Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 293rd Edition

by shaun2000us | created - 26 Jun 2011 | updated - 26 Jun 2011 | Public

This is the 293rd Edition. To see the full blog, go to http://blog.myspace.com/shaunberk.

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1. Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2008)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, History

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
49 Metascore

The story of Hannah Senesh, a Hungarian poet who was captured by the Nazis, while trying to rescue Jews in WWII.

Director: Roberta Grossman | Stars: Peter Hay, Judy Baumel-Schwartz, Michael Berenbaum, Shimon Peres

Votes: 116 | Gross: $0.02M

This is the 33rd link on The Chain and it continues with Joan Allen who voices the title character's mother. This is a documentary which focuses on the person of the title who was a Hungarian Poet and an activist trying to rescue Jews in WWII and in the process becoming captured and tortured by the Nazis. The documentary takes a pretty in-depth look at her life and cause into her trial for treason. Next week's link for The Chain continues with one more selection from Joan Allen.

2. Daria in 'Is It Fall Yet?' (2000 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 75 min | Animation, Comedy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This animated made-for-TV movie, based on MTV's hit "Daria," explores the summer vacation of Daria and her classmates at Lawndale High.

Directors: Karen Disher, Guy Moore | Stars: Rachel Anton, Brett Barsky, Corey Block, Cindy E. Brolsma

Votes: 3,052

This was an MTV tv movie which was a movie based on the MTV tv series DARIA. This is a spinoff of BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD but forgot how much I actually kind of liked this show and I was quite entertained by this movie. Daria is a very cynical high school girl and reluctantly becomes a volunteer at a summer camp called the It's Okay To Cry Corral where she does not like that the camp is always inside and should do more outside activities. In the process, she meets a boy at the camp who is just as melancholy as her and tries to help him. This show also has some very amusing characters and personify well each stereotype of a high school student. Her parents and sister are also very entertaining. This movie gave me quite a bit of laughs.

3. Fanboys (2009)

PG-13 | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
45 Metascore

Star Wars fanatics take a cross-country trip to George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch so their dying friend can see a screening of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) before its release.

Director: Kyle Newman | Stars: Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell, Sam Huntington

Votes: 52,311 | Gross: $0.69M

This is a film for all the sci-fi geeks. This movie takes place before STAR WARS: EPISODE I came out in theaters where a group of STAR WARS fans come together to go to the Skywalker Ranch in order to steal a copy before it hits theaters. In their journey to get there, they run into a lot of problems including an encounter with a group of Trekkers. This movie is not for everyone and it is really pretty stupid but can be appreciated by all the fans out there who would love to do something like this. There are many celebrity cameos like William Shatner, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Christopher McDonald, Seth Rogan, Danny Trejo, Kevin Smith, and many others. There is also a lot of great pop culture references but even a message on loyalty.

4. The Devil's Daughter (1939)

Approved | 52 min | Drama, Horror

3.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

Sylvia Walton returns from Harlem to take over a Jamaican plantation from her vindictive half-sister, amid the growing sound of drums.

Director: Arthur H. Leonard | Stars: Nina Mae McKinney, Jack Carter, Ida James, Hamtree Harrington

Votes: 219

This is another movie from the Pub-D-Hub app when looking from something of this era and took interest in this movie. This is a weird story which takes place in Harlem and has an all-black cast. Nina Mae McKinney stars as Isabelle who is coming to take over a plantation but has a very vindictive sister named Isabelle who does what she can from stopping her with voodoo type methods. Not something to watch if you're looking for great plot but mostly for historical reasons and the all-black cast.

5. The Children's Hour (1961)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A troublemaking student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner, Miriam Hopkins

Votes: 11,779

I found this on TCM On-Demand and was one that caught my attention right away. William Wyler directed this adaptation from a play written by Lillian Hellman and at the time was a pretty daring film to make. Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine are the heads of a girls boarding school and have been best friends since college. Karen Balkin plays a very troubled girl who then starts a rumor with her grandmother that they are having a lesbian affair which then get spread very far which ruins their business. This play was written in 1934 so I am sure this had to be pretty hard to get off the ground. Wyler directed a version of the play in 1936 but with the censorship issues had to significantly change the storyline to make it where the women were rumored to be having a love triangle as homosexuality no matter how implied was very taboo in that era. So in this era, it was not as stringent so Wyler decided to use the storyline that was originally in the play which was still quite taboo in this era. The message this really sends out is how rumors can permanently ruin lives, especially lies. The leads were great in this movie and the film was very compelling even now.

6. A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Music

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An Arkansas drifter becomes an overnight media sensation. As he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau

Votes: 10,980

I have always been pretty easy to entertain but it takes a lot to just blow me away and this movie accomplished just that. Elia Kazan directed this film which stars Andy Griffith in his movie debut long before his Andy Taylor/Ben Matlock type roles and I will never look at him the same again. This movie takes place along with the rise of television and is quite ahead of its time. Griffith stars as an Arkansas hobo named Lonesome Rhodes who is discovered by the media for some of his comments and becomes this overnight media sensation but then becomes corrupted by his fame. Patricia Neal co-stars as the person who discovers him but realizes it may not have been the right thing. Walter Matthau co-stars in one of his more serious roles as someone who takes to him at first but then realizes he needs to bring him down. Lee Remick also makes her debut. This movie was quite ahead of its time and in many ways reminded me of what would later would become NETWORK. This movie is great from the beginning up until a great conclusion. This movie needs to put more on the radar so hopefully I can accomplish that a little bit.

7. Goemon (2009)

128 min | Action, Drama, History

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief... See full summary »

Director: Kazuaki Kiriya | Stars: Yôsuke Eguchi, Takao Ohsawa, Ryôko Hirosue, Jun Kaname

Votes: 4,676

This is my Japanese film for the week. This is in some ways Japan's answer to Robin Hood where the title character who leaves his fighting clan after the leader is killed. He then sets off into a new journey where he uses his thief skills to help the poor while looking for the murderer of his chief setting him off on a violent journey. I was able to get behind this character right away and I really liked the special effects in the action scenes. This is a great ninja film and has some great music. This movie is available on Instant Netflix.

8. The Red Balloon (1956)

Approved | 34 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse | Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov

Votes: 13,846

This is my French film for the week and another short film for this audition. This is the story of a young boy in Paris and the title balloon that just seems to follow him around which appears to have feelings. It shows this boy and the bond he forms with this red balloon trying to elude a gang of boys who want the balloon destroyed. This was a very well done film and another really good conclusion where very little dialogue is spoken throughout the film. This is also available through Instant Netflix.

9. Wallace & Gromit: The Best of Aardman Animation (1996 Video)

75 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

8.6
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A collection of some of the most popular work featuring Wallace and Gromit.

Director: Nick Park

Votes: 3,759 | Gross: $1.00M

This is actually three of their 30 minute films and are Nick Park's claymation characters which I decided to rule as a movie for this blog. Wallace is an absent-minded inventor and Gromit is his loyal dog who is silent and conveys everything through facial expression. In these adventures they must deal with a crazy robotic dog, a psychotic penguin, and many other things. There is also a great scene on a toy train and many other funny moments. These are British cartoons. These are available on Instant Netflix as well as their feature film. This is some great claymation and many humorous moments.