Movie Review ~ The Edge of Seventeen #moviereview #movie #review

Monday Movie Rundown BannerWouldn’t it help if I had the review posted? I think so. Chuckle. I’ve tried to catch a few of the newer movies lately and this week, I watched The Edge of Seventeen.

If you haven’t caught this flick, then you might want to. In the same vein as the John Hughes movies, this one is intelligent, while still being teenish.

Let’s face it. Growing up is hard. Puberty is harder. Some of us flow right through it and others…it’s like a series of potholes with bald tires.

Nadine feels invisible. Who hasn’t when they were in high school? Her older brother is the jock. Popular and handsome, he can do no wrong. Then there’s her best friend. Krista is the only one who understands Nadine. Then Brother and Best Friend merge.

I’ve been in Nadine’s situation. I wasn’t exactly popular during my teen years. I had a quirky sense of style and doing things. My friends seemed to keep pairing off with guys while I was the perpetual fifth wheel. In this respect, Nadine was very real to me.

There are twists and turns for Nadine which are great and believable. I won’t spoil it, but this is a movie worth sticking it out. Nadine’s growth is pretty cool.

The standout performance for me was Woody Harrelson. I’m used to him as Woody on Cheers, so to see him in this role…it wasn’t a stretch, but I like how he–like many of the other characters–prove they are more than anyone believes them to be.

If you’re looking for a movie with teen angst, laughs and a few tears, then this might be the movie for you. Recommended.

Book Review ~ Paulette: The Adventurous Life of Paulette Goddard by Joe Morella, Edward Z. Epstein

PAULETTEPaulette Goddard was already a legend during her lifetime. At her peak she was considered one of the sexiest, most glamorous, and most personable movie stars of the silver screen. She was known for her marriages to Charlie Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, and Erich Maria Remarque. But few know what an exciting and adventurous life she truly led. From her humble beginnings, Paulette was determined to earn stardom. She quickly reached her goal, starring in films with Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, and Jimmy Stewart. For many months she was the top candidate for the part of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, a role that eventually went to Vivien Leigh. Paulette was also a sophisticated patron of the arts, with distinguished friends like John Steinbeck and Aldous Huxley. Through her wit, charm, and intelligence, she always attracted genius. Paulette’s many admirers included Clark Gable and George Gershwin. Most favored her with gifts of magnificent jewelry. Soon she had a fortune in precious gems, because, as she put it, “I never give anything back.” The star also collected great works of art, and often posed for the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera.Always in the public eye, her controversial lifestyle prompted the FBI to investigate her, even as she dined at Hyde Park with FDR! In this revealing and insightful account, the authors detail the life and loves of this fascinating woman.They recount her Oscar nomination for So Proudly We Hail, and her participation in the first transcontinental flight, piloted by none other than Howard Hughes. Here also is the answer to the mystery of the Chaplin-Goddard relationship (Were they married or not?); a complete account of her feud with famed movie director Cecil B. DeMille; and the scandalous under-the-table incident at Ciro’s. The story of Paulette Goddard’s life is more captivating and provocative than fiction.The rare combination of brains, beauty, glamour, and success made Paulette Goddard a one-in-a-billion star.

I’ve always been fascinated by Paulette Goddard. She managed to swirl right into the circles of wealthy men and with ease. I knew she’d been married to Charlie Chaplin. Yes, I saw the movie, Chaplin. But I didn’t know just how complicated this woman was. She’s a trailblazer. She did pretty much what she wanted the way she wanted. She was a force to reckon with. She understood the art of working her image long before a lot of people figured it out. If she wanted to be taken seriously and thought of as a star, she dressed that way. If she wanted money, she found a way to get it.

She’s much more than a former wife of Charlie Chaplin or the wife of Erich Maria Remarque. She did things her way.

The author tended to get wordy occasionally, but the story flowed well. I read the book in a little more than a day. If you’re looking for insight on this old Hollywood star or want a story that’s so remarkable, it would only be possible in Hollywood, then this is the book for you.  If you can find this book at your local library, a used book sale or used online, then nab a copy.  Worth the read and fascinating.

Monday Movie Rundown ~ Guardians Of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

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I love the Guardians of the Galaxy. I loved the first movie and while I’ve never read the comics, I was entertained. Totally.

That said, if you didn’t watch the first movie, then you might want to before catching Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2. There are bits and jokes that will make more sense if you’ve seen the first movie…first.

Still, this is a strong movie. All of the characters are fantastic. I laughed and teared up a bit. Chris Pratt delivers as Peter Quill. He made me feel for the guy and cheer for him, even when I kind of wanted to club him. Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan really steal the movie, though. Their performances shine. I love the dynamic between Gamora and Nebula. The director, James Gunn, allowed them to be brutal while tender and it worked.

If you want a movie that will guarantee laughs, make you think and make you want to see it again, then this is the movie for you. I’m ready to see it again!

 

The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor and the Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s by Joseph Egan

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DIARIESOne of Hollywood s first scandals was nearly its last.
1936 looked like it would be a great year for the movie industry. With the economy picking up after the Great Depression, Americans everywhere were sitting in the dark watching the stars and few stars shined as brightly as one of America’s most enduring screen favorites, Mary Astor.

But Astor’s story wasn’t a happy one. She was born poor, and at the first sign that she could earn money, her parents grabbed the reins and the checks. Widowed at twenty-four, Mary Astor was looking for stability when she met and wed Dr. Franklyn Thorpe. But the marriage was rocky from the start; both were unfaithful, but they did not divorce until after Mary Astor gave birth to little Marylyn Thorpe.

What followed was a custody battle that pushed The Spanish Civil War and Hitler’s 1936 Olympic Games off of the front pages all over America. Astor and Thorpe were both ruthless in their fight to gain custody of their daughter, but Thorpe held a trump card: the diaries that Mary Astor had been keeping for years. In these diaries, Astor detailed her own affairs as well as the myriad dalliances of some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The studio heads, longtime controllers of public perception, were desperate to keep such juicy details from leaking.

With the complete support of the Astor family, including unlimited access to the photographs and memorabilia of Mary Astor’s estate, The Purples Diaries is a look at Hollywood s Golden Age as it has never been seen before, as Egan spins a wildly absorbing yarn about a scandal that threatened to bring down the dream factory known as Hollywood.

I never knew the lengths to which Mary Astor had to fight in order to gain custody of her daughter. If nothing else, this book put into perspective just how crazy the press can be and certainly was back in the 1930s when this story took place.

Mary Astor was a lot stronger than she looked. I remember her from the Maltese Falcon, but not many other films. Seeing her as a human, not just a star, like she’s portrayed in this book was a real eye-opener. She wanted what was best for her daughter. I commend her for that.

Gravy, though, the amount of publicity for the proceedings and how much the press fixated on Astor being a single parent. To modern ears and eyes, this seems silly, but back in the day it was scandalous. I can’t imagine the stress, struggle and strain she went through.

The author had a way with words, drawing me right into the story. Of course, I had to know what would happen. The photos only tell half of the story and I needed to know if the little girl ended up with her mother or father.

One thing this book put into perspective for me was the struggle to find the right parent and for the parents to behave in order to gain custody. Having never been through such a fight, I never realized just how much of a play it can be.

If you’re looking for a book that’s long on story and has heart, despite the courtroom antics, then this might be the one for you. If you love old Hollywood and want a better understanding of the stars at the time or the real struggles they went through, then this might hit the mark.

Monday Movie Review ~ Florence Foster Jenkins by @MeganSlayer

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I’ve wanted to see Florence Foster Jenkins since it came out, but I hadn’t had the chance. Once I saw it was out on DVD, well, I jumped at the opportunity to check it out.

I’d learned about the story of Florence Foster Jenkins from Mysteries at the Museum. She was a remarkable woman.

In this version of her life, she’s presented as a force of nature. She’s already sick and any sort of excitement isn’t good for her, but she’s determined to become a singing star. Her husband starts her out on the road to stardom by teaming her up with a pianist who’d rather play Carnegie Hall than behind an older woman warbling.

I’ve always loved Meryl Streep. I mean, the woman can act. There were times, though, in this story that I felt like I was watching Meryl Streep PLAY Florence. She didn’t disappear into the role as much as I’d thought she would. Still, I was entranced by her.

Hugh Grant, though, seemed to have played the part, but not all the way. I could see him as the dashing younger husband and there were moments I didn’t like him at all. But I kept seeing Hugh Grant, not Florence’s younger husband.

But the movie was worth the watch. I rooted for the blonde who initially laughed at Florence, because she redeems herself. Plus, Florence HEADLINED at Carnegie Hall. How awesome was that?

Maybe Florence wasn’t the great songstress she believed herself to be, but she tried and that’s more than a lot of people can admit. Beautiful backgrounds and a lovely story, this is a movie not to be missed.

Monday Movie Rundown on Sunday ~ Absolutely Fabulous with @MeganSlayer

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI do love movies and I love a good escapist movie. This week’s movie review concerns Absolutely Fabulous, the movie. I’ve been a fan of the television show since the beginning. Edina and Patsy crack me up. This movie was no different. It’s funny.

Okay, so it’s rather escapist. I mean, think about it. I don’t know too many people who rub elbows with Stella McCartney, let alone have her throw a brick through their window.  So I knew going in this was going to be a silly movie. Some of the lengths Edina and Patsy go through in order to get from point A to point B are ridiculous, but when are they not supposed to be?

Was this a great feat of cinematography? No, but I didn’t expect award-winning. Are the characters a little old to be acting like teenagers? Probably, but what else would Edina and Patsy do? Were the cameos great? Absolutely.

If you want a movie that’s short on plot and requires you just go there with the characters, something that will make you laugh, then this might be the movie for you.

@MeganSlayer’s Monday #Movie #Review ~ Bridget Jones’s Baby

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI love to watch movies. It’s true. This past week, I got the chance to watch Bridget Jones’s Baby. You can learn more about the movie here.

“Bridget’s focus on single life and her career is interrupted when she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch … she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.” (IMDB)

I knew when I went into this movie that it wasn’t going to be a cerebral watch. I didn’t expect that. To be honest, I wanted the escape. Bridget Jones delivered. It did. Watching her bumble along on her merry, if not slightly tipsy way, was fun. I felt like I was there with her. Heck, at times, I identified with her. I loved the scene at the festival with the faery wings. It was completely plausible.

I loved the baby portion of the movie. How she dealt with the confusion of who the baby’s father might be was a little skewed, but it was funny. Then labor. Yeah, I identified with the gamut of emotions and hormones. Plus…Colin Firth! Oh and Ed Sheeran. Right there, they were selling points.

If you want something fluffy and feel good, then this is the movie for you. It was a great way to escape and have fun with Bridget, who sure felt like an old friend.