Monthly Archives: December 2019

Movie Review – Knives Out (2019)

 

Whodunnit, 3.5 readers?  Whodunit indeed.

BQB here with a review of the star studded mystery, “Knives Out.”

This is a mystery buff’s mystery film, a modern day throwback to Agatha Christie, or if you will, the board game Clue.

On the evening of acclaimed, multi-millionaire mystery writer Harlan Thrombey’s (Christopher Plummer)  85th birthday party, the old man is found dead, his throat sliced open.

The suspects?  A veritable whose who list of d-bags and spoiled brat family members who all had a grudge against the old man, and all stood to profit from his demise.

Enter Benoit Blanc, the film’s version of Hercule Poirot, a simple country private investigator with a Foghorn Leghorn accent.  Played by Daniel Craig, it’s up to him to sort through the mess and determine who did what and where and when and how.

Yes, dear reader, you’ll practically want to whip out your notebook and jot down details yourself as you join in on trying to figure out the identity of the nefarious perpetrator.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Rikki Lindhome, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield…I could go on and on but suffice to say there are a lot of top actors in this one and they each get their moment to shine.

Meanwhile, Ana de Armas joins as Thrombey’s nurse and only trusted confidante, who becomes Blanc’s Watson in the quest to figure out which one of this assortment of a-holes did the old man in.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Though there are times it can be a little slow, and other times silly, it’s fun and a tribute to those films of yesteryear where the viewer is strung along with clue after clue before finally, the detective gives a rousing speech on how he pieced it all together.

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Movie Review – Ready or Not (2019)

Here comes the bride…with a shotgun.

BQB here with a review of the sleeper hit “Ready or Not.”

3.5 readers, I love it when I am pleasantly surprised.  Somehow this flick slipped under my radar and frankly, it scooched by the rest of the world without much fanfare even though it is fantastic.  It’s thrilling, chilling, scary and though you wouldn’t think so, it’s also hilarious.

Samara Weaving stars as Grace, a woman from humble beginnings as a foster child who believes her dreams of being part of a family have finally come true when she marries Alex (Mark O’Brien).

Grace is in it for love, but on the day of the wedding she finds she’ll have to navigate her way through becoming the newest member of Le Domas family, a mega rich clan who built their fortune on board games.

I’m loathe to say that the Le Domases are creepy and kooky, but they are odd and eccentric and view all newcomers with suspicion.

Moreover, they have a strange yet seemingly harmless tradition.  Every wedding night, they insist the new member of the family draw a card from a box.  Each card contains the name of a game and past brides/grooms have been lucky enough to get away with a rousing game of chess or Old Maid.

Alas, Grace draws the hide and seek card and tradition dictates that when the bride hides, she is sought…with axes, crossbows, old timey blunderbuss-like guns and other weapons that were once owned by the family’s great grandpa and builder of the family moolah.

I can’t really get into the specifics of how or why the family goes on a hunt but it’s all part of the mystery that eventually plays out, to scary and silly extremes.

The humor comes into play when we realize that the Le Domases are rather incompetent killers.  They’ve lived pampered lives and the hide and seek card is only pulled, at best, once a generation or so, thus they are out of practice and ill-prepared.    Meanwhile, Grace wants to live, causing the hunters to become the hunted.

Marriage, in-law infighting, adherence to old customs and the strange habits of the uber rich are all pilloried as we root for Grace to put some heads on her wall.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  It came and went pretty quietly in theaters, but I could see this becoming a cult classic over time.

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Movie Review – The Aeronauts (2019)

Guess what, 3.5 readers?

I’m a movie producer.  Well, I’d like to think so, anyway.  I’ve turned so much of my money over to Amazon over the past few years that I’m keeping Jeff Bezos fat and sassy.  At any rate, I’m sure the profit he devised from my purchases of socks, underwear and various and sundry household goods went to the creation of this fine film.

It’s about a balloon.  The year is 1862 and scientist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) teams up with pilot Amelia Rennes (Felicity Jones) in a voyage to the heavens to perform groundbreaking research in the budding science of meteorology.

Specifically, James is one of, if not, the first meteorologist and all the other scientists at the science club think he’s a regular doofus burger with extra dumbass sauce and a side of idiot fries for daring to think that one day, scientists might be able to predict the weather.  Turns out, his colleagues were right, because it’s 170 years later and the meteorologist on my local TV station can’t tell the difference between a fart and a gust of wind.

Meanwhile, Amelia and her late husband were once a pair of famous balloonists but as it turns out, ballooning, especially in those early days, was dangerous as hell, and spoiler alert, her old man kicked the bucket during a balloon ride.  Thus, she’s weary of the idea of going up in a balloon again until James convinces her that she must do it in the name of science, and also, no man with a balloon is willing to lower himself to be a part of what they consider to be James’ balderdash experiments.

Together, they brave the surly bonds of earth and I hate to say it, but a lot of the film looks like they shoved two actors in a basket, greenscreened some sky around them, then dumped some faux rain and snow on their heads but hey, it’s Hollywood.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

There are parts where it gets boring, and parts that seem like downright filler.  After all, it’s hard to make an interesting movie about history and its even harder to make one about scientific history.  Where the flick does get interesting is the harrowing chills, thrills, and spills that occur as this duo get up high and without instruments or any modern equipment, must fix various problems, all the while with little between them and a plummet to earth other than a wicker basket and some rope.

Briefly, Felicity Jones shines as she steps out of her usual stern and proper roles.  She starts out as a show woman, entertaining the crowd of those who stopped by to see the duo take flight, but soon becomes a mother hen, dumping gallons of common sense juice all over James’ dumb head as he urges her to take the balloon higher and higher so he can prove himself to be a bad ass scientist.

I assume this is Amazon’s bid this Oscar season so I also assume we can see this movie on Amazon Prime while we shop for doodads and widgets soon.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Do I Want An Air Fryer?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  It’s cyber Monday, er week, now as the sales go all week long.

I’m thinking about getting one of those new fangled air friers but something I’ve always wondered – you’ve got toaster ovens, crock pots, George Foreman grills, and now air friers….my question is, why are any of these devices better than the oven that came with my house?

Like it just feels like I’d buy a 200 dollar appliance, use it a couple of times and then either burn myself, or burn down my house, or just shove it in a closet when I realize I’m not going to use it again.

I watched a video of a guy having a fun time frying a steak in an air fryer but really, is it any different than putting the steak on a pan and frying it on my stove?

Discuss 3.5 readers.  Men, feel free to chime in.  Women, I don’t want to be sexist but I feel you might have more to say here, though I feel that because I’m probably a misogynist pig who needs to go to a re-education center to work those feelings out of my system.  Also, you all need Pelotons.  Sigh.  Where is this coming from?  I don’t know.  Anyway, forget all that and discuss cooking devices vs just using your stove/oven.

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The Irishman is Too Long

It’s a Martin Scorcese movie, so I want to watch it but holy crap.  3 and a half hours?  That’s quite a commitment.

Maybe I can watch it in smaller, one hour bites.

 

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Quote About Iron or Gold, Thorns or Flowers from Great Expectations

“Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

Hey, 3.5 readers.

I’ve found that generally speaking, a lousy life isn’t the result of one mistake but a series of mistakes, a pattern of doing dumb things repeated over and over, time and time again.

Then again, when I look back, there have been some crucial blunders, some things where I think, “Wow, it was a no brainer to have done or not done something.”

Charles Dickens, who periodically stopped his books to talk to his readers right in the middle of his prose, once asked his readers to think about the one day where something happened that put them on a path to greatness or sorrow.

Have you ever had a day like that?

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Movie Review – Last Christmas (2019)

Hey 3.5 readers.

This won’t be a long review.  I enjoyed this movie largely because we got to see Emilia Clarke’s actual, human side, without any sci fi or fantasy costumes.  If there was a question as to whether or not she could perform outside of a geek movie, this shows she can. As rom coms go, it was pretty good.  OK, that’s all I have to say.

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