Saturday, June 30, 2012

Coriolanus 2011

Product Details     Caius Martius (Coriolanus) is a revered and feared Roman General who is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens.  He is pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul.  He does not want to ingratiate himself with the masses but he needs their votes in order to secure the office.  When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus's anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome.
     A lot of action and soldiers fighting with current weapons but speaking in Shakespearean language.  I just don't get it, if you have something to say, just say it?  I really could not get beyond their choice of speech pattern and I did not listen anymore.  I did not like or enjoy this movie at all.  I think a movie in a foreign language without subtitles would have been my preference over what was presented.  If this does not bother you, the movie might work for you.  1* (I hated this movie)

122 min, Drama directed by Ralph Fiennes with Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes,Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain, Lubna Azabal, Ashraf Barhom, Zoran Cica, Milos Dabic, Nicolas Isia, Zoran Miljkovic, Marija Mogbolu.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, 93% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, June 29, 2012

John Carter 2012

Product Details     Based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter was a Civil War veteran who is still haunted by violence he encountered on the battlefield.  He finds a cave with strange pictures and writings, there is also a strange man.  The man has a silver medallion and he starts saying strange words.  John Carter repeats the words and finds himself on Mars.  There is major conflict and war, John Carter cannot escape being fully involved in the battles.  He meets Dejah Thoris, a Princess of Mars but she calls the planet Barsoom, she has different names for the other planets of the solar system also.  She doesn't know if she can believe that John Carter is from Earth, he'll have to prove it.
     This movie has lots of action and unusual creatures but it's too long, too many battles, too much fighting, scheming and back stabbing.  I found myself checking many times to see how much time remained before it was finally finished.  3* (This movie is OK)

132 min, Action, directed by Andrew Stanton with Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston, Polly Walker.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.8 out of 10, 52% critic 65% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Humble Pie 2007

Product Details     Tracy Orbison weighs nearly 400 pounds, he's a big guy who works at a grocery store.  He has few friends, is naive and his mom would like to see him shed some weight.  A new guy starts out at the store and Tracy thinks he is his friend along with the two buddies of the new guy.  Tracy doesn't see that they are just using him until he gets in a little too deep because of their schemes and lies.
     Very slow paced, nothing is surprising or unexpected.  The characters are OK and the plot but they are just not doing very much 3* (This movie is OK)

84 min, Drama directed by Chris Bowman with Hubbel Palmer, Kathleen Quinlan, Geoff Hansen, Scott Lincoln, Rae Ritke, Bruce McGill, Mary Lynn Rajskub, William Baldwin, Megan Ferguson, Vincent Caso, Miki Eto.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 6.2 out of 10, no critic score 52% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Little Bit of Heaven 2011

Product Details     Marley has lost some weight and she's feeling more tired than usual, she makes an appointment with her doctor to see what's going on.  She gets unexpected and life-changing news, she has cancer.  She tells her best friend and her parents but she doesn't want people to feel sorry for her.  She tells her boss she has mono and needs to be working from home until she's better.  She starts chemo but it isn't making a difference in her cancer, she enters an experimental trial but it reduces her quality of life with no guarantee that it will increase the quantity.  Marley has not wanted to be in relationships but she finds her doctor is single and very attractive!?
     This is a Steel Magnolia's type film but Kate Hudson can do this without making it too down.  She lights up the screen and you can see the glow beneath the surface even when she looks terrible.  The comedy of Lucy Punch and Romany Malco add to the mix, even Whoopi Goldberg has a small role.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

106 min, Comedy directed by Nicole Kassell with Kate Hudson, Lucy Punch Gael Garcia Bernal, Kathy Bates, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosemarie DeWitt, Johann Urb, Treat Williams, Romany Malco, Steven Weber, Alan Dale.

Note:  Blockbuster 1*, imdb 6.0 out of 10, 4% critic 48% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.  (I see  Blockbuster & Rotten Tomatoes really slammed this in their reviews!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This Means War 2012

Product Details     Lauren has moved to a new city to follow her boyfriend, she quickly finds out he was not worth the effort.  She's faced with trying to figure out how to meet someone new, her sister Trish suggests she sign up for online dating.   Trish puts outrageous information and pictures on a profile for Lauren.  Tuck puts his information on the same website and they have a first date which both enjoy.  Right after the date, Lauren meets Frank who is Tuck's best friend and working partner but she doesn't know that. 
     Now Lauren is dating two men with the full encouragement of her sister.  When Tuck and Frank find out they are both interested in Lauren, they use all their CIA agent tricks to keep track of each other and Lauren.  They agree that their friendship is over but Lauren can choose the man she feels is best for her.
     The premise is good but the execution is terrible.  I wanted to like this but it is not very funny, not very romantic, very weak and feels like everyone is just going through the motions.  Witherspoon doesn't need to do drivel like this!  3* (This movie is OK)

99 min, Action directed by McG with Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Til Schweiger, Chelsea Handler, John Paul Ruttan, Abigail Spencer, Angela Bassett, Rosemary Harris, George Touliatos, Clint Carleton, Leela Savasta.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, 25% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

From Time to Time 2009

Product Details     In 1940's England, thirteen year old Tolly is sent to Green Knowe, the country estate of his grandmother.  His father is fighting in WWII and has been reported missing in action.  His mother is searching for any information and she can't cope with the news.  Tolly discovers his grandmother lives in a wonderful old house that has been in the family for a long time.  He also finds out he can time travel back and forth from the present to 1805.  He becomes caught up in the family scandals, secrets and mysteries from these early years.  When he is in the present, he tries to find out as much as he can so he can fit the time puzzle pieces together.  He talks to his grandmother about what is happening and she doesn't seem a bit surprised?
     This is good, it is interesting to see the blend of the two time periods together with the different clothing styles, attitudes and way of thinking.  Tolly also takes comfort in the fact that he and his grandmother have not seen his father in this gray area so he must still be alive.  4* (I really liked this movie)

95 min, Drama directed by Julian Fellowes with Alex Etel, Timothy Spall, Maggie Smith,  Christopher Villiers, Pauline Collins, Eliza Bennett, Rachel Bell, Dominic West, Carice van Houten, Douglas Booth, Jenny McCracken. 

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.1 out of 10, 33% critic 53% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Safe House 2012

Safe House (2012)     Matt Weston is a CIA rookie manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa.  Tobin Frost, the CIA's most wanted rogue agent goes to the American Consulate where he knows he will be arrested and he is taken to the safe house.  During Frost's brutal interrogation, the safe house is overtaken by the same men who were after Frost before he came to the house.  Weston and Frost escape and try to stay out of the sight until they can get to another safe house.
      Frost tells Weston that the only way these men found the safe house was that someone on the inside told them about Frost's location.  Frost starts yelling in a crowd that he's being kidnapped and escapes, Weston is told to report to Langley.  Just as he's about to do this, he recalls something that Frost did that helps him figure out where Frost could be going.  When he arrives, the men who are after Frost show up but Weston saves him and they head off on the run again.
     This is filled with action, one of the best car chases that I've seen.  I don't know what the body count turns out to be, you can't keep track, everything is happening quickly.  You don't know how this is going to turn out, can Frost be brought in, can Weston survive this?  4* (I really liked this movie)

115 min, Action directed by Daniel Espinosa with Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Ruben Blades, Nora Arnezeder, Robert Patrick Liam Cunningham, Joel Kinnaman.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 54% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Take Shelter 2011

Take Shelter (2011)
     Curtis begins to experience frightening bad dreams and hallucinations.  This is not a good situation for a father and husband.  He assumes he has mental illness and he seeks medical help and counseling.  While pursuing help, he still fears the worst and he starts to build an elaborate and expensive storm shelter in his backyard.  The building and just the fact that the shelter exists start to tear his family apart, threaten his sanity and his reputation in the community.  He feels he must build the shelter to save his family's life, he can't let anything stop him and he must continue.
     Curtis' mother began suffering from mental illness at about this age, he's very worried that he will need to leave his family to go into full-time care like his mother.  Curtis' wife doesn't know what to think?  This is good, how is Curtis going to support his family, maintain his marriage and help his daughter with his mind in this condition?  4* (I really liked this movie)

120min, Drama directed by Jeff Nichols with Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Natasha Randall, Ron Kennard, Scott Knisley, Robert Longstreet, Heather Caldwell.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.6 out of 10, 92% critic 80% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Johnny English Reborn 2011

Johnny English Reborn (2011)     Johnny English doesn't know fear or danger, in his latest adventure he must stop a group of international assassins before they eliminate a world leader and cause global chaos.  He has been practicing his top notch secret agent skills in a remote region of Asia.  The world needs him once more and he accepts the call again.  His new boss reminds him that she will take no mistakes this time around, is that possible?  English has a tough time handling the latest high-tech gadgets, they seem to go off at the wrong time and against the wrong person?
     How can you tell one Johnny English movie from another, do you need a score card, they seem to all be the same?  I could not get very interested in this because it has all happened before in one way or another, he just has gray in his hair.  3* (This movie is OK)

101min, Comedy directed by Oliver Parker with Rowan Atkinson, Roger Barclay, Eric Carte, Togo Igawa, Eleanor Wyld, Mandi Sidhu, Margaret Clunie, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike, Dominic West, Tim McInnerny.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.2 out of 10, 38% critic 46% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Mighty Macs 2010

The Mighty Macs (2010)     Cathy Rush is a women's basketball coach in the early 70's, she's hired by a small college with almost no money or supplies for the sport.  She commits herself to turning a nearly nonexistent team into a national competitor.  Using sheer determination, she inspires her team to reach for the impossible.
     Based on a true story, Cathy Rush not only turned her players into winners, she changed their lives.  Many of the team members went on to become coaches.  She had a very positive outlook as a coach.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

99 min, Drama directed by Tim Chambers with Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Ellen Burstyn, Marley Shelton, Kim Blair, Bianka Brunson, Margaret Ann Florence, Katei Hayek, Kate Nowlin, Meghan Sabia, Taylor Steel.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.5 out of 10, 47% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

American Teacher 2011

American Teacher (2011)     This film weaves interviews of policy experts and the facts from the lives and careers of several teachers.  Students, families and colleagues are also interviewed to tell more of the story about the teachers.  Rhena is a Harvard graduate barely able to make ends meet on her salary.  Jamie is struggling with the six week limitation on maternity leave, she is exhausted getting up at night with her newborn plus pumping milk every two hours during her work day.  Erik loves being a teacher, he's added coaching to make more money and works as many hours as he can at Best Buy until he is laid off.  Jonathan also loves teaching but he goes into the family real estate business since he cannot support his family on the salary.
     The stories of these teachers are repeated across the country.  One comment from a teacher and parent was that his son is making more on his first job money selling cell phones than teachers.  Are we placing more value on cell phones than the education of our children?  It seems education is the last when it needs to be the first.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

81 min, Doc directed by Vanessa Roth and Brian McGinn with Eric Benner, Neil Cavuto, Matt Damon, Linda Darling-Hammond, Jonathan Deraman, Jamie Fidler, Rhena Jasey, Gregory Peters, Rachel Russell, Loran Simon.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.6 out of 10, 67% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

J. Edgar 2011

Product Details     J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the FBI for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.  At the beginning of his career, he was fixated on Communists, anarchists and anyone taking action against the government.  His secretary, Helen, didn't want to get married because she said her job came first and he felt the same way.  J. Edgar did the hiring and the firing, he kept confidential files on people in the public eye.  He did not hesitate to use them as blackmail if it was needed.
     I found this to be very dry, the other person I viewed this with was more interested.  I did find information such as J. Edgar was the first investigator to set up files on fingerprints, staff a scientific lab to investigate evidence and mark the money paid in ransoms.  He had skeletons in his own closet but did not hesitate to go after others with their own secrets.  3* (This movie is OK)

137 min, Bio directed by Clint Eastwood with Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts,  Josh Hamilton, Geoff Pierson, Cheryl Lawson, Kaitlyn Dever, Brady Matthews, Gunner Wright, David A. Cooper, Ed Westwick, Kelly Lester.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.8 out of 10, 44% critic 47% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Iron Lady 2011

Product Details     An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband.  She struggles to come to terms with his death while she recalls scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister.  Now she is elderly and almost a prisoner in her own home due to her concerned staff and her daughter. 
     What a life she had!!  She believed that people needed to do and not just talk.  She didn't think she would be elected as prime minister but she want to shake up the government, their complaining and not doing.  4* (I really liked this movie)

105 min, Drama directed by Phyllida Lloyd with Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach, Roger Allam, Richard E. Grant, Susan Brown, Olivia Coman, Nicholas Farrell, Eloise Webb.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, 53% critic 52% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Like Crazy 2011

Like Crazy (2011)     Anna is a British girl attending college in LA, she falls in love with a fellow student, Jacob.  Anna overstays her student visa and she is returned to Britain by the US government.  Anna and Jacob try to manage a long-distance relationship but find it very difficult.  Anna's father suggests that they get married which will allow Anna to return to the US with Jacob.  They do get married but discover that the problem with the student visa must be solved before she can be allowed back into the US even though they are now married.  They have filed several appeals regarding the student visa with no results so far.  This throws everything into a mess and affects their relationship.
     This is different than I thought it would be, I knew she was from Britain and they wanted to be together but I didn't know about all the circumstances.  I think they both were immature, ended up hurting other people and should not have gotten married at all in the beginning.  They needed to check into the visa and residence details first.  I really wanted this movie to be good since I like the actor but it is too lukewarm.  3* (This movie is OK)

90 min, Drama directed by Drake Doremus with Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Carlei Bewley, Alex Kingston, Oliver Muirhead, Finola Hughes, Chris Messina, Ben York Jones, James Thomas King.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.8 out of 10, 73% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

W.E. 2011

Product Details     Wally Winthrop is obsessed with the relationship between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, she was also named after Wallis.  In 1998 New York, there is an auction of the estate of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor which draws Wally to visit and view all the objects every day.  As she becomes more involved in the details of their love story, she begins to see the lack of love in her relationship with her doctor husband.  She would like to have a child but how can she if he's never home?  She begins to form a friendship with one of the security guards working for the auction house.
     I found this very interesting, especially the clothing, makeup and furnishings.  This film has a back and forth style between the 1936 and 1998.  4* (I really liked this movie) 

119 min, Romance directed by Madonna with Abiie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy, Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle, David Harbour, James Fox, Judy Parfitt, Haluk Bilginer, Geoffrey Palmer, Natalie Dormer, Laurence Fox.

Note:  Blockbuster 2*, imdb 5.1 out of 10, 12% critic 51% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Piece of the Pie 2011

My Piece of the Pie (2011)     France is a working class single mother who finds herself in a tight spot when the factory she's been worked at for 20 years is shut down.  With few prospects in her hometown, she leaves her three daughters in the care of her sister and heads to Paris.  She takes a training class to work as a domestic.  She finds a job as a housekeeper for Steve, a smooth talking stock trader businessman who has just relocated to Paris after several years in London.  Steve doesn't know much about anything except his work and he doesn't treat anyone very well.
     France and Steve have more in common than they know which comes out eventually.  I'm not sure what's lacking in this film but I just could not connect with the people.  You have empathy for France but Steve needs a few or maybe more good kicks.  3* (This movie is OK)

109 min, Drama directed by Cedric Klapisch with Karin Viard, Gilles Lellouche, Audrey Lamy, Jean-Pierre Martins, Zinedrine Soualem, Raphaele Godin, Fred Ulysse, Kevin Bishop, Marine Vacth, Flavie Bataillie.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.8 out of 10, 45% critic 38% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Double Hour 2009

Product Details     A hotel maid and an ex-cop security guard meet at a speed dating event and a romance develops.  Sonia is from Slovenia, has not lived in Turin very long and she is interested in meeting new people.  Guido was married but his wife died three years ago, he has been going to the speed events for a long time.  Sonia talks about living by the woods as a young girl and how much she enjoyed the area.  Guido is a guard for a large estate amid woods, he decides to take Sonia there and hopes she will enjoy the date.  He has never taken anyone to his job site before.  They are having a very good time until everything goes wrong with several men showing up at the estate to steal the valuable furnishings and art. 
     This is difficult to follow because some of the scenes don't seem to fit together in sequence and you don't find out why until later.  You are not sure what is really happening, could some of it be imagination, there are a lot of twists and turns?  3* (This movie is OK)

95 min, Crime directed by Giuseppe Capotondi with Kseniya Rappoport, Filippo Timi, Antonia Truppo, Gaetano Bruno, Fausto Russo Alesi, Michele Di Mauro, Lorenzo Gioielli, Lidia Vitale, Giampiero Judica, Roberto Accornero, Lucia Oli, Girogio Colangeli.

Note:  Not listed on Blockbuster, imdb 6.8 out of 10, 83% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Red Tails 2012

Product Details     A true story of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.  The U.S. military recruits and trains the Tuskegee fighter pilots to help defeat the German airmen and protect the American bombers.  They have put in this effort but they don't believe these men can do the job, they don't want to give them priority jobs and later want to disband the team.  Finally, it is realized what they can really do and they give them better assignments which do cost more of their lives.
     I had a very hard time maintaining interest in this, possibly because it is just not my subject.  It did not help to watch with an experienced pilot who pointed out there were many errors.  The air fights have very loud volume and the dialogue sequences are much lower so you need to keep adjusting the volume.  3* (This movie is OK)

125 min, War directed by Anthony Hemingway with Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Method Man, Lee Tergesen, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Andre Royo, Kevin L. Philips, Leslie Odom, Jr.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.7 out of 10, 37% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gone 2012

Product Details     Jill was abducted and left in a deep hole in the woods, the man came back to kill her but she was prepared and got away.  She reported this to the police but they didn't believe her, they couldn't find the hole in the woods and she was involuntarily placed in a mental hospital.  She has been released and is on medication but she continually goes to the woods to try and locate the hole.  She is filled with anxiety that he will come back since she got away from him and others did not as evidenced by their bones in the hole.  She takes self defense classes and she has a gun.  When she comes home after work, she finds that her sister is gone, she knows that the same man has taken her.  Jill goes immediately to the police but they don't believe her, how can she convince them when they didn't believe her before?  Detective Hood seems to believe her but he may have reasons of his own for helping her?
     I think it was a mistake to keep the viewer in the dark until the last section of this film about whether or not Jill was really abducted the first time and has her sister really been abducted this time?  You don't know if you should take Jill's side or the side of the police who don't believe her and could not find evidence the first time or this time?  Jill has flashbacks but are they real or just in her mind, she is taking medication for something?  2 1/2* (This movie is so-so)

95 min, Thriller directed by Heitor Ahalia with Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan, Wes Bently, Nick Searcy, Socratis Otto, Emily Wickersham, Joel David Moore, Katerine Moening, Michael Pare, Sam Upton, Ted Rooney.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 5.6 out of 10, 11% critic 43% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cover her Face 1985

Product Details     Adapted from a P.D. James novel, ace Detective Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh and Inspector John Massingham have been following a notorious drug dealer for about a year.  It shouldn't be a surprise that he is found murdered but it does have a tremendous impact on their investigation.  The only witness is a young mother who had been working at an exclusive London book club where his body was found.  She traveled by train to show her young baby boy to her former co-workers.  The case gets more complicated as the investigation broadens and more people are involved.  Dalgliesh is a master at questioning suspects, he can get information out of people just by his attitude and methods. 
     I kept trying to figure out who was murderer, even to the last episode.  I thought I had solved it but everything was turned around.  Even when you focus on the least likely person, it turns out to be someone else and this film takes it's time getting to the solution.  4* (I really liked this movie)
291 min, Mys directed by John Davies with Roy Marsden, Rupert Frazer, Mel Martin, Norman Wooland, Phyllis Calvert, John Vine, Jean Heywood, Calre Higgins, John Bott, Bill Fraser, Julian Glvoer, Kim Thomson, Katja Kersten, Charles Morgan.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.6 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chronicle 2012

Product Details     A loner teen starts filming video of his everyday life as an escape from his home life with his abusive father and his dying mother.  His father was a firefighter but he was hurt on the job, now he drinks and takes his violent frustrations out on Andrew.  With two fellow high school students, Andrew discovers a mysterious crater that gives them psychokinetic powers.  In the beginning, they don't know how to control or harness the powers but they learn quickly.  They decide ground rules need to be established with this new power in order to keep in control and not hurt other people.  Andrew gets into a battle with his father and for a change, he comes out the winner.  He needs money for medicine for his mother and he forgets about all the rules to get money.  He ends up hurt and in the hospital, his father comes to visit him which sets off intense anger and a rampage.
     At first, this seems like it is going to be so boring that you will want to jump out a window!!  Then, everything changes when this power transforms them.  It becomes a roller coaster ride and you don't know anything about the track!! 3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

84 min, Sci-Fi directed by Joshua Trank with Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, AShely Hinshaw, Bo Petersen, Anna Wood, Rudi Malcolm, Luke Tyler, Crystal Roberts, Adrian Collins, Grant Powell, Armand Aucamp.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 85% critic 74% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Woman in Black 2012

Product Details     A period drama about a widowed lawyer who travels to a secluded secretive village on an important assignment.  In a short time he encounters a vengeful ghost with mysterious motives.  After losing his beloved wife in childbirth, Arthur Kipps was nearly consumed by grief and he still struggles to raise his young son with the help of a devoted nanny.  Arthur is on the verge of losing his job when an important client of the firm dies.  His boss offers him one last opportunity to prove his worth by settling the woman's affairs. Determined to succeed, Arthur travels to the remote village and receives a chilly welcome.
     This is not very good, everything that can be used to scare you is pulled out of the hat.  Why doesn't Kipps just get on with going through the papers and leave the ghost hunting to someone more qualified?  He goes out in the fog looking for the people he can hear but cannot see.  At least he has a neighbor's dog to alert him when he's really in danger.  3* (This movie is OK)

95 min, Horror directed by James Watkins with Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, David Burke, Sophie Stuckey, Roger Allam, Alexia Osborne, William Tobin, Ciaran Hinds, Emma Shorey Molly, Lucy May Barker, Andrew Robb, Tim McMullan.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 65% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mozart's Sister

Product Details     A speculative account of Maria Anna "Nannerl" Mozart, she is five years older than her brother Wolfgang.  They are both musical prodigies but her brother has surpassed her as the featured performer.  This is due to the fact that he is male and seen as more desirable than a female in the French culture.  Their strict but loving father Leopold tours his talented offspring in front of the royal courts of France in Europe prior to the revolution.  Maria has been forbidden to play the violin or compose, she chafes at these limitations on her talents because of her gender and not because of her lack of abilities.
     If you have trouble with insomnia, this movie will really help, I could barely stay awake and I fell asleep quickly when I went to bed!!  It just meanders along with not very much happening and the culture differences in France at this time in history are difficult to follow.  3* (This movie is OK)

120 min, Drama directed by Rene Feret with Marie Feret, Marc Barbe, Delphine Chulliot, David Moreau, Clovis Fouin.

Note:  Blockbuster not listed, imdb 6.0 out of 10, 74% critic 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Albert Nobbs 2011

Albert Nobbs (2011)
      A period drama based on the short story, The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs by George Moore.  A 19th century Irish woman poses as a man in order to work as a butler at a Dublin hotel for the upper class.  She has managed to pull this off over two decades but the unexpected arrival of a painter who turns out to also be a woman, throws her very tidy life in an uproar.  Albert learns that Hubert has a wife!!  How did Hubert manage to become a house painter, how did he find someone to marry and how was it arranged?  Albert is full of questions but always a shy person and not willing to pry, how can all these questions be answered.
      This is very good, very enjoyable, interesting, there were definite class divisions during this time in history.  The ending is unexpected, I didn't know this is what was going to happen, I was picturing something entirely different.  4* (I really liked this movie)

113 min, Drama directed by Rodrigo Garcia with Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Janet McTeer, Aaron Johnson, Brenda Fricker, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Pauline Collins.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 55% critic 48% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Rum Diary 2011

The Rum Diary (2011)     Based on Hunter S. Thompson's first novel, American journalist Paul Kemp begins a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1950's.  He struggles to find a balance between island culture, the expatriates who live there and his alcoholism.  In the beginning, he is staying at a local hotel but his newspaper boss does not like the fact that he has consumed nearly 200 small bottles of alcohol from the hotel room's mini-bar refrigerator?  Kemp was under the impression that the small bottles were free?  Aren't the long distance calls free as well.  He is instructed to find other living quarters immediately!!  He moves in with one of the newspaper photographers, it's an OK place, he has a car and a fighting rooster.
     The premise for this film was very good but it is just not executed with enough vim and vigor.  There are very funny moments but they are few and far between, just too much plodding in the rest.  3* (This movie is OK)

120 min, Drama directed by Bruce Robinson with Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, Amaury Nolasco, Marshall Bell, Bill Smitrovich, Julian Holloway, Bruno Irizarry, Enzo Cilenti.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.3 out of 10, 50% critic 39% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Taste for Death 1989

A Taste for Death (1989)     Based on a P.D. James novel, this mystery miniseries follows the investigations of Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his new assistant Inspector Kate Miskin.  Two deaths have taken place in St. Matthew's Church, Paddington, one victim is former Government Minister Sir Paul Berowne and the other is a homeless man who usually sheltered in the Church Vestibule.  Commander Dalgliesh knew and respected Sir Paul, it's not clear yet if his death was a suicide or murder?  The Minister of the Church feels he is responsible for the deaths because he allowed Sir Paul to spend the night in the small vestry.  If Sir Paul's death is suicide, why was the homeless man also killed?  If Sir Paul was murdered, again why was the homeless man also murdered?  Sir Paul didn't have enemies but he had been receiving anonymous letters.  He has a wife who doesn't care much for him, his elderly mother has already lost her eldest son, his brother-in-law is rather aimless and he is estranged from his adult daughter due to political differences.
     This is very good, lengthy and moving at it's own pace, Adam Dalgliesh cannot be rushed, he never becomes rattled and he knows how to interrogate a suspect.  His new assistant is proving to be quite capable and sometimes a woman can get more information out of a friend, acquaintance or relative of a victim.  During the entire film until near the end you are trying to figure out "who done it" but all the clues are never given right away so you must bide your time until all is revealed.  4* (I really liked this movie)

291 min, Mys directed by John Davies with Roy Marsden, Wendy Hiller, Penny Downie, Morag Hood, Fiona Fullerton, Avril Elgar, Oliver Ford Davies, Simon Ward, Tat Whalley, Rob Spendlove, Gabrielle Lloyd, Kate Buffery, Matthew Marsh.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.6 out of 10, no review on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wallander: The Village Idiot 2005

Product Details      A man with long braids and an American Indian-style feather in his hair walks into a bank with what looks like a bomb around his neck.  He demands an exact sum of money be transferred to another bank account.  The bomb is real and it soon becomes obvious that someone is exploiting this man.  He is known in the village as being intellectually handicapped.  Kurt Wallander and his colleagues face a long and complicated investigation requiring an understanding of astrology.
     Hopefully this title is more compassionate in Swedish than it is in English?  Complicated, who is behind what happened in the bank, how could they have let this happen?  You wonder throughout the film how this is going to end?  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Kjell-Ake Andresson 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 65% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wallander: Before the Frost 2005

Product Details      Kurt Wallander and Linda, his daughter,  face a religious fanatic intent on carrying out his personal version of God's will at a brutal cost.  Linda Wallander graduated recently from the police academy and is assigned to Kurt's department.  Tensions rise as the two try to find Linda's missing friend.  Kurt is sober after years of alcohol abuse but can Linda trust him to remain sober?  They have to solve this case before more people are harmed.
     There are times when you really want to yell during this movie.  You have to remember that what you are seeing in the beginning did not happen, it was not real.  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Kjell-Ake Andresson 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 65% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wallander: 3 Brothers 2005

Product Details
     An extensive yearly military exercise with many people and vehicles is being carried out in the Ystad, Sweden.  During this busy time, Olof and Carolina are found dead in their stately home. Detectives Kurt and Linda Wallander (his daughter) and Stefan Lindman are under pressure from superiors in Stockhold to find out who killed them and why.  They are just gathering the evidence when a man is found murdered in the same way.  In just a short time, another man and woman are murdered but their young daughter was left at a 7-Eleven type store.  The car that drove her there is found burned to hide any evidence.  They do receive cooperation and records from the military officers.
     This is good except for the graphic nature of the murders and the fact that it involves five victims.  At least the young girl was not harmed but now she has no parents.  Even the dog at the first home was bound and taken to a nearby area.  4* (I really liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Kjell-Ake Andresson 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 65% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.