One thing about the job I have is that I have the opportunities to see movies frequently. I'm off duty from roughly 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and I can choose to do errands, nap, whatever, between my two shifts that run from 6 to 8, a.m. and p.m.
And it's been a GREAT year from movies. I understand that some terrific Christmas Day releases -- I want to see "Joy" and "Concussion" and at least one or two others -- might steal the Academy Award thunder from what are my faves so far, but that just makes it an even better year than I thought.
I've seen "Spotlight," "Brooklyn," and "The Martian" twice each and I rank them in that order.
"Spotlight" stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams and it's about the Boston Globe's expose of the pedophile scandal that rocked the Catholic Church. Much like "All the President's Men," and as a journalism grad, there was a lot I could relate to.
"Brooklyn" is the story of an Irish immigrant played by Saiorse Ronan and it's a coming of age story that focuses on homesickness as it affects a 20-ish Irish lass whose lack of economic opportunity in Ireland drives friends and family to arrange for her to make a life-uprooting journey. I haven't been as impressed by a young actress since Marion Cotillard's award-winning performance in "La Vie en rose." Ronan's amazing. And I've heard her first name pronounced as Sershey (rhymes with hershey) or Shurrsa (rhymes with bursa). I wish I knew the right pronunciation.
Like "Brooklyn," "The Martian" is totally fictional. Completely engrossing, it concerns an astronaut stranded on Mars and having to wait possibly years for a rescue. That's all I need to say, I think. It stars Matt Damon as the strandee. Similar in flavor to Tom Hanks's " Cast Away."
Speaking of Tom Hanks, another good one I saw was "The Bridge of Spies" starring Tom Hanks. Based on a true story that happened during the Cold War. Just not quite as good as the other three in my opinion.
I hear that "Star Wars: Episode 7 -- The Force Awakens" is the best Star Wars ever. My problem is, I skipped episodes 2 through 6. Have I missed too much to revisit the franchise? I'm sure Barbara's not interested in that one, so I'd have to see it alone. I couldn't even get Barbara to see "The Martian." Her loss.