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The Little Tin Man (2013)
It tough to make it as an actor. Herman (Aaron Beelner) is at a cross roads, he is struggling to become an actor and play the leading roles he wants. An unexpected event puts Herman at a cross roads. At this fork in the road, he can stay put or simply take it. Fortunately for him, his friends and family root for his success. The Little Tin Man movie has heart; it is about the bigger story of discovering that inner push that will lead you to your dreams. All of us have dreams, some stronger than others, but often we let them fade for the easier path of complacency. Herman wants to have it all: career, love, and happiness. With a strong supporting cast, this story will make you root for the underdog and reminded you that you can't stop thinking of tomorrow, even though you are trying to make it through today. Aaron Beelner creates a believable role of one man's journey in the pursuit of happiness. I saw this film at its Atlanta premiere and it gave me hope in the endless possibilities available every day.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Raccoon steals the show
Set in the future, The Guardians of the Galaxy is a wild ride. A set of misfits come together by a series of random actions that sets then up to save the balance of the powers to be. They strongly work on making everything right in the fight for domination of the universe. At times the dialogue is a bit mind numbing but the mix cast of unlikely figures is fun to watch. This marvel comic release comes out with a large amount of fanfare. The set design on the digital platform is beautifully laid out. The raccoon is the ring leader and the brains of the operation. It is a different mix of comic characters. The effects were top notch and have a realistic feel. It is a thrill to see and how the creativity of digital media moves the story along.
Saw the Atlanta premiere of Supremacy as part of the Pan African Film Festival. The movie is about a recently released white supremacist who is picked up by his lady friend. Along the way, things go array and they have to seek refuge in the home of an ex-convict (Danny Glover). The former prisoner is set not to go back to prison while Mr. Walker (Danny Glover) is set to lead his family to safety. A high stakes film that is based on a real life story. According to the director who was at the screening, the story was shot in 10 days. Danny Glover shared that it was a team effort and they were free to share their true emotion of this tense movie. This movie touches on the complexity of family, society, and justice as the characters fight to find a path to their own escape. It is a star performance by Danny Glover as he attempts to keep calm during the rage of emotion.
Baggage Claim (2013)
fly, fly away
This hopeless hard working stewardess is living her dreams high above the skies. But down deep inside she seeks the solace of family and true love. In essence the 'happily ever after". Set on the friendly skies above. This modern woman is seeking love in all the wrong places. She does not want to end up alone and as an old maid. But that is exactly the path she is heading. A bit predictable in most places, this romantic comedy takes you for a ride high above the friendly skies. Makes for a fun light tale for those who seek mindless romance and root for the modern working woman. Baggage Claim makes you want to take a spin around and celebrate the adventure of life. It made for a good late night movie.
The Giver (2014)
The Giver is based on a book and the premise is simple. In the future, the perfect paradise has been established. This utopia society has no color boundaries, everyone is content and courteous. No one has emotions and no one judges. All are chosen to their best traits to the path they will take in their lives that match their virtues. All is well until one member of the flock begins to question his role and that of society. This act of defiance begins a ripple that points to the cracks of this perfect world. At times this story is slow but the monotone performance makes you celebrate that you live in spectrum color and not simply white and black.
Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorâ (1991)
Make my day
This film came to my attention when I attended the first Monsterama Con in 2014 in Atlanta. One of the honored guests was Robert Scott Field who played an android. According to Fields, this film has been recognized as the third best Godzilla movie of all time. In Japan it received the equivalent to our Oscar Award. This film delves back to the origin of Godzilla and the epic battle with his equal King Ghidorah. The future visitors to modern 1990 Japan warn of destruction and want to change the course of the future but manipulating the present. A fun use of old school special effects and fun to see movies made pre- CGI. This movie is a joy for any Godzilla enthusiast. His name is Godzilla!
This film came to my attention when I attended the first Monsterama Con in Atlanta, Georgia in 2014. Veronica Carlson was an honored guest and spoke of this movie Frankenstein Must be Destroyed. She went on to make a total of 3 Frankenstein movies but this one was her favorite. Very distinguished cast and Dr. Frankenstein is portrayed as a gentleman scientist who is eager to get a secret from a colleague that has gone mad. Beautifully filmed and a compelling story line, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a new favorite of mine. It makes for a nostalgic trip to the 60s and the gentile nature of the world of horror. You can't really keep a secret too long and Dr. Frankenstein plan goes out of control.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Doggie dog world
An Academy Award winning film and starring Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon follows the afternoon that created a modern robin hood. I watched this movie after watching the documentary Dog on the broader life of Sonny Wortzik. In the movie Dog Day Afternoon, Sonny (Al Pacino) needs some money so he goes to the source, the bank. In his head the plan was simple, he and his other two accomplices were going to go in and walk out with a cool stash but his plan got a bit murky. With the advantage of time for me, this film really captures the 1970s and it's a time capsule to the decade of my birth. The clothes, hair, and an attitude made me more curious of this broader bank heist. It is a heck of a story.
To Be Takei (2014)
Life's an adventure
George Takei is best known as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek. This documentary does hook on this role but does not linger for too long. The in-depth view of this extraordinary Asian-American. George survived the Asian internment camps during WWII in Arkansas. A chapter not often spoken about in our American history, this was tough. George fought the Hollywood stereotype of Asians on film and TV. He also has served as a role model as a gay man who came out late in life. Along with his life long partner Brad, this movie masterfully showcases a full life. A brilliant on screen look behind this well known pop culture icon. A fascinating look into one man's extraordinary life.
The Butterfly Room (2012)
fly, fly away
Butterflies are so delicate, yet so strong to endure their long migrations around the world. In the Butterfly Room, the story hinges on Ann (Barbara Steele) who is a strong, elegant, reclusive and centers her life around her butterfly collection. She captures and mounts them in her "butterfly room". During her days, she has flashbacks to her daughter and all the while she befriends a little girl to fill her empty nest syndrome. The Butterfly Room is a spooky tale where all is not what it seems. This psychological thriller keeps you glued to a shifting dynamics of this gentile collector. It is sure to make you think twice the next time you see a flawless butterfly.