books, movies

Girl in the Spider’s Web (film)

I liked the book — The Girl in the Spider’s Web — and finally got around to watching the 2018 film version.


It stars Claire Foy in the role of Lisbeth Salander and follows Salander as she battles against a mysterious notorious organization, the Spiders, who seek world dominance. …

box-office bomb, … mixed reviews from critics, although Foy’s performance was praised.

Lisbeth Salander is one of the great characters of modern fiction. She’s been played by Noomi Rapace, Rooney Mara, and Claire Foy. All 3 superb, in different ways.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – Which Actress Is the Best Lisbeth Salander: Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, or Noomi Rapace?

books, movies

Queen’s Gambit

You don’t need to like nor know anything about Chess to enjoy this TV series.

It’s 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

On October 28, 2020, the series became the most watched series of the day on Netflix.

The Queen’s Gambit is an American drama television miniseries based on Walter Tevis‘s 1983 novel of the same name.

… a fictional story that follows the life of an orphan chess prodigy named Beth Harmon from the age of eight to twenty-two during her quest to become the world’s greatest chess player while struggling with emotional issues, with drug and alcohol dependency. The story begins in the mid-1950s and proceeds into the 1960s …

All the acting is good.

I probably enjoyed Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny Watts best.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, movies

The Third Twin by Ken Follett

Having read all his historical fiction, I’m now moving on to Ken Follett’s other books.

This one is excellent.

The Third Twin (1996) deals with genetic engineering and the nature and nurture debate through the subject of identical twins raised apart.

Jeannie FerramiPsy.D., is an associate professor and criminality researcher.

She falls in love with law student Steven Logan.

Problem is — Steven is charged with rape. And DNA confirms he did it.

Or did he?

A 1997 television film based on the book starred Kelly McGillis as Doctor Jean Ferrami and Jason Gedrick as Steve. I haven’t seen it.

books, government, internet, movies

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist and author. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair. …

His reporting is credited with helping to lead the United States Federal Aviation Administration to overturn their longtime ban on using cell phones, Kindles and iPads on airplanes. …

Bilton’s most recent book, American Kingpin, tells the story of the Silk Road marketplace, its founder Ross Ulbricht (who went by “Dread Pirate Roberts“), and how U.S. law enforcement arrested him.

…  In June 2017, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the Coen brothers and Steven Zaillian were adapting the book into a movie.

books, movies

Wow – ‘My Octopus Teacher’

My Octopus Teacher is a 2020 Netflix Original documentary film …

It stars Craig Foster … captures a year Foster spent with a wild common octopus. …

Cinematography was by underwater cameraman Roger Horrocks.

I was blown away by the book The Soul of the Octopus by Sy Montgomery.

How and why are octopus so intelligent?

This film explains it.  Their life is incredibly challenging. 

Everyone loves it. Took 10 years to make.

It’s one of my favourite documentaries all time. A must watch.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Tentacles of love: My octopus teacher, a story of an astonishing friendship

movies, uncategorized

Sherlock Holmes’ sister Enola

Enola Holmes is a 2020 film based on the first book in the series of the same name by Nancy Springer.

The story is about the teenage sister of the already-famous Sherlock Holmes, who goes to London in search of her mother who has disappeared. …

Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes, the youngest sibling in the famous Holmes family. Extremely intelligent, observant and insightful, she defies the social norms for women of the era. Under her mother’s tutelage, she has learned everything from chess to jujitsu, and is extensively well read. …

Not a great movie, I’d say.

Kids will like it.

Henry Cavill must be the most boring Sherlock ever.

The plot the least Holmsian ever. Instead of finding her missing mother, she simply turns up.

But Millie is excellent as Eleven in Stranger Things. And she’s excellent here.

She made the film worth watching.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, ethics, internet, movies

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road.

Rocco recommended this book.

Sometimes the truth is more unbelievable than fiction.

Ross Ulbricht (born March 27, 1984) is an American convict best known for creating and operating the darknet market website Silk Road from 2011 until his arrest in 2013. …

Ulbricht’s online pseudonym was “Dread Pirate Roberts” …

In May 2015, he was sentenced to a double life sentence plus forty years without the possibility of parole.

Silk Road used Tor and bitcoin.

In March 2013, the site had 10,000 products for sale by vendors, 70% of which were drugs.

Ulbricht was charged with money laundering, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Ulbricht had paid $730,000 in murder-for-hire deals targeting at least five people, allegedly because they threatened to reveal Ulbricht’s Silk Road enterprise.

It’s possible that none were actually killed. Ulbricht might have been scammed for that money.

People died using Silk Road drugs.

Ulbricht justified his crimes with a B.S. personal philosophy that he was doing more good for the world than bad.  He wasn’t.

There are still more questions than answers about Silk Road.

Deep Web is a 2015 documentary film chronicling the events.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Google, movies, music, TV

I’m trying YouTube Premium

CAD $12 / month if I continue after the first free month.

💛  No ads  💛 

I’m tempted.  I hate YouTube ads, particularly the ones mid-video.

Subscription includes a short list of YouTube Original shows and movies.

In fact, I tried the service to watch the Gymnastics series Defying Gravity.

Better is YouTube Music.

I downloaded the YouTube Music app for my iPhone, as well.  I can play almost anything with or without video.  Offline if I download.

It does NOT include YouTube TV.   That’s OK as it’s only available in the USA and costs $64.99/mo. 

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Darkest Hour (2017 film)

Darkest Hour, set May 1940, stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill and is an account of his early days as prime minister during the Second World War. …

At the 71st British Academy Film Awards it received nine nominations including Best Film and Outstanding British Film.

Oldman won for Best Actor.

Oldman’s performance is exceptional.  Worth watching.

But I found the film too slow.  In real life, Churchill was more entertaining than that.




books, movies

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

One film that stuck with me over all these decades is The Shining. (1980)

Whatever happened to Jack’s wife and son?

The Shining (1977) was King’s 3rd book and first best seller.

Doctor Sleep is a 2013 horror novel by Stephen King and the sequel

Following the events of The Shining, after receiving a settlement from the owners of the Overlook Hotel, Danny Torrance remains psychologically traumatized as his mother Wendy slowly recovers from her injuries. …

In this book, Doctor Sleep is the son, age-30, of Jack Nicholson in the original movie.

We finally learn how Shining works. 

Like most King books, this one is long and detailed.  Though I don’t like horror, I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

I’ll probably watch the movie (2019), as well.