Friday, May 29, 2015

"Far From the Madding Crowd" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "Far From The Madding Crowd," the DVD "Selma" and the documentary "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck."  The Book of the Week is "O's Little Book of Happiness."  I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with the Clint Eastwood western "High Plains Drifter" ]

A mostly faithful adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 19th century novel.

Bathsheba Everdeen (Carey Mulligan) is a headstrong, independent woman living in Dorset in Victorian England trying to live her own life in a culture dominated by men, and she is one popular girl (recognize that last name? Methinks Suzanne Collins named her Katniss after her). 

Three different men want to marry Bathsheba.  Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a shepherd who lost his farm due to an inexperienced young border collie who ran his sheep off a cliff (the dog did not meet a good end either); William Boldwood  (Michael Sheen), a middle-aged farmer and Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a dashing but dissolute soldier whose love, Fanny Robbin (Juno Temple), left him at the altar because she went to the wrong church.  So who does Bathsheba choose?  Why, the dissolute soldier, of course, which I don't get because Gabriel is way more handsome.

When the film begins, Bathsheba is living on a farm in Dorset with her aunt. She is a carefree young woman who doesn't bother to ride sidesaddle. Gabriel Oak is her neighbor.  One day he comes by and rather dispassionately asks for her hand in marriage.  At this point, Bathsheda doesn't want to marry anyone.  She turns him down. Then Gabriel loses his farm because of the aforementioned dog debacle, and Bathsheba and he lose touch until one day, Gabriel sees a barn on fire and stops to help.  Turns out it's Bathsheba's barn. Bathsheba had inherited her uncle's farm and is now the mistress of a large estate. She hires Gabriel, who is still carrying a torch for her.  Meanwhile, Bathsheba's neighbor, Mr. Boldwood, also asks her to marry him and she also puts him off.  Then she meets Frank Troy, the soldier who was left at the altar. So much for her not wanting to get married.  Sex appeal has that effect on people.  They marry but then wouldn't you know.  Fanny turns up again.

I don't get the whole remake thing.  This same story was told in a perfectly wonderful big budget film starring Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Alan Bates and Terence Stamp and released in 1967.  A costume drama doesn't really age unless it needs CGI so why remake it?  I remember the original one as being quite a bit more dramatic and engaging than this one and that one was almost three hours long.  At a little less than two hours, I found this latest version a bit boring.  Is it me? 

Carey Mulligan is a lovely actress who does a good job as Bathsheba.  Juno Temple only has a small part as Fanny, and I keep wondering when she will break out.  She is a wonderful actress but so far has been limited to starring roles in indy films ("Magic Magic," "The Brass Teapot") no one saw or small parts like this in bigger films.  I am waiting for her to have her big break as she is a remarkable actress.  Sheen is also really good here and has played everyone from David Frost to Dr. William Masters in the TV show "Masters of Sex."  The other actors are fine as well but they couldn't overcome the slow pace.

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, the film is gorgeous in its English landscapes thanks to a woman cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen but feels disjointed. If you didn't know the story, it can get confusing and the film lacks the depth that would make you care about these characters.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like period costume dramas, you might like this but I found it rather "madding" slow and not very compelling. The 1967 version was better.

You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

Selma (2014)

Martin Luther King's 1965 fight to secure equal voting rights for black Americans that culminated in the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

The film begins in 1964 with Martin Luther King accepting his Nobel Peace Prize followed by the death of four little girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church.  King implores President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) for Federal legislation that will allow black Americans to vote without having to jump through the many hoops laid in their paths by those who mean to keep them from it. Johnson declines saying he has more important issues to deal with.  So King gathers his forces to make a big statement to the world by marching in protest from Selma to Montgomery despite the dangers he and his supporters will face.

David Oyelowo stars as Martin Luther King in a well-deserved Academy Award nominated performance.  However, this film is not a biopic in the classic sense.  Though the film shows King, the man, with all of his personal blemishes, this is more about a moment in time in Martin Luther King's civil rights fight, an incredibly important moment in time:  his campaign to get voting rights for black Americans. 

It's good to see Tim Roth again (who has been toiling in TV lately) and he does a great job as George Wallace; Carmen Ejogo uncannily channels Coretta Scott King and my beloved Oprah plays Annie Lee Cooper, in a small but moving role of an older black woman who just wants to vote.

(As an aside and as a big "Housewives" fan, I can't help but mention that it boggles my mind that one of the Atlanta Housewives, Porsha Williams, who is the granddaughter of Hosea Williams, a key player in the history of this story, in one famous "Atlanta Housewives" episode, thought the Underground Railroad was actually under the ground.  I'm just sayin.')

John Legend and Common won Oscars for their collaboration on the original song "Glory," which features prominently and movingly at the end of the film.

This is an important film written by Paul Webb. Directed by Ava DuVernay, it is incredibly ironic that this film was nominated for an Academy Award but the African American woman director who brought it to life was not.  Think about that.

Rosy the Reviewer important, moving film that needs to be seen to remind us all of the inequalities that existed only 50 years ago and the work that still needs to be done today.

Kurt Cobain:  Montage of Heck (2015)

An authorized documentary on the life of musician Kurt Cobain.
"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not." 
Those words seem to define the angst Kurt Cobain seemed to be dealing with as he matured and became famous and which led to his suicide at 27.
Cobain grew up in Aberdeen, Washington in a seemingly normal middle class family in the "Leave it to Beaver" era.  He was the first grandchild in the family and was doted on but was diagnosed as hyperactive.  His mother and father married young and his father was emotionally abusive.  Kurt was nine when his parents divorced and his mother turned him over to his Dad because she couldn't handle him.  Likewise, his father couldn't handle him either so Kurt was shuttled around among family members.  No one wanted him because he was such a handful.  His early drawings and diary entries show a disturbed and angry young man.
He discovered pot at an early age and seemed to have a death wish, but when Kurt discovered punk rock music, he realized that was what he wanted to do. However, when Nirvana became really big, he couldn't cope with the fame.
Written and directed by Brett Morgen and co-produced by Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean, this documentary's strength lies in the home movies and recollections about Kurt's childhood and adolescence through interviews with his mother, his first girlfriend and Nirvana bandmates. It is less compelling when animation is used, though it is eerie to hear Cobain's voiceovers.  Diary entries, drawings and performance footage round out the film.
Rosy the Reviewer in-depth look at the life of a rock legend.  A must for Nirvana fans.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

262 To Go!

High Plains Drifter (1973)

Clint Eastwood's second film as director-star resurrecting his spaghetti western mono-syllabic persona in a quasi-western/horror film.
A stranger rides into the town of Lago and is quickly called to stand up to three bad guys who are heading their way.  Think a spaghetti western (though not filmed in Italy) version of "High Noon."

Why it's a Must See:  "With at least as much borrowed from Luis Bunuel as Sergio Leone, this is a funny, brutal, scary movie, daringly weird in its mixture of Western and horror themes, and shot through with acid self-analysis."
---1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

It's also politically incorrect as hell with Clint raping a woman to shut her up.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Not my kind of movie, but it's fun to see Clint before he became known for rants about Obama to an empty chair and yelling at people to "get off my lawn." 


***Book of the Week***

O's Little Book of Happiness by the Editors of O, The Oprah Magazine (2015)

Get inspired with this recap of the best articles to appear in Oprah's "O Magazine," written by some of our best writers.

Check out Jane Smiley's "Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Horse," Neil deGrasse Tyson on how your life matters, "Bad Feminist"  Roxane Gay telling us to "Stop Whining" and Elizabeth Gilbert on how to ask for what you want.

Each piece is just a couple of pages, just perfect for reading one a day and to start your day inspired.

Rosy the Reviewer says...who doesn't need a little inspiration?

Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for
"Rosy the Reviewer Does Italy,
Part I:  Rome"
(with travel tips and pithy observations)


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Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.


Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 



Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Planning A Trip -- Baby Boomer Style!

Well, we all know what Baby Boomer means.  It means if you are one you are at least 50 years old and the emphasis is on old.

And let's face it.  Traveling these days ain't easy.  It's a big, big crowded world.

So when planning a trip the "old" part of the equation must come into play, but if you read my April 21st post "How You Know You Are Not Just Getting Old, You Are Already There!," you know that I think BEING OLD is a good thing.  It means you have made it this far, the alternative being that big black abyss we really are not sure of, AND over those 50+ years you have learned some stuff.

But there are some physical and mental considerations that separate us from younger folks that we need to consider when planning a trip.

Hubby and I are just back from a trip to Rome, Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.  We stayed for several days in Positano, a town consisting of mostly STEPS!  In fact the entire Amalfi Coast appears to be step upon step upon step.  Now if you are like Hubby and me, we are carrying around, shall I say, "a few extra pounds?"  So that can be a consideration when looking up a flight of 300+ stairs.

So as I said, it's not just physical limitations some of us might have to consider but the mental part.  When staring at those stairs, you have to say "I can do it" and haul your butt up there.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that last year Hubby and I completed all 25 stair walks in the wonderful book  "Seattle Stairway Walks" and I reported on that in my post "The Joys of Stair Walks."


So we retraced some of our steps, as it were, and redid some of those walks in anticipation of Positano.

So that takes me to the first tip for planning a trip.

1.  Plan for it

That might seem like a no brainer, but like us, if you plan on going somewhere where you will be doing something you don't usually do, then you need to plan on how you are going to manage it.

You first need to decide where to go, so if you use a walker, probably climbing the steps of Positano is not for you.  So researching a place is important.  But once you have determined that is where you want to go, then you need to go in depth and decide what you want to see and how you will do that.

I could just end this section and say, have Hubby do it and leave it at that (another thing that husbands are good for).  I tell Hubby where I want to go and what I want to see and he puts it all together. He used to do that.  Lately we found some of his binders that he had put together for some of our trips:  our itinerary, train tickets, hotel confirmations, etc.

But I came to realize that Hubby and I have different ideas of what a vacation should be. He likes to keep moving and packs our days full of sightseeing. 


I need to have some downtime scheduled in there.

So I have to be careful of letting him do all of the planning.  He's Mr. Know-it-all, remember, so I have to stay on top of him or I will find myself in a five story walkup overlooking some dumpsters just because it was cheap or this place in Paris.

That was our view.

So do your homework. 

Check out your hotel on its website and ask yourself - will I be where I want to be?  Does it have the comfort I need to make my trip pleasant?

Other considerations:

Make sure you don't need a visa to get into the country. 

Make sure the museum you want to visit is open the day you plan to go or worse, find out that it's closed. On our last trip to Paris, we busted our butts to get to the Picasso museum before it closed (we were coming all of the way from Versailles) only to discover, indeed, it was closed.  It was REALLY closed as in not going to be open the entire time we were visiting Paris.  It was being  renovated.  We would have saved ourselves some sweat and tears had we checked that out beforehand.  Likewise, this trip, those frozen in time bodies that are such a draw at Pompeii?  On tour.  In fact, they were in Seattle!

What is the weather going to be like?
When is the best time to go?
What kind of transportation is available and what should you watch out for? 

Go to the library and check out some guidebooks.  You would be surprised how many people we met didn't seem to know what sights to see. We like Rick Steves and his guidebooks because he gets down to the nitty-gritty about what to watch out for. He scared the crap out of me about pickpockets in Rome and for a Prague trip, we were warned about the unscrupulous taxi drivers who pick you up at the train station.  We made sure our driver had a meter (which he told us to do) and everything seemed OK until we arrived at our hotel only to discover he was overcharging us big time.  What can you do?  When Hubby ran into the hotel to complain (as Rick advised) the concierge said, "Welcome to Prague."  You win some, you lose some.  Naples cab drivers are similar, we discovered.  However, the directions and maps in Rick's guides are not so good.

2.  Make a list of what needs to be done before you go

I am a big list maker.

Make a list of not just what to pack but what needs to be done before you leave and even when you get back.
Stopping your newspaper (if you still get one delivered) and your mail is obvious, but did you remember to pack immodium or tissues?  Immodium is great if you don't think you will be near a toilet and tissues are a must when you get there (just in case).

I also remind myself to return my library books, get a pedicure, pay the bills and clean out my purse.

Just don't forget where you put the list!


3.  Pack appropriately 

Yes, you can take a carry-on and have enough stylish outfits for two weeks or more.

Those of us of a certain age shouldn't be hauling huge suitcases around.  Even if you check your bag on the plane, remember you need to get it from the airport to the hotel.  Even getting out of the airport can be tricky with a big bag.  Escalators can be downright dangerous.

On a trip to Venice, I had not yet learned my lesson and was pulling my huge bag containing multiple changes of shoes onto a vaporetto when the driver yelled "Andiamo," as in "Get your butt onto this boat, old lady, or I will leave without you."  No amount of cute shoes or a different outfit a day is worth being yelled at in Venice.

I recently read a blog post about creating a capsule wardrobe.  When packing, put an outfit together (lay it out on the bed), then create another outfit by taking one piece from the previous one and creating another one from that and so on.  It's practical and it's fun.  Try it.

Also those of us of a certain age can be forgetful, and though I like lists, I can forget where I put them.  So to avoid forgetting my chargers, saline for my contacts, make-up and my wine bottle opener, I have plastic bags filled with those items plus other necessary travel items all ready year-round - all ready to grab and go.

4.  Put together a daily itinerary

It's one thing to know where you want to go and what you want to see, but it's a good idea to also try to put together a daily itinerary before you go so you can calculate how easy or difficult it's going to be to do all of that in one day.  Calculate how far you are away from things and how you are going  to get there.  Then plan your day around that first destination. 

For example, while in Rome, if you want to see the Vatican museum and the Basilica, plan for something else nearby to complete your day rather than going clear across town to see another big sight.  And let me tell you, seeing the Vatican could take all day if it's anything like it was the day we were there.  Crowds, crowds and more crowds and tour groups galore so plan accordingly.

5. Don't look like a slob when you fly

This is a tip for your sake and for the sake of others. I have come to the conclusion that you get treated better when you look good. It's bad enough that we older folks are practically invisible to the young.  So don't make it worse by looking like you just got out of bed. Plan to dress well.  No flip flops or sweat pants for me when I fly and I don't want to see you in them either.  I want to look like I deserve to be upgraded to Business Class. 

6.  Don't be an Ugly American.

I have noticed that as I age, it gets harder and harder to break out of my routine.  So a trip overseas can be a shock to the system.  But it's important to break out of that and determine to live like a local.  Plan for it!

No complaining about things not being like they are in the U.S. 

People from other countries like their routines too and they work just fine for them.  If you want to enjoy yourself, spend more time observing how things are done and following suit and the quieter you are about it, the more you will see.  We Americans have a reputation for being loud and pushy.  I don't think that's necessariy true.  There are certainly some other pushier cultures out there but no need to add to that stereotype.

We ran into some Americans as we stood in line to board our plane coming home.  They did not like Italy saying that everyone was really rude.  That was not our experience at all, but I can understand that if you throw your weight around in other countries, you will reap what you sow.

And speaking of planes, plan to be nice to the flight attendants.  It will make their day and they can make yours.  When I walk on, I smile and say something nice and upbeat.  Remember they will be taking care of you for a long flight.  This trip, when I left the plane, one of the flight attendants remembered me when I got on the plane and she said, "Keep that beautiful smile!" I have even gotten free drinks when the flight attendant admired my jacket (see #5 above) 

Thoughtful actions will get you everywhere!

7.  A packed bag relieves stress

There can be quite a bit of stress planning and getting ready for a big trip. 

For example, on this recent trip to Rome, two days before we were to depart, Hubby received a text from British Airways saying our leg from London to Rome had been canceled due to a fire at the airport the week before.  So now a two hour layover in London turned into a six hour layover, getting us to Rome at almost midnight.  Since we had never been to Rome before, this was just added stress to the stress we already had of leaving on a long trip:  is the house secure?  Will the dogs be OK?  Are the bills paid?  Did I pack everything I need? Did I leave the iron on?

But when the bag is packed and the key is turned in the front door, let that packed bag symbolize that you no longer need to think about the day-to-day routine.  It's just you and the adventure that awaits and that's all you need to think about.


Safe and happy travels!

(and Tuesday I start my series on "Rosy the Reviewer Does Italy!")

Thanks for Reading!

See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 
"Far From the Madding Crowd" 

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on

My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."


If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Friday, May 22, 2015

"Hot Pursuit" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "Hot Pursuit" and DVDs "Knowing" and "The Last Five Years." The Book of the Week is Candace Bergen's "A Fine Romance."  I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project: "Come Drink With Me."]

A by-the-book cop tries to protect a drug lord's wife while running from bent cops and drug lords who want to kill them.

Reese Witherspoon plays Cooper, a serious (and clueless) cop who has been toiling in the evidence room ever since she accidentally tasered a kid and set him on fire. Doing something stupid has now gone down in police vernacular as "doing a Cooper."  However, she gets her chance to redeem herself when she is called upon to accompany a Detective Jackson (Richard T. Jones) to pick up a drug dealer and his wife in order to place them in a witness protection program until they can testify against a drug lord.  Sophia Vergara plays Daniella Riva, the drug dealer's wife.

However, things don't go as planned and Detective Jackson and Daniella's husband are killed by competing bad guys (a set of bad cops and a set of what appear to be the drug lord side) and Daniella and Cooper must go on the run.  All kinds of hijinks ensue.

Beware of films where the stars hit every single talk show from the "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" to "Watch What Happens Live" to "The Talk" before release of the film.  That is a sure sign it's a clunker and a ploy to get as many people into the theatre before the critics get wind of it.  That appears to be the case here.

Likewise, comedies with outtakes over the closing credits usually mean you have just watched a movie that is not funny and they are desperately trying to get some laughs.  However, for you and them, it's too late.  That also appears to be the case here.

The film starts out well showing the young Cooper going on rides with her Dad, who is a well-respected San Antonio cop. She looks up to him and wants to be like him.  Flash forward, and Cooper is now a cop chasing a guy down.  Turns out it was her date who got spooked when she pulled a gun on him.  She chased him to return his wallet.  Seems like that's the kind of love life she has because she is so focused on her job she can't see how boring she is. So that was kind of funny and Witherspoon is an engaging comedy talent as she proved in "Legally Blonde."  I can't say the same for Vergara whose main claim to fame seems to be her fantastic physique and her supposedly funny mangling of the English language which began in TV's "Modern Family," and which is now old and not funny.

I can see why someone would think pairing the short, girl-next-door Witherspoon with the tall and impressive Vergara would be funny, and many jokes are made out of that in this film.  However, Vergara isn't really a very good actress and the script (David Feeney and John Quaintance) lets both of them down.  There are few laughs here unless you like slapstick comedy like "The Three Stooges" and even those are funnier than this.

I wanted to like this film because it has a woman director (Anne Fletcher) and buddy films starring women are few and far between and can be funny and fun but it wasn't either of those things.

Rosy the Reviewer quest for a funny comedy continues.  This one wasn't.

You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

Knowing (2009)
M.I.T. Professor John Koestler (Nicholas Cage) discovers that a list of numbers found in a time capsule buried 50 years earlier are links to future disasters.

In 1959 a time capsule is buried to be opened in 50 years.  Little Lucinda Dawes (Lara Robinson) won the contest to decide what the children should put in the time capsule.  Her idea was that each child would draw a picture to put in it to be distributed to children 50 years later when the time capsule is opened.  However, Lucinda doesn't draw a picture.  She fills her paper with numbers.  You see, little Lucinda hears voices and knows some stuff that we don't.

Fast forward 50 years.

John Koestler is a cosmologist at M.I.T.  In class, he leads a discussion about determinism vs. the theory of randomness.  Koestler seems to believe that our existence is a series of chemical accidents and grand mutations with no real meaning or purpose.  He tells his students "Shit just happens."  This is not good news to Koestler's father who is a pastor.
John is also a widower raising his young son, Caleb (Chandler Canterbury).  He's not a very happy widower.  After his son goes to bed, John slams down wine, listens to classical music and watches nature films on TV, brooding and that brooding way only Nicholas Cage can do. And wouldn't you know.  His son goes to that very same school that buried that time capsule and he is the one that ends up with Lucinda's list of mysterious numbers. 

One night while John is doing his thing - drinking wine and watching nature films on TV - he accidentally spills some liquor on that list of numbers Caleb brought home from the time capsule ceremony.  A little drunk but intrigued, John starts playing with the numbers and stumbles across 9 11 01.  All of a sudden we realize that little Lucinda knew all about 9/11. Oh, shit. Sometimes alcohol actually helps you make sense of things because then Koestler matches numbers on Lucinda's list with all of the major tragedies that happened in the last 50 years - date, time and location - except for three that haven't happened yet.  Oh, shit, again.

Now Koestler must figure out what is going to happen next and somehow stop it.

So now, so much for "shit just happens."  Looks like somebody now believes in determinism.  And that's when the film, directed by Alex Proyas ("Dark City" and "The Crow") falls apart a bit as it moves into a sort of religious "end of days" scenario.

Nicholas Cage is an acquired taste.  You either like his lazy drawling delivery of his lines or you don't. And sometimes he is just laughable when he doesn't mean to be.  There is one scene where a guy is running on fire from the wreckage of a plane.  Nick yells, "Hey!"  I'm not sure what he thought that guys was going to reply. Keanu Reeves also falls into the same category. How these two ever became action heroes is a mystery.  And I have to remind myself that Cage won an Oscar!
Rose Byrne, whose career has really taken off since this film, plays Diana, the love interest and Lara Robinson also plays her daughter.  So guess who Diana's mother was?

Rosy the Reviewer says...despite some reservations, this is actually a pretty good scifi thriller, with great special effects, the religious themes notwithstanding.

The Last Five Years (2014)

Jamie and Cathy retrace their romance and marriage in song.

Yep.  It's all singing.

Based on the musical of the same name by Jason Robert Brown (adapted and directed by Richard LaGravanese), Jamie (Jeremy Jordan who you might recognize from TV's "Smash") and Cathy (Anna Kendrick) sing about  their love and marriage, Cathy starting at the end, Jamie from the beginning.  He is a novelist and she is a struggling actress.  We follow them as their careers take off.  When Jamie makes it big first by writing a bestseller, Cathy finds it difficult to stand in his shadow.

The film starts with Cathy alone in her apartment lamenting the end of her marriage.  Next on tap we see Cathy and Jamie ripping each other's clothes off in the first throes of sexual desire and frenzy.  I couldn't help but think how hard it must be to sing while doing that.

We forget that most actors and actresses have to go the musical route in college or on Broadway before getting that big film contract so it's no surprise that Anna Kendrick can sing.  She is obviously a "Broadway baby" with a Broadway voice, as she first showed us in "Pitch Perfect," though here after 90 minutes of her voice I found it a bit annoying. Jordan, however, has a gorgeous voice.

Broadway musicals don't usually translate well to the screen and this one is no exception.  For one thing, these kinds of shows need to be performed in front of an audience.  Sitting in a darkened theatre watching live actors, it is easier to suspend disbelief because we know the limitations of the stage.  But seeing a stage musical on the screen staged like a play with just two characters singing about their relationship is just too static for filmgoers who are used to seeing CGI, car chases and blood.

And what's worse, there are no memorable songs except for one moment when Cathy is answering a "cattle call" and sings a song about all of the things running through her mind and what the auditioners might be thinking of her. That one is kind of fun.

The story is an interesting concept with Cathy telling her story from the end and Jamie telling his from the beginning and a classic theme - if only we could see into the future before we commit to a relationship.  But after awhile with all of the back and forth in time,  it is difficult to tell where we are in the story.  I love musicals but even I found myself fast-forwarding through some of it.

Rosy the Reviewer says...for fans of this show or hard-core musical fans only - and even then you might be disappointed.


***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

262 To Go!

Come Drink With Me (Da Zui Xia 1966)
Bandits, whose leader is in prison facing death, kidnap the Governor's son and want their leader in exchange for the son's safe return. The authorities send a mysterious swordswoman named Golden Swallow (Cheng Pei-pei) to rescue him.
Why it's a Must See: "Long before there was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) there was the great King Hu, a master director who, beginning with [this film], helped revolutionize the martial arts costume drama by introducing a female lead...The film is a visual tour de force, each sequence meticulously designed by King Hu into a feast of color, movement, and high-flying action...Young star Cheng Pei-pei, who wields a sword like nobody before or perhaps after her, perfectly combines steely determination with a kind of touching fragility...She would go on to a successful career in Hong Kong cinema and would win great acclaim for her return to the screen as the evil Nanny in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger."
---1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die 

Pei-pei is a lovely screen presence who can really kick butt. I love seeing a woman kicking butt.  She dispatches eight men at once as easily as if she were carving a turkey.  And no special effects enhanced flying through the air that have become a staple in martial arts films now.  This is old school.  She does it the hard way.

Great bloody fun, and I mean that literally.  Lots of blood, in a cartoon sort of way.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a fan of Chinese martial arts films, you should add this classic to your repertoire.
(In Chinese with English subtitles)

***Book of the Week***

A Fine Romance by Candice Bergen (2015)
Candice Bergen's latest memoir brings us up to date since her first one "Knock Wood."

The "romance" here is not only her two marriages but her love for her only child, her daughter Chloe, who was born to her late in life.

Bergen didn't marry until she was 30 and when she did she married famed director Louis Malle.  At 39 she had her first and only child.

She shares memories of her marriage to Malle, who died at the age of 63 in 1995, her struggles as a mother balancing her absolute love for her daughter against the needs of her husband, while at the same time trying to maintain a career.  After Malle's death, Bergen found love again after she was tricked into a blind date.

Bergen gives us an inside look into her TV show "Murphy Brown" - can you imagine Heather Locklear was a lock until Bergen showed interest?  Hard to imagine anyone else other than Bergen as Murphy.  She shares the infamous Dan Quayle incident during the 1992 Presidential Campaign where he took exception to Murphy Brown being a single mother.

She is self-deprecating, making fun of her hair and her weight (she doesn't care that she has put on 30 pounds.  She likes to eat!), sharing regrets as a mother, daughter and wife and the sadness of the empty nest.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a satisfying, honest memoir that you Candice Bergen and "Murphy Brown" fans will particularly enjoy.

Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for
"Planning a Trip:  Baby Boomer Style!"


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