Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Upturned Glass 1947

     Dr. Michael Joyce is a prominent neurosurgeon and he operates on Ann Wright.  Ann is a young girl with an object in her brain pressing on the optic nerve.  She must have surgery or she will be permanently blind and she is already loosing her eyesight.  Emma Wright is her mother and she is very worried about Ann and also about the surgery.  Michael and Emma Wright form a friendship after the successful surgery.  Michael is separated from his wife and Emma’s husband is often away for lengthy business trips.  Michael often lectures at a medical school on the psychology of crime.  Usually his focus is on abnormal psychology but his latest lecture is on the sane criminal.
     There is a lot of tension in this film.  It’s in black and white, very straight laced with British conservatism and strict social behavior.  James Mason is a mystery and you don't know what he will do next?  The father of Ann Wright is talked about but never shown?  I thought this was very believable and interesting.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by Lawrence Huntington with James Mason, Rosamund John, Pamela Kellino Mason, Ann Stephens, Morland Graham, Brefni O’Rorke, Henry Oscar, Jane Hylton, Sheila Huntington, Susan Shaw, Peter Cotes, Nuna Davey, Judith Carol.

Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, 50% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.9* out of 5* with 14 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed at Gainsborough Studios, Islington, and Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London, England, UK.  James Mason plays Dr. Michael Joyce and he was born in May of 1909 and he died in July of 1984.  He started acting in 1935 and his career lasted until posthumous releases of 1985.  James Mason produced this film and he is married to Pamela Kellino Mason, she has the role of Kate Howard, Ann Wright's sister-in-law.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Regression 2015

     The setting of this story is in Minnesota of 1990.  Detective Bruce Kenner is investigating the case of 17-year-old Angela Gray.  She has made accusations against her father, she has left the family home and she is living in a local church.  Dr. Kenneth Raines is a psychologist and he is brought in to talk to Angela’s father John Gray. 
     There are a lot of times when there is heavy rain in this film.  There is also a lot of darkness and murkiness too.  Many times this film seems ridiculous and the ending is not satisfying either.  I wanted to ask someone if I could have 106 minutes back of my life that I spent watching this film.  2* (I didn't like this movie)

106 min, Crime directed by Alejandro Amenabar with Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David Thewlis, Lothaire Bluteau, Dale Kickey, David Dencik, Devon Bostick, Aaron Ashmore, Peter MacNeill, Adam Butcher, Jacob Neayem, Aaron Abrams.

Note:  Imdb 5.7 out of 10, 15% critic 22% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.1* out of 5* with 864 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Mississauga, Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton, Tottenham, Newmarket, Pinewood Toronto Studios, Ontario Canada and Spain.  David Thewlis was also in the Harry Potter series with Emma Watson.  Regression is a technique combined with hypnosis to help individuals remember things they have done in the past.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Le Million 1931

     Many impatient creditors are hounding Michel.  He is an artist in Paris and his income is meager.  Michel gets wonderful news when he learns from a newspaper that he has a winning Dutch lottery ticket for a million florins.  He’s not sure of the conversion rate but this will be more money than he has ever had in his life!!  The ticket is in his jacket pocket but he learns his fiancĂ©e Beatrice gave the jacket to a stranger.  All his creditors are expecting Michel to find this ticket.  Michel’s best friend Prosper is hoping to get some kind of split from the ticket.  He also had a lottery ticket but his number was not the winner.
     This movie may be at the top or at least in the top three of my most ridiculous movies list!!  All of a sudden there are songs and there is a LOT of running back and forth trying to find the ticket.  There are many subplots moving along with the plot of the ticket.  I am surprised I was able to stick it out to the end!!  2 ½* (This movie is just so-so)

81 min, Musical directed by Rene Clair with Annabella, Rene Lefevre, Jean-Louis Allibert, Paul Ollivier, Constantin Siroesco, Raymond Cordy.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 100% critic 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 15 reviews.
Special Note:  This film is included in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Steven Schneider??

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Man who will Come 2009

     The story in this film takes place in the winter of 1943.  Martina is a small girl and she stopped talking when her infant brother died several years ago.  Her family lives in a rural area of central Italy.  Her mother is expecting another baby and Martina is waiting for the arrival of the baby.  The war with Germany is moving closer and closer to their part of the country.  Some of the men have formed partisan brigades.  Martina’s baby brother is born and on the same day the German SS start a massive roundup of the civilians in this area.  This effort became known as the Marzabotto event.
     Greta Zuccheri Montanari does a very good job in her role as the silent Martina.  You can tell what she is thinking by her expressions and behavior.  She leads people to see what is happening since she cannot tell them.  There are happy moments in this film but overall it is a very somber film.  It did think the scenery is beautiful, the story and the acting are good.  I had just recently watched another Italian film with Alba Rohrwacher directed by her sister Alice, The Wonders.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

115 min, Drama directed by Giorgio Diritti with Greta Zuccheri Montanari, Caludio Casadio, Alba Rohrwacher, Maya Sansa, Vito, Bernardo Bolognesi, Stefano Croci, Zoello Gilli, Francesca Gnech.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 80% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 4 reviews.
Special Note:  The title in Italian is L’uomo che verra.  Filmed in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna; Colle di Val d”Elsa, Siena, Tuscany; Monte San Pietro, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna; Montingegnoli, Siena, Tuscany; Sovicille, Siena, Tuscany, Italy.  The title is referring to the new baby brother of Martina.  The director wanted to show this period in time and to show war from the perspective of a child.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Wonders 2015

     Gelsomina is twelve-years-old girl and she is the head of her family of three younger sisters, her father and her mother.  The family takes care of bees for their living, they spin the honey and place it in glass jars to sell.  They live in an isolated country home.  Sometimes they have problems with their bees because pesticides are being used on the nearby farms.  Gelsomina learns about a competition among farmers that will offer money as a prize and a cruise for the family.  Gelsomina knows her father will never enter this contest but she enters for the family.
     There is a lot of conflict within the family and with the addition of Martin.  He is a fourteen-year-old boy with a history of theft and arson.  He’s staying with the family for rehabilitation and to help them work the bees.  He also doesn't speak Italian.  I wonder if it is the norm for the oldest daughter to manage the family in Italy?  3* (This movie is OK)

110 min, Drama directed by Alice Rohrwacher with Maria Alexandra Lungu, Alba Rohrwacher, Sam Louwyck, Sabine Timoteo, Agnese Graziani, Monica Bellucci, Andre Hennicke, Luis Huilca, Eva Lea Pace Morrow.

Note:  Imdb 6.7 out of 10, 95% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 2.0* out of 5* with 1 review.
Special Note:  Filmed in Sovana, San Quirico, Sorano, Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy and Bagni San Filipo, Castiglione D’Orcia, Siena, Tuscany, Italy.  It is unusual for a woman to be a director in the Italian film industry.  This film is based on the memories of the director from her childhood working with her beekeeper parents.  Alba Rohrwacher is the sister of the director.

Friday, August 26, 2016

23 Paces to Baker Street 1956

     This story takes place in London and it is based on a novel by Philip MacDonald.  Famous American playwright Phillip Hannon has a hit play in the West End.  He is making revisions and he feels this is mundane work.  He has backed away from life after a recent and permanent loss of his vision.  He has also broken off his engagement to his long time secretary Jean Lennox.  She has taken an apartment in London to see if she can help Phillip begin to live again.  Phillip walks 23 paces to a bar on Baker Street alone and his manservant Bob Matthews stops by later to walk home with Phillip.  Bob doesn’t like Phillip walking to the bar alone but Phillip feels he needs some independence.  Phillip overhears a man and woman talking behind him and he knows they are plotting criminal activity.  He thinks it is the kidnapping of a child.  The police say they will investigate but Phillip knows they are only placating him.
     This is interesting and it feels like an Alfred Hitchcock film.  Phillip records on a tape what he heard from the conversation between the man and woman.  He asks the barmaid what they looked like but she can only vaguely describe them.  Since he doesn’t know what they look like it and we don't either it is difficult for the viewer to piece the clues together for the crime.  I didn’t know how to judge who the good and bad people were.  I just knew that Phillip was at a disadvantage and anything could happen to him.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

103 min, Mystery directed by Henry Hathaway with Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker, Patricia Laffan, Maurice Denham, Estelle Winwood, Liam Redmond, Isobel Elsom, Martin Benson, Natalie Norwick.

Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.7* out of 5* with 36 reviews, TCM Leonard Maltin 3* out of 4*.
Special Note:  Filmed in Barkers of Kensington, Queens Gate Lodge, Kensington Gardens and London, England, UK.  The title is only mentioned once in this film and there is a mistake with Bob putting on Phillip’s scarf twice.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tunnel to the Lost World 2008

     Modernizers and archaeologists are on opposite sides of a $3 billion battle in Istanbul.  The modernizers would like to build a tunnel and connecting rail line across the narrow strait.  The water passage is very slow and this is one of the busiest commuter and cargo shipping lanes in the world.  The archaeologists are concerned about preservation of artifacts from the passage of people and goods from all over Europe through this area for 2 ½ thousand years.  The largest harbor of ancient times (the 4th Century) has been discovered a few yards below ground level.  Clues to past seismic events are also discovered from this Byzantine harbor and the worst fault line on the planet is here.
     There is a lot of interesting information both about the excavations and the process of constructing the tunnel.  The scenery of the area is also very beautiful.  The technical details can sometimes get slightly tedious.  3* (This movie is OK)

60 min, TV Episode, National Geographic Doc directed by Phillip Day with Hayati Akbas.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, Amazon 5* with 1 review.
Special Note:  Filmed in Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Channel Islands, California and Turkey.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Good-bye, My Lady 1956

     This film is adapted from a novel by James H. Street published in 1954.  The story first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post.  Uncle Jesse Jackson and Skeeter Jackson live out in the woods and swamps of Mississippi.  Skeeter hears an unusual sound in the night and he wakes up Uncle Jesse.  They head out into the woods to find out what is making this sound.  They discover it is a dog that laughs, cries tears and licks itself like a cat?  No one seems to know what kind of dog this is?  Skeeter brings her home and he starts to train her.  He names her Lady and she’s going to be a bird dog.  Skeeter and Lady start out with basic training but then they find out she is the best bird dog in the area.  She has an unusual way about her but she can smell birds 60 feet away.  People start to flock to their cabin to learn about Lady.
     This film is in black and white and it reminded me of The Yearling of 1946 but not as much of a tearjerker.  I think The Yearling is very difficult to watch but this film is not as painful.  Lady is actually a Basenji and this breed originated in central Africa.  They are in the sighthound category and they are hunting dogs.  Lady is very cute, smart and a wonderful companion both to Jesse and Skeeter.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

94 min, Drama directed by William A. Wellman with Walter Brennan, Phil Harris, Brandon De Wilde, Sidney Poitier, William Hopper, Louise Beavers, George Chandler.

Note:  Imdb 7.3 out of 10, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 48 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Albany, Georgia.  There is a mistake too.  A bag of C&H sugar is shown on their shelf but Domino sugar is sold in Mississippi.  There was a written agreement that Lady would become the personal property of Brandon De Wilde after the completion of filming.  There were 5 young dogs for the role of Lady but My Lady of the Congo did most of the scenes.  Brandon De Wilde was born in 1942 and he died in 1972.  His career spanned from 1951 until 1972 and he was killed in an auto accident. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Making Rounds 2015

     Two senior doctors make rounds with new doctors for a month.  The new doctors are not familiar with “the patient tells you the problem.”  By asking questions, listening and observing the patients they can learn more information about their conditions than expensive testing.  This film concentrates on a man suffering from heart failure, a young woman awaiting a heart transplant and another man with life-threatening sleep apnea that was untreated for years.  $700 billion is spent annually on medical tests and procedures but the result is a misdiagnoses rate of 20%. 
     This is interesting and informative.  The reactions of the patients are different for their heart conditions.  Some are willing to talk until someone will listen to them.  Some are in denial and they don’t understand or want to believe how serious their condition really is.  Some will fight to their last breath and others don’t want to accept the help that can be given to them.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

64 min, Doc directed by Muffie Meyer with Cardiologists Dr. Valentin Fuster, M.D., PhD and Dr. Herschel Sklaroff, M.D. at Mount Sinai Heart Ward.  

Note:  Dr. Fuster was on Sesame Street promoting cardiovascular health in children.  A muppet was made in his likeness to continue providing information on the program.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fairfield Road 2010

     Noah McManus works for the Mayor of Boston, Massussettes.  He is leaving this job for his dream job in Washington DC working for a U.S. Senator.  He decides he will ask his girlfriend to marry him before he leaves.  He wants to have a romantic weekend at a quaint inn in Cape Cod.  He will have the ring shipped to the inn, propose, offer the ring and they will start their lives over in DC.  All his plans start to unravel step by step but he does go to the quaint inn as planned.
     The scenery is very beautiful, the town and the people are very nice.  They go out of their way to be friendly and greet everyone.  This is nothing like Boston!!!  It is nothing like Washington DC either!!!  Probably the only downside is that all the people know almost every detail of your business?  Noah has a nice dog and his name is Arlo.  He really likes the town, going into the water, burying things in the sand and he likes the owners of the inn.  He is thinking, “I am a good dog, let’s stay here forever and the townspeople can know all my business!!”  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

89 min, TV Drama directed by David Weaver with Jesse Metcalfe, Natalie Lisinska, Derek McGrath, Chick Reid, Brandon Firla, Natalie Brown, Matthew Edison, Maria Ricossa, Boyd Banks, Rob deLeeuw, Wayne Robson.

Note:  Imdb 6.0 out of 10, 29% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 177 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The opening scene showing Fairfield Road was filmed in the lakeside village of Port Stanley on Lake Erie.  There is a mistake in the dialogue too.  Hailey tells Noah she will go on a date with him if he can tie a bowline.  It is pronounced bolin.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mademoiselle Chambon 2009

     Jean does construction for a living in France.  He builds houses or he modifies the current design of the home.  He is married to Anne-Marie and they have a son Jeremy.  Mademoiselle Chambon is Jeremy’s teacher and she asks Jean if he will volunteer to talk to the class about his job.  Veronique thinks the children will be interested in hearing about this type of work.  They can think about it as something they may or may not want to do for a living as an adult.  Jean is fascinated by Veronique’s delicate and elegant charm.  She asks him about a window in her home with a constant draft and he comes to check it out.
     The French do not talk as much as Americans in relationships.  This a quiet film with a lot of emotions conveyed with glances and a touch.  Veronique is very different from Jean’s wife Anne-Marie.  It’s not that Jean is unhappy but he does have a lot of responsibility and he also takes care of his elderly father.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

101 min, French Drama directed by Stephane Brize with Vincent Lindon, Sandrine, Kilberlain, Aure Atika, Jean-Marc Thibault, Arthur Le Houerou, Bruno Lochet, Abdellah Moundy, Michelle Goddet, Anne Houdy.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 83% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 35 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Pertuis, Vaucluse and Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone, France.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bird People 2014

     Gary Newman travels from San Jose to Paris.  He is there for business meetings and he will fly to Dubai the day after the meeting.  His hotel is right next to the airport runway and he can see the planes landing and taking off from his room.  Of course, he’s suffering from jet lag and he does speak some French but he has an interpreter at the meeting.  Gary is up in the night and he starts to make some life changing plans.  In the morning, he calls his company and tells them he is quitting his job and he doesn’t get on his flight to Dubai.  He calls his wife and tells her he has quit his job, he is also quitting their marriage and he has two children.  He says he just cannot do this anymore. 
     I’m not sure the changes Gary wants to make are in his best interest and if he has thoroughly thought them through?  He does grieve over causing others pain.  Despite these surprising major changes in his life during the course of this film, everything else seems to be on track.  Then, suddenly everything changes and this film gets really unusual and it is about birds.  3* (This movie is OK)

127 min, Comedy directed by Pascale Ferran with Josh Charles, Anais Demoustier, Roschdy Zem, Taklyt Vongdara, Geoffrey Cantor, Camelia Jordana, Radha Mitchell.

Note:  Imdb 6.1 out of 10, 58% critic 41% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 2.5* out of 5* with 22 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport and New York.  Josh Charles played the role of law partner Will Gardner for a long time on the TV series The Good Wife.  Pascale Ferran, the director decided to cast Josh Charles because she was impressed with his performance in the series In Treatment as Jake for 9 episodes in 2008.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Joy 2015

     This film is loosely based on the true story of Joy Mangano.  In 1990, she invented the Miracle Mop and it’s a self-wringing mop with 300 feet of cotton for the mop head.  It can be wrung out without touching the mop head and the head can be cleaned in the washing machine.  She had 50,000 mops made for her debut on the QVC TV channel.  Because the spokesperson didn’t know how to use the mop, there were no sales.  Joy and her backer Trudy had to file for bankruptcy.  This was one of the lowest points in her life.
     When Joy meets the executive producer at QVC and he talks to her about selling a product, I wondered how Bradley Cooper was able to say his lines without hysterical laughter.  I wanted to laugh at the concept of it!!  Jennifer is very convincing in this role and you can tell how she is going to react as different circumstances come into play.  I thought the concept of this film was unusual and I wouldn’t have seen it as being a success as a film?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

124 min, Bio directed by David O. Russell with Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Dascha Polanco, Elsabeth Rohm, Susan Lucci.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 61% critic 56% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 3.9* out of 5* with 1228 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Boston, Framingham, Salem, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Wilmington, North Reading, Lynn, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Joy and she won a Golden Globe.  This film was number three in gross sales behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Daddy’s Home.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bye Bye Birdie 1963

     The setting of this film is the 1960’s and it is based on a Broadway show.  Conrad Birdie is a rock & roll star and he’s the biggest star of this period.  Everyone is worried that Birdie will be drafted.  Albert F. Peterson is convinced he can make a fortune and also marry his girlfriend if he gets Conrad on the Ed Sullivan show.  The plan is that Conrad will kiss a high school girl goodbye before he leaves for his military service.  The girl will be selected in a contest.  Albert’s mother is trying anything she can to break up Albert and Rose. 
     I am not much of a fan of musicals and I think this film can really get on your nerves with the repetitive lyrics!!  I also think it’s very dated and not enjoyable unless you are specifically interested in looking back on this time period.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

112 min, Comedy directed by George Sidney with Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, Jesse Pearson, Paul Lynde, Mary LaRoche, Michael Evans, Robert Paige, Gregory Morton, Ed Sullivan.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 92% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 345 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Universal City, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, New York City and Washington DC.  The motorcycles in this film are British 750cc Norton Atlas models and Bo Derek’s father, Paul Collins, provided them.  This film is somewhat based on Elvis Presley going into the army in 1958 at the height of his career.  Everything changed a few months after this was released when the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show.  There is another version of this film that was released in 1995.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Shelter 2014

     Tahir is homeless on the streets of Manhattan, New York.  He is a devout Muslim and an illegal immigrant without papers from Nigeria.  The Muslim community had been helping him with basic needs but he wants to try to provide them on his own.  He left all his belongings with another homeless man but when he returns everything he had is gone and the man is wearing Tahir’s shoes.  He starts to notice Hannah and he wants to learn more about her.  He discovers that she is a liar, she steals and all she cares about is her next heroin fix.  Tahir saves Hannah from a suicide attempt and they become friends.  Tahir and Hannah both have a back-story of how they came to be on the streets.
     This is a tough movie.  Jennifer Connelly is very thin and you can see the tendons in her hands plus all her bones through her skin.  She lost 25 pounds and she is a slim person to start.  It fact, she seems almost dangerously thin!!  I don’t know how homeless people survive in such an expensive city as New York.  The winters are not mild and there can be bad storms.  Shelters have curfew rules and you need to be in line before closing time plus early enough to get a bed.  Where do you go when you are turned away back into the snow?  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

105 min, Drama directed by Paul Bettany with Jennifer Connelly, Adolfo Mendez-Nouel, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Hoffman, Teddy Canez, Steve Cirbus, Alok Tewari, Haythem Noor, Wilson Montuori, J.D. Williams. 

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, 41% critic 47% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic 39 out of 100 with reviews from 10 critics, Amazon 4.0* out of 5* with 89 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in New York City, New York.  A friend of Anthony Mackie saw him on the street during filming, he was worried enough about Anthony to ask if he needed money.  His appearance seemed believable to his friend.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fate did not let me Go 2002

    On August 24, 1942, Valli Ollendorf writes a letter to her son Ulrich just days before she dies in the Thereseinstadt concentration camp.  The letter was lost for 43 years and it reaches her son in 1985 when he is 79 years old.  The letter was a family secret for years until Ulrich passed away.  The Ollendorf family asked their rabbi to read the letter at his eulogy.  The faith, hope and love contained in the letter impacted everyone that read or heard it read.  Many people wanted a copy of the letter for inspiration.
     Ulrich Ollendorf was able to escape from the Germans because he had the proper paperwork to go to England and then to America.  He and his wife went together to England and then Ulrich went alone to America for one year.  He needed to be certified as an optometrist and to learn English.  He was known for trying to help anyone who needed his medical help.  This film is interesting and another small glimpse into the hardships of WWII.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

30 min, Doc, War directed by Dominik Sedlar and Jakov Sedlar and narrators Marin Sheen and Liv Ullmann.

Note:  Imdb 5.3 out of 10, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 10 reviews.  
Special Note:  The title in Hebrew is Sudbina mi nije dala da odem.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A La Vie (To Life) 2014

     In 1960 in Berck, France, Helene and Lili meet each other and they haven’t been together for 15 years.  The last time they saw each other was when they were released from the concentration camp at Auschwitz.  Rose was a third member of their group and Helene thought she was dead.  Lili has kept it secret that Rose will be coming to see them and she is alive.  Helene lives in Paris, Lili lives in Amsterdam and Rose lives in Montreal.  They start to let go of their past and enjoy meals, songs on the beach and being in the ocean waves.  At times they catch themselves talking about the camp but they agree to move on quickly from this period in their lives.  They decide they will do this again.
     I thought this was good.  Each of the women has a completely different life and they are each different in their personalities.  Their friendship and being together helped them to survive their ordeal.  They were looking out for and helping each other.  Alone, they may have died.  They have regrets but they are trying to move beyond this event that shaped them.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

104 min, Drama directed by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann wit Julie Depardieu, Johanna ter Steege, Suzanne Clement, Suzanne Clement, Hippolyte Girardot, Mathia Mlekuz, Benjamin Wangermee.

Note:  Imdb 6.1 out of 10, 57% critic 20% audience on Rotten Tomatoes,
Special Note:  Filmed in Berck sur mer, Pas de Calais, France.  Julie Depardieu is the daughter of French actor Gerard Depardieu.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Revenant 2015

     The setting of this film is uncharted wilderness in 1823 and it is partially based on a novel by Michael Punke.  Hugh Glass is working with a hunting team gathering furs to sell.  A bear attacks him and two men are left behind with them.  They are supposed to wait until he dies and give him a Christian burial.  This doesn’t happen and John Fitzgerald kills Hugh’s son Hawk when he calls for help.  When John and Bridger arrive at the Fort, they are paid for doing the job they were assigned.  Bridger doesn’t take the money because he knows they didn’t do what they were told to do. 
     There are several dangerous elements working together in this film.  There is the intense beauty but harshness of the territory, hunting and killing by Indians, animals and other men.  There are many times the scenes seem unbelievable, especially the unexpected attack by the bear.  Surviving will require luck, a will to survive against all odds, knowledge of how to find something to eat, making a shelter from the elements and fighting back relentlessly but wisely.   4 ½* (I really liked this movie) 

156 min, Adventure directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Forrest Goodluck, Paul Anderson, Kristoffer Joner, Joshua Burge, Duane Howard, Melaw Nakehk’o, Fabrice Adde, Arthur RedCloud, Christopher Rosamond.

Note:  Imdb 8.1 out of 10, 82% critic 85% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*, Amazon 3.9* out of 5* with 4276 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Ushuai, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina; Kananaskis Country, Calgary, Alberta, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre del Sur Mexico; White Mountains and San Francisco Peaks, Arizona; Libby, Montana.  The trailer for this film received over 7 million views in less than 3 hours of its release on July 17, 2015.  There is a mistake, Hugh Glass escapes Indians by floating down the river and it is at first clear of ice with no snow in the area and then full of broken ice with running snow when he climbs out.  There is another film with the same title released in 2012.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Object of My Affection 1998

     George finds out from Nina that his partner is breaking up with him.  Nina asks George if he would like to live in the spare bedroom of her Brooklyn apartment.  Nina is seeing Vince and she learns she is having a baby.  Vince doesn’t trust George living with Nina but the baby is the son or daughter of Vince.  Everything is OK now between everyone except Vince becomes a real pain.  He also becomes overbearing and smothering about the pregnancy.   Nina can’t take anymore of his pushiness and she tells Vince she doesn’t want to be with him or marry him.  Of course, Vince is mad and he blames George.  George is thinking about being the surrogate dad but he’s not sure?
     I was confused about this film for a while.  I thought this was a new release and I couldn’t figure out how Aniston and Rudd looked so young.  It was released again in 2010.  There are a lot of complications because the characters don't talk to each other and they don't listen when they do talk.  3* (This movie is OK)

111 min, Comedy directed by Nicholas Hytner with Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Kali Rocha, Alan Alda, Allison Janney, Tim Daly.

Note:  Imdb 6.0 out of 10, 49% critic 51% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 188 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, New York; Norwalk, New Canaan, Connecticut; Weehawken, New Jersey.  Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. were originally cast as Nina and George.  There are mistakes with George’s shirt buttons, open, closed, open again.  The TV Series Friends with Jennifer Aniston started in 2004.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Choice 2016

     This film is based on the 11th book made into a movie by Nicholas Sparks.  Travis lives on near the water and he has a boat.  He goes out a lot alone or with his friends.  Gabby moves next door and she sees the partying and hears the loud music.  She is a medical student and she needs quiet for her large amount of studying.  She accuses Travis of allowing his dog to sneak over to her home and now her dog is going to have puppies.  Travis is a vet and he works with his father.  He denies his dog had anything to do with the puppies because his dog has had surgery at their clinic.
     The basic theory behind this film is that we all have choices.  The first choice sets the groundwork concerning the next choices we need to make.  I wonder if there are any differences between Nicolas Sparks movies and Hallmark Movies?  I wasn’t sure where the location was until Travis goes to South Carolina so I knew he must be in North Carolina.  The scenery is very beautiful.  I wonder if they should start including tissues in the DVD boxes and violins in the background music?  3* (This movie is OK)

111 min, Drama directed by Ross Katz with Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Welling, Jesse C. Boyd, Brad James, Noree Victoria, Anna Enger, Lou Lou Safran.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 12% critic 62% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 702 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.  There is a mistake, the puppies are not newborn but several weeks old.  Benjamin Walker was in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Teresa Palmer has been in I Am Number Four, Take Me Home Tonight and Cut Bank.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tumbledown 2015

     Andrew McDonnell has been calling Hannah about getting information to write a biography for his PhD dissertation about her musician husband, Hunter Miles.  Hannah is trying to write this book herself but she’s finding it to be too difficult.  She is still too close to the subject and that her husband died.  Hannah finally agrees to provide information for Andrew to write this book.  It is still difficult for Hannah because she doesn’t want to let go of the past or any of its details. 
     Hall and Sudeikis have chemistry together and the scenery in this area is very rough but beautiful.  Hannah has two dogs and they are a part of this film too with their pushiness.  A LOT of fans come to Hunter’s grave and they leave things behind for him.  Hannah collects them when she goes to visit.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

105 min, Comedy directed by Sean Mewshaw with Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis, Blythe Danner, Joe Manganiello, Diana Agron, Griffin Dunne, Richard Masur, Maggie Castle, Mary-Bonner Baker, Meredith Prunty.

Note:  Imdb 6.2 out of 10, 69% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 3.8* out of 5* with 142 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Concord, Princeton, Stow, Leominster, Groton, Shirley and Devens, Massachusetts.  The red truck that Hannah drives broke down frequently and needed to be pushed down the street in at least one time.  Hunter Miles is a fictional musician.  There are two other movies with this title, one in 2013 and another in 1988.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Zoolander 2 2016

     After many years away from modeling, Derek and Hansel are brought back into the fashion world in Rome.  They are humiliated on the runway and they decide this isn’t for them.  Valentina needs their help to infiltrate modeling and find out who is killing celebrities.  Derek learns his son is in Rome and he goes to the orphanage to meet him.  They continue on their mission to help Valentina.
     This movie is crazy and everything about it is a ridiculous spoof!!  There are many cameo appearances from famous people in the fashion world.  I see that the reviews are very low but I think you have to just let go to watch this and not take anything seriously!!  3* (This movie is OK)

102 min, Comedy directed by Ben Stiller with Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Ben Stiller, Justin Bieber, Jon Daly, Katie Couric, Amy Stiller, Charlotte Townsend, Christine Taylor, Jim Lehrer, Christiane Amanpour.

Note:  Imdb 4.8 out of 10, 23% critic 22% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 2.5* out of 5* with 967 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Cinecitta Studios, Cinecitta, Rome, Lazio, Italy and New York.  There is a mistake with Valentina’s beauty mark; it switches to the other side of her face when they are going to the fashion prison.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Topper Returns 1941

     Cosmo Topper and his chauffeur pick up two hitchhiking women who were originally riding in a taxi but it had a flat tire.  Mrs. Topper is upset when she sees them drive by and one of the women is on Mr. Topper’s lap!!  They take the women to Carrington Hall and return to the Topper home.  This is the first time Ann Carrington has been to the hall and she is meeting her elderly father for the first time.  She has brought along her friend Gail Richards for moral support.  When Ann crosses the foyer, a very large chandelier falls from the high ceiling and just misses hitting her!!  The women decide to change rooms because Gail really likes the decor of Ann’s room much more than her own. 
    This is very funny!!  Once again Cosmo Topper becomes involved in a mess involving another woman other than his wife.  I think his chauffeur Rochester gets the worst of the adventure.  He’s in trouble many times and you can see the whites of his eyes when he's scared or something is happening to him!!  It doesn’t take much to rattle or startle him!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)
88 min, Comedy directed by Roy Del Ruth with Joan Blondell, Roland Young, Carole Landis, Billie Burke, Dennis O’Keefe, Patsy Kelly, H.B. Warner, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, George Zucco, Donald MacBride.
Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, TCM Leonard Maltin 3* out of 4*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 262 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Culver City, California.  ‘Rochester’ worked with Jack Benny on his radio program in 1937.  They continued working together and moved on to television and they were together for 23 years.  There is a mistake in this film when Gail is driving Toppers’ car, 'Rochester' is in the back seat but he is missing in some of the shots.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Topper 1937

     Cosmo Topper has his everyday life managed by his wife.  On Sunday they have lamb, during the week the meals are also regulated according to the days.  He is always running a little late to catch the train but the butler and his driver remind him of the exact time constantly.  He is president of a bank and the largest stockholders are the fun loving Kerbys.  They have been out on the town all night and they sleep in their parked car in front of the bank until time for the annual business meeting.  Many people on the sidewalk stop and stare at them sleeping.  The Kerbys decide they will try to add some spice and variety to Cosmo’s regulated life. 
     This is funny.  Mrs. Topper doesn’t see any need for a change in their lives.  Cosmo wonders if he is taking on too much change and sometimes the Kerby’s are not helping but hindering.  Eugene Pallette is known for his deep frog voice and he has the role of the hotel detective.  A lot of things happen at the hotel that he doesn’t understand and he is nearly fired!!  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

97 min, Comedy directed by Norman Z. McLeod with Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young, Billie Burke, Alan Mowbray, Eugene Pallette, Arthur Lake, Hedda Hopper, Virginia Sale, Theodore von Eltz.

Note:  Imdb 7.4 out of 10, TCM Leonard Maltin 3.5* out of 4*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 262 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Culver City, California.  The finned-back car driven by the Kerbys was a custom built by the Bohman & Schwartz Co. using a 1936 Buick Roadmaster chassis.  There are supercharger pipes on the side but they are just decorations.  After making the film, the car was bought by the Gilmore Oil Co. and used for promotional purposes for many years.  It was updated in 1954 with a Chrysler Imperial chassis and drive train. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Concussion 2015

     This film is based on the true story and also on a 2009 magazine article about Dr. Bennet Omalu and his battle with the NFL over football related brain trauma.  Dr. Omalu is a forensic neuropathologist with many degrees and he is working on autopsies in Chicago.  When popular former Steeler player Mike Webster commits suicide, Dr. Omalu spends his own funds for a laboratory analysis of Mike’s brain tissue.  He finds that constant injury to the brain leads to the problems many of the former pro players are displaying.  The truth of their complaints can’t be verified until they die.  The NFL wants no part of this truth and they deny all the claims and evidence provided by Dr. Omalu.
      Unfortunately, it took more Steeler players dying from suicide to make the NFL see that this is a real problem and it’s not going away.  In 2011, NFL players sued the league for not informing them of the risk of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).  The human brain doesn’t have cushions in the skull to absorb the shock of blunt trauma.  Tackling and beating helmets together causes the brain to move back and forth rapidly in the skull with unseen damage.  The players suffered from homelessness, memory loss, diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, hearing voices and they suffered from severe headaches.  None of the many drugs and treatments they were offered relieved any of their problems.  I thought this was good and Dr. Omalu was strong enough to remain true to this cause despite formidable pressure.  The NFL is a powerful force with a lot of money.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

123 min, Bio directed by Peter Landesman with Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Mike O’Malley, Eddie Marsan, Hill Harper, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

Note:  Imdb 7.1 out of 10, 61% critic 75% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 1054 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  There is a mistake with the car Dr. Omalu drives.  It’s a Mercedes Benz E350 and this model was not available until 2006 but the time frame is 2002.  Originally the diagnosis was ‘punch-drunk’ because boxers were the first to suffer this disease.  Later many sports were found to cause these injuries.  In 2015 and 2016, some players retired early because of the health risk of concussions.