In the Captain Obvious segment of movie recommendations let’s begin with A Star Is Born. The performances are all top-notch (I especially enjoyed Sam Elliott and Andrew Dice Clay). The singing was, not surprisingly, the best part for me. Lady Gaga steals it with every performance; she is just so innately, effortlessly talented. I really love that they recorded every song live, it gives the movie so much more power and authenticity. But can we just discuss Bradley Cooper? I’ve been a fan since “Alias,” admiring his looks and acting chops but he is ridiculously distracting in this movie. I’m not sure I have ever seen anyone better looking on the movie screen and I do not say that lightly. Swoon.
Bohemian Rhapsody has not gotten the best reviews. Critics complain that the movie did not delve deeply enough into Mercury’s hedonistic lifestyle or accurately portray his gayness. All that may be true but everyone I know who saw it looooved this movie. Not only that, we all fell in love with Queen’s music again. Have you noticed “Bohemian Rhapsody” is on the radio more? I enjoyed the movie and I thought Rami Malek was excellent. As far as highlights go, that Live Aid scene is truly Killer Queen.
A movie I’d like you to consider seeing is Immediate Family. For anyone who has harbored a desire to foster children, or at least an admiration for those who have, this movie is for you. Or, if you appreciate a well-done family comedy, it is also for you. It’s based on the director/co-writer’s own experience as a foster parent. My mom and I heard him speak at the screening, and he is very passionate about the subject. The movie is not slap sticky or hokey; it is realistic in a loving way and definitely funny. I really liked it. It’s PG-13; your kids will like it, too.
Here are my top 5 favorite (network) television shows right now:
- “The Resident” – I’m a big fan of Matt Czuchry (“Gilmore Girls”), I love that it’s filmed in Atlanta and visually proves that it’s in Atlanta and I like that it shows us a different side to the medical drama than we are used to seeing. It’s a little more corporate and evil than I’d like to think it is but what do I know?
- “Manifest” – It’s filling my “Lost” void. I love the concept and I like the supernatural aspect of it mixed with everyday life. They were missing for 5 ½ years?! That’s so cool.
- “New Amsterdam” – It’s heartwarming without being schmaltzy. Don’t you want to assume that every hospital administrator would prefer focusing on exceptional care over bureaucracy?
- “FBI” – I’m not really a procedural girl (imagine the “Law & Order” BUM BUM in the background) but I am enjoying this show. Smart, levelheaded people responsible for keeping us safe – again, what we all like to assume is truth.
- “The Good Doctor” – hmmm, I have a lot of medical shows on this list. What can I say? They are all good! I liked this last year and I like it this year. It’s very well acted and thought provoking while also entertaining. In a recent episode of “CBS Sunday Morning” there was a story highlighting companies that hire people with autism because these are highly intelligent people who often have uncanny abilities and strengths, which can be utilized in many professions. After watching this show, I definitely believe it.
I’m in the middle of “Ozark” and “Bodyguard” on Netflix so maybe more on those later. I was going to watch “The Good Cop” on Netflix because the reviews were so good but just saw that it got canceled so…maybe not?
Chemistry by Weike Wang: I really enjoyed this book; I learned some things and I laughed out loud. I saw this review which coincides with everything I feel about the book: “Wang’s heroine, a young Chinese-American woman who is emotionally and professionally adrift, feels crushed by the expectations of her demanding parents, and by the pressures of her prestigious Boston university and her competitive male-dominated field, synthetic organic chemistry. She is also deeply ambivalent about marriage and committing to a career in synthetic organic chemistry. Chemistry is a sort of anti-coming-of-age story: Instead of figuring out how to be an adult, the narrator learns to live with uncertainty and indecision . . . In a deadpan voice, Wang drops in arcane chemistry trivia and captures the quirky, cutthroat subculture of science graduate students.” —Alexandra Alter, The New York Times
I did not find a corresponding New York Times review of Fight or Flight by Samantha Young, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good! It’s a romance, so if that’s not your thing, you can move on. It is a quality read AND you can take it out in public because the cover is not embarrassing. If you like it, I recommend all of her books, particularly Hero. You’re welcome.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel by Gail Honeyman is deeper than you may originally think. She is definitely quirky and not initially likeable but you soon begin to see how she came to be the way she is and you grow to care and hope for her; funny and heartbreaking. (Side note, I just read that Reese Witherspoon’s company is turning it into a movie which is set to be released in 2019.)
Instead of a song of the blog this time, I am providing a recipe. I’m not really a pumpkin everything fan, but I do love this recipe from Taste of Home magazine years ago. I make it every fall because my kids love it (especially when I throw in chocolate chips) and I gift it to others as well. I hope you enjoy.
Delicious Pumpkin Bread
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 pkgs (3 oz each) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
In a mixing blow, beat the eggs. Add oil and pumpkin; beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture. Pour batter into five greased 5” x 2 ½” x 2” loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 5 miniature loaves. OR (and this is what I do more): Bread may also be baked in two greased 8” x 4” x 2” loaf pans for 75-80 minutes.
Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading!