Saturday, April 29, 2017

DCI Banks, BBC TV series

Well, we just finished watching Season 5 ----- "didn't see that coming!"

Although in the series each episode is usually a "Stand Alone", the episodes in Season 5 do have a common thread. I certainly will not give anything away regarding that.

Once again Stephen Tompkinson gives a top notch performance as DCI Banks.

One thing for sure, you must watch this series from the very beginning, and the first one is titled Aftermath, begins the series.

DCI Banks, Shetland and Death in Paradise are our 3 favorite BBC mystery series.

Hope you will give one of these three series a try.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lion, a movie

Lion, a movie based on a true story.

We watched this over the weekend.

My husband really enjoyed this movie, more than any of the other Academy Award nominated movies we have watched so far, as did I.
At the end of the film there are are several "credits" about the story itself, as well as the fact that approximately "80,000 Indian children go missing every year, and are never found." This had a profound effect on both of us.

Sunny Pawar gives a powerful performance as the young Saroo - his eyes are incredible.
Dev Patel (one of my favorite actors) portrays Saroo as first a carefree college student, then a tormented young man trying to find his past.

I just kept thinking if he would just Google "butterflies, or valley of butterflies", he might have cut down on his search considerably, however, things don't always appear so easily to the person doing the search, or trying to recall memories.......

This movie is just well worth the time spent watching it. Hope you give it a try!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Eagle Huntress, a movie

We recently watched this amazing film.

The starkness of the Mongolian landscape is positively breath-taking!  The winter scenes will literally cause you to shiver while watching ---- it was stated that it was -40 degrees (F)!  One could even see the eagle's breath!  Can't imagine living in that cold!

Aisholpan, a 13 year old girl, has been brought up in a traditional family of Mongolian eagle hunters - all she has ever dreamed of is becoming an eagle huntress, of course, even in these days, Mongolia is a traditionally male dominated society!  However, her father and grandfather, both champion eagle hunters, support her dream of becoming the first female eagle huntress. 
Step by step, from her finding and securing her own eagle, to school days, to training for the world's eagle competition, held annually in Mongolia, we travel with Aisholpan through her journey. 

Determination is the Name of this girl's game, and no man on earth is going to stop her - those that were against her being in the competition are simply left speechless after her victory!

Just shows that We Women are just as strong and determined as those of the opposite sex!   

Great movie!

Quote of the Day-----Goodreads

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Happy 80th birthday, Coleman Barks! Most English-speaking fans of 13th century mystic poet Rumi are readers of Barks' interpretations. Barks is a poet and literature professor who paraphrases existing translations of the Rumi's work. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Miss Sloane, a movie

Well, we watched this one the other night.

Neither of us was familiar with Jessica Chastain's work as an actress, we were pleasantly surprised with her performance.

Miss Sloane is a lobbyist for an anti-gun group, she is highly effective as a lobbyist, however, as a person she is amoral and ruthless.

What is currently going on in our country, this film is certainly timely - corruption in the government.......

Didn't see it coming - a well laid out trap is sprung towards the end, sort of sucks the air out of one.

Great movie - very intense. Worth watching.

Baltimore Sun editorial 4-18-17

Accountability should be regarded as more than a buzz word. Our democracy is built on checks and balances so that those who are given extraordinary power are held accountable. But to do that requires more than an occasional press conference, it depends on public disclosure of useful information — or, to use another buzz word, "transparency" — whenever practicable. How else can a president or member of Congress be judged unless Americans have some independent knowledge of what they are up to in Washington?

That makes the latest decision by the White House to cloak President Donald Trump in greater secrecy all the more alarming. First, it was the tax returns that Mr. Trump has so obstinately refused to disclose, now it is the White House visitor logs — the equivalent of sign-in sheets that the Secret Service maintains. Last Friday, it was revealed that the current White House occupant will not follow the practice of his predecessor and make public those logs. Press secretary Sean Spicer defended that decision Monday saying what President Barack Obama allowed, the disclosure of most visitors but the removal of some names, was not helpful to the president or the public.

Such an argument is, of course, rather silly. The Obama White House disclosed 6 million names through its visitors logs over the course of eight years. The Trump White House is planning to release zero. How is that not a step back for government transparency? During Mr. Obama's two terms, the "scrubbed" names often involved personal visitors or those who came for sensitive meetings involving national security. Is it really better to not know the names of anybody, not a single soul who shows up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? This is a bit like saying the Atkins Diet has too many loopholes involving fruit and vegetables so we're going to stick with cake


Transparency shouldn't be a partisan issue, and, thankfully, there are signs some Republicans in Congress are concerned about all this secrecy as well, at least as rit egards Mr. Trump's tax forms. Here's a leading reason why they should: How can tax reform possibly make its way through the House or Senate if nobody knows what impact it might have on President Trump personally? It's pretty tough to lead with much moral authority when you don't even have enough conviction to reveal your own personal finances as every president since Richard Nixon has.
The visitor logs may not have the same meaning to voters that tax secrecy carries on Tax Day, but maybe they should. Accountability isn't about Americans having just one tidbit of information, it's about having as much information as possible. Mr. Obama's approach was hardly perfect, but it was better than no disclosure whatsoever. If Mr. Trump is as famously sensitive to ratings as people say, perhaps he ought to note this one: The latest Gallup Poll finds for the first time that most Americans don't think the president keeps his promises (45 percent say he will) and even fewer think him honest and trustworthy (36 percent). You don't restore such a loss of public faith by pulling up the drawbridge.
Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | 

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Passengers, a movie

Well, after watching Fences, we needed something "light and fuzzy", so we chose this one.

Although it is definitely light and fuzzy compared to Fences, it had some really underlying psychological issues that were not light and fuzzy.

You expect to wake up in the future on a new planet, but you find yourself awake too many years too soon, and you are the only human wandering around, do you wake another? Well the title is plural.........  What you don't know is that before you awoke early, the ship you are traveling in has run into a meteor storm of immense proportions, causing enough damage to screw up the voyage!

Oh dear, what shall you do?  

There is one scene when gravity is suspended and everything on board is just floating around - that optical illusion was interesting.

Fences, a movie

Well, what can I say?
The acting was excellent!  It was a very handed theme, and it seemed to go on forever.

Everyone deserved an Oscar nomination.

Denzel has always been an actor that I have enjoyed, he certainly proved that he can portray a character that one HATES! And I know that I am not the only person who felt that way.

I kept thinking someone would take that baseball bat and whack him one - Rose certainly had reason to want to! I kept wanting her to leave him, however, that would not have occurred to a woman of color at that time in our history - she would have had no where to go, let alone anyone who would have helped her.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Manchester by the Sea -- a film

Well, we watched this one after the disastrous ELLE.

Gosh what a difference, even though this one wasn't light and fuzzy either, it truly spoke volumes of the human condition.  

The music was FANTASTIC, as was the scenery.  The in's and out's of the memories were remarkably done.

First comment from my husband, "it flows well".

Really knowing how the story went, I found myself nearly in tears at the end, even though that was almost "the beginning".

Casey was really believable as Lee - the heartbreak of why he turned inward was incredible. He did deserve the Oscar.

Aside from the "F" word throughout the entire movie, it really is worth viewing - I would watch it again in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Quote of the Day-------Goodreads

Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

Maya Angelou

Today we celebrate the birth of Maya Angelou. While still in high school, the celebrated writer because the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco. Her first book was a memoir of her life up to that time, titled I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Elle. a French film

Normally, I only add positive "reviews" to my blog regarding films, this is not a normal time.

Isabelle Huppert is one of our favorite actresses, so it was a no brainer to place a hold on this film.

This film is R rated - if I had been on a movie review board I would have heavily suggested this get an X rating.

We watched this over the weekend - when it was over, my husband stated he would NOT recommend this film to anyone.

The sexual violence in this film is awful - the viewer is subjected to either 4 or 5 very violent rape scenes, once was enough.

In good conscience, I simply cannot recommend this film to anyone either.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Dressmaker, a film

The Dressmaker, Kate Winslet stars as Tilly Dunnage, in this really riveting film.

Tilly returns to her native Australian hometown, having been cast out as a young child, accused of murder.  Tilly has become a very sophisticated dressmaker, her eccentric, alcoholic mother (Judy Davis) lives in a shack "up on the hill".  Tilly wins the hearts of the local women with her fashion designs, and a local farmer. Until one day when the world turns upside down for everyone in the small town!

Tilly packs a powerful punch - what an ending!

Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses, and she does a fantastic job in this role.

Watch this one for sure!