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Ok, I admit it. I’m a movie junkie. There’s very little that I don’t like when it comes to films. I wish I could watch horror flicks, but the chicken-factor in me is off the chart in a darkened room. Out in the light or in real life, not so much. In real-time, it takes a lot to shake me up. This means I miss out on a lot of good stuff. Years after Jaws came out, I got up the courage to watch it and loved its humor. But I’ve strayed a bit. Back to the 3 day event.

Monday, The Mountain Between Us. Hadn’t planned to see this flick but went with a group of once-a-week movie buddies, and so glad I did. Some would say it was another bi-racial hook-up thing, but I didn’t get that anywhere in the story. Excellent script and screenplay. Superb and subtle acting. Magnificent scenic views of the remote majesty of winter-clad mountains in contrast to a profoundly intimate struggle for survival. This was a study in interior and exterior battles—two gifted people who are forced to change everything they thought they knew about themselves, to endure in the face of impossible odds. This film was so much more that I expected, and it has a wonderful dog!

Tuesday, Blade Runner 2049. Who hasn’t seen the original? Hold up your hands, I mean, hand. (I loved the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick) There is no way to NOT contrast the former movie from this one. This version is more atmospheric, more artsy and stylish, but there is none of the personal investment in the story. I didn’t connect with anyone, nothing like the first one with its eerie tension and fear for the fate of the original Rachel. This second version has gorgeous art production and lighting but lacks  momentum. The slow pacing allows time to enjoy the brilliant artistry but gets a bit too slow in too many spots. The only character I could connect with was the police captain, Joshi, (Robin Wright), who balances her career, professional intentions, and an inappropriate attraction for her Blade Runner. Sykvia Hoeks “Luv” was scary but not as terrifying as Rutger Hauer’s relentless desperation to live. But in this one, the seasoned actor in Ford expressed volumes when he simply and brilliantly said, “Her eyes were green.” The unfortunate sountrack was repetitive, distracting and too loud in spots. Finally, certain aspects of the story were unnecessarily obscure and the ending unsatisfying.

Wednesday, Victoria & Abdul. We automatically expect fine acting in Brit films that are perfectly casted like this one is. No need to go there. Production-wise, the weird contrasts of the austerity and abundance of the Victorian/Edwardian eras are bluntly typified, especially the nasty racial-verses-aristocratic attitudes. Edward, eventual king, was accurately portrayed as the sleaze he was, absolutely no tribute to his amazing parents. Some have labeled this as another Mrs. Brown romance, but I didn’t see that. Victoria uses Abdul to uplift her loneliness, revive her flagging spirits, but she views him as a son. What mother wouldn’t with a schlub like Bertie for a first-born.

Ergo, my first pick would be The Mountain Between Us. Second comes Victoria & Abdul, and third, Blade Runner, which is really kind of sad since I’d had such hopes for it.

Feebies on Kindle:

Prophecy Denied (free 10-22 thru 10-24) Book One of the Seasons of Time fantasy:


The Rake and the Bishop’s Daughter (free 10-24 thru 10-28) historical regency


Newest Julia Donner release on November 1st, Avenue to Heaven, first book in the Westward Bound series about adventurous women heading west to realize their dreams. On pre-sale now:


M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)

Follow on Twitter @RigdonML

Blog: https://historyfanforever.wordpress.com/

Website http://www.MLRigdon.com