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Marjorie Morningstar (1958)
Gene Kelly--Is there anything he can't do?
I recently saw this movie after adoring Gene Kelly's musicals since I was a kid. It is quite a departure of what I'm used to seeing him in, but still wonderful. This is pretty standard fare for Natalie Wood, but it is a rare treat to see Gene Kelly in a dramatic role. After reading his biography, it is a sad irony that his character somewhat mirrored what was happening in Gene Kelly's personal life, in that his days of glory were something of the past. This is not the Gene Kelly you know, but if you want to see him in something different, take the phone off the hook, grab a box of Kleenex and sit down with Marjorie Morningstar. It will stay with you.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
How much coffee did the director drink each day?
Come on, people. Just because this movie is a lone musical among today's movies does not make it a classic, does not make it original and DEFINITELY does not make it some deep piece of art. The story is beyond thin, the acting is ridiculous and the songs are a joke. I honestly don't know how the actors got this movie filmed. If I had been asked to sing those lousy arrangements I would've either fired my agent or died laughing. This movie is nowhere near the category of classics like The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and others. Don't let it fool you. As for truth, beauty, freedom and love--none of those things existed for those hapless characters. The predictable ending was doomed from the start and we all knew it within the first 5 caffinated minutes.
Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001)
Sensitive, heart-warming & realistic
Having read several books about Anne Frank and seeing the wonderful documentary, ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED, I was very curious about this film. I could not have been more impressed. The casting was excellent, and the acting superb, especially with Hannah Taylor-Gordon as Anne and the riveting presence of Ben Kingsley as Otto. Yes, it was difficult to watch and yes, it was not "entertaining" by definition. But if you want a very accurate portrayal of the before, during and after events of the group who inhabited the "secret annexe," you won't do better than this film. I'm sure it will be a treasure for years to come. Beware: Although it is an excellent educational tool, the last 45 minutes are quite intense and do include some brief nudity. Small children may find it too graphic.
Runaway Bride (1999)
As others have stated, this is not a great movie. There isn't symbolism and depth and great lessons about life. It is just the kind of light, amusing movie that doesn't strain your brain. Julia Roberts' star continues to shine. I personally think she is a very good actress. She makes it seem so effortless that the pendulum almost swings to the other side and makes it seem like she isn't acting at all, which lends itself to criticism. And for those who mentioned PRETTY WOMAN in their reviews, here is a newsflash--this isn't PRETTY WOMAN. Same stars, different movie--repeat that 5 times to yourself. Whatever your opinion, let RUNAWAY BRIDE stand on its own. It isn't as predictable as it seems it might be. For me, 7.5 stars out of 10.
Chances Are (1989)
No, it isn't Shakespeare, but Chances Are is a cute movie to enjoy. I have never been very impressed with Cybil Shepherd's acting ability (or lack thereof), but the real scene stealer is Robert Downey, Jr.. He has a very innocent way about him in this movie that shows you what a good actor he is as he realizes that he is stumbling into the home where he lived his past life.
"Charming" is the word
There was so much hype preceding this show that I decided to tune in on its debut night. I'm glad I did! Thomas Cavanaugh is like a modern day Jimmy Stewart. His character knows that his looks alone aren't going to get the girl, but creativity, endurance and treating her better than anyone has before will get the job done. The whole ensemble works well together and you feel like you're watching real people. The last time I fell in love with a show this fast it was a little-known show called "Friends" 6 years ago. We know how that turned out!!
Murder by Death (1976)
The wackiest movie you'll ever love!
Yes, it is ridiculous--sometimes even stupid. Despite that, I've loved this movie since I saw it as a youth. Strange twists, funny lines and a stellar cast are the recipe for its success. Rarely will you find such an odd potpourri of people that go so well together!
A delight from start to finish
I can always judge a movie by the feeling it leaves me once it is over. POLLYANNA sends you away with a light heart full of optimism and cheer that is all too rare in today's world. Yes, the ending is sad, but it is also hopeful. Another comment accused the film as being "another one of those Disney feel-good movies." What's wrong with that? We get enough reality with our everyday lives. This movie just provided me with 2 hours of pure joy that life sometimes has in short supply. Haley Mills' charming character unassumingly spreads some sunshine in a small town trapped under a cloud of gloom. How many of you feel that way sometimes? Watching this movie is just a nice way to bring some of that sunshine to your corner. Manufactured? Perhaps. But so what? When you're in the dark, you don't wait around for the sun to come up--you turn on the electric light!
A wonderful tribute to faith and endurance
This film was originally made to be shown at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. With its sweeping camera angles and lovely soundtrack it was shown on a huge screen that went from floor to ceiling. The story chronicles a young girl named Eliza Williams and her family as they convert to the Mormon church and, along with other persecuted members of their faith, journey from New York to Utah over a number of years. For members of the Mormon church, it is lovely story of a fictional character intertwined with important figures in LDS church history, mainly Joseph Smith. For people who are not members of the Mormon church, it is a grand introduction to the prophet who, despite ridicule and numerous jailings which eventually lead to his death, never faltered in his testimony of God and the work that must be done to spread His message on the earth today. Nowadays, this film is mainly available at the libraries in buildings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Anna and the King (1999)
What a beautiful movie! Definitely one of the most visually breathtaking movies I have ever seen. The story is also wonderful. I wasn't sure how well Chow Yun Fat would portray the King (Yul Brynner is the definitive King in my mind) but he did an impressive job and recreated a difficult role to make it his own. Jodie Foster, as always, was brilliant and the supporting cast was excellent. Thumbs up from this very satisfied viewer!