What to Watch This Weekend. Free.

TubiTv.com is another free streaming service with ads. You don’t have to give any credit card details.

Here are a few movies to check out this weekend.

The Switch film poster.The Switch: 51% Fresh. (I know that’s low but this is a nice feel good movie that I enjoyed.) Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) and Wally (Jason Bateman) are best friends. Being unlucky in love, Kassie has decided to have a child using artificial insemination. Wally doesn’t like this idea, but he isn’t capable of admitting to himself, let alone to Kassie, that he’s in love with her. At Kassie’s artificial insemination party, Wally gets very drunk and spies the sperm donor’s sample in the bathroom. Wally was way too drunk to know what he did that night, and Kassie has moved away because she doesn’t feel that New York City is a place to raise a child. Now 7 years later, Kassie has moved back with her son Sebastian. While she is looking to get Roland (the sperm donor) more involved in their lives, Wally can’t help but notice the many striking similarities that he and Sebastian share. Written by napierslogs

Beatrix Potter Artist, Storyteller, and Countrywoman (2018) poster.Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller, and Countrywoman: Documentary. This documentary film about the life of the remarkable author and illustrator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit is based on the successful biography, Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storytellers and Countrywoman by Judy Taylor. With Lynn Redgrave.

 

 

 

Spotlight movie poster.Spotlight: 97% Fresh. I loved this one from beginning to end. Great cast. “When the Boston Globe’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world.” Written by Open Road

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Vudu.com Free Movies & More to Watch Week of July 1-5.

If you don’t have a Vudu.com account yet, you need to get one. You get to watch movies for free, rent them, and buy them. You can buy the physical copies of a movie or the digital. This week I chose one of each of the following; Romance, Drama, Success Story, Documentary, Family Night Film.

Begin Again film PosterBegin Again: 83% Fresh. “Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City.”

The Impossible film poster.The Impossible: 81% Fresh. “A regular family – Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three kids – travel to Thailand to spend Christmas. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation until a distant noise becomes a roar. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them?” Written by Ronaldo Ferreira

 

East Side Sushi movie poster.East Side Sushi: 94% Fresh. “Single mom Juana can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. After working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant. Intrigued by the food, she learns to make a multitude of sushi on her own. Eventually she attempts to become a sushi chef, but is unable to because she is the ‘wrong’ race and gender. Against all odds, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream.” Written by Anonymous

 

Sound City movie poster.Sound City: 98% Fresh. Documentary. “The history of Sound City and their huge recording device; exploring how digital change has allowed ‘people that have no place’ in music to become stars. It follows former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl as he attempts to resurrect the studio back to former glories.” Written by Joe

 

 

DUma movie poster.Duma: 93% Fresh. “During a nightly Porsche ride with his doting rascal Xan, white South African farmer Peter finds and adopts an orphaned cheetah cub, dubbed Duma (just Swahili for cheetah). It becomes the boy’s inseparable playmate, even taking it to bed. Peter made clear from the start that the cheetah should be returned to the wild before its full adulthood. But the father is stricken down with a disease just before the cheetah could be returned. Xan’s mother sells the farm and moves in with a city aunt. The cheetah escapes, but finds Xan at school, where the new boy is bullied. He decides to run away to the mountains with Duma. On the way they face countless perils, which courage, Xan’s intelligence and Duma’s instinct overcome.” Written by KGF Vissers

Weekend Binge! The Umbrella Academy-A Review.

The Umbrella Academy click to open IMDB.comThe Umbrella Academy is a new series on Netflix based on the comic book series of the same name created by My Chemical Romance lead vocalist Gerard Way, released by Dark Horse Comics, one of the leading publishers in the business who has been responsible for such books as Hellboy and Sin City. Some films released based on Dark Horse Comics books are The Rocketeer, The Mask, 300, Alien vs. Predator, Hellboy, and the recent Netflix release Polar, which I enjoyed a lot.

I’ve been a comic book fan since I was in single digits, and I’m not telling you my age now, but I’ve been collecting for decades. I’ve even been to a few conventions and met some great creative minds. I haven’t read The Umbrella Academy but have read the Wikipedia detailed descriptions of the first two limited series, as well as a few other fan sites. Elements of both series are included in this 10-episode season of The Umbrella Academy, and I will leave it at that for now.

I couldn’t wait once I first heard this series was coming out. I did my reading up so I would have some idea of what was going on, what good that did me. It did at least give me a basic idea of the characters and how they came to be.

For those who like comic books, you’ll enjoy this. If you can take or leave comics, you will still enjoy this because there really isn’t much that will take away from reality so much.

(A quick edit here. You MUST check out the soundtrack to this series. By clicking here you will go to a BuzzFeed article that has the Spotify soundtrack Netflix created but also a list BuzzFeed put together of the videos of the songs so you can enjoy.)

The character casting is perfect as far as I am concerned for this series. The visual casting, of course as with any superhero project has been given some creative freedom, although most are perfect. In the Cast section I give each a grade on their performance. All were good, just some were exceptional.

What is it? Think, The Brady Bunch meets Time Cop meets Sixth Sense meets The Terminator, maybe even with a touch of the John Hughes angsty Brat Pack films of the 1980s thrown in for good measure. All scaled down in tone to blend together. That’s what comic books accomplish that a lot of other medium can’t, but this live action series is doing a pretty good job accomplishing. After all, you have seven siblings with separate lives.

The Background: Reginald Hargreeves, billionaire inventor and businessman, adopts or purchases seven of 43 children born on the exact same day. One thing for sure makes all 43 unique, their mothers were not pregnant that morning. As for the seven in the series, they all have superpowers. Hargreeves names them 1-7. I haven’t seen a specific reason why certain numbers were applied. They are given the numbers at birth, apparently, but it seems awfully convenient how the numbers ended up being so appropriate. There is one hint during a scene, but that could just be my imagination. Regardless, Hargreeves, also known as The Monocle, does not give them names as it was too much to remember, and I imagine would have meant too much of a potential for emotional attachment, as he was very much a task master to the children as he trained them to be superheroes.

City: No specific city is given, but the show is shot in Ontario, Canada. I get the vibe of a New York or some other East Coast major city with history to it. There is a scene that gives me the NYC idea that is related to Hargreeves himself.

Year: The kids are born in 1989 and they are in their mid to late 20s in the first season, although they don’t have cellphones, which I find a bit odd. But, it’s all kind of cool in a way.

The Show: Hargreeves trains 1-6 as superheroes and sends them on missions in their younger years until they become old enough to leave, which they all do, except for #1. The series picks up when Hargreeves dies and the siblings come together for the funeral. The seven siblings are everywhere from one being based alone on the moon to another a Hollywood star and from another being a vigilante to another a junkie.

There is somewhat of a mystery surrounding the death of Hargreeves, as well as a potential apocalypse they need to stop. That’s if they can get over their family issues.

I think people will enjoy seeing #5, The Kid, still as a perhaps 13-year-old, driving, drinking, and generally being an adult because he time jumped to the future and lived to a mature age before being able to return to the present to help save the world, only to end up being 13 again, the age he was when he went to the future. Oh, and he’s a seriously kick-butt assassin, just ask Dolores.

Mary J. Blige as a time traveling hitman is something to see. She is perfect in the role. Just call her Cha-Cha. She was born to unload rounds on a 13-year-old boy.

The action is often enough to keep you interested.

The emotional advancement through the series is enough to keep you hoping about love and family connections, and you of course have the inevitable frustrating moments that are just part of siblings being siblings, and especially siblings in this family.

There are humorous moments that are sometimes light and sometimes dark, but you can’t help but laugh. I love #4, Klaus.

#7 is the outcast of the group, not because she’s bad, but because she wasn’t trained as a superhero and being raised just like any other ordinary girl, except with superhero siblings.

As far as the season ending? It promises a season two but one that will be its very own and with some fresh twists to it.

I give this season an overall 7.5. It accomplishes a lot in just 10 episodes. When you sit back at the end, it surprises you just all that happens.

More Background: Something to know, this is an alternate reality book where JFK is not assassinated. It is surprising how that one event can change history. Although that information is from the comic book series history you are given a hint of it from a scene in one of the episodes as well.

The Cast:

Tom Hopper Tom Hopper as #1, Luther Hargreeves, Spaceboy, the team leader, thus being #1. You might recognize him from Game of Thrones as Dickon Tarly, Black Sails as Billy Bones, or Merlin as Sir Percival. He has great strength and has lived on the moon for four years doing research for their father, Reginald Hargreeves, which we find out the purpose for during the series. Visually he is probably a good fit. He is the most loyal of the siblings to their father as he is the only one that never left, until sent to the moon. At first, I thought his acting was not that good but once I considered he spent years alone with his father in a big mansion and then four years alone on the moon, I understood why Luther is the way he is, a bit quiet and somewhat socially awkward. (B-)

David CastanedaDavid Castañeda as #2, Diego Hargreeves, The Kraken. I would say that you most likely would know David from Jane the Virgin as Nicholas, and Switched at Birth as Jorge Castillo, Daphne’s ex-boyfriend. He can hit whatever he throws a knife at, and excellent fighting skills. He is the only one that currently works as a crime fighter, or vigilante as the police would say. He got kicked out of the police academy. Another great casting regarding playing the of the part, but in this case, the physical aspect is pretty much a 180° but I think David fits better for the show. Diego has an attitude because he is #2 and not #1. I am waiting to see how things work out as the series continues because I would like to see a certain aspect of the book come to fruition in the series, and it would it explain something as well. (B-)

Emmy Raver-LampanEmmy Raver-Lampman as #3, Allison Hargreeves, The Rumor. If you are a theater fanatic you may have seen her in Wicked or as Angelica Schuyler, in the first US tour of Hamilton. The visual doesn’t match the comic, but it works. The Rumor’s ability it to tell a lie that then becomes reality. We quickly find out she is an actress, divorced and her husband has custody of the child. There are a couple of interesting things for her this season, and at first, she, long with Luther were my least favorites because of how I perceived their acting, but their acting does reflect their situations. (B-)

Robert SheehanRobert Sheehan as #4, Klaus Hargreeves, The Séance. Robert probably has one of the longest careers as far as those of the siblings goes dating back to 2003. He’s Irish, acts with an American accent, as does all the siblings, he was King Louis XIV in the series Young Blades, Addison Teller in Rock Rivals, and more recently, if you are a Netflix fan, he played Luba in Mute, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd. The movie may have not received the best reviews, buy I enjoyed it for the movie it was, not the movie that people may have expected it to be and Sheehan’s part was entertaining and well played. Incredible casting in this series. Perhaps the best of the series as well as being the most entertaining. The Séance can see and communicate with dead people, which is less than what he can do in the books, but this is not unusual for filmed adaptations of comic book characters. He self-medicates to keep from going insane. Klaus is the loveable sibling that the others just can’t stay mad at. (A+)

Aidan GallagherAidan Gallagher as #5, The Boy. The best I can come up with for Aidan is the series Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn in which he plays Nicky Harper. He’s only been on film acting since 2013. #5 or The Boy either has no given name or no one uses it. I kind of think the fact no one uses a name hints at when the other siblings get their names. Watch the series to see if you can pick up when it might have happened. His original powers are spatial jumps, disappearing from one place and appearing somewhere else, but this leads to time travel, which he does so well into the future and gets stuck. I’ll leave it there for you to learn more. He’s a bit of a brat in my opinion when he and his siblings are younger. What else he can do other than his time and spatial jumps is a bit surprising, but you’ll kind of enjoy the surprise of it, but only because its television. His relationship with his siblings is a bit strained, when he has them at all, but the more you learn during the series, the more you understand why. He might be a bit difficult to like for some, but he has his reasons for being the way he is. The visual and character casting are great for #5. An entertaining character at times, with some humorous moments that are sad at the same time. (A+)Justin H. Min

Justin H. Min as #6, Ben Hargreeves, The Horror. Justin is an actor and model. The Horror was able to summon horrible creatures through portals under his skin, usually in the form of tentacles. He’s been dead, reason not given, sense even before the comic book series began. Ben still appears in the Netflix series to The Séance, #4, who can see dead people. Ben acts as Klaus’ better half, supporter, and almost like a sponsor trying to keep him clean from drugs and alcohol, although not in a nagging sort of way. Great casting here. (B)

Ellen PageEllen Page as #7, Vanya Hargreeves, The White Violin. (A+) Some of you will know Ellen Page from her role as Kitty Pryde in the X-Men movie franchise or as Tallulah in Tallulah co-starring with Academy Award winner Allison Janney. She plays the part perfectly for the history of the character as shown in the Netflix series. If you’ve read the books, don’t expect exact plot elements for her or any of the other characters. Vanya lives alone, teaches violin, plays in an orchestra, and has written a tell-all book about her life as a member of The Umbrella Academy. The character is subdued which I think is ideal for what I know of the comic book version. Vanya is not part of the superhero team that Reginald Hargreeves, The Monocle, forms with the other 6. The reason I will leave for you to find out by watching the series. This has a big impact on her life. (A)Jordan Claire Robbins

Jordan Claire Robbins as Grace (Hargreeves), Mom. Another fresh face to the screen, I think you might know her from the Clive Owens film Anon, one I enjoyed a lot. She plays Elaine Selak. See the movie if you haven’t, it’s on Netflix as of this writing. Jordan is a great fit for this character as far as looks go. She has that perfect mom look. I think she probably gives the robot character the occasional moment of humanity that helped raise the children. When I say robot, I do mean she is a robot. I chose to mention her here more in depth rather than Pogo or Reginald because I think she is a more influential part of the life of the children as far their ability to even think of what a family is as far as the Netflix series is concerned. (B)

 

The Bad Guys:

Mary J. BligeMary J. Blige is Cha-Cha. Do I really need to tell you who she is? In the series she is a sugar loving, time traveling, cartoon mask wearing, assassin who takes assignments to kill people that might change the time line. Incredible job. Cha-Cha is a man in the comics, but it doesn’t really matter, and I think this version does a lot for the series. You’ll see what I mean by the end. (A)

 

Cameron BrittonCameron Britton is Hazel. You might know him from Stitchers as Tim or Mindhunter as Edmund Kemper. IMDB shows him screen acting only since 2014. Hazel is just like Cha-Cha except a little less blood-thirsty and seems to have more of a heart. They have been partners for a long time. Hazel has a good story line in the show that puts him at odds with Cha-Cha. (B)

 

 

The Umbrella Academy umbrella promo photo

Ronovan Writes Weekend Mick Flick. Moulin Rouge.

ronovan writes

I suppose you might want to know what a Mick Flick is. Well every man fears, actually dreads two words; Chick Flick. That’s right, we know what it means. Romance, tears and we are deemed as failures either because we are men or because we aren’t the men in that, dare I say it, RomCom.

Instead of Chick Flicks, men need an alternative. And this is something we men need to embrace and women, you should as well and you may find date nights become a whole new experience.

The alternative? Rooster Flicks? No. I don’t even like saying Chick Flicks so giving it some form of relevance by actually calling the alternative as Rooster doesn’t work for me. And with the various possible definitions one could give to Rooster based ones mindset and locale, I am just not going there. No, Male Chick Flick. That’s right, the Mick Flick.

What constitutes a Mick Flick?

  • It needs a touch of humor if it doesn’t have action.
  • It needs to tug the heartstrings in some way, with a message or something.
  • And yeah, an attractive female lead might work out, but it’s not completely necessary. Oh, you don’t believe me on this one? I shall prove you wrong, although attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. For me it is the eye of the personality. Pretty lady, ugly personality equals scary run the other way. Yeah, NOT attractive.

Today’s Mick Flick is:

Moulin Rouge

nicole kidman ewan mcgregor

Nicole Kidman (Satine)

Ewan McGregor (Christian)

John Leguizamo (Toulouse-Lautrec)

IMDB 7.7/10 over 202,000 users.

 

Dramancical (Drama/Romance/Musical)

Obi Wan isn’t feeling the Force in this movie. No, nor does Norma Jean got any Happy Feet. We gots us a shocker here folks. Who knew a Jedi could sing and a Top Gun Ex could either?

McGregor as Christian shows up in Paris around the year 1900. He’s a writer wanting to write and has come to the artsy place of the world to do it in. Being Paris it of course doesn’t take him long to find a woman to fall for.

Enter Kidman as Satine, cabaret star and all around gorgeous woman. A case of mistaken identity throws the two together and it’s love and fireworks. But problems arise with a rich nobleman wants Satine for himself or he wants fund a musical that could make Satine a star or worse yet he’ll have Christian killed.

Of course there is a final twist on the whole thing that I won’t mention.

What did it for me? Guys, these two can full on sing. There is some serious performances here that should have won Oscars. McGregor wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar, and Denzel Washington won it for Training Day while Kidman was nominated but lost to Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball.

The acting, the set designs, the atmosphere, everything was perfect with this film. How will it hold up to the Taco Rating? I’m not sure but it is one dang good movie, guys.

 

 

Now time for the BroJo to get going.

Men, why you need to watch this movie.

Nicole Kidman. Girls in cabaret costumes. Some seriously awesome looking sets make this whole film look cool. It’s almost like another world.

Now to the ranking of the movie:

Good acting – No doubt here guys. Seriously some of the best.Yes.

Attractive Female Lead – Nicole Kidman. Duh. Yes.

Insane Characters – Toulouse. Kinda weird. Just saying. Plus the Baron is a little nuts. Yes.

Humor – There is humor built in but I’m not really seeing it as much of a thing here. I’m going with a No.

Bodily Harm – There is some murder attempts. Threats. Yes.

Food Humor – Not that I remember. No.

Action – The whole attempted murder thing. Yes.

Good Message – Love is for real and it conquers all. You believe in it and put it before materialistic things and even your own life. Yes.

Tear Moment – A serious Yes.

Male Lead is Not Made Out to Be Stupid: – Correct. Christian is a smart guy. Yes.

Cuddle Taco Bonus (CTB) – Oh yeah. Musical. Romance. You got it, Dudes. Yes.

So on the Taco Scale of 10 Tacos being awesome  and 1 being like tacos without the meat, cheese or sauce,today’s Mick Flick receives:

 9 out of 10 Tacos.

Feast is on. Eat up, Dudes. You gonna need your strength with that CTB this week.

 

9 out of 10? How did that happen? I seriously was not expecting that at all. You might would even take 1 Taco away for it being a Musical and it still would be an 8. Wow.

That’s my Dramancical Recommendation for this weekend. What movie can you think of that meets the Mick Flick requirements?

Much Respect and Much Cuddling for you This Weekend.

 

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites

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Q&A Jo Robinson of African Me & Satellite TV @jorobinson176

Everyone, you know Jo Robinson from her blog here on WordPress now meet her as an unbelievable author. I had no idea how strong and intelligent she really was. Talk about someone who knows what she’s doing. I was so impressed, I have asked her to do some guest blogs.

Click to read her Q&A at my new LitWorldInterviews site.

 

Jo Robinson (2)
Ronovan

Lit World Interviews

AM Cover V1 - CopyAfrican Me & Satellite TV

Jo Robinson

“Even though this is not the type of story I would normally read, I enjoyed the other three different themed books by this author (Fly Birdie, The Visitation and Shadow People) so much that I decided to try this latest one – and I’m glad I did, because it let me see yet another aspect of her talent as a writer.”-Chris Graham

The author has done a masterful job describing a wide range of characters. The artistic Suzette, the rugged men who work the land, the cook, maid, and tragic gardner – all have distinct personalities that leapt off the page. Enter the villainous couple who I wanted the smack from the moment I met them.”-Mark Myers

There is never a dull moment in the Hertzog household, which consists of Suzette, her loving husband Herman, their cook, Precious, the gardener, Christopher and their…

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