The Accountant is not a sequel to anything.
This is awesome news. It’s a fresh independent movie starring Ben Affleck, Anna
Kendrick, John Lithgow, and J.K. Simmons. All of these actors are spot on in
Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a math savant who’s a small
town accountant. But behind the scenes, he’s fully armed and dangerous. Video
shows him meeting with “bad guys” – he’s the accountant to terrorist stars and
J.K. Simmons, a Treasury Department agent about to retire is ready for his last
big hurrah. He’s going to catch this guy, get his list, and take them all down.
Meanwhile Christian is called into a robotics company run by John Lithgow
(always good at being earnest sleazy) . Anna Kendrick was the little whistle
blower – saying something wasn’t quite right with the books. (and she’s
very relatable as a “real” employee who’s a bit of a nerd herself)
Lots of math is discussed. Christian, in record time,
locates a problem. Anna wonders “Who is this guy?” when she discovers all of
his guns and his art work (he has a Jackson Pollock on a ceiling). The cat and
mouse game is amusing to watch – Affleck, Simmons, and Lithgow.
You have to suspend some belief and just go with the flow in
this film. I’m not going to explain more, and indeed the film can be a tad
talkie. But the premise is intriguing and Affleck pulls off a unique character.
He’s managed to learn to work in the real world, and yet he has to keep his own
boundaries to make that work.
The Accountant has action, intrigue, and
math. Somehow they all add up to a worthy flick for adults.
Daniel Silva’s The Black Widow is one of the
best, I think, in his Gabriel Allon series. From start to finish it will keep
you turning pages and also marveling at the author’s skill in capturing our
dangerous world today. It’s almost ripped from the headlines authentic or will
be soon. Silva definitely does his research and must talk to folks in high
places. Very impressive.
Gabriel Allon is an art restorer by trade, but also a
legendary spy for “The Office”, Israel’s premier group. As Allon is about to
become the new chief, he’s back into the field for an operation. ISIS detonated
a bomb in Paris, and one man’s name keeps appearing – Saladin. How to find him?
How to get into the network? Gabriel taps an extraordinary woman – a doctor, a
Jew, and a woman willing to take the risk to don the clothes and persona of a
“black widow” – females willing to work for the caliphate, willing to die for
As the mission crosses borders into dangerous territory,
Natalie must maintain her poise and conviction to fool Saladin and lead Allon
and crew to a fateful night. This is tick-tock watch the clock on your bomb
vest nerves on edge writing. Forget your nightly news. Delve into The Black
Widow as an alternative. The world is scary. We have to root and
support the good guys. Enjoy a gutsy read.
I have been remiss in helping the MS Society but Saturday reminded me why I should.
I have a male friend from college who has MS - he's now in a wheelchair, living with his folks, and not doing awesome in PA
Saturday was a symposium at UT Southwestern Dallas - impressive facility. The Neurotherapeutic folks were out in force - gathering literature and information. I chatted with doctors, nurses, physical assistants, therapists, etc. - all folks interested in helping others.
The energy level was high and I felt that these folks would read the literature I handed them and use the information to help those affected with this disease. There is not a cure YET, but research and medicine keep gaining ground.
Picture is courtesy of my sister-in-law. Story courtesy of me
So, Thursday a week ago I found myself with my father (age 85) on his walker and his older sister (age 90) on a walker as they toodle down the sidewalk of her 100 year old home. She is moving into a "home - yes assisted living", but has not cut the ties completely. I have the list in hand of items she desires (i.e. - afghan, black skirt, sweaters, scarfs,etc)
We manage to negotiate her impossibly steep steps and plop my dad on a kitchen chair. "Stay there."
She's slowly gathering things and then we actually go upstairs. OMG. I'm making a pile, advising her on items, and ultimately commandeering the seniors. We do get out alive and back to the senior "home" without anyone falling.
Success on my watch
Meanwhile, Friday - Ray heads to work in the rain, manages to crack his head on a roll-up door, and is (in my opinion) concussed. Can I not leave without an incident?
I'm back in TX to worry afar for my senior father and aunt. Meanwhile, I'm keeping an eye on Ray
who knew such a cool place existed? I did not. I was up in PA visiting my Dad this past weekend.
Coincidentally, a friend from Texas was up in Philly also for some sightseeing. She found stuff I never heard of and so I'm mooching off of her with these pictures.
Sculpture, mosaics, modern art - a feast for the eyes. Just don't touch.
I love October. It's my birthday month (official date October 8), it's generally cooler in Texas, and there's just a crispness to the air and my attitude. I will have spent this past weekend in PA visiting my Dad and family, and catching up with old friends. (Yes, I've known them since junior high and we are getting old(er) )
Last weekend I visited our local nursery and bought these pumpkins for my fall tablescape. Bright and cheery oranges and yellow pop - a treat for the eye.
So, happy October and Monday. Back to work for me.
He did his job. That’s how Captain Chesley “Sully”
Sullenberger explained his actions when he landed US Airways 1594 in the Hudson
on a January 15th. Tom Hanks is the perfect actor to play
Sully – just a straight arrow hard working man with a superb reputation after
forty years of flying planes. Sully, the movie, brings his story
to the big screen and while you think you know what happened, you’ll still hold
on tight as he says “This is your captain. Prepare for impact.”
It was a clear cold day in New York. Snow on the ground, but
blue skies for a routine flight to Charlotte. Sully and his second in command
(played by the stalwart Aaron Eckhart) board the plane, do the usual checklist,
and take off. Then “Birds!” – a whole flock appear and strike the engines.
Suddenly it’s not a routine day. Engines are out, power is out and the two
experienced pilots remain calm and go into save mode. The flight attendants
reassure passengers as they too wonder what’s happening. Keep your seat belts
fastened and ultimately brace for impact. Sully turns on auxiliary power. He
contacts the tower with a Mayday and considers his options – return to La
Guardia? Aim for Newark? Go to Teetleboro NJ? Swift decisions and
calculations make those impossible. Sully is headed to the Hudson for a water
landing. And he lands and New York water taxis, police responders, etc all
converge to rescue 155 souls. No one dies, no one is lost. They are cold, wet,
scared, and grateful for a coolheaded captain. Wow
The movie goes back and forth between what occurred and the
investigation into the landing. Simulations show he should have gone to the
airports. But….what about the human calculation? All the engineers and
algorithms in the world cannot account for the human factor. Sully, in his 208
seconds, made the right decision. He did his job. And Clint Eastwood does his
job as a director to bring this amazing story to life. The acting is superb,
the film is tight, and you’ll want to applaud at the end. Sully – a
captain to salute.
Who knew? From 1854 to 1929 trains ran from the East
Coast to the Midwest with orphan kids. They were sent out to be adopted by
farming families. In theory it was the “Christian” thing to do. But stories
vary - some kids were chosen by kind folks and others were adopted to be
“slaves”. The author, Christina Baker Kline, of Orphan Train did
research and created her story from her discoveries. This is an excellent
read. Well written and thought provoking, I was very interested in her
characters and tale.
In current times, a high school student in trouble,
Molly, needs a community service project. She is paired with an elderly widow,
Vivian, to help clean out her attic. In sorting out keepsakes, a story
comes to life. Vivian, as she’s known now, was an Irish immigrant to New York
City and was ultimately sent on the orphan train to a new home. Her red hair
and age made her undesirable and she survived several horrible transitions
before finally being adopted by a nice storekeeper. Now she lives in Maine in a
lovely home, seemingly from money.
Molly is a Penobscot Indian who’s been in and out of foster
homes. She assumes Vivian was born to wealth. There are a lot of assumptions
and the truth in this small Maine town is discovered by both Vivian and Molly.
I liked the give and take in this book. Each chapter opens more
doors into Vivian’s story and Molly’s realization. The lesson to be
learned is the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Molly and
Vivian gain strength from each other and you root for them both for a
Orphan Train is truly a decent read
passed on from a friend. Big thumbs up
The Good Place is hilarious television. It’s
now on Thursday nights on NBC – thirty minutes of clever dialogue, excellent
acting, and super premise. Get caught up and watch it NOW!!!
So, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) finds herself in a new
neighborhood in heaven that’s run by Michael (Ted Danson). Supposedly she was
an awesome person on earth. But alas, same name, different story. She knows she
was “bad” and does not deserve to be there. Totally funny!!!!!
And now her actions seem to be affecting this little piece
of heaven. Her “soul mate”, and ethics professor (played perfectly by
William Jackson Harper) has a goal to get her up to snuff, keep the secret, and
attempt to not be appalled by her actions.
This is an awesome premise with hysterical writing, great
acting, and an all-around good vibe. I love the flashbacks that show
Eleanor being rude and crude. Now in heaven, she does reflect on these scenes
and we can see her try to re-write her story. The Good Place is just a fun sitcom with
plenty of material to work with. Please watch. Pray for your souls, and
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.