Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 376th Edition

Come see my selections for the week and check out past editions at http://shaunberkey.blogspot.com
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1.
Made for Each Other (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
While on a business trip, an ambitious young lawyer meets and immediately falls in love with a stranger. They wed the following day, and tragedy soon strikes. (92 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
“ This is an earlier film that takes a rather realistic look towards a marriage. James Stewart stars as young attorney John Mason who is trying very hard to move up in his firm but finds it is very hard. He soon meets a woman named Jane, played by Carole Lombard, and they marry after just one day. From there, they find that marriage is not as simple as it seemed and must deal with things like disapproving parents, John's trouble of getting the promotion to get them more money, and then having a baby. It starts out as a comedy and becomes more melodrama. Charles Coburn co-stars as John's hard of hearing boss. The leads work very well together giving a decent, just not memorable entry into that golden year. I heard this is the movie that really made Stewart into the actor he would become. ” - shaun2000us
 
2.
There's Good Boos To-Night (1948 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Casper makes friends with a fox cub. But the new friendship is threatened when a fox hunter and his two hounds come on the scene. (7 mins.)
Director: I. Sparber
“ This is my animated short for the week which features Casper the Friendly Ghost. Casper is part of a ghost family and most of them just want to go around scaring everyone but Casper just wants friends. Like most of the shorts, he goes around trying to make friends but they get very scared. Soon, he meets a little fox cub who likes Casper and becomes friends with Casper. I suppose in some ways, the Casper cartoons are a statement towards prejudice and fearing the unknown. These are always pretty harmless cartoons though and deserve a view. This is available on my Pub-D-Hub app on my Roku. ” - shaun2000us
 
3.
Jesus of Nazareth (1977 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Beginning before the Nativity and extending through the Crucifixion and Ressurection, JESUS OF NAZARETH brings to life all the sweeping drama in the life of Jesus, as told by the Gospels. (382 mins.)
“ This is part two of my Christopher Plummer series who plays King Herod in this one. This is my TV mini-series for the week which was directed by Franco Zeffirelli. This is a very in-depth look into the life of our savior Jesus Christ. This series covers everything from Mary's pregnancy all the way up to his resurrection. Robert Powell stars as our savior and does a good job portraying him. I had not heard of Powell until this time but really liked him in this part. The rest of the cast is quite known like Anne Bancroft, Olivia Hussey, Ernest Borgnine, Ian McShane, James Mason, Laurence Olivier, Anthony Quinn, Ian Holm, and many others co-star in this two-part series. I really felt this was a very good telling of Christ with good acting and cinematography. Of course it's predictable but to be expected since I think just about everyone knows how he died, just about know who betrays him, and most probably know who will deny knowing him three times. If you are an absolute atheist, this probably is not worth six hours of your time but for many, I think it is worth it. It has two three-hour parts. Zeffirelli brought a lot of justice to the religious story. ” - shaun2000us
 
4.
Hoodlum (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket. (130 mins.)
Director: Bill Duke
“ This is the last part of my three-part Cicely Tyson series where she plays the Madame Queen who runs the illegal numbers game. This movie takes place in prohibition-era Harlem in a violent rivalry for control for illegal gaming between black gangster "Bumpy" Johnson, played by Laurence Fishburne, and ruthless gangster Dutch Schultz. In the middle is crime boss Lucky Luciano, played by Andy Garcia, who just cannot come to an agreement. This movie seemed to have come to mixed opinions and one of which is maybe the way these people were portrayed. Now a lot of times, they do portray these mobsters as rather friendly people which I believe is pretty accurate and then they show what they are really like when they commit some kind of murder. As far as the basic story, it seemed pretty accurate from what I read. Johnson is one of the few known African-American gangsters and was a pretty smart person and was able to compete with the rest of the mafia world. Vanessa L. Williams, Chi McBride, Clarence Williams III, William Atherton, Queen Latifah, Loretta Devine, and many others co-star. This is not the greatest gangster film but it is still pretty entertaining and has good performances. Tim Roth probably gives the best performance of Dutch Schultz in my opinion and Fishburne was good as Johnson. This is available on Instant Netflix. ” - shaun2000us
 
5.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6. (122 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
“ This movie is based on the novel by John Le Carre and takes place during the Cold War era. Gary Oldman stars as MI6 agent George Smiley who is brought into investigate an insider who is a Russian agent. In his investigation, he finds things he does not want to and must make some very touch decisions. While Oldman plays an MI6 agent which is what famous spy James Bond is, this is a more realistic take to the job where there are not a bunch of shootouts and car chases. It is a movie which you'll need to give a lot of attention but is worth the journey. Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, and many others co-star. This is the fifth time the character of George Smiley has been portrayed but this is the first I have seen so far. This is a very good spy film if you can accept the slow pacing. ” - shaun2000us
 
6.
The Delta Force (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
When the terrorists Abdul Rafai and Mustafa hijack a Boeing 707 in Athenas with 144 passengers and crew... (125 mins.)
Director: Menahem Golan
“ This is my hijacked airplane movie for the week. A plane is terrorized by Lebanese terrorists and it's up to a commando unit led by Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin. I do not feature Norris very often but I find this is probably his best and is a pretty entertaining action movie with decent characters. Martin Balson, Rat Packer Joey Bishop, George Kennedy, NYPD BLUE alum Kim Delaney, Susan Strasberg, Robert Vaughn, Robert Forster, and many others co-star. This is Lee Marvin's last movie. Liam Neeson and Kevin Dillon appear uncredited as a couple Delta Force guys. This is based on a real-life hijacking of TWA Flight 847 which happened in 1985 and from what I read match some of the events. There is not more to say on this one. I think you all have a basic idea of what happens and is really hit or miss. It is a pretty fun action film if you like this kind of thing. It is a good one for the guys. ” - shaun2000us
 
7.
Mighty Joe Young (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young woman who has raised a giant gorilla from an infant brings him to Hollywood years later seeking her fortune in order to save her family's ranch. (94 mins.)
“ With the success of the King Kong franchise, Merian C. Cooper and John Ford produced this gorilla film. Terry Moore stars as Jill Young who lives in Africa and as a child she buys a baby gorilla who she named Joe. As a grown up, Joe has become very big but always obeys Jill. Robert Armstrong co-stars as a crooked Hollywood producer who convinces the very naive Jill for them both to come to America and make lots of money. She soon wises up and realizes this is nothing more than exploitation and Joe also hates it. Soon, some drunks give Joe some alcohol and he then gets away taking out his anger. This one might be more family friendly than the 1933 KING KONG. I know it was remade many years later by Disney but I have not seen that version. Ray Harryhausen contributed a lot of stop-motion animation graphics which was one of the first to use that animation and is pretty good for the time. There are some very good scenes like Joe playing tug of war with some professional wrestlers and a climax at a burning building. ” - shaun2000us
 
8.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer. (112 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Martin Scorsese directs this slice of life film which stars Ellen Burstyn as the title character. She soon becomes widowed and sets out with her son to go from New Mexico to Arizona so she can pursue a singing career and then aspires to move to Monterrey, California. She finds that her quest for work is not easy and ends up taking a waitress job while having to leave her precocious son Tommy, played by Afred Lutter, to fend for himself. Burstyn is great in her role of someone pursuing the American dream but finding it is not that easy. Kris Kristofferson co-stars as her love interest but see he has a bit of a temper and can be difficult. Lutter is also very good as the smartalec son Tommy. Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster, Diane Ladd, and others co-star. This was turned into a long running sitcom called ALICE shortly after this film where much of the actors reprise their roles.. ” - shaun2000us
 
9.
Lincoln (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. (150 mins.)
“ So I have a movie on Jesus Christ, now I have one on another historic icon. I make my rare movie theater appearance to see this biopic on the 16th president. Steven Spielberg directed this movie which focuses on Lincoln's life from near the end of the Civil war where he is trying to stop the war and end slavery. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln to absolute perfection where he was not Daniel Day-Lewis and escaped into the character. Sally Field co-stars as Lincoln's wife Mary who is good but we don't really get to know much about Mary Lincoln or their marriage but that is not what this movie is about. In this movie, Lincoln is trying to talk everyone into voting for a slavery amendment. It's really hard telling what is accurate and what is not. For me, either way this is a very believable portrayal. I do believe they portray him as human in this movie and show some human flaws in Lincoln. Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, and many others co-star. I decided to follow up with a documentary from the History channel called LINCOLN: THE UNTOLD STORIES. This documentary goes more into his early days and does not really focus as much on the presidency like the movie did. Lincoln's friend and law partner William Herndon decided to write a biography on Lincoln telling a more realistic story on him instead of this perfect person many people think of him to be. It took Herndon 25 years to write the book and was very controversial when it first came out and is more significant today than it was then. Herndon drew upon certain documents and interviews from Lincoln's friends and family. This documentary shows things like a bad relationship with his father, depression, failed relationships with women,suicidal thought, and a much less than perfect marriage with Mary Todd. These two really complement each other very well. The documentary is available through Instant Netflix and the movie is available in theaters still. Spielberg did a great job of this film. ” - shaun2000us
 
10.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary that follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. (106 mins.)
“ I end this week with this documentary that was presented by Travis in his Co-Op film series. Abramovic is a performance artist and has been for about 30 years. She uses art to really push the envelope on the definition of art. In this documentary, she is preparing for a show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is very hard to explain in this blog what she does but she conveys herself through art to an audience. Before he showed this film, I had not heard of Abramovic and the documentary seems to have a bigger target on those who already know her as Travis pointed out in our discussion after the movie was over. Even if we have not heard of her, it is clear that she has quite an audience wherever she goes. Her form of art is not for everyone as it does convey strange imagery and nudity but if you can get past that, this could be enjoyable. This was an HBO documentary and appears to now be available on DVD. ” - shaun2000us