Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks:TV Edition-Space/Aliens


May I first say a huge thank you to everyone who always comments on my blog from Alex, Sandra, The great Shady, Pat, Liz, Bluebeard & Elizabeth to Cathy, Denise, Janie, Brittani, Dell, John and the wonderful Joel who loves many of the same films I do. I know I have missed some great blogger buds and, for that I apologise but you are still close to my heart. I have been bad in not replying like I often wish to do but time gets away from me. I always strive to do better but I do read all of them and mark down films I wish to see that you have mentioned. It is the end of a year like no other and the beginning of a new one. Nothing will change right away but, I bet, next year at this time, we will be able to hug people we love. I love this weekly themed series that Wandering Through The Shelves has created and hope it never ends. The last one seems to fit since this year has been quite alien in so many ways, who would have thought? Now let's begin...


I watched this show back in the late '80s or early '90s and found it hilarious and it is, in every sense, a British comedy. There are not that many episodes but they are so unique even if the effects are not that great(not nearly as bad as Blake 7 which I talked about quite a while back) but you don't care because the writing and acting is brilliant. It starts off where a man of no major importance, is saved by some alien before the earth is blown up to make way for an intergalactic freeway. We meet a 2 headed man who has his own spaceship, his lovely assistant and his very depressed robot. It goes from there into one weird but fun episode into another. I still have to see the movie.


I love all the Star Trek tv shows and films except for Depp shit Space 9(maybe I should try that one again) and the latest one - STD...yes, I like calling it that.... Oh, ok Star Trek: Discovery. Many people often cite TNG series as their favourite over the original but, for me, it is apples and oranges for various reasons although my heart does follow Jean Luc Picard. He would be the one to broker peace while James T Kirk would take the flag of peace and smack you with it. The first year was a bit shaky trying to figure out the characters, the overuse of music and the smacking over the head with some do-good deeds but there are some gems like when the Enterprise is infected with something very similar to what happened on the original Enterprise as well as the episode where Picard plays a 1940's private eye on the Holodeck only for the Holodeck to "lose control" sort of speak. I love Guinan, played by Whoopi Goldberg, a very old(not looking it) alien who heads ten forward-the place where everybody knows your name. I love Q who lives forever and always creates havoc for Picard and his crew whenever he visits(love the Robin Hood theme episode). The Ship's counsellor, Deanna Troi, went from being a very lack lustre type of character to one of my favourites. Marina Sirtis truly made that character her own. One of my top 3 favourite episodes is when Picard is hit by a tractor beam and is sent to live a whole life time on this planet, finding love, having a family, only to learn that this world will end. To say Patrick Stewart acts well in this is to say the Pope is just a catholic. 


Seth McFarlane, famous for The Family Guy, Ted etc... created this gem, stars in it and has written many episodes. He clearly loves Star Trek and pays more homage to the famed series than makes fun of it. To me, he understand Gene Roddenberry's idea of Star Trek more than STD ever could. The spaceship is bright, comfortable but it is a ship to explore new worlds. There is a robot, 2 guys who "steer" the ship but can be such idiots, His first mate is his ex wife and the doctor is lusted after by some green amoeba goop voiced by Norm McDonald. It is funny but it has serious overtones as well and has much more depth than STD has. 2 short seasons have already been on and the 3rd has been delayed, partially because of Covid19. I hope the 3rd season will air in 2021 because I miss it. 

Happy New Year to all of you no matter if you stay up until midnight or go to bed by 10. We can all bitch about 2020 but let us remember what we do have as we cross into this new year and know that even though roses have thorns, let's not forget the thorns have roses. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Holiday Action Movies


Nothing says Christmas than an action film where one sees a Christmas tree in the movie....that's about it. Well, maybe there is a party going on before carnage explodes...literally. Let’s check out Wandering Through The Shelves and find out which films everyone else has chosen. I am late because it is Christmas Eve and I celebrate tonight so I had a lot to do....anyways, here are my 3...


Nothing says Christmas until a bad guy comes through a window and kicks the Christmas tree over. Mel Gibson plays a man on the edge( how appropriate) after he loses his wife, and is ready to commit suicide. Oh yes, he is also a cop and is partnered with a 50 yr old veteran, played by Danny Glover who is ready to  retire and is too old for this shit. Although they clash at first, they become great partners and good friends. This is a film all about ruthless drug people and a nutso Gary Busey(could there be any other but him acting nutso?) whom you know will meet his end at the hands of equally nutso Mel Gibson. This takes place during Christmas and it is the first time, but not the last, where Glover’s home is damaged including the poor tree.

2.  DIE HARD- 1988

I bet this will be a very popular choice and, no, I do not consider this a Christmas movie. It could have been a party any time of the year, the execs decided to choose Christmas as the  time to kick some ass. This film takes place in a big tower with the people, working for some nice mega business guy, are having a Christmas party. His right hand man is the estranged wife of Bruce Willis who is a cop. Enter bad guys lead by the superb Alan Rickman whom I still miss as he died way too young. His right hand man is played by Alexander Gudonov who was actually a top ballet dancer for the Bolshoi Ballet. In the 70s , when the Bolchoi came to New York City, he asked for  political asylum which caused a major incident between the U.S. and the Soviet Union even making a TV movie about this called Flight 222. It was quite intense since the Cold War was going on but Gudonov was able to stay. It’s sad that he died of acute alcoholism. Oh yes, back to this movie. Good rebel cop Bruce realizes something bad is afoot and he does his best to kill almost every bad guy in the film as he loses more clothing to show off his beefcake look. His one ally is a copy on the ground who believes him when other cops don’t because they are morons.

3. BAD SANTA- 2003

This is a very dark comedy but filled with some action. Billy Bob Thornton plays a self hate, alcoholic, bad ass who, along with his midget friend...sorry...little person, played wonderfully by Tony Cox dress up as Santa and his merry elf to work in the department stores so they can rob the place and take off with the huge amount of loot when the stores close for the holidays. Tony Cox is fed up with his safe cracking alcoholic Santa who pisses himself in the Santa chair and tells kids that his wife is “unclean”. John Ritter is the head of the store who now regrets hiring these 2 and asks the head of security, played Bernie Mac to keep an eye on them. John Ritter was perfect as the Puritan but creepy manager and this was, sadly, his last film. Bernie Mac was great as the head of security and Billy Bob is priceless as this most decrepit Santa you will ever know. He does have a heart(believe it or not) when he meets the sad kid who is bullied for being a true oddball kid. He stays at the kid's home with grandma played by Clovis Leachman(so funny) since  the kid’s dad is in prison. The ending is a big shootout as Bad Santa tries to bring snotty kid a pink elephant. It is dark, full of vulgar language and well, he does piss himself while sitting in the Santa chair but I love this film. It is not for everybody.

Merry Christmas everyone! I have a picture of my library and we are get a big storm so a white Christmas..I’m so excited. I have also given a video of Gudonov as a ballet dancer...a big difference from his turn as a bad guy in Die Hard. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Films Directed By Female Directors


Female Directors have had it rough to be able to direct anything with a few early exceptions from the very early great Lois Weber to Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino. Now, we are seeing more female directors than ever before but it is still a tough business. I am looking forward to what everyone else will choose this week as the director of choice for each film. If you wish, check out Wandering Through The Shelves who has come up with these weekly themes. Here are my 3...


I have not seen this film in decades but I remember it so well because it stars Lucille Ball (who met Desi when she was making this film) as Bubbles and a young, beautiful Maureen O'Hara as the wholesome Judy, an aspiring ballerina(that would never happen as her ampful ta-ta's would be in the way). They meet in a struggling dance troupe headed by the little gnome, Maria Ouspenskaya who sees potential in Judy as a ballerina. When Bubbles and Judy are in some New York Dance thingy, they meet a wealthy numbnut and both fall for him. Can we see a cat fight coming on? You bet your booties because Bubbles wants her man. There is more to the deceptively naive plot and one I have to see again. 


Penny Marshall went from playing Laverne on Laverne & Shirley (actually they started on Happy Days) to becoming quite a good director in her own right. This film is based on a true story when the men were fighting in the Second World War, the sports people decided to start up a woman's baseball league which became more popular than anyone would have thought. We see these women be picked for the ability to play ball(something I sorely lack in) with Geena Davis as the star player much to her sister's chagrin. Rosie O'Donnell and Madonna shine as fellow ball players and Tom Hanks is excellent as a boozy, tobacco chewing, probably smelly, manager of this team. We get to see all the issues women have to face playing on the team and come to care for all of them even smelly Hanks who realizes he has a true team in his hands. I know my brother will know all the facts about this time in baseball. 


Holly Hunter shines in this film as a bride to a wealthy plantation owner in New Zealand set in the mid 1800s. She comes with her young daughter(Anna Paquin, who won the Oscar for her role) and her piano. Oh yes, she does not speak but we quickly get the feeling she feels she can not let her guard down when it comes to men especially her jerk of a husband. Enter, in this hot climate, the sweaty worker for her husband played by Harvey Keitel..yup, good ole Harve has the hots for this dame who doesn't speak a word but loves to play the piano. It is sweaty, steamy and has oodles of sensualness throughout this film with Harvey dropping his clothes to show It can steam up your glasses and with that....I need a cold shower.

Which films would you choose?

I just heard that one of the blogger friends I know, and many of you know as well, has passed away on December 16th. Jo(Jo on Food, Life and a Scent of Chocolate) went quietly and she did not suffer which is good. It was always fun to read her blog about her day's events, recipes and her love for asparagus. She was a sweetheart.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Busy little Canuck Beaver

 i fell by the wayside, for the most part, in commenting on your blog posts and for that, I am so sorry. Last week I took the time off work to decorate my home. I have to do this now because I just am too tired after work. I have to rest in between too which sucks. I have little Christmas bits all over the house but here are some picks of the main stuff I have done...

I have Santas in my TV room plus the hallway plus a few hanging out in the kitchen and library. The picture, with the red poppy, is my dad who loved Christmas and said, "If Christmas is just for kids, then I'm the biggest kid of all." I agree with that statement.

My Advent wreath is the first to be hung out and I surrounded it with a garland that has a musical motif which includes the orchestra of cherubs.

My garland in the TV room with some Santas and snowmen in the mix. In the background are the famous Moriskan dancers I inherited from my mom and the cabinet holds my mom's Faberge style eggs she created. 

This garland just reminds me of garlands I have seen in Germany and Austria. I have all sorts of fun things i place on this garland.

My village with the church on one end and the cathouse on the other. All of them are hand painted mainly by me but a couple my husband did with me. here is a close up of the cathouse and you will see a bum sleeping on a park bench in the other...must have some reality in a pretty village:) 

Here is my nativity scene...

Now, finally the tree and, yes, it is a real tree.

I don't have a tree theme, just mainly decorated with glass ornaments from fish to an actual devil's head which comes from an old German Bavarian mold apparently. I also have many eggs that my mom made and will show 2 here that just happen to be angels...

This egg is from a basic chicken egg and the one below if from a goose egg. Now, let's see if any of you can guess what my mom used to create the angel's dress and sleeves? If you guess correctly you win one trillion dollars! Let's see if any of you guess it correctly:)

There are more decorations placed here and there plus I always decorate the kitchen light but this is enough to show. I shall be back on Thursday....Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies For Seniors/The Elderly


So, this week it’s to choose a film that old crusties would like. Why do I have a The feeling that would be me since I love Its a Wonderful Life, silent cinema, and all the great older films that I grew up with. I consider old films from before 1960. The ‘60s is the transition and modern films from 1970 onwards. So, now that I am officially classified an oldie( but a not goodie ‘cos what’s the fun in that?), I decided to choose 3 movies that my mom loved. My mom was not a movie lover and only learned about some films when she was much in her free living 70s. Head over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen. Here are 3 I know my mom loved..

1.  DR. ZHIVAGO-1965

My mom often said this was her favourite movie because she could relate to it due to all she went through during and, especially, after the war when the Russians took over her part of Germany. The starvation, riding in a box car, , the cold, just trying to survive is what she experienced. This film does truly show what the leftist ways truly are( ahem, not wearing a mask is not one of them) with having to give up your home because more families could live in them, fearful of what the neighbours may say and send you away and the cold that can take your breath away. The film also has a luscious score with the very famous Lara’s theme running throughout the movie and the performances of Omar Sharif as Zhivago and Julie Christie as the love of his life, Lara set against the backdrop just before, during and after the Russian Revolution. It is a brilliant film and, interestingly enough, my uncle, my mom’s brother, also said this was his favourite film.

2.  SISTER ACT-1992

My mom laughed so hard when she saw this film and found Whoopi Goldberg a delight. She was a fan of Whoopi and refused to believe Whoopi swore( my mom hating swearing is legendary even though she was marruied to a lumberman who could say a few things and get a way with it like son of a bitch). This movies stars Whoopi as a head of some sad, singing nightclub act in a casino whose boyfriend(Harry Keitel) runs this sad casino. She witnesses her mob boyfriend kill someone and runs for her life becoming the main witness to put him behind bars. The trusted cop must place Whoopi under protection until she can testify. Where does one hide this wild gal? Let’s head over to a nunnery headed by Maggie Smith who is not happy having her there just as much as Whoopi is not happy having to be a nun in disguise. Soon, she is sent to the choir where Whoopi realizes this choir needs help so she starts to teach the choir nuns how to really belt out a tune. She brings this choir, the church and herself back to life. This is a fun, sweet movie that is great for all ages.  Every time this was on TV she would watch it.


I heard about this orchestra leader and superb violinist before my mom and introduced her to him by taking her to a concert in Toronto. It was outside, in May, and it was freezing! We had no clue it was outside and neither did Andre who requested if the men in his orchestra could give their coats to the beautiful women in his orchestra who are always dressed in ball gowns. He plays everything from waltzes to standards of that country. To say it is magical is an understatement as he will play everything from  classical standards to folk songs, hits from musicals and  even some Beatles...done in a classical vein. Hell, he even introduced a classical piece that Anthony Hopkins wrote and it is quite good. This man is world renown who gets all the people, young and old laughing, singing and dancing. 

The second time I took my mom to Toronto to see him at the Rogers Centre( formerly known as the Skydome), the scene looked right from Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna with fountains and all. On either side of the orchestra was a small ice rink where ice skaters waltzed to the tunes. He had the entire audience participate in singing Silent Night splitting us into 3 sections. He started with just his violin and then he raised one finger and the first group hummed, then the second and finally us. To be honest, we Canadians usually sound like meek sounding screech owls, but he made us sound so good. It was like a dream and I bet any of you would love to see him. He was in the States more than once and will play your favourites. If you go to youtube, you will see he has been all over the world and will play to that country's music mostly. 

When my mom went into longterm care, they would often play one of his videos and she called him her boyfriend. The last Christmas my brother and I had with her, I brought this DVD to play for her on a couple of my visits and she so enjoyed did the other residents. She sang to many of these carols since she grew up with them when she was a little girl in the small town on Zornigall(near Wittenberg, Germany). So, if you have an hour to kill, I have included the whole thing below and I hope a couple of you do take a break and enjoy. Funny, I almost didn't take the time to bring this when I visited my mom and now I am soooooo thankful I did.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Adaptations


This week is another biggie-Adaptations, that Wandering Through The Shelves picked in which we can go all over the place, from author's alone(Shakespeare anyone?) to different adaptations of the same play ( Christmas Carol..135 versions! I looked it up). I decided to choose from 3 different "places"  that a film version came into existence and hope you like them. Here are my 3...


Oh, come on, you think I will ever stop choosing this film? If you have not seen it, what is wrong with you:) This film, my all time favourite, started life as a booklet/short story called, "The Greatest Gift" written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1943. The rights were bought up and then laid there until Frank Capra decided to make it into a film for his first Liberty Films Studio (State of the Union was the only other made before Liberty Films folded). This is the first film that Jimmy Stewart made after he served in WW2 and he was suffering from severe PTSD during this time. One person who helped him through this was Lionel Barrymore who played mean old Mr. Potter.  It's about a man who dreams of leaving the small town of Bedford Falls but, time and time again, something prevents him from leaving. He doesn't truly understand what his measly life means until he is given the gift to see what life would be like if he was never born. Brilliantly acted with some great character actors that greatly help the leads. Please see it.


This is a fetching, British comedy that was originally a play written by the slyly witty Noel Coward, who told Peter O'Toole(star of Lawrence of Arabia) that if he were any prettier, the film would have been called Florence of Arabia. Thankfully, Noel Coward didn't want his play bastardized by Hollywood so he held off on it being filmed until David Lean decided to film it(Lean directed Florence of Arabia later). Noel hated the ending but it doesn't matter as it is considered a great film that was noted for it's technicolour and special effects. Rex Harrison is a novelist who wants background material for his new novel so he, with the help of his wife and friends, enlists the help from one daffy old medium played hilariously by Margaret Rutherford. They all laugh until Sexy Rexy's ghost of his first wife appears but only he can see and hear her. He soon realizes that his first wife misses him and wants him to be with her. This is very funny and should be seen before the new film that was released this year. 


This film comes from skits that were done on Saturday Night Live by John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, the original not ready for prime time players. Jake Blues, played by Belushi, has just be released from prison after 3 years and is picked up by his brother, Elwood, played by Ackroyd. They were raised in an orphanage and find out by Sister Mary Stigmata(love that name) that the place can't pay their property taxes and will be razed so the 2 boys, who must have learned from Mickey Rooney on how to put on a show, decide to get their act back together and raise the $5,000 for this orphanage. Let's just say, they run into some problems with a ton of cops, a crazy gal who is trying to kill them(played so well by Carrie Fisher), Nazis and Country Singers. Some great music and car chases abound in this film which leaves your foot tapping and your stomach sore from laughing. It is a lot of fun.

So...which 3 would you choose? How many Christmas Carol movies have you seen? I saw 10 including Henry Winkler as Scrooge. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Non-English


Non-English TV Shows is truly a no go for me. I know the others over at Wandering Through The Shelves will find some good ones but I have nada. Still, let's have some fun watching famous shows dubbed into German.


When I was 18, I spent 6 weeks in Freiburg, Germany, travelled with my Aunt and Uncle through the Alps abnd the Brenner Pass to Brixen, Italy and finally to Graz where I stayed with my other Aunt and Uncle for 4 weeks. Sometimes, I just wanted to watch tv and this is when I saw Bonanza in German and laughed my ass off. It was so funny to see these characters speak German and when, now back in Canada,  I saw Benny Hill play Hoss in bad German I just about fell off my chair. 


I was a big Friends watcher when it was on but nothing beats seeing them in German when I saw an episode in a hotel room one evening after a full day of sightseeing. Another good laugh.


Everyone should know Seinfeld and I never did see an episode on German TV but it would be so much fun to see. 

So this is, kind of my entry for this week which, I know, I am cheating but who obeys the rules all of the time:)

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Villains


This is a huge theme and one can find a villain in almost any film. Wandering through the Shelves chose another great theme because we all can love, despise, and get all uptight about villains as we watch a film. These are the villains that came into my brain( yes smoke did come out of my ears) before more flooded in(yes, more smoke) so here are the first 3 that I thought of.

1.  DRACULA-1931

Bela Lugosi is only thought of a drug-infested hasbeen who starred in Ed Wood films but, he did star on stage and brought Dracula to the screen as the sexy villain. Yes, sexy...I’m not sure how, but women swooned when he spoke, showed some gentlemanly ways and sunk his teeth into the neck of women. He killed and wanted the lady love all to his own only to pay for it in the end. This film became a major hit and the reason why Dracula was often looked at as one sexy beast. I could have gone with the 1978 version starring Frank Langella as good ole Drac and he did set my teen heart a flutter, but it was all due to Bela. We know the Dracula story so you should give this old film a try and think back to the audiences of the day. When Bela died, he ended up dressed as Dracula, cape and all.


Regina Giddens is one mean mother-F@&>!€ who does her best to make life miserable for anyone around her. For some strange reason the nice Herbert Marshall married her providing her with a really nice life and they had a daughter who is equally nice. Now this rich bitch can’t wait for some deal to go through that she and her equally nasty but somewhat dim-witted brothers want that she will stop at nothing to gain control. She is so mean that she even will not get up to give her husband his heart medicine to stop a heart attack. Bette Davis really created a great character with this film and, even though Tallulah Bankhead originated the role on the stage, you can’t help but hate Bette in this role. A great film about the sleazy family Hubbard and the people they destroy. A film very much worth seeing.


There are actually more than one villain in this film starting with the lead, played so well by Tom Hanks, who is the enforcer for the crime boss played by Paul Newman in his final on-screen role as John Rooney. Tom Hanks plays Micheal Sullivan, happily married with 2 young boys,  who is a mob enforcer. One evening his very curious son hides in the car and witnesses his dad in action along with the sniveling son of the crime boss, play by Daniel Craig of James Bond fame.  Daniel Is Connor Rooney, the son of Paul who dreams of being great but is just an a-hole, He takes action by murdering Tom Hanks's wife and youngest son to send the message that his son must keep quiet. Well, Tom knows they must go on the run so he can keep his oldest son and himself alive.  Paul love Tom but he must be there for his son so a hitman, who is creepy as hell, is hired to get the job done. Jude Law plays Harlen Maguire who truly gets off  killing by taking pictures of them while they die. He is the worst villain in this film. Another great film from the acting, the story to the music and cinematography. Well worth seeing.

So which 3 would you choose?

Monday, November 16, 2020

Bookmarks and Bookmarks



There are about 40 people whom I now work with...we are part of Credit Canada Debt Solutions based in Toronto as my old place amalgamated with Toronto last November. I have to say it has been great and I truly feel I am listened to more and feel more worthy than from my former boss who just didn't care. There are many who work for Toronto that I have yet to meet because we are all over Ontario but  that doesn't mean I have not met them through our virtual meetings. I am actually on the Social Committee because, every agency and company have committees. The one gal, who is the head of this committee, Becky, has worked with me since 1997 (I started in 1991) and we had a budget to send a gift parcel to each person. The Dollar Store was a great place to find some fun stuff and I made book marks. 

This is part one and I won't go into all the details but I did create all the backgrounds, I used my rubberstamps, dye ink pads, embossing powders, glitter, watercolour crayons, pencils, stencils and, with the African bookmark, I drew that one. I had so much fun creating these and hope you like them.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks- Favourite Cinematography


Wandering through the Shelves has a great theme this week, chosen by Brittani, and I could have chosen so many films, epics alone from Dr. Zhivago to Lawrence of Arabia. There are greats like Billy Bitzer who invented the Iris Shot, back lighting, the fade away plus so much more. Karl Freund is another plus Sven Nykvist and the Great Gregg Toland whose work on Citizen Kane was almost revolutionary. I can’t wait to see what everyone will pick for this theme. Here are my 3..


This is a great western(which I talked about before) directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne  who finally made it to the A list stars and away from the Singing Sandy flickers. The film follows a stagecoach with a group of people who all have their issues from the devious banker to the hooker with  heart of gold. Along the way they pick up The Ringo Kid( John Wayne) and must deal with the birth of a baby and the Indians. I believe this is the first time we see Monument Valley and certainly, not the last in a John Ford western. Bert Glennon is the cinematographer and he captured the essence of the classic western showing this area to such great effect and making it famous. The fast moving stagecoach and horses during the Indian scene was riveting and you are in awe of the stunts, headed by the great Yakima Canutt. A great western and character study worth seeing.


What a great film that is not shown often but, if you get the chance, it is worth looking at. The richness of this film from the art direction to the cinematography, by George Périnal, who captured the magic of this film with some great colour which was not easy at this time. We have a young thief who becomes involved in the romantic adventure of the fair princess and the young man he befriends. We have the great genie, the flying horse and the evil Jaffar played with evil menace by Conrad Veidt. The colour, and special effects are shown to great delight capturing the magic of this film. If you get a chance, watch it.


I love this film because of the richness of colour, the setting high up in a remote nunnery(a former Palace) and the sensuousness of this film even though it involves nuns. You have a young Deborah Kerr who is sent to this remote part of the world to run this nunnery set high up in the Himalayas. They are trying to teach the young kids and teens but all around them shows the lust and vibrancy of the land. You have a young, great looking man who questions Kerr’s reason for being a nun and they butt heads but obviously are attracted to one another. You have a nun who succumbs to the passions of the land and you see a young Jean Simmons lure a young boy to enjoy the earthiness of the land. The cinematography is breathtaking and was done by Jack Cardiff  who worked on films in England that really showcased the colours and beauty like the film. The Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger films like this one and others, the most famous being The Red Shoes, are well worth seeing. 

I just realized that The Thief of Bagdad and Black Narcissus both star Sabu, an Indian actor who was in many films that showcased mystical style like Jungle Book, Cobra Woman and Arabian Nights. He died in 1963 just before turning 40 by a heart attack. A few days before his doctor said he was the healthiest man he had ever seen. 

Which 3 films would you choose?

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Bookish Movies


Let's not talk what is in the news as I write this but, let's have fun and talk movies. For you writers out there in the dark(Kinda quoting Norma Desmond), you will love this theme this week, from Wandering Through The Shelves, since it is all about bookish films. I love books, reading them, smelling them because they have this smell whether they are old or new that can't be beat. I love feeling a good ole leather bound book with the gold edges. The only thing I don't like is getting a paper cut from them but I would rather have that than only reading on a kindle. I am so retro as a dear friend calls me. I have quite a few films that I could have discussed but I chose these 3. It was almost a theme within a theme, but I had to honour a great actor that recently passed. Here are my 3...


Sean Connery starred in this under-rated, cult status gem as an unorthodox friar with his student/protege(Christian Slater), going to a conference(weird because it is the Middle Ages) at a remote monastery. When they arrive, they learn that several monks have been murdered and it is up to William of Baskerville(paying homage to Sherlock Holmes) to solve the murders as long as he can get by the church and their ways. At this time, the monks would create beautiful hand-painted pages and writing, in Latin, since this is before the printing press was invented(1440 by German, Johannes Gutenberg). This monastery has a beautiful library which seems to hold the key to learning more about the killings. Throw in the Inquisition and you know there will be burning ahead. I still want to read the book one day and I bet the book is better than the film, but this film is quite good showcasing some of the great art that came from Church but also shows some of the negative things that came from the power of the Church(Cue the Tune, "The Inquisition, Let's Begin, The Inquisition, Look Out Sin.").

2. IRIS-2001

This is not a feel good film but one about the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. It is pretty damn honest in its telling of it and anyone who has had a loved one who suffers, or suffered, from this disease or any other form of dementia can relate to the characters in this. This stars Judi Dench as the famous novelist Iris Murdoch who was born in Ireland and went to school in Cambridge and Oxford. The character of Iris is played by Judi Dench in her later years and Kate Winslet when Iris was young and very carefree. We learn how free the young Iris was loving intelligent discussions, writing and sex. She meets the shy John Bayley and they marry and stay together for over 40 years even though she still continued to have numerous affairs. When she shows the signs of Alzheimers, her wings are clipped and her husband must care for her. The acting of all parties are superb especially Judi Dench and Kate Winslet(who had a habit of taking off her clothes for movies...totally useless fact for today). 

3. THE READER-2008

This film got mixed reviews but I like it even though it is sad. It stars Kate Winslet(Won the Oscar for this) as a young woman who has an affair with a teen during one summer. Needless to say there is lots of sex (Kate disrobed..of course) but also The young woman, Hanna, loves being read to. The teen naturally obliges and he reads to her every time they are together (after being in the sheets). They part ways, the war comes and goes and he marries and divorces. Now, it is the mid 1960s, and he sees her when he is in school to become a lawyer. His professor take his class to court where these women are on trial for burning a church with 300 Jewish women inside. The women were SS Guards at a concentration camp and he notices Hanna(Kate's character) is one of them. While watching this trial he finally realizes a secret that Hanna has been keeping her whole life. Somehow he feels compelled to help her. You don't want to care for Hanna but, somehow, you do and you understand why he wants to help even though he knows what she did during the war, was inexcusable. Well acted and, I think, one to be seen even if it is not a great film. It has its flaws but I enjoyed watching it. 

Which films would you choose?


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition- Horror


The last Halloween blog post and this is, of course, on tv shows that deal with horror. I can’t stand The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Fear the fear of the Walking Dead etc.... I see that in my local mall or in the White about Horror. Anyhoo, Wandering Through The Shelves always chooses great themes and I do love all of them even when I struggle. I would love to re-watch all 3 that I have chosen and will do this one day...perhaps I will buy the DVDs which would be fun to own. Here are my 3.


Who doesn’t love Hitchcock who is the Master of Suspense but could venture into the macabre. The original shows are the best to watch. Many great stars of the time and the future appear in this anthology series. One of my favourite episodes stars the great little brat, Billy Mumy( from Lost In Space) as a kid who finds his dad’s gun and goes around the town ready to shoot  people. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.

2. ONE STEP BEYO D -1959-1961

This is a great series that is overshadowed by the equally great Twilight Zone, but this is supposedly based on true events with many episodes featuring spirits that come back to haunt someone or save their loved one. There are some great ESP episodes about premonitions where one is about drowning only to  board the Titanic. In another episode many foreshadowed Lincoln's death even Lincoln himself (who had a dream about his death and that is fact. He told many that he dreamt he saw himself in a coffin in the White House). John Newland was the host and directed all the episodes which really helped this great series. The scariest episode, for me is about a man who stays in a home that is supposed to be haunted. Let’s just say he becomes a believer afterwards.


I was 10 years old when I watched this and it scared the pants off of me. In fact, I still have not seen the one episode where there is some kind of monster in the sewers. It was too scary for me. Darren McGavin, known as the dad from A Christmas Story, plays Kolchak, a reporter who investigates the strange goings on in the city. His boss, played by the wonderful Simon Oakland , always suffers from this reporter who is funny and fearful of many things but still must find the truth. I must see these episodes again. 

So which 3 would you choose?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Holiday Horror


Ughh, this week it’s all about Holiday Horror and, frankly, I refuse to watch horror films based around Christmas of which there are a ton. Let’s see what everyone will choose this week over at Wandering Through The Shelves.  Here are my meagre 3...

1. FROGS-1972

I haven’t seen this film in decades but I remember it being quite dumb and the best acting came from the animals. This takes places during the 4th of July when an old coot, played by Ray Milland, decides to celebrate his birthday on his plantation deep in the mucky back waters of some southern inbred state(sorry to all my wonderful American blogger friends). A nature photographer, played by Sam, be still my heart, Elliot, is brought to the plantation when his boat is accidentally capsized. He meets the whole family and soon realizes the old coot hates all the varmints and uses pesticides to try and kill them off. The old coot has no idea nature has decided to fight back.  Soon his family members all die from all sorts of creepy critters. What will these people do? What will the frogs do? Stay tuned bat people...


Well, we all know Jamie Lee Curtis plays a young gal whose older sister was killed by her insane brother named Michael. Little does she know, Mikey didn’t eat his front loops that morning and escaped the nut farm with his psychiatrist, played by the great Donald Pleasance, fast on his heel. Now Mikey has  an issue with sis and wants to kill her because, maybe she ate too many cocoa puffs but, soon, people start being killed off right on ole Hallows' eve.  This was made on a show string budget but grossed a ton resulting in  15 million sequels. Ok not that many, but still...

3. HALLOWEEN 2-1981

You though Mikey died well, how could he when he must come back..and back...and back...and, well you get the idea.  So he is still wanting to kill Jamie Lee and the psychiatrist is still after him with others being killed by Mikey as he looks for his fruit loops. No, no, he is just wanting to kill and you think, being lit on fire would kill him but..well you would not have all those sequels.  Yes, this takes place right after the first film so it is still Halloween which actually goes into All Saint’s Day.

So, which 3 would you choose?

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Snow/Winter Horror


I am going to do my best to not choose the Shining this week because it is a perfect fit plus I have talked about this film before so, yes, I will not choose this great film. Winter horror films is an interesting theme this week over at Wandering Through The Shelves and it will be neat to see what everyone else will choose. So without further adieu( and no Shining), here are my 3...


I saw this film many, many years ago and was not sure what to expect since it starred cute Patty Duke and wholesome Richard Thomas. I was in shock to find out that this was not a wholesome Thanksgiving flick but a really freaky horror movie with Patty Duke as a very pregnant widow who decides to meet his mother not realizing  that it is her dead hubby’s Aunt who is harbouring her demented rapist son played by, you guessed it, Richard Thomas. There were no Waltons around and no saying Goodnight John-Boy in this film. It is really creepy and one I wouldn’t mind seeing again.

2.  RAVENOUS-1999

Ok, let’s start this off with it being disgusting since it involves cannibalism but it also is darkly funny. I love Robert Carlyle who wanders into this remote army post who talks about him being the only survivor of 5. Set during the 1840s, Guy Pierce is sent to this remote post with a group of misfit army men and is rightly suspicious of Carlyle. Before the small cavalry can say, “Indians, help us”, they begin to die in the most gruesome way. Guy Pierce soon realizes that not all seems to be right in the world but he is stuck in the snow and now he must figure out a way to survive. This is a very funny western horror film that has more depth than many other films of this year.


It is winter in Sweden when a young girl and, whom we think is her dad, come to this town during the night. She sees a young boy who is bullied in school and who sticks to himself. He also sees this square peg of a girl and they start to develop a friendship that you know, one day, will turn romantic...maybe. When she asks if he will let her into his home, you know there is something more to this gal than meets the eye. She becomes his protector from the bullies especially in a pretty grisly scene in a swimming pool. You realize he will protect her as well since she can't be in daylight. This is a moody, atmospheric film with some young romance, friendship and blood thrown in for good measure. I really like this film despite the blood. 

See, no Shining! Which films would you choose?

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Based on a True Story


Too many famous people have died this year (or so it seems) from greats like Vera Lynn, Kirk Douglas, Olivia De Havilland to Chadwick Boseman, Peter Green and now, Eddie Van Halen plus tons others. Some years are worse than others and this year is a doozy. Now on to more fun things, namely the weekly theme inspired blog event hosted by Wandering Through The Shelves. This week it is about films inspired by true are my 3.


To be honest, this isn’t a great movie and not even a good one. Hell, I wasn’t even scared watching it so that says something. This is, supposedly, based on the true story about this home where murders had taken place there and, a few years later, a family move in only to deal with some nasty ghosties. This film stars James Brolin as the head of the household who doesn’t know what to think when all these strange things start happening. Now, if I went to a home where I heard “Get Out”, blood driping from walls etc..., watch that door hit me in the ass as I run away. I can’t recall if blood dripping happened in this movie and I don’t care.


This film stars George C. Scott as a writer who rents a home so he can start writing his next book. He has no idea that this house is one mean and ugly home that wants to do some damage. He starts to investigate about the history of the home and we know a sickly kid died there which is why that old wheelchair is ominous. This was a Canadian film that is still considered one of the more famous  films we have done and I remember being quite scared but I would like to see it again. I have heard many say it is not that great but I want to make my own decision. I was impressed many, many years ago...which doesn’t mean much. By the way, it is based on the writer, Russell Hunter, who rented out the Henry Treat Rogers mansion back in the 1960s and he stated these experiences happened to him.

3. THE ENTITY-1983

This film freaked me out and is quite a chilling movie with a great performance by Barbara Hershey as the young mother who is abused and routinely raped by an unseen enemy. The doctors and other scientists believe she is having some incestual affair with her son and basically lost a few nuts and bolts, but when her boyfriend witnesses an attack and leaves( because he has no balls), the scientists decide to try and catch this entity on camera. They don’t expect to see anything but ..they are wrong. This is based on the Doris Bither case from 1974 who was not a reliable gal but it still created enough of a stir for this film to be made and it is one unsettling film.

Which film would you choose?

Monday, October 5, 2020

A Couple of Cards

 Color Throwdown-Red, Orange & Purple-CTD613

We Love Chocolate Baroque-Anything Goes

I love alcohol inks for their vibrant colours and everything you can do with them. I took a glossy white cardstock, put some alcohol solution directly on the card and then dropped some alcohol inks in the 3 colours. Afterwards, I wanted a more "blotchy" look so I put the same colours on the spongy tool so I could dab those colours directly onto the card. Once that dried (which went quickly), I stamped the leaf design directly on top. I stamped the flower in purple and heat embossed it in white, which I did not want to do, but it seemed to come out in a pale lilac so it still worked. I took my tombow markers, in various shades of purple, and scribbled them on the flower. Next, I took my waterbrush and painted the flower by brushing the colors around. I did the same with the leaves. I took my Happy Birthday die cut, rolled it through my sizzex to cut out the saying on purple shiny paper. I used pop up dots for the flower and glued the saying in place. I coloured the corner stickers in purple and placed them in each corner. Finally I took a couple of tiny flower crystals and used one for the dot above the I in "Birthday" and another in the one flower centre. 

Simon Says-Anything Goes 

Cute Card Thursday-Anything Goes

Retro Rubber Challenge-Anything Goes-rrcb144

Tuesday Throwdown-Make It Sparkle

We all need an angel on our shoulder I think and I love angels so this was a fun and quick card to make. I stamped the angel in Gold, took embossing powder in Egyptian Gold, Lavender and Silver and sprinkled the powders where I wanted them to go. I added the mixture to the stamped saying and the snowflakes. I added the gold border stickers and coloured inside with a silver pen. I added small silver dots everywhere for snow flakes and, finally, mounted this on the gold glitter cardstock. 

May you all have a beautiful week regardless what we see on TV or social media...ignore it and enjoy your day.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Horror Movie Houses

October is a fun month because we get to see the leaves change to some brilliant colours, smell the grapes and, of course, Halloween. This is  a boostacular month for scary, creepy films and even comedies. It will be fun to see what everyone else has chosen, so go to Wandering Through The Shelves and find out what other Houses are on the list this week. Here are my 3...


This film freaked me out big time especially this scene. This whole film is creepy with Deborah Kerr giving a great performance as the governess of these very strange children. She is hired by their Uncle to care for the children at this house that seems to be menacing. You realize the children were enthralled by the previous Governess and the Groundskeeper who had the hots for one another. The house does not want to let anyone go and the ghostly beings do not want the children to leave. The kids act very convincingly making this film even more freaky. The governess knows she must save the children before the home claims them. I read the book which scared me but this film truly freaked me out especially when the spider comes out of the mouth of a statue in the garden....shudder!


This is one of the best haunted house stories ever and we never see any actual ghosts but we know the house is haunted and a group of people decide to stay there to conduct experiments. You have the good doctor who is trying his best to base this on science. The owner of the home who wants to sell it and make money and does not believe in this at all. You have the clairvoyant lesbo, played wonderfully by Claire Bloom and the young, sad Julie Harris who also has gifts but does not want to admit to them. She decided to come to get away from her controlling sister and her family. They all experience strange things but they know the house wants young Julie. This is very creepy but intelligent something the remake does not have. Please pass on the remake because it is so bad where the original is brilliant.


Yeah,  I have not seen this film in decades because it really freaked me out. The chauffeur was so creepy I had nightmares about him. This family decides to escape to a quieter life so dad can write his book. When they come to this home that needs some TLC, the mom, played by the brilliant Karen Black(who starred in many horror flicks around this time), loves the home and can't wait to to give this home some love. The brother and sister are very happy to let this family rent the house for 9 months provided they feed their mom who is kept up on the 3rd floor and never wants to be seen. OK, that would be my first clue to run away, but these people decide to stay along with  Oliver Reed's old Aunt played to the hilt by Betty Davis. We soon see that as the family feel more and more uneasy(except for mom), the home starts to repair itself. Even when dad finally decides to leave, the home does not want this to happen. I love the behind the scenes of this film because Oliver Reed was a huge drinker and that's putting it mildly. His antics really got the better of Betty Davis who found him very unprofessional which was probably true. 

I believe I have chosen these before but I had to go with them again because they are that great and I hope you see them one day. So which 3 would you choose?

On a sad note, in case any of you did not know, Jo from Jo on Food, Life and a Scent of Chocolate has suffered a stroke. Her husband is in a long term care facility and is being taken care of. I sent flowers to her  and mentioned we miss her but know we will see her again sooner than later. When I called about the flowers, the nurse said "it is a work in progress". Let's all say a little prayer or salutation to her. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Journalism


The last week in September....WTF??? Before you know it, Christmas will be here where we can only Zoom with our family. I am giving a shout out to one strong, beautiful lady, namely Ruth Beta Ginsburg who fought an uphill battle when there were nothing but men, fighting for women's rights and our rights to be heard. I hope, someone, similar to her way of thinking, will take her position she had to relinquish. OK, now onto the wonderful world of Journalism and let's see what the others will chose so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone has chosen. Here are my 3...


I Loved watching this TV show when I was a kid, in reruns, as I am not that old yet:) You have mild-mannered Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet with Lois Lane, a star reporter, whom he has the hots for, and Jimmy Olsen as the kid photographer, whom he does not have the hots for. This newspaper is run by the curmudgeon Perry White who sends these 3 out to find  the scoop especially anything about Superman. Of course, they never guess that those stupid glasses Clark wears, hides Clark's true identity...Superman! Of course, Lois and Jimmy get into hot water and Superman must save the day whether from the Mole Men or some really bad guys. It's fun, corny and I love every minute of it. Lois Lane is an early female character where she is an independent woman with a "man's" job. This, during the time when women were to be a perfect homemaker greeting her husband in a nice dress with high heels, pearls grateful that he brings home the bacon(blecvhh). One has no idea how huge this show was back in the day to the point that George Reeves hated his alter ego. What a shame that George Reeves was murdered...yes, not a suicide. 


This show does not age and is just so funny from the get go. You have a young woman who decides not to marry but strike out on her own, move away from her family and friends and take a job in a newsroom as an associate producer surrounded by men. Her boss, Lou Grant, is an old school newsman who tries to run a tight ship with head writer Murray and the ultimate goofball egomaniac in Ted Baxter who gives new meaning to the word stupid. The show is rounded out by her soon to be best friend, Rhoda(friends in real life too), her landlady, Phyllis and, later on, Sue Ann Nivens, the horny, happy homemaker who has the hots for Lou as well as sweet Georgette who dates and, later, marries Ted. You see them at work, at Mary's parties that always go wrong and the News Awards. Some famous episodes are considered the best ever like "Chuckles The Clown Bites The Dust". My sides hurt from laughing so much when I watched this episode.

3. MURPHY BROWN-1988-1998

Candace Bergen played this character to perfection as a recovering alcoholic who is an acerbic, intelligent, powerhouse who, like a Barbara Walters type, is an excellent investigative reporter. She is the head of a major news show with her best friend, Frank Fontana, a highly respected wooden Jim Dial, The young yuppie trying to run this crew, Miles Silverberg and the quirky, annoyingly happy former beauty queen, Corky Sherwood. Each week we see poor Murphy having to deal with another dreadful secretary along with these people who surround her. They often meet up at a bar run by the gruff, Phil before Murphy comes home to Eldin, the painter who never leaves but offers many philosophical thoughts. This show brought up many controversial topics of the day from breast cancer to becoming a single mom. The latter created a huge political issue when dumbnut Vice President Dan Quayle derided Murphy Brown for taking away family values because she chose to raise her child without marrying the father of her baby. Later, Quayle visited a school and corrected the kid for spelling Potato by informing the kid that it was spelled potatoe. Yup....even if this was on a cue card, you would think Quayle would not have gone through with what was spelled on the cue card. The show created an episode called, "You say Potato, I say Potatoe". It is brilliant.

Which 3 would you choose?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-The Band


I am starting this right off without much talk because it’s late and I need to write this up. Wandering through the Shelves has created the themes for each week and this one is all about the band. This is another fun one so here are my 3...


This is a very fun  movie starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland who were quite the dynamos and were life long friends. They star as boyfriend and girlfriend team who love singing and putting on a show. She believes in her drumming ADD boyfriend who dreams of conducting his own dance band and meets his idol Paul Whitman . They need to make enough money to get to Chicago to win the contest but they just don’t have the money so they need to raise it somehow. 


Anyone who knows me knows I love, love, love ABBA. I have all their albums and know almost all their songs. Funny moment..I pleaded with my mom to see ABBA in Toronto for their Voulez-Vous tour since my brother had already seen The Who, The Rolling Stones etc.... My mom refused and I asked why, "There will be drugs there." I looked at her blankly and said, "Mom, it's ABBA." I didn't go. I had no clue there was a movie about them until a few years ago and I watched it  enjoying every moment. It’s pretty simple, a journalist is trying to get an interview with them while they travel around doing their gigs. It’s fun, engaging and you get to see all their terrible outfits...Voulez Vous outfits and all!


I saw this and thought it was so much fun to see. It really engages you and it made me realize, for the first time, how crazy it was for the Beatles. These teen girls and a couple of guys all want to get to see the Beatles in concert. They go through some antics with one ending up in their hotel room. It is very funny with all the gals taking centre stage. I recommend this movie highly.

So, which 3 would you choose?