Thursday, December 15, 2016

The dark side of Nocturnal Animals

If you like film as art then you should take a chance on Nocturnal Animals but I should warn you that the movie itself is dark (literately and figuratively), disturbing and extremely tense. When the 1 hour and 56 minutes were over I felt like I could finally take a breath again.

As the opening credits roll the first camera shot focuses on a living piece of art. The indie movie then follows a lonely (in marriage and career) woman named Susan played by the amazing Amy Adams as she receives and reads a manuscript for a novel written by her ex-husband. That is when things get weird.

The superb Jake Gyllenhaal plays two roles, as Susan’s ex Edward (in flashbacks) and the main character in his manuscript, Tony Hastings. I know it sounds confusing and at times it is. I would go as far to say Nocturnal Animals is really 3 stories in 1 and have to admit that if you took away Amy Adam’s character the story would not change too much. After all the story within the story that she is reading is more than half of the film. That being said the viewer is seeing Edward’s words come alive through Susan’s eyes which makes for a crazy and very impactful brain overload. The acting by Adams and Gyllenhaal give the film its emotion and heart as I felt what they felt throughout the aspects of the stories being told. 

All filmmakers are artists but director Tom Ford (A Single Man) took his paintbrush and created something any artist (starving or not) should be proud of. The look of Texas by director of photography Seamus McGarvey by day and by night was beautiful and scary. I know I usually don’t write about or pay much attention to the so called lesser award show categories but on that point the Production Design by Shane Valentino, Set Decoration by Meg Everist, Art Direction by Christopher Brown and Editor Joan Sobel made the film even more fascinating to look at and allowed this viewer to throw herself into the lives of those on the big screen.

The movie is written by Ford and is based on a book by Austin Wright. It also stars Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer and Michael Sheen.

If any of what I wrote makes you say “Sounds like my type of film” then you really should check out Nocturnal Animals.   

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

TV Case Study #1

Thanksgiving 2016

Because of the news media Subject A on a subconscious level already had thoughts of starting a political fight on the mind so when Subject B on a unconscious level went there a argument ensued.

Subject B said SB wasn't funny and Subject A loudly announced being a fan of SB. Each went at the argument with a different P.O.V.

Subject A believes in mind to be smarter than anyone in the room and took statement by Subject B as a political insult while Subject B was just stating a innocent opinion.

I realized after wards why this "fight "ensued

What Subject A and Subject B don't understand is that there are different types of comedy/comedians

One is a comedian who spends time on the road preforming in front of an audience and tells jokes-i.e Jon Stewart, Denis Leary and Jerry Seinfeld.

Two is a comedian who spends time preforming in front of an audience with sketches (written ahead of time or improv) i.e. those who were a part of Second City like Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert

SB falls into the second category...The late night show SB host isn't suppose to be Ha Ha funny it is a series that takes a look at what is happening in the world, takes one or two stories from daily topics (mostly in politics) and comments on events with a side of humor. There are no celebrity guests or silly games.

In conclusion...
Subject A and B are both right, it just depends on how you look at the situation.

Monday, November 14, 2016

What I did.

"The state of our union is..."

A shot was hear throughout the chambers of congress. The entire room filled with panic legislators and their guests. Many ran towards the doors knocking over anyone in their way. There was confusion all around.

The other agents on that day did their jobs they got the Speaker of the House and Vice-President to safety.

I had stood by the president since the beginning. I was there when he was out on the campaign trail. I was silent as he shouted horrible things. Words that no normal human being with a heart and conscience would even think to say. I had protected many men, women and children over my career and for the most part I had no problem putting my life on the line for any of them but this man was different. I asked for another assignment but I was denied. When he was elected I thought "now they will reassign me" but when the President -Elect asked me to stay on I had no other choice so when it came time for his first state of the union I did what I was trained.

I was there.

I saw the shooter.

As The President fell to the ground I was by his side.

It was a perfect head shot and I knew there was nothing I could do.

I sat there with his head on my lap.

I leaned in and whispered into his right ear "I'm sorry sir, I couldn't do it, I could not in good conscience take the bullet for you. Your death will make this country safe and great.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Election 2016-Series finale Nov 8th 2016


I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries but WILL be voting for Hillary Clinton in this election.

Any other year I'd encourage anyone who wanted to, to vote 3rd party but not this year, besides Johnson and Stein are not the brightest bulbs in the group (if I can name world leaders and know Aleppo then someone running for Pres should and while the environment is a good issues to run on it’s not the only one, gun laws and reproductive rights are also on the ballot). We do not have the privilege to risk the consequences! When you vote I ask you to remember what happened in 2000 (to younger voters I was your age then, voted for 1st time and will NEVER forget) and I wonder what the world would be like today if people hadn't voted for Nader because Gore wasn't progressive enough.

Bernie may not be the nominee but he proved that Liberals/Democrats really wouldn't mind some “socialism” if he takes that back to congress and keeps the fire to the Dems feet (and we vote for congressional/senate candidates who support Democrat Platform) then he has won.

Hillary may have not be my first choice (why does whenever someone say they dislike and won’t vote for Trump but can’t vote for Hillary sound as if she did something personal to them, like killed their dog?) but Hillary’s “lies” and "scandals" aren't anything to be concerned about or even proof of who she really is, unlike Trump's lies, lawsuits, bankruptcies (unpaid workers) and just plain nastiness (racist sexist bigot) that do show who he has been for decades!

I think someone who has wanted the job for 30 years isn’t a bad thing and better for the country than a man who I (and actor Bryan Cranston) believe wants the title of Pres. of the United States, but not the actual job.

Compared to the rest Hillary is my choice!!! (Also I really want to see Bill Clinton pick out the White House Christmas decorations and tend to Michelle Obama’s garden #FirstLadyDuties)

No media I am NOT voting for Hillary just to keep Donald out of the White House-This is not a choice between lesser evils. A majority of the GOP thinks life was better in America 50 years ago (when they were kids and*) But this America, the one Trump wants when he says "Make America Great Again" stands for a US that only benefited straight, white men(*had no idea what life was like for Women, LGBTQ and African-Americans). So yeah, the choice is clear (In other words, if you had 2 resumes one with 1st lady, US senator, US Sec’y of state and the other with multiple business failures but the buildings and golf courses are nice and neither had names attached in front of you, you would choose the most qualified)

To voters not wanting to choose between the 2 least likeable/unfavorable candidates in decades, I say even if this election doesn't directly impact your life, it will for millions of Americans and it would be stupid to throw away your vote (Think of those who fought for the right to vote like Susan B Anthony) I loved voting for Obama and feel the same if not more excited to vote for Hillary Clinton

If I haven’t convinced you yet I will leave you with one final thought – -- “When your people say they hate you, don’t come crawling back to me”-King George (Hamilton: An American Musical)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Glenn Rhee (TV appearance 2010-2016)

Yes I feel bad because Abraham and many others died before Glenn but if I wrote a eulogy for every character who died on The Walking Dead this blog would be filled up with death and sadness.

To his unborn child… I want to say…                                              

Glenn, you were a pizza delivery boy before the zombie apocalypse but in the six seasons in which you appeared on the show you grew into one amazing man. From the moment I first heard a voice over a walkie talkie calling Rick a “dumbass” I knew Glenn was someone special.

Glenn, you were my favorite out of the original characters and I enjoyed every minute you were on my TV screen.

You helped Rick when he was still a stranger but became quick friends. You fell at first sight in love with Maggie while helping her out on her father’s farm.

You survived The CDC, Hershel’s Farm, Woodberry with The Governor, The Prison, Terminus and countless Walker mobs, including the time you had to hide under a dumpster only to be killed by Negan and his Lucille.

You were funny, romantic, kind, loyal and brave.

I, as well as all those you left behind at Alexandria, will always love and will never forget you.

Someday “I will find you” again.

Until then Rest in Peace Glenn.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just saying

I have often said this blog was inspired by the TV Worth Watching one, so when the creator of that blog was recovering from surgery this summer I found it difficult to know when my shows were on then this happen-

Welcome back! The place hasn't been the same without you. When Best Bets was away it was difficult to know what was on TV but I still read the great TVWW crew everyday. I am happy you took as much time as was needed to get fix and recover. Now back to our regular schedule programming.
Oct 21, 2016   |  Reply
David Bianculli-TV Worth Watching Blog Creator                                                  
Dear Sarah, You're one of the most faithful and tenured readers on the site, so it's especially great to hear from you. Thanks! And I agree: I've got a great crew of friends and colleagues here, and they not only kept the ship afloat -- they launched a series of international party cruises. While I, meanwhile, just kicked back and stretched out on the Lido deck...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow season 2

Another one of my favorite shows the premiered last season Legends of Tomorrow is a fun full of superheroes fast paced hour on the CW. Time travelling heroes, there is nothing more I have to say but if that doesn’t interest you let me add on---

Victor Garber (who I became a fan of through 1997 film Titanic) plays Dr. Martin Stein who is ½ of Firestorm. Eldest team member he is a scientist and keeps Jefferson, youngest member (Franz Drameh), Firestorm’s other half, under control.

Arthur Darvill (who I became a fan of through Doctor Who) continues his time travelling odyssey as Time Master/Captain Rip Hunter. He is the leader or the group and is the one who was from the future and came to 2016 using his ship the WaveRider to find and put together this raggedy bunch and turn them into heroes.

Brandon Routh (who I 1st saw in Superman Returns as Superman) is Ray Palmer, who was 1st seen on Arrow when he gained control of Green Enterprises. Using science he was able to create a mental suit to make him fly and help him in a fight.

Caity Lotz who plays Sara Lance aka Yellow Canary who also first appeared on Arrow as one of the characters sister who came back to life after being killed twice.

Clara Renee who plays Kendra aka Hawkgirl and reason this story began. You see Kendra and her true love first met in ancient Egypt and because of a curse have died many times over only to travel through time to kill their enemy forever

Dominic Purcell who plays Mick Rory a bad guy named by Cisco originally on The Flash he and his partner Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) used their powers of fire and ice to wreak havoc on Central City.

When it comes to Legends of Tomorrow there is no such thing as too many heroes on one team!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Code Black season 2

If you like series about hospitals and doctors (me not so much) then Code Black is for you.

It is a drama about the doctors and their residents working at Angels Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles. It is a hospital with a busy E.R. and each episode they experience a code black which means the have more patients then medical resources.

Marcia Gay Harden plays the ER Residency Director who is still saddened and angry a drunk driving accident that killed her husband and children which at time influences her work. She pushes each resident to do their best at saving each person who enters the e.r.

Luis Guzman plays the head nurse in charge of the residents, he is passionate about his job and all who are in his care.

Rob Lowe starts his job at Angels Memorial this season.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2 TV shows 1 night

                                                              Rosewood season 2

If you die under mysterious circumstances in Miami there is no need to worry, Dr. Beaumont “Rosie” Rosewood, played by the debonair Morris Chestnut, will take your case!

Rosewood is a show about a doctor turned private pathologist (meaning he has a big, nice and kept up to date on all the new medical equipment office) and when the police, aka Det. Annalise Villa played by Jaina Lee Ortiz, need a consult they reluctantly call Rosie.

Rosewood is a fast pace, exciting with a pinch of the escapism police procedural. It has humor and sophistication with well-rounded characters, all of who may not be perfect, but will help each other when in need.

Gabrielle Dennis plays Pippy, Rosie’s partner at work and sister who is engaged to co-worker Tara, played by Anna Konkle. But Rosewood wouldn’t be Rosewood without his overbearing yet lovable mother played by Lorraine Toussaint.

Superstore season 2

Ok I know what you are thinking Superstore that is a dumb name for a TV show and I’ll answer back “so was How I Met Your Mother” then you ask “ok then why would I want to watch a show about people who work at a Wal-Mart type store?” To that I say-

IT IS THE FUNNIEST SITCOM you will find on Network (ABC,CBS,NBC,FOX,CW) TV and if I am being honest I wasn’t expecting it to be.

You take a group of people (all of whom are funny) with different personalities and lives and put them together in a small contained place, a place where some of them don’t really want to be and you let them loose to be themselves.

Superstore stars (a talented cast) including the wonderful America Ferrera who plays Amy as a married mother working at the store while going to college to make her life better. Ben Feldman who plays Jonah the optimistic employee who is in love with Amy. Lauren Ash who plays Dina the one no one likes but has the best lines in the show. Nicole Bloom who plays Cheyenne who is the youngest of the employees and had a baby (in the store) at the end of the season. Mark McKinney who plays Glenn the manager of the store and the only one who enjoys his job. The series also stars Colton Dunn and Nica Santos.

Give this delightful show a chance and hopefully the Superstore will be around for a long time.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Scream Queens season 2

I’m still not sure how I feel about this created by the great Ryan Murphy series as the story moves from a college campus to an abandoned hospital but it has a good cast and characters that you love to hate doing crazy things so I will be tuning in for season 2 tonight on Fox at 9. Jamie Lee Curtis stars.

Lucifer season 2

This was my favorite show when it premiered in January and when it was re-new I was surprised and so happy! 

As I realized while watching Jessica Jones-I love a British accent +mind control + sinister charm and the character of Lucifer Morningstar played by the alluring Tom Ellis is all that and more. At first I thought the idea of Lucifer leaving hell and hanging out in LA as silly but I tuned in and liked the show right away. On the outside Lucifer acts like your typical police procedural but when the devil is your consultant your job becomes anything but typical.

Chloe played by Lauren German is a b-movie actress turned cop who meets Lucifer at his nightclub, Lux, while on a case and from the moment they meet he is fascinated by her. Of course Chloe doesn’t believe he is the actual Lucifer but begrudging allows him to help her out on all of her other cases.

Lucifer is a fun, light-hearted and partly mythical show. The cast-including Lesley-Ann Brandt as Maze (Bartender and Lucifer’s BFF), D.B. Woodside as Amenadiel (Lucifer’s Brother and angel) and the adorable Scarlett Estevez as Trixie (Chloe’s daughter) are wonderful and make Lucifer a show worth taking a chance on and begins season 2 tonight on FOX at 9.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Streaming series

The fall TV season begins next week!
Watching TV is a hobby, binge watching TV is a job.
I know most have already watched but my fall season is full and the weekly shows take precedent over the ones I can watch at anytime, but I finally got through all my steaming shows!
Bloodline-season 2
Marco Polo-season 2...
Daredevil-season 2
Jessica Jones-which wasn't as dark as I thought it would be and enjoyed Kilgrave more then Jessica herself (British accent + mind control + sinister charm=my favorite kind of villain) although I thought the ending was anti-climatic I am interested in where she goes from here.
Stranger Things-those of you who have seen it, you were right it was really good-different, fun, sweet and scary and if you haven’t check it out yet-It is a series in the same genre of E.T. The Goonies and Monster Squad with the excellent story-telling and acting of Stand By Me
The Man in the High Castle-Just might be my favorite streaming series, it started slow as we were introduced to the characters but as we did I felt so many emotions for what they went through and love this genre that I now call, alternate time line historical fiction.

If you haven't seen any of these yet, have the time and Netflix and Amazon check them out.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tyrant series (2014-2016)

Since Tyrant didn't get a series finale here is what I think happened---

The Caliphate and Abuddin armies destroy each other.

Molly (Jennifer Finnigan) dies in child birth

Leila (Moran Atias) is killed during the last year of the war

Bassam/Barry (Adam Rayner) takes his newborn and disappears into exile

Sammy (Noah Silver)-unable to walk he runs away (to a country that allows such relationships) with his professor, Haitham El-Amin (Raphael Acloque)

Daliyah (Melia Kreiling) becomes President of Abuddin and brings real peace to the Middle East


Monday, September 5, 2016

Rizzoli & Isles (2010-2016)

*cell phone rings*



As each episode began with a body, banter between the two title characters and a phone call. It was that simple for this police pucedual about to women who were smart, funny and always there for each other. The setting was Boston. The plot centered around two strong characters, Jane Rizzoli played by Angie Harmon, a tough cop and Maura Isles played by Sasha Alexander,       a medical examiner who played by the rules and had a fact for any and all situations.

There was also the other members of the Rizzoli Family…

Angela-A mom who always had food and wisdom for any who need some played by Lorraine Bracco

Frankie Jr-A younger brother who followed Jane by becoming a cop played by Jordan Bridges

And sometimes Tommy-Another brother who didn’t knew what to do with his life until he had a child of his own played by Colin Egglesfield

Working with Rizzoli and Isles were

Vince Korsak- A cop who is partnered with Jane and has been on the job for a number of years played by Bruce McGill

Barry Frost-Played by the late Lee Thompson Young

And Nina-played by Idara Victor who took over for Frost and fell in love with Frankie Jr.

A final toast at The Dirty Robber to the entire cast and crew! Thank you Tess Gerritsen for creating a series of books in which Janet Tamro turned into a wonderful show.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Flash fiction #5

Flash Fiction Challenge: Behold The Idiomatic!
I love it. It basically mashes up a couple-few idioms into something new and very possibly inane, and very possibly wise. (Example: “God shouldn’t cross the bridge till you come to it.” What does that mean? I don’t know! But damnit, I like it.) It forms the backbone of today’s fiction challenge.
Click it. Get a fake mash-up idiom you like.
Then use it in a story.
That’s it. 

Secrets of the Service

For a year the candidates fought, yelled, bullied and debated each other. At first there were over a dozen to choose from and it was my job to guard the worst of the bunch. His name was Todd Daniels and every time he got up in front of an audience he shouted horrible things. Words that no normal human being with a heart and conscience would even think to say. No one in the country thought he was a real threat to the nation so they laughed at him and I stood by to his left and watched.

I had protected many men, women and children over my career and for the most part I had no problem putting my life on the line for any of them but Mr. Daniels was different, he wasn’t like anyone I had ever had the privage to serve. He seemed to have no soul and when he won the state by state primaries I couldn’t believe I had to continue protecting him. Now anyone else would have tone down the hatred of the country and others by the time they become their party’s nominee for president but Todd  (everyone called him by his first name) didn’t back down, he doubled down. He stood behind a podium in front of a large crowd and although he had a mic he yelled, he shouted out lies to his followers and they cheered him on. He screamed about illegals and building a wall and they cheered louder. If the lying wasn’t bad enough his spouting off fear was worse. Not even the media could stop him as he told anyone who would listen that if we didn’t take our country back murderers would be free to roam the streets.

He was not an easy man to like (and there were many who opposed him) making it harder to want to protect him. I woke up and went to sleep everyday knowing that I did my job but at times I wondered if I was doing the right thing. In 15 years of watching out for the famous, powerful and important I had only used my gun three times. Only once did I kill someone. A man I didn’t know walked towards a celebrity I was assigned to, I was younger and had only been on the job for two years. The man was in his mid-20s, dark long hair and blue eyes. When I saw the gun in his hand it was as if time had frozen. I pushed my client out of harm’s way and took a shot. The man did the same. We were both hit. I received a scratch on the arm, he a hole through the heart. His name was John William Brooks and I killed him. There was an investigation. Mr. Brooks was mentally ill and had spent most of his life in and out of hospitals. According to doctors and friends he was a fan of my client and had all of her movies memorized. He had written her letters, although none were threatening. He was born in Boston and the only child of two teachers and died by my hand at 27. I have never forgotten John William Brooks and since his death worked even harder to do my job and only use my gun when I had no other choice.

Now I have been on the road and travelled the country with another man. Wherever we went I silently watched and made new choices as Mr. Daniels spoke. Although those who came out to hear what he had to say felt as strongly on the issues as he did his life was never in danger. I was there rally after rally. At times the crowd acted out and a protester was removed but the candidate kept the show going and he was enjoying every minute. Todd loved the attention and flourished in the love of all those fans and campaign workers who surrounded and believed in him.

I on the other hand wasn’t buying what he was selling. I stayed impartial and on the rare occasion that he would talk to me I smiled and nodded. I knew if I said anything against him he would insult me and have me removed from his charge making me look bad in the eyes of my superiors. I remember there was one day where this was harder to do then the others. The candidate was doing an interview for a show on one of those 24 hour news networks. The interviewer asked him a question and when he answered it all I wanted was for the interviewer to call him out on the lie he had repeated many times on the campaign trail. She didn’t and the interview ended with a smile by both. It was the worst job at reporting and getting the truth and facts out to the public so that they could make a better decision while choosing who to vote for that I have ever seen in my lifetime.

I will never forget that day. It was the last campaign rally before the general election and I woke ready to do my job, a job I had done many times before. I wasn’t expecting that day to be any different than any before. When we got to the venue everything was in its place. Presidential candidate Todd Daniels walked towards the podium. There I was to his left as usual. Mr. Daniels spoke for ten minutes before the shot was heard. The candidate for President fell to the ground. I quickly knelt by his side, I held his head in my lap as blood poured from his chest wound.

I leaned in and whispered into his right ear "I'm sorry sir, I saw the shooter but I couldn't do it, I could not in good conscience take the bullet for you, for no man is next to godliness. Your death will make this country safe and great.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

To whom it may concern re: Ghostbusters (2016)

 The movie was better than I thought it would be but…

Much like the doctor who is not allowed to operate on a family member or the lawyer who knows if he or she represents self then they have a fool for a client and because of my “relationship” with the movie (Been performing it as a one women show for most of my life) I cannot/will not be reviewing the new Ghostbusters movie. 

Instead I well think of it as a sequel. I didn’t like Ghostbusters 2 as much as the original either. I don’t think it was as good because once you know the Ghostbusters can save the city it’s not as surprising or good when they do it again.(The library/historical home ghost didn’t even scare me this time, now I know about special effects)

These are funny women can’t Hollywood come up with something new and better for them? Then again I was watching TCM the other day and the host was introducing a 1950s film that was a shot by shot/scene by scene same as a 1930s film so I guess they have been doing remakes/reboots for decades.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

One last Tonightly

I tried Larry Wilmore I tweeted, posted and told anyone who didn’t like The Nightly Show to give it another try but if what comedy central said was true I guess I was the one. Now to those who didn’t watch you have missed out on a heck of a show. Yes the issues Wilmore talked about were hard to hear but they were important and needed to be discussed. I actually learned much about race issues from the show and its contributors and if I am Keepin it 100 that is saying a lot for this 36 year old white girl who has always judged a person on what they are on the inside not out..

So here is to Larry Wilmore, Rory Albanese, Ricky Velez, Mike Yard, Robin Thede, Grace Parra, Franchesca Ramsey, Jordan Carlos, Holly Walker and all who worked on the show. You were awesome and loved. I will never forget The Y Files, Pardon the Integration, #HashItOut, Soul Larry and all of the other segments on the show.

You made me laugh a lot but more important unlike other late night shows you made me think and were a smart show from day one. We the viewer may have only had The Nightly Show for 20 months but it made those who watch better people.

GOOD LUCK in the future to all involved

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I was flipping through cable TV...

And came across a documentary about a movie that was never made called The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?

The year was 1997-Produced by Jon Peters, Barbra Streisand's hairdresser.The movie had a couple of different scripts (one written by Kevin Smith) based on the 1993 death of Superman, Tim Burton as director and Nicolas Cage as Superman. They already had costume fittings, concept art and an idea for a robotic companion named "K".

It is an interesting thing to watch as those involved told their tale of who they wanted Superman to be(some ideas ended up in Superman Returns and Wild Wild West, both I saw). Most of the movie sounded crazy but fun and it would have been something different. I'm not sure if it would have been a good or bad movie but from the doc. I learned a thing or two about what it takes (to be/being) a filmmaker.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The end of a Royal Pains summer (2009-2016)

The Summer in The Hampton’s has ended.

Who knew that a show about a doctor making house calls to the rich and needing would be good but Royal Pains was just that and a joy to watch each week.

Let us take same time to remember the fun times with the gang from HankMed…

There was our leader and namesake Henry “Hank” Lawson played by Mark Feuerstein. An E.R. doctor who was fired for saving a kid over a rich investor. No matter what the problem was from a broken born to a undiagnosed illness Hank was there to save the day, Even if he didn’t have the right medical tools he found a straw and a rubber band and Macgyvered the situation.
Hank didn’t do it all alone he had his brother Evan R Lawson played by Paulo Costanzo as CFO of HankMed it was his idea to bring concierge medicine to the Hamptons. He moved in with Hank and from Boris’, played by Campbell Scott (who I was lucky enough to spend a day with during  a Lake Placid film festival and reason I started watching series) guest house a “company” was born. As kids their father (Henry Winkler) left and their mother died so Hank raised his younger brother Evan. They were always there for each other, even when they fought there was nothing that could keep them apart. Eventually Evan would fall in love with and marry Paige (Brooke D’Orsay) and she too would became part of HankMed.   

But they couldn’t have done anything without PA Divya played by Reshma Shetty. She was with HankMed from day one and whenever the boys needed her she was there to help with a patient when Hank couldn’t. The true heart of the group.

And last but not least there was Jeramiah played by Ben Shenkman who may have not had the best bed side manner but was a good doctor and an even better man.    

Goodbye beach fun, parties and pool side drinks-Hello Fall.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

103 episodes of Person of Interest

It all started with a machine, a machine with more heart and a better soul then any human. Each week the machine would give its creator a number and victim or perpetrator the machine her creator, Harold played by Michael Emerson (Lost), the man in the suit, John Reese played by Jim Caviezel, NYPD Detectives Carter played by Taraji P Henson and Fusco played by Kevin Chapman along with Root played by Amy Acker and Shaw played by Sarah Shahi would be there to lead a helping hand.

Created by Jonathan Nolan, I started watching POI when it premiered in 2011 mainly because I became a fan of Caviezel after the film The Count of Monte Cristo and have seen every episode since.

Each week the machine, which was meant to be used as a device for the government to find terrorists before they stuck, used every piece of technology it had throughout the city to “send” Harold, who recruited Reese on a task to stop the threat. Without knowledge of the machine or even how Reese knew what was about to happen Carter soon followed by Fusco and stepped in to help. It was a surprise when Carter died (and became Cookie Lyons on Empire) but the full time addition of Root and Shaw made the series still worth watching, even if the story went from a weekly procedural to a serial in which another all ominent machine called Samaritan began fighting against and wanted to kill our good guys.

Although at times Person of Interest was an intense show to watch it also gave the viewer hope and good always triumphed over evil.

And while the actors were wonderful in each role it was The Machine itself that was the most important character in the show and on a personal note I have to say I came to care for “her” and was sad when Harold and Root lost (as if she died) “her” for a bit early in the last season.

So here’s to the cast, crew and guests stars of POI you had one heck of a good show and I will miss seeing Jim Caviezel each week but not as much a Bear the adorable and wonderful Belgian Malinois. Good luck to whatever comes next for all!



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Chamberlain not Hamilton

Happy Tony Awards Day! Or is it Hamilton Day?! Either way I have been listening to my Hamilton Musical cast recording for a few days now and was inspired to come up with my own "rap" while swimming for the 1st time this year. I thought it up quick (there is always more to add) and normally I wouldn’t post a 1st draft but it is a special day so…
When I was young I was all about Washington, Jefferson and Hamilton
Then in 8th grade I met a new man
Four Score and Seven Years later he came
Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg,
On top of Little Round Top was a group of men, shooting rebels as they ran towards them
In the middle of a new (Southern) revolution there he stands as commander of the 20th Maine men.
Ran out of ammunition when the yell came “Ready Bayonets”
What’s His name?
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain!
A professor from Bowdoin
Fighting for the Union in another rebellion
Fought for 4 years, Shot 6 times, once through his boot only slightly wounded
Returned to Maine a hero
Became a 4 term Governor of a state in a re-new nation
Unlike Hamilton
Retired and became an old man

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mr. Selfridge:The series 2013-2016

Just watched the series finale of Mr. Selfridge and it was a good one. It was a story about an American man who brings his family to London to build a different kind of department store. With the help of wonderful employees, some loyal friends and his family Mr. Selfridge played by Jeremy Piven (who never ceases to amaze me & is an underrated actor) made all of his dreams come true. Congrats to the cast-Ron Cook as Mr. Crabb, Tom Goodman-Hill as Mr. Grove, Amy Beth Hayes as Kitty Hawkins, Trystan Gravelle as Victor Colleano, Calum Callaghan as George Towler, Katherine Kelly as Lady Mae, Greg Austin as Gordon Selfridge, Kara Tointon as Rosalie Selfridge and those I haven't mentioned! If you didn't watch the 4 seasons then you missed something fantastic, entertaining and even educational. An amazing job by all involved! You made me hope that one day I'll get the chance to visit  and walk through the doors of the real Selfridge's.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Captain America Civil War-Hero vs Hero

     It was the mid-90s when I saw my first blockbuster superhero action flick and for years afterwards I denied my love for the genre. Then a few years ago I was looking for something to watch on Netflix and landed on Captain America: America’s First Avenger and immediately became infatuated by the origin story of how Steve Rogers became the military enhanced super soldier. Flash forward to May 6 2016 (opening day) and I found myself in a full theater surrounded by young and old wearing a multitude of shirts with their chosen comic book hero. There I sat on the aisle seat as my very own Captain America action figure which
 was gently placed on the arm rest to watch right along with me. Yes I was Team Cap all the way (that man can do some extraordinary things with just a shield) as the lights went down and Captain America: Civil War began.

     Our hero’s story continues as Captain America aka Steve Rogers played by the enticing     Chris Evans is watching from a tall building in some foreign country as Falcon aka Sam Wilson played by the talented Anthony Mackie and Scarlet Witch played by Elizabeth Olsen locate and chase the bad guys through a busy market place. Cut to Tony Stark aka Iron Man played by the always worth watching Robert Downey Jr. in the middle of a crisis of conscience. Tony assembles those Avengers he can and a decision must be made, one that pits the group against each other as alliances are made and secrets are discovered.

     Along with the first movie appearance of Black Panther played by Chadwick Boseman, Captain America: Civil War is an exciting ride full of action, humor and realness that will have the viewer wondering what will happen next!

      It is a story of friendship and what it means to be loyal to a fault (and a choice between the two as Rogers wants to help Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier played by the superb Sebastian Stan even if it means hurting Tony). The chemistry between Downey Jr and Evans is flawless at portraying a friendship on the rocks as they argue over what the right thing to do is and encounter in hand to hand combat. I held on tightly to my action figure when it was time for the climatic fight scene. I watched as two sides of the same coin clashed in an amazing epic battle that includes appearances by a young untested Spiderman (Tom Holland) and new comer to the Marvel movie universe, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Between the crazy good special effects of buildings collapsing and cars “flying” there are slow and perfect moments of sweetness and sadness throughout the film.

     Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Emily VanCamp also star in this continuation of the best superhero film franchise I have come across. High praise for directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and Mark Miller.     

     If I am being completely honest this film is the perfect example of escapism as the 2 and ½ hours flew by and I actually forgot Donald Trump was running for President.

      The title says it all as Captain America: Civil War is everything you want it to be in a (almost summer) popcorn flick and is a joy to watch from beginning to end.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Good Wife had a Good Life (series spoilers)

     Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) you weren’t just The Good Wife, you were a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lawyer, a friend and a lover. For 7 years you fought for those who needed a voice while dealing with a new life drama each week. It wasn’t always easy for you. First you had to stand by your husband Peter (Chris North) who was DA and would end as Governor, when his sleeping with prostitutes became a state wide scandal that lead you from being just a wife and mother, to Zach (Graham Phillips) and Grace (Makenzie Vega) and back to the workplace. Alicia had to prove to herself and co-workers that she could once again be a lawyer and a good one at that. She would work hard by starting at the bottom with the first year law grads and proved her worth to her co-workers, heads of the law firm and herself

     Along the way Alicia met Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) her first”boss” since law school, who would come to be an ally and friend. There was Cary Argos (Matt Czuchry) who started the same time she did and would butt heads in and out of the courtroom (for a short time they had their own law firm). Kalinda (Archie Penjabi) who started as a PI for Alicia and the firm but would become a true friend. Last but not least there was Will Gardner (Josh Charles).Will hired Alicia and had been in love with her his entire adult life, Alicia would fall in love with him but there relationship was cut short when Mr. Gardner was shot and killed during a trial (a real surprise to viewers). One final time we thank Will for showing Alicia that she could fall in love again and will never forget him.

     Others who crossed Alicia’s path included- Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), who was Peter’s campaign manager and confidant for Alicia. Howard Lyman (Jerry Adler) and David Lee (Zach Grenier) the other two names on the law firms letterhead. Louis Canning (Michael J Fox) a worthy adversary in the courtroom for Alicia. Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter) one of Alicia’s many clients, a drug lord and all around bad guy. And Lucca (Cush Jumbo) who only appeared in the last couple of seasons but came into her own and was a good character to watch.    

     Thank you to the husband and wife team of Robert King and Michelle King for one amazing show and the well written, fascinating characters who we were allowed to follow season after season. The cast put everything they had into each episode and never disappointed. The Good Wife will forever be a Great Show

Sunday, April 10, 2016

In defense of Fear the Walking Dead

       I read a lot of bad reviews last summer about the first 6 episodes of Fear the Walking Dead and although (and unfortually) I don’t work for AMC,  Mr. Kirkman or Mr. Gimple or either Walking Dead series I need to fight and give a pro-side to watching this, not just another spin-off show.

         Yes I agree the first season was slow BUT it HAD to be unlike its parent show we didn’t wake up with a main character and then thrown into an already established new world of zombies and daily life and death situations. On another sunny day in L.A. this new gang (of characters) had to learn the rules of the game (I know I would have to do the same). What was happening? Why were the dead walking? Who was in charge? How to defend themselves and If the situation could be stopped? Enter Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) Travis Manawa, her boyfriend (Cliff Curtis) Nick Clark, her son (Frank Dillane) Alicia Clark, her daughter (Aylicia Debnam-Carey) Chris Manawa, Travis’ son (Lorenzo James Henrie), Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades), Ofelia Salazar, his daughter (Mercedes Mason) and my favorite Strand (Colman Domingo), three families and one drifter (compared to a group of strangers) makes for a whole new dynamic in the way the story is told.  This allows FTWD to be its own thing, it has no comic book guidelines so no 2 months in advance announcement about an actor to play a certain character then when the episode finally airs there being disappointment. 

          This time we the viewer see the story from the beginning. I’m sure while watching season after season of The Walking Dead we all have our ideas about how this world wide situation began and because of elements seen on the pervious series some thoughts could have been about government action. Fear the Walking Dead appeals to and answers some of those questions, the government going too far and what it means to work together and fight back. Although we still don’t know what has caused the dead to walk through the streets of the city I enjoyed watching the characters figure out that the dead are helpless and that they only way to stop each one is to aim for the head and kill it (not an easy thing to do but after the 1st one it gets easier, or does it).  Also it is nice to know that there are other good groups of people out there on the other side of the country living and surviving this cruel world we have all become a part of and love. Yes the characters and the situations they find themselves in are new and whenever a new series begins there is a period of adjustment and introduction. It is in the hands of the viewer to give any new show a chance and some time for said show to grow into its own (especially a spin-off). Think of it this way it is the child (as oppose to sibling show like CSIs) of TWD a teen who what to be nothing like its parents.

To sum up because of the passion some have for The Walking Dead there will always be “haters” of its spin-off and to them I say get over it and give Fear the Walking Dead another chance and let’s get to know these characters a little better before we can truly judge them.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

A last look inside Downton Abby (Series Spoilers)

A British series about a well to do English family and the servants who worked for them. During the first half of the 1st season I admit I wasn’t yet interested in the story but I continued to watch and became a fan the show..

The Family-
          There was matriarch Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham played by Maggie Smith a lady of means and power with a good soul, the patriarch and her son Robert Crawley Earl of Grantham played by Hugh Bonneville, who in the beginning was unmovable in his way a running things but realized as time moved forward change was a good thing so along with his American wife and heart of the show Cora Crawley Countess of Grantham played by Elizabeth McGovern and their three daughters, Lady Sybil Crawley played by Jessica Brown Finlay a out spoken women who died early on in the series while giving birth, Lady Mary Crawley played by Michelle Dockery the eldest who had to marry but grew to love Matthew Crawley played by Dan Stevens to keep Downton in the family, unfortunitly he was killed in a car accident as Mary gave birth to a son George (but at least Downton would stay in the family)  as keeper of the family legacy she become a important part of keeping up appearances, even talking her mother-in-law Isobel Crawley played by Penelope Wilton to stay to become a good friend of the dowager countess and a person anyone could lean on and finally there was poor Lady Edith Crawley played by Laura Carmichael who had a tough love life but with a magazine she inherited from the father of her daughter Marigold she will hopefully finally find happiness.

The Servants-

         Let me begin with Tom Branson, the chauffer played by Allen Leech who had a mind all his own and would quickly fall in love with Sybil and eventually become part of the family as he raised their daughter Sibby, Mr.(John) Bates played by Brendan Coyle who was the personal valet to Robert and spent some time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit he would marry fellow Downton servant Anna played Joanne Froggatt she was Mary’s personal lady’s maid and each other’s confidant, Mr. (Charles)Carson played by Jim Carter who was head butler and in charge of the entire household and mostly knew everything happening around him he fell in love with and married Mrs. Hughes played by Phyllis Logan who was the head housekeeper and in charge of the female servants, Mr. Thomas Barrow played by Rob James-Collier the “villain” of our story who desperately wanted to be head butler and with fellow servant Sarah O’Brian (Siobhan Finneran),early in the series did everything he could to destroy Bates and Carson while being a homosexual at a time period when it was illegal, Mrs. Patmore played by Lesley Nicol head cook and heart and cheerleader to all the servants but especially to her assistant Daisy played by Sophie McShera who married a fellow servant with whom she did not love but felt obligated to him as he (and other) household members went off to fight in the war, he died never knowing the truth but she befriended his father and helped him with his farm for the rest of the series, an all-around good girl who wants to and will be more than just a servant.

And to all I didn’t mention I didn’t forget you there was 6 seasons and too many who have come through and gone out the doors of this beautiful home.       

       Thank you Julian Fellowes for creating a magnificent little soapy series. Downton Abby you taught me a lot about a certain way of life in England in the early 20th century and for that I will be grateful. I will miss but never forget all of the wonderful characters, even when they made me laugh, mad or sad I loved each one. So for one last time I dress in my finest for dinner and allow the servants to join in as I raise a glass of fine champagne to those we have lost and those we just met.

You are all now and will forever be a part of my family.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A bright light on the film Spotlight

         Due to its story material I didn’t feel the need to see this movie, although the only times I have entered a church have been for weddings and my baptism, I knew Spotlight would be a hard film to watch but it has been nominated for 6 Oscars and has already won a handful of awards, including SAG for best ensemble and the Independent Spirit award, so I ripped off the Band-Aid and gave it a chance.
           Written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy and directed by McCarthy, Spotlight takes place in 2001 and is the true story of The Boston Globe reporters who discovered and weren’t afraid to write about the decades long sex abuse cover-up turned scandal of the catholic church. Mark Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes, Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Keaton as Walter “Robbie” Robinson, John Slattery as Ben Bradlee Jr. and Stanley Tucci as Mitchell Garabedian are the men and woman who found the evidence and talked to the now adults who were survivors of priest who committed the sex crimes. Yes it was hard to watch and listen to but The Globe and those involved in the making of this film, even 15 years later, knew it was an important issue.
             As small film McCarthy allows the actors to use every inch of their talent to tell the story. Spotlight is a character driven film where the words are the central part of the tale. In other words NO explosions or car chases are necessary. The look of The Globe’s offices was messy and raw like you would imagine at such a time. Although a fictional take on what happened when Ruffalo and McAdams did their one on one interviews you truly felt for the victims as if you were watching a documentary.
          All in all an excellent movie about finding the truth and not backing down when it needs to be told (one can only wish there were more reporters like them). If you haven’t check out Spotlight for yourself.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Revenant-A crazy good walk through the woods

               Ladies, gentlemen and fellow film lovers it’s that time of year again-Oscar season! Even with the #OscarSoWhite controversy I will be watching and enjoying the night as I do every year. Also as I do each year I try and watch as many of the nominees as possible (the more the best pictures nominees there are the harder this is) but I knew I had to see the film with the most nominations and this time around that movie is The Revenant.

                Truth be told I wanted to see the movie but I honestly didn’t know I was going to like it as much as I did and even more then I thought I would. Written by Mark L Smith based partly on the book written by Michael Punke it’s a story about a man named Hugh Glass played by the impeccable Leonardo DiCaprio who after being attacked and severely injured by a mama grizzly bear and left for dead, he survives and begins a long journey to seek his revenge. Along the way he meets a handful of  interesting characters. Besides revenge it is a story of love and fighting because of that love is what helps one survive

                  I know I’ve said this before but I mean it the time when I say director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu brings the viewer into the story. From the moment Glass is attacked by the bear we are right in the middle of the action and can feel his pain. All I thought as I watched the scene was this is what it looks like when my dog tears apart one of his toys and takes out its stuffing for the purpose of finding and extracting the squeaker. The camera work is amazing and becomes the POV of the viewer. We see the lens fog as Glass takes what breathes he has left, blood spatter and water spots also appear. The look of the film is a beautiful sight. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is some of the best I’ve seen. Seeing the harsh wintery landscape helps the viewer feel as cold as I’m sure the actors were. The rushing river, high cliffs and light through the tall trees (The trees crackle to tell me its cold) made me feel like I was trudging through the crazy and unforgiving wildness. Another truth be told I have been a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio since his first acting days on Growing Pains and enjoy everything he has been a part of. As far as the Oscars go he should have been nominated for his first film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Titanic (for which I have been campaigning for him to win ever since). DiCaprio is the type of actor who at times is unrecognizable in a role and this film displays his ability to do so in the best ways possible (and I’m not just referring to the beard and hair) In The Revenant DiCaprio is alone as he crawls through mud and snow and is barely able to speak for most of the two and a half hours. As an actor he is excellent in allowing the viewer to truly feel for Glass as he looks for food (from bones of large dead animals) heals his wounds (at times not easy to watch) and find ways to stay warm (I can’t tell you what he had to do for that).

An also unrecognizable Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Paul Anderson, Kristoffer Joner and Forrest Gooluck also star in this gripping and fascinating tale. It is a small cast but each actor brings the characters (fur traders in the 1830s) they have created to life with freshness and realness that any reality show (about living in the wild) can only dream of having.

When the film was over I knew why it has been nominated for 12 Oscars and other awards so far this year and you will too once you have climbed the mountains and followed the path of The Revenant