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.