Movie: Chicken People (2016)

chickenpeople_movieEvery now and then, the Superhero and I like to catch a movie at home, and last weekend was time for me to choose the title, and full kudos to Superhero for going along with this, as he’s never sure what exactly I’m going to select and he’s going to watch.

At first, I was veering towards a rather stern documentary on North Korea (a country with which I am fascinated at the moment), but seeing his expression when I mentioned that title, I thought that a different title might sit better. Scrolling through my movie list, I stumbled upon another documentary that was described as “charming and uplifting”, so that’s the one we watched. It was actually really good.

Called “Chicken People” and directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes, IMDb describes it thus:

Chicken People is a funny and uplifting look at the world of show chickens and the people who love them. Starting at the largest national poultry competition, likened to the Westminster Dog Show for chickens, Chicken People follows three top competitors over the course of a year as they grapple with life’s challenges while vying to win the next year’s crown. Both humorous and heartfelt, Chicken People is an unforgettable celebration of the human spirit.

And it was such a good film. It’s always fascinating, I think, to learn about other people who are very serious about their hobbies (regardless of what that hobby is), and as we watched these three people try their very best to get the “perfect” chicken to show at this big event, we really became wrapped up in the whole thing.

It would have been easy for another director to turn this into a mockumentary (a la Best in Show et al.), but the documentary was done with respect to these people – no one was mocked or made fun of, and you ended up feeling just so happy that you’d been allowed to follow them on their individual journeys to end up at the hugely important event in the U.S

I would never have learned about the characters or the world of the show chicken if not for this film, and I have no idea where I found the title, but if you’re interested in seeing people who adore doing their hobbies (and are pretty serious about it), then you’ll like this. Slightly off the beaten path, but well worth seeking out.

If you’re interested in any chicken-related reads:

Screen Talk.


It’s been a movie time of the year at our house recently, and so thought I’d chat about which movies made the cut…

miseryMisery (1994), the adaptation of the story by Stephen King and sooo good. (Nod to Halloween and holds up well despite being 20 years old), and so even though we know the story and what’s going to happen, it was still an excellent movie to watch. Definitely a good psychological thriller to watch that’s scary without being nightmare-inducing horrifying. I’m still horrified of hobbling!




how-to-dance-in-ohioAnd then ambling about Netflix, we came across the documentary called How to Dance in Ohio that covers the preparations a small group of teenagers on the autism spectra as they learn the skills that will be needed for their first real school dance. (Amazing film, a winner at Sundance, and uplifting whilst being realistic at the same time.)




And then, we’ve been sucked into the BBC’s Great British Bake-Off. Me – the non-cooking person sucked into this series all about baking – go figure. But loving it and we have the final tonight. (I know – we’re  behind but it’s still a surprise as we’ve avoided all the on-line spoilers.) Whee!



Movie Talk

sugarman_movieSearching for Sugar Man (2012).
After some friends had lent us this movie saying it was great, we watched it with clear palates as we had no idea what it was about, apart from it being a music documentary. However, it’s so much more than that and even if you’ve never heard of the characters or the story, it’s a fantastic poignant film about a mostly unheralded mostly forgotten artist who gets the surprise of his life. The Sugar Man in the title is introduced as a folk singer from the 1970’s who was on the cusp of being a super star in the U.S., but then the music deals just slipped away and he slipped into mostly oblivion. However, unbeknownst to the artist (named Sixto Rodigruez), his music has a huge fan base in South Africa and there, he is a mysterious musician bigger than Elvis. This is a documentary that films what happens when two South African fans try to track down what happened to Rodriguez 25 years later. It’s rumored that the singer has killed himself, but no one is sure so they search for answers. It’s a riveting journey for these two South African journalists and it’s great to see what happens when (or if) they meet the elusive singer.

This is definitely the best move that I have seen for months. Even if you’re not familiar with the singer or not that big a fan of music history, this is just a great story in its own right. Well worth watching. Note: The first thirty minutes of the film aren’t that great, but then it picks up and you’re hooked.

American Hustle (2013). American_Hustle
Meh. Way long in parts and almost never-ending towards the finale. Good story, but too much plot packed into too much film. Who’s hustling who? Great twist at the end if you can make it there. Loved Amy Adams though…
HerHer (2013).
Sweet and rather strange approach to relationships (romantic and otherwise) in the (near) future. Who’s to say that things won’t be like this at some point? Makes you think about who should define a relationship and how to do that… And, again, the love continues for Amy Adams…

Catch-Up Time

catch_upSo, it’s time to catch up with some things… I’ve been having some good reading lately, but only a few have been stand-out titles which trigger big and deep thoughts (as evidenced in my posts. HA!) Thus, some micro-reviews are in order:

book209Blueprint for Disaster: Get Fuzzy – Darby Conley

A collection of strip cartoons (or sequential art if you want to be posh) about a mixed species household of human Rob Wilco, a bachelor who shares his space with Bucky Katt (a smarty-pants Siamese cat) and Satchel, a sweet mix of Shar-Pei and Labrador. Drawn by Darby Conley (and probably lived by him as well), this cartoon was syndicated in the late 1990’s, and no wonder as it is spot on its depictions of life with feline and canine pets. Satchel the dog is really sweet but not.. umm… very *quick* (shall we say?) and roommate Bucky Katt is fast thinking and quick witted, but with a slightly naughty streak in him. This combination leads to some very entertaining reading. It’s been a long time since I’ve indulged in some Get Fuzzy, and it’s still as funny and on target as it was during the 1990’s when I first read it. It just makes me smile.

And then we have this funny read (the Get Fuzzy) compared with the rather harrowing short stories of Alan Sillitoe in “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”. More on this later, but great contrast between Get Fuzzy and the protagonists of Sillitoe’s stories, along with lots to think about.

Agatha_ChristieAnd then I emerged myself for the first time in Agatha Christie. Don’t have a lot of experience in the mystery genre, so just picked a random title off the Agatha Christie shelf at the library (“4:50 from Paddington”) which I loved, and so then exchanged that title with another one (can’t remember which one right now). Looking forward to more Miss Marple, but will need to research whether they need to be read in a particular order or if they are stand-alones. (I know about the two series of Miss Marple and Poirot, but not the details.)

book206Mary Roach is one of my writing heroes (and I wish we could be friends) – she has a new release out now called “Gulp: An Adventure down the Alimentary Canal” which is hysterically funny and smart. (Thus the dream that we could be friends.) Roach is a science writer with a great sense of humor and I have enjoyed all that she has written. This is another good one, and will have its own post in time. Just saying.


And then watched a couple of really good movies (been lucky):  one was a psychological thriller called “Fallen” which has an ending which will make you fall out of your chair. (Good boy movie if you need one.)

The other was “Robot and Frank”  about a retired cat burglar who is getting ill with Alzheimer’s so his caring family get him a robot butler to help with his life… Very good. And at the real-life movies, looking forward to Ironman 3 (in Imax) and also The Great Gatsby. I have a feeling that the film will be better than the book… for once!

PLUS – I found out that I am not going to be laid off from my job so that helps to make everything good!