Movie Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

I found myself relaxing into this delightful film, set against the backdrop of a beautiful Greek island (actually shot up the coast in Croatia) and the upbeat tempo of timeless ABBA songs. In addition to hearing the old favorites—“Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo”—we are introduced to lesser-known songs such as “When I kissed the Teacher,” “Andante Andante,” and “One of Us.” I’m looking forward to Cher’s upcoming CD release of these cover songs.

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is planning a grand opening for Hotel Bella Donna, named in honor of her mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), who died the previous year. Everything is in place as Sophie awaits the arrival of Donna’s best friends, Rose (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christina Baranski) and her three Dads, Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth), and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard).

To make up for Donna’s death, the film introduces a parallel story about Donna’s youth. Lily James plays the young Donna, a free-spirited and sweet-voiced woman hoping to make memories as she searches for her life’s purpose. The flashbacks seamlessly move the timeline between the late 1970s and the present day. While the original film glossed over the details, this sequel provides insight into Donna’s relationships with her three suitors. The new cast playing the younger versions of the main characters add to the film’s energy and humor.

The casting of Cher as Donna’s mother was an inspired decision. Her rendition of “Fernando” (as sung to Andy Garcia) is one of the highlights. I also enjoyed the short—too short—scene where Meryl Streep appears and sings “My Love, My Life” with Amy Seyfried. Bring your tissues!

A light and breezy film perfect for the summer and a welcome reprieve from the explosive alternatives.


Mermaid Sightings In Our 2K World

mermaidsightingsWhile skeptics do exist, there are many people in our 2K world who are intrigued by the prospect of mermaids. Each new sighting raises expectations and generates renewed interest among the scientific community, local governments, and media outlets.

2008: Late one evening, Daniel Cupido and his friends heard an unusual sound while walking along the beach in Suurbraak, a village in the Western Cape of South Africa. Upon approaching, Cupido found a figure “like that of a white woman with long, black hair trashing about in the water.” When he tried to help, she uttered a sorrowful sound. Local tourism officer Maggy Jantijies vouched for the credibility of the group.

2009: Shlomo Cohen was one of the first to see the mermaid near Kiryat Yam in Israel. He provided the following report for the Israel National News: “I was with friends when suddenly we saw a woman lying on the sand in a weird way. At first, I thought she was just another sunbather, but when we approached she jumped into the water and disappeared. We were all in shock because we saw she had a tail.” More reports followed from dozens of spectators who described the mermaid as “half girl, half fish, jumping like a dolphin.” In response to these sightings, the local government has offered a $1 million reward to the first person who can provide conclusive footage capturing a real mermaid.

2012: In Zimbabwe, Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo informed a Senate Comittee that mermaids were hounding government workers off dam sights in the Gokwe and Mutare reservoirs. Several workers were reported missing while others refused to perform their duties. Concerned about the welfare of their people, traditional chiefs of the region were planning to perform rituals to get rid of these mermaids. In an interview, Chief Chihota commented: “As a custodian of the traditional, I have no doubt.”

2013: On a deep-sea exploration contracted by the Iceland GeoSurvey, Dr. Torsten Schmidt and his Danish team worked on seismic mapping and sampling of the ocean floor, hoping to locate promising sites for oil and natural gas reserves. Approximately 3000 feet below the ocean’s surface, Dr. Schmidt observed and heard interesting phenomena. His request to conduct an investigation was denied, and he was reminded of the confidentiality agreement he had signed. But he did make the following comments: “Well, I looked at it, and knew I was looking into the face of another intelligent species, like us.”

On a personal note…

When I visited Newfoundland, I encountered the following mermaid at the entrance to Bay Bulls. A short drive from downtown St. John’s, this community has been in existence for almost 400 years, making it one of the oldest in North America.