Saturday, December 2, 2017

Movie Review: ****^Hidden Figures (2016)

This is a fabulous movie which shows the plight of the African American women working for NASA.  The were involved at many levels, including being ready to use computers, and advanced engineering.  There is a particular series of scenes in which one African American woman, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) who is working on advanced calculations, but restroom were segregated.  There are no African American restrooms in that area.  She had to walk across campus to use the restroom.  The other staff were upset at her long breaks, not realizing why she was gone for so long.  However, when the cause was discovered, her boss, Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) ended segregated restrooms.  It shows how at times, we can discriminate without realizing it.  Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) had enough foresight to study computer languages, and to have her staff also trained.  This gave them a jump up when typewriters were replaced by computers.  Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) fights discrimination in university classes, as she needs more education to become a NASA engineer, but the school is limited to Whites.  Her case goes to court and she prevails. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Movie Review: ***^Forever Young (1992)

This is a very enjoyable movie, about a test pilot (Mel Gibson) who decides to be frozen when his girlfriend (Isabel Glasser) is hit by a car an in a coma.  He regrets that he never proposed marriage to her.  His friend (George Wendt) is a scientist working on a special project and needing a subject for cryogenics.  However, he is misplaced for over 50 years.  His friend died in a fire, saving the cryogenics machine.  They were both listed killed in the fire, and the machine misplaced in a warehouse.  Until some kids, playing around, open the capsule, and out comes a man.  He gets the jacket of one of the kids (Elijah Wood), and traces it to his house, where he meets the kids mother (Jamie Lee Curtis.)  The cryogenics does not stop rapid aging after someone is unthawed.  The test pilot is trying to find those people with whom he associated, and finally comes upon someone who might know something.  Finally after several days, things start to fall into place.  This is a love story where you get a second chance. 

Movie Review: ****^The Star (2017)

This movie takes some liberalities with the story but has enough of the story that I had tears when Jesus was born.  In this story the animals can talk to each other; but when they talk to the people all the people hear is animal noises.  This makes for some tense moments, and the donkey knows there are mean dogs and a bad man after Mary, but don't know how to let Mary and Joseph know other than to cause bad things to happen.  Steven Yuen voices the donkey, Keegan-Michael Key his bird friend, and Aidy Bryan the sheep friend they meet.  Mary and Joseph are portrayed by Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Children's Rhyming Picture Book: Night Cars

Night Cars by Teddy Jam illustrated by Eric Beddows, Orchard Books, New York, 1988.
The illustrations are fascinating this book.  Throughout the book we see Baby, who is having a hard time going to sleep.  Instead he likes to look out the window at the cars and the many things going on in the city.  He sees a snow storm, and the snow plows, a fire engine and many more sights.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Lexi Walker - Christmas Songs

Someone put together a synopsis of Lexi Walker's Christmas songs.  By the end of the list, they were stretching a bit, including songs she was singing in a group; However Lexi has a very beautiful voice, and her songs can brighten the Holiday season. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Movie Review: ***^Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

This movie represents a fascinating look at the Agatha Christie classic.  The cast of character is also very interesting.  Kenneth Branagh plays our detective hero, Hercule Poirot.  Bouc, his traveling companion is played by Tom Bateman.  And then the other passengers on the train, who all become the subject of an investigation as Poirot is called upon to solve a murder where a passenger is stabbed a dozen times and killed.  Other actors include: Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley.  Kenneth Branagh also directed.  Each of these characters comes together with the other is a most peculiar way, which is what makes for the twist at the end of the movie.  I can't say I enjoyed this version better than the original from the 1970s.  However it does see true to the story, and the mystery.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Music Review: Uintah Basin Orchestra and Chorus: 2015 Christmas Concert

Uintah Basin Orchestra and Chorus: 2015 Christmas Concert

This orchestra and choral concert just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  This year there are more singers, more orchestra members, children singers, more dancers.  It is just more.  I keep looking for Dennis Hatch whose name is on the program, and I did Star of Justice with Dennis Hatch.  I felt the highlight of this entire concert is in the 41st minute, the children's chorus sings the Wexford Carol.