Friday, October 4, 2013

The Week in Reviews: Films, Books, Fashion and Fun

[I review movies "World War Z," "Fill the Void," "The Great Gatsby," the Martin Short concert, share a couple of good books and dole out fashion tips.]


World War Z (2013)

I have three questions about this movie:

1.  If zombies are the living dead, how come we can shoot and kill them?  Aren't they already dead?
2.  Why do zombies bite people i.e. non-zombies?  Why do they want to turn people into zombies?   What's it to them?
3.  Why did Brad Pitt agree to star in this mess?

Rosy the Reviewer says...the beginning was very intense, but the film became laughable as it went on.  On those grounds alone, though, it could become a cult classic.  But Brad Pitt is one fine looking man.

Fill the Void (2012)

A young Hasidic Jewish woman is pressured into an arranged marriage in this small but compelling Israeli film.  Yadas Haron's performance is exquisite.

Rosy the Reviewer uncritical and rare glimpse inside an ultra-conservative religious group filmed by an adherent of that group.  Fascinating.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

Speaking of fine looking men, Leonardo DiCaprio is one, and I don't think he has yet gotten the acting recognition he deserves.  I was expecting to not like this film as I find Baz Luhrmann a bit over the top as a director, but I really, really liked it.  There have been many attempts to film "The Great Gatsby" and my daughter's theory is that the book doesn't translate well into a movie because the book's strength lies in Fitzgerald's beautiful prose, but I was totally captivated by this film.  I don't think the critics agreed, but this film is definitely worth seeing.  All locations were in Australia.  Could have fooled me.  I thought it really was East and West Egg.

Rosy the Reviewer says...A colorful, poignant take on a literary classic, but I could have done without the modern soundtrack.  Highly recommended.

Mud (2012)

Two young boys befriend a fugitive.  Don't like movies with kids as the main characters and don't like Mathew McConaughey, especially with fake teeth.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like movies starring kids and Matthew McConaughey, you might like this but don't expect him to look hunky here.  He doesn't.

Wizard of Oz in 3D

What a fun way to spend an afternoon. 

Went to see "The Wizard of Oz" in 3D and on Imax and what a treat it was. 

It brought back many memories.  My Dad bought me the 78 records of the movie and I don't mean just the soundtrack, it was the entire movie.  As I watched the film I realized I knew every word of the script and songs!  I also remembered that when I first saw the film, we went over to my grandparent's house to watch it because they had a color TV and we didn't.  When the movie started, I cried because the movie was in black and white.  I thought something had gone wrong with their television.  I haven't seen a feature film in 3D before and I am a believer.  I just wish I hadn't seen the preview for the new 3D Hobbit movie (which I am definitely going to see now), before Wizard came on.  It just can't compete with the modern effects, but it still has some surprises.

I was wishing I could take my grandson to this, but as I thought about it, I wondered if the classic films like this can compete with the Disney films like "Cars," my little grandson's favorite film and one he is an authority on.  The classic films move at a slower pace than many of the current offerings aimed at children, even with the added 3D effects.

Here is what went into converting the film to 3D.

Any classic films you think would benefit from the 3D makeover?

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you have little ones, take them to this.  Or if you just want to have some happy memories, take yourself. 

Just for fun, here are some "Wizard of Oz" factoids (thanks to IMDB):

  • The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.
  • Many of the Wicked Witch of the West's scenes were either trimmed or deleted entirely, as Margaret Hamilton's performance was thought too frightening for audiences.
  • The ruby slippers were silver (like in the book) until MGM chief Louis B. Mayer realized that the Technicolor production would benefit from the slippers being colored.
  • The famous "Surrender Dorothy" sky writing scene was done using a tank of water and a tiny model witch attached to the end of a long hypodermic needle. The syringe was filled with milk, the tip of the needle was put into the tank and the words were written in reverse while being filmed from below. (We've come a long way with special effects)!
  • During the "Wash and Brush Up Co." scene in the Emerald city, the lyrics "We can make a dimpled smile out of a frown/Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown" are sung in counterpoint to the orchestra playing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." 
  • In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #10 Greatest Movie of All Time. 
For more trivia, click here.

And if you are a Pink Floyd fan, you will enjoy the coincidences between the film and their "Dark Side of the Moon" album, which can also be found on that trivia link.  It's really quite amazing considering the band denies any connection.


Martin Short at the Paramount

He was all over the place - he sang, he told stories, he was Jiminy Glick and Ed Grimley and it was hilarious.  I can't imagine anything scarier than doing a one-man show - up there all alone on the stage - but he pulled it off, 90 minutes of Martin Short hilarity.  Hard to believe he is 63.  He moves around the stage like a young man.

Rosy the Reviewer says...If he comes to your town, go see him.  You will have a wonderful night.

And did I tell you I have my tickets to see Cher?

Well I do!

The Astor Orphan  (2013) by Alexandra Aldrich

A memoir by an ancestor of John Jacob Astor, one of the richest men of the earliest 20th century, except she was a poor relation.  I like to read about rich folks but this one misses the mark.  Doesn't really shed much light on this dynasty.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Kind of a bore.  Not enough stuff about rich people.  You can skip this one.

The Girl: Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski (2013)  by Samantha Geimer

Here is the "real story" of the infamous rape case involving Roman Polanski and an underage girl and why he left the U.S. never to return. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...This won't win any writing awards, but it's a compelling story  with a twist in that "the girl" feels Polanski got a bum rap.


According to Harper's Bazaar, there are 10 key buys for fall. 

Mmmmm...I wonder how my wardrobe measures up?

Ankle boots - check

Soft cuddly oversized clutch -
   Does a koala backpack count?

   I already have one of those.  It's called my neck.

Tulip skirt
   Yeah, but I may never wear a skirt again

Hand held bag
   Nope but does a gym bag count?

White coat
   Not a chance.  That's all I need.  I would look like Frosty the Snowman

White pant
   Yes, but, hey, it's after Labor Day.  I thought those were a no-no

Motorcycle jacket
   Sigh.  Yes.  I just need a motorcycle and someplace to wear it

Chelsea boot
   In case you don't know what a Chelsea boot is (I didn't) it's a "low flat jodhpur style boot," if that helps - "the ultimate work to week-end shoe."  Since most of my days are weekends, not sure if I need this
Over-the-knee boots
   Yes, but I can no longer pull them over my knees.

Just for fun, I thought I would add Sofia Vergara's "Must Haves," from the same Harper's Bazaar issue, but she lost me at the Van Cleef and Arpels necklace.

Other tips:

Mixing prints is a hot trend for fall. 
The key is to keep everything in the same color palette.  Here is my attempt.  A Nordstrom saleswoman complimented me so I must be on the right track
And the double chin in this picture is an optical illusion.

And smoking slippers are also hot
These are not slippers in the "hang around the house" sense.  These are meant to be seen!

 What are your fall fashion tips?

Well, that's it for this week.

See you next week when I will share 25 things you don't know about me.  I just know you can't wait!

Until then, I wish you much happiness!

 Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe or share it with your friends.


  1. I already mentioned this on my FB page, but I would love to see "Vertigo" in 3D. The famous shots looking down the belltower (where James Steward as Scottie experiences vertigo) would be incredible in that format. Speaking of which there is a mystery here that hasn't been solved--Hitchcock has been quoted (most famously in the book by Truffaut) that these shots were done by filming inside a miniature on its side, but in one of the shots you can see someone on the stairs and his fingers are moving, so it can't be a miniature.

    1. Vertigo would be good. I wonder what The Birds would look like in 3D

    2. I think 3D would help "The Birds". As the 3D made the painted backdrops on "Oz" look more "real" the process would mask some of the more obvious process shots of the birds.

    3. And what about "Psycho"--imagine the blade coming down on the viewer in the shower scene...!

    4. I thought about Psycho but didn't think there were enough opportunities for the 3D effect other than the shower scene - possibly Martin Balsam being pushed down the stairs...

  2. Vertigo belltower scene--don't watch if you've never seen the movie (I know Rosy has, this is directed at her readers)! You can see the person standing on the stairs at 1:09. It's not obvious here but I've examined the scene on the DVD and there is apparent movement in the fingers.

  3. Brad Pitt not only agreed, the he had the rights to the film and it was his idea! I actually loved it. My son was not so impressed but he read the graphic novel and there were differences. Not into three d movies at any level. Saw a harry potter movie that way and can't wait to see it the normal way. Leave off the white and the tulip skirt and I'm okay with the fall trends, lol. I mix patterns in my art all the time but really havent moved to my clothing!

    1. Thanks, Barb. I really did like how the film started and then I thought it fell apart. But I am a big Brad Pitt fan. I was never into 3D either until I saw the preview for the next Hobbit movie. It looks amazing. I think my mouth was open the whole time it was on. It felt like I was IN the film itself. And Gravity is getting huge buzz so I might bite the bullet and actually go to the theater, which I don't do often, It's just too easy to wait for the DVD.