Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Petrified Forest 1936

     This film is based on a Broadway play written by Robert E. Sherwood and set in the Depression.  There is a small diner out in the Arizona dessert and Gabby works there as a waitress.  Her dad owns the place and her granddad also helps out.  They have gas and water to for the cars coming by.  Gabby’s mother was from France and she returned home because she hated living in the desert.  Gabby can’t wait to save enough money to go to France and get out of the desert.  Alan has been walking plus hitchhiking across America and he stops by for a meal even though he doesn’t have the 30 cents it will cost.  He’s a burned-out British intellectual, Alan and Gabby are very attracted to each other.  A complication is that an outlaw and notorious killer is in the area and headed their way.  Duke Mantee and has hit the road with his gang and they don’t care who they need to kill to escape the law.  He has planned to meet his girl near the diner.
     I really question the manner that Bogart uses to play the killer.  It is more like he is imitating a monkey in King Kong?  It’s the way he holds his arms and hands?  It seems as if he had been wounded and couldn’t hold them any differently?  I did like the setting and the story.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

82 min, Crime directed by Archie Mayo with Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin, Dick Foran, Joe Sawyer, Porter Hall, Charley Grapewin, Paul Harvey, Eddie Acuff, Adrian Morris, Nina Campana.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 100% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 241 reviews.
Special Note:  Warner Brothers originally wanted to cast Edward G. Robinson in the role of Duke Mantee.  Leslie Howard said he would quit the picture if Humphrey Bogart didn’t play the role.  This was the break that Bogart needed and he thanked Howard by naming his daughter Leslie.  Both Howard and Bogart later starred together in The Stand-In.

Slow West 2015

     The setting of this film is the 19th Century America of the frontier.  Jay Cavendish sets out on a solo trip across the Great Plains to find Rose Ross, the love of his life.  He’s just sixteen years old but he’s risking his life to find her.  Along the way, he encounters a mysterious traveler.  Silas Selleck offers to guide him for $50 now and $50 when they arrive at the location where Rose is now.  What Jay doesn’t know is that Silas is a bounty hunter and he’s on the trail of Rose and her father for the reward money.
     There are a lot of details that stretch reality but I didn’t seem to be paying attention to any of them during watching this movie?  Jay is Scottish, pale as a sheet and he doesn’t have a hat?  The names listed on the wanted posters?  Robert E. Lee is included, why would he be wanted?  Right away, Silas kills a man, does that mean he is a good guy that will help you?  Why does Silas give Jay a shave with a Bowie knife? Wouldn’t Jay be a little nervous about getting his throat cut?  Does he even have any whiskers that would need a shave?  Although the age of Rose is not given, does it matter that she is 11 years older than Jay?  Wouldn’t 27 versus 16 make a difference in a relationship?   3* (This movie is OK)

84 min, Action directed by John Maclean with Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistoriius, Edwin Wright, Andrew Robertt, Brian Sergent, Karl Willetts.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 93% critic 75% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*, Amazon 3.2 with 2829 reviews.
Special Note:  John Maclean, the director is a Scottish musician.  I wondered about the meaning of the title?  Is it a take on ‘go west?’  This movie was filmed in New Zealand. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Elvis & Nixon 2016

     This film is based on the true story of the December 21, 1970 meeting of Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley in the Oval Office of the White House.  Elvis went to one of the gates and delivered a letter to be presented to the President.  At first, the Military didn’t want to deliver the letter but they did.  At first, Nixon didn’t want to meet with Elvis.  Sonny and Jerry were friends and assistants to Elvis.  They asked someone to contact Nixon’s daughter and she pressured her father to get an autograph from Elvis.  They knew how much Elvis wanted this meeting to happen.  The purpose of the visit was for Elvis to get a badge and represent the American government as an underground DEA agent.  Elvis believed drugs were bringing down the youth of America.  The photograph of Elvis and Nixon almost didn’t happen but it is the most requested artifact from the National Archives.
     There are some very funny moments in this film!!  Elvis Presley is a complicated personality haunted his entire life by the death of his twin brother 45 seconds before Elvis was born.  Before the meeting, Elvis is advised on the what to do when he meets Nixon and he goes out of his way to do the opposite of what he was told!!  Nixon doesn’t seem to mind?  Shannon doesn’t look like Elvis but he dresses just like him and he ‘seems’ to be Elvis at all times.  3 ½ (I liked this movie.

86 min, Comedy directed by Liza Johnson with Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters, Sky Ferreira, Tracy Letts, Tate Donovan, Ashley Benson, Kamal Angelo Bolden.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 76% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 3.4* out of 5* with 5227 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Los Angeles, California; Shreveport, Louisiana; New Orleans, Louisiana (Stan’s Original Donuts).  Elvis Presley was almost 36 at the time of the meeting.  Richard Nixon is almost 38 and both of their birthdays are in January and one day apart, 8 for Presley and 9 for Nixon.

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Brilliant Career 1979

     This movie is based on a novel by Miles Franklin as a teenage girl and first published in 1901.  The setting of this film is the Australian outback just before the turn of the 20th century.  Sybylla Melvyn is the daughter of a poor farmer but she wants something more.  Her mother tells her they can’t afford to provide for her and she’s found a position for Sybylla as a home servant.  This is nothing of what Sybylla wants for her life!!  The plans change and she is sent to live with her grandmother instead.  This household gets a surprise since Sybylla has a difficult time being conventional.  She is worried about being shackled in marriage but cautioned to be a free spirit is to be lonely.  She falls in love with wealthy landowner Harry Beecham but she asks him to wait on marriage for two years.  She wants to discover what is out there for her life.
     I thought this film was interesting both because of Sybylla but also because of the type of life during this period and the countryside of New South Wales.  I also liked the clothing, hairstyles and rules of society during this time.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

100 min, Drama directed by Gillian Armstrong with Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Robert Grubb, Max Cullen, Aileen Britton, Peter Whitford, Patricia Kennedy, Alan Hopgood, Julia Blake, David Franklin, Marion Shad.

Note:  Imdb 7.4 out of 10, 81% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 50 reviews.
Special Note:  This movie was filmed in New South Wales, Australia.  The director, producers, scriptwriter, first billed actor, production designer, costume designer, production supervisor, bookkeeper and accountant were all women.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2015

     In the first Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Sonny realizes his dream of a hotel in India.  Now he is trying to expand and have a second hotel with the help of an American investor.  These hotels are for the elderly and the beautiful but he has only one room left at the current hotel.  All the residents are full time guests and some have local jobs.  Muriel accompanied Sonny to America to meet with the investors and she is also the new co-manager of the hotel.
     I thought the first film was better than this sequel.  It has many of the original characters and begins eight to nine months after the first film ended.  There are a lot of misunderstandings, lacks in communication and hurt feelings.  I didn’t feel this way about the first film but this one seems to have too much Bollywood and gives an unreal image of India?  3* (This movie is OK) 

122 min, Comedy directed by John Madden with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, Dev Patel, Tina Desai, Richard Gere, Fiona Mollison, Shazad Latif, Subhrajyoti Barat.

Note:  Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 63% critic 59% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*, Amazon 4* out of 5* with 2732 reviews.
Special Note:  This movie was filmed at the Pearl Palace Heritage Guesthouse, Jaipur India, Almeria Spain and London England UK.  There were rumors that Colin Firth and Helen Mirren were going to join the cast?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Lobster 2015

     This film is a "love story" set in the near future.  Single people are arrested and transferred to a special hotel.  They must make a romantic match in 45 days.  If they are unable to do this, they will be changed into an animal of their choice and released into the nearby woods.
     There is a LOT going on in this film but it has a very somber dark side for a comedy?  This may be one of the weirdest films I’ve watched and I can say I’ve seen a LOT of films!!  I don’t know how the actors could film many of the scenes without laughing right into the camera even if it wasn’t one of the comedy bits?  They are able to take everything very seriously even if it’s not understandable or logical in any way?  I thought Manos, the Hands of Fate (1966 Imdb 1.9 out of 10) was the worst movie I’ve ever seen but this may be the strangest??  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

119 min, Comedy directed by Yorgos Lanthimos with Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Lea Seydoux, Olivia Colman.

Note:  Imdb 7.1 out of 10, 90% critic 65% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*, Amazon 2.4* out of 5* with 591 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed at the Parknasilla Hotel and Resort, Sneem, County Kerry; Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 4; Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Dublin 15; Dromore Woods, Coillte Teoranta; Joel’s Restaurant, Naas Road, Newland’s Cross, Dublin 22; The Eccles Hotel, Glengariff Harbour, Glengariff, County Cork, Ireland.  Three cast members have been associated with James Bond films.  Lea Seydoux was in Spectre.  Ben Whishaw was Q in Skyfall and Spectre.  Rachel Weisz is married to Daniel Craig.

Malaya 1949

     The time period for this film begins in January 1942, one month after the Pearl Harbor attack.  Journalist John Royer had been living abroad for several years.  He returns to the United States just after the US enters WWII.  He believes he could easily smuggle rubber out of Malaya.  Rubber is a key wartime natural resource.  Carnaghan has been serving time in Alcatraz but Royer gets him released.  They pose as Irishmen and they leave for South East Asia.  Carnaghan gets in contact with some of his friends and a few plantation owners.  They plan to smuggle the rubber out even through the Japanese army is watching all movements in Malaya.
     This cannot be a strictly adventure movie but needs romance mixed in with the action?  Valentina Cortese reminds me of Ingrid Bergman and the film reminds me of Casablanca but not as good.  The plantation owners were in favor of getting the rubber to the allies.  I could not get interested in this movie?  There seems to be too much going on and I couldn’t use enough of my mind to keep track?  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

98 min, Adventure directed by Richard Thorpe with Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Valentina Cortese, Sydney Greenstreet, John Hodiak, Lionel Barrymore, Gilbert Roland, Roland Winters, Richard Loo, Ian MacDonald.

Note:  Imdb 6.7 out of 10, 40% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 26 reviews, Leonard Maltin 2.5* out of 4*.
Special Note:  Filmed in Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, Arcadia, California and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Culver City, California.  The PT boat attack on a cruiser was reused from the film They Were Expendable from 1945.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Flying the Feathered Edge 2014

     Bob Hoover is a WWII veteran, prisoner of war, test pilot, air show pilot and the pace plane for the Unlimited Reno races.  This film tells the stories, shows the friendships and the work Bob Hoover has done for flying.  He did all this with his piloting skills, judgment, luck and his ability to fly anything and come back.
     This is an amazing story!!  Bob Hoover was in several prison camps during WWII and he just wouldn’t stay there!!  He tried to escape every time he could think up another plan.  He flew a German plane to Holland with Allied planes searching for any German plane they could find in the sky.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

86 min, Doc directed by Kimberley Furst with Bob Hoover, Harrison Ford, Neil Armstrong, Jim Brasier, Ron Catton, Eugene Cernan, Charles G. Cleveland, Danny Clisham, Dorothy Cockrane, Gen. John Dailey. 

Note:  Imdb 8.7 out of 10, Amazon 4.9* out of 5* with 114 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, California.  Bob Hoover was born January 24, 1922 and he died at the age of 94 on October 25, 2016.  He stopped flying in 1999 at the age of 77.  His Shrike Commander plane is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Shopworn Angel 1938

     Bill Pettigrew has enlisting in the military for WWI.  He is sent to New York for his basic training and he meets actress and singer Daisy Heath.  Her car is taking her to the theater on Broadway and it almost runs him over.  Daisy agrees to pretend she is Bill’s girlfriend so he can impress the other soldiers.  Her boyfriend Sam Bailey is starting to get a little jealous of all the attention she is receiving from Bill.  A side benefit is that Daisy and Sam realize how much they really care about each other.  Bill comes by to say goodbye to Daisy and tell her he is being shipped out.  Bill asks Daisy to marry him before he leaves.
     Bill Pettigrew is from Texas and he’s never met anyone like Daisy before.  She is so shiny and bright!!  This is an interesting movie with a lot of emotions.  WWI was rough for anyone who had to fight.  Everyone leaving to go overseas was worried about not coming back.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

85 min, Drama directed by H.C. Potter with Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Walter Pidgeon, Hattie McDaniel, Nat Pendleton, Alan Curtis.

Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, 80% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 13 reviews.
Special Note:  Jimmy Stewart seems young in this role but he's 30 years old.  Margaret Sullavan doesn’t do her own singing.  The songs are dubbed and actually sung by Mary Martin.  She is known for her role as Peter Pan.

Mother's Day 2016

     Sandy is the mother of two boys and she’s happily divorced until she learns her ex-husband has married a much younger woman.  Sisters Jesse and Gabi get an unexpected surprise visit from their mother and father.  They have lied to them about their personal lives.  Miranda doesn’t have children and she focuses on her career on a television-shopping network.  Kristin is a new mother to a daughter but she’s not sure about getting married.  Her boyfriend would really like for them to marry.  Bradley has two daughters but his wife was in the military and she passed away last year.  He wants to pretend Mother’s Day doesn’t exist.
    This movie isn’t very good!!  Maybe if it didn’t have the plethora of famous stars it could’ve been better?  A store window model may have conveniently and cheaply acted as the stiff Miranda character Julia Roberts is playing?  Jennifer Aniston is surrounded by constant chaos and it’s irritating plus annoying?  Jesse and Gabi get caught in a BIG lie?  How did they expect to get away with this??  The story with Kristin and her boyfriend plus the story with Jason Sudeikis and his daughters are better.  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

118 min, Comedy directed by Garry Marshall with Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Sudeikis, Shay Mitchell, Caleb Brown, Brandon Spink, Sam Marshall, Siena LaGambina.

Note:  Imdb 5.6* out of 10*, 7% critic 45% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert ½*, Amazon 3.5* out of 5* with 703 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Atlanta, Decatur, Norcorss, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

Last Cab to Darwin 2015

     Rex learns he is dying from stomach cancer and doesn’t have long to live.  He had surgery but they didn’t get all of the cancer and it’s spread to different areas of his body.  He hears a program on the radio about an end your life on your own terms device made by Dr. Nicole Farmer.  He calls her and talks to her during the program. He tells her he will be driving to Darwin in his cab to be the first person to use the device. 
     The people in the town where Rex lives don’t know he is dying until they hear him on the radio.  Rex meets interesting people on the way to Darwin.  Tilly helps him when his windshield is broken and he wants to ride with Rex to Darwin.  Julie is a nurse and she also wants to travel to Darwin with Rex and Tilly.  Rex learns a lot about other people, the people in the town and himself on his road trip.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)  

123 min, Drama directed by Jeremy Sims with Michael Caton, Ningali Lawford, Mark Coles Smith, Emma Hamilton, Jacki Weaver, John Howard, Alan Dukes, David Field, Kelly Butler, Elliott Weston, Brian Taylor.

Note:  Imdb 7.2 out of 10, 91% critic 81% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, 4.5* out of 5* with 4 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Oodnadatta Track, Darwin, New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Australia.  Michael Caton hasn’t acted in a film in 11 years.  Previously he had been on several television series shows.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Angry Birds 2016

     Three of the birds living on an island along with a lot of other birds are sent to anger management because of their tempers.  They are also considered to be outsiders by the other birds on the island.  Mysterious green pigs of different sizes visit the island and they claim they are harmless.  They are really on the island for a purpose they aren’t talking about!
     When Red, Chuck and Bomb find out what the pigs are up to, they need to put aside the things they have learned about anger management.  It’s anger they need to use to help everyone on the island.  There is a LOT going on in the movie and it’s good for children as well as adults.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

97 min, Animation directed by Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly with the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate McKinnon, Tony Hale, Hannibal Buress, Ike Barinhholtz, Tituss Burgess, Ian Hecox, Anthony Padilla.

Note:  Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 43% critic 48% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 1234 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The Angry Birds game app has been downloaded more than 3 billion times across all versions and platforms of mobile devices.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cinderella 2015

     Ella is very happy during her childhood with her parents.  She sees everything more clearly and better than in reality.  Unfortunately, her mother dies but her father is very good to her and she misses him during his travels for work.  Things change when her father marries a widow with two daughters.  Things are okay while her father is alive, then he becomes sick on one of his trips and he dies too.  Her stepmother begins to change and Ella starts living in the attic so the stepsisters can have her bigger room to share.  All the household help is let go to save on money and the tasks are left for Ella to do.  There is an announcement that a fabulous ball will be held at the castle for the Prince to choose a bride.  Everyone is excited and getting ready but Ella is forbidden to go by her stepmother.
     I liked the characters with animation, the mice, lizards and goose changed into people for the pumpkin coach.  The mice are cute and they live in the attic with Cinderella.  She tries to follow the advice her mother told her before she died, “Have courage and be kind.”  I also liked the over-the-top dresses and hairstyles.  The glass slippers are beautiful too.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

105 min, Drama directed by Kenneth Branagh with Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Nonso Anozie, Stellan Skarsgard, Sophie McShera, Holiday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Ben Chaplin.

Note:  Imdb 7.0 out of 10, 83% critic 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 3333 reviews.
Special Note:  This is Disney’s first live-action version of its 1950 animated classic.  This movie was filmed in London, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, England, UK. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

39 Steps 2008

     This film is based on a novel of 1915 by John Buchan and the time period is just prior to the onset of World War I.  Richard Hannay is a mining engineer on a holiday from the African colonies.  He spends his time out all night on a lot of nights because he finds London to be very dull.  One of his nights out, he arrives back at his flat and his neighbor Scudder barges in.  He claims German spies are after him and that he has secret information that is very important for the British Government.  Within a few minutes, the Germans have also come into the apartment.  Scudder is immediately killed and Richard is entrusted with Scudder’s notebook written in some kind of code.  Richard is immediately suspected of killing Scudder and he’s on the run from the London police.  Richard takes a train to get out of London and he tries to figure out the code written in Roman numerals.
     There are a few more plot ingredients added to this film not included in the novel.  The scenery of Scotland is very beautiful.  I liked the clothing, hairstyles, cars and the manners of this period.  With the plot twists and turns, it’s not easy to tell who is on the side of the Germans and who is on the side of the British   3 ½* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by James Hawes with Rupert Penry-Jones, Lydia Leonard, David Haig, Patrick Malahide, Patrick Kennedy, Eddie Marsan, Alex Jennings, Steven Elder, Werner Daehn, Peter Stark Del Synnott.

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, Rotten Tomatoes 42% audience, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 584 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in various Scotland locations.  There are five other versions of this film from 1935, 1959, 2003, 2010 and one in development.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Handful of Dust 1988

    This film is based on a novel by Evelyn Waugh published in 1934.  Lord Tony and Lady Brenda Last live in Hetton Abbey in the countryside during the 1930’s.  They have been married for 7 years and they have a young son John Andrew.  Tony really enjoys being in the home and out in the country.  Brenda prefers London and she asks Tony if she could rent a flat.  He agrees and she begins spending time in London.  What Tony doesn’t know is that Brenda is in London with John Beaver.  Everyone in their circle knows what is going on except Tony.  There is a foxhunt on the estate and an unfortunate accident causes the death of John Andrew.  Both Tony and Brenda are devastated.  Brenda lets Tony know that she’s been with John and she wants a divorce.
      Tony is nice to everyone with no regard to how they treat him.  Brenda only cares about herself and what she wants and needs.  John Andrew was holding them together like glue but this dissolved when he died.  I especially liked the clothing, hairstyles, traditions and social manners.  There is really a lot going on with selfish greed and abominable behaviors the evils here.  3 ½* (I liked this movie) 

118 min, Drama directed by Charles Sturridge with James Wilby, Kristin Scott Thomas, Richard Beale, Jackson Kyle, Norman Lumsden, Jeanne Watts, Kate Percival, Richard Leech, Roger Milner, Tristram Jellinek, Anjelica Huston, Rupert Graves, Judi Dench Pip Torrens, Beatie Edney.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 46% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 3.7* out of 5* with 27 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Highclere Castle, Highclere, Hampshire; Abbey Road Studios, Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, London (music); Twickenham Film Studios, St Margarets, Twifckenham, Middlesex (re-recording); Brighton, East Sussex; Carlton Towers, Selby,North Yorkshire; Windsor and Eton Central Station, Windsor, Berkshire; London, England, UK; Venezuela.  Highclere Castle is the same home used for the Downton Abbey series.  James Wilby and Rupert Graves were also in the Merchant Ivory film, Maurice of 1987.

Me Before You 2016

     This film is based on a bestselling book by JoJo Moyes.  Louisa Clark loves working in a small shop that serves tea, sandwiches and desserts.  She doesn’t know the shop is not doing enough business and she will soon be let go.  She doesn't know what she's going to do but she applies to work with the Traynor family.  A motorcycle hit 31 year old Will and he is paralyzed.  He has a physical therapist coming every day to help keep his muscle tone but he needs someone else for the rest of the day.  Lou doesn’t know what to expect but she needs the money.  In the beginning, Will is as uncooperative as he can possibly be.  Lou starts planning trips for them to take with his therapist to get Will out of the house.  The trips start to improve his attitude.
     This is a tearjerker film but you can try to hold it inside?  Lou dresses in very unusual costumes, you really couldn’t call them clothes.  She has a very positive attitude and she tries her best to not let everything get her down.  Supposedly, Will has a sister in the book and there is more trauma experienced by Lou?  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

110 min, Drama directed by Thea Sharrock with Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer, Vanessa Kirby, Pablo Raybould, Gabrielle Downey, Samantha Spiro, Brendan Coyle, Jenna Coleman, Alan Breck, Matthew Lewis.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 58% critic 74% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic 51 out of 100 with 36 reviews, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 2473 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK; Sandown Park, Surrey, England, UK; Barcelo Foremtnor Hotel, Puerto de Pollensa, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, Chenies Manor House, Chenies, Buckinghamshire, England, UK.  In the book, Lou gets a tattoo of a bumblebee.  Clark’s first tattoo was a bumblebee on her finger.  Emilia Clark plays Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Kingfisher 1983

     This film is based on a play by William Douglas Home.  Cecil learns that Evelyn, the love of his life, has lost her husband of 50 years.  Cecil wanted to marry Evelyn but she left and married another man.  She is coming by Cecil’s home for tea and conversation on her way to the funeral.  Hawkins, Cecil’s manservant has also prepared tea for Evelyn’s Chauffeur.
     I knew right away that this film was based on a play.  There is a minimum of characters and one setting.  How could Cecil think he can persuade a woman who just lost her husband of 50 years and is on her way to his funeral to marry him at this time??  Wouldn’t waiting for a more auspicious time be conducive to a yes answer?  How can using her trip to suit his own means work out at all for him?  2* (I didn’t like this movie)

80 min, TV Movie, Drama directed James Cellan Jones with Rex Harrison, Wendy Hiller, Cyril Cusack, Gary Owen.

Note:  Imdb 7.7 out of 10, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 15 reviews.
Special Note:  Harrison and Hiller appeared together 42 years earlier in a film adaptation of a George Bernard Shaw play titled Major Barbara.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Camilla Dickinson

     This film is based on a novel by Madeleine L’Engle and it covers a three week period in November 1950.  Rose and Rafferty Dickinson are the parents of 15-year-old Camilla.  They live in New York City and they try to shelter Camilla from the world.  Her best friend is Luisa Rowan and they live completely different lives at home.  Maybe this is why they get along so well until Camilla starts to date Luisa’s brother Frank.  Luisa begins to hate Camilla because she feels she has lost Camilla to Frank. Everything changes for Camilla when her parents decide to live in Italy for the winter and they want Camilla to go to the same finishing school where Rose was very happy.  Rose and Camilla are two different people and Camilla persuades her parents to send her to school to study astronomy.  She would like astronomy to be her career.  Things also change for Frank when his parents divorce and he goes to live with his father in Cincinnati, Ohio.
     The reality is that Luisa and Camilla are still best friends but Camilla spends time with Frank.  Everyone is changing in a short amount of time in this film.  The two different sets of parents and the teenagers too.  I enjoyed the period details of the apartment furnishings, clothing and hairstyles.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

117 min, Family directed by Cornelia Moore with Adelaide Clemens, Samantha Mathis, Gregg Sulkin, Cary Elwes, Colby Minifie, Margaret Colin, Camryn Manheim, Robert Picardo, Salvator Xuerb.

Note:  Imdb 8.1 out of 10, Amazon 3.3* out of 5* with 6 reviews.
Special Note:  This movie was filmed in Spokane, Washington.  I really enjoyed the film and the novel A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Man I Love 1947

     This film is based on the novel Night Shift by Maritta M. Wolff .  Nicky Toresca owns a nightclub and he likes the ladies.  Petey Brown is a lounge singer and she travels from New York to Los Angeles to visit her two sisters and brother, Ginny, Sally and Joe.  Ginny is the youngest, she doesn’t want to date and she just wants to stay home.  Sally works as a waitress for Toresca and sometimes he gives her a hard time.  Joe sometimes gets into trouble.  Their neighbors have twin babies and the sisters try to help with babysitting.  Petey meets an ex-jazz pianist San Thomas but he’s never recovered from his divorce.
     A lot of the dialog is from this period and I could picture Humphrey Bogart saying some of the lines.  Women are called kid!!  There is a sleaze factor to some of the lounges during this period and some were involved with organized crime.  Ida Lupino suffered from some Hollywood type casting and she seemed to get the hard but sympathetic woman from the wrong side of the tracks role.  She joked that she was the poor man’s Bette Davie.  She turned to direction and she did inexpensive melodramas in the 50’s, for television she directed The Untouchables and The Fugitive.  In the 70’s she did guest appearance on television shows and small parts in films.  The better roles seemed to go to Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

96 min, Crime directed by Raoul Walsh with Ida Lupino, Robert Alda, Andrea King, Martha Vicker, Bruce Bennett, Alan Hale, Dolores Moran, Roy Otis, Don McGuire, Warren Douglas, Craig Stevens, Tony, Romano.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 80% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 18 reviews.
Special Note:  There is also a song with the same title by the Gershwin brothers.  Martin Scorsese used this film as the inspiration for his film New York, New York.  Originally Ann Sheridan and Humphrey Bogart were to star in this film.  Production fell behind schedule because Lupino was exhausted and she fainted during one scene with Robert Alda.  She had to be cut out of her dress and the film was 19 days late with $100,000 over budget.

The Lusty Men 1952

     Jeff McCloud has gained a reputation as a prize winning rodeo rider during the 50’s.  He receives an injury and he returns to his hometown after years of absence.  An elderly man purchased his former home and farm at a sale.  Jeff signs on as a hired hand at a local ranch and he becomes friends with Wes and his wife Louise.  They want to try to raise enough money to purchase the house and farm.  Wes talks Jeff into teaching him how to win at the rodeo so they can get the money they need faster.  Louise is worried about Wes getting hurt in the riding and roping contests.
     Wes begins to lose his way after he has some wins under his belt.  He resents giving Jeff half of his winnings.  He begins to drink, gamble and hang out with the rodeo groupies.  Louise wants him to do none of these things.  Sometimes the slow and longer route to getting what you really want pays more dividends than trying a faster but much more dangerous path.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

113 min, Action directed by Nicholas Ray and Robert Parrish with Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, Arthur Hunnicutt, Frank Faylen, Walter Coy, Carol Nugent, Maria Hart, Lorna Thayer, Burt Mustin.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 100% critic 87% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.8* out of 5* wit 27 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Pendleton, Oregon; Spokane, Washington; Livermore, Agoura and San Francisco, California; Tucson, Arizona; Roswell, New Mexico; Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Dahlert, Texas.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Risen 2016

     Clavius is a powerful Roman Military Tribune and he is assigned the job of finding out what happened to the body of Yahshua after his death.  His aide Lucius needs to help him disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah to prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.  The Roman’s are already having many problems and clashes with the Jewish people.  Barabbas has headed a revolution by the Zealots.
     This is a fictional retelling of a Biblical story but I do find fault in the order of some of the scenes.  They are not accurate in chronological order and the story about Barabbas is inaccurate.  There is graphic violence and it really shows the level of torture and inhumane treatment by the Romans.  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)

107 min, Action directed by Kevin Reynolds with Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth, Cliff Curtis, Maria Botto, Luis Callejo, Antonio Gil, Richard Atwill, Stewart Scudamore, Andy Gathergood, Stephen Hagan.

Note:  Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 52% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 1732 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Malta and Andalucia, Spain.  Tom Felton plays Lucius and he has worked with Joseph Fiennes’ brother Ralph in the Harry Potter films.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Family Plot 1976

     This film is based on a novel written by Victor Canning titled The Rainbird Pattern.  Madam Blanche Tyler is working with her boyfriend George Lumley to get money from wealthy Julia Rainbird.  Julia forced her sister Harriet to give up her baby for adoption.  Now Julia wants Blanche to try to find her nephew.  Blanche pretends to be a medium and she conducts séances.  George is an unemployed actor working as a cab driver and he sets out to try to find the nephew.  As another plot line, greedy jeweler Arthur Adamson works with his girlfriend Fran to kidnap wealthy people.  He asks for diamonds to add to his collection as the ransom. 
     There is a lot going on in this film but I didn’t think it was funny.  The plot is not good either and I’m surprised I didn’t like a Hitchcock film?  I wasn’t interested in any of the characters and the outcomes.  2 ½* (This film is so-so)

120 min, Comedy directed by Alfred Hitchcock with Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane, Ed Lauter, Cathleen Nesbitt, Katherine Helmond, Warren J. Kemmerling, Edith Atwater, William Prince.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 95% critic 62% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 127 reviews.
Special Note:  The Rainbird Pattern novel was adapted by Ernest Cehman for this film and he also wrote the screenplay for North by Northwest.  This is the 53rd and final film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Note:  Imdb 8 out of 10, 100% critic 87% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3* out of 5* with one review.
Special Note:  Filmed in Angeles National Forest, Universal City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sierra Madre, California.  The restaurant in this film was built on the Universal Studios back lot and could be seen in 1975 on tours.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Smile Back 2015

     This film is based on a novel by Amy Koppleman.  Laney and Bruce Brooks are married with two children, Janey and Eli.  Bruce has just written a book about insurance and he also sells insurance for as his job.  Laney is 39 years old and she takes medication for a bipolar condition.  She goes off her pills, she drinks straight vodka, does cocaine and takes other drugs.  Bruce finds her on the floor one night.  He takes her to a rehabilitation facility and she seems to be doing well.  She talks to the doctor and she takes her medication.  Bruce would like her to go to a convention with him as a treat for both of them.
     People with bipolar disorder have mood episodes of mania, hypomania, mixed states, self-destruction and depression after periods of remission.  A patient needs to identify and spot early warning signs of relapse.  They need to understand their own triggers, vulnerable areas and use preventive measures.  Sometimes relatives or friends need to step in and when they recognize symptoms.  Laney has everything going for her but she doesn’t monitor her condition.  She lets her behavior go too far.  This is not a happy movie but it does show the pitfalls and repercussions of this illness.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

85 min, Drama directed by Adam Salky with Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles, Skylar Gaertner, Shayne Coleman, Nick Taylor, Mia Barton, Thomas Sadoski.

Note:  Imdb 6.1 out of 10, 52% critic 44% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 3.4* out of 5* with 2022 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in New York.