Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 280th Edition

This is my weekly blog I write. To see other installments go to http://blog.myspace.com/shaunberk.
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1.
Breathless (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy. (90 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ Breathless (1960): This is my french film for the week that was directed by Jean-Luc Godard and written by Francois Truffaut. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays Michel, a sociopath and small-time thief who murders a police officer that pursues him. He then looks to rekindle a relationship he had with a girl named Patricia who is an American studying journalism. He then plans a getaway with her to Italy. There are lots of good references to Bogart in this film. This was a very well done foreign film and a must for foreign film buffs. ” - shaun2000us
 
2.
Barton Fink (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood. (116 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ This is my 20th link on the chain which continues with Steve Buscemi who has a small but fun part as the hotel employee. This is my Coen Brothers film for the week which stars John Turturro as the title character who is an intellectual playwright in New York who wants to write something significant and is not all about the money. He is then brought to Hollywood to write a wrestling picture on Wallace Beery and stays at the Hotel Earle. John Goodman is quite funny as insurance salesman Charlie Meadows who befriends Barton at the hotel. Barton then begins to suffer from writer's block because of the people around him and the bizarre events that take place. Turturro is great in this film and a good dark comedy with the Coen touch. ” - shaun2000us
 
3.
Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A documentary on The Who, featuring interviews with the band's two surviving members, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. (237 mins.)
“ This is my rock documentary for the week which I'm sure you guessed is on the band the Who from their rise until now. They are able to pack in a lot of material like on their band member John Entwistle who you don't really hear much about. Also, it talks about the death of their drummer Keith Moon and how he has been nearly impossible to replace. It also has some great footage of the band with interviews from survivors Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. I also enjoyed them discussing the making of THE WHO'S TOMMY. ” - shaun2000us
 
4.
Duck and Cover (1952 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A grinning monkey sitting in a tree dangles a lit firecracker from a fishing pole just over the head of an unwary turtle... (9 mins.)
“ This is my short film for the week which was on TCM On-Demand and was a great short talking about what to do in the event of a nuclear disaster. There was one great animation sequence with a turtle who knew what to do if a nuclear bomb hits. It is entertaining now but I'm sure it was a little more scary in that era. This here is a classic short so check it out if you can find it so you can learn to duck and cover. ” - shaun2000us
 
5.
Riffraff (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Fisherman Dutch marries cannery worker Hattie. He quits his poorly paid job to concentrate on getting better working conditions as union leader... (94 mins.)
Director: J. Walter Ruben
“ Spencer Tracy stars in this one with Jean Harlow. Tracy plays a dedicated fisherman named Dutch and a union worker who does not like his treatment for him and others and becomes quite an activist. Jean Harlow plays Hattie who is his love interest and makes a big sacrifice for Dutch ending up in jail. This is a pretty good love story and even has some comedy with some rare scenes of women's prison. Mickey Rooney has a pretty amusing part. This was was also on TCM On-Demand and a good early part for Tracy. ” - shaun2000us
 
6.
Unthinkable (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A psychological thriller centered around a black-ops interrogator and an FBI agent who press a suspect terrorist into divulging the location of three nuclear weapons set to detonate in the U.S. (97 mins.)
Director: Gregor Jordan
“ This is a Co-Op selection that Travis showed at Ball State which is a very powerful psychological thriller that is not for everyone. Michael Sheen stars as Steven Younger who is a convert to Islam and sent the U.S. government a tape indicating three nuclear bombs. He is then picked up but very unwilling to talk. Carrie-Anne Moss plays Agent Helen Brody who is an FBI agent with the task of finding the bombs. Samuel L. Jackson stars as H, who is a "consultant" for the CIA who is also brought in and ends up using some very questionable methods of interrogation which really qualify as torture which is much to the dismay of Brody. This has some pretty disturbing things but rather realistic and really forces you to question what you believe. This is available on Instant Netflix. ” - shaun2000us
 
7.
The Corpse (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
A mother and daughter hatch a scheme to murder their family's domineering and sadistic patriarch. (91 mins.)
Director: Viktors Ritelis
“ This is part one of what may be a 4 part Michael Gough series. This is my British Horror film of the week where Gough stars as Walter Eastwood who is very domineering and controlling. His wife and daughter then hatch a plot to kill Walter but things don't go quite as planned after they believe he dies. This is mostly of worth to see Gough in a pretty good performance. This is also available on Instant Netflix. ” - shaun2000us
 
8.
Shopgirl (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A film adaptation of Steve Martin's novel about a complex love triangle between a bored salesgirl, a wealthy businessman and an aimless young man. (106 mins.)
Director: Anand Tucker
“ The Facebook friend I chose for this one was Steve who I co-starred with recently in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. This is also part two of a Jason Schwartzman series whose movie RUSHMORE I used last week so in that case I go from Bill Murray to Steve Martin. This is actually based on Martin's novella of the same title. Claire Danes stars as the title character named Mirabelle who works at a retail store and has an unusual love triangle with two men. Schwartzman plays one of them named Jeremy who is a struggling musician who really wants to make it big but is a bit of a slacker. Martin plays the wealthy businessman Ray who is a divorcee and while treating her well, has a problem with relationships. Both men fulfill her in different ways but must figure out what she wants in life. This is a very nice character study and Martin shows his talent in writing as well as one of his better films of his later career with Danes and Schwartzman turning in good performances. ” - shaun2000us
 
9.
Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A night club's coatroom attendant who's in-love with the club's singer accidentally sips a drugged drink that makes him dream he's French King Louis XV courting the infamous Madame Du Barry. (101 mins.)
Director: Roy Del Ruth
“ I guess I have another little love triangle going on and this one being between Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Gene Kelly. Red plays Louis who is a hat check man and really loves nightclub star May, played by Lucille Ball. Now May really likes Alec, played by Gene Kelly, but he is a good but poor dancer and May wants money and Louis wins some money. However, an accident knocks one of them out and then they have a royalty dream sequence of a similar nature of the love triangle. This was a pretty fun film and Lucille Ball was different from what I have seen of her in the past. I believe I also found this on TCM On-Demand. ” - shaun2000us
 
10.
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film. (140 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
“ I end this week with some Bjork in a starring role. She plays a 60s immigrant from Europe who is a factory worker but is going blind. She is also really into musicals and fantasizes her life as a musical while playing Maria in a local community production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC so yes Bjork is singing songs made famous by Julie Andrews. Part of the storyline is her trying to get together enough money to save her son from going blind himself as he has inherited his mother's disease but tragedy does strike. There is not much to explain but Bjork was great in this movie and this was a very compelling film. David Morse, Catherine Deneuve, Peter Stormare, and even a very amusing cameo from Joel Grey. Stormare was also good in his part and was a lot nicer than usual. This is definitely worth a look and was a very unusual musical. ” - shaun2000us