Movie Review: “The Farewell”

We went to see the movie, The Farewell and I’m glad we did. It was a powerful, thoughtful, incredibly well acted movie that really makes you think. The plot is that a Chinese family discovers that Nai Nai, their “matriarch,” the grandmother, has terminal cancer and has less than three months to live. But apparently the Chinese way—they stress this several times in the movie, right from the opening—is to not tell an elderly person. Why tell them and let them stress and mourn over their last days on earth? Instead, lie, so that their last days are lived to their fullest, happy and carefree.

I wasn’t a proponent for such a course of action. I thought, Whoa! I’d want to know so that I can make sure I get any unfinished business taken care of before I leave. Not only financial stuff, but making sure I had done all those proper “people” things. As in making sure there wasn’t any nastiness left or unsaid things, any apologies I might need to have made, or anyone I needed to forgive.

And that’s just how the protagonist of “The Farewell,” Billi, feels. But after watching The Farwell? I’m not so sure. The movie makes you think. And I can’t say how it does this, or I’d be spoiling the whole thing, but let’s say this: After watching The Farewell, I think I might not want to know that my days were truly numbered after all.

But what really makes this picture is the stunningly powerful performance by Awkwafina. We know she has comedic timing second to none from movies like Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. But darnit, girl! Who knew the level of her true acting skills? The subtlety? Her human presence versus comedic presence? Her chemistry? This woman is headed for an Oscar! Did you know she didn’t know any Chinese before making this movie? I wouldn’t have known! The entire case was good, especially a standout performance by Shuzhen Zhao as Nai Nai.

For those of you who tell me that you’re tired of action films and superhero movies and the like, or those of you like me who enjoy all kinds of movies, I recommend, The Farewell. I think you’ll be glad if you give it a chance!

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GAY PRIDE MONTH, Day Three: The Exciting Return of “Tales of the City!”

What a wonderful celebration of Gay Pride month! The triumphant return of “Tales of the City!” So excited! From the preview it doesn’t look like what I was expected, which was a filming of the later books, like, “Michael Tolliver Lives,” “Mary Ann in Autumn,” and “The Days of Anna Madriga,” but I could be wrong. Whatever it is, it comes with Armistead Maupin’s blessing, and the joyous return of Laura Linney as Mary Ann Singleton and Olympia Dukakis as Anna Madrigal. AND as of this posting, we only have to wait four days until the first season begins on Netflix! If there is any series of books and movies and now a series that celebrates gay life, and human life, it’s this one!

FURRY FRIDAY: The Beards of Thrones, Part Four

And now for the final entry in the tribute to Game of Thrones and the hunky, beautiful, charismatic, rugged, hairy, muscled, chunky, lovely, bearish men—bearded men!

This show has been a heck of a ride and I’ve enjoyed it all! And I have loved the beautiful men and their beautiful beards.

I’ll keep the banter short this time. Just take a look and let me know what you think by voting on your favorite(s)!

Valar Dohaeris!
BG “Ben” Thomas

Continue reading

FURRY FRIDAY: The Beards of Thrones, Part Three

Two episodes of Game of Thrones down, two posts for Beards of Thrones down as well. Welcome to part three of the beardiness of the heroes and villains and all the anti-in-betweens. They’re slim and stocky, young and old, scary looking and beautiful. They’re straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, and even incestuous. These men fit the full spectrum.

But if you’re a man on Game of Thrones, chances are you have some kind of beard, at least at one time or another. Bran didn’t, but most of the show he was a boy. Grey Worm doesn’t. Either does Varys. But they’re eunuchs. Facial hair is the way of things in the Seven Kingdoms. I’d be a happy camper living there….

Can I look forward to the end of a show…and be sad at the same time?

Well that’s the way it is!

Okay, take a look at this week’s Beards of Thrones. And at the end, don’t forget to vote for your favorite(s)!  Continue reading

Book Club: A Movie Review

My title says it all. This movie could have been better, but overall, when all was said and done, I laughed a lot and I even cried more than once, and as far as I’m concerned, that says it all!

And I liked the fact that this was four women well into their lives proving that being over fifty doesn’t mean you’re dead.

It’s a movie about four post-50-something women who choose to read a crappy book, “Fifty Shade of Grey,” for their book club and how it affects them. The first thing I liked? That at no place in the film do they say the book was any good. To my relief, they groan and roll their eyes, and even make fun of it. But then they can’t deny the story is shaking them up in their later years. Their lives have become complacent. Especially romantically and sexually.

And then we see how each of the women’s personal love-lives change and I really loved that part. I am a romantic. So, yes, the script was less than brilliant—but it was still very cute, and laugh-out-loud-funny, and yes, romantic—and the acting *was* less-than-their-best—but still filled with many moments that made me *happy sigh*—but in the end, the movie was very romantic, and that was what I wanted.

I think the problem with the reviews (both critics and movie watchers) is that the previews and the knowledge of who all was in the movie (eight great performers including the love-interests) made this look like it was going to be THE romantic comedy of the year, and for some reason it…just wasn’t.

Several reviewers said the actresses turned in sub-par performances. I couldn’t go that far. What I think was wrong was the directing. The staging. Like he was letting everyone involved sort of mail in their jobs, from acting to editing to cinematography. In fact, I blame director/co-writer Bill Holderman for all the problems because the script needed tweaking as well. There were too many “talking heads” moments in the movie, where the actresses were lined up on the set like Mount Rushmore. Had the script been polished just a little bit and someone else directed it, I do believe it would have been THE romantic comedy of the year.

I liked this movie despite its problems. And I think it will be one that I see many times. And best of all, each of the four women have happily-ever-after endings without having to be less than who they are by finding a man. What could be better than that?

FURRY FRIDAY: Beards of Thrones, Part Two

So, have you seen Winterfell, the premiere episode of the final season of Game of Thrones? Pretty good, huh? Although it really was only a set-up for all that is to come. And we still have five more—five more—episodes to get the whole tale and five more episodes to see the sensational beardiness of this great show.

Whether it’s the prettiness of characters/stars like Loras Tyrell/Finn Jones or the rugged muscliness of Khal Drogo/Jason Momoa or the noble bearness of the “Old Bear” Jeor Mormont/James Cosmo, as far as I am concerned, these men aren’t half as hot without their beards.

What do you think? Take a look and let me know!

And don’t forget to vote!

Valar Dohaeris!
BG “Ben” Thomas . . . Continue reading

FURRY FRIDAY: The Beards of Thrones, Part One

Well at last it’s finally time to begin watching the final season of the brilliant Game of Thrones . And not only are there a lot of sexy and beautiful men on the show, but most of them are bearded! Hurray!

Rosie Narasaki of the website Bustle, said, Game of Thrones might be the hairiest show on television, because just about every single cast member of the fantasy epic is sporting a beard. Now, said facial hair runs the gamut from sparse scruff, a la Theon Greyjoy/Reek, to straight-up bearded madness, a la Tormund Giantsbane — hitting every level of beardiness in between.”

And oh—thank goodness! Plus, I think most of the actors look awful, or at least far less attractive, without beards. Kit Harrington/Jon Snow says that when he shaves his beard he looks like a tired child.

Well, I don’t know about the “tired” part. But he does look like he’s about eleven years old. So why shave, Kit? Huh? Makes no sense!

So anyway, in honor of the final season of the utterly amazing show Game of Thrones , and the men therein, for the next few weeks Furry Friday will feature the Beards of Thrones. Tell me what you think!

And don’t forget to vote! Continue reading