Friday, August 18, 2017
You have to admire people who are able to step up and reveal themselves, faults and all. I like her bravery in writing this book and and enjoyed learning her story. I left with the feeling that because of her secrets that she hidden, her life has been lonely and largely unhappy. I hope she finds happiness now - life is short and to be treasured. 4/5
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Most of the book though is devoted to the heart patients that he has looked after over the years - the successes and the failures. He started his training when cardiac surgery was a young speciality and there have been many advances is surgery techniques and tools available. I could have listened to his stories endlessly as the were all so inspirational. 5/5
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
He does a good job of switching between stories, and in the process reminding us all of the beauty of Romeo and Juliet and their star crossed love. It even made me want to read it again, which I last read many decades ago in high school. 4/5
Monday, August 14, 2017
Not only does she tell her story, but she talks with other pet owners who understand the loss of a beloved companion. You may need a tissue, it may have made my mascara run a little. 4/5
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Even though my friend and I do not know much about the current high fashion world, it is a compelling watch, from him being fashions darling to being irrelevant in a short time and then having to make a comeback . It is interesting to realize how much an illusion it is, when they haven't made any money in years, and that the money comes from investors and deals made with outside companies. 4/5
Saturday, August 12, 2017
So we get to meet Jeanne frolicking in the sun at her French chateau with her Mama and Papa dreaming of a handsome Beau. Things are good, then they go bad and then they get worse .
I would have liked it more if there were a higher ratio of happy scenes to ones that made you depressed, but maybe I slept through those. Also it looked like my uncle had filmed it in 1982 on his video camera that weighed 20kg - then showed it on our 70s tv, I am sure it was some arty sort of cinematography that the hipsters would know. 2.5/5
Friday, August 11, 2017
The Farthest the story about NASAs Voyager mission. Launched in 1977, these two small space ships were sent into the solar system to send back photos and data from distant planets. It is fascinating stuff, especially when you consider the computer power that was available in the 70s.
They also talk about the golden record, stuck you the outside it is 2hours of music and messages, just in case there is some alien life out there. The musical choices seemed a bit odd, with only one pop hit and lots of odd cultural picks. Can you imagine ET playing a record?
It gives a fascinating perspective on just how small Earth is in a huge, huge universe. The Voyager has made it now to the end of our solar system and is now in Interstellar space - the only thing ever to be out there, and may continue on long after we are gone, and even after the earth is here.
Amazing stuff that may have even made me tear up at timesome and the best space movie I have ever seen 5/5
Thursday, August 10, 2017
It is post apocalyptic world and Paul and his wife and son are locked up in a house in the woods. I won't tell you anymore. 4/5.
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Like most historical novels, this book has two story threads. Charlie St Clair, a young American socialite who in 1947 comes to Europe to search for her young cousin Rose, who was last heard of in France several years earlier. When her search begins she meets the rough and tough Eve Gardiner, who has her own story of being in France over the first world war.
Their story begins to weave together as both women begin to rely on each other as they travel between cities searching for clues.
At moments the characters came across a bit cliched and predictable but I did like that they were a little flawed and trying to overcome their demons, that made the story still feel a little fresh and not the usual war story. 5/5
Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Using his charms and flirting with all the ladies, he convinces them to not hand him in, and tries to stay on as a gardener. Just as he is about to be forced to leave, there is an accident and things begin to change.
I enjoyed watching Nicole Kidman, Kristen Dunst and Elle Fanning fawn over the handsome Colin Farrell. The costumes were beautiful although I doubted that in wartime , without help they would have had such glamorous outfits so white and pressed. 3/5
Dorothea asks the girls to help educate Jamie as she can sense that he is beginning to struggle with growing up and she is struggling to stay relevant. An interesting peek into growing up at the end of the seventies, with the best boy fight. Not a film for the kids, this more of an adult drama 3.5/5.
Monday, August 07, 2017
It is not all doom and gloom however, and made me secretly smile throughout as it tries to show how everyone blossoms with live in their life, and this can take many forms and come from many people you encounter. 4/5
Sunday, August 06, 2017
Harry Nelson too feels real to me, I get a sense of him and there is a good balance of his police work and private life. Nothing like hating the boss, and having an affair to make detective feel conflicted.
In this book several homeless men are killed and two women are missing and everyone is wondering if there is a link. I guessed who the bad guy was pretty early on, but still 4/5 from me.
Saturday, August 05, 2017
Their relationship is new when Emily gets sick, and Kumail has to introduce himself to her parents that he had never met before.
Not a huge laugh it is a sweet movie, and although I did see a poster declaring it the best rom-com ever, I felt that was a bit of an exaggeration. 3.5/5
Friday, August 04, 2017
I did struggle with a long scene of eating a pie, and thought it was maybe all a bit too much hipster for me. 3/5
Not only is it the story of the sweet cats, but it lets us learn about people and how it adds to their lives to feed and pat the cats, something most of us know. 5/5
Thursday, August 03, 2017
A couple of the stories withing a story that made me smile, was the introduction of a large bull into a live stage performance and the young 21 year old Russian Opera Singer who at the beginning of the movie is shown at his audition, where he is barely able to speak French.
It was enjoyable, the music although not my think was still great and worthy of a 4/5.
This movie focuses on New York, that after WWII goes through immense change as urbanization takes hold. Slum tenement buildings are pulled down and large scale housing projects go up in their place, and many historical districts are threatened to be pulled down to make space for motorways. On one hand this modernization is spear headed by power broker and developer Robert Moses, who with his posse of middle aged men seeks to change the face of the city. With little opposition and not much discussion, his vision is not often challenged.
Jane Jacobs, a writer does offer up a different vision. She questions the loss of eyes on the street that comes from having cafes and shops at street level, and with low windows and stoops there were places to talk and gather and spots for children to play safely. She wonders why the people that live in the city aren't being asked what they want in new buildings and does the new developments actually serve the purpose they are made for or are they just hiding the poor people away on the city verges?
As well as being a compelling story that tells a story from the sixties, it still resonates today as our own cities swell and struggle to cope with everyone moving in. I did enjoy looking at the historical images of New York - man that is one busy city. 4/5
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
Much of the movie is made up if beautiful natural scenery, scarily high Vistas and steep slopes. I did feel a little like the middle part was a collection of youtube videos which was a bit distracting. 3/5
At times it was immensely moving and relevant to look back at how much has changed and then realize that there is still much to be worked on. As James Baldwin died in the 80s i wonder what he would think of what he would see around him now. I did leave the cinema thinking though that I expected more and it underdelivered. 3/5.
Tuesday, August 01, 2017
Dries Van Noten is a Belgian designer who is shown looking at his past collections while trying to bring together his men's and women's new shows. It is interesting seeing his processes, developing his own fabrics and what I like about his style is that so many if his beautiful clothes look like you would want to wear them, or at least a cheaper more diffused version that may filter down to the high street.
The shows were beautiful , in amazing sights around Paris. When I see these fashion shows I am always surprised by the young gamine models on the runway, wondering why there is no diversity on stage. When the designers spout off saying they love women, yet only seem to design for the one type of young tall and slim body type.
We get a small glimpse into the designers private life. The lovely country home with beautiful gardens that he shares with his partner, and most touching if all was his lovely dog, who gets little bits of play time in between jobs. 4/5
Monday, July 31, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
So he decides to try and find out what happened and to see if he can find out any answers. For me though although compelling, I found the story a little unsatisfying. It seemed to focus more on him and his psychotherapy and his relationship with his father than the main story. I would have liked to know more about the people killed, more about what went on in Hungary.
Maybe there weren't any facts to find or people to talk to, as too much time has passed and the secrets will remain buried. 2/5
Saturday, July 29, 2017
This is another evening gathering like last night's movie. Salma Hayek plays the lead Beatriz, a yoga/goat loving masseuse/healer living a simple life. When visiting a client she finds herself invited to a dinner. I won't tell you much more lest I ruin the whole story, but all I can think of is what would I do if forced into a dinner with President Trump and his cronies. What would run through your mind?
I was a bit disappointed by the ending, it felt wrong for the story. 3/5.
Friday, July 28, 2017
We saw The Party, an English comedy about a group of people who gather to celebrate some good news. It was an ensemble piece including Patricia Clarkson, Timothy Spall, Kristen Scott Thomas and a couple of others.
For me it felt a bit like a stage play and I felt like everybody was over acting which made me somewhat annoyed, although most of the middle aged loves in the audience were laughing throughout. 3/5.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
The book did redeem itself at the end as he talked about his new wife Hilaria and his four children. It makes us like a man so much more when you can sense the great love he has for his family, 3/5
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
After her sight begins to return, she is allowed to go home, but this becomes a slow process as it doesn't return all at once. She then begins to investigate the scientific part of her illness. I did skim through the second part of the book, it got a bit too much for me. 3/5
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
I really wanted to love this story, but it all felt a bit flat for me. I didn't really like the main charactersite, nor could I picture the Italian scenery as I would have liked. Such a shame as it had all the elements of a good story, but I never quite believed it. 3/5.
Monday, July 24, 2017
I've written before about my love for Desert Island Discs from the BBC. It has been running for 75 years - each week someone is interviewed by Kirsty young and asked to provide their 8 favourite tunes which they would take to a desert island, which breaks up the interview into manageable parts. They usually all talk about their growing up and families and no matter who you listen to, poets or politicians, scientists or astronauts there is always something so heart warming about hearing about someone elses life. I had had a wee break from listening due to my ipod breaking, but finally gave in and replaced it last week. So the past week I have been catching up on the podcasts as I walk around the city or I sometimes play one while I do my dishes or cook dinner.
Today after a visit to the library I enjoyed listening to David Beckham who came across much more witty and entertaining than I expected, Stella McCartney who was candid about growing up as Paul McCartneys daughter and having a fashion empire, rugby referee Nigel Owens which was very moving and the amazing Tom Hanks. If you want to listen to the show, you can click on the names above, and that will take you to the BBC page. On the photo of the celebrity you click the little symbol on the left hand corner of the page and it should play on your computer.
Do you listen?
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Bella Brown is a reclusive young woman living in a small flat. Her life begins to change after a run in with her grumpy older neighbor and the pressure starts when her landlord gives her a month to tidy up the ramshackle garden.
It is beautiful to look at, the actors were excellent and the movie quite sweet, but it didn't move me. 3/5
Thursday, July 20, 2017
It was the first day of screening here so there were a few people at the session. It was quite the movie. Reminiscent of the war movies of the 60s in its style this movie is the war movie we have been waiting for. No need for cheesy patriotic back stories or crazy heroics, it is more raw and honest in its story telling. With only limited dialogue it is the pictures, sounds and expressions that are used to let us know what is going on. In fact I think it might have been 20 minutes before there is any conversations and I think that there were only 4 of the characters names mentioned throughout the two hours.
Worth the price of sitting in a cinema seat with the biggest screen you can find. Young Harry Styles may have set the two young girls sitting next to me sighing, but I did like that there were a range of actors on screen that I didn't know were in the movie. 5/5.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Dr Sarah Parcak is the world leader in this field and I see she has a ted talk on YouTube that I might watch next - and the Internet tells me she was the winner of the 2016 Ted prize.
I figure this middle aged lady is never too old to learn stuff. Maybe I could go back to school and study ancient cultures. It is a pity I need my full time job to pay the bills.
Oh and it says it is 50 degrees Celsius I Egypt when they are there - far too hot for this Kiwi girl.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
You always learn something new and the treasures are beautiful to look at and have explained. Especially with today's technology available, there seems to be so much being discovered each year. Part of me wishes I had studied the Egyptians, Roman's or English history at University and became an author or an archeologist . I am awe of those who are able to write extensively about these ancient times.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
So the first show I started to watch on Netflix is Grace and Frankie. Both wives of two lawyers, who confess to their wives and families at 70, that they have been in love for twenty years, leaving the wives to have to start living by themselves and come to terms with the new relationship. Grace, played by Jane Fonda is prissy and uptight and finds it hard to live with the hippy dippy Frankie.
After all the 20 year old faces forced on you on free tv, it is nice to deal with a different demographic and to enjoy a family comedy/drama that is smart and witty and can cause me to laugh out loud on occasion. 4/5.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
I have a stack of things to read and watch at the moment and the DVR is getting full. So for Friday night I chose to watch Tomorrowland. It is a bit of a George Clooney vehicle that I am thinking is a bit hard to explain, even after reading the Wikipedia explanation.
In simple terms it starts with Georges character as a young boy who finds himself led into an amazing future, full of flying cars and spaceships. Now in the present he us a recluse, living in a rundown house full of strange inventions. Meanwhile a young girl Casey gets her own glimpse of the future, and this leads her to George and then lots of chasing and explosions occur. Will they be able to save the future? Can they prevent the demise of the world?
I am not sure I am clever enough to understand the plot, but I am sure most 12 year olds could figure it out. Somehow I think that more time and money were invested in the special effects rather than the plot or script. 3/5.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
I don't know, I didn't feel especially drawn into this story. As a thriller it felt a bit flat and lacking in any menace. Eleanor was a bit boring and the whole back story around her growing up in Australia did not add anything to the story for me. 3/5
Sunday, July 02, 2017
Now as the host of the Daily Show, I have seen a few bits of the show on YouTube where Trevor comes across as an intelligent, funny and we'll informed man. So inspiring to see someone do so well in their career and life, especially after you read this memoir and understand his background. 4/5
Thursday, June 29, 2017
So it was the usual generic storyline, except this one seemed to contain a few too many racist and homophobic jokes for my tastes and fell flato except for a couple of rare moments. Obviously I am not the intended target audience - but I do wonder who is? 1/5.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
I get that they were all connected to the river, a place where women went to end their lives or to be killed. I could see where the story was heading to but it just dragged for me. 1/5.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
While I knew a few of the artists, there were a few I had no idea who they were and I did get a bit bored half way through. It seems that all musicians growing up were a bit hyper active and not so good at school - which fits with most musicians I know. 3/5.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Sunday, June 25, 2017
How can it be 23 years since it came out? That blows my mind and my middle aged lady brain has no recollection of when I first saw it, if I went to the cinema or waited until it was on poor peoples tv. I was living in London at the time, and they were my partying years, so there us plenty I don't remember.
So Tom Hanks looks so young and fit and still seems so perfect in the role. Especially when you know he is such a smart and articulate chap in real life, he brings a sense of wisdom and vulnerability to Forrest. The movie still holds up now- a modern classic that is easy to watch over and over. I so wish there was more of this smart intelligent comedy around, instead of the dull formulaic fodder that is being pumped out of Hollywood currently (we watched Pitch Perfect 2) last night.
Friday, June 23, 2017
So it is nice to have a bit of 80s nostalgia tonight. Who needs to go out to have fun?
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Amusing to watch even if there was an element of cultural cringe, as Kiwis we all know characters like the ones on the screen. 4/5
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
I always like a good second world War story, and this one was enjoyable although the flow between the historical story and the current storyline was a little bit stilted for me. Still it was filled with lots of strong female characters and windswept Cornwall. 3/5
Monday, June 19, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
So I tackled this one - Centurion, a take of an unlucky Roman in early Britain. After being captured by the Picts and then meeting up with the famous ninth legion, our hero a tough looking Michael Fassbender spends much of the movie running, looking dirty and cold.
It didn't really hold my attention too much, and I had the middle aged lady feeling that I may have seen all or parts of it in the past. 3/5.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Since a young age Carla had an obsession with burials and pet funerals and it is interesting to read about her career working in various departments. I would worry that doing the same job, that the bodies would haunt my dreams too much. That it would be too much sadness day in and day out. 4/5
Monday, June 12, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Friday, June 09, 2017
I did like this read, and with the grey skies of winter here I loved reading about the warm temperatures and sunshine. 4/5
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Tonight was a double episode with 48 hours in Budapest and also St Petersburg.
Monday, June 05, 2017
I was just a simple 18 year old when Dirty Dancing came out and went along with a bestie to see it. She may have noticed a tear in my eye as the credits rolled. Since then I have seen it several times, although I think it may have been ten years since I have watched it again.
What was this though - not the original 1987 version, but a 2017 remake - oh no!!! I did watch a bit if it and it was quite the disappointment. It was like a high school reinterpretation of the original. The words and actions there but no magic. Abigail Breslin was not the right choice to play Baby. Although she may have been the right age and have had curls in her hair, she seemed too young and awkward for the role . The guy who played Johnny also seemed outo of place. Although he put on the tight pants and got himself a six pack he had none of the swagger, dance skills or natural bad boyness that Patrick Swayze bought to the role.
Awww I am a bit sad as I'do been looking forward to this one. Still lucky I've got a good book to read. 1/5
Saturday, June 03, 2017
With rumblings of war, a disgruntled uncle and parents who are determined to marry her off Elizabeth senses that change is coming then she meets Aiden a young architects assistant, who has dreams of heading to Canada.
With echoes if Downton Abbey, I still quite enjoyed the book as the character Elizabeth is likable and seems to want more for herself, a future as an artist and to be free to vote and to marry whoever she wants. It is hard to imagine how our own lives may have been so different living a century ago and how much for dom we take for granted. 4/5