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Above and Beyond (2006)
I rather enjoyed this movie. The costumes were excellent, the music was fantastic and the acting, if not Oscar worthy, was solid. The actors portraying the Newfoundlanders did themselves credit by portraying down-home, friendly characters in true East Coast style. Liane Balaban, who played Shelagh Emberly, was not great, her delivery lacked any real emotion but she carried herself well and wore the '40s era fashion with style. Richard E. Grant was amazing as Captain Bennett and Joss Ackland brought Churchill to life with vitality. Allan Hawco, who played Nathan Burgess, was a joy to watch, his performance was excellent. All in all it was wonderful to watch a movie about WWII which promoted Canadians and Newfoundlanders and our involvement in the war effort.
The Quiet (2005)
98 minutes of my life I'll never get back
I saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival. The director and most of the cast were there to intro the film and participate afterward in a Q&A. Although the film was well acted with credible performances by all cast members the story was depressing and left me feeling hollow and disheartened. On the other hand, maybe that was the goal. The two friends I saw the film with loved it. They thought it was great cinema so this is only person's opinion. But here's my advice - if you like to watch a movie to escape reality and you like to the leave the theatre with a good feeling - avoid this movie. If you are into dark cinema this should be a right up your alley.
Swept from the Sea (1997)
I managed to catch this film while channel surfing and quickly ushered my children outside so that I could enjoy the show. Although the cinematography may not be up to Hollywood standards of crisp, digitized landscapes I found the film to be a wonderful tale. If you have felt like the outsider, ever tried to shut off your emotions in order to stop others from hurting you - you will have no trouble relating to the character of Amy Foster. The acting was well done (I am not an expert at English dialects, although I'd say the accents were as adequately done as the actors who attempted the Newfie accent in The Shipping News). I love historical tales (Jane Austen is a favourite) and thoroughly enjoyed this one as well. 8 out of 10
More than enjoyable, it's memorable
This was an amazing fantasy film. Not only was the story and plot engaging and intriguing but the acting was excellent. I will never forget my shock when I discovered that Mad Mardigan was the Ice Man from Top Gun. Warwick Davis gives a commanding performance as the young father and hero Willow. This is an extremely enjoyable movie and one I try to watch every few months.
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
A wonderful romance
This is one of my favourite movies - the cast was amazing, the scenery and sets were stunning. If you are a cynic - don't watch it - you'll never appreciate the sweet simplicity of the story line. It is a movie to watch on a night when you want to go to bed with that warm feeling that all is right with the world, that love really can solve most of our problems and that true love is pre-destined.
The Replacements (2000)
Entertainment for the fun of it
This movie was made purely for entertainment. What a breath of fresh air. With all the extremely dramatic, be it important, films being made lately (Life is Beautiful,etc), it's nice to watch a film that is just entertaining. The supporting cast was amazing, as an ensemble they worked together as a team should. And Keanu Reeves gave a wonderful performance - he is often under appreciated as an actor because he is attractive - but he gave a solid performance. Gene Hackman was good - that goes without saying, but I think this is the first time I've ever seen him portray a character I actually liked.
If you enjoy a good laugh, this a movie you would likely enjoy.
Babes in Toyland (1986)
Christmas is the time for sugary sweetness
I enjoyed this movie as a child and I enjoy watching it with my children. I know it's not a cinematic achievement, it did not win awards and will not down in history as one of Christmas's most cherished movies. But there's a quality about it that is wonderful. The simplistic scenery is attractive in its own way. The acting was not amazing but let's remember a few things - it was a made for TV movie in the 80's, and honestly there were very few decent films that came out of the 80's anway. For those who wish to over-analyse this film, I suggest you remember one thing - it's a children's movie, it was not meant to be broken down and analysed, it was meant to be simply enjoyed. I would highly recommend this movie for the enjoyment of viewers with young families. After all, Christmas is the time to enjoy sugary sweetness.