Sunday, February 17, 2019

All The Queen's Corgis - Penny Junor

I have a soft spot for the Queens dogs and this little book is an interesting peak into their story.   Since she was a little girl she has had a series of corgis and dorgis (a dachshund mix).  It must be the good life living in palaces, although it seems one would not want to have been a palace employee who got in their way, where it seems many got a nip or a bite. 

My grandparents had a corgi for many years, and they were lovable and loyal dogs, and it was always nice that the Queen helped to make this breed more popular.  A light quick read that made me smile.  4/5

Friday, February 15, 2019

Middle Aged lady Movie Night - Rampage

Holy King Kong  my middle aged friends.  I'm already 45 minutes into this CGI monstrosity and I can tell that it is not going to win me over and leave me wanting more.  I do admit to having a soft spot for The Rock - Dwayne Johnson, as he plays a sensitive scientist who cares about his Gorilla George who gets blasted with space rock and turns into a gigantic monster who is going to tear down a city and get chased by helicopters.  Where have we seen this story before?

I am not immune to a bit of fun - I get that this is not meant to be a serious drama, but it is hard to take any of this nonsense seriously, but I guess most of the younger audience won't care about that, they just want the big scenes, the chases and fire.  I see reading the Wikipedia entry that the movie is loosely based on a video game which explains it all really.  So this is a bit of  a Friday fail for me - 2/5.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


I have been a binge watcher this week and watching Bodyguard on Netflix.  What a great little show.  It is only 6 episodes long but even with 15 minutes to go it is still hard to tell who the good guys and the bad guys are.  Richard Madden plays Police Sergeant David Budd, a British Army War Veteran with some PTSD, who secures a job protecting the Home Secretary Julia Montague. 

This is British Police drama at its best, with a fast dramatic pace and I couldn't wait to watch each episode, so much that I have ignored the rest of the shows on my DVR and reading any books this week.  I do so hope that there is a second series in the works. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Music Monday - Shallow - Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

After seeing this movie - A Star is Born several weeks ago, I fell in love with this song more and more.  It was nice to see that they won the Grammy for it, and I am sure that the Oscar will be theirs as well.  Such a nice part of the movie, and both Lady Gaga and Bradley Coopers voices melt together.

It is a song that appeals to so many people too.  I have heard the 30 year old surgeon at work singing along, and was in a dress shop the other day and all the ladies were singing along too. 

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Middle Aged Lady Movie Night - Blackkklansman

After an afternoon wandering round and getting the chores done, I had the tastiest dinner I had had in a while - a chicken taco feast.  The 99c specials are going well, and a week or two ago itunes put this one on special Blackkklansman which I had been meaning to see.  John David Washington plays a Colorado Detective who tries to infiltrate the Klan, but as he is African American he can't meet up with them, so sends his colleague played by Adam Driver in his place.  Based on a true story, it brings all kinds of issues about race into the story and if I didn't know that people like this existed, I would find the story hard to believe.  4/5

Friday, February 08, 2019

Middle Aged Lady Movie Night - Red Sparrow

Break out the Pepsi Max bottle it's Friday night, and time to sit on the couch after a hard day at the hospital.  Cheap noodles for dinner and now time for a 99c movie -  I feel like the last of the big spenders.  Red Sparrow came out at the movies last year I think, and is a movie that I think is more concentrated on the style and feel than the story.  Jennifer Lawrence is always compelling to watch - and I always feel like she is a true movie star whenever I see her on screen.

In this movie she plays a Bolshoi Ballerina that ends up with a leg injury ruining her career.  In order to support her and her mother, she becomes a government trained seductress, using her skills to gain control and power.  Somehow I didn't end up falling into the story and believing what was happening, it just lost its natural edge and tried to be a bit hard and raw, but failed.  Grey uniforms, harsh accents and blunt haircuts didn't convince me and I kept getting distracted by internet shopping. 

By about 1/3 of the way through I got a bit bored, and wandered in and out of the living room, doing some chores while I semi watched.  When I cam in on a horrid torture scene that was enough for me and I switched it off, not caring how it ended.   1/5

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Any Ordinary Day - Leigh Sales

Leigh Sales is an Australian journalist who interviews and discusses what happens to people who suffer a terrible trauma, and how they move forward with their lives.  She interviews a collection of people who have been Coroners, police and involved in the trauma themselves.  It was hard not to be moved by their testimonies - and I liked that they discussed how people don't find closure after such events, they just find a new way of moving forward and being in the world.  3/5

Monday, February 04, 2019

The Little Snake - A.L. Kennedy

In his 85th year Michael Caine has written this new book.   It is part memoir about his early life and most of the book is devoted to his advice for actors.  Peppered with stories about the movie industry and the many movies he has been in it talks not only about being a movie star when younger, but as he aged becoming more popular as a character actor.  It is all good advice, about preparing well, learning your lines, making friends on set, being prompt and polite and most of all being professional.

He comes across as a nice guy.  Good to his friends, treated his mum well and loves his wife, daughters and three grandchildren.  4/5

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Mary Magdalene

Saturday night and nothing like a big plate of oven chips and a cold drink for dinner.  Time for a movie, and this one I knew little about, the movie that is, I guess I knew a little about Mary Magdalene.  So this is the story of Mary, who leaves her family to follow Jesus and witness his death and resurrection.  This is what I like to think of as a gentle story, lovely rural scenery, soft light, beautiful natural woven linens and shawls, natural faces and no overdone drama.  Rooney Mara as Mary was mesmerizing to watch, although I found the dialogue a little subdued and mumbled (I must be getting old), the movie had a wonderful score highlighting the cinematic scenes.    3.5/5

Friday, February 01, 2019

Call Me By Your Name

It is a summer Friday night here, but the temperature has dropped and it is raining outside which at least will parch the dried out garden, so I am not too unhappy.  It also means that I feel less guilty about parking myself on the couch, with a packet of sweets and a cool drink.  So after a few dreary tv shows it is time for a movie.

Call Me By Your Name is a movie set in 1983 in a small rural Italian setting.  Elio is 17, and is a bit put out when his fathers young 24 year old research assistant Oliver comes to stay for the summer taking over his room and charming all around him.  Slowly a love affair develops for the rest of summer.  Beautifully filmed this movie circles around the story about a slow summer love.  4/5