Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Devil Inside 2012

The Devil Inside (2012)     A young woman investigates the crime her mother committed while undergoing an exorcism.  She wants to know the truth, she travels to Rome with a film crew on a mission to see her mother in a hospital operated by the Catholic Church.  Two priests work with Isabella and they allow her to attend a series of unsanctioned exorcisms.  After these exorcisms are conducted, the priests attempt an exorcism on Isabella's mother.  No one has worked with her mother in this manner since there were multiple murders at the last attempt.
     This movie is scary, it makes you jump at little things because you are already sensitized to expecting the unusual to happen at any minute.  I was surprised by the ending, I found in unexpected but possible.  I thought it interesting that the DVD cover picture is just a moment in passing during the film.  3* (This movie is OK)

83 min, Horror directed by William Brent Bell with Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth, Suzan Crowley.

Note:  Blockbuster 1 1/2*, imdb 3.8 out of 10, 7% critic 23% audience on Rotten Tomatoes (24 reviews and only two are tomatoes?).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Haywire 2012

Haywire (2012)      Mixed martial arts fighter Mallory Kane is a lethal government contractor who's betrayed by her own agency.  She's fast, efficient, does the job right and she becomes an enemy to the same government she once served.  She's not going down without a fight, she reveals the government's deception but assassins close in from all sides.  Is there anyone she can trust when everyone she trusted seems against her?
     This had potential but it really went haywire!!  It just seems like a lot of running, fighting and then more running and fighting.  After a while it doesn't matter who is on the right side, which side is the right side or who wins.  Just beat them all up, you go girl and then sort them out later!!  3* (This movie is OK)

93 min, Mystery directed by Steven Soderbergh with Gina Carano, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, Mathieu Kassovitz.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.0 out of 10, 80% critic 41% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Grey 2012

The Grey (2012)     A tense adventure thriller about a group of tough oil rig workers who must fight for their lives in the Alaskan wilderness after their plane crashes miles from civilization.  They make a makeshift campsite at the crash site using debris for firewood, it's bitter cold and they use clothing from luggage to add more layers to their apparel.  This works just for a short time until wolves start to move in on the bodies and the survivors.
     The wolves in this film are not ordinary wolves, maybe they came from the Twilight set instead of the forest?  They are not hunting for food and they get very upset if they are not treated fairly even though that it not what they are doing.  How the survivors managed to gag some of the meat down from one wolf is beyond my endurance?  On top of all this, I did not like the ending.  3* (This movie is OK)

118 min, Action directed by Joe Carnahan with Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, Ben Bray, James Badge Dale, Anne Openshaw, Peter Girges, James Bitonti, Jacob Blair.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.0 out of 10, 79% critic 67 audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, May 28, 2012

One for the Money 2012

One for the Money (2012)     Thirty year old Stephanie goes to work at her cousin's bail-bond business, her first problem is she doesn't have a clue about this business.  Laid off 7 months ago from her job, car repossessed, evicted from her apartment and living with her parents.  She is very resourceful at getting at the truth in her search for court no-shows but her first case is a former high school boyfriend now accused of murder.  Why does it have to be him for her first case, couldn't it be anyone else?
     This has a good premise but doesn't follow through, it's weak and you begin to just not care.  Maybe this has the jinx of John Leguizamo, as soon as you see him, you know the movie will be bad?  Also, it's supposed to be a comedy but it's not funny either?   3* (This movie is OK)

91 min, Comedy directed by Julie Ann Robinson with Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo, Sherri Shepherd, Debbie Reynolds, Debra Monk, Nate Mooney, Adam Paul, Fisher Stevens.  

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.0 out of 10, 2% critic 50% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brighton Rock 2010

Brighton Rock (2010)
     An adaptation of Graham Greene's 1939 novel about an ambitious British gangster who will stop at nothing in his quest for ultimate power.  It's set in 1964 Britain, Pinkie is well on his way to becoming one of the most powerful figures in the underworld when a naive waitress links him to a brutal murder.  He must ensure that Rose remains silent about the crime and he begins tracking her every move.
     I did not like this film, the characters are trying to be tough but they aren't, the script is weak, the acting is weak, it's like leftovers that weren't good fresh, no flavor and they taste terrible.  Helen Mirren is the only actor who adds to the movie.  2* (I didn't like this movie) 

111 min, Mystery directed by Rowan Joffe with Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Andy Serkis, Sean Harris, Geoff Bell, Steven Robertson, Maurice Roeves, Steve Evets, Francis Magee, Adrian Schiller, Mona Goodwin, Kerrie Hayes, Lexy Howe. 

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.7 out of 10, 53% critic 36% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

La Petite Lili 2003

La Petite Lili (2003)     Mado is a successful actress spending the summer at her country home with her boyfriend, Brice.  He is a noted filmmaker and he directed her latest picture. Her son Julien is staying with them, he is an experimental filmmaker with a combustible personalty.  Lili is a young woman whose family lives nearby, she comes over a lot when her mother is away.  A lot of other people are in and out, Jeanne-Marie, the daughter of Mado's caretaker lives there too.  Mado doesn't have any kind words after a screening of Julien's latest film starring Lili. Jeanne-Marie defends him but he's interested in Lili.  Lili is interested in Brice even though he is much older.
     It seems like everyone in this film wants to be with someone other than the person they are with?  A lot of yelling and exploding emotions.  Everything takes a different direction after Lili leaves with Brice.  Difficult to keep the focus required because of the subtitles.  You just want them all to be quiet!!  3* (This movie is OK)

100 min, Drama directed by Claude Miller with Nicole Garcia, Bernard Giraudeau, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Ludivine Sagnier, Robinson Stevenin, Julie Depardieu, Yves Jacques, Anne Le Ny, Marc Betton, Michel Piccoli.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.1 out of 10, 68% critic 41% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Harvest 2010

Harvest (2010)     A college student finds himself reluctantly forced to grow up when he returns home to bid farewell to his grandfather.  Josh is wrapped up in college life and he doesn't want to spend his last summer before graduation at home.  He wants to be at a beach house soaking up every sun filled minute.  Instead, he's with his mother, his mother's brother, his grandfather, grandmother and a woman who takes care of his grandmother.  Is there any escape?  House painting for the summer is not his idea of a fun job either.  
     He does realize that this is a life changing time when they learn his grandfather doesn't have very long to live.  It's a good thing he's there for his mother, her brother would like the will to be changed so he can be in control.  A lot of yelling, storming out, push shove to get your way.  3* (This movie is just OK) 

103 min, Drama directed by Marc Meyers with Barbara Barrie, Victoria Clark, Arye Gross, Robert Loggia, Daniel Raymont, Peter Randazzo, Perter Friedmand, Peter Appel, Jerry Matz, Rosemary de Angelis, Kel O'Neill.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 4.7 out of 10, 73% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Time of the Wolf 2003

Product Details     The French title is Le Temps du loup.  A disturbing tale of a family forced into a harrowing confrontation with a strangers set against the backdrop of a global apocalypse.  A shaken family slowly makes their way to the presumed safety of their holiday home in the French countryside.  Upon arrival, the family discovers their home inhabited by strangers, a woman, a man and two children. The man greets them with a gun, he wants them to leave and give him the supplies they have brought with them.  Just a few sentences later the man kills the homeowner leaving his wife and two children with just a bicycle and their clothing.  It seems their only chance for survival is to find a nearby train station and hope a train will be coming.
     This movie has a lot of gaps, what caused the disaster, will it make any difference in their situation if they are able to board a train?  Is it better in another area?  They meet a lot of other people but it's vague about their relationships and motives?  It's very weird to try to put this together and make sense, it has come up on my weird meter!!  3* (This movie is OK)

109 min, Drama directed by Michael Haneke with Isabelle Huppert, Maurice Benichou, Lucas Biscombe, Patrice Chereau, Beatrice Dalle, Anais Demoustier, Daniel Duval, Marlyne Even, Oliver Gourmet, Rona Hartner.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, 62% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wallander: Mastermind 2006

Product Details
     Kurt's gas is siphoned from his car which makes him late for work.  His partner can't find his keys and his tires are slashed, he's also late for work.  Linda and Stephen go out on a call about a severed head blocking a water pump at a creek.  Soon after, they get a call about a domestic disturbance in a nearby apartment complex.  This does not turn out to be a disturbance after all but a false report, the woman in the apartment is a widow with a sleeping cat?  Kurt starts to tie these events together, did it have to be Linda and Stephen who went out on the calls, were Kurt and his partner kept away for a reason?  Things are not going well with the case, it seems as if someone has infiltrated the department, seeing and hearing everything?
     This is very complex and has you on the edge of your seat.  You really want things to turn out OK but a lot of bad goes down before the carefully woven web comes together.  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Peter Flinth with Krister Henriksson, Fredrik Gunnarsson, Mats Bergman, Stina Ekblad, Marianne Morck, Douglas Johansson, Lena Endre, Ola Rapace, Sverrir Gudnason, Nina Zanjani, Goran Aronsson.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 7.1 out of 10, no critic review 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Letter Never Sent 1969

Letter Never Sent Poster
     The original title is Neotpravlennoye Pismo, based on a book by Valery Osipove.  Four geologists are searching for diamonds in the wilderness of Siberia on a long and tiresome journey.  They manage to find a diamond mine and record it's location on their map.  They must deliver this map to Moscow,  they have reported by radio that they have been successful in their mission.  On the day of their departure, a terrible forest fire begins to rage through their area trapping them in the flames.
     Since this is a Russian film, you know the journey sets out without much hope of them accomplishing their goal. Siberia cannot be good, just the name gives you this idea and it's also filmed in black and white which adds to the somber tone.  I thought this was a new movie but it is a re-release of the original.  3* (This movie is OK)

80 min, Drama directed by Mikhail Kalatozov with Tatyana Smojiova, Yevgeni Urbansky, Innokenti Smoktunovsky, Vasill Livanov, Galina Kozhakina.

Note:  Blockbuster not listed, imdb 7.9 out of 10, no critic score 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Main Street 2010

Main Street (2010)
     A small town in North Carolina has fallen on hard times, they are striving to get back on their feet but it doesn't seem to be working.  Georgiana owns a tobacco warehouse and she rents it as a cash deal for 6 months.  She really needs the money to pay her bills and she's not interested in what they do there as long as there is no smoking in or around the building.  She calls on her niece Willa to help her when she finds two strange men sitting outside the warehouse smoking.  Gus Leroy is in the representative for the company renting the warehouse and he is a very smooth talker.
     I'm not sure of the purpose of this move, it has a high powered cast, not much of a plot and a very controversial theme that I don't want to spoil by revealing. Everyone is very southern, they would rather do the wrong thing than hurt anyone's feelings and Colin Firth with a southern accent?  3* (This movie is OK)

94 min, Drama directed by John W. Doyle with Ellen Burstyn, Colin Firth, Patricia Clarkson, Orlando Bloom, Amer Tamblyn, Andrew McCarthy, Tom Wopat.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 4.7 out of 10, 13% critic 8% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wallander: The African 2006

Product Details
     A man is found dead in a train car in a railway yard, it appears to be a suicide but the coroner determines it's murder.  A man confesses to the murder but Wallander doesn't believe him, he knows some of the details but he doesn't seem to be the killer.  An investigator is sent from CID to supervise the investigation, the team doesn't have a clue as to why?  Another man goes missing, are the two cases related, they both were from Libera?  A lot of questions but not many answers, is the CID man deleting and covering up some of the evidence?
     This is good, it's a little more difficult to watch with the subtitles but worth it. There are also obvious cultural differences between Sweden and the US.  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min directed by Stephan Apelgren with Krister Henriksson, Fredrik Gunnarsson, Mats Bergman, Stina Ekblad, Marianne Morck, Douglas Johansson, Lena Endre, Ola Rapace, Sverrir Gudnason, Nina Zanjani, Goran Aronsson.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 7.1 out of 10, no critic review 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Joyful Noise 2012

Joyful Noise (2012)
     G.G. Sparrow and Vi Rose Hill are having a tiff over Vi's appointment as the choir director.  G.G. was second in command for many years to her husband Bernard, he was the choir director before he passed away.  G.G. naturally assumed that she would be named to succeed him.  Their choir has been in the National Joyful Noise Competition many times but they have never won.  Could this year be different?
     This is enjoyable, Latifah and Parton are good together, especially when they are fighting.  A lot of good singing.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

118 min, Comedy directed by Todd Graff with Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, DexterDarden, Courtney B. Vance, Jesse L. Martin, Kirk Franklin, Angela Grovey, Andy Karl, Dequina Moore.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 4.8 out of 10, 33% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

A Bird of the Air 2011

A Bird of the Air (2011)
     Based on the 1993 New York Times Book of the Year, Lyman's job is spending nights helping people on the highway with engine trouble, other vehicle problems and accidents.  He hasn't had time to develop any people relationships but he attends a lot of college classes.  A parrot swoops into his home and starts talking.  Lyman wants to reunite the bird with the rightful owner and he meets a librarian interested in helping him.
     I enjoyed this, the bird is really special, Lyman and the librarian make a cute couple too.  It's interesting seeing the difficulty of Lyman's job, the different people who owned the bird and how long he has lived.  I particularly liked this film since I previously owned a bird similar to this one for several years.  Plenty of amusing antics!!  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

98 min, Drama directed by Margaret Whitton with Rachel Nichols, Jackson Hurst, Anjanette Comer, Buck Henry. Linda Emond, Kevin Skousen, Bernardo Saracino, Carmela Rappazo, Kalulani Lee, Rocco Sisto.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.9 out of 10, 30% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Prime Suspect: Season 1 1993

Product Details
     Jane Tennison is a London police detective.  She is trying to track down a serial killer who is murdering women.  She is also doing battle with her male colleagues for her fair share of respect and responsibility on the force.  The force is still reeling form the death of a long time male detective and they are not keen on a woman taking his place.  Withholding evidence and information, passive agressive with the boss to make themselves look good and Jane look bad.
     This is very good, Jane has her hands full with the uncooperative men and a suspect just as uncooperative.  It's going to take everything she has physically and mentally to rally the force and gather the clues.  4* (I really liked this movie)

208 min, Crime directed by Christopher Menaul with Helen Mirren, Tom Bell, John Benfield, John Bowe, Zoe Wanamaker, Bryan Pringle, Ralph Fiennes.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.5 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Harimaya Bridge 2009

The Harimaya Bridge (2009)     Daniel and his son Mickey were not getting along, Mickey decided to get as far away from his father and San Francisco as he could.  He went to Japan and became a teacher, he also continued to paint and taught painting as well.  There is a tragic accident and Mickey is killed, Daniel travels to Kochi Prefecture, Japan.  He wants to bring back Mickey's art, it is all that he has left of his son.  Daniel is very surprised to learn that Mickey was married to a Japanese woman and he didn't say anything about this important detail.
     This is interesting and enjoyable, the cultures of Americans and the Japanese are very different.  Daniel's father didn't return from WWII and that doesn't help relationships when he goes to a cemetery for Japanese war casualties.  He is really like a bull in a very big china shop!!  Kuroshio is part of Kochi Prefecture and it was along this coast where the recent tsunami hit.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

120 min, Drama directed by Aaron Woolfolk with Benet Guillory, Saki Takaoka, Misa Shimizu, Danny Glover, Victor Grant, Sakura Thomas, Misono, Hajime Yamazaki, Miho Shiraishi, Honoka.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.7 out of 10, no critic 85% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Carnage 2011

Carnage (2011)
     Adaptation of Yasmina Reza's play about four NY parents who meet to talk about the scuffle their boys got into at a local park.  Zachary hit Ethan and two of his teeth were damaged.  The parents believe they can come to an agreeable solution during the meeting.  At first they are all getting along but things begin to deteriorate quickly.  
     I thought as I started watching that it would be just arguing, then more arguing and getting worse as it went along.  I had hope that it would get better but that does not happen.  High powered director and cast but they could also just be kids yelling and fighting in the park, 80 minutes seems like an eternity..  2* (I didn't like this movie)

80 min, Drama directed by Roman Polanski with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly, Elvis Polanski, Eliot Berger, Joseph Rezwin, Nathan Rippy, Tanya Lopert, Julie Adams.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.3 out of 10, 72% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene 2011

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
     Martha is living on a farm operated by a cult, she really doesn't know what she has gotten herself into.  The cult expands by just picking people up who needs a place to stay.  In the beginning, she believes everything she is told but gradually she learns that there is a lot going on that she doesn't know about despite the fact she has been there for 2 years.  She calls her older sister who comes and picks her up, she tells Katie that she had a boyfriend and he lied to her.  OK, this doesn't explain why at Katie's house she went swimming nude, why she sleeps in her towel after a shower, why she can't seem to fit in with normal people?
     I didn't know what this was about before watching this film, there is a lot of weirdness and it does peg my weird meter.  The one important item that I learned is that you NEVER want to become a member of a cult.  Their plan is to keep what is wrong with them hidden as long as possible.  Then how do you get away?  3* (This movie is OK)

106 min, Drama directed by T. Sean Durkin with Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Gamer, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson, Adam Thompson.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 90% critic 72% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Henning Mankill's Wallander: Morkret 2005

Product Details

Also known as The Overdose or The Darkness:
     A young girl has committed suicide, then her father is discovered to be missing 2 years after her death.  Linda Wallander, Kurt Wallander's daughter is determined to solve this case.  She discovers that another girl from the same school has attempted suicide and a third girl is hit by a car escaping from a van.  Three cases of exploitation and abuse, who is behind these crimes?
     This is different from the Kenneth Branagh Wallander series, it's in Sweden but with subtitles.  You really have to pay attention plus get used to different actors and characters.  This is good.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Stephan Apelgren with Krister Henriksson, Fredrik Gunnarsson, Mats Bergman, Stina Ekblad, Marianne Morck, Douglas Johansson, Hohanna Sallstrom, Lena Endre, Ola Rapace, Sverrir Gundnason.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 7.1 out of 10,  no critic review yet 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

And They're Off..... 2011

And They're Off... (2011)
     A hard luck horse trainer attempts to turn his fortune around by convincing his unstable girlfriend to become a jockey in his mockumentary comedy.  He's got one more chance to train and run a Derby winning horse.  Everyone gets interviewed, even one guy who doesn't even know the trainer?
     This is supposed to be like Best in Show but it is not funny.  It is interesting to see the behind the scenes of horse racing but not a comedy.  3* (This movie is OK)

90 min, Comedy directed by Rob Schiller with Sean Astin, Cheri Oteri, Mark Moses, Gigi Rice, Mo Collins, Lil JJ, Martin Mull, Susan Yeagley, Koji Kataoka, J.T. Sherwood, Jamie Cuzick, Kevin Nealon. 
Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 3.0 out of 10, no critic score yet 20% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wallander: The Fifth Woman 2010

Wallander Poster
     In seemingly unrelated incidents, three elderly men are murdered.  They were all regarded as bullies and womanizers by their employees and families.  Their demise is not been something to cause them to mourn their loss.  Wallander is shocked by this since his own father has just passed away suddenly.  Is there some connection between the men who have been killed even though the methods have been different?
     This is good, Wallender is once again on shaky ground mentally and physically.  It's a strain to investigate these elderly men after his own personal loss.  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Aisling Walsh with Claire Cox, Howard Swinson, Kenneth Branagh, David Warner, Polly Hemmingway, Tom Hiddleston, John-Paul Hurley, Richard McCabe, Stefan Karlsson.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mister Foe 2007

Hallam Foe (2007)
     Adapted from a 2002 novel about a 17 year old Scottish boy still struggling with the drowning death of his mother in a nearby loch two years ago.  He thinks his stepmother murdered his mother in order to gain a husband and property.  He runs away to Edinburgh and gets a job working in a hotel kitchen.  He begins to really like Kate who gave him the job but he still has emotional problems.
     Hallam's stepmother Verity has boundary issues, his father kept some details quiet about his mother's death.  No wonder he has emotional problems.  Has anyone every heard about counseling?  3* (This movie is OK)

96 min, Drama directed by David Mackenzie with Jamie Bell, Sophia Myles, Ciaran Hinds, Jamie Sives, Maurice Roeves, Claire Forlani, Ruthie Milne, John Paul Lawler, Lucy Holt.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, 72% critic 72% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pariah 2011

Pariah (2011)
     Alike is 17 years old, she's a sweet and soft spoken girl who tries to follow the wishes of her mother.  There is another side of her that her parents don't know, she likes girls and not guys.  She changes her clothes after she leaves her house for school and she doesn't like the clothes her mother buys for her to wear.  Her mother presses her father to talk to her but he keeps putting it off.  Alike is having the same struggles in young love relationships as anyone her age and she comes home in tears.  She gets into a fight with her mother and leaves their home.
     Alike's mother and another mother in the same position do not want to accept the people that their daughters are.  There are a lot of stresses in Alike's house, her father probably has a girlfriend, her sister is not having the same problems.  This is powerful.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

87 min, Drama directed by Dee Rees with Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, Sahra Mellesse, Kim Wayans.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 96% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Dish and the Spoon 2011

The Dish & the Spoon (2011)
     Rose feels very angry and betrayed when her husband tells her he's been having an affair.  She hops in her car and heads to the Delaware seaside.  Her parents have a cottage there and it's also where the "other woman" lives.  She meets a young man who is stranded, sleeping by the beach and it's nearing winter.  He came to Delaware to be with his girlfriend but she went back with her ex-boyfriend.  They form a bond through their despair and despondency.
     You keep waiting for something to really happen but they are just hanging out in the entire movie.  I understand their pain and circumstances but is there anything else?  Listed as a comedy but it's not funny either.  2* (I didn't like this movie)

92 min, Comedy directed by Alison Bagnall with Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 58% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Contraband 2012

Contraband (2012)     Chris is a former smuggler in New Orleans but he's out of the business and has his own alarm installation business.  He also has a wife and two boys.  His wife's brother smuggles cocaine on a ship but dumps the cargo in the water when investigators come about the vessel.  Briggs is a drug dealer and he's behind this deal, he demands restitution and he doesn't care who delivers.  Chris gets on a freighter destined for Panama where he will obtain counterfeit currency.
     There are some errors in this movie, if you know someone who has sailed to Panama and back, they can point them out.  Everyone seems so tough but are they really?  This does have some exciting moments.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

109 min, Action directed by Baltasar Kormakur with Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale, Caleb Landry Jones, Diego Luna, J.K. Simmons, Ben Foster, Jason Mitchell, Paul LeBlanc.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 51% critic 60% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wallander: The Man Who Smiled 2010

Wallander: Faceless Killers/The Man Who Smiled/The Fifth Woman [2 Discs] ()     Lawyer Sten Tostensson tells Wallander that he believes his elderly father's death in a car crash was something else.  The key to the car was not in the ignition but was on the floor.  Wallander has taken a 6 month sick leave after a breakdown following a self defense shooting of a man.  Wallander turns Sten away but feels very badly when he finds out Sten hanged himself.  A wealthy philanthropist and been their major legal client so he's first to be investigated.  Wallander is on shaky ground both mentally and physically but he's got to get to the bottom of this case.
     Wallander is still reeling from shooting a man, he doesn't want to carry his fun whether he needs it or not.  There are a lot of mysteries surrounding this case, does he have anything left to find the solution?  Interesting and intense.  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Andy Wilson with  Kenneth Branagh, Sarah Smart, Richard McCabe, Jeany Spark, Sadie Shimmin, Tom Hiddleston, David Warner.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wallander: Faceless Killers 2010

Wallander: Faceless Killers/The Man Who Smiled/The Fifth Woman [2 Discs] ()      An elderly couple are murdered in their isolated farmhouse and the wife was able to say something to Wallander before she died.  He thinks she said foreigners but he's not sure.  This information gets leaked to the police even though he said to keep it confidential, there must be a leak among the police station force?  A migrant laborers camp is set fire and a random worker is killed by a shotgun because of the leak information.  There are a lot of leads but Wallander seems to be getting nowhere. 
     The further along he gets in the case, the more disheveled Wallander becomes.  He doesn't even go home to sleep at home but stays in one of the holding cells?  He's forced to kill a man in self-defense but his gun is confiscated and there will be an internal investigation.  This weighs heavily on his mind.  Very intense, just an everyday occurrence turns out to be the biggest lead.  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min directed by Hettie Macdonald  with Kenneth Branagh, Sarah Smart, Richard McCabe, Jeany Spark, Sadie Shimmin, Tom Hiddleston, David Warner.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.1, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

American Pastime 2007

American Pastime (2007)     An inspirational small town drama exploring the effects of WWII on Japanese American citizens trying to overcome suspicion and to be accepted in this country.  Some families were taken to the Topaz Internment Camp in a dusty dry area.  Lyle is a teen star baseball pitcher and had been accepted into college on a baseball scholarship.  Billy is a camp guard and minor league catcher, he's hoped all his life for a chance in the big leagues.  Lyle's father comes up with the idea to have a game between the two sides.
     There is a lot of racism among the guards and the townspeople even though several of the young men in the camp are in U.S. Army Unit 442.  This unit was one of the most decorated units in the Army and many of the men were lost in battle.  Some of the lost men came from this camp but it doesn't seem to change opinions.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

106 min, Drama directed by Desmond Nakano with Gary Cole, Lenardo Nam, Aaron Yoo, Mastatoshi Nakamura, Judy Ongg, Jon Gries, Susanna Thompson, Seth Sakai, Sarah Drew, Tod Huntington.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, 33% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)     This is the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible series.  The IMF is blamed for a bombing of the Kremlin.  Ethan Hunt and his team are accused of placing the bomb and the President initiates Ghost Protocol which means he denies any connection with the team.  Ethan assembles a new team to find out who wants to incite global nuclear war.
     Tom Cruise is going to be turning 50 soon, how much longer can he do these stunts and movies?  This movie does seem to be one of the better ones in the series.  I liked the team, they work well together and good acting, it was a good call to add Simon Pegg to the mix.  I really liked the sliver and glass BMW i8 concept car he drives in some of the scenes!!   3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

132 min, Action directed by Brad Bird with Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Samuli Edelmann, Ivan Shvedoff, Anil Kapoor, Lea Seydoux.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.5 out of 10, 93% critic 85% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Extremely Loud and Extremely Close 2011

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)     Based on a novel by Johathan Safran Foer, a post 9/11 drama following the journey of a nine year old boy as he attempts to solve a family mystery.  After his father died in one of the towers, Oskar discovers a key in his father's closet.  When he finds the lock, he's hoping the key will let him to solve a mystery.  He sets out to find the lock with the only the last name of Black on the envelope holding the key as a clue.  There are many people with this name in the New York phone book!
     This didn't get very good reviews and I didn't expect to like this movie since 9/11 movies are always downers.  One review also said Oskar is an irritation as the lead character because of his personality.  I didn't find any of this to be true, it's very enjoyable, there is hope with sadness.  You are rooting for Oskar to find the lock but it's about more than just the key and lock.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

129 min, Drama directed by Stephen Daldry and Eric Roth with Tom Hanks,Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Zoe Caldwell, Dennis Hearn, Paul Klementowicz, Julian Tepper, Caleb Reynolds, Max von Sydow.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 47% critic 62% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shame 2011

Shame (2011)     Brandon is an outwardly ordinary man with very strong inner compulsions.  He's a businessman in his early thirties living in New York.  He seems cool and introverted but inside he has a very powerful sexual appetite, he's obsessed with pornography and he cannot establish relationships.  Keeping the world at arm's length is his way of life.  His sister comes for an unexpected visit, she is outgoing and flashy but with problems of her own.
     This movie has a NC17 rating, it is very powerful visually and emotionally plus dark and brutal. You can feel Brandon's pain, his sister has her own pain but for different reasons.  Edge-of-your-seat reactions because you want to have hope that both Brandon and his sister get help to change their lives but can they or will they?  4* (I really liked this movie).

99 min, Drama directed by Steve McQueen with Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie, Lucy Walters, Mari-Ange Ramirez, Elizabeth Massucci, Rachel Farrar, Loren Omer.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.7 out of 10, 80% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.