Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Ice Storm 1997

The Ice Storm     This film is adapted from a novel by Rick Moody.  The story takes place over the Thanksgiving holiday of 1973 in Connecticut.  The Hood parents are having trouble with their marriage.  Benjamin is drinking and seeing neighbor Janey.  Their sixteen-year-old son Paul is going to school in New York and he comes home for the school break.  Their fourteen-year-old daughter Wendy roams the neighborhood and steals from the pharmacy.  The Carver parents are also having problems.  Janey is seeing Benjamin. Their son Mikey is seeing Wendy and his brother Sandy likes to blow up his plane models.  There is a lot of tension inside these homes and a dangerous blanket of ice from freezing rain begins to coat the outside.
     The characters are trapped by their lives and then trapped by the environment too.  Carefully composed exteriors cracking from stress as the trees crack outside from the weight of the ice.  Both the parents and the children escape by using booze and pot plus liaisons.  Slightly dated and seems long but it is interesting to see the actors as younger.  3* (This movie is OK)

112 min, Drama directed by Ang Lee with Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Adam Hann-Byrd, David Krumholtz, Jamey Sheridan, Kate Burton, William Cain.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 84% critic 82% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*. 
Special Note:  Ang Lee directed five films prior to this project.  I Wish I was by that Dim Lake (short), Pushing Hands, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman and Sense and Sensibility.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

     Katniss Everdeen destroyed the games when she shot an arrow into a force field.  She is in District 13 along with Gale, Finnick and Beetee.  Katniss is suffering from PTSD after the games ended.  She’s lost her courage and she’s devastated that Peeta, Annie and Joanna were left behind in the capital.  Peeta is broadcasting on the capital network and asking the districts to stop warring against the capital.  To bolster her resolve she is taken to see District 12, which has been decimated by the capital military.  In one of his broadcasts, Peeta is able to warn District 13 that their underground shelter will be attacked within minutes.
      I thought this release was stretched out to make it full length so there could be four movies instead of three.  There are a lot of speeches that seem like space fillers and added just to move the film along.  3* (This movie is OK) 

123 min, Adventure directed by Francis Lawrence with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Mahershala Ali, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Paula Malcomson, Stanley Tucci.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 65% critic and 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*.
Special Note:  The next installment won’t be released until 11/20/15.  Wasn’t there enough of a budget to give Julia
nne Moore a better looking wig?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beyond the Lights 2014

Beyond the Lights

     Noni Jean and her manager mother Macy Jean have lived on the sidelines until Noni’s singing career started to take off.  She has won a Billboard Music Award for her work and her debut album has not been released yet.  She is heading for super-stardom but she feels no one is really seeing her.  She’s lost herself along the way and she nearly falls from a hotel balcony.  Kaz Nicol is a Los Angeles policeman and he saves her.  The media goes into a frenzy over the apparent suicide and her hero.
     Macy Jean is looking for personal respect for herself from her daughter’s career.  She should to be on her daughter’s side but she’s thinking about her own needs.  Kaz knows Noni needs help but Macy Jean doesn’t think there is anything wrong?  Kaz’s father is pushing him to have the life he didn’t have.  This film has a typical story but the characters draw you in and you aren’t sure where this is going.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

116 min, Drama directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Machine Gun Kelly, Danny Glvoer, Darryl Stephens, Elaine Tan, Isaac Keys, Tyler Christopher, Benito Martinez.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 81% critic 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.
Special Note:  Gugu also starred in the movie Belle.  Her first name in Zulu means our pride.  She grew up in West Oxforshire, England.  Gina, the director was born in America and her birth name was Gina Maria Prince.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

For the Love of Mary 1948

For the Love of Mary

     Mary Peppertree was planning to marry Philip Manning but she decided they had just gotten comfortable with each other and she broke off the engagement.  She changed jobs and moved to a switchboard operator position in the White House.  She meets David Paxton, he wants to talk to the President and Mary is determined not to put his call through.  Then she meets Tom Farrington, he is a naval aide to the President.  She can’t be married and work the switchboard job but she has three men courting her?
     There are so many deliberate confusions in this film that they become tiresome after a while.  Mary has to literally talk fast to keep this ball rolling.  Of course there MUST be singing in a Durbin film!!  2 ½* (This movie is so-so) 

90 min, Comedy directed by Frederick De Cordova with Deanna Durbin, Edmond O’Brien, Don Taylor, Jeffrey Lynn, Ray Collins, Hugo Haas, Harry Davenport, Griff Barnett, Katharine Alexander, James Todd, Morris Ankrum.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 60% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 17 reviews.
Special Note:  This film was originally titled White House Girl and it is the last film made by Durbin.  She had been in talks with Universal-International to make films in Paris but this didn’t happen.  She became disillusioned by the quality of the scripts she was offered.

Friday, June 26, 2015

St. Vincent 2014

St. Vincent

     Maggie and her 12-year old son Oliver move into a new neighborhood in New York and things do not go well right from the beginning.  The moving van damages Vincent’s fence, his tree and his car.  Vincent is not happy and they start off on the wrong foot.  Since Vincent is a curmudgeon, there really isn’t any other way to start off!!  Maggie is separated from her husband and she needed to get away from everything with her son.  She is expecting to get a divorce and she won’t get any support from her husband until the details are finalized.  Maggie goes to work at a hospital and she doesn’t have much choice but to ask Vincent to watch Oliver when she needs to stay longer at work.  Oliver learns a lot from Vincent but some things are better left unspoken.
     This is a different type of role for Murray and also for Watts. It is enjoyable and the characters realistic with good acting.  Not predictable and leaves you wondering where this is going and what’s next on how we get there.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)   

102 min, Comedy directed by Theodore Melfi with Bill Murray Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard, Jaeden Lieberher, Kimberly Quinn, Lenny Venito, Nate Corddry, Dario Barosso.

Note:  Imdb 7.3 out of 10, 77% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.
Special Note:  The budget for this film was estimated at $13,000,000 and it has earned $44,134,898 as of 2/27/15.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

John Ford: Dreaming the Quiet Man 2010

Dreaming the Quiet Man

     This film features interviews with Maureen O’Hara and the people of Cong, County Mayo, Ireland, the Irish town where the Quiet Man was filmed.  Murphy’s was originally a hardware store but it was made into a bar because scenes needed to be filmed in a bar.  It’s still a bar now and still owned by the Murphy’s.  There is a painting of John Wayne on a post in the water of one of the streams in the movie.  John Ford was from Ireland and the Quiet Man was a tribute to his homeland from his memories and imagination.  There is also a focus on John Ford’s career and what people thought of him.
     I haven’t seen the quiet man but this documentary makes it seem very interesting especially with this added behind-the-scenes information.  John Wayne marries Maureen O’Hara and there are many complications with her family and her dowry.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

92 min, Doc directed by Se Merry Doyle with Maureen O’Hara, Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Jim Sheridan, Gabriel Byrne, Charles F. FitzSimons.

Note:  Imdb 7.8 out of 10, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 21 reviews.
Special Note:  The Quiet Man was released in 1952, Imdb 7.9 out of 10.  Cong, County Mayo is a village straddling the borders of County Galway and County Mayo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Love is Strange 2014

Love Is Strange

     Ben and George have been together for 39 years and they have a nice New York apartment together.  They decide to marry since this is now legally possible.  Right away, George is fired from his job as a choir director at a Catholic school because of the marriage.  Everyone working with him knew he lived with Ben and that was OK but now it’s not OK?  They invite their family members for a conference, they need to sell their co-op apartment and look for another with less expense.  They will need to live with family members until this apartment is found.  Ben and George are very disappointed in the amount of money they receive for the apartment and they are now living separately.  Ben is sleeping on the bottom bunk bed in his nephew’s room and George is sleeping on a couch belonging to two policemen.  These arrangements are hard on the couple and also on the relatives.
     It’s tough to watch two nice guys in difficult circumstances in their golden years.  The New York real estate market doesn’t go easy on its people except those fortunate enough to live in rent control apartments.  If the sale rules and regulations all line up in your favor, you may get some money from a sale?  Is there going to be a light at the end of the tunnel?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

94 min, Drama directed by Ira Sachs with John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Tatyana Zbirovskaya, Olya Zueva, Jason Stuart, Darren E. Burrows, Charlie Than, Harriet Sansom Harris, Cheyenne Jackson, Manny Perez, Christina Kirk John Cullum, Eric Tabach.

Note:  Imdb 6.7 out of 10, 94% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.
Special Note:  John Lithgow was 69 at the release of this film and Alfred Molina was 61 years old.  In the film John's character is 72 years old.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Know That Voice 2013

I Know That Voice

     This documentary features interviews with voice artists working on animated movies, cartoons, video games, advertising and other media releases.  There is a lot of educational information about what it takes to start out in the business and how to keep getting jobs.  Originally, the voice over business was little know until celebrities started crossing over into this venue.  Now there is a mix of regulars not usually known by their names and faces but by their voices and those known by their acting or reality TV jobs.  A lot of the voice artists prefer to remain anonymous so they can go about their regular lives.
     This is an interesting and very profitable job but it seems from the information given that previously it was easier to establish yourself in this career.  Now you can be discovered on social media if you get very lucky but otherwise you would need to move to Los Angeles, obtain a manager and hit the studio circuit for tryouts.  There seems to be a lot of competition out there too.  Despite all the talent there seems to be too much repetition in this film.  I found myself getting burned out and losing my focus.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

90 min, Doc directed by Lawrence Shapiro with Billy West, Tara Strong, Hank Azaria, Pamela Segall Adlon, Mark Hamill, Stephen Root, John DiMaggio, Kevin Conroy, Jim Cummings, Corey Burton, Gregg Berger, Diedrich Bader, Grey Griffin, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, Jason Marsden, Phil LaMarr, Maurice LaMarche, Tom Kane, David Kaye, Josh Keaton, Tom Kenny.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 84% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 309 reviews.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Confession 1970

The Confession

     This film is based on the true story of Czechoslovakian communist Artur London.  In France, the vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia is Anton Ludvik, also known as Gerard.  He finds himself being followed and the car waits outside of his residence.  He is arrested, put into jail in solitary confinement.  He is ordered to march, not sleep and not given food or water.  Lights are shined on him, loud music played and he’s taken outside with goggles on his eyes.  He is ordered to confess and a man sits at a typewriter ready to take down the answers to their questions.
     Artur London was one of 13 Czech communist leaders indicted and questioned as traitors.  He underwent 20 months of torture and cross-examination.  He was only 1 out of 3 who were not executed.   I thought his movie was as depressing and tiring as actually being questioned!!  I couldn’t get interested and this is severe with no let up for the entire film.  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

139 min, Drama directed by Costa-Gavras with Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Gabriele Ferzetti, Michel Vitold, Jean Bouise, Laszlo Szabo, Monique Chaumette, Guy Maresse, Marc Eyraud, Gerard Darrieu.

Note:  Imdb 8.0 out of 10, 88% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.
Special Note:  Filmed in Arras, Pas-de-Calais, France.  The director, Costa-Gavras is Greek and Simone Signoret is the wife of Yves Montand.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Old Lady 2014

My Old Lady

     This film is adapted from a play written by the director, Israel Horovitz.  Mathias Gold is an American who inherits an apartment in France when his father dies.  He travels to inspect the property and he’s surprised to learn that Mathilde Girard and her daughter have an arrangement requiring Mathias to pay them monthly rent.  This agreement is called a viager, an ancient French real estate system with complex rules regarding sales.  Mathidle was the apartment’s prior owner, the new owner can buy the place cheaply and pay the prior owner a monthly fee.  The new owner will inherit the property when the prior owner passes away.  Mathias was hoping to receive a sizable sum of money from the sale of this apartment since his father left his money to charity.
     This film is listed as a comedy but there isn’t anything funny?  Everyone is glum except Maggie Smith.  Mathias and Chloe don’t know what to do with their lives and they blame their parents for their mistakes.  Aren’t these two old enough to take responsibility for their own actions and choices?  Isn’t it just passing the buck to continually blame your parent?  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

107 min, Drama directed by Israel Horovitz with Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, Dominique Pinon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Noemie Lvovsky.

Note:  Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 59% critic 45% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Laggies 2014


     Megan is filling in for her father’s advertising sign twirler as a temporary job.  She is 29, she has an advanced degree, plenty of friends and is still with her high school boyfriend.  Megan is feeling stuck in her life, she needs to go to career seminars but she doesn’t want to.  She starts lying about what she’s doing and she meets 16 year-old Annika and her friends outside a grocery store.  They ask Megan to buy them some booze since they ‘accidently’ forgot their ID’s and they don’t ‘look’ old enough to purchase for themselves.  Megan buys what they want and then she hangs out with them.  She becomes friends with Annika and starts to live with her to have a real break from her own life and friends.
     In ‘real’ life what does a 29 year-old woman have in common with the high school crowd?  Megan is just barely able to pose as Annika’s mother?  This is a typical slacker movie but this time the slacker is not Ben Stiller!!  3* (This movie is OK) 
99 min, Comedy directed by Lynn Shelton with Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell,  Rocki DuCharme, Sara Lynne Wright, Larissa Schmitz, Phillip Abraham, Ellie Kemper, Maura Lindsay.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 69% critic 50% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Best of Me 2014

The Best of Me

     This film is based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks and it is the ninth book to be made into a film.  In high school, Amanda and Dawson were dating but they were from different backgrounds.  Amanda’s parents were wealthy, she was planning to go to college and become a lawyer.  Dawson’s dad and his two older brothers were from the wrong side of the tracks.  Dawson planned to get a scholarship and go to college too.  He had no support from his dad or his brothers, he lived with Tuck who gave him a place to live when he left home.  Now it’s 20 years later and Amanda and Dawson meet again after the death of Tuck.  Dawson has just survived a near drowning during a Louisiana offshore oil rig explosion.  Amanda is married and she has a son who is going off to college.
     If you know what you are getting into before you watch this film, you can just go along for the ride.  Everything is going to go wrong, then it starts to get better and then wrong again, back and forth.  There is not a heartstring left that this film doesn’t pull.  Maybe Sparks makes a checklist before begins his novels and he marks it off as he goes along?  3* (This movie is OK)

118 min, Drama directed by Michael Hoffman with Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato, Gerald McRaney, Caroline Goodall, Clarke Peters, Sebastian Arcelus, Jon Tenney, Sean Bridgers.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 8% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 1549 reviews.
Special Note:  Filming locations were Pearl River and New Orleans, Louisiana.  Originally Paul Walker was cast in the role of Dawson.  Luke Bracey was 25 and Liana Liberato was 19 at the time of filming.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Farmland 2014


     This film takes a look at six of the people who grow and raise the food we eat. The ranchers/farmers are in there twenties and thirties, they’ve gone to college and they have started their own farm or taken over the family farm.  These jobs are high risk for salary outcome because of weather but they feel rewarded by these jobs and a passion for this way of life.  Some of the farms have been passed down from generation to generation.
     Everyone interviewed for this film seems honest and reliable until you check the film’s background.  There is a hint in the discussion of GMO versus non-GMO.  This is an issue with two sides and extreme differences in the argument for and against.  There is also discussion about antibiotic use which is another hot topic.  Two of the agendas of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance that provided the money for this film are to limit protections from toxic pesticides and push back against antibiotic regulation.  This film is interesting, informative and the people are nice regular people.  But, are they telling the full story and the truth?  3* (This movie is OK)

77 min, Doc directed by James Moll with Brad Bellah, Leighton Cooley, David Loberg, Sutton Morgan, Margaret Schlass, Ryan Veldhuizen.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 27% critic 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert ½*. 
Special Note:  There is a note at the end of this film specifically stating that this film was made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.  Some of the members of the Alliance are the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dupont and Monsanto.  Basically, this film was produced to contradict the realities and questions posed in the films Food, Inc. 2008, King Corn 2007 and GMO OMG 2013.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lucy 2014


     In Taiwan, Lucy is asked by her boyfriend to deliver a locked case.  She doesn’t know what is in the case, when she makes the delivery, everything turns scary and involves Korean gangsters.  The gangsters aren’t sure what is in the case and they leave the room when they give her the key.  There are drugs in blue packages in the case and it’s a new experimental synthetic hormone.  Lucy is forced to become one of the drug mules with drug packages inserted in their abdomens.  They are given plane tickets to different destinations but Lucy is kidnapped and not taken to the airport as she requested.  She is being held as a prisoner and one of this group of men kicks her in the stomach and the drug starts to release a large dose into her system.  Lucy’s brain begins to increase the percentage of its function as drug begins to work.
     There is a LOT of action in this film, also violence and murder.  The drug boss thinks he can control Lucy but he is way out of his element.  Lucy is also the name of a very early prehistoric ape-woman shown in this film.  She was discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia’s Afar Triangle and she is a previously unknown species of ape-like hominid, one of man’s earliest ancestors.  Her skeleton was dated as 3.2 million years old.  The drug in this film is CPH4 and some people are trying to sell this online but it can be either dangerous or worthless.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

89 min, Action directed by Luc Besson with Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pilou Asbaek, Analeigh Tipton.

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, 66% critic 47% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Homesman 2014

The Homesman

     This film is based on a 1988 novel by Glendon Swarthout.  Some of the townspeople in the Nebraska territory come together in the church for a meeting about three of the wives.  They have been driven mad by pioneer life and the hardships.  One is a teenager and she lost three children to diphtheria, one has two daughters but she killed her baby, a Scandinavian woman lost her mother and she has never received any human kindness from her husband.  Mary Bee Cuddy, a middle-aged unmarried woman from upstate New York, agrees to take the women back to their families.  A minister and his wife living in a town on the edge of the Missouri River have offered to take the women when they arrive.  Mary comes across George Briggs and she employs him to help her with the women. 
     The countryside is very unforgiving, heat, cold, snow, monotony and vastness.  Some of the occurrences are hard to forget, the lives of the women and the incidents on the journey.  There are surprises too that I didn’t see coming. 3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

122 min, Drama directed by Tommy Lee Jones with Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Tommy Lee Jones, Sonja Richter, Jo Harvey Allen, Barry Corbin, David Dencik, William Fichtner, Evan Jones, Meryl Streep.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 82% critic 51% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 1/2*.
Special Note:  The filming took place in New Mexico and one town in Georgia.  The role for Meryl Streep is near the end and the filming of her scenes with Tommy Lee Jones took just one day.   

Monday, June 15, 2015

Primrose Path 1940

Primrose Path

     Ellie May Adams lives in the poor part of town on Primrose Hill.  She lives with her younger sister, drunken jobless father, grumpy grandmother and her mother.  The only money the family has is what her mother gets from gentleman callers.  Ellie May knows the Hill is not a good part of town and she doesn’t want to stay here.  She meets Gramp on her way to the beach to get some clams for the family.  Gramp has a son, Ed Wallace and he follows Ellie to the beach to advise her on clamming.  He offers to give her a ride home on his motorcycle with a sidecar.  Gramp and Ed run a gas station and a café.  Ellie quickly falls in love with Ed and she runs away with him to get married.
     There is one mistake Ellie makes, she doesn’t tell Ed the truth and this comes back to bite her later.  She loves her new life, working in the café with Gramp and being married to Ed.  He doesn't care much for her family either when he meets them.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Drama directed by Gregory La Cava with Ginger Rodgers, Joel McCrea, Marjorie Rambeau, Henry Travers, Miles Mander, Queenie Vassar, Joan Carroll, Vivienne Osborne, Carmen Morales.

Note:  Imdb 7.1 out of 10, 57% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, TCM 2.5 out of 4*.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Tale of Princess Kaguya 2013

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

     This film is based on a famous Japanese folktale.  An elderly bamboo cutter finds a tiny girl inside a shining stalk of bamboo.  Right away she changes into a baby and she grows very quickly.  She is very happy playing with other children who live nearby.  The bamboo cutter later finds gold coins in the bamboo grove.  He and his wife decide Kaguya needs to go to the city and be trained to accept her role as a princess.  She has a difficult time with her instructions but she decides she must follow their wishes.  When five suitors come to court her, she chooses to give them each a quest to prove how much they care for her.
     Kaguya wants to honor the wishes of the bamboo cutter but it requires her to push down everything she cares about.  It’s almost the last straw when she must address the five suitors.  I was only slightly surprised about the outcome with the suitors but I was surprised about the ending!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie) 

137 min, Animation directed by Isao Takahata with the voices of Chloe Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburger, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges, James Marsden, Oliver Platt, Hynden Walch, Dean Cain, George Segal, John Cho.

Note:  Imdb 8.1 out of 10, 100% critic 92% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.
Special Note:  The release I watched is the English language version but the original film is in Japanese.  The name Kaguya means radiant night.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Disappearance of Elanor Rigby: Them 2014

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

     Conor and Eleanor have hit a rough patch in their relationship and Eleanor jumps off a bridge.  She is immediately rescued, taken to the hospital and she’s recovering.  She decides to stay with her parents and her sister for a while.  Conor doesn’t know what to think and he tries to talk to her but she doesn’t want to see him.  He has a restaurant but it is struggling to get customers on nights other than Friday.  Eleanor decides she will take some classes while she’s living with her parents.
     There is a lot of information left out in this movie?  Threads of the story only come out in little portions at a time.  You never have the full picture so how can you relate to this relationship breakdown and have empathy for Conor and Eleanor? 2 1/2* (This movie is so-so)

123 min, Drama directed by Ned Benson with James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Nina Arianda, Bill Hader, Ciaran Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, Jess Weixler, Nikki M. James.

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, 62% critic 55% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*.
Special Note:  Originally, this movie was over four hours long and focused on the view of Eleanor and then on the view Conor perceived.  The Weinstein Company decided more editing was needed to reduce the length and combine the versions into Them.  Him and Her, two separate versions will have limited release.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Series 2 2013

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Series 2

     Phryne Fisher continues in her career as a murder investigator and every episode begins with the scene of a murder.  Phryne is still stealing crime scene evidence, she is a step ahead of the local police, she carries a .38 just in case and there is plenty of action.  There is also a lot of jazz music on the soundtrack. 
     I noticed some of the titles remind me of the Hercule Poirot mysteries by Agatha Christie and his vocabulary.  I liked the Australian accents, the cars, fashions and hairstyles of this period.  I was sorry to be finished watching these episodes.  3 ½* (I liked this series)

60 min, TV Series, Crime with Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings, Richard Bligh, Travis McMahon, Anthony Sharpe.

Note:  Imdb 8.4 out of 10, Amazon 4.9* out of 5* with 344 reviews.
Special Note:  The episode titles for this series are Murder Most Scandalous, Death Comes Knocking, Dead Man’s Chest, Deadweight, Murder a la Mode, Marked for Murder, Blood at the Wheel, The Blood of Juana the Mad, Framed for Murder, Death on the Vine, Dead Air, Unnatural Habits, Murder Under the Mistletoe.  Essie Davis was also in the film Girl with a Pearl Earring.