The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (Netflix 2018)

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I have been overdue for a good period drama and waiting patiently for the release of this film. In anticipation, I ordered the book but found it to be a compilation of letters and not written like a regular novel so I put it aside.

After seeing the trailer for the movie version, I’m so thankful it’s finally out.  There’s no disappointment whatsoever in this touching story staring Lily James.  As usual, I find her adorable, and her performance goes well in this sometimes heartbreaking story that eventually has a happy ever after.

The story is about Juliet Ashton, an author from London, who receives a letter after the war in 1946 from a peculiar group of people who calls themselves The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.  They are a book club that was formed on the Isle of Guernsey (a British island in the Channel), during the German occupation.  Curious about the group, Juliet travels to the location to meet those who make up the book club. In doing so, she learns of the years of occupation in which they endured and a very sad story about one of their members.

The story jumps back and forth from the present to the war, giving insight as to what actually happened to the characters now speaking to her in 1946.  Juliet wants to write about their experiences, but the club would prefer that she does not because of the pain it represents in their lives.

The others who star in the movie are some of your favorites, such as Tom Courtenay, Katherine Parkinson, and Penelope Wilton who does a wonderful job in her role. Add to the cast is Matthew Goode, and you have a well-rounded, experienced group of seasoned actors.

Though you may find the movie a bit slow in parts, it’s worth the scenes to take the slow walk on the beach or run around the pig pen to get the feel of the location and its people.  If you’re a period drama junkie or enjoy WW2 stories, check it out on Netflix.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

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This past weekend, and a few weeks late, I finally went to the theater to see the newest Jurassic World movie along with my son and five-year-old grandson.  He was a brave soul during dino chomping episodes.

I will say that I enjoyed it but something was missing. The last movie, in my opinion, was much better.  As my big toenail taps against the floor like Blue’s, attempting to figure out why, I’ve decided to blame it on one word — predictability.  The movie needed more teeth.

Instead of the plot thickening, the plotline stayed thin.  The bad guys were not out to save the dinos from another extinction event.  They were out to save their pocketbooks and line them with untold millions, selling off the dino livestock to evil dudes in black suits.  In the next war, rather than nukes, a horde of dinos will be unleashed on enemies.

Regardless of its shortfalls, the latest franchise version will take its place in the lineup of dino movies.  Our fascination with these creatures hasn’t ended.  Remember, we have new generations seeing them.  My son was eight the first time Jurassic Park came out.  His son sat next to him at the age of five and saw the dinos for the first time on the big screen.  No doubt, these roaring movies will continue like the ones that take us to the stars.  Apparently, some moviegoers want to travel the universe, while the rest of us want to return to the earth’s origins when these creatures roamed the planet.

Nevertheless, our favorite stars returned this time around — T-Rex and Blue. (Yeah, I know, Chris Pratt … insert swoon.) They are always the staple of Jurassic movies since the first time T-Rex and those raptors scared the crap out of us in 1993.  Who doesn’t love the roar of the T-Rex or the call-call-call of the raptors?  Blue has such lovely teeth too, while T-Rex has a big mouth.

Naturally, a new bad-dude dino has been cooked up in the test tube thanks to the mad scientist.  I will admit, this dino got on my nerves!  He was relentless, but thankfully Blue saved the day.  Oh, Blue, Blue. I love you too. Your dino teeth, your color, your chew.  (Gee, I didn’t know I was such a poet!)

The breaking news is mankind is not going to die from an asteroid, World War III, or some ghastly plague.  Instead, we’re all going to get eaten in the end.  If I had my choice, I guess T-Rex would make it a quick kill.  A raptor would probably just chew on me like an appetizer.

My hero…

Hero

 

 

 

SAFE (Canal+ and Netflix 2018)

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How does one feel safe in a neighborhood? Does fencing in the community help keep the boogie-man out or does it actually keep the boogie-man safe within? It’s a question that comes up in this interesting series entitled SAFE, which was done by Netflix and Canal+. It’s a pretty intriguing mystery with a surprising twist at the end. Just don’t Google the answer if a certain character makes it or dies before you finish all eight episodes. You are liable to read the spoiler about the end. Ruined it for me!  Dang-it.

The series is set in England and involves an English doctor with two daughters, one of which goes missing after a wild house party she attends. The daughter of one of the parents in the fenced neighborhood has a wild drinking and drug party while her parents are away. Unfortunately, when the host steps outside for a breath of fresh air, she finds a dead body of one of the male attendees floating in the swimming pool.

The deceased is the boyfriend of Tom Delaney’s elder daughter, who hasn’t come home from the night before. As the police deal with the who-done-it questions about the dead boy, Tom is out searching frantically for his daughter.

His search uncovers all sorts of mysteries surrounding his deceased wife, and everything become very convoluted as the web of neighborhood deceit becomes stickier than ever. There are a few subplots along the way regarding others neighbors, and a huge secret that answers all the questions is glossed over early in the series.

It’s a good mystery.  Worth the watch.

 

An Inspector Calls (BBC 2015)

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Now streaming on Amazon is “An Inspector Calls,” which is probably the most profound and emotional story I’ve seen in my life.  Frankly, I never heard of it before.  Written by J. B. Priestley, it was apparently a play first performed in Moscow in 1945 and then in the UK in 1946 and has been on stage multiple times. I guess according to Wikipedia, it’s hailed as a classic. Apparently, it’s been in film and television also throughout the years.

The story is set in 1912 and revolves around a rich cotton mill owner Mr. Birling.  They are at home at dinner with his wife, son, daughter, and her fiance.  After dinner, a gentleman arrives at the door and introduces himself as Inspector Goole from the police.  He is led into the dining room where Mr. Birling and his son and Mr. Croft are talking, while the ladies are in the parlor.

It begins with him asking Mr. Birley if he recognizes a woman in a picture that he shows him, and he denies knowing her.  When pressured why the questions, he states that she has committed suicide and he’s investigating the circumstances that lead up to her death.  Naturally, Mr. Birley asks what does this have to do with us? Eventually, he confesses that she did work at his factory and the story begins.

Well, I cannot tell you the rest because it would ruin it for you.  I think I gasped a few times, got overly emotional, felt my own shame at the end, and sat there dumbfounded after the show ended.  So what’s it all about?  Here’s a short quote that might give you a hint:

We don’t live alone upon this earth. We are responsible for each other.  And if mankind will not learn that lesson then the time will come when he will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.

You’ll discover, too, that Inspector Goole isn’t everything he appears to be.

I highly recommend it because he stabs the audience at the core. It’s also intertwined with the classes of society, how we deal with each other, and the outcome of our actions that can affect others.

It’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime for free.

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