Friday, January 17, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-2019 Releases


I am writing this on Wednesday, January 15th which marks 2 years since my mom died. I miss her every day and long to hear her wise words which I have not heard in 10 years because of the dementia that took her mind. I can be thankful that she always knew me, she was a spitfire to the end and always gave hugs. I hope she is with daddy and they are enjoying their moments together. Now, on with the show..the Oscars are out and I have seen very, very, very few. I hope to remedy that before February 9th. Why are the Oscars on so early?? Wandering through the Shelves has some great themes this year so check it out. Here are my 3...

1. AVENGERS:ENDGAME-2019



This is the final(so they say) film in the Avengers saga. There will be other films about the players but this is the finale of these films showcasing all the Marvel super heroes from Ironman to Captain America and Dr. Strange. Too bad Deadpool was not in this because he would really shake things up. I have to say, this movie is well acted, has a great plot and keeps the gigantic group of people all together showing them just about equally. It is also surprisingly touching which gave it heart. The evil guy was truly annoying especially his soft way of talking...he was irritating to say the least. Worth watching. Oh yeah, the effects are amazing.

2. DOWNTON ABBEY-2019



Oh yes, this is an excellent film that continues from the great tv show that was on PBS. The Crawley family receive a formal letter that the King and Queen will be visiting their home for one night sending the house into a frenzy. The staff are ready to be on their toes to deal with the royal visit but get their noses out of joint when the King’s stuffy staff come and decide to rule over the home. All the regulars are here along with the great writing, the beautiful setting and the clothes. They should have been up for best costumes in my book.

3.  JUDY-2019



This film got mixed reviews because there isn’t much of a plot and people  felt bored but, to me, they missed the mark of this film because it is a character study of one of the greatest film stars and singers that ever graced the screen, Judy Garland. To say this gal was mixed up is an understatement because she had many layers from loving mother, great singer, addict, volatile, bitter, lonely..the list can go on and on. Renee Zellweger, not a favourite of mine, nails the part of Judy in her last year of her life. She was missing her cues, flubbing lyrics, ridiculed on stage but still carried weight and still wanted to please her audience and love her children. We also see the very young Judy on the set of The Wizard of Oz, when she is first given uppers and downers so she can finish her scenes. Yup, started with this classic.

Which 3 would you pick?


Rather than show a picture of my mom, I decided to show a chicken egg she created. It's an actual egg that she cut and placed an angel inside with little stars surrounding the angel. She was a great artist and now she is an angel.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Favourite Films of Steven Spielberg


Anyone watch the Golden Globes? Fashion was crazy and they all seem to be loving all over themselves with many not happy at how spot on Ricky Gervais was. He was biting, truthful, uncomfortable for the stars and funny. No one spoke about the Me Too even though Weinstein was appearing in court the next day, no women directors nominated, no Mira Sorvino or Ashley Judd, no minorities well represented and no unison in wearing black. Oh well, the fad is done. Now, on to nicer stuff...it’s all about Spielberg and he is a stellar director, no doubt about it. Some of his most famous adventures are ones I am not really enamoured with( sorry Indiana and E. T) so I am going with still famous choices just  not the most popular. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen. Here are my 3...

1. DUEL-1971


This is actually a TV movie starring Dennis Weaver as a family man who is travelling to meet a client  through the desert in his little car, where he passes a slow moving truck driver. This was the wrong thing to do because this truck driver is nuts and so begins a tense and harrowing film about a man being chased by a trucker who is bent on killing him. We never see the trucker but the fear he instills in the businessman is all too real. This is an excellent movie that, thankfully, was on a regular tv network because, today, it would be scooped up by Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime or whatever...see it if you get the chance.

2. EMPIRE OF THE SUN-1987


I think this might be my favourite Spielberg film starring a young Christian Bale as a privileged brat growing up in China who ends up separated from his parents and is taken by the Japanese to one of their prisoner of war camps. Through his eyes, we see how the other British and Americans  try to survive this horrific time. He becomes someone where many depend on since he can scrounge and he even becomes friends with a young Japanese boy. He is enamoured with the head of the American POW’s played by John Malcovich and wants to be one of them not knowing he is much better than they are. This got barely a mention at the Oscars which is a crime in my book.

3. SCHINDLER’S LIST-1993



This is, I believe, his most important work and one that still leaves me speechless at the end. I still remember how everyone just walked out of that film numb, not talking, slowly leaving the theatre. This is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a wealthy German who hobnobs with the Nazi elite and is, himself, a member of the Nazi party. When he sees what is truly happening to the Jewish people, he decides to try to save  as many as he can enlisting the help of a Jewish man played brilliantly by Ben Kingsley who should have won the Oscar but was not even nominated. Liam Neesom should have won as well as he gave his heart to this role as a man who must make a list of people he will do his best to save. He does save many and this man is the only German from the Nazi Party buried in Jerusalem on Mount Zion and is highly revered to this day.

Which 3 would you choose?

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Escape


A new year and a new decade and already bad news where a zoo, in Germany, near Holland, lost  most of their apes-chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas plus their bats and birds. This was caused by people who lit candles in Bags and let them float up. It is banned in Germany but people did it anyway and a few landed on the ape enclosure and bat enclosure and it went up in flames. This is devastating and so sorry to start off with this but it really has upset me. I just hope the individuals are caught and that 2020 will also have this zoo spring back from this devastation, the fires end in Australia and we hear less deranged nuts shooting people and places up. Ok..sorry....this is the start of a new weekly pick of 3 films that follow a theme. This is the brainchild of Wandering Through The Shelves and this week is all about Escape. This is broad ranging but I went with 3 films that just popped into my head and here they are...

1.  I WAS A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG-1932


This film really got under my skin when I saw it and it addressed the deep issues of how mistreated prisoners were and, because of this film, an overhaul was being looked at. A young man gets wrongfully convicted of a crime because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is convicted for 10 years hard labour but he escapes and becomes a success but married a shrew. It goes on from there and you are taken in by this man’s plight and hope he succeeds. A gritty, realistic film with some fine acting. I need to see this again.

2. THE DEFIANT ONES-1958


This is another great film that I want to see again. It stars Tony Curtis and Sydney Poitier as 2 convicts shackled together when the prison vehicle gets into an accident. They escape but must work together since they are still shackled. They hate each other, mainly due to Curtis’s bigotry, but soon this begins to change as they are not able to escape one another and soon develop a bond and a strong friendship that can’t be torn apart. Well acted with a great plot and character study.

3.  ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ-1979


I am sticking with prison outbreaks, obviously. This is based on a true story starring Clint Eastwood who is a prisoner on the rock who  deals with all sorts of bad asses and decides to escape this unescapable prison. He brings in 2 other men and they slowly figure out an escape plan and it is a doozy! To know more, see the film or watch a documentary on this because this has turned out to be one of the biggest mysteries where many shows have spoken about this. Personally I think they did get away. 

Bonus

THE GREAT ESCAPE-1963


I had to include this great adventure/action film with an all star cast starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Donald Pleasance( who really was in a POW camp) and Charles Bronson. The German army  Nazis, Gestapo built a camp for all the POW men who are repeat escape offenders. The prisoners end up devising a huge escape from the 3 tunnels they start to dig. Of course, the film is not accurate since the Canadians were big in the real life escape which is not shown but this is a great movie worth seeing.

Which films would you choose?

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Sunshine Blogger Award


Well, we are 20 minutes into the new year and I have decided to write this as I was awarded this by the wonderful Armchair Squid. So here are the rules...


I am not going to nominate anyone but if you want to answer my questions afterwards, you can. So here are the questions given that I will answer

1. If you could live one year over again, which year and why? I wouldn’t want to because for every year that I had something nice, I also had something not so nice so I realize that the good, the bad and the ugly is what is meant to be and I don’t really regret anything. I have made some huge blunders and things that I wish I would have chosen differently....maybe. No, not really, I would still make the so called mistakes because it made me grow.

2. If you could learn to be an expert in Something without putting in the work, what would it be? I would love to be a film historian that is asked about films, stars etc...on every  tv special and documentary. I would also love to be an art historian and a travel person like Rick Steves. Either of those 3 or maybe a drunkard.

3. If you could learn a new language instantly, which would you choose? I would choose German...I can speak it a little but I am not fluent. I know people would think French because  I live in Canada but nope, German or that African language where you use that clicking sound all the time.

4.  If you could give one million to charity, which would you choose? The charity of moi. No? Ok, provided 100% would go to the actual charity and not their paycheques etc,,, it would be to help out animals. If I could give the guns to the animals that the dumb ass Trump kids killed, so they could be hunted down, I would.

5. When was your Robert Frost moment a la "2 roads converged in a yellow wood...?" The point is you can't go back and that's true.
But if you could, would you? What is the difference you think it would have made?  I don't think I would but....I would ask my dad more questions  and cherish the moments.

6. Time Travel, where would you go and when? Humm if I couldn't change anything, I would go back to the 1970s and have a good long visit with my parents. I would want to go and visit my mom when.shr was a child to.meet my oma and opal and my great grandparents as well as meet my dad when he was little and meet my grandparents on his side. I might go back to the Titanic and tell everyone not enough life beats...too mean?

7. Who would you want on your fictional bowling team? You get to pick 4. Of course, I would have to pick Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble plus the Invisible Man because he can cheat and Harry Potter because he has that wand of his....no.not that wand you sick buggers.

Am I going to Hell yet?

8. What would you want for your last meal? Chocolate. Something created from the great British Bake off with lots of whipping cream...and more chocolate. This could be  some sex question actually.

Told you I am going to hell.

9. What's your favourite song? One?? Ok "To Dream The Impossible Dream."  Chris DeBurgh, " The Girl With April in her Eyes." "You'll Never Walk Alone." And "I love Big Butts."

10.  Are you and extrovert or an introvert? Believe or not, I have done 4 different personality tests when at conferences and each time I score exactly 50% on each. It depends on my mood but, since I am writing this on New Year's Eve and am drinking alone, I will swing to the left...um I mean to the introvert side.

11. If you came over to my home and I offered you a drink, What would you want me to serve you? Now, mr. Squid creates a new drink about every week so I would love some blue drink but make it creamy. Good luck!

Now here are my 11 questions...

1. Favourite holiday?
2. Favourite colour?
3. Favourite wild animal?
4. Favourite tame animal? Dog, cat, fish, ferret, wombat( I thought of you Liz)
5. Glitter, yes or no?
6. Sparkle from.glitter, gems etc.. yes or no?
7. Favourite colour?
8. Favourite colour combo?
9. Hate lovey/dovey or thrive on it or for it?
10. Love Angels or fairies or that's a no?
11. Love a good drink? Just one, nothing crazy...would it be wine, beer or a mixed drink? My brother loves beer especially a pilsner so what do you like?

Have fun and wishing all of you a beautiful year ahead.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks:TV Efition-Rivalries


Merry Christmas and have a great New Year! So, I thought I would get back into the swing of things and ...I didn’t. It’s been crazy between working full time, and all the Christmas stuff to do on top of my pain, my friend  visiting me, blah blah blah, I am behind again. Christmas Day was a day of complete rest and I basically slept. We are not going to my hubby’s sister’s place until Friday because of her work. Saturday, I see my best friend and Sunday I am being treated to a beautiful concert at Hamilton Place with a  Full Viennese concert. I am so looking forward to this. The last post for this year on Wandering Through The Shelves is the tv edition and it is to showcase rivalries. My mind is not working on full throttle but I hope I came up with 3 that work.

1. THE BUGS BUNNY/ROAD RUNNER HOUR-1968-1978


Ok these original cartoons were actually shown with feature films for Warner Bros. MGM had Tom and Jerry, Warner’s had the great Bugs, Elmer, Daffy Wiley E Coyote, Road Runner, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, LongHorn Egg-horn (is that right??) plus so many more. Many of these cartoons are hilarious since they were actually for adults more than kids (“I Knight thee Cirrhosis of Liver”) but as a kid, I loved them and never thought of them as violent and thought it stupid when they were censored them especially since I am against censorship. Wiley E was always trying to kill and eat the Road Runner but the Road Runner always got the better of him. Actually, Bugs got the better of him as well. Sylvester always tried to eat Tweety Bird and they were both trying to win the affection of Granny along with the bulldog. I think my favourite was the new puppy and Clyde the cat..poor Clyde who loved filing his nails on a filing saw. Love these shows.

2. DYNASTY-198


What can I say about this glossy show which was all about shoulder pads, back stabbing and chewing the scenery. The Carrington Family are filthy rich headed by John Forsythe who married his secretary, Linda Evans. We meet his kids, one good and one smarmy plus their wives, girlfriends and one night stands. Season 2 brings his ex wife, Joan Collins who really knew how to bitch across the scene and bitch slap Linda. A fun and campy soap that I preferred over Dallas.

3. THE DREW CAREY SHOW-1995-2004

I wish this show was more well known because it was funny. It was about Drew Carey who worked in management at a department store who had to deal with his jerk boss and his nemesis,  Mimi, who could give it right back and was nasty. He has 3 good friends, 2 dopey guys and a girl whom he secretly loves. Thre are many antics but they always make it funny. I love that Shirley Jones plays  Carey's mom.

Which tv show can you think up? I will be commenting on my previous post to catch up and vhecki

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks-Child Actors Venturing Out of Typecasting


I’m baaack! I didn’t mean to go but I did as you can see from my last post. So, now I am back on track and will talk about child actors who wanted to venture away from their good girl image.check out Wandering Through The Shelves to check out which 3 actors/actresses the fellow film nuts have chosen. Here are my 3....

DEANNA DURBIN


1. CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY-1944


Denana Durbin...who? Without her Universal Pictures would not exist because she saved them from bankruptcy when she appeared as a young, talented gal with a beautiful voice, who sings her way through many pictures along with many great conductors like Leopoldo Stokowski lending a hand. With her happy charm and amazing talent she would save the day. Well, Ms. Durbin wanted to expand her acting talents and stop playing cute little girls who save everything. This is one such film that veered away from her nice image and one that she was, apparently, proud of. I say this because she retired in the late 40s and never looked back, moving to France (by the way, she is a Canadian..Maintoba). She never granted any more interviews, except one back in the early 80's that I would love to see. She disliked talking about her film career and simply refused to look back. Oh yes, the film...She plays a young lady who falls for a real schmuck, played by Gene Kelly, who does not dance or sing in this film! He kills someone and he, along with his domineering mother, blame her. She changes her name and ends up as a "hostess" in some divey bar. It is quite a good film noir and one hard to find but, if you do, it's worth a watch.

ROBERT BLAKE


Yup that's the little rascal who appeared on quite a few Our Gang shorts with Spanky and the Gang.

2. IN COLD BLOOD-1967


Talk about a controversial person to say the least since Robert Blake is one F#^% up person who probably did have a hand in murdering his shrew of a wife-which, her murder, seemed to be right off the pages of Murder, She Wrote or Columbo. Robert Blake started out as Mickey Gubitosi who was cute as a button in the Our Gang series but he wanted more which is where this film comes in. In Cold Blood is a docudrama about the true story of 2 hoodlums who break into a home and end up killing the family all for a measly sum of money. The 2 are caught and we see real insight into the mind of these 2 killers . Robert Blake shines as a troubled hoodlum who shows some regret. Excellently acted by him and John Forsythe as the detective who captures them.

KURT RUSSELL


How many of you knew Kurt Russell was a child actor for Disney movies? He was cute as a button...and still is. I remember him in Gilligan's Island playing "Boy"  as well as on Lost In Space. People knew him as the cute Disney kid so he wanted to break from this mold..and does he ever! We all know his more recent films with Quinton Tarantino and his relationship with Goldie Hawn but he has done many films from Comedies to some great westerns. He was also great as Elvis and won accolades playing him in the late 1970s but he chose something darker to distance himself from Disney. Here is the film I choose...

3. THE DEADLY TOWER-1975


This is a TV movie but an excellent film starring Russell as the disturbed Charles Whitman who, after killing his wife and mother, walked up the Tower at the university of Texas, barricaded himself in and started shooting people walking down below. This is a true story and it was shocking in the day because it was rare to hear of someone doing this...not like today. He gave an excellent performance and won accolades for his acting. 

which 3 would you choose?

Sunday, December 15, 2019


Over at Wandering Through The Shelves, another movie week. I apologize for disappearing as I didn’t think that would happen but my friend from Vancouver came for a visit and he didn’t leave until Thursday. I actually met him in good ole Hogtown, aka, Toronto, and we had lots of fun.  This week it is super long titles and, if you can recall, I screwed up early in the year and gave my 3 way back then. I can't recall which theme I was supposed to do so I am showcasing some pics I took when in Toronto. I have also been busy with decorating as it takes me a while to get the house Christmasfied. I hope to be back now even though I am baking and still gave to so the tree. On with some pics..


This is from the distillery where the Christmas market was on and it was so nice. Finally, we are catching up to Germany and Austria who have these markets for centuries.



The lobby in the Fancy and beautiful Royal York . The 2 story facade all lit up is made from real gingerbread. 







This winter wonderland was at Ontsrio Place and it was great! We went in the last hour which worked as we saw everything without the throngs of people with their screaming kids.


Freaky fish that lives in the Great Lakes...who knew? We went to Rupkey's Aquarium and it is worth seeing! I am not a fish person but this was cool to see.


This was a huge and deep fish tank. I was gobsmacked by how large this was.


This lobster is truly this blue




You could stand on a moving walk and watch all these fish plus some sharks swimming right over you.


Ok we may look stoned but we were freezing spending a nice day in Niagara On The Lake. So I hope I didn't bore you with my picks I promise to be back in blog land. Take care and Happy 3rd week of Advent.