Saturday movie review: The Rider

Saturday movie review: The Rider

What can I do now? Who am I? What am I worth? Is my past the best I'll ever be?

Many folks ask themselves such questions when circumstances or age put an end to beloved careers, the pursuit of dreams and goals not yet realized. The existential quandary usually rears its head around retirement age or perhaps amidst some midlife questioning.

Lakota Indian cowboy Brady Jandreau was far from retirement, not yet even near midlife, when he was forced to weather such weighty wondering. In 2016, Jandreau was riding higher and higher as a professional bronc rider on the rodeo circuit. Then a tumble from a bronc and a foot snarled in the stirrup resulted in his skull being crushed by the animal. Brady’s professional riding career ended in an instant—at the age of 20.

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Movie review: Book Club

Movie review: Book Club

I have never read the infamous 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I'll try not to judge (too much) those who have. From all I've heard, it just seems too trashy—not fun-trashy just trashy-trashy—for my tastes and time. There are far too many other books on my to-read list and far too little time in which to tackle them for me to squander even seconds on trashy-trashy.

The four 60-something, forever friends of BOOK CLUB initially seem to agree with me on such. Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have met monthly for decades to discuss books—reading selections made on a rotating basis—men, and more. 50 Shades of Grey is not the sort of selection the refined readers read. Initially.

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Saturday movie review: Tully

Saturday movie review: Tully

I can't tell you much about the plot of TULLY. I watched every moment of the engrossing film. I was affected—and often amused—by Diablo Cody's story, Jason Reitman's directing, the entire cast's acting.

Yet I can't tell you what TULLY is about. If I do, it'll ruin the movie for you. Because TULLY isn't what you expect.

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Saturday movie review: A QUIET PLACE

Saturday movie review: A QUIET PLACE

My husband and I saw A QUIET PLACE last weekend, opening weekend for the drama/horror flick directed by John Krasinski and starring him and wife Emily Blunt. The nerve wracking film was, of course, the feature of our theater-going experience, yet it was the audience that delivered the most interesting performance. Because they were quiet. Silent, in fact. Each and every viewer.

That never happens at the theater. Ever. People talk, laugh, question what's on screen, peek at phone screens that light up, ruffle wrappers, slurp sodas, and loudly gobble handfuls of popcorn.*

Not so during A QUIET PLACE. The entire place was quiet as can be. Which I found crazy... and compelling... and a huge compliment to Krasinski, Blunt, and all involved in making the movie.

A QUIET PLACE is so very...

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Saturday movie briefs: Three to see on DVD

Saturday movie briefs: Three to see on DVD

The week before the 90th Academy Awards, my husband and I scrambled to screen as many of the nominated films we'd not yet managed to see. Twas a task made much easier thanks to my access to select free screeners courtesy Fox Home Entertainment (thanks, Fox!).

So mere days before oodles of Oscars were doled out, we watched several movies.

Then I failed to share my thoughts on each with you in a Saturday movie review. Now those films are out of theaters and available on DVD (plus streaming, premium channels, and more).

With sincere apologies for the belated sharing, here are three of my faves from our pre-Oscar scramble. Though sans full reviews, I strongly recommended each for viewing as they definitely live up to hype you've likely heard.

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Saturday movie review: Still Dreaming

Saturday movie review: Still Dreaming

As our parents age and we consider how we can best assist and accommodate them in their later years, we baby boomers become more and more familiar with assisted living centers, nursing homes, and similar facilities Mom and/or Dad might at some point consider home. Many of our parents already reside in such spots, others of us may be in the researching-for-someday phase of the sandwich situation.

As is the case with most things, negative stories and worrisome aspects of assisted living centers and nursing homes get the most headlines, cause the most headaches. Yet there are indeed many positive—and true—tales to tell of facilities doing fun, fabulous, innovative, and invigorating things for the elderly folks they care for and, in many cases, consider family.

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Saturday movie review: Finding Your Feet

Saturday movie review: Finding Your Feet

In real life, a cheating husband and an estranged sister are hardly cause for warm fuzzies or fits of giggles. In the British romantic comedy FINDING YOUR FEET, though, the husband gets what he deserves, the sister holds the key to healing, and the audience reaps the uplifting reward of watching a spurned woman dance her way to a happy place she never imagined might exist.

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Saturday movie review: The Leisure Seeker

Saturday movie review: The Leisure Seeker

As of today, my husband and I have officially been together thirty-seven years. Which means we have much in common with longtime married couple John and Ella Spencer whose late-life road adventure is told in the comedic drama THE LEISURE SEEKER.

Unlike John and Ella Spencer, though, my husband and I don't own an RV in which we could make an impromptu — and mildly madcap — getaway from our grown kids. Also unlike the Spencers, we Carpenters are thankfully not facing the effects of Alzheimer's and its devastating effects on even the most dedicated marriage partners and their future.

Despite those differences between us and them, my husband and I were thoroughly captivated by THE LEISURE SEEKER. As we watched, we alternated between chuckling at...

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Saturday movie review: Last Flag Flying

Saturday movie review: Last Flag Flying

When I covered the Denver Film Festival last November, one of the movies I was especially excited about seeing was the drama/comedy LAST FLAG FLYING, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Steve Carrel, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishbourne. The trailers convinced me the road trip movie featuring the oft-comic cast as vets on a mission would be laugh-out-loud funny with a few touching scenes scattered throughout and a sure highlight of my festival experience.

Unfortunately I didn't see LAST FLAG FLYING at the festival. The movie was among the most popular and sold out quickly, so my husband and I missed out.

We hit the jackpot last week, though, when LAST FLAG FLYING hit the top of my Netflix queue. It took mere minutes after starting the DVD for my assumptions about the film to be flipped as it immediately proved...

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Saturday movie review: The Greatest Showman

Saturday movie review: The Greatest Showman

Though I've never seen one on Broadway, Broadway musicals are by far my favorite form of entertainment. Despite living 1,777 miles from the bright lights of New York City, I've had the privilege of seeing several shows by national touring groups on their stops in Denver (The Who's Tommy being my forever fave... so far).

I've found nothing more magical nor moving as experiencing the spectacular sights and sounds of a well-produced and passionately performed musical. No concert I've ever attended has compared. No movie I've seen has come close to affecting me like a live musical production.

Until, that is, I saw THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, which Jim and I went to see New Year's Eve afternoon.

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Saturday movie review: Big Sonia

Saturday movie review: Big Sonia

What the world needs now is love. And tolerance and acceptance and BIG SONIA — both the film as well as Sonia Warshawski on whom the film is based.

Ninety-one-year-old Sonia Warshawski is a Holocaust survivor. She was an eye-witness to genocide, the victim of horrors unknown to all but those who lived and died in concentration camps, one who miraculously made it through six years of hell to the unforgettable day of liberation by allied forces.

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Saturday movie review: The Bachelors

Saturday movie review: The Bachelors

Coming-of-age films — one of my favorite movie genres — relate a character's transition from childhood to adulthood. Many times, the death of a loved one precipitates the maturing of the young guy or gal featured in the film.

I'd like to propose another category of film: coming-to-terms films. Like coming-age-films, the storyline of coming-to-terms tales feature a person dealing with the death of a loved one. Difference being, though, that the character is far beyond childhood or adolescence coming-of-age doesn't accurately describe the emotional transformation of the guy or gal.

For the purposes of reviewing the dramedy THE BACHELORS, let's just say coming-to-terms films is indeed a recognized film category. Because that's...

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