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Random Hearts (1999)
Sensitive Subject sensibly seen
In defensive of reality, I have had to give this movie a high score. The story is convincing, the acting, credible; the direction, tight; the emotions, high; the pace, flowing and the after movie discussion around the table over whiskeys and coffee was racy, thought provoking and left no doubt in anyone's mind that "...rather them than me."
Infidelity is part of our daily lives, it is a choice we choose in the heat of the moment, most times without regard to the lives that are destroyed in the wake of those heated passions. However it is those lives that are left to pick up the pieces. The script produced sublime parallels, each leaving huge "what ifs?". Certainly a well spent 133 minutes. Conversely, it was the 7 hours of discussion afterward that proved that this movie had both content and entertainment.
A sensitive subject very sagaciously handled. Well done Mr Pollack...
After Alice (2000)
A lesson in acting...
People watch movies for a variety of different reasons. This movie didn't have the big budget, there's no special effects, no car chases and there's no explosions. Actually reality doesn't have much of these either. At least not in my life.
This is a very real movie about very real people, none of them perfect in any way but together they are put into a situation where they learn to explore and accept what is different and that in turn makes order out of chaos. I am not prepared to limit the possibility of parapsychology, since I'm neither an expert nor use the full extent of my own brain.
So watch this movie for the characters. It is brim-full of a whole cast of wonderful quirky folk.
Within the first three minutes Kiefer Sutherland enacts Detective Michael Hayden's life superbly and he keeps developing the character throughout the movie. Excellent acting, very believable.
Henry Czerny could not have been cast better and the rapport between his 'Harvey' and Kiefer's 'Mickey' enhances the oppositeness of their characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the cranky landlady, 'Mrs Ramsay', I'm sure she and my mother-in-law are good friends!!!
There's a host more of these wonderful characters but space is limited here so watch the movie and enjoy them.
A Morphing Delight
I'm typing this being dictated to by my 11 year old son, in whose opinion this is the best movie he has ever seen. He's outgrown the Disney variety and various animations but he's still not ready for hardcore action movies so what is there for him to enjoy - well as a mom, I can tell you, very little. That's where the fantasy movies are so great. They have mystery, action, a little romance but the greatest value comes from the good moral story of good wins over evil, truth over deceit and small truimphs over powerful.
The most amazing fact is that at the time of first seeing this movie, it is 16 years old - Thank you George Lucas, thank you Ron Howard and thank you for a wonderful cast who have brought this eternal story to eternal life and I'm not joking either. I think we are on viewing #25 already and still going strong.
Movies are about people sharing a story but magic certainly helps get the message across...
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
Heart Wrenching, Soul Searching of our Moral depths.
Amazing how people see Kubrick as black and Spielberg as white, Kubrick as dark and Spielberg as light, two ends of the spectrum of movie making. I disagree, I believe that both these men are highly intelligent and are telling the same story using the different ends to achieve the same result - to get people to listen.
People who make movies have stories to share with the rest of us who queue up to hear them because of our quest for greater truths. This is a story that needs to be told again and again until people have learnt to apply the lessons.
I am not an authority on Stanley Kubrick and it is not my intention to come across as one but for me his movies have always made a statement - and I feel not one that I had to agree with or disagree with, rather one that I am to apply to my life and then examine the emotional responses that are raised. Personally I didn't agree with Dr Bowman's manipulation of Hal in `2001' or Dr. Harford in his exploration into the forbidden bounds of marriage in `Eyes Wide Shut' but they all raised questions which made me assess my own depths. 'AI' again raises Kubrick's original statement; `We are not alone in the Universe and we belong to Someone Greater than ourselves...." Is it at all surprising that he has to state this again in 2001 when we just didn't get it in 1968? Life is our responsibility. Ours.
I believe that Kubrick realised the sensitivity that was needed to tell this story and quite rightly choose Steven Spielberg for his unique touch of enduring love storytelling.
Life is an equation that ends with `Love never fails' and starts with 'To Love' is to 'Be Loved'. The fortunate among us are loved first from birth however most, as in David's case, love first and forever search to be loved. David, the machine was programmed to love unconditionally but we as human have the capacity to learn to hate. Man or Machine, we who are here first have a responsibility to those who follow.
There are millions of children in this world that live each day searching for a glimmer of love, of acceptance, someone who believes in them. Some are happy just to settle for a smile, kind word or gentle touch. And the scary part, is that they will accept this from anyone.
Of all the crimes and inhumanity that humans are capable of doing to one another, the greatest crime, I believe, is to ignore their very existence. Non-acceptance in young children 'grow' disturbed teens that result in atrocious consequences, many which cannot be undone. America has only to look at their schools and the foreign response on Sept 11. Ireland, Palestine, Israel, too many countries in the Middle East and Africa, these have only to look at the dead eyes of living children carrying weapons to realise that this world is in dire need of love, acceptance, and self-belief.
I personally thank Mr Aldiss, Mr Watson, Mr Kubrick, Mr Spielberg and all the cast and crew of 'AI ' who through this 'telling of the story' and the magic of their special talents have re-awakened the admission that in order to 'grow' a better society, a better world we first need to love and accept our children, taking the responsibility of having them more seriously and accepting the role of sacrifice for a greater cause, the child's own self worth. yes, Love never fails! We should sit up and listen this time.
The Dish (2000)
This is an uplifting movie about man's indomitable spirit. The real meaning of teamwork at its best. When called apon, man can rise above obstacles and divisions to meet challenges in unusual ways. It is filled with heart-warming quirky humour. Outstanding performances from the main cast, you really believe that they are the characters they portray. Excellent script, good dialogue, moves at a pace that never loses your attention. A must for anyone who wants to know what Australians are really like...real good folk!