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Friday, March 28, 2014

Funny Friday - Noah

Since the movie NOAH is being released today...I thought this was fitting....

I love the look on the Zebra's faces :)



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Thursday, March 27, 2014

AFI - Top 100 Films

I was checking out my blogging (and 2Peas) friend, Jen's blog over at It's My Life and one of the things she has on her 2014 goal list is to see 10 of the American Film Industry's Top 100 Films.

That is a great goal for the year.  So...I decided to see how many of them I have seen and how many I haven't.

Well...since I am a movie buff, I am sure it is no surprise that I have seen A LOT of them - a total of 74!!!

There are 2 listed that I've seen bits and pieces of, but not the entire movie:
  • Chinatown 
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf

There is 1 that I am pretty sure I have seen but not 100% sure I have:
  • The Searchers

So if you count those 3, there are 26 on the list that I haven't seen - many of them are older movies - I mean like one of them is 98 years old !!  No wonder I haven't seen it. 

Two of the movies on the list, I am not sure I can watch - Saving Private Ryan & Schindler's List - I just am not sure I can watch them.

At any rate, here is the listing of movies on AFI's Top 100 List that I have yet to see (in full).  Listed in order by year of release.  I guess I will need to check Turner Classic Movies and keep an eye out for them.


INTOLERANCE 1916
THE GOLD RUSH 1925
THE GENERAL 1927
SUNRISE 1927
DUCK SOUP 1933
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA 1935
MODERN TIMES 1936
SWING TIME 1936
SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS 1941
DOUBLE INDEMNITY 1944
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 1946
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948
SHANE 1953
THE SEARCHERS 1956
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962
DR. STRANGELOVE 1964
WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? 1966
THE WILD BUNCH 1969
CABARET 1972
CHINATOWN 1974
THE DEER HUNTER 1978
APOCALYPSE NOW 1979
RAGING BULL 1980
BLADE RUNNER 1982
SCHINDLER'S LIST 1993
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998





















































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Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Little Leprechaun

 It isn't St. Patrick's Day yet but I have been looking for a hat for Pedro and haven't been able to find one (much to my surprise, he is very good at wearing hats - I thought he wouldn't leave them on for more than a second but he kinds of seems to like them).

He has a pirate hat, sombrero, cowboy hat and a beach hat but I couldn't find a GREEN hat for him anywhere....so I found a pattern at Posh Pooch Designs and made him this little hat.  I used Vanna's Choice in Olive Green and a size "H" hook.  You can't tell in the photo because of the angle but there is a black stripe on the base. 

He's a cute little model.  Originally, it had a "buckle" but I ended up taking it off.

Hope you  have a nice St. Patrick's Weekend!



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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

52 Weeks of Geneology - Week 3

I am working on catching up of the 52 Weeks of Genealogy and today I am on Week 3: About Your Parents


Week 3:  All about your parents:

  • Their full names? William Thomas & Mary Nell
  • Their parents names? William Clifton/Mandy & James Josh/Jewell Canzada
  • Their Nicknames? Bill & Mernell (not really nicknames but that is what many people called them)
  • Likes & dislikes? Dad liked working, traveling & mom likes spending time with family, watching TV
  • Physical characteristics? Dad-about 5'10", dark eyes, dark skin and hair (decended from Native Americans) & mom-about 4'11", dark curly hair and medium-skinned - has a distinctive pinpoint birthmark right on the tip of her nose.
  • What did they do for a living? Dad started out as a truck driver (driving gasoline tankers), then was promoted to dispatcher, then terminal manager, then safety director.  Mom was a housewife (as she calls it but most say "stay at home mom"), but when we were in highschool she worked at Richway, which became Target while she was working there.
  • What made them happy? They both were happy if their kids were happy.
  • What made them sad? They both were sad if any of their kids were sad.
  • What made them mad? Daddy could get mad about odd things, things that usually were only perceived in his mind (he once thought we spraypainted the bathroom sink and we didn't but he was convinced we did for some reason and was mad that we were lying) - Mom rarely gets mad - I guess the only times she does is if there is some kind of injustice or unfair treatment of someone.

Important dates:
 

  • Birthday? Dad - 16 Jan 1934Mom 08 Oct 1940
  • Achievements? - Dad retired in 2003
  • Marriage? 1 Apr 1955 (yes - my mom was 14 and my dad was 21 !!)
  • Death? Dad - 13 Jan 2012 (I miss him every single day)
  • Other?  
    • 1962 - Moved to Norcross, GA from FL
    • 1963 - Moved from Norcross, GA to Columbus, GA
    • 1972 - Moved from Columbus, GA to Alpharetta, GA
    • 1973 -  Bought first single family house - Doraville, GA
    • 1994 - Bough second single family house & moved back to hometown of Bonifay, FL

Favorites:
 

  • Books: Dad liked Detective novels, Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Mom likes books by John Grisham, Alex Cross, Steven King, Karen Slaughter
  • Actors: I don't think either had/have a favorite
  • Foods: Dad - raw oysters, boiled shrimp; Mom - fried mullet, fried chicken
  • Vacations? I think they both would say that our trip to South Dakota was the favorite vacation we ever had (except that my sis wasn't along-we missed her)
  • TV shows? Dad-All in the Family,Sanford & Son, The Heat of the Night, 60 Minutes, Cops; Mom-The Good Wife, 48 Hours Mystery, Downton Abbey, The Killing, Too Cute, any show about Ghosts/Hauntings.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogy - Week 2

 Week 2 asked ....What toys did you play with growing up?

What a fun question!When I was a kid, I had a very active imagination so I loved to play and luckily I had a brother and sister so I always had playmates!

My favorite toy by far was my Malibu Barbie and Barbie camper.  Although I found out years later that she really wasn't "Barbie" but rather her friend "Malibu Francie". Which I like her better!  Her bathing suit is way cooler than Barbie's (Barbie's was solid baby blue and Francie's is Hot Pink and Orange)

I still have her but she lost her hands many, many years ago in a tragic dog-chewing accident - haha!



Now my sister had "Malibu Ken" so of course Francie and Ken would go on dates together.  (Isn't he cute?)

Most of the time, though, Francie, Ken, Miss America Barbie, Skipper and Donny & Marie would go camping..... in my Barbie Country Camper. Man I loved my camper - especially the little pop out tent



Other favorite toys were Spirograph, Bonkers, Headache, Easy Bake Oven, Baby That-a-Way, Playdoh and so much more.  I still have most of these to this day!










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Monday, March 10, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogy - Week 1

Okay, so I was browsing Pinterest and came across this blog - Teach Me Genealogy.

I love it and the blogger has posted each week a "lesson" for lack of a better word, I wish I had found this at the first of the year but it isn't too late to start.  I will just try to catch up by posting daily until I am caught up to the same week the blogger is on.

Week 1 - How Did You Get Your Name?

When my mom was pregnant with me, she was trying to come up with boy and girl names (back in those days you didn't normally do ultrasounds so you didn't know the gender of your baby in advance).

She was watching the Elvis movie - Love Me Tender and Debra Paget was in it (she was Elvis' first leading lady).  My mom liked the way Debra was spelled and decided that would be a great name if she had a girl.



I don't really know where she got my middle name but I think she said she liked the way it sounded with Debra (my middle name is NOT Ann as most people guess it to be).  It is a common name though but spelled a bit different, in fact, I don't think I have ever seen it spelled the way my middle name is spelled and I really like the spelling.

Since Debra was a movie star, I attribute my love for movies to be because of my namesake


I often wondered, if I had been a boy, would my name have been Elvis - (that wouldn't have been too bad either) !



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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Arm Knitting - My Thoughts

There is a new trend that has been going on in the knitting world and it is called

ARM KNITTING

Here are my thoughts about it.

1) I think it is something that some yarn company invented as a way to use up a lot of yarn. Knitting with "needles" the size of your forearms take up a LOT of yarn.  Another reason I think a yarn company invented it is because it is "trendy" and people will want to try it so they...buy yarn...duh!

2) I think it is butt-ugly. I am sorry (if you are one that likes it) but seriously, it is UGLY.  Would you really, really wear something like this out in public ?


What about this?

Good grief - she looks she is choking !

3) The finish product, doesn't really look "knitted" - it just looks like a big mess of yarn wrapped around your neck - maybe it looks a little like you tried to braid it but it doesn't look knitted.



4) Once you start a project, you pretty much have to finish it - it isn't like knitting needles, you can't lay it down and pick it back up - I mean the yarn is all wrapped around you arms.  What if the phone rings?  What if the baby cries?  What if your 4 year old knocked over a glass of milk?  You would have to either not assist or mess up your knitting.  Crazy!





I think you get the point.  Now if you are looking at this and thing "Gee, that is kind of pretty" - well...I can't help you with that but you can learn how to arm knit by watching this video.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday



Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season.

Are you giving up anything for Lent?
Are you incorporating something good/new during Lent?

I have decided to follow the Daniel Plan and reading our church's daily devotional.  You can read it too - you can either read online or have a daily email sent to you.  You can find it HERE.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

John Candy - One In a Million

Today, March 4, 2014 marks 20 years since John Candy passed away.  I loved him, still do.  I was so sad when he died.  He is in so many of my all time favorite movies.

Splash - I've seen it so many times, I can quote it.  He played Freddie, the brother of the male lead, Allen, played by Tom Hanks.


He had a small part at the end of Vacation, with Chevy Chase - as the security guard of Wally World


He played Barf in Spaceballs, The Movie - I LOVE this movie! He was a MOG -  "Half Man, Half Dog"
He was his own best friend. 


He was the lovable Gus Polinski in Home Alone (one of the best Christmas movies ever!)


And who could forget Neil Griffith's hands being between two pillows. . . in Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Wait...THOSE AREN'T PILLOWS !!!!


Speaking of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, one of my favorite and most memorial movies scenes has John 'Doing the Mess Around"


Of course, he was in a TON of movies - too many to mention here.  I think I just loved him because he seemed like a friend.  He seemed like a nice guy that you'd like to know.  His characters were sometimes meant to annoy the other characters but yet he usually had a soft loveable, sweet side.

He was only 43 when he died of a heart attack.  FORTY-THREE !!! Too young - younger than I am now.  I sure miss seeing new movies from him - he was one in a million and even now...20 years after his passing, I still miss him.
 
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 Academy Awards - The Oscars !!

If you know one thing about me, you probably know that I LOVE the movies - so it is no surprise that I love Oscar Night !!!

Well the day is finally here and I have seen all the best picture nominations.

Here are my thoughts (in Alphabetical Order)

12 Years a Slave - I admit it, I was a bit timid to see this movie.  It is so hard for me to watch movies that I know is going to have inhumanity - people beating someone, people killing, people being mean. This movie was based on a true story I won't go into the details of what the movie is about - I know you can read that anywhere - like HERE for instance.  What I will tell you is that (thankfully for me) most of the lashing and killing took place in the distance, you saw it and heard it but didn't have to witness it and it didn't go on forever!  However, there were two scenes that were very difficult to watch.

I really thought this was an amazing movie - an incredible story. The acting was so believable and the violence wasn't gratuitous.  I was so impressed with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender. I kept hearing people go on and on about Lupita Nyong'o's performance and couldn't understand it at first - she didn't show up until about half way in and didn't say anything for several of her first scenes.  But she was in one of the difficult scenes I mentioned and I oh my gosh - she just was un-real! Then I could see what everyone was talking about.


American Hustle - once again - if you want to read about the plot, you can find it HERE.  This is not a movie I would particularly go see on my own but I saw it because -- well...I saw all the other nominated movies so I might well watch this one too.  This movie was also based on a true story.  I know it won a Golden Globe for best motion picture (comedy or musical) but I will be frank...I didn't really care for it.  I started dozing off in the first 15 minutes.   There was gratuitous cussing (f-this, f-that, you sorry f-ing-f-f).  I figured that going in though.  I just thought the movie was boring and the story didn't really interest me.

However, I did like the performance by all - Christian Bale was so good ! Amy Adams (who I love) was great! Bradley Cooper, did a good job (but I thought he over did it at times) and so did Jennifer Lawrence (who also over did it at times but that was part of her character I think).  It wasn't a horrible movie but it just wasn't my cup of tea.


Captain Phillips - I really liked this one.  Once again, this movie was also based on a true story.  You can read the plot HERE.  I remember when this was happening and was all over CNN, so I was interested and seeing what happened.  The thing that impressed me the most was the protocol everyone followed, not only on the Mearsk Alabama but also the U.S. Navy.  They have plans for everything and they followed it and as a result, the crew and ship of the Mearsk Alabama was saved and are okay.

Incredible acting by Tom Hanks (who is good in everything and I can't believe he wasn't nominated for this role - he was so good!) and very impressed by new-comer - Barkhad Abdi, who was working as a chauffeur when he was cast. He had no previous acting experience or any aspirations to become an actor.



Dallas Buyers Club - of the Best Picture nominations, this one was my favorite.  Guess what?? It was based on a true story.  Do you see a trend here? HERE is where you can read it is about.  This movie was beyond good to me.  I had remember hearing that Jared Leto was in it but totally forgot all about that - when he showed up on screen, it didn't dawn on me until about 30 mintues later - 'oh yea, that is Jared Leto".  I would have never known - he really became his character.

There was a lot of media about how much weight Matthew McConaughey had lost a lot of weight for the role, but Jared lost a lot of weight too. Both characters were HIV Positive.  (My sister recently told me that Jared's character and Jennifer Garner's character were totally fictional and added for movie purposes only). To me, Jared's character was so important to the story but I didn't see a lot of need for Jennifer's - she did a fine job, but I guess it was just so he would have a connection to the medical world? I've always thought Matthew McConaughey was a great actor (although he hasn't always taken on the best roles - Ghost of Girlfriends Past comes to mind) but he really went a step above and beyond - amazing !!
 
Gravity - Surprisingly NOT based on a true story and thank goodness!  I am not sure how to even describe this movie.  You can read more about it HERE.  It is hard to explain because there is mostly only one person in the movie - Sandra Bullock, who is one of my favorite actresses. Without spoiling anything, George Clooney, is in this movie too but mostly at the beginning. This movie is what I would call a thriller - your heart is pumping (or at least mine was) 90 miles a minute.  It is not recommended to see this if you get motion sick very easily.  There is a lot of movement - spinning, etc - especially in the first 20-30 minutes.

To me, it was a survival movie.  Here is this woman, who seemingly has no reason or desire to live (there is a reason for this, explained in the movie), yet she does things that no one could imagine doing so she could survive.  The special effect top anything I've seen since the first Star Wars movie.  You really feel like she is in space and you are right there with her.  I heard several people say they didn't like the ending but I did.

Her - This was one of the most quirkiest movies I have ever seen.  You can read more about it HERE.  I expected something kind of like Lars and the Real Girl and in a way, it was a little bit like that.  A guy in love with a non-existent woman.  Although not specifically mentioned, it is obvious that this movie takes place in the future - computers are more relied upon (even more than we rely on them now).  Joaquin Phoenix had to really stretch to play this role because most of the movie he isn't acting with anyone.  He has to react to someone that isn't there - he does this very well with facial expressions.  I am sure it was a challenging role.  Amy Adams is in this movie too - she has been a busy girl.

I liked this movie, even though it was uh...different.  They could have easily made this a lower rating - they added this funny but un-necessary 3D foul-mouthed video game character that like to make finger gestures.  Joaquin's character, Theodore, and the operating system have phone sex and then the operating system hires a sex segregate so that Theodore and "Samantha", the Operating System can sort of really, kinda, maybe have sex.  What I found the most strange is that all his friends kind of encouraged him like it was a healthy thing for him to do is to make this Operating System his girlfriend.  Overall - I am glad I saw it though.


Nebraska - This was my 2nd favorite movie of the ones nominated.  It is kind of a road trip/unlikely buddy movie. It was filmed in black and white supposedly to give the film an "iconic, archetypal look" (whatever that means).  I admit though that it really showed off the landscapes well - the cinematography was just beautiful !!  You can read more about the premise of the story HERE.  I have never been what you would call a Bruce Dern fan.  I mean he is okay but I never really paid him much-never-mind.  But oh my gosh, he was soooo good. He could say so much with a look.  Will Forte was very good as his son and June Squibb was really good - she was such a pain in the butt - you wanted to slap her half the time. 

At times, the movie made me sad, Bruce Dern's character didn't really remind me of my dad but he stirred up a lot of memories of my dad...like watching your strong dad get older, making up his mind to do something when even he knew it wasn't the smartest idea, the nostalgic stories.


Philomena - You won't believe this but...it is based on a true story.  You can read more about it HERE.  It stars Judi Dench and Steven Coogan.  They were both touching at times, funny at times and sweet at times.  It is amazing how thinking and acceptance has changed in the past 50 years when it come to un-married mothers.  Now it seems like so many people have babies and never even think about marriage but 50 years ago, when Philomena was an un-wed, pregnant teen, she was dropped off at a nunnery and her child was given up for adoption.  She has always wanted to find him.  She doesn't know if he even knows she exist.  Steven Coogan, the journalist, comes to care for Philomena - he starts to forget about his article and really wants to help mother and son unite.

Along the way, she finds out things about her son, about his education, his career, his love life, etc.  The ending was a bit of surprise and while I was hoping for something a little different, this was after all, a true story so giving that - I am happy with the ending.


The Wolf of Wall Street- This movie has received a lot of buzz and rightly so.  Now I know you are going to be shocked to find this out but it too, is based on a true story.  Can you believe that? If you don't know the story, you can read about it HERE.  This movie was rated R and for a good reason.  There was lots of sex, lots of nudity, lots of cussing, lots of drugs and I mean lots of drugs !  Did I mention there were lots of drugs?!  Now I am not one to like a lot of cussing in a movie but unlike American Hustle, the cussing really fit these characters.  They were all about excess.

Leonard DiCaprio is one of the best actors today and he really shined in this movie.  I never saw the big deal about why Jonah Hill was so acclaimed (like why was he nominated for Moneyball?) but he was very good in this - a bit over the top but I think the person he played was really over the top.  Leo's character, Jordan, would do anything for a buck.  He started out honest enough but when he realized he could make a lot of money by being a bit unfair to others, he saw an opportunity and took it - it wasn't illegal but it wasn't moral either.  This guy had not morals - yet, you still kind of liked him.  Even though he was kind of a "bad" guy - you rooted for him and liked him.  I can really see why this was nominated for Best Picture.

SUMMARY:

Just a note: of the 9 movies nominated - 6 of them (67%) were based on true stories.

Best Picture:
I would l like to Win: Dallas Buyer's Club
I think will Win: 12 Years A Slave

Best Actor:
I would l like to Win: Matthew McConaughey (followed closely by Bruce Dern)
I think will Win: Matthew McConaughey (although we could see a surprise upset)

Best Actress:
I would l like to Win: Amy Adams (followed closely by Judi Dench)
I think will Win: Cate Blanchett

Best Supporting Actor:
I would l like to Win: Jared Leto
I think will Win: Jared Leto (I will be totally shocked if he does not win this!!)

Best Supporting Actress:
I would l like to Win: Lupito Nyong'o
I think will Win: Lupito Nyong'o

I guess we will find out tonight !
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

February 2014 Movies

Captain Phillips - Oh my goodness - what a great and intense movie.  I am flabbergasted (yes, flabbergasted, I tell you) that Tom Hanks did not get nominated for best actor.  He was so good!  He should have been nominated.  Barkhad Abd was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and rightly so - he was great ! This was based on a true story that occurred in 2009, I remember when it happened.  It was amazing to see their protocol (and the Navy's) and see how they followed them all - incredible TRUE story.

Philomena - What a sweet but kind of sad movie.  It is based on a true story (like Captain Phillips).  It is about an Irish woman who, after 50 years, goes on a journey with a BBC journalist to find her son, who was adopted by an American couple when he was about 3 years old.  It is sad to see the things that some girls had to live through at such a young age (at the hands of stern nuns).  It is also a movie about Christian faith and forgiveness.  In regards to un-wed mothers, times have really changed in 50 years!

Nebraska - Filmed in Black & White and starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte - yes, Will Forte, THAT from SNL! I was surprise to see him in a more serious role but he was great. Beautiful Cinematography and a great story involving a father-son road trip.

Mud - with Matthew McConaughey and up and comer - Tye Sheridan, who not only reminded me of my Godson, but also reminded me of a young Lucas Black (who is an amazing actor).  The movie is about 2 Arkansas teens that live on the river and after hearing a  story that a boat is stuck in  a tree on an island, decide to see if it is true - they find out it is true and that someone is actually living in the boat.  They soon encounter Mud, who lived around the area when he was younger and is now a fugitive hiding out on the island, waiting for his true love (played by Reese Witherspoon) to come for him.  The boys develop a friendship with Mud and try to help him and his true love reunite and escape.  After watching, I got the impression that the writer of this movie (Jeff Nichols, who also directed) had to have been hurt very bad by a woman, because all the women in the movie are displayed as kind of selfish heart-breakers.

The Dictator - starring Sacha Baron Cohen...okay not the typical movie I would watch but my sister found it funny and I didn't think she would like a movie like this so if she liked it, I thought I would give it a try.  It was overall, not what you would say a good movie, but it did have a lot of funny moments and was pretty humorous throughout the movie.  It was as bad as I expected and actually had a story line -I'm glad I watched it.  After watching this, I looked him up on imbd.com and found out he is married to Isla Fisher - I didn't know they were married!

Meatballs - and oldie, I know but I have never seen this movie, which really is surprising since I am a Bill Murray fan - but it always looked kind of like Porky's to me so I never bothered with it.  Now granted I watched the AMC edited version (can you believe they broadcast "Meatballs" on American Movie Classics?).  I liked the story well enough but overall it was just okay.  It made me wonder whatever happened to Chris Makepeace - he was so cute.  He has kind of been MIA from Hollywood for a long time now.

42 - I wanted to see this when it was in theaters but it didn't play very long around here.  Very good movie - based on the true story of Jackie Robinson.  What a trail blazer that Branch Rickey (Dodgers Team Executive) and Jack Robinson were.  I really hand it to him, he really went through some rough times - some scary times even - but he handled it with such grace and maturity.  Wow!  He was a brave man and a great ball player !  The lead role was played by Chadwick Boseman, a very handsome actor who I wasn't familiar with before.  I hope we see more of him.  His wife was played by the beautiful Nicole Beharie, who is now starring on Sleepy Hollow as Abbie.

American Hustle - This movie is about a con man, well played by Christian Bale, who, along with his mistress, played by Amy Adams is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, played by Bradley Cooper. The FBI agent pushes them into a world of Jersey power brokers, politicians and mafia.  More review to come on my "Oscar Movies" post later.

The Wolf of Wall Street - A true story about the Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. Lots of drugs, lots of sex, lots and lots and lots of money.  Great performance by Leonard DiCaprio.

Her -A quirkly but likeable movie that takes place in the future (when in the future, we don't exactly know) - about a lonely personal letter writer, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who develops an unlikely (and oddly accepted) relationship with his computer's artificial intelligence operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

12 Years a Slave - A powerful movie, based on a true story.  It was excellent! The acting was incredible by all.  It was difficult to watch at times but the story was so good and you just kept wondering how the slave was going to get his freedom back. 


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