Cool Old, Ahem Classic, Movie Suggestions for Couples

Got a date with your spouse or lover? Here are romantic (but not too schmaltzy) films from my husband's
and my day. I'm calling them old school. I won't say old. Because, well, we're not! They're technically classics, but don't you dare use that word. Makes me feel like a vintage car. Just timeless awesome movies!
  Cool Old Movies Suggestions for Thanksgiving Weekend

Help! I Need Period TV and Movie Recommendations

I'm in a quandary. I, who usually have my finger on the pulse of all that is quality period movie or TV, am at a loss. I've watched Poirot, Marple, Sherlock, Alleyn, Wimsey I can find. I've tried every PBS//BBC show I can get. I've done the Downton Abbey thing (meh). I watched Aussie TV. And I am out of ideas. I don't watch mainstream television so it's no good recommending those. And NO romance unless it's dysfunctional Virginia Woolf kind. Like Groucho, I want gaiety, I want hot chacaha. I want something above par.  And I WANT period mystery or drama!Help! Send Period TV Recommendations Quick

Watch Poirot Season 13 Free Online--Labours of Hercules, The Big Four

Raise your hand if you love Agatha Christie. I'm an addict, a Poirot-o-phile and Marple-ian. I've read all the books cover to cover, watched every film adaptation I can find. We were getting a steady supply of new Marple and Poirot movies (with Geraldine McEwan/Julia McKenzie and David Suchet) from BBC. Then poof. In about 2011, the Poirots dried up. No more films. We were tantalized with rumors of new Poirots, but none materialized. Then in Oct. 2013 they started being aired. But outside the UK, they were less available. So I'm pleased to share a site where you can Watch Poirot Season 13 Labours of Hercules, The Big Four Free Online

Big Bang Theory Gives Fun New Vocab

We don't have cable TV nor even network television (old house, crumby antennae and not a priority). We watch Netflix online and a few DVDs but we're way behind the times with regular shows.

So I've only just discovered "Big Bang Theory"--I know, you long-term fans are gasping. "What?? It's been on for years and you just now found it?? What rock do you live under?" Like I said, we're pretty medieval. Anyway, setting our TV barrenness aside, try Big Bang Theory for a laugh a minute.Thank You, Big Bang Theory for Fun New Vocab

Best Non- Scary Halloween Movies for Kids (and Adults!)

I am self-confessed coward when it comes scary movies. Don't like 'em, didn't let my kids watch them. But Halloween is the time when all those old creep shows start up. Looking for some non-scary Halloween movies? Here are some you're sure to enjoy. We watch them every year and howl--with laughter! Best Non- Scary Halloween Movies for Children

Try Blackpool for a Brit Flick Fix

I'm a self-avowed US British telly lover. (See, Brit friends I even used the anglicized term telly, aren't you proud?
). My particular favorite it Brit mystery. We've never had cable TV, digital, that blue-ray thingy or any fancy-schmancy TV. Just an old junk pile rescue that doesn't even pull in regular stations (defunct antennae--not worth fixing). So we get our TV fix from the internet.

Well, I blew through all the Poirots, Marples, Sherlock Holmes (every incarnation), Lord Peter Wimsey, Ngaio Marsh, Foyle's War, Campion, Lewis, Rosemary and Thyme (most of those I've written about too). And I was plumb out of ideas. I started watching "Blackpool" on a whim and am liking it. I love the way they've made it like a musical and use schmaltzy American tunes for dialog. Pretty creative.  Need a Brit Flick Fix? Try Blackpool 

TED Talks Provide Intellectual Stimulation

I've been a fan of PBS POV and Independent Lens for awhile. It satisfies my need for cerebral stimulation. Or more correctly, it doesn't--it whets it. I find my thinking refined like grain in gristmill. And it makes me realize how ignorant I really am and how much I have to learn.

I found a new source for sense-sharpening: TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks. Huffington Post is doing a TED Weekends series. I liked the premise--"Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form." I like to think of thought as plastic--moldable but also reshapable. We can reframe our minds. Knowledge is fluid. Concepts are bigger than our tiny, possibly closed-ended view of them.  TED Talks, Moonies, Cultism--My Newest Cerebral Addiction

New 2013 Miss Marple Movies on Youtube, Oh Delicious Death!

Psst...Agatha Christie lovers, yes you. I know your guilty pleasure--delicious death. Mystery a la murder. Makes your toes tingle in wicked anticipation. Guess what I found on Youtube to feed your grand obsession? Yep, two new Miss Marple movies for 2013. This new batch casts Julia McKenzie as fluffy spinster-sleuth Jane Marple.

"A Caribbean Mystery" is elegantly set on St Honore, replete with gorgeous reggae soundtrack. Miss Marple is holiday to recuperate from a turned ankle and encounters a plethora of quirky characters. An uptight canon, garrulous major, a reclusive curmudgeon paralytic, a drunk lecher, a daffy vamp, an anal retentive married couple, a voodoo priestess, engaging locals, an affable host couple. And a murderer. Now run along children. Death waits for no man (or viewer!) Read on  New 2013 Miss Marple Movies on Youtube - News - Bubblews

Youtube Movie Find: Ragtime 1981--E.L.Doctorow

I love old movies. And I love how you can sometimes find old movies uploaded to Youtube. Newer ones are pay but a lot of the older ones are available free. We've enjoyed Alfred Hitchcock, Sherlock Holmes, gangster flicks, westerns and other old favorites. Yesterday, our Youtube old movie find was "Ragtime" (1981). This is a Milos Foreman Jazz Age film based on the eponymous 1975 book by E.L.Doctorow. I read this book about the same time the movie came out, but never saw the film. With a few parts deleted for nudity, it would make a great film for 20th Century U.S. History classes.Youtube Movie Find: Ragtime 1981--E.L.Doctorow

Watch Free Full Alfred Hitchcock Movies and Shows

I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to modern or American entertainment, but I love me some vintage and British TV. I particularly love mystery. Dame Agatha Christie, Dame Ngaio Marsh, Father Brown, Poirot, Miss Marple--love 'em. I enjoy Twilight Zone, but my favorite for short mysteries is Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Those are old American shows by British mystery master (best of both worlds!). I just found places to
watch them free. Here's how  Full Alfred Hitchcock Movies and Shows on Youtube, Netflix

BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumerbatch, Summer Must-Watch TV

Summer is the time when I can catch up on some TV shows I didn't have time for in fall. I'm an anglophile living in the US. Which means I know more about UK stuff than I do American. Actually all of Europe, Australia, Canada, I'm much more familiar with their programs. I think that's television worth watching, as compared to my motherland Hollyweird fare. BAFTA, RADA actors are so much more talented. So for your viewing pleasure, might I suggest...BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumerbatch, Summer Must-Watch TV

Workers Memorial Day, May Day, Union History Movies

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a U.S. institution. Worldwide, Labor Day is observed May 1 as May Day. We celebrate the achievements of organized labor unions in protecting workers' rights. April 28 is Workers Memorial Day when we honor those lost in the labor struggle. The U.S. alone has had more than its share of worker death and suffering. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Chicago's Haymarket massacre, the Flint Sitdown Strike, Battle of Running Bulls, strikes, lockouts, police brutality all to create better working conditions for everyone. Labor Day, May Day, Workers Memorial Day--these are not just holidays.  When labor wins a victory it helps everyone. We have organized labor unions to thank for better healthcare benefits, unemployment benefits, safer working conditions, womens' right, racial unity, overtime pay, paid holidays and sick days, child labor laws and many other benefits that workers now take for granted. Here are labor union movies to watch for Labor Day. Watch these movies to understand more about how labors unions have impacted our lives. Note: I hadn't seen "Harlan County War" at the time of this writing and would add that. Best Labor Unions History Movies to Watch for Labor Day

Ryan Gosling to Film in Detroit: How Do Film Tax Credits Impact Michigan?

Hollywood A-lister Ryan Gosling is back in Detroit to film "How to Catch a Monster." Gosling is seeking local toddler talent to play "Frankie," a feral child character in the film, says MLive. The superstar director picked Detroit as a location despite backer concerns over the stability of Michigan's film tax credits, says the Detroit Free Press. Thanks to hefty tax incentives, Michigan is fast-becoming the Midwest's movie-making hub. Other films, like Disney's "Oz: The Great and Powerful," which premiered in March, have been heralded as much-needed economic boosts for Michigan. But do film tax credits really benefit the state?  Ryan Gosling to Film in Detroit: How Do Film Tax Credits Impact Michigan?

Best Movies for Earth Day, Environmental Science

Earth Day, formerly called Arbor Day, is celebrated on April 22. In fact the whole month of April is Earth Month. Spring manifesting herself in a big way in April and it's a good time to consider environmentalism, green initiatives, recycling and eco-friendly living. Here are films to explore environmental science concepts of coal, water, renewable energy, sustainable alternative, corporate farming, animal rights, oil, pollution, hydrofracking and green living.  Best Green Ecology Movies for Earth Month

Hands-Down Best Movie for Lent, Easter: Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth"

Lent is the penitential season is which we prepare our hearts for the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. As Christ journeyed through the desert and was tempted by Satan, we journey in a spiritual way. We practice the spiritual exercises of prayer, fasting and almgiving. There are many helpful devotional books to guide us on our Lenten way of the cross. The Bible is our source of wisdom. But in this digital age many people look to the television as the primary source of information. Children understand TV because it looks real. And reading is difficult for some, especially elderly. So TV can be a good medium for religious devotion, too.  There are several films that provide spiritual guidance: Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ","The Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Jesus." But stands ahead of the crowd--Franco Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth" (1977). It's a must-see for the Lenten and Easter season. Even in it's 36th anniversary, it has an enduring message. It's the definitive portrayal of the Bible stories with acting that must have been divinely inspired. No film has moved me to tears and to spiritual awakening like this one. Best Movie for Lent and Easter: Jesus of Nazareth  Watch it with your family, classroom, Sunday School, youth group, religious ed class or Bible Study group.

Prince Poppycock John Quale Rocks Comic Opera in Gilbert and Sullivan Tradition

I'm nothing if not eclectic in musical tastes. Schizophrenic might be a better word. I can swing Thelonius Monk, to Ralph Stanley to UB40 to Spanish guitar to Bessie Smith to Gilbert and Sullivan. My newest love is Prince Poppycock, the musical phenomenon of John Andrew Quale. Styled on the comic opera of Mozart, the garish decadence of Regency England, the pomp of Louis XIV France and mountains of heaven-bound powdered wigs, Prince Poppycock is everything extravagant.

As Poppycock, Quayle auditioned on America's Got Talent. Sharon Osbourne gave him (her) the diva kiss and ovation.  I don't know if America is ready for this brand of talent (only those steeped in eons of musical theatre  like me, probably are).  Judging by the reception, we may be. Quale is no denim clad folk singer. He's a visual feast for the eyes. In complete Figaro regalia, from pompadour to harlequin maquillade to satin waistcoat to lace mitts to bowed dance slippers, Poppycock looks like he stepped the "Amadeus" Emporer Joseph II court scene. You've got to experience the boy to believe. Poppycock has a following in the LGBTQ community, but I hope those who aren't can step out of their comfort zone and give it a chance. It's a lot of fun. Prince Poppycock-- John Quale Comic Opera Alterego

Love Songs, Romantic Movies for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is devoted to romance and what better way to initiate a romantic mood than with music? Here's a playlist of edgy, sensual music to warm the soul and ignite passion. They're not saccharine or smarmy--just good old raw emotion. Most I heard in old films, so I've included the movie title too. Most associated films are romantic, but not too mushily so. These love songs and arias come from an array of genres. You can listen to them on Youtube. Edgy, Sensual Love Songs for Valentine's Day

Disney "Oz: The Great and Powerful" Premiers March 8, 2013

Since the 70th anniversary of Warner Bros., "The Wizard of Oz", there's been talk about remaking the film. Disney's Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" gave Oz new impetus. Sam Raimi will film the Disney prequel "Oz: The Great and Powerful" in Detroit, Michigan. Here are details on this iconic film companion, set to release March 8, 2013.  Disney "Oz: The Great and Powerful" Movie to Film in Michigan

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