Reviews

56 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
House of Cards (2013– )
10/10
I had to get past my dislike of Kevin Spacey
26 November 2017
... but once I did, I found an engrossing well-acted and well-written drama.

Ironically, what the viewer savors about the character that Spacey plays is just what I don't like about him. The smirking hint of evil that seems to lurk behind his smooth charm.

This seems to be the point. Nice people, successful people, people who are good husbands and good students - can have an evil streak.

I did see 'House of Cards' when it was a BBC production. This adaptation does it justice.
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10/10
Excellent action flick
19 November 2017
It helps that this movie, packed with violence, has dreamy dripping-with-sincerity Ryan Reynolds as a central character. The big surprise is how the 'unkillable' Samuel Jackson character comes across as lovable, loving, and even heroic.

The two have great chemistry in a bickering "I'm starting to like you" way as they discuss their views on their women while shooting up everything that moves (except the innocent, of course).

The plot moves along at a fast clip. There is nothing BUT action on the screen, it seems - no downtime until the very end of the movie when Samuel Jackson and Salma Hayek share a moment amid a bar brawl. And make it romantic.

If you are a fan of this guns-gore-and-guts genre, you will enjoy watching this. It is satisfying when you come home at the end of the day, frustrated and wanting to kick your boss or throw nun-chucks at the telephone filled with 20 waiting messages from telemarketers and the dog has just thrown up on the Persian rug. Make a bowl of popcorn, curl up on the sofa, and enjoy!
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10/10
Five Stars just for the selection of music
7 November 2017
Do you love musical theater? I don't.

But I did enjoy my radio and my phonograph when a lot of the songs from this movie were popular. I had a phonograph! And 45s! Those were the days; if you can say that and mean it, this movie is for you.

The plot? Flimsy. The acting? Good enough for that plot. Maybe too good for that plot.

The costumes: probably carefully researched and so that's a nostalgic trip. But everything you see is way way WAY too clean. Like a production on a stage, there is no litter on these streets.

I enjoyed humming along and being reminded of so many wonderful songs from the era depicted in this film. So it's worth all the stars. But for a truly rousing musical on film that gets me moving in my seat and on my feet, I go to 'The Commitments.'
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This Is Us (2016– )
10/10
Addictive
22 October 2017
I put off watching this series because I thought it might be an updated version of '30 something.' And it is! Not the 'Big Chill' flavored drama. But close.

Nothing wrong with that, however.

I notice Ken Olin is an executive producer. He must see the similarities, too.

This is one series that has characters that are so good, it's difficult to pick a favorite. This is one series that features an obese person. This is one series that shows Mandy Moore's acting chops. This is one series that has you asking, 'Milo who?' and then finding out all about him because he is so good.

This is one helluva series.
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Pan Am (2011–2012)
10/10
The Timelines and the Nostalgia
14 October 2017
I was finally ready to watch this series on amazon instant video. I'm in the mood for nostalgia! I am in the mood to see women who wear girdles and gloves and put rollers in their hair at night so that they will look 'finished' under their perky little caps. Above all, I want to see people smoking.

The series did not disappoint. It had all of that and some good music from the 60s. As some have pointed out, there are mistakes in the details shown of the period but the it does seem to capture the mood of that era pretty well - with a heavy layer of political correctness when the writers of course have to have modern themes: the lesbian kiss, the interracial couple, etc. And communism - of course.

Taking a trip by airplane in those days? Much different experience. I love seeing this. I wonder where it went and why it had to go, all this hospitality. I think I know: it's cheaper to treat the travelers like they are on a Greyhound bus and fit as many seats into the plane as is possible. But, ah, those were the days!
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Commander in Chief (2005–2006)
10/10
I'd vote for Geena!
1 October 2017
I admire the character that Geena Davis plays in this series so much! She is the perfectly calm and knowledgeable leader you want at the helm of the U.S. government.

What is missing from this depiction of this first-ever woman President is the constant 'running for the next election,' the photo ops, the PR being fed to the public, the meetings with money, the special interest groups, etc.

What is front and center is the way the President responds to crisis because of the person she is. Which is, of course, noble and heroic. She is surrounded by people whom she must trust but probably realizes some are not trustworthy. Yet, she remains tactful. She remains polite and respectful.

Maybe there will be a person who is female and impresses as much in future U.S. elections for President. We'll see!

In the meantime, this is an entertaining and engrossing series to watch. I only wish there was a second season!
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10/10
A thought provoking film (spoilers)
28 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The film deserves all ten stars. It has everything. Great acting, good plot, but the themes - oh, my, the themes!

There is friendship and the influences that tug and tear at it. Would the two men who are slacker/criminals stay together and remain the 'bros' they seem to be for life?

There is family and what makes a family. What used to be revered - the role of father - is denied by one man and assumed by two others. No one seems qualified to assume the role, not even the state providing services. But then, that is what every man who becomes a father needs to ask himself: am I good enough for this job?

There is the role of the mother. Being a biological mother with a strong love for her child, a woman fails and fails again. Ultimately, she can't cope with the repeating failure and she removes herself from the family - permanently. How a woman can feel the total responsibility on her weak shoulders is portrayed so accurately in this film, it brings tears. At one point, she asks an interviewer, 'Can you help me?' The shock is: he can't. Or he won't.

There is the role of teacher. Someone who has to go by the rules, even when he may suspect that the rules are going to not play out to the benefit of a child.

Then there is, for me the most important, what makes a stable relationship without sex? My impression was that these two men are not homosexuals and don't become homosexuals. Yet, their bond is strong enough to keep them in the project of a lifetime - raising a child to adulthood. At the very least, you hope that when a man and woman marry, they can get that far - to raise a child to be a young successful independent adult. But often don't! Even same-sex marriage suffer from the same maladies. Two friends? What are the odds that they could?

There is the resilience of the young boy. Does every young person come so well equipped? Why did he turn out to have a future NOT behind bars but with a chance at a real education? Why is the fear that the child with a background stained by tragedy is somehow less equipped to deal with bad influences, whether while growing up or when operating as an adult?

There is so much to think about having seen this movie - that it is almost TOO thought-provoking. It's a feel-good movie AND a downer movie. People are poor. Women suffer in relationships that strain their abilities to cope, and when they and children are abandoned. All too acceptable and 'normal' in today's world. There are no easy answers, not from watching this story unfold.

Yet, it is worth every second of watching!
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The Night Manager (2016–2018)
10/10
A treat not to be missed
27 September 2017
Espionage? Ugh.

Who are some of the actors in this strangely titled television series? Some of the most respected: Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie.

The script is very well-written, but I say that not having read the book from which the series was adapted, with the same title and written by John Le Carre.

I took advantage of free viewing with Amazon Prime. I'm very glad I did because I dislike espionage films or TV and would have passed this one up. There are terrific espionage films and TV and I always end up enjoying them - anything by Tom Clancy, for example. 'The Night Manager' was not an exception.

The plot is so nicely laid out, the environment of a hotel seems to be custom-made for drama ('Hotel Babylon' is light entertainment but proves my point. Nothing but story lines in a hotel!

The stakes are high - bringing down a well-respected man who is, unknown to the greater world, a criminal.

The wonderful thing to me about this production is the opportunity to hear the voices of Laurie and Hiddleston. They speak and you listen. Their voices are like musical instruments.
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The Industry (1998–2002)
10/10
Where has this series been all my life?
15 September 2017
Ho hum. Canadian television - who wants to watch that wholesome politely amusing stuff that Canadians find knee-slapping hilarious?

Surprised to see just five minutes of this series that was offered for viewing free on amazon prime video (streaming) and unable to stop watching because it is so very funny. Witty, clever, cynical, sarcastic, and above all - the industry laughing at its own phony clichéd business practices!

This series could be matched against any number of more polished American comedy series - "Schitt's Creek," for example (starring a Canadian actor, Eugene Levy). Or "Episodes," starring Matt LeBlanc. I don't think I even enjoyed "The Office" as much as this.

The first episode feels uncomfortably lower-budget (but very well- acted) and it is by the second episode that the viewer realizes how hilarious this is and accepts what is just a Canadian style of set design.

I am SO glad I found this. It's utterly delightful. These Canadians are a hoot!
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10/10
It's a puzzle (Caution: Spoiler alert!)
4 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed watching this film because the styles and look of the city made me feel nostalgic for that time.

It's a puzzle how the plot of the movie could tie together romance with the character that Alan King plays. Romantic? Not. Even dashing or handsome? Not. Rich. Yes. But once you realize the person you're dealing with, there's just not enough money... OK, you'll find a goofy 21-year-old who will think there is enough money to make this guy attractive. But then: you don't need that much money to impress that young girl.

Which is what Alan King's character ends ups with, and you are happy for him. It's quite fitting for someone that shallow to share feelings with someone just out of her teenage years. Then the movie winds to its close and you're shocked.

Shocked! There's no accounting for taste.

I much enjoyed a part of the movie that takes place in Bergdorf's - a scene in which Ali McGraw's character tried to beat the crap of the old lecher. It was too too short. But very satisfying.
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The Doris Day Show (1968–1973)
10/10
The series has aged well (Season 1)
30 August 2017
I don't think this generation realizes how successful an actress and singer Doris Day was in the 50s and 60s (for starters). She starred in movies with some of the greatest leading men of the day. She was a talented jazz singer. She was a fashion icon. She seemed to have no 'dark side' or addictions. And then she had this television series.

From what I've read in scattered reviews of books about her, she didn't want to be a television actress. However, the ineptitude of her husband's managing her career put her so deep in debt that she had to perform in a television series because he had signed a contract obligating her to do so. Such is the danger of power of attorney!

Scriptwriters veered toward the sickeningly sweet dialogue and plots sometimes. When I watched the old 'Doris Day Show,' season 1, there was not much of that defect in the stories. Later, I think the writers fell into bad habits, but early on, Doris just seems to play Doris. That person is just a really nice person, one you love and want to know.

I enjoy seeing these old episodes of Season 1. Doris loves her animals and she loves her family! You would think these themes would be enough. Less talented writers forgot these important things but for a while, the series had the actress coming through as a very natural self, with high aspirations for her parenting role and a commitment to live on the ranch with her family. Nostalgic? Yes. But it's that lovely nostalgia that doesn't prompt you to laugh but instead miss all those 'family values' that used to rule television.
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10/10
Chilling look at evil and mental illness (Spoilers)
19 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie about someone named David Mark (Robert Durst in the real world) is frightening when you consider how much the protagonist allegedly got away with.

In the beginning of the story, David's father says, 'You know - she'll never be one of us' to David, to which David replies, 'Yes, isn't that great?' (or something like that).

It doesn't take long before you realized how unpleasant and morally corrupt the Marks family is and you are telling yourself the same thing about this young woman named Katie in the movie. You think, 'God, I HOPE she's never that.'

For half of the film, it's an interesting yarn. Then it turns to the kind of thriller horror movie that makes you want to protect your own children from these people. At some point, you also realize this is not a courtroom drama where justice will be done - the narration comes from the courtroom but you realize that it is an interrogation that is more like a checklist than a fact-finding exercise.

I am sorry that the person Katie ever got mixed up with this family. I am sorry that the David Marks character happened to be born to this family - in another lifetime, he would be a happy child growing up surrounded by love in a stable environment.

Every bad story you have ever heard about landlords seems to be displayed in this film that is really about the corrupt Marks family business. They are hell-bent on squeezing every penny out of the tenants, cutting corners if given any chance to do that, and building the proceeds of their rentals into private wealth. Meanwhile, the tenants survive in squalor.

That's probably as realistic a description of the Marks business as you can get. Yet I can't help but think that as the wealthy get wealthier and the poor get poorer, as it happens in the U.S., the poor who pay rent to these people are one step above homelessness - for which they are not only grateful but have given the landlords a chance to paint themselves as heroes in the community.

Such it may always be. Such it may have always been! Which is why a certain type of person is drawn to this kind of enterprise.
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10/10
So nice!
19 August 2017
I found this film while looking for films that feature Paula Patton (I've loved her ever since the Mission Impossible movie she was in).

This movie kind of flips the standard romance plot. I won't even say how. Much of it is kind of shorthand and cliché, in the way people make career decisions, for example, and the issues that arise. But even that is not such a problem - it all fits very neatly into the structure of the plot.

The Los Angeles locations are simply beautiful. I'm sure that there are better, higher-budget movies that include L.A. locations but the city just couldn't look better than it does here - for less money!

This is a very sweet movie that delivers much to think about. It's not deep thought, but it's enjoyable thoughts that will occur to you when the film has ended.
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Murder in the First (2014–2016)
10/10
Storytelling that works
18 August 2017
I stumbled across this show on Hulu. The pilot: kind of interesting. But then everything that followed just got better and better.

It's true that there are some things that are obviously scriptwriter's easy solutions but unrealistic. These are very very few. For the most part, the strength of the series is in the storytelling that pulls in many subplots that involve the viewer emotionally - do you believe in the death penalty? What is good parenting? Should people have romantic relationships in the workplace?

Everyone seems to have an opinion about these issues- few people don't care one way or the other. Whatever you believe, you will feel challenged or vindicated as you see the subplots develop.

Taye Diggs is good in this role. Smooth, so smooth. He's like a velvety mug of chocolate. He plays Terry. His partner on the job, Hildy, is a little like a cup of Tea - warm but slightly astringent. She can be sweet, like that tea. She can be sharp, as when you add a lemon slice to that warm brew.

Together, they make a good team. They are rarely anything but professional as they interact with each other. I am only now watching the last season, so I'm going to make myself a hot beverage and settle in to binge watch!
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Superstore (2015– )
10/10
Tries hard, very hard. And it's funny!! (Spoiler)
13 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is a funny series. If you like America Ferrera, as I do, you will really like the show. All the other characters are portrayed well by talented actors and the script is not up to 'The Office' standards but the humor can make you laugh out loud.

What is very noticeable: the Latina (2!), the black man, the disabled man (combined into one character), the Filipino man, the gay man (combined into one character), the Christian guy, the Jewish guy, the teenager, the pregnant woman (combined into one character) - how friggin' politically correct can the showrunner get who came up with this?

This is a very small group of co-workers in a big store. Everywhere you look: the shoppers are white people (sprinkled with one or two Asians and a few black people).

I binge-watched the first season so maybe some of this will change in season 2. It does not matter much but it is SO noticeable how carefully this population has been constructed.

One of my favorite shopping trips (weekly) is the stop at Walmart. It's a great store. It's a good business. I know that the prices are good not only because I can compare them and see that this is so, but at least half the shoppers are Hispanic from a neighboring town. Best advertisement ever for bargain shoppers!

If I had to imagine the type of store used as a model for Cloud 9, I guess it could be Target. Livin' large!
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Delivery Man (2013)
10/10
Feel Good is not always the best. (contains spoilers).
11 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I heard about this movie because it has Chris Pratt when he was a bit pudgier. I wanted to see for myself!

While watching the movie, it occurred to me that the main character was thrust into a situation in which he experiences a lot of the bad parts of parenting that you can have when your child reaches adulthood. With none of the fun of seeing them develop and raising them through tougher but more manageable stages when they are growing.

It also occurred to me that the main character is extremely lucky because no matter what he comes across as he meets the young adult offspring, he can't possibly be eaten up by guilt and worry because it's just plain impossible when you talk about the number of children he gave his seed to create!

At one point, he is dealing with a disabled son and you know: he can only visit him, he can't financially provide for him, he can't advocate for him. His time is limited in parenting so many offspring.

Add to this the total absence (I mean zero presence) of any mother to any of multitude. It beggars belief.

I enjoyed the movie, however. I thought as I watched it that there's a real future in many men spreading many seeds far and wide, creating tribes. They wouldn't have to share any beliefs. They wouldn't have to have modifications to their bodies (like circumcision or tattoos) but they would just call themselves the 'Tribe of Orange' or 'Tribe of Zemo' or 'Tribe of Triple W' and meet for festivals, set up message boards, wear tee-shirts broadcasting their membership. It's the future! These tribes wouldn't share beliefs but they would be a reason to congregate, just for fun!

And also (not mentioned in the movie) a way to identify each other so they wouldn't end up marrying each other.

I ended up buying the director's original telling of this story in the film, 'Starbuck.' When I saw the trailer, I recognized at least half of the scenes as being frame-for-frame the same as the American adaptation. I wonder what it will be like to view this with a French setting, French language, French actors - the originals!

There have been excellent French films horribly adapted to the American screen. I hope that is not the case with this movie. It's such a great story, though, that I sent the French 'Starbuck' to a friend who speaks French. She will enjoy it, never having seen the story in any language.
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Picket Fences (1992–1996)
10/10
The Bad and the Good
7 August 2017
Everything that has been written in reviews here about 'Picket Fences' is likely true: the bad and the good.

It's like looking at a quilt - you will be struck by the brilliance of the colors and if that is not there, you may be impressed by the orderly patterns. There is so much skill on display that once you feel the effort behind the product, you WILL sit up and pay attention.

I'm watching the first season after not having seen 'Picket Fences' in years. A hand pickled in a jar? An elephant performing tricks for youngsters on the front lawn? Sprinkle among all the clever plots and characters so many small touches that spike your appetite to see more - and there's the reason the series succeeded.

I almost forgot how very sexy the sheriff is. Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker might pass you unnoticed on the street but in front of the camera, they just blend together with an aura of sexual attraction. Lauren Holly and Costas Mandylor, on the other hand, are strikingly attractive and yet their chemistry is a question mark. Will they or won't they? It will take more episodes to see that!

The plots are clever. The town is a fantasy, a Wisconsin mirage chock-full of unconventional types who look for all the world like the most conventional.

There is a mother who keeps her young child chastised and quiet by placing a small shoe in her mouth. Not likely to see such things in a television series today - what an imaginative and entertaining show, out of all we know today with political correctness, and yet stuffed with progressive lessons and values...
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10/10
Shakespeare would be amused and proud
26 July 2017
I did not expect much and yet - there's a lot here.

I imagined that it would be as cheesy an adaptation of a Shakespeare play as 'West Side Story' was (of 'Romeo and Juliet'). It's much closer to the play and story, while mixing Spanish and English. Shakespearean dialogue!

The production values are suitable for this kind of mixture of cultures and language. Almost a telenovela but not trying to be. Not too wordy but using Shakespeare's dialogue which sometimes sounds odd and sometimes natural.

If Shakespeare came to life in this year of our Lord, watching the drama delivered via technology with some language that he can recognize and some that he never would know, he'd realize how incredibly far-reaching his play writing has come, across the world, through time and space.

He would be proud!
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Give me four million bucks...
25 July 2017
Give me four million bucks to either pay Stephen Spielberg to direct or Shane Black to write a screenplay and there would be no contest. I'd send Spielberg to the corner store to buy some Twizzlers and I'd pay Black to produce dialogue - four million bucks and worth every penny.

It took a long time for me to get around to viewing 'The Last Boy Scout.' In the meantime, there was 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' and 'The Nice Guys.' Here I am again, watching cool cool guys spout cool cool dialogue - and I find out it's a Shane Black script. Why did it take me this long to see this movie?

'Water's wet, the sky is blue, and I'm still in love with my wife.' That's just one line that comes to mind. I barely remember the actress who played the wife in this film - but even I could see that Willis' character would have put a bullet in that closet door!

'Alex the pediatrician.' What does that mean? We find out later, and then Joe's (Willis') reaction to the explanation is perfect. Thousands of theater-goers thought, 'Hmmm. I would have said the same thing.'

Long may Shane Black write scripts that make us smile, keep the adrenaline level high of the characters AND the audience, and spin improbable stories that usually have cars flying through the air.
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Jane the Virgin (2014– )
10/10
Telenovela Par Excellence
19 July 2017
This is not my first telenovela. 'Betty La Fea' took me by surprise, making me want to never miss an episode, transcribe the dialogue with my basic Spanish skills (difficult task!) and record as many episodes as possible on videotape (that's how old THAT telenovela is!)

No other clumsy attempt to replicate the 'Betty' plots in other languages can match the original. It's just fantastic.

Now, I'm as addicted to 'Jane the Virgin' (see how the title follows the template of 'Betty the Ugly One'?)

This story is not meant to make serious sense. The characters are meant to carry the viewer along a journey of intrigue and sweet, sweet romance - which they do. This is the charm and strength of the telenovela.

'Jane' does this so well that I shed a few tears along the way. So many simple truths coming from the lips of the narrator, from Jane, from Michael, from everyone!

I heard that the series was entertaining but then, a synopsis of the promise made me thing: uh, not for me. Wrong. It defies description. Only can be appreciated by watching - with a scorecard - and a flowchart - and an open heart!
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The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: The Audition (2008)
Season 3, Episode 12
A stirring documentary that deserves a better title
1 July 2017
If you would like to bury your film (documentary or otherwise) in the heap of film that pours out into world inhabited by viewers, you can do this: name your film 'The Audition.'

People love actors, they love acting, they love film, they love music, they love the 'audition' of meeting other people, they love empathizing with someone who interviews for a job - they love auditions.

Name your film 'The Audition' and no one will EVER find it.

It is too bad that the decision was made to make this film one of many with that name because it will float to the top only for those who are fishing for this particular audition film.

I nearly gave up looking. I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed the film, and quite accidentally discovered it while looking for something else on amazon. I'm glad I watched it but I think it takes a tremendous effort to distinguish this from among the many many MANY with the same name.
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10/10
It's a puzzlement
22 June 2017
Giving this movie a low rating is, as the King would say in 'The King and I,' a 'puzzlement.'

James L. Brooks always delivers. Maybe you won't want to hear the messages, maybe you're not in the mood, but you will accept delivery.

Every few years, I watch this film and forget the details of the plot. That means there will be fresh tears. Tears of happiness but here comes the waterworks! Paul Rudd is, as usual, the perfect 'chick flick' hero. A little TOO perfect for some. Yet he has the comedic chops to lift a scene that threatens to bog down in sentimentality.

Reese Witherspoon does something that must be very challenging: she acts the role of the athlete working on developing her thick skin while also being soft and appealingly feminine. What complicates her character is her tendency to talk through all her feelings while evaluating all her feelings. Too much? Even her character has to stand back now and then and say, 'Enough already...'

I don't understand how this wonderful script with these wonderful actors failed to add up to a huge box office hit.

I've finally come up with this: it's too many smart (even brilliant) ideas in a movie that dating couples are going to wish was just a bit of fluff between dinner and bar-hopping. There's so much to think about from the conflicts presented that it just might happen that the evening ends up being a thoughtful debate about futures and hopes and vulnerabilities. Who wants that on a date? Uh, NO ONE!

And there you have it.

(If you are not on a date, see the movie. Have some Kleenex handy for a scene or two. Get ready to laugh because there are very funny scenes, too.)
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Chef School (2007– )
10/10
Drama in the kitchen!
19 June 2017
If you are not familiar with the Stratford Chef School in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, then this series will be doubly interesting for you.

In some ways, it resembles 'Top Chef,' a cooking competition which eliminates chefs as the series progresses toward the final episode and the grand prize. There are a few important differences, however:

  • some of the students have very little (even no) cooking experience in a professional kitchen


  • there are no cash prizes. In fact, the students pay tuition for a two-year course in this prestigious school.


  • the students are less preoccupied with the task of explaining themselves to the camera. You learn about them by watching them in action in the program. Their gossip about each other, the school, and the instructors is more informative than anything they could present to the camera.


  • some live together in a house, some are local and live at home.


  • the problems they bring with them to the school are surprisingly well-tolerated by the instructors, who give them second chances, interview them about problems they may be having at work and at home, and still manage to grade them fairly on what they have been learning and doing in the school


  • the viewers see astounding progress. The final episode was a real surprise to me. Some of the personal dynamics of the students surprised (even shocked) me. The instructors seem fairly stodgy compared to these 'kids,' with one exception. You'll have to watch the series to find out which one!


I recommend this series to anyone interested in cooking. You won't learn much about techniques or even recipes. The criticism of student performance is more what I think is standard for culinary school - with a 'finishing school' twist to it.
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Life Below Zero (2013– )
10/10
Best Antidote to the Heat
15 June 2017
In the midst of a snowy winter, I like to kick back and watch 'Miami Vice' (the movie).

In the midst of a hot summer: I discovered "Life Below Zero.' It's just so cold in Alaska! These people work so hard in Alaska! Makes me want to lie down with a big fat pillow while I watch this series.

The stories from these people's lives have little plot. Really, if you love dogs, you don't have to watch much other than the segments about the dogs to love these stories.

So much time is spent gutting dead animals and fish. Eventually, the viewer must realize that the camera records this so much because there is a point to be made: these people living out in the Alaskan wilds are spending a lot of time of energy on gutting dead animals and fish. Imagine how satisfying that must be. Or boring. That is where the fans of the show are separated from those who turn away.

These people cook a lot. They kill a lot - they cook a lot. It does not take long to be engaged in thought about where YOUR meat comes from and who killed it. Then, how a food company processed it for your use. Simply putting some brains in some fat looks natural and healthy after you've seen the brains pulled out of an animal's skull.

You will see plenty of things pulled out of plenty of places. Reminiscent of some medical dramas!

The cinematography award won by this series at the Primetime Emmys was well-deserved. You will be under the ice - and never get wet. You will be faced with the rising river chock-full of ice floes. And never get wet.

This is an addictive series. Plan to watch many many hours.
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10/10
Worthy of theater, the drama and the acting.
3 June 2017
There is only one problem that I can see with this film. It's really a play, not a movie. The scenery does not change often, there are few characters, and, like theater, it requires the audience to listen and think and stay with it to the end in order to appreciate the experience.

That said, look at the actors: Cheyenne Jackson (who plays a gay man from the New York stage world better than a gay man from the New York stage world?) and Gena Rowlands (if you have seen her act, you want to see more and more of her performances.)

'Is that Rita Moreno?' I asked myself at one point. Yep. At home on the stage as well as in the movies, she adds to the general mood of this multi-act play. Theatrical - and entertaining.

Cheyenne and Gena can be proud of their work in this movie. Yes, it's a little bit too progressive-liberal-politically-hip with some messages, which can make the viewer feel manipulated at times. This has nothing to do with stereotypes. It has to do with feeling in the line of fire of those messages being volleyed at that audience.

What is touching, and ultimately so lovely about the plot, the play, and the people is that the drama turns out to bring family feelings to the front and center. I found myself not disliking the Reverend (that shadowy figure who, if anything, is treated like a stereotype). I found myself not disliking any of the characters even though there is tragedy circling the story. It felt uplifting at the end to see the sunset and know that people dance sometimes not for the sexual feelings of body contact, but for sheer love of closeness that we all need.

I'd recommend this movie for anyone who wants to see a play. Theater lives! Acting!
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