Movie Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Today was movie day with a friend. There were a few movies we’ve been thinking about seeing and decided on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri today! I had high hopes for this one…..good cast line up……good story…….a trailer that grabbed my attention……looked good! Well, I can sum up my response to that in just five words: “You can’t like them all”!

Actually, I do believe this could have been a really good movie – I did like the story and the basic idea behind it – I did like the actors and thought they did a good job in their roles…..but my positive thoughts end there. It was a dark, sad story of depression, racism, good-ole-boy mentality, and all that is bad about some small towns. The bad language was over the top and I thought the movie was just plain depressing and offensive.

That being said…….it actually did the job it apparently intended to do – it sparked some pretty strong emotions in me! And, it portrayed a topic that is messy and not something that can be presented lightly. So, yeah — it was meant to be all those things — it just isn’t the kind of movie I want to see when I go out with a friend for an afternoon matinee!

So – the story is about Mildred, played brilliantly by Francis McDormand, whose daughter, Angela, is brutally raped and murdered on a lonely stretch of road outside of town seven or so months prior to the start of the story. Mildred feels the police have not given her daughter’s case the attention it deserves and can not get past it. Her depression fuels her rage and she decides to rent three billboards on the same stretch of road Angela was murdered on – in the old burma-shave style, they briefly describe the crime and ask why there has been no arrests – challenging them to do their jobs and find the guy who killed her daughter. This sparks major controversy in the town and gets the attention of the local police…..not necessarily in a good way. Woody Harrelson plays Police Chief Willoughby, who she personally names on the billboards – Harrelson does a very good job of showing the turmoil going on in Willoughby’s life both professionally and personally. Then, there is Officer Dixon, played very convincingly by Sam Rockwell – a hateful, racist, ignorant, horrible man that has no business being in the position he’s in. Other characters include Mildred’s son, friends, and ex-husband, other police officers, and more notably, the young man who runs the advertising company that rents the billboards to Mildred.

I felt deeply for Mildred – her life is totally consumed with depression over the loss of her daughter. I also, although not at first, felt sorry for Willoughby. I absolutely hated Officer Dixon – at one point, I was sure we were going to find that HE was the one who killed Angela cause he just seemed like that kind of a guy. I also hated the way these characters treated each other and talked to each other —- even the family relationships —- it was very upsetting!

And, I think the worst part is that it just “ends”…….all of a sudden the screen went black and the credits started to roll and I sat there, threw my hands up, and said “that’s it????”!!!! Totally leave you hanging…….and not in a good anticipation, draw your own conclusion kinda way!!!!

So…….I guess I don’t have to say it, but I rate this one a C…….the only reason it isn’t much less than a C is because it was obviously meant to elicit strong emotions and it definitely did that – I also recognize that the topic is one that could really only be presented in a dark way……and, that’s OK and I still think it could have been a really good movie, if it was done a little differently and put together a little better! My advice — if you really think you want to see this one, save your money and wait for it to come on the small screen! Like I said, you can’t like them all…….

Here’s the official trailer…….

Just Checking In…..

So…..how do you slow the world down a little so life doesn’t pass by so quickly? I keep finding myself thinking that “it has been a few days since I’ve posted, I should post something” and I find it has actually been two weeks! UGH! But, I haven’t been sitting on my laurels all this time! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again……when, exactly does this whole concept of retirement that involves sitting in a rocking chair watching the grass grow kick in? Oh, don’t get me wrong – I would HATE that and absolutely don’t want it to be my norm……but, a little bit of it would be nice……or even a nice happy medium where I get to slow down some, but still stay active! I guess I do it to myself – last year, I started the year out by de-stressing my life and refocusing the time I spend on things – I was less involved in things and organizations that didn’t relate back to my core interests and bring me the joy and fulfillment I want out of that sort of thing – I started going to the gym and added more adventures and craft fun to my plans. It worked for a while…….and, then, I started filling in my new found “free” time and by the end of the year, I was juggling my calendar again and starting a new business (that, BTW, was intended to be more of a side hobby….yeah, right – like I ever do anything “on the side”!) and got out of the habit of going to the gym and fell short of my book goal on Goodreads!!!

But…..it’s all good……I’m not complaining…..cause, like I said, I’d really hate it if that rocking chair became my normal! But, as spring and summer (and, therefore Adventure Season) approaches, I really do need to be sure I am not filling that calendar with “too” many things that don’t involve going to the movies, reading a good book, patio sun time, taking photos, smelling the peonies, and, of course, adventures!

Today will be a good day……I am going to the movies with a friend……and, yes, I will make time to do a movie review later today or tomorrow! I’ll devote the day to good conversation, movie enjoyment, popcorn, lunch, and whatever else we want to do that involves just enjoying each other’s company and not thinking of anything else! Then, I’ll take it a day at a time and see what life and the Good Lord has in store for me!

But, first, here are a few of my Daily Photo Challenge photos from the last couple of weeks…..

Wouldn’t you love to know what the topic was that inspired some of these? hehehe

Oh — and, I did a paint and sip night and this is the result: we did a huge mug that I can not wait to use for tea, cocoa, or soup……just one mug, three photos…..and, of course, it is PURPLE!!!! LOL

See you next time…….

It’s Growing On Me…..

I used to have long hair….very long hair…..but, I cut it the summer between my junior and senior years in high school and, aside from a couple attempts at growing it back out, I have pretty much had short hair ever since. Whenever I try to grow it out, it gets to “that length” that totally irritates me and I whack it off! But…..I have been letting it grow and, with the help of my cousin, a wonderful hair stylist, it has now gotten beyond “that length” and I am loving it!!! I have no idea how long I’ll let it grow…..probably not much longer than it is now, but I do want it to get a little longer. We’ll see how long it lasts before I decide to go back to the short cut!

The super long high school years — 1973-74:

Taken in August 2017 – the short style I have had in some variation for many years:

And……most recently over the past month….last photo taken this morning:

Yep — it’s growing on me!!! LOL

Movie Review – Forever My Girl

From the very first time I saw a trailer for this movie, I was hooked! The ads said “If you love Nicholas Sparks, you’ll love this movie! Well, I do love some Nicholas Sparks…..and, I assumed the mention of him in the ads meant that it was one of his books. I was wrong about that – it is actually NOT a Nicholas Sparks book – the author of the book is Heidi McLaughlin. But, I was not wrong in my assumption that it would be a good movie! A true chick-flic, multi tissue, tug-at-your-heartstrings movie! I’ll get right to it…..my criteria for a good movie were all met: I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with the characters, and I left feeling good! There, you go……

So, the story starts right out with the tugging-at-your-heartstrings part in just the first few minutes – eight years ago, small town girl, Josie was getting ready for her wedding. She’s at the church with all her family and friends fussing over her and she looks radiant in her white dress. She’s all excited and happy and ready for the best day of her life! Then…..two of the groomsmen come in and ask to speak with two of the bridesmaids……and her best friend comes back in the room to tell her that her groom-to-be is a no-show……and her world comes crashing in around her! In the next scene, we fast forward to present day and former groom-to-be, Liam Page, is now a big country music star – spoiled, entitled, difficult, and adored by his fans! A tragedy brings him back to his home town and face-to-face with the girl he left at the altar……and her seven-year-old daughter! Now, if you want to know the specifics about what happens in the next hour and forty-five minutes, you’ll have to go see the movie, I’m not a spoiler……but, suffice it to say that there is a lot that Liam has to confront and make amends for and it isn’t just that he left poor Josie at the altar eight years earlier.

Alex Roe plays the handsome, moody-looking Liam Page and does an excellent job of going from totally “real-life-clueless” brat to daddy in a series of situations that define his life. Josie is played by Jessica Rothe who brings our love-struck young southern girl into a mature, protective single mother. Another notable character is Pastor Brian – Liam’s father – played by John Benjamin Hickey, who is frequently seen on the small screen in various TV shows. But, the one that totally steals the show is seven-year-old…..going on thirty……Billy! Young actress Abby Ryder Forston is AMAZING as Billy! I was also excited to get to see a glimpse of Travis Tritt as the character “Walt”…..albeit “glimpse” may be an exaggeration – I knew he was in the film and I couldn’t wait to see him (I used to go see him play at the Long Branch – a country music club in Raleigh, NC – and sit on the floor at the foot of the stage whenever he played there – loved him), but his part was very brief and I’m not really sure what it had to do with the story…..it was still great to see him after all these years and he did sing part of a song in his short time on screen!

So…..yeah…..I really enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it for all you romantics out there that just love a good tear-jerker – a great girls-night-out or matinee-and-lunch with the girls kinda movie……and, guys, if you want to win some brownie points, it would be an awesome date-night movie! I rate this one a solid A!!!   

Here’s the trailer:

And……my Daily Photo Challenge topic that day was #yum!, so I had the perfect shot to use for it:

“Popcorn!!!”

#yum!

Foggy Monday and More

I love taking photos in and of the fog! So, when our Monday brought a heavy fog to the area and I had to go out to have fasting blood work done for my next routine doctor’s appointment next week, well……I took my camera along and took a drive through Mount Albion Cemetery on my way to Brockport!

I caught a squirrel playing just as he headed up the side of the tree in the center of the photo!

My favorite one!

I used this one for my Daily Photo Challenge (#scenic) – it is my favorite one from above, but with an Instagram filter to bring out the sun a little more than it showed up in the original!

Then, since my blood work was fasting and I hadn’t eaten since supper the night before, I left the lab and went straight to the Chinese Restaurant for lunch……this is my fortune……I really pray this is true!!! 😀

And…..a few more photos that I particularly liked from the past few days:

I attended an awesome concert at a little Cabaret in Albion on Sunday…..Dave Mancini and Friends – “Jazz Meets Classical”! The bright lights on the stage washed out the faces on all the photos, so I saved this one in B&W to compensate for it……turned out pretty cool!

And, finally……see that little area in front of the wall on the right hand side of the photo? Well, that’s where Megan’s bed is supposed to be and has been for quite some time. The other night, Megan decided she wanted it moved……she dragged it away from the wall, then pushed it to where you see it here, then walked around it several times and made small adjustments to the position, then gave it a few nose butts to secure the location and curled up and got comfortable! Within minutes of taking this photo, she was snoring like a freight train – I guess moving your furniture around takes a lot out of you!!! LOL

Have a wonderful day!

Makes You Wonder….

When you see something left abandoned, broken, a ghost of what was or could be……when you stumble onto something that is no longer loved, cherished, a part of someone’s life……when you find something like this, it makes you wonder…….

On Kent Road in Albion, just barely a stone’s through off the busy Ridge Road, there is such a thing. A house that has long since been left alone….lonely…..abandoned…..sad. A house that no longer protects a family…..no longer provides warmth and shelter and memories. This house…..just a shell, really……with the curtains flying in the breeze, paint no longer clinging to the walls, windows no longer keeping out the elements, makes me wonder……

This house is not like many other abandoned houses you may come across……no…….it is not boarded up or left as it once was. This house is left exposed…..open to all who pass by…….for all to see how sad, lonely, and broken it is inside…..and out. Left to make us wonder……

I first noticed this house in August. I have driven by there many times over the years, but it never caught my eye until that day. When it did become known to me, I had to stop and photograph it. It intrigued me…..spoke to me…..wanted me to know it was there and to remember it……and to wonder……

I have driven by it many times since and always slow down and gaze upon it in an attempt to assure it that it matters enough for me to take a moment in time to acknowledge it is there. And I wonder…….I wonder how it got to the state it is in, today……what it once looked like……who once loved it……who went to the store to pick out those curtains that now just wave to those passing by……what spirits remain to remember what once was. Oh, now, before you think I’m batty – I don’t literally think it is haunted, but as with many old, abandoned things, there is a story to tell embedded in the walls that are just aching to tell it, there is a soul – spirit, if you will – remaining behind trying to keep the memories alive. And, it makes me wonder…….

I drove by last night at dusk and got a whole different perspective. That soul / spirit seemed to be more alive…..the setting sun shining through the open windows, the snow and wind declaring how cold and open it really, truly is……the darkness setting in, but yet, still providing enough light through the openness to be able to imagine the memories…..and to allow us to wonder…….

So, I took yet another photo…..this one more telling than the rest…..so I could share it with you all……and so you could wonder, as well! ❤

And, now, imagine the house is the one singing this song…….

 

Just Some Stuff….

Been a crazy couple of weeks here in my little corner of paradise! We’ve been in a deep freeze, loaded up with snow, a warm up / melt down, more cold, more snow……but, that’s life in Western New York!

My LuLaRoe business is doing good and keeping me busy – busier than I planned on letting it keep me – it was meant to be a side line, something to have some fun with……oh well…..I rarely do anything half hearted! This past Saturday, I had my very first in-home pop-up boutique with a hostess. We did it at my home so I didn’t have to pack up and cart all my inventory to another location – sweet! It was a huge success! I have another one this coming Saturday – this one is at my hostess’s home, so gotta do the packing up and transporting thing….we’ll see how that goes! 😀

So, since I had the pop-up booked on Saturday and we got a HUGE dumping of snow Friday night, I had an adventurous morning…..One thing I can say without any reservation…..my life is never dull or boring!!! I got up early Saturday morning to clear the 12-18″ of snow out of my driveway and front porch!!! I got it all done and then had to run to the bank, because….you know me…..I forgot to get small bills so I can make change if someone wants to pay cash for their purchases!!! I got to the drive-thru and sent the tube with my 20’s to get the change and the teller got it ready and sent it back……and when the tube arrived, it automatically went right back to them without opening the door so I could get my money!!! WHAT???!!! Seems the “send” button was frozen in the “pushed in” position!!! LOL I offered to just drive around to the other kiosk, but they said the tube didn’t return to them – it was in the pipes “somewhere”! They could send it back to me, but it would just go back to “somewhere” each time……we all laughed and laughed as we watched it go back and forth several times……until my friend, Jodi, who works in the bank, came to the rescue and un-froze the button by pouring some rubbing alcohol on it!!! My hero!!! 😀 Life is nothing if not interesting…..and fun!!! And, so my day started……

Yesterday afternoon, I booked my first big adventure of 2018….going on the second annual DC Adventure with my traveling buddy! Can’t wait……we need to plan out what we’ll see and do this time around!

On New Year’s Day, I went to the movies and saw “The Greatest Showman” with a friend…..WOW…..what a wonderful movie! I love going to the movies on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day…..just seems like a cool thing to do and I always enjoy it…..but…..I’m always struck by how many other people do the same thing! We got in the parking lot of Tinseltown in Gates and it was PACKED!!! And we were at the early bird matinee, which started about 10:00 am!!! Crazy! I didn’t go on Christmas Day this year – the weather wasn’t the greatest and I didn’t feel like going out in it. But, New Year’s Day was better, so we went! Sorry, I didn’t do a movie review – stuff got in the way and I just didn’t get around to it. But, here is a photo I took during one of the final scenes for my Daily Photo Challenge that day:

I also had a revelation yesterday……First, a little background……I have to say that the #s 20, 11, and 9 run through our family! It is odd…..My grandmother was 20 years older than my Mom…..my Mom was 20 years older than me! Then, the 11 and 9 zig zag through siblings and children…….my grandmother was 9 years older than her sister – Betty, who was 11 years older than my Mom (grandma’s daughter)…….my Mom was 9 years older than her brother – Danny, who was 11 years older than me………And, my Uncle Danny had a son who was born when I was 9 years old!!! And, then, yesterday when I was looking up some possible dates for my upcoming DC Adventure, a light came on…..the revelation where I made a connection that I didn’t realize until that moment when it hit me that my grandma and my Mom died the same month exactly 20 years apart – April 3, 1996 and April 10, 2016!!! It got me wondering how careful I will need to be in April 2036……which, now that I see it in writing realize that will also be just shy of what would have been my Mom’s 100th birthday – she was born in July 1936……which must mean……yep – she passed just shy of what would have been HER mother’s 100th birthday – grandma was born in August 1916……so, they were both 79 – just shy of 80 – when they passed!!!

Anyway……I’m rambling…….I just wanted to come on and post some thoughts in an attempt to keep my goal of getting this blog back on track with its original intent and what I used to love about it! But……I also want to keep up with sharing some of my favorite photos, as well, so here are a few I especially like that I have taken recently:

Until next time……I’ll leave you with this quote from the book I am currently reading: “The past is who you are. The future is what you do with that.”