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I Got the Hook Up (1998)
The Jail Scene
The scene where his mum and dad went to bail Blue?? from jail.
She was sprinkling Holy water!!!.
She was cursing all the demons (in the form of prisoners)to disappear.
That scene almost killed me.
I actually laughed and ended up weeping.
When some of the prisoners heckled her, she shouted at them, "Your Mama, All your mamas".
That's one of my fave jail scenes of all time.
Get Back Satan.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
I wanted to be a lawyer after I saw this movie. Gregory Peck was astounding ;now that is acting, letting your face, body language, silences and actions speak the entire gamut.
I followed the stories here through three different generations, the older generation Atticus Finch's set; watching him try to be a good example to his children while integrating himself into their lives, teaching them values unconsciously while setting standards and boundaries for discipline is a delight to watch. Miss Crawford and the old lady who was dying and Jem had to visit her, these bring an extended family element.
The middle set : Boo Radley, whose eyes and vision is what follows the children round the neighbourhood ; living his dreams through them and bearing their heartaches as well.
And the children ; Scout Finch is a most poignant storyteller; she relates the most significant things with colour and life. When they find the wax dolls in trees, the importance they attach to it, the feeling that Boo is watching and when she gets to meet Boo, she isn't at all scared, it's been so long that the anticipation of meeting him turns into respect. We grow with Scout at Atticus' knee, with Calpurnia, with Aunt Alexandra, with Jem & Dill, and finally in that epiphany scene with Boo (when she walks him home), she ages and time stands still and even when she returns to the present, she has become an adult in many ways; love, honour, sacrifice and selflessness all hold new meaning for her. She was never going to see the world through a child's perspective again.
Boo was supposed to be scary, I'm thoroughly thrilled to know that it was a very young Robert Duvall.
The storyline is simple but gripping, racism & prejudice burn long and slow and it takes the honour and faith of men like Atticus Finch and the sheriff to diffuse this or deal with it. When Boo kills Jem's Attacker Tom Ewell, the sheriff fabricates a story to protect Boo's privacy and the fact that he acted in defence of the children. As Miss Crawford says "it's a sin to shoot a mockingbird as they sing all day and give us sweet music" there are two mockingbirds; Tom Robinson and Boo Radley who have done nothing but try to co-exist and bring peace to their little world.
The language belongs to the era; the settings are stark depicting the harshness, simplicity and "beauty" of those times. The themes of racism, superiority/inferiority complexes, sacrifice, respect, integrity and honour all resound strongly. It is a lesson in morals but a picture; a signpost for the future!!
To Kill A Mockingbird reverberates with hope, while there is injustice, there will be those who believe in justice. Racism may always exist but there also those who believe in free will and equal; opportunities. At times all it takes is the simple voice of a child to remind us who we are.!!
A Twist In The Tale..
I enjoyed this movie because it put a twist in the myth.
I did not understand why at first but the twist works within reason...
Hercules had "12 tasks or Labours" He borrowed Cerberus from Hades and returned the hound when he was done. His father (Zeus) took Amphitryon's form when he slept with Alcimene the departures are varied and complex but it all works...
I love the special effects. The Nemean Lion, the Golden Hind, the sacrifice of Alcimene, the love of Amphitryon for Hercules. The fact that the gods never show themselves, this all adds up. There is a new flavour.
Leelee Sobieski was a graceful Deianara because they cast against type. Your typical nymph would look like a bimbo but Leelee brings a simple charm to her role that's delightful to see.
Paul Telfer looked good and brought ruggedness and humility in equal doses to the name. Timothy Dalton surprised me with the first good role in ages, I actually enjoyed seeing him in all his scenes, He was GOOD. Elizabeth Perkins was arch as Alcimene and that role will never be the same again.
I thought Sean Astin was too close to SamWise in his portrayal but I think it will take a truly evil role or a total departure from character for us to see him as anyone else.
The special effects were good and convincing in some cases bar the Hydra. But everything else won me over.
I must be a sucker because I put aside my misgivings and watched this movie with an open mind; my only regret was I didn't see all 12 labours. It's not a mind-blowing epic, it's a small beautiful tale, simply to paint the human side of Hercules, he was a demi -god but did not achieve immortal status till he died.
Good Movie, A Must Own
Gracie's Choice (2004)
Gracie had some tough choices to make in this movie, playing mom to 3 brothers and a sister are choices that any teenager should not have to make, once in a while you'd care for siblings under the supervision of your parents, you'd simply carry out the instructions.
Gracie had to make decisions for everyone, basically she put her life on hold, And as mentioned earlier, her boyfriend came across as stupid, one moment he's in love and admiring her strength and the next he's urging her to chuck it in and throw her lot with him and "his nouveau riche" family. It seemed stupid and trite and somewhere out, there's one stupid man who's lost the woman of his life.
Anne Heche's drugged out mom was over-stretched but drugs do things to people, I was glad that Gracie's influence held the kids together.
The scene where the boys had to decide who they'd live was heart-wrenching and actually brought tears to my eyes. Watching the youngest one, talk about his love for horses but wanting to sleep in his bed and wake up at home with Gracie totally melted me.
This is a story that touches the heart, my hat's off to the real Gracie.
You rock Sista, you really do.
Kristen Bell actually made the character believable, she was and is still Gracie for me.
SOUND SOLID MOVIE
This show has to be recognised as one of the milestones in Black TV, before Bill Cosby, before the smattering of Black shows on TV today, Diahann Carroll played a single mom raising a son all by herself.
She didn't play a rich bored housewife, or a Hollywood madam like in Dynasty. Diahann played a sensible working woman. Scatty, witty, repressed at times but a woman of our times. Characters like Julia are everyday people, they remind us of who we are,
I find Julia a powerful statement of the 70's with single working parents, this is a positive statement for women and Blacks all over, it's not all about flash,booty and bling!!! There is dignity in hard work, pity the show didn't last very long but it's important to note that she played the lead and there were hardly any race-related issues on the show. It was just normal "everyday people"
Also being filmed in Black and White dates it but gives it a classic feel.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
This movie was entertainment, light summer entertainment. There wasn't much of a story but the action sequences told stories of their own, 2 skilled, highly paid assassins working for rival organisations, accidentally cross while vying for the same target.
Unfortunately they happen to be husband and wife the Smiths who are in a sterile farcical marriage. They discover that they both lied to each other over a period of their six-year marriage and decide to end it, but while trying to take each other out (which they do brutally), they discover that their bosses want them dead or single i.e. "one must die" They both combine forces to take on the bosses and their minions and it's one explosive fest of bullets, wits, anger and mind-blowing explosions.
Pitt & Jolie pull enough chemistry on-screen to generate heat in this scorcher. The action keeps you on the edge of your seat or tuned in totally.
Good Summer Blockbuster
Fantastic Four (2005)
I didn't know what to expect when watching this movie,but it established the origins of the FF in a solid manner.
Never seen Gruffudd before but he delivered, Jessica Alba was sweet as a young Sue Storm, her invisibility trip thru the city totally won me (she's a seasoned actress having been around for a while), I loved the force fields and the strain she put herself through when Johnny went supernova. Chris Evans (new face for me) was funny as the Torch but he also came thru when he "FLAMED ON", Mike Chiklis was the last person I expected to play the Thing, but he was not only entertaining he inspired sympathy or empathy as the underdog. The Thing is quite lovable and it's interesting to see him come to terms with his xter. Alicia being cast against type was totally exceptional and a touch of cinematic genius, The action scenes are expansive, the storyline is simple and down to earth, these aren't superheroes who are afraid to test the waters, these people want to live and be seen as one of us.
The actors are young and leave room in their physical aspect for growth and consequently sequels.
The Fantastic Four was truly fantastic
Point of No Return (1993)
Point Of No Return
There's comes a point when you can't go back.
Maggie had initially sold her body to drugs, then she had to sell her soul to the government and become an instrument for them. The chemistry between Byrne and Fonda is electric and the fact that there were no love scenes actually leaves you wanting more.
Fonda is devastating as druggie who wants to be left alone, luminuous as Maggie the made-over assassin then as repentant hit-woman, she strikes a soul-full chord. There is a heart and a point when every human becomes a machine, but she turned around and made her choice her way or no-way, It's interesting to note that Gabriel Byrne let her go because he somehow loved her and knew that he had to set her free or she would eventually turn on him.
Interesting support from Dermot Mulroney, Harvey Keitel, the late Anne Bancroft to name a few.
Sound, Solid but Gritty Movie..!!!
At First Sight (1999)
Quite Simple But Touching!!!
It's so easy to take for granted every thing or privilege that we count as natural.
Kilmer plays a very convincing blind man who's learnt to rely fully on his senses. The scene where it's about to rain is beautiful, his perception is intuitive.
His smile speaks of acceptance of a fate that he's unable to change but is facing with it with dignity. Sorvino is an equal foil for him and paces him subtly.
This is a beautiful look at a world where we are imperfect and therein lies perfection.
At First Sight is simple and poignant and anyone who criticises it needs to look at themselves critically.
DEEP DEEP MOVIE
Body Count (1998)
I enjoyed this movie because it was unpredictable, Fiorentino was stupid and unconvincing but Rhames and Whittaker pulled talent and credibility out of their pockets like there was no tomorrow.
The supporting cast were okay even John Leguizamo was over the top, but the end was incredulous as Fiorentino kicked Rhames outta the car, typical of a hustler, a grifter, but her plan backfires when 100 yards down the road she is stopped by the cops who have the car on their radar and Rhames walking away finds the loot stashed in the jacket pocket.
He has the last laugh!! GOOD...