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The Heart Guy

In this Australian TV comedy series, a surgeon who likes his single life (and nightlife) a bit too much is about to lose his medical license unless he cleans up his act and is offered one chance. He has to go back to his home town and be a GP.

I enjoy The Heart Guy because deep down I think Rodger is a good guy and has to come to the rescue every episode (like most of the doctor shows) and save the day. He has a quirky kind of family, which provide some of the humor. He is gradually starting to like his boss, and vice versa (reminds me a little of Doc Martin).

Check out season one on Hoopla—I think it's worth a shot.



The Chosen

I recently watched the DVD of the first season of The Chosen and it's the best show I've seen in years. It's a TV series about Jesus. While a lot is fictional stuff written in, there is a large amount of scripture here and they do an excellent job of weaving it in so that it all ties together to make a terrific story. I hope everyone has an opportunity to take home this DVD and binge watch The Chosen. 



Mark Twain

Another fine Ken Burns documentary provides a fascinating look at Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens I thought it was amusing how he got his name from the men aboard those Mississippi river boats who would stick rods into the water marking the depth and yelling "mark twain" so the boat would not get stuck in the shallow. Unfortunately, his life had so many more turns for the worse. I never knew.

His Adventures of Huck Finn will stand forever as one of the true great stories in American literature. Like all of Ken Burns' documentaries, it's loaded with wonderful pictures and stories from historians and literary people, and I recommend Mark Twain (2001).

Watch Mark Twain on Hoopla today.



The Founder

The main reason I think The Founder (2016, rated PG-13) is a good movie is because of the spirited discussion it generated between my coworkers and me. There was no debate about Michael Keaton's terrific performance of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's.

My mistake was assuming Kroc was obviously a bad person for what he did. A debate quickly began as to whether or not in the world of business, was Kroc wrong at all or a genius entrepreneur? After all, "It's not personal Sonny, it's strictly business."

I highly recommend you watch this movie and decide for yourself. Check it out on Hoopla today.

Tracy also liked this film. Check out Tracy's review here



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The Courier

The Courier was a very good movie and was based on true events. It reminded me of Bridge of Spies. For those who like Spy movies you will like this one about the cold war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. What a dangerous business to get into. It was interesting that the main character was just a regular businessman who was talked into this by his government but wound up getting involved way over his head. It's worth seeing.




The Father

The Father (Rated PG-13) is a terrific movie worthy of an Oscar. The acting by Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman are fabulous. It is a serious drama on a difficult subject, dementia. I could not help but feel for all those adult children out there who are making the sacrifices to be full-time caregiver for a parent going through this. One outstanding thing about this movie is that it allows you to see this through the eyes of the person with dementia (Hopkins). I was confused which scene was the truth and which was the illusion, because they all seemed real.

Available for check out in both DVD and Blu-Ray.



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Doc Martin

This is a terrific TV show. While some of the characters can seem a bit corny (like the town police officer who reminds me of Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show), the humor is mixed with drama as Doc Martin has to save the day when medical emergencies occur every show.

Also compelling is the on and off relationship between Doctor Ellingham and his sweetheart Louisa (Caroline Catz).But what I like best is where they live: every show takes place in a beautiful seaside English port where each day is sunny and gorgeous. I think it's is worth watching for the scenery alone.

Watch all nine seasons of Doc Martin (2004-) on Hoopla today. Start with season 1



Detectorists

This is one of my favorite TV shows. They make the boring lives of ordinary people seem funny. I think I would fit in well with this group. While Andy and Lance are the primary characters, I think it's the supporting players that steal the show. From the other members of their detectorist club to the guys in their rival club, I find myself laughing and hoping Lance and Andy will find the treasure that keeps escaping them.

I highly recommend Detectorists (2014-2017). It should be watched from the beginning. Check out season 1 on Hoopla today! 



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Good Will Hunting

This terrific movie features the great pair Matt Damon and Robin Williams. Good Will Hunting (1997, rated R) has drama, comedy, romance—everything anyone would want. I sure wish I had a math brain like Will (Matt Damon); I would not be cleaning floors. It's cool how Will and his doctor (Robin Williams) end up helping each other but only after each can open up to the other.

I'm sure there were other important themes going on in this film however I must admit it's over my head. But I was drawn into this story nonetheless and I was pulling for Will to find happiness (and a better job).

Watch the film that garnered two Oscars: Robin Williams (best supporting actor) and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (best original screenplay). Check out Good Will Hunting on Hoopla today.



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The Roosevelts

I thought the PBS documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014, rated TV-14), was a fascinating look at this family and the personal struggles each had and how they triumphed despite great adversity.

I never knew how influential Theodore Roosevelt was regarding the national parks or how popular he was. It made me wonder how different world events and outcomes might have been had he had a third or fourth term like FDR? Would World War I have gone any differently and if so, how would the Treaty of Versailles have gone, or the subsequent rise of Hitler and the Nazi party? Look what happened after that.

Check out this miniseries from Ken Burns on Hoopla today.



Yesterday

For anyone out there who is a Beatles fan, is it even possible to not enjoy watching the movie, Yesterday (2019, rated PG-13)? It's jam packed with one great tune after another, with some of the best pop music ever written. In fact, there's even a deleted scene with George Harrison's "Something" that should have been included in the movie. The scenes that could have been created around all the fabulous music from The Beatles is probably endless and the movie would be five hours long.

And for the younger generation of music listeners, I hope they will also enjoy this romance/comedy and appreciate some of the music these four guys from Liverpool, England, brought to the world.

Listen to the soundtrack on Hoopla and check out the movie.

Jennifer is also a fan. Read her review.


Songs for the Saints by Kenny Chesney

I enjoyed Kenny Chesney's album Songs for the Saints (2018). My favorite song was "Get Along," as I'm sure it was for many because it was featured on the radio quite a bit. For those Chesney fans, you know he has a unique sound to country music, combining country roots with his love for the seas, boating, and warm weather. Chesney primarily brings to attention the damage caused from a recent hurricane and brings in some friends for other recordings. These make nice additions to what I think is a very good album.

Listen to Songs for the Saints on Hoopla today.


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The Civil War

The Ken Burns production, The Civil War, is without a doubt the strongest of all his PBS documentaries (at least for me)--and he has had numerous outstanding efforts.The photography of the utter poverty and horrible treatment of slaves combined with battlefields filled with soldiers' bodies was unbelievable.The historian interviews were as insightful as any I ever listened to in any documentary ever. I could easily get carried away writing about the subject matter here, but great documentaries will do that, and Ken Burns and PBS are the best at it. I can only hope we as a human race can watch this and come away a different people.

Watch The Civil War (1990, rated TV-MA) on Hoopla today or check out the dvds.



La La Land

La La Land (2016, rated PG-13) was the best musical I've seen in years, and so of course I think the soundtrack is great too. As I listen to each song, I can see the scene in the movie in my memory. I have a cousin whose daughter is a dancer and whenever I hear the opening song, "Another day of Sun," I see those kids dancing on those cars on that bottle-necked freeway in Los Angeles and it reminds me of her.

While it may be true that La La Land would be a terrific rom/com even without a great musical score, having fabulous music makes it the great movie that it is. I think it should have won the Oscar for Best Picture, but what do I know? Check out the soundtrack on Hoopla today.

Finding Neverland

When I heard Finding Neverland (2004, rated PG) was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture, I hoped it would win--but it did not. Nevertheless, it is a terrific movie. Johnny Depp who portrays James M. Barrie and Kate Winslet are equally great together. All of the fantasy is typical Johnny Depp and had me wondering if there was any truth to this story about how James Barrie created Peter Pan.

As the movie progresses, a more serious tone emerges with a climactic ending befitting Academy Award worthiness. Heaven is a real place don't you know, and I for one can only imagine just how beautiful it will be.

Watch Finding Neverland on Hoopla today or on DVD. While it didn't win Best Picture, the film did nab an Oscar for Best Original Score. Listen to it on Hoopla. For more of the true story behind the film, read this New York Times article.