Friday, January 10, 2014

The Best Food Shows on TV and the Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "Saving Mr. Banks,"  "Last Love," "Tell No One," "Elysium," "Sightseers," and "I'm So Excited" and recommend a great cookbook].

But first

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you have probably already surmised that I like food and my TV, so it's no wonder that I consider myself a bit of an expert on food programs, not to be confused with "cooking shows."  I don't particularly like watching people cook, but I love watching people running around cooking in competition or traveling the world and eating food in exotic locales.

So here are
Rosy the Reviewer's picks for
The Best Food Shows on TV.

Top Chef

Top Chef is the granddaddy of the cooking show competitions. 

Well established chefs from well- known restaurants all over the U.S. compete for money, but mostly culinary props as "Top Chef." This is a slick show with no heavy handedness, though there is unabashed promotion of the City in which the competition takes place (though when they were in Seattle they shafted us by heading to Alaska after only a couple of episodes)The show is currently in New Orleans. 

The host is Padma Lakshmi, ex-wife of novelist Salmon Rushdie, and I am not really sure what her foodie credentials are.  She is a skinny bitch (pardon my French), who doesn't look like she really likes food, and her main roles on the show are to tell the chef's when they have only five minutes left, taste the food, and basically look good in her tight frocks.  But it's fun to hear her tell the loser "Please pack your knives and go" at the end of each show. 

 "Top Chef Masters" continues the "journey" as past, popular contestants compete alongside other well-known chefs for that highest honor. 

I have to brag that I have eaten at Art Smith's (Southern Art), Richard Blais's (The Spence), Hugh Acheson's (Empire State South) and Kevin Gillespie's (Woodfire Grill) restaurants in Atlanta (thanks to my daughter who lived there for a few years) - all major players in the "Top Chef" franchise. 

And here I am with Richard Blais at his restaurant. 
Yes, I also groupie for famous chefs!
Next stop:  Aragona, here in Seattle.  Chef Carrie Mashaney was just booted off "Top Chef" last week after a stellar showing.

The Taste

Think "The Voice" for food. 

Contestants for The Taste prepare one perfect bite of their dish for each judge to try in a blind taste test.  As in "The Voice," the judges choose the best tastes from a blind taste test, the winners become part of their team and the judges mentor them for the rest of the show.   

Marcus Samuelsson joins the judging team this year (it's on now).  He was born in Ethiopia and was adopted by a Swedish couple and he grew up in Sweden. He won "Top Chef Masters" in 2010, and I have had the privilege of eating at one of his restaurants in Stockholm (American Table Brasserie and Bar).  I have fond memories of the cute bartender.  But I digress. Samuelsson now runs a famous restaurant in NYC.  You can read about his life in "Yes Chef: A Memoir."

Anything with Gordon Ramsay

Gordon is really a pussy cat.

I know he yells, but from Hell's Kitchen to Kitchen Nightmares to Masterchef, I am a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay's.  Yes, Hell's Kitchen has some ridiculous contestants and, yes, Gordon yells a lot, but I love watching Gordon do his stuff. However, if you are not a fan of people who tell it like it is, you probably won't like Gordon or Tony (see below).  But being direct is also my credo, so I get them and appreciate their talents despite their sometimes jarring sensibilities. 

Read Marco Pierre White's book "The Devil in the Kitchen" if you want to find out why Gordon yells so much.  It's the kitchen culture he grew up with But if you want to see him get all warm and fuzzy, watch "Kitchen Nightmares" where he not only helps people get their restaurants solvent again, he imparts personal advice too.  He's a sort of foodie psychologist.


If you like "Top Chef," you will like Master Chef.

Yet another show we stole from the Brits. As one of the judges, Gordon Ramsay is actually a teddy bear in this one.  Similar to "Top Chef," but with amateur cooks, the contestants are thrown difficult food challenges using strange ingredients and with little time to prepare them.

Anything with Tony Bourdain

If you like food and travel, you will love Tony.

Tony's book "Kitchen Confidential," where he skewered the restaurant industry, brought him to the public's attention, but his TV shows "A Cook's Tour," "No Reservations," "The Layover" and "Parts Unknown" have made him a big star (he is also a judge on "The Taste.")  His shows are not just food shows, but travelogues.  He travels the world and eats, yes, but he also shows the viewer an interesting, unusual and personal side to the countries he visits.  "The Layover" is particularly fun as he shows us what to do in a particular city when we have a 24-48 hour layover.

2015 Update:  Tony came to town and we were able to see him and do a Meet and Greet.  He's a really nice guy!

Food Network Star

Want your own show on the Food Network? 

Contestants are put through their paces to see who has the personality and cooking and TV skills to host their own show.  Winners do actually get their own show and become a Food Network Star, in varying degrees. Guy Fieri and Melissa d'Arabian have been past winners.  Not sure if there will be a 2014 series, but you can find past shows on YouTube. 
(2015 update.  Yes, there was a 2015 series).

Check Please NW/Come Dine With Me

"Check Please" is a TV show that airs in various U.S. cities. 

Three people choose their favorite restaurants and all three eat there and then get together on camera to discuss what they thought.  Yours truly appeared on the show in July of 2012 and if you care to see my star turn, take a look.  "How To Cook a Wolf" was my restaurant.

Currently, you can find this show in Phoenix, Miami, San Francisco and Kansas City, in addition to Seattle.

"Come Dine with Me" is similar, except in this case 4 or 5 people gather at each other's homes to eat a meal prepared by the host.  At the end of the evening, they rate the meal and at the end of the week, the host with the most points wins money.  What makes this show fun is the narrator who tosses out snarky comments throughout.  I started watching this program on UK TV (and you can find it on YouTube), but this year, Lifetime picked up the Canadian version for a few episodes.  Fingers crossed that a U.S. version gets made because it's a great show if you are a foodie.

What are your favorite Foodie shows? 

***In Theatres Now***

The supposed true story of how Walt Disney secured the rights to make a movie of "Mary Poppins," despite the reluctance and downright irascibility of the author, P.L. Travers.
This film embodied what you expect from a Disney film.  It's thoroughly entertaining.  Tom Hanks embodies Walt Disney (it's been a good year for Tom) and Emma Thompson will surely be nominated for an Academy Award for her portrait of Travers, though one could say her performance was a bit on the one note side. 
Though I  enjoyed the film very much, my one complaint would be the script.  Throughout the film, I wanted to know why P.L. Travers turned out to be so bitter. In my mind, I couldn't make the leap from her childhood to the bitter middle-aged woman she became.  Yes, she had a traumatic childhood and there were some allusions to other aspects of her life, but the events of her life from childhood to middle age were left unexplainedBut other than that, Mary Poppins is a beloved figure and movie and people sitting near me were singing along with the tunes and smiling, remembering Mary Poppins and her movie and, no doubt, their childhoods, and I think Hubby was blubbering a bit.
Rosy the Reviewer of Mary Poppins and Disney films will love this.  The acting is first rate. Recommended.

You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did
(I watch the bad ones so you don't have to)

Last Love (2013)

A grieving, widowed American philosophy professor living in Paris makes a connection with a wounded young French woman.
Michael Caine can do no wrong in my book, though why they made him an American, I don't know.  His accent is fine, but I like him better as a Brit.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you liked "Amour (won Best Foreign Language film in 2012 and Emmanuelle Riva was nominated for Best Actress)," you will like this one. 
In fact, I loved this one. This one is less dark, utterly charming and captures the beauty of Paris and the French countryside.  Not to be missed. 

Tell No One (2006)

A French doctor is suspected of his wife's murder which happened eight years earlier.  He gets involved in trying to solve the case when he starts getting emails from his dead wife!
Hubby wanted to see this because he was reading a book about French parks and it said Parc Monseau, one of the parks in the book, figured prominently in this filmI was pleasantly surprised to see that one of my favorite French actors - Francois Cluzet - was in it.  I call him the French Dustin Hoffman, because they look so much alike. 
Am I not right?
You may have seen him in a more recent film, The Intouchables, where he played a paralyzed man, whose nurse tries to help him get the most out of life.
Rosy the Reviewer says...A fast paced mystery (you won't even notice the subtitles), photographed beautifully and well-acted.  If you are a Hitchcock fan, you will like how this unfolds. Highly recommended.

Elysium (2013)

It's 2154, the earth is a wreck and the wealthy have moved to a space station and left the poor to rot on earth. 

Matt tries to save the earth.

This is similar to "Upside Down" (2012), which I reviewed in an earlier blog and which I actually liked better.  Directed by Neill Blomkamp, who directed the excellent District 9, (which I highly recommend), this is bloody, fast-paced and has a great villain.  Speaking of bloody, Jodie Foster is bloody awful as the villainess Delacourt.  I couldn't figure out if she meant to play it campy or not.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like dystopian thrillers, you will enjoy this, but it's not in the same league as "District 9."

Sightseers (2012)

A dream caravan holiday turns into a killing spree.

Caravan is Brit speak for a trailer. Both of the stars are British stand-up comedians who perfected these characters in their routines and they are perfect for this. These characters are not nice people. This is a very dark, but humorous treatise on what it means to be a good English person from the viewpoint of a serial killer. Let's just say this guy has high standards and if you don't meet them, well...

The ending was reminiscent of "The War of the Roses." If you like dark, dark comedy and, if you like British humor, or should I say, humour, you will like this.  If not, proceed at your own peril.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Think gorgeous English countryside, quirckiness and lots of blood. If Ricky Gervais and Simon Pegg collaborated, this would be it.

I'm So Excited (2013)
A flight from Madrid to Mexico City encounters some problems and everyone on board must face the danger in their own way, and let's just say, much kinkiness ensues.
Nobody's movies look like his.  The colors are so vibrant and the characters so flamboyant. I have been a fan since his first big hit "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988).  Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz make cameo appearances here because Almodavar made them stars in Spain before they hit it big in the U.S.  When I saw Banderas in "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (1990)," I went...drool... and predicted he would become a big star, despite the controversy surrounding the film (see it and see what you think). I consider myself a feminist, but couldn't understand what all the sturm und drung was around that film. So there was some bondage and some forced sex.  Stuff happens.  Penelope was his muse in "All About My Mother" and the rest is history. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...after seeing this movie flying in a plane will never be the same.  Or movies, for that matterNo one makes movies like Almodavar.  But they are kinky, so if you are easily offended, perhaps his movies aren't for you.

***Book of the Week***

The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes by Amy Thielen (2013)
This ain't the food I ate growing up in the Midwest.

I don't remember "Sweet and sour potluck meatballs."  I remember Swedish meatballs.

I don't remember "Braunschweiger Mousse," I remember just plain old braunschweiger.

I don't remember "Fancy meatloaf with bacon, mushrooms and pistachios," I just remember plain old meatloaf, though my mother did use ground beef, pork and veal. Pistachios in meat loaf?

I don't remember "Wild Boar Sloppy Joes," I just remember plain old sloppy joes.  Are there wild boars in the Midwest?

And the Seven Layer Salad wasn't a Russian Seven Layer Salad.

But, hey, we all have to grow up sometime.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I love reading cookbooks and this one is fun. Create some new memories.

Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned. 
Also Netflix is currently streaming "Sightseers."

That's it for this week. 

See you for Tuesday for
"The Year of the Baby Boomer."
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Retirement Journey - Six Months Later

“Oh the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”  - Dr. Seuss, "Oh the Places You'll Go." 

Thanks, Dr. Seuss.  That's what I thought was going to happen when I retired. 

It has almost been exactly six months since I retired (I retired July 1, 2013), so I wanted to assess how it's going since I first wrote about it one week after retiring in my blog "Retirement: First Week in Review and What I've Learned So Far." 

Before I retired,  I did a bunch of research and learned I was supposed to have purpose, structure, and community to have a successful retirement, so I set about making that all happen. 

Here was my plan:
Every day I would jump out of bed eager to begin my new life of retirement.  I would structure my day by reading, meditating and going to the gym followed by other fabulous activities. 

I would take zumba classes, have regular hours volunteering at the senior center, teach the dogs new tricks, take horse-back riding lessons, cook, lose weight, visit my children, travel, play chess, play the piano, join a chorus, redecorate, take golf and tennis lessons, get involved in politics, and take classes.  I would do my makeup and hair and dress up nicely and get out there in the community and make a difference, just as I felt I had done while working.
Six months later, it's not quite working out that way. 

This is the reality:
7:00am                    Zzzzzz

8:00am                    Zzzzzz

9:00am                    Zzzzzz

9:30am (or somewhere in the vicinity)  I get out of bed

10:00am                  Drink tea and read the paper followed by "The View"

11:00am                  Work on blog and other computer stuff

Noon                        Have lunch

1:00pm                     Meditate (maybe), Go to gym (maybe), followed by
                                 errands (maybe)

3:00pm                     Get cleaned up (maybe)

4:00pm                     Happy Hour with Hubby (he works at home 7-4)

5:00pm                     Make dinner

6:00pm                     Eat dinner

7:00pm                     DVD or TV

And what about all of those activities I had listed?

Take Zumba classes? 
Yes, I bought the special shoes and everything, but didn't like having to get up early and my dance moves sucked

Volunteer at the Senior Center?  Nope

Teach the dogs new tricks?  Are you kidding?

Take horse-back riding lessons?  Nope.  I started to worry about falling off

Yes, but my experimenting has resulted in Hubby getting mad at me for making so much food.

Lose weight?  Nope

Visit my children?  Yes, but I've realized they have their own lives, so frequent visits and long stays from Mom aren't on the agenda

Hubby is not retired so we are restricted by time and money

Play chess?  Nope

Play the piano?  Nope

Join a chorus?  Nope

Redecorate?  Nope

Take golf and tennis lessons?  Nope

Get involved in politics?  Nope

Take classes?  Nope

Get dressed up everyday? 
Nope.  Some days I don't even get out of my pajamas

Get out in the community and make a difference?  Not yet

I am actually joking a bit here.  Well, half joking anyway.  I am doing it to make a point.

“When you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.”
- Dr. Seuss, "Oh the Places You'll Go."  

I retired a year earlier than my full retirement age, so my peers will most likely be retiring this year or later.  The point I want to make and the lesson I have learned these last six months is that retirement is not just an extension of what you have been doing for the past 40 years.  It's an opportunity for a new life - a do-over, if you will.

Yes, it's true, I haven't accomplished that much in terms of learning new skills or losing 20 pounds or running for Mayor  - yet - but the last six months have given me that time to reflect, time I didn't really have when I was problem solving other people's problems or putting out those pesky work fires and then trying to fit in all of my personal stuff like going to the gym, spending quality time with my family and friends and running the household. 

“You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”  
- Dr. Seuss, "Oh the Places You'll Go."  

Lest you think I am a total loser, I enjoy writing my blog and the blogging community, meditating, going to the movies and going on long walks with Hubby. 

I belong to a book group, and I have been appointed to the local Council on Aging, so I look forward to making a difference working with that group and advocating for seniors. So I feel there is community and purpose to all of that.

As for structure, here is actually what my daily routine looks like now:

Monday -   Write Tuesday and Friday blogs
                  Exercise at home

I started with Oprah's 21 Day Challenge and have since gotten into some of Deepak Chopra's other series of meditations and find them very healing and comforting.

Tuesday - Tweak and publish Tuesday blog
                 Go to the gym
                 Go to a movie
                (Senior discount on Tuesdays - catch my reviews in my Friday blog)

I have rediscovered my love of going to movies.  There is actually a sort of meditation involved with sitting in the darkened theatre, especially at matinees during the week, when I have the theatre practically to myself.

Wednesday - Special Project Day
                      Get some of those pesky projects that have been hanging over
                      my head done such as cleaning out kitchen cabinets, washing
                      curtains, etc.

Thursday -     Gym, Errands

Friday -          Fabulous Friday 

After tweaking and publishing my Friday blog and exercising, get dressed up so I don't look like the slob I look like the rest of the week.  Go out for Happy Hour with Hubby.

Saturday -       Sexy Saturday
I will let you figure that one out.

Sunday -           Day of rest 
"Let the day take me away." Anything that strikes my fancy

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. but mostly they're darked.
But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”
- Dr. Seuss, "Oh the Places You'll Go." 

I met someone recently who had retired a year and a half ago and we were talking about what retirement felt like. 

She said, "It has taken me this long to realize that this is my life now." 

A simple statement, but I found it very profound. 

 "This IS my life now." 

And like starting one's own business, it is up to me for good or ill to make it successful.   

So now I have that list of things I want to pursue that I can add to my days at any time. 

Six months from now my routine might look very different.  My purpose changed.

But, you know what?  If it doesn't, I am not going to stress about it.  I am enjoying this time with myself.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”   - Dr. Seuss, "Oh the Places You'll Go." 

Thanks, Dr. Seuss! 

How is your retirement going?

See you Friday for my list of
Best TV Food Shows
and my
Week in Reviews.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.




Friday, January 3, 2014

Oscar Predictions and The Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "American Hustle," "Magic, Magic;" "Killing Season;" "World's End;" Jayne Mansfield's Car;" "Passion" and "Stranger Within" and recommend a novel]

Happy New Year, everyone!

I am back on track with my usual Friday reviews. 

But first, I want to weigh in on who I think will be nominated for Academy Awards, which will be announced on January 16th (the awards will be telecast on March 2nd).  The Golden Globes have already announced their nominations, and though Academy Award nominations often follow suit, not always, and I think there were some major omissions this year.  Plus the Golden Globes divide films into dramas and comedies, thus making many more nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor and Actress than the Academy Awards will.  And I have to add, these were my nominations before the Golden Globes were announced, I promise!

So here is what I think some of the nominations will be.

Best Actor                                                        Best Actress

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)            Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)                              Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Christian Bale (American Hustle)               Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)                     Judi Dench (Philomena)
Matthew McConaughey                             Amy Adams (American Hustle)
(Dallas Buyers Club)         

Best Supporting Actor                                Best Supporting Actress

Jared Leto (Dallas Buyer's Club)                 Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)       Julia Roberts (August:Osage County)
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)                  Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

I am only going to put in three nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, because in the famous words of Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live's Weekly Update, "Who really cares about this award anyway?" 

Best Picture                                             Best Director

12 Years a Slave                                        Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
American Hustle                                         Paul Greengrass  (Captain Phillips)
Captain Phillips                                           David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Gravity                                                      Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

Winner Predictions (by me):

Best Actor:  Chiwetel Ejiofor, though I think Tom Hanks outdid himself in "Captain Phillips," especially the last 15 minutes of the film and Christian Bale was, well, Christian Bale, the chameleon.  This is the deep category this year.

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock should never have won for The Blind Side. She should win for "Gravity," EXCEPT here comes old Meryl Streep again and she gives an amazing performance, but of a very unpleasant character. The Academy doesn't usually like unpleasant characters. They could cancel each other out and Thompsom or Dench could get it. 

But I am voting for Streep.

Best Supporting Actor:  I am completely against first time actors and children winning Academy Awards, so that eliminated Abdi.  Though Leto was amazing (he's come a long way from his "My So-Called Life" days), I am banking on Fassbender to win.

He was just astonishing.  As I was watching him in "12 Years," I said out loud Academy Award.  He just let it all hang out.

Best Supporting Actress:  Again, I don't want Nyong'o to win.  She needs to do more work first, but is Julia Roberts' part really a supporting role?  If not, that isn't fair. 

I think Nyong'o will probably win.  The Academy tends to reward first timers in this category.  But Jennifer Lawrence stole the show in "American Hustle."

Best Picture:  I think"12 Years a Slave" is a shoe-in, but the sheer amount of work it took to make "Gravity" was amazing.  And "Captain Phillips" was riveting, and there weren't even any women in it.  I usually don't like films with all men.

Best Director:  If "12 Years a Slave" wins Best Picture it stands to reason that Steve McQueen should win for Best Director (and don't get him mixed up with that other Steve McQueen), but it doesn't always work that way. 

I vote for Alfonso Cuaron, because of what went into making "Gravity."

The only other category I am going to weigh in on now is Best Documentary - if 56 Up doesn't win Best Documentary, there is no god. 

This series has followed 14 British children every seven years from the age of seven in 1964 to present and, in addition to the incredible determination it took to follow these fourteen people every seven years, it's riveting viewing.

OK film lovers, what do you think?

***NEW ON DVD***

American Hustle

The con is on.  As they say in the film, everything is a con and everyone is conning everyone.  It's what we do in America.
Jennifer Lawrence steals the show, but this is really an acting extravaganza - Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, DeNiro.  Fresh script, great acting, humor...what more could you want? 

And a shout out to my friend, Barb, over at Living Richly in Retirement (a great blog, by the way), Jeremy Renner does you proud.  Don't you love his pompadour?  Hair seems to play a big role in this film.

Rosy the Reviewer, don't walk to see this.  It will pick up many awards.  Loved it!


Some You Might Have Missed
(and some you should be glad you did).

I see the bad ones so you don't have t).

Magic Magic (2013)

A naïve American girl goes on a road trip in Chile with friends of friends that turns into a nightmare.

Rosy the Reviewer says...This is more of a nightmare for the viewer.  Love Juno Temple, but she needs to find some better vehicles for her talent.  Some of the things she has been in lately are wearing thin on me.

Two veterans of the Bosnian War -- one American, one Serbian -- form an unlikely friendship that turns deadly.  I didn't think I would like this one and John Travolta's accent got on my nerves at times.

Rosy the Reviewer says...this isn't "Captain Phillips," but it's a tense game of cat and mouse.  If you like movies about "human hunting," such as "The Most Dangerous Game, you will probably like this one.

World's End (2013)

Five friends attempt to relive their attempt to conquer "The Golden Mile," an epic pub crawl of 12 pubs culminating in The World's End pub which they had failed to do 20 years before.  In so doing, they, of course, encounter an alien invasion.  

It is the third and final film in Simon Pegg's the "Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy," following Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007).

Rosy the Reviewer says...If you liked "Shaun of the Dead" and/or British humor, you will enjoy this. I loved it.

Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed and starred in this film of two disparate families coming together in the South of 1969 for a funeral.  

Jayne Mansfield was a blonde bombshell actress who was famously decapitated in a horrific car accident. Thornton uses that allusion as a centerpiece for this story reminiscent of Tennessee Williams - think "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."  I can't decide if Robert Duvall is good in this or not.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Thornton is a talented writer and actor, but this is no Slingblade.  But if you like Wes Anderson or movies about quirky Southern families, you might like this.

Passion (2012)

Think "All About Eve" in a business setting except with murder in mind. Remake of the movie Love Crime ("Crime d'amour" 2010) starring Kristin Scott Thomas, so I have to ask myself, why remake this film three years later?

 And what is really strange, the first one was French/English/Japanese and this one is French/English/German.  Albeit the first one had more subtitles but other than that, a literal remake.  De Palma is a big Hitchcock fan, so there is homage to "Psycho" and "Vertigo" and stylish cinematography and music a la Hitchcock.  I notice that he has reversed the hair colors of the stars from the original:  in the original the villain had dark hair and vice versa.  It's the little things, I guess.

Rosy the Reviewer says...What is happening to our great directors?  Spike struck out this year with "Oldboy" and this one does not live up to De Palma's best work.

After being attacked, an acclaimed actress and her psychiatrist husband retreat to a remote Mediterranean island where they meet a mysterious and troubled young woman who becomes a threat.  

William Baldwin's hair could have been a character all it's own.  Warren is a model-turned-actress and you can tell.  It was like a really, really bad Lifetime movie and that's giving Lifetime movies a bad name.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Rosy, repeat after me.  I will never, ever again put a movie in my Netflix queue based on the preview alone.  "I will never, ever again put a movie in my Netflix queue based on the preview alone."

***Book of the Week***

The Borgia Mistress by Sara Poole

Book three in the "Poisoner Mysteries" series, Francesca Giordana, Borgia court poisoner, is once again center stage, this time to avenge her mother's death and save Pope Alexander VI from his enemies.  

Francesca is a plucky heroine, but the writing is sometimes a bit stilted at times.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a fan of historical fiction and mysteries, you should enjoy this.

That's it for this week. 

See you Tuesday where I will check in on my retirement, six months later!

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

Check your local library first for books and DVDs.