I’ve fallen in love…

….sigh, ah…where do I start? That, I shouldn’t have waited this long to discover my feelings? That, I’ve realised we shouldn’t judge people by their apparent looks? Or, is it sufficient to say…Mr Darcy? I suspect for most of you, that should sum it up perfectly…right?

1200px-PrideAndPrejudiceTitlePage.jpgSo, now that it is all out in the open…I can’ believe it took me so long to “read” Pride and Prejudice. That is just soooo inexcusable…isn’t it? I say “read” because it wasn’t a book but the Audiobook in the car the last two weeks. And never before have I wanted to carry on driving purely to get in a few more minutes of listening. Thank goodness I have the book at home (have had so for years and years) so sneaked (or is it snuck?) in some proper reading when I had the moment. It is one of those books that I didn’t want to end (but did, because I needed to know how it ends – even though I already kind of knew…make sense?). And, when it did end (all too soon), I wanted nothing more than to start at the beginning again.

I’ve always loved the movie (the Matthew Macfadyen one) but now, seeing how much character and story development, dialogue and other is left out, it isn’t quite the same. The book absolutely tops it by miles. Not to say I don’t like the movie anymore. But I can’t get the full story, as intended by Jane Austen, out of my mind.

And make no mistake…it isn’t only about the gentleman mentioned above. It’s about all the wonderful characters and how they make for a story that is timeless. I’m sure we all know a Miss Bingley or a Mrs Bennet whose snotty or  ignorant comments are no different now as back then.

And how wonderful to visualise the movie Mr Darcy for an entire book! Yes, yes…sorry, but I just couldn’t resist…



A few thoughts…

…(seeing that I was a bit late with “entering” the Marvellous Michael Caine Blogathon hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews) is what I’ll give for now (next year I’ll wake up earlier and grab one of his movies). You see, for some reason, it is not that face that comes to mind when Michael Caine is mentioned but rather that distinctive voice. Likewise now…I can hear it clearly in my mind. That timbre. That tempo. And for some reason…always a mentor type persona comes to mind (well, on the whole). Specifically two:

I tend to “hear” Michael Caine as Alfred, the wonderful butler who raised Batman in movies Batman Begins and The Last Knight (remember, I’m only talking about movies I’ve seen here). I always admire his character. The trustworthy gentleman who would never give away the man behind (or under) the mask. The man who guides Batman and gives him advice in that perfect firm but respective manner: “Drive sports cars, date movie stars, buy things that are not for sale… who knows, Master Wayne? You start pretending to have fun, you might even have a little by accident”. Always Master Wayne. Despite knowing him for an age.

batman alfred

And then, I think of that other poor mentor who has a really hard time…”I’m sorry, what was the question? I was distracted by the half-masticated cow rolling around in your wide-open trap” and “What, no armored car?”. Can’t you just see him? As Victor in Miss Congeniality? Poor man. He really has a challenge there. But, Michael Caine perfectly suits these kind of roles.

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of his movies, and he always does a good job…be it the sleazy Ray in Little Voice, the weird uncle in Secondhand Lions, journalist in The Quiet American or one of so many more characters that he takes on with ease. But, those mature-mentor type roles are those that stick to the forefront of my Michael Caine associations.

So, here’s wishing him a very Happy Birthday.

happy-birthday-words-outline.pngOh…head on over to Realweegiemidget Reviews here for all the other birthday wishes, thoughts, musings and so on…caine2


Most beautiful…

About Time. Oh sigh…such a lovely, delightful movie…not to be taken lightly.

About_Time_PosterI was talked into watching this one by a friend and wow, I can’t believe that I hadn’t been that keen on it because it is absolutely worth seeing. Just look at the poster above…doesn’t it look simply wonderful? So heartfelt? Uplifting? Genuine?

The men in Tim‘s family have the amazing capability to travel in time. The “catch” is that they can only go to a place and time that the traveler in question has been to/experienced before. So, no going forwards, no going sideways (to a place not been) and definitely no going to someplace “unvisited”. Oh, and can only be done from a dark place, ideally a cupboard or such while clenching your hands and thinking yourself to the selected place. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) is informed of this on his 21st birthday by Dad (Bill Nighy) who, being the good father he is, advises his son to use this special ability to enrich his life in a positive way and avoid the glamorous temptations.

After initial disbelief, Tim tries it out and…voila…it works! One of the first things he does is use it to his advantage with girls. Having a romantic advance on a girl he likes not work out the way he wants  it to, and taking the knowledge/feedback from that incident, he travels back to repeat the attempt. This time, however, something else doesn’t quite go to his liking so…repeat. So, it all starts.

However, as the movie moves along, Tim matures and has more meaningful experiences (like Time Travel Bannermeeting Mary..) that he repeats for supposedly optimal results. The truth, however, is that each time he goes back and makes a change, something else changes (naturally) and the outcome isn’t always as expected or hoped for. But…it all works (if you can get your mind around the time travel concept) quite well and becomes a wonderful, meaningful movie. Initially all light and funny, the seriousness of it all becomes evident. Never heavy, heavy, (double heavy intended) there is a lesson to be learnt but on a whole you’ll be smiling yet keeping in mind that second chances may not always be second chances…

The performances are excellent all round…I mean, how can you go wrong with Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie (oh wow, was that her?) and many more? And, furthermore…how can a story written by the same man (Richard Curtis) who wrote Pirate Radio, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love, Actually, Notting Hill et al. not be great? He also directs this one (as he did Love, Actually and Pirate Radio). You know what? If you haven’t seen this one…go on…give it a go. I’m sure you’ll love it.

This is the second Time Travel movie I’m covering for the Time Travel Blogathon (The Lake House entry can be found through this portal here and other awesome entries can be found by transporting yourselves here and here).


Time Travel…sort of…with The Lake House

Time Travel BannerTime Travel. Hmmm. That’s a type of movie that I’m always nervous of watching…will it “work” or not? But every now and then, they get it right. Or, rather, the story writer gets it right. And so, for this Time Travel Blogathon (for more awesome entries travel a few seconds in time to here or here) I’ve even got two wonderful movies to chit chat about.

So, without further ado, let me give you the first of the two…hmm…where should we start…I think with the one that springs to mind first…

The Lake House (2006).

Maybe it isn’t time travel as much as a story set in two simultaneous but alternate time planes. Possibly even the same plane (because both characters….oh sod it…this is getting too much). Although, there must be some element of time travel at play here…not from the characters but rather from the letter in question. Or the post box. Letter? Post Box? Huh? Let me explain…

TheLakeHouseWe have Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock) a doctor who, having sold a house on the lake (yes, The Lake House, duh) leaves a letter to the new occupant in the post box. However, the new occupant is actually the former occupant, architect Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves). Confused yet? You won’t be for long if you give it a watch..it all sorts itself out in a plausible-ish kind of way. Basically, Kate and Alex write to each other from different years yet, by means of the post box, at the same time. Initially, neither Kate nor Alex comprehend the situation but as they start sharing more and more letters that magically appear to the other (standing at the same place at the same time yet not) a new sort of magic evolves…that of romance.

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, opposite each other for a second time (we won’t get into technicalities here re the time travel), have a wonderful chemistry together. I think their “aging” or “maturity” (I’m not saying old…I just mean that they are no longer 20 somethings as they were in Speed) works in their favour here. I like their slow romance, their gradual way of getting to know each other.

As the story unfolds, the pieces come together and, while the post box portal thing may might not be realistic, the possibility of their encounter (or lack thereof) is. Forget about trying to explain it all and simply enjoy it for enjoyment’s sake. Overthinking, reasoning – that will ruin it. Sit back and enjoy.

(Here’s the means to travel to my other post on About Time in this Time Travel Blogathon…here)


Lightly dusted with snow…

So, maybe I haven’t lived in Europe long enough but wow…winter is just gorgeous…and that atmosphere. I know it is cliché but it really does look like someone has dusted the trees with icing sugar…


…ok, ok, fine, let’s talk again next winter. This is still that “new” phase where everything is wonderful (I’ve never seen so many beautiful icicles and gaze in awe at frozen waterfalls) and after a few winters I probably won’t appreciate it anymore…well, hopefully I will, as it is magnificent. Oh…we even had sun today but I couldn’t take any pics as I was stuck at the office! And my first really cold weather experience… -12 Degrees Celsius is a tad chilly when barely awake and heading to work in the morning…it did go up to a nice warm -1 though.


Isn’t nature amazing? The “live” version is spectacular.


The Great Western Blogathon

It’s high time we need a Western Blogathon don’t you think? So…here it is:

The Great Western Blogathon

14 April 2018

I want to hear all about your favourite western movies.

I’m no fan of “rules” however, I do have one ask here…can we please restrict this to the “traditional” feeling westerns (movies set in the “later half of the 19th Century”?). They don’t specifically need to be set in the Old American West (the Australian Outback will be fine too) but at least roughly during that period and have an appropriate feel. So, as excellent as they are can we please leave the likes of “No Country for Old Men”, “Hell or High Water” and other contemporary/neo/modern-day-setting westerns (you get the idea, partner) out of this Blogathon? Hope you don’t mind.

Let me know your choice in the comments section below (duplicates welcome), grab a banner and we’ll be saddling up for the round up on the 14th April 2018.

Here is the cattle blog drive (i.e. the entries) so far:

Thoughts All Sorts – I’m yet undecided…so…TBC

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films – The Searchers

Realweegiemidget Reviews – A Million Ways to Die in the West

Cracked Rear Viewer – Da uomo a uomo (Death Rides a Horse)

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies – The Westerns of Robert Ryan

Cinematic Scribblings – The Sundowners

Moon in Gemini – Winchester ’73

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Django Unchained

The Midnite Drive-In – The War Wagon and The Train Robbers

The Flapper Dame – Big Jake

Christina Wehner – Broken Arrow

Taking Up Room – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

LA Explorer – Dodge City

portraitsbyjenni – Hondo









John and Jeff are Rooster…

How cool is this…two of my favourite actors, in my favourite genre playing the same character and both being nominated for an Oscar. Pretty awesome right?

TrueGritYep, the amazing John Wayne and Jeff Bridges were nominated for their respective roles as lawman Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 and 2010 versions of True Grit. That is, of course, actor in a leading role (or however the award is phrased at any given time). Pretty much…some pretty darn good acting by an actor in the lead role.

As it would be totally wrong to compare the two and their take on this iconic role, I’m not going to do so. To ensure this, I’m only going to re-watch the 2010 True Grit after I’ve written up my 1969 True Grit bit. (No way…already 8 years old!)

Let me start with John Wayne purely because I only just watched this last night (well, by the time I post this it will be “three nights ago”). I’ve had the DVD in my collection for years. Yes…years. And I can’t believe I put it off so long. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

RoosterCogburnJohnWayneAt first, I thought John Wayne was…..well…John Wayne. Then, as the story unfolded, I realised that, actually, yes, it is John Wayne being John Wayne but that’s the whole reason why he’s my Western movie hero. Some fantastic acting. As he had more and more screen time, I noticed that it was more than that. Something different, something grittier, something Oscar-deserving. He took on this role with enough grumpiness and seeming indifference to make it believable yet under it all managing to subtly show a tender side. And, the unintentional comic moments and/or witty lines are perfectly timed – for a second here and there, that is. Then back to pure grump again. Never before had I been aware of small facial expressions like I was here. Absolutely perfect.

The other thing I noticed was that, despite being the legendary man he was (and still is), he never once overshadowed his co-stars. Now that is great artistry.

True-Grit-2Did he win? Yes, third Oscar nomination lucky (2nd nomination for actor, the other in 1950)…in 1970 John Wayne received an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role (his 3rd nomination had been for directing in 1960). Very, very well deserving. He likewise won a Golden Globe (same role, obviously).

Slightly off-topic, while watching the outlaw at different points I had this feeling of “I know this face” with two of them. I just couldn’t pinpoint who….until the credits rolled and hey! of course! Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper. I couldn’t believe it. Keep an eye out for them if you watch this.

So…save post…and…off to watch Jeff Bridges

Gruff and no-nonsense roles require actors who can portray such traits naturally, without seeming “acted”. Jeff Bridges achieves this spot on in the “newer” version. What I appreciate is that he hasn’t tried to “copy” John Wayne‘s role at all. Granted, some of the lines are the same but that’s purely because it is based on a book (by Charles Portis and superb reading if you haven’t yet done so). He breathes life filled with the perfect balance of  “grump” and disillusionment into Rooster Cogburn. But underneath it all, still caring, albeit not obviously so.

His Rooster is the man who is not used to being with anyone else. Who does his own thing, makes his own decisions, fighting his daemons. There is no light relief in this portrayal and had there been, it just wouldn’t have worked. Am I allowed to repeat “Absolutely perfect.” that I used a few paragraphs earlier? Definitely Oscar deserving.

RoosterCogburnJeffBridgesAnd did he win? Unfortunately, in this second nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, he wasn’t as lucky as in the year before when he won for Crazy Heart. Overall, this was his 6th of 7 total nominations.

Having watched these two fantastic movies within 3 days of each other…and I’m not about to compare…do I have a preference? No, I don’t. The two roles are so totally different that they can’t be compared. John Wayne and Jeff Bridges bring us outstanding performances and are equally deserving of their Oscar nominations. Besides, 2010 as opposed to 1969 is a new age of movie making, a new era of actors, a new approach to roles. How could I possibly put them side by side? So, no, absolutely no preference.

Although, I do favour one of the movies over the other, but that is totally besides the point here. And has nothing to do with Rooster Cogburn or the actors playing him.


This is my entry for the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon hosted by Paula’s Cinema Club, Outspoken and Freckled and Once Upon a Screen.

For my previous entries, The Sting and The Piano, click here and here.