Saturday, March 24, 2018

Middle Aged Lady Movie Night ln - Murder On the Orient Express

It was raining outside this evening, and after a longish day at work my plan was to come home and plant myself on the couch after a few small chores were done.  I had skipped this one at the cinema, but thought it would be a good sit alone treat. 

Stylish it certainly is.  The 30s interior style and fashions were beautifully done, and I liked the combinations of actors in the movie.  Dame Judi Dench makes everything better, Kenneth Branagh looks  aged with his big creepy mustache, Johnny Depp looks old, Penelope Cruz looks constipated, Michelle Pfieffer looks glam and the all the others do a great job of looking worried or like Joey on friends suggested - they look like they are wondering who farted.

Sill my extreme tiredness made me a bit distracted, and I can't say that I was stunned by the story, but that could also be because I have seen a couple of versions over the decades, but still could not remember who the killer was.  3/5

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin

This novel tells the story of the four Gold siblings.  One summer in 1969, they sneek away to visit a fortune teller who will give them the date of their death.  So begins their stories.  It was nice to be able to follow each sibling,  without all the confusing switching around that many authors play with.  I just didn't feel any magic, any moment that made me draw my breath, and I kept waiting to be surprised. 3/5

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Itunes does a special each week, where they offer a couple of movies for 99c, which for me saves a few pennies and stops me whining about the price of a cinema ticket - $17 at our arthouse cinema.  In the  efforts to save a few dollars, I like to stock up on a few movies for a middle aged lady night in.

I had heard about this movie a couple of weeks ago, when the story popped up on some news site.  It is a real life story about Deborah Lipstadt.  She is an American Professor of Holocaust studies.  In one of her books, she talks about David Irving, a Holocaust denier.  He then takes her to court for libel, and it is on her team to prove that the Holocaust happens. 

I must say that I was a bit distracted watching the movie, but I found it dull and boring.  Although the three main actors are always stellar - I was a bit distracted by Rachel Weiszs hairdo and accent.  2/5

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018


This is one of those movies, that I had only seen bits of over the years, and those viewings mostly took place over 20 years ago.  So when I say they were screening the movie at the cinema 10 minutes away from my house, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to watch.

I knew the gist of the story.  Rick has escaped the Nazis who had invaded Paris by opening an American bar in Casablanca where ex pats, crooks, police and refugees gather, seeking a way out and safe passage to Lisbon, and onto America.  When the Germans arrive, the pressure increases as people become more and more desperate to escape. 

One evening in walks a renowned fugitive and his beautiful wife Ilse, Ricks lover who he last saw before he fled Paris.  Can she use their history to secure herself and her husband a ticket out of Casablanca?  Will they be trapped by the Germans?  Will she get back together with Rick?  So many questions.

I enjoyed the movie very much - it was nice to watch the entire thing and it was a marvel in  that I kept thinking it was quite the time capsule.  The fashions, the music, everyone smoking, the drinks and cocktails,  how they walked was different, the way they spoke seemed  so old fashioned too.  Yet it is only one lifetime since the movie was made.  Still a good story still is able to hold it's own and even though attitudes to affairs may have changed I wonder if it was quite a scandalous story for wartime viewing?  It is interesting to google actors from the time period, many of which have been married and divorced several times .  We like to think of divorce as a modern thing, but actors seem to have been participating for decades.

The next classic movie being shown is Gone With The Wind -  I'm not sure if I want to sit through a few hours of that, unless it is a rainy afternoon and I need a bit of an escape from sitting at home.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Eddie the Eagle

It was a quiet Friday night at home, so time to catch up on the $1 dollar movies from itunes.  I had never seen Eddie the Eagle and I must admit to quite enjoying this classic story of the underdog doing good.  Eddie is just a young boy with difficulty walking when he sets his sights on getting an Olympic medal. 

So he ends up being a Olympic ski jumper - a pretty scary sport, especially when he was mostly self trained.  You can't help but cheer for him and it made me want to read more of his real life story.  4/5

Friday, March 16, 2018

Everything Happens For a Reason - Kate Bowler

Kate Bowler is just 35 when weight loss and stabbing stomach pains lead to a stage 4 cancer diagnosis.  A professor and a young wife and mother to a young son, she has to face the horrible prognosis, and in this small book teaches us about what it is to live one day at a time, and treasure the time with our loved ones.

I did enjoy her insights into living and love, but felt a lot of the book was about her studies looking at different religions, and mainly those who used their religious teaching for monetary gain to live in big houses and drive flash cars.  3/5

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How To Stop Time - Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has a secret, although he looks 41 he has actually been alive for over four centauries, and in this book he tells us his story, shifting through different time periods to explain what he is living through now and the stories about his past.  I enjoyed all the different periods he lived though and the interesting people he had met over the years.

I did wonder how you could afford to live for so long - and how you might get a bit of tired of having to have a job for 300+ years.  4/5

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Laws of Medicine - Siddhartha Mukherjee

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee is a renowned Oncologist and cancer researcher who has won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Cancer of All Maladies.  In this small book, he considers the evidence asking if Medicine is a Science?

I have a fondness for books about medicine, and I liked the personal aspects about the book, the authors own experiences.  Maybe the principals and philosophy got a bit over my head and I ended up skipping through the second half of the book.  3/5

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen - Elizabeth Ford

Elizabeth Ford brings us some stories about her long history working at the Bellevue Hospital Psychaitric Prison Ward in New York.  From walking in as a junior doctor with little experience to effectively running the unit, she lets us hear about the challenges of dealing with the mentally ill patients in the prison system.  Patients who are suicidal or too unwell to be in prison will be transferred to the hospital for treatment, and then taken back into the prison when they are more settled or the threats subside.

I felt touched by many of the stories about her patients - it was hard not to feel sorry for them, and how they came  to be in prison and you wonder about the level of care that they receive while incarcerated.  I do admire her perseverance in staying in the same field for so many decades - it must be at times exhausting  and scary to care for so many disturbed individuals.  3/5