Whatcha ya’ watching–or reading?

October 2, 2022

We started streaming maybe 8 or 9 years ago when the Roku box first came out. Cut that damn cable and it opened up a whole new world of TV viewing. Now you can subscribe to any number of channels and get about a gazillion shows, movies, series, music… which doesn’t necessarily mean you can always find something you want to watch.

Now HBO Max, Netflix, Prime and others will happily suggest ‘if you watched this mystery movie, surely you will like all these’. My suggestions run from Viking shows, to foreign murder mysteries, to outer space horror killer clowns.

Sometimes I just turn the TV off and read a book. And, that leads me to the latest installment of What I’ve Read Lately.

Stephen King’s latest book Fairy Tale. Now, I haven’t read a Stephen King book in many years, though I was a big fan of King from the beginning. I was enthralled with every part of the story and characters. It was a delight to read and I was sad to see it end–the highest praise for any book.

The Book of Night Women sort of hits you in the gut. I can still remember the emotions I had when reading it. Written by Marlon James who was National Book Award finalist for Black Leopard, Red Wolf and the WINNER of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings. This is a review from Time Out New York that tells it better than I could. “James has given us an epic novel of late-eighteenth-century West Indian slavery, complete with all its carnage and brutishness, but one that, like a Toni Morrison novel, whispers rather than shouts its horrors.”

Then I’ve read a series of murder mysteries taking place on the Scottish coast–The Dr. Cathy Moreland Mysteries by Mairi Chong. There are a lot of fairly decent books in Kindle Unlimited. Sometimes, I just like a quick, easy, but suspenseful read. The author J.D. Barker has some good mystery books in Unlimited as well.

My final 7 words

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Confessions of a Streaming Addict

August 30, 2015

OK, I admit it’s true. I am addicted to streaming.

Several years ago we cut the cable TV and bought a ROKU box. The ROKU is a magic box that allows you to watch a variety of streaming channels including Netflix, Amazon Prime, news and movie channels and a whole lot more on your TV set.

My first favorite was watching TV shows in binge mode. No commercials, pause when you want to, watch a whole season in back to back episodes. Who could ask for anything more. I started out with “The Tudors” and nip tuck“Nip Tuck” and progressed to “Mad Men.” Recently, I watched all 196 episodes of “Supernatural”–not all at once, silly.

My grandkids share their favorites and they have surprisingly good taste. Or, at least we agree on genres. My granddaughter and I watch horror movies–the old classics and the new not-so-classic like “Paranormal Activity”.

One grandson suggested “Six Feet Under” six feet underHe said it had the best ever last episode of any series. I watched it and agreed. I like “Hell on Wheels” and lots of the BBC murder mystery series–some of which are many years old. And, of course, “Downton Abbey”. Nature and science programs also show up on my recommended list.

orange is the new blackThe new Netflix originals are a great addition to the already amazing amount of choices. “Orange is the New Black” and “Sense8” are super.

Another really nice feature, for a person hard of hearing as I am, is to activate the closed captioning. It has made a world of difference in my viewing pleasure.

I list more of my streaming favorites on Pinterest and books I read too, if you are interested in more recommendations.

Foreign Films — a small review

August 2, 2011

I have a new weekend hobby–watching foreign films on TV through Netflix streaming video via ROKU. Foreign movies give a bit of insight into other countries’ people, customs and sociological convention. Also, climate, dress, and even food. I hear a foreign tongue, see them eat tongue, and watch them tongue each other while having sex. (Foreign movies having much more naked and writhing bodies than your typical Hollywood films.) I like the subtitles, since my partial deafness usually gives me difficulty during low-speaking or breathy dialogues.

Here are a few films I’ve seen lately.

“Jar City” an Icelandic film–a pretty good murder mystery. The main character is an older detective with a complicated personal life and a nice, young associate detective. Did you know you can get sheep’s head through the fast food drive-up window in Iceland? And, of course it’s very cold and bleak. Not the sheep’s head, the landscape. The sheep’s head, complete with eyeball, is greasy and gross. They also have close up autopsies and dig up a 20 year-old grave.

“Harem” a Turkish-Italian movie. Won some award at Cannes. Lots of beautiful women, of whom you see lots of. It tells the story of the women in the last harem of the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire around 1900. An interesting story which encouraged me look up more information on the history of the times. Gorgeous sets and costumes, when they were wearing any.

“A Somewhat Gentle Man” a Norwegian film staring one of my favorite actors, Stellan Skarsgard. Mostly you think of Ulrik as “that poor bastard.” He’s just been released from prison and is stumbling his way into several unsatisfactory relationships and quickie sex acts. He’s also eats many meals, all of which contain some kind of fish. But, the characters are quirky and fun and it does end fairly well.

“Biutiful” a Spanish film which is not pretty or even attractive. It’s ugly, sweating, dirty, sad, depressing…need I go on? Sometimes these kind of films are called arty. I call this one awful and waaaay too long. Interesting mix of multiculturalism, though.

Last one, “Vidocq” a French film, starring Gérard Depardieu. It’s a mix between a supernatural thriller and detective movie. Intriguing and interesting with great characters and interesting sets. Looks like France in the 1830‘s had plenty of decadence and opium smoking.

You can find these films and more at Netflix or IMDB.