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

Friday, December 7, 2018

Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review

Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review
Mr. Miracle is a delightful Hallmark movie about a new angel and his first assignment on earth. 

As always, Hallmark provides us with an hour (actually 86 minutes) of entertainment appropriate for all family members.  

Not only does this movie have a touch of romance and divine intervention, but it also provides a few laughs.  That bit of comedy is needed though as a relief to the intense subject matter.  Addie is facing her first Christmas after her father's death and having to come to terms with her own purpose in life.      

Also, the movie Mr. Miracle looks like the perfect setup for a series of "Mr. Miracle" angel movies.  Since I really like the actor and the character, I hope there will be more to come.


Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Movie Plot


Harry Mills (Rob Morrow) is an angel on assignment for the first time.  Part of the fun is that everything on earth is completely new to him.  This provides a touch of comedy to the movie since Harry takes everything literally.  What might be common phrases to us, mean something totally different to him.  As a cover for his angel duties, Harry is placed in the community college as a literature professor and provided a home across the street from his "assignment".

As I mentioned in the introduction, Addie (Britt Irvin) and her mother are facing their first Christmas without Addie's father.  After returning home and re-enrolling in the community college, Addie lacks the confidence to stick it out and succeed.  She feels the need to graduate only to meet her father's expectations, not because she has a direction.

Harry is quite certain he can solve all of Addie's problems quickly once he identifies her purpose in life.  He plans to set her on the right course and move on quickly.  It isn't as easy as it sounds in the beginning, and even though Harry resists help from his angelic mentor, he must also find the right course for his duties.



Debbie Macomber, the Author


Debbie Macomber has long been a recognized author that we can all depend on for a great story with clean content. Her books and movies don't require a lot of graphic images or colorful language to grab, and hold, your attention.

A few of our Contributors here on Review This, have previously reviewed some of Debbie Macomber's books.

Reviewed by BarbRad.  How does a woman move on after a painful divorce? Debbie Macomber tackles this subject in her new novel. The book follows the emotional journey of two women after they divorce their husbands.



Reviewed by Diana, Renaissance Woman. Book review of New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber's One Perfect Word. She shares how her chosen words have changed her life in profound ways



Reviewed by BarbRad. If you love a romance series that is true to life with characters you can relate to, you will want to read the Rose Harbor Series by Debbie Macomber. Each story builds on the last, so start at the beginning for an enjoyable journey through stories of hurt, love, and healing.





Currently, Debbie Macomber's "Mr. Miracle" is also available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  
 


Hallmark Channel Subscription through Amazon


More Movies Reviewed that are Available with Subscription to the Hallmark Channel






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Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Friday, November 23, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Reviewed

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Poster
Newt Scamander and his Fantastic Beasts return to discern and defend what is right in the magical realm of Harry Potter.  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, just like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, takes us back in time to 1927, decades before Harry Potter is born.  It gives more details about the past than we were ever given in the Harry Potter books or movies. 

For Harry Potter fans, you will be very pleased to see the background relationship and understand the bond between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.  For Fantastic Beasts fans, you will be trilled to see some of your favorite beasts again, as well as meet a few new beasts.  

Our entire group was immediately enchanted by the baby Nifflers at the beginning of the movie.  

Speaking of enchantments, as you would expect, this fantasy movie is filled with magic, spells, and special powers.  We even get to see Newt ride some of the Fantastic Beasts, which was truly fantastic!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Released In Theaters on Nov. 16, 2018


The Plot of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 


 FANTASTIC BEASTS: CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (2018) Original Authentic Movie Poster 11x17 - Single - Sided - Eddie Redmayne - Johnny Depp - Ezra Miller - Kathrine WaterstonCheck PriceGellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who has been imprisoned by the Magical Congress of the United States of America, is being released into the custody of representatives from the London office.  However, on their return to London, Grindelwald escapes with help from one of his followers.

Grindelwald has a cult-like following that desires to maintain the pure blood line of wizardry, as well as declare their supremacy to muggles (non-wizards).  According to Dumbledore, Grindelwald  has "a vision that he would rise to dominance over the Wizarding world".  

Because of a childhood pact, the beloved Hogwart professor, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), cannot move against Grindelwald, so he meets with Newt Scamander to ask him if he will take on the task.  But, Newt prefers to remain neutral.  He does not want to pick a side, even though his own brother, Theseus, works for the Ministry of Magic. 

Regardless of his wish to remain neutral, Newt is once again pulled into the feud between the Ministry of Magic and Grindelwald.  There are some interesting plot twists and family ties that keep you spellbound right up to the end.



My Recommendations and Personal Opinion


Before you see the movie, be prepared and committed to paying close attention.  Distractions could cause you to miss some very important insights, comments or even characters.  For instance, Harry Potter fans will be especially interested in the character, Nagini.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and highly recommend it to Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fans.  Most likely, you will come away from the theater with a greater appreciation for Newt Scamander.
 




Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie ReviewIf you haven't already seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you can read that review and rent the DVD by clicking here.
Unlike the Harry Potter movies, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is not based on a published book. It is a screenplay based on a text book that was written by a fictional character in the Harry Potter books.







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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Reviewed Written by:

House of Sylvestermouse




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Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Personal Review of the Movie Collateral Beauty

Several of the professional reviews of Collateral Beauty were, to put it straight, not kind. However, fortunately, I watched the movie first, and tripped on the reviews after.

Thanks to Netflix, this past Saturday Night was movie night. Here's the Warner Brothers movie summary that drew me in to give it a go:
Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty... by Warner Bros
The movie is jam packed with major talent: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Jacob Latimore, Michael Pena, Naomie Harris, and Ann Dowd.

Does This Movie Have too Much Talent In It?

A few of the negative reviewers speak about their reluctance to trust the quality of a film stuffed with an endless list of high priced talent.

Sure, I get that. I can see why that thought crosses a mind. Hell, it crossed mine. But it was also what drew me into choosing the movie.

If the critics ask this nobody, I'd tell them that bad writing is made better with great acting, but good writing can be lost with bad acting.

So, this average-joe tends to look for films with acting talent first. That's not to say that movies free of big names aren't great movies, I'm just saying, the odds go the other away. With my Saturday nights, I play the odds.

Is Collateral Beauty Insensitive to Grief?

After withdrawing into the anguish of losing his six year old daughter, the movie centers around Will Smith's character, Howard Inlet, sending letters to Time, Love and Death.

Reviewers described this presentation of grief as an over simplification that misses the mark of the complexities entwined in loss.

What did I Personally think about this Film's Handling of Grief?
Collateral Beauty (DVD)Collateral Beauty (DVD) - Via Amazon
From an acting perspective, Will Smith's depiction of grief, to me, felt real. From the writing perspective, I also believed the pain.

The question for me was, would I write letters to Time, Love and Death?

In a way, that's how I handled my own father's passing: I was lost, I was looking for answers. I needed answers. In my search for those answers, I asked typical cliched questions, and I wrote.

So yes, although I understand the critical analysis that the movie was an over simplification of grief, I also believe in the principle of Occam's Razor; that the simplest explanation is often the best one.

Having Time, Love and Death appear as people was called corny by some critics. They continued on to say that the messages delivered were also predictable and lacking in depth. I'll agree with the later, that yes, there was depth lacking in the visits by Time, Love and Death. However, finding peace doesn't have to be a complicated process does it? So in my opinion, the clichés don't take away from enjoying the film.

There are a Few Surprises at the End

Very few movies can keep me from guessing the direction the writer is taking. Very few. In fact, it annoys some in my family that I can do this. We'll start watching a movie, and twenty minutes in, I'll hear, "don't tell us where this movie is going!". Lol. Oh well, it's a gift what can I say.

However, I must have been having a bad night, because there are two surprises at the end of the movie that I did not see coming! Two, what! I'm losing my skills or something. I'm a little miffed that I didn't anticipate them. So for that reason, I have to give this movie a good rating.

I say 3.5 stars out of 5, and a good choice for a Saturday night Netflix movie.


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Friday, November 2, 2018

Disney Zootopia Movie Review

Disney Zootopia Movie Review
Disney Zootopia is a really cute animated movie that features all animals.  As you can see in the photo on the right, the main characters are Judy Hopps, a rabbit, and Nick Wilde, a fox.  In addition to Judy and Nick, there were several other animal characters in this movie that I loved.

I really like the story line and the message that "you can be anything you wanna be".   The movie doesn't make light of the reality though that it often takes hard work and real commitment to achieve your goals.  It also touches on how preconceived opinions or past experiences can influence your thoughts when you first meet someone.  I really liked the way each character faced and dealt with their prejudices and negative attitudes to overcome them.

The characters are adorable and the animation is fantastic!  I also enjoyed the music.  Overall, it was a great way to spend 108 minutes.

The DVD cover quotes Germain Lussier, "The Best Film Disney Animation Has Made in 20 Years", and I would agree.


The Plot of Zootopia


 Zootopia (Plus Bonus Features)Check PriceJudy Hopps, the leading bunny, wants to be a police officer when she grows up.  That is not really a job most would believe is appropriate for a  bunny rabbit.  Even her parents try to dissuade Judy.  However, Judy is determined.  After she gets through the police academy, she is sent to Zootopia, which is appropriately named.  It is an animal utopia.  Predators and prey coexist without the natural desires to hunt or the natural fear of being the prey.

Judy finds herself surrounded by fabulous large beasts who are her fellow police officers.  On her first day, assignments are handed out.  There are a dozen missing animals that don't seem to have any obvious commonalities.  However, Judy is not assigned to find any of the missing animals.  She is assigned to parking duty to hand out tickets.  It seems like a safe place for a bunny officer.  Of course, that assignment does not make Judy happy at all.  However, she strives to make the best of it.

While writing parking tickets on her very first day, Judy sees a fox (Nick) and his "child" enter an ice cream shop owned by an elephant.  Nick wishes to buy a treat for his "son", but the owner refuses to serve a fox.  That is, until Judy comes to their defense.  Later that day, she finds that she was duped by the sly fox.  However, it turns out that the fox is just who she needs to help her find Mr. Otterton.  

As you have probably already guessed, Mr. Otterton is an otter that is missing, but he isn't one of the individuals the police are most worried about finding.  But, Judy willingly takes the case!  And that is when the real action begins.


My Recommendation of Zootopia


As an adult and animal enthusiasts, I really enjoyed the movie.  I especially loved the scene that included the sloths, who work for the DMV.  




The movie is rated PG and for good reason.  I do recommend that parents watch the movie first to determine if it is suitable for your own children.  Most notably, there are a few crude words that a parent may not want their very young children hearing and definitely not repeating.  Otherwise, I would say Zootopia is a fun movie to watch for both children and adults.






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Disney Zootopia Movie Review Written by:

House of Sylvestermouse




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Friday, October 26, 2018

Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Movie Review
The old classic movies starring Bette Davis still stand out in my mind as the very best suspense movies ever made.  Pure acting excellence coupled with a great plot is all too often missing in current day films.  Therefore, when I want to see a really great movie, I frequently look to the classics of the past.

I was recently reminded of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte and simply had to watch it again.  I remembered bits and pieces of the plot, but had totally forgotten the reason John Mayhew was killed and who was responsible for his death. 

Once again, I was pulled into the story of the movie and the mystery behind the murder.  I had totally forgotten the motive and the secrets surrounding the crime.  Ironically, I didn't remember the opening scene of the movie at all, and it sets the stage for the events that follow.  Actually, I wonder now if I had ever seen the opening before since it precedes the credits and the title of the movie.

This movie makes you think.  It will remind you that betrayal often bears a hefty price.  It will make you grateful that you are not wealthy.  Sadly, wealth makes you a target, especially when you are too old to defend yourself.


The Plot of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte


 Hush.Hush, Sweet CharlotteCheck PriceThe movie and story begin in 1927 when Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis) was young and in love with John Mayhew, (Bruce Dern) who is already married.  When Charlotte's father (Victor Buono) is informed that his only daughter is entangled with a married man, he is determined to see the relationship end.  

The movie opens with the meeting between Mr. Hollis and John Mayhew.  Mr. Hollis is furious and disgusted with idea of his beautiful daughter being involved with a married man.  He refuses to accept that this man will have both his daughter and her inheritance, the land and property he has struggled to make prosperous.  

Mr. Hollis demands to know their plans after informing John that his wife, Jewel Mayhew, told him about their affair.  When John tells him that they had planned to run off from a dance together the following night, Mr. Hollis instructs him to break off the relationship with Charlotte instead.  In reference to his home and daughter, he lashes out at John and says, "I created both and I am going to keep 'em."


The Murder of John Mayhew


At the dance the following night, John does as he was instructed and breaks off his relationship with Charlotte.  She is devastated and runs from the room after exclaiming "I could kill you!" 

Moments later, the murderer enters the room with a meat cleaver and John is killed by an unseen assailant who cuts off his hand and head.

When Charlotte enters the dance hall with blood on her white formal dress, the music stops and everyone turns to stare at her.  This introduction section of the movie ends with her father approaching her to remove her from the room.



The Tortured Spinster in Hush Hush Sweet Charotte


The movie fast-forwards to 1964.  Charlotte's father is dead and Charlotte is basically alone with only her long-trusted housekeeper, Velma (Agnes Moorehead), to care for her.   Rumors of the crazy spinster, perhaps murderer, prompts even the children in town to taunt and tease Charlotte relentlessly.  She never leaves her own property, but they come to her home to torment her.

If you enjoy a fabulous suspense movie that has a unexpected end, you will love the classic movie, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte starring Bette Davis.
This file is in the public domain on Wikimedia
Unfortunately for Charlotte, Louisiana seizes her property to build a bridge through her land to join roads.  But, Charlotte refuses to leave the house or even acknowledge the legality of them stealing her home & property.  She grabs her rifle and shoots at the demolition team with the road construction crew, which brings the sheriff out.  Even though he doesn't want the responsibility, the sheriff informs Charlotte that she has only 10 days to vacate the premises.  Charlotte is desperate.  She has already contacted her cousin to come and help her.  After all, Miriam (Olivia De Havilland), was taken into her home as a child when her own parents were killed, and subsequently cared for by Charlotte's father.  Surely she will know what to do to save the estate and help her.

When Cousin Miriam admits there is nothing she can do to save the property, Charlotte becomes enraged and reveals that Miriam was the one who told John's wife, Jewel Mayhew, about Charlotte and John's affair.  

It becomes all to clear that poor Charlotte is only hanging on by a short thread mentally.  She frequently lapses into confusion and mourns for John all over again.  It also becomes abundantly clear that someone is torturing Charlotte by sending letters and leaving macabre reminders of the murder in her home, as if she isn't tortured enough by the memory of her lover being killed.  She even begins to believe that John is visiting her again, playing the piano, and singing to her.


Dr. Drew Bayliss (Joseph Cotton), who was once Miriam's boyfriend, is Charlotte's attending physician.  He is certain she is close to needing full commitment due to her failing mind.

Charlotte clings to her love for John and highly treasures the gift he gave to her.  It is a music box that plays the tune of the his song to her. 



Another Important Character in the Plot


Mr. Willis is an insurance investigator who was previously a news reporter.  He is investigating why no one ever claimed the life insurance after the death of John Mayhew.  He wants to interview Jewel Mayhew, as well as Charlotte, in the hopes of finding the answer.

 Both of the women seem to like him.  Jewel Mayhew invites him into her home for a chat.  She gives him a letter for safekeeping along with her permission to open it at the time of her death.  She believes he will know what to do with the information in the letter.

Even Charlotte trusts Mr. Willis and talks openly with him until someone touches her beloved music box.  Then she flies into a rage and orders everyone from the house.


The End


There is no way I will  reveal the end, or even who murdered John Mayhew.  What I will say is that if you enjoy a fabulous suspense movie that has a unexpected end, you will love Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.






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Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Movie Review Written by:

House of Sylvestermouse







 





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Friday, October 19, 2018

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween Movie Review

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween Movie Review

Cat in the Hat Halloween Movie for Kids

The Cat in the Hat takes Sally and Nick on an adventure to the Oooky-ma-kooky closet to find their perfect Halloween costumes.  According to the Cat, the Oooky-ma-kooky closet has costumes "to fit one and all!"   The three friends board the Thingamajigger to find the Oooky-ma-kooky closet and costumes that aren't too spooky.

Of course, the adventure includes singing and lots of awesome animated characters.  Fish goes along for the ride and decides he wants to find ways to frighten the Cat.

There are several awesome lessons intertwined in this video that parents are sure to appreciate and the children will love.  They won't even realize they are learning anything.  They will simply think it is fun to watch. 


The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween


In addition to the Cat in the Hat, the video includes Fish (Karlos K. Krinklebein), Thing One and Thing Two from the original Cat in the Hat books.  

On their adventure to the Oookey-ma-kooky closet, the group gets lost in a corn maze, encounters a thunder storm, and the spookiest house around.  In the midst of the thunderstorm, Cat tells the children a few very interesting things about thunder.  When the Cat and the kids "take charge" in the house, they fix several of the creepy things making it less scary.  

On the way home, we find out the one thing the Cat in the Hat is afraid of and the children help him overcome his fear.




The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Series


 The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That is a delightful series starring the fabulous Cat in the Hat originally created by Dr. Seuss.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween is one of the video specials in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That animated television series.  The entire series is dedicated to teaching pre-school children about science and math in a fun way.  However, younger school age children will also enjoy the shows. Actually, adults will enjoy this video too.   I know I love it!   I found myself smiling, even laughing several times during the show.

There is no reason to wait for the Halloween special to air again on television.  It is available on DVD and also through Amazon video.

DVD Prime Video The Series




More Halloween Videos for Children 



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The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween Movie Review Written by:

House of Sylvestermouse





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Friday, October 5, 2018

Alfred Hitchcock Suspense Films Collection Reviewed

Alfred Hitchcock Suspense Films Collection Reviewed
I have always loved the Alfred Hitchcock suspense movies.  Hitchcock truly was the master of suspense.  No need for gore or extreme violence in his movies.  They are simply pure suspenseful entertainment.  Many of my favorite actors often starred in Hitchcock movies.  To be honest, I'm not sure if they were my favorite actors first, or if the Hitchcock movies introduced me to them.  With real actors like Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman, plus Alfred Hitchcock as the director, the movies were destined for great success!

Ironically, until recently, I had never owned any of the Hitchcock DVD's.  My son corrected that horrific oversight by gifting me with an Alfred Hitchcock Suspense Films collection of DVD's.  Then, he and my husband joined me for a film festival in our den.  We cooked hotdogs, drank cokes and watched several of the movies together.  Because there are six movies in my new collection, we have enough left for more film festivals in our den.  Needless to say, I look forward to our next Hitchcock binge.  

It had been a while since I watched any of the Hitchcock movies and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them again.  However, for my son and my husband, it was their first time to see "Suspicion" and "Strangers On a Train".  Now, Alfred Hitchcock has 2 new fans! 


Alfred Hitchcock Suspense Films Collection


Alfred Hitchcock Suspense Films
Click to Buy Now
The collection my son chose to give to me includes:
  • Suspicion starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine
  • Strangers on a Train starring Farley Granger
  • I Confess starring Montgomery Clift
  • Dial M for Murder starring Grace Kelly
  • The Wrong Man starring Henry Fonda
  • North by Northwest starring Cary Grant 

For our first film festival, we watch "Suspicion" and "Strangers on a Train".  They are both great movies!


Review of Suspicion starring Cary Grant 


Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine) seems destined to be a spinster until she meets the charming Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant).  She falls head over heals in love with him.  Lina is quick to forgive any of Johnnie's minor flaws like his gambling or his outrageous stories created to cover for his actions.  

When one of Johnnie's old friends shows up for a visit, Lina is quick to welcome him to their home.  Beaky (Nigel Bruce) is very easygoing and likable.  He is constantly making excuses for Johnnie's decisions and seems to thoroughly enjoy watching him make up his grand stories to cover his latest scheme.  His adoration of Johnnie endears him to Lina.

When Beaky is murdered, Lina suspects her own husband and she worries that she will be his next victim.  Thus the name of the movie, "Suspicion".

This film is suspenseful right up until the very end. 




 

Strangers on a Train Review


When Guy Haines (Farley Granger) meets Bruno Antony (Robert Walker) on a train, he doesn't realize he is in the company of a psychopath.   

Bruno does start to put Guy on edge though when he starts talking about Guy's life.  He knows way too much about Guy, his adulterous wife, and his girlfriend.  When Bruno suggests that he will kill Guy's wife if he will in turn kill his father, Guy just wants to get away from Bruno.   However, as far as Bruno is concerned, a deal has been struck.

When Bruno kills Guy's wife, Guy realizes how very serious Bruno was with his "murder trade" suggestion.  What does he do?  Now, Bruno is threatening to set Guy up as his wife's murderer.  Surely he won't kill Bruno's father in return. 

 

 

Both Suspicion and Strangers on a Train are suspense filled dramas that are sensational and I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys a great suspense movie.  As for me, I look forward to our next "at home" film festival.

More Alfred Hitchcock Film Collections

 

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Alfred Hitchcock Suspense Films Collection Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Monday, September 17, 2018

Reviewing Forgotten Ellis Island

Forgotten Ellis Island.
I recently reviewed an interesting book that was set on Ellis Island in 1911. While reading that book I realized how little I knew about the early days of Ellis Island. Immediately after finishing the book, I looked for more factual information about immigration via Ellis Island in the early days.  I found Forgotten Ellis Island based on multiple recommendations. And I'm here to recommend this documentary to you.

In the novel, A Fall of Marigolds, I learned about Nurse Clara and what her job entailed on Ellis Island. That brief visit piqued my interest. I wanted to know more about the doctors, nurses, and healthcare provided in those early days. In the days before antibiotics. While some immigrants arrived with diphtheria, cholera, trachoma, and other severe physical ailments.

Forgotten Ellis Island is a PBS documentary that shows us the inside of the abandoned medical buildings of Ellis Island. Did you know there are 3 islands that are a part of Ellis Island? I had not known that prior to reading this book and watching this documentary. In the documentary, we learn about the medical center being used as the first defense, and attempt, to stopping contagious diseases from spreading through the country. We hear about the treatments used - before medical knowledge grew and provided better treatments for diseases. Specifically for trachoma. 

I enjoyed seeing the photos of the nurses, touring the inside of the buildings, and seeing the fashions during that time period. If you are interested in this time period, in "the great wave" of immigration, or in early medical care, A Fall of Marigolds and Forgotten Ellis Island is a wonderful combination that brings this time period alive. 

There are many ways to view this video; television, streaming apps, or purchasing the DVD. I want to mention that I watched it for free via Amazon Prime. Also, I watched it on my Insignia Roku television. With all of these free and nearly-free shows and movies, I'm LOVING this tv!






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Monday, September 3, 2018

The Mountain Between Us - Movie Review

The Mountain Between Us on DVD.
As soon as I had seen the trailers for The Mountain Between Us I knew I wanted to see the movie. Survival stories based in the wilderness and extreme conditions are some of my favorite tales. I missed seeing the movie at the theater but finally had a chance to watch it on DVD this weekend. 


The Mountain Between Us 


The movie was based on the book of the same title by Charles Martin. In the movie version, Alex and Ben (two strangers) are stuck at an airport in Salt Lake City and are desperate to fly out. Ben (Idris Elba) is a surgeon and has a surgery the next day and Alex (Kate Winslet) is on her way to her wedding in New York. Alex had overheard Ben talking about his need to get home to Baltimore for this surgery but all flights are cancelled. She has an idea - they'll grab a flight out on a small private plane.

The charter plane pilot agrees to fly them out quickly to get them to Denver ahead of the storm. The pilot, his dog, Alex, and Ben head out - crossing the High Unitas Wilderness area.

The pilot has a stroke in flight and they crash in the mountaintops. Ben, Alex, and the dog survive the crash.

Much of the movie involves Ben and Alex trying to determine which choices to make in order to give them a better chance at survival; stay with the wreckage or try to walk out, etc. The cold, the rugged terrain, lack of food and water, and the mountain lion that views them as food are all barriers to their success. Alex has a broken leg, which doesn't help matters. 



Comparing the Book Versus the Movie


I read the book before I saw the movie. Many times I will read the book and avoid the movie but in this case I wanted to see the setting and the scenery. I also wanted to see some of the events that I had imagined in my head. 

For an excellent review of the book you can read Renaissance Woman's book review. I very much agree with what she had to say about the character development. We fell in love with the characters. All of them. Even the pilot and his dog, Tank. We rooted for all of them, for Ben especially, as he tried to MacGyver his way to rescue.

Movies usually deviate from the book. In this case, the movie version changed Ashley's name to Alex. Also, movies are always more condensed so important "scenes" are always left out and time seems shorter. I expected that. However, in the movie version, the plot came across as a long walk down a large hill. Compared to the book, which was literally a moment-by-moment fight for survival.

In the movie version, Alex/Ashley was not critically injured as she was in the book. I found myself wondering if Hollywood was attempting to make Ashley a stronger woman. I found myself thinking the opposite. In the book, even critically wounded and on deaths door she was a stronger presence than she was in the movie.

I do like Kate Winslet. And I thought her role was well-acted. I have no complaints about her portrayal of the character and I believed her. I just think the book version of Ashley was a better character.

The details of the endings (book and movie) were very different but the final outcome was the same. In the book, I personally thought threads of the outcome came together a little more clumsily than the first 90% of the book. I liked the ending - it was unexpected and an "aha!" moment that suddenly made so much sense. It just seemed slightly choppy.  I loved how the ending of the movie occurred. It was at that moment that the acting was the best. We cared most about Alex(Ashley) and Ben at that point in the movie. More than we did when they were walking their way down the mountain. The movie ending left the extremely important final setting of the book ending out. In a perfect world the final chapters of the book and the ending of the movie would be combined.  I hope that makes sense. I don't want to give away the ending of the book.

I enjoyed both the book and the movie, but if you are choosing one over the other, I recommend the book. But don't just take my word for it. Renaissance Woman recommends the book - and as always her recommendations are spot on. 

I can tell you with certainty, I will be adding more books by Charles Martin to my reading list. I am glad to have been introduced to this author.


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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Reviewing the Movie The Post

Based on real events

newspaper post
Newspaper post image from Pixabay.com
My husband and I recently watched the movie The Post directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. I would like to review it for you this morning. Let me just start off with saying that I am shocked that it did not receive any academy awards. It was nominated but was shunned at the ceremony for the Oscars. 

The movie is based on actual events in our nation's history. In my humble opinion those events were quite significant and often overlooked in society today. Basically the story is about the battle between the press and our government over what is allowed to be published for the public to read and what should be suppressed from being printed. The battle at the time was over whether newspapers had a right to publish classified documents showing the shady and deceitful decisions of our government concerning Viet Nam. The documents became known as The Pentagon Papers. These classified documents spanned four decades documenting the government's real involvement in Southeast Asia and how they had lied to the American people. These papers were first leaked to the New York Times and later to the Washington Post. 

At the time, the Washington Post was owned by Katharine Graham. This was 1971 when Graham was not just the only woman publisher of a newspaper but the very first woman to run a large newspaper in the United States. The movie shows quite accurately the general opinion of most men that a woman was not capable of running a business. It was a different time with very different viewpoints about the capability of the female population. Those of us who were young women at the time will be able to relate to how Katharine was treated and talked to back then. 

The Pentagon Papers revealed to the American public that our government had lied to them. They had interfered in elections in South Viet Nam, had continued to send our boys over there even when they knew that there was no way that the war could be won or ended. Obviously, the government did not want the public to know about any of this and when the Times published the first installments of the papers the Nixon Administration slapped an injunction on them to cease and desist. The Washington Post now had copies of the classified documents and Katharine had to decide whether to publish or bury it. Her advisers, board members and bankers were telling her to not publish but her heart and her instincts couldn't follow that advice. She was a very courageous woman! 

The case of government vs the press was decided by the Supreme Court. In a 6-3 decision the court upheld the freedom of the press protected by our forefathers in the Constitution. Some of the justices sitting on the court felt that something like this was exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they added that first amendment preventing the government from interfering with distribution of information and opinions. 

This movie relating an historical event that I actually lived through, moved me in many different ways. I actually want to watch it again. It brought back so many memories of those events and times. I sincerely think that this movie is important for young people to watch. My generation was being put down at the time for questioning the motives of our government; turns out we had a right to question. From an historical perspective, it is important that the younger generations get a feel for where we were and how far we have come. 

I highly recommend The Post to you. If you are my age, you will most likely remember this time in 1971. If you are younger, you should know about this time in our country. 




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Friday, August 24, 2018

Iron Man Marvel Movie Review

Iron Man Marvel Movie Review
You may wonder why I am reviewing the movie Iron Man today.  After all, it was originally released over a decade ago.  

There are two reasons why I have opted to review Iron Man.  One, because we have a generation of kids who are now old enough to be interested in the Marvel Avengers, but were not old enough in the beginning to watch the movies in order as they were released.
  
Second, 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.  I believe we all have a much greater appreciation for Tony Stark and his leadership role in all of the Marvel Avengers movies when we know the background.


Iron Man Movie Review


 Iron Man (Single-Disc Edition)Check PriceIron Man was the first Marvel Avengers movie.  It was released in 2008 and starred Robert Downey, Jr. in the leading role.  Downey, Jr. is still playing Iron Man aka Tony Stark today in the Avengers movies.  That alone, makes this movie remarkable. 

Tony Stark is a genius.  In the movie, he graduated summa cum laude* from MIT at the age of 17.    When he was 21, he assumed ownership of Stark Industries, a weapons developing company founded by his deceased father.

Tony is kidnapped by terrorists in enemy occupied territory after demonstrating a new weapon to US military troops.  They insist he build the new weapon for them, promising he will be released upon its completion.  Tony doesn't believe they will ever release him and neither does his assistant and fellow prisoner, Yinsen.  

Tony designs the first Iron Man suit out of necessity and together, he and Yinsen build it.  After 3 months of being held prisoner and forced to work, Tony and Yinsen put their plan into action, but it is only with great sacrifice that Stark survives to return to the US.  Upon his return, he is determined that Stark Industries will never again build weapons of destruction.  However, the company CEO, Obadiah Stane, does not agree with Tony.  Stane is equally determined to make sure they continue building the weapons, even more powerful than before.

The battle between Stark and Stane is tremendous, but there are a lot of surprising reasons why it became so hostile.  You will want to watch this movie!  

Even if you have already seen the more current Avenger movies, take a few hours to step back into the past and grab an Iron Man dvd.  You won't be sorry! 


Avengers Movies


On interesting note:  Even though Captain America was the first avenger, the Marvel Avengers movies started with Iron Man.

By the way, The Incredible Hulk was the second Avenger movie.  It was released a month later in 2008.  However, it was 2 years later before Iron Man 2 was released in 2010.  And, 3 years before Thor was released in 2011.   Captain America was also released in 2011.

All of these movies are fabulous on their own, but together, they are magnificent!


Avengers Movies Order to Watch

1)  Iron Man (2008)
2)  The Incredible Hulk (2008)
3)  Iron Man 2 (2010)
4)  Thor (2011)
5)  Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
6)  Marvel The Avenger's (2012)
7)  Iron Man 3 (2013)
8)  Thor: The Dark World (2013)
9)  Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
10) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
11) Avenger's: Age of Ultron (2014)
12) Ant-Man (2015)
13) Dr. Strange (2016)
14) Captain America: Civil War (2016)
15) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)
16) Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
17) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
18) Black Panther (2018)
19) Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
20) Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)
21) Captain Marvel (Not Yet Released - Expected in 2019)

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.





*In reality, there are no honors at MIT for graduating with a high GPA 



House of Sylvestermouse



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