Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Master 2012

     Freddie Sutton is a Naval war veteran of WWII working for Lancaster Dodd.  Freddie is damaged physiologically and Lancaster is a very charismatic figure focused on building his own religion.  Freddie is an alcoholic and he’s also self- destructive.  This new religion is like a cult and Freddie still has enough self-preservation to keep him from fully joining into this movement.
     This movie is very different than I expected, basically it’s constant confrontation between the characters played by Hoffman and Phoenix.  No resolution with smoke and mirrors surrounding everything they are, believe and stand for.  Is there any purpose for this film, that is my question?  3* (This movie is OK)
138 min, Drama directed by Paul Thomas Anderson with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Rami Malek, Price Carson, Mike Howard, Matt Hering.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.3 out of 10, 86% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  In late 2008, Phoenix announced he had retired from acting to pursue a rapping career.  Later he said this was all eccentric and incoherent behavior for a mocumentary he was making with Casey Affleck?  Maybe this film is still part of a similar project?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Loneliest Planet 2011:

     The summer before Alex and Nica are to get married, they backpack through the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia.  The landscape is very beautiful and quiet.  They hire a local guide to help them on their journey.  An incident involving an older man with two boys they encounter along the way shakes Nica’s confidence in their relationship.
     If you would like a tour guide movie to explore these mountains from your own home, this is for you.  The scenery is very beautiful but there is little dialogue and the tiny incident seemed to be resolved quickly but is dramatized for effect.  There is no “thriller” in this movie?  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

113 min, Thriller directed by Julie Loktev with Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg, Bidzina Gujabidze.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 5.5 out of 10, 69% critic 33% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  Was the purpose of this movie an excuse for the movie team to go on a paid for exploration?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Free Men 2011

Product Details     Younes Ben Daoud is an uneducated Algerian immigrant in occupied Paris, France of 1942.  He makes his living selling black market goods such as cigarettes and coffee.  The police raid the area where he lives and he makes a deal with the police inspector to spy on the Mosque.  He’s not a very good secret agent and the inspector quickly roughly discharges him of his assignment.  Once his eyes are opened to the deeds of the Nazis, he joins his cousin in the resistance movement.  This film illustrates the involvement of the African immigrants along with the French in the resistance.
     Except for the running and shooting guns, this movie moves at a snail pace and it’s hard to keep your focus on all people and background stories.  3* (This movie is OK) 

99 min, Drama directed by Ismael Ferroukhi with Tahar Rahim, Michael Lonsdale, Mahmud Shalaby, Lubna Azabal, Christopher Bucholz, Farid Larbi, Bruno Fleury.

Note:  Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 75% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 
Special Note:  Younes is a fictional character but Salim Hilali (cafĂ© singer) and Si Kaddour Ben Ghabrit (rector of the Mosque) were real people.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Robot & Frank 2012

     Frank was sent to prison more than once for stealing jewels but now he’s retired.  He is having difficulty with his memory and his son has a long car drive on the weekends to come to check on him.  Since this takes place in the “near future,” his son brings Frank a robot home health care aid.  Frank is really upset and doesn’t want anything to do with the robot until he learns the robot doesn’t really know right from wrong and what stealing means.
     The robot is a lot more likeable than Frank.  They make deals with each other, the robot will help Frank steal if he will change to a low-sodium diet.  There are a couple of twists at the end.  I would like to have a robot like this to take over all my household chores, maybe even errands!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

85 min, Comedy/Crime directed by Jake Schreier with Frank Langella, James Marsden,  Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Strong.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, 87% critic 77% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Anna Karenina 1997

Product Details     Anna is a young and elegant wife with an older husband and young son in St. Petersburg.  She visits her brother and meets Count Vronsky at a dance.  She tries to convince him that she is not interested but caves in to his pressures and she has his baby.  She has an agreement with her husband that if she stays with Vronsky, she will not keep the baby.  They go away to Italy because Anna is very weak and almost died after childbirth.  Vronsky feels idle in Italy and convinces Anna to return to St. Petersburg.  She faces opposition from her husband over seeing their son.  Intense social pressures due to their circumstances as a couple begin to drive Anna into deep depression.
     I was very disappointed when I began watching this film because I thought it was the new Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley.  I could not figure out why a different person was playing Anna?  This is not as good as the 2001 version by the BBC which is 240 minutes.  This release really points out the mistakes Anna made by becoming involved with Vronsky.  3* (This movie is OK)

108 min, Drama directed by Bernard Rose with Sophie Marceau, Sean Bean, Alfred Molina, Mia Kirshner, James Fox Fiona Shaw, Danny Huston, Phyllida Law.

Note:  Imdb 6.1 out of 10, 26% critic 64% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  This is the first American-based production to be filmed on location in Russia.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Little Birds 2012

     Two fifteen-year-olds, Lily and Alison live on the shores of the Salton Sea.  It’s always windy, it’s a very small community and they feel they are at the dead end of the world.  Lily especially wants to “get out of Dodge.”  Alison doesn’t feel like it’s so bad.  Lily lives with her mother, her father passed away.  Alison lives with her father, her mother passed away.  They hope for a while that their single parents would get married but they decided Alison’s father was too old.  They meet three boys who are street kids and Lily is desperate to follow them to LA.  She just needs to convince Alison that they are going.
     There is a surprise ending but you may not make it to the ending?  As much despair in this film as in Lily’s life.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

Drama directed by Elgin James with Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker, Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, Neal McDonough, Kyle Gailner, Kathleen Gati, Bob Larkin, Kyle Gallner.
Little Birds 2012:
Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.0 out of 10, 53% % critic 45% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.   

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Other Side of Heaven 2002

     John Groberg is a middle class farm teen from Idaho Falls.   Soon after high school graduation, he crosses the Pacific to become a Mormon missionary in the Tongan island kingdom during the 50’s.  Left behind are his loving family and the true love of his life, Jean.  The letters between John and Jean over the three years keep each other going during his absence.  His spirits are raised by her letters, he shares his adventures with the area, language barrier, community and physical hardships.
     This is good, John almost dies after a severe storm wipes out their food supplies until a ship can make a delivery.  A very exotic landscape but difficult living environment.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

113 min, Adventure directed by Mitch Davis with Christopher Gorham, Anne Hathaway, Joe Foley, Nathaniel Lees, Miriama Smith, Alvin Fitisemanu.  

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.3 out of 10,  29% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

End of Watch 2012

     Brian and Mike are police partners in South Central Los Angeles.  Their job is to patrol the streets as Latino gangs power struggle with Blacks.  They get lucky a few times and make big drug and human-trafficking busts, which cause a Mexican cartel to order their elimination.
     Shot with a hand held camera and the scenes in the police car include the date and other info at the top of the windshield.  In every four word sentence, there are five swear words.  There are a lot of things about this film that are irritating and annoying.  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

109 min, Crime directed by David Ayer with Jake Gyllenhall, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 7.7 out of 10, 85% critic 87% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  Is Jake Gyllenhall supposed to look better with almost no hair, is it a "cop" thing or did he want to bypass the "hair" part of hair and makeup?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Sessions 2012

     Inspired by the life of poet and journalist Mark O’Brien.  Mark is 38 years old, he had polio as a child, he uses portable oxygen and an iron lung.  He’s not paralyzed but his muscles don’t work.  He’s never had a relationship with a woman and he wants that to change.  He was in love with his caregiver and asked her to marry him but she didn’t accept.  He contacts his priest for advice and a therapist for help.  Cheryl is a professional sex surrogate but also a soccer mom with a husband and teen son.  This film follows them in their relationship and Mark’s journey.
     This is good, Mark is a very likable guy, he tries to experience his life to the fullest and people are drawn to him.  He is grateful to his parents for their devotion to his considerable needs instead of sentencing him to a short life span in a care home.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

95 min, Drama directed by Ben Lewin with John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, Adam Arkin,W. Earl Brown, Robin Weigert.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 94% critic 84% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Argo 2012

     Iranian revolutionaries attack the American embassy in Iran during 1979.  All but six of the workers inside the embassy were taken hostage.  The six who escaped walked outside and down the street to the Canadian embassy.  Now the problem is how to get them out of the embassy and out of Iran.  Tony Mendez is an extractor and he’s called in to come up with a plan for a cover to get them out.  Many ridiculous ideas are tossed about, they were inspecting crops (snow covers the ground), they are teachers (there are no foreign teachers in Iran) or they are scouting locations for a Hollywood movie.  The CIA decides, unwilling, to go along with movie plan, this plan must fool the Iranians and the entire world.  Tony enlists two trusted contacts in LA to help him complete the cover details.  They set up an office, create a Canadian film production company, buy the script, cast actors and obtain publicity. 
     This film seems like it is happening in real time and you wonder how Tony plus the six embassy workers can stand the pressure, terror and stress.  It’s life or death with seven lives on the line plus the Canadian Ambassador and his wife.  Either they will succeed and be applauded or they fail and the CIA is blasted for thinking this idea could ever work?  4 ½* (I really liked this movie)

120 min, Drama directed by and starring Ben Affleck with Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.0 out of 10, 96% critic 93% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  I think it was a mistake by the Academy Awards in not nominating Ben Affleck for Best Director since Argo was nominated and won Best Picture.  Actors giving other actors awards in a popularity contest instead of merit based voting.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Big Sleep 1946

     The cynical private eye Philip Marlowe is the creation of Raymond Chandler.  General Sternwood is a very wealthy man and he summons Marlowe to his home because of a blackmailer.  Marlowe gets mixed up in the murder of Arthur Geiger and a gambling-house owner Eddie Mars.
     The plot is so complicated and twisting that the screenwriters consulted with Chandler for advice.  In the original movie, there was a long scene featuring Detective Bernie Ohis explaining a lot of the plot details but this was eliminated.  The dialogue is common for the period but I found it grating and so ridiculous that as an actor in this film, I would not have been able to complete the scenes without hysterical laughing.  I might possibly have held up feminist signs in protest also.  3* (This movie is OK)

114 min, Drama directed by Howard Hawks with Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers, Charles D. Brown, Elisha Cook, Jr.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.2 out of 10, 96% critic 90% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Girl on the Bridge 1999

     Adele is a 22 year-old woman standing on a bridge overlooking the Seine.  She’s had nothing but a string of bad luck with love, life and career.  Gabor approaches her with the offer of becoming his partner in a knife-throwing act.  She decides the water is the best choice but Gabor jumps in and saves her.  She changes her mind and they are on their way to Monaco with their new act. This is an entirely different world for Adele, she gets a new fabulous hairstyle and they shop for unlimited make-up and clothing.  She’s a bit nervous about the knives but her luck may have changed.
     This is my first impression:  Except for the concept of life versus death, this is just a shallow romantic piece of fluff that takes a lot of effort to like.   I didn’t know if I would be able to finish this but it started to get better and there is a small twist at the end.   3 ½* (I liked this movie)

91 min, Drama directed by Patrice Leconte with Daniel Auteuil, Vanessa Paradis, Demetre Georgalas, Isabelle Petit-Jacques, Federic Pluger.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.4 out of 10, 90% critic 88% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  Vanessa Paradis is the ex-girlfriend of Johnny Depp.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chicken with Plums 2011

Product Details     The setting is Tehran of 1958, Nasser Ali Khan is one of the most renowned violinists of his day.  His beloved violin was recently broken and he begins to lose all taste for life.  He goes to his bed to die because he cannot find another instrument worthy enough as a replacement.
     I didn’t like the use of flashbacks for the telling of this story plus the mood is very melancholy and down.  Once you know all the background, you have sympathy for Nasser.  With limited information, you want to tell him to get up and get going, stop feeling sorry for yourself and get out of bed!!  3* (This movie is OK)

93 min, Drama directed by Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi with Mathieu Amalric, Edouard Baer, Maria de Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 76% critic 72% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Liberal Arts 2012

     Jesse Fisher gets a call from his second favorite college professor, Peter Hoberg.  He asks if Jesse can attend his retirement ceremony.  Jesse feels his best years may be behind him even though he's only 35 years old and his job in college admissions in New York is not very satisfying.  His college years offered so much, parties, poetry seminars, dorm living and the dining hall.  He can’t wait for a trip down memory lane in Ohio.  The icing on the cake is meeting classical music fan and sophomore Zibby.  What about the age difference, she likes books, does age really matter?
     Jesse wants to go home but can you ever really go home?  When another person has everything you want, isn’t that the right one for you?  More information alters this fantasy landscape and brings Jesse back to reality.  This has too much soap opera feel and not very much really going on for this entire film.  3* (This movie is OK) 

97min, Drama directed by Josh Radnor with Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Radnor, Alison Janney, Elizabeth Reaser, John Magaro.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 ½*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 69% critic 64% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 
Special Note:  Since Josh Radnor directs and also stars in this film, is it really true that women are falling for him or could this be his imagination?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Samsara 2011

     A documentary similar to Baraka of 1992, this film shows very dramatic visual images depicting humanity as individuals and working together.  Also, spectacular images of the natural features of the Earth are shown in an effort that took almost five years to film.  Samsara is a Tibetan word that means “the ever-turning wheel of life.”  The Tibetan prayer wheel is a visual symbol illustrating this concept.  Samsara is a form of quiet, guided meditation leading to transformation of the self.  We inhabit the Earth but we cannot escape the rhythm of Earth.
     This film draws you in with wonderful colors and interesting images of the features of different people.  Some are not real people but they seem to be!  I found some of the industrial processes disturbing, individuals are reduced to the uniformity of mass groups resembling robots.  I don’t agree with the treatment of the animals in several of the agricultural practices shown.  As a personal philosophy, I feel they are not ethical and beneath us because we can do much better.  This could be watched multiple times to get the full impact of the images.  3* (This movie is OK)
102 min, Doc directed by Ron Fricke, concept and treatment by Mark Magidson and Ron Fricke, Marcos Luna, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Oliver De Sagazen Kikumaru, Crisanto Neire.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 8.3 out of 10, 77% critic 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Even the Rain 2012

     A film about Christopher Columbus is being shot in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  This location was selected because the director and producer can hire many local people as extras for a small daily salary.  The film is based upon the early explorations of Columbus and how the Spaniards treated the Indians.  The project starts off on the wrong foot when an open casting is called and a very long line of people have been waiting for hours to be seen about roles.  They are told that only a few people can be seen but there is nearly a riot when this is announced.  Matters become more problematic when the people begin protesting against the government over privatization of the water supply.  The people feel that water is life, they are paying too much for water and water is being shut off.
     A lot of tension among the local people and the film people plus the added violence of the riots.  It doesn’t help at all that the theme of the movie is about the inhuman treatment of the indigenous people!  You really wonder how this is going to turn out?  Definably a lot of drama!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

103 min, Drama directed by Lciar Bollain with Luis Tosar, Gael Garcia Bernal, Juan Carlos Aduviri, Karra Elejalde, Carlos Santos, Raul Arevalo.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 7.2, 88% critic 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bully 2011

     Bullying in America has reached epidemic proportions and is the most common form of violence against young people.  A year in the life of students and parents on the receiving end of bullying is shown in the classrooms and in their homes.  Some students have killed themselves because they have no hope or any escape from the treatment they are receiving.  Adults have said they will do something about what is happening but nothing changes.  Parents, administrators, law enforcement, students are struggling to find solutions.
      A huge problem and solutions are not easy.  This film is one-dimensional since the students doing the bullying are not interviewed.  Why are they bullying and what steps have been taken to stop them from bullying?  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)
99 min, Doc directed by Lee Hirsch with Alex, Ja’Maya, Kelby, David and Tina Long, Kirk Smalley.
Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.2 out of 10, 86% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Farewell, My Queen 2011

     Adapted from a bestselling novel by Chantal Thomas examining the French Revolution from the view of the servants closest to Queen Marie Antoinette.  The time is July 1789 at the Chateau de Versailles in France, the people are beginning to rise up against the rein of King Louie XVI and have stormed the Bastille.  Many of the sovereigns begin planning their escape including the Queen.  Sidonie Labore is a book reader to the Queen, she enjoys privileges and considers herself a part of the Queen’s entourage.
     There is no background information included in any part of this film about the cause of the revolution?  None of the sovereigns or their roles are explained either?  Also, there is nothing in the screenplay about the reasons for their behaviors or relationships.  Like viewing My Week with Marilyn and you don't know anything about her.  3* (This movie is OK)

100 min, Drama directed by Benoit Jacquot with Diane Kruger, Lea Seydoux, Xavier Beauvois, Virginie Ledoyen, Noemie Lvovsky.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 ½*, imdb 6.3 out of 10, 94% critic 56% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The House on Telegraph Hill 1951

     Victoria Kopwelska tried everything she could to save her friend Karin Dernakova in a Nazi death camp but Karin was not strong enough and she died.  Victoria assumes Karin’s identity after Americans rescue the prisoners from the camp.  She knows Karin has an Aunt Sophie in San Francisco plus Karin’s baby son was smuggled out of Poland and went to live with the aunt.  Victoria has lost her husband and the Germans burned her family’s home, she has nothing left for her in Poland.  She learns through a telegram sent to the refugee camp where she is staying that Aunt Sophie has died.  Victoria travels with many other refugees to New York and meets with Alan Spender, the nephew of Aunt Sophie and his attorney.  During her stay in New York, Alan and Victoria fall in love and get married.  They travel together to San Francisco to reunite with Chris, Karin’s son. Victoria doesn’t know that Alan believes Aunt Sophie’s house and money belong to HIM and not to Chris and Victoria.
     This is good, it’s the second time I’ve seen this.  Even though it’s from 1951, it’s very interesting to see New York and San Francisco of that time plus the cars. Excellent performance by Cortese, wonderful cinematography and the mystery has you on the edge of your seat.  Could it be that Basehart is such a vile and evil person!?  4* (I really liked this movie)

93 min, Drama directed by Robert Wise with Richard Basehart, Valentina Cortese, William Lundigan, Fay Bker, Gordon Geberi, Steven Geray.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 ½*, imdb, 6.9 out of 10, 56% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  Richard Basehart is shown smoking a cigarette on the DVD cover, that would not be permitted today!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Letter from an Unknown Woman 1948

     A young woman falls in love with a concert pianist in Vienna of 1900.  When Lisa was 14 years old, Stefan Brand moved into the same apartment building.  When he moved near her, it changed her life, she loved listening to him playing the piano, she began checking out books on composers from the library, she took dancing lessons and took care with her appearance.  Unfortunately for Lisa, her mother remarries and she must move to another town in Austria but she never forgets Stefan.  Later, at the age of 18 she returns to live in Vienna and finds Stefan again.
     Filmed in black and white and spanning a decade, this can be a real tearjerker.  Her clothing after age 18 is very beautiful.  Points out some simple truths, appreciating beauty doesn't make you beautiful and loving doesn't always mean you are loved back. 3* (This movie is OK)

90 min, Drama directed by Max Ophuls with Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Marcel Journet, Art Smith, Carole Yorke, John Good.

Note:  Blockbuster 4 ½*, imdb 8.0 out of 10, 100% critic 86% % audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  When he receives the letter from Lisa, Stephan is preparing to leave Vienna suddenly to avoid a duel challenge.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Premium Rush 2012

     Wilee didn’t take the bar exam after law school, he feels sitting behind a desk wearing a gray suit would be something he doesn’t want to do.  He works for a bike messenger company, he has a featherweight bike with one gear and no brakes.  He always delivers his packages on time but could be killed every day on this job.  A woman gives him a letter to deliver but a man is stopping at nothing to get the letter back.
     The cycling scenes are good but can you watch 81 minutes of people riding bikes fast in New York?  There isn’t enough of a plot and the one here is weak on top of that.  How many times can you hear the same sentence about no brakes too?  3* (This movie is OK)

91 min, Drama directed by David Koepp with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Sean Kennedy, Kym Perfetto, Anthony Chisholm.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 76% critic 62% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Best Friend 2006

My Best Friend (2006)     Francois runs an upscale antique shop with his business partner, Catherine.  They are at an auction when Francois suddenly starts recklessly bidding on a valuable vase.  The vase had been commissioned to honor the death of a man’s best friend, it was said he had filled the vase with tears.  Catherine makes a bet with Francois that he cannot show he has one real friend in 10 days.  If she wins, he gives her the vase.
     This is funny and Francois only has business associates and no real friends.  He starts out on a quest to discover how to smile, be sociable and sincere.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

95 min, Drama directed by Marie-Eve Graviou Dural with Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, Julie Gayet, Julie Durand, Jacque Mathou, Marie Pilet, Elizabeth Bourgine, Henri Garcin.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 6.7 out of 10, 75% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gilles' Wife 2004

     Elisa struggles in her marriage to husband Gilles in this film set in 1930’s France.  Gilles works at a steel mill, Elisa takes care of their twin daughters.  She tirelessly cooks and cleans.  Elisa is worried that Gilles is too interested in her flirtatious and attractive younger sister, Victorine.  Her fears are confirmed when the family goes to a local carnival, Gilles dances with Victorine and becomes enraged when another man dances with her.  Elisa is expecting another child which is a complication for her.
     Devos uses minimal dialogue, body language and facial expressions to portray the long-suffering Elisa.  I think it would be a good idea to bring back public punishment in the stocks for both Gilles and Victorine!!  I would not go quietly into the background but give both of them an excellent public thrashing if I thought punishment in the stocks not enough!!  The ending is a surprise and unexpected?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

103 min, Drama directed by Frederic Fonteyne with Emmanuelle Devos, Clovis Cornillac, Laura Smet, Alice Verlinden, Chole Verlinden, Colette Emmanuelle, Gil Lagaly.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, 6.9 out of 10, 82% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Butter 2011

     Mid-westerner Bob Pickler has been the long time winner of the local butter-carving contest.  He is asked by one of the judges to bow out of this year’s competition since he has been the winner for the last 15 years.  He dreads telling his wife, Laura Pickler, since she believes that Bob should continue winning every year.  Everything goes about as badly as Bob expected and he storms out of the house to a bar.  Laura decides she will train herself to carve the butter and claim the title for herself to keep it in their family.  Bob meets Brooke, she really likes Bob’s money and she becomes a very strong adversary of Laura.  The other carving competition is 10-year-old foster girl, Destiny.  She thinks she doesn’t have very many talents but the one thing she is good at is carving butter.
     Who even thought there was such a thing as a butter carving competition creating such ambition and strong feelings?  This is really funny!!  In the beginning, you are wondering if this could be true and how do they keep the butter cold long enough to carve and display the sculpture?  4* (I really liked this movie) 

91 min, Comedy directed by Jim Field Smith with Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Hugh Jackman, Alicia Silverstone, Ty Burrell.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.1 out of 10, 35% critic 45% Rotten Tomatoes.
Special Note:  The Midwest Dairy Association sponsors butter sculpting booths at the Minnesota State Fair, it takes about six hours to complete a sculpture and the temperature inside the rotating booths is 40 degrees!!