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

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Why I Loved The Movie, An Unfinished Life - A Five Star Review

Why I Loved The Movie, An Unfinished Life - A Five Star Review

"An Unfinished Life" follows the story of Einar Gilkyson, a Wyoming rancher portrayed by Robert Redford, whose life is shadowed by grief and guilt following the death of his son.

Estranged from his daughter-in-law, Jean (played by Jennifer Lopez), and his granddaughter, Griff (Becca Gardner), Einar lives a solitary existence until Jean unexpectedly arrives seeking refuge. 

As Jean and Griff settle into Einar's home, old wounds resurface, forcing all three to confront their painful pasts and find a way to heal their fractured family bonds. 

Set against the majestic backdrop of rural Wyoming, the film unfolds as a poignant narrative that can resonate deeply.

Setting the Scene of An Unfinished Life: Wyoming's Landscape

The rugged beauty of Wyoming serves not only as a picturesque setting but also as a metaphor for the characters' emotional landscapes. Hallström's direction captures the vast expanse and raw beauty of the countryside, enhancing the film's exploration of inner turmoil and external resilience.

Characters and Relationships

At the heart of "An Unfinished Life" are its compelling characters: Einar (played by Robert Redford), a stoic rancher haunted by past tragedies; Jean (Jennifer Lopez), his estranged daughter-in-law seeking refuge; Griff (Becca Gardner), Jean's daughter caught in the aftermath; and Mitch (Morgan Freeman), Einar's loyal friend and moral compass. 

Their intertwined lives unfold with layers of unresolved conflicts and deeply rooted emotions. These complex feelings resonate with all of us in one way or another.

Themes Explored

The film navigates through themes of forgiveness and redemption with grace and nuance. Einar's journey towards reconciliation with Jean and Griff serves as a focal point, highlighting the transformative power of forgiveness in healing old wounds. 

The narrative also delves into the complexities of family bonds, portraying love, loss, and resilience amidst adversity.

Gorgeous Cinematography

Lasse Hallström's directorial prowess shines through in his portrayal of emotional depth and character development. The use of sweeping cinematography not only captures the grandeur of Wyoming's landscapes but also underscores the characters' internal struggles and personal growth. Each frame seems crafted to evoke empathy and contemplation— for me, especially contemplation.

Impact and Reflection

"An Unfinished Life" leaves a lasting impact on viewers, prompting introspection on themes of forgiveness and the unfinished aspects of life. It encourages audiences to reflect on their own experiences of healing and renewal, resonating long after the credits roll. The film's narrative poignantly reminds us that life's unfinished moments offer opportunities for growth, redemption, and the forging of deeper connections.

Why I Loved This Movie

In conclusion, "An Unfinished Life" transcends the boundaries of a conventional drama, offering a profound meditation on the human spirit's capacity for forgiveness and starting over.

Through its richly drawn characters and evocative storytelling, the film reminds us that while life may present us with unfinished chapters, it also allows us to rewrite our stories with courage and compassion.

A healing movie, for a time that needs much healing (in my opinion).

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Secret: Dare to Dream - The Movie is a Heartfelt Journey of Hope and Healing

Secret: Dare to Dream Movie is a Heartfelt Journey of Hope and Healing

The "Secret: Dare to Dream," directed by Andy Tennant, is a 2020 American drama film that beautifully weaves themes of hope, healing, and the power of positive thinking. 

Featuring a stellar cast including Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, and Jerry O'Connell, the movie is an adaptation of Rhonda Byrne's best-selling self-help book, "The Secret." 

I'm a huge Josh Lucas fan, so I have to admit, he was the main reason I decided to watch!

Plot Summary of Secret: Dare to Dream

A Struggling Widow and Her Family

The story centers around Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes), a hardworking widow trying to make ends meet while raising her three children. Life has not been easy for Miranda since her husband's passing, and she is constantly overwhelmed by financial troubles and the challenges of single parenthood. Despite her struggles, Miranda remains a devoted mother, doing her best to keep her family afloat.

A Mysterious Visitor

Enter Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas), a charismatic and enigmatic man who arrives at Miranda's doorstep with a seemingly simple purpose: to deliver an envelope. However, Bray's arrival marks the beginning of a profound transformation for Miranda and her family. Bray is not just an ordinary visitor; he carries with him a philosophy of life that revolves around the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction, concepts central to "The Secret."

The Unveiling of Secrets

As Bray spends more time with Miranda and her children, his presence begins to have a remarkable impact on their lives. He helps them fix their storm-damaged house, teaches them to look at life from a different perspective, and instills in them the belief that positive thoughts can lead to positive outcomes. Through his kindness and wisdom, Bray slowly unveils the secrets he holds, leading to a series of unexpected and heartwarming events.

Themes and Messages

The Power of Positive Thinking

"Secret: Dare to Dream" underscores the transformative power of positive thinking. Bray's character embodies this philosophy, showing how maintaining a positive outlook, even in the face of adversity, can change one's circumstances. The film encourages viewers to believe in the power of their thoughts and harness them to bring about positive changes in their lives.

Healing and Hope

At its core, the movie is about healing and finding hope after a loss. Miranda's journey from a state of despair to one of renewed hope and optimism is moving. Her interactions with Bray catalyze her emotional healing, illustrating that even in the darkest times, there is always a possibility for a brighter future.

The Importance of Family and Support

The film also highlights the importance of family and support systems. Miranda's relationship with her children and the bond they share are central to the story. Additionally, the support she receives from Bray and her fiancé Tucker (Jerry O'Connell) plays a crucial role in her journey. The movie portrays how love, support, and understanding from those around us can help us navigate life's toughest challenges.

Conclusion:

"Secret: Dare to Dream" is a touching and inspiring film offering a heartfelt exploration of hope, healing, and positive thinking. With solid performances from Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, and Jerry O'Connell, the movie brings to life the timeless message of "The Secret." It's a film that resonates with audiences, encouraging them to dare to dream and to believe in the possibility of a better tomorrow. Whether you're a fan of the book or new to its philosophy, this movie will leave you with a renewed sense of optimism and a warm heart.

Watch the Trailer Below:





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Enjoy the Mysterious and Supernatural Series, "Outer Range" - 5 Star Review

Enjoy the Mysterious and Supernatural Series, "Outer Range" - 5 Star Review

In the ever-expanding universe of streaming content, Amazon Prime's "Outer Range" series stands out as a unique blend of Western drama and supernatural mystery. 

Season 2 was recently released, and as one of my favorite series, I have already binge-watched it!

Created by Brian Watkins, this series dives into the heart of Wyoming's rugged landscapes, presenting viewers with a narrative as intriguing as it is enigmatic. Here's an in-depth look at the storyline, plot, and main characters of "Outer Range."

Introduction to "Outer Range"

"Outer Range" is a genre-bending series that combines the grit of a classic Western with elements of the supernatural and psychological thriller. Premiering on Amazon Prime in 2022, it quickly garnered attention for its unique premise and compelling performances. The series explores family, faith, and time travel themes, making it a must-watch for fans of complex, character-driven stories.

The Storyline: A Western with a Supernatural Twist

Set against the backdrop of Wyoming's vast and unforgiving landscape, "Outer Range" follows the life of Royal Abbott, a rancher fighting to keep his family together while dealing with the mysterious appearance of a black void on his land. This void, which defies the laws of nature, becomes the focal point of a series of strange and unsettling events that challenge the characters' understanding of reality and time.

The Mysterious Void

The discovery of the void sets off a chain reaction of events that intertwine the lives of the Abbott family with other town residents. The void's presence brings long-buried secrets and unresolved conflicts to the surface, making it both a literal and metaphorical abyss that the characters must navigate. As they delve deeper into its mysteries, they are forced to confront their beliefs and fears, leading to profound personal transformations.

Preview of the Trailer For Season 1:

Main Characters: A Deep Dive

"Outer Range" features a rich ensemble of characters, each bringing their own complexities to the narrative.

Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin)

Royal Abbott is the patriarch of the Abbott family and the central figure in "Outer Range." Played by Josh Brolin, Royal is a stoic and resilient rancher whose life is turned upside down by discovering the void. His struggle to protect his family and land from external threats and supernatural phenomena forms the core of the series. Royal's journey is one of survival and introspection as he grapples with the unknown and his own past.

Cecilia Abbott (Lili Taylor)

Lili Taylor portrays Cecilia Abbott, Royal's devoted wife. She is the emotional anchor of the family, providing support and stability amidst the chaos. Cecilia's character is marked by her unwavering faith and strength, qualities that are tested as the mysteries of the void unfold. Her relationship with Royal and her efforts to maintain the family's unity are central to the narrative.

Perry Abbott (Tom Pelphrey)

Perry Abbott, the eldest son of Royal and Cecilia, is played by Tom Pelphrey. He is a man burdened by personal tragedy and unresolved grief. Perry's quest for answers and redemption drives much of the series' emotional tension. His character's arc is deeply intertwined with the mysteries of the void, leading to revelations that impact the entire Abbott family.

Autumn (Imogen Poots)

Autumn, portrayed by Imogen Poots, is a mysterious traveler who arrives at the Abbott ranch with a keen interest in the void. Her enigmatic presence and cryptic motives add layers of intrigue to the story. As she becomes more involved with the Abbotts, her true intentions and connection to the void are gradually revealed, making her a pivotal figure in the unfolding drama.

Plot: Unraveling the Mystery

The plot of "Outer Range" is a carefully woven tapestry of suspense, drama, and supernatural elements. It begins with the Abbott family's discovery of the void, which sets off a series of strange occurrences that defy explanation. As Royal and his family try to understand the nature of the void, they encounter various obstacles and adversaries, including rival ranchers and enigmatic figures like Autumn.

Conflict and Resolution

The series balances its supernatural elements with grounded, human conflicts. The Abbott family faces external threats from those who seek to exploit the void for their own gain, as well as internal struggles as they deal with personal loss and trauma. Each episode peels back layers of the mystery, offering new clues and raising more questions, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

Themes of Faith and Fate

At its core, "Outer Range" explores themes of faith, fate, and the unknown - with that unknown being time and space. The inexplicable phenomena surrounding the void constantly challenge the characters' beliefs. The series delves into existential questions about the nature of reality and human existence, making it a thought-provoking watch.

Conclusion

"Outer Range" is a compelling series that pushes the boundaries of traditional genre storytelling. 

Its unique blend of Western elements and supernatural intrigue offers a fresh and engaging narrative that keeps viewers hooked from start to finish. The strong performances by the cast, particularly Josh Brolin and Lili Taylor, add depth to the characters and elevate the storytelling. 

Whether you're a fan of mystery, drama, or the supernatural (time travel), "Outer Range" is a series that promises to captivate and leave you pondering long after the credits roll.

As the mysteries of the void continue to unravel, one thing is sure: "Outer Range" is a journey worth taking.

After completing Season 2 (released this year, 2024), I eagerly await and hope for a Season 3!

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON PRIME

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, May 3, 2024

Gilded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers (2024) Movie Review

murder at the breakers

MbgPhoto recently published her review of the Cozy Mystery Genre and that made me yearn to watch a new cozy mystery movie.  

I suspect I have always enjoyed cozy mysteries but didn't really know the proper category to search until I started reading reviews on ReviewThisReviews and learned the name of the genre.  

I've never liked gory thrillers or horror films, although I have watched many of them in my lifetime, even reviewed a few over the last decade, but I have always loved a good mystery.  Thus the reason I love Sherlock Holmes and Poirot.  While I have not found anything comparable to Poirot or Sherlock, I have enjoyed some great cozy mystery movies. 

was drawn to this movie because of the time period setting.  I love the Gilded Age era fashion.  However, I would be the first to admit, I do not admire the "classes" of that era or the way workers were trampled on so the elitist class could get richer, faster.  I do have to suspend reality to enjoy some fiction and I did enjoy watching the Gilded Newport Mysteries.

 

Gilded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers Synopsis  

Emma Vanderbilt-Cross is the niece of Cornelius Vanderbilt and the daughter of a Vanderbilt who married below her station.  Emma is not an heiress to any of the Vanderbilt money, but is still included in society as a Vanderbilt.  She prefers to remain unmarried, at least for a while, as she considers her options.  She enjoys writing articles for the "Fashions and Fancies" women's section in the Newport Observer newspaper, which pays the bills.  She would love to write a novel, but she realizes that would bring scandal upon the Vanderbilt family.

She has been invited to a ball being given for her cousin at the Vanderbilt's summer home, The Breakers.  Emma is determined to include her half-brother (her father's son before he married her mother) and takes Brady to the ball as her guest.

Unfortunately, when her uncle's business advisor is murdered at the ball, Brady appears to be the murderer.  Of course, it would not be a great mystery if everything was so obvious and I will admit, I was surprised to find out the identity of the real murderer.

A very entertaining mystery indeed!  And, a touch of romance just for fun.

 


 

A Note About The Breakers Mansion - Current Day

"The Breakers" is in fact the name of the Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.  It was the real Cornelius Vanderbilt II's summer home.  It is now a museum that is owned and maintained by the Preservation Society.

____________

 

I watched The Gilded Newport Mysteries series on Frndly TV, a subscription streaming service, but it may also be available on other subscription services that include Hallmark Murders & Mysteries.


Check Out More Movie Reviews at
ReviewThisMovies.com



Gilded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers by:
House of Sylvestermouse
-




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, April 28, 2024

Call The Midwife - A Highly Recommended Five Star Series and Where to Watch It

Call The Midwife - A Highly Recommended Five Star Series and Where to Watch It

My friend recommended the TV series Call The Midwife to me. Wow, I highly recommend this series. Its 13 Seasons are a testament to its quality! I'm hooked, and I'm about to begin season five!

"I'll list where you can find and watch the series at the end of this article. There's also a video trailer included!"

About Call The Midwife

Entering the world of "Call The Midwife" is akin to stepping into a time machine that transports viewers to post-World War II London, where the air is thick with compassion, resilience, and the tireless dedication of midwives. This beloved British drama series, adapted from the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with its poignant storytelling and authentic portrayal of midwifery in the 1950s and 1960s.

What is "Call The Midwife" About? 

"Call The Midwife" follows the lives of a group of nurse midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, a nursing convent in London's impoverished East End. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing society, each episode delves into the triumphs and challenges faced by the midwives as they provide essential healthcare services to the local community. From delivering babies in tenement flats to confronting social issues such as poverty, domestic violence, and the impact of new medical advancements, the series navigates through the complexities of post-war Britain with grace and empathy.

The Heart of the Series: 

At the core of "Call The Midwife" lies its unwavering commitment to storytelling that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. Through its richly drawn characters and compelling narratives, the series explores themes of love, loss, friendship, and the enduring bonds that form within the tight-knit community of Nonnatus House. Whether grappling with personal struggles or bearing witness to the joys and sorrows of childbirth, each character brings a depth of emotion and authenticity that resonates with audiences on a profound level.

Seasons and Success: 

Since its premiere in 2012, "Call The Midwife" has captivated viewers across the globe, garnering critical acclaim and amassing a dedicated fanbase. With 13 seasons under its belt, the series continues to evolve, tackling new storylines and introducing fresh faces while staying true to its roots. From the bustling streets of Poplar to the corridors of Nonnatus House, each season offers a glimpse into the lives of its characters as they navigate the challenges of midwifery amidst a changing world.

The Inspiration Behind the Series: 

Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a former nurse and midwife, "Call The Midwife" draws inspiration from real-life experiences and historical events. Worth's vivid recollections of her time working in London's East End during the 1950s provided the foundation for the series, offering a window into a bygone era of healthcare and social change. Through her writings, Worth captured the essence of midwifery with honesty and compassion, paving the way for "Call The Midwife" to become a beloved cultural phenomenon.

Conclusion: 

In an age of fast-paced television and fleeting trends, "Call The Midwife" stands as a beacon of warmth and humanity, reminding viewers of the power of empathy, community, and the enduring spirit of caregiving. 

As the series continues to inspire and uplift audiences worldwide, its legacy remains firmly rooted in the hearts of those touched by its heartfelt stories of love, hope, and the miracle of life.

Where and How to Watch "Call The Midwife"

For Canadians:

1. The CBC GEM App: I live in Canada, and Netflix and Prime don't offer this series for free here (at the time of writing this). However, my friend informed me that all seasons are available for free on the CBC GEM App.

  • Download the App onto your mobile device - search for it in your Apps on your device (it's there, it's free)
  • Or go to CBC Gem (gem.cbc.ca) on your computer and sign up for CBC Gem access - it's free.
  • Select "Call The Midwife" and start watching using the search feature.
You can only access the CBC Gem App if you live in Canada. However, double-check this just in case.

Outside of Canada:

2. Netflix: It may be available for free via Netflix in your country. However, I'm not sure. In Canada, at the time of writing this, it's not free for us on Netflix.

3. Amazon Prime: Call The Midwife is available on Prime, although it's not free at the time of writing this, on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca (Canada and the USA). It could very well be in your country, you'll have to check it.

United Kingdom Access:

4. BBC iPlayer has access to the series for free at the time of writing this (but double-check if there's a subscription required). Again, I'm unsure whether people outside the United Kingdom can access BBC iPlayer; you'll have to check.

Here's a Trailer Preview For You! Enjoy! I'm Hooked!



My Recommendation: 5 Stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, April 12, 2024

The Dating List (2019) Movie Review

The Dating List Movie Review
The Dating List is a movie I would recommend if you are seeking an easy to watch romantic comedy.  

Romantic comedies are not movies that will make you fall out of your chair laughing as the word "comedy" might suggest.  Rather they include witty conversations or awkward interactions between a really likable couple.   

The Dating List characters, Abby Morel (Natalie Dreyfuss) and Dan Thrubrig (Andrew Dunbar), are the perfect example of a very likable couple that engage in witty rapport and both just seem naturally playful.  Their facial expressions exude happiness.  

The romantic part, well that is more literal and obvious.  In The Dating List, we watch Abby and Dan meet, fall for each other, and then go through that awkward phase of wondering if he or she likes the other one.  In this movie, it doesn't help that Abby is trying to set her boss up to date Dan. 

 

The Dating List Movie Synopsis

In a hurry to get to a job interview, Abby runs into a deli to grab some treats.  As she and another customer jockey for attention to place their orders, they end up getting mixed up orders and stop outside to trade.  During the trade, they accidentally trade binders too and neither realizes the mistake until later.

Abby had been a secondary managing editor for Lansing Publishing in Toledo and she hopes to get hired as a junior editor at Belle & Howe Publishing Co.  Since she arrives 2 minutes late for her interview with Susan Danvers and does not have the recommendation of a senior editor, she is immediately rejected.

Back home that night, Abby finds she has a book manuscript instead the waste water treatment manual she is supposed to be proofreading. Instead of "correcting" the manual, she edits the book manuscript.  In the morning, her deli-order-friend calls her in hopes of getting the manuscript back.  They agree to meet to trade binders.  Upon discovering that she is holding the only copy of the book, she insists they immediately make copies so the book is never lost.

During her meeting  with Dan to exchange binders and then make copies of the book, she gets a call from Ms. Danver's office with a temporary job offer, followed by an unusual request.  If Abby can screen profiles and find a suitable man for Ms. Danvers to date, she will give her an opportunity to get the junior editor job.  Abby jumps at the offer to work as a "temp" for Ms. Danvers and immediately starts sorting through potential men from a dating website.

Then she is sent to meet the men in person.  Finding the assignment harder than she expected, Abby starts thinking outside the box and remembers Dan.  She will introduce Susan Danvers to Dan and all will be perfect!

Well, not exactly .........


 

You may think you have the story all figured out by reading this brief synopsis and you may be right on some points.  However, this movie has an unexpected and quite satisfying ending.

If you enjoy a fun romantic comedy, this movie is for you!

________________

I watched The Dating List on Frndly TV, a subscription streaming service, but it is currently available on several other subscription services as well.


Check Out More Movie Reviews at
ReviewThisMovies.com



The Dating List (2019) Movie Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse
-




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, April 8, 2024

Most Popular Hallmark Spring Movies Review

Spring is here and Hallmark movies help celebrate the season with a Spring theme. Whether it be flowers, baseball, home renovation or vineyards Hallmark is shepherding in the warmer weather with Spring themed romance of course.

Hallmark Spring Movies

Enjoy the most popular Spring Movies by Hallmark sure to delight Hallmark fans. Here are my

Top 5 Hallmark Spring Movies

The Perfect Catch with Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker

Baseball and high school romance of long ago is the backstory for this Hallmark movie. Baseball training brings a high school flame who became a major league baseball player back to his hometown. Where he finds ... his high school sweetheart running the family diner. Walker plays the baseball player and wounded soul who has returned to hide from his fame and misfortune of the moment. DeLoach is running the diner and who comes in the door? 

Walker and DeLoach have a great chemistry whether it be as rom com leads or their witty repertoire throughout the movie. Enjoy as they reconnect with romance.

As Luck Would Have It with Joanna Swisher and Allen Leech

Ireland is the gorgeous backdrop along with castles, cliffs and a quaint castle town as an American is charged with convincing the family to sell. Sell? The family castle and accompanying small town are struggling and are the backbone of the community. Will the family sell? Will the town be saved? Swish and Leech have a wonderful chemistry enhanced by gorgeous scenery and a strong supporting cast.

Tulips In Spring with Fiona Gubelmann and Lucas Byrant

Filmed in Vancouver, the family tulip farm is in jeopardy. Can the city living daughter return to help the farm when a family crisis occurs? Flowers abound and are a lovely breath of spring to visually enjoy! 

Enter the flower broker and romantic lead as the city daughter returns to help mend the family, the farm and maybe her heart. You cannot have spring without gorgeous gorgeous and more gorgeous flowers! 

Flip That Romance with Tyler Hynes and Julie Gonzalo

Spring is absolutely the time for home improvement projects. Hynes abnd Gonzalo have a romatic past of long ago and a flip the house competition brings the couple back together - on separate side of a home to be renovated.  Witty chemistry abounds as the project and compeition continues. Who will win?

Vineyard series with Rachael Leigh Cook and Brendan Penny

This favorite Hallmark couple spurred two sequels to their original Hallmark movie set in the beautiful Okonagan Valley in Canada which looks very similiar to the Napa Valley area of California. Enjoy the romcom repetoire between Cook and Penny as there families feud over wine and their relationship progresses..

In The Vineyard Series
Autumn In The Vineyard
Valentine In The Vineyard
Summer In The Vineyard

Don't forget Christmas In July is right around the corner at Hallmark! Hallmark now debuts a couple early Christmas originals each July between rotating the Christmas classics throughout the month.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, April 1, 2024

Reviewing Reacher - The Book and the Amazon Series

Lee Child created an intriguing character when he wrote the story of Jack Reacher in the military thriller titled Killing Floor. This first book in his Reacher series includes a cast of memorable characters and a mysterious murder (string of murders) case that is very difficult to solve. The twists and turns keep everyone guessing and suspicious of each other.  

Alan Ritchson, Reacher


Amazon has brought that book to life in a streaming series that is binge-worthy. When my friends ask for recommendations for a weekend of binging, I always recommend the Reacher season 1 series. Thank you Amazon for bringing a breathing, walking, talking Jack Reacher into homes everywhere. I love it when the movie/television version stays true to the book. 


Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, book 1) by Lee Child

The book. Many years ago I read Killing Floor by Lee Child. The story was about a Veteran (ex-military police) named Jack Reacher. Reacher is a drifter who goes to a small Georgia town because at some point in time his brother mentioned a Blues Singer named Blind Blake. And in this fictional story Blind Blake had history in Margrave, Georgia. 

Reacher is in Margrave for less than an hour when he is arrested for a murder that occurred along the highway just before he walked into town. 

I devoured Killing Floor and then the 2nd book in the series. I remember enjoying Lee Child's descriptive writing and his characters. Somehow, probably busy with life, I did not continue the book series. And I am surprised (but not surprised) to find that Lee Child's series has continued to almost 30 books in the Reacher series!  I have resumed reading about this drifting, giant Veteran who always tries to do the right thing - which often eventually means being left with the only option of fighting and killing the bad guys.

The author. Lee Child (James Dover Grant's pen name) is a profilic writer. He has a huge fan base. He is reportedly one of the world's leading thriller authors. Lee Child refers to his stories as revenge stories - someone does something horrific and Reacher gets revenge. Child has said that he writes novels because they are the "purest form of entertainment". Others report that his style is commercial and focused on profitability. I'm okay with that. Gripping and entertaining is going to result in profitability. 

Lee Child fans might be interested to know that he makes a brief, cameo appearance in the season 1 finale.  

Reacher (Season 1) on Amazon

The Series. My excitement about Jack Reacher resumed in 2021 when my oldest son told me that the book had been made into an Amazon original series. I had not been at all interested in seeing the 2012 Jack Reacher version starring Tom Cruise. There is no way that I'd be able to forget Cruise and believe that he was Jack Reacher. But my son assured me that this Amazon series starred someone else and that the series was good. Skeptically, I watched. And then impatiently looked forward to each weekly installment. 

Alan Ritchson plays Jack Reacher. I think he's perfect for the role! I'm not familiar with Alan Ritchson so it is easy to allow him to become the Reacher that Lee Child described. Ritchson is big man and delivers a believable portrayal of a tough, skilled investigator. 

As happens in the book, Jack Reacher gets off the bus in a small town in Georgia and is not able to taste his peach pie when the local police roll up, sirens and lights, and arrest him for murder. "Reacher, why does trouble always find you?" his mother tells him during a flashback in time as they settle into their newest home. Reacher and his brother are military brats. His own military career includes being the head of a special investigators unit.

Reacher is attention-grabbing on his own. How much better to be surrounded by other unique characters.

Chief Detective Oscar Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin) -  Finlay has transplanted from Boston to Margrave, Georgia. Why does a Harvard graduate, tweed-suit-wearing, talented detective move to an extremely small police force in Georgia where no one looks like him, sounds like him, and he is clearly the outsider where everyone else has lived all their lives. It takes us awhile to find out why this very talented urban detective has moved to a "quiet", small, southern town.

Roscoe Conklin  (Willa Fitzgerald) - Roscoe is a pretty, young officer whose family has lived in Margrave since it was founded. However, she doesn't have any family left. When her parents died when she was very young, Roscoe was raised by her grandmother. And Chief Detective Gray helped looked after her but he has also since passed away. "I feel bad about the Margrave welcome wagon running you over" she says to Reacher as she's getting to know him.

Roscoe, Finlay, and Reacher form an alliance to try to catch the murderers.

Frances Neagley  (Maria Sten) - Neagley is a beautiful, tough, no-nonsense member of Reacher's disbanded Special Investigators team. She realizes he's in trouble and comes to help her former boss with her very special military talents. I LOVE watching Neagley in action. She is probably Reacher's best friend (not that he admits to having friends).

You can find Reacher, Season 1 - an Amazon original series here. 

I have binged seasons 1 and 2 (repeatedly) and look forward to season 3's release. If you like shoot-em-up, murder mystery, action thrillers and haven't yet seen Reacher, I highly recommend that you do. 

Parental Warnings. As with many action thrillers, this series includes violence, language, and nudity. Please look up parental guides to find more specific information.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Moneyball: A Home Run Hit for Movie Buffs

 

Moneyball: A Home Run Hit for Movie Buffs

As someone who's watched "Moneyball" several times and again the other night, let me just say that this movie hits it out of the park every single time.

Starring the ever-charismatic Brad Pitt, "Moneyball" tells the gripping true story of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his unconventional approach to building a winning team.

The Storyline: A Winning Formula

Moneyball follows Billy Beane, portrayed by Brad Pitt, as he navigates the rough waters of Major League Baseball management. 

With a limited budget and losing key players to wealthier teams, Beane teams up with Yale economics graduate Peter Brand (played by Jonah Hill) to revolutionize the game. 

Their strategy? Embrace sabermetrics, a statistical approach to player evaluation, to assemble a team of undervalued talent. The ride is a rollercoaster of triumphs, setbacks, and nail-biting moments that keep you on the edge of your seat.

The True Story Aspect: Fact vs. Fiction

One of Moneyball's most captivating aspects is its basis in reality. Billy Beane's bold experiment with sabermetrics isn't just a Hollywood invention; it's grounded in the true story of the Oakland Athletics' 2002 season. 

However, like any good cinematic adaptation, Moneyball takes liberties with certain events and characters for dramatic effect. While the story's core remains faithful to history, some details have been embellished or altered for storytelling purposes.

The Cast: A Dream Team Lineup

Brad Pitt leads the charge as the charismatic Billy Beane, perfectly capturing the blend of determination and vulnerability that defines the character. 

Jonah Hill shines as Peter Brand, bringing humor and heart to the role of Beane's unconventional partner in rebuilding the team. 

With standout performances from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, and Chris Pratt, the cast of "Moneyball" hits it out of the park with every scene. I was personally taken by Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill's performances - amazing!

A Final Score: Must-Watch 

Ultimately, Moneyball isn't just a movie about baseball; it's a story about resilience, innovation, and the power of thinking outside the box.

Whether you're a die-hard sports fan or just someone who appreciates a good underdog tale, this film has something for everyone. 

For me, the most appealing part of this movie is the innovative thinking and the guts it takes to step outside the box when everyone around you is poo-pooing your new ideas—and then win with it despite the naysayers!

So grab some popcorn, settle in, and prepare for a movie experience that will leave you cheering for more. 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, March 29, 2024

3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost (2023) - Hallmark Movie Review

movie review
"3 Bed, 2 Bath and 1 Ghost" was a delightfully entertaining Hallmark movie that I recently watched.

To be completely honest, I didn't expect it to be a very good movie.  I had put it on my "saved for later" list months ago.  Each time I looked at the list to select a movie, I skipped right over it.  

Then it happened!  

Nothing was really appealing to me, but I needed a break.  I told myself, okay, just start it.  After all, it is Hallmark and I like the actors.  Plus, I knew I could click it off whenever I wished.  Turns out, "3 Bed, 2 Bath and 1 Ghost" easily ranks as one of my top Hallmark movies ever.

Yes, parts of it are as predictable as any Hallmark movie.  We expect the primary couple in the movie to live happily ever after, but what about the poor ghost trapped between this world and the eternal world?  

The ghost ended up being my favorite character in the movie and that was totally unexpected.


3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost Movie Synopsis

Anna Vazquez (Julie Gonzalo) is starting over after a failed marriage engagement with her business partner and their failed home restoration business.  Her father owns a real estate company and he has always wanted her to work with him and to inherit his business.  Now that her own venture has failed, she decides to get her real estate license and work for her father.  Mr. Vazquez immediately gives Anna a desirable listing, the historical Baker house.  That decision is viewed as unfair by a co-worker who has been a loyal employee for many years.  Nothing like starting a new job with an instant adversary! 

Anna's ex-fiance, Elliot Barnes, is in town for a hearing with the Historical Preservation Society.  After an awkward chance meeting, Anna invites Elliot inside the Baker house under the guise of showing him the woodwork.  She really wants to find out if he can see the real "oddity" in the home. 

Then, there is Ruby Baker, the delightfully fun ghost who makes this show unique.  In life, Ruby was an heiress who was in love with her chauffeur, Charley.  Sadly, that match was domed because of the social class differences.  Ruby died in an accident on her 25th birthday, which was the very night she had informed Charley their relationship would never be acceptable, leaving unfinished business.

100 years after Ruby's death, Anna walked into the Baker home, desperate to sell the house and make a good impression on her father.  She didn't realize how much she needed the friend she found there and resolutions to her own life's unfinished business.


 

An Interesting Fact about Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally

If you think these two look good together and make a great couple, you would be exactly right.  They have been in an off-screen relationship since 2017 when they met on another Hallmark movie set.  In 2022, they welcomed their first born baby to this world.

 
I watched 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost on FrndlyTV (a subscription streaming service) but it is currently available to watch on several other streaming services as well. Alternatively, it is on the DVD shown above.


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3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost - Hallmark Movie Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse
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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, March 25, 2024

Hallmark Countdown To Christmas Friday Night Movies Reviewed

Raise your remote control if you are a fan of Hallmark Christmas movies! Anytime of the year? Hallmark is ready to provide a steady stream of Christmas movies all year long. Hallmark began expanding its' Christmas movie offering first with the October through December Christmas movie programming.

Then Christmas In July made its' now annual apperance to give Hallmarkies a little bit of Christmas mid summer. This is a great time to catch up on any movies missed during the holiday season and rewatch the Hallmark favorites. 

movie banner


Hallmark has brought out Countdown to Christmas on Friday nights. The Friday night programming has been expanded to begin at 6 pm EST and three Christmas movies are aired back to back. Bring on the new, the vintage and the personal favorites for Friday night Christmas with Hallmark.

I always enjoy when the personal favorites pop into the Hallmark programming. A few Christmas movies to bookmark along with their reviews include:

March 29: A Season For Family

April 5: Three Wise Men And A Baby

April 12: Checkin' It Twice 


Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2023 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2022 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

You, Me & The Christmas Trees by The Savvy Age











Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, March 11, 2024

Hallmark Movie Review As Luck Would Have It

Celebrate St. Paddy's Day with this Hallmark's As Luck Would Have It filmed in Ireland with stars Joanna Swisher and Allen Leech in this delighful movie. Downton Abbey fans will immediately recognize Leech aka as Tom Branson, a beloved Downton Abbey character.

Hallmark fans will enjoy the traditional storyline which is enhanced by the chemistry between the lead actors and authentic Irish scenery. Filmed In Kilabbey, Ireland and Howth Castle and add in the Cliffs of Mohr and viewers will not be disappointed.

Hallmark movie banner

The storyline is not new (and that is OK! for a movie which works so well) as an American is dispatched to turn the Irish family castle into a hotel. The struggle to keep the castle and town financially afloat is the why and the heart behind the castle is the why the behind saving the castle and town!

With names such as Brennan, Seamus, Fiana, Siobhan, and Maebh the authenticity shines through of the supporting cast. The Hallmark chemistry hits the bullseye with Joanna and Allen, the supporting characters and the scenery is so beautiful - let's call the scenery a major supporting character too!

Of course love is in the air as the main characters work as opposities and then join forces to save the family hotel as only Hallmark can...

Deer Park Hotel

Ever want to stay at a Hallmark movie castle? This castle may be your chance. In August 2023 plans have been approved to construct a hotel on the Howth property. The current Deep Park will be demolished to build a destination hotel with all the amenties. The project's estimated completion is 2025 to welcome guests.

Howth Castle Cookery School

Who knew cooking classes are held at the infamous Howth Castle 18th Century Georgian kitchen! Professional chefs provide hands on instruction for foodies of all levels in the cooking shcool which has operated since 2008 in the castle.

Recommendation

Highly recommend As Luck Would Have It! Ireland fans and Hallmark romcom fans will not be disappointed and in fact, this is a movie which left many viewers asking, "When is the sequel?"




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, March 10, 2024

Two Weeks Notice: A Rom-Com Delight That's Worth the Watch

Two Weeks Notice: A Rom-Com Delight That's Worth the Watch

Sandra Bullock takes center stage as the lovably quirky Lucy Kelson. From her passionate activism to navigating the unpredictable waters of being reluctant legal counsel for billionaire George Wade, Bullock's performance is a masterclass in charm and comedic brilliance. 

Lucy's story is not just about accepting a legal position that is the antithesis of her beliefs but a delightful exploration of self-discovery and unexpected love.

Hugh Grant's "George Wade": A Billionaire Trying to Find Himself

Hugh Grant's portrayal of George Wade is delightful. But pretty much everything Hugh Grant acts in is top-drawer. 

As the charming billionaire with a knack for self-centered mischief, Grant effortlessly brings out the humor and heart in his character. 

Wade's playboy persona takes a backseat as the story unfolds, revealing a surprisingly endearing side that adds depth to the romantic comedy dynamic.

Romance and Laughter Unleashed: The Perfect Blend

"Two Weeks Notice" masters the art of balancing romance and comedy. The banter between Lucy and George is a joy to watch, creating a dynamic that keeps audiences hooked from start to finish. For me personally, the best part of the movie is the script's banter. 

The witty script, coupled with the charismatic performances of the lead actors, makes for a movie that doesn't just entertain but leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling that lingers.

Supporting Cast Shines Bright

Alicia Witt, Robert Klein, Dana Ivey, and a stellar supporting cast elevate the film's humor and charm. Each character adds a unique flavor to the mix, contributing to the overall hilarity and heartwarming moments. 

The ensemble cast's chemistry creates a delightful synergy that enhances the film's appeal.

New York City: The Perfect Backdrop for Love and Laughter

The bustling streets of New York City serve as the picturesque backdrop for Lucy and George's romantic escapades. 

The city's energy and charm amplify the film's modern-day fairy tale vibe, adding an extra layer of romance to an already captivating story.

Enjoy a Cozy Night In with "Two Weeks Notice"

In romantic comedies, "Two Weeks Notice" is a timeless classic. Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant's on-screen chemistry, witty script, and a touch of romance create a cinematic experience perfect for a cozy night in. 

So, grab your popcorn, settle in, and let Lucy and George whisk you away on a happiness-filled journey—you're in for a delightful treat!

I've seen this movie ten times or more, and I'm watching it again now.

You can find it on Amazon Prime.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, March 3, 2024

A 5-Star Rollercoaster of Intense Hilarity and Heart Based on True Financial Folly

A 5-Star Rollercoaster of Intense Hilarity and Heart Based on True Financial Folly

Dumb Money unfolds the true tale of the GameStop short squeeze led by Keith Gill, aka Roaring Kitty. Gill, an everyday investor with a YouTube channel and Reddit presence, takes center stage. 

The film demystifies short selling, where investors bet against a company's success, offering a gripping glimpse into the volatile world of stock market maneuvers.

With a brilliant ensemble cast and a razor-sharp script inspired by actual events, this is a gripping film, so I'm giving it a personal five-star rating.

A Hilarious (and Intense) Exploration of Real-Life Financial Folly:

"Dumb Money" draws inspiration from the true story of a motley crew of amateur investors who stumbled upon a golden opportunity in the volatile world of stocks. 

Led by the charismatic cast, the group dives headfirst into the chaos of Wall Street, armed with little more than dreams and misguided ambition.

An intense comedy of errors ensues as the characters navigate the complexities of the stock market, making decisions that range from absurd to downright ludicrous. 

The film cleverly satirizes the unpredictable nature of financial markets while delivering punchline after punchline with impeccable comedic timing.

Heartfelt Moments Amidst the Laughter, Rooted in Reality:

While "Dumb Money" is undoubtedly a riotous comedy, it also surprises audiences with moments of unexpected depth and sincerity rooted in the reality of actual events. The film explores themes of friendship, resilience, and the pursuit of dreams against all odds. Beneath the laughter, viewers find a relatable story of individuals navigating the ups and downs of life, both in and out of the stock market.

Visually Appealing and Energetic, Inspired by Actual Events:

The film's vibrant cinematography and energetic pacing contribute to its overall appeal. The director's keen eye for visual storytelling complements the script, creating a lively and immersive experience.

From the frenetic chaos of trading to the quieter, introspective moments, "Dumb Money" captivates audiences with its dynamic presentation inspired by the true events that unfolded.

Conclusion:

In the realm of comedy, "Dumb Money" stands tall as a testament to the brilliance that arises when a stellar cast, a witty script, and skilled direction converge, all rooted in the reality of true financial folly.

 This 5-star gem delivers shocking humor and surprises with its heartwarming moments and resonant themes. "Dumb Money" is a must-watch for anyone seeking a rollercoaster that effortlessly balances humor and heart, offering a true-to-life glimpse into the unpredictable world of financial endeavors. 

Strap in for a wild ride that leaves you both in stitches and on the edge of your seat, proving that sometimes the best investments are the ones that make you shockingly laugh, especially when they're based on true stories.

I couldn't believe this was a true story! But yep, sure was. I personally loved this one!

★★★★★ Five Stars

You can find this movie on Amazon Prime.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, March 1, 2024

Harlan Coben's Fool Me Once - Netflix Series Reviewed

Fool Me Once
My husband and I recently watched the Netflix series, "Fool Me Once".  We both would recommend it, even though there were times when I thought the title should have been "fools rush in".  

The main character, Maya Stern, seems to have the attitude that she is invincible, superior and the authority in any room or situation.  Frankly, she was not always very admirable.  Her rash decisions to constantly confront everyone made her seem more out of control than considered or intelligent, especially when her actions could influence her teenage niece and her teammates.  

At one point, we almost turned it off, but there was just enough suspense and mystery to the plot to keep us watching.  

I wasn't sure what I thought of the investigator, Sami Kierce, at first, but in the end he turned out to be one of my favorite actors in the series, simply because of his acting skill.  We also really liked 'Corey the Whistle' who was truly committed to revealing the truth and he seemed to genuinely care.

 

Fool Me Once Synopsis

Fool Me Once


Video Currently on Netflix

There is a lot happening in Maya Stern's life all at the same time.

She is a helicopter pilot that has recently been expelled from the military because she fired on an unverified civilian truck while trying to protect troops on the ground. 

Her beloved sister has been murdered and Maya feels there is more behind her death than just a home invasion.  Of course, Maya must investigate her sister's death. 

Then, her husband is shot in front of her while they are walking in the park and she has to endure police questioning.  Plus, her sanity is in question when she sees her husband visit their daughter on a recently acquired nanny cam.  Instead of calling the police, Maya confronts the nanny who responds by pepper-spraying her in the face and stealing the video card.  Now, the evidence that her husband may still be alive is gone.

Maya is not liked by her husband's wealthy family and her mother-in-law is equally confrontational and derogatory.  Sparks fly every time the two of them are together, or even talk on the phone.  



I'll close by telling you the same thing I told my parents, watch it to the end! The end makes all the rest worth it.


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Harlan Coben's Fool Me Once (2024) - Netflix Series Reviewed by:
House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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