Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wanderlust 2012

Wanderlust (2012)     A Manhattan couple buys a studio apartment and then the husband loses his job.  The wife is trying to pitch a documentary but she can't get backing.  They decide to leave the apartment, move south and live with his brother.  The only problem is they can't get along with the brother or his wife?  Sick of being in the car, they stop at a bed and breakfast which turns out to be a commune called Elysium.  They only last about one day with the brother + wife and decide to head back to Elysium, they will give living there a two week trial.
     Supposed to be a comedy but not funny, no new material, just on autopilot repeating overdone commune themes.  Sections of this film are unwatchable, unbearable and only worthy of fast forward.  One supposed joke is repeated about four times and not funny the first time, just boring and dead on the repeats.  Just say the name Judd Apatow and you know everything about this film.  2* (I didn't like this movie)

98 min, Comedy directed by David Wain with Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Malin Akerman, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda, Ken Marino Joe Lo Truglio, Kathryn Hahn, Kerri Kenney.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 5.7 out of 10, 60% critic 44% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 2011

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)     Harriet is an assistant to Sheikh Muhammed, he would like to bring the sport of fly-fishing to the desert of Yemen.  Harriet contacts Dr. Alfred Jones, he is an expert on fly-fishing and the Sheikh's favorite lure is one made by Dr. Jones.  Fred thinks the entire idea of bringing salmon to the desert must be a ridiculous joke?  Political forces in Britain push him into the project and he begins to believe that this could really happen.  Also as a joke, he asks to meet with the engineers of a large dam, they show up in his office soon after?
     I liked this movie, the nice easy pace and the idea that this seems like it can't happen but then maybe it can happen?  Blunt and McGregor fit well as a couple but you don't know how this will turn out either?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

107 min, Drama directed by Lasse Hallstrom with Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Amr Waked, Catherine Steadman, Tom Mison, Rachael Stirling, Kristin Scott Thomas.

Note:  Blockbuster 2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 68% critic 70% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

All Things Fair (lust och fagring stor) 1995

All Things Fair (1995)     This takes place in Malmoe Sweden in 1942, Stig is a 15 year old student.  Even though Sweden is neutral during the war, the residents are still affected and Stig's brother is serving in the Navy.  Viola is 37 years old and she is his married teacher.  Her husband Kjell is a drunk, depressed and miserable salesman.  Stig is attracted to Viola because of her beauty and maturity.  Viola is attracted to Stig because of his youth and innocence.
     Surprisingly, the actor playing 15 year old Stig is 21 years old and the son of the director.  I thought this was interesting and enjoyable until everything starts going south very quickly and badly.  I should've been ready for the pleasant scenes to change.  3* (This movie is OK)

130 min, Drama directed by Bo Widerberg with Johan Widerberg, Marika Lagercrantz, Tomas von Bromssen, Karin Huldt, Nina Gunke, Bjorn Kjellman, Kenneth Milldoff.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, no critic review 72% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dream for an Insomniac 1996

Dream for an Insomniac (1996)     Frankie lives above and works at a coffee in San Francisco, she's had insomnia since she was six years old.  A new employee is hired to work in the shop, Frankie really likes him and he would like to help cure her of insomnia.  She begins taking time with her clothing, doing her hair, she wonders if he likes her as much as she likes him?  One problem, she is leaving for LA, how does that fit into the picture, what if he came with her?
     There is just one other problem in this romance but I will not reveal a spoiler!!  The town of SF is interesting to see filmed16 years ago in 1996.  I like Ione Skye as an actress and I like her name too.  Jennifer Aniston is young and with regular hair instead of super special hair envied by everyone in the free world!!  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Romance directed by Tiffanie DeBartolo with Ione Skye, Jennifer Aniston, Mackenzie Astin, Michael Landes, Seymour Cassel, Sean Blackman, Michael Sterk.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.9 out of 10, 50% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Death in the Family 2002

A Death in the Family (2002)     Adapted from a Pultizer Prize winning novel by James Agee, the setting is Knoxville TN in 1915.  This was also a play titled All the Way Home.  Rufus is seven years old, his mother is going to have another baby but they haven't told him yet.  He gets a lot of bullying (it was not called bullying in 1915) from his classmates because of his name and they don't believe what he tells them even though it's true.  He said he drove the family's Model T with his father but that can't be true?  There is tension in the family on both his mother's side and his father's side because of different religions.
     The times were really different in this age, calmer and slower but things that bother them greatly can be barely noticed or thought about in this time.  The characters and story draw you in and they feel very comfortable.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Drama directed by Gilbert Cates with Matthew Carlton, Kathleen Chalfant, James Cromwell, Annabeth Gish, Bill Raymond, John Slattery, Mac Pirkle, David Alford.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.8 out of 10, no critic review 30% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

To the Ends of the Earth 2005

To the Ends of the Earth [2 Discs] ()     Adapted from three sequential novels by Nobel Laureate William Golding, this film takes place on the high seas of the late 19th century.  A young British aristocrat, Edmund Talbot, is on a voyage to Australia to take a post in the colonial government. 
     This is a tough voyage, just about everything happens that could happen except alien invasion or vampires?  I think it needs sharper editing to pare down the length so some of the scenes are not as long.  3* (This movie is OK)

267 min, Drama directed by David Attwood with Benedict Cumberbatch, Victoria Hamilton, Jared Harris, Jamie Sives, Richard McCabe, Sam Neill, Paula Jennings, Denise Black.

Note:  Blockbuster, imdb 7.4 out of 10, no critic review 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Act of Valor 2012

     An undercover CIA agent is kidnapped, an elite team of Navy SEALs are sent on a covert mission to recover her.  These aren't actors but active-duty SEALs doing their job.  Inspired by true events and real combat using the latest in battlefield technology.  They are the most highly trained group of soldiers in the modern world.  The CIA agent was onto a huge plot involving sending suicide bombers to the US.
       I really don't know why this movie got such bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes?  I really liked this movie and it doesn't feel like a Hollywood creation but what really happened when a team of this type when in to take down Osama Ben Lauden.  The other person viewing this with me has military experience and the only comment was they probably would have had more air support.  I was very impressed by the technology and the sacrifices of the team.

110 min, Action directed by Mice McCoy, Scott Waugh with Jason Cottle, Nestor Serrano, Alisa Marshall, Gonzalo Menendez, Emilio Rivera, DimiterD. Marinov, Thomas Rosales Jr.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.4 out of 10, 25% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Act of Valor (2012)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Girl (Flickan) 2009

Flickan (2009)     In the Summer of 1981, a young girl of 9 1/2 is left in the care of her aunt in Sweden while her parents and brother go to Africa.  The family is going as aid workers to help the people have water.  She was supposed to go with them but on the day before they were to leave, her parents were told that she was too young to make the trip.  Her aunt meets up with a man and tells her she will return in just a few days.  Neither of them want anyone to know that she is living alone.
     In the beginning of this film, you wonder how you are going to watch 95 minutes of this but the girl starts to become important to you and you want to follow along on her journey.  There isn't any way to tell how long she is on her own without her aunt.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

95 min, Drama directed by Fredrik Edfeldt with Blanca Engstrom, Shanti Toney, Annika Hallin, Calle Lindqvist, Tova Magnusson-Norling, Leif Andree, Maria Langhammer.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 90% critic 69% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Flowers of War 2011

The Flowers of War (2011)     In 1937, the Japanese declared war on Nanking China for the second time.  A group of convent girl students, the priest's adopted son and women from a nearby brothel have taken refuge in a Catholic Church.  An American finds himself to be the only adult male , he's an American mortician who came to prepare the priest for burial.  The only way for any of them to be safe is to leave Nanking.
     This is good but long, very brutal with a high body count.  The mortician can't decide which would be the safest bet, to be an American or a priest?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

146 min, Drama directed by Yimou Zhang with Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang, Tong Dawei, Shawn Dou Atsuro Watabe, Tianyuan Huang, Yuan Nie, Shigeo Kobayashi.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 7.5 out of 10, 41% critic 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Declaration of War 2011

Declaration of War (2011)     Romeo and Juliette have a young son who has always seemed to have difficulties.  He cried a lot when he was a newborn, he's 18 months old and not walking, he can't keep his food down a lot of times.  The parents begin to get very worried, their pediatrician recommends a CAT scan because there seems to be a swelling on one side of his face and lack of symmetry.  The scan shows he has a tumor and he needs a MRI to see if it can be removed.  They find out Adam has cancer, he starts treatments.  All of the tumor could not be removed by the surgery and it's not spreading and but it's not the type of tumor they thought.  It's a more aggressive and fast growing tumor so he needs a different treatment.
     The parents really do all they can, sell their apartment and move into a wing of the hospital.  They are broke but trying to remain positive that this will turn out well.  I'm not sure if it's cultural difference but I could not connect with the characters?  3* (This movie is OK)

100 min, Drama directed by Valerie Donzelli with Jeremie Elkalim, Valerie Donzelli, Cesar Desseix, Gabriel Elkaim, Brigitte Sy, Elina Lowensohn, Michele Moretti, Philippe Laudenbach.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.0 out of 10, 85% critic 70% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Human Resources Manager 2010

The Human Resources Manager (2010)     Based on the book, A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua.  An employee of Israel's largest industrial bakery is killed in a suicide bombing.  The local newspaper is set to publish an article accusing the bakery of indifference concerning her death.  The HR Manager writes a rebuttal to the paper but sets out to make sure that the woman is taken care of in Israel and her body is personally returned to her home town in Romania.  This is not an easy task, she was divorced, her ex-husband can't sign for her body, her son who can sign is missing and there are many other problems.
     I could not keep interested in this film, with so little happening it is too much of an effort to read the subtitles.  None of the characters have names except the woman.  2 1/2* (This movie is so-so)
103 min, Drama directed by Eran Riklis with Mark Ivanier,Noah Silver, Reymond Amsalem, Gila Almagor, Irina Pewtrescu, Rsoina Kambus, Guri Alfi, Julian Negulesco.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 74% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dancing at Lughnasa 1998

Dancing At Lughnasa (1998)     The setting is 1930's Ireland, a young boy recalls growing up with his mother and four aunts.  Each of the women has a different personality and task in the household.  This orderly arrangement is upset when their elderly brother returns from a lifetime serving as a priest in Africa.  The boy has only seen his father about four times in his life.  He chooses this time to make an appearance on his way to Spain, he plans to join the fight against Franco.  The sisters resume their life despite these bumps in the road until they come to a definite crossroads.      I liked this movie, the feel of it, the closeness of the sisters and the care they have for their brother.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

95 min, Drama directed by Pat O'Connor with Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Gerard McSorley, Catherine McCormack, Kathy Burke, Sophie Thompson, Brid Brennan.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.1 out of 10, 65% critic 58% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yella 2007

Yella (2007)    Yella's marriage to Ben is over, she leaves her hometown in the Eastern part of Germany for a new job and a new life.  Her new job falls through but she meets Philipp, he is an executive at a private equity company.  She becomes his assistant, helps him in the world of ruthless big business and her dreams could come true with his help.  There is a complication, she is still having problems with Ben plus voices and sounds from her past.
     Everything seems to be going along until this film throws you a curve ball that changes everything.  You have to sit back and think about what just happened and why.  I can't say very much because it would be a spoiler.  3* (This movie is OK)

89 min, Drama directed by Christian Petzold with Nina Hoss, Devid Striesow, Hinnerk Schonemann, Burghart KlauBner, Barbara Auer, Christian Redl, Selin Bademsoy.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 80% critic 53% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Voyage Round my Father 1984

Voyage 'Round My Father (1984)     Clifford Mortimer is a successful lawyer who becomes blind when he reaches middle age.  He requires the aid of his family to be able to continue his battles in the courtroom .  His son John is an only child in the UK and he was sent to a boys boarding school.  He struggles with bitter memories of his relationship with his father but he also desires his respect and love.  He never thought he would follow the law in his father's footsteps but he wants to marry which will require a steady income.  In the process of talking about their common bond in the law, he begins to love his father and he finds love in return.
     When John brings his future bride to meet his family, you see his father's blindness through a new pair of eyes.  She wonders why they treat him as if he were not blind but they have always treated him this way?  Interesting to see the boarding school environment and the family relationships.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Drama directed by Alvin Radoff with Sir Laurence Olivier, Alan Bates, Jane Asher, Elizabeth Sellars, Michael Aldridge, Alan Cox, Norman Bird, Albert Welling, James A. Downer.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.8 out of 10, no critic score 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

65_RedRoses 2009

65_Redroses (2009)     Eva Markvoort has Cysitic Fibrosis, she was diagnosed at a very young age and has had a difficult time breathing her entire life.  Her lungs fill up with fluid and she's unable to clear this fluid.  She has decided to have a lung transplant, she has a pager and is waiting for a pair of lungs matching her blood type.  There is a possibility that she could die before the lungs become available.  She has connected online with two other young woman with the same illness, they are unable to meet in person because they can give each other dangerous infections.  One of her online friends had a lung transplant but has chronic rejection of her new lungs.  Her other online friend is more in denial of her illness.  They stay connected and really know the struggles of this disease.
     You are really rooting for Eva and her friends to be able to beat this illness.  It's very hard on her family and close friends.  65_RedRoses is her online name, her favorite color is red and 65 Roses comes from her not being able to say Cystic Fibrosis when she was a young girl.  4* (I really liked this movie) 

70 min, Doc directed by Philip Lyall, Nimisha Mukerji with Eva Markvoort.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 8.1 out of 10, no score yet on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

He Knew he was Right 2004

He Knew He Was Right (2004)    When Louis Trevalyan and Emily Rowley met, it was love at first sight.  They received her father's blessing, married and moved to Victorian era London.  Her sister Nora was also able to move with Emily as a companion.  Now they have a young son and are very happy until Louis feels Emily is spending too much time with her godfather, Colonel Osborne.  The idle tongues of society are starting to spread rumors and Osborne has already caused a scandal with another young wife.  Emily is headstrong and Louis doesn't know how to handle this situation.  He sends his wife, her sister and their son to live with the mother and sister of his friend.  This doesn't work out because Colonel Osborne cannot stay away and arrives for a "friendly" visit.   Louis has hired a private investigator who does not help matters with the belief that there is always fire when smoke is seen.
     You want to take Colonel Osborne by the throat and also throttle him with his walking stick.  He seems to be enjoying the uproar he causes and this family suffers terribly because of his foolish behavior.  Several subplots end as expected but the main plot ends differently than I thought.  4* (I really liked this movie)

235 min, Drama directed by Tom Vaughan with Bill Nighy, Laura Fraser, Oliver Dimsdale, Christina Cole, Stephen Campbell Moore, David Tennant, Fenella Woolgar, Claudie Blakley, Anna Massey.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, no critic review 52% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Warrior 2011

Warrior (2011)     Tommy was a Marine, he returns home for the first time in fourteen years.  His father was an alcoholic and didn't even know that Tommy's mom was dying.  It was up to Tommy to care for her and he hasn't forgotten or forgiven.  His brother Brendan is a married teacher with two daughters.  He's facing foreclosure on their home if he doesn't come up with more money than he's making at his job.  Tommy was a wrestler but now he's into mixed martial arts.  His brother was a former fighter and this may be the way he can save his home.  Both brothers carry a lot of baggage concerning their father but Tommy decides to take the evil he knows and asks his father to work with him on his training.  Tommy and Brendan both start training for SPARTA, the biggest fighting event with a very large money payoff.
     This is a tough fighting game, anything goes and the end of the time period is the only thing that stops the round.  Most of the fights have a very high immediate punch out rate or wrestling hold give-up.  I'm not a fan of Nolte and there is not much plot except anger in a family.  3* (This movie is OK)

139 min, Drama directed by Gavin O'Connor with Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Denzel Whitaker, Bryan Callen, Kevin Dunn, Laura Kenley, Capri Thomas.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imbd 8.2 out of 10, 83% critic 92% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chasing Madoff 2010

Chasing Madoff (2011)     This film is the compelling story of Harry Markopolos and his team of investigator's ten year struggle to expose the truth behind the Madoff scandal. Throughout the decade long investigation, Markopolos pieced together a chain of white collar predators consisting of bankers, lieutenants, and henchmen, all linked to the devastating Ponzi scheme.  Even with risk and danger, Markopolos and his team relentlessly continued to pursue the truth.  Finding that no one will listen to him or take him seriously, the Boston securities analyst turned investigator feared for his life and the safety of his family.
     So many agencies and so many people were told that Madoff was running a fraud scheme but people were making money.  Money talks, follow the money, no one wanted the money to shut off.  Markopolos carried a gun, alarmed his house and checked for car bombs every day.  His life and their parenting of their children changed and they were over-protected because he felt the need to look over his shoulder every minute.  4* (I really liked this movie)

91 min, Doc directed by Jeff Prosserman with Frank Casey, Neil Chelo, Marc A. Hermann, Gaytri Kachroo, Bernie Madoff, Harry Makopolos, Michael Ocrant.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*,  imdb 4.9 out of 10, 50% critic 31% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Decoy Bride 2012

The Decoy Bride (2011)     The wedding of internationally famous film star Lara Tyler to English author James Arber is sabotaged by a determined paparazzo.  They decide to relocate the event to the one place where the world's press won't find them.  They choose the sleepy Island of Hegg which was featured in Arber's bestselling novel The Ornithologists Wife.  Dilapidated buildings and greedy islanders are the least of the problems that the wedding party and their entourage have to deal with.  Marco the ingenious paparazzo tracks them down in his mission to photograph the celebrity wedding of the year.  Steve and his assistant Emma must find a decoy bride and they choose local girl Katie as an ideal replacement.  When Katie meets James, sparks fly, the dress gets ruined and love gets complicated.
     This is just slightly entertaining, there were decoy brides at the first wedding and the wedding could have continued after Marco was ejected from the church.  I found it interesting that Lara has a fit and chases Marco which destroys her perfect hair.  When she is discussing what to do about the wedding with James, her hair is back to perfect.  2 1/2* (This movie is so-so)

99 min, Drama directed by Sheree Folkson with Kelly Macdonald, David Tennant, Alice Eve, Michael Urie, Sally Phillips, James Fleet.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 5.5 out of 10, 24% critic 45% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Whistleblower 2010

The Whistleblower (2010)     A drama inspired by the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska policewoman.  Kathy has been going through a rough time and her ex-husband has gained custody of their daughter due to her long hours at her job.  When her ex moved to another state and took her daughter, she tried to get a transfer but it didn't work out.  She takes a job working as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia because she can make a lot of money in six months of work, move close to her daughter and buy a house.  Her expectations of helping to rebuild a devastated country are dashed when she uncovers the dangerous reality.  There is corruption, cover-up, payoffs and sex trafficking of women amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic immunity.  It takes a lot of courage to go against the UN and their operations.
     This is a very powerful film, you want Kathy to succeed but the good old boys don't want to be taken down.  They've got a good thing going and they want to keep it this running smoothly at any cost.  4* (I really liked this movie) 

112 min, Drama directed by Larysa Kondracki with Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, David Strathairn, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Roxana Condurache, Paula Schramm.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 73% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mirror, Mirror 2012

Mirror Mirror (2012)     A beloved King vanishes in the forest, his ruthless wife seizes control of the kingdom and keeps her beautiful 18-year-old stepdaughter hidden away in the palace.  The princess Snow White attracts the attention of a charming and wealthy visiting prince.  The jealous Queen banishes the girl to a nearby forest to be killed by the beast who resides there.  She is taken in by a band of rebellious but kindhearted dwarfs and blossoms into a brave young woman determined to save her country from the Queen.  With the support of her new friends, she goes into action to reclaim her birthright and win back her Prince.  
      Some of the scenes with the dwarfs seem impossible to accomplish?  This film has a problem, the Queen is not mean enough and Snow White seems to have to much Botox injected in her face?  She doesn't have any expression and her eyebrows are those of a man?  (I am not the only one to notice this, there are several comments on imdb)  3* (This movie is OK)

106 min, Adventure directed by Tarsem Singh with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.6 out of 10, 50% critic 48% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Maze 2000

Maze (2000)      Lyle Maze is an artist with Tourette's syndrome and an aversion to romance.  He is a successful painter who is also starting to explore sculpture.  He relies on his emotional armor which is a foot thick to protect him from other people and he rejects any attempt to fix him up with women.   He suffers from uncontrollable physical tics, loud outbursts and he also has obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Afraid that his artistic gifts and his disease spring from the same source, he ignores the well meaning advice of Mike, his doctor pal and refuses to try new drug therapies.  When rebel-without-a-cause Doctor Mike decides to go to Africa for seven months as a member of Doctors Without Borders, Lyle finds himself in a precarious position.  Callie, Mike's beautiful ad-executive girlfriend, has confided in him that she's pregnant but she doesn't want to use her condition as leverage.  Lyle begins coaching Callie through natural childbirth classes, playing a surrogate father-to-be and he cannot help falling in love with her.
     This is a somewhat tough movie to view, the physical tics and loud outbursts are distracting but the camera jiggles to show what Lyle sees during his episodes.  You can really see the difficulties he has and the reaction other people have to him.  I found it slightly strange that you see art work in different stages of completion but when Lyle has a show, all the cases are not shown and they seem like they are empty?  You don't know how this is going to end until the last scene.  3* (This movie is OK)

97 min, Drama directed by Rob Morrow with Laura Linney, Craig Sheffer, Rob Morrow, Rose Gregorio, Robert Hogan, Gia Carides, Betsy Aidem, Keenan Shimizu, Matthew Storff, Sheila Zane, Lanny Flaherty, Susan Shacter.

Note:  Note:  Blockbuster 3*,  imdb 6.3 out of 10, 41% critic 43% audience on Rotten

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jeff, Who Lives at Home 2012

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2012)     Jeff is a slacker who still lives with his mother in the basement of her house.  He spends the majority of his time smoking pot and explaining how he's waiting to understand his own fate.  He uses the film Signs as the model for how he sees the world.  His brother Pat is a salesman in a mid-life crisis, he just purchased a Porche over the objections of his wife Linda.  Jeff answers the phone and a voice demands to speak to Kevin, he believes this is the sign he's been waiting for.  During the space of one day, Jeff and Pat confront their many issues with each other.  Their working and long-suffering mother wonders if she can just get the slat glued on her kitchen cabinet door?
     This is just not funny enough to be called a comedy, it seems to be forcing it's way along, just going through the motions.  3* (This movie is OK)

82 min, Comedy directed by Jay and Mark Duplass with Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong, Steve Zisses, Evan Ross, Benjamin Bickham, Lee Nguyen.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.8 out of 10, 78% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sidewalls 2011

Medianeras (2011)     Sidewalls examines how architecture of a city defines the lives of two of its residents.  Director Taretto pays homage to the city of Buenos Aires as he reflects on how urban chaos and new technologies can unite people but also keep them apart (as the sidewalls of the title).  Mixing animation, photography and graphic art he reveals the isolation of the characters and the anxieties that are a staple of modern life in a noisy city that with irresistible charm.
     The pace is very slow, it is difficult to keep interested but you are drawn into the lives of Mariana and Martin.  You want them to meet but you don't know how this will happen.  3* (This movie is OK)

93 min, Drama directed by Gustavo Taretto with Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Ines Efron, Javier Drolas, Adrian Navarro, Rafael Ferro, Carla Peterson, Jorge Lanata, Alan Pauls, Romina Paula.
Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*,imdb 7.2 out of 10,70% critic 82% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Take me Home 2011

Take Me Home (2011)     Thom is turned down again for another job and finds his apartment landlord throwing all of his belongings into the hallway.  With no job prospects and no place to sleep, he turns to driving his illegal taxicab around the streets of New York.  He bought the cab at an auction and doesn't work with a cab company.  Claire isn't having a good day either, her husband is flirting with his secretary and her estranged father has suffered a heart attack in California.  She hails what she assumes to be a cab but instead it is Thom in his supposed-to-be cab.  With her life in ruins, Claire decides to pay Thom to drive her home to California and he reluctantly agrees.  Their path across America takes more than the usual detours and is filled with a lot of complications. 
     This is good, you don't know until the last scenes how this is going to end.  I thought it was interesting that this is a husband and wife team plus directed by the husband.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

97 min, Drama directed by Sam Jaeger with Amber Jaeger, Sam Jaeger, Bree Turner, Victor Garber, Lin Shaye, Cristine Rose, Michelle Krusiec, Brennan Elliott, Amanda Lund, Doug Purcell.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.1 out of 10, no critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Karen Cries on the Bus 2011

Product Details     Karen discovers after 10 years of marriage that she has left behind her dreams by devoting herself to home chores.  She realizes it has been a mistake that cost her youth.  She decides to leave her husband to go in search of a different life.  She uses her savings to rent a room for 3 months in the center of Bogota.  She tries to get a job but her age and inexperience make it difficult.  She goes to visit her mother but her husband comes to try to convince her to return to the marriage.  She didn't know her mother would call him to come and visit her.  Karen will have to decide between returning to the stability of a relationship or facing life for herself.
     Some information on the DVD box is not included in the film, the 10 years of marriage, where she got the money to rent her room and the reason she left the marriage is not given in the beginning.  Karen has it rough for a while with no money to use for food, her only option is to claim her purse was stolen and beg from strangers.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

98 min, Drama directed by Gabriel Rojas Vera with Angela Carrizosa, Juan Manuel Diaz Orztegul, Diego Galindo, Diego Palaez, Angelica Sanchez.

Note:  Blockbuster not listed, imdb 6.5 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Protektor 2009

Product Details     In 1938 Prague,  Emil is a radio reporter married to the very beautiful Hana.  She is an actress with a new film that has catapulted her into fame.  As the Nazis come to power, Hana's Jewish heritage causes her to fall from stardom to the bottom rung of the social ladder.  In order to protect her, Emil compromises himself collaborating with the new Nazi-controlled state radio station.  Emil starts enjoying the attention and respect that had previously evaded him but his fidelity and loyalty toward his wife begins to falter.  The assassination of the Third Reich Deputy Protector and a chance bicycle encounter bring their lingering marriage to a crisis
     Don't expect lightness and happiness from a wartime Czechoslovakian film!  The actors draw you into their characters, you really want something good to happen to Emil and Hana.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

98 min, Drama directed by Marek Najbrt with Matthias Brandt, Jan Budar, Marek Daniel, Cyril Drozda, Tomas Mechacek, Klara Meliskova, Martin Mysicka, Leos Noha, Sandra Novakova, Jiri Ornest, Jana Plodkova.

Note:  Blockbuster not listed, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 63% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Deep End 2001

Product Details     With her husband perpetually away at work, a mother raises her three children virtually alone.  Her teenage son is testing the waters of the adult world.  Early one morning, she finds the dead body of his gay lover on the beach of their rural lakeside home.  She believes her son must have killed him during an argument.  What would you do?  What is rational and what do you do to protect your child? How far do you go and when do you stop?
     Very suspenseful, she is an ordinary mom with extraordinary problems.  She discovers a very unlikely person will help her.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

101 min, Crime directed by Scott McGehee & David Siegel with Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat, Josh Lucas, Raymond J. Barry, Tamara Hope, Jordon, Dorrance.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 82% critic 58% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Queen of Hearts 2009

Product Details     Adele is over thirty and devastated after a painful breakup with her boyfriend.  She has no close friends or family except Rachel, a distant cousin.  Rachel reluctantly gives her a place to live and attempts to salvage Adele's life.  Rachel finds her a job and suggests that Adele date other men to get over her heartbreak.  Adele bounces from one man to another in search of her perfect companion.
     There must be a lot of cultural differences between Americans and the French?  I thought this was weird and it was too much work to follow the subtitles for so little payback.  2 1/2* (This movie is so-so)
84 min, Comedy directed by Valerie Donzelli with Jeremie Elkaim, Beatrice De Stael, Valerie Donzelli, Laure Marsac, Lucia Sanchez, Vanessa Seward, Gilles Marchand, Dominik Moll.

Note:  Blockbuster not listed, imdb 6.2 out of 10, no critic score 44% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hey, Hey It's Esther Blueberger 2008

Product Details     Esther is having a tough time fitting in at school, she eats lunch in an empty classroom by herself and she has no friends.  Her mother wants to give her a birthday party but no one responds to the invitations.  Esther tells her mother that the mailbox must be broken?  Esther tries to escape from her Bat Mitzvah party and she meets Sunni, a cool girl who is everything Esther thinks she wants to be.  Esther begins to spend time with Sunni and her super single mom, she even starts attending Sunni's school secretly.
     Esther is in a real struggle at school and at home until she finds an opening to a different life.  You really have empathy for her and hope she can make this work.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

103 min, Comedy directed by Cathy Randall with Danielle Catanzariti, Cassandra Jinman, Talia Monaghan, Yen Yen Stender, Laura Kettle, Lucy Carey, Tisha Adey, Leticia Monaghan, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Toni Collette.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 6.2 out of 10, 50% critic 56% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Man on a Ledge 2012

     Nick Cassidy is in prison and his parole is denied, he is two years into a 25 year sentence.  Nick is allowed to attend his father's funeral with two prison guards.  He gets into a fist fight with his brother and manages to escape in his brother's car.  It looks like the police cars are too close and they will capture him.  He tries to beat a train at a crossing but the car is demolished and thrown by the train.  Wow, he didn't get very far and now he's dead?  He's not, he isn't injured and he goes to a location where he gets a credit card and identification.  His next move is to dress like a businessman and check into a hotel.  He has an expensive breakfast with champagne and then he goes out the window to the top floor ledge.  Now what?
     There is a lot more going on than we know about in the beginning but the story starts to unfold.  Ed Harris is in a different role for him and you really want to push him out onto the hotel ledge!!  4* (I really liked this movie)

102 min, Drama directed by Asger Leth with Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Edward Burns, Ed Harris, Titus Welliver, Genesis Rodriguez, Bill Sadler, Kyra Sedgwick, Mandy Gonzalez.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 31% critic 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.