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The Yarn Princess (1994)
A sweet, sad, and thought-provoking movie
I saw this made-for-TV movie in 1994, and I've never forgotten it. The heart-breaking events in the lives of this family are, sadly, not just the stuff of fiction. The mom, with nothing but love for her family, sought help from strangers (the state), whose evaluation of the situation was by the book. Thanks to the extra efforts from one social worker, and the efforts of an attorney, there was a glimmer of hope for her family.
An interesting point in this movie, of which I was reminded in the fight over young Elián González some five years later, centered on: How do we determine what's best for the child? Is a more affluent, middle class upbringing --better schools, nicer surroundings-- always preferable for children, even if they're not with their biological parents? Does poverty and innocent ineptitude necessarily mean one is unfit to parent, or can assistance take a more individual approach? It was a touching testament to a mother's unfailing love for her children, and, just like in the fairy tales, there was indeed a happy ending for The Yarn Princess.
No, Honestly (1974)
I watched this delightful series when it appeared on our local WTTW station in the mid-seventies. Almost four decades later, I purchased a multi-region blu-ray player once I discovered a DVD set of the complete series was available (but not for our region). After shelling out almost $300, I was happily reunited with one of my favorite British series. I only wish there'd been more episodes.
The Iron Giant (1999)
A gem of a movie!
The newest animated classic for audiences of all ages, this movie belongs in everyone's video library. Funny, uplifting, touching, exciting...this is a wonderful film which, for reasons I cannot fathom, never got the commercial audience it deserved. Rent it, buy it, but by any means you MUST see The Iron Giant. This gets an enthusiastic 10 out of 10! <> <> I first posted my comments on Sept 11, 2000. Once the movie was out on video, I purchased several as gifts. I accosted strangers with kids in the checkout at grocery stores .."have you and your kids seen 'The Iron Giant'?" My sister (a kid in her 40s, mind you) absolutely loved this movie -- bought the soundtrack even -- after I told her she MUST see it. And here it is, almost five years later, and how am I spending the last hour? Reading over the members' comments on the movie, relishing the praise IG has received from all over the world, like some surrogate proud parent. My all-time favorite animated movie; I wish everyone could experience it. I think I'll go pop it in...
Meet Joe Black (1998)
"Death" nearly did me in...
Good heavens, this film needed an hour trimmed from it. Brad was obviously cast because the studio wanted the Stud-du-jour for box office bottom-line assurance, Anthony Hopkins to give it credibility, and Claire Forlani (who has successfully completed The Ally McBeal School of Nervous Vulnerability, Demur Gestures and Limited Eye Contact: was I the ONLY person to make the connection?) to utterly annoy us. I wish Death had taken her and left her father; at least he had personality AND acting ability. The supporting stars shown far more brightly than our two boring lovebirds. And frankly, I'd take Anthony Hopkins over Brad in a heartbeat.
Too bad; with appropriate editing, I would have given this film three and a half stars out of four. As it plays (and plays and plays and plays), it sadly warrants a measly two and a half.
Nice try, but we deserved better.
Thoroughly enjoyable - for a dark comedy
This movie is one of those off-beat, hidden treasures you're lucky to run into. In the same sort of macabre way as The Last Supper, it's both terribly funny and terribly frightening. I found the first 20 minutes or so very difficult to watch - these are lowlife characters NOBODY would want to know - but once Vanessa Lutz takes control in Bob Wolverton's vehicle, it never turns back. Reese Witherspoon was a tour-de-force as the luckless Vanessa. I've recommended this movie to anyone who can stomach the rough patches.