Over the New Moon—Lunar Year of the Rabbit weekend, Tom and I saw several movies I sent from Netflix. Tom borrowed two films for free from our wonderful local library. We’d never seen any of them before so each movie was a new experience for us.
A sad coincidence: the day after I received “Elvis” from Netflix, Lisa Marie Presley died of cardiac arrest at the age of fifty-four.
Elvis Presley was before my time. I didn’t watch his performances (live or filmed), I didn’t watch the TV shows and the movies he starred in. I didn’t follow his music and neither did my parents. (Do NOT say, “How old are you, anyway?” and “How could you not know Elvis? Everybody is a fan!” I find those comments rude and offensive.)
I JUST said I didn’t know anything about Elvis and his life. Baz Luhrmann, who is best known for “Moulin Rouge” with Nicole Kidman, wrote and directed the movie “Elvis”. He chose a blond actor (Austin Butler) with a full lower lip just like Elvis and dyed Butler’s hair black. I didn’t know Elvis had such a hard life, was influenced by African-American musicians, and he was adored and vilified for his energetic performance style. Luhrmann tells the story from manager Col Tom Parker’s point-of-view (Tom Hanks is also excellent), goes back and forth in time—from cradle to grave. Austin Butler is up for Best Actor Oscar and “Elvis” is up for Best Picture Oscar. I hope they win! Highly recommended for Elvis fans and viewers who are curious about a creative person’s life.
Dr, Strange and the Multiverses of Madness” This is a Marvel Studios film, based on a comic book character. There have been a number of movies based on “multiverses” conceit, “Everything, Everywhen, All At Once” is one of them. (Two years ago, I wrote and published a story, “Infringement,” which is based on a multiverses concept. The story is presently published in my second collection, ODDITIES: 22 Stories.) Unlike my story, which is a model of clarity, both of the above-mentioned movies were confusing and violent. Despite Benedict Cumberbatch (who was pretty good in the BBC series of Sherlock Holmes), “Dr. Strange” had little character development. Only recommended for viewers who enjoy comic book movies and violence.
The Game” This 1997 thriller features Michael Douglas as a cold, rich investment banker who is divorced and who has no children. On his birthday, his younger brother gives him a gift of “The Game”. Bored, Douglas activates “The Game” and at once all bad things happen to him. In the end, the film seems a paranoid fantasy. After the film, I called my banks to be sure my money was still there.
“Les Miserables”  We knew Huge Jackman could sing opera, but Russell Crow? Unfortunately, after the actors’ work, there was a brief scene of unspeakable cruelty to a cat. My husband said, “Disregard the scene. The scene is not real.” Neither is the rest of movie. Cruelty to a cat is unacceptable to me. Repulsive. Horrible. Viewers, SHUN this movie.
The Borgias”, Season One, was (like “Elvis”) informative about history. Did you know the senior Borgia, through manipulation, became the Pope? (The Church renamed him.) And one of his right-hand sons was a Cardinal and another one of his sons was a military general who fought the French army? A well-done Showtime special. Highly recommended.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in print at Australia
CHROME is in U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, and in Japanese print. New! Now in Print in Australia
The CHROME ebook is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle.
Summer of Love
is BACK IN PRINT in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, and now in Australia.
The Summer of Love ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
The Gilded Age
is BACK IN PRINT! Order the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., in the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan and in Australia.
The ebook
is at BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords and on Kindle worldwide at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
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