Movie Recommendation: Molly’s Game (2017)

Quote from Molly’s Game by Molly: “This is a true story, but except for my own, I’ve changed all the names and I’ve done my best to obscure identities for reasons that’ll become clear.”

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Producers: Oren Aviv, Felice Bee, Stuart M. Besser, Adam Fogelson, Mark Gordon, Leopoldo Gout, Matt Jackson, Joanne Lee, Lauren Lohman, Lyn Lucibello, Amy Pascal, Josh Clay Phillips, Robert Simonds, Donald Tang, and Zhongei Wang

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Writers: Molly Bloom (book) and Aaron Sorkin (adapted script)

Major Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, J.C. Mackenzie, Brian d’Arcy James, Bill Camp, and Graham Green

Rating: R for language, drug content, and some violence

Running Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Everyone likes a story where girl turned woman with the world at her feet who is super intelligent, but with emotional issues stemming from childhood dives into an elite part of Hollywood where the rich and famous gather to get away from family and friends just to let loose.  Even if you find gambling boring or have a rudimentary understanding of poker, such as myself, you learn about the workings of what people call the underbelly of something.  People have this attraction of wanting to know the secrets of anything especially when it involves the perceived glamour of Tinseltown.  This is the kind of movie too fascinating to be a true, but personal testimony and FBI involvement, makes it all too real.  We soak it up like a sponge, wanting more.  There’s obvious relationships between money and power, fame and crime, and judgment and consequences as Molly Bloom maneuvers to gain hold in an unfamiliar place.  Her independence and cockiness catches up with her, and the nice little business she has started turns into a nightmare.  There was a scene that appeared a little too convenient, the iceskating one, but otherwise than this it was a solid movie from start to finish.

Pisaries Creator rates Molly’s Game at 97%

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Movie Recommendation: Logan Lucky (2017)

Quote from Logan Lucky by Fish Bang: “All the Twiters, I know ‘em.”

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Producers: Reid Carolin, Dan Fellman, Gregory Jacobs, Mark Johnson, Ken Meyer, Michael Polaire, Zane Stoddard, Matt Summers, Channing Tatum

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writers: Rebecca Blunt

Major Cast: Daniel Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Charles Halford, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Dwight Yoakam, and David Denman

Rating: PG-13 for language and some crude comments

Running Time: 1 hour and 58 minutes

Lucky Logan is about two brothers looking to better themselves financially in a heist that is also part revenge for what has happened in the past (sort of).  I’m assuming they are from different fathers or mothers because Adam Driver and Channing Tatum look nothing alike.  They concoct their plan, which includes a convict by the name of Joe.  He’s still in prison, but his younger brothers aren’t.  Outside the barb wire fence, Fish and Sam Bang are about as smart as two broken pencils in a box, but they are necessary.  The deadpan voice of Adam Driver (Clyde Logan), the comedic interaction between Channing Tatum (Jimmy Logan) and Daniel Craig (Joe Bang), and the interaction among the whole cast makes it highly entertaining and watchable.  This story has been done before, but it has enough content to leave you wanting more especially when the closing scene is done.  Whether a sequel is made remains to be seen, but either way is fine with me.

Pisaries Creator rates Lucky Logan at 90%

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Moving Tips for Everyone!

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What Kind of Move Hell are We in Now?

fullemptyYou know the saying “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side” and the question “is your glass half empty or half full?”  We do this to keep things in perspective, and I try to do this on a daily basis.  There are people in worse conditions than me.  There are people who don’t have the support system I have currently.  At this moment, it doesn’t lessen the sting when things don’t go as planned.  I can’t get back the money I had to pay to get my car towed in Death Valley, CA where it stopped on the first trip.  I can’t get back the time lost when road construction occurred and every car had to squeeze into one lane on the second trip.  I can’t undue possessions dropped and lost, much of it sentimental on the third trip.  They are now either broken and gone forever.   I can’t get back the money I had to spend when I locked my roommate’s keys in his car on the fourth trip.  The bottom line is this move from California to Nevada is the worst move I’ve ever done, and hopefully, the last move I will ever do.  Yes, I carried heavy boxes and bulky furniture up a flight of steep stairs in 100 to 110 temperatures.  Yes, my feet, knees, shoulders, and neck are still stiff and sore. Yes, I’m retracing my steps, hoping I can pinpoint when the exact moment the tool bag with all the futon parts was lost and worst of all my roommate’s tools.  I’m definitely not in California anymore, which may sound stupid to the average person but minus the traffic I really loved the Los Angeles area.

roadtonv.jpgThere’s something about me if you haven’t noticed it already and it is that I like routine because it creates stability and familiarity.  Moving anywhere especially across state lines gives you the opposite.  I knew it was going to be hard and would test my patience with everything put before me including interactions with my roommate.  I used to be a glass empty kind of girl, not seeing much hope for anything, but as people get older they change their mindset.  I’m now more of a good thing the glass is half empty so I can fill the rest with something delicious I wouldn’t mind drinking, and better yet from someone generous enough to share.  There’s another part of me that is open to change because it creates new opportunities and perspective.  When I moved from Minnesota to California in the latter part of 2006, I thought I’d finally found the state I’ve live the rest of my life and then die.  If this move has taught me anything, it’s that I continue to be resilient and gained more respect for my roommate who had some initial concerns.  He bucked up and went with it as best he could.  I also learned as much as I hate the heat I keep moving to places hotter and hotter.  Don’t ask me why.  Please don’t.   I will now give you some pointers along the way so when it is your time to move, you don’t repeat the same mistakes I did throughout this month-long process.

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  1.  Don’t rent too big of a truck, in my case a 17 foot truck, because you probably won’t be able to fill it all the way and use all the space in a span of a day’s time.  You are going to need a lot of hours to fill that sucker up.  It was relatively easy moving things on a dolly into the truck, but it takes time getting them onto the dolly and unloading them into the truck.  There was empty space more boxes could’ve fit, but by night-time we both said “fuck it, it is what it is.”
  2.  Don’t rent too small of a truck, in my case a 15 foot truck, because you improperly eyeballed the size of the truck.  I have a lot of stuff.  My roommate has a lot of stuff.  It all could easily fit into a small house, but we don’t want to buy a house even if we could.  You probably have more than you realize.  This time we had the opposite problem of not having enough space.  There also is the problem of do you rent a big ass truck and do it all in one or do it in spurts.  I would say splitting it up is a good thing.
  3. Don’t over stuff your boxes.  I hate when grocery store workers put all the cans into one bag.  It makes one bag really heavy and the other one really light.  I think someone needs to go back to packing groceries school.  I made it a point to pack light stuff with heavy stuff so it evened out a little bit.  My roommate on the other hand loaded all of his vinyl into boxes that were pretty heavy.  I won’t tell you how many boxes of vinyl he had.  One took a spill off the ramp into the truck.  His doing, not mine.
  4. If you have to do many trips back and forth like I clearly did, remember your legs and arms get fatigued over time.  My saving grace was the 4.5 hour drive each way to give my muscles a rest and the week-long stretch of time since I basically moved one weekend once and then the next weekend twice.  I’m also grateful for my roommate driving, which he hated but did it anyway.
  5. Have lots of water in several places especially in the heat.  Each time I returned to CA, it felt like an air-conditioned room.  Less water was needed.  Each time I returned to NV, it felt like an oven.  More water was needed.  Basically drink water and take breaks so your heart doesn’t feel like it’s going to burst out of your chest.
  6. Tie things down properly when you move with rope.  The first trip back and forth was priceless.  My roommate made sure the boxes were secure and when we opened the door, everything was in order.  Nothing had moved except for a few boxes.  Not bad, not bad at all.  The second time everything was not alright.  Boxes fell on top of each other and furniture shifted and damaged a few things.  I remember it being bumpier than usual on this trip.  This was the trip where I left something in the back I shouldn’t have and only realized my error during the third trip.  I bought dinner for my roommate since he did most of the unpacking while I was frantic about the whole thing for a good hour.
  7. Leave enough time to pack everything because the third trip back and forth, I was dumping things into boxes without closing them.  This was the trip where time was of the essence.  It wasn’t really our fault.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault.  We couldn’t move until the 15th into the new place and had to be out by the 30thin the current place.  By the end, we were done and out on the 26th.  Again, we both had so much stuff that we packed the truck to the last inch on this trip.
  8.  The fourth trip was packing leftovers, which was still too many items and then there was cleaning.  I wanted to get as much of the deposit back, but that was foiled when removing the refrigerator.  This apartment you had to provide your own.  Luckily someone took it shortly after it was posted on Craigslist.  Sometimes free items go quickly.  The unfortunate part was accidentally ripping up some the linoleum.  Moral of the story is look under the refrigerator to make sure nothing is dangling under it.
  9. LA has a problem of people not picking up after their dogs shit.  I’ve had to throw doormats out because of this.  It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, but it was because I was trying to clean the tub.  No wonder why I kept seeing light brown shoe marks as I was scrubbing.  So check your shoes before hopping into a tub.  What a mess trying to soggy shit from the bottom of both shoes.
  10. The last but not least, but in my case the last, purge your stuff before moving.  I simply didn’t have the time nor wanted to make the time.  I should’ve done this because it would’ve saved a lot of headache.  Am I really going to fit into jeans I wore over ten years ago?  Probably not.  For reasons I’m not sure, I tried a pair on.  Jeez, I need to hit a gym soon, which I plan and will do.  Do I really need my boat sized TV, long before flat screens came into the market?  Probably not.  Do I really need that many books or movies?  Probably not.  The bottom line is I’ve become way too attached to my belongings.  Maybe, I need to learn to let things go.  Obviously, but not so easy.  I’m trying with some success.

goodluckThere you have it, the longer version of my move from California to Nevada.  There are  differences between the two as with any neighboring states.  I’m looking forward to reading about the competition between the two, if there is any, and already brought a book about the mob in Vegas.  I’m hoping this is the last move I make and if the time comes where I move again, let it be with some professional movers or where I have very little to move (to fit into one damn truck).  If you are in the process of moving, I wish you the best of luck because you’re going need to it.

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Get Ready. I’m Back. With a Few Things to Say.

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I don’t even know where to start with this whole freaking move I did from the Los Angeles area to Las Vegas area in a span of a month.  Timing was an issue because I couldn’t start moving into the new place until June 15th and it takes 4.5 hours each way, but with congestion and construction 7 hours.  I plan on posting something about moving across state lines, even though it seems not that far, at a later date.  You might even find a few tips along the way or if you have already done it, hopefully you did not do what I did.  As my physical and mental weariness subsides although barely because I still have boxes on top of boxes to unpack, I realize I’ve spent over 600+ dollars on moving supplies alone.  I also realized my roommate and myself have too much shit through this whole damn process.  It’s time to purge and hear Salvation Army calling right now.  It was my idea to move in 100+ weather (the norm being between 105 and 110).  There were long nights and equally long days.  After three U-Hauls back and forth, I vowed NEVER to move again, NEVER EVER AGAIN.  Yet, I look forward to the new city and people.  The restaurant selection is good.  I still will be back to LA a few times a year, which will be nice.  I miss parts of it already because I called it my home for almost 12 years, but I look forward to the comforts living here will bring.  It’s time I get back to my life of writing, reading, exercising, and, of course, blogging.  The goals are still there and the drive to reach those goals too so I guess what I’m saying is sometimes what appears one way is also another.  Until later and thanks for following me along with this thing called life.

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The short version is this: IT SUCKED!!!

The long version to come later.

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Movie Review: I, Tonya (2017)

Movie Review: I, Tonya (2017)

Quote from I, Tonya by Tonya Harding: “I mean, come on!  What kind of friggin’ person bashes their friend’s knee?  Who would do that to a friend?”

The Knees are the Most Important Part of the Body

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I think most of the world knows the particulars of the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incidents before and during the 1994 Olympics.  Fast forward to 2017 when I, Tonya was released and Nancy Kerrigan competed in Dancing with the Stars.  Now progress to 2018 where Tonya Harding (now Tonya Price) competed on Dancing with the Stars and tied so there really wasn’t a second and third place.  There’s no denying this movie didn’t bring both into the spotlight again, but when all is said and done I thought more about Tonya over the years than Nancy.  You can’t take away she was the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition.  She will always have loyal ice skating fans and maybe one or two boxing fans.  This movie is not just about the attack on Nancy (knee whacking incident).   It’s also about the treatment Tonya from her parents, important figure skating people, and various media.  You get a good picture of what she could have been had she possessed a grounded mental state and stability in her personal relationships.  It wasn’t that she used her past as a crutch to get what she wanted, but it impacted her in ways that clearly filtered into every inch of her life.  The sad part of the story is its truth, and the good part is that both skaters have gotten on with her lives.  They are both parents now, married, and while one is clearly more financially well off than the other, their friendship and rivalry will continue to go down in Olympic history.

The People Behind the Screen

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I, Tonya is what I’d call a passion project the director, Craig Gillespie, wanted to get on the screen.  The direction this movie took had all the skill and nuance needed for this kind of story.  He showed the unfortunate upbringing of Tonya and how it became the unstable platform she stood as she skated her way into young adulthood.  It’s essentially the rise and fall of Tonya Harding.  When you strip away the entertainment value and absurdity of some of the key players, the people remain real along with its aftermath.  This biopic is written by Steven Rogers for release in 2017.  The producers are Tom Ackerley, Len Blavatnik, Zanne Devine, Aviv Giladi, Craig Gillespie, Toby Hill, Vince Holden, Rosanne Korenberg, Scott Allen Morgan, Margot Robbie, Steven Rogers, Michael Sledd, Bryan Unkeless, and Kim H. Winther.  The major cast is Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale, Bojana Novakovic, and Caitlin Carver.  It has an R for pervasive language, violence, and some sexual content/nudity with a running time of two hours.

Characters and Plot Summary

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The movie opens, present time, with interviews by the key players.  They reminisce on Tonya’s talent, mishaps, and effects.  With most stories that span a lot of time, I, Tonya cuts back and forth between the past and present.  We get a glimpse of a girl who loved her father and never received the motherly care she desired and deserved.  She eventually distanced herself from her mother, but the alternative, Jeff Gillooly, wasn’t much better.  They put their tensions aside enough to stop yelling at each other to marry.  Things were looking up for her as she was the first American woman to land the triple axel during competition.  As quickly as things improved, Tonya friends and their acquaintances sent her into a downward spiral.  Their plan to advance her status was hatched and botched, cracking the ice where everyone fell through the hole.  The key players were arrested, but Tonya was allowed to compete in Albertville based on her assertion she knew nothing about the attack, and apologized in front of the cameras.  Things went from bad to worse during competition, and when she came back she received devastating news.  It was tantamount to death, but she was given no choice to leave the skating arena.  There’s no denying she never tried to be something she wasn’t.  The movie ends with updates on those closest to Tonya during her time as an Olympic skater.  Tonya Harding, now Price, lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and son.  She has left her past behind her as we all should.

The Toe Pick was Sharp

This movie took a Switzerland approach regarding the incident.  It wasn’t preachy or sought sympathy for Tonya.  The story unfolded without any curtains to hide the ugly things.  The performances were great.  Of course, Allison Janney as Tonya’s mother was superb.  There’s a reason she won the Oscar.  Seeing Margot Robbie transform into Tonya was impressive too.  I was equally satisfied with Sebastian Stan as Jeff Gillooly, Julianne Nicholson as Diane Rawlinson, Paul Walter Hauser as Shawn Eckhart, Bobby Cannavale as Martin Maddox, and Caitlin Carver as Nancy Kerrigan.  This movie revealed behind the scenes of skating where not everything is fair in the world. Judges can be unforgiving and fans will turn on you.  Media can be powerful and emotions will be strong.  There is one scene of Tonya in the dressing room.  Margot Robbie captured Tonya’s determination and fragility at same time, which is the essence of who Tonya was and is today.

A Few Flowers for Tonya

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I recommend this to anyone who wants to watch a quality movie with a good story and great acting.  I, Tonya is for adults because children don’t have the attention span for it.  You watch this to reminisce about the early to mid-1990s or get more of an idea of what this story was all about for those not old enough or even born yet.  Wherever you put Tonya’s level of guilt or lack thereof, the movie is pure entertainment.   I’m a sucker for biopics because sometimes ‘real life’ is better than fiction.  I also like when movies give a follow-up as to where the people involved are today.  Jeff Gillooly changed his last name to Stone and lives in Clackamas, Oregon with his wife and two children.  Shane Stant lives in California and owns a business called Greenlit13.  Derrick Smith lives in Montana and is pretty removed from the public.  Shawn Eckhart changed his last name to Griffiths and died in Beaverton, Oregon in 2007.  LaVona Golden lives in Washington.  Tonya Harding, now Price, lives in Washington with her husband and son.

Pisaries Creator Rating

I, Tonya gets four fingers and one thumb at 100%

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Trailer by Movieclip Trailers
One Sheet by LuckyChap Entertainment/Clubhouse Pictures/Al Film

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The Woody Show in 2018

I wish this show went nonstop, but they gotta sleep too!

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Another Bumper Sticker in LA

The things you see in LA traffic are bumper stickers and personalized license plates.   I think a part of me is going to miss this when I move, but probably not although I’m curious what will come of the U.S. election in November.

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Forbes Quote

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June Random Information

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