Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Bill's 2015 Top Ten Lists - The Number 3's

The missus and I had a very nice day today. I chatted with my brother and then my dad, always nice. Then, just as it started to rain a bit, Jo and I went out, braved the weather and the traffic and hit a few stores, looking for a few last minute Xmas items. It's always nice to get out a bit. The puppies were definitely happy to see us when we got home.

So, while Jo cooks a roast pork for dinner, I'm going to take the time to put down my Number 3 selections for my 2015 Top Ten Lists.


3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (Fic) - Over the past few years, I've made fits and starts at watching this movie. It comes on fairly regularly on TCM, but I always manage to just catch the odd bits. Mrs. Danvers, one of the main characters, is regularly listed as one of the top literary villains. Jo has told me about the movie a few times, so I finally decided to get a copy of the book and take a chance on it. I'm so glad I finally did. What a fantastic story. Here is my review -

"Wow! I cannot believe it's taken this long for me to pick up this book and read it. I had read The House on the Strand a few times and enjoyed, but for some reason, I've never read anything else by du Maurier, maybe some misguided feeling that it was 'chicklit'. I'm glad that I've started exploring more and more classic and modern classic fiction. This was a fascinating story, well-crafted, intelligently written and a page turner.

At first I was irritated by the new Mrs. de Winter, her naivety and innocence, but as I read more, her character made more sense; a young woman with little life experience and low self-esteem. Marrying the older Maxim de Winter, an experienced but damaged and withdrawn individual didn't help her attitude, even with how much she loved him. Being placed in a strange, almost other worldly situation as the new mistress of de Winter's estate of Manderley, which had been run masterfully by his first wife, Rebecca, added to her discomfort.

Throw into the mix, the house keeper, the creepy Mrs. Danvers, who seems to resent the new lady of the manor and you've got a tense, fascinating situation. The story builds and builds (I won't spoiler this for anyone who hasn't read before... even though I think I'm probably one of the few who hasn't) and draws you in. Such an excellent story. I've discussed with the missus as I've progressed and now will have to sit down with her and watch the movie version."


3. Love is a Drug by Marcus Feehily - Marcus Feehily is an Irish singer, once one of the lead singers of the band Westlife. His solo album, Fire, was released in Oct 2015. In Apr, he released his first single, Love is a Drug. It reached Number 56 in the UK. I think it's better than that. You can judge. It's dramatic, orchestral and his voice suits the song perfectly.


3. Game of Thrones (Series 5) - This has been one of Jo and my favourite series since we started watching Season 1. I've enjoyed every book so far and anxiously await the next one. Season 5 adapts material from the 4th and 5th books and from what I remember, even somewhat beyond. It's always bigger than life, filled with action, multitudes of characters to follow and just awe-inspiring with the scope and style. Season 6 starts in April and may include materiel from the still to be released next book. At any rate, I can't wait. It's such a great series, with a talented cast of actors, who may or may not lose their lives at any point in the series.


3. Kingsman - Kingsman is an action-filled adventure, directed by Matthew Vaughn and released late 2014 / early 2015. It stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Mark Strong, amongst others. It's based on a comic book series, The Secret Service. Colin Firth is one of the last Kingsmen and has recruited Taron Egerton, as a new Kingsman. It's an action-packed, non-stop thrilling joyride. The violence is comic book style but can be gritty. But if you want an entertaining, funny and action, this is an excellent movie.


3. Scarlett Johansson - Johansson seems to be one of the hottest actresses these days and the more movies I see with her in them, the more I like her. She has definitely found a nice little niche in the action movie genre, playing the Black Widow in the Marvel series of movies and also in my Number 5 movie choice, Lucy. But she doesn't limit herself to those, playing the voice Samantha in Her and Molly in Chef. Upcoming in 2016, is a Coen brothers comedy, the voice of Kaa in a remake of The Jungle Book, another Marvel adventure and another animated feature, Sing. The lady is keeping herself very busy.


3. David Tennant - David Tennant is a Scottish actor, who I remember first as the Tenth Doctor in the Doctor Who series and an excellent Doctor he was. Since then I've enjoyed him in so many movies and series. He starred in Broadchurch, a British crime drama, and the American version, Gracepoint and also as a lawyer in the thriller, The Escape Artist and was the narrator in the excellent BBC comedy, W1A. Most recently, he's got my interest in the excellent Netflix series, Jessica Jones, another Marvel Universe effort, where he plays scary villain, Kilgrave. Also this year, we enjoyed him so very much in the British comedy movie, What We Did on Our Holiday, a super movie. Checking his resume further, you can find that he also finds time to act in the Royal Shakespeare company; definitely a talented, versatile actor.

So there you go, the Number 3's finished, just in time for dinner, and it smells so good. Tomorrow, we move on to the Number 2 selections. Take care!

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