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.
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.
I was one of a fair amount of folks sitting in a dark theatre at my local cineplex waiting on the new Wonder Woman movie last night. As has become Hollywood tradition, theatres pre-release new releases the day before their actual release date. It's seems a bit... counterproductive in terms of opening weekend numbers. But with this movie, I feel these "preview" showings were important since Warner Bros. didn't invest as much in the way of marketing as they did Suicide Squad. Were they worried they'd have another Catwoman on their hands? Well, they shouldn't have fretted about that.
The story line is great, however a bit problematic with setting it in WWI. A friend of mine pointed that out. If Diana was still in London for WWII would she really have let Hitler happen? I'm thinking that's a big fat no. Over look that for a moment. The pacing was great. (There wasn't a really good time to exit the theatre for more snacks or other business.) The costuming was outstanding (my daughter wants her own set of Wonder Woman armor to cosplay). The effects, locations and overall quality of the film were much better than anyone could have asked for.
Gal Gadot is a badass. Not just because she plays my childhood hero and owned the role in ways that Hollywood never thought Lynda Carter could back in the day. (Lynda Carter was a badass too, don't get me wrong.) She served two years, as required, in the Israel Defense Force with a role as combat trainer. She taught gymnastics and calisthenics. Add that to the self defense that the military is taught and we have a badass.
The themes are obvious: Good vs. Evil, Ancient God vs. Humanity, Love vs. Hate, and the loss of innocence. The film really was about Diana's coming of age if you will. We're introduced to the adult version and a memory from the past whisks us back to her childhood. We learn how Diana was raised, how much she doesn't know about the world outside Themyscira and that the Queen is over protective by not allowing Diana to train with the other Amazons. When Steve Trevor crashes his way to the island everything Diana knows is challenged but she still believes in good people and bad people. So she leaves to go fight the war with her wayward pilot.
There's love, explosions, gunfire and lots of girl power. I won't give away any other details of the film but I will tell you... go see it! You won't be sorry! (Wonder Woman will be the DC movie-verse's saving grace!)
I finally finished the series this morning. I liked it. I'm sorry if you didn't. I never read the comics but I was vaguely familiar with the character of Iron Fist; so, I didn't have a preconceived notion of how it was supposed to be, or not be.
A brief background of me... I worked for a few months in a comic book shop because I love comics and I needed the work since, being pregnant, I had to leave my other job. (Lifeguarding is not optimal. Something about lack of oxygen when I had to hold my breath to be underwater...) I am familiar with a lot of comics, not a super fan of one or the other, I admire the skill it takes to compress a story into 24 pages.
So, I never read Iron Fist but I was still excited when Marvel and Netflix announced they were breathing life into minor characters in the Marvel Universe. We need more badass women that don't need to be saved every episode and the character Colleen Wing can hold her own.
I will agree that sometimes the writing was a bit lackluster (hey, I'm available Marvel) and could have been better. Have you ever tried to deliver a line that was stiff and formal to begin with? It's not as easy as you think if you can't connect with the emotion that should be behind the line. Then add combat... I am not a Kung-fu master but it looked pretty obvious to me that there needed to be more rehearsal for some of the fight scenes. There was one that you could tell he didn't really kick someone in the face but did the hard step in front of the face to give the illusion. Maybe that was the fault of the camera angle? Who knows.
While there were some minor missteps in the season... one can hope they will be repaired in the next because I'll be tuning in. I hope you do too.
So, this thing happened this past weekend called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” No, I’ll try not to spoil it for you but I will tell you there has been an uproar over the publication of the SCRIPT. Yes, read that. I said script not book. Folks pre-ordered the book and thought they were getting an actual book. Yikes. No. That’s not what happened at all. It was clearly stated that the release would be a script. I can’t understand how people don’t know the difference.
Here’s my two cents on actually reading the item in question, but I will tell you up front, I have a theatre background and reading plays is not out of the ordinary for me. Now, moving on…
The book/script has about 301 pages, that’s including the “act breaks” and excluding the beginning “intro” pages as well as the ending cast list and acknowledgements. So if you take out the extra blank pages, it’s shorter than a HP novel. If you can, like I did, picture Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Bonnie Wright in their roles, but older then you’ll do just fine reading this addition to the collection. But if you’re the kind of person that needs all the description and action filled in for you then… don’t bother. If you want to know more, read on.
The play begins nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts and we find ourselves seeing Albus off to Hogwarts for the first time and meeting Scorpius Malfoy. (Let me point out now that J.K. Rowling did not write the whole story but she did contribute. Jack Thorne wrote the play.) Then, we skip to years 2, 3, (with brief pauses in each) and land on 4 where the play takes place, all in the span of a few pages. It’s enough to give any stage manager, even a rock star, a headache, but we make it. Albus doesn’t like school, being Harry Potter’s son will do that, apparently. This story does not focus on Harry Potter. It focuses on Albus. It focuses on the dynamic between father and son, both Harry’s relationship with Albus and Draco’s relationship with Scorpius.
Albus feels the need to prove himself worthy of being the great Harry Potter’s son and gets into trouble doing it. He usually has Scorpius in tow, who also feels enormous pressure being Draco Malfoy’s son. More due to the rumors that Scorpius is not Draco’s but Voldemort’s. (That would be impossible without the help of a time-turner and we all know those were destroyed in the Battle of the Ministry in book 5!)
I won’t tell you anymore. You’ll have to read it for yourself. In my opinion, it’s a quick read and a good addition to the world, however I think it would have been fuller and richer had it been a novel. I was not disappointed. After all, I did spend my time in line to get it.
So, I was all over this when Sony said they weren't going to release it in the theatre. I said I would pay money to see it just on principle. However, I am now glad I didn't waste the cash! I caught this awful monstrosity on Netflix.
The premise I can live with because it's a good one. Poison strip on the hand was just a bit too easy so lets toss in some "honeypotting" or well, "honeyd'ing", which I don't know if it's really called that but hey whatever. James Franco's character Dave Skylark is an idiot where Seth Rogen's character, Aaron Rapaport, is not. He's, in fact, quite the opposite. He's the intelligent guy who did a friend a favor and is now stuck with Dave.
There are gratuitous drug and drinking binges that make you question what the movie is really about. All though it does set up several scenes later in the movie. There was some unnecessary carnage and subtle gay jokes. Okay, so they weren't so subtle especially in the Eminem interview. The whole movie screams one big gay joke, right down to Margaritas and Katy Perry being a sign of "gayness."
In the party scene near the beginning of the film, there was plenty of drug references as well as flashes of boobs. Wow. I thought I was watching Porky's for a few seconds. There was a juvenile quality in what could have been a great movie.
I can say I was disappointed in the humor that Rogen brought to the film and some of the lines weren't that great, cringe worthy at best. Maybe I'm still a little miffed that Rogen didn't think his comment about American Sniper would be misinterpreted. No, it's not that. I was looking forward to this film and it was lacking. So what does that say a bout Rogen as he had a hand in the story line and the directing? I know a lot of people didn't like Green Hornet but I did.
Before you waste your time ... if you are easily grossed out by blood or bodily functions, skip this flick.
College graduate, Army vet, single mom, Husky mom, Movie lover, writer