Big Eyes*

A. Adams as Margaret, and C. Waltz as Walter/image:

 Amy Adams is a very gifted actor with lots of little nuances about her technique which keeps her acting fresh. She can keep the audience invested even if the role she’s playing is somewhat weak, withdrawn, non confrontational, and lacks confidence. And in this movie she articulates this beautifully. She’s hesitant, restrained, and yet, somehow in your face all at the same time and makes this role Oscar worthy. It’s interesting when an actor can pull all this off, while convincing you she’s not acting. 

The Premise…

Margaret Keane's work/image:
Margaret Keane’s work/image:

Centered on Margaret, Adams, a young woman with a daughter that she takes with her, leaves her first husband in the early 50’s something that wasn’t very popular or looked very highly on if the woman was the was the one leaving. So in desperation she moves to San Francisco near her single girlfriend, DeeAnn, Krysten Ritter, for moral support. There she meets a man, Walter Keane, Christoph Waltz who is very chipper and a fast talking fellow artist. And as she seeks to reinvent herself they become fast friends and she begins to gain confidence to pursue her painting talents, by his urging. Then Walter asks her to marry him and begins selling her work, as he tries to sell his own, but the problem is he’s a fly in the ointment and not after her best interests but his own.

With the ubiquitous chauvinistic 50’s women felt pressure to have a man define them. And it’s intriguing to note how wolves know a sheep when they see one and pounce on it, and in this scenario, Margaret is the sheep and her future husband is the wolf. Which is a sad commentary on the 50’s since women were even more burdened down when they were a divorc­ée. So with that the story took off from there.

The Sum Up…

The real Margaret Keane now/image:
The real Margaret Keane now with Amy Adams to the right/image:

It was refreshing knowing that Tim Burton directed this movie and Johnny Depp wasn’t in it. It was unusual to not see special effects and eclectic costumes, which made you forget you were watching a Burton film, and I appreciated his restraint and maturity in his directing style. Keane, Waltz, was somewhat convincing as the fast talking, con man. But this movie was all Adams, she played this role in such a way that all you could think of was, less is definitely more. So my score for this film is, B ~ NOTE WORTHY, see either in theaters or on DVD but see it. The reason I didn’t give it an A is because, Waltz was too over the top and he seemed like he was acting and Tim should have used a different actor to play the single girlfriend, DeeAnn, Ritter was terrible, and thank goodness her scenes where short and few. No Safety Alerts here, but this movie is not for kids under 12. With good directing, and decent writing it’s a go see. This movie is rated PG13.

WPC: Finding The Toilet & Turning On Water

Minimalist ~ This week, show us your minimalist photos.

I went looking for the toilet in the bathroom and this is what I found, I was at my friend’s house and he has a amazing place, so I got my camera phone out and snap a pic of this. It made me laugh and was interesting. I thought it was a trash can, the flusher is the sliver button on the side, and I guess the toilet is something like a trash can…



Calvin's Modern toilet
The toilet found!!!

So the sink was a little easier to identify, but learning how to turn it on was a puzzle!!!!!

Finding running water was strange too.
Finding running water was strange.

As, The Raven, and The Pearl…Are AMAZING!!!

By Heart ~ You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

the pearl
Characters from the short story, The Pearl/image:

The first song that comes to my mind is As, By Stevie Wonder 1976, and the poem that comes to mind is The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe 1845, and the story is the short story by John Steinbeck, called The Pearl 1947. These three classics made me as child catch my breath and effected me deeply. So much so that when I think about them now I get goose bumps. The poem, just seemed so sad, and yet so emotional, and the short story seemed like I was watching a movie as I listened to the teacher in 10th grade English read it. With each, it really shaped my life about what art was, and how important the written word is to the mind and how it affects us as we read or listen to someone sing it. These three, make me happy to be an American because all three are by very gifted American men from very different times.

What’s Really Going On, With American Cinema?

In the last decade or so, I’ve observed that more and more American films with American characters are mostly foreigners playing these roles. Some of the old familiar American faces have all but disappeared into digital movie static and I’m not sure what this is all about? Is it because we don’t have very good American actors available anymore or is American acting not convincing anymore? It’s very puzzling and there is definitely a deficiency in the American acting queue of late.Read More »

Banging On The Bongos

My cousin, grandpa, his girlfriend and their baby, my head is in front of him with the pink ribbon. 1972
My cousin, grandpa, his girlfriend and their baby, my head is in front of him with the pink ribbon. 1972

Daily Prompt: Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

The Bongos is my favorite instrument. It’s such an emotional and visceral sounding instrument it makes me want to sway and snap my fingers now thinking about them. The sound of them brings me happiness I think I love the drums in general, but theirs something about the bongos that gives me chills. I think the reason is as a youth my grandpa would play them for me and always let me play with him. He would sometimes play along with a record or just on his own. He only played by ear, but was exceptional at it. It’s more of a wonderful memory of him I think, and the bongo sound brings all those memories rushing back to me. Although, I must say again the sound they make is lovely.Read More »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected Horse Head


Yesterday was compelling, because I didn’t expect to see anything noteworthy or interesting, as I walked into the doctors lobby with Mormor.   However, I stood by this wonderful looking sculpture in the middle of the lobby.   I thought wow, isn’t this nice, so I popped out my phone and took a few pics.   As I was taking the pics, one of the doctors walked out of his office and said, “you like that thing?”   and I said, “I love it.” he said he hated it as he continued walking past me.   To each his own as they say…

wood horse sculpture crop wood hourse sclupture 2 crop wood horse 3Shazza ~ Musings&Rants

Star Trek, Into Darkness (no spoilers)

chris pine star trek

Chris Pine/photo: 

Ok so I went to see this movie and I must say it was very well done. All the acting was better than good and it had lot’s of action. Special effects, awesome, and this villain was better than the first installment villain, of the J.J. Abrams production. star_trek_into_darkness_by_greenteaduck-d5nx0wg

Look baby Star Trek crew, and villian, cute and hilarious, all at once!!!/photo:

But I might be biased here, because I do love Benedict Cumberbatch. Ok, the writing was very clever, even though some of the story was predictable. All the way around, I grade this one A+. Kids 9 and up can see this one, very clean for the rating, although there is some language. Oh and I must say, Chris Pine’s eyes were super sparkly, in some scenes they were almost blinding me!!!! 🙂 Shazza ~   Musings&Rants

Norman Rockwell @ Crocker Art Museum

Cover of Saturday Evening Post 06-04-1921
Cover of Saturday Evening Post 06-04-1921

DSCN3160So my daughter and I went to the museum to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. It was lovely, and very crowded because today was the second to the last day to see this before it moved on to a different city. I was fortunate enough to see it in my life time, seeing all the magazine prints he did from the Saturday Evening Post.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t take pics inside the show because of copyright issues, so the only pic I got was outside in front of the museum. There were people at the museum that drove in from Los Angeles, CA., which is about 8 hours south of Sacramento, CA., because the exhibit wasn’t going to southern CA, which is kinda sad. I got in right under the wire because the exhibit ends tomorrow. What a lovely piece of Americana I saw today. I’m glad I went. Shazza ~ Musings&Rants

Borrowed picture, from
Borrowed picture, from

Weekly Photo Challenge Beyond: Deer beyond the wheat grass

Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA.

So my daughter took this pic at the nature center in Sacramento, of some crescent wheat grass, this is a lovely place where wild deer just pass you by with no fear. In the background of this pic, 2 deer grazing as we walked by. It’s kind of like a hidden picture. It was amazing we almost bumped into these animals they were so close. Here’s another pic just to show how easy-going they were. Here’s a link to the nature center which is in the middle of the city. Shazza ~ Musings&Rants


Deer at the Effie Yeaw Nature Walk
Deer at the Effie Yeaw Nature Walk