Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 299th Edition

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1.
Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns) (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Documentary about the music group They Might Be Giants. (102 mins.)
Director: AJ Schnack
“ This is my music documentary for the week which focuses on the band They Might Be Giants and the main members John Linnell and John Flansburgh. This band has never been in the mainstream but have a very loyal following and even have actors reflecting on their style of music. It also shows footage of their concerts and behind the scenes. This focuses on the friendship between the two Johns. Their most known song is likely the theme song for MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE. This is something the fans will really like and also pretty informative for people like me that do not know much about them but captured my interest. ” - shaun2000us
 
2.
Strikes and Spares (1934 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
This short features professional bowler Andy Varipapa. He first shows the correct way to grip a bowling ball and the proper form for delivering the ball down the alley. He then performs several trick shots. (9 mins.)
Director: Felix E. Feist
“ This is my short film for the week and part of the oddity series. This short shows the world of bowling which was narrated by Pete Smith. It focuses on professional bowler Andy Varipapa who first shows the basics like gripping the ball but then demonstrates bowling tricks. I remember being a bowler in my middle school days so this was pretty enjoyable to me and was pretty entertaining. ” - shaun2000us
 
3.
That's Entertainment! (1974 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Various MGM stars from yesterday present their favourite musical moments from the studio's 50 year history. (135 mins.)
Director: Jack Haley Jr.
“ So my first three selections for the week consist of documentaries and this one being based on the golden age of MGM musicals from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. It features many of the icons from that era like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, and many others. It was also interesting to see footage of Clark Gable in a musical called IDIOT'S DELIGHT. It also shows footage of Kelly and Astaire in their one movie they did together. Kelly, Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minelli, and many others are shown reflecting on their times. Jack Haley Jr. directed this documentary who is the son of Jack Haley most known as Tin Man in THE WIZARD OF OZ. This is another very informative and entertaining documentary, especially for those who love these MGM musicals. This was followed by two sequels. ” - shaun2000us
 
4.
Teenagers from Outer Space (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  
A young alien (David Love) falls for a pretty teenage Earth girl (Dawn Anderson) and they team up to try to stop the plans of his invading cohorts... (86 mins.)
Director: Tom Graeff
“ This is my cheesy sci-fi film for the week where aliens are invading earth and a teenage alien is trying to stop his cohorts from taking over the world. Is there much more I need to explain? I actually watched this as an episode of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 which is available on Instant Netflix. It is likely easiest to watch that way or if you get a group of friends together on a late evening. I may start using MST3K more often for selections. ” - shaun2000us
 
5.
The Nines (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A troubled actor, a television show runner, and an acclaimed videogame designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways. (100 mins.)
Director: John August
“ John August wrote and directed this film which star Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy, and Hope Davis in three different intertwining stories. This was something I really did not know what I was getting myself into but was very intrigued as I stuck with it. It is hard to even really describe this film except that it is something that you must really stick with. The three stars did a good job in each of their characters. Elle Fanning co-stars as a mute child who becomes a very significant character later and conveys herself very well. The stories all center around a troubled actor, a television star, and a video game designer where everything comes together in the end. To say I totally got this would be an absolute lie but was a pretty compelling film. ” - shaun2000us
 
6.
The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
This comedy-drama is partially a gentle satire on America's drive to change the world in the post-war years... (123 mins.)
Director: Daniel Mann
“ This movie takes place in Okinawa one year after World War 2 and is satire on us wanting to change the world. Glenn Ford stars as Captain Fisby who is sent there by the military to teach democracy to a village there. One of the things he is supposed to build is a school but the villagers try to convince Fisby to build a teahouse. Fisby slowly becomes part of this village and begins to dress like them take to their traditions much to the dismay of his superiors. The interesting part of this film is Marlon Brando who plays a Japanese man named Sakini who is the translator for the military that are there. Yes, I said it, Marlon Brando as a Japanese man. He was also a lot more comedic and light-hearted than usual and he was really quite believable. His performance was far less over the top and politically correct than Mickey Rooney's performance in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. ” - shaun2000us
 
7.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization. (124 mins.)
Director: Joe Johnston
“ This is actually pretty rare for me to go to the movie theaters two weeks in a row and include it here. This is my superhero film for the week which tells the story of Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, in 1942 where we have entered World War 2. Steve is a very scrawny man who really wants to go into the service but gets rejected each time. He then meets a man named Dr. Erskine, played by Stanley Tucci, who offers Steve to go into the military if he agrees to an experiment. This is an experiment that makes him taller and more muscular and becomes a propaganda mascot named Captain America for the military but with his new strength realizes he is meant for more. Hugo Weaving plays Johann Schidt who is an old enemy of Dr. Erskine and is who Captain America must contend with to save the world. I really enjoyed this superhero movie and liked that it took place in the Nazi era. Dominic Cooper plays Howard Stark who helped make what made Steve who he was and for those who do not know Howard Stark, he is the father of Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Tony likely was not born yet or he was very young. Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Toby Jones, and Neal McDonough all co-star and I really liked McDonough in his part when I am uneasy with him a lot of times. I actually watched this in 3D and I could have seen it in 2D but it was the most convenient show for me. This is the last of the films for the solo avengers before the 2012 film THE AVENGERS comes out. I felt this was a pretty well-done film that did not have to overdo it with special effects but had a good story and performances. ” - shaun2000us
 
8.
Onibaba (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask. (103 mins.)
Director: Kaneto Shindô
“ This is my Japanese film for the week which was directed by Kaneto Shindo. This movie features a widowed wife and her daughter in law who live very poorly and make money by murdering samurai to sell their things for money. The two women do not get along but must co-exist to survive. Things change when a samurai shows up who wears a mask and is coming to confront them. It is a very good story on survival and the problems each woman has that brings tension between them. ” - shaun2000us
 
9.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law. (102 mins.)
“ Gus Van Zant directed this brutally honest film about a group of drug addicts and the crime they resort to in order to get their drugs. Matt Dillon plays Bob and is essentially the leader of the group. Kelly Lynch plays his drug-addicted wife. James Le Gros and a young Heather Graham are the other two. This is based on writings by James Fogle who was a real-life drug addict. There is not much uplifting about this film but that is what makes it work so well is that it is so realistic. I don't really have a lot to say about this but it is an excellent film on drug addiction that pulls no punches. ” - shaun2000us
 
10.
A Better Tomorrow II (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A restauranteur teams up with a police officer and his ex-con brother to avenge the death of a friend's daughter. (105 mins.)
Director: John Woo
“ I end this week with this sequel to the great 1986 film which is directed by John Woo. Leslie Cheung reprises his part of police officer Kit who is going very deep undercover. Lung Ti reprises his part of Ho, his ex-con brother who is released from prison to help Kit. Chow Yun-Fat plays restaurant owner Ken who joins them. Dean Shek plays Lung who was a criminal doing everything he can to go straight but his past always catches up with him and in this his daughter is murdered so these people all team up to avenge that murder. If all you have seen from Chow Yun-Fat are his American work then you have never really seen him. These are in my opinion some of the best action films of all time with John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat making a team on the lines of De Niro/Scorsese. There was some very good action scenes including the climax with an explosion that was pretty realistic and was more powerful than they thought almost harming Chow. I do like the first one better but this is a very fun sequel and a good sequel so make a double feature night with your friends and the first one and this one. ” - shaun2000us