Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hitchcock 2012

Hitchcock     Based on a book by Stephen Rebello about the making of Psycho.  This film shows the relationship between Alfred and his wife, Alma Reville in 1959.  She did a lot of behind-the-scenes work on his movies without the credit he received.  There have been suggestions that it’s time for Hitchcock to retire and he’s having trouble finding his next film project.  Everyone is against the idea of doing Psycho, even Alma thinks it won’t work or be a success.  There is a lot riding on this film, they have mortgaged their house for the financing.  Hitchcock becomes obsessed with the movie and dreams about it too.
     Interesting to see the inspiration for Psycho and Hitchcock as a director plus his personal life.  Hopkins looks nothing like himself and Mirren gives a strong performance.  I don’t know how much is based on fact but this is entertainment not Wikipedia.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

98 min, Drama directed by Sacha Gervasi, Ryan Murphy with Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, James, D’Arcy, Jessica Biel, Danny Huston Toni Collette, Ralph Macchio.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 63% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful     Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum about the enduring tales of Oz.  This film shows the prehistory of the movie the Wizard of Oz.   Oscar Diggs is barely making ends meet at a Kansas circus.  He’s a fast talking con man but he wants to do something great like the inventor Tomas Edison.  He escapes the grasp of a rampaging strongman into a hot air balloon but he doesn’t see a tornado coming.  The balloon takes him away to the magical world of Oz. 
     Looks wonderful, beautiful color and imagery, reminds you of the original movie, has star power but needs more spark.  This had the potential to be really good but Disney doesn’t seem to know how to do this without using its regular movie formula.  My rating was going to be lower but I think the second half is much better than the 
first, it must need to grow on you as you watch?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

130 min, Fantasy directed by Sam Raimi with James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Joey King, Bill Cobbs, Tony Cox, Stephen R. Hart.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 59% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Birdman of Alcatraz 1962

Birdman of Alcatraz     Based on the true story of Robert Stroud, he served a life sentence in prison.  He was sent to a penitentiary to serve 12 years on Puget Sound’s McNeil Island for killing a man in 1909 who was beating up a woman.  Because he was so violent, he was moved to Leavenworth Kansas in 1912.   He was there only six months when he killed a guard.  He was supposed to be hanged but his mother intervened through Edith Bolling Wilson, the wife of President Woodrow Wilson.  His sentence was changed to a life sentence in solitary confinement.  While in Leavenworth, he became interested in birds and he started raising and caring for them to fill his time.  He was transferred to Alcatraz in 1942.
     This is very good, the birds change a man so hard that nothing can reach into his protected core.  The birds are innocent and needy plus they don’t ever judge their caretaker.  I have a feeling that the real Robert Stroud was nothing like the man portrayed by Burt Lancaster.  4* (I really liked this movie)

147 min, Drama directed by John Frankenheimer with Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Neville Brand, Betty Field, Telly Savalas.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 7.8 out of 10, 82% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Late Quartet 2012

Product Details     A classical string quartet has been playing together for 25 years.  They have sacrificed a lot of time from their lives for practicing and performing.  Peter is a cellist, the oldest member of the group and he has been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  He will start treatment but he doesn’t know how much this will reverse his symptoms.  He recommends that the group select a gifted cellist, Nina Lee, to take his place.  His announcement of a change after 25 years throws the other group members into a discussion about changes of their own.
     This film probably captures the lives and temperaments of dedicated musicians but I found it hard to keep interested.  Some touching moments but very serious.  The actors did well at seeming to play the instruments.  3* (This movie is OK)

106 min, Drama directed by Yaron Zilberman with Christopher Walken, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanier, Imogen Poots, Madhur Jaffrey.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 78% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Beautiful Boy 2010

Beautiful Boy     Bill and Kate are a married couple thinking about divorcing.  Bill has been looking for an apartment but Kate thinks it’s too soon.  Their world is turned terribly upside down when their freshman college student goes on a shooting spree, he kills several people and then himself.  Their grief is immense but the news footage and the reporters increase their stress.  They go to stay with her brother but it becomes too difficult there too.
     This film is different since it focuses on the parents and what they go through instead of the relatives of the people killed.  They have more grief because the public does not look upon them favorably.  They don’t know why their son committed this crime and they blame themselves.  Tough to watch their pain.  3* (This movie is OK)

101 min, Drama directed by Shawn Ku with Maria Bello, Michael Sheen, Alany Tudyk, Moon Bloodgood, Austin Nichols, Kyle Gallner, Deidrie Henry, Bruce French.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 68% critic 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Searching for Sugar Man 2011

Searching for Sugar Man     Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was a Detroit folksinger and songwriter in the 1970’s.  The critics respected him for his song writing but the public did not buy the two albums he released.  In apartheid ruled South Africa, his songs gave the anti-apartheid groups hope that they could win against the establishment.  He was also very popular in Australia.  Two South African music lovers set out to find what happed to Rodriguez because there are a lot of rumors concerning his fate.
     This is interesting and I did like his style of music and his writing.  One of the men working with him on his albums thought he was better than Bob Dylan.  Seems slightly stretched and repetitive to fill a longer time span than really needed.  3* (This movie is OK)

87 min, Doc directed by Malik Bendjelloul with Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Sergerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore, Dan DiMaggio, Jerome Feretti.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.1 out of 10, 96% critic 93% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Guilt Trip 2012

The Guilt Trip     Andrew is a chemist and he has bet his career on selling an all-natural cleaning product.  He has meetings lined up with retailers to pitch his product on a cross-country road trip.  Before starting his journey, he returns to his family home to spend time with his mom.  She tells him she used to date someone before his father and mentions the man’s name.  Andy does a computer search and discovers this former date has a big company, maybe this will be the sales opportunity he needs.  He asks his mom to go on this trip with him as an intro to meeting this possible business contact.
     I don’t know if there are enough bad things I can say about this movie.  I have no idea why Barbara Streisand would even take this role?  Maybe on paper and during the filming this seemed like a good idea but on the screen it’s a bore.  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

95 min, Comedy directed by Anne Fletcher with Seth Rogan, Barbara Streisand, Kathy Najimy, Colin Hanks, Brett Cullen, Adam Scott.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.7 out of 10, 38% critic 43% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 2012

Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away     A young woman goes to the circus and a clown gives her a small poster with the picture of the lead male acrobat.  She begins to watch the show under the big top and she sees him fall.  He not only falls but then he also goes through the floor like sand.  She follows him and goes though the floor the same way he went.  She must journey through the magical realms of Cirque du Soleil to find him again.
     These acts must be spectacular in person but on film they are not as interesting.  There is a lack of focus and the background music is terrible.   It’s difficult to figure out what is going on with so much activity everywhere.  People are bending their bodies in ways normal people can't, they not have bones and they have zero body fat.  2* (I didn’t like this movie) 
91 min, Doc directed by Andrew Adamson with Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov, Lutz Halbhubner, John Clarke, Dallas Barnett, Tanya Drewery, Sarah Houbolt.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 ½*, imdb 6.3 out of 10,47% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Everyone Else 2009

Alle Anderen (Everyone Else)

     Also titled Alle Anderen in German.  Chris and Gitti are a German couple on a Mediterranean vacation and they seem to be happy.  They’ve gone to Sardinia to spend time at Chris’ well-to-do family’s summer home.  Chris is an architect unable to persuade anyone to build one of his designs.  Gitti is a publicist for a not very popular rock group.  They have experienced their ups and downs in their relationships as well as their careers.  Hans and Sana are also on vacation, Hans is a successful architect and Sana is a well-respected artist. Chris and Gitti find their connection as a couple is tested as they interact with Hans and Sana.
     I may have watched a quarter of this movie and I couldn’t take anymore.  It’s a couple interested in themselves and their relationship only.  Talking and talking, arguing and arguing, the title is backwards, it should be No One Else.  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

119 min, Drama directed by Maren Ade with Birgit Minichmayr, Lars Eidinger, Hans-Jochen Wagner

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 89% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jack and Diane 2012

Jack and Diane     Two teenage girls living in New York accidentally meet when Diane goes into a store to try to use the phone.  Diane has a twin sister and may be leaving New York to attend school in France.  Jack isn't very happy to learn that Diane may leave after they have just met.  Diane's sweet innocence begins to cut through Jack's tough outer shell. 
     I didn't know what I was getting into with this film.  I'll have to look more carefully at the description of a film instead of assuming this would be like the song, Jack and Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp.  Instead this film swings between teen romance and some kind of werewolf creature but with too much footage of nothing?!  1 1/2* (I really didn't like this movie)

110 min, Drama directed by Bradley Rust Gray with Riley Keough, Juno Temple Kylie Minogue, Dane DeHaan, Lou Taylor Pucci, Leo Fitzpatrick.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 ½*, 3.9 out of 10, 10% critic 29% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beautiful Creatures 2013

Beautiful Creatures     Adapted from a series of young adult novels by Kami Carcia and Margaret Stohl.  This film is based on part one of four installments in the Caster Chronicles.  Gatlin, South Carolina is a small Southern town, Ethan Wate lives here but his greatest wish is to leave.   He meets Lena Duchannes, she’s new to town and seems very mysterious.  She lives with her reclusive uncle, Macon Ravenwood.  They are both juniors and starting the new school year, the other students don’t seem to like her and start to spread rumors.
     Another film centered on the supernatural romance theme.  Not much is told about the mythology of the Caster group, especially what do they really do?  There is more here to think about than the Twilight series.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

124 min, Sci-Fi directed by Richard LaGravenese with Alden Ehrenreich, 
Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Emma Thompson.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 6.1 out of 10, 46% critic 56% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Life of Pi 2012

Life of Pi     Based on a novel by Yann Martel.  Pi Patel is an Indian storyteller living in Canada.  A writer comes to visit him and he tells him about his childhood in Pondicherry, India.  Pi’s family owns the animals in a zoo but the city owns the land.  Santosh explains to his wife and two sons that the city will not be providing money to run the zoo and they are planning on selling the animals.  They will be moving to Canada and sailing by freighter with the animals.
     This is very good, Pi does not want to leave India, it’s the only home he’s known.  The photography and the story are very moving with underlying meaning.  4* (I really liked this movie)

127 min, Adventure directed by Ang Lee with Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Ayush Tandon, Gautam Belur, Tabu, Ayaan Khan, Rafe Spall, Gerard Depardieu.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.1 out of 10, 88% critic 87% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gangster Squad 2013

Gangster Squad      Los Angeles has been taken over by a power-hungry East Coast mobster.  Mickey Cohen is a former boxer born in Brooklyn with a reputation and the respect of the Italian mob.  Many of the judges and police chiefs plus regular policeman have been bought by Cohen to look the other way.   Chief Parker is the one of the honest few and he asks Sgt. John O’Mara to assemble a task force to burn Cohen’s empire to the ground.  Everyone who goes against Cohen is in danger including their families.  This is the 40’s and the time of the Tommy gun named after the 1919 inventor, John T. Thompson.  Clips provide a high volume of ammunition.
     This movie is just OK, instead of expert plans they are flying by the seat of their pants the entire way.  They get lucky in the beginning and have some success but Cohen is a formidable opponent and he has a lot of manpower behind him.  3* (This movie is OK) 
113 min, Drama directed by Ruben Fleischer with Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Pena, Anthony Mackie, Emma Stone, Robert Patrick, Nick Nolte, Bryan Cranston, Patrick Robert.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 6.8 out of 10, 32% critic 60% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Central Park Five 2012

The Central Park Five     This documentary was originally shown on PBS television.  In 1989, a 28 year-old woman was attacked, hit several times on the head with a tree branch and raped while jogging about 9PM in Central Park of New York City.  Six teenagers from Harlem had been in the park and they were brought in for questioning.  There was a rush to indict suspects by the police, the media was clamoring for sensational stories and the usually complacent public was outraged.
     This is a powerful and moving film.  The teens were between 14 and 16 years old, there were confessions but they were after they had been held for a long time, they were under a lot of pressure and stress plus they were lied to and told what they should say.  4* (I liked this movie)

119 min, Doc directed by Ken and Sarah Burns, David McMahon with Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, Kharey Wise.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 94% critic 85% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Queen of the Sun: What are Bees Telling Us? 2010

Queen Of The Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?     This documentary is a look at the global bee crisis.  There has been a catastrophic disappearance of bees and entire colonies have had sudden death.  There are several problems but there are also solutions.  Because of colony collapse disorder in this country, bees were brought in from Australia.  These bees have different mites, bacteria, viruses and the differences are passed on to our bees.  Treating of bee infestations can lead the organisms to build defenses and grow stronger because of the treatment.  Genetically engineered seed passes on the gene mutation information to the bees.  One crop farming and trucking in bees causes weakening of the hives.  Raising of queens and their artificial insemination means a shortened life span.  We can help them and studies indicate bees need to get back to their natural ways to survive.
     This is very good, lots of information and wonderful photography.  The people involved in raising bees really feel drawn them and their organized colonies.  We need the to bees for pollination of many of our food sources.  4* (I really liked this movie)
83 min, Doc directed by Taggart Siegel with Gunther Hauk, Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, Raj Patel, Carlo Petrini, Yvon Achard, May Berenbaum, Scott Black.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 97% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cosmopolis 2012

Cosmopolis     This film is based upon a novel by Don DeLillo and set in New York of the near future.  Eric Packer is a 28 year-old billionaire financial genius in the field of currency speculation and the uncontested king of Wall Street.  He has taken an enormous gamble betting against the yuan exchange rate.  As he travels across town in his limo, he watches his fortune go down the drain.
     This is a waste of every actor involved in this yak attack movie.  It’s talking and taking about the meaning of life, ideas and imaginations about capitalism and inconsequential trivia for 109 minutes.  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

109 min, Drama directed by David Cronenberg with Robert Pattinson, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche.

Note:  Blockbuster 2*, imdb 5.1 out of 10, 64% critic 32% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

This is 40 2012

This is 40      Pete and Debbie are a married couple with two daughters and they are the same couple in the movie Knocked Up also by Judd Apatow.  Debbie is having a birthday and she tells everyone she is 38.  Soon after Pete is having a birthday and he is turning 40, so both of them are really 40 but she is lying.  They are having a lot of financial problems, Pete’s music label business is not doing very well, someone is stealing from the boutique clothing store Debbie owns and they are over there heads in their house.  It isn’t helping that Pete’s father has young triplet boys and he is always asking for money. 
     There are so many scenes in this film that I have never seen before and I did not want to see either.  It has Judd Apatow written all over it, does he make any other kind of movie?  And, why does he have his older daughter swearing every time they talk?  This is wears you down and ages you with its constant yelling, fighting and arguing.  3* (This movie is OK)

134 min, Comedy directed by Judd Apatow with Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel, Annie Mumolo, Robert Smiget, Megan Fox.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.2 out of 10, 52% critic 52% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Liberace: Behind the Candelabra 2013

Product Details     This film is based on an autobiographical novel and was shown on HBO.  Liberace was a virtuoso pianist and an outrageous entertainer.  He had a 40-year career and he lived lavishly with a lifestyle of excess both on the stage and off.  The time period is from 1977 to 1983 when Scott Thorson walked into Liberace’s life and they were together for six years.
     This film was record breaking for HBO with the biggest audience since Something the Lord Made was shown in 2004.  I will never be able to look at Douglas, Damon and Lowe the same way again!!  This is definitely for mature audiences.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

118 min, Drama directed by Steven Soderbergh with Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe, Tom Papa, Paul Reiser, Bruce Ramsay.

Note:  Imdb 7.1 out of 10.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thin Ice 2010

Thin Ice     Mickey Prohaska lives and works in rural Wisconsin, he’s an insurance salesman in a slump.  He’s struggling to make ends meet and his divorce from his wife has shaken his confidence.  He goes to a convention but has his money and credit cards stolen.  On the bright side, he hires a new salesman, Bob Egan.  He seems to be a hard worker and he’s bringing in new clients.  Mickey meets elderly farmer Gorvy Hauer through Bob and they are able to set him up with insurance.  Everything starts to really go downhill when Mickey becomes involved with Gorvy.
      This is funny, Mickey starts to forget what is right and wrong in his greed to get money.  So many things happen but I can’t give anything away, I have to let you experience the momentum and the downward slide.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Comedy directed by Jill Sprecher with Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, Bob Balaban, Lea Thompson, David Harbour, Michelle Arthur, Jennifer Edwards.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 ½*, imdb 6.1 out of 10, 70% critic 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hospitallite 2010

Hospitalite (Kantai)

     This film is set in a small downtown Tokyo duplex, a man and his wife run printing business.  They also live here with his young daughter and his recently divorced sister.  They live quietly until Kagawa drops by, he talks and charms his way into a job and a place to live by claiming he is the son of a man who invested in their business.  Soon after, to their surprise, Kagawa’s wife arrives.  She says she is from Brazil but she may be from Bosnia?  The next surprise is that many people come to stay with Kagawa, enough to fill the place and he claims they are relatives of his wife?
     The family is so polite they find it hard to refuse Kagawa no matter what happens.  Supposed to be comedy but I didn’t find this at all funny.  The pace is very slow and it seems to take forever to complete small tasks.  The family does not communicate very well and as more people are added to the mix, they seem to fall apart further.  3* (This movie is OK) 

96 min, Comedy directed by Koji Fukada with Kanji Furutach, Kumi Hyodo, Tatsuya Kawamura, Byerly Long, Hiroko Matsuda, Eriko Ono, Haruka Saito.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 88% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Widows' Peak 1994

Widows' Peak     This film is adapted from a mystery novel and set in the Irish town of Kilshannon in the 1920’s.  A group of widows tightly set the rules for behavior, there is only one non-widow in the town.  Miss O’Hare is a reclusive spinster of middle age who seems to have some kind of secret.  Edwina Broome is new in town and is not part of the widows’ group or aligned with Miss O’Hare.  In fact she starts a feud with Miss O’Hare, pushing her to get a prize, mangling her prize roses and bumping her skiff in a boat race.  Edwina has accused Miss O’Hare of extreme rudeness and releasing the brake on her car.
     There are more women in the town than men so there is bound to be some friction and there is enough gossip for two or three towns.   Add one more widow to the mix and the delicate balance is tipped.  This is just after WWI, some men died in the war and some have died from gas exposure and other injuries.  3 ½* (I liked this movie) 

101min, Comedy directed by John Irvin with Mia Farrow, Joan Plowright, Natasha Richardson, Adrian Dunbar, Jim Broadbent, Anne Kent, John Kavanagh.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 100% critic 48% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

All This, and Heaven too 1940

All This, and Heaven Too     Adapted from a best-selling novel by Rachel Field.  Henriette Deluzy is hired as a governess to educate and care for the four children of the Duc and Duchesse de Praslin in France.  She saves the life of their son by nursing him through a near-death illness and the three daughters love her.  The Duchesse does not feel the same way, she mistrusts anyone who comes near the Duc and becomes insanely jealous.
      Somewhat like Jane Eyre except the wife should be but is not kept in a separate wing of the home.  This is over the top in melancholy and long but not dull.  It is a surprise to see June Lockhart as the oldest daughter.  She started her acting career in 1938 and was 15 years old in this film.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

141 min, Drama directed by Anatole Litvak with Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn, Barbara O’Heil, Virginia Weidler, Helen Wrestley, June Lockhart, Ian Keith.

Note:  Imdb 7.4 out of 10, 83% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Arch of Triumph

     Based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque.  This is a romance which takes place just before the announcement of war between France and Germany.   Dr. Ravic is a refugee physician without a passport in Paris.  Joan is thinking about jumping off a bridge after the sudden death of her boyfriend.  Dr. Ravic stops her from jumping and gets her a job singing at a nightclub where his friend Boris is the doorman.  Joan and Ravic fall in love but he is deported and she moves on to Alex, a wealthy man. 
     A lot of complications, a lot of events are not explained and it is difficult to follow the plot changes.  Probably high drama and a lot of tears in its period but seems too sappy now and a waste of good actors.  3* (This movie is OK)

123 min, Drama directed by Lewis Milestone with Stephen Bekassay, Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Roman Bohnen, Curt Bois, Charles Laughton, Louis Calhern, J. Edward Bromberg, Michael Romanoff, Hazel Brooks.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 ½*, 6.1 out of 10, 45% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Steamboat Bill, Jr. 1928:

     Willie Canfield is the smaller than expected son of a rough steamboat captain.  Steamboat Bill Canfield runs a very worn out steamboat on the river by River Junction, Mississippi.  He meets his son at the train from Boston with his engineer, he is looking for a big rough guy with a white carnation in his jacket lapel.  At first he can’t find him but they see the luggage tag and his son is not at all a rough guy.  Bill starts to try to make a “man” out of his son but he’s having trouble on the river with the wealthy owner of a fancy new boat, the King.
     This is funny and many seemingly impossible things happen in this film, some were dangerous and Keaton could've been killed.  I don’t know how many people fall into the river and how man times Keaton falls down.  A huge cyclone comes though the town causing destruction in its paths and many amazing sights.  This seems long and you wonder how anyone would be able to play the music accompaniment for this length of time in a theater.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

111 min, Comedy directed by Charles “Chuck” Riesner with Buster Keaton, Ernest Torrence, Tom Lewis, Tom McGuire, Marion Byron, Joe Keaton.

Note:  Blockbuster 4 ½*, 7.9 out of 10, 100% critic 91% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Parental Guidance 2012

     Artie and Diane are a couple called upon to babysit for their three grandchildren while their parents are away for work.  Artie is old school in his beliefs about raising children.  Diane is a people pleasing person.  Alice and Phil, parents of the grandchildren, are type-A helicopter in their style of raising their children.
     This movie seems dated, stale and only slightly funny.  Every stereotype in the book is used about parents, children and grandparents.  One element I did not like is that the parents or grandparents do not correct words or behavior.   2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

105 min, Comedy directed by Andy Fickman with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 5.8 out of 10, 18% critic 64% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Playing for Keeps 2012

     George is a burned out professional soccer star trying to win his family back.  He moves to Virginia to be closer to his son and he gets distracted by the mom’s on the soccer team he is coaching.  His ex-wife is planning to be remarried and he tries to spend as much time with his son as he can.  He didn’t want to coach his son’s team but he didn’t think the existing coach was doing a very good job.  He seems to live in a big house but his bank account is drained and he lives in a nearby small apartment.
     The actors in this film are wasted on a weak and predictable script.  It can’t decide if it’s a drama or a comedy so it comes off as a mediocre dramedy.  Also why do all the women in this film look chic and glam except for Jessica Biel?  3* (This movie is OK)

105 min, Comedy directed by Gabriele Muccino with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Noah Lomax, Judy Greer, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman, James Tupper.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.5 out of 10, 4% critic 43% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Detropia 2012

Product Details     The collapse of the basic structure of manufacturing in U.S has caused many  problems in the city of Detroit.  Many Americans had moved to Detroit because of the rise of manufacturing and the middle class.  We have a love affair with automobiles and this was the beginning of the American dream.  The collapse of the economy and the fading of job opportunities have hit Detroit almost to the point of no return.  The city is broke, many residents have permanently left and houses are torn down every day.  
     The basic story is good but so much sideline artfulness is included it was a distraction.  The facts seem to be slanted to give a one-sided presentation, all of the information concerning the United Auto Workers is not included and none of the auto companies are represented.  The picture on the DVD cover leads you to believe this is a post apocalyptic film?  3* (This movie is OK)

90 min, Doc directed by Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady with Crystal Starr, Tommy Stephens, George McGregor, Mayor Dave Bing.

Note:  Indb 6.2 out of 10, 84% critic 62% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Day I Saw Your Heart 2011

Product Details     Eli Dhrey nearly 60 years old, he is a businessman who has been married multiple times.  His current wife is expecting a baby and his grown daughters are wondering if he is too old to raise a baby.  He begins thinking about this too.  His daughter Justine works as x-ray technician and she uses the machines when the clinic is closed to make x-ray art.  She lives with her stepsister Dom and Dom's husband Bertrand.  They have been trying to adopt a child for months and they are slightly jealous about the impending arrival of a baby.  Justine takes an x-ray of her father and she notices he may have a problem.  She encourages him to see a cardiologist.
     There are a lot of emotions and family dysfunction running through this film and I do not think it’s funny?  Not very much depth to the characters and a weak script with pop tunes filling in the blanks.  I originally thought the title referred to viewing the baby's heart but that is not the case.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

98 min, Comedy directed by Jennifer Devoldere with Melanie Laurent, Michel Blanc, Florence Loiret Caille, Claude Perron, Guillaume Gouix.

Note:  Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 47% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Big Picture 2010

     Adapted from a novel by Douglas Kennedy.  Paul Exben has it all, a beautiful wife, two children, a successful job and a side interest in photography.  It all comes crashing down at the same time like a house of cards.  His wife asks him for a divorce and his boss has a terminal illness.  He learns his wife is seeing a mutual friend and he goes to his house to confront him.  Everything does not go as planned and Paul has a lot of thinking to do.
     Some suspense and intrigue but this film didn’t match up to my expectations.  The second half doesn’t seem as well thought out and I didn’t care for the ending.  It is unresolved and you are left to draw your own conclusions.  3* (This movie is OK)

115 min, Drama directed by Eric Lartigau with Romain Duris, Marina Fois, Niels Arestrup, Catherine Deneuve, Branka Datic, Eric Ruf, Enzo Cacote.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 ½*, imdb 6.6 out of 10, 88% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.