Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Circumstance 2010

Circumstance (2010)    Atafeh and Shireen live under the rigid rules of the oppressive theocracy in Iran.  Atafeh is from a wealthy family and thrives on the energy and creativity of the underground art scene.  Her best friend is Shireen and they both rebel against the restrictions imposed on them by the religious zealots who seek to govern their every thought and action.  Atafeh's brother is a former classical musician who has just returned from drug rehab, he's determined to renounce his former ways and he joins the morality police. 
    Iran is a very difficult place to live for women who have no rights.  A lot of the background information in this movie is not spelled out so it's a little difficult to follow.  There are cultural differences that we don't understand also.  3* (This movie is OK)

106 min, Drama directed by Maryam Keshavarz with Nikohi Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy, Reza Sixo Safai, Soheil Parsa, Nasrin Pakkhoo. Sina Amedson, Keon Mohajeri.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.0 out of 10, 83% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bride Flight 2008

Bride Flight Poster    Three woman emigrate from Holland to New Zealand as war brides.  This movie was inspired by the true story of the Last Great Air Race from London to Christchurch in October 1953.  Marjorie, Esther and Ada meet Frank on their flight, he is also settling in New Zealand for a better life.  Years later the three women catch up on what happened in their lives at Frank's funeral.
    This is good, it took a lot of courage for the women to leave their families and homeland to marry strangers.  It takes a little bit of concentration to keep the younger and older actors separated into which ones are Marjorie, Esther and Ada.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

130 min, Drama directed by Ben Sombogaart with Karine Smulders, Waldemar Torenstra, Anna Drijver, Pleuni Touw, Petra Laseur, Elise Schaap, Willeke van Ammelrooy.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 69% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Don't Know How She Does It 2011

I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)    Adapted from the best-selling novel by Allison Pearson, a working mother strives to balance her demanding career, raise two children and find time for her marriage.  Kate is a financial planner which requires a lot of travel, her daughter likes to make her feel guilty but her son is still young enough to appreciate anything.  Her husband is an out-of-work architect trying to land a dream job.  How can Kate contribute something homemade to the school bake sale just after returning from a flight, get a new project off the ground at work, be home when her children need her and have anything left to be a partner to her marriage?
    Kate doesn't stop running for the 88 minutes and everyone else is swirling around her constantly.  Looking for relaxation and distraction in a movie, this will not be the one for you.  Strong cast but hasn't this all been done before?  3* (This movie is OK)

88 min, Comedy directed by Douglas McGrath with Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Kelsey Grammer, Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn, Greg Kinnear.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 4.3 out of 10, 17% critic 33% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mademoiselle Chambon 2009

Mademoiselle <SPAN id=    Jean is a burly blue-collar mason who lives with his wife and son in France.  Jean meets his son's teacher Veronique, she asks him to look at a window where she lives that is letting in a draft.  He replaces the window for her and becomes fascinated and drawn to her.  Veronique has a choice to make at the school, should she continue to change schools every year or take a position here and settle down.  She decides to stay but then circumstances with Jean begin to change.
    As a viewer you want them both to just stop whatever they are doing and run away.  Jean doesn't need to hurt his wife and his son by changing everyone's lives, he can change his own life instead within the framework that he has.  Very quiet and understated.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

101 min, Drama directed by Stephane Brize with Sandrine Kiberlain, Vincent Lindon, Aure Atika, Jean-Marc Thibault, Arthur Le Houerou, Bruno Lochet, Abdallah Moundy.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.0 out of 10, 82% critic 62% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Killer Elite 2011

Killer Elite (2011)    Based on real life events, an ex-special-ops agent comes out of retirement to track down his missing mentor.  It won't be easy, a master killer has dispatched three fierce assassins to exterminate this agent by any means necessary.
    How many are enough to make a "real" action movie - killings, car chases, car wrecks, hand-to-hand combat scenes?  This movie is just overload, more killings, car chases, car wrecks, fights than you can count, you forget what's even going on or what is behind any of this.  It goes on and on, you just want it to be over!  Clive Owen has a ridiculous mustache too!  2* (I didn't like this movie)

117 min, Action directed by Gary McKendry with Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Cominic Purcell, Aden Young, Yvonne Strahovski, Ben Mendelsohn.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 25% critic 46% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Trespass 2011

Trespass (2011)    A gang of ruthless criminals commit a violent home invasion against a wealthy family.  The men are wearing police uniforms and they claim there have been robberies in the neighborhood.  They have done a lot of planning and expect diamonds and a lot of money to be on the property.
    I expected this to be bad but it's very bad.  Acting, plot, dialogue, everything about it is bad.  It's a relief for it to be over.  1 1/2* (I really didn't like this movie)

90 min, Drama directed by Joel Schumacher with Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Liana Liberato, Cam Gigadet, Jordana Spiro, Dash Mihok, Emily Meade.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.3 out of 10, 10% critic 22% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Amiee and Jaguar 1999

Aimée & Jaguar (1999)    Based on the memoirs of Lilly Wust, she is 85 in 1999 and still living in Germany.  In 1943, she is the wife of a Nazi officer and she earns the Cross of Motherhood for bringing up four children.  Her husband is at the front lines of the war, she receives a love letter signed Jaguar, it is from Felice Schragenheim, a Jewish journalist.  Lilly tells her husband she wants a divorce but this makes it more difficult for Felice since she is a Jew.  They make a pact of love and marriage and try to block out the reality of war and persecution but the Gestapo is on their trail.
    The subtitles seem in smaller print, they seem to go by quickly also.  It is a little difficult to keep track of what is going on, so many things going on at once.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

125 min, Drama directed by Max Farberbock with Maria Schrader, Juliane Kohler, Heike Makatsch, Johanna Wokalek, Elisabeth Degen, Kyra Mladeck, Inge Keller, Peter Wreck.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 90% critic 84% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

50/50 2011

50/50 (2011)    Based on the experiences of Will Reiser in fighting cancer.  Adam is a 27 year old public radio employee who discovers he has cancer.  His best friend Kyle tries to help but his girlfriend Rachael is less than ideal in this crisis.  His overprotective mother tries to force her way into his life despite his attempts to keep her out.  He begins seeing a counselor to help him find his path.
    I liked this, there are some down times but this is a good movie with a lot of upbeat times too.  I especially like the dog!!  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)
100 min, Drama directed by Jonathan Levine with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Angelica Huston, Serge Houde, Andrew Airlie.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 8.0 out of 10, 93% critic 92% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

War Horse 2011

War Horse    A remarkable bond is formed between a young man and his horse.  Albert's father buys Joey who is a thoroughbred even though he set out to get a plow horse.  Albert saw Joey being born and has followed his growth as he has grown up himself.  He's overjoyed to see Joey but the family doesn't have enough money now for the rent of their farm.  His father says he will plow the lower field, plant turnips and pay the rent.  Joey is not a plow horse but he is able to plow after rain softens the field but another storm comes later and ruins the turnips.  The only choice to keep the farm is to sell Joey to the military but the new owner promises to bring Joey back if at all possible.
    This is good, very enjoyable, some scenes are hard to watch and they made my stomach ache.  That was better than having a bawl session in the theater or standing up and yelling, "Don't hurt that horse!"  I know one of the last lines in the credits says, no horses were harmed in the filming of this movie.  4* (I really liked this movie)

160 min, drama directed by Steven Spielberg with Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Niels Arestrup, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.4 out of 10, 78% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shoalin 2011

Shaolin (2011)    Rival warlords battle for supremacy in the young republic of China but the Shaolin temple offers sanctuary to the injured masses.  General Hou Jie loses his precious daughter and his wife leaves him, this causes him to join the temple as a monk.  Hou Lung launches an all-out attack on the temple and the real fight begins.
    This is manpower without number, fighting in every manner possible, the wealthy and the impoverished along with the religious.  Difficult to keep track of the battle leaders.  3* (This movie is OK)

131 min, Action directed by Benny Chan with Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Jackie Chan, Fan Bengbing, Wu Jing, Yu Shao-Kang, Yu Hai, Yanneng, Ziong Xin Xin, Bai Bing.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 73% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Page One: Inside the New York Times 2010

Page One: Inside the New York Times
 (2010)    Newspapers are becoming increasingly obsolete, the New York Times has kept America informed for generations but it now struggles to remain relevant.  More readers are turning to the internet to stay informed on rapidly changing current events.  The editors and writers battle accusations of inaccuracy and also embrace blogging as a means of retaining readers.
    David Carr is an interesting columnist with a background as an ex-crack addict on his resume, also a single parent who reinvented himself.  What about the foreign correspondents in years past and in the present who go into real danger to dig out the truth?  Complex questions and a struggle for the answers as to the fate of newspapers in the future?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

92 min, Doc directed by Andrew Rossi with Sarah Ellison, David Carr, Bruce Headlam, Richard Perez-Pena, Clay Shirky, Brian Stelter.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb, 7.0 out of 10, 80% critic 75% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Columbiana 2011

Colombiana (2011)    Action thriller about a woman who becomes a professional killer after her parents are murdered in front of her when she was a child.  She's determined to settle the score and she begins working her way through the criminal underworld, taking out every everyone connected with the death of her parents.
    This is good, she fires a missile into a house and she get the job done.  Don't bother to ask questions, just take care of business.  Don't expect stellar acting or an in depth script.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

111 min, Action directed by Olivier Megaton with Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molia, Lennie James, Amandia Stenberg, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Callum Blue, Beto Benites.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.2 out of 10, 28% critic 54% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moneyball 2011

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    Billy Beane is a General Manager for the Oakland A's, they are about to lose their three best players to free agency.  The A's aren't in a financial position to match the big salaries of other teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox.  Billy meets Peter Brand who is a Yale graduate and economics major working as an executive assistant for scouting on another team.  Brand doesn't rely on traditional scouts for selecting players but uses their on base percentage (OBP).  Everyone is in an uproar, the coach, the scouts and the owner.  They start off with a losing streak, trade some players and then things start to change.
    This is good because it's not just one baseball game after another, it's the ins and outs of a team.  How to change their attitudes, how to bring out the best in the team, how to get around a coach that has his own ideas, how to forget negative press.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)
133 min, Drama directed by Bennett Miller, Steven Soderbergh with Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt, Stephen Bishop, Reed Diamond.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.8 out of 10, 95% critic 88% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Repulsion 1965

Repulsion (1965)    Carol is a Belgian manicurist living with her sister, Helen in a London flat.  Carol finds her sister's relationship with a married man extremely disturbing.  Carol is attracted to men but also feels repulsed by them.  Helen goes with Michael on holiday and Carol begins to disintegrate mentally, hallucinating bizarre encounters.  She is forced to take a leave from her job which leaves her alone in the apartment.
    This is very good, Carol has a lot of mental problems which escalate as time passes.  The special effects for this time period in film making are very good.  4* (I really liked this movie)

105 min, Mystery directed by Roman Polanski with Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Patrick Wymark, Yvonne Fumeaux, Renee Houston, Helen Fraiser.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, 7.9 imdb out of 10, 100% critic 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ricky 2009

Ricky (2009)    Single mom Katie is a factory worker raising her seven year old daughter Lisa.  Katie meets Paco who is a new worker from Spain at the French factory.  Together they have a son, Lisa wants him to be named Ricky.  He cries seemingly all the time and once when Paco has him for the day, it looks he has a large red bruise on his back.  Paco leaves after Katie accuses him of hurting Ricky but they soon discover things are not at all as they seem.
    Life is really tough for Katie, it's not very easy for Lisa either.  Everything seems to get better with Paco helping but then that doesn't work out too.  This is enjoyable except I did not like the ending.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

89 min, Sci-Fi directed by Francois Ozon with Alexandra Lamy, Sergi Lopez, Melusine Mayance, Arthur Peyret, Andre Wilms, Jean-Claude Bolle-Reddat, Hakim Romatif.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.0 out of 10, 60% critic 36 % audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Friends with Benefits 2011

Friends With Benefits (2011)    Jamie is a New York job headhunter who enters into a no-strings attached relationship with her latest client, Dylan.  Things get unexpectedly complicated when emotions enter the picture
    This picture is terrible, I did not get beyond about 20 minutes into the movie, it's unwatchable.  1* (I hated this movie)

109 min, Comedy directed by Will Gluck with Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Richard Jenkins, Woody Harrelson.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 71% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Every Day 2009

Every Day (2009)    Ned struggles to keep his family and himself together under trying circumstances.  He is a writer for a TV series, at home his wife Jeannie has brought her elderly father to live with them.  Ernie has a temper and his ill health has pushed him into suicidal depression.  Ned and Jeannie have two teenage sons, Jonah has recently come out and Ethan is deeply troubled by his grandfather's health problems.
    Every scene in this movie is dark and dreary, there is not a single white cloud or happy moment.  It is a total downer and has nothing redeeming, even the TV series discussions have nothing but terrible plots to add to the mix.  1 1/2* (I really didn't like this movie)

93 min, drama directed by Richard Levine with Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Carla Gugino, Ezra Miller, Skyler Fortgang, David Harbour, Eddie Izzard, Brian Dennehy.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 5.5 out of 10, 33% critic 25% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Last Mountain 2011

The Last Mountain
    A coal mining corporation and a tiny community vie for the future of the last great mountain in Appalachia in a battle for the future of energy that affects us all.  The community wants to establish a wind farm that will pay back for many years to come, the coal company wants to explode the mountain to extract the coal.
    Once again it's a big industry not regulated or prosecuted for it's negligence in preserving the environment or returning the area to any form related to it's previous state.  Money is the bottom line and the only thing that counts, the lives of people or their livelihood do not matter to anyone involved.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)
95 min, Doc directed by Bill Haney with Susan Bird, Don Blankenship, Ron Burris, Brother Joseph Byron, Antrim Caskey, Devra Lee Davis, Joshua Graupera, Robert Kennedy, Jr.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 80% critic 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Day 2011

One Day (2011)    Emma is a principled working-class girl who forges a unique bond with a wealthy jet-setter that spans two decades.  On the night of her graduation, July 15, 1988, Emma meets Dexter, she dreams of making the world a better place, he looks forward to a future of comfort and privilege.  Checking back with them every July 15th for the next 20 years, we see their happiness, hardship, heartache.
   There is something about this movie that I did not like from the beginning, you just do not care about Emma and you really don't care about Dexter.  It may be the flip way that the characters are played but the entire movie seems useless until the ending which I did not like.  2* (I did not like this movie)
108 min, Drama directed by Lone Scherfig with Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Tom Milson, Jodie Whittaker, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Stott, Heida Reed, Romola Garai.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 36% critic 52% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 2011

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2011)
    The descendants of two 19th century spiritual sisters struggle to maintain their enduring bond by exploring their ancestral connection in modern day Shanghai.  The connection is called "laotong" which means "old sames."  Snow Flower and Lily were bonded to each other at the age of seven, in this century it is Nina and Sophia.  Timeless messages were left for them on ancient cherished folding fans contain the secrets to keeping their friendship alive.    
    This is very good and very enjoyable, you really feel the connections between both sets of women.  The roles of Snow Flower/Nina and Lily/Sophia are played by the same actresses.  The struggles in the 19 century were much different from the demands of modern living of today.  4* (I really liked this movie)
104 min, Drama directed by Wayne Wang with Gianna Jun, Li Bingbing, Vivian Wu, Jiang Wu, Russell Wong, Coco Chiang, Hu Jingyun, Archie Kao, Chiang Yi, Cao Shiping.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.5 out of 10, 19% critic 47% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meek's Cutoff 2010

Meek's Cutoff (2010)     A period drama set in 1845, Stephen Meek is a boastful rough-hewn wilderness guide who has been hired by three families who want to start new lives on the other side of Oregon's Cascade Mountains.  He is supposed to know the Oregon Trail like the back of his hand but when they veer off for a shortcut they soon find themselves in forbidding territory without water and with Indians on the horizon.  They capture one of the Indians, Meek's and the men want to kill him but one of the wives suggests he may know about water and how to get over the mountains.
    This is a very different small wagon train film, there isn't any dialog for about the first 10 minutes, the men women and children walk, everyone is dirty and they are really in the dark when it's night.  It is more like the reality for the actual travelers but very slow paced with long stretches of not very much going on.  3* (This movie is OK) 

104 min, Drama directed by Kelly Reichardt with Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Tommy Nelson, Rod Rondeaux.

Note:  Blockbuster 2*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 85% critic 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monsieur Hire 1989

Monsieur Hire (1989)    A young girl is murdered a short distance from a French apartment complex.  Monsieur Hire is a local tailor, he doesn't have any friends, keeps to himself, doesn't talk to the people in the town and no one likes him.  The detective investigating the murder case believes Hire must be the murderer.  In the apartment across from Hire is young and attractive Alice.  Hire has been watching her from his window, she notices him at his window and gets to know him to find out what he wants.
    This movie has unusual twists and the ending is not what you expect.  Hire is different because he is shy and lonely.  This is almost like an Alfred Hitchcock movie with low-key acting and much said through glances and gestures.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

79 min, Drama directed by Patrice Leconte with Michel Blanc, Sandrine Bonnaire, Luc Thuillier, Andre Wilms, Eric Berenger, Phillipe Dormory.  Bernard Soufflet.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb, 7.6 out of 10, 100% critic 82% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blackthorn 2011

Blackthorn (2011)    This is a continuation of a Butch Cassidy saga with Butch on one last adventure to meet his son for the first time.  It's been 20 years since he was thought to have perished in a violent gun fight and he has just learned he has a son in the U.S.  He's in Bolivia where he meets up with a Spaniard who has robbed a mine which causes Butch a lot of trouble.
    There isn't much to like or draw your interest in this movie.  It's just one dragged out scenario after another which feels like you are viewing it through burlap.  3* (This movie is OK)

102 min, Drama directed by Mateo Gil with Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega, Stephen Rea, Magaly Solier, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Pedraic Deleaney.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 6.6 out of 10,  69% both critic and audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fast Five 2011

Fast Five (2011)    The police are in hot pursuit and Dom is now a wanted fugitive, Brian and Mia need to pull off a big job.  One of their problems is that they have taken two cars off a train that were impounded by federal agents.  They discover a map of the operations of a crooked businessman in Rio, their next big job is to take his money.
    The acting is long stares, the dialogue came off cereal boxes but there is a lot of action.  An unusual vehicle and method is used to take the cars off the train and the final stunt is something not seen before.  3* (This movie is OK)

132 min, Action directed by Justin Lin with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Matt Schulze, Kang Sung, Gal Gadot.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.3 out of 10, 78% critic 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Love Wedding Marriage 2011

Love Wedding Marriage (2011)    A newlywed marriage counselor fights to save her mother and father's crumbing marriage.  The more energy Ava devotes to keeping her parents together the further she drifts away from her new husband.  It doesn't help that Ava and her sister are planning an anniversary party for their parents at the same time as this split.
    This is supposed to be a comedy but it's not funny?  It's very predictable and already done many times before.  2 1/2* (This movie is so-so)

90 min, Comedy directed by Dermot Mulroney with Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston, Marta Zumuda Trzebiatowska.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 4.6 out of 10, 0% critic 27% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Zookeeper 2011

Zookeeper     Griffin is a single guy who loves his job at the Franklin Park Zoo.  He proposes to his girlfriend but she thinks working at the zoo is not an important job.  They break up and he thinks about her for five years.   He sees her again at his brother's engagement party and wonders how he can get her back.  The zoo animals want to help him, they suddenly start taking and each one has advice for him.
    This is funny, the animals don't really have a clue about human dating and they give advice related to their own species.  A lot of this advice and animal behavior will not work.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

102 min, Comedy directed by Frank Coraci with Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, Ken Jeong, Donnie Wahlberg, Adam Sandler, Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Judd Apatow.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 4.8 out of 10, 14% critic 41% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Puncture 2011

Puncture (2011)    Based on a true story, a nurse at a hospital in Houston is accidentally jabbed with a used syringe.  She contracts AIDS which leads her close friend to invent a syringe with a safety point that prevents these mistakes.  Corruption and insider dealings prevent hospitals from ordering the new syringe even though the doctors and nurses want to be protected.  A small law office takes on the task of going after the dishonest firms.
    Even though the story is an important one, this film seems to take on too many stories with each one coming across as weak.  3* (This movie is OK)

100 min, Drama directed by Adam and Mark Kassen with Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, Marshall Bell, Brett Cullen, Jesse L. Martin, Vinessa Shaw, Roxanna Hope, Michael Biehn.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 53% both critic & audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Contagion 2011

Contagion    An infectious disease threatens humanity, the first victim is a woman returning from a business trip to Hong Kong.  Her son dies the same day but her husband doesn't get sick? The Centers for Disease Control need to identify the type of virus and find a way to combat it quickly, every day that passes more people die.
    The strong cast and plot elevate this movie from just another doomsday calamity.  Since we've already experienced virus spread in real life, this movie could happen.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

106 min, Drama directed by Steven Soderbergh with Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 84% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Big River Man 2008

Big River  Man
    Martin Strel is a 4 time world record holding endurance swimmer, he has
a dream to swim the 3375 miles of the Amazon River.  The journey is treacherous and dangerous.  There are crocodiles, piranhas, giant anacondas and pollution.  The swim takes 66 grueling days of willpower, drinking alcohol and ill health.  The intense strain takes a toll on Martin and his crew.
    This makes you wonder every minute if Martin is going to burst from high blood pressure, fry from sunburn, or go crazy and swim off into the sunset?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

101 min, Doc directed by John Maringouin with Martin Strel, Matthew Mohikie, Borut Strel (Martin's son).

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*imdb 7.0 out of 10, 90% critic 77% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, January 2, 2012

X-Men: First Class 2011

X-Men: First Class (2011)    A powerful team of mutants are on a mission to save the earth from nuclear annihilation.  These events are before Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr became mortal enemies.  The scene is the Bay of Pigs, the mutants realize they can use their unique powers to prevent a disastrous outcome.
    I could not get into this movie!  It seems just the same as so many other movies in this genre.  It's OK if you are painting walls, shampooing carpet with a loud machine, vacuuming, reading, washing your hair and other distracting activities.  3* (This movie is OK)

132 min, Sci-Fi directed by Matthew Vaughn with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Oliver Platt, Alex Gonzalez, January Jones.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.9 out of 10, 87% critics 88% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

In Her Skin 2009

In Her Skin (2009)    Based on actual events in 1999 Australia, Rachel is a 15 year old high school student living with her parents in Melbourne.  She is beautiful, intelligent, talented and well-adjusted.  Across the street is Caroline, she lacks every advantage that Rachel possesses, overweight, homely, skin problems, chronic depression and bad relationships with her divorced parents.  Rachel disappears and the police think she is just a runaway, her parents press them to take this case seriously.
    Rachel and Caroline are opposites but Caroline can do something about her problems, she just can't see that she has potential.  A disturbing drama but it doesn't draw you in enough to care as much as you should about the people.  3* (This movie is OK)

106 min, Drama directed by Simone North with Guy Pearce, Miranda Otto, Ruth Bradley, Sam Neill, Kate Bell, Khan Chittenden, Graeme Blundell, John Butler.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, no critic rating 51% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.