We've got a new puppy in the house. Her name is Ella AKA Creature of Nightmares (well I am a dark thriller author!). So expect a few dog photos here and there.
I'll have the podcast up later in the week. I missed recording it so I have to grab the file from the radio station, so I will have it up next Thursday.
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THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE ✪✪✪½ Opened May 4th
Every time I see a based-on-real-events WW2 film I marvel that there is yet another untold story of bravery from this tragic era. The Zookeeper's Wife is a very good drama with the added benefit of cute animals.
Jessica Chastain is always marvelous and Daniel Bruhl is always unlikable. That guy really needs to get a gig where he's not the villain. This is another engaging film about heroism that reminds us yet again to count our blessings and marvel at the courage and humanity of some human beings in the face of pure evil.
Film Blurb The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh of "The Broken Circle Breakdown"), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned - and forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl of "Captain America: Civil War"). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance - and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk. Also starring Michael McElhatton as Jerzyk, Iddo Goldberg as Maurycy Fraenkel and Shira Haas as Urszula.
GET OUT✪✪½ Opened May 4th
Again Blumhouse Studios with it's founder Jason Blum has found another horror tale to grab the box-office dollars. He's got a great formula: confined settings, a house, a basement and such, then add people, usually young, who are going to die and filter in some terrible villain or villains, either supernatural, paranormal, or just plain crazy as in Split (or is the villain really paranormal?) Then throw a few jump scares in, a touch of irony and comedy, and wala, we have box office bonanza.
I thought this film was well created and the first half was reasonably entertaining, but the last third comes crashing down for me. However, all my fellow reviewers marveled at the social commentary on prejudice and found it slick and compelling. So I don't who has the best taste. I watch a film for entertainment and horror for the fun, not social commentary. This was reasonably entertaining but just pretty dumb at the end. The teenagers will eat it up though.
Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined. Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones and Marcus Henderson.
A DOG'S PURPOSE✪✪✪½ Opened May 4th
I'm not a dog person. Wait a minute though before you turn away in disgust. I was a dog person before children. In fact, I had four Maltese terriers over a fifteen year period before kids just consumed my life, as they do. I've also just become a dog person again because my 14 year old has convinced me, (make that relentlessly badgered) to get a dog. So today we welcomed little Ella a Maltese Shitshu into our home. The things you do for your kids.
This film is for dog lovers and also not for dog lovers. My friend who loves dogs found it too upsetting to watch and did not enjoy; while I just thought it was sweet, if not overly saccharine. But you can get away with that with animals, I figure.
So whether you will enjoy this quite lovely family film is dependent on your passion for your dog. I didn't cry but ask me again in a week's time once Ella has licked her way into my heart.
A Dog's Purpose" shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. Starring Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, Josh Gad, John Ortiz and Peggy Lipton.
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