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Regina (virgosun) - 's Bulletin Board Entries

virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - : Movie Recommendation

Nobody (2021, American)

I took a chance on this one. I had no expectations (other than hoping it was a good movie), and it turned out to be one exhilarating wild ride!

This particular husband and father is a quiet, non-confrontational sort much to the disgust of his son and wife when he doesn't defend his family during a robbery. He's stuck in the boring routine of everyday life and rides the bus to his unexciting accounting job at his FIL's business. But something inconsequential makes him snap and revert to his former life he tried so hard to squash that we only learn about when he reaches that point. This event turns the tone of the entire movie.

Sure it's a little over the top (in a good way) and a smidge on the more violent side (there's a lot of hand-to-hand combat), but truly the fight scenes are extraordinary and the acting credible. I even had a few good belly laughs.

Be sure to watch the outtakes and behind-the-scenes clips at the end to give you more insight into the spell-binding action. Sheer entertainment! 4 stars.

 

Entry added on 11/8/2021 2:55 PM
Last edited on 11/8/2021 2:55 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - : Carmelized Banana Ice Cream

Do you ever get bored with the typical ways of using over ripe bananas? You know, the usual banana bread or muffins or cakes (that really just taste like banana bread with frosting). Yeah, me, too.

But the other day I came across a recipe for banana ice cream that wowed me. Not only is it simple, doesn't use eggs (I have nothing against a custard base, but it eliminates an extra step) and still comes out creamy, the bananas are carmelized with brown sugar giving it a lovely brulee-ish flavor. It's guaranteed to have your family coming out from behind closed doors to investigate what that heavenly aroma is wafting about. Love it, love it!

The end result is delicious. Thick and creamy, the flavor is rather similar to the mashed bananas in the old Gerber jars from, like, fifty years ago. It's a refreshing way to use bananas in the summer.

Carmelized Banana Ice Cream

Entry added on 8/8/2021 4:39 PM
Last edited on 8/8/2021 4:41 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - : Late Summer Plum Cake

I do believe I recall mentioning not even a month ago that I get bored baking cakes. Those, however, are of the standard frosting variety. But give me a recipe for a tea cake--you know without frosting or what my roommate calls old people cake--and some in-season fruit and I'm all like heck yeah!

I've actually been sitting on this recipe for plum cake since last summer, but I missed the plums then. This time, I made a special trip for these guys and I could hardly wait for them to further ripen a few extra days, then for the eggs and butter to get to room temp, and who cared if I was trying to cook dinner at the same time, right?

I have to be careful baking with fruit because not everyone here likes chunks in their desserts. I guess it's a texture thing. But that's the beauty of this cake. The plum slices on top bake down into almost a jam-like consistency that's sweet and tart at the same time, which pairs extraordinarily well with the spices of the cake itself. It's deceptively simply but the end result is not only impressive but also delicious with its hints of fall. Now this is my kind of cake!

I'm not the only one who thinks so; just read through the comments for yourself.   And just so you know, it took my 350° oven the full 60-70 minutes to bake. Enjoy!

Entry added on 8/4/2021 7:41 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - : Moist Chocolate Cake

For days now, my roommate has been asking for chocolate. Her favorite is cake, but sometimes I get bored with baking cakes. I'd rather do a pavlova or a mousse or even a cheesecake.

But really, she wasn't having it. And nothing in my current arsenal of cake recipes was singing to me.

And then I found the Best Moist Chocolate Cake. It truly is moist and delicious and better yet, intensely chocolatey especially when I paired it with this Espresso Chocolate Frosting. I halved the recipe to make a dozen cupcakes--I gotta at least make an effort toward portion control--LOL!

I was a bit disappointed that they baked flat; no rounded domed top to speak of.  I've heard that increasing the oven temp to 400° for a slightly lesser time would create that dome. Has anyone tried this technique?

Try making your own. So, so very good.

Entry added on 7/16/2021 1:13 AM
Last edited on 7/16/2021 1:13 AM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - : Homemade Strawberry Cake

I baked a strawberry cake today. I found this recipe online and although it was just a bit more labor intensive than the average cake, I liked that it was of the no box mix, no jello variety. Only fresh strawberries reduced to make a strong concentrate for the batter and crushed freeze-dried strawberries and cream cheese/mascarpone combo for the frosting.

The layer is cooling so I haven't frosted it yet.

Since there's only two of us here, I always halve my baked goods recipes. I'd be in serious trouble healthwise if I didn't. wink Two-layer cakes become one or a double-layer 6-inch cake. Six muffins instead of a full dozen. You get the drift, right? I experiment with other cooks' recipes a lot. If I tried to create something new on my own, I think my head would explode.

When it's finished, perhaps I'll post a pic, too. Maybe you'll try baking one yourself and we can compare notes.

Entry added on 7/10/2021 8:41 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

 

Hello, hello!

Does anyone out there know how to work Pinterest for a small business? PM me if you know how to create eye-catching rich pins, preferably someone who is active on Pinterest. Ideally, I'd love for someone to manage my business account.

 

Entry added on 10/9/2020 10:23 PM
Last edited on 10/9/2020 10:24 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie recommendation:

T-34 (2019, Russian)

Historical movies are right up my alley, but I've never seen anything like this. A WWII action drama that dishes out heart-pumping thrills. Who would've thought that tank warfare could deliver? Wonderfully effective score. Fabulous acting. Really cool special effects. A young and brilliant tank commander and his crew face off with the Germans, once as members of the Red Army and again as German POWs. It's one of those movies I could feel in my gut, and so good I had to see it a second time the next day. I can't rave about it enough. It's my newest top favorite. 5 stars.

9/29/20: A similar movie called Fury stars Brad Pitt and of the two T-34 comes out on top in acting, action, and plot. If you had to choose, pick T-34. It's much more riveting.

 

Entry added on 8/30/2020 3:53 AM
Last edited on 10/29/2020 3:01 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

I'm blogging again!

Girl to Midlife

Entry added on 8/10/2020 4:12 PM
Last edited on 9/21/2020 1:35 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

After more than 12 years of being an active member, I've pulled the plug to my Bookmooch account today.

It's been a good run while it lasted, but I do feel BM is dying a slow death. Being a long-time member has made it a bit hard to let go. I just got tired of the unresolved search issues, the dwindling mooch activity, and mostly, the lack of communication from its owner.

Even though PBS has gone through its own growing pains and made changes I wasn't particularly happy with and have watched long-timers move on, I know I can still count on a responsive team and a thriving reading community eager to swap books and share ideas and concerns.

I've found a nice rhythm swapping here and using my library, especially in these past months.

Entry added on 7/14/2020 12:30 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie Recommendation:

The Nightengale (2019, Australian)

Oh my heavens. This is a powerful, intense portrayal of violence against women and the indigenous peoples in Tasmania in 1825. Humanity can be so very ugly, and as a viewer I could feel the absolute rage and fear of convict Clare, trekker Billy and almost everyone else. Lots of times the film was difficult to watch but still I didn't want to miss a moment of this. Every element was believable; acting, setting, costuming, etc. I was blown away by the sheer hatred of the English for the Blacks and the convicts. Their cruelty knew no bounds.

Be forwarned, this is not a movie for the faint of heart so prepare yourself before going in, and I'd think twice before viewing it in mixed company or even with older teens. You'll see violence, murder, revenge at their most elemental, but you'll also glimpse a reluctant filament of camaraderie over a common goal of survival that's impossible to forget. 4.5 stars.

Entry added on 7/5/2020 3:27 PM
Last edited on 7/5/2020 3:43 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie Recommendation:

The Wedding Plan (2016, Hebrew)

Young, quirky, and slightly abrasive Michal is jilted just prior to her wedding, but she's still determined to keep the wedding date--complete with guests. There's just one small snag: she simply has to find the right groom, someone she can fall in love with and who'll love her back.

Michal, a Bernadette Peters look-alike if there ever was one, solicits the help of the local matchmaker, and I held my breath every time she meets a potential bridegroom. This is not a romantic movie in the traditional sense, but more a showcase of a woman's belief in herself and strength of will even when the odds are against her and most everyone thinks she's nuts. Eventually, her family rallies around her, but come wedding day, everyone feels downright queasy, even me.

Foreign flicks can often be unsatisfying in their unpredictability, however, this movie hit all my pleasure buttons in all the right ways. Even my roommate, who rarely watches movies and never foreign ones, sat down for this one. Recommended at 4 stars.

Entry added on 5/12/2020 2:18 AM
Last edited on 8/30/2020 3:59 AM
Generic Profile avatar
Tracy R.:

Hi there, I'm sorry because I'm sure this isn't how to contact someone but it was the first option I happened on.  I came across this site doing research on how to do a book swap with friends & this seems great. I ended up on your profile from the review you wrote on one of the books I recently finished (Veriety by Colleen Hoover)  I seen you had a book listed that caught my intrest sounded unlike any I have read but catchy The rental heart & other fairy tales.  Like I said I just happened upon this so I'm not yet sure what all I'm to do on here.  I seen in the video that you can connect with others but I didn't see a spot specific for that so I appologize if I have somehow "broken" a rule or anything like that.

Apprciate your time, Thank you,

Tracy

Reply added on 5/15/2020 4:40 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie Recommendation:

Miss Minoes (2001, Dutch)

Part cat movie, part journalistic sleuthing, all around family fun! A cat turns into a young woman (who, by the way, retains her feline characteristics), helps a reporter turn his career around, and together expose the local factory boss's corrupt plans in the process.

It's a bit fantastical (the whole cat/woman transformation) but I got a kick watching this woman act like a cat. She communications with her feline friends who provide her with the news-worthy tips. Minoes straddles both worlds and eventually must decide which world to belong to. It's a clean, family-type movie; very suitable for young audiences (they'll love the cat antics and the very lovely Miss Minoes) while charming adult viewers. And I'm not exactly a cat lover!

Enjoy this entertaining treat. 4 stars.

Entry added on 3/26/2020 3:26 PM
Last edited on 3/26/2020 3:27 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - : I've been getting a lot of my WL'd books from the library lately, especially now since I've discovered the Interlibrary Loan service they provide--for free! It helps save my PBS credits but now I'm struggling a bit to stay on top of my TBR pile.
Entry added on 2/19/2020 11:56 AM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Holiday Movie Recommendation:

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

A feel-good holiday treat that follows Charles Dickens around the time he wrote A Christmas Carol. From writers' block to finally finding inspiration from the friends and strangers he encountered, we see that even his personal life finds its way into the holiday classic. If you are a fan of A Christmas Carol, (personally, I never miss the Patrick Stewart version), you'll truly enjoy the real-life story behind the classic. 4 stars.

Entry added on 11/29/2019 8:31 PM
Last edited on 11/29/2019 8:32 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie Recommendation:

Up For Love (2016, French)

I loved this romantic gem! Diane, a newly single attorney, is unexpectedly charmed by Alexandre, a successful architect. There's just one sticky point. He's only 4'5". Alexandre is fascinating to watch; not because of his small stature (he's not a dwarf), but rather that he has personality larger than life. Sensitive, charismatic, and confident, he aims to win her heart. He certainly won mine. This one's pure magic.

Entry added on 8/11/2019 4:08 AM
Last edited on 8/11/2019 4:09 AM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie Recommendation:

The Revenant (2016)

I didn't know what to expect going in (yet drawn to the star power of DiCapprio as some sort of mountain man), but holy toledo was this a good movie! Just when I thought that Glass couldn't possibly take any more pain and betrayal, he repeatedly clings to survival by sheer force of will. This movie is brutal, gritty, yet beautiful, and an absolute wild ride of a man's quest for revenge. (How on earth does this guy stay alive?) Don't even think about skipping it. 4 stars.

Entry added on 8/4/2019 8:04 PM
Last edited on 12/6/2019 4:59 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie Recommendation:

Unsane (2017)

I wasn't sure that I'd want to invest time watching a woman being kept in a mental facility involuntarily, but Claire Foy impressed me in Wolf Hall (PBS TV series) so I thought I'd take a chance. But this goes further than just being held against one's will; rather what comes to the forefront is being held in a mental facility WITH THE STALKER you've been trying to shake. It's unnerving stuff, even terrifying, and the situation goes from bad to worse quickly. Matt Damon had a surprise role. And for those who'd find this fascinating, I read somewhere that the movie was filmed entirely from an iPhone.

Entry added on 5/18/2019 3:17 PM
Last edited on 5/18/2019 3:17 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - : Top Read Recommendation

Stick a pin in it, bump it to the top of your TBR, dig it up at the library. Just get it read. It's one of my top picks.

A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd

Entry added on 4/15/2019 6:33 PM
Last edited on 4/19/2019 1:51 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

TV Series recommendation:

The Knick - Season 1 (2015)

Binge worthy turn-of-the-century medical drama featuring the drug-addicted head surgeon Dr. Thackeray at the Knickerbocker Hospital in NYC. Bursting with graphic medical procedures and drug usage (and a little sex), this will float the boats of period fans with a penchant for medical advancements.

Entry added on 4/10/2019 7:06 PM
Last edited on 4/10/2019 7:07 PM
virgosun
Regina (virgosun) - :

Movie rental recommendation:

Black '47 (2019)

Despite its grim setting, or maybe even because of it, Black '47 is a gem. It's a period drama unlike others in its class (no flashy costumes, witty repartee, or ballrooms) that relays a horrific though oft-forgotten period in Irish history. That alone glued me to the screen, but the fine acting pushed it over the edge into noteworthiness. (Feeney's character was particularly compelling.) A good number of the cast were seasoned actors that I've seen in plenty of other film and TV productions, so they were fun to pick out. The subject is dark and wrenching, but it's REAL, and I rooted for Feeney every brutal step of the way.

Entry added on 3/26/2019 12:45 PM
Last edited on 3/26/2019 4:14 PM
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