I WAS FASCINATED WITH IT WHEN I was small, which was the last time I laid eyes on it. Years had passed; where, during this time frame, I became the recipient of a multitude of items from different relatives’ estates. Some were sentimental, others practical and some bordered on being an oddity—at least odd for my lifestyle. I treated each item with the respect it deserved and for the most part could recall a vivid memory I had associated with that item. However, this one particular article was something special because I remembered the relative who owned it. She was a kind and loving soul. There was never a time where she was not happy to see me. Keep in mind, this would apply to any of my relatives because that is how she felt about each and every one of them. She enjoyed being around family. Somewhere in my house I knew I had this piece of jewelry that she wore all the time. Venturing up into my attic I started to tackle each stacked box; I felt I was going back in time with every box I explored. It was not until I was halfway done, after laying hands on so many random non-essential things, I found this small black velvet jewelry case. Inside there it was, a vintage pink colored cameo broach. What made this piece so special to me was the fact the woman depicted in this piece had a resemblance to the woman who wore it. THE CAMEO WAS COOL TO THE TOUCH as I traced the woman’s profile with my finger. Memories flooded me as I stood in the quiet attic, surrounded by a multitude of discarded or half-forgotten items that were bequeathed to me. Among the items I had unearthed were coats, hats, baseball equipment and dinnerware. None of it stood out for me, though I could for the most part remember the relative who wore or used it. None of them provided the excitement I felt when I found this cameo. My relative loved this piece and wore it as much as possible. Whenever I got to visit with her, she would be wearing it. Throughout our conversations, her hand would quietly rise to allow her extended index finger to trace the profile of the woman in the broach. It was done almost in an absentminded way, as if she did not remember she had done the same thing earlier in our visit. Finding this jewelry in my attic was like finding a lost treasure. I felt the same way about seeing this exquisite, dramatic war film. WITHIN A SMALL WINDOW OF TIME, two soldiers must travel behind enemy lines and get a message to the commander of a battalion of troops, to halt his planned attack because the enemy was waiting for them. With Dean-Charles Chapman (Before I Go to Sleep, Game of Thrones-TV) as Lance Corporal Blake, George MacKay (Captain Fantastic, Pride) as Lance Corporal Schofield, Daniel Mays (The Bank Job, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Sergeant Sanders, Colin Firth (The Command, The King’s Speech) as General Erinmore and Pip Carter (Robin Hood, The Eagle) as Lieutenant Gordon; this film festival winning World War I story had the most brilliant filming I have seen in such a long time. After sitting through an abundance of poor or average pictures, this one grabbed me right from the start. The director worked at making the scenes all look like one continuous shoot; it was amazing…and at times exhausting, in a good way. Where we do not learn much about the characters, we certainly can feel what the actors are going through in the story. There was excitement, danger, thrills, sadness and horror all mixed within the script. I still cannot get over the amount of physical demands the actors had to endure throughout the film. I felt like I was watching a triumphant piece of work that had familiar attachments but seen in a whole new way. There were a few scenes that could be disturbing for some viewers and a few scenes with blood.
3 3/4 stars
When you are in the middle of it, you feel larger than your silhouette. Love has a way of blending into all of your actions, giving them a little extra boost of energy. It may be the bounce in your step, the burst of flavors in your mouth from your first bite into your meal at a cozy care, to the feeling of calmness coming over you every time you think of that special person. Sadly, just as love can fill one up to extreme proportions its absence can be devastating. The loss of love can siphon so many things out of a person; things you thought were impenetrable. Simple acts like bathing or walking now feel laborious. Though there is no visual wound, you feel there is something missing in your life. I have experienced both sides of this equation; you know, those high highs and low lows of love and lost. I am not alone in this situation; I see the signs of it all around. There is the person who took their beloved dead pet to have it stuffed and preserved; so it would always appear sleeping in their now cold bed that sat next to the bedroom nightstand. I read an article in the newspaper about a company that will take the ashes of your loved one and turn them into a stone you can wear like jewelry. I have even seen people wearing bracelets and pendants that contain small amounts of ashes in a secret compartment; I understand those individuals that want a reminder of their loved one. Love and lost love certainly produce strong reactions in us. RESCUED from a miserable life Igor, played by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter franchise, Kill Your Darlings), had the utmost respect for Victor Frankenstein, played by James McAvoy (X-Men franchise, Wanted). The two men’s shared interests would drive them to create an everlasting life. This dramatic horror film took the original Frankenstein story and turned it around to be told from Igor’s perspective. Okay, I could deal with the change since I do not mind looking at things from a different point of view. The script favored Daniel who made a believable character. However that is all the script did because I found the story to be more of a caricature of the original. There was no heart (no pun intended) to this story; most scenes were dull or silly to me. At least the sets and special effects added some value to this picture. I liked the whole idea as I said, but I just felt it could have been told better if they kept the focus more on the matters of the heart. The writers could have slimmed down the script and created a compelling story that might have possibly been a companion piece to Mary Shelley’s story. The loss of my time was all I experienced instead. There were a few scenes with blood in them.
1 3/4 stars
I learned a lot about people by standing behind a a cash register. When a new store opened in the city’s shopping district, I applied for a part-time position to see what it would be like to work in retail. It turned out to be an interesting experience for me. I discovered practically every customer showed some sign of being prejudiced towards the employees, however subtle it may have been. If a person came up to the counter to ask for directions they always asked me instead of any female employee. When it came to questioning the sizes of clothing or if items matched, I was always ignored. Both men and women consistently asked only the female workers. I found the whole thing amusing; curious how people’s perceptions were formed. Since we were all on the same pay scale it did not matter to any of us. In the scheme of things what I have just described was rather minor. If I had told you the female employees were hired at a lower pay scale then the men, I am sure you would have had a stronger reaction. Sadly that still happens in today’s world. Here is a perfect example of a movie being both informative and entertaining. This dramatization of a true story was set in England during the late 1960’s, at one of the country’s biggest employers of British workers, the Ford auto plant in the city of Dagenham. Sally Hawkins (Happy-G-Lucky, Never Let Me Go) played Rita O’Grady, one of the women machinists who worked on the cars’ interiors. Besides the poor conditions and hard work, Rita discovered the company was being discriminatory towards the women. She was pushed into taking some kind of action. Except for the hard time I had with the heavy British accents, I was fully drawn into the story of the women’s plight. The costumes and sets were perfect in depicting the era. I found the high level of consistent acting made for a cohesive storytelling experience. Bob Hoskins (Hook, Snow White and the Huntsman) as union representative Albert Passingham, Miranda Richardson (The Young Victoria, Sleepy Hollow) as Secretary of State for Employment Barbara Castle and Daniel Mays (Atonement, The Bank Job) as Rita’s husband Eddie were some of the actors that stood out for me. This was a story of historical significance that could be seen equally by women and men.
3 1/3 stars — DVD