Category: movie reviews


UPLOAD is an amazing new series on Amazon Prime that has recently wormed it’s way into my favorite series of the decade!  The main premise is a love story and murder mystery that’s set in a future where you can Upload your consciousness into a virtual world – for a price. The humor is great, the satire is subtle and the jokes make me laugh so hard I have to screw my nose back on.

There are plenty of reviews on the web you can read. But the best thing you can do is muddle past the first 2 episodes which gives you the technology and basic terms you need to understand the plot. Once past them you forget the gadgets and tech – accepting everything as real and amazingly cool to boot.

I plan on watching the first season over again. It was that good. I know I missed some satire and jokes as well. Hoping to catch them this time…





Sometimes I like to sit down and watch a show that has an interesting story and characters. That show this year is Afterlife on netflix. What a kick asterisks show! What I meant to type was kickass but since my site is “G” rated, I tend to tone it down a bit.

In the picture above, I can hear Tony (played by Ricky Gervais) saying to his now deceased wife Lisa (played by Kerry Godliman)

“So, passing a kidney stone on the dance floor and shoving your heel into my toes, is not what I had in mind when you asked me to dance”

The show has so many tender moments – that to me, are teaching ones. We may never know exactly what Ricky was shooting for in this series being the writer and director, but it doesn’t really matter. Every one of us may perceive the situations and story different. I find the show charming, witty, heart moving and mostly teaching. Yes, I said teaching.

Where else can you find the word “cunt” said over and over without a new law being passed – that you can’t say that? I cringed the first time I heard them say that, but upon reflection, it’s just a word being used to further the storyline.

The show has opened my heart and soul to various life/death issues. I hope the show continues to expand on these lines in the near future.

“I have hope”, which is something I said in an earlier post.

What are your thoughts on the show?

perfectly imperfect

I watched this movie called “Faith, Hope & Love” the other night.  Definitely a B movie. But what a B movie it was! I loved it. The dancing was kinda amazing and the story sweet and loving. It’s about a widower who enters a dance contest at the urging of his youngest daughter. Of course, he falls in love with the beautiful teacher along the way. There’s some spiritual context and a few surprise older actors that add a hint of mischief as well.

The story never loses sight of what human contact is all about, especially with the dance sequences that enthrall and delight, well at least to me. I couldn’t help the misty teary eyes that occasionally came out during some of the more romantic scenes in the movie. 

One line in the movie held my attention. “Perfectly Imperfect”

Yep. What a great thought! And of course the movie ends on a up note. Which is how I like my stories. Yes, I’m a sap and like happy endings. It seems Hollywood has forgotten how to do that. And when a simple one comes along that most people wouldn’t give the time of day to watch, a movie that’s just engaging enough…to keep me from pressing the back button on my Roku, well, that makes me happy!

For those of you who want to check it out, I think it was on netflix.

Enjoy the cool crisp night air, I’ve got some texts to catch up on…

light of my life


Spoiler Alert! – This is a movie currently playing on Amazon Prime.

I just may give away some of the story in the following paragraphs. Or not. The movie starts out slows but steady with a father talking to his daughter in what feels like a tent or other outdoor structure. He’s making up a story about Noah’s Ark which he renames Art’s Ark during the telling. At first I was wondering if there was a point to this. A strange way to begin a movie for sure, although in hindsight, it fits perfectly.

The story is fun and silly and has some moral implications. As the story unfolds you begin to realize there is much more going on. In fact, as the movie progresses and the plot becomes more apparent, the movie turns into a compelling drama of a father devoted to raising his daughter in a world, where a devastating virus nearly wipes out the entire female population on earth.

Well, you can guess from there the hardships endured while disguising his daughter as a young boy to prevent other men from taking her away. Some of the men in the movie are played as decent ones, while most are plain jerks. As the the relationship unfolds on screen, the characters become larger than life, as the young girl grows stronger from her dads tutelage and protection.

I loved this story. Slowly told, very little in the way of special effects, dialog that seemed just right, I found myself sucked into this apocalyptic future world. While some women had natural immunity to the virus, along with the fathers daughter, most had perished. There were some parts that felt forced on me. Again, once past those the movie flowed quite well.

This movie gets an “I am a sap” rating for the warmth and love between father and daughter.

life unplanned

Starting to work on house again. Slowly. Because “fastly” would give me gas. Although I can get that just from eating chocolate with maltitol in it. A supposed sugar alcohol that makes something sugarless. Well, hate to bubble your burst – it doesn’t. In fact on the glycemic index it’s only a few points down from white sugar, raising your blood sugar almost the same. Diabetics beware, maltitol intolerant people – fart away – if you like eating chocolate. There’s a much better solution. Eating Choczero which is made with monk fruit. Zero G.I. Or even making it yourself like my previously mentioned ChocCarl bars in an earlier post.

Sometimes you go through life with blinders on. Hoping that things gets better. At least until you crash the car, burn the house down and fall on a branch while cleaning the dead brush for the upcoming clearance mandated by the city. That did not happen to me. But if it did, I would be crying like a newborn. I would probably curl into a fetal position and wonder if this is what Elvis did as he ate and ate and ate, becoming Mr. Elvis Pudgy. Not to make fun of the guy, he was one of my heroes as a young teenager. I wore tight clothes like him and could never understand why my voice didn’t change until the doc said “you need time to let the testicles drop, might want to get some looser pants…”

Ah, the pains and gains of being young. There were so many moments as I sprouted from a teenager into a man, that life became overwhelming. I never wanted to check out, as some say, I only wanted to grok what was happening. So, I read books, learned to play guitar, was possibly tricked into swallowing some LSD as a teen, and while I’m not admitting that exactly, it was amazing and humbling at the same time. I learned that people are not always what they seem to be. Some are, of course, but the tricksters in life come off normal or somewhat sane, fooling the best of us.

Life unplanned, that’s what everyone born on this planet goes through. Some better than others. Choices are made and carried out while others appear to be forced on us. I watched all three John Wicks the other week. Sadly, I was cheering him on, watching the carnage unfold at rocket speed. Bodies were dropping left and right. I was his biggest cheerleader! The main story has his wife pass after being sick for some time. Two days after she passes – he receives a gift in the form of a puppy from his wife explaining he needed something to take care of after she was gone. Some jerk gang members break into his house later, beat him up, kill his puppy and take his car to teach him a lesson. All because he wouldn’t sell them his car. What the gang members don’t know is John Wick is the boogeyman. An assassin extraordinaire, that was employed when the odds were impossible to carry out. Yes, this movie is over the top. Yet, I found it intensely satisfying, mostly because they killed a defenseless puppy and John Wick, took them out for doing that, one by one.

I have a new puppy now.

Arrived at through a different route of course, no wife passed, no one beat me up or stole my car. Or killed one of my existing puppies. Although my pups will be doing that by themselves shortly as they are well past 18 years or so. I also say that every month  – and every day I wake up with a smile – seeing faces only a squirrel would love… i.e. to run away from as fast as possible in the other direction. Heck sometimes – I’m even scared seeing them in the morning, drooling over my face…ready to lick my skin completely off with their exfoliating tongues.

My new puppy is a challenge. I am learning patience all over again. I have always been forgiving of others. Forgiving of my pups. I lost that right before I first got the Malinois. Why I got the pup is a novel for another day. Suffice it to say, the NSA most likely know the truth. Where is Snowden when you really need him, hmmm? My reason for living, for life, for meaning, has slowly been returning to me. While I got her for a reason, I keep her for love. As much as she taxes my will, my patience, my responsibility, I am filled with hope. That the changes that are taking place within me, will lead to new adventures.

Life unplanned.

P.S. I love this song! God Gave Me You

Warms my little heart…



the invention of lying

Another movie review??? YAY! And you thought this year was going to be boring. In fact, I bet you’ve already forgotten that this is the year of opportunity.  Shall we begin, hmmm?

I stumbled across this while clicking through the endless shows offered up by netflix. I get overwhelmed with the choices there are so many. And then my arrow stopped on “The Invention of Lying” accidentally. You’re thinking “how does one accidentally stop on a selection in netflix?”

Quite easily actually. For some reason, my remote skips categories and selections just about every time I use it. When I hit the scroll down I end up two categories down instead of one. When I scroll choices it can skip 2-3 ahead. And wouldn’t you know it, this time it landed on the above.

Wanting to be a little more adventurous in the year of opportunity, I clicked on it thinking, why not? I was hooked once I saw it starred Jennifer Garner and Ricky Gervais. And the guest star and supporting actor list, amazing: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Rob Lowe, Jeffrey Tambor, Louis C.K., Edward Norton are among some of the notables.

Basic Premise: A world in which there is absolutely no word for “Lying”. No one lies. Everyone tells the truth no matter how harsh or sweet. In short there is no room for anything but the truth. While it does get over the top in some aspects such as: do they really need to have someone tell another person they’re ugly? Or fat? Or a loser? Not really. And yet they do. I believe it’s more to get the point across that no one ever lies. The concept just doesn’t exist in this hypothetical world.

The movie starts with the lead character “Mark” (Ricky) going on a date with Anna (Jennifer). When she answers the door looking flustered she tells him he’s early and she was masturbating. He responds by saying it makes him think of her vagina. She tells him he’s has a stub nose and is short and fat. And the dialog continues. Sometimes very clever and others it has that space filling effect.

There’s a wonderfully comic scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman as a bartender and Louis C.K. as his friend when “Mark” has first discovered his superpower. Just fun to watch!

I almost didn’t continue watching which would have been a shame as the ending was extremely meaningful and heartwarming. When Mark finally realizes he can do something no one else in the world can do (lie), he starts using this superpower for good and to get rich as well. The one person he never uses it on? Anna. Who he’s been in love with for a very long time from afar. Fast becoming friends, she snubs him because he’s short and fat and not good genetic material for offspring. And yet, Mark can’t get enough of her. He still has integrity though and wants her to love him for who he is, not his DNA, so he abstains from using his newfound power of Lying on her.

I loved this movie, especially the ending. Warmed my little heart through and through.


Guilty pleasures. Yep, binge watching series on netflix or amazon prime etc. While there are some series I can only wonder who green lighted them, others are pretty good. And once in awhile, really good. Like, fer example: The Kominsky Method. Amazing series with Michael Douglas teaching young aspiring actors how to get into character. There are wonderful supporting actors and a surprising guest visit by his costar Kathleen Turner, in Romancing the Stone, who plays his ex-wife on the show. The dialog between them is priceless regarding their daughter who helps run the actors studio business.

Lost in Space, the reboot by netflix is also a gem. The casting is wonderful and spot-on. While the second season story is harder to get into, all is done with such precision and care, it’s still a joy to watch. The Witcher another one. See my earlier post of the same name.

And then along comes a surprise. Something from left field. Or right field if you prefer. A show that has me glued to the start button on my roku to advance to the next episode.


Basic premise: A man out of nowhere seemingly, begins leading people who think he’s an agent of god. Some of course, believe him to be a false prophet, others think he’s the real deal. I’m halfway through the show and from all the clues that have been shown, still have no idea whether he’s a fake or the messiah. The sub plots can be distracting at times, although they tie together eventually. My suggestion? Take a chance and watch it. In my book, it’s a welcome change to some of the crap netflix has been making of late.

And if you don’t like it, leave me a comment explaining why. I would love to hear other viewpoints.

Unless they disagree with mine, This is my blog, after all. (smile)

episode II – the witcher redeemed

This morning while making a breakfast of sourdough toast, curcumin, avocado and sauerkraut piled high on top, I thought now is a good time to continue watching the witcher on Netflix. I’m so glad I did. Episode II reeled me into a magical and emotional landscape that was unexpected. Although there was the typical political nod when a Baird is singing in a tavern about a potion that causes abortion – which makes me think that either the writers dislike the right so much they had to say something -be it so small, or the producers said “you know what would be great? Let’s stick it to the right…”

The thing is – no one cares. Not the right or the left. Or the middle. Which is how I like it. Being entertained when I watch a story unfold is why I enjoy a show/book/play etc. And this, the second episode sucked me into a world unlike any other. I am in LOVE. Notice the capitals? With Yennefer. She is the deformed and somewhat ugly (again, I didn’t think she was ugly for a moment) adopted child that discovers she has some latent magical powers. When a witch is led to her by her unintended use of magic, she begins training in some of the mystic arts.

Why am I in LOVE? A little history, please. OK, since you asked…(smile)

As I was growing up in beautiful North Hollywood, Ca, I always felt like an outcast. You see, I had this Huge space between my teeth with a capital “H”. Bigger than David Lettermans of right bashing fame. I once had a girl I was dancing with in a nightclub ask me directly – “do you have any friends that have good teeth?” I felt ugly. So I became something else while growing up, that my fellow classmates would use to displace my ugliness. I excelled at science and most teachings presented during my elementary years. I ran for president of service club and won! Sometimes I think it’s because the other kids felt sorry for the little boy with the facial deformity.

Whatever the reason, I instantly identified with Yennefer. I found her quite stunning and beautiful. Because of her struggles to understand and cope with her physical attributes. This begs the question: did the makeup artists do a good job at creating a homely, undesirable and unattractive woman? Not really. But I understood on a deeper level, having considered myself undesirable as a youth. My unattractiveness followed me like a plague all though my teens, even though I had dated some of the most sought after girls in Junior High and High School. It’s taken me almost 50 plus years to begin to overcome my unnecessary and misguided thoughts of desirability.

As the episode comes to a close, I am once again reminded of the political musings of the writers. As the witcher and the Baird are traveling on a desert road after being captured and released by the elves instead of killed by them, the Baird gleefully composes a tune, misstating all the facts, making the witcher the hero – defeating the elves against all odds to become victorious in battle. The witcher says “that’s not how it happened…where’s your newfound respect?”

The Baird replied, “Respect doesn’t make history”

the witcher

(the Witcher is a tv series on Netflix now)

Decades ago, when I was around 10 or so, there was a very loud smack around the corner from my house. I was playing outside at the time, my sobriquet was “professor”, an apt nickname chosen to reflect my scholarly pursuits of the day.

I ran around the corner to see a vehicle wrapped around a tree. There were body parts scattered about, some hanging from a thread of skin and others dangling in the summer breeze. Blood was everywhere. This was my first time in the presence of death and dismemberment.

I was not affected by the gruesome scene played out with such dire consequences. In hindsight, I realize that blood and guts don’t affect me much. Not in a Dexter way (see TV series of the same name) but in a reality way. People were screaming and crying and the sound of sirens was off in the distance, getting ever closer.

I stayed until help arrived. While I was doing nothing to help, being only 10 years old, I now understand that just being there was giving the injured something to hold onto, no matter how small. When the medical technicians began their administrations, one told me to go home and let my parents know what I had seen. I took half of the advice. I went home. I said nothing. It was my secret.

This brings us to the title of this post. Witchers are beasts and monster hunters, that develop almost supernatural powers to battle and rid the world of these beasts. And the show starts with an absolute explosion of an opening! A Witcher is fighting a monster while a gentle deer ponders the outcome. The Witcher defeats the monster but not before the deer is fatally injured becoming the Witchers dinner that evening.

Some tense moments follow in a tavern. We are introduced to various characters, furthering the plot and backstory. This is where my real life story above and the make believe one of the Witcher (what? you thought the Witcher is real? Really?) blend together.

For some reason, there always seems to be a major battle between kingdoms portrayed during the early centuries of sword and sorcery. And like all battles, bloody beyond belief. How many ways can you decapitate a soldier? How many ways can you gut a person or shoot an arrow through the head? Quite a lot it seems. With limbs flying in every direction, heads rolling left and right, guts spilling on the battlefield, I was overwhelmed. What happened to the young boy that was barely phased seeing real life blood and guts unfold in front of his very eyes?

That boy understood the difference. In the Witcher, which I will continue watching for now, the battles are some producers or writers idea of what people, want to watch. I find it very hard to accept that people love seeing battles where mutilation is the norm, surviving – the oddity.

I believe the writers and producers could have made a much classier show, intelligent and witty, without devoting so much time to the myriad of ways a person can be killed. Hopefully, there will be no more battles since the entire cast has pretty much been wasted and sliced beyond recognition. I find some of the characters intriguing, others not so much. Fortunately, I started on the 4th episode. If I had started on the first, I would no longer be watching this series.

I hear a voice that sounds like mine, coming from a tavern, in some castles keep, next to an amazing and beautiful scrolling countryside…

“Barkeeper! Another brew… and one for my friend…”


***movie review***


Thought I would start off Christmas Eve morning with a holiday movie, fresh from Netflix. The movie was released on Netflix, November 1st, 2019. I passed by it many times, thinking “oh. another silly rom-com about elephants in the wild that need saving from evil poachers and rugged man gets perfect woman”.

For whatever reasons, on Christmas Eve Eve, I decided to give this movie the 10 minute watch review. If after 10 minutes I lose interest, off it goes into the discard pile. Longer than 10? Well, I watch it until it’s over. I settled in with a wonderful slice of miyoko butter, sauerkraut, parsley, sourdough toast and my special blend coffee. In addition, my favorite decadent ChocZero monk fruit chocolate bar (scrummy!)

I almost didn’t make the first 10 minutes. Very formulaic and tedious. Let’s discuss:

A woman ( Kristin Davis) Kate, surprises her husband with a vacation second honeymoon to Zambia after her son leaves for college. Now, with an empty nest, the husband tells her he’s not in love and is going to move out. Of course she decides to go to Africa anyway, without him.

Arriving in Zambia, a man at a bar starts a conversation with her because she has food enough for two people and of course she’s sitting alone. The man (Rob Lowe) Derek, is rugged, handsome, worldly and every womans fantasy. And yet, the woman is still upset, especially about going to Africa alone.

At this point, I knew they would somehow find each other and the romance would stutter along, sometimes boldly and other times with a squeak. But something, perhaps the sap in me, kept me glued to the screen. I could almost see what was coming. In fact, the writers even played openly with the formula by having Derek say “Didn’t see that one coming” and “I saw that one coming” and “should’ve seen that one coming”.

Even knowing they would get together in the end, I couldn’t stop watching. At times, tears were running down my cheeks (sappy guy I am, huh?) when some of the goodbyes were said. Again, I knew the goodbyes weren’t going to last. Didn’t matter, I was still affected.

Kate just happens to be a veterinarian (I know, right?) and wants to help the elephants after Derek lands to save a baby elephant. Poachers killed the mother for her tusks. Kate becomes hesitant to leave after learning about the organization that Derek is part of, deciding to stay longer.

I was laughing and crying as the writers were tugging at my heartstrings and it didn’t matter. I was hooked. Rob Lowe played an excellent mans man, in the tradition of Tom Selleck, Sam Elliot, John Wayne and Pierce Bronson among others. Kristin Davis did not seem like a vet to me, but that didn’t matter as she played a strong mother figure restarting her life after divorce very well.

Rather than continue to give away the plot, which I really can’t be guilty of because each step of the way they telegraph what’s about to happen – take a chance yourself. Be warned, you’ll need to get past the obligatory opening setup subplot in order to get to the beef brisket. Side note: keep some tissues handy, …just saying.

This movie gets an “I am a Sap” rating from me. I would write more but I need to replenish my fluids from all the happy tears I’ve been having from writing this review.

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