If you want a short spoiler free review, watch the video. If you want a bit more detail and don't mind spoilers, read after the video!
This is a CBS All Access show. If you haven't seen it, or even heard of it by now, let me tell you, you've missed out. There are 11 episodes to the season and it just wrapped 17 October. Last week, CBS gave the go ahead to Marc Cherry and his crew for season two.
Season one followed three women in different decades all connected by one house. As a writer myself, I find it easier to predict what's going to happen, this show not only kept me guessing but it kept me laughing week after week as we followed Beth Ann and Rob, Simone and Karl, and Taylor and Eli.
Beth Ann, played by the lovely Gennifer Goodwin, and Rob (Sam Jaeger) are introduced first and it seems like they are the perfect 1950s couple, except that it's the early 60s. Beth Ann is a doting wife and Rob is a career driven executive at the 1960s equivalent of a tech company. However, when Beth Ann meets Shelia (Alicia Coppola) and Leo (Adam Ferrara) Mosconi, it's clear that there is a deeper story to Beth Ann and Rob when Leo realizes where he's seen Rob before. As the story progresses and Beth Ann's friendship with Shelia grows, the story takes an unexpected turn, and then another. It wraps up nicely in the final episode when a 1974 Beth Ann hands the keys over to a 1974 Simone.
Simone, played by the wonderful Lucy Liu, and her husband Karl (Jack Davenport) have the finer things in life. Friends, a country club membership, a popular art gallery which Karl runs and Simone doesn't step foot in unless necessary, and Simone hosts extravagant parties that are the envy of their circle of friends. She seems like she has everything. What can make a woman more crazy than finding out her husband is cheating on her? That he's cheating on her with her hairdresser who happens to be the best in L.A.! Everything goes downhill from there for Simone and Karl. Her best friend turns against her (you'll have to watch the show to learn why) and in the end everything works out for Simone too as we see the 2019 version handing over the keys to Taylor and Eli.
Taylor Harding, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste (I had to look her up!), is a no-nonsense kind of lady. She's a lawyer married to Eli Cohen (Reid Scott), a screenwriter who sold one screenplay and is struggling to follow it up with a sophomore hit. They have an open marriage which as an audience we see right away that while it is beneficial to Taylor, Eli is not okay with the situation and it causes strife especially when Taylor brings her hook up home, which goes against the ground rules. Of course... this is where it all falls apart. You will definitely have to watch the show to see how this plays out. If you don't know what "Thruple" means I highly recommend looking it up.
The way these stories were woven together each week was impressive. It was almost like they were written like little webisodes. I would love to get my hands on the shooting script for the final episode. It was a masterpiece of cinematography, directing, writing, and editing. I was very impressed. It was unique. and now that it's been done... I can't say enough about this series. It's hysterical, touching, frightening, and surprising!
Remember, you can only catch it on CBS All Access.
Fathom Events had some good trivia leading up to the flick so go see it on the 17th if you like that kind of thing. If not, you'll have to catch the film at the Reboot Roadshow. If you miss it then... who knows when it will actually make it into the theatre! I was concerned that I was going to be the only lady in the joint but... as it got closer to go time, I was relieved to discover more trickling in.
And here we go... ***(may contain mild spoilers)***
In true Kevin Smith style, J&SBR makes fun of franchises while saying "I love you" in its own twisted way. He even pokes fun at himself and the fact that he has been mistaken for Kevin James. With a star-studded cast (one of them you'll miss unless you look close at the Chronic Con scene Super Friends, and that's all I'll say about that) and sorry folks, Mark Hamill does not teturn as Cocknocker, Reboot lives up to the promise that it is the same movie, yet different. Jay's character grows (more than weed) and Silent Bob finally... well, you'll have to see it.
Reboot is as funny as it should be coming from the mind of Levin Smith. Don't be mad at him for Yoga Hosers... he has redeemed himself with this new offering. Go see it at a Fathom Event or the Jay & Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow. You'll laugh so hard, you'll cry.
Did anyone see that little independent film that's sweeping the box office and breaking records? What was it called again? Oh, right... Avengers: Endgame! Endgame was predicted to earn an estimated $300 million opening weekend. Instead, it walked away with $350 million domestic and $1.2 billion gross worldwide. Endgame smashed previous records. It was the most highly anticipated movie of the decade. (Yes, more so than any of the Star Wars films and I love Star Wars.)
If you’ve been following along since 2008’s Iron Man you’ll know that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has mapped out the flow of the MCU for years to come. Phase 1 ran from 2008-2012. It included Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (Terrible film, I don’t even count it), Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, & The Avengers. Phase 2 2013-2015: Iron Man 3, Thor: A Dark World (which I still haven’t seen all of…), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Avengers: Age of Ultron, & Ant-Man. Phase 3 2016-2019: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming (which was appropriate… Marvel has taken steps to reclaim the Spider-Man license), Thor: Ragnarok (the best Thor film to date), Black Panther (masterfully crafted), Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel (if you haven’t seen it, you really should, Wonderful 90s nostalgia), Avengers: Endgame (not really the end…), & Spider-Man: Far From Home. Phase 4 2019-2021(?). The movies lined up (with titles) so far: Black Widow (an origin story), The Eternals (hopefully Angie Jolie doesn’t screw this one up), Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Yes, there will be more but the slate still has unnamed movies. With the Disney acquisition of Fox there is now the possibility to include the X-Men (they did cross paths every now & again with other Marvel characters), Deadpool (who was a member of the Avengers for a short time. His penchant for not playing well with others is his downfall. Dead pool was also a member of X-Force, a branch of the X-Men), and the Fantastic Four, who were members of the Avengers.
The Fantastic Four seems like a better option. If you’ve seen Spider-Man: Homecoming you know that Tony sold Stark Tower in New York. He never says to who, but now that the Avengers have a compound outside of the city they don’t need it. The Fantastic Four is based in NYC in a tower… yes, it was the Baxter Building, but building names can be changed…
Overall the MCU franchise has grossed over $18 billion worldwide since the start in 2008. Not too shabby for a bunch of movies based on comic books.
And there... a spoiler free article about #AvengersEndgame
I was fortunate enough to get to preview this film with two of the most important women in my life, my mother and my daughter. Thanks to the Arkansas Cinema Society for the opportunity!
I always knew that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer, but seeing the story of her early career on screen... put it all in perspective. Thanks to her and women (and men) like her, my daughter has more choices than I had just 23 short years ago. I will say there was one historical inaccuracy. Back in the '70s... firefighters were firemen because women were the auxiliary and didn't go into burning buildings. (At least where I lived and that is another story about how I became a firefighter.) Once you get to that part, you'll know. If you want to know the whole history of women in the fire service you can, just click here. Or women in combat, which thanks to the laws being changed, we can now do. But women have served honorably in combat for a long time. Don't believe me? Here's a document that gives a timeline of women in combat.
If you have the chance to go see this film, wherever you are... do it. Take the women in your lives to see just how the battle for equality for all started. It started with a tax law assuming that women would be solely in the caregiver role. Interesting. It is in limited release now and everywhere 11 January.
Felicity Jones (Rogue One) did a fantastic job as Justice Ginsburg. I don't think there could have been another better.
Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as Martin Ginsburg... he redeemed himself with this role from the terror that was unleashed with The Lone Ranger and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Same Waterston and Kathy Bates have supporting roles and are fantastic as always.
Mimi Leder directs the cast and turns the script by Daniel Stiepleman into a moving work of art. Easily one of the best films I've seen.
So, if you're a Nic Cage fan you've probably already heard about SpectreVision's movie "Mandy." Did you also know that it's out in theatres and video-on-demand? One of the first movies to take a shot at this type of marketing and it seems to be working. On the iTunes chart it's 11th over all as of Friday. 7th in Action Adventure, 3rd in Independent, 2nd in Horror, & 4th in Thrillers. The soundtrack is 8th overall and was featured on the iTunes homepage.
I did get to see this movie on the 13th of September. As an investor in Legion M, we had access to a special viewing before the official release date. I'll say that "Mandy" earned it's R rating!
Red Miller and his girl, Mandy, lead a quiet life until Jeremiah Sands, leader of the Children of the New Dawn, sees her and has to have her. Jeremiah plots to have her, but she rejects him and he kills her in front of Red. (Well, duh, of course that's going to make anyone want to seek revenge!) It's all downhill from there.
Panos Casmatos had a vision and brought it to life. It was a great homage to the early 80s, "Heavy Metal," and the horror/revenge genre. It was a trippy adventure full of blood and rage. Oh, and #NicCage gave a a great performance. I will advise, there is some full-frontal nudity of the male variety. (Thanks for that Panos!)
I will caution you, this is a "midnight" movie. You may not be into it and that's okay. I recommend checking out the trailer first.
If "Mandy" isn't screening in a theatre near you, here's a few ways you can get your hands on it to complete your Nic Cage collection:
So, I took my daughter to see the first part of the epic wrap up to a story that started ten years ago with Iron Man. For us, this was a tradition... I took her out of school early but let me back up just a little bit here.
I was in the Army for those of you that didn't know (or read that over in the short bio over on the sidebar). Back in 2008, I knew I was going to be deployed but we weren't sure if it was to Iraq or Afghanistan. We had a pretty good idea but with the military, nothing is ever certain. So, I made the conscious decision to do something fun and memorable with my daughter before I spent weeks away preparing for deployment. I figured I like comic books and Iron Man was about the best you can get (at the time) for comic book movies (Sorry Stan, I can't put comic and book together... maybe when spell check catches up). It was a great adventure and Iron Man, in my opinion for effects, got better with each appearance in a movie. I did a repeat with every Marvel movie that came out while she was in elementary and middle school. I think we only missed Thor 2 & 3, GotG 1 & 2, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man. My kid and I have a history with the franchise. So, why wouldn't we go see the newest installment? Next year... well that will be different. Next year will be our last MCU film together before she goes off to college. (I'm not crying, you're crying. Stupid ninja cutting onions behind me...)
I'll tell you right now... if you're a casual MCU watcher... catch up, fast. I hadn't finished GotG 2 or Thor 3 and there were major spoilers.
Some fan theories were busted but one big one was confirmed! Red Skull is not Thanos but he does play a part and that is all I will say about that.
It was a great theatrical presentation. Very vivid color. You cheer, you laugh, you gasp, and yes, you may shed a tear (and that was in the first 10 minutes) as you watch the story unfold on the screen. So much thought went into each section of the script to keep it all flowing... I'm impressed. As a writer myself, I know how hard it is to keep the continuity for a few characters let alone twenty-nine! Mind you, that is not counting the rest of the minor characters. IMDB states there were ninety-eight souls listed in the cast list.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you go. However, if you have a younger child that doesn't grasp the concept of "movie death" leave them home. (We had a child in the theatre, about 5 or so that cried, loudly, when his favorite character "died" on screen. I will tell you, it disrupted the moment.) If you're a Game of Thrones fan ... Peter Dinklage plays a larger-than-life role.
To keep this truly spoiler free ... Avengers: Infinity War definitely earned its $630 million. What do they have in store for fans May 2019?
Wow. Just...wow. I will try not to spoil this for anyone. If you're thinking that this will be another "Empire" you are sadly mistaken. If you're looking for the answer to "Is Jedi plural?" yeah, I'm not gonna answer that for you...
I'd like to point out that I counted 5, possibly 6 but that would be a SPOILER, hero's journeys.
Here's a quick run down:
1. Rey - she has been a reluctant hero since the beginning of TFA, but with TLJ she owns the journey.
2. Finn - is he a coward or is he just concerned for his friend? He is the epitome (IMHO) of a reluctant hero, yet he turns out to be pretty badass.
3. Luke - I know, how is he a part of this? Watch the movie and you'll see. He, too, is a reluctant hero, yet he finally owns the destiny he was meant for. And if you've watched @hamillhimself on Instagram, you already know he says Luke is more of a mentor. FYI, he's still pretty good with a lightsaber.
4. Poe - he's a hero and he knows it. He strives to be as heroic as people think he is because he feels he has to live up to the legend that is Poe Dameron, Ace Resistance Pilot.
5. Rose - a new character to the story but a wonderful addition! You don't realize she's on her own journey until later in the movie and that moment is amazing. It would be a shame if J.J. Abrams didn't use that for IX.
I have a complaint... they took a cheap shot at Rey's linage. It had been teased for months that we'd finally learn who Rey's parents were. Now, we all "saw" in TFA that Rey's parents left her. Or did we? No one really knows and Rey can't really be reliable to answer that. So, that still leaves the burning question... who are Rey's parents? There are other things in the film that point toward her parents being members of the Resistance and you know which ones I'm talking about.
Porgs... you've seen them, unless you've been under a rock, then here's a quick explanation. They're birds from Luke's island. And they're adorable. They are not Ewoks and they are not the next Jar Jar Binks. However, they are cute little scene stealers!
To sum up the movie without spoilers... Yay for the good guys... Oh $#!t for the bad guys. Oh, *SOB* for the good guys.
If you haven't booked your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? Do it now you will.
Come back in a week or so for a spoiler filled review.
Today, I am really glad that my daughter is the kind of girl that doesn't care about your magazine. Now, I'm glad you have a Wellness section some kids may not get that kind of info from their parents. But your target audience of 11-17 year old kids are definitely NOT old enough for a how to on Anal Sex. Thank you for having detailed anatomy labeled correctly but that doesn't excuse the lack of good judgement. No 11 year old should be having sex, let alone anal sex, regardless of sexual orientation! Save that how to guide for an audience that is old enough.
Yes, I read the whole article. Not because I needed a how to (FYI, if you're not ready, it hurts) but to find the best angle in which to write this. You put this article in both digital and print. You decided that the girl next door needed to know this. You decided the boy in India needed this. Wherever your content can be accessed, you decided CHILDREN needed this. You didn't consult their parents to see if they wanted them to read it in the pages of your magazine rather than asking them about it. You've taken the parenting out of well, parenting. Does it matter that you had a "Sexpert" write the article or that it was easy to understand? No. What matters is, kids lose their innocence earlier and earlier it seems. Let them be kids a while longer without shoving sex in their faces.
If you want to do something about the lack of GOOD sex ed in schools where they can learn about this and birth control (because anal sex is NOT safe against pregnancy and STDs unless there is a barrier), sponsor legislation to put Abstinence Plus sex ed into schools rather than the archaic Abstinence Only model. If you want to be a voice for kids and sex, keep in mind that at 11 - 13 kids are curious about how their bodies work. Stick with that because they shouldn't be having sex. Your 14 and older audience will probably pick up Vogue rather than your magazine anyway. So, put your sex ed in that space.
Let kids be kids and don't rush them to grow up.
(P.S. I've been talking about sex with my daughter since she was 9 and she's not afraid to ask me questions but I'm awesome like that.)
Wow! I was skeptical, yet optimistic about this film. Three different actors to play Spider-Man in fifteen years. Each actor brought something different to the role. Tobey Maguire was by far the most brooding Peter Parker with a witty alter ego. Andrew Garfield was a happy medium and Tom Holland was brilliantly funny. I also wasn't sure about Tom Holland. I am happy to report he did a stellar job capturing the essence of an awkward teen. His Spider-Man is by far the wittiest of the three and he's downright adorable.
The writers (all six of them) did a great job setting the whole thing in high school; another aspect that I wasn't sure would work but they nailed it. The story was engaging and the plot wove well into the rest of the MCU. (You will have to go see it to understand!)
I'm not going to talk about theme or story structure or characters. What I am going to do is reassure you, this was the best decision Sony made. Each Spider-Man film before was good and contributed in their own way but in my opinion "Homecoming" is the best so far and I have always maintained that Maguire is my favorite.
Oh, stay for the end of the credits!
College graduate, Army vet, single mom, Husky mom, Movie lover, writer