Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 2015

     Katniss Everdeen has been through a lot and she has become the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol.  Her main goal at this point is to personally assassinate President Snow.  She would also like to see her friend Peeta return to normal after his terrible mental and physical experiences in the Capitol.  The President of the rebellion, Alma Coin is talking about another Hunger Games if their campaign against the Capitol is a success?
     I would’ve liked to see a brief recap of Mockingjay Part 1 at the beginning of this film?  It seems like a lot of time has elapsed between the two films and I couldn’t remember some of the names of the characters.  Even though time has passed, I felt burned out with the entire plot and story?  I really think the Mockingjay needed to be one film and then be finished but there was more money to be made with two films?  3* (This movie is OK)

137 min, Adventure directed by Francis Lawrence with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 70% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 3.9* out of 5* with 3235 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Seine-Saint-Denis, Ivry sur Seine, Paris, France; Berlin, Brandenburg, Potsdam, Germany; Atlanta, Norcross, Georgia; Boston Massachusetts.  This installment of the series had the lowest opening with $102.7 million.  Part 1 had an opening of $121.9 million.  There is the possibility of a fifth film, a sequel or a prequel.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Every Second Counts 2008

     Joe Preston has a wife Helen and a 17 year-old daughter Brooke.  He’s not very good at managing his money and he’s been slacking off at his job as an auto mechanic.  He used to be a professional cutting horse rider 18 years ago but he broke his leg and that ended his career.  The only thing he can focus on now is working with Brooke on her cutting horse riding.  Brooke is doing really well in high school and she wants to go to college.  She’d like to be a veterinarian but she needs a scholarship since her family can’t afford for her to go.
     The setting is supposed to be Washington State but it’s filmed in Canada.  The riding competitions are supposed to be on the West Coast too.  It is interesting to see a different kind of riding.  Cutting is a western-style equestrian competition.  The horse and rider working as a team before a judge or panel of judges.  They need to show the skills and ability of the horse and rider to cut cattle from a herd.  In this film, three people are working the cattle with a 2 ½ minute time limit.  3* (This movie is OK)

88 min, Drama, TV Movie directed by John Bradshaw with Stephen Collins, Barbara Williams, Magda Apanowicz, Brett Dier, Eric Keenleyside, Colby Johannson, Jim Shield, Chelah Horsdal, Kwesi Ameyaw, Frank Cassini.

Note:  Imdb 5.7 out of 10, 50% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 64 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Canadian Magda Apanowicz has the role of Brooke Preston and she’s supposed to be 17 but she is actually 22 at filming.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Terminator Genisys 2015

     In 1997 Skynet caused machines to think independently and they began to eliminate people through nuclear annihilation.  Sgt. Kyle Reese is sent back from Judgment Day of 2029 to 1984.   His assignment is to protect Sarah Connor.  She will be the mother of John Connor and he is the future leader of the human resistance against the machines.  Sarah has had a machine guardian since she was 9 years old.  There is a fractured timeline with John Connor returning as a machine, Cop/T-1000 is out to get them and seemingly indestructible.  The new Genisys operating system is due to come online shortly and it will upload every phone, tablet and laptop into one system.  Genisys must be stopped in order to save humanity from the end of the world as we now know it.
     This is the fifth film in the Terminator Series and the first one I’ve seen.  Some scenes from the original Terminator are included with a very young Schwarzenegger arriving on Earth through time travel.  John Connor and Cop/T-1000 are made from liquid metal and that was also done in Terminator 2 of 1991.  There is a big action scene on the Golden Gate Bridge with a school bus.  3* (This movie is OK)

126 min, Action directed by Alan Taylor with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K, Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matt Smith Courtney B. Vance, Byng-hun Lee, Michael Gladis, Sandrine Holt.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 26% critic 56% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Rober Ebert 2*, Amazon 3.9* out of 5* with 2254 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Redwood City, Nicasio, Marine Headlands, California.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shaun the Sheep Movie 2015

       Shaun and the other animals live on the Mossy Bottom Farm in northern England.  Shaun is tired of the same work and the same schedule at the farm everyday.  He decides he wants a day off but the farmer must not know.  The farmer fell asleep in a trailer and it rolled down the hills to the big city.  Everything starts to get way out of hand and the farm animals end up going to the big city to try to get the farmer back.  They don’t know that the farmer is in the hospital and he’s lost his memory.  They’ve got to get him back quickly because they can’t feed themselves.  Shaun sneaks onto a double-decker bus and the rest of the sheep follow him.  They encounter an animal containment officer and the sheep need to dress up as people instead of looking like animals.  There is a supply of clothing at a resale shop in the neighborhood.  They also learn they can put people to sleep by leaping over a barrier one at a time.  Life on the farm isn’t half as bad as Shaun thought it was after being in the big city?
     This film uses the clay-manipulation process of stop-motion for the animation and it is a spin-off of the Wallace and Gromit films.  Shaun was also in the 1995 short film A Close Shave and in an episode of the 2002 Wallace and Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions series.  There is also a spin-off, Timmy Time with Shaun’s small cousin for younger children.  The animation is good and a lot of the scenes are very hilarious and ridiculous.  It’s really funny when the sheep dress up as people.  They go into a fancy restaurant for a meal and a very upscale hair salon.   4 1/2* (I really liked this movie)

85 min, Animation directed by Mark Burton, Richard Starzak with the voices of Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili, Richard Webber, Kate Harbour, Tim Hands, Andy Nyman, Simon Greenall, Emma Tate.

Note:  Imdb 7.4 out of 10, 99% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.
Special Note:  There are eight sheep with names, Shaun, Timmy, Hazel (Timmy's mum), Shirley, Nuts and the Twins.  In one scene there are nine sheep and this one looks like a Hazel twin. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Band of Brothers 2001

     This series is based on a bestselling book by Stephen E. Ambrose. It is the story of the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, Easy Company during their initial training starting 1942 until the end of WWII.  They Parachuted into France behind the enemy lines in the early hours of D-Day.  They were to provide support for the landings at Utah Beach.  They liberated Caretan and had action during Operation Market Garden.  They liberated a concentration camp and then entered Hitler’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden. 
     This is very realistic and there are many tense moments.  There is action every minute and split second decisions made in every fight against the Germans and their supporters.  None of this was an easy job.  Sometimes they weren’t sure of their location and exactly where the enemy was encamped.  They used guns, machine guns and grenades to move forward through the lines.  Sometimes they had support from the Sherman tanks.  Every day each man didn’t know if he would live through that day.  4 ½* (I really liked this series)

70 min each episode, 10 episodes, TV movie, Action with Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor, Donnie Wahlberg, Peter Youngblood Hills, Matthew Leitch, Rod Strohl, Nicholas Aaron, Philip Barantini, Michael Cudlitz, Dexter Fletcher, Ric Gomex, James Madio.

Note:  Imdb 9.5 out of 10, 98% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.9* out of 5* with 19,437 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, Goldings, Hertforshire, Hambleden, Buckinghamsire, Hertfordshire, England UK and Giessbach Hotel, Brienz, Kanton Bern, Switzerland.  The PT gear t-shirts worn at the beginning and end of the first episode are exact reproductions.  One of the goofs is a person with a camera is taking pictures from one of the first-floor windows as Easy Company enters Berchtesgaden.  This is the most expensive TV undertaking of 2001 costing $120 million to produce.  The US phonetic alphabet from 1941-1956 is different from the NATO alphabet.  Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How is now Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel.  It was changed to prevent misinterpretations.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Shuffleton's Barbershop 2013

     This film is also titled A Way Back Home and the idea for the story came from a 1950 Norman Rockwell painting.  A small town in Georgia welcomes home Trey Cole.  He didn’t realize Charlie Shuffleton had passed away two months ago but he’s come back to see him and thank him.  Trey's father was in the military and Charlie became an important figure in Trey’s life.  Trey’s brother was also joined the military and he was killed.  He left behind a wife and a young son.  Trey is happy to reconnect with all the people in his hometown except his father.  There are a lot of bad feelings between them.
     This is very home town in it’s style.  Everyone knows everybody and all they can find out about each other.  Trey became a famous singer but it was too much about money and fans.  There wasn't enough about the music and writing.  Sometimes you can go home again!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)
84 min, Drama directed by Mark Jean with Austin Stowell, Kayla Ewell, Brett Rice, Bryant Prince, Carol Anne Watts, Danny Glover, Michael Harding, Ed Pilkington, Roger W. Durrett, Stehpen Ware.
Note:  Imdb 5.9 out of 10, Amazon 4.9* out of 5* with 34 reviews
Special Note:  Filmed in Charlotte and Belmont, North Carolina.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Good Dinosaur 2015

     An Apatosaurus named Arlo is small and he is born into a family with Poppa, Momma, Libby and Buck.  The family raises corn to sustain them and also get them through the cold winters.  Libby and Buck have no problems doing their share but Arlo gets scared easily.  Arlo is supposed to kill anything that falls into a trap they have made in the cornfield.  He traps a small human named Spot and he doesn’t think he can kill him.  Spot is really a small human boy.  Poppa Henry goes with Arlo to track down the caveboy.  There is a flash flood and Arlo is saved but Henry is swept away by the water.  Arlo feels terrible about his Poppa.  He blames the caveboy for Poppa’s death and when he sees Spot again, he chases him to the river and they both fall in.
     The theory in this film is that the asteroid from 65 million years ago did not collide with the Earth.  Because of this, the extinction of the dinosaurs did not happen.  The dinosaurs survived and the adventure of the Apatosaurus family begins a few million years later.  The animation is good along with the story and very colorful beautiful scenery. 3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Animation directed by Peter Sohn with the voices of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Ryan Teeple, Jack McGraw, Marcus Scribner, Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright Peter Sohn, Steve Sahn, Mandy Freund, Steven Clay Hunter, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 76% critic 66% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 2755 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in New York.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Simply Irresistible 1999

     Amanda Shelton has taken over her mother’s restaurant after she passed away.  Amanda has help from her Aunt Stella and Nolan Traynor.  Aunt Stella tells Amanda that they are probably going to have to close because the rent has been raised and they can’t manage anymore.  Amanda goes to the farmer’s market and everything begins to change for her.  She meets Tom Bartlett, he is opening a new restaurant in the department store Bendel’s.  Tom comes to her place for lunch and loves her food.  Later he begins to think Amanda is a witch and she is putting a spell on him?
     This film is 100% a chick flick but it is entertaining!!  It’s a romantic story about falling in love and then being scared when you start to second-guess yourself.  There is a saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!!  There is a LOT of wonderful looking food, it would be nice to taste some of it through the TV!!  3* (This movie is OK)

96 min, Comedy directed by Mark Tarlov with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sean Patrick Flanery, Patricia Clarkson, Dylan Baker, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Christopher Durang, Betty Buckley, Olek Krupa, Amanda Peet.

Note:  Imdb 5.3 out of 10, 13% critic 54% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 356 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Henri Bendel Department Store, 712 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The 33 2015

     This film is based on the real-life events in Chili and the book Deep Down Dark about a gold and copper mine collapse trapping 33 miners underground.  One of the miners is ready to retire after 45 years of mining work and there is a celebration but he still needs to finish this shift.  It is August 5, 2010 and a group of workers take a truck ride three miles into the mine.  A rock that is twice the mass of the Empire State Building falls into the mine.  The men are trapped together almost 2,000 down and they don’t have very much food to ration among all of them.  The families gathered at the site of the mine and it was their protesting that encouraged the company to try to rescue the men.
     There is not a lot of leeway in the variety of the scenes in this film.  Basically there can only be views of inside the mine, the families outside the mine, the company preparations and the press releases all over the world.  The miners formed a joint company and they are suing because they received only 17% of the profits from this film.  They say their lawyers mislead them.  3* (This movie is OK)

127 min, Bio directed by Patricia Riggen with Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mario Casas, Jacob Vargas, Juan Pablo Raba, Oscar Nunez, Tenoch Huerta.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 44% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 540 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Nemocon, Columbia; Copiapo, Santiago, Chile.  One of the real miners, Mario Sepulveda met Antonio Banderas in Colombia during the beginning of filming.  He was chosen to supervise the extras.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Moonraker 1979

     This film is the 11th Bond film and the 4th with Roger Moore.  A space shuttle is mysteriously hi-jacked and Bond must find out right away who is behind this.  Drax Industries is the maker of the shuttle and it was on loan to the United Kingdom.  Bond starts with Hugo Drax and he meets astronaut Dr. Holly Goodhead.  Bond is nearly killed when Drax’s henchman Chang changes the settings on a centrifuge chamber.  Connie Dufour works for Drax and she is killed when Drax finds out she was helping Bond.  Four moonrakers lift off and head to a space station protected by a cloaking device.  Bond and Goodhead pose as pilots on one of the moonrakers.
     The plot to this film is complicated and even though it is about space, there must be a boat chase with a gondola turned into a speedboat.  There are a lot of gadgets in this film too and everything doesn’t need to make sense.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

126 min, Action directed by Lewis Gilbert with Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Corinne Clery, Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell, Toshiro Suga, Emily Bolton.

Note:  Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 60% critic 43% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 3.9* out of 5* with 476 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in the Atlantic Ocean, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Guatemala, Italy, France, London United Kingdom, Florida California.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Miss You Already 2015

     This film is based on a radio play titled Goodby written by British comic performer Morwenna Banks.  Jess came from America in 1986 to live in the UK.  She met Milly right away on the first day of elementary school and they became good friends.  They have shared a lot, first kisses, secrets, clothing and dating stories.  Jess is a town planner and she lives with her boyfriend Jago on a houseboat.  It is floating on a London canal.  Milly has a big job and lives in a townhouse with her husband Kit and their son and daughter.  Jess doesn’t say anything about it to Milly but she has been trying to have a baby.  Milly finds out she has cancer but she’s going to get chemotherapy.
     I thought this film had a lot of potential, Barrymore and Collette are great together.  It doesn’t break any new ground and falls into clichés and stereotypes.  This is probably a trend but I wonder about the constant bright red lipstick for Barrymore and the white hair for Bisset?  3* (This movie is OK)
112 min., Comedy directed by Catherine Hardwicke with Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper, Paddy Considine, Tyson Ritter, Jacqueline Bisset, Mem Ferda.
Note:  Imdb 6.7 out of 10, 69% critic 70% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 225 reviews.
Special Note:  Hardwicke also directed Thirteen and Twilight.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Rodeo Girl 2016

     Pricilla is 14 years old and she has been working very hard at dressage riding.  Her mother is getting married and Pricilla is going to stay with her estranged father for the summer.  She hasn’t seen him since she was one year old.  She’s very disappointed but she does perk up when she learns she will be taking her horse too. 
     This is like a Hallmark TV movie.  You can’t believe what you see but there is rodeo riding in Michigan.  Some spoiled brat behavior with girls and boys!!  There are illustrations of people living high on the hog too.  Even the people who don’t have the money to support their life style??  2 ½* (This movie is OK)

108 min, Family directed by Joel Paul Reisig with Kevin Sorbo, Derek Brandon, Sophie Bolen, Jacqueline and Elizabeth Labadie, Brett Alan Hart, Paityn Hart, Riffany Burns, Carrie Bradstreet, Yassie Hawkes.

Note:  Imdb 5.4 out of 10, audience 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.5* out of 5* with 41 reviews, Metacritic 40/100 critic 4.0 out of 5 user score.
Special Note:  Filmed in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I wondered about whether or not a horse used for jumping rails in competition could change and start barrel racing in a rodeo?  According to a reviewer with more ‘horse sense!!’  This cannot be done and it shouldn’t be shown as happening?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Memory Book 2014

     Since she received a camera at the age of seven, Chloe has been in love with taking pictures.  But, she doesn't think she will find real love for herself.  She buys a photo album at a flea market and she becomes wrapped up in the story of the couple in the pictures.  She met Gabe at her gallery showing of her photographs and he offers to help her track down the couple.  They don’t have a lot to go on since they don’t know their names.  They have clues in the pictures to start their journey.
     Chloe doesn’t believe in love and she thinks she can find a solution to this problem if she meets the couple in the album.  They seem to be so in love with each other and she wants that in her own life.  She is supposed to be living in San Francisco and there are scenes of the landmarks but it is not filmed there.  I thought this was interesting and good even though it is really a Hallmark Movie!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

TV Movie directed by Paul A. Kaufman with Meghan Ory, Luke Macfarlane, Art Hindle, John Cassini, Stephanie Van Dyck, Adrienne Barbeau, Amitai Marmorstein, Nicola Cavendish, Michael Coleman.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, letterboxd 4* out of 5* with 4 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Meghan Ory as Chloe plays Red Riding Hood in the TV series Once Upon a Time. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Big Stone Gap 2014

     This film is based on a book written by the director Adriana Trigiani and partially based on her own life.  In the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia there is the tiny town of Big Stone Gap.  In the year of 1978, Ave Maria Mulligan is a 35 year-old spinster pharmacist.  She rides all over the town to deliver medications to her customers and a lot of people live out in the wooded areas.  She thought she knew who she was and what she wanted but that changes after her mother passes away.  There is a letter for Ave Maria with information never disclosed to her while her mother was alive.  She starts to plan the ‘trip of a lifetime.'  Big Stone Gap is a small coal-mining town and most of the men are minors and their fathers were miners before them.  It’s still a dangerous way of life because accidents can happen in the mines.
      Somewhat like a Hallmark Movie based in the Appalachians?  It also seems like a musical with a play practiced and then performed for an audience?  Maybe it’s more like Little House in the Appalachians?  It is hard to put this film into a category and there is a lot going on all the time?  The letter surprises!!  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

103 min, Comedy directed by Adriana Trigiani with Patrick Wilson, Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Judity Ivey, Angelina Fiordellisi, John Benjamin Hickey, Bridget Gabbe, Erika Coleman, Jenna Elfman, Anthony LaPaglia, Jane Drakowski, John S. Rausch.

Note:  Imdb 5.6 out of 10, 35% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.9* out of 5* with 282 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.  It is a surprise that this film was made actually where it is supposed to be?  Dagmara Dominczyk has a small role as a visiting movie star and she is the wife of Patrick Wilson.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Night in Old Mexico 2013

     Red Bovie had a ranch in Texas but a land developer forced him out and he had to give up the land and his home.  He is supposed to go to live in a trailer because that is all he can afford but he says he won’t set foot in it.  A grandson Gally that he didn’t know he had comes to visit just at this time.  Red decides they will drive his Cadillac to Old Mexico for one last wild adventure.  There are a lot of twists and turns in their trip!
     Bovie does get to know his grandson but they get into a lot of trouble too.  Even the Cadillac gets into trouble!!  This film is a good warning to never pick up hitchhikers!!  I thought this might not be very good but it’s better than I expected.  The trailers preceding are of terrible movies!!  2 ½* (This movie is OK)

103 min, Adventure directed by Emilio Aragon with Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irvine, Angie Cepeda, Luis Tosar, Joaquin Cosio, Javier Gutierrez, Rene Rhi, Jim Parrack.

Note:  Imdb 5.7 out of 10, 41% critic 34% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1*, Amazon 3.6* out of 5* with 271 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Brownsville and Rio Hondo, Texas; Madrid, Spain.  There is a goof concerning the hat that Gally wears.  At the end of the film two other hats were used to show the wear and tear but they are not the same style?  The writer of this film is Bill Wittliff and he also wrote Lonesome Dove.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jimmy's Hall 2014

     The time of this film is 1932 and it is based on true events.  Jimmy Gralton has left New York to return to his family home in the Irish countryside.  He had been deported and has been away for ten years.  His widowed mother Alice is happy to see him and all his friends are happy to see him too.  Father Sheridan, the local priest and Dennis O’Keefe, the village squire both have a different feeling.  Jimmy is a socialist activist and he’s considered to be an intruder.  Jimmy reopens the local Pearse-Connolly Hall so the village people can gather to sing, dance, paint, study or box.  As soon as the hall is open, Father Sheridan and Dennis O’Keefe are going to do all they can to close it up again.
     There is a lot going on in the background in this village of wealth or poverty.  The wealthy want to hold down the poor.  The Church and the legal system have a heavy grip on all but the wealthy.  Nothing will change unless someone has the courage to step up and demand change.  Sometimes I had a difficult time paying attention because the reason for some events is not explained.  3* (This movie is OK)

109 min, Drama directed by Ken Loach with Barry Ward, Francis Magee, Aileen Henry, Simone Kirby, Stella McGirl, Sorcha Fox, Martin Lucey, Mikel Murfi, Shane O’Brien, Denise Gough, Jim Norton, Aisling Franciosi.

Note:   Imdb 6.7 out of 10, 77% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 33 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Killanummery and Drumsna Counties, Leitrim, Ireland and also the Police Station, Sligo, Ireland.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

For Your Eyes Only 1981

     This film opens with the head of SPECTRE in control of a helicopter that has just picked up James Bond because of an emergency.  The pilot is electrocuted through his headphones.  Bond needs to get control of the helicopter right away if he wants to survive this flight.  He manages to turn the tables on SPECTRE's leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld.  It has been learned that fishing boat that is really a communications ship with a secret communication device known as ATAC has been sunk.  A large mine was caught in their fishing net.  Bond is sent to keep the Russians from obtaining this secret device from the sunken ship.  He links up with Melina Havelock, her parents have just been murdered on their ship by a hired assassin.  Bond also meets Aristotle Kristatos and Milos Colombo.  They accuse each other of having links with the Russian government.  Melina and Bond use her father’s submersible to locate the fishing boat and recover the ATAC but this isn’t the end of the mission.
     There is interesting action and it seems a lot of the Bond movies must have underwater scenes that include large man-eating great white sharks?  It was tense with Bond and Melina menaced underwater by a diver in a large diving suit with dangerous arm attachments.  Bond is shown hanging from the side of a mountaintop trying to climb to a fortress without falling or being seen.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

127 min, Action directed by John Glen with Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Julian Glover, Cassandra Harris, Jill Bennett, Michael Gothard, John Wyman, Jack Hedley, Lois Maxwell, Desmond Llewelyn.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 74% critic 64% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 415 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in the North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Bahamas, Greece, Italy and London, England.  At the time of filming, Carole Bouquet in the role of Melina Havelock was 23 years old.  She seems too young for Bond, she makes him look older and he is 53 years old.  There is a difference of a mere 30 years?

Monday, June 13, 2016

We're not Married 1952

    A new Justice of the Peace performed five weddings before his license was valid.  The Court later sends out five letters to the couples telling them they are not legally married.  Each of the five couples has a different reaction to the letter.  Couple #1 is a radio team.  Couple #2 is Mrs. Mississippi and she switches to Miss Mississippi.  Couple #3 doesn’t have anything to say to each other.  Couple #4 is a millionaire and his wife wants a divorce.  Couple #5 is a young soldier shipping out and his wife is going to have a baby.
     This film is in black and white and it is interesting how finding out they are not really being married changes each of the couples.  Some get married again but some do not.  Some are happy to not be married.  I thought the period clothing, cars and hairstyles were interesting.  3* (This movie is OK)

86 min, Comedy directed by Edmund Goulding with Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Victor Moore, Fred Allen, David Wayne, Eve Arden, Paul Douglas, Eddie Bracken, Mitzi Gaynor, Louis Calhern, Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, 51% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 34 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Los Angeles, California. Originally there were supposed to be seven couples.  Hope Emerson and Walter Brennan were one of the deleted couples.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Wild Horses 2015

     Samantha Payne is a Texas Ranger, she is working on a reopened case 15 years old and it concerns a missing person report.  Rancher Scott Briggs has sent for his son to come back home so Briggs can go over the will he’s made about the ranch house and the property.  Ben is uncomfortable about coming back home after 15 years away.  Family members are Ben’s older brother KC and Maria, a house worker who has grown up with the family. The ranch is close to the border with Mexican and there are conflicts with people trying to cross into Texas onto Briggs’ property.
     This film is written and directed by Robert Duvall.  Maybe he needs to stay in front of the camera?  I didn’t think this was very good and neither did other critics.  Maybe this should be titled Wild Men instead of Wild Horses.  The horses are tame compared to the men!!  The best feature of the film is the wild open landscape.  Filled with bad acting, wooden speeches, clichés about hating sexual orientations, Texas Rangers, a woman Texas Ranger, women in general and immigrants.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

100 min, Crime directed by Robert Duvall with James Franco, Josh Hartnett, Luciana Pedraza, Angie Cepeda, Jim Parrack, Adriana Baraza, Gerry Garcia, Darien Willardson, Joaquin Jackson, Christian Jensen.

Note:  Imdb 4.8 out of 10, 17% critic 16% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*, Amazon 2.5* out of 5* with 329 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Salt Lake City, Magna, Bluffdale and Riverton, Utah.  A ranch dog named Augustus was a tribute to the role Robert Duval had in the epic movie Lonesome Dove.  Robert Duvall also directed Assassination Tango from 2002.  Luciana Duvall playing Samantha Payne is Robert Duvall’s wife.  There are nine other movies with Wild Horses in the title.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Octopussy 1983

     British Agent 009 is murdered and he was holding an irreplaceable Faberge egg.  009 had been acting as a clown at a circus and he was stabbed in the back by one of the twin brothers in the knife-throwing act.  Bond is sent to the auction to sell the egg so he can find out who will be bidding. Kamal Kahn from India buys the egg but he later meets up with Russian General Orlov.  Bond is sent to India and he spots Kamal Kahn cheating at a gambling game.  Bond sees Kamal with Magda and she was also with him at the auction house.  Bond meets Octopussy, he later sees her at her compound in India and at the same circus troupe where 009 was killed.
     There are lot of complications in the plot but no sharks and underwater diving scenes?  If you ever wanted to see Bond at a circus, you get your chance with this film.  He is involved in a lot of stunts with cars, motorcycles, trains and elephants.  None of this can be taken too seriously even if some events literally come down to the last second of time left.  3* (This movie is OK)

131 min, Action directed by John Glen with Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn, Kabir Bedi, Steven Berkoff, David Meyer, Tony Meyer, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Brown, Lois Maxwell.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 42% critic 47% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 416 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in India, Germany, England and Utah.  One of the characters, Penelope Smallbone received her name because model Perri Small told Albert Broccoli her real last name was Smallbone.  Maud Adams was also in The Man with the Golden Gun 1974 and not credited in A View to a Kill 1985.  She is the only woman to appear in three Bond films.  Moore was born in 1927 and Maud in 1945.  There was 18 years difference in their ages in 1983.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Never Say Never Again 1983

     The head of SPECTRE, Ernst Blofeld steals two nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles from a US Air Force Base in the United Kingdom.  NATO is asked to pay a ransom of billions of dollars to SPECTRE to keep the missiles from being launched.  Before Bond is sent to investigate, M thinks he needs to go to a health spa to lose weight and get back into 007 form since he failed a routine training exercise.  Overseeing the missile detonation plan is Maximillian Largo.  He is using his girlfriend Domino’s brother Jack to obtain the missiles because he is in the US Air Force as a pilot.  Jack had a retina transplant to match up with the retina of the US President in order to release the missiles.  As soon as he has done his small job, Fatima Blush eliminates him.  Bond finds out the stolen missiles are in an underground facility near the Ethiopian Coast. 
     It’s been twelve years since Sean Connery was in a Bond role.  During filming he is 52 years old, this is his seventh film and last.  Kim Basinger is 29 years old and she started acting in 1976.  A lot of the plot in this film is from Thunderball of 1965.  There must be diving scenes and sharks included in a Bond film!!  Always the bad guys against the good guys!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

134 min, Action directed by Irvin Kershner with Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Bernie Casey, Alec McCowen, Edward Fox, Pamela Salem, Rowan Atkinson.

Note:  Imdb 6.2 out of 10, 63% critic 38% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*, Amazon 3.7* out of 5* with 766 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Malta, France, Monaco, Bahamas, England and Florida.  The title came from a comment made by Sean Connery after Diamonds Are Forever that he would NEVER do another Bond film.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Desert Dancer 2014

     This film is based on the true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends in Iran from 1999 until the 2009.  The government frowns on the people dancing and you can be killed if the morality police catch you.  Afshin has wanted to dance since he was a young boy and he was criticized for dancing at school until he changed to the Saba Arts School.  Later, Afshin and his friends from the University of Tehran form an underground dance company.  They need to be constantly vigilant and extremely careful that no one but the group knows about their dancing.  They decide to dance in the desert where they can be free to express their craft and like-minded Iranians can come to see their presentation.  In 2009, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected as the President of Iran but opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi demanded a recount that caused protests.  During this time, it was extremely dangerous to be seen as different.
     The dancers were inspired by banned videos of Michael Jackson, Rudolf Nureyev and the Dirty Dancing film.  There are three story lines woven into this film.  The formation of the dance group, the view of Iranians in general about the 2009 elections and the romance/friendship between Afshin and Elaheh, a young woman taught to dance by her ballerina mother.  There is a lot of brutality from the individuals driven to purge any differences from the Iranian people.  In their view, different people deserve death from beatings and stabbings?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)
104 min, Bio directed by Richard Raymond with Freida Pinto, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Cullen, Reece Ritchie, Simon LKassianides, Marama Corlett, Akin Gazi, Neet Mohan, Makram Khoury, Mourad Zaoui, Gabriel Senior.
Note:  Imdb 5.9 out of 10, 28% critic 60% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 41 reviews.
Special Note:  A British release filmed in Casablanca and Erfoud, Morocco; Paris, France and London, England.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Eleventh Hour 2006

     Ian Hood is a science professor and he works as a consultant on special dangerous cases.  He is a special advisor to the government’s Joint Sciences Committee.  Rachel Young is a Special Branch agent and she is always with Ian as his protection.  These are the titles and breakdown for these episodes:
           Resurrection:  Investigation of human cloning.
           Containment:  An outbreak of a hybrid smallpox/tanapox virus.
           Kryptos:  A scientist vanishes, there is a mystery about his climate research.
           Miracle:  Young boy is healed from a tumor by the waters of a local spring.
     I thought all the episodes were good and they are from a different perspective.  Hood and Young are hard hitting investigators and they don’t give up easily.  Hood has a government badge and that gets him into a lot of places.  Young is a Detective Sergeant on special assignment.  Smaller police stations in the UK usually have five Detective Constables (DC) with a Detective Sergeant (DS) in overall command.  3 ½* (I liked this series)

90 min each, 2 discs, 4 episodes, TV, Sci-Fi directed by Stephen Gallagher with Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen, Jane Lapotaire.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 8.3 out of 10 with 137 votes, Amazon 3.5* out of 5* with 36 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, UK.  This program had potential but there were not enough viewers in the UK to continue the episodes.  There is a US remake produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with Rufus Sewell that aired on CBS from 2008 to 2009.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pretty Bird 2008

     This film is a fictionalized version of true events leading to the development of the RB2000 Rocket Belt in 1995.  Curtis Prentiss enlists the help of his friend Kenny Owenby and rocket scientist Rick Honeycutt to develop a working model of a personal jet pack.  Curtis is the brains, Kenny is the money and Rick is the science. 
     I was surprised about the very low reviews for this film?  As I like to say, “This isn’t rocket science?”  But, wait, maybe it really is!!  This film reminds me of the television series Halt and Catch Fire about computer development.  There are both funny and puzzling moments in this film, I was a little surprised about the final scenes?  A one-line sum up of this film is, “There is a sucker born every minute!!”  3* (This movie is OK)

120 min, Comedy directed by Paul Schneider with Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, David Hornsby, Kristen Wiig, Elizabeth Marvel, Denis O’Hare, Garret Dillahunt, James Wetzel, Brent King, Anna Camp, Nate Mooney.

Note:  Imdb 5.0 out of 10, 20% critic 15% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.4* out of 5* with 10 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in New Jersey.  I am surprised there are only 10 reviews on Amazon?

Monday, June 6, 2016

In Your Eyes 2014

     Rebecca is married to a doctor and she lives in Exeter New Hampshire.  Dylan is single, he is on probation after two years served for theft and he lives in New Mexico.  When Dylan was in elementary school, he started to move around at his desk, he was thrown from his seat and knocked out cold.  He didn’t know that he was experiencing Rebecca sled down a snowy hill and crash into a tree.  It’s been 20 years since that incident and they are starting to experience more of what the other is seeing through their eyes.  They talk to themselves but they are really talking to each other.  People look at them and think they are weird.  Dylan is fired from his job because people don't understand his behavior.  Rebecca is at a dinner party but Dylan is hit with a pool cue at a bar.  The impact knocks both of them to the floor.  Rebecca has no explanation to give for her behavior?
     Rebecca doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere except in her experiences with Dylan.  Rebecca’s husband doesn’t understand her at all.  Dylan feels like he can’t get a break and his probation officer is just waiting to sent him back to prison.  I thought the perspective in this film was different with two people seeing and experiencing the other person in real time.  Feeling the same feelings, seeing their images in a mirror and looking at where the other one lives.  3 ½ (I liked this movie)

106 min, Romance directed by Brin Hill with Michael Stahl-David, Zoe Kazan, Mark Fuerstein, David Gallagher, Jennifer Grey, Steve Howey, Nikki Reed, Kayd Currier, Preston Bailey, Reed Birney, Steve Harris.

Note:  Imdb 7.1 out of 10, 63% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 200 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Claremont, Exeter, Concord, Hooksett, Manchester, New Hampshire; Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, California; Boston, Massachusetts.   The characters Rebecca and Dylan “act” together the entire film but they have 56 seconds of screen time together!