Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Shakespeare Adaptations

I so miss making cards! I actually did make one and almost finished another know but I'm feeling better. Now on to this week's movie picks and it's all about Shakespeare! I actually saw A Midsummer Night's Dream as a ballet in the Vienna Opera house and it sounds magical doesn't it? The Opera House is beautiful and I loved Mendelssohn's music but when they went to the Fairy realm, the place I was so excited to see from the music to the costumes, some German...oops Austrian, took drugs, had a chimp play the piano and I watched people in skin tight condom costumes with sequinned shower caps on their heads dance like Andy Warhol was their God. Ughhh ....ok so below are my picks and to see the others, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen.


Love this movie! It is based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest"  and it is the father of Star Trek and many of the other science fiction films to follow. A young Leslie Nielsen is the captain of a ship that lands on a planet to find out why the communication with the scientists have ceased. They meet Robbie The Robot along with Morbius and his very attractive and mini dress clad daughter who has never met another human except for her dad. They are able to live on this planet due to the very technically advanced Krell( no..they are not shrimp people) who have long since past their mortal coil. The Captain and the young gal start showing signs of amour which is around the time an invisible monster starts killing the crew. They now have a much bigger issues to deal with...survival! Excellent film that started so many science fiction shows and films. It really does make you think.


OOOHHHHHHH-Love this movie!! You have the great Vincent Price playing a Shakespearean actor who is critically degraded at an awards ceremony. He tries to commit suicide by throwing himself into the Thames, so everyone thinks he has died, but he is taken in by vagrants where the great actor plots his revenge on the critics who degraded him. The critics start dying one by one in very unique ways...all killed according to a Shakespeare play. I used to watch this film when I was a teen at 4 in the morning since I couldn't sleep back then. It is grisly in parts(pound of flesh anyone?) but it is also quite humourous. Price always wanted to act in a Shakespeare play so this film was close to his heart.  I found out many years later that this is one of my brother's favourites as well.


Ian McKellan plays Richard the III in this more modern updating of the Shakespeare play. It is set during the 1930's with England being fascist and Nazism almost taking hold. It is all about power and corruption but in a very modern style retelling bringing the Nazi ideas to the foreground. It is an excellent take on this play especially when Richard  the III tries to start his jeep and yells the famous line, "My Kingdom for a horse." Well worth watching and the acting is excellent

I feel guilty because I did not choose a Sir Laurence Olivier film rendition (He is a noted Shakespearean actor making the plays popular for films) but I had to go with these 3.

What would you choose?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks- films about prodigies/Geniuses

It's genius week or prodigy week over at Wandering Through the Shelves. You pick 3 films that correspond to the theme of that week and this is the theme. I have never met someone who is a genius and not sure I would want to because they could easily put me to shame. I have met many who think they are geniuses and those are the types I like to stick a pin in their huge head and watch it deflate. So, let's check out the movies...

1. AMADEUS-1984

I have not seen this film in a long time but I love it! I am not sure if Mozart was quite the nut displayed in this film but it does not take away from the fact that he was not only a child prodigy who composed the song "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" when he was 4, but also a man driven to create sheer poetry in musical notes. Salieri, a noted composer on his own, but now forgotten, talks about Mozart and his life at the King's court. Salieri's jealousy is shown to great effect as well as his respect for  Mozart's genius by the actor F Murray Abraham. We see Mozart at the top of his game but slowly losing favour, dying young and thrown into a pauper's grave with no one in attendance. The acting is superb and the music...sublime.

2. SHINE-1996

This first brought Geoffrey Rush to prominence to the regular folk like moi:). He plays David Helfgott, a young Australian who is mentored by his controlling father. He is a child prodigy gifted in playing the piano and wins competitions. He is not allowed to go to London or the U.S. because his father does not wish to lose control, but, eventually, David does go to London and enters a competition to play the very difficult Rachmaninoff's Concerto #3. He wins but at a cost to his mental health and ends up in a mental hospital where he undergoes electro-shock therapy. David must try to climb back up despite his mental issues (I like to say brain issues). It is an acting tour-de-force from Rush  and I think he did deserve the Oscar.


Surprise! Now I am not a lover of these 3 films from the 90's but this young kid, the future Darth, is a child prodigy who sets everything in motion and is the daddy of Luke and Leia so I think this does belong. Now it starts with Q-Tip (Ok, Qui-Gon) and a young Obi-Wan going in search for the the one who has "The Force". They find this in the young Anakin (played horribly by that kid Jake Lloyd), a slave to some fat dragonfly, who ends up winning his freedom in a race. The troupe find Jar-Jar(ugh...don't ask) and Princess Armadillo (ok Amidala) and they all end up on going to a planet so she can plead her people's case regarding some trade agreement. All the while, the evil Sith are now gaining more power. I actually like the plot, The special effects are outstanding and the acting, aside from the annoying kid, is good. I really like Armadillo's planet which I thought was really quite beautiful. The music is excellent in the major fight scene between Q-Tip, Obi and the red and Black faced guy whom you know is evil due to his mean dad (OK just kidding but it always seems to be the dad's fault doesn't it?)

Which films would you pick?

An Extra...


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Movies about Artists

Ok I'm loving this week's theme because I love art! I love reading about artists and I love reading about their works so whenever a film comes on about an artist I want to see it. There are some I have not seen which is horrible ( Pollock, Frida)  but I will always try to watch any that come around my way. I have also decided to go the more biographical route about artists that really did exist rather than about a film about a painter. Now, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen.


Rembrandt is one of my favourite artists and this is one of my favourite films starring the great Charles Laughton as the famous painter. It details his fame, the death of his beloved first wife and his fall from grace  since he chose to paint what he wanted to paint not what was expected. He found solace in his last marriage  played by his real life wife, Elsa Lancester. I loved the lighting of this film which truly does evoke the Rembrandt lighting that one would often see in silent films. I have been enriched to see many of his works especially the great Night Watch and this film really helps showcased what this man believed in and how rose to great heights only to die a pauper.


This gem stars Colin Firth as the famed painter whom we know very, very little about and have so few of his great paintings. It is not a true biopic since this is more an idea of what might have happened since the girl in this famous painting seems to pop up in other paintings. This girl is played by Scarlet Johansson and she does a great job playing a member of the help to Vermeer. Vermeer is in a marriage that is difficult to say the least because of his wife's jealous ways. The cinematography is also wonderful because it uses the Blues and yellows that Vermeer loved. There is a sensuousness to this film without showing anything more than Johanssen's hair when she takes off her bonnet( which was quite seductive back in that day).

3. RENOIR-2012

My hubby and I were able to see this French film at the theatre that no longer is around(bummer). It takes place in 1915 when the famed painter is nearing the end of his days and his young son, the future famous French Film director, Jean Renoir, is trying to find out who he is after he is wounded in the First World War. A young lady comes to Renoir's home in the country to be his model and he finds his final muse. Renoir suffered from severe debilitating rheumatoid arthritis in his later years and would often have to tape the paint brush to his hand since he could not hold the brush any more but he still had to paint. The young girl becomes the young Renoir's lover and she seems to be their muse and their saviour even though she also seemed to be a bit of a bitch actually. In fact Jean Renoir married her ( Andree Heuschling) and she starred in many of his early films. Again, the cinematography is so beautiful and evokes the impressionistic beauty of Renoir's works.

What films can you think of? Do you love art and what style is your favourite?

3 great artists...

Friday, January 27, 2017

Something New...Forget about something blue, old and borrowed

So I follow a blog called A View From The Third Floor run by Elliptical Man and he is conducting challenges for each month. January is to do something new. Now as I pondered this exciting adventure thinking what could I do, visit a new place near where I live or a new recipe, my dear friend called me and he decided to venture off to Borneo! I told him never to ask me what is new with me ever again...hahahaaaa. He actually sent me a mini film of his trip into the jungle on a small boat and some beautiful pictures of  tropical flowers. I can't wait to hear if he saw any orangutans ( not that ugly orange one living in the white house who is slinging his own doo-doo everywhere-imagine the clean up!)

What did I do that is new?  I changed doctors and saw a new doctor and met with him this past Wednesday! Now you might think, "Whoah, this is so exciting it is making my heart pitter patter...NOT", but it is exciting to me and I am cautiously optimistic.  and hopeful. I have been dealing with pain for 30 years with no doctor truly believing in my pain and condition. Over the years the pain has become worse and it is in every single joint, even my jaw. There is not one day that I don't have this and I know many of you truly know what that feels like. One Doctor did inform me that I have Ehlers-Danlos and from many visits to doctors who told me I'm just depressed to others who just say I shouldn't be in this much pain, let's just say...after 30 years one gets a little discouraged.  My last Doctor, who I have been with for close to 30 yrs was angry with me for having to ask for tylenol 3 every 28 days because he would only give me 40 pills and then said "You've gained weight" and made a noise like I expanded into a giant water balloon, is now history. He used to be good otherwise I would not have stayed with him, but he always had an issue with my being in pain and giving out medication plus I think he is losing his marbles.

So this new doctor told me most doctors don't like dealing with patients who have pain because it can't be diagnosed properly. He will be sending me to a doctor in Toronto who specializes with Ehlers-Danlos and he also understood that I am not an addict! There was one day, about 3 years ago when I was in Home Depot and I had hardly 0 pain...0!!! I felt so happy and had no desire for a tylenol 3. I took in that moment because I knew it would change but this was such a happy really was and it confirmed, to me, that I am not addicted to tylenol but am dependant on it which is a difference. If you ever have had a toothache, think of that ache in every joint and that is about what I have never mind dislocating a joint here and there.

So, to make a long story..long, he has given me 100 tylenol to last for 2 weeks plus I am on a new drug, Gabapentin. It is an anti seizure drug but often given to people with chronic pain. Now it says weight gain, which I am not happy about but this is a trial. My new doctor said one will see if this works and what the Dr will say in Toronto plus he is sending me to a Dr in Hamilton/Dundas area who specifically deals with people in pain and welcomes these people with chronic pain. My new Doctor said he IS listening to me and feels I probably do have Ehlers-Danlos because he has a good friend who also has it as well as her daughter. (E-D can't be found in a blood test or DNA test)

This past month, with the weather being damp and not as cold as it should have been has done a number on me which is why you have not seen any postings of my cards...I just can't make any but I am hoping soon I will feel better....maybe this weekend. I am crossing my fingers that I am being heard and that my pain will be managed better...and I hope I don't turn into Blimp O Birgie.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks:TV Edition! Science Fiction

Yes! There is something new in town and that is TV! Once a month we will be talking about TV shows and since I have not seen many new ones, I will be going to older ones and doing my best not to pick fantasy or super heroes. This means I am choosing something more ..out there:) I thought of many shows but the ones below are close to my heart. If you wish to know what the other gals and guys chose, head on over to the brain child of this series, Wandering Through The Shelves, and check it out.


I mean, come on! How can anyone not chose this great, great series whether it is the original or The Next Generation which I love, even more, I think. It has spawned Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise never mind all the movies. Talk about a series that made it into the stratosphere. Gene Roddenberry had a tough time selling it to the executroids until he sold it as a wagon train in the Stars (Westerns were all the rage back then). You have Kirk, the bad ass captain who always breaks the prime directive and kisses all the girls. Spock, the wannabe unemotional Vulcan who is the science officer  and Kirk's right hand man and Bones, Dr. McCoy, who never trusts the transporter, or Spock but is right beside Kirk as well. You have Sulu, Uhura and Chekhov all very surprising for the day since one is Japanese, one is African American and Chekhov is Russian! This is during the Cold War, equal rights and general chaos of the 1960's. I love the episodes, City on the Edge of Forever, Balance of Terror and, of course, The Trouble with Tribbles but there are many others that are great from this first series. Which episode is your favourite?

2. LOST IN SPACE-1965-1968

We go from great to hokey but I love this show from its wobbly sets to that fun robot. This family with the space pilot, a stowaway and a robot all board a spaceship but something happens and they become lost. Now they must find their way home. Dr. Smith, the stowaway, is actually someone who sabotaged the ship creating the events that follow. He is befriended by the boy, played by Billy Mumy. His sister is played by Angela Cartwright who played one the daughters in The Sound of Music and the oldest is the love interest to Pilot. It's schlocky but so much fun and after an hour spent on the school bus, I would come in the door, put my stuff down and turn on the tv to watch this(and Gilligan's Island).

3.  SPACE 1999-1975-1977

Oh, this was a show I would watch on the weekend on the old  channel 29 when you had to have an extra knob on the tv to switch it to the UTV...if I remember correctly... if I don't, please correct me. Anyway this starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain who, with fellow scientists, live on the moon when the moon is knocked off its orbit, due to nuclear waste gathered on the other side of the moon that blows up, and goes hurtling into space. Now they are trying to get back to earth somehow. During their adventures, they can go to different planets and meet different life forms including a vixen who can change into animals or anything else she decides to be. This was my foray into British TV since I never cared for Dr. Who( sorry to all their fans). It was fun to watch and had many guest stars from Joan Collins to many who ended up in Star Wars. I almost picked Blake 7 and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

What Sci-Fi TV shows can you think of that you like or liked when you were a kid?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Choose a film from a person who died last year

I chose the theme this week to honour some of the people who passed away last year (thank you Wandering:)). This is a difficult one to do because how can one choose just 3.....not me:) now I already gave a salute to some of the greats who passed away last year which you can view here.  I am choosing not to go with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds as they must be saying, up in heaven, enough already!  I do love them but I am going with these 3. If you want to see what the others have chosen head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves. So here are my 3 plus an additional 2:)


I love ....LOVE this man especially his voice, his intelligence, his looks. I cried a river when I heard of his passing. Ok I didn't, but, man, was I saddened to hear of his death. He will always be Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series and the evil guy in Die Hard but I chose this British film that I just love. He plays a hair stylist who enters an absurd contest to win for best hairstyle. He is up against the mean but very funny Bill Nighy and must also deal with his ex wife and her new partner. It is a funny and touching movie with the wonkiest hair styles one will ever see. Other films to see him in would be Sense and Sensibility, Dogma, Galaxy Quest, Love Actually and Eye In The Sky.


He could play someone a bit nasty but he was the best as the lovable but tough sidekick who can bat up someone with just a stare but is just one big softie. In this film...he's not really a softie but still a great sidekick to Clint Eastwood's anti hero. Clint Eastwood play a retired assassin/art history prof/mountain climber blackmailed into going back into his assassin mode. This leads him to mountain climbing and he needs to get back into shape which brings George Kennedy to the scene as the man who can help him. He is his old friend and buddy and they work together to successfully do the job. I do enjoy this film quite a bit and if you want to see more films with George check out Cool Hand Luke, The Dirty Dozen, The Airport films, Earthquake, and the Naked Gun films.


This film was given as one of the reasons that the Western took a nosedive. I don't know about this but it is nuts since it is a Mel Brooks film. Cleavon Little is made sheriff of a small town which is just a ruse since the evil guy, played by the great Harvey Korman,  wants to destroy the town for a railroad. The townsfolk don't take well to the new sheriff since he is...African American. Everyone underestimates the new sheriff who has one ally....the Cisco Kid played with boozy delight by Gene Wilder. This is one crazy film that I love and laugh every time. Gene Wilder was great in this film and cemented his relationship and friendship with Mel Brooks. Gene was also great in Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Silver Streak.

Plus 2 more....


Most people will probably not know who she is which is why I chose her because she was quite the star in her day even if she was mainly second lead to the bigger stars like Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. In Summer Stock she plays the actress sister to Judy who is trying to keep her farm afloat. Gloria brings the acting troupe along including her boyfriend Gene Kelly. You know the troupe will save the farm and sing a song or 5. Gloria is not at all happy with what is going on between her sister and her guy but thems the breaks! You can see the lovely Gloria in Summer Holiday, Scene of the Crime, 3 Little Words and Out To Sea as well. It's hard to find a scene with just her in it, ditto for below...


This Grande Dame of the French Cinema was the first woman to win an award at first Cannes Film Festival and is considered an icon in cinema around the world. How sad that, in North America, no one knows her. When she escaped the Nazis, she briefly tried a Hollywood career but moved back to her home when the war was over. I wish I would see some of her great French works but the only one I saw, and that was many years ago, was this American film done with Humphrey Bogart. In fact she was almost going to play Ilse in Casablanca but they went with Ingrid Bergman instead. Funny, most of the actors from Casablanca appear in this film. It has a flashback within a flashback within a flashback. It tells the story of a man, wrongly accused of a crime and sent to Devil's Island, escapes with 4 other men. They are picked up by a freighter and end up fighting for the Free French. Ms. Morgan play's Bogie's wife. I remember enjoying this film and found it patriotic but can't recall more...I need to see it again. Ms. Morgan was also in Remorques, Higher and Higher, The Fallen idol and Les Grande Manoeuvres. Maybe I should have downloaded just a tribute to her??

What would be your picks?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Fashion World

The second week of January and the awards season is just beginning. We just had the Golden Globes where there was a lot of sparkles which I love but also such low cuts in front that I was really hoping  for some flash. I am sick of fake boobs coming out of barely there dresses that, if it was shown in 3D, we would be ducking. This brings me to this week's theme ...The Fashion World which is big time stuff for Hollywoodland.(or should I say Hollyweed:)) I am savings The Devil Wears Prada for another time but do expect it to be popular this week. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what everyone else has picked. Onward to my 3....


This is a wonderful musical that, not only showcases Rita Hayworth's dazzling beauty, but her excellent dancing. Gene Kelly, as Danny McGuire( check out Xanadu) owns a Brooklyn club with Hayworth as his girlfriend and Phil Silvers as his beat friend. Hayworth has the chance to leave the nightclub scene and become the new Covergirl and fashion icon but this would mean leaving her boyfriend...what will she do?? Hayworth plays 2 roles, that of the girlfriend and her grandmother from the 1890's flashback. This also has an amazing dance by Gene Kelly where he is dancing with his conscience in an amazing trick photography but needed to be perfect since Gene Kelly was technically dancing with himself.

2. FUNNY FACE-1957

Yup, another musical but I just love them there:) This stars the great Audrey Hepburn as a bookish young woman, with an amazing face, who is reluctantly caught up as the new fashion face for their magazine etc... She is "found" by the famed photographer, Dick Avery, played by the equally great and debonair Fred Astaire (based on real life photographer Richard Avedon) who whisks her off along with the magazine editor (The great Kay Thompson) to Paris to become a famous model. Dancing ensues, we see great fashion and of course there is romance between Hepburn and Astaire(much to Astaire's chagrin since he was much older). It is s'wonderful and delightful.


OK so not  a great trailer for this film but still gives just enough. Laura mars, played by Faye Dunaway, is a fashion photographer who suddenly can see through the eyes of a serial killer. She contacts the police and Tommy Lee Jones plays the cop who recognizes that the scenes closely resemble that of her fashion photographs. Soon people she works with as well as friends become victims and she, herself, is being stalked. I enjoyed this film even though it is not a great one by any means, I thought it was tense and freaky....and nope, not a musical:)

Which 3 can you come up with?

Richard Avedon Fashion photograph