Thursday, November 30, 2023

Devil (2010)

Devil is a 2010 supernatural horror film about five strangers who become trapped in an elevator. A story of guilt, repentance, and forgiveness, this is much more than just a horror movie. I can't find it streaming free anymore. You can buy it for less than $5.00 at Amazon, which if you have a prime membership providing free shipping ain't bad. Not bad at all.



Wednesday, November 29, 2023

My Sweet Lord

My Sweet Lord:

was George Harrison's first release as a solo artist. It topped charts worldwide and was the biggest-selling single of 1971 in the UK. In America and Britain, the song was the first number-one single by an ex-Beatle. It remains the most popular composition from his post-Beatles career. Harrison died of lung cancer on this date in 2001 at the age of 58. His remains were cremated, and the ashes were scattered according to Hindu tradition in a private ceremony in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Cup of Chocolate

The Cup of Chocolate:

by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)

I don't drink much hot chocolate, but it is appealing to me this morning. Join me? I'll be at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Also sprach Zarathustra

Today is the anniversary of the first performance of Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra in 1896.

I can't hear those first notes without thinking of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, and then I want to turn the music off and re-watch the film.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Batman Returns

Batman Returns (Max, Amazon Prime) is a 1992 superhero film, sequel to the 1989 Batman. This is directed by Tim Burton and stars Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, and Michael Gough. Danny Elfman did the music. It begins during the Christmas holiday season. This seems to be one of those love it or hate it movies for most people, though it was nominated for and won some awards. I like it fine, but it's not my favorite Batman.



Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Birdcage

The Birdcage (Amazon Prime) is an award-winning 1996 comedy film starring Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, and Nathan Lane. It's a remake of a 1978 French/Italian film I haven't seen. This is a delightful movie, and I say that as someone who doesn't favor comedies. Reviews are positive.



Friday, November 24, 2023

Rain Man

Rain Man (Amazon Prime) is an award-winning 1988 comedy/drama film directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. It's a sweet, encouraging story about how it's never too late to grow up. I've always liked this movie. Reviews are positive.



Thursday, November 23, 2023

Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Interview with the Vampire (Hulu) is a 1994 gothic vampire film based on Anne Rice's 1976 novel of the same name, and starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. It focuses on Lestat (Cruise) and Louis (Pitt), beginning with Louis's transformation into a vampire by Lestat in 1791. I had never seen it before and am glad I finally have. Most reviews are positive, and I fall into the thumbs-up crowd.


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Moulin Rouge (2001)

Moulin Rouge is an award-winning 2001 jukebox musical (a jukebox musical is a stage musical or musical film in which a majority of the songs are well-known popular music songs, rather than original music) romantic drama film starring Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, and Jim Broadbent. I watched it free somewhere, but I can't find it streaming anywhere free now. It was well-reviewed, and I enjoyed it.



Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Robert Lockwood, Jr.

Walkin' Blues:

is the first song on the Robert Lockwood, Jr. album I Got to Find Me a Woman (playlist on YouTube at this link). Lockwood, who died on this date in 2006 at the age of 91, was the only guitarist to have learned to play directly from Robert Johnson.

There's a reference to Memphis in the chorus of the song Take a Little Walk With Me:

Come on baby
Take a little walk with me
Come on, baby
Take a little walk with me
Back to the same old place
Where we long to be
Come on baby
Take a little walk with me
Come on
Take a little walk with me
Back to the same old place, Memphis, Tennessee


I'll be drinking some coffee while I listen to his music:

One of those cups can be for you. Please post your own drink-related something, and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.


Monday, November 20, 2023

The Man on the Eiffel Tower

The Man on the Eiffel Tower is a 1950 film noir mystery film directed by Burgess Meredith and starring Charles Laughton as Inspector Maigret. It is based on the 1931 novel La Tête d'un homme (A Man's Head) by Belgian writer Georges Simenon featuring his detective Jules Maigret. A fine Maigret representation, it's enjoyable to watch. It's available free on Tubi, on Freevee on Amazon Prime, or embedded below via Daily Motion:


Sunday, November 19, 2023

The Man in the Iron Mask

Today is the anniversary of the death in 1703 of the Man in the Iron Mask after an incarceration lasting 34 years. His identity remains unknown. According to Wikipedia, the fate of the mysterious prisoner —and the extent of the apparent precautions his jailers took— created significant interest in his story and gave birth to many rumors and legends. Many theories exist about his identity and the cause of his incarceration, and a very large number of books and articles have been written about the case during the last 350 years. Some of these theories were presented after the existence of reliable, contemporary documents was widely known. Still later commentators have presented their own theories, some of them based on embellished versions of the original tale. Theories about his identity that were popular during his time included that he was a Marshal of France; the English Henry Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell; or François, Duke of Beaufort. There's a list here of people thought to have been the prisoner.

Several films have been made, of course, none of which are serious in their attempt at historical accuracy. We don't know who he was, after all...

The Iron Mask, the 1929 silent starring Douglas Fairbanks:

The Man in the Iron Mask, the 1939 film directed by James Whale and starring Joan Bennett and Peter Cushing:

The Man in the Iron Mask, the 1977 film starring Richard Chamberlain, Patric McGoohan, Ralph Richardson, Louis Jourdan, Ian Holm, and Hugh Fraser, is available on Tubi and on Freevee via Amazon Prime

The Man in the Iron Mask, the 1998 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, and Gérard Depardieu is available on Tubi and via YouTube:


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Shows That Make Me Cry

I don't tend to cry during TV shows -well, there's that one Babylon 5 episode and the last episode of Inspector Morse and the two-part season finale of the fourth season of House- but generally speaking TV shows don't make me cry. That said, there are 2 exceptions to this among the modern series:

Hotel del Luna, a 2019 k-drama with 1 season of 16 episodes

Hotel del Luna trailer:

and River, a 2015 British detective series with 1 season of 6 episodes.

River trailer:

I watch them over and over and over, and I cry every single time.


Friday, November 17, 2023

The Big Sky

The Big Sky (on Tubi) is a 1952 Western film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Kirk Douglas. It's a traditional Western, though talkier than some.



Thursday, November 16, 2023


Bloodshot (on DVD) is a 2020 American superhero film based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name. It is intended to be the first installment in a series of films set within a Valiant Comics shared cinematic universe. The film stars Vin Diesel in the main role as a soldier who was killed in action, only to be brought back to life with superpowers by an organization that wants to use him as a weapon. I enjoyed this. I'm unfamiliar with the character or Valiant Comics, but am happy to see a new superhero on the scene. And, of course, I'll watch anything with Vin Diesel in it. I'll definitely watch a sequel.



Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Seoul Station

Seoul Station (Freevee via Amazon Prime) is a South Korean adult animated post-apocalyptic horror film written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho. It is the second released installment in, and a prequel to the Train to Busan film series. I loved the Train to Busan and also enjoyed this prequel. I look forward to sequels if they are available to me. (warning to CJ: Zombie Alert!)



Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Happy Birthday (tomorrow), Petula Clark!

Join me in a cuppa over at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering. I'm getting ready to celebrate the 91st birthday of Petula Clark, who was born on November 15, 1932. According to Wikipedia, she is a British singer, actress, and songwriter and has had one of the longest careers of any British singer, spanning more than eight decades.

In late 1964 Clark's success extended to the United States with a four-year run of career-defining, often upbeat singles. These songs include her signature song "Downtown", "I Know a Place", "My Love", "A Sign of the Times", "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love", "Who Am I", "Colour My World", "This Is My Song" (by Charles Chaplin), "Don't Sleep in the Subway", "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener", and "Kiss Me Goodbye". In the US, Clark was sometimes called "the First Lady of the British Invasion". She had nine Top 20 hits in the U.S. between 1964 and 1968. Clark has sold more than 68 million records.


My Love:

Sign of the Times:

I have fond memories of singing these along with the radio when I was a child.

Monday, November 13, 2023


Passengers (DVD, borrowed) is a 2016 science-fiction romance film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The supporting cast features Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Andy García. The film follows two passengers on an immense interstellar spacecraft carrying thousands of people to a colony 120 light years from Earth, when Pratt's character is revived 90 years early due to a computer malfunction. Science fiction films aren't common these days, and I'm always pleased to see them made. I enjoyed this.



Sunday, November 12, 2023

Bayern 42

image from Twitter

Jamal Musiala is a German professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder, left winger or central midfielder for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. 42 is his jersey number.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde (DVD) is a 2017 action thriller film directed by David Leitch (in his feature directorial debut) and starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones. The story revolves around a spy who has to find a list of double agents that is being smuggled into the West on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This one is definitely re-watchable (thus the DVD, since you can't count on anything being available streaming when you want it). The sound track is perfection.


That last redbud leaf fell a couple of days ago, but the dogwood tree still has some color:

Friday, November 10, 2023


Burial (Hulu) is a 2022 war thriller film about a small group of Russian soldiers who have been assigned the task of taking Hitler's discovered remains back to Stalin in Moscow. To be honest, I avoid war movies and only watched this one because the promotional material said there'd be werewolves. No. No werewolves. There were German soldiers who dressed up in skins and prowled the woods to serve as scary ambush. The disappointment was real. On the other hand, if you like these kinds of war movies... well, this is one.



Thursday, November 09, 2023

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo (Disney+) is a 2003 computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. The film stars the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, and Geoffrey Rush. It tells the story of an overprotective clownfish named Marlin (Brooks) who, along with a forgetful regal blue tang named Dory (DeGeneres), searches for his missing son Nemo. I remember when this came out and we took the kids to the theater to see it. Wonderful movie! It's enjoyable for kids and adults alike. Reviews are positive.


P.S. I don't keep track of who leaves comments here -it's all I can do to keep track of my own stuff lol- but if you're leaving comments here and I'm not reciprocating on your blog it's an oversight on my part. Please feel free to leave a comment bringing it to my attention. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

The Pope's Exorcist

The Pope's Exorcist (Netflix) is a 2023 supernatural horror film starring Russell Crowe (as Father Gabriele Amorth, the Pope's personal exorcist), with Franco Nero in a supporting role. I enjoyed it and will watch a sequel if given the chance.



Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Woman Reading by Lamplight

Woman Reading by Lamplight:

by Carl Vilhelm Holsøe, a Danish artist who died on this date in 1935. Please join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering, where a post with any drink reference is your ticket to participate.

Monday, November 06, 2023

The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar

The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar (Netflix) is a 2023 fantasy short film written, co-produced, and directed by Wes Anderson, based on the 1977 short story "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" by Roald Dahl. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (as the title character), Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, and Richard Ayoade. The story sees a rich man learning about a clairvoyant guru who could see without using his eyes through the power of a particular form of Yoga, then setting out to master the skill in order to cheat at gambling. There are several other short films grouped with this one. All are worth seeing.


Roger Ebert's website gives it a full 4-star review and says, "It’s disarming and lovely to see a spiritual growth parable rendered in Anderson’s jewel-box style." Rolling Stone opens a positive review with this: "The first of four featurettes adapting the works of Roald Dahl for Netflix, the Fantastic Mr. Fox filmmaker’s tribute to the eccentric author is short, sharp, and totally sublime". Esquire has a glowing review.


Sunday, November 05, 2023

The Cursed (2021)

The Cursed (on Hulu) is a 2021 gothic horror film about a 19th-century village in rural France that is menaced by a werewolf. I'm fond of werewolf movies, and I liked this one. I especially appreciate that it provides a different take on the myth.



Saturday, November 04, 2023


Holes (on Disney+) is a 2003 neo-Western comedy-drama film with some fantasy elements. It stars Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson and Shia LaBeouf. I've watched this more than once. An enjoyable movie.


Reviews are generally positive, including those from Roger Ebert, Spirituality and Practice, and Empire Online.


Friday, November 03, 2023

Casino (1995)

Casino is a 1995 epic crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Don Rickles, Kevin Pollak, and James Woods. I can't remember where I saw this, but it seems to be no longer available streaming except as a rental. It's not my usual type of movie, but I'm glad I've seen it. Variety is the spice of life, after all. It was recommended by a couple of my Facebook friends. It is well-reviewed.



Thursday, November 02, 2023

Ten Little Indians (1989)

Ten Little Indians (Tubi, Amazon Prime) is a 1989 mystery film directed by Alan Birkinshaw. This is the 4th English-language screen adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1939 novel And Then There Were None. It stars Donald Pleasence (an actor you should always be on the lookout for), Brenda Vaccaro, Herbert Lom, and Warren Berlinger. I'm a sucker for Agatha Christie adaptations. I liked this one.


Even after two nights of below freezing temperatures we still have some blooms on our protected patio.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023


Topsy-Turvy (Max) is a 1999 British musical period drama film about the 15-month period in 1884 and 1885 leading up to the premiere of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. The film focuses on the creative conflict between playwright and composer, and their decision to continue their partnership, which led to their creation of several more Savoy operas. This is definitely not my usual fare, but I enjoyed it.


Reviews are positive. Deep Focus Review has a lengthy consideration, calling the movie "exceptional" and saying,
Indeed, the film is not solely about Gilbert and Sullivan. The thrust of the story is the making of The Mikado. Gilbert and Sullivan are the creative drive behind the production, which is central to the screen story. But around them is a group of theater professionals: actors, costumers, businessmen, and stagehands. If Leigh’s usual mode of filmmaking is the character study, then the central character of Topsy-Turvy is the production itself, and the way in which artists of various skill and craft come together in support of a much larger show. Leigh’s perspective is not the narrow view that there were two authorial voices responsible for The Mikado; rather, he keeps every aspect of the production in view. Leigh felt the film would be, he told Raphael, “an excellent device for exploring matters to do with those of us who are in the business of creating entertainment.” Within this framework, Leigh allows for seemingly unimportant asides about peripheral characters; but every detail he infuses into his film adds another dimension to the overall portrait, and the cumulative effect goes beyond individuals to amass something more luxuriant and scopic than a typical backstage drama.
Senses of Cinema describes the story:
The plot of the film is simplicity itself: Sir Arthur Sullivan (Allan Corduner) and William Schwenck “Willie” Gilbert (Jim Broadbent) have come to a creative impasse. After a string of light comedy musical hits, including The H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, Sullivan, who wants to compose “serious music,” has grown tired of Gilbert’s increasingly contrived scenarios, as evidenced by the failure of their latest collaboration, Princess Ida. As the fate of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company rests in their hands, Richard D’Oyly Carte (Ron Cook) and the company’s manager, the level-headed Helen Lenoir (Wendy Nottingham), attempt to reason with Gilbert and Sullivan, but to no avail. It is only when Gilbert’s endlessly patient wife, Kitty (Lesley Manville), drags Gilbert to a touring exhibit of Japanese culture in Kensington that the librettist rouses himself from his creative torpor.

Surrounded by a world of eroticised costumes, samurai swords, Kabuki theatre and tea-drinking ceremonies, Gilbert is transfixed by the spectacle. Returning home with a large samurai sword as a souvenir of his outing, Gilbert furiously paces his study floor until he suddenly gets the inspiration for The Mikado, which would become arguably the team’s signature production.

The balance of Topsy-Turvy lovingly documents (or re-creates) the mechanics of producing the operetta on the stage of the Savoy Theatre, delving not only into the intricacies of rehearsals and costuming, but also the personal lives of the actors, costumers and others who bring The Mikado to life. This precise detail comes as a result of an enormous amount of detailed research, done, in fact, over a period of years. ...
Roger Ebert calls it "gloriously entertaining". Time Out concludes, "Leigh's cast are beyond compare, and the whole bighearted, splendidly droll celebration of the entertainer's lot surely stands among British cinema's one-of-a-kind treasures."