Music Review: Niall Horan – Heartbreak Weather

I must admit I was not a One Direction fan, mainly due to the fact I like my music played and sung by musicians, not simply singers. When my oldest son, Kolin, had me listen to Niall Horan’s debut album Flicker a few years ago, I liked it and gladly accepted his buying it for me. This time around, I bought the album myself. There is not a bad song on this record, though I gravitate to the more moody tracks. Taking nothing away from the danceable grooves on the record, Niall has a way with mining the heart for strings of gold. Bend The Rules, Put A Little Love On Me and Dear Patience are my favorites, but again I like all the songs and can listen to this record repeatedly. Check it out.🌟🌟🌟🌟

Netflix Review: Tiger King Episode 3

Truth be told, I fell asleep for part of this episode. I think this had as much to do with my limited rest habits as it did with the slow pace of this series. They are drawing this story out more than necessary. We finally started to see another side of Carole, though nothing earth shattering. The disappearance of her rich husband stinks as much as the chicken I accidentally left in my trunk a couple weeks ago. Still hanging on for the punchline, but may end up wishing I had rewatched the Sally Field movie instead. 🌟🌟🌟

Netflix Review: Tiger King Episode 2

Things got a bit more interesting to say the least in the episode. Still no cliff hanger making me want to keep watching, but like any good train wreck, I’ll be back for episode 3. The distaste Joe has for Carole is becoming more apparent and he is not the only one. A few more interesting characters were on display. Makes me want to open my own park. Seems like fun. Not so much. The multiple husbands, wives and girlfriends would make Hugh Hefner proud. 🌟🌟

Netflix Review: Tiger King Episode 1

I am not sure what the fuss is all about, but this episode seemed a bit unnecessary other than to introduce the cast of characters. Boy, is it quite a cast. Joe Exotic may well have the least restrictive employment criteria of any company ever. I also use the word company loosely. Ex-convicts need apply, I guess. Well, at least Joe’s heart is in the right place in this regard. Carole Baskin has done nothing to endear herself to me. Seems conniving underneath her fake tears when someone pays her a complement. The episode did not have a cliff hanger, but it was interesting enough that I will watch episode two.🌟🌟

Movie Review: Friends With Benefits

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis play friends who decide to hook up with no emotional strings attached. While this seems to work for them, things continue to get complicated and make the arrangement a bit challenging. Not one for the kids, this was a funny movie and the chemistry of the main characters was quite strong. Woody Harrelson is funny in a supporting role and all things considered, this was 1.5 hours of entertaining fun. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

R.E.M.: Automatic For The People

Named after the slogan of a local restaurant in their native Athens, GA, Automatic For The People was made to order in 1992. Coming in at #2 on my all-time favorite albums list, there is really nothing about this record I do not like. There are several rockers which break up the chill vibes, but this album is fueled by an emotional gasoline which lights a fire in your soul. If you do not have emotional reactions to songs like Everybody Hurts, Nightswimming and Find The River, I am not sure your heart is truly open for business. R.E.M. has a special place in the music pantheon and this record is a crowning achievement.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Lloyd Cole: Music In A Foreign Language

Released in 2003, Music In A Foreign Language is not likely to be at the apex of many of Lloyd Cole’s fans’ favorite albums. That is not the case for me. I have a large music collection and this album has been on the top of the heap since it penetrated my ears. It is an album with a movie buried in its soul. I am not sure Lloyd meant for the songs to tell a story, but this is how I hear them. The album is melancholy and subdued, but therein lie its strengths. The characters slowly etch themselves in your psyche and you wonder what will happen next. The scenes shift from somber to sadness, but the moodiness makes this painting a true work of art. This album is meant to be listened to actively. There are no uptempo tracks, just lilting stories of people living life as best they can. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Movie Review: Full Count

This Netflix film was very good. Part baseball, part farming, all entertaining. Milton has a tough home life and a strong right arm. He dreams of pitching in the big leagues while being trapped on a small farm in Watkinsville, GA. I am not going to give this one away, just watch it! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Movie Review: Adopt A Highway

Ethan Hawke plays a convict fresh out of prison and looking to make it in a world he knows nothing about. He is making it, albeit slowly, but with no family to turn to he is on his own. One night he finds an abandoned baby and his life is altered completely. You feel for his every struggle and hope he comes out fine on the other side of each one. The story is not all that developed and the ending leaves you wanting more, but this was an entertaining and emotionally fueled film. 🌟🌟1/2

Movie Review: The Way Back

The new Ben Affleck film, The Way Back, follows the story of Jack Cunningham, a former basketball standout with some serious issues. He put up points in high school the way he knocks back cold ones whenever he has a free moment. The story gets off to a bit of a slow start, but it does build as Jack is forced to confront his demons on, but mostly off the court. I was entertained and engaged throughout the movie, though I am not sure they screened the movie very well as the ending was less than I’d hoped. Overall, I give it 🌟🌟🌟1/2 as it was entertaining, but the flat ending brings it down a rung.