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  • Kitchen confidential : adventures in the… by Bourdain, Anthony.
    ★★★★☆

    Heartbreakingly funny, frustrating and sad. No matter how crazy you think restaurant life is, you are wrong. Travel with Mr. Bourdain through kitchens at your own risk: danger, drugs, long hours, high pressure, bad health, low pay and high pay. What’s not to like? Although scathingly honest about his failures, his successes are wildly entertaining. He also describes the inner workings of restaurants, what not to order and what to beware of. Spoiler alert: The ruined once-in-a-lifetime interview due to bad hearing of “me” and not “meat.”  Rating: Hysterical.

    Reviewed by Robert S on Dec 13, 2019

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  • Haben : the Deafblind woman who conquered… by Girma, Haben,
    ★★★★★

    Haben's story is immediately gets us enthralled in her Ethiopian Eritrean historical roots, her family's viewpoint as immigrants, and how that and her disability shaped her determination from her youngest age. As she walks us through her unique life; we discover a woman who has left no stone un-turned when deciding how to best craft her skillset, to be a kind, productive, un-inhibited woman that she wanted to be. Breaking the taboo and being willing to talk about womans issues in a mainstream memoire is hugely impactful. Letting us know how she used braille from a young age, how she had advocates for her education, how she learned to dance Salsa well because she was taught by a blind dance instructor this is a jam-packed guide book of 'what to do when' for anyone dealing with similar issues. Cane usage, guide dog walking, and also volunteering in other countries are all things she did growing up. Her education was relentlessly pursued; it is not surprising that a deaf blind person could finish law school. This is a vibrant story that absolutely needs to be heard by typical people and those on a spectrum of disability. My favorite part is when she tells a tampon story without shame and shows women how we need to carry ourselves with this pride. The pride that everything a man can do; I can do bleeding. (Not even to get into the deaf and blindness aspects) It's such a strong message. Teamwork = Achievement.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 5, 2019

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  • Silver linings playbook
    ★★★★★

    Here is a Philadelphia born and raised Football comedy (as opposed to Romantic Comedy) starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro (as Patriotic Eagles Dad extrordinare) in roles that feel well, entirely natural. It's as if they were just waiting to fill these roles their whole lives and now the rest of the world can know what Philly people are really like. Seperately, 'Brad' and "Jenn" aren't manifesting a whole lot in the way of their personal destiny but with a little Teamwork and creepy devotion to eachother (and the Eagles) they are able to unite their families/destinys, which helps them to discover their own respective silver linings. 

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 5, 2019

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  • Bowfinger
    ★★★☆☆

    I had high hopes for this Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy comedy by Universal Pictures but the entire two opening scenes feel contrived and slap stick. It's kind of a Hollywood junkies movie not worldly at all. It is funny and Robert Downey Junior is in it but he's better in Wonder Boys.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 5, 2019

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  • First knight
    ★★★★★

    Sean Connery is King Arthur and nothing is going wrong in his kingdom other than minor fracas until Richard Gere shows up as lancelot and wins the heart of (Mideval soccer playing) Julia Ormond as Gwynevere by being the only knight to ever run the gauntlet successfully straight thru on a first try. At some point, Julia and Richard are fleeing the enemy and their horse is thirsty and they stop to drink rainwater from a banyan tree and it's very romantic the middle ages can't possibly have gone down like that but it's the kindness and the human connection that speak to one's heart and that is portrayed here. They all love eachother madly and instead of being torn apart by it they all keep their dignity in the end; they are all on Arthurs' side.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 5, 2019

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  • The Mask of Zorro
    ★★★★★

    This is the best of the Zorro movies. Antonio Banderas. Catherine Zeta-Jones during the dance scene. Anthony Hopkins as a Master swordsman. Forget about all the other versions. This is the only one you should be watching. If you don't love sword fighting yet you will after this.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 5, 2019

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