Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tootsie 1982

Tootsie     Michael Dorsey is an unemployed New York actor with a reputation that no one will hire him because he’s impossible to work with.  At least that is what his agent tells him when he goes to question him about not sending him on auditions.  Michael's friend Sandy goes to try out for a role in a hospital based television soap opera but the director says she’s not the type he’s looking for the role.  Michael dresses as a woman and says he’s Dorothy Michaels at the audition.  She/he gets the job because she nails the role.  After Dorothy joins the cast, the series really starts to take off with many more fans writing in and more viewers.  Dorothy doesn’t stick to the scrip because the fans say the lines are for dummies.  She does her own dialogue and sometimes the show is broadcast live.
     A lot of complications develop after Dorothy starts work on this show.  Michael has to tell Sandy someone died in his family in order to account for the money he’s making.  He can't tell her he got the job she wanted.  Michael really likes Julie who plays a nurse in the series but she doesn’t know he’s a man and she likes Dorothy as a friend.  Even though this film is from 1982, I had not seen it before and I thought Dustin Hoffman was a nanny when he dressed as a woman?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

116 min, Comedy directed by Sydney Pollack with Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, Sydney Pollack, George Gaynes, Geena Davis, Doris Belack, Ellen Foley.

Note:  Imdb 7.4 out of 10, 88% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.

Special Note:  There are some funny scenes with Dorothy trying to hail a cab.  She can’t get one to stop as a women but when she uses her male voice, they will stop.  She throws a man out of cab when he tries to take her ride.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hawking 2004

     This film documents two years of the life and work of theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking.  He is attending Cambridge and at the age of 21 he is diagnosed with motor neurone disease (ALS).  His parents are worried he will die from this illness before he can finish his degree.  The neurologist said he has two years left to live. 
      Interesting and Comberbatch does a good job in this role.  It seems fantastic to have the kind of mind that can understand the vastness of universe in mathematical terms!  Hawking has lived to be 73 years old and he has only the use of one cheek muscle at this time.  He has been married twice and he has three children.  He is able to communicate with a voice simulator.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

90 min, TV Movie, Bio directed by Philip Martin with Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Brandon, Tom Hodgkins, Christian Rubeck Lisa Dillon, Phoebe Nicholls, Matthew Marsh, Anastasia Hille, Adam Godley.

Note:  Imdb 7.8 out of 10, 88% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 6 reviews.
Special Note:  This film was probably recently shown because of renewed interest generated about Hawking from a new movie titled The Theory of Everything with Eddie Redmayne.  There is nomination for an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Best Writing Screenplay, Best Achievement in Music.  A Golden Globes win for Best Actor, Best Original Score, Best Picture, and nomination for Best Actress.

Product Details

Product Details

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Godzilla's Revenge 1969

Godzilla's Revenge

     Ichiro is a young boy living in Tokyo.  His parents work hard at their jobs and Ichiro spends a lot of time alone.  Another boy in school and his gang are also bullying him.  Ichiro likes to imagine and he dreams he is on Monster Island where he is a friend to Minya, the son of Godzilla.  He watches Godzilla and Minya fight other monsters on the island including Gabara, this monster has the head of a cat.  The other monsters are giant spiders, Ebirah (the giant sea monster) and a giant praying mantis.  The police are looking for two men who have robbed a bank.  The men are hiding out in an abandoned building where Ichiro likes to play.
     This movie is not very good except for Ichiro and his parents.  I also liked the old cars and trucks from this period plus the roar of Godzilla.  The only other movie that I can compare it to for awfulness is Manos: The Hands of Fate.  This is a 1966 movie with 1.9 out of 10 on Imdb.  Manos is about a family getting lost on the road and they encounter a hidden, underground devil-worshiping cult.  I compare a lot of movies to this film to base just how bad they can actually be!!  2* (I didn’t like this movie) 

70 min, Sci-Fi directed by Ishiro Honda with Kenji Sahara, Michiko Naka, Tomonori Yazaki, Hideyo Amamoto, Sachio Sakai, Shigeki Ishida, Midori Uchiyama.

Note:  Imdb 3.9 out of 10, 29% critic 19% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.0* out of 5* with 98 reviews.
Special Note:  A lot of the scenes in this film are recycled from other Toho productions.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Safe 1995


     Carol White lives in Southern California, she has a nice life, husband, stepson, friends, servants and a beautiful house.  She has a very mild mannered personality and is soft spoken.  She begins to have headaches that lead to a seizure and she becomes more and more sick.  She believes she has become sensitive to fumes, aerosol sprays, perfumes, toxins, some food and many other substances.  Her regular doctor cannot find anything wrong but an allergist finds she does have allergies that bring on the symptoms during testing.
     Greg, Carol’s husband is not very supportive or sympathetic and he’s way more important than what Carol is going through!  Of course, Carol is sent to a psychiatrist because everything must be in her head?  Even the founder of a retreat that she goes to in the desert to escape her current environmental problems professes lack of hate and inner peace as the real cure?  3* (This movie is OK)

119 min, Drama directed by Todd Haynes with Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Ronnie Farer, Jodie Markell, Susan Norman, Chauncey Leopardi, Steven Gilborn.
Note:  Imdb 7.1 of 10, 84% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.
Special Note:  You can see by Julianne Moore's face on the DVD cover that her character Carol has some kind of illness that isn't in her head!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Most Wanted Man 2014

A Most Wanted Man

     This film is based on a novel by John le Carre.  Isa Karpov is a half-Chechen, half-Russian Muslim man who travels to Hamburg Germany.  He visits the Islamic community to claim his fathers’ fortune that was obtained illegally.  Adding to the intrigue, the man has been cruelly tortured before his arrival.  Security for the US and Germany are both interested in this case.  What is the truth behind this man, is he a victim or an extremist?
      Everyone in this film has the fear of a terrorist attack in the background of their work.  What should they look for, what should they see, what should they do, how can an incident be prevented and what will be the next incident?  This is low key and doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat over their investigation.  3* (This movie is OK)

122 min, Thriller directed by Anton Corbijn with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Bruhl, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Homayoun Ershadi.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 88% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*.
Special Note:  This film is the last leading role for Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mr. Pip 2012

Mr. Pip

      This film is based on a novel by Lloyd Jones.  Bougainville Island is having a civil war in the 1990’s.  This island is the main island of Papua New Guinea and also known as the North Solomons.  The civil war was fought between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and Papua New Guinea.  Mr. Watts is the only Englishman left in the village.  Since all the teachers have left, he starts to teach the local children about the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations.  Matilda is one of the students most interested in the story and she imagines herself with Mr. Pip as her friend.  She sees herself in Victorian dresses along the beach.  Soldiers from Papua New Guinea come to the village and their leader doesn’t understand that the Mr. Pip they are talking about is in a book.  He believes Mr. Pip is a rebel leader.
     The beginning scenes start out quietly but when the soldiers arrive, their violence against the village escalates each time they return.  The scenes of Matilda with Mr. Pip are in her imagination and she doesn’t really have him as a friend or have the dresses she sees herself wearing.  The ending is good but the final scenes with the soldiers are very difficult to watch.  3* (This movie is OK)

116 min, Drama directed by Andrew Adamson with Hugh Laurie, Xzannjah Matsi, Healesville Joel, Eka Darville, Kerry Fox, Florence Korokoro, David Kaumara.

Note:  Imdb 7.2 out of 10, 47% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.6* out of 5* with 12 reviews.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

LIfe of Crime 2013

Life of Crime

     This film is based on a novel titled The Switch by Elmore Leonard.  Mickey Dawson is the wife of Frank Dawson.  Frank is a corrupt real-estate developer and he has one million dollars in an offshore account.  He adjusts his real-estate holdings and he doesn’t claim a lot of money on his taxes.  Two criminals kidnap Mickey and they ask Frank for his million dollars as ransom.  What they don’t know is that Frank has just signed divorce papers and they are to be served to Mickey while he is away in Florida.  Frank has a girlfriend in Florida and they both know Frank won’t pay $1 for ransom on Mickey.
     There are a lot of twists and turns in this film.  I didn’t find it to be at all funny and there is nothing new here.  It just seems to be going through it’s paces without much energy.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

98 min, Comedy directed by Daniel Schechter with Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, Mark Boone Junior, Tim Robbins, John Hawkes.

Note:  Imdb 5.8 out of 10, 65% critic 39% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Metascore 60/100 with 28 critics, 7.0/10 User Score with 21 reviews.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Godzilla vs Mothra (Mosura Tai Gojira) 1964

Godzilla vs. Mothra

     Huge machines have been placed near the ocean by Tokyo.  An unscrupulous developer is sucking out ocean water in order to create dry land for luxury condos.  There is a big storm and a giant egg washes up on the beach nearby.  A structure is built around the egg and it’s put on public display.  As a consequence of the loss of the ocean water, a resting Godzilla is disturbed, he rises from the dust and he starts a rampage through Tokyo.  The tiny two women (the Peanut Sisters) who sing to Mothra are asked to request the help of Mothra to fight against Godzilla. 
     This film is also funny like the 1956 Godzilla with Raymond Burr and Godzilla’s back spines also glow when he shoots fire breath.  Toys are again used to fill in for real buildings and equipment.  Everyone in Tokyo is running for hours and maybe even days!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

89 min, Action directed by Ishiro Honda with Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi, Yu Fujiki, Kenju Sahara, Emi Ito, Ymi Ito, Yoshifumi Tajima.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 90% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 208 reviews.
Special Note:  There was another movie made in 1964 and directed by Ishiro Honda titled San Daikaiju: Chikyu Saidai No Kessen (Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster).  This film is about Rodan Mothra, Godzilla teaming up to save Tokyo from another monster.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rome Adventure

Rome Adventure

     Prudence Bell is called before the leadership of the school where she teaches.  She has given a senior student her personal copy of a romance novel.  Instead of being fired, Prudence resigns right away.  She books a boat for Italy and takes a job at a small bookstore in Rome.  She meets Don, his girlfriend has just ended their relationship and Don begins a romance with Prudence.  They take a tour of Italy together and have a wonderful time.  When they return to Rome, Lyda Kent, his former girlfriend is waiting for Don.  She claims to need Don’s help and she believes they can resume their relationship where they left off in.  Prudence is very hurt and she books her passage back to America right away.
     The scenery, music and history of Rome are beautiful and interesting.  There are a lot of differences between the world of 1962 and 2015!!   It's not very hard to figure out what is going on and how this will end.  3* (This movie is OK)

119 min, Drama directed by Delmer Daves with Troy Donahue, Suzanne Pleshette, Rossano Brazzi, Angie Dickinson, Hampton Francher, Constance Ford, Al Hirt.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 115 reviews.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Snowpiercer 2013


     This film is based on a French graphic novel La Transperceneige and is set in the year of 2031.  An experiment to turn around global warming has resulted in the entire world frozen in ice except for those aboard the Snowpiercer.  This is a train that has been traveling the world for 17 years without stopping.  What the people on the back of the train don’t know is that there is a class system.  When they revolt and break through the doors separating the train sections, they discover different layers of wealth and posh lifestyles.  They have been in crowded, dirty, miserable conditions with the same diet every day of protein bars.
     One of the things I don’t like about this film is the darkness and dirt of the first section that focuses on the lower level people at the back.  There is a lot of violence and cruelty in this film too.  Some of the actors are unrecognizable in their roles.  2* (I didn't like this movie)
126 min, Action directed by Joon-ho Bong with Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewne Bremner.

Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, 95% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*.
Special Note:  There was a confrontation between distributor Harvey Weinstein and the director, Joon-ho Bong.  Harvey disliked the 126-minute version and he demanded removal of 20 minutes before release of the film.  Bong refused to change the cut and Weinstein slashed the distribution plan to limited release in select theaters only.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Quiet Ones 2014

The Quiet Ones

    The year is 1974 in Oxford, England.  Professor Joseph Coupland invites students Brian McNeil, Krissi Dalton and Harry Abrams to help him with the study of a subject, Jane Harper.  Jane believes a doll named Evey gives her telekinetic power and has taken possession of her.  Jane also doesn’t have any memory of her past except that she was abandoned.  Professor keeps Jane in an isolated house with the Evey, he wants her to destroy the doll and heal herself.  Brian researches Jane’s tattoo and learns a secret about Jane’s past.
    This movie is ridiculous.  The person watching this dvd before me had the setup with English subtitles.  I thought this just added more to the ridiculous feel of the movie and I didn’t change the setup.  This isn’t scary, just stupid in almost every scene!!  Don’t pay any attention to the ‘spook’ music either, it’s at every turn whether the scene is scary or not!!   1 ½* (I really didn’t like this movie)

98 min, Horror directed by John Pogue with Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Rory Flec-Byrne, Laurie Calvert, Aldo Maland.

Note:  Imdb 5.1 out of 10, 36% critic 26% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

American Sniper 2014

 American sniper

     This film is based on a book and actual events by Chris Kyle and Scott McEwen.  Chris Kyle lives in Texas and he wants to be a cowboy.  When he turned 30 and 9/11 happened, he was changed and he wanted to make a difference for America.  He joined the Marines and his natural talent was marksmanship.  He was trained as a sniper and he took this job very seriously.  He meets a woman before his first tour and they marry.  While he is on this tour, she is expecting their first child.  Chris is good at his job and he takes out any Iraqi who lays ‘eyes’ on American soldiers.  He eventually serves four tours of duty and he becomes known as Legend.  His wife has another child, now they have a son and daughter.  Chris has a hard time adapting to civilian life when he is back in the States.
     This is a very good story and it’s also very intense.  The scenes in Iraq are very real and you feel like you are there on the streets with the soldiers.  Chris wants to save every American life he can for as long as he is able.  He mourns those he was not able to save.  4 ½* (I really liked this movie) 

132 min, Action directed by Clint Eastwood with Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis, Ben Reed, Elise Robertson, Luke Sunshine, Troy Vincent, Brandon Salgado Telis, Keir O’Donnell.

Note:  Imdb 7.7 out of 10, 73% critic 89% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Metascore 72/100 with 45 critics User Score 7.1/10 with 179 ratings.
Special Note:  Clint Eastwood is now 84 years old.  Both Cooper and Miller mold themselves into the characters they are playing until they don’t look and seem like actors anymore.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Godzilla, King of the Monsters 1956


     Reporter Steve Martin flies to Tokyo after a report of the mysterious sinking of a large ship.  The few survivors are burned and they have radiation poisoning.  Steve discovers a 400-foot amphibious monster brought back to life by nuclear testing.  Godzilla is more powerful than the army, navy and the air force and he is rampaging the city.  Nothing seems to be able to stop him, even a line of high voltage towers are nothing against him.  The only person with any idea of how to stop the beast is Dr. Kyohei Yamane.  He has recently discovered a substance that can destroy oxygen in water.  Dr. Yamane is afraid that releasing the substance will create more danger than Godzilla. 
     Surprisingly, there is a lot of humor in this movie!!  You can tell some scenes of the cars, trains, helicopter and city are toy models.  Godzilla is shown shaking a train section in his mouth and it’s really just a toy model.  There are two deep-sea divers and they use the original metal hard hats with the air hose leading to the surface. I couldn’t figure out how Raymond Burr could keep a serious face but his scenes were added in later.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

106 min, Sci-Fi directed by Luigi Cozzi, Ishiro Honda, Terry O. Morse with Raymond Burr, Akihiko Hirata, Momoko Kochi, Takashi Shimura, Akira Takarada.

Note:  6.2 out of 10 on Imdb, 83% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 359 reviews.
Special Note: This movie was filmed in 1954 and titled Gojira, it was picked up for distribution and modification in 1956.  The name Gojira is a combination of gorilla and kujira, slang for big clumsy ox.  It was a re-edited Italian-language dubbed version and Raymond Burr was added to the original footage.  It features 80 minutes from the original Godzilla made in 1954 and the US version, King of the Monsters! made in 1956 plus 25 minutes of WWII newsreel footage and clips from other 1950’s monster movies.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Brooke Ellison Story 2004

The Brooke Ellison Story

      A car hits a young girl on her way home from school.  She receives a severe injury to her spine and she is paralyzed from the neck down.  She also has a broken leg and shows no brain function from medical tests.  She does wake up and she’s transferred to a rehab facility.  Unfortunately, the facility focuses on remaining stable and not improving.  Brooke is determined to continue with her schoolwork and return to the classroom.  Her parents make sure the staff is also committed to this same goal.  Brooke regains the ability to talk and she returns home and her mother has been trained by the staff to take care of her.  Her family and the neighbors have remodeled their home so Brooke can navigate with her wheelchair.  Brooke does return to school and she continues her education with the help of the mother.
     This is an inspiring story of success despite difficult odds.  The encouragement of her family, her fellow students and progress through her efforts keep Brooke going.  The director, Christopher Reeve, certainly knew first-hand what it was like to be paralyzed and in a wheelchair.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

91 min, TV Movie, Bio directed by Christopher Reeve with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, John Slattery, Lacey Chabert, Vaness Marano, Jenson Goins, Devon Gearhart, Lauren Barrett, Ryan Hudson, Luke Flynn.

Note:  Imdb 7.2 out of 10, 75% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Common Sense Media 3*.
Special Note:  This was the last film directed by Christopher Reeve.  He passed away in October of 2004 at the age of 52.  He spent 9 years in a wheelchair and he also breathed through a ventilator like Brooke.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Million Dollar Arm 2014

Million Dollar Arm

     In 2008, J.B. Bernstein formed his own company as sports agents.  They have been in business for three years and they had hoped to be further ahead financially by this time.  They have a chance to sign a big client but it falls through because they cannot match a million dollar signing bonus offered by another firm.  J.B. comes up with the idea to have a pitching tryout in India.  They play cricket in India and they know how to pitch.  He discovers two good pitchers but they don’t know anything about cricket or baseball.  Another man volunteers to work for free on coaching to gain experience and come to America.  J.B. has agreed with his investor that the pitchers can be ready for the big league in one year.
     This role for Jon Hamm is not much of a stretch from his role as Don Draper on Mad Men.  When J.B. sets his sights on the angles, the connections and the money, he loses sight of what the two young men and the coach need from him to succeed in this endeavor.  The American coach has told J.B. that it will take two years to get them ready?  3* (This movie is OK)

124 min, Bio directed by Craig Gillespie with Jon Hamm, Pitobash, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal, Aasif Mandvi, Darshan Jariwala, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton.

Note:  Imdb 7.1 out of 10, 61% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.
Special Note:  There is a mistake in this film.  There is a television scene with singer Susan Boyle who was featured on Britian’s Got Talent in 2009 and this story takes place in 2008.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

For a Woman 2013

For a Woman

     The title in French is Pour une femme.  This film spans from post-war to the 1990’s in France.  Tania and Anne have lost their mother three months ago and they are going through a suitcase with her jewelry, pictures and letters.  Anne is a writer and she doesn’t know very much about their family history.  She begins to learn more information from the items her mother has saved.  Her father is becoming weaker and she needs to work quickly while she can still talk to him about the past.  Michel and Lena were married during World War II.  They were both in a concentration camp but Michel knew someone there who could get him released.  He had seen Lena in the camp and he asked her to marry him so he could save her too.  They have settled in France and they are able to stay because Lena is having a baby.  They have Tania, their first daughter and they are very happy. 
     It is a little difficult to keep track of what is going on in this film.  The confusion is caused by way it goes back and forth from the present to flashbacks of the past. Michel’s brother Jean comes to stay with them but both Michel and Lena are not sure he is really his brother?  It is not spelled out why he is there and how he got there but told through events that happen but not explained clearly.  3* (This movie is OK)

110 min, Drama directed by Diane Kurys with Benoit Magimel, Melanie Thierry, Nicolas Duvanchelle, Sylvie Testud, Denis Podalydes, Julie Ferrier, Clotilde Hesme, Clement Sibony, Marc Ruchmann.

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, 89% critic 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Trip to Italy 2014

The Trip to Italy

     The first movie titled, The Trip, was an improvised restaurant review tour of Northern Britain.  Following the success of the first film, this tour is of the restaurants of Italy.  Like the other film, there is a lot of banter back and forth since this trip is a retracing of a grand tour by Romantic poets.  Many scenes are included of the idyllic Italian landscape. 
     The food looks wonderful and you want to have tastes for yourself!!  The vocal impersonations of both Coogan and Brydon get a little tiresome at times and they did in the first film as well.  I would liked more descriptions of the types and flavors of the food and wines.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

108 min, Comedy directed by Michael Winterbottom with Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Rosie Fellner, Claire Keelan, Marta Barrio, Timothy Leach, Ronni Ancona, Rebecca Johnson, Alba Foncuberta Bufill, Flora Villani.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 85% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Metascore 75/100 with 36 reviews, user score 5.0/10 with 24 ratings.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tasting Menu 2013

Tasting Menu

     One of the world’s best restaurants is holding its final evening and then it will close its doors.  There will be 30 diners invited to this Catalan restaurant located on the coastal region of Costa Brava in northeastern Spain.  Two of the guests are a couple finalizing their divorce and they made their reservation one year ago before their separation.  Another guest is a recently widowed countess and she’s doesn’t want her deceased husband to miss the experience so his urn accompanies her.
     This film sits on the fence, it doesn’t tell enough about the food being served and it doesn’t fill in enough details about the people.  Only a couple of the dishes are identified and a few exclaimed over for their wonder.  I think I could pass on snail caviar as one of my courses?  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

85 min, Comedy directed by Roger Gual with Jan Cornet, Claudia Bassols, Vicenta N’Dongo, Andrew Tarbet Fionnula Flanagan, Stephen Rea, Togo Igawa, Marta Torne, Akihiko Serikawa, Timothy Gibbs.

Note:  Imdb 5.8 out of 10, 18% critic 29% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Crazy Kind of Love 2013

Crazy Kind of Love

     Augusta Iris is married to Gordie Iris but he has started seeing Marion.  Augusta thinks it’s time for Gordie to leave but she has an emotional, physical and mental breakdown after he leaves.  Her youngest son, Henry comes to the grocery store when she doesn’t come home and he finds her asleep in the back seat of the car.  She couldn't handle people looking at her and talking about her situation in the store.  When they get home, she goes to bed and she stays there for weeks.  Henry calls his older brother Matthew to tell him he should probably come home.  Henry meets Amanda and they really like each other but the adults in their lives can’t get their lives together.  For a time, Amanda leaves her home and lives with Henry.
     I liked this movie, the boys and Amanda try to run the house and take care of themselves until Augusta can recover from her extreme hurt.  This is just a simple film about real people.  They don’t know how this is going to turn out but they keep hoping it will be good.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

100 min, Drama directed by Sarah Siegel-Magness with Virginia Madsen, Graham Rogers, Amanda Crew, Zach Gilford, Sam Trammell, Madeline Zima, Kristoffer Ryan Winters, Anthony LaPaglia.

Note:  Imdb 5.8 out of 10, 45% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4* out of 5* with 19 reviews.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Lady Vanishes 2013

The Lady Vanishes

     This film is based on the novel The Wheel Spins of 1936.  Iris Carr has been saying at a hotel in the Balkans in the 1930’s.  She has been with her friends but they have all just left the hotel and she didn’t want to travel with them.  She asks the hotel clerk to prepare her bill and book a seat on the train for the next day.  When she arrives at the station, she learns there isn’t a ticket for her and she pays quite a bit extra to get the ‘last’ available ticket.  While waiting for the train, someone hits her on the back of the head and she almost misses the train.  She learns many people from the hotel are on this train, everyone thinks she has sunstroke and they don’t believe she was hit.  She has a lovely conversation with Miss Froy, a former governess to a baroness who is also on the train.  Iris is very tired, still suffering from her headache and also she has motion sickness.  When she awakens from a nap, she finds Miss Froy is gone and no one remembers her being on the train.
     A doctor on the train wants to have Iris taken to a ‘mental’ health facility when the train arrives at their destination.  He thinks she is suffering from hallucinations at the very least.  The only passengers offering to help her are language student Max Hare and his professor.  There are a lot of actors in this film that I’ve seen before in other BBC productions.  Stephanie Cole and Selina Cadell in Doc Martin, Keeley Hawes in Upstairs Downstairs and Emerald Fennell in Call the Midwife.  I did like seeing the familiar actors in a different production and role but this movie is really a TV movie!  3* (This movie is OK)  

90 min, BBC TV Movie, Drama directed by Diarmuid Lawrence with Charles Aitken, Paolo Antonio, Beatrix Biro, Marta Bolfan, Selina Cadell, Jesper Christensen, Stephanie Cole, Vilmos Cservenak, Zsuzsa David.

Note:  Imdb 6.1 out of 10, The Telegraph 3 1/2*.
Special Note:  This film was also produced in 1938 (8.0/10) directed by Alfred Hitchcock with Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave plus in 1979 (5.8/10) directed by Anthony Page with Elliott Gould and Cybill Sheperd.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Innocents 1961

The Innocents

     This movie is based on a novella by Henry James, The Turn of the Screw and it is filmed in black and white.  The setting is Victorian England of the 19th century.  Miss Giddens is hired as a governess for Flora and Miles.  Peter Quint is their uncle and he wants to continue with his own life without interference from his niece and nephew.  Their former governess was a young woman but she passed away.  The children live on their uncle’s large country estate.
      This is interesting and good.  The acting by Kerr and the two children is also good.  Some of the ghosts are viewed in daylight and they still send a chill down your spine.  This film reminded me of The Haunting which is number 7 out of 10 on the best horror movies of all time listing.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)
100 min, Horror directed by Jack Clayton with Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave, Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin, Clytie Jessop, Isla Cameron.
Note:  Imdb 7.9 out of 10, 98% critic 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 230 reviews.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hidden Away 2013

Hidden Away

     Stephanie and her daughter Sage leave their home in a rowboat during a rainstorm.  Andrew has been hitting his wife Stephanie and she believes he will also start hitting his stepdaughter.  Andrew calls the police and he doesn’t admit that he has any fault in their leaving.  Since they cannot be found, it is presumed they drowned in the river.  Stephanie has been planning for them to leave and they assume new identities in another state.  They have managed to make a new life for themselves and it has been 10 years.  Andrew asks an exterminator to remove raccoons from the attic and the man finds a metal box with information on how to change your identity.  He hires a private investigator to track down Stephanie and Sage.
      I thought this was a TV movie but it didn’t have the breaks for the commercials so I wasn’t sure until after viewing.  Of course, Andrew is a total bad guy and he claims only to want money but he wants a lot more than money.  This needs better acting and directing to elevate it above a TV movie.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

84 min, TV Movie, Drama directed by Peter Sullivan with Emmanuelle Vaugier, Ivan Sergei, Sean Patrick Flanery, Allie Gonino, Elisabeth Rohm, Thomas Calabro.

Note:  Imdb 5.4 out of 10, 3.8/5 with 9 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.3* out of 5* with 6 reviews.