Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 2013

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

     Inventor Flint Lockwood and his friends are forced to leave their town after the meatball storm in the first Meatballs movie.  The Live Corp Company headed by Chester V asks Flint to join forces with him to clean up the island.  Flint doesn’t hesitate to accept since Chester V is his idol.  Flint is supposed to go alone but his friends want to join him and they discover his machine is still operating.  It creates mutant food beasts such as pickles that are alive, hungry tacodiles with babies, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons.  Flint may be the only one who can save the world?
     I wonder how many cups of coffee it took to dream up this movie?  It’s like hyperactivity and medication combined to make so many themes and characters that you need to view in slow motion to make sense of everything going on?  3* (This movie is OK)

95 min, Animation directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn with the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjaman Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 70% critic 67% audience on R
otten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Best Man Down 2012

Best Man Down

     Lawrence (Lumpy) is the best man at the destination wedding in Phoenix of Scott and Kristen.  He gets very drunk, spills a drink on the bride’s $3000 dress, throws up in the ladies room, dances on tables, needs to be held back from pulling the cake off the table and other outrageous behaviors.  Unfortunately, he hits his head in his hotel room while jumping on the bed.   He walks out into the desert at night looking for help and passes away.  Scott and Kristen cancel their honeymoon and fly back to Minneapolis to arrange for his funeral.  As they notify people who knew Lumpy, Scott finds out he didn’t know as much as he thought about his best friend.
     Scott and Kristen start to have a lot of arguments over Lumpy’s death and what they need to do afterward.  It’s not the best way to start a marriage.  This is very boring, everything that happens is not interesting, it’s a slog to get through and you wonder if there was anything here worth your wasted time?  It’s not funny and all the laughs are mean or from embarrassing events.  2* (I didn’t like this movie) 

89 min, Comedy directed by Ted Koland with Justin Long, Jess Weixler, Tyler Labine, Addison Timlin, Shelley Long, Frances O’Connor, Evan Jones.

Note:  Imdb 3 out of 10, 33% critic 47% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1*.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spinning Plates 2012

Spinning Plates

     This film takes a look at three different restaurants and the people behind the scenes.  A Chicago based cutting-edge restaurant named the 7th best in the world.  The head chef gets tongue cancer and undergoes intense treatment to save his sense of taste and his life.  Another is a 150-year-old family restaurant that has burned to the ground two separate times.  The family didn’t know if they had the strength to rebuild the 2nd time.  The third restaurant is a Mexican restaurant operated on a shoestring and struggling to survive.  Their food is based on recipes from wife’s mother.
     This is interesting and good.  The restaurants are so different.  I can see myself eating at the family restaurant and the Mexican restaurant but   I’m not so sure about the 7th best in the world.  I like real food and home style cooking but also some innovation.  Twenty-five courses may not be for me?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Doc directed by Joseph Levy with Grant Achatz, Cindy and Mike Breitbach, Thomas Keller, Francisco and Gabby Martinez.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 85% critic 82% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Film Crave 2.00/4.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tanta Agua (So Much Water) 2013

     Alberto is a divorced Uruguayan father with a son, Federico and a daughter Lucia.  Fede is 10 years old and Lucia is 14 years old.  He takes the kids for a vacation at a thermal resort in Alto.  This becomes a tough vacation since it is raining hard every day.  They can’t swim because of electrical storm warnings and they don’t have a TV in their room. 
     OK, I want to watch 102 minutes of a family not having a good time on a boring vacation?  This is not remotely funny at any time either.  I really tried to give this the benefit of the doubt but I’m amazed I was able to finish!! 2 ½* (This move is so-so) 

102 min, Comedy directed by Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge with Nestor Guzzini, Malu Chouza, Joaquin Castiglioni, Sofie Azambuya, Andres Zunini.

Note:  Imdb 6.7 out of 10, Film Crave 2.00/4, Amazon 3*.
Special Note:  I was surprised Lucia was able to buy cigarettes and alcohol at the age of 14?  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

12 Years a Slave 2013

12 Years a Slave

     Based in part on a true story from a 19th century best selling memoir.  Solomon Northup is a free black man from upstate New York in the pre-Civil War period.  He goes out with two gentlemen he just met and he gets very drunk.  He is abducted, wakes up to find himself in chains and is sold into slavery.  He faces extreme cruelty but also some unexpected kindness while working on a plantation in New Orleans.  He struggles to stay alive but he also tries to keep his dignity.  After twelve years as a salve, he meets and man from Canada who is an abolitionist.  Solomon asks him to write to his family in New York to let them know he’s still alive and explain why he never came home.
     There was a lot of brutality in Django Unchained but “you ain’t seen nothing yet” until you have viewed this film.  As in the film Precious, we were forced to watch what we didn’t want to see.  McQueen also directed Hunger about the 1981 Irish hunger strike and Shame about sex addiction.  I cannot say that this is enjoyable viewing.   It may be historically and technically accurate plus critically acclaimed but this is not “entertainment!”  3* (This movie is OK)

134 min, Bio directed by Steve McQueen with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender, Dickie Gravois, Bryan Batt, Ashley Dyke, Kelsey Scott, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano.

Note?  Imdb 8.3 out of 10, 97% critic 91% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cutie and the Boxer 2013

Cutie and the Boxer

     Ushio and Noriko Shinohara are both artists from Japan and they have an adult son, Alex.  Ushio is one of the leading but under appreciated alternative artists in Japan and New York.  Noriko has been a faithful wife and companion to Ushio for 40 years but now she wants to focus and receive success as an artist too.  Ushio is now 80 years old and Noriko is 59 years old.  Ushio was an alcoholic but now he’s has an allergy to alcohol.  The tendency to become an alcoholic was passed on to their son.  They have struggled their entire marriage with living on little money.  Noriko believes this contributed to their son's low self esteem when he was in school. 
      I wonder why the association of Ushio with Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol isn’t discussed at all in this film?  Ushio is known for bashing huge canvases with paint coated boxing gloves.  He also makes large motorcycle models and other items from cardboard.  Noriko does drawings inspired by their life together.  They are having their first art showing together in the same gallery.  Even if you don’t care at all about their art or this type of art, their life together is very interesting.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)
82 min, Doc directed by Zachary Heinzerling with Ushio, Noriko and Alex Shinohara, Ethan Cohen.
Note:  Imdb 7.2 out of 10, 96% critic 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Book Thief 2013

The Book Thief

      This film is based on a 550 page WWII era novel set in 1938 with the same title written by Brian Percival.  In the beginning, Liesel is on the run with her mother and younger brother.  Her brother dies and Liesel Meminger is taken at the age of 9 to live with a foster family in a German working-class neighborhood.  She arrives with a book, The Gravediggers Handbook.  Her new father teaches her how to read and books become a big part of her life.
     There are facts in this film that are not explained?  Who were Liesel’s parents, what happened to them, what happened to her brother? Why was she sent to a poor family with barely enough to feed themselves and why is Liesel mocked as being illiterate on her first day of school?  Time passes but no one gets any older?.  3* (This movie is OK) 
131 min, Drama directed by Brain Percival with Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Roger Allam, Nico Liersch, Ben Schnetzer.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 46% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*.
Special Note:  The character narrating is supposed to be the voice of death.  The name of the street where the family lives is Heaven Street?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Free Birds 2013

Free Birds

     Reggie has been warning the other turkeys on the farm that the farmer is not their friend.  They decide they’ve had enough of his ideas and they give him up to the farmer.  The only catch is that the President and his daughter are there to pardon a turkey.  Reggie goes to the White House for an entirely different life filled with delivery pizza and TV.  He meets Jake on the white house grounds.  Jake is a militant turkey and he drags Reggie into his idea of going back in time to make sure turkey is not part of the first Thanksgiving meal. 
     Since the threat of death is lurking around every corner, a lot of the lightness is quickly sucked from this film.  There are too many main and minor themes, characters, listless gags and manic ideas.  Plus, it's not a "laugh riot."  This may be better for an annual Thanksgiving viewing to keep kids busy.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

91 min, Animation directed by Jimmy Hayward with the voices of Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Dan Fogler, Amy Poehler, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Jimmy Hayward, Kaitlyn Maher, Carlos Alazraqui.

Note:  Imdb 5.8 out of 10, 18% critic 46% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Runner Runner

Runner Runner

     Richie is into gambling and how he pays his tuition at Princeton.  He was working for a large firm Wall Street firm but lost his job plus his money during the market crash.  He loses on his latest effort to get the money he needs by betting all his funds and he heads to Costa Rica to meet with an online gambling tycoon.  Richie thinks all he needs to do is talk to Ivan Block, get his money back because of an error and then start over.  Ivan instead offers him the job of a lifetime. 
     There isn’t anything new in this film and other critics have thrown it under the bus because of its blandness.  Timberlake does a good job but Affleck is phoning in his role like Bruce Willis seems to be doing lately.  With so much opposition from every side, you begin to wonder if Richie will make it out of this alive?   2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

91 min, Crime directed by Brad Furman with Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie, Micael Esper, Oliver Cooper, Christian George, Yul Vazquex, John Heard, James Molina.

Note:  Imdb 5.6 out of 10, 9% critic 34% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Adore 2013


      Lil and Roz are mid-40’s lifelong friends in New South Wales and they grew up together as neighbors in this Australian beach town.  They both have two sons in there 20’s who are also best friends.  Lil’s husband passed away when her son was young and Roz’s husband has been working in Sydney.  Roz and Ian, Lil’s son, begin a fling but Ian is in love with Roz.  Tom, Roz’s son, begins an affair with Lil out of spite . 
     It would be wonderful to live on the coast in the idyllic area pictured in this film.  Also, it doesn’t seem that you need to work very hard to have this lifestyle. The women agree that this has crossed the line and they want to stop.  I didn’t know how this was going to end and the subject matter has a squirm factor.  3* (This movie is OK)
112 min, Drama directed by Anne Fontaine with Naomi Watts, Robin Wright Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, Ben M
endelsohn, Jessica Tovery, Sophie Lowe, Gary Sweet, Alyson Standen.
Note:  Imdb 6.2 out of 10, 31% critic 43% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thanks for Sharing 2012

Thanks for Sharing

     Adam has been struggling with an addiction and he’s just reached the 5-year mark.  He’s had a lot of help from his sponsor Mike.  They both attend regular meetings for sex addiction.  They are both trying to help newcomer Neil.  He’s a young doctor who has worked hard on his profession but he’s struggling with harassing women at work, on the street and on the subway.  Adam has just met Phoebe but she has made it a rule to not date addicts.  She has problems with her own over extreme control of food intake and exercise addiction. 
     This film is very serious with a serious subject.  It’s listed as a comedy but there is nothing funny at all in this material.  The only actors letting go at all are Pink and Josh Gad.  The rest of the cast are completely involved in a self-help project.  3* (This movie is OK)  

112 min, Drama directed by Stuart Blumberg with Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit, Pink, Carole Kane, Emily Meade.

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, 49% critic 44% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Out of the Furnace 2013

Out of the Furnace

     Russell and his younger brother Rodney have always dreamed of escaping their life in the economically disadvantaged Pennsylvania Rust Belt.  Rodney has been in the military in Iraq but he finds it very rough and it changed him.  Russell gets into a car accident and spends some time in prison.  Rodney needs money, he doesn’t have a job and he doesn’t want to work in the steel mill like Russell.  He gets involved with a violent and ruthless crime ring headed up by Harlan DeGroat.  Harlan throws a woman out of his car and beats up a man in the parking lot of a drive-in movie. 
     A friend who is a movie fan recommended this film but it is filled with a huge amount of violence and the script is lacking much else.  I didn’t want to watch the scenes of bare-knuckle boxing and you know going in that this will end badly.  3* (This movie is OK)    

116 min, Crime directed by Scott Cooper with Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Sam Shepard, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 52% critic 53% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Night Train to Lisbon 2013

Night Train to Lisbon

     This film is based on a novel by Pascal Mercier.  Raimund Gregorius is an elderly Swiss professor of classical languages.  He’s going to work across a bridge in the rain and he sees a young woman getting ready to jump from the bridge.  He drops all of his papers, loses his umbrella into the water and pulls her back down to the pavement.  He takes her to his class with him, he doesn’t know what else to do with her?  She leaves and he doesn’t know anything about her except that she is Portuguese.  He finds a book in her raincoat pocket.  He becomes so mesmerized by the book that he abandons his dull life and takes the train to Lisbon in search of the author.
     I didn’t like the storytelling style of this film.  Instead of showing the history of the author, it is told by his sister and others who knew him.  There are scenes of his history so why not just show the scenes and let them do the telling?  Too long, too many characters and people shown at different ages of their lives making it difficult to know who they are.  Raimund is thinking about living and the film is thinking about being a movie?  2* (I didn’t like this film.

111 min, Mystery directed by Bille August with Jeremy Irons, Melanie Laurent, Jack Huston, Martina Gedeck, Tom Courtenay, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Lena Olin, Charlotte Rampling.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 42% critic 59% au
dience on Rotten Tomatoes, Film Crave 2.17/4.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Summit 2012

The Summit     On August 1, 2008, eleven climbers died on K2.  This mountain is an extension of the northwestern Himalayan Mountain Range and is located between Pakistan and China.  There is a one in four fatality rate for climbing this mountain and most of the accidents happen on the descent.  There were 22 international climbers waiting at High Camp, the last stop before the summit.  Many who survived didn’t know what happened or how the climbers died.
     A climber went around another climber in order to go back on the ascent path.  He fell and others didn’t know if he was dead or alive.  Three climbers went to help him and another climber fell.  These incidents caused a delay for those waiting to summit.  Then an icefall kills another climber.  Everything became so complicated that it was difficult to figure out what was happening.  3* (This movie is OK)

95 min, Doc directed by Nick Ryan with Christine Barnes, Hoselito Bite, Marco Confortola, Pat Falvey, Niall Foley, Stefan Grossniklaus, Pasang Lama, Tshering Lama, J.J. McDonnell, Hirsto Mitzkov, Johannes Moser, Lars Nessa, Damien O’Brien, Lochlainn O’Mearain, Garrett Phillips.
Note:  Imdb 6.7 out of 10, 63% critic 62% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Film Crave 2.83/4.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In a World 2013

In a World...

     Carol is doing freelance voiceover work and she lives with her father.  Her father thinks it’s time she moved out on her own but she’s not making enough money for rent.  Carol moves in with her sister until she can get more jobs lined up.  Things start to go her way and more jobs seem to be coming in.  She voices for a new movie that will be filmed in four parts and this is a big deal.  The only problem is now her father and his protégée Gustav think they are better for this job than Carol.  Louis runs a sound mixing studio and he offers to help Carol beat out her two opponents.
     This film is an interesting look into the voiceover line of work.  There are some very funny parts but also some cruising along.  Lake Bell is the director, writer and also actor in this film for a triple juggle.  3* (This movie is OK)

93 min, Comedy directed by Lake Bell with Fred Melamed, Michaela Watkins, Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, Alexandra Holden, Ken Marino, Demetri Martin, Fred Melamed, Rig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Stephanie Allynne.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out
of 10, 92% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Artist and the Model 2012

The Artist and the Model

     Lea and her housekeeper Maria meet Merce in town.  She is a Spanish political refugee, she is traveling and doesn’t have a job or a place to live.  The period is 1943 in occupied France during World War II.  Lea invites Merce to her home, Lea is married to Marc Cros, he is an elderly sculptor.  Lea believes Merce could pose for Marc and add a new spark to his work.   This job will give Merce a place to stay and wages from her work.
     This film is shot in black in white but it’s a statement about art and nature.  Can’t art and nature be more fully portrayed in color?  This choice says a lot about the film, it moves quietly along with only a few bursts of inspiration.  3* (This movie is OK)  

105 min, Drama directed by Fernando Trueba with Jean Rochefort, Aida Folch, 
Claudia Cardinale, Chus Lampreave, Gotz Otto, Christian Sinniger.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 68% critic 50% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.
Special Note:  This film reminded me of Renoir 2012.  Renoir was more impressive because of the tones of color and the shades of light on the landscape.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Flanders 2006


     Part of this film takes place in a rural village in Belgium.  Barbe loves Andre but she dislikes the fact that he does not express his emotions.  Andre is a rough farmhand, he doesn’t talk very much and he doesn’t like to share his feelings.  Because she feels so detached from Andre, she vents her anger by hooking up with other men.  Several of the men from the village are saying goodbye to friends and family before going into the Army because of the draft.  Andre sees Barbe saying goodbye to Blondel at the same time she’s saying goodbye to him?  The men are sent to an unnamed Middle Eastern nation where the grim war wears away their humanity.
     Everything about this movie seems empty plus it is bland and rough.  I’m surprised I was able to see it through to the end but only because I was reading a book at the same time.  I don’t think there is any redeeming value in this film?  2* (I didn’t like this movie) 

91 min, Drama directed by Bruno Cumont with Adelaide Leroux, Samuel Boidin, Henri Cretel, Jean-Marie Bruveart, David Poulain, Patrice Venant, David Legay, Inge Decaesteker.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 68% critic 57% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer 2013

Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer

     On February 21, 2012, three young women punk rockers staged a performance of protest on an extension of the sanctuary platform of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.  Two of the women were arrested on March 3 and the third was arrested on March 16.  They were taken to jail, held without bail and their trial lasted 7 months.  They could’ve been sentenced to 7 years but they were sentenced to 2 years in a penal colony.  At their appeal, one of the members was released for time served.  Two other members left the country because they were afraid of prosecution.
     The main objection to the performance was that it took place in the Church.  All their other performances were outside events.  Their protest in the Church was directed at the Orthodox Church leader’s support for Vladimir Putin. Putin could remain the Russian leader until 2024.  This film was released in September 2013 with the first screening in Russia scheduled for December 2013 but it was blocked by Putin’s Department of Culture.  3* (This movie is OK)

88 min, Doc directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin with Mariya and Natalia Alyokhina, Yekaterina and Stanislav Samutsevich, Nadezhda and Andrey Tolokonnikova, Dmitry Medvedev, Violetta Volkova.

Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, 82% critic 72% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Film Crave 2.75/4.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Broken Circle Breakdown 2012

The Broken Circle Breakdown

     Elise has a tattoo shop and she has a lot of tattoos.  Didier comes into the shop and invites her to come and hear him playing the banjo in a bluegrass band.  They fall in love almost at first sight and bond over their shared love of American music and culture.  Didier doesn’t know what to think and is unprepared when Elise learns she’s pregnant.  She has a daughter and Didier discovers it’s the best thing that’s ever happened in his life.  Unfortunately their daughter gets a diagnosis of cancer.
      I didn’t like the way this film progressed, it’s all over the map, starting near the end, going back to the beginning, showing parts of the middle and skipping around.  It isn’t easy to figure out the chronological order and for a short time I thought there were two daughters? The problem may be that this film is based on a stage play by Johan Heldenberge and Mieke Dobbels.  2 1/2* (This movie is so-so)

111 min, Drama directed by Felix van Groeningen with Veerie Baetens, Johan Heldenberg, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils De Caster, Robbie Cleiren, Bert Huysentruyt, Jan Bijvoet, Sofie Sente, Ruth Beeckmans.

Note:  Imdb 7.8 out of 10, 80% critic 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*.
Special Note:  The musicians are Flemish and they are performing in Ghent of 2006.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fruitvale Station 2013

Fruitvale Station

      This film is based on the true story of Oscar Grant.  He was a 22-year-old who was out celebrating the end of December 2008.  His mother asked him to take the BART because she didn’t want him out driving if he had something to drink that night.  He’s recently lost his job and he’s thinking about how to turn his life around.  He’s deciding about resolutions for the New Year.  How can he be a better son, boyfriend, father and stop lying all the time?  During the ride home on the BART, he is provoked into a fight with a man confronting him.  Police officers were called to sort out the people and the episode.
     I liked the main focus of this film is more about the life of Oscar Grant rather than how he died.  He had his good side and his bad side just like everyone else but it was sad for him and his family that his life was cut short.  3 ½* (I liked this movie) 
85 min, Biography directed by Ryan Coogler with Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray, Ahna O’Reilly, Ariana Neal, Keenan Coogler, Trestin George, Joey Oglesby.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 94% critic 88% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Counselor 2013

The Counselor

     A very rich and successful lawyer (Counselor) selects the perfect ring to ask Laura to marry him.  Instead of concentrating on building a new life together with her, he becomes involved in a complex drug plot.  The drugs are coming from Mexico and Reiner, another wealthy man is also involved.  Both Reiner and Counselor were brought into this deal by Westray.  He warns Counselor the deal can be dangerous and he vividly outlines possible consequences.  Everything starts to unravel with this plan and the people involved start to be eliminated.
     This film is filled with good actors but they don’t have very much to do.  The plot is thin and doesn’t explain what is going on very well.  It tries to be very cool and looses it’s way instead.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

117 min, Crime directed by Ridley Scott with Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Bruno Ganz, Brad Pitt, Rosie Perez.

Note?  Imdb 5.5 out of 10, 34% critic 24% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Perfect Game 2008

The Perfect Game

     This film is based on the real-life events of 1957 when a Little League Baseball team came from Monterrey, Mexico to play against American teams.  Cesar Faz was a 1950’s baseball player who was never given a chance because he was from Mexico.  He went back to his own country and even though it wasn’t his choice, he became the coach of a Mexican baseball team.  He worked in the steel mill with the father’s of the players to make a living.
     This was the period when certain groups of people had their own bathrooms and  people sat by themselves with their own race.  Unfortunately, there was a lot of unfairness and prejudice during this time in life and in sports.  Cheech Marin plays a priest!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

117 min, Drama directed by William Dear with Clifton Collins, Jr., Cheech Marin, Jake T. Austin, Emilie de Ravin, Bruce McGill, Jansen Panettiere.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 56% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Film Crave 2.63/4.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Though None Go With Me 2006

Though None Go with Me

     Elizabeth promised her granddaughter, young Elizabeth that she would give her some money for her trip to California with her boyfriend.  Young Elizabeth just wants to get the money and be on the road but her grandmother starts telling her a story about the early days of her life.   She could not wait to leave the small town of Three Rivers too.  Grandmother Elizabeth lost her mother when she was a young girl, she lived with her father who was a doctor.  She met a young minister who came to town to help their pastor.  She fell in love with him and promised to marry him when he came back from World War II.   She had also known her neighbor for a long time and he wanted to marry her too but she felt he was just a friend.
     This is a Hallmark move about faith, love, and endurance with sadness, tragedy and sweetness.  We don’t always get what we want as we walk the path of life.  The makeup job and wig used to make Cheryl Ladd look older are terrible!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)
100 min, Drama directed by Armand Mastroianni with Amy Grabow, Christopher Allport, Cheryl Ladd., Bruce Weltz, David Norona, Peter White.
Blockbuster 4*, imdb 6.3 out of 10, 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Candles on Bay Street 2006

     This film is based on a 1999 book by K.C. McKinnon.  Sam and Lydia are the small town’s veterinarians with a busy practice both with pets and farm animals.  DeeDee, Sam’s former best friend and girlfriend returns to town after 13 years away.  She has an 11-year-old son, Trooper.  Lydia wants to size up her possible competition so she invites them to dinner.  DeeDee is going to set up a candle making shop on Bay Street in town.  Through the candle parties, DeeDee becomes part of the town again, a friend to Lydia and many others. 
     Warning, a real Hallmark movie!!  This enjoyable with small town values and a nice story set in Maine.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

120 min, Drama directed by John Erman with Alicia Silverstone, Eion Bailey, Polly Bergen, Matthew Knight, James Rebhorn, Annabeth Gish.

Note:  Imdb 6.2 out of 10, 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.