Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Captive 2014

The Captive - Extended Preview

     Matthew picks up his daughter Cass at her ice skating practice.  They stop and a diner off the highway and he goes in to get a pie.  Cass is in the back of their truck but when he comes out, she’s gone.  He looks all around the area but there isn’t a trace of her?  When he goes to the police, they don’t want to call his wife and they continue to blame Matthew for Cass missing. Cass’ mother Tina comes to the station and she doesn’t know what to believe?  She does blame Matthew for the loss of their daughter.  Cass has now been missing for eight years.  Tina continues to meet with Investigator Nicole and she still blames Matthew. 
     I wanted to do some face punching over the way the investigators were treating Matthew!!  Why wouldn’t Tina blame Matthew for eight years after the path of the investigation?  I found this slightly confusing in the beginning because of the skipping back and forth in time sequences.  3* (This movie is OK) 

112 min, Thriller directed by Atom Egoyan with Kevin Durand, Alexia Fast, Mireille Enos, Rosario Dawson, Aidan Shipley, Ryan Reynolds, Paige Baril, Bruce Greenwood, Scott Speedman, William MacDonald, Jason Blicker.

Note:  Imdb 5.9 out of 10, 29% critic 34% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.
Special Note:  The filming location was Ontario, Canada. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Decoding Annie Parker 2013

Decoding Annie Parker     This film is based on true events.  Annie Parker’s mother, father and sister have died from cancer.  She checks herself every day for lumps.  One day she does find a lump and she has a mastectomy.  She has chemotherapy, loses her hair, gets sick but she begins to look up information about why her family got cancer.  Dr. Mary-Claire King is a geneticist and she is doing a study of genes to see why families are getting cancer.  This study is taking a long time even though Dr. King knows several people are dying every hour of every day.  Annie writes many letters to Dr. King and she begins working with another doctor she met during her surgery.
     Annie Parker is a very brave woman and she survives cancer three times.  Dr. King is doing everything she can and as quickly as she can to find information from the genes.  It just takes time.  Annie has been able to survive because of advances in diagnoses and treatments.  This is not an easy movie to watch because of the realism of her suffering.  Her support system and some of her doctors are not the greatest.  3* (This movie is OK)

91 min, Drama directed by Steven Bernstein with Marley Shelton, Aaron Paul, Maggie Grace, Alice Eve, Bob Gunton, Corey Stoll, Rashida Jones, Ben McKenzie, Helen Hunt, Kate Micucci, Samantha Morton, Chad Lindberg.

Note:  Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 58% critic 42% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dial 1119 (The Violent Hour) 1950

Dial 1119 Movie Poster (27 x 40 Inches - 69cm x 102cm) (1950) Belgian -(Marshall Thompson)(Virginia Field)(Andrea King)(Sam Levene)(Leon Ames)     Gunther Wyckoff has been placed in a mental institution instead of being executed in the electric chair.  He was found to be mentally ill by the police psychiatrist, Dr. John Faron.  Gunther escapes from the hospital and he travels to the town where he was on trial.  The woman passenger next to him on the bus notices his unusual stiff behavior.  Gunther sees a gun above the bus driver and he takes the gun during a stop.  The bus driver confronts him about the gun and Gunther shoots him.  His next visit is to a local bar with five customers and two employees.  He shoots the bartender and takes the other employee and the customers as hostages.  He demands to talk to Dr. Faron.
     The customers and employees of the bar are interesting people.  There is some discussion between the detective in charge of this situation and the psychiatrist about a sentence of execution versus hospitalization.  In this case, hospitalization caused the deaths of innocent people, injuries to the bus driver and one policeman plus psychological trauma to the hostages.  But on the other side of the argument, should mentally ill people be killed when they commit crimes?  3* (This movie is OK)

75 min, Crime directed by Gerald Mayer with Marshall Thompson, Virginia Field, Andrea King, Sam Levene, Leon Ames, Keefe Brasselle, Richard Rober, James Bell, William Conrad, Dick Simmons, Hal Baylor.

Note:  Imdb 6.7 out of 10, 33% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxed 3 ½*.
Special Note:  1119 was the number to dial for the police department.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mammoth Unearthed 2015

Mammoth Unearthed DVD     Paleontologist Trevor Valle and archaeologist Tim King travel to the Siberian tundra on a six-week expedition to search for prehistoric mammoths.  There are many local hunters looking for the tusks of the mammoths since they are worth a lot of money.  They are running out of time and they separate to explore two different regions.  They find a frozen one year-old female wooly mammoth calf named Lyuba who died 37,000 years ago.  She has been recently unearthed, she is very well preserved and they were able to obtain hair, tissue, bone marrow and blood samples for study.  It is very important that the sample is just beginning to thaw because oxygen destroys these materials quickly.
     The information is interesting and the photography really shows the area.  The only problem is there is just too much on camera talking from both the scientists.  A disagreement has to be added with the men arguing over both staying together or separating to cover more territory. 3* (This movie is OK)
90 min, Doc from National Geographic.
Note:  Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 2 reviews.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nearlyweds 2013


     Erin, Casey and Stella are three good friends.  They managed to plan three  weddings and get married in June.  Erin was not counting on her mother-in-law moving in with them in their new house.  Casey was not counting on Anna, her tormentor in high school, getting the job as Nick’s secretary.  Stella is learning more about her new husband than she ever wanted too.  He doesn’t like dogs and she is keeping a dog until she can find the owner.  He doesn’t want her to work and she has just interviewed for her dream job.  Erin, Casey and Stella all receive envelopes in the mail telling them their officiate at the ceremony did not sign the wedding certificates. This means all three marriages are not legal and the Reverend has passed away?
     OK, this is a Hallmark Movie and you can tell it’s a TV movie by the spaces for the commercials.  One question I have for each bride is, wasn’t there any communication before they got married?  Also, marriage as an institution is not portrayed in a very good light either?  3* (This movie is OK)

90 min, Drama directed by Mark Griffiths with Danielle Panabaker, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Britt Irvin, Ryan Kennedy, Travis Milne, Steve Bacic, Christie Laing, Naomi Judd, Charles Siegel, Jared Keeso, Chris Gauthier.

Note:  Imdb 5.8 out of 10, 32% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 21 reviews.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Baby Face 1933

     Lilly grew up working in a basement speakeasy as a bartender.  Her mother died and she her father to took care of her.  When he is killed in a fire caused by his still, Lilly and her friend Chico head for New York City.  She’s determined to get a good job, escape her past poverty and make her way up the corporate ladder.  She intends to accomplish this with her pretty face and ability to increase the status of her boyfriends.  She rises floor by floor at the bank where she works.
     This is good, interesting and a recording of the song Baby Face plays as background music in several scenes.  I liked the clothing and the hairstyles of the period.  You can see how Lilly changes as she goes higher up the boyfriend ladder.  There is a twist in the later scenes and at the ending.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

71 min, Drama directed by Alfred E. Green with Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook, Alphonse Ethier, Henry Kolker, Margaret Lindsay, Arthur Hohl, John Wayne, Robert Barrat, Douglass Dumbrille, Theresa Harris.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 100% critic 80% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 106 reviews.
Special Note:  The New York State Censorship Board rejected the original version of this film in April 1933.  Some material and some scenes were deleted, new footage was added and a new ending.  The uncut version was lost until 2004 when it was discovered in the Library of Congress vault.  The restored version premiered at the London Film Festival
in November 2004.  In 2005 this version was selected for preservation in the US Library of Congress National Film Registry.  It was also named by Time as one of the best 100 movies of the last 80 years.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kiss Me Deadly 1955

Kiss Me Deadly

     This film is based a novel by Mickey Spillane.  Investigator Mike Hammer is driving along a Los Angeles highway when a woman stands in the path of his car.  She has been trying to flag down cars but no one would stop.  Her name is Christina Bailey and she’s on the run from something.  She is running barefoot and she is wearing only a trench coat.  The people chasing her catch up with them and they are taken for questioning.  Christina has some kind of information they want but she dies while they interrogate her.  Mike and Christina are placed in his car and it is pushed off the road.  Christina is already dead but Mike is taken to a hospital.  He has the scent of a case and he’s on it even if it kills him?
     There are a lot of twists and turns with a growing body count along the way.  In this version of Mike Hammer he is a shallow con artist and he isn’t on the level as a detective either.  He likes to knock people around to get information. He specializes in divorces but prior to the litigation as in a blackmail squeeze.  Velda, his assistant sets up the guys and Mike sets up the women.  I thought the ending was slightly sketchy?  3 ½* (I liked this movie) 

106 min, Crime directed by Robert Aldrich with Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez, Wesley Addy, Marian Carr, Marjorie Bennett, Mort Marshall, Fortunio Bonanova, Strother Martin.

Note:  Imdb 7.7 out of 10, 97% critic 85% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 129 reviews.
Special Note:  A young Cloris Leachman plays Christina Bailey and she’s not listed in the credits as a first billed actor.  I thought it was Cloris by her face, voice and manner.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Maze Runner 2014

The Maze Runner

     Thomas is put in a freight elevator and he wakes up surrounded by about sixty teenage boys.  They have learned how to cope and live in a completely enclosed area.  They grow their own food and make-do with supplies.  Thomas doesn’t remember anything about his past and the other boys tell him a new boy arrives every 30 days.  The original group of boys has been living in this area for three years.  They have started to realize that they may never leave this area.  When the elevator makes its next delivery, everything changes.  There is a girl and she has a note that says she is the ‘last one.’
     I think this is one of the weaker efforts in this young adult movie genre.  Of course, there will be a sequel and the sequel could be better, weaker or about the same.  The events here didn’t seem to capture enough of my interest and why is there always someone working behind everything?  Are there no other books out there with a different theme that can make money as a movie?  If one movie is a hit, does that constitute any guarantee the followers will do the same?  2* (I didn’t like this movie)
113 min, Action directed by Wes Ball with Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Kaya Scodelario, Chris Sheffield, Joe Adler, Alexander Flores.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 63% critic 69% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*.
Special Note:  This film is like a cookie cutter movie with just a few changes made to match the main theme of other young adult releases.  There is a very structured environment in the future with one or a few teens setting themselves apart from the others.  Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver, The Fault in our Stars, Percy Jackson are just a few examples.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Detour 1945


     Al Roberts tells his story in flashbacks about how he was headed to Los Angeles to meet up with his girlfriend Sue Harvey and they were going to get married.  They met in a New York nightclub and Sue wanted to try her hand in Hollywood.  Al feels like he’s going nowhere and he misses Sue.  Charles Haskell picks up Al and it’s Al’s good fortune that Charles is going all the way to California.  Charles even springs for a meal for both of them.  A short time down the road it starts to rain and Al finds our Charles is dead?  This turn of events starts a detour for Al.
     Everyone is supposed to be very tough in this film but I think there isn’t much meat here, mainly barely cooked cheap vegetables.  I didn’t enjoy this, I couldn’t wonder if everything would turn out all right for Al because I don’t really care enough about him?  Does Al really love Sue or is he looking for her paycheck to give him a break?  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

67 min, Crime directed by Edgar G. Ulmer with Tom Neal Ann Savage, Claudie Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan, Esther Howard, Pat Gleason.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 100% critic 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.
Special Note:  This film was shot on a very low budget in six days.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

She Done Him Wrong 1933

She Done Him Wrong

     Lady Lou is a New York singer and nightclub owner.  She likes diamonds and men like to give her diamonds.  One man is a vicious criminal but he was sent to prison.  Lou goes to see him but it’s obvious he will kill her if he doesn’t think she’s waiting for him to get out of prison.  Lou also is seeing a man who finds ‘jobs’ for women down on their luck.  She also takes a shine to Captain Cummings, a local policeman.  Everything seems to go downhill for her toward the end?
     This is the first film I've seen with Mae West?  I've read a lot of references to her and her trademark statement but I think I thought her movies were too old and I wouldn't like them?  I thought this was good and I would like to see another film with her to see if she usually has the same attitude?  I thought she was funny too without even trying.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie) 

66 min, Comedy directed by Lowell Sherman with Mae West, Cary Grant, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery, David Landau, Rafaela Ottiano, Dewey Robinson, Rochelle Hudson, Tammany Young, Fuzzy Knight.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 95% critic 53% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 76 reviews.
Special Note:  This first film was Mae West’s personal favorite among the movies she made.  Mae became a box office sensation after this release and she is credited with saving Paramount Studios from bankruptcy.  The phrase, “Come up and see me sometime” became her trademark.  Mae based her script on her Broadway smash hit, Diamond Lil.  Cary Grant became an instant star and this was his ninth film.


Monday, April 20, 2015

37 Days 2014

37 Days     This film tells the behind-the-scenes story of the final weeks before the start of WWI.  On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated.  Britain declared war on Germany 37 days later.  There were many meetings with leading politicians and civil servants in Britain and Germany.
      I found this film to be very dry.  Maybe the viewer need to be a history buff?  I might have been able to watch it if I was sick, feeling worn out, had absolutely nothing else to do or I needed my brain to be zoned out?  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

60 min each episode with 3 episodes, TV Mini-Series with Ian McDiarmid, Nicholas Farrell, Tim Pigott-Smith, Sinead Cusack, Bill Patterson, Kenneth Cranham, Ludger Pistor, Rainer Sellien, Berhard Schutz.

Note:  Imdb 8.1 out of 10, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 40 reviews.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bridge to the Sun (Pont vers le soleil) 1961

Bridge To The Sun     This film is based on a true story, also on a book with the same title written by Gwen Terasaki and published in 1957.  The book was a New York Times best seller and was named best non-fiction by the Washington Post.  Gwen Harold is from Tennessee and she comes with her Aunt Peggy in the 1930’s to see Washington DC.  She meets diplomat Hidenari (Terry) Terasaki at the Japanese Embassy buffet and they fall in love.  The head of the Embassy tries to discourage their marriage but Terry believes he has the right to choose his bride.  The couple goes to Japan for their honeymoon, they have a daughter and they come back to Washington when Terry is again called to serve at the Embassy.  After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Terry, Gwen and their daughter Mako are sent back to Japan in an exchange for American diplomats.  Terry is carefully watched by the secret police because of his opposition to the war.  After the surrender, Terry is appointed as a liaison between Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthur.
     This film and the story are very good.  Gwen loves her husband, she doesn't want to be separated from him and she’s willing to leave her native county to take care of him and their daughter.  This is not an easy task with American heavy bombers starting their raids into Japan and even more so after the atomic bomb was used on Hiroshima August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki August 9, 1945.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

113 min, Drama directed by Etienne Perier with Carroll Baker, James Shigeta, James Yagi, Tetsuro Tanba, Yoko Takahashi, Hiroshi Tomono, Yoshiko Hiromura, Sean Garrison, Ruth Masters, Lee Payant.

Note:  Imdb 7.3 out of 10, 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.7* out of 5* with 39 reviews.
Special Note:  The thought of American heavy bombers going over your head stayed with me.  When I heard airplanes going over my ho
use, I thought of them as being heavy American bombers going out on raids and how I would feel if I was an American in a foreign country.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Suspicion 1941

     This film is based on a novel by Francis Iles.  Lina McLaidlaw is traveling home on a train when Johnny Aysgarth comes into her compartment area.  He doesn’t have the exact amount of change to upgrade to first class and he borrows money and a stamp from Lina.  They meet again when she sees him in her neighborhood.  Later he stops by with two women to escort her to church with them.  It takes only a few encounters but they begin to fall in love.  They marry and after their lavish honeymoon, she learns Johnny doesn’t have any money.  He expects to live on her money that is still in the care of her parents and she receives an allowance of 500 pounds a year from them. Johnny borrows money, steals money and gambles money away.  Lina thinks about leaving the marriage but she loves him?
Suspicion      I thought this was interesting and good.  I liked the clothing, hairstyles and cars except there is one aspect of that I didn't like.  It seems like chalk grating on a chalkboard or a shovel grating on gravel!!  When Johnny refers to Lina as monkey face as a term of endearment, I want to yell!!  “Don’t let him call you that hideous term!!!”  Also, how do they maintain their lavish lifestyle without money?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

99 min, Mystery directed by Alfred Hitchcock with Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Isabel Jeans, Heather Angel, Auriol Lee, Reginald Sheffield, Leo G. Carroll.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 100% critic 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 272 reviews.
Special Note:  Joan Fontaine won an Academy Award for her role in this film.  Alfred Hitchcock wanted to portray the same ending as in the novel but he was overruled by RKO executives.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mystery Street 1950

     Henry Shanway’s wife is in the hospital and she’s lost their baby plus she is very ill.  Henry is having a very difficult time dealing with these events.  He goes to The Grass Skirt and gets drunk.  Vivian works at this bar and she’s been trying to contact her wealthy boyfriend in Cape Cod but she’s getting the brush off.  One of the men comes in and asks that the owner of a yellow car be moved in the parking lot.  Vivian grabs Henry and they head for Cape Cod.  Henry starts to sober up and he tells Vivian he doesn’t want to go to Cape Cod and he needs to get back to his wife in Boston.  Vivian leaves him by the side of the road and that’s the last anyone sees of Vivian and the car.
     This is interesting and Ricardo Montalban plays a detective trying to solve a case that is months old.  Vivian’s former landlady gets more than she bargains for and Detective Moralas thinks he has his man.  I liked the cars, clothing and hairstyles of this perod.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Crime directed by John Sturges with Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett, Elsa Lanchester, Marshall Thompson, Jan Sterling, Edmon Ryan, Betsy Blair, Wally Maher, Ralph Dumke.

Note:  Imdb 7.1 out of 10, 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd 3 ½* with 85 votes.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

King Kong vs Godzilla 1962

King Kong vs. Godzilla     Roma tomato-sized berries are gown on Farou Island.  Mr. Tako, the chairman of a pharmaceutical company has heard these berries are a miracle cure.  The natives of the Island worship a god called Kingkong and it is reported that he has grown to giant size as a result of eating the berries.  Mr. Tako believes he can promote sellling the berries by bringing Kingkong back to Japan.  At the same time, American pilots discover a chunk of a glacier that sealed Godzilla in 1955 has melted which has released this giant.  Kingkong escapes and a plan is formulated to use an invisible new super-strong wire invented by Kazuo to lift Kingkong by balloons.  If Kingkong and Godzilla can be brought together and they fight, Tokyo could be saved from destruction?
     I know this is action and it’s not a comedy but so many of the scenes are funny!!  There are always Japanese people running.  The main criteria for the runners seems to be men need to wear white shirts, dress pants and dress shoes.  The women need to wear dresses or skirts with blouses and high heels.  If you fall in the river, you need to be wearing a white suit if you are a woman.  If you are a woman picked up by King Kong and held in his hand, you need a striking outfit with color.  I don’t know how some of the actors can keep straight faces while saying their lines.  I would want to break out laughing!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)  
91 min, Action directed by Ishiro Honda with Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yu Fujiki, Ichiro Arishima, Jun Tazaki, Akihiko Hirata, Mie Hama, Akiko Wakabayashi, Akemi Negishi, Yoshio Kosugi, Yoshifumi Tajima.
Note:  Imdb 5.9 out of 10, 33% critic 48% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4* out of 5* with 73 reviews.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Now, Voyager 1942

Now, Voyager

     This film is based on a novel with the same title by Olive Higgins Prouty.  Charlotte Vale is an over-weight and plain looking spinster living in Boston with her overbearing mother.  Charlotte’s sister-in-law, Lisa Vale brings a psychiatrist, Dr. Jaquith to visit Charlotte.  Dr. Jaquith is Lisa’s friend and she is hoping the doctor can help Charlotte.  The family agrees that Charlotte should spend some time in Dr. Jaquith’s sanatorium.  Charlotte makes a complete transformation into a sophisticated and confident woman.  She travels on a cruise to South America.  She meets architect Jerry Durrance and they fall in love even though Jerry is married.  Six months later, Charlotte returns home and she is able to stand up to her mother's demands and gain her independence.
     I thought this was good.  Even though it was made in 1942, filmed in black and white and the hair and clothing are of this period, it doesn’t seem dated.  There are sad moments but it shows courage and is uplifting.  3 ½* (I liked this movie) 

117 min, Drama directed by Irving Rapper with Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, Bonita Granville, John Loder, Ilka Chase, Lee Patrick, Franklin Pangborn, Katharine Alexander, James Rennie.

Note:  Imdb 8.1 out of 10, 91% critic 91% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.8* our of 5* with 141 reviews.
Special Note:  I thought the title was interesting because it refers to a sea voyage and not a space voyage like we would think now. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Soft Skin (La Peau douce) 1964

The Soft Skin

     Pierre Lachenay is a well-known and wealthy literary magazine editor, author and lecturer.  He is about 40 years old, married to Franca and they have a daughter.  Their daughter Sabine is ten years old.  Pierre does a lot of traveling and he meets Nicole Chomette on a flight to Lisbon, she is a hostess for Panair do Brasil.  They spend the night together and Pierre is very attracted to her.  They travel to the countryside of Riems for a get away and for Pierre to do the introduction for a film.  Their visit become complicated and they leave early.  Franca calls the hotel and learns Pierre has left early but he denies this when he comes home.  Franca tells him she wants an immediate divorce and Pierre is not unhappy about this turn of events.
     Pierre has a good job, a good marriage and a wonderful daughter.  It must not be enough for him?  Flattery by a younger woman is difficult for him to resist?  Pierre and Nicole are not really on the same page in this relationship but Pierre doesn’t know that until later.  Franca is taking all of these events very seriously and she is becoming more and more distraught.  This film has an ending that I didn’t see coming?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

113 min, Drama directed by Francois Truffaut with Jean Desailly, Francoise Dorleac, Nelly Benedetti, Daniel Ceccaldi, Laurence Badie, Philippe Dumat, Paule Emanuele, Maurice Garrel, Sabine Haudepin.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 91% critic 87% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Frank 2014

Frank (2014) DVD Release Date     Jon wants to play keyboard and he wants to write songs.  He has a regular day job and his talent is about so-so in this second career.  He meets a mysterious man wearing a large paper mache head and he’s picked to be the keyboard player.  The previous keyboard player tried to drown himself?  The band sets up shop at Soronpfrbs to record new material.  Jon expected to be back at work by Monday but it doesn’t look like this is happening?
     There are a lot of deeply troubled people in this film, they attack each other verbally and physically plus the lead singer is hiding behind his paper mache head?  This film is supposed to be a comedy but I didn’t find it funny?  The music is a big part of this film but I didn’t care for this genre of music?  What was I left with to like, not much?  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

95 min, Drama directed by Lenny Abrahamson with Domhnall Gleeson, Moira Brooker, Paul Butterworth, Phil Kinston, Billie Traynor, Shane O’Brien, Scoot McNariy, Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, 92% critic 74% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

After the Thin Man 1936

After the Thin Man     Nick and Nora Charles travel by train from a New York holiday back to their home in San Francisco.  They arrive at their home to find a Christmas Eve party already in full swing.  Nick has said he is retiring from solving mysteries but they are drawn into a mystery involving Nora’s family.  Cousin Selma’s husband has been missing for three days and Nick is pushed into looking into his disappearance.  Robert is found dead from a gunshot wound and Selma is charged with his murder.  During the investigation, several other murders occur.  Nick gathers everyone involved into one room to reveal the identity of the murderer.
     This is funny, especially the dog Asta.  He grabs a note tied to a rock that was thrown through the window of the Charles residence.  He won’t give them the note but chews it until they get it away from him.  There are a lot of complications and characters involved in this film.  Nick Powel is still able to solve the crime even though he spends a lot of his time drinking?  3 ½* (I liked this movie) 

112 min, Comedy directed by W.S. Van Dyke with William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart, Elissa Landi, Joseph Calleia, Jessie Ralph, Alan Marshal, Teddy Hart, Sam Levene, Penny Singleton, William Law.

Note:  Imdb 7.7 out of 10, 100% critic 89% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.
Special Note:  The Thin Man films were very popular, they had a low budgets, received Oscar nominations and there were five sequels after the original film.  James Stewart acted in 10 films prior to this film.  He started his career in 1934 and his last film was in 1991.  He was born 5/20/1908 and died 7/2/1997.  Asta was a Wire Fox Terrier and the dog’s real name was Skippy.  He was born in 1931 or 1932 and retired in 1939.  He was featured in other films and he responded both to hand and verbal cues.