Monday, September 28, 2015

Music Review: (no stars) Maria Mena: White Turns Blue

Maria Mena: White Turns Blue
I guess you can call this whatever you want.  I call it trash.  Somethings you don't sing about.  I will be honest, I didn’t get through the first song.  I hope the other songs weren’t more of the same, but this song was bad in terms of sexual innuendo so it was enough for me to turn it off.  Don’t check this one out or buy it. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Book Review: The Third Door by: Emily Rodda

The Third Door by: Emily Rodda, Scholastic Press, New York, 2012.  This is the third and final book in this trilogy.  This book has some fantastic adventures, and finally reveals the entire story of the doors and what we have seen through each door.  It does not conclude how I thought it would conclude.  In fact the island of Dorne is in greater danger and I thought possible.  It is only in the use of the power of the magical candy that Rye is able to influence the people to see what they are doing before it is done.  It also reveals that Rye is not the only one with magical powers.  We are also told the relationship between this world and Deltora of Rodda's earlier books.  If you like juvenile fiction with lots of adventure and new worlds, then this is a great book.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Movie Review: **^Domino Kid (1957)

This is a post Civil War movie.  Domino (Rorie Calhoun) returns home form the war to find his father murdered, and his father's cattle stolen.  He then goes on a person vendetta to get even for his father and to get the five men who killed his father.  Four of the men are identified by a witness.  The fourth however is not.  Domino goes about killing each of the men in a gun battle.  It turns out self defense in each instance as the play on Domino knowing he is coming for them.  When he gets the fourth man, he is wounded, so returns home to recuperate where he meets his old girt.  Now there is a second suitor.  One who feels Domino is no good for the town and wants to run him out.  IN the mean time the fifth murderer makes his play on Domino, and in the gun battle against he an his men, the feud in town is resolved as they battle together.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Movie Review: ***The Doolins of Oklahoma (1949)

Bill Doolin (Randolph Scott) is a notorious outlaw and leader of the Doolin gang.  When the law gets close he decides to disband for three months.  The members of the gang are to lie low.  He himself buys a ranch with money from a bank robbery,  and courts a young woman (Virginia Huston), falls in love and marries.  He now regrets the life he chose, that of being an outlaw.  When his men come to get hm three months later, his identity is revealed to the family of his new bride.  He realizes he doesn't want to subject her to a life on the run and returns to the gang.  Several months later, when the law is close he flees to the ranch he bought, and his wife is still waiting.  They have a chance if they can get to a land where the law hasn't reached yet; they could start over as farmers.  However the law is close, and he realized he cannot subject his wife to a life on the run, so the split up.  The lawman provides a narration, which is sort of corny with its moralistic tone.  The overall theme is crime doens't pay, and you can't change who you are.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: The Silver Door by: Emily Rodda

The Silver Door by: Emily Rodda, Scholastic, New York, 2012.
This is the second of three books in the door series.  I am enjoying them immensely as three brothers and their friend Sonia are intent on saving their people.  The skimmers, birds of terror are killing the people, and only traveling through the door might there be an answer.  It seems every time they get closer to solving something, they get more in trouble.  In this book they are taken captive and Rye is separated from his magic charms.  In this book he discovers a shell power which protects he and those touching in a chain.  He also discovers a magic key.  Will it be enough?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Music Review: Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits: 1987

This is an anthology of the best songs of 1987.  Granted I am a "fuddy duddy" but some of this music does register with me.  What does strike a chord of please are: “The One I love” by REM.  There is a great guitar line and the lyrics are nice.  Grateful Dead does “Touch of Grey.”  This too has a very pleasant feel.  There is the Amway Convention anthem, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”  This brings back memories of many an Amway convention, and you can see why.  It gets your blood rolling.  “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott is also very nice.  The back-up vocals really make this song. “I can give you all the love that you need.”  It sounds cool.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mormon Movie Review: ****The Cokeville Miracle

This is a T.C. Christensen movie, and tells the true story of the Cokeville terrorist attack which took place in May 1986.  The movie is well done for the most part.  There was on line which I thought was odd or out of place, or given with the wrong attitude which is by the police officer when he heard of the hostage situation.
The story is that a former police officer, David Young and his wife, take the rural school of Cokeville, Wyoming hostage and demand a ransom of $2,000,000 per child.  The bomb explodes prematurely, but all of the children and their teachers escape.  Most have burns and other injuries, but it was deemed miraculous that not more died.  Only the hostage takes perished, Young by his own self inflicted bullet.  His wife was severely injured by the blast and he shot her as well before killing himself.
The movie continues after the blast, with the local police officer, who had given up on God, restoring his faith through the stories of the children, as well as attending church and observing the faith of the Children as they sing "Child's Prayer."
The ending of this movie is very well done as it shows the restoration of a family through faith.  I highly recommend this movie.  It has many familiar LDS actors throughout.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Book Review: The Golden Door by Emily Rodda, Scholastic Press, New York, 2011.

Rye is 16, the youngest of three brothers.  His older two brothers both have gone to find and stop whoever is sending skimmers (birds that have been coming to the walled city for seven years no, killing and eating people and animals and destroying gardens) outside the wall through special magical doors.  The skimmers had killed their father as he worked on the wall.  The wall had been built to protect the people, but now it only locks them in as they are prey for the predatory birds.  Rye is not old enough to join them. Each in their turn is presumed dead, as they do not return.  The skimmers destroy the family garden, and they go to the Keep, government poor house, to be cared for.  Mother is to work in the kitchens, and Rye to the children’s home.  However Rye volunteers to go through the doors instead, even though he is too young.  Sonia joins him, at her insistence.  Sonia is a young woman who travels through the castle in the chimney system.
When Rye gets to the place of choosing, he chooses the Golden door.  He is sure his oldest brother went this way and he is alive, and he is in need.  Rye and Sonia find a new world.  Nothing like the maps they have seen.  This is a very dangerous world, but somehow Rye pleases the Fellans, magical keepers of the forest who do not get involved.  They give Rye 9 magical powers via tokens in a bag.  Rye feels he has tricked them, but accepts the tokens.  He is not sure what his gifts do, but he does learn a few of them before the end of the book.  The protect him.  He can run fast, become invisible, has a light, ability to see through things, and can swim and can fly.
This country is one where every seven years, Olt, the ruler, kills by gruesome means, for the magical power of longer life.  He is set to kill seven young people.  Rye's brother, his brother’s girlfriend, and Sonia all end up as people fit for killing as they must be strong, and unblemished.  How can Rye save them?

Music Review: Finding Neverland, Soundtrack 2004

 This is the soundtrack for the 2004  movie “Finding Neverland" which starred Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.  It is all instrumental, mostly orchestral with a couple piano versions of the pieces thrown in.  I like the bear theme, Russian dancing bear to be exact, and the Russian flare to the music is there.  There is also the mysterious sounds of the faeries and other enchanted creatures of Neverland.  Very peaceful overall. 
Composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Musical review: The Unauthorized Musical of Samantha Brown
This is an authorized copy of a mediocre musical with lots of screaming but not much entertainment.  It is a look at the ordinary senior year of Samantha Brown who is the valedictorian, but not sure if she wants to go to college.  There are five characters, her best friend, her boyfriend, her parents and herself.  Of course, with the popular logic, an ordinary senior year includes losing your virginity, and this happens in a fit of anger at her mother.  The bit about her getting her license to drive is mildly amusing and worthy of mention.  In this scene she faces all of her fears and doubts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Book Review: The Last Apprentice (6) The Clash of the Demons

The Last Apprentice (6) Clash of the Demons Joseph Delaney Patrick Arrasmith, Glenwillow Books, New York, 2009.
This book is highlighted by the clash of two demons, Lamia (who turns out to be the mother of the apprentice) and the Ordeen, an ancient monster from the depths who reappears every seven years in Greece bent on destruction and drinking the blood of others.  With her comes a whole host of other bad things, Lamia witches and elementals which are fiery orbs that burn people.  Of course the Ordeen is the worst enemy of these.  And that is the task of our group this time, the destruction of the Ordeen.  Mam or Lamia, the Apprentice’s mother is a long enemy of the Ordeen, and has planned for its destruction for years; however with the reappearance of the Fiend (Devil) the dark is becoming more powerful, and the Ordeen will soon become even more destructive.  Mam makes an alliance of witches and spooks, normally on opposite sides of the spectrum, to help her in this task.  Many perils are faced.  Lamia witches want to suck your blood, tappers crash the roofs of caves on your head, and many other perils from the dark side. 
In this case the final victory comes with a heavy cost.  Our apprentice bargains his soul to the Fiend in order to achieve success.  Some day that debt will come due.

Monday, September 14, 2015


This is a 1972 concert of Gordon Lightfoot.  Lightfoot is considered the best song writer ever from Canada and achieved international fame with his mellow voice.  It includes Lightfoot's early style.  He sings country, folk, light rock, and sometimes even has a jazzy feel to some of his songs.  This set includes "If you Could Read my Mind."  This song includes his lament about a relationship gone bad:
I never thought I could feel this way 
And I got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong 
But the feelings gone 
And I just can't get it back.

"Talking in your Sleep" shows relationships in a better light. 
 "When you close your eyes and go to sleep
And it's down to the sound of a heartbeat
I can hear the things that you're dreaming about
When you open up your heart and the truth comes out"
He also sings "Bobby McGee."  One of his early success, "Early Morning rain" is also included.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Music Review: Austin City Limits: White Denim

This was the second part of a presentation on Austin City Limits, and for me much more enjoyable than the first band (Spoon).  They were a bit more mellow, and had a Bluesy feel which I found very listenable.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Book Review: The Last Apprentice (five): Wrath of the Bloodeye (2008)

The Last Apprentice (five): Wrath of the Bloodeye, Joseph Delaney illustrated by: Patrick Arrasmith, Glenwillow Books,  New York, 2008.
In this book, because of the danger to the Apprentice, he is loaned out to another Spook for further training.  Bill Arkwright is more demanding, especially physically.  He is younger and determined to help the apprentice improve his fighting skills with the staff, by beating up our apprentice until he picks up the skills. Arkwright lives in the north, closer to the ocean and in marshy country.  The Apprentice will face attacks from the water witches.  Of special note is the Bloodeye, whose eye makes hypnotizes those who see it; but only one person at a time.  She is a fierce opponent, and is the daughter of the Fiend.  A strange alliance with past enemies develops, but can this alliance be trusted?  I am enjoying this series.  The back cover says these books should not be read at night, and true they have some scary characters. 

Movie Review: ***^ Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957)

Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957) I was thrilled with this movie.  I have seen it several times, and have always enjoyed it.  However Sheri said she finds it boring.  So we have two different opinions.  It was directed by John Huston and stars Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum.  Mitchum portrays a marine who washes up on an island in the South Pacific during WWII.  Kerr portrays a nun, who is abandoned on the island as she stays with her priest who passes away, leaving her alone.  What I like most is the development of the characters.  The marine falls for the nun, but is thwarted by her vows.  This couple of heroes, support each other through the war, which includes the Japanese landing, twice.  There are some tense moments as Allison, the marine tries to steal food form the Japanese.  One time he is interrupted, and ends up killing a man.  Another time he gets drunk drinking saki, and scares her into the night where she takes chill in the storm.  Things would be bad for our heroes, but just as they are being discovered in their cave, the Americans begin an attack on the island.  Allison, during the attack does something heroic to reduce the number of American casualties.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Musical Review: ***The Mikado

This musical, is a Japanese soap opera on steroids.  The Mikado, emperor of Japan is very much interested in an execution.  He orders the high executioner to perform one, but he has difficulty finding someone who wants to be executed.  he finally comes upon a young minstrel who feels suicidal as he cannot marry his girl who is engaged to the high executioner.  The high executioner agrees to the minstrel and Yum Yum being married if the minstrel agrees to being executed in a month.  However the term change, and the executioner only says he executed the minstrel rather than actually doing so.  Turns out the minstrel is the emperor's son in disguise, and when the emperor finds our he tells those involved, that it is not their fault, they could not have known who they executed; he was in disguise.  However the law didn't make allowances for not knowing so they are all scheduled to be killed after dinner.  So the minstrel/Emperor's son agrees to come back if the high executioner woos and marries his intended.  This is when I thought the show got interesting, and the song between Katisha and Ko-Ko is very well done.  I must admit, until this point I was nodding off.  Don't worry, all turns out well in the end.  Katisha agrees to marry, and when her intended shows up to relieve the executions, all is forgiven as she is married, as well as the Emperor's son.  Arthur Sullivan wrote the music and W.S. Gilbert the libretto.  It first played in Savoy Theater in London in 1885.  Very exciting costumes.  The original cast studied Japanese movements, so said the narrator. These non Japanese actors did as well as could be expected.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Music Review: Neon Trees, Picture Show (2012)

The song "Everybody Talks" makes me want to dance.  It has something that really moves you.  I must admit there a couple of songs on here that just don't do it for me.  This is the songs that the resort to yelling such as "Teenage Sounds.".  That style is not mine.  However there are also some very good songs.  "Mad Love" is very good.  The drummer, Elaine Bradley, sings in this song and I really enjoy her.  However, the lead singer, Tyler Glen can sing in a way that is different but pleasing.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Music Review: Finding Neverland the Musical

This link gets you to a playlist of songs form Finding Neverland.  This is a new musical which opened this year.  The music is intriguing.  It is written by Gary Barlow.  The performers include Matthew Morrison as J.M. Barry, Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, Kelsey Grammer as Hook and Aiden Gemme as Peter Llewelyn.  I you haven't listened to this music you should.  It is very uplifting.  It includes Grammer singing "Play" in which he reminds us not to forget about being children.  Grammer also confronts Barrie in "Live by the Hook" and "Stronger."  There is a lovely duet between Morrison and Kelly, "What you Mean to Me."  In this they sing "Second star on the right and strait on till morning."  Barrie struggles with the boys, who have lost their father and he befriends the family.  Peter Pan is based very much upon their play.  There is a very good duet between Morrison and Gemme about letting imagine help cure our ills.
There is much here.  I think the highlight is the music at the end, "Neverland" and "Finale" are very climatic.  This is music that leaves you feeling good.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Music Review: Shel Silverstein: Inside Fold Music (1962)

This is SHel SIlverstein as an early song writer.  I didn't much care for this collection.  The artist, Silverstein, is always trying to be funny, and missing the mark with me.  Bananas would have been fun, if it had been finished.  Boa Constrictor is a fun song and this one I had previously heard n a children's album.  Unicorn is also worth mention.  This songs often have abrupt endings with twists along the theme at the end.  He is also making fun of many different people.

Movie Review: ****Hombre (1967)

This is a very good Western, with Paul Newman as the misunderstood John Russell.  Russell was stolen from his family when a boy and raised by the Apache.  He is more comfortable among the Apache than the White people, but he comes back and changes his image when his father passes away.  He must deal with his inheritance.  This is during the time after most of the Apache had been taken prisoner.
In this movie there is a goat, and a group of bad men lead by Grimes (Richard Boone).  The goat is the for Indian agent who is returning East.  He has a pile of cash from taken payment for feeding the Indians, but pocketing most of it and letting the Apache die.  In this case the robbery is those trying to steal this money.  They rob a stage, in which Russell is a passenger, with several other men and women.  The thieves take a hostage, but Russell's gun is left.  He gets this and finishes off a couple of the robbers.  One was taking the water and the money; and now this group of victims has water and the money.  The other outlaws will surely be back.

TV Review: 69th Annual Tony Awards (2015)

There is lots of music in this two-part presentation of the Tony Awards.  Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming.  This presentation has many presentations of musicals from the year.  One of the highlights is "Stronger" from Finding Neverland with Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer.  The hosts present a few funny gags.  But another highlight is a musical satire of musicals where people burst into song.  This is very entertaining stuff.  There is some political correctness fa-la-la, but there is lots of talent displayed here.