Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Good Omens 2019 TV Miniseries Review

Lovers of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman rejoice! Good Omens finally has been released as a television miniseries for Amazon Prime Video and BBC Two viewers.

Good Omens TV miniseries on Amazon Prime Video - image courtesy of Amazon

When Pratchett and Gaiman's World Fantasy Award-nominated satirical fantasy novel Good Omens was published 29 years ago, it was my first introduction to Neil Gaiman's wonderfully twisted mind and wickedly funny sense of humor. If Neil Gaiman’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you may know him from the big-screen adaptations of some of his novels, such as the 2007 movie Stardust starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Peter O’Toole or the 2009 3D stop-motion animated film Coraline featuring the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French.

My husband and I have long been huge fans of Sir Terry Pratchett's work, especially his well-known and much-loved Discworld fantasy novels. We have read or listened avidly to pretty much every Pratchett book or audiobook we could get hold of (many of them multiple times). So when Good Omens was published, we were quick to buy the paperback. It was bizarre and intriguing, but it had such a huge cast of characters, many in fairly minor roles, that I found the story hard to follow and had to listen read it a second time. Both Pratchett and Gaiman are brilliant – and hilarious – but they do require their readers to do their part by giving the their full attention to their extraordinary writing, especially if you don't wan't to miss all the puns and dry humor. Admittedly these authors' works aren't to everyone's taste, but my husband and I love them.

We also love audiobooks, so when Good Omens was released as an audiobook narrated by one of Pratchett's favorite narrators, Stephen Briggs, I downloaded immediately. I enjoyed it immensely - much more than the print edition. Briggs' distinctive voices for the different characters also made it much easier for me to keep them all straight! Sadly, that recording is no longer available for some reason, but there is a very good unabridged audiobook of Good Omens on Audible narrated by Martin Jarvis.

Good Omens – The Miniseries That Almost Wasn't


After listening to Good Omens I thought what I always do after reading or listening to a Terry Pratchett novel: "Wouldn't this make a great movie?" I didn't hold out much hope, however, since none of Pratchett's books have been made into movies and only three of his Discworld novels have been made into television miniseries: The Color of Magic with Sean Astin as the naive and ever optimistic tourist Twoflower, David Jason as the hapless "wizzard" Rincewind and Jeremy Irons as the wily Patrician; Hogfather; and my personal favorite, Going Postal starring Richard Coyle as Moist von Lipvig, Claire Foy as Adora Belle Dearheart and David Suchet as dastardly Reacher Gilt. (Pratchett's characters' names are always a hoot!)

However, there were, indeed, concerted efforts to have Good Omens made into a movie, to be directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame, which continued long after the book’s publication in 1990. Then in 2011, Gaiman’s website announced that a television series adaptation of the book was “in the works” from another member of the Monty Python troupe, Terry Jones. But in 2016, Gaiman announced that he himself was writing the scripts for a six-part TV series at the request of Terry Pratchett in 2015 shortly before his death from Alzheimer’s disease.

When my husband and I heard that Amazon Studios and BBC Studios would be co-producing a miniseries based on Good Omens and written by Gaiman himself, we were really excited, especially when the cast was announced, including David Tennant (our favorite Doctor Who), wonderful Welsh actor Michael Sheen, Mad Men star Jon Hamm, Miranda Richardson and the voice of Frances McDormand!

Often, movie or television adaptations of books are poor imitations of the original. In the case of Good Omens, however, having to streamline the story for video made the TV miniseries even better than the book in many respects. It makes the intricate story line much easier to follow. (Even so, this isn't something you'll want to watch while checking email, or you're likely to miss an important detail or plot point.)

What I Love About Good Omens, the 2019 Television Miniseries


The Fabulous Cast and Terrific Performances

While the entire cast is wonderful, David Tennant and Michael Sheen are simply outstanding. Sheen, an actor I wasn't familiar with before watching Good Omens, is marvelous as the fastidious, antiquarian bookshop-owning angel, Aziraphale, who sometimes chafes at the restrictions of being "good" by the book, especially when it prevents him from doing what he believes is right. He's the perfect foil for Tennant's inspired portrayal of  Crowley, a creepy yet strangely likeable demon who enjoys his powers and revels in the freedom of being "bad" but who also, deep down, shares Aziraphale's secret desire to do what's right for humanity.

Jon Hamm's Archangel Gabriel pulls heavily from his Mad Men character, Don Draper (without Draper's infamous womanizing tendencies, obviously!). Miranda Richardson is perfect as the endearing medium and former madam with the heart of gold, Madame Tracy. And Frances McDormand is perfect as the voice of God, who narrates the miniseries.

The Authors' Perspective on Good vs. Evil

The interplay between the "good" angel Aziraphale and the "evil" demon Crowley is brilliant. Watching these two find common ground over the course of centuries in pursuit of a worthy goal –saving humanity from Armageddon – is both fascinating and believable.

The Brilllant Script and Deft Word Play

Pratchett and Gaiman share a deep love of language and word play (as well as irreverent but affectionate satire), such as placing common phrases in uncommon or ironic settings. For example, Crowley catches himself starting to say, "Thank God!" and Aziraphale catches himself starting to say, "What the hell..."

In Gaiman's script for the miniseries, the conversations between Aziraphale and Crowley are masterpieces where what isn't said is as important as what is said. These conversations serve to draw the arc of growth for these two central characters as these historical enemies first learn to understand each other, then work together and, finally, develop a true and lasting friendship. And, even though they can never overtly state their affection for one another, Tennant's and Sheen's superb performances allow us to watch its growth over the course of the show.

What's Not to Love? 


The Questionable Motives of both Divine and Infernal Characters

Gabriel, Beelzebub and their respective followers in Heaven and Hell are absolutely obsessed with starting Armageddon, just to see which side wins.

The Negative Portrayal of Organized Religion

The authors of Good Omens appear to view organized religion as a human construct that has been used as a tool for both good and evil throughout human history.

The Implication That Neither Good nor Evil is Absolute 

There are no purely "good" guys or purely "bad" guys in this story, an idea that some people may find disturbing.

An Irreverent Religious and Social Satire


Humans often struggle to determine the right thing to do in a particular situation, especially when the only option seems to be choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils. The fundamental message of this extremely funny, firmly tongue-in-cheek story seems to be that most humans – and even an angel and a demon who live among us and have become extremely fond of our kind – are neither purely good nor purely evil, and that human morality is not absolute and may sometimes depend on the circumstances.

In Good Omens, there are no sacred cows (as it were). The authors lovingly and humorously poke fun at everyone and everything, although that humor also points out serious human failings. For example, Pestilence has retired as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and has been replaced by Pollution, a scourge of humanity's own making. The story also puts a humorous, contemporary twist on things. For instance, The Horsemen – actually, two horsemen and two horsewomen – ride motorcycles.

Fair warning: if you find religious and/or social satire offensive, Good Omens is definitely not for you.

The Good Omens television miniseries provides nearly 6 hours' worth of rollicking entertainment with a brilliant script, a fabulously talented cast and extraordinary sets and special effects. It definitely doesn't take itself seriously, and neither should its viewers.

Good Omens Main Characters


Aziraphale – the angel who is Heaven’s representative on Earth; previously the guardian of Eden’s eastern gate, now the owner of an antiquarian bookstore in London. Fastidious in his dress, language, posture and manners. He loves humans even though he's often disappointed in them.

Anthony Crowley – the demon who is Hell’s representative on Earth; previously known as Crawly, the serpent who tempted Eve with the apple. His most prized earthly possession is his beloved, pristine 1926 Bentley. Predictably hedonistic, coarse and jaded, he swaggers, slouches and lounges. He's grudgingly grown fond of the humans he routinely tempts as part of his demonic duties.

Agnes Nutter – a 17th-century witch, history’s only 100% accurate prophet and author of The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Burned at the stake in 1656 by a mob of Agnes’s neighbors led by Witchfinder Major Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer. Like the witches in Pratchett’s Discworld novels, Agnes wore many hats, including those of midwife, doctor, herbalist, wise woman, psychologist, undertaker, showman and the moral center of her witching “territory”.

Anathema Device – witch, occultist, Ph.D. holder and distant descendant of Agnes Nutter. Also, the only person who can prevent the impending Apocalypse – if she can just figure out what Agnes’s cryptic prophecies mean in time.

Adam Young – a sweet and charismatic but also odd boy with a dog; also, respectively, the Antichrist and his hellhound. Due to a hospital mix-up by Satanic nuns under Crowley's direction, the newborn Adam was switched at birth with the baby of a random couple, Mr. and Mrs. Young, instead of with the baby of the U.S. ambassador to Britain and his wife, the Dowlings.

Newton Pulsifer – a failed, would-be software engineer whose attempts to fix any electronic device are pretty much guaranteed to render it unusable. A descendant of Witchfinder Major Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer, Newt is working as an overqualified wages (payroll) clerk when he is reluctantly recruited into the Witchfinder Army by Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell.

Gabriel – archangel and leader of the forces of Heaven; hell-bent (so to speak) on winning the Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil against the forces of Hell, led by Beelzebub. Sees humans as a way to keep score in the final battle between.

Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell – the last remaining member of the Witchfinder Army; invents fictitious additional members with names inspired by whatever his eyes light upon, e.g., Sergeant Cabinet. Lives above the rooms of Madame Tracy.

Madame Tracy – professional name of Marjorie Potts, an over-the-hill but warm-hearted madam; also a medium who offers weekly séances for the gullible. She has a soft spot for crusty Sergeant Shadwell, who calls her Whore of Babylon, Painted Lady, Jezebel, etc., yet still grumblingly joins her for afternoon tea and accepts her financial help when he’s a bit short of funds.

Good Omens Plot


Two of Hell's Dukes, Haster and Ligur, deliver the newborn Antichrist to the demon Crowley who, in turn, entrusts him to the Chattering Order of St. Beryl, a Satanic sisterhood that runs a hospital in Lower Tadfield (a fictitious village in South East England). Crowley instructs the nuns to switch the newborn Antichrist with the infant son of U.S. Ambassador Dowling and Mrs. Dowling. But, thanks to a mix-up at the hospital, Satan's spawn is given instead to Mr. and Mrs. Young, a perfectly ordinary Tadfield couple. While Mrs. Young is sleeping after giving birth to her biological child, Sister Mary Loquacious suggests several names to her husband for the newborn he believes to be theirs. But Mr. Young rejects those names (e.g., Damien, Wormwood) in favor of "a decent English name," which is how the Antichrist was christened Adam Young.

The Archangel Gabriel and Beelzebub are both gung-ho for long-awaited Armageddon to finally start so they can see, once and for all, which side will ultimately win,  But their earthly representatives, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, respectively, aren't exactly keen on their bellicose and very competitive superiors' plans to destroy the human race.

After spending hundreds of thousands of years living side by side with humans and intervening in their lives, both Aziraphale and Crowley have grown extremely fond of them. And while the angel and demon are enemies in theory, in reality their shared love of humanity, coupled with the humans' very brief lifespans, have made the unlikely pair each others' only real friends. Crowley accepts this reality with equanimity, but Aziraphale is loathe to admit their friendship, even to himself. His inner conflict about collaborating with Crowley while trying to stay true to his "good" principles is portrayed very cleverly. For example, his deeply ingrained good manners compel him to hold the door open for Crowley while saying to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" – followed immediately by a polite, "After you."

Crowley persuades Aziraphale that they will need to collaborate if they are to have any chance of thwarting their higher-ups' elaborate plans to trigger Armageddon, The frenemies hatch a plan to provide Adam Young with Divine and Satanic influences in equal measure during his formative years, in the hope that he will grow up as an ordinary boy and not fulfill his dreadful destiny. They help cover for each other so Gabriel, Beelzebub and the rest of their minions won't discover their disobedience as they try to protect humanity.

In fact, it is Aziraphale's and Crowley's plan that is thwarted, Even a decade later, no one has found out about the Satanic sisters' mix-up at the hospital. So the pair have spent the past 10 years focusing their efforts on the U.S. ambassador's son, Warlock Dowling, whom everyone on both sides still believes to be the Antichrist. The hellhound designed by the Infernal Powers to obey and protect the Antichrist is destined to appear to him on his 11th birthday. Crowley and Aziraphale anxiously await the arrival of hound at Warlock's birthday party, but when tit doesn't materialize, they realize that something has gone dreadfully wrong and that they've been trying to influence the wrong boy for the past 10 years!

They rush back to the hospital run by the Chattering Order of St. Beryl to find out what happened to the infant Antichrist 11 years earlier, After Crowley finally gets the truth, he has to figure out which child is the Antichrist and more importantly, where he and Aziraphale can find him before it's too late. Then, as if things weren't bad enough, their bosses find out what they've been up to. Now they're really in Trouble, with a capital T!

Fortunately, Crowley and Aziraphale aren't the only ones trying to prevent Armageddon.

Back in 1655, rural witch Agnes Nutter published The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. To this day it remains the only book whose prophecies were 100% accurate, as well as extremely cryptic. (For example, one of her prophecies mentions "an apple you can't eat," which turns out to refer to Apple Computer.) The following year, knowing she was soon going to be burned at the stake by Witchfinder Major Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer and the mob of locals he has riled up, prophetic Agnes arranged to have the book passed down through various interim caretakers over the next three hundred-plus years  and, eventually, given to far-distant descendant, Anathema Device. Anathema will need to finish decrypting Agnes’s huge volume of prophecies in time to prevent the impending Apocalypse.

Anathema has spent most of her life working her way through Agnes Nutter's prophecies and, as a result, has moved to a cottage in Tadfield. She meets Adam Young, who seems like a sweet boy and the natural leader of his inseparable group of four friends. She shares with him some of her collection of magazines on the occult  and conspiracy theories, which he devours with fascination, while his friends pooh-pooh his assertions that Atlantis and aliens are real.

Meanwhile, Newton Pulsifer, a hapless, would-be software engineer working as a payroll clerk and, more importantly, a distant descendant of Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer, becomes a reluctant recruit into the Witchfinder Army. While doing his witchfinder research, Newt finds what might be clues to witchy doings in Tadfield. Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell sends him off to Tadfield to investigate, where he meets Anathema.

These two descendants of enemies from 300 years earlier are thrown together and must work together if the end of the world is to be prevented. In Good Omens, religion, rather than politics, makes strange bedfellows.

I'll stop here so as not to spoil the fun. As you can see, the plot is pretty complex, but fortunately, the 6-part television miniseries makes everything perfectly clear and the fabulous acting makes watching it a wonderfully fun and funny experience.

By now, you're probably wondering...

  • Will Crowley and Aziraphale escape their dooms at the hands of Beelzebub and Aziraphale?
  • Will Newt destroy Anathema before she can finish decrypting Agnes' final prophecies and prevent Armageddon?
  • Will Atlantis rise from the sea and little green men in UFOs land in England?
  • Will Adam Young fulfill his destiny as the Antichrist?
  • Will you laugh out loud while watching all the insanity unfold?

The only way to find out, of course, is to watch the Good Omens TV miniseries on Amazon Prime Video or on BBC Two, starting with the Episode 1, "In the Beginning."


An Inside Look at the Making of the Good Omens TV Miniseries 

I always enjoy behind-the-scenes special features. Since the bonus behind-the-scenes video of Good Omens is only 2 minutes long, I'd love to get the companion book to the miniseries, The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion by Matt Whyman. Since it's edited by Neil Gaiman, it's sure to be both excellent and accurate. And it's full of photos from the sets. Fun!

The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion by Matt Whyman, edited by Neil Gaiman, image courtesy of Amazon


Watching Good Omens on Amazon Prime Video


As Amazon Prime members, we were able to binge-watch all six episodes of Good Omens on Amazon Video for free, as well as two short bonus videos (a trailer and a 2-minute behind-the-scenes look at the making of Good Omens), as soon as the miniseries was released in the U.S. on May 31, 2019. For our friends across the Pond, the Good Omens miniseries will also will be shown as six weekly broadcasts on BBC Two.

IMPORTANT! In the US,  only Amazon Prime members can watch Good Omens and the TV miniseries adaptations of Terry Pratchett novels. 



We have been Amazon Prime members for years and have found the many benefits of membership well worth the annual fee, especially the enormous libraries of free video, music and Kindle content. This high-quality content includes Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Amazon Original TV and movie productions, such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Manchester by the Sea, Sneaky Pete, Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle,. Other benefits of Amazon Prime Membership including free 2-day shipping, free 1-day shipping (depending on your ZIP code) and Prime Now local delivery service with free 2-hour delivery (including groceries from Whole Foods Market), among other benefits. If you'd love to try out all those benefits and more without obligation, you can get a free 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.

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Good Omens TV miniseries on Amazon Prime reviewed by
Margaret Schindel


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Friday, June 21, 2019

Aquaman Movie Review

Aquaman Movie Review
Hold your wild seahorses and prepare yourself for the latest, greatest DC Comic movie superhero, Aquaman!
 
Many of us are already familiar with Jason Momoa because of his previous leading roles in Conan the Barbarian, Braven and several other movies.  He has an impressive television series list of roles as well, which include Game of Thrones and more recently, his starring role as Declan Harp in the Netflix series Frontier.
  As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say he had a large established fan-base long before he was cast as AquamanHowever, he is now and forever ingrained in our minds as the magnificent Aquaman and everybody knows his name!  

Before I saw the movie, I was told that there were a lot of women who normally would never go see a DC Comic movie, who willingly volunteered to take their sons to this movie just so they had an excuse to go.  There was no need to worry.  There are plenty of adult women without children who love Aquaman.  It is not just a movie for children, or men.


Aquaman, DC Comic Movie


 Aquaman: Special Edition (2018) (DVD)Check PriceWhen a lighthouse keeper discovers an injured woman on the beach, he didn't expect the world to be forever changed.  However, that is exactly what happens when Thomas Curry discovers Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) washed up on his beach in Maine.  

Tom has no way of knowing that Atlanna is actually the queen of Atlantis, the underwater kingdom.  He carries the unconscious female up to his lighthouse home with the intention of getting her medical attention.  When Atlanna awakens in the strange place, she has a strong reaction to the unusual noises around her, as well as the fish in his fish tank.

Atlanna and Thomas fall in love and Atlanna forsakes her father, her kingdom, her underwater tribe, and her previous commitments.  Sadly, they are not left in peace for long.  

Soon after Atlanna gives birth to their baby, Arthur, members of the Atlantis army find her.  She realizes she must return to Atlantis, and to her previous responsibilities, in order to save the lives of Thomas and their son.

 

Aquaman - Arthur Curry


During his elementary school years, Arthur realizes he has special powers.  He can communicate with creatures of the ocean and they readily respond to him with fierce loyalty.  He also becomes acquainted with Nuidis Vulko (Willem Dafoe), a friend and confidante' of his mother, who was sent to train him to wield a trident and to fight.

Arthur discovers he can breathe underwater and swim like a dolphin.  He becomes a defender and superhero in the ocean, but he continues to live on land.  He is easily recognized by everyone, but he doesn't recognize or desire to claim his own birthright.  

As the son of the queen, he should be king of Atlantis, but his half-brother sits on the throne and plots to be Ocean Master, ruler of all of the tribes of Atlantis.  He also has plans for land dwellers.  


In case I forgot to tell you, I Love This Movie!
 

Aquaman was not previously as well known as some of the other DC Comic superheroes, but this movie has made his anonymity a thing of the past. 







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Wonder Woman 2017 Movie ReviewWonder Woman (2017) Movie Review
Wonder Woman (2017) is truly a wonderful movie.  I encourage everyone to set aside any preconceived notions and watch the new movie.   The back story on Diana, aka Wonder Woman, is awesome!





 

 

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 Aquaman Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Friday, May 31, 2019

Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence Movie Review (Amazon Prime Original Version)

Agatha Christie's Ordeal by Innocence Movie Review (Amazon Prime Original Version)
Image:  Film Site Image by Thomas Nugent / Ardgowan House
Trust Agatha Christie to write a story, which was made into a movie, that my husband and I could enjoy together!

While searching for a movie to watch one evening, I happened upon the Amazon Prime Original remake of Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence.  The photo of a man with three women didn't really appeal to me.  As a matter of fact, it caused me to bypass the movie and keep searching.  However, I ended up going back to it simply because it was Agatha Christie and I thought I could always turn it off if it was to lewd.   I wouldn't expect Agatha Christie would have written anything salacious, but we can't truly trust filmmakers to remain completely true to an original story.    

I'm glad now that we went back to that movie to watch it.  As it turns out, we both enjoyed the movie and were still talking about how great it was the next morning.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a mystery full of secrets and "interesting" characters.  


Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence Movie Synopsis

 Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence
Prime Original - Included with Prime
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Rachel Argyll (Anna Chancellor) is a wealthy woman who adopts multiple children, home-schools them, and raises them with a stern hand.  She isn't given to displays of affection and often comes across as cruel or unfeeling.  


When Rachel is murdered, her adopted son, Jack (Anthony Boyle), is accused and arrested.  He was a convenient suspect that doesn't seem to have a real alibi for the time of the murder.  Plus, he always seemed to delight in challenging and aggravating his mother.  It was believable that he might have lost is temper and murdered her.

18 months later, Dr. Arthur Calgary arrives at the Argyll's mansion to offer his testimony in defense of Jack.  Explaining that he has been out of the country since the night he gave Jack a ride and has just discovered the boy was accused of murder, he wishes to see Jack exonerated.  

Believing that he is another false witness just trying to make the news headlines, most of the family dismisses him, even threatens him in order to force him to leave town.  But, Dr. Calgary knows Jack was in his car at the time of the murder and he is not going to just give up and leave.   


Notes about the Amazon Prime Original Movie 

I really liked the actors they selected for this movie.  Not only were they believable, but they looked the parts.  I especially liked the way Luke Treadaway portrayed Dr. Arthur Calgary.  While all of the actors were awesome, Treadaway was exceptional.   
 

The Amazon Prime Original shows as Season 1, with 3 episodes. We watched the entire "season" movie on the same night. (less than 3 hours)

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Even though I have seen several previous versions of "Murder on the Orient Express" and was very familiar with the plot, I loved this new adaptation and can highly recommend it! Read the full review....




Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence Movie Review (Amazon Prime Original Version) Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Friday, May 10, 2019

Captain Marvel Movie Review

Avengers:  Back to the Beginning!

Captain Marvel Movie Review
Captain Marvel is finally here!  Stepping back into the past, we are introduced to one of the first superheroes of the Marvel Comics.  

In fact, in the movie, the name Avengers was chosen by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) when he saw Captain Marvel's nickname, Avenger, on the side of her US fighter jet.  

After encountering Captain Marvel, Fury decided earth needed to seek out a team of superheroes for protection in the future since wars would be shifting from earthly wars to galactic wars.  It was obvious to Fury that humans wouldn't stand a chance if not better prepared for the inevitable invasions.  Earth wouldn't even recognize the enemy before it was too late. 

Marvel Comic purists may not appreciate this adaptation of Captain Marvel, but it certainly plays well with theater audiences.  I heard several loud cheers throughout the movie.  At the end, I overheard multiple comments about how awesome the movie is and how much they really enjoyed this movie.  


Captain Marvel Movie Synopsis


As a child, Carol Danvers learned by experience that she was going to have to prove herself through endurance, hard work, and by always getting back up to try again when she fails.  Those life lessons served her well as she transitioned from mere human to superhero.

 Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel (Plus Bonus Content)As a female Air Force jet pilot in the '90s, Carol was not readily accepted by the male pilots.  She found her place of acceptance and opportunity to excel when she started working with Dr. Wendy Lawson (actually Captain Mar-vell, a Kree rogue agent who sided with earth).  Carol was completely unaware of Dr. Lawson's real identity or race, but she held her in highest esteem.  

Dr. Lawson was working with the Tesseract (container of the Space Infinity Stone) to harness it's power for  hyperspace capabilities.  Once it became necessary to make the first hyperspace flight, Carol volunteers to pilot the mission.  Unfortunately, the plane had to be crash landed.  Both Dr. Lawson and Carol survived the landing, but both did not survive the resulting encounter with the Kree, Yon-Rogg.  Carol was infused with the Space Stone's energy when the plane exploded.  She was now a valuable "tool".

Carol was taken into Kree custody, her memory was erased, and she was trained in contact combat by Yon-Rogg.  All seemed well to Vers (Carol's Kree name) until her human life invaded her Kree life, forcing her to find her real identity and place in the universe.



Other Interesting Notes about the Movie, Captain Marvel


It was pretty cool to see a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), working as a SHIELD agent.  We even find out how he lost one eye and how he started working with superheroes.

Also, be sure to keep a close eye on Goose, the cat.  He isn't what he appears to be. 


FOR A LIST OF AVENGER MOVIES AND THE RECOMMENDED WATCH ORDER, CLICK HERE!

 

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Marvel fans love Avengers: Infinity War!  All of our favorite Avengers, plus the Guardians of the Galaxy join the battle to save the world from evil domination and genocide by Thanos. Expect some very shocking and even upsetting deaths in this movie. Real Mavel fans will need Kleenex!


The movie Doctor Strange is based on the Marvel comics character. A fabulous fantasy fiction movie that is quite accurate with the depiction.



Guardians of the Galaxy is a truly fabulous Marvel movie that I would recommend for anyone! The movie is a mix of sci-fi, great animation, engaging stories, & witty dialog.



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Dr. Pym (Ant-Man suit inventor) & his daughter, Hope, train Scott Lang to work with ants and to become Ant-Man in preparation to "defeat" Darren Cross and his Yellowjacket invention.



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The movie Iron Man sets the foundation for all of the following Avengers movies. Every Marvel fan, old or young, needs to see the movie Iron Man.





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Friday, May 3, 2019

Avengers: Endgame Marvel Movie Reviewed

Avengers: Endgame Movie Reviewed
Avengers Endgame Poster
The Endgame of a Lifetime!

As soon as Avengers: Endgame was released in the theater,  we were there!  After waiting a year to see the final showdown between Thanos and the Avengers, an extra week or month would be asking too much. 

This is probably the most anticipated movie ever and fans were not disappointed.

There were several opportunities in the movie for Avenger fans to laugh, cheer out loud and a few very unexpected moments that reduced us to tears.  If you haven't seen it yet, I advise you to take Kleenex and prepare for the roller-coaster of emotions.  Avengers: Infinity War was only the beginning of gut-wrenching events and new realities for the Avengers.  

As I left the theater, I had conflicting thoughts.  I was ecstatic and felt a sense of gratification, but that was tempered by recognition of loss.  Any war exacts a high price, and this Endgame was no exception.


Avengers:  Endgame Movie Synopsis


 Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame (With Bonus)I want to start by saying, don't watch trailers and don't read any spoilers.  This movie deserves to be seen from beginning to end and not chopped up into scenes or reduced to opinions.  I am happy to give some background, but I will not spoil the movie for you.  

The Avengers: Endgame movie starts with a lot of help from Captain Marvel as they try to locate, rescue, and reorganize the remaining Avengers.  Each one is dealing with their devastating personal losses from the Infinity War that seems to have ended with Thanos reducing the world's population by half.  Not only are they grieving the deaths of several beloved Avengers, friends and family, but the world is simply not operating the same way without everyone in place, working their jobs, and doing the daily tasks that make everything work together.

Tony Stark (Iron Man) is the only exception.  Since neither he nor Pepper Potts were "turned to ash", they have started a new life and home together.  They even have a child.  Truly a bright spot in an otherwise dismal few years following Infinity War.   

With Black Widow at the helm, the remaining Avengers (War Machine, Rocket, Nebula, & Okoye) report in to the Avenger's compound, giving updates on their current activity.  They are no longer able to work together as one team on one mission due to the large number of demands across the universe.  

Captain America is leading a support group, helping individuals find a new direction and learn to move on after the loss of their loved ones.  Thor has hit an all time low and is basically hiding out in the new Asgard.  No doubt, his current life choices will surprise you.  I know they shocked me. 

But, remember Ant-Man?  He was lost in a spacetime vortex when Dr. Pym and Hope (The Wasp) were turned to ash.  5 years later, when he finds his way back out, he has no knowledge of what has happened.  Therefore, his outlook is totally different from the other remaining Avengers.  After all, he hasn't spent the last 5 years grieving and trying to give new direction to the entire world.  His perspective is fresh and completely different.  Scott (Ant-Man) shows up at the Avenger's compound and presents his idea.  After consulting Bruce Banner (The Hulk) to discuss the scientific validity of Scott's suggestion, they set out to reassemble the team to once again fight together as one.    

Thus, the Endgame!





FOR A LIST OF AVENGER MOVIES AND THE RECOMMENDED WATCH ORDER, CLICK HERE

 

MORE MARVEL MOVIE REVIEWS

Marvel fans love Avengers: Infinity War!  All of our favorite Avengers, plus the Guardians of the Galaxy join the battle to save the world from evil domination and genocide by Thanos. Expect some very shocking and even upsetting deaths in this movie. Real Mavel fans will need Kleenex!


The movie Doctor Strange is based on the Marvel comics character. A fabulous fantasy fiction movie that is quite accurate with the depiction.



Guardians of the Galaxy is a truly fabulous Marvel movie that I would recommend for anyone! The movie is a mix of sci-fi, great animation, engaging stories, & witty dialog.



Ant-Man Movie ReviewAnt-Man Movie Review
Dr. Pym (Ant-Man suit inventor) & his daughter, Hope, train Scott Lang to work with ants and to become Ant-Man in preparation to "defeat" Darren Cross and his Yellowjacket invention.



Ant-Man & The Wasp Movie ReviewAnt-Man & The Wasp Movie Review
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), and Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp / Dr. Pym's daughter), join together in battle. However, this time it is against a very unexpected mysterious foe, while also having to elude the FBI.



The movie Iron Man sets the foundation for all of the following Avengers movies. Every Marvel fan, old or young, needs to see the movie Iron Man.





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Friday, April 12, 2019

Love's Complicated - Hallmark Movie Review

Love's Complicated - Hallmark Movie Review
While searching for light entertainment last weekend, I came across the Hallmark Movie, Love's Complicated starring Holly Marie Combs and Ben Bass.  Within a few minutes of watching, I knew that I had found exactly what I had been seeking. 

Hallmark is always a reliable source for good movies that usually leave me feeling relaxed, and sometimes even revived after a long day of work and stress.  I know I never have to worry about nudity, excessive foul language, or extreme violence when I turn on the Hallmark channel.  

In a time when movies seem to compete to see which one can be the most extreme, I am most appreciative of a reliable source of mild, lighthearted entertainment that is never embarrassing to watch regardless of whether I am alone, in mixed company, or with my children and parents.  


Love's Complicated Movie Synopsis 


It is easy to like the mild mannered, considerate & compliant Leah in Love's Complicated.   She is the type of person we all enjoy being around.  She rarely, if ever, complains, she does not engage in debates or challenging opinions, she simply goes along happily with whatever others in her life dictate.  Leah doesn't really intend to be a doormat for others, she just doesn't like confrontation.

 Love's ComplicatedCheck PriceWhen her boyfriend of 2 years enrolls her in a conflict management class, she doesn't understand why she would need to be there, especially when she finds out he is not attending the group with her.  Of course, it makes her mad and confused, but she decides to comply with his wishes and attend the sessions.  However, in an unexpected turn of events, she comes face to face with the most annoying people she has ever met.  After all, it was Cinco Dublin who criticized her published book on his radio show, stating that "although well written, Ms. Townsend's safe, Leave it to Beaver take on her childhood, leaves me wanting nothing more from this author, ever."  It is clear from the beginning that Leah has built up resentment toward Cinco and the conflict management class gives her the perfect opportunity to unleash her pent-up emotions. 

The verbal exchanges between Leah and Cinco are revealing about both of their personalities and are often humorous.  They might not be funny to me if I was one of the participates in the conversations, but listening to them made me laugh several times.  

When Leah accepted an unwanted proposal of marriage from her boyfriend, just because she wanted to comply with his desires, and her parents wishes, she finally realizes that she must learn to confront real issues.  Otherwise, she will end up in an unhappy marriage and always letting someone else dictate her life.  At that point, the need for the conflict management classes becomes apparent to Leah.



Additional Thoughts About the Movie, Love's Complicated


While I very much enjoyed this movie and watching a romantic relationship develop, I found I was more intrigued by the concept that conflict management classes were also for people who needed to learn to express their anger, instead of keeping it inside.  I've always thought those classes were for people who lashed out uncontrollably or without an obvious reason.  Recognizing that some attendees might just need to learn how to express their feelings, was rather enlightening for me.



Currently, "Love's Complicated" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Black Butterfly Movie Reviewed

Movie Full of Suspense

Black Butterfly Tattoo courtesy of pixabay.com
A few weeks ago, I watched the movie Black Butterfly after it was recommended to me by my daughter. Let me just say that I was not disappointed.

One of the first reasons that my interest was piqued was that Antonio Banderas was one of the leads in the movie. I can't remember ever not enjoying any character that he has played. Good guy or bad guy, I like his portrayals. Besides, he isn't hard to look at either!

My daughter didn't give me many clues as to why she thought that I would enjoy the movie. Her comment was just that she was pretty sure that I wold enjoy it. Since we often like the same films and books, I took her advice and streamed it one Saturday night.

Banderas plays a writer who is struggling with writer's block while he tries to create a career saving screenplay. He has had some success in the past but not recently. In the beginning of the movie we see him at a typewriter typing the words I'm stuck several times. Being a writer, myself, I could relate to that frustration. He lives alone in Colorado in a pretty secluded area. His money is running out so he is trying to sell his property as quickly as possible while working on the story that just won't come to him. 

After a chance encounter with a drifter one day, he invites the stranger to his cabin for a meal and a night's stay. Knowing that the man needs some money to continue his travels, Paul (Banderas) offers Jack (the drifter) a few odd jobs to do before he goes on his way. The relationship gets quirky pretty quickly. 

There have been a series of abductions and murders near where Paul lives and it doesn't take him long to suspect that Jack may have something to do with it. Jack is a pretty edgy guy confronting Paul about his writing and his drinking.

I won't go much further than this little narrative because I don't want to give anything away. I can't tell you how many times that I thought that I had the plot figured out. I love when a story either in movie or book form keeps me guessing. Black Butterfly has several twists and turns to keep the viewer interested. The ending blew me away! It looked as if it was ending one way only to twist one more time. I loved it!

If you are looking for a movie that will grab your attention and keep it until the end, I highly recommend this one. I don't think that you will be disappointed.



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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Widow Series Reviewed

Interesting Drama Series

jungle scene
The Widow searches in the Jungle
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)
My husband and I just finished watching The Widow, a drama series that we streamed from Amazon. I thought you might be interested in a review of the series.

We thought that this eight episode series was fascinating to watch. The episodes are each around 45 minutes so it didn't take too awfully long to watch. 

The story begins with Georgia Mason (played by Kate Beckinsale) suspecting that her husband Will might actually be alive after a plane crash three years before in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The reports of the crash stated that there were no survivors of that crash and Georgia has spent three years in mourning her loss. A broadcast of a riot in the DRC shows a man that looks very much like her husband that begins her search to find him. She can't see the man's face but he is wearing an orange baseball cap just like the one her Will wore. 

As you can imagine, Georgia decides to go to the DRC hoping to find her husband. She had been there before just after the crash and had befriended a man who had lost his wife in the same crash. Georgia meets Emmanuel again on this second trip; asking for his help to find out if her husband somehow survived that crash. 

The series is filled with suspense and action as Georgia encounters people who knew Will. As viewers we see corrupt people taking advantage of the poverty stricken people of the region. We find out about smugglers and the recruitment of children for rebel militias. While watching each episode we are given a hint of what it might be like to live in the Congo as a person with some means and as a person who is barely surviving. 

My husband and I liked the several twists in the plot as the story unfolds. There were some flashbacks offered to explain some of what drove the different characters in their choices and those were interesting, also. Overall, each episode kept us interested and wanting to see more. We have found that we very much enjoy the original series that Amazon has produced.

If you like suspense and action that occurs in a place you might never be ever to see, I think you will enjoy this series, too.




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Friday, February 1, 2019

Be My Valentine (2013) Hallmark Movie Review starring William Baldwin

Be My Valentine (2013) Hallmark Movie Review starring William Baldwin
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it is befitting that we should review a movie entitled "Be My Valentine". 

Of course, this is a sappy romantic movie with the perfect ending.  After all, isn't a sweet love story exactly what we are all seeking for Valentines?  

So, why not go ahead and tell you now, this is it! 

William Baldwin might not be as well known his brother, Alec, but he is every bit as likeable.  Perhaps, even more so.  His role in this movie as a single father actually makes him very endearing.  We see his playful side as well as his sensitive side.  But, mostly we see a father who loves his son and is willing to help him in ways that might normally be considered a mother's job.

Oh, and one more important thing, the fact that it is a Hallmark channel movie ensures us that the movie is appropriate for any age to view.


Be My Valentine (2013) Hallmark Movie


 Be My Valentine on DVD,
Prime Video or Hallmark Channel
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Firefighter, Dan Farrell (William Baldwin), believes all of the embers of love were completely doused for him when his wife died.  But, fear not, he is good-natured and happy as a single father.  His daily focus is on his son and his job.  He is definitely not looking for romance when cupid smacks him upside his head.

Kate Burlington (Natalie Brown) plans to spend Valentine's Day with old movies and comfort food.  Still feeling the sting of a failed relationship, Kate isn't looking for anyone special.  She is not even interested in having a date for Valentines.  However, when a small fire breaks out in her flower shop, she comes face to face with someone very special indeed.  The mutual interest is immediately ignited between Dan and Kate.

As they spend time together, they find they have a lot in common.  Therefore, a friendship between them just seems natural.  It isn't until Kate's ex shows up that this new relationship is challenged to the extreme.  After all, Kate had wanted to marry Gavin and it was his lack of commitment that caused the breakup.  Now, Gavin is back and wants to get married.

Ok, so the movie is probably "cheesy" and a bit predictable, but it is also still adorable.  A sweet love story for Valentine's Day for sure!







"Be My Valentine" is available on DVD or Amazon Prime Video
Currently, "Be My Valentine" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  


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Be My Valentine (2013) Hallmark Movie Review starring William Baldwin Written by:
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