This week, Hot Toasty Rag will be honoring the beautiful Jean Simmons! In case she's not a household name for you, you might know her for her performances in the miniseries The Thornbirds, or the musical Guys and Dolls--my favorite musical and one my favorite movies of all time! Jean's page is up and running, and in addition to the above two titles, I've also posted reviews for The Robe, the movie she made with last week's star, and the classic western The Big Country.
Who doesn’t love to look at pictures, watch documentaries, or read books about leopards, tigers, and cheetahs? Well, I’m sure there’s somebody out there, but no one I know! I absolutely love big cats, and my all-time favorite program I’ve watched (besides the film Born Free--nothing can compete with that!) is the BBC documentary series Big Cat Diary. It’s so fantastic. Jonathan Scott and Simon King, the hosts, are knowledgeable, funny, charming, and engaging as they tell the stories of different lion, leopard, and cheetah families in Africa. If you haven’t seen it, or even heard of it, google it and check it out. These cats have drama!
Anyway, two of my book reviews today are books that Jonathan Scott wrote, Big Cat Diary: Leopard and Big Cat Diary: Cheetah. On the show, the lions are pretty mean, so I didn’t buy the book on lions, but it does exist for those of you who like them best. The third review today is a novel called Tigers in Red Weather. Although it has a beautiful cover and an interesting title, I absolutely hated it! Read my review to find out why.
As sad as I am to say it, Richard Burton's time as Star of the Week has ended. (Don't worry, there will be lots more handsome actors to honor!) All 33 of his film reviews are up and posted to his page, so be sure and check them out if you missed any this week.
Here's a hint for next week's star: This costar of Richard Burton also never won an Oscar, but she did win an Emmy for her role in a very famous miniseries.
Any guesses? Let me know in the comments below, and check back on Monday to find out who she is!
This week, we will be celebrating Richard Burton as Hot Toasty Rag's Star of the Week--with an emphasis on hot! Ok, I'll try to contain my enthusiasm for his smoldering eyes long enough to post some reviews.
In addition to the 6 reviews I already posted during Elizabeth Taylor's week, the three for today are Anne of the Thousand Days, the fantastic movie about King Henry VIII and Anne, Sea Wife, and Bitter Victory, one of my favorite war movies--plus, Richard Burton looks just yummy in a uniform!
Check back every day this week for 3 new reviews, and check out Burton's page for the full list :)
I absolutely loved this book! Cristina Hodgson, a fantastic hilarious British writer, has written a fantastic hilarious British story about a young girl who, thanks to a bizarre set of circumstances, winds up in Hollywood. Check out my review to find out why you need to read this charming, funny, delightful novel this summer!
I've added a really cool feature to Hot Toasty Rag. Whenever you click on an actor's page, underneath their picture will be a list of my favorites, as well as their all-time classics. Just a few recommendations to get you started, hope you like it!
Also, I've added a few more reviews to Kevin Costner's page, because I rented a few more of his movies over the last couple of weeks. Now up are Wyatt Earp, Open Range, A Perfect World, and the fantastic Swing Vote! Check it out!
All 34 Elizabeth Taylor movie reviews have been posted to her page, so her time as Star of the Week has come to a close. But I'm sure she'll be very pleased with her successor. Here's a hint: Liz famously said she was heartbroken that this costar never won an Oscar.
Any guesses? Check back on Friday to find out who!
This week on Hot Toasty Rag we will be celebrating the violet eyes of Elizabeth Taylor! (and her movies too). You know the drill, check back every day this week for 3 new reviews. And for an extra treat, I've also posted a book review of a fantastic Liz biography How to be a Movie Star. It's fantastic, and one of my favorite movie star bios!
To start things off, I've posted reviews for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Life With Father, X,Y and Zee, and The Only Game in Town on her page. Enjoy!
You know I’ve been immersed in the Sweet Valley University series. It would be so easy to just read one after another and finish the 50+ series sitting patiently on my bookshelf, but I like to spread it out a little. I read an SVU book, and then read another novel or nonfiction inbetween, to keep the suspense up.
Coincidentally, the next three books in the series that I’ve read are perfect summer books! The college gang takes a cruise during a school break, so get ready for some bikinis, beaches, and blondes! And watch out, someone might fall overboard!
Check out SVU #12: College Cruise, #13 SS Heartbreak, and #14 Shipboard Wedding. Enjoy!
I’ve said before that I tend to shy away from sci-fi and fantasy books. I’ve read a couple of books in that genre that I’ve liked, and I chalked them up to isolated incidents. Today, I am humbly apologizing to the science fiction genre. I’ve read a book that I absolutely loved, The Keeper of the Isis Light, and now I know that these books can be touching, intense, and human, even with aliens and spaceships as a setting. Read this book; it’s fantastic.
Also, in today’s review I’ve included a couple of classic sci-fi reads: A Wrinkle in Time and Fahrenheit 451.
This week, Hot Toasty Rag reviewed 33 Paul Newman movies, and all reviews are now posted to his page, in case you missed a few and wanted to catch up. One of Paul Newman's trademarks was his gorgeous eye color, and next week's star will be a co-star of his also famous for her eye color. (That was your hint!) Any guesses? Check back on Saturday to find out!
This week's Star of the Week is Paul Newman! I gave you a pretty tricky clue, so don't feel bad if you didn't guess it. Check back every day this week for 3 new reviews, and to start things off, I've posted three of his best movies to his page:
Cool Hand Luke, Somebody Up There Likes Me, and Hud (my personal favorite). Enjoy!
It’s customary to read scary books in the wintertime, but what about lightweights like me? I like to watch scary movies in the middle of the day, sunlight streaming in all the windows, and the volume on low. Heehee. So, if you’re like me, maybe you like to read scary books in the summertime. Here are three for your enjoyment this July.
SVU 11.5: He's Watching You
The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Cuckoo's Calling
Hope you've enjoyed two weeks of Shirley MacLaine's movies! All 40 of her reviews (Yep, 40--I told you I loved her!) are posted to her page. Monday we'll honor a new Star of the Week, and here's a hint:
Next week's star was a costar of Shirley's, and in the movie, he played her husband.
This week on Hot Toasty Rag, we're honoring Shirley MacLaine! I absolutely love her and try to watch all her movies, so I think the reviews might continue to stream in for 2 weeks instead of one. Check back every day this week and next for 3 new reviews. And to start things off, here are 3 of Shirley's most famous films: The Apartment, The Children's Hour, and Terms of Endearment.
I haven’t posted book reviews in a while, so here are three book I polished off over the past few weeks. For those of you who are enjoying The Rag’s movie reviews, I read the book behind the Oscar nominated film Albert Nobbs. And those of you who are keeping up with the Sweet Valley University series, I have the next two installments: No Means No and Take Back the Night. Enjoy!
We've celebrated Kevin Costner this week, and today, the last of his 22 movie reviews are posted on The Rag. Who will be our next Star of the Week?
Hint: She was in a movie with Kevin Costner, and she played his former love interest.
Any guesses? Come back on Monday to find out!
This week on Hot Toasty Rag, we're celebrating Kevin Costner! His page is up and running here, and be sure to check back every day for 3 new reviews.
To kick things off, we have Rumor Has It, American Flyers, and No Way Out.
Today is the last day to celebrate Jennifer Aniston, and all 29 movie reviews are now posted on her page. Tomorrow will feature a new "Star of the Week" on Hot Toasty Rag. Any guesses?
Here's a hint: He's a blond cutie pie co-star of Jennifer's. Check back tomorrow to find out who!
The Rag's first star of the week is Jennifer Aniston! All the movies I'll be reviewing are listed on the Jennifer Aniston page in black; when I post the reviews, they'll be linked in red. And as you can see, the Movies page is up and running! Be sure to check back every day this week for 4 new Jennifer Aniston reviews :)
To start the week off, reviews are posted for Along Came Polly, The Good Girl, Life of Crime, The Object of my Affection, and Office Space.
Up until now, I've only reviewed books on The Rag. But there's a page at the top titled "Movies" so I guess I'd better start filling it.
How to start posting movie reviews, I asked myself. Classics first? Favorites first? Then it hit me; I'll post by actors instead! After all, how often do we say, "I'm going to see that 1937 movie that got mediocre reviews"? Versus, "I'm going to see that Mark Wahlberg movie!" I say that all the time, lol. But you know what I mean.
Starting tomorrow, Hot Toasty Rag will honor a "star of the week" and I'll post reviews of all the movies of his or hers that I've seen. Any guesses as to who the first one will be? Find out tomorrow!
As you know by now, I was a film student at Chapman University. As you also know, I changed my major. There isn’t a blog long enough in the world to tell you all the reasons, so I’ll stick to today’s topic. There was one teacher in all the film classes I took in three years who was different from the rest: John Badham.
When I got my class schedule before the term started and saw “Directing 1, Prof. John Badham” listed, I flipped. One of my all-time favorite movies was and is Point of No Return—I actually watched it once a week for a few years—so I knew who my teacher was. Of course, I walked into the first class scared out of my mind, terrified to meet the man who directed my favorite movie! There isn’t a nicer man in the world, and to this day, my autographed DVD case of Point of No Return sits high on my shelf, near my acting awards and other prized possessions.
If all my teachers had been even one-tenth as kind as Professor Badham, I wouldn’t have changed my major.
John Badham has written two books from his decades of experience directing. It’s no surprise that I loved them. To see if my reviews are just utterly biased (they’re not) or if you should go out and read them too, check out I’ll Be in My Trailer and John Badham On Directing.
Incidentally, when I brought him my DVD case and asked him to sign it, he asked, shocked, “This one’s your favorite?” Totally adorable. And it just shows you, what you put out into the world can influence people, even when you’re not expecting it.
Hi everyone! Here at The Rag, we've reviewed a whole bunch of books. I think it's over a hundred.
Anyway, that's a lot of scrolling, so to make things easier, I've redone the "Books" page, separating the books into Nonfiction, Memoirs/Bios, and Fiction. There's still a lot of scrolling to do if you're browsing the fiction, but I think it helps. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Maybe tomorrow I'll do some nonfiction to even the score.
Well, this is a surprise! I don’t go in much for scary books. I’ve never read Stephen King or James Patterson, and I screamed my head off when I watched the movie The Others. But, here I am, reviewing (favorable, mind you) three spooky books!
Sweet Valley University # 8.5: Wanted for Murder