Showing posts from January, 2014

Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland (♦♦♦♦)

Marie-Josephe Rose de la Pageries, known to the world as Josephine Bonaparte, was born in Trois-Isles, Martinique, in a sugar cane plantation. At fourteen years-old (1777), the time when the story begins, Rose is being groomed for marriage, and with her father being a gambler of the family fortune, she has neither a dowry nor prospects to accomplish it.
A household slave named Mimi, of whom Rose is very attached, brings her to the house of a soothsayer by the river who predicts among voodoo chants that Rose will marry, she will be unhappy in her relationship, will become a widow and finally, that she will be Queen. Despite the improbability of marriage at that point, Rose loves what she hears.
Rose has always dreamed of Paris, always waiting for an invitation from her father’s sister, Désirée, to visit. Then Désirée sends a letter to Rose’s father requesting the hand of one of her nieces in marriage to her husband’s son, a certain Vicomte Beauharnais, a dashing youth who is to inherit a…

Dallas Buyers Club (♦♦♦)

Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is a bisexual man, addicted to drugs, who gets infected with the HIV virus and develops AIDS when the epidemic was starting. After receiving a grim diagnosis—thirty days at most to live-- Ron educates himself about the disease, its prognosis, and treatments available.
Ron has amassed some serious cash by way of gambling, so he decides to buy his way into a clinical study for AZT. When his supplier dries up, Ron is given the name of a doctor in Mexico who supposedly can help him. With no other choice, Ron travels to Mexico where he is treated by said doctor with a cocktail of vitamins and proteins to strengthen his immune system. After a few months, Ron is still alive and ready to bring the business back to the States where these drugs aren’t approved by the FDA.
With the help of fake identities, Ron Woodroof imports alternative medicines used for treatment of AIDS in other countries; drugs not approved by the FDA, which render their import with commerc…

The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh (♦♦♦)

Back in October, I received a request from author Heather Walsh to review her recently published book The Drake Equation. She e-mailed a copy in two formats but I was only able to download it to my computer. A combination of family health crises and my reluctance to read a book straight from my computer—because I use my computer to read blogs online, news and other silly stuff—made me put it off until now.
Finally, I stepped into this century technology-wise when I downloaded many world literature’s classics to my smartphone—can you believe they’re for free? Then this month I decided to contact author Heather Walsh again for a copy that I could download to my smartphone. She emailed me one but I couldn’t open it because the file wasn’t compatible with my SP so I bought a copy from Amazon and finally started reading. Ohoo!
And hereby is my review:
Emily Crossley is a twenty-six year-old idealist who works for a non-profit firm in North Prospect, Connecticut (a fictional town). She is a De…

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (♦♦♦♦)

At ten years of age, Jane Eyre who has lived with her relatives all her life after becoming orphan from both parents as a baby, is sent by her aunt Mrs. Reeds to Lowoods, an educational institution for orphans. Jane spends the next eight years at Lowoods: first as a student, then the last two as a teacher. Upon the marriage of her favorite teacher, Jane decides to leave Lowoods and makes inquiries in the outside world for a possible accommodation as a governess for a young girl of about ten years-old.
Jane receives a reply from Mrs. Fairfax at Thornfield Hall to educate the young protégé of the mansion’s master. Adéle, the girl in question, is an adorable eight year-old of French background, neglected by the master of Thornfield due to a questionable paternity issue.
Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester, the master of Thornfield, hates the mansion and avoids it for long periods of time, but in his way to Thornfield--two months after Jane has become Adéle’s governess— his horse suffers an accide…

Top Films of 2013

The following is a compilation of the films I liked best in 2013**.

**If you’ve been following my reviews closely you probably realized that I’ve missed all the movies possibly in contention for Oscars and other major awards; family emergencies have prevented me from doing so, thus this list as it is may be at least until March 2014 or so, a work in progress.

Quartet (♦♦♦♦): is a movie full of great classical music and not so classical but equally beautiful as well. The humor is adult and naughty but in no way crude or over the top. It is a movie to enjoy as a celebration of life, good music and growing old, because only those who die young or before their time don’t get to do the latter. Also, Quartet is about second chances after mistakes that may cost someone the love of one’s life; thus it also a celebration of love in old age, of finding comfort in the familiar.
Oz the Great and Powerful (♦♦♦♦): is a splendid family movie with plenty of lush, dazzling special effects. The makeup and…