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?