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Review: Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Nancy (Emma Thompson) is a 55 year old widow who's never had an orgasm, or any sexual adventure at all, really. She hires a sex worker, Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) to fulfill those fantasies. I was surprised to learn this wasn't adapted from a play, because it feels like it could be one. It's shot mostly in one location with just the two principal actors. A film like this lives and dies with its leads' chemistry and thankfully Thompson and McCormack have plenty.  Nancy cannot relax in a situation where she's not in complete control. Leo is very accommodating and insistent that he's not being taken advantage of. One of Nancy's biggest hurdles is sex work in general. She stereotypes Leo at first, assuming he's from a broken home, even though he's a very well put together young man. They have a discussion about sex work being legal and regulated to be safer which I thought was a nice touch. While the film is only 90 minutes or so, it can drag at parts.

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Origin Stories

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This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves had to start somewhere. Today we're talking about TV origin stories. This is a category that can be pretty hit or miss for me personally, so I'm including some hits and some misses in my picks. Here's what I came up with. 1) Better Call Saul - The gold standard for TV prequels as far as I'm concerned. I cut cable last year, and the only show I haven't been able to watch in real time as a result of this is BCS and it makes me so sad. I've managed to thankfully avoid spoilers for the new season, so hopefully Netflix gets it soon. 2) Gotham - I think I made it through about 6 episodes of this before dropping it. I was initially very into a Lt. Gordon origin story, but I didn't like the actors or the story. I never went back. 3) Fear The Walking Dead - The first season of this show was actually quite good, but I dropped it around the 3rd because it stopped being about the origin of the zombie apocalypse a

Thursday Movie Picks: Island Movies

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We're heading to the islands for this week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves. I feel like I've been choosing animated films a lot lately and this week is no exception. Here's what I came up with.  1) Castle in the Sky - This Ghibli film follows two teenagers and a band of air pirates as they search out a mysterious floating castle on its own island. It features young Anna Paquin with her Kiwi accent, and I love it.  2) Moana - I instantly think of "Hawaii" when I see "Island" and since I already used Forgetting Sarah Marshall this year, Moana will have to do. This is one of the best Disney movies that has come out in recent years.  3) Shutter Island - This is easily top 5 Scorsese, don't @ me. 

Review: Lightyear

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Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) accidentally maroons his starship on a far away planet. After years of trying to return home, he encounters Zurg (James Brolin) and his army of robots that are about to make everything worse. I haven't been to the theater in WEEKS. It's been frustrating, but thankfully I was able to find some time to catch a late night showing of this with my family. (My 10 year old thought seeing a movie at 9:30pm was very cool) If you've been around here for a while, you know I've been highly critical of all the Toy Story sequels. While I don't expect this to be a popular opinion, I think this is far better than any of the sequels that came before it. Chris Evans is perfect for young Buzz. You could easily believe he was a younger (and hotter) Tim Allen and Kiki Palmer, Uzo Aduba, Peter Sohn, and Taika Waititi all round out a great voice cast. The majority of the jokes land, particularly one I loved about sandwiches. The most unintentional

Thursday Movie Picks: Shopping Malls

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Get in loser, we're going shopping over at Wandering Through The Shelves this week. I kind of hate that malls feel like they're phasing out. As someone who lives in a state where it snows a lot, I can appreciate a giant indoor shopping/eating area where I don't have to go outside to go to another store.  Anywho, here are a few of my favorite films that feature malls.  1) Mall Rats - This one is a given. A solid comedy about college kids hanging around the mall for the day. My husband and I still make escalator jokes because of this movie.  2) Dawn of the Dead - These characters run for refuge from the zombie apocalypses in a shopping mall. It gave us plenty of montages including a very well acted "fuck me harder, Steve" line thrown in.  3) Jackie Brown - I was late to watching this movie but it mostly takes place in a shopping mall where they plan on exchanging money. It's a great film, I'm glad I finally saw it, even if I should've watched it much

Thursday Movie Picks - Fantasy

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This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is one that took me a while to admit I liked; Fantasy. It's a broad category and while I resisted at first, it's safe to say now that I love a good fantasy film. And what better place to look for fantasy than Studio Ghibli? These films are wonderful, even if you don't enjoy animation (looking at you, Joel!)  1) Spirited Away - At times I think this movie might unseat American Beauty as my all time favorite. It's such a beautiful movie about a girl who crosses a river to a mysterious place were her parents turn to pigs, demons exist and she must take a job at a bathhouse to save her family.  2) Howl's Moving Castle - Sophie is a lonely shop worker who's cursed by a witch to appear as an old woman. Her hope of breaking the curse lies with an eccentric wizard and his moving house. This one is so fun and I love the voice work.  3) Princess Mononoke - A young warrior is cursed after killing a possessed boar.

2022 Blind Spot Series: A Star is Born (1954)

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Norman Maine (James Mason) is an aging actor whose drinking away all his good graces. He comes across a performer, Esther (Judy Garland) and is taken with her talent. He makes it his mission to make her a star, all while falling in love with her as well. Shockingly, the 2018 film is the only version of A Star Is Born that I had seen prior to watching this. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. But I've been trying to watch more of Judy's films and I knew I had to see this.  I still have the same problems with this version that I did with 2018, and it's just I think the story and the romance between the two leads is gross. This is a little less gross than the 2018 version, but I could never get behind it. Thankfully, Judy Garland gives an absolutely spectacular performance and every time she sang, I was entranced. I loved her in this. James Mason was also very good, but Judy's the star. This is however a hard movie to love overall since the version I watched was the &