Hello 2018! Let’s Rock This!

Happy New Year 2018 from Zengrrl.com

It’s now January 1, 2018, so happy new year to all of you reading this! I hope you had a wonderful holidays with family and/or friends.

I took the holidays off from writing this blog, because I figure everyone is so busy the last two weeks of the year with all the celebrations, nobody is hanging around reading new blog posts.

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Book Review: Ramses the Damned – The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice

Book Review: Ramses the Damned - The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice

Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra is the latest release by iconic author Anne Rice and her author son Christopher Rice, and it should satisfy fans of her earlier works.

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All the #Netflix January 2018 Additions and Departures

Cars 3 comes to Netflix in January 2018

Here is the list of titles coming to Netflix in January 2018, as well as the ones that are leaving.

Movie highlights for the month include Cars 3, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell Tales, along with returning favorites like The Godfather, The Conjuring, and Dallas Buyers Club.

Original programming highlights include the Netflix original movies Before I Wake, The Polka King, The Open House, and A Futile and Stupid Gesture, plus the original documentaries Rotten, Somebody Feed Phil, and Dirty Money.

Original comedy offerings include specials by Katt Williams, Tom Segura, and Todd Glass.

Netflix original series include Grace and Frankie (Season 4), Lovesick (Season 3), DEVILMAN crybaby (Season 1), Disjointed (Part 2), One Day at a Time (Season 2), Babylon Berlin (Season 1 & 2), and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee .

Other television series coming this month include Colony (Season 2), and Epsodes (Seasons 1-5).

Netflix also has a slew of programming for kids, including The Adventures of Puss in Boots (Season 6), Trolls: The Beat Goes On! (Season 1), and Llama Llama (Season 1).

Here is the complete list of Netflix titles arriving and departing in January 2018:

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Movie Review: The Force Is Strong in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Force Is Strong in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I went into my viewing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with a hefty mixture of excitement for a new installment in the story, sadness that it would be Carrie Fisher‘s last turn as General/Princess Leia, and a bit of apprehension because I wasn’t a huge fan of The Force Awakens – it seemed to formulaic

My spoiler-free review is that Star Wars: The Last Jedi exceeded my expectations. It did a wonderful job of balancing the dark – death and betrayal – with the light – hope and victory. Every character had a strong storyline and the film didn’t have any filler, even though it runs two and a half hours.

Two thumbs up and this is one you’ll definitely want to see on the big screen.

Now, if you keep scrolling, my semi-spoiler-filled review will follow this next photo….

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Travel Thursday: The Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas

Today’s Travel Thursday photo is of The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.

Today’s Travel Thursday photo is of The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.

In 2005, I made my first trip to Las Vegas, and nabbed a great rate for the Luxor Hotel, at the south end of the infamous Strip.

Since it was my birthday weekend, the desk agent made a big show of giving me a front view room in the pyramid. I thought that was great…until I made my trek up to the room.

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The 2018 #GoldenGlobes Nominees and My Picks for the Winners

the annual Golden Globes
This morning the annual Golden Globes nominees were announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), and there are a lot of interesting choices.

There are also a lot of surprising snubs. I can’t believe Wonder Woman didn’t get any recognition, especially for director Patty Jenkins. Also snubbed was Greta Gerwig for directing Lady Bird (though she did get a nomination for writing it).

Also not receiving nominations were Tracy Ellis Ross for black-ish, even though her co-star Anthony Anderson got a nod, as did the show. Same for Debra Messing of Will and Grace, despite the show and co-star Eric McCormack getting nominated.

But woulda-coulda-shoulda, there are still a lot of great performances and projects that got nominations this year.

Here is the complete list of 2018 Golden Globes nominees, along with my semi-educated best guesses for who will walk away with the statue:

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Hosts Huge Hollywood World Premiere

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Hosts Huge Hollywood World Premiere - photo courtesy Lucasfilm

Saturday night (Dec 9), Star Wars: The Last Jedi held its world premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood, and it was an evening filled with stormtroopers, Praetorian Guards, and a huge “life-sized” AT-AT parked outside the theater.

The film stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Kelly Marie Tran, Andy Serkis, and returning Star Wars legends Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher, and is getting rave reviews.

The stars were joined by writer/director Rian Johnson, producers Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, and Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Following the premiere, inside the Shrine, the after party was in the form of a two-floor casino reminiscent of a planet in the Last Jedi reminiscent of Macau, China with various photo ops with Stormtroopers, C3-PO, Snoke’s red guard, and Chewbacca

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters on Friday, December 15, 2017.

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Travel Thursday: Ft. Massac State Park, Illinois #EnjoyIllinois

Travel Thursday: Ft. Massac State Park, Illinois

In 2008, following the death of my gramma, I took a solo trip from Wisconsin, where I’d lived with her, back home to Florida, and ended up capturing this photo in Ft. Massac State Park in Illinois.

Ft. Massac is a colonial-era fort on the Ohio River in southern Illinois, across the border from Kentucky. There is a replica fort on site to tour, which I did, but then I decided to drive around the park, and over by the campsites, I noticed this flooded area of the forest.

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All the New Additions to #Hulu for December 2017

 

FX's Legion season 1 comes to Hulu in December 2017

Hulu has released its list of movies, series, and more coming to the streaming service in December 2017, and I have it hear for you.

Highlights include several Disney movies like The Black Cauldron, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and The Three Muskateers, along with Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2, and the first five Rocky films.

Series of note include FX’s Legion (Season 1), and Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe (Season 4), and the next day premiers of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 5) and The Great Christmas Light Fight (Season 5).

If you subscribe to Hulu, here is the list of titles coming to the streaming service in September 2017:

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Everything Coming to #AmazonPrime December 2017

Jean-Claude Van Johnson (Season 1),  a comedy starring Jean-Claude Van Damme debuts on Amazon in December 2017

Here is the list of titles coming to Amazon Prime in December 2017. Some are movies you’ve been waiting to see, and some are originals you might like to.

New movies include Rings, Nightcrawler, It Comes at Night, Martin Scorsese’s Silence and Stronger. Returning favorites include TItanic, Apolcalypse Now, and the first five Rocky films.

Amazon original series hitting Prime this month include Jean-Claude Van Johnson (Season 1), a comedy starring Jean-Claude Van Damme that claims his action persona was a cover for his spy work.

Here is the complete list of all titles coming to Amazon Prime in December 2017, and if you’re not a member, you can Try Amazon Prime with a 30-Day Free Trial.

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All the #Netflix December 2017 Additions and Departures

Netflix highlights for the month pf December 2017 include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Here is the list of titles coming to Netflix in December 2017, as well as the ones that are leaving.

Movie highlights for the month include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 , along with returning favorites like Full Metal Jacket, V is for Vendetta, and The Santa Clause trilogy.

Original programming highlights include the Netflix original movies Bright (starring Will Smith), Fun Mom Dinner, and Christmas Inheritance, plus the original documentaries “Diana: In Her Own Words,” “Planet Earth II,” “Wormwood,” and “Discovering Bigfoot.”

Original comedy offerings include specials by Dave Chappelle, Craig Fuerguson, Russell Howard, Todd Barry, and Judd Apatow, along with the final episodes of Chelsea Handler every Friday.

Netflix original series include The Crown (Season 2), Peaky Blinders (Season 4), Cable Girls (Season 2), The Indian Detective (Season 1), Dark (Season 1), Travelers (Season 2), and new episodes of Fuller House.

Other television series coming this month include The Magicians (Season 2), Turn: Washington’s Spies (Season 4), and Halt and Catch Fire (Season 4).

Netflix also has a slew of programming for kids, including All Hail King Julien (Season 5), Bill Nye Saves the World (Season 2, Part 1), Trollhunters (Part 2), along with movies like A Storybots Christmas, and Dreamworks Home: For the Holidays. There will also be a slew of New Year’s Eve 2018 countdowns available so families can ring in the new year at a more kid friendly time.

Here is the complete list of Netflix titles arriving and departing in December 2017:

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Character Revealed for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead Crossover!

Character Revealed for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead Crossover

Earlier this year, it was revealed at New York Comic Con that there would be a crossover character that will appear in both The Walking Dead and its companion show, Fear the Walking Dead.

There was lots of speculation how that would happen to begin with, since TWD is currently in its 8th season, while Fear the Walking Dead just wrapped its 3rd season and is set earlier in the spread of the walker virus.

Tonight on The Talking Dead, host Chris Hardwick finally revealed who the character will be that will cross over between The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead series.

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Why Only One Day to Be Thankful? #GratitudeAttitude

since today is a day of expressing your thanks, here is what I'm thankful for.

Today is Thanksgiving, and everybody is gathering with friends and family and expressing their gratitude for all they have in their life.

But why only the one day? I think we’d all be happier if we remembered EVERY DAY the things we are thankful for.

Why save it for just one day?

But since today is a day of expressing your thanks, here is what I’m thankful for…

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Disney Releases New Poster and Trailer for A Wrinkle in Time

Disney Releases New Poster and Trailer for A Wrinkle in Time

Just in time for the start of the holiday season, Disney has released a new poster and first full-length trailer for the much-anticipated upcoming movie adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time.

The movie is based on the best-selling award-winning novel of the same name, written by Madeleine L’Engle and first published in 1962.

The story centers on Meg Murry, who learns her astrophysicist father is being held captive on a distant planet deep in the grip of a universe-spanning evil. She teams with her highly intelligent younger brother Charles Wallace, her classmate Calvin O’Keefe, and three astral travelers, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Whatsit, to save him.

The film boasts an all-star cast featuring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine.

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Travel Thursday: Ghost Rock, Utah

Today's Travel Thursday photo is of Ghost Rock in Utah, taken in August 2007.

Today’s Travel Thursday photo is of Ghost Rock in Utah, taken in August 2007.

That year, my best friend and undertook a massive road trip – 18 states in 13 days. Somewhere around day 4 (or was it 5?) we crossed the Colorado border into Utah on I-70.

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