Showing posts with label Films. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Films. Show all posts

Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Quiet Place Part II (Review)

Because I really, really liked the first one, I had been wishing and waiting to see the second installment of "A Quiet Place," a horror story about blind aliens with a keen sense of hearing who take over our planet. This sequel was supposed to come out in theatres last year, but then a real life horror story came out – the Pandemic. And if you read my review of the first one, there is an eerie prescience about living life during a horror story.  Anyway, when the film was finally released into theatres this year, I wasn’t keen on sitting in a theatre anymore so was happy when the DVD came out but, now I am saying to myself, "Be careful what you wish for."

And I should have known better, because you know how I feel about sequels.  I will get to that in a bit.

First, let me get you caught up.  Oh, wait, the sequel does it for you.  It spends 12 minutes of a 97 minute movie showing you what happened in the first one, possibly helpful if you didn’t see the first one, confusing for those of us who did see the first one because we see a character who had died in the first one. We think, “Huh?”  It’s also a questionable choice to spend 12 minutes of a 97 minute movie in a recap since it leaves little time left to expand the new story. Was the recap really needed? I understand the desire to make this sequel a stand alone film so giving the newbies a heads up might be helpful in that regard but those 12 minutes wouldn't really help those who hadn't seen the first one and just confused those of us who did. I also wonder why someone would want to see a sequel without seeing the first one anyway, so may I recommend that you see the first one? Like I said, the first one was really, really good.

Anyway, in the interests of this review, I will give you a quick update and I promise it won’t take 12 minutes. The planet has been invaded by some scary, spidery aliens who can’t see but are sensitive to sound, so to avoid getting torn apart, everyone must be very, very quiet.  That’s basically it.

Part I focused on the Abbott family, Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Lee (John Krasinski, Blunt's real-life husband) and their children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) and a newborn baby that was born in the first one (can you imagine – she had to give birth in silence)! Regan is a particularly interesting character in light of the keen sense of hearing that the aliens have. She is deaf (Simmonds is also deaf in real life). At the end of Part I, Evelyn had figured out how to blow the heads off the aliens with a shotgun, but we were pretty much left up in the air about what was going to happen to them all, hence this sequel.

So now in Part II, what’s left of the Abbot family is living with the reality of these alien creatures.  It’s their New Normal (where have I heard that before)?  As long as they are quiet, they can mostly avoid them. There is no childbirth scene in this one, but Marcus gets his leg caught in a bear trap, so kind of the same thing.  Again, difficult to keep quiet. The family meets up with old friend, Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who isn’t so friendly now, but who reluctantly allows them to share his bunker. When they hear a mysterious signal coming from their radio transmitter, Emmett and Regan head off to try to find where it’s coming from.

The first film was a tantalizing idea for a sci-fi horror film... 

Space aliens with impeccable hearing.  Kind of reminded me of my mother.  Her hearing was so good that when she was down in the basement ironing, she could hear my brother and me whispering about her on the second floor. “I heard that,” she’d yell.  It was our own little horror story.  

Anyway, sadly, this sequel is just more of the same – a lot of running around, a lot of shushing and many shotgun blasts to the heads of these unattractive aliens. Written and directed by John Kasinski, this time around, the film focuses less on Blunt and more on Murphy and Simmonds.  The acting is good and we are given some closure on what happens to the family, but that really could have been done in the first one.

Did we need this sequel?  Not really.  Was I disappointed? Yes, because I will say once again, I really, really liked the first one. Is this the end?  Probably not.  

If this sequel makes money, it’s all about ka-ching.  There will be yet another installment. And, that my friends, is the problem with sequels. A movie starts out as a good idea.  It makes a lot of money and then that good idea gets run into the ground until we have forgotten what was good about the first one.  If you have a hit movie, why not bask in the glory?  Don’t sully that first movie with an inferior one just to profit from the popularity of the first one.  The only movie series I can name where the sequels were as good or even perhaps better than the original was “The Godfather.

Rosy the Reviewer says…though there was a certain amount of closure here, it seems to me the door has been left open for a third installment.  Please, god, no.

(Available on DVD from Netflix or for rent or purchase On Demand or from Amazon)

Thanks for reading!

See you soon!

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 

And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll over to the right of the synopsis to where it says "Critic Reviews" - Click on that and if I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list (NOTE:  IMDB keeps moving stuff around so if you don't find "Critics Reviews" where I am sending you, look around.  It's worth it)!


Sunday, July 18, 2021

What I Watched (and Liked) While on My 2021 Summer Stay-cation: Movies - Part 1

[I review "In the Heights," "The Courier," "The Last Vermeer," "Things Heard and Seen," "Memories of Murder," "The Woman in the Window" and "Another Round"]

I realize that the summer is not over but there are so many movies on my radar, I thought I had better get this first installment out.  

I had put out teasers for these films on my Rosy the Reviewer Facebook page but I have expanded those reviews and now you have a handy list of must-see movies, all in one place!

Let me know what your think!

In the Heights (2021)

Ever wonder what Lin-Manual Miranda did before he took the world by storm with “Hamilton?” Well, this was it.

He wrote this show in 1999, his sophomore year in college. It eventually made its way to Broadway in 2008, garnering 14 Tony Award nominations and winning four.
The story is set over three days in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, a predominantly Hispanic enclave and follows Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos), a bodega owner who dreams of going back to his native Dominican Republic; Nina (Leslie Grace), who has made it out of the neighborhood to Stanford but is having difficulty finding her place there; Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), an aspiring fashion designer who yearns for a nice apartment of her own; local businessman, Kevin Rosario (Jimmy Smits) and other Washington Heights community members, all seeking un sueno, “the dream.”
It seems a lottery ticket worth $96,000 was sold at the bodega so everyone wondering who has won that money is a theme throughout the film and there is a blackout, but other than that there isn’t much of a plot and it’s a bit long, but that doesn't matter, because this is all about these engaging characters and the exuberance of a vibrant community. Directed by Jon M. Chu (who made a big splash with "Crazy Rich Asians") and an adapted screenplay by Quiara Alegria Hudes, this is a celebration of community, music, dance, love and, life itself, and yes, rap...and you can’t help but get swept up in it all. It’s also an homage to the immigrants who have made this country great.

And for you Miranda fans (he has a cameo, by the way), as you watch this, it will be fun for you to think of him, that college boy writing this show fusing rap, hip-hop and salsa music before anyone did such a thing. And there is even a hint of "West Side Story" in there. And then came “Hamilton.” You can’t listen to the song “96,000” without thinking of “Hamilton.”

Rosy the Reviewer says…"West Side Story" meets "Hamilton." People, Broadway is BACK!
(This was streaming for free for subscribers of HBO Max but it's no longer available - these free streams only last a month - so if you want to see it, you will need to venture out to the theatre or wait for it to appear on the other streaming services. It is scheduled to be released on DVD August 31 so it should be On Demand or on Amazon or Netflix soon after).

The Courier (2020)

During the Cold War, an English businessman is recruited by MI6 and the CIA to spy on Russia.

Is there nothing Benedict Cumberbatch can’t do? Okay, he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, though he has done some crazy stuff as Dr. Strange, but he is one hell of an actor who can play any character with ease and make him exceedingly believable.
That is the case here as he takes us on a Cold War journey as Greville Wynne, a British businessman who is approached by MI6 and the CIA to help them get information on the Soviet’s nuclear program. He is recruited to act as a business partner to Russian official, Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze), to take messages back to the West which eventually provided crucial intelligence that helped to end the Cuban Missile Crisis, an event that led us perilously close to a nuclear war. However, Wynne's and Penkovsky's participation led to some severe consequences for them.

Wynne is an unlikely spy. He is kind of a nerdy businessman who is better at schmoozing than spying, but it's the story of how ordinary people can be thrust into history for the greater good. It's a spy story you will recognize with the usual spy story tropes but this is also an intense and important story brought to life by wonderful performances by Cumberbatch and Ninidze.
Rosy the Reviewer says…based on a true story, adapted by Tom O'Connor and directed by Dominic Cooke, this is an intense spy thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
(Available on DVD, On Demand and to rent on Amazon Prime)

Post WWII, collaborators with the Nazis were not very say the least!

When Hitler’s Reich fell in May of 1945, the Americans discovered art that the Nazis had looted, one of which was a valuable Vermeer called “Christ and the Adulteress.” We all know that the Nazis were bad guys who killed six million Jews but they also stole their art. Joseph Piller (Claes Bang) is assigned to find the owners of the art and to return it to them, if they are still alive, that is.
Piller tracks down Han Van Meegeren (Guy Pearce), an artist who was known to have sold the Vermeer to Goring (Goring was a monster but I guess he loved art. Does that make him less of a monster? I think not). Now Van Meegeren is in the cross hairs as a possible collaborator with the Nazis. Was he? Turns out, nothing is as it seems.

He is brought to trial and his defense is that he was not collaborating with the Nazis, he was defrauding them because, you see, Van Meegeren is a master forger. Thus the age old question, "What is art?"
Written by John Orloff, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby and directed by Dan Friedkin, this is an examination of war and what people do to survive it.

Pearce (I am obsessed with his hair in this!) and Bang make great foils and might I add that Claes Bang is certainly a nice big handsome man?! I'm just saying.
Rosy the Reviewer says…an intellectual and, dare I say, “arty” foray into a little known part of the aftermath of WW II. If you like serious historical dramas, this is for you.
NOTE: I think this is available on STARZ, if you are currently signed up for that. However, I watched it on a DVD from Netflix. Okay, I know what you are thinking. Who on earth still gets DVDs from Netflix? Well, lest you think I am the little old lady holding up the line writing a check at the grocery store or fishing into my coin purse for exact change, my still getting DVDs from Netflix (I stream as well) puts me ahead of you in the queue. I have access to movies as soon as they are released on DVD, well before Netflix or Amazon or any of the other services get the film…so there! But watch for it, it will stream soon.

This is one of those “married couple moves into creepy house and creepy stuff happens” kind of movie.

It doesn’t help that the couple in question, George (James Norton) and Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) are also a bit creepy, well, George anyway.
As well as a ghost story, this is a story of a couple in trouble. Or, more like a couple with a really bad husband. George is a “failed artist,” who is forced to take a job as a professor in an upstate New York college, and Catherine has an eating disorder and other issues, probably because her husband is a cad. It isn’t long until ghostly happenings occur because it turns out there was a murder/suicide that took place in that house and it seems the murdered wife wants to get in touch with our Catherine, because, “Catherine, you are in danger, girl.”
Gee, I wonder if more bad stuff is going to happen. Duh, you think?
You “Granchester” fans might be uncomfortable seeing James Norton, who you remember as a benign priest solving crimes in a lovely English town, as a bad guy, but he does bad guy really well. And I enjoyed seeing Karen Allen, Michael O’Keefe and F. Murray Abraham get some screen time – where have they been?
And would you believe, the library plays a big role as Catherine does research on her “haunted” house? Yes, people, libraries are more than books and reading – you can research your house, town and your ancestry, take computer classes, find answers to questions that you can’t find on Google (it’s called asking a reference librarian who is trained to find answers to the most obscure questions) and meet up with your fellow community members. The library is a community gathering place where you can actually see your property taxes at work.

Based on the book "All Things Cease to Appear" by Elizabeth Brundage and adapted and directed by husband and wife team Sherry Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, this is an atmospheric ghost story with some psychology thrown in.
Rosy the Reviewer says…if you like ghostly stories about couples in trouble and things that go bump in the night, you will enjoy this.
(Now streaming on Netflix)

Before "Parasite" surprisingly won the Academy Award for Best Picture, there was this film from director Bong Joon Ho.

As you movie fans will remember, “Parasite” was a surprise win for the the Best Picture Oscar in 2020 and its director, Bong Joon Ho, who won Best Director, was only the second “foreign” director to win a Best Director Oscar.
This 2003 film about the inept investigation of a serial killer in Korea (based on a true case that was unsolved at the time of this film’s release) was only Ho’s second feature film and shows his filmmaking expertise – his ability to weigh humor vs. suspense - that would lead to his Oscar in 2020 for "Parasite." Thanks to his 2020 Oscar win, this earlier film is now available.
It’s the 1980’s and women are being killed in a small Korean town where the police are not prepared for this kind of investigation. In fact, they are incompetent and brutal, and not above forcing false confessions. When another officer comes from Seoul to help, he is shocked by the incompetence of the local cops and they are all shocked when they realize that perhaps this killer is getting the best of them. Like “Parasite,” it’s creepy and moody, but also funny and there are twists and turns, with a bit of a political statement about the state of affairs in Korea too.
Kang-Ho Song, who also starred in “Parasite,” stars here but the ensemble cast also deserves recognition.
Rosy the Reviewer says…if you had seen this back in 2003, you might have said, “Wow…I see an Oscar in this guy’s future!” If you were a “Parasite” fan, you will enjoy this.
(Available on DVD from Netflix and streaming on Hulu. In Korean with English subtitles)

An agoraphobic woman spies on her neighbors and witnesses a murder.

Amy Adams stars in this psychological thriller about an agoraphobic psychologist (you heard me) who hasn’t been out of her Manhattan brownstone in over 10 months. When new neighbors move in across the street she spends some time spying on them only to witness a murder…and because she likes to drink wine with her meds (who doesn’t?), no one believes her because it appears no one is dead!

Anna is a psychologist who has experienced a breakdown. She hasn't been out of her house in 10 months and relies on food deliveries, old movies on TV and red wine. A family has moved in across the street and now part of Anna's routine is to watch their every move through their windows which are conveniently rarely covered. Jane (Julianne Moore), the new neighbor, visits Anna and the two hit it off (red wine will do that!) so it's a huge shock when Anna, during one of her "spying on the new neighbors" sessions, thinks she sees Jane's husband stabbing her. Anna calls the police and when they arrive with Jane's husband and Jane in tow, Anna is horrified that this Jane is NOT the woman she had just spent the evening with! What the...? And therein, my fellow peeps, lies the mystery ahead.
I am a big reader, mostly nonfiction, but I try my hand at fiction every third or fourth book, and I like the occasional thriller, so I read this bestseller by A.J. Finn a couple of years ago and looked forward to this movie version... and it mostly works. It’s a kind of modern day “Rear Window,” with agoraphobia instead of a wheelchair and lots of star power: in addition to Adams, there is Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, an almost unrecognizable Jennifer Jason Leigh (I think she's had some work done), and an uncredited Tracy Letts (a man of many talents, he also adapted the screenplay).

Directed by Joe Wright, this is atmospheric, suspenseful and has a very big twist.
Rosy the Reviewer says…if you liked “Rear Window,” “Gone Girl” or “The Girl on the Train,” you might also like this one.
(Now streaming on Netflix)

Four Danish school teachers hitting a midlife crisis get this idea that consuming just the right amount of alcohol every day will give them their mojo back. Mmmm.

Four Danish teachers - Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe) and Nicolaj (Magnus Millang) - are just phoning it in. They have become boring. They know it and so do their students and the other faculty members. But when one of them comes across a study that says the human body is lacking .05% alcohol in order to live happy, productive lives, the four embark on a social experiment to see if that is true. They start spending their personal and professional lives just a little bit drunk. But there are rules. They are not to drink more than required to get to .05% and they are not to drink after 8pm.

And wouldn’t you know it? They all have a renewed interest in their work, they are inspired to teach and their students are inspired by them. Martin reconnects with his wife and kids. But if a little booze is a good thing, more booze is better, right? Next the group decides to expand the drinking to .10% which also seems to work so why not try some binge drinking to see how that goes? Do you see where this is going to go? Right.

Written by Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm, this is an engaging and entertaining film with an wonderful ensemble cast with Mads Mikkelsen a stand-out (his is a face you will recognize for his roles in many English language films as well as the TV show "Hannibal").
Rosy the Reviewer says…this won an Oscar for Best International Film and it’s a wonderful film experience, but I have to admit, not sure if the message here was booze is good or booze is bad. Watch the movie, have another round, and let's discuss!
(In Danish with English subtitles. And c’mon, folks you can do it. If you don’t watch films with subtitles, you are missing out! Available from Netflix on DVD or to rent on Amazon)

Thanks for reading!

See you soon
for My Summer Stay-cation Movies Part 2!

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 

And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll over to the right of the synopsis to where it says "Critic Reviews" - Click on that and if I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list (NOTE:  IMDB keeps moving stuff around so if you don't find "Critics Reviews" where I am sending you, look around.  It's worth it)!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Alone for the Holidays: A Checklist and The Week in Reviews

I just about had a heart attack when I realized there were only two more Saturdays until Christmas. But then I realized we were going to be alone this year anyway and I guess Saturdays don't really matter that much anymore to me since I am retired.  Every day is Saturday.  But I still get nervous about getting everything done.

Here is what I have already done.

Sent out holiday cards.  Check
I griped about the lost art of correspondence in an earlier blog  so I take my own advice.  I don't believe in the annual "bragging" letters so many people send out.  I like hearing from my friends but reading about their dog's graduation from obedience school or little Jimmy's home run last April isn't my cup of tea.  What I do want to hear is that I have been a good friend.  So that's what I try to do each year when I send out my cards.  I write a little personal note letting my friends know what they mean to me or I remind them of a happy memory that includes them.  All in all, it doesn't really take that much more time than that long, typed, impersonal letter.  By the way, did I tell you my son made partner in his law firm?  Oops.

All of the trees are up and decorated.  Check
Yes, I said "all."  Not sure how it happened but we have a tree in the living room, tree in the family room and trees in the bedrooms.  Two are real.

Living room tree. 

Real tree in old fashioned decorations topped off with red velvet bows.

(2016 Update - the living room tree is now a fake tree with a new look)


Family room tree. 
Real tree in gold and white accented by pieces of ribbon.  My more sophisticated effort.  And yes, that's a large Beatles poster behind it.  I told you I was a fan. ( Remember my blog, "Why the Beatles Matter?")

Bedroom tree. 
 Fake tree with all of the leftover ornaments.  But it's comforting to have a little tree in the bedroom since I spend so much time there.

There are also little trees in the guest rooms.

Decorations are up.  Check

Presents to those far away have been sent.  Check.

So that is what I have done so far.

But it is actually a rather sad exercise as we will be all alone this Christmas. 

Those three stockings on the right are for our dogs. Our two children will be spending Christmas with their other families this year.

I still need to

  • Buy decorative empty boxes so it will look like we have presents under the trees.

  • Get out the dogs' holidays sweaters and Santa costumes.  At least we have them.

  • Bake.  No one will be around to see you get fatter, so what's the diff?

  • Watch Lifetime Christmas movies and cry.

But then, after the "to do" list is done...

Get over it, throw a party and then head off to some great place!

Like Paris!

Are you going to be alone this Christmas? 
If so, what are your plans?

Now on to the Week in Reviews.

It's been a slow week because of the holidays.


It's Nazi Germany right before WWII and young Liesel is being fostered by the Hubermanns, a German couple.  When she arrives, she can't read but has kept a book to remind her of her dead brother.  She learns to read and finds solace in stealing books and reading them to others, especially the young Jewish man the family is hiding.

When Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are starring you can usually expect some good acting.  Unfortunately the characters are stereotypical and the script and dialog is a bit of a jumble.  This film is an adaption of the best-selling and award winning book by Marcus Zusak and appears to be suffering from the translation.  Trying to pack everything from a book into a two-hour film sometimes doesn't work.  It didn't here.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Good intentions, but just misses the mark.  Wait for it on DVD if you still want to see it.

Movies You Might Have Missed
And some you will be glad you did!
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)

Hapless failed NYC playwright stages a fake suicide to get her boyfriend back only to end up back home with her gambling addicted mother.

The jury is still out on Kristin Wiig in romantic comedies.  She is a brilliant comedienne, but she struggles with the pathos.  Annette Bening is the star here.  I always forget what a good actress she is and here she plays against type as a floozy.

Rosy the Reviewer says...See it for Bening's performance and a few laughs.

True story of an Alaskan State Trooper who joins forces with a young woman, who was almost a victim of a serial killer, and together they bring him to justice.

It's up in the air about Nicholas Cage's acting, but here he does quite well.  On the other hand, there is no question that John Cusack is a consummate actor and here he is slimy and twitchy as befits the serial killer, Robert Hanson.  And it's all very frozen and cold and Alaska-like, as it should be.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Wasn't expecting much.  But this film delivered beyond expectations.  A recommended crime thriller.

A journalist and his girlfriend get pulled in while they investigate a cult whose leader claims to be from the future.

I am a big fan of Brit Marling, who co-wrote this screenplay.  She also co- wrote and starred in The East and Another Earth, two other very interesting indie films.

Rosy the Reviewer says...See this for Marling.

***Book of the Week***

Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin (2013)

An inside look at the enigmatic, fiercely private Carson by his lawyer and friend.

It makes me sad to think that the current generation probably doesn't know who Johnny Carson was, but for Baby Boomers, he was a welcome addition to our homes late at night.  I know he kept me company many a night while my husband was in Vietnam.  He hosted "The Tonight Show" for 30 years (1962-1992) and was the highest paid performer of his day. I sometimes have a problem with biographies about people who are dead as there is no way to know the truth behind the dish, but Bushkin was there for much of Johnny's career and he has a lot to share, such as Carson's womanizing, sometimes heartlessness toward his family and a run-in with the mob.  However, it's a bit heavy on the business side of Carson's life and career (divorce settlements and contract negotiations), but I guess that's to be expected since this guy was his attorney and business manager.

Rosy the Reviewer says...He was one-of-a-kind.  If you are not that familiar with him, a better "starter" book might be Lawrence Leamer's "King of the Night."  Check your local library.

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday!

And Happy Holidays!

Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Retirement: Good Days and Bad Days and The Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "Philomena," "All is Bright," "Winter of Frozen Dreams," "Just Like a Woman" and Stacy Keach's memoir.]

But first

We all have good days and bad days.

Retirement is no different, except with all of that time on your hands, the bad days really hurt.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

Good Day:  Your adult child called just to say "I love you."
Bad Day:    Your adult child said, "I love you" after asking you for money to
                   bail him out of jail.

Good Day:  Your adult children are all home for Christmas.
Bad Day:    For your Christmas present, your adult children all chipped in for a
                  week's stay for you at the Rose of Sharon Retirement Home.

Good Day:   Your wine guzzling poodle jumps up on your lap for just a cuddle,
                    not wine.
Bad Day:      Forget that.  Ain't happenin'

Good Day:     You found a volunteer opportunity.
Bad Day:       It involves adult diapers.

Good Day:   You've been to the gym and are feeling a bit slimmer.
Bad Day:      Lane Bryant called.  You left your purchase on the counter.

Good Day:   The Christmas tree is up and you didn't get into a big fight with
                    Hubby over the lights.
Bad Day:      HUGE fight with Hubby over the lights.

Good Day:   You have three darling dogs whose cavorting amuses you.
Bad Day:     Three dogs are a pack and their cavorting knocked you down the

This is what a pack of dogs looks like.
What constitutes a good or a bad day for you? 
Well, sometimes we can't control how the day is going to go. 
But here is something you can count on. 
Rosy the Reviewer's
Week in Reviews.
***In Theatres Now***
The true story of an Irish woman, who as a young girl became pregnant, gave birth in a convent and was forced to give up her son.  Fifty years later, with the help of a disgraced journalist, she goes in search of him.
Steve Coogan is not that well-known in the U.S. but is a huge star in the UK, known mostly for his comedic work.  Here he wrote the screenplay (based on a true story) and plays it mostly straight. 
But this is Dame Judy's show.  Supposedly Dame Judy's eyesight is failing and she has to have her scripts read to her.  Whatever is going on with her eyes, it doesn't affect what she can do with them to rip at your heart strings. If you can keep from crying, especially if you are a mother, you have it over me. Have your hankies handy.  Loved it!
Rosy the Reviewer says...Ring!  Ring!  Dame Judy.  Oscar calling. 
Movies You Might Have Missed
And some you will be glad you did!
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
Dennis is out on parole and bands together with old friend Rene to sell Christmas trees so he can buy his estranged daughter a piano.
A small film that didn't have much impact on me, probably because I am not a big Paul Giamatti fan.  Hubby liked it better than I did.
Rosy the Reviewer says...I give it just a couple of Christmas trees.
A college girl turns to prostitution and things don't go well.
A low-budget Thora Birch vehicle (remember her from American Beauty?") that is all very frozen and dreamy and a step way down for Birch from "American Beauty."  It proves once again, I must not put films in my DVD queue based on a preview.  Repeat after me.  "I must not put films in my DVD queue based on a preview."
Rosy the Reviewer says...I usually like films about the underbelly of life but as Charles Barkley used to say, this one is "Turible, Turible, Turible."
Marilyn (Sienna Miller) loses her job and comes home to a cheating husband so decides to hit the road and enter a belly dancing contest in Santa Fe.  She is joined by her friend, Mona, who has a secret.
Think of this as a belly-dancing "Thelma and Louise," without the suicide at the end (and if I just spoiled "Thelma and Louise" for you, where have you been?)

And for every woman who thinks her mother-in-law is a dragon, get a load of this one. 
I couldn't help but wonder how Sienna Miller avoided becoming a big star like Julia Roberts.  She has the looks and the acting chops.  I also couldn't help but remember that her then boyfriend Jude Law cheated on her with the babysitter.  Jude, you idiot!
Rosy the Reviewer says...a fun diversion especially if you like belly dancing. 
***Book of the Week***

All in All:  An Actor's Life On and Off the Stage by Stacy Keach (2013)
This acting memoir begins with Keach's arrest for cocaine possession and then backtracks to his early life and career.
Though Keach has had acting success in films such as "Fat City" and "American History X" and as Mike Hammer in the TV series of the same name, he never attained superstardom.  He clearly preferred the stage and dreamed of being the next Olivier.  He is candid about his drug addiction, which could perhaps explain why his career didn't reach the heights but the book is surprisingly dry.
Rosy the Reviewer of Keach might enjoy this, but acting students should take note.  He has a whole chapter on acting techniques at the end of the book.


Hooray, hooray.  "Come Dine With Me" has come to the U.S!
Come Dine With Me is a British competition TV program where 4 or 5 strangers get together at each other's houses to cook each other a full meal - appetizer, main course and dessert.  After the meal, the visitors rate the meal on a scale of 1-10.  Naturally the groups of people are disparate and often over the top, lots of alcohol is consumed and sometimes there are costumes which is all part of the fun, and the voice over commentary by Dave Lamb is hilarious.
Now Lifetime is offering its version, which if the first episode is any indication is a Canadian import.  It mirrors the British version down to the theme music, but I miss Dave Lamb's commentary.  Also the British version is usually 30 minute segments over five nights and here we have all five nights wrapped into one hour.  One thing on the positive side, it moves quickly.  On the negative side, there is not as much coverage of the actual cooking as we see in the British version.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Foodies and fans of humorous reality TV will love this! 

That's it for this week.
See you Tuesday!

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