Monday, April 30, 2012

Master Harold.....and the Boys 2010

Master Harold... and the Boys (2010)     Based on Athol Fugard's award wining play about racism during the Apartheid era in South Africa.  Harold (Hally) spent a lot of time after school with the two men who worked for his mother in their cafe.  Hally has a very difficult time with his father because he is an invalid alcoholic.  When Hally learns that his father will be coming home from the hospital, he takes his anger and pain out on Sam and Willie.
     I didn't know in the beginning of watching this film that it was based on a play.  You can tell this was based on a play, screenplay is very slow moving and takes a long time to get to a point.  3* (This movie is OK)

83 min, Drama directed by Lonny Price with Ving Rhames, Zoliswa Kawe, Freddie Highmore, Bongo Mbutuma, Nceba Mpilliswana, Vuyisile Pandle, Wiseman Sithole, Patrick Mofokeng, Jennifer Steyn.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 5.2 out of 10, no critic rating 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Dangerous Method 2011

A Dangerous Method (2011)     Examines the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud at the beginning of psychoanalysis as a treatment.  The year is 1904, Jung is a disciple of Freud and is using his method to treat Sabina Spielrein.  The further Jung goes into the method, the more he starts to veer away from the path of Freud because Freud views everything under the heading of sex.  They can't seem to agree on certain fundamental principles.  Freud sends Otto Gross as a patient which further separates Jung and Freud.  Gross was a maverick early disciple of Freud.
      Very intense, Knightly does a good job as the very disturbed Sabina and both Fassbender and Mortensen portray Jung and Freud as very dedicated to their treatment methods and patients.  4* (I really liked this movie)

99min, Drama directed by David Cronenberg with Keira Knightly, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon, Andre Hennicke, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey, Mignon, Reme, Mareike Carriere.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 78% critic 53% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Point Blank 2010

Point Blank     A male nurse saves a patient after someone enters his hospital room and tries to kill him.  For this good deed, his pregnant wife is kidnapped and he has to get this patient past the police and safely out of the hospital.  The French police have several squads after them and the criminal underground badly wants this patient.
     Watch this movie only if you have other things to do, read a book, read magazines, dust, run the vacuum, cook something delicious.  Very predictable, just a lot of running chasing and bumping off.  2 1/2* (This movies is so-so)

84 min, Action directed by Fred Cavaye with Giles Lellouche, Roschdy Zem, Gerard Lanvin, Elena Anaya, Mireille Perrier, Claire Perot, Moussa Maaskri, Pierre Benoist, Valerie Dashwood.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 91% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, April 27, 2012

For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story 2000

For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000)     Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie said Arturo Sandoval was one of the greatest musicians he'd ever heard and he was a shining light in Cuba's jazz scene.  As his fame grew, so did his discomfort with Fidel Castro and the Communist leadership.  He wanted to emigrate to the United States for musical and political freedom.  He was held back in Cuba by his love for his wife and children, he could not bear to leave them behind.
     This is long and could have been edited more critically.  The story is very interesting, especially the complications for admission into the United States.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

120 min, Drama directed by Joseph Sargent with Andy Garcia, Mia Maestro, Gloria Estefan, Tomas Milan, Miriam Colon, Charles S. Dutton, David Paymer.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, no review from critics 72% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ellen Foster 1997

Ellen Foster Poster     A young girl longs for a place to call home after her mother's death.  Her drunken and abusive father can't take care of her and she goes to live with her grandmother.  When her grandmother passes, she goes to live with her aunt but her cousin hates having her there and makes life tough for Ellen.  She sees a woman at church with a lot of children and finds out she is a foster mother.  Maybe she can find out how to live with her?
     This is good but warning it's a Hallmark Movie.  Ellen doesn't get into trouble and she just wants someone to love her.  She pays a high price for everyone hating her father.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

94 min, Drama directed by John Erman with Julie Harris, Jena Malone, Ted Levine, Glynnis O'Connor, Debra Monk, Barbara Garrick, Kate Burton, Zeljko Ivanek, Lynne Moody, Bill Nunn.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 6.9 out of 10, no critic reviews 58% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

A better Tomorrow 2010

     Sung Tse-kit and his brother Tse-ho have a complex relationship as brothers.  Sung is a recent graduate of the police academy and Tse-ho runs a massive counterfeiting ring along with his gangland associate, Mark Lee.  Tensions rise when their father is murdered after a crime deal goes sour and Tse-ho finds himself in jail after a double cross.
      I made a mistake when I got this movie, I wanted the original A Better Tomorrow 1986 with Chow Yun-Fat.  The 1986 film has 4* from Blockbuster and jump started Yun-Fat's career.  I could not make myself interested in this 2010 version, just reading the subtitles was too much effort!  2* (I didn't like this movie)

123 min, Drama directed by Hae-sung Song with Jin-mo Ju, Seung-heon Song, Kang-woo Kim, Han Sun Jo, Kyeong-yeong Lee, Ji-yeong Kim, Hae-gon Kim, Hyeong-jun Lim, Tae-hwa Seo.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*,  imdb 5.5 out of 10, 93% critic 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Spanish Prisoner 1997

The Spanish Prisoner Poster
     No one in this movie is who they seem to be, Joe has just created a process that stands to make his company and his boss millions of dollars.  He attends a clandestine meeting in the Caribbean to discuss the details with company executives.  He meets a wealthy man just by chance who tells him that he is naive to believe that his company will fairly compensate him for his work.  This starts the ball rolling.
     The title Spanish Prisoner refers to a confidence game about a wealthy prisoner who needs to obtain funds for his release.  If you help him, you will be well paid for your investment.  More money is needed later because of difficulties and even more will be requested until the funds run out or the mark wises up.  You don't know how this is going to go, who is telling the truth and what will happen at the end?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)
112 min, Drama directed by David Mamet with Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ben Gazzara, Felicity Huffman, Ricky Jay, Richard L. Friedman, Jerry Graff, G. Roy Levin.

Note: Blockbuster 3 1/2*,  imbd, 7.3 out of 10, 88% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Love's Kitchen 2011

Love's Kitchen (2011)

     London chef Rob Haley leaves the big city behind after the death of his wife, he opens a modest country restaurant.  He's lost his passion for cooking and his confidence is destroyed by a scathing restaurant review.  His old friend and colleague Gordon Ramsay pays him a visit at his new establishment.  Along with his daughter and his loyal staff, he transforms a typical pub into a food lover's paradise.
     Interesting, very predictable but could I have some of the delicious trifle?  A rejected boyfriend tries a lot of dirty tricks to close the restaurant.  3* (This movie is OK)

93 min, Drama directed by James Hacking with Claire Forlani, Dougray Scott, Sarah Sharman, Katrine De Candole, Lee Boardman, Michelle Ryan, Matthew Clancy, Tony Mann, Holly Gibbs.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 4.8 out of 10, 19% critic 32% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark 2011

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
     A young girl explores her father's 19th century mansion but she unleashes some tiny beasts.  At first she thinks they want to be her friend but she sees how frightening they really are.  Of course everyone doesn't believe her stories.  She's afraid to sleep in the dark but the creatures turn over the light and plunge her bedroom into darkness.

     This isn't bad for a scary movie, you don't know how it's going to end.  The creatures seems to be able to do anything even though they are small.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

99 min, Horror directed by Troy Nixey with Guy Pearce Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison, Jack Thompson, Alan Dale, Julia Blake, Trudy Hellier, Terry Kenwrick, Abbe Holmes.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.6 out of 10, 59% critic 34% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Inspector Lewis: Expiation 2007

Product Details
     When an Oxford housewife is found dead in her home, Lewis and Hathaway unearth a far darker murder case than the initial suspected suicide.  Their boss doesn't want them to spend time on this case since the substitute coroner has ruled the death a suicide but Lewis and Hathaway don't believe this to be true.  A lot of skeletons come out of the closet when they start their investigation.
     This is good and has you stumped for a while, then you are on the edge of your seat wondering what the outcome will be.  You hope it won't be as bad as you think it might be?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

86 min, Crime directed by Dan Reed with Emma Croft, Eva Sayer, James Wilby, Julia Joyce, Adam Parkinson, Jonathan McCausland, Vincent Regan, Lucy Robinson, Pip Torrens, Ben Peel.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.7, no critic review 90% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Inspector Lewis: Old School Ties 2007

Inspector Lewis Complete Set: Pilot, Series 1 & 2
      A former criminal computer hacker turned best selling celebrity author and one of his student sponsors are murdered after he's invited to lecture at Oxford.  Nicky has been receiving death threats since he got out of prison.  Lewis and Hathaway are assigned as body guards but they're not sure if there have been actual threats.  They really don't think anything is going to happen but then his sponsor is found strangled in the same hotel.
      You try to figure this out but there are details not discovered until close to the end of the investigation.  Plus, why was Nicky contacting a divorce attorney if he had a good marriage?  This is suspenseful.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

89 min, Crime directed by Sarah Harding with Owen Teale, Don Gallagher, James Russell, Frances Albery, Emma Campbell-Webster, Tom Harper, Stuart Milligan, Sarah Quintrell.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.7, not critic reviews 90% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inspector Lewis: Whom the Gods Would Destroy 2007

Kevin Whately     Inspector Lewis and his partner Detective Hathaway investigate the murder of Dean Greely.  He was staying on his boat and someone threw a rock onto his boat to get his attention.  He was killed by a blow to the head when he chased them into the woods.  Greely and three other men formed a club during their Oxford student days.  They have little contact with each other today and at first deny that the club existed.  Then a second member of the group is also murdered, the remaining two have a lot of explaining to do.
     A lot of Greek mythology since the club was called the Sons of the Twice Born.  Why has it taken 30 years for retribution?  This is good, not as intense as Wallander but still absorbing.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Crime, directed by with Kevin Wately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman, Rebecca Front.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*,  imdb 7.7, no critic reviews 90% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspector Lewis: Pilot Episode Series 1 2006:

Lewis: Lewis (Pilot) (2006)     Inspector Lewis returns to Oxford after several years leave of absence and is reluctantly assigned by his new boss to investigate the murder of a mathematics student.  She was a volunteer in a sleep study and the key code used to enter the sleep lab was assigned to another math student.  This student is disruptive, not very well adjusted and disrespectful.
     This has a lot of twists and turns, very interesting.  Who could walk up to a beautiful sleeping girl and kill her?  Lewis has his own problems too, he has been away from the job for two years because his wife was killed by a drunk driver and his boss is not very encouraging.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Crime, directed by Bill Anderson with Laurence Fox, Kevin Whately, Charlie Cox, Sophie Winkleman, Colin Starkey, Jack Ellis, Jemma Redgrave, Dennis Matsuki, Danny Webb.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.9, no critic reviews 90% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wallander: One Step Behind 2009

One Step Behind     Three young adults are shot and killed while having a woodland picnic dressed in period costumes.  It's possible that Wallander's partner Svedberg is involved, everyone says they were questioned before by "the other detective."  The case takes a unexpected twist when Wallander also becomes a target.
     This is good, who committed this crime, one of the group escaped being killed, she was sick and couldn't go.  It doesn't seem possible she did it, she doesn't seem strong enough?  4* (I really liked this movie)

89 min, Crime directed by Philip Martin with Kenneth Branagh, Sarah Smart, Sadie Shimmin, Tom Beard, Tom Hiddleston, Richard McCabe, Jeany Spark.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wallander: Firewall 2009

Firewall     Eighteen year old Sonia admits to stabbing and robbing a taxi driver but she won't add anything else in police interviews.  Her friend Ava was with her at the time but she won't give any additional information either.  There must be a reason other than they wanted and needed the money?
     This is very intense, why was the taxi driver killed and why does Sonia think it doesn't matter?  Sonia's parents said they give her money so that could not have been the reason.  Wallander is very good at his job but he's also having personal problems with his wife and he gets very involved in his cases.  4* (I really liked this movie)

89 min, Crime directed by Niall MacCormick with Kenneth Branagh, Sarah Smart, Sadie Shimmin, Tom Beard, Tom Hiddleston, Richard McCabe.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Guard 2010

The Guard (2010)     Irish cop Gerry Boyle teams up with an American FBI agent to take down a gang of international drug traffickers.  Boyle is an eccentric small town cop with a confrontational and crass personality.  Wendell Everette is as straitlaced as they come, the book must be followed to crack this case.
     This is a comedy but I did not find it funny at all?  It has a lot of language and the crimes are serious?  Several times I just wanted to stop watching.  3* (This movie is OK)

96 min, Comedy directed by John Michael McDonagh with Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Rory Keenan, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan, Mark Strong.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.3 out of 10, 95% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mountains of the Moon 1990

Mountains of the Moon (1990)     This film recreates the exploratory adventures of the 19th century visionaries Sir Richard Burton and John Henning Speke.  The heart of the film is the effort by Burton and Speke to discover the true source    of the Nile river.  Many injuries and hardships befell both explorers on this journey and previous adventures.  They formed a strong bond of friendship.
     This movie is long but the adventures are remarkable, I'm not sure how historically accurate but it was the lifelong dream of the director to make this film.  Burton and Speke had a strong friendship that  unraveled because of a lie.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

140 min, Action directed by Bob Rafelson with Patrick Bergin, Iain Glen, Fiona Shaw, Richard E. Grant, Peter Vaughn, John Savident, James Villers, Anna Massey, Bernard Hill, Roger Rees.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, 69% critic 74% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wallander: Sidetracked 2009

Sidetracked     Police inspector Kurt Wallander is working in the Swedish town of Ystad.  Several murders have been committed in the same style,  a blow to the head with a very sharp small hatchet.  A government minister, wealthy business man, retired policeman and a habitual criminal, what do the men have in common?
     This is good, very intense, you are following the clues right along with Wallander.  He sets a trap with a man who may be the next victim on the list, he's already in police custody, will it matter if they can't protect him?  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Philip Martin with Kenneth Branagh, Sarah Smart, Sadie Shimmin, Tom Beard, Tom Hiddleston, Richard McCabe, David Warner.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2* imdb 7.0 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Enter Nowhere 2012

Enter Nowhere (2011)     Samantha finds herself walking in the woods until she finds a cabin.  Her husband was driving their car and they ran out of gas, he went to get help.  Tom ran into a tree with his truck and he was the first to find the cabin.  Jody is the next one to show up at the cabin, she's asleep on the front walk when Samantha opens the door.  They discover interesting and disturbing facts about each other as they begin to talk.  The last to arrive is a German shoulder with a gun, luckily Samantha speaks German.
     This film is nothing like I thought it would be, I didn't read the back of the DVD before watching.  There are a lot of interesting twists and turns, are some people lying, just mistaken or are they telling the truth?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Drama directed by Jack Heller with Sara Paxton, Scott Eastwood, Christopher Denham, Shaun Sipos, Katerine Waterston.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 2.8 out of 10, no critic review 40% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We Bought a Zoo 2011

We Bought a Zoo (2011)     The Mee family is going through a difficult time after the loss of their wife and mother.  Dylan is expelled from school, Benjamin can't look at any of the places he went to with his wife.  Rosie is only seven but she really misses her mom.  Benjamin decides they all need a new beginning, they set out to look for a new place to live for a start.  Everything doesn't seem like it's a fit until they come to one house and it's the perfect fit.  The only problem, it's a zoo?
     This film has a lot going for it, star power, kids, animals but it's slow, predictable, a lot of looks instead of dialog.  Maggie Elizabeth Jones is a great little actress.  It is enjoyable if you just go along for the ride and let it play out.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

126 min, Drama directed by Cameron Crowe with Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Elle Fanning, Angus MacFadyen, Patrick Fugit.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 66% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Redemption Road 2010

Redemption Road (2010)
     Bailey learns that he has just inherited his grandfather's estate.  It couldn't be at a better time, he's a talented blues guitarist with stage fright, saddled with debt and seeing another man's wife.  He hits the road with Augy on the way from Austin to Huntsville Alabama to see if things are going to start looking up for him.
     This is just OK, Bailey really is on the skids with drinking, not paying his rent, getting beat up, throwing up.  He might as well leave Austin, there is nothing left for him there.  3* (This movie is OK)

90 min, Drama directed by Mario Van Peebles with Michael Clarke Duncan, Morgan Simpson, Kiele Sanchez, Taryn Manning, Luke Perry, Tom Skerritt.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 5.5 out of 10, 57% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't Come Knocking 2005

Don't Come Knocking (2005)       Howard is a veteran actor who has been a popular Western star since the mid 70's.  Onscreen he is a strong, principled lawman but his real life has been dominated by drinking, drugs and chasing women.  In the middle of filming his latest movie, he simply rides away on his horse.  His shallow life has finally made him fed up.  The movie crew and the insurance company take a dim view that the star is just not there.
       Long, drawn out, some events not fully explained, a lot of over reaction and Howard is not very likeable.  It is funny that he goes to his mother's house and she even lies that she's not lying?  It is sad that Sarah Polley was killed.  3* (This movie is OK)
111 min, Drama directed by Wim Wenders with Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth, Gabriel Mann, Sarah Polley, Fairuza Balk, Eva Marie Saint. 
Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 42% critic 41% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dying Young 1991

Dying Young (1991)     Adapted from a novel by Marti Leimbach.  Victor is undergoing treatment for leukemia, he has been sick for 10 years.  His wealthy father wants him to hire a nurse but he hires Hilary just because he likes her to help him through the rough parts of chemotherapy treatment.  Hilary doesn't know if she can handle this job after the first round of treatment.
     This is from 1991 and only slightly dated, it's enjoyable to watch even though the outcome may not be happy.  I didn't know that Campbell Scott was the son of Colleen Dewhurst and George C. Scott.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

111 min, Drama directed by Joel Schumacher with Julia Roberts, Campbell Scott, Vincent D'Onofrio, Colleen Dewhurst, David Selby, Ellen Burstyn, Behrooz Afrakhan, Michael Halton.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 5.4 out of 10, 28% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A World Apart 1988

A World Apart (1988)     Inspired by the lives of South African journalist Ruth First and her daughter Shawn Slovo.  The fictional counterpart to Ruth is Diana Roth with Molly as her daughter.  Diana and her husband Gus are so busy with their anti-Apartheld political activism that they shut May out of their lives.  Diana was the first white woman to be arrested by the South African police and held under the 90 day detention act.  Diana is left despondent and suicidal by two separate arrests and only after a confrontation by May does she turn around and let May into her life.
     This is good, Diana Roth is really living her beliefs but there is a big price for her and her family.  Molly is the oldest daughter, she sees friends pull away from her, she misses both her parents, even her grandmother is under so much pressure taking care of the family that she has to take a break.  You really feel for the people in this film except for the South African Police.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

113 min, Drama, directed by Chris Menges with Barbara Hershey, Jodhi May, Jeroen Krabbe, David Suchet, Paul Freeman, Tim Roth, Linda Mvusi, Yvonne Bryceland, Albee Lesotho.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 88% critic 69% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lemming 2005

Lemming (2005)     Alain and his wife Benedicte relocate to an ultra modern community in the south of France.  Alain has received a lucrative position at a hi-tech firm.  He is happy in his work, in love with his wife and can't believe his new-found success.  Suddenly life takes a different path after an uncomfortable dinner with his new boss and the boss' wife.  He's unable to sleep and starts to repair the kitchen sink, unexpectedly he finds a lemming in the drain.  How has a rodent native to Scandinavia make it's way to a drain pipe in France?
     I had already seen this film before, I remembered the first half but not the second.  Unusual circumstances that leave you really wondering and require waiting to see how they unfold.  Some developments are unexplained and you have to decide their meaning on your own.  Good acting by Rampling and Gainsbourg.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

129 min, Drama, directed by Dominik Moll with Laurent Lucas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, Andre Dussollier, Jacques Bonnaffe, Veronique Affholder, Michel Cassagne.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 70% critic 53% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shalimar: The Deadly Thief 1978

Shalimar: The Deadly Thief (1978)     An ailing millionaire and master jewel thief invites the best rival jewel thieves in the world to his island estate to compete for the ultimate prize of the Shalimar Ruby.  The winner will walk away as the proud owner of the world's most luminous jewel but the losers will pay with their deaths.
     This movie is terrible, maybe on the list of worst movies!  A musical number on the beach is ridiculous and laughable.  One thief's body is made into a god by the natives and another comes back from the dead?  Did Rex Harrison need to make a house payment?  2* (I didn't like this movie)

90 min, Action, directed by Krishna Shah with Rex Harrison, Zenat Aman, Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, John Saxon, Sylvia Miles.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, no critic review 45% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Scarface 1983

Scarface (1983)     Fidel Castro opens the Mariel, Cuba harbor and sends 125,000 Cuban refugees to reunite with their relatives in the US.  Many are from the Cuban prisons, Tony Montana is one of the criminals.  He goes to work for a Miami drug lord in 1980 and rises to the top of Florida's crime chain with a trail of murders in his wake.
     Somewhat based on the original Scarface of 1932 which was filmed in Chicago.  How can you make any decisions when you have a bag of cocaine in your system at all times?  When you treat everyone like dirt, they eventually all band together to bring you down but that can only be the ones that are still alive.  At first I did not like this movie but it becomes better as everything falls apart.  There is a not of trivia information at imdb.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

170 min, Drama directed by Brian De Palma with Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, F. Murray Abraham, Paul Shenar.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.2 out of 10, 89% critic 93% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

7 Dias 2005

7 Days (2005)     Claudio is on the lower rungs of the music business, he tries to change that by bringing one of the biggest bands in the world to his hometown.  He's tired of living in the shadow of his successful brother who dominated the business before he died.  He's trying to get U2 to Mexico City for a concert but first half a million dollars is needed to make this a reality.
     Claudio really puts his neck on the line when he bets $500,000 of his girlfriend's parent's money on a soccer game.  His team loses but he gave the money back to his girlfriend, now the mob is going to make sure they get their money.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

95 min, Drama directed by Fernando Kalife with Eduardo Arroyuelo, Martha Higareda, Jaime Camil, Julio Bracho, Roberto D'Amico, Dino Garcia, Alex Hank, Harry Porter, Beto Cuevas.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, 22% critic 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Loving Leah 2009

Loving Leah Poster     Jake Lever is a cardiologist, his older brother Ben is a rabbi.  Ben passes away suddenly and Jake soon learns about one of the Jewish laws.  The younger brother must marry the wife of the older brother in order for his name to continue.  Leah and Jake both decide they will accept an alternate ceremony which will free Jake from his obligation.  The elders start the ceremony and it is going well until Jake is asked to deny the existence of his brother Ben.  Jake and Leah ask to take a break.  Jake tells Leah that he cannot deny the existence of his brother.  Their only choice now is for them to get married and Jake's girlfriend Carol does not take this situation very well.

     This is enjoyable even though predictable.  Leah starts going to a different Synagogue in Washington DC where Jake lives and the woman Rabbi is surprised to learn that this part of Jewish law is still being practiced.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

95 min, Drama directed by Jeff Bleckner with Lauren Ambrose, Adam Kaufman, Susie Essman, Harris Yulin, Natasha Lyonne, Christy Pusz, Ricki Lake, Mercedes Ruehl, Tonye Patano.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 6.9 out of 10, no critic review 74% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Apollo 18 2011

Apollo 18 (2011)     Officially, Apollo 17 was launched 12/17/72 and was the last manned NASA mission to the moon.  This is a found footage style film exploring the urban legend surrounding NASA's canceled trip to the moon after 1972.  Is it possible there was an Apollo 18 mission that did land on the moon and proof of extraterrestrial life exists on film?
     Seems very real throughout the film, even Snopes has checked out this legend and you can check their results at their site or Wikipedia.  A big question in this theory is how could a rocket launch out of Florida with a manned mission without people in Florida seeing anything?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

86 min Sci-Fi directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego with Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Michael Kopsa, Andrew Airlie, Kurt Max Runte, Jan Bos, Kim Wylie, Noah Wylie.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 5.3 out of 10, 25% critic 25% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.