Monday, November 24, 2014

St Vincent-A surprising and sweet film


I’m not a religious person but I do borrow some parts of each religion that I find fun and helpful as I move through this thing called life. Catholic Saints are one aspect of religion I find interesting and this film takes Sainthood to the next level :)

St. Vincent is a movie about an elderly man named Vincent played by the great Bill Murray (who I have watched and loved my entire life) and a boy named Oliver played by newcomer Jaeden Lieberher. When we first meet Vin he is your typical grumpy old man who enjoys smoking, gambling and just being left alone. His home which he shares with his cat, Felix (Pepper and Jigger) is a mess inside and out. At first he and his new neighbors, Melissa McCarthy as Oliver's mother, do not get along but when Oliver needs Vincent's help on his first day of school it is revealed to us that relationships can change.

Written and directed by Theodore Melfi, St Vincent is an unexpected beautiful surprise. All of the actors are perfectly fitting in their roles, including Naomi Watts who plays Daka, a loveable “dancer”, Chris O’Dowd who plays Oliver’s Catholic school teacher and Terrence Howard who plays Zucko an “acquaintance” of Vin’s. I don’t know where Murray got his Brooklyn accent but it was enjoyable to listen to and rounded off this character that you may not usually hang out with but once you’ve learned more about the man you wanted to be his friend. Everyone had excellent chemistry with each other but the scenes between Murray and Lieberher were the best, so much so that when Oliver has to get up in front of his class and family for a presentation I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. 

St. Vincent is a sweet, small film perfect for most ages young and old, No one left until the credits finished rolling.  

 

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flash fiction #3

For this flash fiction challenge given by chuck wendig we had to pick a strange photo from a set on the web @ http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinchirico/stock-photos-that-no-one-will-ever-be-able-to-use and write no more then 1000 words I choose #5 (It is also a version of a story within a Novella I wrote) and here it is


Modern Day Fairy Tale

I grew up on a farm with my father who loved me more the life itself. Every day we woke up early, ate breakfast, feed the cows, gathered eggs from the chickens and spent the day together. Each night we watched the news and every night there was an update to what was happening with the royal family. I would watch with wide eyes as the women walked down the red carpet in their beautiful gowns and handsome dates and the parties were full of glamour as we got a peak into the lives and love of The King, Queen and the two Princes.

One morning when I was 7 we were working in the field when we heard yelling from the road. We ran as fast as we could to see what happened and if we could help. What we saw was a large decorated limo with a driver and to men, they were looking ate two flat tires then one of the men opened a door and helped the Queen and her two sons out of the vehicle. I ran up to them and said hi, my father was close behind, held me back and apologized for my rudeness. The Queen was polite and said everything was fine. My dad offered his help but the driver was already fixing the tires and instead asked The Queen and her boys if they would like to warm up and have breakfast with us. She accepted. We ate a delicious meal and the grownups talked about their lives. By the time the meal was over one of the men was knocking at the door, the limo was fixed and it was time for the The Queen and her sons to go home.

Years later when I was 17 I was picking apples in a neighbors orchard for $5 an hour, to help pay for collage when an expensive red mustang zoomed by, the driver was going at least 90 mph as he drove threw a giant puddle at the spot where I was standing. The mustang skid and turned at an angle as it came to a quick stop before hitting a tree. The driver crawled out unhurt and walked towards me. He offered his hand, I declined, he offered it again and when I looked up I pushed it away and fell to my knees “I’m sorry I didn’t know it was you your majesty.” He replied ‘you don’t have to apologize it was all my fault, I am the sorry one.” I took his hand this time and we walked to his car. We dated on and off for years. We fought, made up and made love. I was even on the news a few times and finally got to go to the fancy parties that I had dreamed of as a kid. The gowns I got to wear were so beautiful and it every color you could imagine. Reporters and paparazzi were always following us and the stories they printed in the tabloids were never true. It wasn’t easy for the lovebirds.

Today I am 25 and it is my wedding day. At first everything was so perfect. I had the dress, something new, borrowed, blue and most important something old. This morning father gave me my mother’s heart shaped silver locket her grandmother gave to her on her wedding day. Inside is a photo of my parents on their wedding day. Both dressed in their very best, both as happy as can be. As my father told me their story for the 100th time I cried and he had to wipe the tears and mascara from my face. The Queen had died years before and The King had recently passed away so my future husband was about to take the thrown. As father walked me down the alise I was nervous and he rubbed my hand to calm my nerves. When I reached The Prince the nerves went away and I was as happy as can be. Then things took a change for the worst.

Before I could say I do my future brother in law took his sword, which was meant as decoration, grabbed me and held it to my throat and said” I will not let some commoner become Queen!”. My husband took his sword and threaten his own brother.

“I tell you this mom because although I never got to know you I miss you every day and should have visited more often. Dad says he comes every day to keep you up to date but I thought it was time for me to tell you my half of the story. I love you and will always keep you in my heart.” 

A man dressed in his finest uniform walks up to the young women sitting by the grave still in her wedding dress and says “My brother has been buried. How is your mother?”

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gone Girl, the film, a review

Let me start by saying part of loving and watching movies is knowing what to see and a subscription to a entertainment magazine is how I learn about the films I see, that brings me to this past weekends number one movie Gone Girl.

A movie that was on the cover of Entertainment Weekly a couple of months ago (staring at me from my side table wanting me to read what the hype was all about) I wasn't sure if I wanted to or even get the chance to see Gone Girl  Well I did and that is a good thing.

I can't tell you anything about the actual plot for fear of giving something away (although since it is written by Gillian Flynn the author of the book readers may know the plot better then me).

As a film, director David Fincher (The Social Network) uses the same old but very effected techniques he is known for. The cinematography is dark and at time difficult to see the action on screen but works for the setting of a town/neighborhood up in arms over the disappearance of a beautiful woman. The editing on the other hand is superb and intensifies the way the story is told. Fincher easily moves between all sides of the story as we see the characters unravel. All of the characters have their flaws but as the viewer you can understand where each is coming from and why they act in the way they do.

First there is Nick Dunne played by the always enjoyable Ben Affleck. Nick's life is turned upside down and becomes a target for the media and police when his wife goes missing. In this instance I didn't just like Affleck the actor, I liked Nick Dunn the character. From the first moment we see him to the end and in the way he acts with the police and uses the media is pure genius.

His wife Amy played by Rosamund Pike is just as good in a stunning, cunning and suave way.

The other two characters who play major roles in this twisted yet fun thriller are the cop who is in charge of the case Detective Rhonda Boney played by Kim Dickens. I really liked that she wasn't to quick and took her time with developing the case. Dickens was very believable and refreshing. There is also Nick's sister Margo played by Carrie Coon, all I can say about her is, she is the sister I would want if I ever found myself in the same situation.

As for the other supporting actors and their characters-
Tyler Perry was perfect and subtle in the role of Tanner Bolt, Nick's expensive lawyer and Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings an ex boyfriend of Amy's and I have to say Spoiler Alert? what happens to his character is something I will not ever forget.

In the end the movie may have been slow and felt long at times but is still well made and each actor gave 100%, making Gone Girl worth checking out.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Originals-Season 2 begins...

Yes I am one of a million who enjoys watching a good movie or TV series with vampires and when Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air I struggled to find a show I liked as much (see previous post one True Blood). It wasn't so much that I liked Buffy and her Scooby gang that drew me to the show but Spike, the vamp with platinum blond hair and a leather coat was my reason for watching and when the spin-off Angel ended I didn't believe I would find one I liked just as much. That was until last season when The Originals premiered! The three main characters ( Mikaelson siblings Rebecca, Klaus and Elijah) first appeared in Mystic Falls on the CW series The Vampire Dairies and when I saw Elijah it was love at first sight.

In the first episode of The Originals the siblings move back to New Orleans where we learn more about how they became who they are.

Origin/backstory-Years ago a mother didn't want her children to die and being that she was a powerful witch placed a curse on her four sons (two killed off on TVD) and daughter (left at end of 1st season) which made them, herself and her husband immortal but forced to drink blood.

Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is the head of the family now and is determined to get his city back. He will do anything to anyone, including hurting his brother and sister to get what he wants!

Elijah (Daniel Gillies) is calmer with a great sense of style. He is there to help Klaus from going to far. He believes in keeping his family safe and together. He protects the ones he loves and has been known to act more like his brother if any harm come to them

Now back in the city they helped built Klaus, Elijah and Rebecca reunite with "old friends".

There is Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) who was a young boy and slave when Klaus first met him. He took Marcel in and trained him to fight, the whole time Marcel knew what Klaus was and as he grew older and stronger would ask to be turned into a vampire. Eventually Klaus does as Marcel ask, Marcel and Rebecca start a relationship against Klaus wishes. Now with their return Klaus and Marcel's relationship has been "rocky" and difficult to say the least.

One of the difficulties is a young teenage witch named Davina (Danielle Campbell) who Marcel "protects" and kept locked in the attic of a church. he said he was keeping her safe from her coven. Now she is out of the attic and as strong and powerful as any witch in the city. I would not want to get on her bad side.

Then there is Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) who is a werewolf that Klaus met while in Mystic Falls and shows up in New Orleans pregnant with his baby (long story short Klaus is half werewolf making him a hybrid which allowed him to get her pregnant). Hayley discovers that she has a family or "pack" of her own and becomes a strong leader for them.

New Orleans seems to have an outbreak of Vampires, Werewolves and Witches! All battling each other for control of the city which causes high tension and much heartbreak for ALL involve,

The Originals was my favorite new series of last year, mostly because while watching it seems to be the grown ups version of its "parent" show (TVD)-less teenage ansgst, more fun and enjoyable to watch. Tune in Mondays at 8 on The CW!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The True Death for True Blood-2008-2014

     It was in 2008 when we (The Viewers/Fans akaTrubies) first came to the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps. We walked into Merlottes, a quaint, rustic bar and grill, the first person we met was a young woman with an unusual name, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), as she served each customer she also listened in on their thoughts (we learn in other seasons that she was half Fair/fairy) but would not be the only supernatural being in town.

     When Sookie first met Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) she is unable to read his thoughts and there is a real spark and the two were attracted to each other right away. Turns out Bill was a Vampire (the first one Sookie has ever met) and his drink of choice was True Blood.

     Of course Bill isn't the only Vamp in town and we were quickly introduced to 1000 year old vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) who is "sheriff" of the entire county and along with his protégé Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten ) owns and runs the nightclub, Fangtasia. As the first episode continued Bill is forced to turn home schooled teen Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) into his own protégé, as a punishment for killing another vampire.

     In the same episode and throughout the six season we were introduced and came to love many wonderful characters--
The humans who lived in Bon Temps-
Jason (Ryan Kwanten) Sookie's younger, dopey yet good-looking brother who became a police deputy.
Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) Sookie's best friend since they were kids, hated vampires until she became one. Her religious mother Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) loved her til the end.
Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis)- Tara's cousin and cook at Merlottes, high on drugs and life, most fun character who was suppose to die early in the first season but was to good to lose.
Arlene Fowler (Carrie Preston)-Waitress turned owner of Merlottes, mother of three and unlucky in love until she met Terry (Todd Lowe), who had demons of his own and died but in the end she found happiness.
Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer)-Town sheriff, father of five half fairs until Jessica killed 4 of them raising Adeline and engaged to Holly (Lauren Bowles)

The supernatural--
Alcide (Joe Manganiello)-Wareworlf who did not want anything to do with his pack including being the leader. Also unlucky in love and it killed him in the end.
Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell)-Owner of the bar/Mayor-in the final season and a shape shifter who could turn into any animal he and his deceased brother wanted, most of the time he choose a really cute dog (my favorite character and as much as I love vampires in True Blood I would have wanted to have his "powers")

I drink one last bottle of True Blood to these and ALL of the amazing characters who traveled through or lived in Bon Temps. You may not live on TV but you will always live on in our hearts

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A glance behind the scenes...


If you leave NYC and travel far off Broadway you would find that there are many communities, towns and other cities that have just as good entertainment. From Broadway touring shows throughout the year at the Auditorium theater,, to performance places in the parks to the many other smaller theaters all around the city, Rochester NY (my hometown) is a wonderful place to see it all.

This summer in one of those small theaters a new play came together. Written By M.L.P Carroll and K.C. Craft The Kingdom Next to Fid is a fascinating and magical story that has a Prince, his true love, pirates, a good fairy, a evil witch , a wizard, a dwarf and “ maybe unicorns” all come alive (with the help of living scenery, stuffed animals and a laptop computer) in this epic fairy tale!

I was there in the last week of putting together this massive story. Some actors were on stage running their lines, moving through scenes and keeping their sword fighting skills sharp and accurate as others were “running” around sewing costumes, making props, painting the set and preparing light and sound cues.  All the hard work lead to long nights and lots of cups of coffee.

By the time opening night came, the cast and crew were ready to go. I stood back stage and watched as the actors ran on and off making sure not to miss their cues (a small space and 30 people made for controlled chaos). I was there as an extra pair of hands to hold onto props, help with costumes, run errands and do whatever I could to ease the bedlam.  I have to say that holding  two foils before they are quickly taken away for another exciting sword fight makes one feel powerful.

As the final bows are taken and the house lights go up, I want to raise a glass to the wonderful cast and crew! You guys are awesome! And a big thank you to Meredith and Karen for creating an amazing show. If given the chance I would work with any of these men and women again. I hope I helped more then just a tiny bit.  Although I never saw the production in its entirety, I loved every minute and had a wonderful time visiting The Kingdom Next to Fid.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West---LOL :)

I admit there are times when it is hard for me to find the words to write a review on the few movies that I do get to see each year...this is not one of those times. Last year on mine and Zachary Quinto's birthday I went to the theater to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness this year I realized just how lucky I was to be born at the start of the summer movie season (the three months out of the year when Hollywood releases as many films as possible to make the maxim amount of money) and that is how I found myself sitting in a dark theater in the middle of a Monday with old and young (but not too young) watching A Million Ways to Die in the West.

I don't read reviews before seeing a film because I like to make up my own mind and don't like reading negative comments about the movies I am looking forward to seeing. To be honest I wasn't expecting much out of this one written, produced, directed by and starring Seth MacFarlane because well I'll just say it, MacFarlane has the mind of a 8 year old boy (which after all is why us fans love him) but I ended up really, REALLY liking this movie.

It's a simple plot and I don't want to give anything away, let me just say that A Million Ways to Die in the West is about a man, a sheep farmer played by the always fun MacFarlane named Albert who hates living on the American frontier along with his friend Edward played the great Giovanni Ribisi, Edward's girlfriend Ruth played by the enjoyable Sarah Silverman and newcomer to the town Anna played by the wonderful Charlize Theron who turns his life upside down. The film also stars Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried and Neil Patrick Harris. With a cast like this(and some unexpected cameos) how could you go wrong?  MacFarlane may not show or mention ALL 1 million ways to die in the west but some of the ones he comes up with, I guarantee you wouldn't have dreamed of. The dance and fair scenes alone are worth the price of a matinee ticket.

In other words the crazy yet lovable cast of characters at the center of the film IS the reason to watch. Each actor is perfectly casted in his or her role (and seem to be having fun with their parts) which is why at the end I had a nice feeling in my heart and enjoyed every minute. Yes the film throws all the western cliches at you, the good guy, the bad guy, the girl, American Indians, horses, guns and yes a lot of  poop jokes, but that is the whole point to making a parody, Right?  And I was rooting for Albert throughout the movie, after all wanting the good guy to win IS the reason to make a western  Hell I'll even go as far to say there were times in the film reminiscent of Blazing Saddles and Three Amigos!.

As I said I really like this movie-I laughed out loud (along with others in the audience), I laughed on the inside and at times I asked myself, did I just laugh at that?

When I walked out of the cold dark theater into the hot bright sun I was happy because Seth MacFarlane had made a silly yet with a beautiful heart film.

If any of what I wrote makes you think "I would like to laugh or I need a good laugh." you should go see A Million Ways to Die in the West (and make sure you stay for the ending credits)