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A Christmas Carol (1938)
My favorite Christmas movie!!
In my opinion, this is far and away the best film version of "A Christmas Carol" ever made. My favorite is, of course, Barry MacKay as Fred--i don't know why, he was just always my favorite character, even in the book. Every year I look forward to watching this movie during the holidays. Christmas wouldn't be the same without it. I don't own it, though. However, I'd consider it if the movie ever came out on dvd. I find that searching for when it will be on and staying up late on Christmas Eve to watch it is half the fun! Everyone should see this movie! As a side note, does anyone know why the site keeps telling me my comment must be 10 lines or longer in order to post? If it's just a fluke and this post ends up on the board a dozen times or something, my apologies.
Mystic River (2003)
Under the skilled eye of Eastwood, Lehane's dark restless novel comes to life with a vengeance. Acting talent abounds with Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney to create a deeply crafted film, both subtly uncomfortable and disconcerting, as though you've intruded on an intensely intimate moment of the characters' lives. The story itself is surrounded by profound emotional pain that grips our deepest fears of loss and betrayal in an almost Shakespearean manner. In doing so, it creates a heart wrenching tragedy that surrounds hopelessness and despair with rage and revenge. The film is a masterful collaboration of directing and acting that leaves you in awe of such extraordinary gifts.
Up at the Villa (2000)
What can I say?
Well, after reading several comments, it has become more than apparent to me that the majority didn't like it, especially Sean Penn's role. I, for one, enjoyed the film. Perhaps it's not the best movie ever made, perhaps it's not Penn's greatest performance, I'll give you that. However, I thought the movie was fun, enjoyable to watch. I suppose I wasn't looking for an Oscar candidate when I picked it up because the premise of the movie itself doesn't lend itself the traditonal epics or emotional dramas that are favored by the Academy. Mysteries are a favorite of mine and so the plot kept me interested and, to another point, I thought Sean Penn's performance was wonderful considering the role. Yes, it was understated which I found wonderful, and yes, after a momentary pause to think, the romantic relationship between Kristin Scott Thomas and Sean Penn seemed a bit odd, they don't seem to fit well together in that context. However, I thought the movie was all around just fun and Sean Penn is so utterably watchable in this movie and so charming and seductive that I would've followed him to the ends of the earth, guarantees or not
A Captive in the Land (1990)
A good movie?
I saw this several years back and it has scarred me for life. This is possibly the worst movie I've ever seen in my life, except Bring it On. "Royce! Put down the ax, Royce!" First off, the movie would never end. It was so unbearable I was forced to fastforward only to find nothing but the same hours into the movie. It has become a family joke at my house and seeing how all other reviewers loved it, I thought I'd give my warning to all those who don't share in their taste. My advice? I'd rather have a root canal done than see this again.
Maggie Smith does it again
I don't know about you, but every time I see Maggie Smith on the screen it's always a good sign to stick around for the whole movie. It holds true with The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. A rather slow-moving, at first, and quiet movie, it has a certain seductiveness to it that's just below the surface. As you watch the movie you can almost feel and see the emotions building up. Always at the edge and never missing a beat, Smith executes her role with absolute perfection and in doing so driving the audience insane. Pamela Franklin also comes through as a girl changes Miss Brodie's outlook on her and changes our outlook on Miss Brodie. Torn between rooting for her and hating her, and mostly you'll be doing the latter, Miss Brodie is a character with far less facets to her than one might expect. Only once again proving that trust can be misplaced and appearances can be deceiving.
The Indian Runner (1991)
Excellent film, excellent cast, good first impression
As Sean Penn's first film in the director's chair, I thought this movie was absolutely fantastic. The casting was perfect. David Morse perfectly portrays the son that sticks by his parents and the stay-at-home-and-take-care-of-the-family type. However, Viggo Mortensen easily steals the spotlight with his brilliant performance as Frank Roberts, a Vietnam vet who has emotional scars and a violent temper that lead him deeper into his own destruction. Every time he is on the screen he demands your attention and evokes both pity, disgust, and empathy. I highly recommend this film even though it's not a very fast moving film, but certainly enjoyable to watch.