Monday, October 05, 2020

Still Here

The HBO series WE ARE WHO WE ARE is not for everyone. If you are put off by kids seeming pretentious or out of control, it is not for you. But on the whole, I find it interesting, different, original. Everyone is entitled to being obnoxious at 15 when they are trying to figure out who they are.

I hadn't seen CLOSE ENCOUNTERS in many years. I was in my late twenties when it came out.  I had two school-age kids so I felt older than my years, but looking back I am amazed at how it blew me away. And, guess what, it still does, even on a TV and even at my advanced age. I love how Spielberg managed to combine (for the first half at least) a family story with science fiction. And do it so naturally. He really has a talent for working with kids. I think he doesn't get enough credit for how diverse his output is.

KIM'S is the sort of light-hearted show about nice people I like to watch before going to bed. (Netflix) Very diverse cast which makes it nice. And Toronto seems so civilized compared to here.

Still enjoying MORSE. (Britbox) I see now more acutely that a major element was a character study of a sad, lonely man. Perhaps the Colin Dexter -written ones emphasize that less or more than the episodes written by other writers.  In the episode I watched last night, Lewis sees what really happened in a murder case, but can't bring himself to tell Morse the truth because Morse is so besotted with the female protagonist. Very sad. John Thaw plays it so beautifully.

THE SCARRED WOMAN is perhaps the fourth Adler-Olsen book I've read and the one least concerned with Department Q so far. If you haven't read them, Dept Q is a police department for dead case files. An unusual plot here but good. 


LAB GIRL Hope Jahrens,
skillfully combines the "making of a female scientist" with the science she studies. Dirt seems her major interest, but leaves and trees come after. I chose this book for my book group because we had never really read science before but not sure it was a good choice. 

Anyway, what is new with you?



Steve Oerkfitz said...

I have read all the Adler-0lsen's and liked them. Right now I'm reading stories by Angela Slatter and Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby which I'm enjoying.
Rewatched The Elephant Man and The Hit on new blu rays. Sort of a mini John Hurt festival.
On tv Lovecraft Country, John Oliver, and The Third Day on Netflix. Also American Murder-a documentary on Netflix which is sometimes rather disturbing.
Trying Utopia on HBO but finding it on the silly side.
Been cooler than I would like it but it's supposed to get better through the week.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I also watched the five-part series on Jeffrey McDonald on FX. I remember FATAL VISION enough that most of it was old news though. Having trouble getting through THE VOW.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes, 15 year olds are entitled to bad behavior, but I don't want to watch it. We disliked the first episode, have no interest in another. I know what you mean about "before bed" viewing. We usually end the night (if there is time) with Srugim (series 3; Nati never changes) or Schitt's Creek or Derry Girls, which we are really enjoying. Just watched the episode with the visit from the kids from Chernobyl. Funny stuff.

Watched some movies this week. 21 BRIDGES completed out Chadwick Boesman movies, and this, his last (other than the Spike Lee made-for-TV one) was watchable but obvious. I did get a kick out of Sienna Miller's extreme New York accent. (I know, she was born here.) Years ago, it would have starred Wesley Snipes or maybe Denzel.

HBO had a movie I've wanted to see since reading the NYT rave review when it came out, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS, and it was very well done. 17 year old Autumn, in central Pennsylvania, is pregnant and wants an abortion, but can't get it there without her parents' permission, so she and her cousin take the bus to New York City and go to Planned Parenthood. (Aside: the office they first go to in Downtown Brooklyn was the same place Jackie went for birth control when we first got married.) The subway and street scenes were clearly shot here and if you don't mind low key, it was definitely worth seeing.

Some of you mentioned ENOLA HOLMES last week (on Netflix). I like Millie Bobbie Brown and enjoyed her in this, but I disliked the portrayal of the Holmes brothers, Sherlock passive through most of the movie and Mycroft a horrible prig with a stick up his butt. And the plot makes little sense, especially the "send her to finishing school" stuff that was right out of ANNIE. It wasn't bad like the Robert Downey Holmes movies, but I didn't like it.

Still going through various series on Amazon/Britbox/Acorn and Netflix. We'd never seen the 2007 British CRANFORD, but the cast includes Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Imelda Staunton, Francesca Annis (the latter two star in FLESH AND BLOOD, and Staunton's role is not that different!), and lots of other fine actresses. It amused us. We're watching LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX on PBS, but it is pretty much a downer this year. Watched the first episodes of FLESH AND BLOOD (three grown children have varying reactions to their widowed mother's new romance, with flashbacks hinting at a crime) and COBRA (boring British politics setting up a more science fiction story of solar flares causing British blackout).

Margot Kinberg said...

I haven't seen Close Encounters... in years, either, Patti. I should watch that one again. And thanks for mentioning the Department Q stories. I ought to keep up with that series better than I have.

George said...

Buffalo Bills fans are ecstatic as the Bills are 4-0 for the first time in over a decade. Watching NFL games without fans in the stands shows how strange the Age of Coronavirus has become. And those who ignore Dr. Fauci's advice--wear a mask, social distance, wash hands--end up in Walter Reed.

Diane and I have embarked on home improvements. Our Fix-It Guy, Todd, has painted the inside of our garage, installed a new garage entry door, removed the old bath tub from our upstairs bathroom, converted a closet to a storage area, and added new weather stripping to our leaky front door. The new bath tub arrives on October 8 and the new install will begin. These are projects we've wanted to accomplish for years, but the pandemic provided the opportunity to get things done before we shut down again.

We finally received some much needed rain. We're supposed to hit 70 degrees this weekend! Stay safe!

Jeff Meyerson said...

I read the first Jussi Adler-Olsen book but never got to the second. We have a few on Amazon, I think, but again, only watched the first, which was different from the book.

Buffalo is the only winning New York football team, as the Jets and Giants are useless.

I read FATAL VISION and watched the original miniseries. He was guilty as hell, IMHO.

Jackie is a big fan of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS so we've seen it a number of times over the years. The small local movie theater nearest to where we used to live downtown is the Cobble Hill Cinema, but before it was renovated and renamed, it was a sleazy joint called The Rex, that used to get drug addicts sleeping in the theaters. When our friends from England came to visit us in 1978, we took them to the Rex (our one and only visit) to see it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, I watched FLESH AND BONE too. Yes, my son says guilty as hell too, Jeff. As a prosecutor though he usually says that.
I should embark on a few home improvement projects too. A new gutter over my garage would be a good idea. This house, modernism, had none when I moved in. And technically it doesn't need them but it spills the water onto walkways, which is dangerous in winter when it freezes.
Congrats on the Bills. I am rooting for them too.

Gerard Saylor said...

I traveled to my parents home in central IL last week to assist with doctor appointments in their town as well as driving to St. Louis in Friday. A fair amount of driving and I am glad I am close enough to handle these duties and have job flexibility that allows the trips.

My son's Eagle project went fairly well on Sunday. We did well organizing everything and mapping all the needed sign locations on a shareable Google map. I even got to walk around with Boy #2 during the project since we forced him out of the house.

I started reading the BLACK-EYED BLONDE with Philip Marlowe. I only just now saw it is a sequel of sorts for THE LONG GOODBYE. I must admit I recall very little of GOODBYE, but I suppose the famed messiness of GOODBYE may explain that.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thank goodness for children nearby. My son took me for an ENG test this morning.

Jerry House said...

We've been watching/re-watching a lot of AGATHA CHRISTIE'S POIROT; those based on her novels show David Suchet at his best, those based on short stories, not so much. We also watched BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS; the version we watched was retitled SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (sorry, Ray Bradbury). It was someone's not-so-bright idea to have Jane Marple team up with Tommy and Tuppence...Grrr.

With the Three Mile Bridge out of commission for at least six months, traveling around the area has been a nightmare. Traffic jams. Major accidents. Long waits. Next we we have to take Jack to a doctor's appointment in Pensacola and I am already dreading the hour and a half to three-hour trip, depending on traffic. And then somebody hit and killed a large black bear on the highway down the street from us. Sad.

Jessie finally was able to clear most of the tree damage from the storm from her back yard this weekend. She should be able to get the yard into good shape soon.

Jack has made a number of friends in our neighborhood, so when he is over, the house is full of screaming boys. A very pleasant sound, indeed.

I'm still reading a lot of short stories, mainly from Terry Carr's Best of the Year science fiction anthologies from the Seventies. Always good reading. Will be starting Max Allan and Barbara Collins' latest Trash 'n' Treasure novel this week. I normally don't go for recent cozies -- too twee, what with pet detectives and narrowly niched hobbies and professions, methinks -- but the books they write as "Barbara Collins" always hit the spot, even if there is an annoying dog.

Everyone is still healthy and happy and dreading Trump's diagnosis. I sincerely hope he is okay, in part because I dread a Pence presidency -- even if it would only last a few months.

O, why can't we have a Patti Abbott presidency instead? Mull over that one during the coming week. Stay well.

Rick Robinson said...

I'm still reading GRANT. I've just gotten to the time when the Civil War is "official" over, and Grant, as head of the Army, is de-mobing and dealing with Washington politics. That's at about 425 pages of over 1,100. I've decided to take a break from it and read something else, though I haven't decided what, perhaps just short stories, of which I have a plethora.

Weekdays, Barbara watches news: 5-6pm: local and national on NBC, 6-7pm: local and national on CBS, 7-8 PBS Newshour, 8-9 The Eleventh Hour on MSNBC. So by 9 it's too late for me to want to start a movie or anything. Thus I read in the evenings, and watch little. Weekend, we watch a program now and then, often things we've recorded during the week. Currently we're watching Windy City Rehab and Masked Singer. Not especially intellectual, I know but I like the one and she likes the other.

No activities to now. I stay inside or maybe in the yard all the time. Barbara goes out in the car once a week. That's it. I'm having a squabble with my doctor who hates me to come to the office for my six-month check-up. Last time we did a telephone visit, and I want to do it again. I'm afraid he'll hold my med prescriptions blackmail if I don't go but I'm afraid to go where sick people are.

Pongo the kitten is growing like a weed. The weather is to my liking, overcast in the mornings, sunny and clear in the afternoons, highs in the low to mid 70s.

Jeff Meyerson said...

My car's Low Tire Pressure light came on last week. This happened once before and it was apparently the sudden large temperature drop. But this time it stayed on and I finally got it to Subaru today, to discover that to my surprise...the tire pressure was low.

Who would have thunk it?

Jerry, I feel for you about that bridge. Too bad Infrastructure Week never did happen, not that it would have stopped the hurricane of course. I have driven very little since we got back in March. The only time we've left the neighborhood at all was one trip downtown to Trader Joe and a couple of trips to L & B Pizza/Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst for lunch.

Patti, on FLESH AND BLOOD we got a kick out of seeing openly gay actor Russell Tovey, who has played many gay roles (QUANTICO and YEARS AND YEARS to name two) playing almost a male prostitute, or at least someone who gets paid by "clients" at the health club, for "servicing."

pattinase (abbott) said...

Barbara is a real news junkie. So are most of my friends. I can't take more than the print NYT every morning. It took me so long to read it yesterday, I hurt my back.
We should begin a short story day each week/or two weeks so we can talk about them. Any up for it?

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes, I read at least one first thing each morning.

Jackie watches (recorded) Morning Joe for 3 hours Monday-Friday, then 2 hours of Nicolle Wallace in the afternoon, plus the local news from 5-6. She also watches a couple of hours of MSNBC on weekends, but she cut out all the evening shows.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I meant to say, we are watching Morse too, on Saturday nights (along with Jonathan Creek and the original Upstairs, Downstairs for British Night), and they are as you say, as long as you don't get the ones with the gimmicky filming by Peter Hammond. He is a sad character.

Rick Robinson said...

Patti, I’m up for the short story thing.

TracyK said...

We have been watching (for the first time) a lot of the AGATHA CHRISTIE'S POIROT episodes. We are in the middle of Season 3, but we skipped ahead and bought discs for MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and DEATH ON THE NILE. We watch ORIENT EXPRESS tonight and liked it a lot. I am going to reread both of those books in the next few months.