Exodus: Gods and Kings

exodus-gods-and-kings-movie-poster-9
The chase scene/image: apnatimepass.com

The last few movies I’ve seen, like Birdman, and Horrible Bosses 2, seemed like such a chore to review, because of the silliness of the movies, so I didn’t. Unlike this movie which was a chore because it was so bad. With its huge budget, spectacular costumes, and special effects, and my too high of expectations, the movie gave very little for the $5 I spent to see it and thankfully this is all I spent.

The Premise…

Since most know the story of Moses, Christian Bale, and his humble beginning, this film picks up at the pinnacle of the story, where we see Moses as a very successful second to the newly reigning king of Egypt, Ramesses 2, Joel Edgerton. Since Ramesses is a hardened prideful Egyptian man, he’s easily influenced by and trusts Moses’ loyalty completely, as Moses on the other hand, is fast becoming a man of God and is finding he loves the people of God more and is disdainfully aware that his allegiance lies with those enslaved by Pharaoh. So as he becomes more of an ally to the Jews, he escapes Pharaoh and is the catalyst to freeing the Jews and leading them out of Egypt.

The base story was all there and should have been strong enough to make for a good movie but unfortunately nothing could help this movie. Not the actors, with the lackluster hodge podge of a cast, some British, some Australian and some American, but all wrong. It made a big hot mess, even the messenger of God a young boy, Isaac Andrews, who was a good actor, just seemed mean and angry.

The Sum Up…

An uninspired 2½ hour messy mess. There however were some moments of brilliance, the breathtaking cinematography and beautiful horses. The horses acting was exceptional and more interesting to watch. As were all the scenes with Ramesses, riding in his chariot. I will say the most interesting actor to watch was Edgarton, but the writing was really bad, and I’m getting a bit bored with Bale, he’s starting to play the same guy in every role. So my film score is, D ~ DON’T EVEN BOTHER, not worth the time and effort to even put the DVD in the player; or click to stream on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone!! This movie is rated PG13

Black Mirror, Netflix Original

Black Mirror
T. Kebbell as Liam in The Entire History of You, series 1 episode 3/image: vulturehound.co.uk

Black Mirror a British TV series I stumbled upon on Netflix. Something I kept seeing pictured and finally decided to give a try, as I’ve also in the past enjoyed watching the actor Toby Kebbell pictured above. I also like the synopsis because it had the words sci-fi, and The Twilight Zone, in the description, two-word phrases that could make any TV watching experience more clever, and interesting. Also, in my opinion, since British acting, and writing is some of the very best, I thought, “yep this series could be worth my time.” And it was!!!

The Premise…

With its six episodes, three in 2011 and three in 2013, the show does have a Twilight Zone vibe to it, minus the narrator. The stories are futuristic and focus on social media and how it could affect us in our interaction with one another. It takes some clever liberties with what might be our lot in the future and shows us some cautionary scenarios that could be terrifying in a “what if,” kind of way, and shows how important it is to pause, and think about how far we could take this whole social media thing and how easily it could stunt our lives.

black mirror 3
Liam in Black Mirror/image: spin.com

For instance, in series 1 episode 3, The Entire History of You, we see how having a memory chip installed in our brain, can make it very difficult to get away with lying to each other. Especially since the chip allows you to download, rewind, fast forward, and re-watch your memories. Memories of what just happened a few moments before or a very long time ago, on a screen which pulls up in any square frame so anyone can view with you with your permission, or if looking at memories inside your head on your own, you don’t need a screen your eyes just go cloudy. The device is something a parent can have installed in the child as a baby and something you can only opt out of with surgery. Which can cause you to be treated like an outcast because you don’t have the chip, not to mention it’s a painful difficult surgery to remove.

The Sum Up…

With cleverly themed episodes, the series really had legs, using very familiar British faces, and great writing, and directing, you are kind of bummed when you’ve watched all the episodes, wanting to see more. The creator Charlie Booker has his stamp on each episode reminiscent of Rod Sterling, and shows us how easily this fast social media blitz can get out of hand. This show also has, a huge SAFETY ALERT warning, because as I’ve mentioned in other posts, British TV doesn’t have the same parental advisories as American TV, so their’s a lot of language, sexual content, and adult themes being exposed here! Which means, take heed parents when letting your children watch Netflix! I give this show a score of A for creative TV writing, acting, and directing, this show is not rated.

Gluten Free Real~Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Author: Danielle Walker ~ AgainstAllGrain.com
SERVES: 1 dozen

Ingredients:

¼ cup palm shortening, ghee, or grass-fed butter
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup dark chocolate pieces (just chop up a dark chocolate bar)
¼ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a food processor, cream the palm shortening, coconut sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla for about 15 seconds until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt and mix again until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed in order to incorporate all of the flour. Pulse once or twice more.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Place golf-ball sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a SilPat. Using another sheet of parchment on top of the dough, flatten them slightly with the palm or your hand or a spatula. The cookies don’t spread much so create the size and thickness you want prior to baking them.
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges.

WPC: A Summer Sky and A Tree Converge

I took this pic with my camera phone in late August, 2014, it was about 100° F,  when Crepe Myrtle Trees are in full bloom all around Northern CA. The sky was so picturesque and I just love the colors that I tweaked on picmonkey. Anyway, this is my rendition of Converge.

Crepe Myrtle Tree

Garlic~Dijon Vinaigrette

From website: Eating Well

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 4 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Combine oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a blender, a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a medium bowl. Blend, shake or whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

NUTRITION

Per tablespoon: 38 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 70 mg sodium; 7 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 1 fat

Big Hero 6** 2014

BIG HERO 6
The full line up: Wasabi, Go Go, Honey Lemon, Fred, Hiro, Baymax, Cass, Tadashi, Robert Callaghan and unnamed villain/image: http://www.belifenet.com

Since the empty nest syndrome has taken place in my immediate family, kid movies have all but ceased, except on occasion. However any animated Disney movie is worth going to see with or without a little one and wow, this one did not disappoint! I really enjoyed this movie, not because it had a great unusual story but because the characters were very likable and the way the character’s were introduced helped the story stay interesting. As well as the voice actor’s being very good at what they do.

The Premise…

Hiro, Ryan Potteris a 14-year-old gifted wiz kid who is going through puberty as he is moody, uninspired, and starting to get into trouble since already completing high school. At, his older brother Tadashi’s, Daniel Henney, bidding, he decides to apply to the same nerd university his brother goes too. And to be admitted in, he has to come up with an interesting innovative invention. So as Hiro attempts to create a prototype, he accidentally stumbles upon his brother’s cool invention named, Baymax.

So as we get to know Baymax and what he’s all about, Hiro, is busy concocting his own invention for his hopeful admittance to school. Which is where we meet the rest of the gang of misfit nerds who go on an adventure with Baymax leading the way. The cast of misfits: Baymax (Voiced by Scott Adsit), Go Go Tomago (Voiced by Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Voiced by Damon Wayans Jr.), Fred (Voiced by T.J. Miller), Honey Lemon (Voiced by Genesis Rodriguez). 

The Sum Up…

This story really had legs, mostly because the voice acting was exceptional. Also with really good animation and great character development of Baymax, you really got to connect with the main characters. This movie had everything from a good non annoying music score to funny humor, with very clever dialog and a good story, the movie ends with you wanting more. Especially more Baymax, so my score for this flick is A ~ THEATER WORTHY, see this in theaters it’s that good. Kids, 4 and up can see this one and will love it. With only a slight SAFETY ALERT, for one scary villian mask, and a little violence. This movie is rated PG and great family fun.

Nightcrawler** 2014

J. Gyllenhaal as L. Bloom/image: huffingtonpost.com
J. Gyllenhaal as L. Bloom/image: huffingtonpost.com

Jake Gyllenhaal has been type cast to play creepy withdrawn characters, and for the last several years he’s been predictable and uninspiring. Until this creepy withdrawn character, where his acting scale has gone up double fold and has shown off why they keep giving him leading roles. Finally, he got a role of a life time up to now since he’s fairly young and not only was he exceptional in the film but every cast member was, right down to the newscasters!!!

The Premise…

Louis Bloom, Gyllenhaal, is an awkward loner who is a thief and a con man, but recently decides to go somewhat legit and looks to reinvent himself and his career choices. He also appears to have a mental disorder, that’s never mentioned in the movie by name but resembles a mild case of autism. Louis also does a lot of internet surfing and has educated himself about this new-found profession he’s fixated on and decides to buy a camera and become a freelance news cameraman. So with his already questionable moral compass, the story takes off with a bang and never looks back.

Most movies with the writer and director as the same person gives a movie a definite edge and makes a movie better and translates to the audience clearly. And here is the perfect example of this. Gyllenhaal’s character was clearly defined, you knew right away he wasn’t the warmest fella in Los Angeles, as he get’s progressively colder and more detached as the story develops. Gyllenhaal, is flawless here, with his very slim frame, and big sunken in eyes, so he looks the part, and he’s very convincing as a man with a mental issue. There is no question about why he’s a loner and what that means to people who he comes into contact with.

With his skewed philosophy, he does make a lot of sense about certain things, but it doesn’t help you empathize with him, and Gyllenhaal’s acting never lets the audience get in Louis’ corner. As there is something else very clear, the TV news business is a very dirty business, and morally what people do to get breaking news is extremely crass, and nasty, from the producer right down to the cameramen.

The Sum Up…

What I really loved about this movie was how well it articulated the story. Here’s a guy with a problem, which escalates him into a monster, who are all over the place, with very little morality and don’t care who is affected by what they do. And it’s really like this, right now in our society. Lot’s of sociopathic, unscrupulous people, who are then driven by money, what a terrible mix. So, this movie gets an A+ ~ THEATER WORTHY, see this in theaters it’s that good, for writing, directing, and acting. With a SAFETY ALERT for language, subject matter, and content. With an honorable mention of Rene Russo who’s character goes from one person to another by movies end. This movie is rated R.

WPC: Finding The Toilet & Turning On Water

Minimalist ~ This week, show us your minimalist photos.

I went looking for the toilet in the bathroom and this is what I found, I was at my friend’s house and he has a amazing place, so I got my camera phone out and snap a pic of this. It made me laugh and was interesting. I thought it was a trash can, the flusher is the sliver button on the side, and I guess the toilet is something like a trash can…

 

 

Calvin's Modern toilet
The toilet found!!!

So the sink was a little easier to identify, but learning how to turn it on was a puzzle!!!!!

Finding running water was strange too.
Finding running water was strange.

Going On My PK Walk

Pk looking for a place to mark her territory as she traipsed through the Perennial Geraniums.
Pk looking for a place to mark her territory as she traipsed through the Perennial Geraniums.

So yesterday I went on my walk with Mormor’s dog PK, we went all around the gated community. When I walk, I try to find fun things to take pics of as I go because it makes the walks fun. So here’s what I saw yesterday in God’s wonderful creation…

First, a festive tree fruit, called Yangmei or Myrica rubra an Asian fruit which is indigenous to China and Japan and you can make juice with it. There are two types one is sweet and one is sour. I however didn’t taste this so I’m not sure which one is in the community I live in but it’s very festive and the color is vibrant and perfect for fall.

Yangmei Fruit or Myrica Rubra.
Yangmei Fruit or Myrica Rubra.
Fuchsia Tea Rose.
Fuchsia Tea Rose.

Then Tea Roses, are blooming now like dandelions and are just gorgeous to gaze at. Here is one bush I always go back to because it produces some of the prettiest colored roses. And this bush never disappoints.

 

Also, the Heirloom Rose is a beauty, it looked like it had just been washed and made camera ready. Fall is just as beautiful as summer but in a somber way.

Heirloom Rose.
Heirloom Rose.

Then I wait all year for these lovely Maple Trees to start turning yellow and red and even a bit purple in places, it’s an amazing site to see these trees turn into gold and red light. Just brilliant, and to know these trees are actually dying makes it kind of bittersweet to watch this transformation happen.

Maple Trees in their beautiful decline.
Maple Trees in their beautiful decline.
Maple Blaze Tree.
Maple Blaze Tree.

 

 

Lastly, the Maple Blaze Tree, it has a bit smaller leaf but is just as beautiful as the Maple Tree. These trees are all over Sacramento, and brighten up the city in fall. It’s such a pretty contrast against the pretty blue sky. Happy November.