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Life, Animated (2016)
So glad I watched this
One of the best documentaries I've seen. I had a clue what what was going on in my brother's mind, but this made it so much more relatable. As if we really know what goes on in anyone else's mind, because we're all so completely unique. Every person is shaped by their experiences, and what this family did when nature struck their child an unexpected blow is inspirational. What Owen did for himself leaves me beyond words. "Who decides what a meaningful life is?" Best line ever. As if any of us are "normal" or "better," just because we don't have a noticeable or diagnosed "defect." I think my brother is hands down one of the best people I've ever known.
Facing Evil (2010)
Great show ... not what I was expecting
If you've watched a lot of crime TV, you might pass by another show about a case you've seen covered multiple times.
Candice DeLong is a pro at disarming people and getting them to open up in a very unique way. It can be unnerving and exhausting to listen to some of them ramble on about their innocence when it's obvious they're guilty.
Other subjects broke my heart with their brutal honesty about what led them to kill, and their acceptance of responsibility for ending a life.
The woman who clearly acted in self defense really hit home. She knew what harm he was capable of doing, and it's a tragedy that she killed him.
Through a Dog's Eyes (2010)
This is a heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) look at the miraculous bond that is necessary to successfully train a service dog. When animals and humans bridge the communication gap between species, amazing things happen. It's similar to being foreigners from dramatically different backgrounds who can't speak each other's language. By treating the other with respect and showing a desire to understand them -- even help them -- you've opened the door to what may become a great friendship.
My heart goes out to the trainers, because they bond so strongly with the dogs they'll ultimately be giving to someone else. What a truly selfless act that epitomizes the beauty of helping others.
Everyone involved in this effort helps in giving people a life-changing opportunity, especially the dogs.
The Descendants (2011)
Wow ... just wow.
Intense is an understatement this was brutal. Don't get me wrong, it's totally worth it.
I think at some point almost everyone is faced with the reality that someone we trusted has betrayed us. How one handles heartbreak can make or break them and those around them if they succumb to the power of anger or a need to seek revenge.
It's amazing when you're somehow able to rise above pain and bitterness to find even a shred of positivity in something that seemed nothing but destructive. It's a gift. Jealousy, infidelity and betrayal can crush your soul if you let it. This is a raw look at a scenario that I have no trouble imagining.
The often used phrase, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger," has definitely rung true for me, but it sure is hell to go through the time it can take to reveal a positive impact. Handling the negative part is exhausting, but there always seems to be something significant about the good that ultimately outweighs the bad.
In a nutshell, I think it's important to try to forgive what is impossible to forget. Who you are today is a result of what you've experienced. It's up to you to choose the effect it has on you to the best of your ability at the time.
No matter how you react, you must make amends and/or forgive yourself for whatever happened during an extremely stressful period in your life. And you have to work hard to forgive.
There is yin and yang, balance, karma, good and bad
and ultimately there is justice even though you may never realize it. If you're fortunate, you gain an understanding and acceptance than impels you to carry on with a constructive mindset.
The Guard (2011)
I couldn't wait to see this. It was everything I thought it would be and more. Brendan Gleeson is too funny!
Don Cheadle was great as the deadpan F.B.I. agent who is thrown into an Irish town full of wacky characters and most especially so is Gleeson.
His multi-faceted life is surprising and hysterical. Certain areas of it are sad, but there's enough humor thrown in to alleviate the risk of something being taken seriously enough to change the mood.
Each character plays a significant part in the story, and the entire supporting cast did an incredible job.
The movie that hates household pets!
Grandpa (Ernest Borgnine) is babysitting for little Billy when a storm causes a power outage. Faced with the sudden task of entertaining his grandson now that the TV is out of commission, he decides to tell him a story he'd written years before.
It's the whimsical tale of Merlin, the magical wizard who proclaims that he "only wants people to believe in and experience the joy of magic." So of course the obvious thing to do is open a trendy little shop downtown.
It's (hopefully) not what the writer had in mind, but nonetheless it immediately becomes obvious that Merlin is (and I quote The Great and Powerful Oz), "not a bad man, just a very bad wizard." Every item that leaves the Mystical Shop of Wonders causes terror and death. Apparently his great powers are useless when it comes to stopping the evil and harm he's 100% responsible for unleashing on the innocent.
Despite the nearly non-existent links between subplots, one thing is consistent from beginning to end: every aspect of this story is so wrong on so many levels. No man, woman, child or household pet is safe not even the goldfish! Seriously, even the most violent movies I've seen usually stick to one pet max!
Don't get the idea that this is some sort of graphic horror flick. Not even by a long shot. It's pathetic, lame and ridiculous to the point that it's funny that is unless you're poor little Billy.
As you watch this, you'll be haunted by the burning question: "Why is Grandpa Psycho alone with Billy, telling a violent tale that will likely scar him for life?" But then, alas, he finishes the story with the lamest excuse for a happy ending and tenderly tucks Billy in. Sweet dreams little guy!
I typically watch movies like this on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I give that episode 10/10! This line really sums it up: "So evil wins, Grandpa Borgnine?" "That's right, even your tiny soul is doomed, Billy."
Ein Toter hing im Netz (1960)
If you appreciate REALLY bad movies, you're in for a treat
A shameless skinstravaganza of dizzy dancers cat fighting for their lives on a remote island. It's a mindless blend of sultry scenes that may have even gained it the coveted status of "stag film" back in the day ... ?.
The girls went above and beyond in their portrayal of a group of dumb, sleazy, sex-starved co-dependent bimbos. The men deserve equal credit for their shining depiction of dumb, sleazy, sex-starved macho morons.
But wait there's more! A giant spider and a mutant man show up a few times. Beware: it will boggle your mind if you try to keep tying it in with the rest of the movie.
The Mystery Science Theater episode is a must see for fans, and quite possibly the only safe way to watch this. Otherwise, it's just too painful.
Kirschblüten - Hanami (2008)
Brought me to tears
I can't begin to describe how much this film moved me. After nearly losing my spouse, best friend and soul mate, I could relate to the crushing emotions of both Trudi and Rudi. Life stands still when you're faced with the realization of living without that person.
In 2009 my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and it crushed me. The way Trudi tried to hide her tears, how she couldn't sleep or eat, and her painful realization that each moment with him might be the last were things I experienced firsthand. I can't imagine the added of burden of trying to keep it from him and act as if nothing were wrong. I failed miserably as a strong, supportive caretaker.
Many of the things Rudi went through were similar to what I imagined my life would become if he didn't make it. One of the things that really struck me was the portrayal of how seemingly mundane, everyday events become vivid and painful reminders of what was and what you desperately wish you still had.
A beautiful movie, a work of art.
Angels' Brigade (1979)
The movie that transcends the boundaries of total crap!
So bad that it's mind boggling! Without the MST3K version, I might not have made it through the torture of watching it. That episode is one of their best!
It's like a having a 70's themed nightmare strongly influenced by Gilligan's Island and Charlie's Angels screen test outtakes.
The production reminds me of the concept behind "Bowfinger." I picture the recognizable actors as either desperate, bound by contract, paying back a huge favor or they were cleverly tricked into being in the film.
"Seriously, Jack (Palance), this is a golden opportunity. Peter Lawford and Jim Backus are in."
The Good Son (1993)
Great cast, great movie
I'm surprised at the current 6.0 overall rating. Elijah Wood, Macauly Culkin and everyone else were impressive even Macauly's younger sister, Quinn. I don't consider this a **spoiler** but if you like to go into a movie knowing absolutely nothing because it distracts you, stop reading. I'm sure there are already reviews here that reflect how much I like this film, so here is all I want to add. I've seen it before, but I noticed this time that when one of the characters falls over a cliff, you can plainly see a cable around their wrist for a second or two before it disappears. I found it listed in the goofs after watching it, so obviously I'm not the first to notice! It certainly doesn't take away from the film in any way.