Classic Film Review – Cleopatra (1963)

SUMMARY (Spoilers)

This film condenses almost two decades of Cleopatra’s life into it’s four hour run time.  In 48 BC, Julius Caesar arrives in Rome to mediate between the Egyptian queen and her co-ruling brother.  Cleopatra persuades Caesar to help her regain the throne as the sole monarch. In the process, the two begin an affair which produces a son. The birth of Caesarion  encourages Cleopatra in her ideas of building a world empire.

Eventually she travels to Rome where she is very unpopular with the people due to her influence with Caesar. She meets Marc Antony, the general of Caesar’s army, who helps her return to Egypt after Caesar’s assassination.

Even though Caesar named Octavian as his successor, the Roman Republic is split among Octavian, Lepidus and Marc Antony. Octavian and Marc Antony eventually neutralize Lepidus’ power. Their power struggle forces Marc Antony to turn to Egypt for support where he meets Cleopatra again. The two fall in love and begin an affair which is ultimately the downfall of them both. The film ends with their deaths in 30 BC.

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

 

September 2019 Quickie Reviews

Since my recent move, I haven’t had cable television, so I watched fewer classic films. But that’s okay. It just gave me more opportunity to view other movies and series that I might not otherwise have had time for. To be honest, I didn’t really love the few classic films I did see in September. And would you believe, I didn’t have any re-watches this month?

SEPTEMBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 24 films/series total
  • 7 new classic films
  • 7 foreign films/series
  • 5 TV series
  • 1 in theater

Favorite Discovery: Ooh, this month gave me a lot of options to choose from for this honor. Among the contenders were Ladies in Black, Jericho, The Professor and the Madman and of course Downton Abbey. But my choice is Blind Date. It is going on my list of all time favorites, hands down.

Biggest Disappointment: Except for Heartbeat, pretty much every classic film this month left me feeling meh…

Continue reading “September 2019 Quickie Reviews”

Book Review -Mr. Rochester

ABOUT THE BOOK

Mr. Rochester is a book of three parts. It begins with Rochester’s emotionally desolate childhood, his education and his distant relationship with his brother and father. It follows him into adulthood and his years in Jamaica where he meets Bertha Mason and manages his father’s business interests there.

Others only get the best of us when they sense a weakness. One can never hurt a man who refuses to be hurt.

Eventually, we see his return to England and Thornfield with his now insane wife. When her presence taints the only place that feels like home, he heads to Europe where he encounters Celine Varens. Finally, he returns to Thornfield and an encounter with a plain little governess which will change his life.

Even now, when I think of Thornfield-Hall, I choose to remember what it was then—the playground of my childhood—and not what it was to become: a place of secrets and threats, of angers and fears.

You may think you know the story, but do you? Because this one belongs to Edward Fairfax Rochester not Jane Eyre. If you expect this book to be a re-telling of Jane Eyre from Rochester’s perspective, you might be disappointed. Though that part of the story doesn’t change, Jane’s presence does not arrive until the last quarter of the book. Instead, this is a comprehensive character study of a man’s life.

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

 

Film Review – Yesterday (2019)

They first took the world by storm over five decades ago. Since then the Beatles remain an enduring part not only of music history, but of the world’s cultural history. The band and their music has become so iconic, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of them.

As a longtime fan myself, I was thrilled when I first saw the trailer for the film Yesterday featuring a story about the Beatles and their music. It topped my list as my must-see movie this summer.

SUMMARY

For ten years, Jack Malik and his childhood friend and manager Ellie have been pursuing his dream of being a musician. After yet another disappointing gig, Jack finally decides to quit against Ellie’s advice. But fate intervenes. During a worldwide blackout, Jack is hit by a bus. He awakens to a world with no memory of the Beatles. It’s as if they never existed (along with other random things like Coca Cola, the band Oasis and cigarettes).

Jack decides to perform their music as his own. It’s not long before he is being hailed as a musical genius.  His newfound fame takes him far from home and Ellie. As he learns the ins and outs of the music industry, he is confronted with many ethically compromising decisions. Though he finally has the career he’s always wanted, Jack’s guilt plagues him. He begins to see the true cost of his choices, including the loss of Ellie.

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

 

August 2019 Quickie Reviews

This month was TCM’s annual Summer Under the Stars when they spend 24 hours each day honoring a different classic film actor. I made it a point to watch films featuring Ava Gardner, Melvyn Douglas, Shirley Temple, Buster Keaton and a couple of hard to find titles starring Irene Dunne. By default  I also saw a few more of Randolph Scott’s and Robert Young’s films.

August  2019 Breakdown
  • 29 films/series total
  • 18 new classic films
  • 5 TV series
  • 3 re-watches
  • 2 documentaries
Photo Source: IMDb

Favorite Discovery: The Indian Doctor and Wee Willie Winkie

Biggest Disappointment: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman Continue reading “August 2019 Quickie Reviews”

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Took a Chance On

Today’s Topic: Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Hmm…it’s not often that I wander outside of my preferred genres or reading comfort zones. So I tweaked this week’s prompt a bit. Instead I’m sharing books that I took a chance on.

Basically, these are books that I didn’t know much about. Books I chose because I fell in love with the cover or maybe the back blurb caught my interest. Generally, they are by authors I’d never read before or I had not read any reviews about them prior to picking them up.

My choices for this Top Ten are recent reads that I really enjoyed. No sense including those that were a bust, right? Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Took a Chance On”

Book Review – In Spite of Lions by Scarlette Pike

SUMMARY

After a lifetime of abuse, Anna leaves home, but not to run away. Rather she runs towards freedom when she heads to Africa. On her journey there she befriends Mary Livingstone, the wife of missionary David Livingstone. Upon her arrival on foreign shores, she follows the Livingston family into the African interior to help with their work.

“It is necessary that you work against the pain of the body to make it stronger so that you may be a strong African woman,” she explained. “It will hurt, Miss Anna. But does that make it bad?”

However, Anna’s previous life has left her unprepared for the challenges of her new life. Though, she is accepted by the tribal chief, the villagers greet her with suspicion. While learning the basic tasks of daily survival, Anna also finds herself in the center of political conflict between the Boers and her new African family. And all the while she is still haunted by a past she hasn’t come to terms with yet.

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