend a few hours. Free to watch races. Also very close to the Woodbine mall, where they apparently have a roller coaster??
I think next Sunday is the Breeders' Stakes, which would have an exciting atmosphere, rather than watching the claiming and maiden races that we saw today (although the crowds were still excited).
Now I want to go trailriding... anyone know of a good place?

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