Movie Review ~ The Heiress ~ @MeganSlayer #review #movie #BWmovie

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This week, I thought I’d watch yet another old movie, but this time I wanted to watch a movie that wasn’t as popular as other movies. The Heiress fit the bill. It’s certainly not one of Montgomery Clift’s best films. Olivia de Havilland stars in this picture about a woman in the mid 19th century who is about to inherit a lot of money and a home. She’s sheltered and doesn’t have a lot of confidence. Her friends, mostly her father’s age, want to marry her off, but with a man of good standing. She meets Morris, a man of questionable standing and though she’s told not to fall for him, she does. He’s… he’s not a great guy, but he’s not bad. I never really got the hint that Clift’s character was a fortune hunter insomuch as he seemed more like a man struck with a nasty case of wanderlust. I think he loved de Havilland, but he had a strange way to show it.

Olivia de Havilland plays the dowdy woman well, but it seemed tired in this picture. Not like she was trying to act that way, but more like she’d phoned it in. There was almost no chemistry between de Havilland and Clift. I don’t think he enjoyed his role in the film, but it was a paycheck.

If you want a picture that shows a woman who is socially awkward, abused emotionally by her father and ignored by the social set…then this might be a film for you. If you want to root for the underdog and are willing to put up with an ending you can, yet can’t see coming…then this might be the film for you.

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Book Review ~ Haunted Rock & Roll: Ghostly Tales of Musical Legends by Matthew L Swayne #bookreview #review

ROLLPlug in the guitar, raise the curtain, and step onto the haunted stage

From rock and roll’s pioneers to its contemporary rebels, the greatest names live on after death–in unexpected and frightening ways. Discover thrilling stories of Michael Jackson, Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Amy Winehouse, and many more rockers who’ve been seen haunting their favorite bars, clubs, and homes.

Haunted Rock and Roll covers rock’s entire paranormal legacy, allowing you to explore the famous faces, places, and legends that define one of the biggest cultural movements of all time. Experience true stories of rock star ghosts while enjoying trivia and insights from renowned ghost hunters and researchers. Whether they’re making demonic deals for fame or being chased into the afterlife under mysterious circumstances, rockers have followed the same motto: live fast, die young, and leave a restless spirit.

I’m a sucker for a good ghost story and even better when there’s music involved. I love creepy music and setting the right tone is important. This book, filled with rock and roll icons is interesting.

I enjoyed reading this book. I have to say though, most of the stories lacked much depth. Most were a retelling of stories that have circulated for a while. I don’t know if Mama Cass is really in more than one place in her ghostly form, but I’m not shocked if she is. Some of the stories seemed more like assumptions, but they were interesting.

If you want a set of stories that features rock and roll legends and a few newer artists, then this might be the book for you. It’s light reading and fun.

Movie Review ~ Week-End in Havana ~ @meganslayer #movie #review #BWmovie

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI’m a sucker for a John Payne movie. Don’t place the name? You might remember him as the lawyer from Miracle on 34th Street.  But this isn’t that movie. Put some dark-rimmed glasses on him and he’s swoon-worthy.

Like I said, though, this review isn’t about that movie. This one is about Week-End in Havana. It’s a fun, yet romantic picture featuring Mr. Payne, Alice Faye, Cesar Romero and Carmen Miranda. Faye heads to Havana and her ship runs aground. Unfortunately, Payne, who works for the shipping company, is sent to Havana to obtain waivers from the passengers so they can have another trip another time. Faye wants hers now. No waiver. Payne feigns interest in her and escorts her around the island. Romero, thinking she’s got money, tries to get involved and win money to help his career as a gambler and the one of his singing star wife, played by Miranda.

The antics are amusing…watching Romero try to run from the fiery Miranda, Payne trying not to fall for Faye and the girlfriend who isn’t sure everything is on the level, even though it is. The girlfriend who tries to interfere. Gotta have one of those characters. It’s a light movie and just plain fun.

If you’re looking for an afternoon viewing on a chilly day, then this one might be the one for you. The scenery is lush, the gowns exquisite and the singing numbers are fun. Find it and watch this flick today.

Book Review ~ Remembering the Stars of the NFL Glory Years: An Inside Look at the Golden Age of Football by Wayne Stewart #Bookreview @meganSlayer

NFLThe 1950s and 60s was a golden age for professional football. It was perhaps the toughest and roughest era for the sport, before rules were created to better protect the players, but it was also a time when legends were born. To many football fans this era remains the Glory Years of the NFL, when the stars that roamed the gridiron included the likes of Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Jim Brown, and Raymond Berry.

In Remembering the Stars of the NFL Glory Years: An Inside Look at the Golden Age of Football, Wayne Stewart tells the story of professional football in the ‘50s and ‘60s through the words of the players themselves. Chapters cover Hall of Famers on both sides of the ball, players who made a lasting impression on the game, and the toughest players on the gridiron. Stewart intertwines profiles of these iconic players with the athletes’ own memories, observations, and anecdotes, including their impressions of teammates and opponents. Two additional chapters consist of humorous quotes and the players’ thoughts on how the game has changed since their heyday.

Featuring exclusive interviews with players from the 1950s and ‘60s, Remembering the Stars of the NFL Glory Years provides an inside look at this distinct time in professional football. With a wide range of topics and insights included throughout, this book will both entertain and inform football fans and historians alike.

I love football and I love to learn about the game. This book taught me all about a few players I knew and whole lot I didn’t.  There are plenty of names that pop right out and most that, being a younger fan, weren’t recognizable to me. That’s okay. The way the stories are told in this book, I felt like I was sitting around a table and jawing about the good old days.

It’s a fun read and there are a lot of stats, but it’s not a boring telling. The one thing that did trip me up a few times were the transitions between stories. Sometimes the transitions were smooth. I saw how one player had something to do with the next. Other times, it was a simple break and kind of hard to follow.

Still, a good and interesting read.

If you’re looking for a book about the players from the 50s and 60s and few even before that, then this might be the book for you.

Movie Review ~ Goodbye, Mr. Chips ~ @meganslayer #movie #review #BWmovie

Monday Movie Rundown BannerDepressing, but worth the watch. I’d never seen Goodbye Mr. Chips. I kept thinking, this is an award-winning movie. I should catch it. Did I? Not until the other day. I wish I hadn’t waited.

This movie ticked a lot of boxes for me. There’s adventure, a bumbling, but lovable hero, romance, and a few tears. Mr. Chipping, aka Mr. Chips just wants to teach at an all boys school. How he goes through is life and his trials is interesting. By the end of the movie, I felt like I knew the character well.

I rooted for him. Hoped he’d get what he wanted, then cried more than once at the end. Greer Garson plays a good foil for him in his love interest. I almost wished she were on the screen longer. Their interplay was great.

I wish it hadn’t been quite such a depressing film. Gracious. What that poor man went through during his time as a teacher and master. I felt for him, though, which was the point. I wanted to see him succeed. It’s a long movie for the time, but worth the watch. If  you’re in the mood for a movie that will tug at the heartstrings, then this might be the one.

Movie Review ~ Now, Voyager @MeganSlayer #movies #review #thoughts

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI’ve been on a black and white movie binge for a while and the first one I watched happened to be Now, Voyager. I’ve wanted to catch this one for a while. I’m not sure why I hadn’t watched it before. I love a good Bette Davis movie and this one wasn’t bad.

I loved how Davis, as Charlotte, bloomed through the story. The way she grew and changed was great. Then there’s the romance that can’t be between Davis and Paul Henreid. I liked him in Casablanca, but here, Henreid shines. He’s a tortured man and trying to find happiness. Some of the reasons for his unhappiness are of his own making, but I could overlook it.

A few things I couldn’t overlook were how dated this movie truly was. Unfortunately, I initially watched it through the lens of current times. Just because Charlotte is brow-beaten doesn’t mean she should have to go to a sanitarium, but she does. She doesn’t get along with her mother–but who could! Mother was as coarse as they come. It’s no wonder Charlotte felt belittled. Then there was the scene with Tina. There’s no way someone who wasn’t the child’s biological relative would be able to not only take her out of the sanitarium for a camping trip without supervision, but to keep her out on said trip. No way they’d allow the pair, a motherly woman and a young teen to pair up the way they did or to allow the teen to move in with the woman. Without the parent’s approval? Oy. It bothered me. And how the father just went with it.

I liked the movie, but I had some serious issues with the emotional affair and the child situation.

Looked at through a more innocent lens, this movie is brilliant acting on the part of Davis. She shined in her role and the way she came out of her shell was great. Henreid played a handsome hero figure and the romance satisfied, despite it being doomed.

If you’re in the mood for a movie with an ending you won’t see coming, then this might be the one for you.

 

Thursday Movie Rundown ~ 50 Shades of Grey @MeganSlayer #movies #review #thoughts

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI have to start this review for 50 Shades of Grey with the following disclaimer: I only got 20 pages into the book before I couldn’t handle it and threw it across the room.

Sounds mean, doesn’t it? Lots of people loved the book. Lots. It’s funny because BDSM and that sort of play doesn’t bother me. I play. But I had lots of problems with the way the BDSM was portrayed in the book. The movie was no better. If possible, it was worse.

Jamie Dornan was the worst actor for the role of Grey. Or maybe he was the best. If he was supposed to be that wooden and hard to understand, then great. He nailed it. If he was supposed to have ANY sort of redeeming qualities and not come off as creepy and pervy, then they really missed the mark.

Dakota Johnson wasn’t any better. Her flip-flopping bothered me. The innocent factor should’ve been there, but wasn’t. This role seemed to be above her head.  The dialogue was horrible. So flat. The scenes were almost too over the top. Let’s fight, then go for a flight in an experimental plane? Um…no.

Then there were the play scenes. I don’t know who decided they should be done the way they were, but I wasn’t turned on or even mildly titillated by them. I wanted to smack Grey and ask Anna what the hell she was thinking. Good example…when she says she needs to know how it feels to be broken like him. Broken? Okay, explain…maybe show her, but to fully, complete might whack her with the belt… A – she wouldn’t had serious welts after two whacks. B – you can be fucked up all you want, but a little verbal description would’ve been nice. C – I didn’t get the catharsis or the thrill of it. The scene turned me off.  I didn’t see how someone who has no experience with sex (Anna) could get right into BDSM without much thought. Seriously. How did she know what she’d like/not like in the playroom without any real idea of what she liked/didn’t like in the bedroom? And him being a 26 yr old billionaire…it happens. Look at the celebutants. It can happen. But the way Grey conducted himself… Just no.

When I started watching this movie as a comedy, rather than a romance, I enjoyed it much more–and I still hated it. I’ll be honest. I didn’t like it. I thought the movie was foolish and ridiculous. Not romantic or fantastic or even having a kernel of fantasy to it. Simply dumb. Maybe you’ll think otherwise. I don’t know. Will I watch Darker? Um…that’s a big no.