Eight Reasons I Adore The Man From U.N.C.L.E (2015)

I have so many favorite films (and books for that matter) that the word favorite seems in danger of losing it’s impact and meaning. But I can’t help that I genuinely love so many of the stories I watch and read that I want to re-visit them over and over again.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is one of my many film loves. I never get tired of watching it and often use it as a cheery tonic when I am having a bad day. It’s just so much fun.  Instead of doing a review, I thought I would mix things up a bit and tell you why I adore it so much.

  1. HENRY CAVILL – This is one of the few movies Cavill is in that I love. And it’s not because he can’t act, but for some reason he is cast in films which I just don’t think are very good. Still, even when he played Superman in Man of Steel, a film which was so convoluted that I didn’t know what was going on half of the time, I enjoyed watching him during its long running time. Honestly, I would watch him paint a wall. And yes, I’m just shallow enough to admit, that sometimes a movie can be saved by its’ eye candy. Of course, that is not necessary in this film. And thankfully, Cavill for once, ends up with a really fun role as American former thief turned playboy spy Napoleon Solo.

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Foreign Film Friday -A Tale of Love and Darkness

A Tale of Love and Darkness is a film based on the book of the same name written by Jewish author Amos Oz. It is an autobiographical story of the author’s younger years growing up in Jerusalem in the years prior to and directly after the formation of the state of Israel.

SUMMARY

Young Amos lives with his parents in Jerusalem during a tumultuous time. WWII had ended recently. Many Jews moved to the British occupied area of Palestine which is tenuously shared with Arab residents. His mother, in particular, seems haunted by her past memories of the destruction of her privileged life in Poland. Amos’ mother Fania does her best to show her love to her son and husband, but those memories make it difficult for her to connect with them. While reconciling herself to her new and challenging present in Jerusalem, Fania shares stories, both fact and fiction, to help distract herself and her son from the struggle of their daily lives.

Please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review to see my complete review of this film.

Book Review -From Sand and Ash

SUMMARY

When young Angelo’s mother dies, his father sends him to live with his grandparents in Italy who are employed by a wealthy Jewish businessman. Still grieving, Angelo is befriended by the precocious daughter of the house, Eva Roselli. Eva and Angelo grow up together much like a brother and sister, but they both know the feelings between them run deeper. However, Angelo is determined to be a priest and Eva is set on a path to be an accomplished violinist, so despite occasionally betraying their feelings for one another, they each pursue their chosen vocations.

Everything changes when WWII breaks out and Italy allies itself with Germany. Angelo’s duty to God and the priesthood are challenged by his mission to keep not only his beloved Eva safe, but also their shared loved ones. Things only become more complicated when they both get involved in the Italian underground working to save and rescue Italy’s Jewish population. Continue reading “Book Review -From Sand and Ash”

Classic Film Review -Pillow to Post (1945)

SUMMARY

Idle Jean Howard wants to do her part for the war effort. Since there is a shortage of men, her father’s oil company has no salesmen. Jean volunteers for the job and despite her father’s resistance heads out onto the road to try to save some company accounts.

Although she gives it her best efforts in her cross-country sales tour, Jean has no success. She finally lands at the Black Hills Oil Co. where Earl “Slim” Clark agrees to listen to her pitch. But only if she wines and dines him first. Of course, Slim’s motives are suspect as it is clear he finds Jean extremely attractive. Jean agrees and heads out to look for a place to stay for the night

Unfortunately, Jean finds herself looking for accommodations in an overcrowded army base town. There is absolutely nothing available until a last minute cancellation secures Jean a reservation. The only problem is, the room available is in a motor court which only caters to married couples. So Jean, manages to coerce a lieutenant from the local base to register with her as her husband with the plan being that he can leave once she has checked into the room.

The Lieutenant and Jean discuss arrangements.

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Top Ten Tuesday -Books to Look Forward To

I’ve never been much of a list maker, but I am really enjoying the Top Ten Tuesday prompts shared by The Broke and the Bookish.

Some of the prompts are easier than others. Today’s list of the Most Anticipated Books of the Last Half of this Year is one of the easier ones. In fact, the only hard part about it was paring my list down to ten….okay eleven.

1. Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

I’m a fan of this Iranian born author who writes about Biblical characters. This one is about Lydia who is briefly mentioned in the New Testament. I can’t wait to see how Afshar fleshes out her story.

2. High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

Breslin wrote one of my favorite novels ever (For Such a Time), so I’m excited to read her third novel set during WWI which is not a time often covered in novels. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Books to Look Forward To”

Foreign Film Friday -Girl on a Bicycle (2013)

Although I admit my exposure to foreign films is miniscule, it is pretty much a guarantee that any film set in France, in particular Paris, is going to pique my interest.

FILM SUMMARY

Italian Paolo is content with his life. He lives with his German girlfriend Greta in Paris, has a steady job as a tour bus driver and a dependable if not so good advisor in English friend Derek. After finally proposing to Greta, he finds himself continually crossing paths with the lovely Cecile. Although he is in love with Greta, Paolo cannot helped but be intrigued by the girl riding the bicycle. One day, while in pursuit of her, he accidentally hits her with his bus, which throws his life completely off course.

At the hospital, he informs the nurse that Cecile is his wife so that he can get information on her condition, (a la While You Were Sleeping). When the nurse escorts him into Cecile’s room, her young children immediately greet him with hugs and cries of  “Papa!” You see, Cecile has always told her children that their father is off fighting dragons, but when he returns they will know him because he speaks English. Upon her release from the hospital, Paolo takes Cecile and the children to their home and finds himself in the predicament of caring for her and the children secretly while also trying to maintain his relationship with Greta, who begins to suspect that Paolo is hiding something important from her. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Girl on a Bicycle (2013)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Summer Titles

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt with The Broke and the Bookish is a summer reads freebie, so the list can be anything related to summer. 

I decided to list ten books I’ve read which have Summer in their titles.

1. Just One Summer

A YA anthology by some of my favorite indie authors, it tells the stories of four best friends. A quick and easy but well-written read.

2. Second Chance Summer

Author Morgan Matson is a bit of a wunderkind in YA fiction. I love how her young characters are forced to deal with adult issues and this story of a teenage girl watching her father die is no exception. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Summer Titles”

Classic Film Review -Honky Tonk (1941)

FILM SUMMARY
In Honky Tonk grifter and con-man Candy Johnson is tired of being run out of every town he visits whenever the citizens discover who he is. So he and his partner hop on a train determined to find a small town which he can shape and control for even larger payouts such as graft. On the train, Candy’s eye is drawn by beautiful blonde Elizabeth Cotton who is traveling west to meet her father, a man she believes is an upstanding, honest judge. Elizabeth refuses to be tempted by Candy’s smooth line, resisting his obvious flirtation. Upon debarking in Yellow Creek, Candy recognizes Elizabeth’s father as a fellow con-artist, but keeps his secret for Elizabeth’s sake.
Candy soon begins his campaign to take over the town of Yellow Creek and Elizabeth’s affections. After winning a large stake in a gamble of Russian roulette, Candy builds his own saloon and donates money to build a town mission as a civic gesture. After a little light manhandling from Candy and a talk with the Reverend’s wife, Elizabeth admits her attraction to Candy and decides she will marry him with the mission to reform him. It’s not long before Candy is running the town and Elizabeth is running their home, but a wrench is thrown into this happy setup when the Judge grows a conscience for his daughter’s sake and decides to spill the beans on Candy’s real intentions.
Papa grows a conscience
MY THOUGHTS

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Top Ten Tuesday -Book Mothers

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is a Mother’s Day freebie.

The impact of a good mother and the way they enrich our lives is impossible to measure. Their sacrifice, love, compassion, nurturing heart, strength and commitment is what creates a beautiful future for the world through the children they raise. Mothers are true super heroes deserving of all the love and gratitude they receive.

I realized as I was going through my books, that the majority of them do not feature or mention mothers. If they do, it is as a very small supporting character. So today, my top ten is a list of book characters who could benefit from a good mother, whose lives would have been different with a mother’s love. Sometimes, the only way to measure the value of something is by the lack of it.

1. Raleigh Harmon of the Raleigh Harmon Mysteries

Although Raleigh had a loving understanding relationship with her father, it was cut short. Unfortunately this forensic geologist has never had a strong connection with her mother. This fragile relationship has only become worse as her mother’s mental health has deteriorated and Raleigh has been forced to put her in a mental hospital. She continues to reach out to her mother despite it all, but Raleigh has suffered the ache of the lack of understanding between them.

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Five Stars Blogathon -My Five Favorite Film Stars

Today, I am excited to be participating in the Five Stars Blogathon which is being hosted by Classic FIlm TV Cafe.

Anyone who has been following my posts will know that I absolutely love movies. This being the case, asking me to pick five, and only five favorite stars was an almost impossible task! I mean really, it would be like asking me to choose my favorite book (another impossible task) or my favorite breath for that matter. But for the sake of following the rules, I have managed to narrow it down to the requested five. Just don’t get the idea that I don’t have other favorite film stars. And since this blogathon is in honor of National Classic Movie Day, I am sharing my favorite classic film stars.

CARY GRANT

Be still my beating heart!

Any one who knows me knows of my love for Cary Grant. His film Bringing Up Baby was my first introduction to him, to classic film and to screwball comedy, all of which remain favorites to this day. Cary Grant was a versatile actor who was equally at home in both comedies and dramas. His characters tended not to take themselves or life too seriously and yet also retained a darker edge about them which was highlighted more in his dramatic roles. And while I enjoy his later dramatic films, my preference will always be for his pre-war comedies. Who else could pull of playing men of sophistication and privilege who were able to laugh and make fun at their own expense? Continue reading “Five Stars Blogathon -My Five Favorite Film Stars”