Monday, October 31, 2016

MOVIE - Inferno

PG-13 (2:02)
Wide release 10/27/16
Viewed Roadhouse on Halloween with Cyra!
RT Critic:  20  Audience:  43
Critic's Consensus:  Senselessly frantic and altogether shallow, Inferno sends the Robert Langdon trilogy spiraling to a convoluted new low.
Cag:  3/Liked it once I started understanding what was going on....but not great
Directed by Ron Howard
Sony Pictures
Based on the book by Dan Brown

Tom Hanks, Ben Foster, Felicity Jones

My comments:  For the first third of the movie I was totally and completely confused, as I imagine anyone watching this would be, unless perhaps they'd read the book.  There were three or four different factions of people working against?? with?? each other and major flashbacks.  As it slowly started making sense I enjoyed it more.  You had to really pay attention, and it would help if one had a tiny sense of 

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon in director Ron Howard and screenwriter David Koepp's adaptation of author Dan Brown's bestselling novel Inferno, which finds Langdon using Dante's The Divine Comedy as a tool in the race to prevent a devastating global pandemic. 

PICTURE BOOK - I am Lucille Ball by Brad Meltzer

Ordinary People Change the World Series
Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulous
2015, Penguin Random House
40 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.37 - 223 ratings
My rating: 5 stars
Endpapers: Washed out red with white "stamps" of old fashioned tv camera

1st line/s:  "I am Lucille Ball.  When I was a little girl, my mother tried to dress me in ribbons and bows.  But I was different from other girls.  My idea of fun was horsing around with my dad."



My comments:  Told in the first person, this telling of Lucy's childhood, perseverance, and positivity is inspiring!  It includes actual historical facts - giving young kids access to information that is rarely rendered at their level.  I really applaud this biography for young 'uns.  Top notch!
     It looks like this is the beginning of a series, all with the same author and illustrator.  Bravo!

Goodreads:  “Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it,” Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography—for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in a vivacious, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was biography series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Lucille Ball could make any situation funny. By making people around the world laugh, she proved that humor can take on anything.
          This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, providing them with the right role models, supplementing Common Core learning in the classroom, and best of all, inspiring them to strive and dream.

Other books in the series:
Helen Keller
Jane Goodall
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jackie Robinson
Amelia Earhart
George Washington
Rosa Parks
Albert Einstein
Abraham Lincoln
Jim Henson
Sacagawea

Postcards Received on Halloween 2016 - Really Good Ones!

627.  Inge Look (Finnish artist) - sent from GERMANY
Hope you like this card.  Life in ......(I can't understand what she's written here)..I have 2 grandchildren.  Angelika

628.  Greetings from Germany
Many greetings from germany.  I am 37 years old and I like to play accordian in my free time.  I also like to write letters, meet my friends, travel.  All the best, Bianca

629.  Bremen, Germany
Best wishes from Bremen, Germany!  My name is Birkit and I like to travel and I love reading, too!  In the moment I read the books from Chris Colfer, I like them!  Have a nice day and Happy Postcrossing.  Birkit

630.  Scotland
Scotland has a land area of about 79,000 sq. km., with a total coastline of nearly 12,000 km.  There are some 800 islands, with almost 600 of them lying off the west coast, over 30,000 freshwater lochs and 6600 river systems.  Scotland's population of 5.3 million live in approximately 3% of the total land area.
Hello Chris!  My name is Keith and I send you a map card of my home country of Scotland.  It is beautiful here.  Keith.

631.  Tokyo, JAPAN
Greetings to arizona, 9578 KM away from Nagaya City, Japan!  Hope you'll like this Gtotochi card of Tokyo (sushi).  Japan may be best know for sushi.  Alshams

632.  Nordstrasse (North Street?) from Germany
My name is Kerstin, I am 37 years old and live in Germany.  I work in the office of a big recycling company.  In my spare time I write letters and postcards, read, hear music, and meet friends.  Blessed be, Kerstin

633.  Hamburg, Germany
Hello Chris!  Greetings:)  This is one of my newest cards, a fun map of the city centre of Hamburg.  I was born in Hamburg almost 48 years ago and now I live one driving hour north from there.  Twice a week I'm going to evening school, Mondays to learn to play piano and on Wednesdays to learn the Russian language.  I've just started and like it very much!  Momentarily I read books written by Ken Bruen from Ireland about former policeman who now works as a private detective, he has a drug problem.
Bye bye, Kirsten

Sunday, October 30, 2016

PICTURE BOOK - Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece by Patricia Polacco

Illustrated by the author
2014, G.P. Putnam's Sons
HC $17.99 Borrowed from TPPL
40 pgs.
Goodreads rating: 4.16  (234 ratings)
My rating: 4
Endpapers: Solid Red

Dedication:  In loving memory of Thomas Wayne and Joseph Tranchina

Preface:  "It was another September.  All new classes, and a teacher I already knew I was going to live - my English teacher, Mr. Tranchina.  He was funny and really cool!  He woke something up in me.  By the third week I was reading like a crazy person -- more than I ever had -- and writing, poems and stories and essays.
     But then one day he asked us to read an essay on our families in front of the whole class."


1st line/s:  "My worst nightmare had come true when, after a few days of school, Mr. Tranchina asked me to read my essay out loud."

My comments:  I wonder if Patricia Polacco has journals she kept from her childhood and young adult years?  Her memories seem so strong!  However, even with a flickering memory, a clever writer can embellish the remembered details and craft a story...and Polacco is the master of this.  So many of her wonderful picture books are based on her own memories, and here's another.  
     I love the idea that PEOPLE can be masterpieces, which is the premise of this story - taking a very shy girl and teaching her how to come out of herself on stage, and ultimately speaking in front of a very large crowd.
     This is a great model for teaching writing to kids, AND for kids with stage fright.

Goodreads:  In this inspiring true story, beloved artist Patricia Polacco conquers her fear of public speaking, allowing her to discover her remarkable voice. A wonderful companion to Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Art of Miss Chew, it celebrates the lifelong impact of a great teacher.
        Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr. Wayne’s drama class is the last thing she wants! But Mr. Wayne gives her a backstage role painting scenery for the winter play. As she paints, she listens to the cast rehearse, memorizing their lines without even realizing it. Then, days before opening night, the lead actress suddenly moves away, and Trisha is the only other person who knows her part. Will the play have to be canceled? It won’t be an easy road—when Trisha tries to recite the lines in front of the cast, nothing comes out! But Mr. Wayne won’t let her give up, and with his coaching, Trisha is able to become one of his true masterpieces.

MOVIE - Masterminds

PG-13 (1:30)
Wide release 9/29/16
Viewed Sunday, 10/20/16 at Century Gateway
RT Critic: 32   Audience:  46
Critic's Consensus:  Masterminds' great cast and stranger-than-fiction true story are largely wasted on a scattershot comedy with a handful of funny moments and far too much wackiness.
Cag:  3.5 Great fun!
Directed by  Jared Hess
Relativity Media
Based on a true story, believe it or not!

Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis

My comments:  This flick was a freaking riot - a funny, farcical movie!  Just plain stupid and fun...over-the-top, non-stop laughs with nothing drawn out or overdone, time flew by.  How they could do all they did without cracking up constantly is beyond me!  It siad at the beginning this this was based on a true story, and a bit of research proves that is true, which is really hard to believe!  At the end they showed photos of Galifianakis and Wilson with their "real" counterparts.  Crazy!

RT/ IMDb Summary:  In this action comedy based on true events, directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite; Nacho Libre), David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) discovers the true meaning of adventure far beyond his wildest dreams. He is an uncomplicated man stuck in a monotonous life. Day in and day out he drives an armored vehicle, transporting millions of other people's money with no escape in sight. The only glimmer of excitement is his flirtatious work crush Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig) who soon lures him into the scheme of a lifetime. Along with a group of half-brained criminals led by Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson) and an absurdly faulted heist plan, David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million in cash...only problem is he foolishly hands the money over to this wild group of double crossers and has been set up to take the fall. With the bandits blowing the millions on lavish and ridiculous luxuries, they leave behind a glaring trail of evidence. Now on the lam and in over his head, David must dodge the authorities, evade a hilarious hit man, Mike McKinney (Jason Sudeikis), and try to turn the tables on the ones he trusted most.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Postcard Received Friday, 10/28/16

626.  Yekaterinburg, Russia
"Sevastyanov's House is a historic mansion built in Neo-Gothic style; presently the building serves as the Executive Mansion for the President of Russia in Yekaterinburg."
Hello!  My name is Irina.  I live in Yekaterinburg and I work as an analyst at the factory.  I love to listen to music - the Ural rock, Finnish nutal.  There is a middle of autumn in the Urals now.  Today was +3 degrees C.  Forecast for tomorrow is snow.  I love the winter and New year - it is my favorite holiday.  I wish you a lot of beautiful postcards, and good friends!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

MOVIE - The Dressmaker

R (1:58)
Limited release 9/22/16
Viewed 10/27/16 at the Loft (tripped on the top step and my soda drenched my pizza slice.  I really do not like the upstairs theater!)
RT Critic: 54   Audience:  69
Critic's Consensus:  The Dressmaker boasts a strong central performance by Kate Winslet and a captivating array of narrative weirdness -- all of which may or may not be a comfortable fit with viewers.
Cag: Hated it and loved it: AVERAGE = 3
Directed by  Jocelyn Moorhouse
Amazon Studios & Broad Green Pictures
Based on the book by

Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Judy Davis

My comments:  The first half of this film was wonderful...but I HATED what they did to (spoiler!) Liam Hemsworth.  I know that it drew the plot along....thank goodness it didn't happen at the end of the film....but it sure set my spirits L-O-W!!!  The ending made up for it, but I was never able to pop up above the surface again.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  The Dressmaker tells the story of the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage (Academy Award winner Kate Winslet). After years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, Tilly returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her eccentric mother Molly (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis). She also falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), and armed with her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly transforms the women of the town, exacting sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Postcards Received Monday, 10/24/16

623.  Los Angeles, California
Hello Chris, Greetings from Los Angeles!  I live in Los Angeles, but I moved from Hawaii.  Living in different of new place is kind of challenging but we can experience so many things.  Best wishes for your moving!
Happy Postcard-Uniting!  Lynn

624.  Greetings from Malaysia
Hello, my name is REgine and my nickname is green tea.  As I love to drink green tea very much since I was 13 during secondary school.  I am now 21, studying graphic design courses in Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.  I've just finished my internship program in holiday tours ! ! ! ! !


625.  Florida
Hi Chris,
I thought it was funny when I got your name to send to.  I read the things you like and I could be reading about myself.  Then I see your birthday and nearly fell off my chair.  LOL.  It's the same as mine.
Happy Postcrossing!  Alda

I then sent her this message:
Hi Alda, I loved receiving your card....I love that we have the same birthday! Would you send me your mailing information so that I can send you a card? I'm dying to know where in Florida you live...when I lived in Maine we used to drive down on February vacations....
My very best, 
Chris.

MOVIE - Denial

PG-13 (1:50)
Limited release 9/30/16
Viewed 10/24/16 with Sheila (& others?)
IMBd: 6.3/10
RT Critic: 81   Audience:  75
Critic's Consensus:  If Denialdoesn't quite do its incredible story complete justice, it comes close enough to offer a satisfying, impactful drama -- and another powerful performance from Rachel Weisz.
Cag: 4/liked it a lot
Directed by Mick Jackson
Participant Media
Based on a true story

Rachel Wiesz, Tom Wilkerson

My comments:  Saw this with Sheila and had a bit of a talk about it afterwards.  Learned a lot about the British justice/legal system, lots of things are different from the US.  Hard to believe that people actually either believe that the Holocaust never happened or want to totally erase it from history.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Based on the acclaimed book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, DENIAL recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt's (Academy Award (R) winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Cannes Award winner Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, the burden of proof is on the accused, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Postcards Received Saturday, 10/22/16

621.  Wuzhen, CHINA
Lang Peng, by beauty for passers - by to provide a shelter from the rain, a good place to rest
Hello Reader Chris,
My name is Summer, and I live in Foshan, the city famous for Kung Fu.  I am a college student majoring in tourism management, and I like travelling around.  Last month, I had a trip in Szchuan.
Best wishes!

622.  Taiwanese Student in Germany
Hello Chris,
I am Anny from Taiwan but now being an exchange student in Germany.  I hve been to the USA several times!  I love the people there and especially when I visited the "Badlands," with their cute groundhogs and also beautiful scenery!
     Now I am in Germany and can't wait to explore the beauty and culture here!!  Hope this postcard finds you well.  Happy Day!

Friday, October 21, 2016

58. Empty Houses - Betsy Thornton

(looks like the first in a new series)
read the actual hard cover book that I got from the library!
2015 Severn House Publishers
224 pgs.
Adult murder mystery
Finished 10-21-16 (read in two days)
Goodreads rating:  3.47 - 19 ratings
My rating: 5/ for reasons, see "my comments"
Setting: Contemporary Bisbee, Arizona (called Dudley, but all other places names are correct)

First Line/s:  "The place was a beach town near LA; the event was lunch at La Casita, a Mexican restaurant Harry and Kate went to from time to time."

My comments:  I spent a day just last week in Bisbee, Arizona after reading one of Margaret Falk/J. Carson Black's mysteries that is set there. I've been down there quite a few times.  I wandered the streets and some of the staircases on foot, and drove in and around and all over the place.  So when I started reading this mystery (I've read all the Chloe Newcomb ones), I was RIGHT THERE.  Bisbee (which for some reason Ms. Thornton calls Dudley) is one of the protagonists  in this novel.  There are lots of characters and they were really easy to keep track of.  I like Kate.  She's flawed in lots of little ways, and seems so real.  I really like Malcolm, and I hope that he doesn't get dropped from the next in the series.  He's not so flawed, he's pretty darned cool.....  The mystery was well plotted and kept me guessing. The only thing I didn't like quite so much was the hopping back and forth from coast to coast as easily as they did.  It's not that easy, believe me!  The trips to Tucson and Phoenix were great, I was able to be right there with them.  First book in a bit that I couldn't (or didn't want to) put down.  I'm giving it a five (probably should be a 4 or 4.5) because I want its average to go up higher!  Looking forward to #2!

Goodreads synopsis:  The first in the brand-new Kate Waters series"
          Dudley, Arizona is an isolated desert town attracting people who need to escape. Kate Waters flees there following an abusive relationship. Phoenix cop Malcolm MacGregor comes to recover from the death of his wife. No one knows why Carrie and Wes Cooper arrived. But when they are shot dead, the town authorities first instinct is to protect the lucrative tourist trade and make a quick arrest without asking too many questions. 
          Having once spoken to Carrie briefly, Kate becomes increasingly convinced that the wrong man has been arrested for the crime. Was the shooting random, or is there something in the victims history back east that would explain it? Teaming up with Malcolm MacGregor, Kate is about to uncover disturbing links between her own and Carrie s past. Is Kate herself at risk?

Postcards Received Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

617.  Where the Jackalope Roam! 
Much like the stories of Sasquatch sightings, legends of the elusive Jackalope continue to haunt Western lore even in modern times.
Hello Chris,
     Greetings from central Minnesota.  I picked up this card last fall when we visited Mt. Rushmore.  I have lived in Pittsburgh and Tucson.  I would move bacdk to Tucson in a heartbeat!  Parts of Pennsylvania are beautiful though.
Best wishes, Jane

618.  Stack of Books - Poland
Hi Chris,
I'm Ksenia and now I live in Kradow Poland, but originally I'm from Russia.  I like travelling and reading.  And I prefer paper books to electronic ones.  It is cool to take a new book :).
Hope you'll like the card.
Best wishes, Ksenia

619.  Catherine Palace Amber Room, St. Petersburg, RUSSIA
Krasnoyarsk City, Russia
Hello Chris!
On this postcard you can see the famous sight of Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg.  This room from Amber.
Best wishes, Lisa
I Hipe you like postcard.

620.  Happy Postcrossing from Holland
Hello, My name is Monique and I live in Holland.  I hope you like this mailbox card.  Greetings from Holland

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Postcards Received Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

613.  Postcrossing the World - Shanghai, CHINA
Hi friend,
Greetings from Shanghai china.  Your profile shows that you like map cards so I choose this card for you.  Have a good time.  Zhang

614.  Greetings from Holland
with love...

615.  Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
Hellow.  How are you?  Greetings from the big and touristic city of Dnipropetrovsk.  My name is Yarik.  I'm 16.  I live with my mother, brother, his wife, and two dogs.  I like to go out with my friends and dogs.  Summer we go to barbecues.  Often with dogs and friend ride the river.  Postcard is photo of my favorite breed of dog.
Best wishes, Yaroslav

616.  Postovni schranky ("Mailboxes") Czech Republic
Hi Chris, My name is Alena.  I live in Czech Republic in a smaller town called Paevy, but I was born in Prague.  I have a husband and our twins, daughter and son, 13 y. o.  My hobbies are playing volleyball, badminton, and to read fantasy books.  I wish all the best to your and your family.  Alena.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MOVIE - Mechanic: Resurrection

R (1:50)
Wide Release 8/25/16
Viewed Wed. 10.19.16 at Century Gateway
RT Critic:  26  Audience:  44
IMDb: 5.7/10
Critic's Consensus:  none!
Cag:  3.5 Definitely enjoyed it...
Directed by Dennis Gansel
Summit Entertainment

Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones

My comments:  This was a very entertaining bang bang, shoot-em-up, MacGyver-to-the-extreme movie with glorious locations/settings.  An extremely clever (and buff) retired hitman reluctantly goes on one last spree to make himself dead and gone forever, sot that he can live out the rest of his life in peace - in beautiful locales with beautiful Jessica Alba.  When you look past all the ridiculous killing (all bad guys, of course) the story was a blast.  Now I need to see the 1st Mechanic, filmed in 2011.

IMDb Summary:  Arthur Bishop thought he had put his murderous past behind him when his most formidable foe kidnaps the love of his life. Now he is forced to travel the globe to complete three impossible assassinations, and do what he does best, make them look like accidents.


MOVIE - Hello My Name is Doris

R (1:35)
Limited release 3/11/16
Never wrote down when I saw this, 2nd quarter of 2016
IMBd: 6.7/10
RT Critic: 83   Audience:  77
Critic's Consensus: Hello, My Name Is Doris is immeasurably elevated by Sally Field's remarkable performance in the title role, which overpowers a surfeit of stereotypical indie quirk.
Cag:  2.5 It was okay
Directed by Michael Showalter
Red Crown Productions

Sally Field

My comments:  This just made me sad and depressed.  I thought I'd like it a lot more than I did.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  When Doris Miller meets John Fremont, her company's hip new art director, sparks fly-at least for Doris. In the cluttered house she shared with her late mother, Doris mines the Internet for information on her one-and-only, guided by the 13-year-old granddaughter of her best pal Roz. When Doris begins showing up at John's regular haunts, she wins over his Williamsburg friends. Her new life brings Doris a thrilling perspective, but also creates a rift between her and her longtime friends and family, who believe she's making a fool of herself over a guy half her age. Eager for all the experiences she has missed out on, Doris throws caution to the wind and follows her heart for the very first time.

2017 Oscar Buzz

I figure it's time to check out what the bigshots are saying about the academy award possibilities for 2017.  I checked a couple of websites (Business Insider,  Awards Circuit, and came up with the following list of movies to see:

20th Century Women (12/21 Comedy/Drama with Annette Bening and Elle Fanning)
Allied (11/23 WWII Spy flick with Brad Pitt)
Arrival (11/11 SciFi with Amy Adams & Jeremy Renner)
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (11/11 Drama - Iraq includes Kristen Stewart)
Birth of a Nation (10/7 HistFict abt. Nat Turner/Rebellion)
Elle (11/11) French (For. Language) (rape and revenge)
Fences (12/25 1950's race relations with Denzel Washington)
Florence Foster Jenkins
The Founder (1/20/17 - biopic of Ray Kroc, McD founder - Michael Keaton & Laura Dern)
The Girl on the Train (10/7)
Gold (12/25 Pursuit of big gold find with Matthew McConaughey)
Hacksaw Ridge (11/4 HistFict biopic WWII Cons. Obj. with Andrew Garfield)
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures (12/25 African American female NASA scientists)
Jackie  (12/9 Through the eyes of Jackie Kennedy with Natalie Portman)
La La Land (12/16 with Ryan Gossling & Emma Stone)
Lion (11/25 Young Indian boy gets lost in Calcutta with Dev Patel)
Live by Night (1/13/17 Dennis LeHane dir & acted by Ben Affleck)
Loving (11/4 HidtFict 1950s B&W forbidden marriage)
Manchester by the Sea (11/18 Uncle becomes reluctant guardian with Casey Affleck)
Miss Sloane (12/9 brilliant lobbyist with Jessica Chastain)
Moonlight (10/21 black man grappling with sexuality issues)
Nocturnal Animals  (12/9 2 stories in 1 - a manuscript and its receiver with Jake Gyllenhal and Amy Adams)
Passengers (12/21 SciFi Space travelers awaken early with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence)
Patriots Day (12/21 2015 Boston Marathon bombing with Mark Wahlberg)
Rules Don't Apply (11/23 1958 young girl & Howard Hughes with Warren Beatty)
Silence (11/1 17th Cent Jesuit priests with Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield - Scorsese)
Sully

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Postcards Received Tues, October 18, 2016

607.  Floatings Town - Indonesia
Hi Chris...
Greetings from Indonesia.  I am Ayu.  I also really like reading so much.  But lately I just can't keep up, he he.  So I read the simple ones like Harlequin romance, he he.  have a great day!  Ayi Dai

608.  Living the Life in Catania, ITALY
Ciao, Chris!  Lovely greetings from Sicily.  Wish you a good day!
Beate

609.  Essen, Germany
Cartoon von Michael Holtschulte
Dear Chris,
You like funny cards.  This one means a song: 
 The boy: "Advent, advent, the school is burning."
The father:  "How touching."
Hopy you smile about it!  Greets from Essen, big town in Germany.
Yours, Steffi

610. San Francisco, CA
Q: What do you say about a horrible mummy joke?
A:  It SPHINX!
~Angela

611.  Balk, Holland,
Hi Chris!
I'm from Holland.  I lived in a small village, Balk, which you can see on the card.  Very beautiful with a lot of water.  Now, I live in Leeuwarden for my study in International Business and Languages.  I wish you all the best in Pennsylvania.  Simone

612.  Berlin, GERMANY
Hello, my name is Rachel.  I am 11 years old.  My hobbies are dancing, playing the guitgar, listening to music, watching films, & reading.  On the postcard you see the Obe-baumbrucke.  Berlin is a great city.  I go to Freii Schule am Mauerpark.  This is a nice school.  Have a nice day.  Goodbye.  Rachel

Monday, October 17, 2016

Yes I Did!


MOVIE - The Accountant

R (2:08)
Wide 10.8.16
Viewed 10.17.16 at Park Place
RT Critic:  49  Audience:  87
Critic's Consensus:  The Accountant writes off a committed performance from Ben Affleck, leaving viewers with a scattershot action thriller beset by an array of ill-advised deductions.
Cag:  5/Loved it
Directed by Gavin O'Connor
Warner Brothers Pictures

Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. T. Simmons, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Tambor

My comments:  I loved this movie.  Some of the critics didn't...probably because it was all wrapped up in a neat little bow, which is what I really loved about it.  Bill Dubuque, who wrote the screenplay, was brilliant.  He took a number of seemingly different vignettes and wove them together to make one story.  He must have needed a wall to map it out!  Spectacular storytelling!   Yup, violence, and killing...but sweetness and humor and a grand mystery as well. And Asberger's.  And love, although it definitely wasn't a love story per se.  Top it off with small roles for both John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor (and fantastic parts for Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, and J. T. Simmons) and this became a real winner for me...one of my favorites so far this year!

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Christian Wolff is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department's Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King, starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

Postcards Received Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

605.  Manchester, England
Hello Chris!
Greetings from a cool but sunny north oif England.  I live just to the side of Mancester (a little to the left of the map) and lthough I'm from the south, I love it up here.
     I've never been to America, but I hope to visit Las Vegas for my 40th next year.
     Hope you're having a great week.
Take care, Amanda

606.  Mt. Hakkoda, Japan
Hello, Chris!
Now I have been injured right hand (dominant hand).  I cannot write the letters neatly.  Please allow me to send a postcard with print my message.
     This is the view of the beautiful spot, Hakkoda Mountain Range, Aomori Prefecture.  Aomori is the popular sight-seeing area with beautiful nature.  Hakkoda Mountain Range is one of the most popular spots in Aomori.  There are many beautiful forests and waterfalls in this area. A lot of tourists visit this area from around the world.
I hope you will be glad to see this postcard.
Sheluna

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Book - Pleasure Extraordinaire 1 - 4 by Liv Bennett

read on my Kindle
2014 Amazon Digital Services; Red Pearl Publishing
#1 - 198 pgs.
#2 - 170 pgs.
XXX Erotica/CRF
Goodreads ratings:
     Bk 1 - 3.51, 2813 ratings
     Bk 2 - 4.06, 613 ratings
My rating: There's no way I can rate these.  No way.
Setting: Contemporary LA

My comments:  I'm not going to post these on Goodreads, since, I must admit, it's a little embarrassing to be reading them, or at least, I don't want to admit it to my friends (and my friends don't read this blog).  These have more story than most "erotica" has, but still...

1 - Introducing the protagonist and finding out a bit about what makes her tick...with a little about Michael, the father, and his two sons.
2 - More about the growing relationship between Ace and

Goodreads synopses:
Book 1: Michael Hawkins is mature, rich, and drop-dead sexy. He is also gay. And, for some strange reason, he wants me to be his pretend girlfriend in exchange for a big sum of money.
     He has one condition, though: I cannot get close to a man, or be seen with one during the one year I'm contracted with him. I thought it'd be a piece of cake, until I meet his two grown-up, gloriously handsome sons, who won't take no for an answer, including from me.
     I'll not fall for their cheap tricks even if it means I have to close my eyes each time I see them. And each time I close my eyes, I imagine their naked bodies doing sinful acts on mine. God help me before my physical urges get the best of me, and the contract blows up in my face.


Book 2:  I’m pursued by two brothers. Two beautiful, powerful men with dreadful secrets and gloomy pasts. 
     One sets me free, the other tries to trap me. One is the light in the darkness; the other is the darkness itself. Yet they have one common wish in their hearts. Seeing Michael destroyed. But, I might be the one getting burned in the end.

Very Cool Cards I've Sent

Every now and then I send a card that I'm quite unwilling to part with.....until I got my scanner and realized I could save them digitally.

The "Yawning Chasm"
The lure of the mysterious depths of the Grand Canyon tempted these women to venture very close to its snow-covered edge.  The Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is 277 miles long with an average depth of one mile.
Photographed in 1903 by B. L. Tingley
Copyright 1999 Heritage Photographic Publishers, Ltd, Tucson, Arizona USA
Why You Never Feed Pigs Bubblegum
Duane Hammond, Hammond Designs Associates c2010

Postcards of/from Tibet

599.  Tibet (mailed from China)
Hi.  I'm a girl from China.  This is a card about map of Tibet.  I went there last year.  That's an amazing trip.  Really hope you can visit there one day.  I now study furniture design in Beijing.  I like visiting museums and some bookshops or some beautiful buildings.  Jan

Friday, October 14, 2016

MOVIE - Florence Foster Jenkins

PG-13 (1:50)
Wide Release 8/11/16
Viewed Friday, 10/14/16 at Century Gateway
RT Critic:  86  Audience:  74
Critic's Consensus:  Florence Foster Jenkins makes poignant, crowd-pleasing dramedy out of its stranger-than-fiction tale -- and does its subject justice with a reliably terrific turn from star Meryl Streep.
Cag:  4.5 It was really good, liked it a lot!
Directed by Stephen Frears
BBC Films
Based on a true story

Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg

My comments:  Biopics are truly interesting - usually I come away with a "No Shit!" kind of reaction.  This was quite a story, acted beautifully by the three protagonists.  Perfect for their roles, I was particularly impressed by Simon Helbert (of Big Bang Theory fame), his facial expressions and gorgeous piano playing blew me away.  I loved the end, when Meryl Streep got to sing beautifully, showing ho Ms. Jenkins pictured herself singing the entire time.  So poignant...and somewhat sad, I guess, though you don't come away from the film feeling at all sad.

IMDb Summary:  Florence Foster Jenkins, born Narcissa Florence Foster, was an American socialite and amateur soprano who was known and mocked for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability. The historian Stephen Pile ranked her "the world's worst opera singer". "No one, before or since," he wrote, "has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation."

Postcards Received Th & Fri 10/13 and 10/14/16

602.  Prime Minister's Office Complex & Putra Mospue - Putrajaya, MALAYSIA
Hello Chris,
Warm greetings from Malaysia.  I am Karen living in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which is in East Malaysia.  I live here with my husband and daughter who is in college.  The picture on this postcard is of the PM's office and a mosque which is located in Putrajaya, a state in West Malaysia.  East and West Malaysia are separated by the sea.  Here we live near the sea.  The beach is a 10 minute drive from my place.  The weather here is hot all through the year so anytime is a good time to go to the beach.  I hope you like this postcard.   Wishing you all the very best.  Karen

603.  Ekaterinburg, RUSSIA
Hello Chris!  We are writing you from the main city of the Ural - Ekaterinburg - that is famous for its great and monumental mountains.  Ekaterinburg is one of 11 cities where football matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be held.  Hope it'll be amazing games!  Smiles when sadness intrudes!  Bye!

604. Visit Berlin
Hello Chris!  Greetings from Berlin, the capital of Germany.