Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015)
stop with all the finger wagging
So you think Sally Field doesn't look hot, or does look hot, or the male lead (name escapes me) is hot, isn't hot, or what is a 60something year old doing, fantasizing and pursuing a 30something year old. These actors are people, and their fictional characters are people within the confines of the story. They weren't made for you. There are billions of people in the world - each with his/her own story, also not made for you. You have your own story, and have done things in your life that someone else might wag their finger at and declare, "inappropriate!" (and if not you've had an incredibly boring life and it's time to get out there and get one)
Go ahead and make these judgments if you must. You're not the ultimate judge of what's hot and what's not, what's appropriate and what's cringe-worthy. Part of the "lesson" of the movie turned out to be that such prejudices can interfere with living a full life and prevent you from exploring all the avenues that may present themselves to you.
Wife and I enjoyed the movie very much.
Doris reminded me of my own mom, who was "hot" and effervescent, and who was named, Doris. I went to see it for that very reason, and I was rewarded by a beautiful and interesting movie, with many other aspects beyond whether the characters were hot and whether their behavior was age-appropriate.
Elsa & Fred (2014)
What can I say? I adored it. Anyone that dislikes sentimentality in movies will hate this - therefore I loved it! The scene in Rome is remarkably beautiful - as are many other moments in this wonderful movie. You kiddies out there who think that Shirley MacLain looks too old and her part should have been recast - screw you. She is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. She has been a heartthrob for me since we were both young. It's great to see her still beautiful (in my eyes anyway) and her terrific acting talents are on display here as well. Christopher Plummer is another huge PLUS in this movie. To watch these great stars on the screen, in parts befitting their, well..advanced ages - and not "younged down" for general audiences who don't understand what getting...mature - is all about - well, I really appreciated it from start to finish. Great supporting cast as well. If you're, let's say, under 50 (I'm well over), and get uncomfortable or bored watching it, put it away for a decade (or two or three) or so and then break it out again. You won't get it now, but you will someday. For those who recognize the names of the stars, who have watched them age through the years, and who have a sense of history in their own lives because you've lived through a lot of stages in your life - you will love this movie. I guarantee it!
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Grows on you
I enjoyed it while watching it - maybe even immensely. But when it ended, something intruded into my consciousness and I decided it was rather silly and unsubstantial.
You know - making those kinds of judgments can color how you really feel - not that you shouldn't ever make them. But it's lazy thinking. Later, in the company of close friends, I was asked about the movie, and I let the laziness get out and just said it was rather moronic.
As I've been thinking about it more and more, I want to say it was amazing in many respects. The Coen Bros never give you what you're expecting- or what other filmmakers might have done in their place. That's why they're the Coen Bros.
Cloony in one of his great performances. Terrific scenes of movie shooting back in the day. Tilda Swinton in great duel roles. Brolin is beyond fantastic. Fienes also remarkably funny in a small role. Incredibly funny cowboy stunts. Hilarious dialogue. Technically incredible.
The only question is what is this movie saying to us? A fair question. I'm not sure. I have a few theories. So what? It's wonderful.
Hail Caesar. Go see it. Amazing.
After the Dark (2013)
Splendid, original, and gripping
In response to the vast weight of negative posts about this movie, I would like to say:
I loved it. Saw it more than a year ago - and it's occupied my mind periodically ever since. I'm a fan of the post-apocalypse genre. A big fan. But that doesn't mean I like just any movie dealing with it. This was far and away the most thought provoking and intelligent movie on the subject I can remember seeing. I wish I had a philosophy teacher that asked questions like these (although not necessarily doing some of the other things this teacher did). Fully absorbed from start to finish. Loved the way the story played out differently each time. I don't get all the negativity about it - it was so novel. So unusual. For a movie of this genre, to go in this direction - making me think deeply about what I would do - who I would chose - it was just so refreshingly original. It exposes prejudices and intolerance. It shows you that your first and most practical thoughts may not be the best - especially when you add information you didn't know at first - totally changing the calculation.
There are surprises and unanticipated developments.
WHY DIDN'T THEY ENTER ALL THE COMBINATIONS TO GET OUT!!????
Okay, that's a question I asked myself as well. That's one of my points - it makes you ask these questions. It's not a "plot hole". It's the outcome of a thought experiment in which not all the best decisions were made - leading to a disastrous outcome. Then there is the debate about whether it's "fair" to have part of the first scenario figure into the second scenario. Remember that this is a thought experiment. This is not really happening - they are just exploring possibilities in their minds, in a philosophy class. ANYTHING is valid in such a setting. Have you never just had an idea and let your mind run with it? It doesn't have to make perfect sense. I am so enamored of this movie that I have described it in detail to my coworkers - and they were on the edge of their seats, just listening to my account. Splendid. Incredibly original and gripping. That's my take on it.
Great movie spoiled
I did enjoy it. I laughed and I cried. I loved Cranston, loved LCK, enjoyed the pacing, and all the supporting roles. Then I found out that Edward G. Robinson was made to testify but NEVER ratted out by naming names. NEVER!!!
I do NOT understand how a supposedly scholarly movie - one that seems to pride itself of historical accuracy - an important time in our history - portraying important and very well known people - and one that got many details spot on like Douglas' breaking of the blacklist by giving Trumbo the screen credit in Spartacus - HOW could such a movie make a massive mistake like this???????
When Robinson testified, you know he must have been under TREMENDOUS pressure to name the names. But he NEVER DID! It was Sterling Hayden that named the names. Not Edward G. Let's set the record straight!
And what does our beloved Little Caesar get for his bravery and integrity under fire? Is he revered? Is he lauded? Is he at least admired for displaying the kind of backbone and grit that is championed by Dalton Trumbo?
No he is not. He gets to be unfairly defamed. You watch it and say, wow - that Edward G was some POS.
And all for NO dramatic purpose. It had no bearing on the outcome - the 10 were already in prison, hearing EGR naming the names on the radio. Was this some sort of dramatic license? It should not even be LEGAL to slander a real person in this way. EGR's estate should be fuming about it. I would be.
I mean it CAN'T be an unintended mistake. The least fact checking reveals what I wrote above. So it was an intentional deception, assassinating the character of an actual person, known to and loved by millions - and for some unfathomable purpose.
When I learned of this inaccuracy, it spoiled the movie for me. Granted, I'm a big Edward G fan. I love all of his roles. Every one of them. One of my favorite actors of all time. How would the director or script writer like it if after they're dead, they are made out as villains and traitors?
I realize that this sort of chicanery happens in the movies all the time. I think it's wrong. It's one thing when a movie is an obvious fantasy, another when it is clearly and ostensibly depicting real events.
So as good a movie as it is, I have to give Trumbo only 2 stars.
Seemed as though a LOT was taken from The Walking Dead. Not saying that anything was directly lifted from the TV Series - maybe there are just so many plot devices you can muster for a zombie thriller - but still, I've seen it all before. But having said that, it was darned scary - much more so than The Walking Dead. I lost my fear of those walkers somewhere in season 1 because you see so much of them. Here, they (the zombies) are used much more judiciously, therefore - to much greater effect. The interpersonal dramas were good. The creepiness factor was good. The bleakness of the outback, all the sets, the actors, it was all good. Just the ending seemed to me to not work well, and the way the characters changed at the end. Other than that, engaging throughout.
The African Queen (1951)
Succeeds on Star Power Alone
If there is ANYBODY who has yet to see The African Queen (and I mean for the very first time) then be forewarned there are spoilers below:
Although I remember being thrilled by this when I first saw it (as it doubtless thrilled movie goers who saw it on the big screen in the early 1950's), when I turn a critical eye towards the movie today, its flaws are obvious. If the movie succeeds at all, it does so on sheer star power alone - and star power it has. Who can resist the great Hepburn and the great Bogey? Certainly not I - I was entertained and to an extent charmed by the grace and the magnitude of these bona-fide screen legends. But in the final analysis, it is the very magnitude of these superstars that does the movie in. Where there could have be a real sense of peril and doom - with a few exceptions it felt like a walk in the park. The only exception, I would say, was the leeching scene. When Bogy returns to the parasite infested water, the look on his face made me shudder in my shoes. But other than that, they treated the journey much like a jaunt to the corner store. Laughing at the hippos (incredibly dangerous to humans in real life), blithely ignoring the crocs, the lions, the chimpanzees - this was kind of a travelogue - I never once felt that they were in any danger from predators. The river itself with the whitewater scenes did provide a little excitement, but it was quickly over. Then Bogey just whips up a campfire and repairs the damaged propeller and shaft. When at first he stated that it would be impossible to do so, he should have stuck to his guns. It would have been. A straightened shaft and a neatly welded prop blade was a ridiculous outcome. The way they suddenly embraced and became love birds was equally inane. The way they calmly accepted the German captain's death sentence was just over the top. The whole plan was a joke, and Bogey knew it from the start. The movie would have been far more tense and convincing had he stuck to his guns and they somehow had to navigate out of trouble but with a much more realistic narrative. Many classic movies from the past display the same tendency to rely on its star power and neglect the true facts of life, ignoring the reality that one-in-a-million strokes of luck actually only happen one-in-a-million times. The Louisa striking the "torpedo" on the sunken Queen, and Hepburn and Bogey (who had lost everything) swimming off in laughter was the final straw. The art of cinema has benefited greatly by the fantastic directors and screenwriters who came after. Movies were still in their infancy in 1951, and it shows. If it were done today the same way, the movie would by laughed off the screen and out of the theaters in a week.
Possible minor spoilers below
When I first saw the coming attractions, I vowed I would NOT be seeing this. Then it got such high praise, and I normally DO like Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, love Scarlett Johansson, and I decided that the plot sounded interesting enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, it did not work for me at all. This was a one dimensional idea that they tried to make into a 2 hour movie that took itself much too seriously. I get that we're all on the verge of relating more to our iThings than our actual relationships. That's the one dimension. Most every person in the movie is absorbed with their pocket computers, just like most everyone is today, except to an even more neurotic degree. The natural extension of this neurosis is that we could fall in love with these things to the extent that we exclude actual human beings from our lives. I get this. But I hated the movie. The first 20 minutes was intriguing. The booting up of the system, the first conversation - I even admit I thought it would be cool to have an OS1 myself. Then, just like that, the creepiness factor overcame the intrigue and I started squirming and the most inviting thing I could see in the theater was the EXIT signs to the left and right of the screen. I did not take the exit - I watched the movie through - but for at least the last 1 and 1/2 hours, I was simultaneously creeped out, disgusted, bored, and repulsed. The movie had nowhere to go. Maybe that was the point. It had nowhere to go, just like our relationships with our devices have nowhere to go. I get the point but demonstrating it to me in this way was torture. WHY did he wear the nearly identical clothing throughout? And this clothing looked shabby and worn in close ups - what was the wardrobe designer thinking? Where was the spirit of Edith Head? Theodore seemed fairly well-to-do. He couldn't ever change his shirt and pants? HOW could he afford a swanky looking apartment, while working in what looked like a cog-n-the-machine type of no-influence job? Sure he was creative, but this type of a job does not earn the big bucks. True I don't know the society, but you did see row upon row of similar grunts doing the same thing as he. This would be a low pay, low reward type of crappy job. Then we have Samantha, who, after the initial exhilarating (I admit) introduction to human society (sterile as it was) became just a prop in the movie and nothing more. Sure there were a few surprises along the way, but not enough to sustain the movie. As I said, it might have been a 20 minute vignette or Saturday Night Live skit. Except there was not enough humor even for that witless show. A foul mouthed holographic image in a video game did little to liven things up. What about the potential liabilities and repercussions of publishing supposedly personal, hand written (by others) love letters? Didn't Skip, or Chris, or whatever their blasted names were, have any comment upon maybe finding out their lovers did NOT write these letters, seeing them published in a book by Theodore? Not a word about this - one of the few things that COULD have provided a little interest, conflict, and resolution. But nothing. Did the writers actually not understand this? Too complex a thought for them? (My wife pointed this out and I was proud of her) I got sick and tired of seeing Phoenix'z nerdy face in almost every scene, was revolted by the prostitute pretending to be Samantha (although Samantha denied she was a prostitute but let's call a spade a spade), was totally repulsed and embarrassed (for the movie makers that is) by the sex with Samantha scene - was praying they would touch cheeks and leave it at that - which it looked like they were about to when the screen went blank but no, they had to heap on the stinky schmaltz by continuing the verbal coitus - what a repulsive pile of steaming excrement this movie is. HOW could the little girl and the friends at the picnic hear Samantha, when Theodore always had to wear that earpiece? They did not have any earpieces, but suddenly Samantha's voice rang out. The hooker needed it though. They even blew the opportunity to have the real Scarlett Johansson play the hooker, which would have provided at least a touch of irony to this idiotic and childish nightmare of a movie, but no, they found an actress who almost looked like Scarlett instead, although Scarlett herself was right there for them. WTF????? Insipid and bland, while being creepy and repulsive. The worst possible combination of normally mutually exclusive elements. Amy Adams' performance was passable, and Scarlett Johansson has a nice voice. I liked the first 20 minutes - the scene at the beach and in the arcade as Samantha was indoctrinated into the nightmarish world of human society grown OS dependent. That is all I can find to say about this otherwise tortuous rip-off of a movie. My wife, with whom I saw it, felt exactly the same way about it. Another good thing is that with every passing, gruesomely excruciating moment, I loved my real flesh-and-blood wife more and more. And yes, this maybe was the point, but it was supposed to be a movie, not a marital therapy session. Sorry to those that loved it, and I realize a lot of folks did love it. But my wife and I are certainly not among them. Saved the day and my mood by buying a great looking black wool fedora after the movie ended - so this trashy movie would up costing me $107. $22 for the movie tickets and $85 for the hat.
One of the VERY BEST of its genre
I put this on, expecting your typical schlocky disaster movie, which I enjoy even though they are usually worthless. Usually, you follow your core group of main characters - who are mostly untouched by the disaster - as you watch hordes of nameless, faceless mobs die, while clumsy CGI special effects blast them, or burn them, or hurl them to kingdom come. Tsk tsk, what a shame - there go another hundred or so unlucky boobs. I think I'll get up and get a snack - might as well leave it running - I won't miss anything. This wonderful movie is nothing like that. This movie has an exceptional cast, whom you follow through the HELL that they are experiencing, in a very realistic portrayal. I cared about these characters. They have personalities that grow on you. They console each other. They try to protect each other - against the absolutely terrifying scenario that they are trying to survive. Some reviewers complained that it was slow going until the earthquake. I guess they must have short attention spans, and if nobody is dying at the moment they loose interest. You hear about earthquakes in other parts of the world (other than where I live, at least, in NYC) and you hear 10,000 died, 100,000 died or 250,000 died, but you just can't imagine what it could be like to see such a thing happening. If you want to be immersed in the sheer terrifying horror of such an event, prepare yourself and then watch Aftershock. An unqualified 9 stars. One of my very favorites of this genre.
Wake in Fright (1971)
A harrowing, brutal, superb nightmare of a film
The movie is superb. I, like many others, grimaced at the kangaroo slaughter. I despise the needless killing of animals - especially "higher" animals, and these kangaroos have the light of consciousness in their eyes. But they were not killed for the movie, according to the info that the producers provided. This hunt was going to happen, movie or not, and without it, the movie would have been less revolting, but much less powerful. Now that I got the kangaroo killing over with, I can only state, that I was riveted to the screen, glued to the narrative, overwhelmed by the brilliance of all the performances, and blown away by the overall effect. Good Lord, what a masterpiece! Here is a movie that explores, in depth, the downward spiral of a character that we (or I, at least) immediately liked. Every line was delivered not by the actors, but by the characters they portrayed. Totally engulfing, to the point that I still feel the dust in my nostrils. Once again, a movie made with a fraction of the resources that the big Hollywood studios have at their disposal, and yet, with 10 times the power. 10 stars!