Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Two Movies I Loved

Saturday, August 13th, 2022

I recently watched two movies that I absolutely loved. One of them I have watched four times. I’m planning a re-watch of the other.

Caves and Water: Thirteen Lives

The first one I watched was Thirteen Lives, directed by Ron Howard and starring Viggo Mortensen and Collin Ferrel in the main roles. This one is about the Thai soccer team that was trapped in a flooded cave. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because I’ve never been much of a Viggo fan and I hate scenes where people are trapped in water. But I knew the movie would have a happy ending, so I decided to watch but was prepared to bail. I read a review of it that suggested it was just okay, and to that reviewer I say: WTF is wrong with you?  He literally missed the entire point of the movie in order to complain about the sound of air tanks scraping against cave walls.

This movie was just wonderful. Mortensen was amazing as was Ferrel and everyone else, to be honest. It hit every note I need these days: a happy ending, experts convincing skeptics that their expertise is real, overcoming life or death obstacles, and, the most important for me in these times, a reminder that people do come together for something more important than themselves. Everyone ends up being a better version of themselves.

As a technical matter, I thought Howard very deftly moved the movie along without getting bogged down in details. We see Rick being doubtful and skeptical about going to Thailand and then bam. In the next scene, the two men arrive at the cave.I loved that the movie spent time showing us the efforts of other people, from Thai locals and nationals to people from all over the world.

Two thumbs up. I’ve watched four times so far because I need that reminder that people can be good and selfless. And the story of how those boys were rescued is just a triumph of our best selves.

Women Who Don’t Need Your Fucking Help Thank you: Prey

I heard others talking about this movie, including a fine gentleman who complained about the main character (a woman) acting like a man and all the men being dufuses and how he didn’t think women could be competent at anything beside what he thinks is girl stuff. So yeah, I was in based on that alone. Besides I like some horror when it’s well done so I decided to watch Prey, a prequel to the Predator movies. I have never seen any of the Predator movies so I can safely represent that it’s not necessary to have seen any of them in order to enjoy this movie.

Trying to avoid spoilers here. Prey is set in early Colonial North America when an alien arrives to prove its mettle against the apex predators of North America. Naru, a young (female) Comanche realizes there is something out there and it’s dangerous. No one listens to her. There are some French trappers who also know there’s something out there. She does have a brother who believes in her. Naru is smart and observant: so so smart. She’s shown perfecting the physical skills she will be using as the movie progresses so she is not a Mary Sue as some a**holes have claimed.

I loved this movie. It’s cinematically beautiful and I loved, loved, loved Naru’s sheer competence and intelligence as she tracks and then encounters the predator in various situations.

Amber Midthunder is Naru and every second she’s on screen is enthralling. This movie may not be for everyone. If you don’t like scary, tense movies with some gore, then definitely not for you. But if you like horror/SciFi this is a near perfect example of the genre with stellar casting and action. Two major thumbs up. I intend to rewatch.

What movies have you recently seen that you loved?



Inspiration – Some of my favorite Bollywood Movies

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

As some of you may know, I am a fan of Bollywood movies. My knowledge and expertise is narrow, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have people who are knowledgeable provide me with recommendations. Including, as it happens, some members of the offshore development teams I work with.

Here’s a list of some of my favorites, with some links to reviews where I’ve done them. You can find more if you click on my Arjun Rampal Fan Page tab.

This link will take you to my movie review posts, most of them are Bollywood movies so just scroll past the American Sniper review.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi — This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love it. You all should watch it. Shah Rukh Kahn.
Om Shanti Om — SRK AND Arjun Rampal
Rajneeti — Arjun with homage to Quentin Tarrantino — so, if violence bothers you, maybe skip, but this is a political film.
The Last Lear — Really really really good movie.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham — a recent recommendation from one of the offshore devs I work with. This is about family.
Band Baaja Baaraat — @alisharai recommended this on twitter. Super cute movie with a super hot kiss scene.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai — SRK, with one of the hottest shoulder touching scenes in the history of ever. Persevere to the 2nd half of the movie.
My Name is Khan — SRK. I bawled like a baby.
EMI — kind of a silly movie but thoroughly redeemed by one of the love stories — probably a must see for Romance authors.


Carolyn’s Black Friday Specials for Writers and Readers

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Oh, what the hey.

I’m giving away the following:

ETA: I encourage authors (who I know don’t normally enter other author contests) to get your comment in for the movie. If you want an ARC, no problem, but I’m aiming to get more Romance authors aware of how Bollywood takes on Romance. bwahahahah!

1. 3 ARCS of Not Wicked Enough (you agree to write and post an honest review!)

2. Movie Poster for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi DVD of Rab Ne Bana di Jodi. This should play anywhere. It’s a really, really cute movie and if you’re at all interested in Bollywood films, it’s great a introduction. I urge writers to enter this contest, too, by the way.

Here’s a post with my review of the movie.

The Rules

1. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 or older to enter. No purchase necessary.
2. For the ARC, since it is for review, you agree to post an honest review of the book.
3. International entries OK. I believe the DVD will play anywhere, if not, I will do my best to get you a DVD that will.

To Enter

Leave a comment to this post by midnight Pacific time on Saturday November 26. You should indicate whether you’re in for the movie only, the ARC only or want a shot at both. If you know a good joke, please tell it. Jokes appreciated but not required.

Facebook makes it hard to do contests, so if you’re seeing this on FB, vist my blog to leave a comment that gets you in the contest.


One More Movie Review – Or Stupid Psycho Tricks

Monday, August 29th, 2011

After I finished my revisions for Not Wicked Enough and emailed them to my editor last night, I found myself with nearly 2 hours before I had to think about going to bed.

So, I watched another movie with my favorite Bollywood hottie, Arjun Rampal.

Insert Frownie Face Here

First I have a complaint and a warning. My DVD of Vaada came through an outfit called Eros and wow. They serve as an example of What Not To Do. Number one, there are about a bazillion trailers and ads and you can’t just fast forward through them. No. It stopped after each one so I had to FF about a bazillion times.

I wasn’t clever enough to figure out how to bypass that and go straight to the the Menu so I could watch the damn movie, but IT WOULD NOT HAVE MATTERED! Because when you click Play Movie, MORE ads and trailers play. OMFG.

Yes, I FF’d through them (see note above) but come on. I was already cutting it close with regard to my bedtime and that DVD wasted at least 12 minutes of my time.

Guess what? Even once I got the movie playing, there’s a persistent watermark in the upper left that says “EROS.” Boy, was that ever annoying. So, never ever buy a DVD from them. And I intend to return that DVD and pay more for one that doesn’t have all those irritations. I have to say, I was really irritated by the time the movie finally started and at times when that damned logo interfered with my viewing.


In this movie, the sexism was far more overt and that made me sad. The woman’s honor is everything and even things she cannot possibly control affect her honor and lead to a horrific act that, alas, provides the whole reason for the plot in the first place. And then the cliche women-can’t-drive. OMG. Sigh. So, that’s in there.

Complaints aside, my understanding is that Vaada is based on a US film, but I didn’t see that movie and can’t recall what it was, though I’m thinking about tracking it down and watching that one.

Arjun was incredibly hot. He can’t help it, the poor guy. Even in a fake goatee and mustache he was hot. There was no amnesia in this film and I can’t decide if I’m disappointed or not.

There was martial arts in this movie, which I was NOT expecting. All of a sudden my man Rampal was channeling Jet Li and I have to say it was pretty awesome mostly on account of a tight black shirt and some very decent choreography. Someone must have been watching some John Woo because there was lots of Slo-Mo. Those of you who know me know that I LOVE martial arts movies so when a Gung Fu fight suddenly broke out I was pretty darn happy. Well done.

I Like Movies Where You Learn Something

One thing I learned is that no man should ever wear a light blue suit. Not EVER. Because if Arjun Rampal looks like half a doof in a suit that color, there’s just no hope for the rest of mankind. Everyone else would have the full-on doof effect and probably worse. Fortunately, the blue suit was limited to a song and dance bit and some idiot was going for the Sari color coordination. Nice try, major fail.

Rich Man vs. Psycho Man – Who would YOU choose?

The plot of this movie is that Rahul, a handsome rich tycoon (Rampal) falls in love with this woman named Pooja (that’s the spelling from the subtitles.) He romances her and has to work surprisingly hard for it, especially considering that the blue suit was yet to come. They get married and THEN right after the ceremony, Pooja tells him that she has had a previous relationship. Rahul is cool with that once she assures him she does not love the man. Well done, I thought. But of course, it’s obvious she’s not telling him everything.

And, indeed, we learn the following, not necessarily in this order:

Krazy Karan

In the past, the former boyfriend is one Karan. He is Nucking Futs. Psycho. Completely off his rocker psycho and stalking Pooja. Her father won’t permit her to marry a poor man. (Pyscho is apparently OK? But I think the poverty thing was just an excuse . . . ) So, Psycho boyfriend goes off to make his fortune and have psychotic breaks in Europe and elsewhere besides India.

Meanwhile, Rahul meets, courts and marries Pooja and tells her that she, the woman, is now the family’s honor and therefor his honor. They have a happy marriage, there is singing and dancing that includes the blue suit which is when I knew they were really in love because 1) He was secure enough in his masculinity and general off-the charts hotness to wear that thing around her and 2) She didn’t ask him what the hell he thought he was doing going out of the hotel dressed like that. Probably she accidentally lost the suit later. But honey, it was there! It must have fallen off the Gondola! Don’t worry. I’ll get you a nice charcoal-gray suit.

Then Rahul teaches her to drive and she is unable to master this — yet Rahul has her on the damn freeway where she can’t drive a straight line and he must have had brain damage from that suit because he did not have his seatbelt on. And yes, there is an accident and yes, Rahul goes through the windshield but instead of ending up with amnesia, he ends up blind.

This is destiny, he says to Pooja. Now you are my honor AND my eyes. Or your eyes are mine. Possibly both.


Then it turns out blind-Rahul has this good buddy who is now his business partner and who he relies on a lot. And his friend, can you believe it? Some chick did NOT wait for him while he was off making his fortune and instead married some other guy. And yes, the good buddy is none other than the psycho Karan.

The main plot of the movie is that Pooja commits suicide. Or was it murder? Because her body has disappeared from the morgue. My first thought was vampires, but that turned out to be wrong. The police captain assures everyone that he will recover the body and find the culprit. Then Karan gets arrested for the murder, but Rahul bails him out. But the police think Karan did it. Karan insists he’s being framed and then he begins to suspect that Rahul is not really blind.

Rahul is Blind . . . Rahul is NOT Blind

There ensue several attempts to trick Rahul into revealing that he can see. Because if Rahul is pretending to be blind, he would not ALSO be an evil genius capable of foiling such trickery. Or else, he’s actually blind.

1) First, that Krazy Karan arranges to send Rahul a packet of papers to sign but SOME OF THE PAGES ARE BLANK! If he signs the blank page, well, that must mean Rahul is blind. If he does NOT sign the blank pages, then Rahul can see and is a liar and a murderer.

Rahul wants to know how many pages to sign, but the guy who hands him the documents doesn’t know. Just sign them all, he says. No, no, Rahul says. I will count them. Which he does. The camera cleverly shows us that, indeed, some of the pages are mostly blank but for an official looking stamp. Rahul counts, starts to sign then decides that no, he will only sign the documents if Karan is there, too.

A brilliant plan foiled. Or did the blind guy just want his trusted friend there for him?

2) Next, Karan and his attorney put poison in Rahul’s drink — right in front of him because if he’s not blind, then he will not drink the poisoned drink but if he IS blind, then he’ll drink the poison. The attorney points out the flaw in that plan in the event that Rahul really is blind so instead of poison, Karan substitutes a laxative in the bottle that says POISON right there on the label.

Rahul demonstrates that blind people can hear, so he knows when people get up and when drinks (or poison???) are poured. And the lights go out. We know that Rahul has engineered this lights-out in a bit of genius (but is it EVIL genius?) and when they come back on . . . Well the wrong guy gets the poison and has to leave for the facilities.

3) The next attempt to prove Rahul can see involves lowering four potted plants hanging in a doorway such that when Rahul walks through, he will either duck (Rahul can see) or bonk his head (Rahul is blind). But this plan is foiled too. Because Rahul trips and does not walk through the doorway. Instead he stands up IN the doorway and bonks his head on only one of the potted plants. Ouch. Then he throws them all, complaining about idiots who lower potted plants in a blind man’s house. He tosses his pots with uncanny accuracy at the police chief and his henchmen who are hiding there to witness the proof.

4) The NEXT attempt to prove Rahul can see involves hiring a thug to beat him up. And not just one thug it turns out, but a whole bunch of thugs. The reasoning is this: Rahul gets mugged and can’t defend himself (Rahul is blind) or Rahul gets mugged but defends himself (Rahul can see).

This leads to the tight black shirt and the martial arts and it was starting to look a lot like Rahul could see because he was beating their asses bad. BUT then Rahul blindfolds himself and continues to beat their asses only worse. So, the issue is still not resolved.

The penultimate attempt to prove Rahul is blind involves taking him for a walk on the train tracks. Rahul gets run over by the train (Rahul is blind) or Rahul jumps off the tracks and does not get run over by the train. (Rahul is not blind.) Things don’t go according to plan (not having learned the lesson that blind people can hear and probably feel vibrations too.)

The train is behind them and it’s kind of loud actually and the whistle is blowing, but Krazy Karan assures his friend that the train is on a different track. And then OMG! There is a young goatherd on the tracks and the boy and his goats are about to be shish-ka-bob. Rahul saves the boy and his goats by running really fast and flinging himself and the boy off the tracks.

Well. Rahul insists he is blind but hey, he saved the goatherd. Seems kind of like he can see. Only, then there’s some hard evidence that Karan killed Pooja (in the form of a shoe) and Karan goes on trial. But did he do it?

You Will NEVER Guess . . .

Meanwhile we see Rahul alone at home and holey moley! He really CAN see! How long has he been lying to everyone about that? But, since he saved the goatherd I knew he wasn’t Evil-Rahul. Krazy Karan was willing to sacrifice the boy so, yeah.

Anyhow,Rahul explains away the goatherd incident (the boy SAVED him!) and then Rahul’s faithful servant, who has been bribed to testify that Rahul can see, testifies instead that he was bribed and Karan goes to jail screaming his innocence.

Then things get a little silly.

Anyway, see what I said about saving the goatherd, Rahul is NOT evil. Karan is still psycho but NOT a murderer but he drove Pooja to suicide in order to protect Rahul’s honor and this is payback, baby.


I actually liked this movie a lot because the events did not unfold in the order I revealed them, and because of Arjun Rampal in a tight black shirt busting his Gung Fu moves and because of all the shots of Rampal looking like maybe he is a murderer who framed the psycho . . .

Rampal has very much improved as an actor and this movie represents a midpoint between some of his really impressive roles and movies that suck so bad no one could save them. Plus, one of the songs was really good.

I would totally watch this again and hope to talk my sister into seeing it.


Bad Writing

Sunday, December 12th, 2010



Girlfriends and Movies

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Over at the Girlfriend’s book club, I’m talking about movies and giving away a Jet Li movie. Go leave a comment for a chance to win my all time favorite martial arts movie.


Progress Report and Automotive Excellence

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The Next Historical which is going to need a title pretty darn soon, is inching along. Today I deleted a fair amount but managed to break 75K anyway. Yay for Carolyn! I still have to write the last chapter, but I’m pretty sure what that will be. I think. It’s slotted for October 2009, by the way, pushed up from November. No pressure! Anyway, I will get something out to readers this weekend. ::shrug:: I’m going to have to take a week off from work the week prior to the due date, so here’s praying I can get the time off. Will ask tomorrow.

Title ideas gladly accepted. Right now I’m calling it Ransomed cuz the hero at one point is going to pay one for the heroine. But the other day I thought of something better and then yesterday I forgot it.

If the post options work correctly this entry will post 11/21 at 1:00pm Pacific, at which time I will very likely be sitting in my car working on the dang book.

Friday, I am going to see Twilight. Sorry. But that’s a must do, figured into my deadline calculations. I’ll get two hours in the car on Saturday because Soccer Boy has a scrimmage. Hopefully it’s not too cold. And then after that, more ignoring of laundry, kitchen child family dog and everything else too. I’d ignore the cats too, but they sit on my lap and I pet them from time to time.

Wish me luck.

Be prepared for Blog Silence.


Somedays are not fun

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Today was not a fun day, pretty much on any level. The writing was hard. Nothing was easy. Yuck. But I made my minimum and today have 29K words.

Saw 27 Dresses today. Although I loved the actress who starred in the film (sorry no idea of her name) Ok I looked it up, it’s Katherine Heigl. I thought the male lead was unworthy of her. And there’s a point where she strikes back at her sister by publicly humiliating her in front of friends and family. Not good. The movie died for me right there. Not even Heigl could save the movie for me at that point. And then sometime later she’s at least expressing some remorse, the male lead actually tells her at least you stood up for yourself Oh come on. Whoever wrote this movie should be ashamed. Ok, I looked that up, too. It was Aline Brosh McKenna and she should just be ashamed. Somebody give that writer lessons in what it means to be despicable. That scene was despicable. Don’t see this movie. Ever.


Hi Ho, Hi Ho….

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Oh no. It’s off to work I go. I’m not in the least bit tired because I spent the last week on my normal sleep routine which is up late morning and evening. So I’ll be quick about this. Magellan’s Witch went well today. I rewrote all of yesterday’s new chapter because when I woke up this morning I had a much better idea for it. I’m getting in the fixes for this in the subsequent chapter right now. Almost done. Took a bunch of new garden photos today. Here’s a couple of my favs:

Stawberry on the Vine
green Leaves over a gray rock
Mysterious Red Rose

Saw Spiderman 3. Somebody on that movie has never read a Romance novel. If they had, they would have fixed the broken boring romance. The actor who played Harry is a total hottie, so it was worth it for that. Three great trailers: Silversurfer, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Transformers. Movies I really want to see. Off to bed.

Tomorrow’s going to be no fun.


Saturday Morning Post

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

I’ve been writing like a maniac lately because although, as I may have mentioned, Magellan’s Witch is due to Warner in August, it’s also my final project for grad school, which I found out is due May 4, not end of May. Urk. So, yeah, panic is setting in.

Last night I went to see Shooter with Marc Walberg.** Excellent. Really, really good. Witty dialogue and heaps of tension. Lots of stuff exploding, but high tension and impressive seat-of-the-pantsing by a trained professional. Pity the fools who underestimate a man with an awesome naked torso.

I’m reading a book called Futureproof by N. Frank Daniels. This is a self-published book, but PODdy mouth (now retired from her blogging alas) recommended this as one of the two outstanding POD books she read. So I bought it. And wow. I only started it last night, but it’s really really good. He has acknowledgments to several pretty big deal authors, so I’m wondering now if it’s possible that none of those writers passed the MS along to their agents, and if they did, whether all those agents could have passed on it. I find that strange. I’m not very far along, but hmmm. This seems odd to me.

OK, off to work. I have to make up my word count from going to the movies last night (during which, I might add, I had a brilliant idea for the book.) On that subject, it’s been interesting that several of my left turn or good complexifications for Magellan’s Witch have come to me while I was at the movies. I mean there I was, admiring Mark Walberg’s torso and suddenly this little voice in the back of my head says Hey, Carolyn, someone should be betraying your non-humans, and giving the bad guys those thingees you don’t quite have a name for yet. And I said to myself, well, yeah! Thanks for the tip! And then I went back to admiring Mark Walberg’s naked torso. Why on earth would any idiot reviewer say this is a guy flick?*** Sheesh.

** Clarification: Mark Walberg did not attend the movie with me, although he would have been more than welcome to come along. I went with my son.

*** Because he was a guy and doesn’t get that women like men with awesome torsos? I mean come on, the movie is based on a book, and I get more women than men read that book.