Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Greatest Showman

Normally I am not a fan of the musical genre, as I get annoyed with the break into song part of it, but I do have and enduring love of Grease.  I didn't want to really see The Greatest Showman, but was ok with watching it at home on the couch.  This is the very fictionalized version of the story of American Circus owner PT Barnum played by Hugh Jackman.  It all came across a bit forced and corny to me with sparkly costumes, pristine sets and perfect hair and makeup, whereas I am a bit of a fan of grit and dirt and realism.  The movie just seemed to lean on the cheesy side pc side, with probably the best part of the movie being the songs themselves.  2/5

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ocean's 8

It was a surprisingly warm winters afternoon in the city.  Me and a bestie really needed an afternoon out.  There wasn't too much too choose from at the cinema as school holidays are on, and we aren't a fan of the superhero genre, and we all know what is going to happen with the dinosaurs (lots of running), so Oceans 8 it is.  I had heard mostly mediocre reviews of the movie, so wasn't expecting much.  I hadn't intended to spend the money on a movie ticket for this one, expecting that I would see it sometime on the tele. 

Anyway I am sure most of you know the premise.  Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney) from all the other Oceans movies.  She leaves prison with an idea for a new con.  She gathers a girl gang all with their own special talents (and boat loads of botox), and they set about in trying to steal a necklace at the Met Gala. 

It was all a bit predictable and even though there were a lot of cameos there seemed to be something lacking, a loss of charm and cheekiness that George Clooney/Brad Pitt/ Matt Damon had been able to portray in their movies.  Still it was a bit of distraction from a busy week of work.  3/5

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Something In The Water - Catherine Steadman

Erin and Mark seem to have it all.  Attractive and successful with great jobs and a nice home in London - they are busy planning their expensive wedding and a honeymoon in Bora Bora.  But it is not all as it seems as we find out behind the scenes.

Mostly I found this a great read, although at stages I seemed to lose my sense of belief at what was happening with them, and got a bit frustrated at Erin, who at times seemed pretty on to it, and then would seem to do something stupid.  I am not sure that you would be able to keep ringing up a prisoner locked up for advice, and it seemed that she was a bit too trusting of what other people were saying, and not suspicious enough.  Still it was a new twist on what is often a bit of a tired story line.  I am sure it will do well - and make a good movie. 4/5

Monday, July 09, 2018

Music Monday - Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley with Choir! Choir! Choir!

Gosh this made me smile.  Rick Astley with his 1988 hit Never Gonna Give you Up performs with Torontos Choir! Choir! Choir!.  It's still a pretty catch song even thirty years on and was a bit of cheer that I needed tonight. 

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Trauma Cleaner - Sarah Krasnostein

Sarah writes the rather extra ordinary story of Sandra  Pankhurst who works cleaning up homes of hoarders, murders and sudden deaths in Sydneys suburbs.  Yet it is the stories about her growing up that were the most harrowing to me, the neglect and abuse she suffered living with adoptive parents who sent her to live in an unheated, unlit shed in the garden unloved and unfed were just horrific.

Born male she then transitioned into a female, and the book doesn't shy away from the drugs and alcohol she abused and working in the  sex trade that she was in  years.  An amazing life where she  just wants to be accepted and fit in, and be able to provide for herself, working hard to run her own business and buy a home. 3/5

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Bad Moms Christmas

I know - going in I should have been prepared for this one to be bad, but honestly it was just terrible.  It seemed to be written on such a formula of tired and predictable mum/christmas jokes with some crude jokes and swearing tossed in.  I felt that the 99c I spent on it was too much.  1/5

Friday, July 06, 2018

Coming Soon

These two look good.  I like Emma Thompson - she brings something very real and vulnerable to her roles and this looks like a bit of a thought provoking movie, a very Sunday Night Masterpiece drama. 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

All That Remains - Sue Black

What a great read - I felt sad when it ended, and could have carried on for many more chapters, as I am sure the author has had to edit down many of the stories that she carries around her.  Sue Black is the Professor of  Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at Dundee University and she talks us through both her own life and shares her knowledge about death. 

Not only is she involved with prominent cases in the UK, she also goes to Kosovo to help identify many of the victims killed during the war there, and it is hard not to be moved to tears when she talks about the brutal way adults and children were killed and butchered.  She also goes to Thailand after the devastating 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean.  It is hard to imagine the terrible conditions that they were working in and she brings a sense of humanity and compassion to the stories of the victims.

Although sometimes challenging to read, I felt I learnt something in each chapter and it will certainly be one of my top reads for 2018. 5/5

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The Story of Beatrix Potter - Sarah Gristwood

I must admit to have not grown up reading Beatrix Potter books, but as I have grown up I admire the talent in writing and illustrating them and am not immune to their charms.  I liked this book about Beatrix Potters life, from the most Victorian of childhoods where she was more or less isolated at home with her uptight parents.  She was surrounded by pets and had a huge interest in nature an adored holidays spent in Scotland and the Lake District.

As her success as an author grew after writing thirty books, she was able to use her income and a legacy from an aunt to buy first one farm, and then many other properties in her beloved Lake District and when she died she gifted the land to the National Trust, preserving their beauty for the generations ahead.

Somehow though I came away feeling sad for this kind and talented woman who seemed to have had a  lonely time for a lot of her life. 3/5

Monday, July 02, 2018

Music Monday - Girls Like You - Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B

I'm loving this song, and have put it to the top of the playlist.  What a great video, love all the girls dancing around him, and then his wife and daughter at the end.  Beautiful.