Life is …

I’ll let you decide what life can be. For me life is sometimes a lonely walk, sometimes a bit tipped, sometimes difficult, heartbreaking more than I would like, yet every day is filled with “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. 1 Peter 1:7-9

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2013 in Review

As 2013 comes to a close, so does this blog. I’m moving on to other things and won’t be able to keep up with “warm cookies”. Before I go, I’d like to end 2013 on a good note and do as many others have done … RECAP! Oh yeah, this is one of those “me, me, me” posts. ha ha ha

Let’s start with a photo taken recently:


And now the recap …

  1. I began the year by taking a tumble down the garage steps. Obviously I lived to tell about it, and nary a bone was broken.
  2. February saw the installation of a fantastic new stove in our house!
  3. March brought 5-6 inches of snow that lasted for a few days. We also took a drive on an old logging road and I was sure we’d never see civilization again. The biggest highlight was the birth of our great-nephew.
  4. In April I discovered that deer will rise up on their hind legs to eat pansies off my porch rail (a good 6 feet off the ground). I also walked our local bridge and took some grand photos. Best of all, I joined a Ladies Bible Study.
  5. May brought wonderful health news and a great walk at the lighthouse.
  6. June was celebrated with my retirement from a volunteer position. Hurray! We also enjoyed a hike at Cape Perpetua.
  7. In July I was able to photograph one of our local deer, up close and almost personal. The next day she mowed down my geraniums. Was she thanking me for invading her privacy, or warning me to leave her alone? No matter, my flowers were gone.
  8. Quilts and wooden boats were in abundance in August, although not at the same time or place. haha I also became a Beatles Song.
  9. September brought us 3 great storms in 2 days with around 5 inches of rain. Who knew that would be the last good rain for this season? Hopefully we’ll see more in 2014.
  10. Hubby and I celebrated 39 years together in October! I also began my great clean out and earned a new sewing machine in the process.
  11. November was busy with friends and I baked a lot of cakes for various events. I also began a new exercise program, and while I’m not always faithful on a daily basis, I feel better when I get to it.
  12. December has been grand with Christmas, friends, more baking and some excellent health news for us both (this health stuff becomes more important once you become a Beatles song). har har

Throughout the year hubby and I watched a bucket load of movies that ran the gamut of good, bad and horrid (you thought I’d say ugly, didn’t you? haha). I read books—not as many as last year, but still enjoyed some good reading time. If you’re curious, my book recap is here.

Out of all that happened in 2013, the best was celebrating 35 years as a Christian. On December 24, 1978, I sat in a hard ol’ wooden seat in the back of a little church and understood for the first time that I was sinner, lost and bound for hell (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” and Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death…”). With that came the glorious understanding that God had provided a gift—for me! (Romans 6:23b “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” and Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”) I bowed my head, confessed my sins to God and accepted Christ as my Savior. (Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” and Romans 10:9,10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”)

My life has never been the same. I still stumble and fall, I mess up, I say and do things I shouldn’t, fail to say and do things that I should, I’m not always happy with the path that I’m on … but my salvation is sure and God is always there with me—loving me, prodding me to straighten up and fly right, comforting me, encouraging me, and holding me in the palm of His hand.

What a grand year it has been! My prayer is that each and every one of you will have 2 birthdays to celebrate.

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2013 Book Review

2013 Reading Recap:
Total pages read: 12289 (approx. 3000 less than 2012)
Number of books read: 34 (16 less than 2012)
Chunksters (over 450 pages): 11 (3 more than 2012)
Genre breakdown:
Non-fiction: 5 (1 less than 2012)
General Fiction: 2
Mystery: 5 (big drop – 26 less than 2012)
Historical fiction: 2 (2 less than 2012)
Thriller/Spy: 15 (10 more than 2012)
Young Adult/Youth: 4
Pictures / Animal: 1 (couldn’t resist the “Lil Bub” book)

I met two of my reading goals and got to the halfway mark on the third. I reject 19 books, and that’s a record for me. Sadly, several were rejected 1/4 or 1/3 in to the story. One was rejected at the 90% spot because I could NOT take any more of the whole thing.

I had three “Top Reads”, and that’s less than in years past, but given how few books I read this year it’s still good. Here’s my recap of my top three books for 2013:

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech – This is the story of Salamanca Tree Hiddle (Chickabidee), her gramps and gram (Gooseberry), her friend Phoebe (Peeby), her mom, her dad and various other people she meets.

There is a trip cross country with a story within a story. You’ll see life in all it’s various stages played out. I found the characters captivating, believable, and lovable. I saw my own family in the story. I saw some of my friends, and I made new friends with every character in the book.

Considered young adult fiction (ages 12-18), the story has enough depth for most adults who simply enjoy a good read. When I finished the book, I sobbed for a good 30 minutes. It’s one the best books I’ve read this year, and it’s one of the worst books I’ve read this year. I recommend it, and do keep the tissues handy.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – Why did it take me so long to find this book? How did I even find out about this book? I wish I knew the answers to those questions. What a delightful read. Books, wizards, Google, secrets, codes, a touch of romance, travel, history and spies. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a modern day fairy tale. Or is it a modern day adventure? A thriller? It’s all of those and more!

Our protagonist, Clay Jannon, is out of work. He stumbles into Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and his life immediately changes. Rather than just sit and collect a paycheck, Clay discovers a need deep inside to solve the puzzle of the bookstore. He enlists the help of some friends, and takes us all on a fun adventure.

As a long ago user of Aldus PageMaker (now owned by Adobe), I loved the nod to Aldus Manutius. I loved the nods to modern computers and the tie in to old time printing. I laughed over some comments about print vs ebook, especially since I started out by reading a hard bound copy from the library and then bought the ebook and finished reading on my Kindle.

I found myself totally wrapped up in this story and it was hard to put the book down. When the final secret was revealed I smiled, wiped away a tear and thought, YES! This book was “the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”

Overboard!: A True Blue-Water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival by Michael J. TougiasOverboard! is the heart-wrenching, heart-stopping, riveting telling of a 2005 maritime rescue involving two sail boats. The At Ease had set sail from Chesapeake Bay with Bob Cummings and Jerry McCarthy aboard. They are heading to Charleston, SC to sail in the Charleston to Bermuda Race.

The Almeisan holds Tom Tighe (captain and owner), Loch Reidy, first mate; and a three member paying crew of Chris Ferrer, Kathy Gilcrest and Ron Burd—all experienced sailors and all ready and eager for the experience of a blue-water trip to Bermuda.

While the main thrust of the story is about the souls onboard the two sail boats, it also involves several members of the U.S. Coast Guard. Tougias weaves them into the story in a grand way and I felt the stress and concern of every member of the U.S. Coast Guard rescue teams. I worried that they would all come home alive. I found their bravery and courage incredible and encouraging.

The story wouldn’t be complete without recognizing the captain and crew of the USNS Seay. Called into action by the US Coast Guard, this ship lead a search and rescue mission of four ships. Eventually the Seay came alongside and “protected” the Almeisan. The Seay also sailed to Boston with the Sakura Express, serving as an intermediary between the Sakura Express and the US Coast Guard. A great picture, that gives you a sense of the enormity of the seas and shows the Almeisan and Seay can be found here.

One of the other ships in the S&R, was the Sakura Express (a tanker carrying jet fuel and part of AMVER). They also showed courage and tenacity in rescuing those in the water. Their care and concern with those they picked up had me in tears.

Tougias has a wonderful talent for drawing the reader into the event so that I felt as though I was on the boat, in the water, and struggling to survive. I likely would have read this story in two days time, except I found it necessary to put it down in order to breathe, relax and focus on simple, every day, stress free happy events.

A rich, wonderful telling of a difficult true-life event. I highly recommend this book, and it is one of my top-reads for 2013.

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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (repost)

This was originally published as part of a “Book Meme” for Day 1: The best book you read last year. I’m bringing it forward, with the book title because it’s such a great book.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 496
Highly Recommend

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, and it was one of my 4 top reads for 2011.

Unbroken is a wonderful book by a truly gifted author. The book tells a story that is filled with hope and despair, joy and sorrow, maltreatment and forgiveness.

Like American Nightingale by Bob Welch, and Salt In Our Blood by Michele Longo Eder, this is a difficult read, and not just because of the subject matter. The story is so well written, and the historical figures are so well developed, I felt as though I’d known them all my life; and deep inside I wished with all my heart that each of them would survive and live healthy, happy lives. I knew this wouldn’t happen, but still my heart hoped. So with the loss of each person, my heart broke and I would cry. Still I read on—I had to—for the future of others was still waiting for me.

My stomach would churn as I read about the POW camps and the treatment of these heroes. I find it strange that the world has long focused on the horrors of the Nazi POW camps and Jewish concentration camps of WWII, yet little is said about the horrors of the Japanese POW camps of WWII. Having heard Kay Friederichsen speak at a woman’s retreat, I’d already heard about the treatment of some people in Japanese camps; but never did I dream it was worse than what Kay had shared. I hurt as I read the story of Louis Zamperini in the camps. I ached as I read the story of Louie once he returned home and he let his life fall apart. While I can see the reasons for his emotional pain, there were times when I wanted to find him and shake him.

Then I read about Louie’s salvation. As I got to the paragraph where Billy Graham extends a personal invitation to Louie, I remembered all those nights that my family sat and listened to Billy Graham (TV and radio). How often I heard him say something so similar. I remembered my dad telling about the night he went forward. I remembered the teen crusade I attended and how my heart longed for the peace of Christ. As I read the words, “ ‘This is it,’ said Graham. ‘God has spoken to you. You come on.’ ”, my heart rejoiced. The horrors shared in the book washed away. The sadness and despair lifted from my shoulders and I rejoiced. Louie had finally found the joy and love he had so long sought.

What a testimony his life is. Would I find it in my heart to forgive as he has? I’m not sure I would. I’ve faced far less in my life and have had a hard time letting go of the bitterness.

How often in life we fail to see that God is polishing us and preparing us for what is ahead. For surely He knows our future and what we will face. He knows how we will fail, yet He loves us still and stands with us—holding us up when we don’t even realize it. Just as He loved Louie and held him up.

Such a wonderful book. One that has renewed the joy within my heart.

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Foreign Influence by Brad Thor


Book #28
Foreign Influence
Thor, Brad

Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 560 (chunkster)

This is my second read of this book, with the first being July 2010; and while I wasn’t quite as blown away with the story this time (too recent of a read for me to be totally surprised and *I wasn’t surprised by the ending this time), I still think my comment from then is good:

My jaw actually dropped open at the ending. Oh. My. Word! I never saw that coming*. Thor’s best book ever – bar none. Best quote? The very, very, very last 2 sentences of the book (in the Acknowledgments – speaking of his wife, Trish): “Thank you, honey. I love you.”

This book was timely in 2010, it’s even more so today. Recommend the book and the series.

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September Wrap Up

Grand month. Weather was lovely, we were able to take some nice drives, enjoyed dinner with friends and flat out had a good time. The end of the month saw the real arrival of fall, with a hint of winter and we enjoyed 3 great storms in 2 days: wind (70-80mph stuff), around 5 inches of rain—give or take an inch, lost power for a bit, and survived it all. Fun stuff.

My favorite picture this month is my new banner. Such a busy bee. Spotted him while on our way to dinner with friends. We were late while I photographed. Fortunately our friends understand my quirks.

We enjoyed loads of good movies (reviews HERE), and I read five good books. Spoiler-less reviews ahead, but first the statistics.

September: total pages: 1673; 5 books (no rejects)
2013 Recap to date:
Total pages read: 10573
Number of books read: 27
Chunksters (over 450 pages): 10
Non-fiction: 4
Fiction: 1
Mystery: 3
Historical fiction: 1
Thriller/Spy: 14
Young Adult/Youth: 3
Pictures / Animal: 1

September Books:
Book #23
Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea by Tougias, Michael J.

Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 244

Not quite as good as Overboard!, but still a most compelling read. Tougias give depth to each person in the story.


Book #24
Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet Hardcover by Lil BUB

Genre: Pictures / Animal
Pages: 128

Little book filled with 128 totally delightful pages of pics of “Lil BUB” on an adventure. Brings a smile to my face. Buy it. Buy several and give them away. You’ll be glad you did.


Book #25
The Apostle by Thor, Brad

Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 357

Review is HERE.

Book #26
Fire Along the Sky by Donati, Sara

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Pages: 688 (chunkster)

Review is HERE.

Book #27
Secrets at Sea by Peck, Richard

Genre: Youth
Pages: 256

I’ll admit that having spent months last year dealing with mice in our car and then rats in our garage (thanks to a neighbor who wasn’t dealing with their garbage), reading a story where mice are the main characters was almost too much to bear; but Peck created charming mice within an endearing story. Totally fun read and a nice break from the heavier read for the month.


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September Movies

We watched a lot of movies, and a lot of TV shows in Sept. Most of the time spent was enjoyable, some not so. Here’s a brief rundown of those movies worth mentioning:

Already reviewed:

The rest:

Laura (1944)

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he’s investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb

An interesting film-noir. The song is famous and it’s melody is as haunting as I find the movie. Clifton Webb is perfect in this part, and Vincent Price is a treat in a non-horror roll. I adore Judith Anderson as an actress – she is so evil in REBECCA, and carries some of that over into this part. Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews need no comments from me. Every time we watch this I see more little details and find the experience enjoyable. A good mystery, with excellent cast and direction. Recommend.

Oklahoma! (1955)

Visit the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, and meet cowboys, a traveling peddler, an evil ranch hand, Aunt Eller and others as love and jealousy rule the day.

Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones (movie debut), Gene Nelson, Charlotte Greenwood, Eddie Albert, James Whitmore, Rod Steiger

I admit that I’m biased toward this movie. As a young teen, my school choir did an abbreviated version of this musical. It was my first exposure to being on stage, and while I never went on to a stage career, it was a fascinating experience. I love the cast in this version, the cinematography, the songs—everything. I’ve always wondered how Barbara Lawrence (Gertie Cummings) managed that horrid horse laugh? LOL My only gripe is the terrible transfer to dvd. Sound track is wretched and picture is fuzzy at times. It would be grand if someone would clean this up and release it on blu-ray. Still, for cast, content, music—the total experience—we highly recommend this musical.

Long, Long Trailer (1953)

Nicky and Tacy are going to be married. Nicky wants to save up money for a house, but Tacy dreams of starting off with their own home on wheels–a trailer. After the two are hitched, they …

My first thought was that someone had colorized the movie. HA! I’ve only watched this on a B&W TV. It wasn’t any better in color. Sure there are a few funny moments, but not enough. I’d rather watch old episodes of I LOVE LUCY. Hubby gave this movie a recommend, I don’t.

The Peacemaker (1997)

A US Army colonel and a civilian woman supervising him must track down stolen Russian nuclear weapons before they’re used by terrorists.

Stars: George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Marcel Iures

  • The first film released by Dreamworks SKG.
  • The “Vienna” car chase scene, ending on a square with a fountain was actually shot in Bratislava, Slovakia. (imdb)

A rewatch for us, and still a good action-thriller. When we first saw this movie, the first bombing of the World Trade Center was on our minds. Now as we watch, we think of 9/11, the Boston bombing and other horrible terrorist acts and realize that this movie was less fantasy than we first thought, and that’s discouraging. Still it’s a good vehicle for Clooney and Kidman (who I’m not a fan of—she’s wooden), and it is a good few hours of action.

Frenzy (1972)

A serial killer is murdering London women with a necktie. The police have a suspect… but he’s the wrong man.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Alec McCowen

Excellent cast. Clive Swift has a small role. He’s such an enjoyable actor, just adore him as ‘Richard’ in Keeping Up Appearances. Jean Marsh as the secretary was also good. Excellent cinematography, and the opening sequence is terrific. Very unsettling movie to watch with rape and murder. Also a good deal of female nudity. I can only take it every 3 years or so. Recommend for those who enjoy Hitchcock movies.

Silk (2011)

BBC series about life at the Bar, the dilemmas and problems that modern day barristers have to face, and what it means to become a silk.

Watched first ep of this show from BBC on Masterpiece Theater. Really interesting and we’re both anxious to know how things go from here. Next two eps recorded.

It Happened One Night (1934)

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who’s actually a reporter looking for a story.

Director: Frank Capra
Writers: Robert Riskin (screen play), Samuel Hopkins Adams (based on the short story by)
Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly

“The little movie that could” is how the host for ‘Essentials Jr’ on TCM described this movie. No one wanted to star in it. No one wanted to make it. Everyone thought it was horrid, the worst movie they’d ever made. Yet it was the first movie to sweep all five major categories at the Academy Awards.

Without knowing the trivia behind the movie, we spotted the Bugs Bunny connection, at the end we thought of Runaway Bride. Of course, Clark without an undershirt delivered a blow to the sale of men’s undershirts. An excellent romantic comedy.

Along Came Jones (1945)

A good-natured saddle tramp and his sidekick mistaken for a ruthless outlaw with a price on his head and his sidekick.

Cast: Gary Cooper, Loretta Young, William Demarest

Mistaken identity in the old west. Only movie Cooper is credited with producing. Backdrops in the outdoor scenes are sad. LOL! Good cast. Decent plot. Light hearted. A delightful movie. Recommend.

Best quote:
George Fury: “A dead body! That’s the way the law says it. Corpus delicti. Means that if they got a corpse, you’re delicti! Before this, even if they hung ya, we could have proved it was a mistake.”

Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

The story of the great sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, who rises to fame while dealing with her love/professional rival, Frank Butler.

Stars: Betty Hutton, Howard Keel, Louis Calhern
Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin

No matter the story, when it’s music by Irving Berlin and sung by Howard Keel, it doesn’t get much better. Story is historical-fiction, cast is good, pace is good and all around, it’s a fun watch. Of course, I back up and listen to Keel sing his songs at least twice. Recommend.

Saboteur (1942)

Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, Otto Kruger

Although not one of Hitchcock’s best efforts, it is a decent offering. If you view it with an eye to the time frame it was released, it’s a fresh offering with plenty of tension, intrigue and a little romance tossed in for dressing. While the term “Nazi” was never used, it’s obvious that’s who the enemy is, and I found myself cheering their misfortunes. I thought the movie set a good pace, and the ending was most satisfactory. One of my favorite spots was when the two guys actually sang the words to “Tonight We Love” from Piano Concerto in B Flat Minor by Tchaikovsky. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the words before, and that’s surprising as this Concerto is my favorite piece of classical music, and hearing any portion of it always brings fond memories to the forefront for me.

We recommend this movie for those who enjoy Hitchcock, film-noir, thrillers and maybe just a good movie to watch.

My favorite quote comes from a fancy dress party where our two hero’s are in attendance by force:
Patricia “Pat” Martin: I’m afraid we’re not behaving very well.
Barry Kane: What’s the difference, we’re not invited anyway.

I Confess (1953)

Refusing to give into police investigators’ questions of suspicion, due to the seal of confession, a priest becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden, O.E. Hasse

The movie begins and ends with death. In between is romance, suspense, frustration and pure Hitchcock. The B&W effects add to the darkness of the story, and lend extra tension to the movie. My only pick would be that Clift and Baxter do not have on-screen chemistry, and so the romance aspect never worked for me.

While not as thrilling or exciting as “The Birds”, or “Frenzy”, or even “North by Northwest”, I found this movie to be an intriguing offering from Hitchcock; and I recommend it.

Murphy’s Romance (1985)

Emma is a divorced woman with a teen aged boy who moves into a small town and tries to make a go of a horse ranch. Murphy is the town druggist who steers business her way. Things are going …

Director: Martin Ritt
Writers: Max Schott (story), Harriet Frank Jr.
Stars: Sally Field, James Garner, Brian Kerwin

What a delight! Good casting, good storyline, sweet old car, small town life. I want to play Bingo, visit a real soda fountain, and maybe even ride a horse. Always an enjoyable watch for us. Highly recommend.

Angels & Demons (2009)

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican.

Director: Ron Howard
Writers: David Koepp (screenplay), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer

Based on another boring book from Dan Brown. There was a story, but the pacing was so slow the story got lost. I enjoyed Ewan McGregor, but otherwise the cast was not much.

  • My comment: Care to know the best thing about this movie? I wasn’t feeling well and was able to sleep through major chunks of it, wake up and not be lost.
  • Comment from hubby, who did stay awake through it all: What a waste.

Don’t recommend.

Darling Companion (2012)

The story of a woman who loves her dog more than her husband. And then her husband loses the dog.

Stars: Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest (who I loved in The Associate)

I don’t remember why we picked this, but I’m glad we did as it’s a decent comedy/drama. Odd characters, odd relationships, a gypsy, a wedding and a dog. Can’t say the pacing was great, but it held our interest. Might not appeal to those under 45. Ha!

Best line of the movie, and if you’ve been through this procedure, you’ll get the line, if not … your time is coming:
Maybe my kidney stones will pass in time for my colonoscopy.

Key Largo (1948)

A man visits his old friend’s hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston
Writers: Richard Brooks (screenplay), John Huston (screenplay)
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor

Excellent performances by a grand cast, with Claire Trevor winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Final Bogart-Bacall film. Recommend.

Payback (I) (1999)

Porter is shot by his wife and best friend and is left to die. When he survives he plots revenge.

Director: Brian Helgeland
Writers: Donald E. Westlake (novel), Brian Helgeland (screenplay)
Stars: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello

Not a happy movie, but an interesting look at the seedier side of life. Everyone is either an anti-hero, or just plain evil. Violence abounds, as does course language, drugs and sexual content. There are parts of this movie where I close my eyes and plug my ears. I watched it and wondered what we once saw in this movie. The cast, pace, and photography are all good. The best line is when ‘Pearl’ (Lucy Liu) says: “Hubba, hubba, hubba.”

Recommend for those with a strong stomach.

Red River (1948)

Dunson is driving his cattle to Red River when his adopted son, Matthew, turns against him.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson
Writers: Borden Chase (screenplay), Charles Schnee (screenplay)
Stars: John Wayne, Walter Brennan, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru

Only movie that Harry Carey Sr and Harry Carey Jr appeared in together, but they had no scenes together. Also Sr’s final film.

Decent offering. The cast is filled with lots of recognizable faces to those who enjoy westerns, as well as a face from Rockford Files. The story line is good, although the pace is a bit slow in spots, still it held my interest and the ending was excellent. Recommend.

Robot & Frank (2012)

Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.

Director: Jake Schreier
Writer: Christopher D. Ford (screenplay)
Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon

We saw a preview for this movie on another dvd, and thought it looked interesting, with a decent cast. The scenery is grand, the cast *was* good, the one premise of the story about family and friendship was okay; but ultimately this was a very sad movie. For that reason, we don’t recommend—but we are in the minority.

Funny quote (and maybe the only really funny spot in the entire movie):
Robot: You should not drink those, Frank. It is not good for gout.
Frank: I don’t have gout.
Robot: You do not have gout. Yet.

The Muppets (2011)

With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.

Director: James Bobin
Writers: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Stars: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper, Jack Black

Fart shoes!

One of my favorite quotes:
Uncle Deadly: … Looks like it’s I who will have the last laugh!
Tex Richman: What does that mean?
Uncle Deadly: It’s an idiom, you idiot, because you cannot laugh! Ha ha!

Not the best Muppet movie, mainly because there were too many ‘humans”, but still funny and delightful. Recommend.

Foreign Correspondent (1940)

On the eve of WW2, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Charles Bennett (screenplay), Joan Harrison (screenplay), 3 more credits »
Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall

Another of the Hitchcock offerings from TMC. It’s been years since I’ve watched this and found it still held my interest, was compelling, good story line and character development. We could use more real reporters like Johnny Jones (aka: Huntley Haverstock). Recommend.

Family Plot (1976)

Lighthearted suspense film about a phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend who encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane
Score composed by John Williams, his only score of a Hitchcock film.

For Hitchcock fans, this film is special simply because it was his final film (his 53rd!). Still, I found it tediously slow, and had a hard time keeping my eyes open. Recommend? Yes, if you are a Hitchcock fan; no if you aren’t.

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