Classic Film Review -Above and Beyond (1952)

SUMMARY

Above and Beyond is the dramatized story of Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets. Tibbets is a pilot who gets cross-wise with his superior at the beginning of the film. His integrity leads him to challenge his superior and leads to a transfer and demotion.

However, his guts in standing up for his men, to his own detriment, bring him to the attention of Maj. Gen. Brent. Brent questions Tibbets about a moral conundrum warning him that his answer will decide his future. Based on Tibbets response he is then assigned the top secret task of leading a new unit whose purpose is to improve and alter the B-29 aircraft so that it can successfully deploy the atomic bomb.

Tibbets is given fairly unlimited authority, but is sworn to utmost secrecy. He is charged not to discuss this project with anyone, including his own wife and the men under his command at his new base. The only other person who is aware of the details of their assignment is his base security officer. This is a project which spans a couple of years and involves the coordination and cooperation of many, with Tibbets bearing full responsibility for enforcing the rigid guidelines to maintain secrecy. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Above and Beyond (1952)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Bookish Resolutions & Goals

Today’s Topic: Bookish Resolutions/Goals

Hosted by: The Artsy Reader Girl -Top Ten Tuesday has a new host and I am excited that Jana will be carrying on this fun Tuesday tradition.

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. But, if there was ever an area that I would make resolutions and keep them, it would have to do with reading.

I’ve never really given much thought to how and what I read before, but I like the idea of being a more intentional reader. Up until now, I pretty much just choose my next book based on my mood. Adding these resolutions will not impact the number of books I read in a year, but it will definitely impact the types of books I read. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Bookish Resolutions & Goals”

Foreign Film Friday -Marriage Italian Style (1964)

SUMMARY

Marriage Italian Style tells the story of Filumena (Sophia Loren), a prostitute, and her decades long relationship as the mistress of a wealthy Neopolitan business man named Domenico (Marcello Mastroianni).

The film opens with Filumena on her deathbed requesting that the wily Domenico marry her before she passes away. He is loathe to marry her as he is already engaged to be married to one of his young employees. But, Domenico feels he owes it to her, so he agrees.

We then learn in flashbacks the history of their relationship beginning with their first meeting in a whore house when Filumena is seventeen. The first flashbacks are from Domenico’s perspective and we meet a man who is entitled and feels as if he is doing a favor to Filumena with his patronage. He eventually sets her up as his mistress and then as his dying mother’s caretaker. Finally, he trusts her to manage his businesses as he travels around Europe. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Marriage Italian Style (1964)”

Book Review -A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea

SUMMARY

The harrowing true story of one man’s life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.

Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.

In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit. Continue reading “Book Review -A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea”

Top Ten Tuesday -Books I Meant to Read in 2017

Today’s Topic: Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

Hosted By: The Broke and the Bookish

What’s the saying about good intentions? I had the best. I really did. But you know, so many books…so little time. And since I read very much the way I dress, by what feels right that day, some of the books I desperately wanted to read, didn’t actually get read. (Hangs my head in shame.) Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Books I Meant to Read in 2017”

Film Review -The Greatest Showman (2017)

SUMMARY

The Greatest Showman is Hugh Jackman’s passion project based on the life of P.T. Barnum, circus impresario and legendary showman.

In this biographical (though not accurate) adaptation, Phineas T. Barnum rises from very humble beginnings. He accomplishes the daunting task of marrying his childhood sweetheart Charity, who turns her back on her wealthy parents and their social circle. In time, they have two beautiful daughters and a happy if financially insecure life.

But, it isn’t enough for Barnum, whose desire that his family have more, masks the deeper motivation of “proving” himself to the world and Charity’s parents. Barnum is a dreamer, visionary, gambler and risk taker. He concocts a daring idea and creates a museum where human physical oddities are on display. Despite protests from the cities residents and scathing newspaper reviews, his gamble pays off.

As his fortunes increase, he continues to take risks and see them succeed. But, it doesn’t come without a cost. Barnum’s obsession puts a strain on his marriage, deprives his daughters of his presence, and never manages to fill the need for approval and success that he seeks. Eventually, it even negatively impacts his work and loyal employees. Will the flamboyant showman who risked it all end up losing everything that matters?

To read the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Book Review -Murder at the Brightwell

SUMMARY

When Amory Ames family friend and ex-fiancé Gil shows up at her home  asking for help, Amory agrees. Gil hopes that Amory will be able to sway his sister Emmeline from making a bad marriage.  He believes Amory’s own experience in marrying for love only to be disappointed might be the voice of reason Emmeline needs.

Amory accompanies Gil to the seaside resort of Brightwell. Here they meet up with Emmeline, her fiancé, and a host of other acquaintances. Amory’s straightforward task turns into much more when a member of their party turns up dead. Matters are further complicated when her estranged husband Milo makes an unexpected appearance at the Brightwell. Not only is Amory torn between two men she has loved, but she also can’t seem to keep her nose out the murder investigation. It’s a toss up which is more dangerous for Amory, looking for a killer or dealing with matters of her heart. Continue reading “Book Review -Murder at the Brightwell”

Classic Film Review -Bachelor in Paradise (1961)

SUMMARY

Thanks to a thieving accountant, the formerly wealthy and famous lifestyle author A.J. Niles (Bob Hope) is forced to hide out in a planned community neighborhood in California. He must use his time hiding incognito to write a new book so that he can use the royalties to pay back the government.

Of course, being a ladies man, he is instantly attracted to Rosemary Howard (Lana Turner), co-manager of the community named Paradise Village. She also happens to own the home he is sub-leasing.

The newly minted Jack Adams is out of his depths in this family friendly neighborhood. Not to mention, as a bachelor he has no skills in housekeeping or cooking now that he must fend for himself. But it isn’t too long before he is coaching all the local wives how to maintain their husband’s attention. Initially Rosemary is suspicious of his interest in her, but she gradually warms up to him as does the wife of the other co-manager of the community.

The husbands of Paradise Village are another matter. When “Jack’s” coaching disrupts their lives they take it upon themselves to get him evicted. And all the while A.J./Jack just wants to be left in peace to finish his book, so he can get back to his regular high-flying lifestyle. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Bachelor in Paradise (1961)”

Top Ten Tuesday -New Authors I Read in 2017

Today’s Topic: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017

Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish

If you have been following my Top Ten Tuesday posts, then some of these authors and their books will be familiar to you. I love discovering new-to-me authors and many of them wrote some of my favorite reads this year.

The main reason I will try a new author is that their cover(s) grab my eye. But occasionally I will do so if the book has great hype or if I find it on sale.

Overall, 2017 was a good year for me in experiencing new authors. Clicking on the title links will take you to my reviews for some of these stories. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -New Authors I Read in 2017”

Film Review -Heart and Souls (1993)

Long before Robert Downey Jr. was famous for his role in the Marvel films he was busy racking up screen credits in many under rated films in the 1980’s and 90’s. It is in these movies where I first fell for his insouciant attitude and that liquid brown gaze. One of my favorites of these early RDJ films is the romantic comedy/fantasy Heart and Souls.

SUMMARY

At the time of Thomas Reilly’s birth there is an accident which kills four people. These four souls then find themselves connected to Thomas without understanding why. As Thomas grows, the impact of his friendship with them begins to affect his life in a negative way. In order to spare him, Milo, Penny, Harrison and Julia decide to become as invisible to Thomas as they are to the rest of the world.

It is not until Thomas is a grown man that these four learn just why they are attached to this man they have watched over silently. Before they are called back to Heaven, they have the opportunity to use Thomas as their host to complete the one task they each left undone on the earth. But their time is very limited and Thomas remembers them as a mental aberration he spent years in therapy to explain. So, he is not too happy or compliant when his four invisible friends suddenly reappear in his life demanding he interrupt his busy schedule to help them.

 

For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.