Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Need You Dead - Peter James

Reading the latest Roy Grace novel is always exciting.  You know someone will die, Roy will talk about his family, his dog and his late goldfish (gone but not forgotten), there will be a few suspects and the team will come together to solve the crime, usually after a chase and then at the end there will be a slight twist, something to keep you coming back for more.  Already I am looking forward to the next adventure. 4/5

Monday, September 18, 2017

Music Monday - Haim - Falling

I can't stop listening to Haim at the moment.   Lots of the songs our my soundtrack on the way to work.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Date For Mad Mary

It was a bit of a quiet weekend in the city with plenty of spring rain.  Good for the gardens, but we are all a bit over it.  I would have preferred to see Victoria and Abdul, but that wasn't going to work out.  So we went to see this one, a movie none of us knew about.

Mary is in her 20s and just out of prison for a violent attack.  She is to be a matron of honor at her best friends wedding, but needs to find a  date to be her plus one.  On line it is described as an Irish comedy but it is not roll around the floor funny and I would think it should be under the drama genre.

It was OK, and although we knew little about it we were entertained and a little surprised at how it ended.  3/5

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Disaster Movies

Tonight after a disrupted nights sleep due to on call work, I sat down to relax and rewatch a movie I must have seen at least 5 times in the past - The Day After Tomorrow.    I have a soft spot for the old disaster movies, and I was trying to think why they appealed so much.  I guess that as a child growing up in the 1970s, our Saturday nights were filled with The Posiedan Adventure and the Towering Inferno, all impossibly long and boring with only 10 minutes of action at the end.   Modern movies with computer generated effects can get into it pretty early on, and we can get scene after scene off big cities, sinking, burning and cracking apart.

The formula for most of these movies is common for most of these movies:

  • Some large landmark will be destroyed with sad music playing
  • The main characters generally will survive the disaster, after several close calls of planes crashing, hanging off cliffs, sinking etc
  • There will be a love interest, all quiet looks at the beginning and a lusty embrace at the end
  • The baddie will get their  comeuppance at the end, and usually die in some gruesome way
Now being a middle aged lady, I seldom venture to the cinema to see such movies and are content to stream them for a cheaper price or wait until they are on free tv.  After watching the news lately with the two large hurricanes in the US and flooding in Asia, it seems that real life is far more extreme than the fiction we normally watch.  With hundreds of thousands of people affected and left hungry and homeless, I can't help but think I am lucky that we have not had such disasters here.  So I am thinking that the universal appeal of such movies, is that for all of us, we are just trying to survive and get through, and we all think about what we would do in the same circumstances.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Lost Letter - Jillian Cantor

A good story that was easy to get lost in.  Told in two story lines, in 1989 when Kate's life is changing and she is dealing with her aging father who is losing his memory.   She is looking after his stamp collection and wonders about a fifty years old letter that was never sent.

In 1939 we meet Kristoff who is taken in by an Austrian stamp engraver and his young daughters.  With the Nazis approaching the Jewish family do not feel safe.

A unique spin  on a second world war novel.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Far From the Madding Crowd

A sunny spring day here turned a bit chilly by the late afternoon, so it was time to close the windows and doors and watch some of the movies and shows that have piled up unwatched.  Far From the Madding Crowd came out in 2015, but was one of those movies that I was too busy to go and watch at the cinema and with $17 ticket prices, it makes it a bargain to watch it home for $2.99 from the Apple store.

Based on the classic 1874 novel from Thomas Hardy that I had never read it was a glimpse into a genre that appeals to me.  The tale of a woman, in a world where it was difficult for her to have independence, status and choices, when being married usually meant losing her money and having to yield to her husband.  Bathsheba Everdene helps on her aunties farm, before she inherits her own estate (lucky girl).  She gets involved with three different men, who all fall in love with her instantly and who will she choose?

I always enjoy watching Carey Mulligan, and I loved the costumes, scenery and handsome men.  The story was a little flat for me - somehow the passion and love seemed a bit muted.  Still a 4/5.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The Late Show - Michael Connelly

Detective Renee Ballard prefers to work the night shifts in her LA department, away from all the others and giving her time to paddleboard during the day and finish off her jobs.  This is a new main character for the author, and I think he has done a great job of creating her, she came across real with enough flaws to develop several storylines, with of course a couple of traumatic back stories.  She seemed to be able to hold her own with the male detectives and is able to solve a major crime case.

I look forward to see where her next stories go. 4/5

Monday, September 04, 2017

Music Monday - Fly Me To The Moon

I watched this at the weekend- she is pretty amazing.  Angelina Jordan is from Norway and is only 10 years old.  This is her singing Fly Me to the Moon from the US TV show Little Big Shots.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

What We Did On Our Holiday

Saturday night on the couch and I thought I would watch one of the $2.99 special movies on Apple TV.   What We Did On Our Holiday is a British movie with a simple premise.  Mum and Dad and three cute kids are driving to Scotland to visit their dad/grandad played by Billy Connelly who is celebrating a significant  birthday.

I won't give the whole plot away, Wikipedia can tell you the whole thing.   I really liked the middle portion, but felt beginning and end were a bit flat and boring.  Billy Connelly was especially good in his role and it never seemed like he was acting, more like just being a version of himself.  3/5

Saturday, September 02, 2017


I really liked the British drama Spooks when it originally aired about MI5, which had a great abundance of quality acting mixed with serious political storylines.  Sir Harry Pearce  (Peter Firth) returns to tie this story and adding Kitchen Harrington you think would be a winning formula.

A usual case of the old double cross and not knowing if our characters were working for the goodies or the baddies left me a little bored .  Like the Sex and the City movies, it felt like it was trying to recreate a period of time and place that had moved on.  2/5