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mmitsos-1

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27 reviews in total 
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"Girls" (2012)
3 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Well out of their demographic, but really enjoy the show....., 19 June 2012

I could be each of these girls' mother. But, I'm not a mother at all. I do, however, well remember the first years after graduate school (eight long years of undergrad (5), then graduate school (3)), and trying to find my way. I did not live in New York (still don't). I have never shared an apartment with a girlfriend - - after five years of dorm living, I lived in my own apartment while in graduate school, and have gloriously lived on my own, or sometimes back with the parents (ugh) ever since. However, I still enjoy the show. The dialog is pretty well written, and I enjoy Hannah's character...an intelligent woman who still is quite naive about people and the world, finding her way through it, and finding herself in the process. I initially found Jemima Kirk's character the most insufferable (and I thought her English accent was fake, until I found out that the actress is actually from England), but, during episode nine (I think it was nine), I warmed up to her a bit (when the women whose husband she had the affair with spoke to her, she seemed to at least be listening to her...taking in all what she had about her life, being afraid to love, etc.). I like Marnie's sensibilities, and her confusion about her relationship with her boyfriend...very realistic, and good of her to leave him, since she clearly has been looking for something more...a much stronger partner. Her recognition of her being "a bit uptight", as she put it, allows her now to do something about it...thus, her letting a bit loose at the wedding. But, I actually liked her a bit uptight...she's sort of funny when she's a frustrated bitch...her reaction to Charlie's buzz cut was sort of mean, bitchy, and funny.

As for little Shoshana, I adore her. She is clearly such a virgin. She's sweetly naive, very giving, seemingly idealistic, and wears her heart out on her sleeve. The bartender friend of Charlie who is a bit infatuated with her sums it up when he tells her at the wedding (mystery party) that she is "strangely, uniquely wired". I don't want her to be corrupted in any way, but obviously, life has no way of avoiding doing that to her, at some point. I wonder what she is majoring in.

Their lives have absolutely nothing to do with mine...nothing. However, I far, far more enjoy watching these characters navigate through life than I did the women in "Sex in the City"...which is actually MY demographic. Many of my friends at work just loved SITC. I really never got into it. I watched the first season or so pretty regularly, then very sparingly in all subsequent seasons, and then watched the finale with some friends because they wanted to make a small party of it. I went to the party just to see my friends...not really to say goodbye to the show. I came to care NOTHING about any of those completely unrelatable, Manolo Blahnik (sp?)-wearing, sex-obsessed, clearly wealthy (though they don't really mention what their finances were...until we found that Carrie couldn't afford to buy her own apartment when it went condo...that was probably my favorite episode, because they finally addressed the fact that her character threw all her money away on her clothes and shoes, saving nothing), uptight and highly judgmental (Charlotte) women. And those diner meetings...do four women really have time in each of their schedules every single Sunday (they seemed to be meeting for Sunday brunches) to meet? The show was insufferable, particularly Carrie. I really couldn't care less about her obsession with slick, limo-driven Big. I haven't liked Sarah Jessica Parker much ever since that show.

But back to "Girls"....it's flawed, at times (but, maybe it's the characters....why would Hannah have given her now boyfriend the time of day in the beginning? What did she see in him....an alcoholic to boot....to stick around? Was she that desperate for just a little sex? Their conversations appeared to be nil. He texted her...and not much else.), but I still like the show, I like the dynamic, and I like their confusion, particularly Hannah's. I look forward to the show every Sunday. I wish it could move to a one-hour series for Season 2.

Super 8 (2011)
8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Disappointed! Less than mediocre - a waste of time., 16 June 2011
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A terrible waste of Kyle Chandler's & Ron Eldard's talents; both playing fathers. The movie is one cliché after another. When we finally see the alien (too late), it's a disappointment. And the film doesn't explain why it kills some humans, & keeps others suspended (upside down, literally) for what purpose? (Other than sparing the life of 1 character - to add some suspense. Or to copy the film "Alien" - a vastly superior film, in another league.) I know it can feed off the feelings of humans (fear), as it also felt the empathy of one of the scientists (who tried to stop the train). The 'monster' is not compelling in any way & it's behaviors are minimally explained. I neither hated it, nor felt sympathy for it - except, "Let it leave." It's size & scale seemed to change throughout the movie as well.

Hate to say it, but the casting of the child actors was awful except for Elle Fanning (& she's no Dakota. Talented, but lacks the on-screen charisma of her sister). She did look like she could be Eldard's child. The other children are neither attractive nor even remotely charismatic, therefore very boring to watch. I'm sorry, as I realize it's subjective, but Joel Courtney as Joe Lamb (playing Kyle Chandler's character's kid) did absolutely nothing for me. (And why cast the blond kid w/ the extreme overbite? He was actually distracting. Next time, wait 'til the braces come off.) Except perhaps the heavy kid; the filmmaker/director kid was cute (as a budding Orson Welles). Everything in this movie was boring. The story was just TOO bland, & the ending was quite anti-climatic. Really, the stuff flying up & piling on the water tower? And for an interminable length of time? That's a good ending???

I grew up watching the '70s summer blockbusters & this falls way short of them in every department. And I wasn't a huge fan of those, but they were at least entertaining, with a compelling plot & some memorable characters, well portrayed by good actors who were also interesting to watch. (There were also other truly great movies made in the '70s that I saw & grew up with that I won't list now. It truly was a golden age of film-making for both Hollywood & foreign films.) The best part of this drivel was the Super-8 movie (the kids' movie) shown at the end alongside the credits. It at least had charm. I really regretted seeing this, as it left me with that bad a taste, & I wasted my time & money. The standard of 'entertainment' has really dropped.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Very Interesting Documentary...A Pleasant Surprise, 13 September 2009
9/10

I was simply channel surfing the other evening and came across this documentary, having missed only the first five minutes or so. As the daughter of a FANTASTIC European dressmaker and more or less designer, and having grown up with many custom-made dresses and suits, as well as a lifelong lover of film, I found this documentary to be a true treat. It's wonderful to see someone so completely in love with his work, and benefiting from fulfilling his passion by being vibrant at a ripe "young" age of 90. His detailed measurements of the stars and their irregularities ("right arm, 18 inches; left arm, 17.5 inches")brings back so many beautiful memories of my mother fitting me and a slew of her many loyal customers for decades, with our big, beautiful kitty Dexter (named after Cary Grant's "C.K. Dexter Haven", of The Philadelphia Story) taking comfort faithfully alongside in a big trunk of many colored and textured fabrics. This film offered a very interesting, intimate look into a charmed life, indeed.

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Great Little Black & White Film - Perfect for a Rainy Day, 31 March 2008
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've waited TOO long to write a few words on this film. I think I first saw it about eight years ago or so, and fell in love with it. I had then preceded to watch this film almost every night for a couple of years...it sort of became my going-to-bed movie (much like the man in "Kate and Leopold" who puts on "Moon River" every night before he goes to bed..but for me, it was a whole movie).

It's a very simple story about a Nebraskan attorney named Jerry Ryan, played by Robert Mitchum, and a single, slightly kooky dancer and dance instructor named Gittel Mosca, played by MacLaine, who meet at a party, and eventually have an affair. He's from Nebraska, but taking some to think in New York, away from his wife, from whom he's separated. Jerry and Gittel have very little in common, but manage to help each other a bit during this very transitional period in predominantly his life. The one line that sums up their union is "what I have to give, you don't want, and what I want, you can't give".

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the score, by Andre Previn, and have looked and looked for it (I think it's called "Second Chances")...but I haven't been able to track it down anywhere. The score/musical theme of the movie, however, is used IN the movie, as background music in one of the scenes...maybe the party scene in which Mitchum and MacLaine meet. I hate when movies do this....they take the musical theme of the movie, which is played during the credits, and insert it as if it's a current song in the middle of the movie. But, I still love the melody, just the same. The story is so simple, and probably not exactly plausible. But, we've all heard of strange, short-lived unions. So, I guess it is plausible. I've often read that MacLaine is not necessarily convincing as a Jewish New Yorker. I agree, to a degree, but she is still charming in it, as is this entire movie. There's also a brief cameo by the actress who played Millie Helper from the wonderful Dick Van Dyke Show, as the landlord (forget the actress' name!!! and she's been on Seinfeld and other shows much more recently).

All in all, I LOVED the tone of this film, and the acting was fine. It's perfect for a rainy day...PERFECT. I would have loved to have seen Anne Bancroft and Henry Fonday play these roles on stage. I read that Anne Bancroft really wanted to do this film, but had to turn it down, because she was in the middle of filming "The Miracle Worker". I heard, however, that she was fantastic in it. And, if you've ever seen the film "The Turning Point", with both MacLaine and Bancroft (LOVE THIS FILM AS WELL), in the scene in which their two characters have a fight on the rooftop, and then settle down, Bancroft's character Emma then chimes in that she would have done anything to get that part..she just had to have it (in talking about the role of "Anna Karenina"). When she utters that piece of dialog, I often wonder if a part of the actress Anne Bancroft didn't think concurrently about her longing to have played the film version of "Two for the Seesaw", but losing it to Shirley MacLaine.

Anyway, check out "Two for the Seesaw"...it's a charming little movie.

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful Film - Best of the "Angry Young Man" Series, 17 April 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've been writing on these boards off and on for the past couple of years or so, and forgot entirely about writing something for this film until today, when I was looking up Alan Bates on IMDb. I immediately fell in love with "A Kind of Loving" when I saw it one night in 1987 while a graduate student in Austin, Texas. I was crashing at a friend's house during my last few months in school, since I couldn't afford my own apartment any longer, and she only had about four channels. I happened to catch this film, after missing only about the first two minutes, on the local ABC station in the wee hours of the morning, and it stayed with me ever since. I ABSOLUTELY fell in love with it...the look of it, its utter Englishness, Alan Bates' face, the quiet story, its reality, its sensitivity...everything. I managed to catch it again a year or so later when I returned to Chicago, luckily on a cable station, with no commercials. And, I taped it, on two different machines at the same time, since I didn't know if it would ever be shown again (the internet hadn't really yet been invented and I didn't even have a computer at that point...so, no amazon, no search engines, no genuine chance of ever catching this newfound classic for me...I had to make two copies of it while it was showing).

I don't believe I had ever seen a "kitchen sink/angry young man" film, much less really heard of the genre at that point. But this film introduced me to the whole period, and I rather like many of them. But in my opinion, this one is absolutely the best. As another reviewer on IMDb commented here, Vic Brown's character is probably the most sympathetic among various "angry young man" protagonists. Though some may feel that this film is outdated and that the characters are in a way too innocent (perhaps for their ages), it is a very charming, sensitive, realistic, and empathetic portrayal of young-adult love. As dark and dreary and claustrophobic as many of the scenes are, I somehow fell completely in love with England, the 60's (well, I've always loved almost everything from the 60's, even though I can really only enjoy them vicariously, since I was born during this decade), and certainly, Alan Bates. He is a stunner in this film and, as I soon found out, in all his films. This film prompted me to rent or buy anything of his I could find (check out "A Whistle Down the Wind"...a different film altogether...not a kitchen sink drama...but wonderful).

But far aside from his good looks, this story is so poignant. You so feel for the characters of Vic and Ingrid, and even her on-the-surface-witch of a mother. Their reactions are so realistic throughout. Even Vic's initial reaction to ignore Ingrid after their first few dates, then offer to marry her after her predicament, is so touching. You can see that these young souls are choosing a path that they think is the "right thing to do", but in the process, are giving up, before your very eyes, all their dreams. The look of sadness on both of their young lovely faces as they trod through many of their days, living with her mother (GREAT portrayal by Thora Hird...and BOY did she look like my paternal grandmother...my mother couldn't believe it when she saw the film), and their attempts to find happiness in their situation and make the best of it are just a bit heart wrenching. Their arguments were so realistic. For instance, Ingrid's insistence that they live in a "nice place", having been accustomed to living in a cushioned environment by living with her mother in her family home juxtaposed with Vic's wanting to just get out and find something of their own, no matter how low-rent the home might be....it just reinforces the fact that people shouldn't even bother getting together, much less have children, until they're ready....both financially and emotionally. I just saw a long, struggling road ahead for them...but you certainly hope it all works out. They are two young souls sideswiped by a most major event imposed upon them long before they are ready to handle it, but they muddle through it.

Alan Bates and June Ritchie deliver first-rate performances from start to finish, and are accompanied by a wonderful supporting cast. I also loved the little bits of music, typically used as a transitional element. I remember a little transitional scene in which Alan Bates is simply running across the street as the quiet music score, including the lead melody of a single flute, plays in the background. With backdrops that range from dreary urban streets to the "nicer" section of town homes in which Ingrid lives to the wonderfully hilly and misty English countryside, I simply fell in love with everything about this beautiful, thoughtful, quiet, and touching story. I need to get it on DVD before my tapes wear out. It's one of my two favorite films, with the other one being "The Pumpkin Eater" (another English classic, from 1964, but not a kitchen sink drama...check it out as well).

Find "A Kind of Loving", and enjoy.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Question about this Pilot Episode, 11 April 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I always loved this show, and remember most of this pilot episode. I remember Markham in it, because I always thought that he was a doll. However, I'm wondering if anyone can please email me back with the answer to this question: who was killed in this episode, and who killed the victim? I remember that the victim was killed by some "son" (so, I'm assuming its Markham's character), but I don't remember which actor was the victim. And, I remember that while he was being killed, in his final moments, the television happened to be turned on, to the weather report. Just as the weatherman was pointing to the sun, the victim pulled the plugs of both a nearby clock and the television set, leaving a clue for Ellery to check what was airing at the precise moment of his death...the "sun" was shown on the screen; therefore, the "son" killed him.

My only question was, based on the cast of characters for this episode, would that have made Monte Markham the killer? I loved this show, and was sorry that it was on for only one season. I was also so sad when Jim Hutton died...so young.

10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely, the Best Television Show Ever Written, 4 April 2006

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" is absolutely my FAVORITE television show of all time, with "The Dick Van Dyke Show" falling a hair behind. I love all the characters of the MTM show...they all had great lines, and those actors knew how to deliver. Mary Tyler Moore exemplified true sportsmanship in making this whole show a wonderful example of COMPLETE ensemble acting. Every character had his/her shining moments, time and time again. I was about nine when this show debuted, and truly grew up with it. I used to hate Ted, because he was so unbelievably stupid. However, now that I've spent twenty or so years in the work world, I have had the complete displeasure of working with Ted Baxters everywhere....so many who rise to their level of complete incompetence. And over the years, in watching reruns, I have come to fully appreciate Ted Knight's genius in his portrayal of Ted Baxter. The episode in which Mary is simply feeling completely down in the dumps...her motivation is gone for no apparent reason, other than the fact that she has hit a slump (a "new apartment" episode). Ted Knight's portrayal of Ted Baxter imitating her in her slumpy condition, and repeating the whole scene with identical dialog but with a completely different attitude, basically showing Mary that she has to appreciate what she has in life, and look at it all with a different, positive perspective, was sheer comedic genius at its finest.

The final episode of this series portrayed my comment about Corporate America very realistically, and the episode itself is one for a time capsule....just bottle it up. Ditto for the "Chuckles the Clown" episode...and for the "Veal Prince Orloff" episode. Actually, I'd love to put all of MTM's episodes, along with those from the Dick Van Dyke Show, in a time capsule and send them into space. Nick at Nite should run episodes only from MTM, the Dick Van Dyke Show, Bob Newhart, and The Wonder Years. That is all that that station needs, and I'm sure that the ratings would go through the roof. But back to Mary....her show was a brilliant gem that graced the world of American television, and no other show will ever hold a candle to it....EVER. Yes, Seinfeld was funny, and "breakthrough", in being a show about nothing, and it even offered phrases that entered our vernacular. But it missed the one key element that MTM had in spades...heart. The Seinfeld show, as funny as it always was, really never made you cry or pulled at your heart strings...ever (other than maybe making you cry from laughter). The MTM Show, on the other hand, combined humor, drama, reality, the absurd, the sublime, and a lot of warmth all rolled into one magnificent, shining, seven-year love-fest for our pop culture, and I thank Mary for giving us this bright light. In a comic strip that was published I believe just the Sunday after the last episode aired, a man was depicted throwing his television set out his window, crying. The cartoonist captured the national sentiment quite beautifully. I miss Mary and her gang to this day. Thank goodness for the complete DVD set.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
I LOVE THIS FILM - ***spoilers***, 25 February 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can not believe how absolutely idiotic some of the people who waste their time and ours are writing their rubbish for IMDb. They're completely myopic. Go somewhere else and spew your nonsense! This movie is wonderful..its only flaw is that it was too short. I could have watched these characters navigate through this first "date" another hour. The only scene that didn't draw me in as much, though at least served as some sort of bridge to reveal that Jackie actually accomplished something that her date hasn't (yet? perhaps, but unlikely), is the one in which she read her story. I didn't like the story at all, though it may have tried to reveal that her character had some painful memories in her life to work out...we don't really know. Nonetheless, I loved this film. The awkwardness in the beginning of their conversation, after he first arrives at her apartment, especially on her part, and the revelation at the end of his character were both very touching. Moreover, I loved the ending. ***Spoiler to come*** Once he unleashes his burden by revealing what he does reveal about himself to her, he is ready to continue their conversation, more or less, and ask her out on a second date. I loved her reaction, in turn. They're both hurt, lonely people, and want to tread cautiously with this relationship, each at different points in the film.

I very highly recommend this film if you're interested in delving into a character's psyche. If you need a loud soundtrack, goo-goo eyes, and a really happy ending, this is not the film for you. It takes place in one apartment the entire length of the film (and I love the apartment, its blue hues and its simplicity of design, even though it is really small...you just imagine her small lonely life, but sort of marvel that she gets up every morning and goes to work every day, and keeps afloat).

The music used in the opening and at the end is great as well, which Tom Noonan composed. I wish I could find the soundtrack. It's a great little film that I've been watching very frequently lately. I only wish it were longer. Or, maybe Noonan should do what Ethan Hawke did with Before Sunrise, and make a sequel, ten years later. Do these characters still work at the same firm? Are they dating? Do they have separate lives altogether but happen to run into each other one day? Does he salvage himself to any degree? I'd love to see each of their stories and how they may or may not intertwine again.

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Sweet & Tender Film Indeed, 3 January 2006
10/10

***Possible Spoilers*** OK, the overall plot does unfortunately suffer from a heavy dose of implausibility. However, if you're willing to suspend your disbelief and simply enjoy the ride from the outset, including the whole look and feel of the '60's (I was born in this decade, and always love living it vicariously through films), the clothes, her adorable apartment (I notice more of the interior design of her apartment with every viewing), and of course, above all else, their tender love story and the road on which Dennis' character leads Newley's, you'll be in for a very real treat. I can be a very harsh critic when films are set in "reality" but clearly have a very implausible storyline, but I make an exception with this film. It's unfortunate, but I have heard/read somewhere that Anthony Newley and Sandy Dennis did not get along at all during the making of this film. That fact alone is a testament to the strength of their performances, because their chemistry was so wonderful on screen. I was never much of an Anthony Newley fan prior to seeing this film, because I was too little during his heyday, and never really took to "children's films" during that time either, such as The Chocolate Factory and Dr. Doolittle. However, in this film, he was absolutely charming.

***SPOILER COMING***The scene in her bedroom loft in which he professes his love for her is one of the most genuine and tender love scenes (conversation only) I've ever seen on film. Whenever I watch this scene, I feel as if I were truly eavesdropping on a very private conversation between two people. Newley's slight mockery of Dennis' knack for going wackily off-subject during this conversation was just a beautiful little dance of dialog. He is just SO English!...he's adorable. Also, it was sweet to notice his first having a very hard time climbing the "stairs" in her apartment, but, toward the end of his "month", he's mastering them with finesse, without even needing to clutch the side railings. Finally, the "1,000 Novembers" he wants to give her make you hope that she will take him up on his offer, once and for all.

Beneath the storied romance of this movie, and Newley's beautiful, tender charm, there is an underlying message provided in large part by Sandy Dennis' character and brilliant performance. Though her character on surface appears to be very much of a free spirit, heavy on whimsy and light on logic, she is the one who makes the stronger impression on Newley than he on her, seemingly, at least, effecting more change in him than he in her. She slowly leads him to look at life as well as his role in it in a different manner, and his character is forever enriched as a result.

If you haven't seen this film, find it (you can get it on Amazon on VHS....I wish they'd offer it on DVD), make yourself a cup of tea, curl up under the covers, listen to this story and watch these characters. "Sweet November" is very touching....tender, sad, romantic, and warmly moving.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Quiet Little Gem, 2 January 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love this film. It's quiet, it's moving, and it boasts great acting all the way around, with special kudos to Diane Keaton (one of my absolute favorites) and Sam Shepard (another one of my favorites)...they should make more films together, because they have great chemistry. I feel so bad for their characters....basically good, honest souls who found each other under bad circumstances. I don't want to give much more away. I only wish that this film were available on DVD. I did manage to find a copy on Amazon in VHS format. However, it's a shame that it never made it to the theatre...I don't even know if it was made for television, or, was originally made for theatres, but only went straight to video. It's a charming little gem.


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