Sunday, December 31, 2017
I chose The Intern - I had skipped it at the cinema but was glad to find it on special to watch. You can't beat the $3 ticket price to sit at home on my couch. The basic premise is that Robert De Niro plays a 70 year old widowed retired businessman who looking for a new challenge, applies to be a senior intern at an internet fashion startup. His boss is played by Anne Hathaway who is is trying to have it all, being a mom, staying married and running a business.
There was lots to like about this movie, like all Nancy Meyers movies the visuals were lovely with both living in beautiful New York homes. The main characters were likable and charming and the support cast were funny and sweet, with a few home truths about how men have disappeared lately to be replaced by manboys who dress like 14 year olds, ride skateboards and play video games. Where it fell down for me yet again was the story. The first half had charm and humor and then it tried to turn into a drama and I felt it ended a bit abruptly without the story line being resolved. Maybe it was a setup for a second movie? 3/5
So hope you are all ready for the New Year and relaxing and taking it easy! Best wishes for 2018!!
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Although interesting to hear the reality of their situation I found I was somewhat slightly irritated by them all, that there seemed to be a few idyllic summers on the Greek island, with an every changing group of people staying at the variety of villas they lived in. I much prefer the television show where it all looks gold tinted with sweet and funny characters. 3/5
Saturday, December 23, 2017
So she decides to find out the truth about the story, and to see if any of the family are still alive. As her search widens she starts to find out what really happened and learns more about the fates of the Jewish tailor and his girls. While all of this is happening, her own family suffer their own tragedy - testing their faith and beliefs making this story all the more real and relevant. 5/5
Friday, December 22, 2017
Now it could be my fevered mind, but I couldn't really follow the storyline, it all felt a bit muddled to me and although the visuals warmed my heart I didn't finish it thinking I would want to watch it again. 2/5
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
She is an intelligent woman with and many of the essays were smart and challenging. It is brutal to read when she writes about a gang rape case where the court is more concerned with the reputation of the boys involved than what happened to the victim. It was even interesting to read about her adventures in the scrabble world - who knew that people could retain all of those words and scores in their heads? This book left less of an impression on me, and I did want to like it more but it didn't quite click with me. 3/5
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Although a short novel I did find the changing narrative a little hard to follow and I could not quite see the characters in my mind. 3/5
Sunday, December 17, 2017
So even though it is a child's movie - it still held this middle aged ladies attention, although u won't attend the cinema to see the sequel, I will quietly watch it on the couch at home with home popped popcorn. 4/5.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Alone In Berlin is based on a book, which in turn is based on a real life couple. In the movie an older married German couple discover that their only son has been killed and the grief turns them inside out. Trying to survive in Berlin where they see chaos around them, they send out individual postcards around the city urging people to resist. Meanwhile the authorities are trying to find out who is sending these messages, and the pressure is beginning to mount. A serious watch, that is made bearable by the stellar Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson who I think puts in an amazing performance. She is by far one of my favorite actresses to watch on screen - maybe the lack of botox allows her to show emotions so well, and she radiates sadness and fear as well as love in this little movie.
It is not a light watch and left me a little sad at the end. 3/5
Thursday, December 14, 2017
So of course it is another story about good vs evil, except this time a lady gets to fight with a light sabre, the baddie takes the mask off and Carrie Fisher shines in her role while Luke Skywalker looks like he is heading off to rehab.
Although many of the nuances of the story may have been lost on me, and some of the plot points as I may have dozed off in places (to be fair I was at work until 4am this morning and only managed to fall asleep from 6-7am). I did find it entertaining, and you know what you are in for. Lots of serious discussions, battles, explosions, running, a touch of zen thrown in, more battles, loud explosions, fire, and finally the big battle. I do wonder though if all the focus on the special effects comes ahead of making a good story, often it feels to me like it is just a series of battle scenes strung together in order to sell more video games.
So I wandered as I left the cinema if my friends boys will be coming back in another 40 years to see the newest one in the series? 3/5
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
This week was about a rogue planet coming close to earth causing the earth to break up. Last weeks was about the earth entering a black hole. As it is an American produced show, when each disaster starts to occur it primarily seems to destroy regions in Asia or Europe first. The last lot of humans surviving are of course Americans, in the Black hole episode it was American military leader and politicians hidden in bunkers under mountains - they did eventually all get burnt up. This week it was Americans in a submarine who were the last survivors - no mention of any other nationalities and their navies. They too ended up burnt up.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Oh boyfriend - this is it, the final breakup. We had a good run you and I, but it's over I can't do it anymore. You dragged me in thinking it would be fine, but you just gave me the same old same old. You teased me with a lady ring, and dreams of West Point, but 100 pages later you were still at the diner or cheap hotel, or dusty road.
So goodbye my friend - we had a good run, and I know you will keep on hopping on buses and find yourself a new lady reader. Good luck - I will miss you! 1/5
So goodbye my friend - we had a good run, and I know you will keep on hopping on buses and find yourself a new lady reader. Good luck - I will miss you! 1/5
Monday, December 11, 2017
As you all probably know, this is the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings starring Mark Wahlberg and many other notable actors including John Goodman and Kevin Bacon. I thought it would be all doom and gloom and glory, but it was sensitively handled with a lot of respect shown to the victims. There is a little gore, but not enough to be offensive and it was nice that some of the survivors were shown at the end of the movie. 4/5
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Monday, December 04, 2017
We also get to meet her younger sisters Katherine and Mary, who are at the mercy of their cousin Queen Elizabeth the First and must follow her instructions or risk being branded traitors like their sister.
For me this felt like an original story about three sisters where there is little written about them, and I enjoyed the novel, easily getting lost in the Tudor times and thinking about how heavy and awkward those big dresses must have been to wear. 4/5
Saturday, December 02, 2017
At the time it came out I lived in London and I remember going to see it at a cinema in Wimbledon which had 1/2 smoking and non smoking seats. So you coughed all the way through and came out stinking.
At our work Christmas party that year one of the young girls turned up wearing a knock off of the Versace safety pin dress that Luz Hurley wore to the premiere. The boys at work talked about it for months after.
Oh and I had a boyfriend who was an extra in the final church scene. It was so long ago I can't remember what he looked like - haha.
So everytime I watch the movie it makes me smile and remember my years living in London. I love it's easy English charm and funny characters, and have a soft spot for a young Hugh Grant. So a highlight if the holiday season as all the old movies are rolled out again. A refreshing change from car chases, computer generated special effects and super heroes.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Her book is part autobiography and part self help in how to get on with your life, to ignore the bullies, how she was able to move on after her divorce, why she doesn't want children, how after a variety of mundane jobs she decided to try being a comedian. All of it was interesting and entertaining, and I felt at the end of the book I liked her even more. 4/5
Monday, November 27, 2017
I thought I would love it - Colin Firth, Mark Strong are all good actors - Nicole Kidman is a bit meh for me but she can still carry a film. I couldn't help but feel that if I were waking up next to Colin Firth each morning, I would be happy. Not having to go to work and swanning round in the big house would be cool too. Colour me jealous, but I would have made the most of it, rather than being all morose and moody.
So it is a sad 2/5 from me.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
It is the story of Ray Kroc one of the founders of the McDonalds chain of fast food restaurants. Its an interesting story, but I can't really say I enjoyed it. Ray seemed to have spent his time ripping off the original McDonalds founders brothers Maurice and Richard. He seemed to undermine them at every turn, and ended up mega rich, while the brothers were forced to close and were not legally entitled to the money that had been promised to them. His sneaky business tactics did not make me like him, and in the end I became a bit bored with this movie. 2/5
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Living with the stories of their wartime experiences, the author considers what happens as they grow older and when they die - who will tell these stories? How the children and families of survivors also suffer from the pain that parents still feel and carry. She also talks about many other major traumas in recent history and the effect on survivors and their families - how they move forward yet still honor their loved ones. 4/5
Friday, November 24, 2017
It can be tricky for a lot of people to deal with as each death affects us differently, and everybody has their own way of processing that pain, and you can see that her job is to help guide people into moving on with their lives while acknowledging the loss.
While interesting - I felt a bit detached from this book. 3/5
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Being the same age myself, I could understand her position, but I found it all terribly predictable and a bit smug and self important. I felt that if I knew Kate, I wouldn't like her much and felt like I had to trawl through this brick of a book. 2/5
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
Sunday, November 19, 2017
This however is the story mainly about Caroline and her life, and somehow I think I was expecting to find some Jane Austen secrets in the book. A found manuscript, a hidden locket or bonnets found in the attic - alas it was not to be,and I came away none the wiser about the author. I did however get an understanding of how tough it must have been two hundred years ago, when women's lives were at the mercy of the menfolk of the family. How they relied on the their fathers and brothers to look after them, and there must have been limited security, as the women would often be made homeless when husbands and fathers died.
With a great increase in the interest in Jane Austen in the past few decades, Caroline Knight to her credit has been telling her story at events, and updated the family history of Chawton House, which was last written about 100 years ago by her great grandfather. She has also established a foundation to assist with literacy using her famous great aunts name. 3/5
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
The story had quite a few twists and turns, you can never be quite sure how it will go, and I liked that but somehow I didn't quite believe it and for me it felt a bit forced. Maybe because there are so many thriller books/movies/shows around that I have become a bit jaded, and it has become a bit more difficult to find a story that feels original. It is a genre of books that I don't read as much of anymore. Maybe its not him - its me! 2/5
Sunday, November 12, 2017
David Attenborough is a treasure too - the real voice of the series and he makes even the most harrowing scenes palatable. I'm the girl who wasn't allowed to watch Lassie as a child, as it upset me too much, and so I find scenes where animals are starving or hunting others a bit hard to watch. So I hope it is playing for you soon.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Visually the set and costumes brought you straight into the period - the costume and set designers had done their jobs superbly. Everything looked straight out of the amazing paintings that litter the walls of all the great art museums. The story itself was good, but there just seemed to be something lacking in this movie, I think the chemistry was lacking between the main characters, they all seemed a bit wooden in their roles. Although we were given a few sex scenes, they seemed to lack any passion and it is often the quieter moments when a look or a glance or a touch is more real and full of emotion, and there were little to none of these given to the audience.
I wanted the movie to flow too, and yet it felt a little disjointed and slow, trudging through the scenes. What could have been a great movie, was just ok. 3/5
Wednesday, November 08, 2017
I think all of us females have issues - we all see our faults, we worry about how we look and we spend out life comparing ourselves to others, and most of us feel that we are not good enough. How are lives would be better if we were taller, thinner, had bigger breasts, bigger butts, longer hair, better skin, nicer teeth, more muscles etc, etc... Imagine if we could all be happy and even proud of these beautiful bodies that carry us round, that carry us through our lives.
This book was a great read, I devoured it in a couple of nights, and now will seek out her other works. 5/5
Sunday, November 05, 2017
Instead of being a loving reunion it is terribly confronting as the elderly Traudi is proud of her past - of assisting in Auschwitz in torturing and killing women and children, and deserting her own child to serve the Reich. She does not understand why her daughter doesn't love her.
More a Sunday evening drama than a Saturday afternoon entertainment. 3/5
Friday, November 03, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
An interesting and intriguing read about her spiritual journey and understanding. I felt lighter after reading this book. 4/5
Thursday, October 26, 2017
The first half of the novel was incredibly tense and fast paced, and I felt myself drawn to the story, but I got a little lost in the middle section. While I sympathized with the situation Tom was in, I found him a bit grating, and felt he was quite annoying. 3/5
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Things begin to impact on the family, as people realize that the Amish community has food stored and pressure mounts on Jacob and his family to relinquish some of their supplies.
It made me feel a bit tense at the beginning of the novel, and maybe I expected it to head in a different direction than it did. 4/5
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
I was waiting for some Bronte secret to be unearthed or for the snarky Samantha to turn into a nicer character, instead I was annoyed with her from the beginning to the end. She seemed a bit frozen into a immature girl by her overbearing but dead father, home schooled by mainly reading Bronte novels which she seemed to hate
Monday, October 23, 2017
All this changes when she has contact with IT worker Raymond and they help an elderly man, Eleanors empty world begins to expand and with it changes that she does not expect.
I enjoyed this story, and understood the sadness, loneliness and isolation that Eleanor lives, and liked how she slowly was able to venture out, and how that brings her some type of happiness. I am sure that this one will be made into a movie, and I hope they don't ruin it a la Bridget Jones style. 4/5
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Set in the early 1930s in Hollywood,Bobby a young New Yorker comes to seek out his successful uncle who has made a career as a talent agent. His uncle sends him out with his assistant Ronnie, who he falls in love with, but she has a boyfriend. So begins the love triangle that is the heart of the story.
While visually nice to look at it still felt like a series of overdone sets, and expensive designer outfits that seemed out of place. For me there was something missing in this Woody Allen story, a lack of humor or charm maybe, but I didn't click with the whole thing and was quite bored. 2/5
Saturday, October 21, 2017
I didn't know much going in, except that Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke were in it. What a special little movie this one is. It is based on a real life Canadian painter, Maude Lewis and the story about her life and love with her husband. I won't spoil it with the whole plot - have a nosy at the trailer if you are interested.
We did leave with smiles, even though there was some sadness, and an appreciation for our indoor plumbing, big couches and warm beds. Also if we win lotto tonight we are going to go and rent a cottage for a month in Nova Scotia - just not in the winter time. Also maybe I will dream of a husband who can push me round on a little wagon!! 4.5/5
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
With advances in genetic testing many of the family bring themselves forward to be tested, and after Joselin and her sister both test positive, it them forces them into making many ethical choices about whether to have children or not and what treatments to undergo, when there is no proven treatment plan.
Fascinating stuff - it makes you wonder what you would do in a similar circumstance and you have to admire her bravery for writing this book. 5/5
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Being an adult she still has some encounters that are scary, her description of a difficult childbirth made me hold my breath as did the final story when she talks about her daughter, fragile and at risk of anaphylaxis to a multitude of allergies.
The book itself did feel a bit disjointed to me, maybe because it was not in chronological order.
Friday, October 13, 2017
A very interesting premise and I loved the idea - who wouldn't feel a bit giddy at the chance to become involved in the world of Jane Austen and meet the author herself? I did feel that the sense of wonderment was a bit lacking in the story, how even with all the training the main characters underwent how the sights and smells would have been quite astonishing even for us. How hard it must have been to not talk or act in a modern way. 4/5
Thursday, October 12, 2017
I enjoyed reading about the relationship and could see how easy it would be to bond with these intelligent animals. I would find it hard to think of killing and eating my own animals, and if I think about it too hard, it makes me want to turn vegetarian straight away. So I understand the author being conflicted about thinking about killing their pigs. 4/5
Sunday, October 08, 2017
Obviously the neighborhood youth do not arise before 10am, so I was able to get up this morning and watch the last of the movie over breakfast. So Chris Pratt, is Jim, an engineer who finds himself awaken aboard his spaceship. The problem is that he is the only one awake, and they are 30 years from earth, and 90 years from their destination. What to do?
This is one of those movies that felt like a little more style over substance. While Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are hugely watchable, and the special effects were pretty amazing, I just wasn't touched by the story and wished that somehow the plot was a bit more developed. 3/5
Thursday, October 05, 2017
I guess these are his dinner party stories, which he probably couldn't tell over dinner as most would upset sensitive diners. Me - well I like such tales and so I enjoyed it. 4/5
Wednesday, October 04, 2017
As an adult she has become a renowned psychologist and in this book she describes how many of the things she learned have been able to help her with her own healing. Remarkable. 5/5
Monday, October 02, 2017
I guess you know the story, Dame Judi Dench plays the elderly Queen Victoria who becomes enamoured with a young handsome servant Abdul, who had been sent from India to present a coin to the Queen.
Depressed and lonely, the friendship develops and he helps to teach her about the Indian culture and language. Family and staff though are suspicious especially as they spend so much time together.
Wonderful performances, sensational interiors, beautiful costumes and lots of actors of all ages without any botox in view all make it my type of favorite watch. 4.5/5
Saturday, September 30, 2017
The second part of the memoir is pretty daunting, as Joyce and Jim try to decide what treatments to pursue and whose advice they should follow. They seek out other sufferers and survivors to find out what worked for them and meet people for advice and support, watching most eventually die of this horrid disease.
I could have carried on reading for so much longer, as Joyce opened up on her life, but the story did eventually have to end. I didn't cry, but just felt in awe of reading this book, which felt like reading one big private love letter. 5/5