I’m Really Behind!

My life has been consumed getting may latest book out the door. I have watched the following shows, but just don’t have time to write in-depth reviews.  Here are my quick two-cents:
  • Drop Dead Diva (So tell Grayson and get it over with) FOUR KERNELS – I have only watched what streamed on Netflix. I don’t have extended cable, so I’m not up-to-date on the latest seasons.
  • Lie to Me (I would be a afraid to and what a crappy cancel!!!) FOUR KERNELS – A pretty entertaining show.
  • Life (A Zen of a show) – FIVE KERNELS – I’m in love with Damian Lewis.  I could never give him less than a five-star anything.  Great show.  Sad it was cancelled.  Too bad I don’t have cable to catch him on Homeland.  I wish Netflix would stream it.
  • The Very Thought of You (Frankly, the very bore of you) – TWO KERNELS – I can’t even remember what the movie was about!
  • Survivors (We are all going to die of the flu) – TWO KERNELS – A boring apocalyptic show.  WARNING:  Make sure to get your flu shots.
I’ve rewatched: 

The Forsyte Saga – I think I have a thing for Damian Lewis or something. (Didn’t I say that already?)

I’ve started a bunch of other series, too, but couldn’t handle them.
As soon as my book is out the door, I’ll be back (sounds familiar).
Vicki

Ripper Street (2013 BBC TV Series)

ripper4 Kernels

London – As Dark as it Gets
Starring:  Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg 
 
I love London.  I’ve been there twice and could go back a thousand more times.  However, in all of my tours, I’ve yet to take the infamous Jack the Ripper walk at night to retrace his steps.  After watching this show, I can safely say, “I’ll pass.”

If you’re not into the dark side of humanity, the reality of the east side of London in the 19th century, along with debauchery, crime, and suffering pass on this one.  It takes a strong constitution to sit through this show and enjoy the stories.

Matthew MacFadyen (once are beloved Mr. Darcy) has dropped the aristocratic garb to become a detective (Inspector Edmund Reid) in the worse crime area of London called Whitechapel.  He plays the role well, along with the other characters in the story such as a detective (Sergeant Bennet Drake), an American doctor (Captain Homer Jackson), along with the brothel mistress and prostitute.

Be forewarned it can get pretty ugly.  If you cannot stomach body parties, mutilation, autopsies, and the like, you probably won’t care for it.  However, as far as grit and substance depicting the dark side of London the show does a fine job.  The episodes are not only about solving the gruesome crimes, but it also contains great subplots with each character.  Inspector Edmund Reid’s situation is quite heartbreaking.

If you’re interested, check out the show website. They have a great blog about the historical facts they use in the episodes, some of which are quite shocking.  OFFICIAL SITE 

Needless to say, the British once again triumph in their ability to bring good drama to the screen.  Though I did find some of the stories deeply disturbing, sometimes you need to go beyond the fairytale aristocratic life of London and cross the river to the horrible reality of poverty and crime.

This show is a real eye-opener between the separation of class in the Victorian era.

UPDATE 5/27/16 – The show had been cancelled and resurected.  I just finished binge watching Season 3 on Netflix, which sums it up as if it’s the last in the series.  However, low and behold, it was brought back to life.  Season 3 is extremely dark and emotional, which I won’t elaborate upon less I give spoilers.  It’s full of surprises that you won’t see coming in characters who have gone to the dark side because of greed.

Playing for Keeps (Movie 2012)

2 Kernels

Playing for Keeps (Movie 2012)
Starring:  Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Noah Lomax, Dennis Quaid
Wow.  I’m in a two-kernel mood.  
 
Where do I begin with this train-wreck of a movie and an overused plot with a slightly different flavor.  Divorced father living a failed life.  Beautiful ex-wife now engaged to successful man.  A shared custody of a confused kid.  And the rest of the plot as fluffy as a popcorn kernel.  God, movies are so bad these days. Certainly I could sell a freaking screenplay out of one of my own books and be better!  (Grrrrr…..)
 
Okay, let’s start with Gerard.  Oh, dear ladies, please do not shoot me.  Yes, I love him.  Do I like the roles he chooses?  Absolutely not.  He’s been on a downer lately of bad films that have done nothing for his career except make him look as scruffy as he does in this movie.   
 
The role of the deadbeat dad is the typical failed man trying to find his way back to a semblance of self-esteem.  Once a well-known and highly regarded soccer player, he is now broke, divorced, and struggling to find work and self-worth again.  His ex-wife, who is far better than he, has gone on to find an upstanding and handsome man to marry.  She lives the good life in a big home with her soon-to-be husband and son, compared to scruffy George who looks like he hasn’t had a bath in a month.
 
Side plot?  Well, not much.  Women going after the single dad (why I have no idea by the way he looks).  Dennis Quaid’s role was frankly ridiculous.  Oh, God, don’t get me started on this horrible movie.
 
Adidas?  Gasp! (Spoken by a true NIKE employee)
Sigh . . . I love Gerard, but gosh I wish he would hold out for roles that use his talent to the max.  How about a business suit, a clean-shaven face, a haircut, and a role that challenges him to strut his stuff? Sometimes I wonder if his current appearance isn’t mirroring the way he feels about his own career.  He’s so much better than these cheesy movies.
So yes, George, in the movie turns his life around.  He gets a job as a sportscaster and gets his wife back. All ends happily ever after but it takes a painful 105 minutes to get there.
 
I love you, Gerard, but I long to see you clean shaven, with a hair cut, and flashing those pretty eyes and seducing the ladies with that fine Scottish accent of yours. You’re better than this . . . Much better.  Don’t be a deadbeat actor playing deadbeat roles about down and out deadbeat dads.  Pretty please.
 

Quartet (Movie 2012)

2 Kernels

 Lacking Substance
 Movie 2012 (Directed by Dustin Hoffman)
Staring: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, and Pauline Collins
 
 

 

Fantastic line-up of stars, especially Maggie Smith. I couldn’t wait to see her in action. Perhaps my expectations were too high going into another British movie, but unfortunately it didn’t move me as much as I had hoped. In fact, I fast-forwarded the ending just to get through it.  I so hate giving a two-star review to great artists.  But just because they are, it doesn’t make the work itself a great picture.

It’s a story about a retirement home where aging musicians go to live out the remainder of their lives.  Many of them know each other from the early days when they were at the highlight of their careers.  They have now congregated in one place to continue dabbling in the art of music while they wait for the undertaker to take them away in a body bag.

Maggie Smith plays Jean Horton, a once famous and highly sought after opera singer who is now old, broke, and alone.  (Of course they say she’s broke, but I’m not sure how she affords the swanky retirement home.)  Like most elderly, her baggage upon arrival is filled with bitterness over life. To make matters worse, she discovers that her ex-husband is living out his days at the retirement home as well.  He’s not much better when it comes to forgiveness for Jean’s early days of adultery, so most of the movie he has a chip on his shoulder along with the air of being a former star himself.

The storyline is weak, superficial, and frankly uninteresting.  I will say this, that it would be a great place to retire! The movie is set in an converted English manor, with gorgeous countryside, comfortable and beautiful interior, kind staff, and an eclectic mix of eccentric elderly. You can sing your days away, rumba to music, croquet to your heart’s content, and walk the grounds with a dirty old man, if you’d like. However, the story, at least for me, started with a great premise, but moved at a snail’s pace.

If the movie accomplishes anything, it does give a poignant view of aging and how one’s youth and glory fades. We all know it’s coming; perhaps we just don’t wish to acknowledge it.

Excuse me, while I search the Internet to find a retirement home in the UK that fits the description for retired authors.  I would love to pack my bags and take my own bitterness over life to a swanky retirement home in the English countryside to live out my days. I can pen murder mysteries until they haul me away in a body bag. Works for me.

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