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The Hot List

So of course, you know me very well.  I love, love, love movies.  They can give you so much insight into the fiber of people.  I’m literally enthralled when watching people under any and all circumstances.  Like many of you, I find it quite fascinating to try and figure out why their characters do what they do, react the way they do and their reasoning behind it.

There are more movies than not, in this time, that really peel back the layers of flawed characters, both mentally, physically and emotionally and quite frankly it’s a movement that I fully support.  I think it’s incumbent upon the media to portray this forgotten, ignored and feared portion of fringe society.  Why you might ask?  Because it’s critical for the rest of us to start looking at people with autism or nervous facial ticks or Tourettes or vitiligo (white spots on your skin or loss of pigmentation) as normal human beings.  The more we understand, the less fear controls us.  I didn’t know anything about Tourettes until I think I saw an episode on LA Law (what seems like a thousand years ago) where one of the clients had Tourettes, and would just have these incredibly loud outbursts of cursing and yelling and saying the most incredibly appalling things to random strangers.  The strangest thing was, that as he’s saying these things, he’s wearing a look of pure mortification and contriteness immediately after the words escaped his lips.  This opposition between words and body language would have anyone perplexed to say the least but now that I can recognize and can define the behavior, if I see it again, I won’t freak out.  I will ignore it and be sympathetic to the person suffering from it.  Knowledge changes our behavior, hopefully for the better.  In today’s world, tolerance and acceptance are definitely a necessity.

I’ve seen quite a few interesting movies/series, so let me get to it and pass on the knowledge!

The Accountant – The Accountant

Where do I begin?  A+++ – First off – I love me some Affleck – and I don’t mean the insurance either duckiE – alrightE then!

Now Ben is my new Mr. Big!  Yes that’s right, he’s my new Chris Noth and what I mean by that specifically is that Ben ages like Hollywood legends; a little something old, something new, something borrowed and well those crisp blue shirts do bring out the gold flecks in those baby hazels.  Anyhoosie forget about his looks (hardly) but let’s move onto the storyline – Ben as a young boy ain’t quite so right – mom leaves for a myriad of reasons and daddy daycare knuckles under the militant father – fast forward to three piece suit years later and you’ve got a very interesting accountant?  Yeah that’s right.  And his figures never looked so good.  The man can balance a checkbook and a Barrett M82A1M .50 BMG sniper rifle with the same liquidity.  (And yeah, Charleston Heston I’m not – I had to look that one up.)  Now why would an accountant need such heavy artillery?  Find out.   Anna Kendrick is absolutely adorable in her role of smart, awkward possible love interest but I’m not gonna lie, the two of them onscreen together is a tiny bit cringe worthy.  She’s the size of a house-cat and Ben literally hulks over her – had much the same effect on me as Eric Bana in The Other Boleyn Girl.  In a word – that shit only seemed to work for Sean Connery.  A slighter built man despite a large age difference might have worked but anything else just plays a little too Little Red Riding Hood vs. Big Bad Wolf.    They must have noticed that onscreen and spared us too much romantic play betwixt the two.  Thank you screen moguls.  Last word on this – John Bernthal ROCKS!

Black Field – Black Field –

This movie held my interest because of Sara Canning.  Her intensity is powerful.  The movie has been described as a Gothic romance.  It did remind me a tad of Jane Eyre, (the one with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska – the rest pale in comparison.) There are fields, and grey emptiness, two sisters on a lone farm house and suddenly there’s a man and instead of coloring the world differently, his presence makes it heavier and darker.  The choices each make along with the consequences haunt you long after the film has ended.

Love & Friendship – Love & Friendship

Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate!  This movie is quite a roll in the hay!  It’s incredibly witty so when you watch it, pay close attention to the dialogue.  I honestly could NOT stop laughing.  Kate is wickedly clever and very astute in the art of plotting and manipulation.  It’s Dangerous Liaisons without the Danger and plenty of liaison.

Don’t Breathe – Don’t Breathe

Every now and again I can talk the sailor into watching something I’m almost too scared to watch myself.  Now truth be told, if he would have made more of a fuss, I would have watched it on my own but luckily he was down.  Quite frankly I’m just going to give you the synopsis, and if that doesn’t prompt you to see the movie, then you’re just not into it but I warn you, it’s a goodE!

Three teens, all with their own separate reasoning, want to rob this old, blind guy’s house so they can get out of their dumpy town and start life fresh with some scratch in their pockets.  Simple plan right?  I mean the guy is old and blind and these are three pretty smart, capable teens right?  Yeah, right.  Just watch it with the lights low and the popcorn bowl close at hand preferably under a comfy, warm blanket.

A Series of Unfortunate Events – A Series of Unfortunate Events

Now let me just say that this Netflix original series was taken from a book series!  The author, Lemony Snicket, for whom I have a special love, it is because of his talent that my daughter gained an interest in reading.  So Thank You Lemony!

This series is an absolutely hysterical, colorful wonder and so well done that you literally, while you are watching this, undergo a transformation from adult to child in about 3.2 seconds.  Yes there is some repetition, some moments of exasperation, some (if you’re Caribbean) what de ass moments?  But still (the two words that are most used in any Martial Arts Drive in Movie Film) somehow on this particular series, it’s absolutely charmant.

Synopsis, three orphans (the kid’s facial expressions will literally have you in stitches), their parents die in a mysterious fire and they are shifted from place to place, chased by the horrible Count Olaf who is mercilessly after their enormous fortune.  The cast of characters are unbelievable!  Neil Patrick Harris, as Count Olaf simply astounds – Patrick Warburton whom I fondly remember as The Tick plays the writer, Lemony Snicket and it is his narrative that truly centers you as you and the orphans travel on a long and circuitous path into the unknown.

Look away, look away.

Mozart in The Jungle – Mozart in the Jungle

Oh the music, the talent, the cast!  This show is like food for your soul.  The beauty of this series is in the struggle.  Yes the struggle of the artist, specifically the NY Symphony musicians, a dancer, a conductor and just your regular schmucks who are on the sidelines of the talent.  Gael Garcia is so genuine you don’t realize he’s acting at all.  He’s got heart, soul, he’s manic, he’s talented, he’s charming, humble, amazing.  You want to be near this guy in real life.  His gift is bringing out the best in others while searching for the best in himself.  He let’s the music speak to him, lead him and in doing so he discovers and cultivates talent in the most unlikeliest of places.  It’s on Amazon Prime so if you have it, you can try an episode and see if the music speaks to you!

Z: The Beginning of Everything – Z: The Beginning of Everything

Christina Ricci is all southern charm and spice and David Holm is the man who can’t stop chasing her fire.  I’m only two episodes in and I like it.  I like that it seems like a good, old fashion southern romance with a dash of hellion and woman’s lib uprising but I saw the preview for episode 3 and I’m completely intrigued by the new direction it is taking.  The dialogue ain’t half bad either.

“Scott usually reaches for women way above his league.”

“Well what do you expect when you’re in a league of your own?”



11.22.63 – 11.23.63

James Franco is definitely the next best thing to realism as one man can get.  There’s a certain genuine, dopey puppy thang about James that is absolutely captivating.  This role is no less so.  Now after all of the romance and action and scary movie, we have got to throw in a little sci-fi to top off the mix and that’s where 11.22.63 comes in.  What if you had a window – literally a portal into the past?  You travel to one specific day and your mission: to stop the assassination of JFK.  Why?  Simply because you were  convinced that in doing so, the world would be infinitely better than when you left it?  That’s precisely the chance that James/Jake discovers he has.  Wanna see what he’ll do with it?

Extant – Extant

Speaking of sci-fi I’ll do you one better.  First of all, Halle Berry plays an astronaut!  She shattered a number of Hollywood stereotypes in this little series.  She’s how old, she’s Black, she’s a she and she’s playing a major role in sci-fi!  Yeah baby, I love it!  Yassssssssssss!  (Now say it like Quad or Mariah from Married to Medecine and we’re in business!) – So suppose you go to space, on your little solo-mission and when you come home a year later, you’re not exactly alone but preggars!  Oh yeah, apparently your ass had a close encounter you didn’t even recall!  Somebody better call Maury cause Halle, you are not the father!  No but seriously, the first season of this show starts off very strong but I’ll be honest by the last couple of episodes you’re longing for a resolution because it becomes way too repetitive. However let me encourage you to stick with it because Season 2 features Jeffrey Dean Morgan and he revitalizes the season from beginning to end.  Not only is the story exceptionally interesting but if there is a boring part, you can just get lost in his dimples until it passes!  Hey Jeffrey, PS I Love YOU!

Mr. Selfridges – Mr. Selfridge

So I couldn’t watch another Donton Abbey repeat but what’s a girl to do?  I longed for something BBC.  So off I shuffled to to Mr. Selfridge.  What’s better than a setting in a department store?  Not terribly much in my book.  As a kid, my sister and I had dreams about being locked in the mall once it closed so this gives some life to that fantasy.   There’s romance, illicit affairs, intrigue, blackmail, all while selling perfume and lace.  What’s even better is an American is behind all the talk!  Hmph – aren’t we always?  Nuff said.