Hacksaw Ridge – Andrew Garfield plays Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. His battalion is forced to pull out during a tricky stage of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. Doss single-handedly carrys 75 wounded men to safety. What will be hard to forget and what will keep your ears ringing is the action that explodes into gut-wrenching combat in the riveting second half. If the U.S. troops can take a strategic Japanese stronghold, they can take Okinawa. The production, direction and choreography of the battle scenes is truly spectacular. Grade: B+ [ RT ]

Alone in Berlin – Berlin, June 1940, Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson … Count me in! Maybe but not a true story . .. but very believable. Most Germans supported the Nazi regime. But a small minority didn’t. This is a story of a couple who lost their only son in the Battle of France. Their reaction is somewhere between shock and a grim acceptance of the inevitable, and it stands in sharp contrast to a city buoyed by Nazi victories and nationalist propaganda. They’ve lost their child and they’ve lost their country, perhaps long before. And their grief hardens their resolve to embark on a suicide mission in protest of Germany’s extinguished conscience. They have a unique response. They set to work meticulously handcrafting anti-Nazi postcards to distribute surreptitiously in buildings around the city. Grade: B [ RT ]

Hidden Figures – This movie should be required viewing by everybody. It seems to be a smash at the box office.. and that is most gratifying. The story: In 1962, mathematician Katherine Goble works at the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center in Virginia, alongside her colleagues, aspiring engineer Mary Jackson and de facto supervisor Dorothy Vaughan. Following the successful launch of the Sputnik I, Al Harrison, the director of the Space Task Group, is pressured by his superiors to double his efforts to send American astronauts into space, and Katherine is assigned to assist them as a computer by her supervisor Vivian Mitchell, becoming the first African-American woman on the team. I grew up with the U.S. space program and had never heard the story of these three Black women. The cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons. Grade: A [ RT ]

This is a list of the last three major video items I watched on my home 80 inch screen.


Bob Seger’s New Tribute Song to Glenn Frey

by Norm Gregory on January 18, 2017

in Music

‘Glenn Song’ is being given away for free on Seger’s website to honor Frey on the one year anniversary of his death

About four months ago, Bob Seger went down to Nashville’s Ocean Way studios to record a song he’d written about his late friend Glenn Frey. ‘It’s obviously not meant to be a hit,’ he says. ‘There’s no chorus per se or title section or anything. The idea was just to honor his memory and talk, very specifically, about my impression of him in 1966 when we first met.'”

(Via Rolling Stone.)


Close to Me by The Cure

by Norm Gregory on January 17, 2017

in Music, Song Of The Day