Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Holiday Affair (1949)
Wonderful Holiday Film To Add To The Repertoire
"Holiday Affair" may be a lesser known holiday film, but it certainly lacks nothing in the way of likability or warmheartedness.
I viewed this for the first time, just a few days ago, and I can say that it will be one of those that I watch every Christmas season.
Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh are a perfect combination. And Wendell Corey plays the Ralph Bellamy-type role to a tee. The three of them play off of each other, and add such warmth, that I dare anyone to resist the charms of this film.
And Harry Morgan steals the film.
This will be the best film that you've never heard of, this season.
The Phenix City Story (1955)
I must have missed something
After watching this film, and then reading some of the reviews, I feel as though I must have missed something.
"The Phenix City Story" is not even a good grade B film, in my opinion. I didn't find it interesting in the least. The writing, especially the dialog, was corny and even laughable. The acting by a long list of "B" actors was the same.
Yes, there were some noir-type scenes, but I would not call this a film noir movie. Nor is is a particularly interesting gangster film. And I just found the ending of the film extremely unsatisfying.
Although this is based on a true story, and several of the people involved in the story actually appear in a 12 minute prologue, I didn't feel that it was nearly as good as some of the other reviewers felt.
This one can be avoided.
This is a "classic"?
I know that I'm not supposed to ask questions, and I know it was 1946, and Hollywood was playing with Film Noir, but there was just too much about this movie that made me want to yell "STOP ALREADY!!!"
Yes, Lana Turner is absolutely breathtaking. She's so sexy in all of those white outfits, and those beautiful eyes and lips. Very sensuous.
But do they really expect someone like her to fall for Cecil Kellaway and try to make it believable for the audience? And I'm sorry, but I just never thought that John Garfield was ever that good.
Throughout watching this film all I could think of was how it reminded me of "Double Indemnity" (which in my opinion is a much better film, in every aspect).
And the moral of the story about the postman? Ridiculous.
Don't waste your time with this one, no matter what you read about it.
The Beguiled (2017)
Gothic and Atmospheric Film
"The Beguiled" tells the tale of several women who are locked inside the remnants of a Gothic looking plantation, trying to survive the Civil War. One of the ladies (a young girl actually), discovers a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) in the woods. She takes him home and persuades the matron of the girls (Nicole Kidman) to heal the soldier and not turn him in to the Confederate army.
I won't say much more about the plot, so as not to give anything away. Let me just say, if you watched the trailer, your ideas about what was going to happen would be a lot more inventive and exciting than what actually does happen in this film.
The film, to me, certainly has the right atmosphere and look, although the setting looks more like South Carolina or Georgia, than Virginia. The acting is all first rate, especially Nicole Kidman. But there isn't enough in the script to really hold anyone's interest. At 93 minutes, I was left wondering how it was that nothing really happens.
Sophia Coppola is a talented director, and she assembles terrific casts, and gets wonderful performances out of them, but I frankly don't think that her screen writing skills are that good. I am one of the few people in this world who do not believe that "Lost in Translation" is a masterpiece. I'd like to see what she can achieve using someone else's screenplay.
6 out of 10
The Accountant (2016)
This is NOT a good movie!
I don't understand how so many people could say that this was not only a good movie, but an action packed thriller.
"The Accountant" is so bad on so many levels, it's difficult to understand what it is.
The story involves a leader (JK Simmons) of the Treasury Department is about to retire, he wants to find the person responsible for killing 9 members of a mafia crime family, from 20 years earlier.
The background to this story, and the reasons why he wants to find the killer, is explained during a scene that is approx. 12 minutes long and occurs 3/4 of the way thru the film. To me, anytime that long of a scene is used to explain the first hour of what you've already scene, is a clear indication that the writers are lazy in their writing.
Next, the climax of the film is so damn ridiculous, and stupid, you will want to put a bullet thru your television. It involves two brothers who haven't seen each other for 10 years.
JK Simmons and Anna Kendrick are wasted. The most moving part of Ben Affleck's performance is his hairpiece.
Save yourself the time and the money, and avoid this movie.
4 out of 10
Jesus Camp (2006)
Spreading the word of God, or is this child abuse?
"Jesus Camp" is a very good documentary that had me feeling ill at ease throughout the film.
In my opinion, it shows children ages 6 - 13 being groomed to preach the word of the Lord. From an early age these children are taught that they were once sinners, they need to be saved by the Lord and they need to "lead an army" to fight to get God back in the schools and to fight abortion.
I felt uneasy because when these kids go to camp, they learn about the evil world they live in. They are taught about abortion, and to stay away from Harry Potter, because he is the devil. Thought the film kids are "moved" and cry and try to show the leaders of the camp that they are worthy of the word of God. It made me feel that these kids were being abused, and I felt sick to my stomach.
The film does a great job of showing how the Evangelical movement is growing and taking an active role in trying to take over the government.
If you think Trump is scary, catch a load of some of the people in this film that are doing God's work.
A touching film about the need for personal contact
For me, "Moonlight" was the story of a boy, who grows to manhood, who seldom knew the tenderness of another human being.
Raised in the shadows of Miami, Chiron (also known as "Little), lives with his crack smoking mother. He is bullied by boys at his school. The only people who are kind to him is a local drug dealer and his girlfriend. When the dealer finds Chiron hiding from the bullies, he tries to get the boy to open up, and talk. This man, for all of his faults is the only one that the boy comes to trust, and talk to.
As the boy grows, his mother becomes more abusive, and the bullies are even meaner, and subject Chiron to all types of insults. But Chiron has one friend he can talk to, Kevin. Chiron can talk to Kevin, and the two boys share a rare moment of affection with each other. However, the bullies force Kevin to betray Chiron, and Chiron ultimately snaps and takes revenge on the ring leader.
In act three, Chiron is now a man, and he has tried to make a life for himself in the only way that he knows, from what he's seen (no spoiler). He still has issues with his unaffectionate mother, and he meets up with Kevin, whom he hasn't seen in a number of years.
Everything about this film is excellent. The writing rings true, the acting from all three "Chiron's) is wonderful, as well as support from Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, and Mahershala Ali.
The film dealt with themes about abuse (both physical and verbal), the need for role models, and the need for personal contact / relationships. It shows how just a little love or compassion, early in a person's development can mean so much to their life after they've grown.
8 out of 10
20th Century Women (2016)
Wonderful film that should win Bening an Oscar
"20th Century Women" is the story of three women of different generations who help to see a teenage boy learn what it is to become a man.
The three women, (Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning)become the primary influences in the life of Bening's son (Lucas Jade Zumann). Being is nothing short of fantastic as the mother, Dorothea, a product of the '40s and '50's, who is leading a bohemian-type lifestyle, and who rents rooms to Abbie (a photographer played by Gerwig, and a mechanic ( Billy Crudup). I would look for Gerwig and Crudup to contend for Best Supporting Oscars. Zumann is refreshing as Bening's son, Jamie.
Mike Mills("Beginners") has created a setting in 1979 that is easily identifiable and relatable. There are no plot twists or surprises, just interesting characters that actually talk and listen to each other.
Personal Shopper (2016)
Interesting, moody but unfulfilling film
I saw this at the New York Film Festival. I got my ticket at the last minute, and really didn't know anything about it.
Kristin Stewart plays a medium, whose twin brother has recently died of a heart attack. She earns a living being a personal shopper for a female celebrity (it's never made clear). At the beginning of the film she returns to the house of her dead brother, hoping to get a sign from him indicating that his spirit is still on the earth. It seems that she carries the same gene as her brother, and she fears that she may die early in life, as he did.
This is just a small sample of the winding, twisted plot. I'm not sure what the message of this movie was. I think it has to do with how we deal with being alone in the world, but it's also about living the type of life we want to live, but it's also about...well, you get the idea.
Stewart is excellent in the part of Maureen. She is on screen for practically the entire film. The rest of the cast is equally good.
Burke and Hare (2010)
Good fun and a wonderful cast
I found this movie on Netflix after searching for something "good" to watch.
I have to say that this was one of the more offbeat, and enjoyable films that I've seen all year.
Based on a true story, except for the parts that aren't, "Burke and Hare" stars Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as two down and outs who are willing to do anything to make a buck. After unsuccessful tries as con men and grave robbers, they stumble into a profession that, will supply bodies to the medical schools of Scotland.
This is a black comedy that is very funny and often hilarious. Some people may feel that the subject matter is not to be made fun of. But in true British humor, nothing is sacred.
The entire cast is terrific. From Simon Pegg to Tom Wilkinson to Tim Curry and Christopher Lee. Special kudos to Ronnie Corbett who is very funny as a Captain of the guard, tracking down his foe.
On a night when you don't know what to watch. Give "Burke and Hare" a go. Highly Recommended.