Two minute movie review: Paddington

When it comes to movies, I’m rarely surprised.

This weekend I went with my beautiful 6 year old God-daughter and her mom to see the movie Paddington and we had the best time!  Talk about being surprised!

Laugh out loud funny moments for both kids and adults.  A story line that works brilliantly, with wonderful acting, great music moments (one of my favorites without giving anything away – I’ll just say two words:  Lionel Richie) and a beautiful teddy bear that feels life-like right from the start – Paddington is great fun and a perfect family movie that all will appreciate and certainly enjoy!

Oh, and just to add a little more – it teaches empathy, love and about what family really means (and a whole bunch more).  We give it two bear-paws up!    Enjoy!

Genius: Benedict Cumberbatch

There’s so much “stuff”  going on right now with the death of Eric Garner, the Torture Report, etc. that I just wanted something positive to share. So here goes some happiness I’ve been enjoying lately!  I hope you find some joy in it too!  (transcription below video if you prefer)

(Video Loosely Transcribed)

I admit I’m a newcomer to the Benedict Cumberbatch fan club band wagon.

About a year ago, a friend of mine had told me that I should be watching Sherlock on the BBC and I kinda just put it on my “TO WATCH” list.

About a month ago I was home sick and decided to watch one episode – of course, I binge watched the whole thing.  And I couldn’t figure out where I knew this man from.  I couldn’t figure out why he seemed so familiar.  And eventually I realized he played Kahn in Star Trek.  If someone had just mentioned that fact, being that I’m a little bit of a Sci-Fi geek, I would have totally made the connection and I would have watched Sherlock right away just based on that:  Kahn from Star Trek!!!!  Hello!!!!

In all seriousness, I am shocked by this man.  And I know there are a lot of people who are in love with him because they think he’s so good looking – women and men alike – and I get it.  But what makes him more fascinating to me is his talent.  And I’m not telling anybody anything new.  However, the reason I’m doing a video-post about him is because I never use this word loosely and I have to use it to describe this man.

I think he’s a genius.  Yup, I said it.  A Genius!

I remember watching Michael Jordan in the Chicago Bulls back in the day.  And I remember everyone feeling like we had never seen something like this before.  Being in complete awe of someone’s ability – and not just their ability, but their humility while doing it.  Right?  It’s not just about the talent, but it’s about how they portray themselves when they’re not doing what they’re so naturally gifted at.

Of course, I’m now binge watching all things Benedict Cumberbatch (he’s been in so much by the way, like, 12 Years A Slave, August: Osage County, etc. just go click on his IMDB page and I’m sure you’ve seen him in two or three things you just didn’t know it).  He’s seamless.  I keep watching interviews and listening to him. And it’s not just his talent that fascinates me, it’s his ability to understand his talent and where he is IN IT that makes it so amazing.  And it’s not that he doesn’t care about fame, but he seems more concerned with how fame is going to affect his ability to portray the characters he needs portray.

Simply, I find him amazing.  And if you don’t know who he is, or you haven’t watched anything he’s been in or you think he’s some teen fad, I’m telling you right now check out his current movie:  The Imitation Game.  It’s out right now.  Fascinating. I’ve posted the trailer below.

I think we are in the midst of a genius.  So take the opportunity to enjoy it while you can.  It just doesn’t happen all that often.  Cheers!

The Non-review Review: LINCOLN

Let me first say, that I’m biased.

Most who know me, know that if Steven Spielberg filmed a brown paper bag against a white back-drop for 3 hours, I’d find it genius, fascinating, and worthy of my $15 movie ticket.  Clearly, there was no question I’d be seeing the film LINCOLN.

But those who do know me also know that I rarely recommend people to see any film.  I think film critics and film reviews tend to taint the movie going experience one way or another.  I prefer to have conversations about a film we both watched instead of pushing you to see a film you may or may not be interested in.

With that said, I’m about to contradict myself.  I am suggesting there’s at least one reason why seeing the movie LINCOLN would be worthy of your money and more importantly, your time:  Simply,   to watch Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis.

For me, the movie itself meets all MY criteria for what makes a great movie:  if I forget I’m watching a movie and I’m totally “in it”, then it’s probably a great movie.  But make no mistake, its cerebral.  A thinking movie.  Political.  It’s historical.  The action scenes are not what you think.  There’s no romance in the story, yet there is a love story.  Actually, I’d say there are two.  Maybe even three…

Now, there are plenty of reviews that talk about the brilliance of this film. Some that try and slam it.  Others that question its historical accuracy…  I admit I don’t have enough historical knowledge to argue its accuracy and in the end, don’t care so much.  Historical accuracy is not as important in this piece of art as is the artwork itself.  This isn’t a documentary after-all.  But even if this isn’t your genre, even if the thought of sitting through a historical political piece bores you, even, if you have NO INTEREST at all in politics or the significance of the 13th Amendment to The Constitution, trust me, going to see this movie just to watch Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance is SO worth it!

There are very few moments when we get to experience such perfection at work.  Off the top of my head I think of Michael Jordan playing for the Bulls, or maybe Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice….you get what  I mean.  And watching President Abraham Lincoln on the screen portrayed wonderfully, maybe even perfectly, by the great Daniel Day-Lewis, was quite…well, magnificent to say the least.  I’m so glad I had the privilege.  I hope you get to watch one of the best, most gifted actors of our time at work.  If there’s any reason why I’d push anyone to see this film, it would be for just that one reason:  To see pure genius once again.  I just love when that happens and it’d be a shame if you missed it.

I also tip (flip?) my curls to the great Mr. Steven Spielberg. Another fine film.  Thank you.

But Daniel Day-Lewis?  Incredible!  Go see this film!

The Grammy’s 2012 Quick Review

The Grammy’s last night were…okay. What surprised me was how amazing the country stars were to ME.  I’m not a country music fan most days – okay, any day!  So I was amazed to catch myself singing or mumbling along to Taylor Swift – a song I don’t know – and then, enjoying a little Glenn Campbell  (which in all fairness I should admit, to this day, I’m still made fun of by some old school folk from the ‘hood for loving “Rhinestone Cowboy” as a little girl.  It’s a great song, what can I say?).  But I found myself enjoying the Country Music stars more than the pop/hip hop artist. Is something wrong with me?  Probably.

And then of course, there was Adele. Lovely.  Magnificent.  Perfect. And like the country stars, no bells and whistles, no over-the-top sets and productions filled with over-synthesized voices – pure, pure talent.

Sweet Jennifer Hudson had the awful task of paying homage to Ms. Whitney Houston.  I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I will say this:  Jennifer Hudson, award-winning fierce and powerful talent stumbled through this piece – clearly with emotions in her belly, her voice weighed down with sadness – if she couldn’t do the job the way she wanted to, why does anyone else think for one moment, they would have done any better?  This is a talented and brilliant singer – and my heart bled for her last night before she took the stage.  What a tough moment for her.  And although she was able to pull it off – obviously, this was also too monumental a task to ask of anyone.  One love to Ms. Hudson. An “A” for effort, and an “A+” for courage.