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Beautiful Girls (1996)
A Feel Good Movie that actually makes you Feel Good!
I absolutely LOVE this movie. And this is coming from someone who loves Scarface, Good Fellas, Apocalypse Now, Casino, James Bond, etc. Yea...it's that good. How many times have you seen a feel good movie only to realize that feel good must mean stupid, sappy, crappy waste of time? Beautiful Girls is a feel good movie that will actually make you feel good. There are so many awesome performances in this movie that it would not be fair to mention any specifically. However Timothy Hutton in the star role is wonderful and you can't help but fall in love with Natalie Portman. A group of friends get together and start taking stock of their lives. Romance, conflicts, drama, humor, this film has it all, as well as Uma Thurman. Great script, great acting, great fun. This movie will disappoint no one. Watch it with your boyfriend. He will enjoy it, even if he says he doesn't. Share it with your girlfriend, and she will love you forever. Simply wonderful.
The Denis Leary Show
Denis Leary has been superb in most of the movies I have seen him in, most notably Monument Avenue and the great Suicide Kings. Anyone who has seen Rescue Me cannot deny his acting ability nor his genius. In this movie, he absolutely shines. I LOVE this movie, but then again I was never a huge fan of The Godfather or any mob movie that didn't have Joe Pesci in it. If you like Leary, you will love it as well. This is a must-see movie for any of his fans, but even those who like a good mob drama, violent shoot-outs, and sharp, witty dialog. Leary is a mob guy just out of prison and looking for the killer of his father. He takes his prime suspect (Montegna, also with a great performance) along for the ride. Leary explores the mind of Montegna as he goes through suspect after suspect to narrow in on the culprit. Among the many memorable lines which I still enjoy using are "India's getting your 15%." Lots of killing, swearing, and some nudity.
Suicide Kings (1997)
Watch This Movie! Two of the best performances ever!
This is a great drama that you do not want to miss. A group of friends kidnap a mob kingpin. Their plan is to force him to help them get back the sister of one of them, who has also been kidnapped. Unfortunately they do not plan the kidnapping very well, and eventually things begin to unravel. Two performances make this movie a must-see choice of mine. The first id Christopher Walken. I believe he is a brilliant actor, and he has always been one of my favorites (True Romance, Pulp Fiction, A View To A Kill, etc.) Walken is tied to a wheelchair the entire movie, but absolutely carries the entire film. His intelligence, wit, and determination are amazing to watch. Note especially his reaction when one of the kidnappers gives driving directions. Although he is the victim, there is no question that Walken has the boys in his palm the entire time. Also notable is the performance of Dennis Leary, another favorite actor of mine. As the thug who is working for Walken, he is funny, frightening, and violent. A superb performance much like the character he plays in Underworld, another film I highly recommend. The DVD with the multiple endings is especially enjoyable, but thankfully the director decided to put feel-good BS aside and go with the correct ending. A great drama that anyone is sure to enjoy.
The Last Seduction (1994)
Fall in love with Linda Fiorention
This movie absolutely made me fall in love with Linda Fiorentino. Although more well known for Men In Black Dogma, and Vision Quest, this is the movie where she was truly able to shine. Linda plays Bridget, a woman from NYC who is on the run after stealing a bag full of drug money from her husband (played well by Bill Pullman). She ends up in NY state near Buffalo, and has to think of a way to get her husband and his private investigators off her back. She decides to kill him, and finds a naive local boy to deceive into doing her dirty work. Fiorentino is in charge in this role, powerful, sexy, and very smart. Steamy sex scenes and a wonderful plot keep the film moving at a good pace. A superb and entirely unexpected ending make this a drama you don't want to miss. If you enjoy this film, I also recommend Jade (also with Fiorentino) and Palmetto.
Shallow Grave (1994)
Must see drama
I believe that Shallow Grave is one of the best dramas that most people have never seen. Don't be one of those people! Three friends live in a flat in London. When they decide to find a fourth tenant, the decide on Hugo, a suave and interesting writer. One day they find Hugo dead of an overdose with a suitcase full of money under his bed. They decide to keep the money, and the trouble begins. Eventually they have both the cops and drug dealers on their tail, and begin to turn on each other. Funny at times, but with enough drama and twists and turns to keep you guessing til the end. Great performances by all of the main actors, and kudos to the actor who plays the brilliant police detective. If you like this movie, I also recommend Murder By Design and Four Dogs Playing Poker.
The Emerald Forest (1985)
One of the most beautiful movies ever made!
The Emerald Forest is, without a doubt, one of my favorite movies of all time. I first saw it many years ago, but rediscovered it recently when it showed up on one of my Dish movie channels. The son of an engineer is kidnapped in the rain forest. The engineer (Powers Booth) discovers him years later, when he is a teenager. By then, the son is part of a tribe which has raised him and molded him into a man. He does not want to leave. However, the boy must find and request the help of his father when a rival tribe kills several male members of his tribe members and kidnaps their women. A great (true) story, wonderful acting, and amazing cinematography make this movie an amazing viewing experience. Think Apocalypto without all of the blood and violence. There is a good amount of female nudity. If you enjoy this movie, I also recommend Rapa Nui for it's great scenery and story.
Quick Change (1990)
Wonderful and entertaining comedy!
Without question one of my all-time favorite comedies. Bill Murray, via this movie, Groundhog Day, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Scrooged, and his superb work on SNL, is one of the best comedic actors of all time. It's unfortunate that the film he got the most attention for was The Life Aquatic, which I didn't enjoy at all). This film allows him to show how great he really is. Murry, Davis and Quaid pull off a brilliant bank robbery, then need to get out of New York City, and this is where the fun begins. Stymied at every turn, the exit from the city turns into a comedy of errors made even better by the brilliant casting of Jason Robards as the detective on their tail and Tony Shalhoub as a cabbie who speaks no English. I have seen the movie a dozen times and still laugh throughout it. The scene in the grocery store and the mob scenes are classic. A hilarious movie for all to enjoy, although it does have some harsh language. If you enjoy this, watch Groundhog Day and Ruthless People as well.
Ruthless People (1986)
Must See Comedy
Ruthless People is, without question, the funniest movie that most people have never seen. Released in the mid-1980s, I do not recall this flick getting a lot of exposure or box office hype. Still, it is one of my favorites of all time and a must see comedy for everyone. A man and his wife kidnap the wife (Midler) of a fashion executive (Devito) to get payback for him stealing the wife's fashion designs. What they don't know is that he had plans to kill her the very day they kidnapped her. They demand money, unfortunately he doesn't want her back. What follows is an absolute comedy of errors. Devito's girlfriend has plans to get rid of him so she can profit. Her boyfriend (Pullman) is one of the dumbest (and funniest!) people you will ever meet. There is a detective who gets pulled into the mess via a video of himself with a hooker, a serial killer, and more to keep the laughs rolling. All of the characters are amazing. This is one comedy that will keep you laughing and that you will not regret watching. If you enjoy this, check out Quick Change with Bill Murray as well.