Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mini Reviews: Recent Media Consumption

I have a list of a bunch of things I've seen and read and attended this past while. I was going to write posts for them all, but then I remembered the awesome mini review idea and thought: brilliant plan! Especially since most of these really don't require a full post. So here goes.

Movie: Robin Hood

We had the theater rented out for Stuey's work people. I have no idea why they picked this movie for a party, but they did, so we went. I knew nothing AT ALL going in. So, it was yet again another take on the story of how Robin Hood began. I love this story, so of course I enjoyed it. But mostly it made me miss the BBC production that I loved back in the day. The dude playing Robin Hood reminded me both of that dude and Stephen Amell who plays the Green Arrow dude. Anyway, it was enjoyable with lots of great fight/escapade scenes as one would expect with Robin Hood.

Broadway: Finding Neverland

Last week we went to another musical... Finding Neverland and it was also enjoyable. I thought my heart strings would be tugged at more than they were, but it was sweet and the music was pretty great and the kids in the show were awesome. I think the actual stars could have been... louder. Not sure if it was their fault or the fault of the sound guy. But yeah. LOUDER!

Book: Flower Boy Tour Guide by Shannon Kent

Another fun fluffy K fan book.... this one not kpop, but kdrama. I read it on my phone on the plane coming home from our Thanksgiving adventure. It was a quick read, yes! It's about a girl (this one is not YA but NA... very very clean NA) who goes to Korea to participate in a tour of all the fun kdrama places. And the guy who leads this tour is beautiful of course (the flower boy... a term for beautiful guy.) But they annoy each other... until they don't. :) It was fun, as all these little easy K fan books are!

TV Show: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

While visiting my daughter, I suggested we watch this one evening. It was a fun one to watch together though her husband thought it was way too predictable and trope-y. I didn't remember the book at all, so everything was new to me. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a sweet and well done movie.


  Movie: Luck Key

When Toto joined us in Illinois for Thanksgiving she "made" us  watch this Korean movie that she had just watched with roommates and loved. Everyone actually seemed to enjoy it, (the above son in law seemed to enjoy it better than PPP Society!) It's one of those movies where you THINK you know what's happening, but in the end, everything was not at all as it seemed. We have two guys who live completely different lives and they somehow (the mess up of the locker key) switch lives. And in the process, they become better dudes... and in the process we the viewers find out what's REALLY going on. Pretty good!

Movie: BTS Burn the Stage

Earlier this year YouTube Red did an awesome documentary on BTS following them on their Wings tour (the one in 2017 that I was able to attend) and we all loved. So then they decided to do a feature film. I thought it was the same thing, but when it came out the week before Thanksgiving (only limited showings in limited places) I heard from all those able to go that it was similar, but different. So of course I was sad I couldn't go since I was no where near a theater that was showing it. But lucky for me, they decided to bring it back for a second run and I got to go this time!  YES! It was so fun. I smiled and giggled so much my face hurt. It's so awesome to see the behind the scenes of what these guys put themselves through to make fans happy and put on the best concerts they can.

What have you all been watching, seeing and reading these days?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody
Genre: Biography/Musical
Starring:  Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee
Rating: Two thumbs up

I've actually watched a handful of movies the past while and I've gotten really behind telling you about them! LOL! (This cracks me up big time since I know you are all DYING to know my thoughts on the things....)

Of course I had to watch this movie even though it took forever for me to finally get there! We did make it before it left the theaters though!

Queen was one of my first musical loves that I discovered on my own (meaning not the stuff my parents played and/or sang.) I was very very  much in love with We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions right around my 13th birthday I think it was.. .and I got that 45 record with one song on one side and the other on the other. I was ecstatic! I loved it so so much!!

A few years later I was all about Another One Bites the Dust. Oh man... that song though. I also remember loving Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Under Pressure and of course Flash Gordon.. oh MAN I LOVED THAT ONE! LOL! And the movie that went with it! Guys I was just as crazy then as I am now believe me.

Anyway, as far as the Bohemian Rhapsody song, I have no idea when I became aware of it... I think I just always knew it! And I think this is one song that I can say I pretty much know every word. If ever I had to do Karaoke this is the song I'd choose....

The movie was awesome. Sad. Depressing. Yes. But awesome. I was not aware of the "group" growing up...  I just loved the songs. I knew nothing about them as people. If I would have known them, I can tell you I would have been in love with the drummer. Pretty sure of it. The dude playing the drummer was dang cute.

The movie takes us through the whole beginning of Queen and how they become popular, how Freddie Mercury just got crazier and crazier, how he estranged himself from the group, and how they came together again for the huge LIVE AID concert... a concert I should have known about and been aware of... but I was not up on those things then. Probably someone on the radio talked about it. But the fact that Queen came together for that and how big a deal it really was... I was not aware.

Anyway, so it was fun to see this story. Though as I said... it's so depressing. I feel like so many success stories end in sadness and tragedy and relationships that are ruined. It seems to happen over and over again.

Despite all that, they remain one of my all time favorites. I love them so much. And there are so may memories tied up with their songs. I'm glad I was part of their heyday back in the late 70s and early 80s! :)

The movie trailer:

And the MV for Flash!! LOL! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! It's the BEST cheesiest thing EVER!!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Book Review: A Gentelman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Book: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

This was our book club read this past month. I had only half of it read by the time we met, but I FINISHED NOW! Yay! It's a great book, but there are some slowish parts I must say... or parts that just basically go over my head. But not enough to make me too frustrated.

Anyway, it's about a dude.. a Count who has ties to the Russian Tsars? yes? I think... and he gets mixed up in the political upheaval that happens after the Russian Revolution and because of a poem he wrote, he is under house arrest for the rest of his life and big fancy hotel in Moscow.

Which doesn't seem so bad since he was basically living there anyway, but it turns out they kicked him out of his fancy suite and banned him to tiny attic room.

Well, he makes the best of it and lives his life over the years and this is his story... his life in this big fancy hotel in Moscow! (Guys, if I ever go to Moscow.. ha ha... this hotel will be something I will be wanting to see for sure now!)

The years fly by and it seems big events happen all the time on the 21st of June, since that's how many chapters start out. I loved that literary device. And I'm so slow that it took me nearly the whole book to realize all the chapter titles started with A.... I wonder what the significance of that is, cause nothing obvious is coming to mind. But it's cool anyway and another fun little device of the author's.

Our Count meets a little girl who becomes his close friend and they have all sorts of adventures in the hotel. We watch her grow up and then we watch HER girl grow up. The Count is very close buddies with the workers in the hotel and ends up being a waiter at the restaurant himself.

You'd think he was happy with all the lovely stuff that's going on there, and it seems there's plenty to do. He even has a girlfriend! But it appears not all is as it seems....

I loved the writing in this one. So snarky and funny and witty. I loved it. I loved learning about history as we flew through the years, though as I said some of it went over my head. I loved this Count character from the very first page. He's great!

It isn't an easy book to read, that's for sure and requires some brain power, but I'm happy to say I seemed to have found the power needed and even though it took a few weeks, I managed it just fine!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Kdrama Review: The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

Drama: The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Genre: romance suspense/crime
Starring: Seo In Guk, Jung So Min, Park Sung Woong
Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Well, and so everyone was talking about this drama. And I tried to wait until it was done airing, but couldn't, so I started it when it still had about 4 episodes (two weeks) to go. I had just come off the high of seeing Seo In Guk in Shopping King Louis and was ready to jump right into another one of his dramas.

And boy was it very much character whiplash. In Louis he was cute and naive and childlike and sweet and innocent and so so very smiley. In this one the character is angsty, sad, a little mean, angry, hurting, and... the smiles are rare. The smirks, however are not. Oh, man, the smirks.

So this one starts out with a murder that our cop dude is trying to solve. Also, at the same time, there's an art show with a girl who happened to be friends with the murdered girl. At the art show, the paths of the art girl and our main lead girl and our main lead guy all cross paths. Our guy is working the bar at the show. He instantly hooks up with the art girl. (which is strange for the main lead to be loving on someone right off the bat that is NOT the main lead girl!) And our girl has a not so great first impression of our guy.

Oh, and our girl is the brother of the cop guy. And the cop guy starts to suspect our guy, after awhile and a few strange things, of the murder. We are getting vibes that our guy is not the best guy in the world. What a playboy first of all. And he is really, oh man... almost creepy.

But then of course, as our girl starts to get to know him through random encounters, she is extremely intrigued, even though he makes her crazy. And thus, we the audience also start to see him in a new light.

And, as always, we are getting the back stories of everyone and we know that something  very strange and sad has happened, that probably ties all these characters together.

Anyway, once these two decide that they do in fact love each other, then the romance is absolutely perfect. So much kissing and hugging and all. And he is suddenly smiling a lot and believe me, when this actor smiles... IT'S OVER! AH!!!

But of course, we knew that stuff is going to go down to ruin it all.

And now I will get to the spoilery part so read no further if you happen to think that you might want to watch this one... if you know you won't and don't care... well then... carry on:


So as I said I finished the last few episodes as they were aired and so experienced the trauma that is this drama with everyone else watching it. That was kinda fun! LOL! But a lot of people who did get spoiled are saying they refuse to watch it now because guys, THIS IS NOT A HAPPY ENDING. This is a very very tragic ending. A shocking WTH ending. A disturbing and terrible ending.

But that ending lasts for ONE MINUTE... the very last minute of the entire drama. If you want to watch the drama without that ending... just hurry and quickly turn it off as soon as he says... "No, I want to live." AHHHH!!!

Because the whole rest of the drama is SO WORTH IT! Believe me. Everything about it is fascinating. The characters, the music, the angst, the romance, the crime solving, the back story. Everything.


It's frustrating.


But can I just say this has thrown me into a full on Seo In Guk obsession. Like, I can't believe I waited this long to watch his stuff. He's so intriguing. Like, I have no words to describe this actor. He is just really cool.
Seo In Guk smiling

And I think I'm about to start another drama that stars him... so... here we go!

Oh, P.S Hongbin from VIXX is in this one, but it was so fast and small you barely even notice it! But still, it was fun seeing him act. I need to watch the other dramas he's in.

Also I loved the soundtrack for this one. Like not the OSTs (songs) but the instrumental soundtrack. So haunting. (It's on Spotify, yes!)

Here's a tiny little trailer:

And the lovely song with some kissy huggy clips. :)

Well, and so. I loved this one. A lot. A lot a lot.

And because I just made this compilation today, you get that too. Here is five songs by Seo In Guk, because he started as a singer... and still does sing, but now is more known for his acting I think because. Dang. But his singing too... dang. Just... dang all around.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Review and Blog Tour: Lies, Love and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Julie Wright

Book: Lies, Love and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Julie Wright
Genre: contemporary romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

This is just the sort of book I'm craving all the time these days! A simple fun light romantic story!

Our girl, Silvia, has an interesting connection to Audrey Hepburn. For one thing they both had cancer, and in fact the day Audrey died was also the day that Silvia, as a five year old, lost her eye to cancer. But the other thing is that Silvia looks like Audrey! Also, she is very much into movies. In fact, she grew up to be a movie editor and is tying to make it big in Hollywood behind the scenes.

But she has a crappy boss, which mean a lot of this story is about her struggle dealing with the ruthless business that is movie making. While that part of the story was okay, I am sure you are not surprised to know that I was much more about the romance!

Because there's this guy that she has thought of only as a friend, someone she used to work with before she got her current job. Then one night he comes to the rescue when her boss fails her yet again. And suddenly she is thinking of him a little differently. But it might be too late since he's dating someone else.

And so it goes... the two of them figuring out that they have always liked each other. And it's fun to be part of. Also, there's fun interaction with Silvia's grandma and that's nice. I love seeing young people getting along well with the old. Know what I mean? And respecting them and realizing they are people too and have loves and passions just like when they were young.

There are a LOT of movie references in this book, so if you are into that thing you are going to love this! I knew many, but not all. There are also a lot of references to Audrey Hepburn movies as can be expected. Again, I knew some but not all. It was fun though, all of it.

Bottom line: Cute fun story with all the troubles a single working person might have to deal with. Very clean and sweet romance. I totally enjoyed it!

Thanks to Shadow Mountain for having me participate in this blog tour!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Book Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Book: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
Genre: NA SF
Rating:  ★ 

I was a little leery about this one going in. Not exactly sure why, but just... you know... not too sure. Turns out, I was kinda right. Cause this book was just weird.

It's about a girl who one day as she is walking home happens upon a weird robot statue that seems to have just appeared out of nowhere there in New York...and she thinks it's pretty cool. So she calls her friend and they make a youtube video about it.  Well, and so the next morning they find out that these robot things appeared in cities all over the world, but it happens that they are the first ones to say anything about it. And everyone loved their video and watched and so overnight they become famous.

So then it's mostly about her dealing with this sudden fame and how should she use it to get across her message, which is that the robots are friendly. She has named them Carl, which the world loves, and now everyone is trying to figure out where they came from and why they are here.

There's a lot of science talk, and puzzles to solve, which might be fun for some readers, but kinda made my head spin. Then things turn political as it turns out there are two sides... those that think Carl is friendly and those that don't. And so now she has enemies.

So in the end, the book for me was a little boring.. until the end when things finally started getting interesting and then it was over. So that was sad. But I, for the most part, felt like it was too agenda-y. Our friend Hank was trying too hard to get across a lot of points regarding fame and fortune and tolerance and ... I don't even know what else.

I felt also like the characters weren't that interesting. Gah, I feel bad saying so! I wanted to be more invested with them, but I just wasn't feeling it. More character development Mr. Hank! and less about the agenda!

Yeah. Not my favorite book of the year I'm pretty sure...

Friday, November 16, 2018

Broadway Show Review: Come From Away

We went into this one only knowing a little of the premise.. and we came out LOVING IT! Oh my word, but it blew me away. So much energy. So uplifting and powerful and happy even though the subject is sad. The actors were amazing and never stopped. Like... it was a non stop show... we only had a chance to clap for them like three times through the whole thing! Crazy!

If you don't already know, this show is about when on 9/11, and the air space was closed and the planes were all ordered to land. This tiny island in Newfoundland had an airport that could hand them... and 38 planes landed and were then stranded for five days until they allowed them to fly again. This little city of Gander... population 9000, took care of these stranded people.... 7,000 of them. They opened their homes and hearts and gave them everything they needed. And there was bonding all around. So much so, that when it was time to leave to go home, everyone was sad and wanted to some back!

I couldn't figure out how they would make a musical from something like this, but believe me, they did, and it was awesome. The cast is only 12, and they play all the parts... both the Gander people and the plane people. And somehow, it works and you can keep them all straight! It's so cool. They songs are very upbeat and fun and in the end, like I said. the story is very heartwarming and happy.

Anyway, here's a little taste of it:

So if you ever get the chance to see this one, don't pass it up!


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