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An excellent musical treat
Back in the early 60s, being attractive was almost a requirement for success in the R&R recording field. People like Fabian became big stars regardless of the fact that he couldn't sing. But Roy Orbison, thick horned rimmed glasses, double chin and all, was a great example that if you could make good music you could be successful. After his early success, in the 60's, he disappeared from the music charts although he continued to tour. In the 80s he returned to the forefront of the musical scene and this concert is a perfect example that he had not lost a step nor had he lost that magical voice. His accompanying players are all fans of his music as well as outstanding musicians in their own right. And, how bad can it be having Bonnie Raitt, k.d. Lang & Jennifer Warnes as your backup singers.
If you liked this you should check out his "In Dreams" video which is more biographical. It talks about his early days at Sun Records with Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, his success in the 60s, his great receptions by his British fans and his resurgence in the 80s and his induction into the R&R Hall Of Fame by Bruce Springsteen.
No Good Deed (2002)
I Loved The Music Sequence
I did enjoy this movie. Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Starsgard, Doug Hutchinson and Milla Jovovich... That's not bad company. Being a hopeless romantic, I really enjoyed the scene that I describe below.
Possibly A Spoiler
When Milla Jovovich's character goes to Sam Jackson's apartment and finds his cello, and brings it back, then plays piano to his cello...and then, on his word, him playing the cello, while she followed his hands, well, that was worth the rest of the movie for me. Probably not very realistic but, certainly, enjoyable. Kudos to Bob Rafelson, a directing icon.
Another great performance by Cate The Great
A believer in coincidence might say that it could be a coincidence that every movie I've seen involving Cate Blanchett has been very, very enjoyable. I, on the other hand, consider it to be a matter of her great performances [along with those of her fellow actors, of course]. But she is the one common denominator. Whether it be drama, comedy, period pieces or whatever, you can always count on an outstanding performance from this lady. And Heaven is no exception. I can't quite label her the "Best Actress" of her generation but she's certainly in the top 3, in my opinion. And, as is usually the case, a fine performance by Giovanni Ribisi [her co-star in another movie, The Gift]. I rated this movie as a 10. Check it out and see if you agree and, even if you don't, you won't be disappointed.
Practical Magic (1998)
Do you believe in magic?
Dianne Wiest, Stockard Channing, Micole Kidman & Sandra Bullock. When it comes to acting we're not talking about chopped liver here. I saw this movie when it was first released and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since then, I have read every book by Alice Hoffman and loved all of them. She is a storyteller without peer who creates wonderful characters. The stories often go beyond the ordinary and into the magical but are always believable because you become so caught up in the characters that anything becomes possible.
I would like to see more of her novels brought to the big screen but, to date, this is the only one. Give yourself a treat and read another of her stories because the imagination is a wonderful theater too. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
A great story and especially a great love story
Long ago I realized that American films are not the only game in town. And since the advent of cable and movie rentals I have the opportunity to see a wider selection of movies from all over the world. I have to say that when watching movies from Australia I am never disappointed. Several examples of movies I've seen this year include Rabbit-Proof Fence and Lantana. And now this wonderful gem of a movie. Terrific performances [particularly by Julia Blake] and a lovely and loving story combine to make this a beautiful movie experience.
Place Vendôme (1998)
Catherine Deneuve is a Goddess
The movie was fine. Only in French films do beautiful women have sex with ordinary looking guys. Having said that, in the 50 years I have been watching movies there has never been a more beautiful actress than Catherine Deneuve. And, in addition to her incredible beauty, she is a wonderful actress. So, even if the movie doesn't appeal to you, you can always appreciate a true beauty. Oh yes, by the way, I did enjoy the movie, too.
El crimen del padre Amaro (2002)
A cinematic fiesta and a definite 10!
Having been born and raised a Catholic [as well as having a brother who is a priest] I would have to say that if this movie is, in any way, controversial, it would have to seem that way to the hypocrites who know, but refuse to acknowledge, that these things happen to, and with, people and priests in the Catholic church. That being said, this is a sad and beautiful movie. Gail Garcia Bernal and Ana Claudia Talancon as Father Amaro and Amelia give wonderful performances as do all of the actors.
In addition to the primary roles there are several interesting characters including [in my opinion, one of the best] the retarded daughter of the sexton. Upon meeting Father Amaro she takes his hand and starts to pull it down inside her dress showing us that inside, as well as outside, she is a woman. Then later in the movie, as she hears what's going on in the next room, you can see and feel her frustration that it can't be her in there.
Give yourself a cinematic fiesta and see this movie. If you watch it based on my recommendation and you don't like it you can always email me and tell me so.
This is one of the best movies, of any genre, to come along in the last few years. Great story and performances and [as I always enjoy] a great "twist" at the end. If you saw that coming you must have watched all the "extras" on the DVD where you actually see it happen. [ Note to myself: I really need to start watching the movies first, and then the extras.] In any case, there are several very interesting "making of" featurettes on the DVD which gives you a greater appreciation for the finished product and the people [especially the Director] involved in the making of the movie. I hope that my "10" will bring up the average enough to entice those who look for things like that [the numbers] to discover this gem of a movie.
Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
A Wonderful Movie
Earlier this year I saw a "special" about the films of Philip Noyce which included Rabbit-Proof Fence. I have been waiting for it's appearance on DVD and I have finally seen it. It is everything I had hoped for and more.
As several others have commented, watching the "making of" documentary [one of the extras on the DVD], Along The Rabbit-Proof Fence, is like watching a movie in itself. It shows us the initial process of finding the three remarkable girls and eventually the interaction between them and the director and crew as filming progressed.
As for the film itself, I thought it was wonderful. The fact it was based on a true life event made it even more amazing. As the film, and the girls, progressed I found myself saying, from time to time, "twelve hundred miles". I couldn't imagine doing that under ideal conditions let alone between the ages of 7 and 14 through outback and across desert.. And then, at the end of the movie, you find out that Molly actually did it again several years later, carrying one of her children.
I must say, if this had not been based on real events I don't think I could have "bought" it as a movie. It's hard to believe these events could have really taken place. Knowing differently, I find it awesome. Wonderful performances by all the actors, particularly the 3 girls, and an excellent job by Philip Noyce in telling the story of these remarkable girls, in particular, and of the "Stolen Generation", in general.
Thankfully, they're no longer in the shadows
I have been a Rock/Pop music fan since the 50s and I've always felt that the 60s provided us with the greatest diversity of popular music. The Motown Sound contributed immensely to that era's music. At least as much as, and probably more than, The British Invasion.
I remember seeing the Ebert/Roeper review of this film and it was the first time I ever heard of The Funk Brothers. Finally, I rented the DVD and watched and listened to these men who, to paraphrase a gentleman on the DVD whose name I don't recall, "provided the soundtrack of my life". It is hard to believe that Berry Gordy, or anyone at Motown, never made a public acknowledgement of the contributions made by these outstanding musicians. And it is a further tribute to these men that they appear to bear no ill will for being kept "in the shadows". It's just a shame that all of them didn't live long enough to know that their accomplishments have finally been recognized and appreciated by the music fans.
The musical performances of some of the songs by the 'newer' artists are wonderful. Watching and listening to them interacting with the older musicians allows us to see the respect and admiration they have for these men and for the contributions they made.
And just when I thought that I had seen and heard it all they scrolled a list of the songs [records] these men had provided music for and I was stunned by the volume of hits with which they were involved.
My favorite Motown artists are The Four Tops, Mary Wells & Stevie Wonder and I know that it was not just the music of The Funk Brothers that made their [as well as all the other great artists at Motown] records so good. The songwriters [Holland, Dozier & Holland, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye & Barrett Strong to name a few] provided wonderful lyrics. Anyone who knows Motown music knows the artists and the songwriters and now, finally, we all know the musicians who made up the third key element to this wonderful Motown sound.
The DVD has many extras and I would suggest that anyone who watches the movie should watch all of the extras, too. I don't think you'll be disappointed.