Weekly Wilson - Blog of Author Connie C. Wilson

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries." (Julius Caesar; Act 4, Scene 3).

Category: Mexico (Page 1 of 3)

Amy Schumer & Goldie Hawn: Comic Gold in “Snatched”


Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Katie Dippold
Stars: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Christopher Meloni
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
Reviewer: Connie Wilson

“Snatched” is a film about a mother/daughter vacationing pair who are kidnapped while on the daughter’s non-refundable vacation (“Let’s put the FUN back in non-refundable!” says Amy in trying to convince Goldie to accompany her).

Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) has been dumped by her boyfriend (Randall Park as Michael) in a restaurant scene that the row of middle-aged women behind me found laugh-out-loud hilarious. I have to admit: it was pretty funny ( It’s been featured in various trailers on television).

The mother in this equation is 71-year-old Goldie Hawn, an Oscar-winning comedienne whose presence in the film brought in the older crowd. Goldie is living her life very cautiously, having raised Schumer and her onscreen brother Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) as a single Mom after Mr. Middleton walked out on the family. Linda Middleton (Goldie Hawn) is fixated on cats and spends the evening checking the locks on her home, as she is convinced that the world is a very dangerous place. Son Jeffrey also has issues (agoraphobia) and only Emily (Amy Schumer) seems to be a free spirit who goes for adventure like a heat-seeking missile.

When Amy’s band member boyfriend dumps her, she is stuck with a trip to Puerto Cayo, Ecuador and no one to take it with. Ultimately, Emily asks Mom Linda to go with her, even though, while on the trip, Mom emerges from her hotel room swathed in multiple layers of clothing, causing Amy/Emily to say, “You look like a beekeeper.” I smiled, as I have a friend who will not expose her aging skin to sunlight, even when in Cancun for two weeks. And—let’s face it—inviting Mom to accompany her is better than leaving Linda/Goldie at home reading a book entitled “How to Cheer Up a Depressed Cat.

Goldie Hawn has not been in a film since 2002’s “The Banger Sisters” but her comic timing is just as sharp as ever, and she looks great for her age, as anyone who has seen her at various awards shows will know. Now, Goldie has become BFF with rising star comedienne Amy Schumer, who told “People” magazine, “I read the script, and, as I’m reading it, I pictured Goldie the whole time. There was never anyone else.” Schumer went on to tell a story about running into Hawn on an airplane and “sort of creepily” following her from the airport terminal and pitching the project to her. (Hawn says she does not remember the incident).

I found the interaction between the two blondes very natural and authentic, although the critics who have complained of the crassness of language and situations are not wrong. (One scene, in particular, involving Amy giving herself what used to be called “a spit bath” in a ladies’ rest room and washing all unmentionable spots, with the door swinging open at a key juncture so that the man who has been chatting her up at the bar gets a good look at her. That scene is Exhibit A, but the row behind me found it to be pretty damn funny, and I can’t argue with them.) Perhaps you’ve seen that scene in trailers, as well.

My favorite character, other than the two leads, was Christopher Meloni (television’s SUV: Special Victims’ Unit) as Roger, a cashier from Rochester who misrepresents himself as a seasoned jungle guide, when, in reality, he has only spent 3 weeks in Ecuador and is wearing a hat from J.C. Penney. When their intrepid guide instructs them to swing across a deep canyon on a vine, saying, “I’m the man so I’ll go first” and the vine instantly breaks, I laughed. When he instructed the mother/daughter combo to “take the first 10-hour shift” so he can sleep, I smiled. His character was fun and funny.

Less fun or funny was the bad guy of the piece, Morgado, played by Oscar Jaenada. It seems that Morgado employs good-looking young men (in this case, Tom Bateman as James) to lure hapless single females on adventures that will involve kidnapping them and holding them for ransom. Once in the clutches of Morgado, the women have to call home and implore Jeffrey to ransom them.

Jeffrey is one of the three most annoying characters in the film. He makes so many calls to the U.S. Embassy that the agent on duty (Bashir Salahiddin as Morgan Russell) finally says, “If you feel the urge to call again, resist it.”
The other two annoying characters are Ruth and Barb, played by Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack. I didn’t find that either of these two talented comic actors added much to the movie, but I do appreciate the studio’s savvy promotion and marketing. It was released on March 12th, which means that it was the perfect choice for Mother’s Day.

“Snatched” also cost only $42 million to make and quickly moved up to second place (behind “Guardians of the Galaxy II”) in money made, and “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a vastly more expensive film. Goldie brought in the older crowd and Schumer’s fans were also in attendance, plus the Hawaiian jungle settings were convincingly tropic, with cinematography by Florian Ballhaus. (Schumer, who just broke up with her Chicago boyfriend of 18 months, was sick for a week with bronchitis and couldn’t shoot during that time.)

Say what you will about the anatomical references (‘Your tit’s out.”) and the crass low-brow humor, if the women behind me were any indication (you could barely hear the dialogue above their raucous laughter), this feel-good movie about mother-daughter bonding will make money and potentially spawn a sequel. (Goldie says, “Definitely there’s a toe back in” and Schumer says that she’d like to make another movie with her idol “as soon as possible.”)

Sunset at Captain’s Cove, Cancun, Mexico.

Today it rained for about a half hour. This is only the second time in about 25 years that it has rained (and the last time it rained for days).

Granddaughters Ava and Elise in the lobby of the Royal Sands.

We moved down the street with all our food and clothing from the Royal Sands to the Royal Islander on Saturday and now we are in the penthouse of the second hotel.

The daughter (Stacey) in the lobby of the Royal Sands.

Our friends, the Rhodeses arrived 2 hours late due to waiting for a van transfer. We still made it through “Saturday Night Live” and enjoyed watching Jimmy Fallon’s hosting duties.

The concierge arrived with gifts and he turned out to be a huge movie fan. He checked out the films in town for us (in case it rains again) and made reservations for us at El Conquistador, Ruth Chris’ Steak House and Captain’s Cove.

So far, we’ve confined our adventures to the Royal Resorts restaurants near us, dining at Trade Winds at the Royal Caribbean and at our own restaurant affiliated with the Royal Islander.

All 15 of us in Week One.

The weather has been in the eighties and lovely, with the exception of the short amount of rain.

Tourists posing with an iguana.

Stacey and her father in Cancun.

Stacey and I in Cancun.

Trump Bombs Syria; I Leave for Mexico

The Lagoon in Cancun, Mexico, at sunset.

Tomorrow is Friday, April 7th, and I will soon be departing for Cancun, Mexico.

Quite frankly, with the news that Donald J. Trump has just gone and done yet another dumb thing (i.e., bombed Syria), I’m seriously thinking of claiming to be Canadian while in the sunny land down under.

It sounds like our departure from Austin (TX) will come just before the rain moves in, and the weather in Cancun is projected to be sunny and beautiful, with highs in the eighties. I spent an hour or so packing tonight, and tomorrow I will pack the cosmetic(s) bag, which carries our shampoo, toiletries, et. al.

I’m debating about whether or not to post a review of “Wilson,” the movie that starred Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern, which I recently saw. We went because, after all, when your name IS “Wilson”…..(finish that thought)
If I have time, I may post about it tomorrow. It’s a slight film and unlikely to get wide distribution.

Meanwhile, an interesting anecdote. Because we will need cash while in our neighbor to the South, and they always enjoy the use of U.S. dollars, as opposed to credit cards—and, also, because my credit card numbers were stolen in Mexico one year, which caused someone to run up a $25,000 bill on my card, we went to the Bank of America on Slaughter Lane. I had written my spouse a check for $200 to pay him back for cash he had loaned me when I was in Chicago for a week and forgot to take any cash. (My bad).

He presented the check, written on the Triumph Bank of East Moline, and, of course, they wouldn’t cash it at all.

I was present, doing battle with a machine that was going to give me cash, I hoped, using my debit card from BOA, but I couldn’t figure out how to get more than $80. My husband suggested that I write my check for $400 (rather than the $200 I owed him) and he’d give me half of it for my cash. I would write this check on my Bank of America checkbook.

That seemed a good idea, so, in full view of the 2 cashiers, I wrote this check and he stepped up to cash it.
The cashier demanded that he be fingerprinted before she would cash the relatively small check. They had just watched me (the account holder) write the check in the first place, and we explained why we were writing it (need cash for vacation). Still, some flunky raced out with an inky thing and he had to put his fingerprint on the bottom of this Bank of America check before they would cash it.

Now, what occurs to me is this: what good is my husband’s fingerprint on this check? It isn’t like he has done major time in a correctional institute or anything! He isn’t in any “data banks” of fingerprints. And that is all assuming that the Powers-that-Be thought this 72-year-old man looked like a really guilty character.

Has this ever happened to anyone else, because it seemed very dumb to me.

Playa del Carmen, The Mayan Palace on Nov. 9th, 2015

Beach at the Royal Mayan.

Beach at the Royal Mayan.

The weather here is beautiful and no rain (so far). Forecast does suggest tomorrow might bring showers, but the past 3 days have been great.

On our way to dinner at the Royal Mayan.

On our way to dinner at the Royal Mayan.

When we arrived at Cancun International Airport, however, we were told it had been raining for 4 days straight, and the humidity in the air confirmed that.DSCN1037

On our way to dinner at the Royal Mayan.

We went to the beach today, rather than the pool. However, when it became unbearably hot, we joined a volleyball game in progress and played 3 games, all of which our team lost. (Apparently, I can barely serve overhand).DSCN1023

Another lovely day, with authentic Mexican food this evening at a poolside restaurant.

Playa del Carmen Gives Illusion of Summer for a Few More Days

As part of my birthday cruise in July, I negotiated a week on land, free of charge. I assumed that week would be near the embarcation point (Barcelona), but my husband took the call and selected Playa del Carmen from the list of resorts that RCI would front us a free week on land.

Mayan Palace, Mexican Riviera, largest swimming pool in Latin America.

Mayan Palace, Mexican Riviera, largest swimming pool in Latin America.

So, here we are in sunny Mexico, where the preceding 4 days before we landed were rainy. It was extremely humid when we landed and we learned that the inflated price we had paid for transportation to the Mayan Palace outside of Cancun would have been complimentary, had we identified as RCI owners. However, the main point is that we arrived, safe and sound, and spent today (our first full day) lounging poolside in 85+ weather.

Craig lounging poolside at the Mayan Palace.

Craig lounging poolside at the Mayan Palace.

Last night, on the recommendation of other vacationers, we ate in the Italian restaurant on the grounds. The special was lobster, shrimp and steak, and it was very good. The restaurant was so chilly that my glasses fogged up from the extreme difference in temperature from the heat outside to the A/C inside.

The Italian restaurant within the Mayan Palace.

The Italian restaurant within the Mayan Palace.

The pool here is said to be the largest in Latin America, and that is not hard to believe when you walk along it, as it seems close to 2 football fields long. This area has several resorts (The Grand Luxe is another) built up in the same area and, according to those who own time shares, the place has grown by leaps and bounds. The beach here is also very nice, although not as nice, for my tastes, as the white sands of Cancun proper.

Looks almost like a nude pool, but it's an optical illusion.

Looks almost like a nude pool, but it’s an optical illusion.

It is supposed to stay sunny and warm until Wednesday, so the pool will, no doubt, beckon until then, when a rain shower is predicted and the town of  Playa del Carmen may beckon.

Craig figuring the tip after a great dinner.

Craig figuring the tip after a great dinner.

Of FREE Books NOW & Tarantula Bites Then ?

This is the day that I remind you of tomorrow’s FREE give-away of the 3rd installment in the Hellfire & Damnation short story series. The KDP (Kindle) give-away is scheduled for April 24, April 25, May 2, 3 and 4th. For more information on the book(s) and for trailers, check at www.HellfireAndDamnationTheBook.com.

DSCN0153While letting readers know about the give-away (again) is one concern, my biggest concern the past week has been my left leg. Something bit me in Mexico. I think it happened on Wednesday and, no, I’m not kidding about the possibility it was a small tarantula, since I had watched the lifeguards at the beach in Cancun cart one off on a stick that was (roughly) the size of your knuckles. I remember that my friend said, “What bit you?” and I nonchalantly said, “I don’t know. I probably ran into something.” The small (about 1 inch) cut was bleeding slightly.

By the next day, I was hot and uncomfortable and sweaty.  That was just the prelude to a “fit” of sorts that took place at 4:10 a.m. on Friday. My teeth were chattering so hard that I couldn’t speak and all my muscles became rigid, while my arms and hands resembled the tragic footage of the Saran gas victims in Syria that was shown on “Sixty Minutes” recently. I was absolutely baffled; nothing like this had ever hit me before. My husband said (later), “I thought you were having a stroke.”

Meanwhile, I was blaming it on overly cool air conditioning–which was not really the case and didn’t explain any of the baffling symptoms described above. All day Friday I felt punk, sleeping until almost 3:30 p.m. after trying to get up and get going earlier. I had no appetite and could eat no dinner with the other 3 vacationers.

DSCN0154As we sat there on our last night of vacation, feet propped up on a pillow watching television, my college roommate said, with alarm, “What’s the matter with your leg?” I had not been aware that there was anything the matter with my leg, but I knew I didn’t feel good. When she had me put both feet out, side-by-side, it was obvious that there were two roughly fifty-cent sized red places on my left shin.

Dr. John Rhodes, vacationing with us, came in from the balcony and immediately said (after examining the leg), “You’ve got cellulitis,” which is an infection of the skin that can be caused by insect bites, staph or other bacteria, or even by mersa, the flesh-eating bacteria. The antibiotic I have been taking in 500 mg. dosages 4 times a day since Sunday (the earliest I could get back to the United States and be seen by another doctor to receive a prescription) is designed to protect against nearly every infectious agent, and the leg IS responding, but my need(s) to let the world know a book is free has faded slightly in significance when compared to the thought of intravenous antibiotics in a hospital.

Meanwhile, I’ve provided you with graphic evidence of why you should always travel with Bactine or another antibiotic ointment and use it if you are bitten by some mysterious bug. I wish I had.

Easter Week in Cancun, Mexico

DSCN0019We’re coming to the end of Easter week in Cancun at the Royal Sands. The weather has been lovely and the water warm.

Tomorrow, the men will play golf.  Tonight was prime rib night at the Veranda restaurant and it was just as good as prime rib at Short Hills, which is a high standard to meet.

We also dined on traditional Mexican cuisine at Sisal and have taken in the Seafood Surprise (lobster, shrimp, grouper, calamari, scallops) at Captain’s Cove, where we watched both an alligator and a sting ray swim beneath the deck where eleven of us were eating.

DSCN0027Daughter Stacey left today and had to fly back to Chicago with tornadoes and 70 mph winds hammering places like Rochelle, IL, near DeKalb. There were also tornadoes in Iowa, Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.

Sunset in Cabo San Lucas (Sunset Beach)


As soon as we arrived in Cabo San Lucas at the Sunset Beach Resort, we were told to be sure to take in sunset from the hot tub near the Sky Bar Pool.

To get to the Sky Bar Pool—-or anywhere, for that matter, at Sunset Beach—-you take a small golf cart driven by the staff.

No one warned us that the Sky Bar Pool was crowded at all times of day, and, given the crowd there in early afternoon, the entire idea of room in the hot tub at sunset was soon discarded and a plan was formulated to try to film the sun going down.

“It goes down fast!” said the experienced tourists who had witnessed the phenomenon in the past.

So, I set up on a railing of the pool area and waited, and the video above is the result.

Finished two books this week: “Dr. Sleep” (Stephen King) and “Cuckoo’s Calling” (Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rawlings).

Spinner Dolphins Running Off the Coast of Cabo San Lucas on January 13, 2014


Most of the video I took of gray humpback whales and spinner dolphins on Monday looks like it was shot by an 8-year-old. It was so sunny out that I couldn’t tell whether I was getting the dolphins and whales or not.

Even those with eye views said it was hard to tell in the bright sunlight off the Caborey (boat) and, so, you will have to watch through a large amount of shakey footage to see a whale’s tail disappearing. I may post it, but it is going to take over 35 minutes to do so.

Therefore, for the moment, here is the short piece of spinner dolphin footage, running directly in front of the ship. Truly an amazing sight. Because we sat through a “presentation” (which consisted mainly of a tour of the properties at Sunset Beach—see pictures on the Pinterest page for Connie Corcoran Wilson)—we got our tickets for half price, and it included all you can drink and breakfast.

Enjoy!

Dolphins and Whale Watching off the Coast of Cabo San Lucas on January 14, 2014

P1020978We went out whale watching on a large boat and it was truly an amazing experience. Not only did we see many whales, but there were entire schools of dolphin(s) that ran right ahead of the boat.

Plus, it was an open bar and breakfast was served.

P1020977Beautiful weather here, but it ends day after tomorrow, sadly.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén