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Starsky and Hutch (1975)
A really fun cop show
I love Starsky and Hutch. They are the best.
I love crime shows, old ones or new ones, it doesn't matter. My favourite part of "Starksy & Hutch" is the two main characters, Dave Starksy and Ken Hutchinson. They are so sweet and such good friends, they are a joy to watch together. This was back when characters on TV shows were actually likable, and these two are a prime example of that. Some of the writing leaves a little to be desired, but the cases are interesting and it's a fun show. It doesn't take itself too seriously. So if you're looking for violence and gore, find a different cop show. If you're looking for interesting cases and good characters, you will enjoy "Starsky & Hutch".
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001)
Love love love CI, especially with Bobby
"Criminal Intent" was my introduction to "Law & Order", and watching reruns of it on TV was what got me to get out my mom's DVDs of the original "Law & Order" and then I was hooked.
First of all, the cases are really interesting and the way they are shown makes them even more interesting. They don't do the lawyer bits like they did on "Law & Order", but the stories are always meaty enough to keep your attention just on the investigation for the full hour. They show both points of view, not just the cops investigating but also the criminals while the investigation is going on. Really intriguing and great fun when you have that moment when you figure out what is going on for yourself.
An amazing part of "Criminal Intent" is the characters. I'm a very character-based viewer; the people in the show are a big part of whether or not I like it. Goren and Eames are amazing, I just love them, especially Bobby. He is definitely my favourite Law & Order character from all the shows. He is so smart and a really good guy, I just love him. Kudos to Vincent D'Onofrio, he was great in the part. That being said, I still really like the episodes with Chris Noth on them and I think it's really cool the way that Mike from Law & Order came back in the different series. It's interesting to see him as the older, more experienced cop. Of his partners on it my favourite was definitely Falacci, and I was very disappointed that she wasn't on it for longer. I thought she was a great match for Mike.
All in all, a great show, lots of fun to watch:)
Les Misérables (2012)
Very powerful, very emotional, bring Kleenex
I wasn't sure what "Les Miserables" was going to be like, but I went to see it at the movie theatre anyway and I am very glad I did. This film version is based upon the Broadway musical and, like the stage musical, is sung-through. It is very well done and I definitely recommend seeing it.
The story is pretty much the same: Jean Valjean (not a very creative name, I know) broke his parole and has been being hunted by Javert, the slightly obsessivecompulsive policeman. Valjean meets dying Fantine, who asks him to look after her daughter Cosette. They follow Valjean as he raises Cosette, Javert as he follows Valjean, and also an uprising against the poor conditions that the French are living under during the time period in which the movie takes place.
The acting in this is amazing! The singing is really great too, with the exception of Hugh Jackman. Jackman is good in his role but I personally do not like how he sings. Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway both do wonderfully in their songs. I fell apart the first of many times during this movie when Hathaway gave her heart-wrenching performance of "I Dreamed a Dream". This movie has an enormous cast, so I will save time by just saying that the acting of the cast, both lead and supporting, is awesome. You will want tissues handy, because, trust me, you are going to need them.
If I were to describe "Les Mis" in just one word, I think I would use "powerful". The ending is absolutely beautiful, but then, the whole movie is (except maybe for the parts with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen). This one is a must-see. I will be very surprised if it is ignored by the Academy, because it has both crowd-pleasing and artistic qualities to it. You should definitely watch it, even if you are not really a musical fan.
Edge of the City (1957)
Really good, acting is amazing (especially Sidney Poitier!)
Sidney Poitier is famous for his serious roles as an outstanding person in unfortunate circumstances, often dealing with people who are horrible to him. Being a black leading man in a time when there weren't many black leading men, many of his movies also deal with race. So it was kind of nice to see this movie, because this one is quite different.
In "Edge of the City", Poitier plays Tommy Tyler, a freight car loader who finds Axel "North" (John Cassavetes) looking for a job where he works. Tommy offers to give a recommendation for Axel, but Axel insists that his friend Charlie Malik (Jack Warden) will get the job for him. Charlie becomes a bit too controlling of Axel though, so Tommy gets him switched from Charlie's crew to his. Charlie is not exactly a great guy, so this causes some serious issues. There's lots of fun along the way though, with Sidney Poitier playing one of the sweetest movie characters in the history of film. We get to see him dance, too, so that is definitely a plus. I mean, how often are you going to have the opportunity to watch Sidney Poitier dance? I will warn you that the happiness doesn't last, but I suppose that is not very hard to guess anyway.
One thing that I love about this movie, and I would guess that Poitier appreciated it too, is that the movie doesn't really focus on his race. They don't play up the fact that he is black like they often did, he and his wife and son are just regular, wonderful people. It's nice to see a movie from that time period where the actors are not black actors and white actors, they are just actors.
I know I have been talking about Sidney Poitier a lot, but John Cassavetes is very good in this too. He is great as the troubled Axel who has a dark past that we don't really learn about until well into the movie. His character, along with the overall look of the movie, seems a bit "On the Waterfront"-esque to me, which I found quite interesting. It is shot in the same style of black-and-white-after-black-and-white-wasn't-really-being-used filming and some aspects of the plot are kind of similar.
All in all, "Edge of the City" is a really great, well-acted movie that I enjoyed a lot and would definitely recommend.
In Name Only (1939)
A joy from beginning to tear-jerking end...
1939, often referred to as the best year for movies ever. '39 gave us some of the most famous films ever, "Gone with the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz" among them. But there are some great films from that year that aren't as well-remember, like "In Name Only".
Starring Cary Grant and Carole Lombard, this tragic love story is a forgotten classic. Grant is Alec Walker, bitter after discovering that his wife, the vicious Maida (Kay Francis in what many people consider to be the greatest performance of her career), married him only for his money. He meets Julie Eden (Carole Lombard), a lovely widow, and they fall in love. Alec thinks that Maida will give him his long-awaited divorce, but she has other ideas.
The thing that really make this film a stand-out is its cast. Cary Grant and Carole Lombard give equally powerful and heart-breaking performances and Kay Francis is perfectly horrible (in character, that is). Peggy Ann Garner is sweet as Julie's daughter, Ellen, and the rest of the cast is great too.
From beginning to tear-jerking end, "In Name Only" is a must-have for any collector of rare but great movie classics.
St. Louis Blues (1958)
A joy to watch and listen to!
"St Louis Blues", the 1958 biopic of the great W.C Handy, is, though not perfect, very enjoyable to watch and-- more importantly-- listen to.
Portraying Handy is Nat King Cole, in his only leading role in a feature-length Hollywood film. He sings a few tunes (all fantastically performed, of course) and his acting is even relatively convincing. Also in the cast is Eartha Kitt (whose role I believe would have been better filled by someone like Lena Horne), Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey and even Billy Preston as Handy as a child. Ella Fitzgerald joins the cast, too, but it is only a cameo. Nevertheless, her part is very important; she gives a stellar rendition of "Beale Street Blues", one of the many great W.C Handy tunes featured.
I would definitely recommend this movie, mostly because of the talent in it-- Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and the rest of the cast's talent and, of course, W.C Handy's talent.
This perfect blend of lightheartedness, drama and music is a great biopic of one of America's-- and the world's-- most talented songwriters is a must-see for any lover of Handy or Cole, or, such as myself, both.
West Side Story (1961)
Life is alright in America!
"West Side Story" is one of those movies that everyone has a very definite opinion about. If you look at it just as it is-- a movie about gangs that dance as they fight-- you will just laugh at it and might as well not watch it. But if you can manage to get into the artistic spirit of the thing, it's an extremely enjoyable movie.
Basically a modernized version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", "West Side Story" tells the story of two feuding New York gangs, the Puerto Rican Sharks and the white Jets. Tony (the best friend of Riff, the leader of the Jets) and Maria (the sister or Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks) fall desperately in love, causing many problems between the two gangs. The cast (including Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn and Rita Moreno) is superb, both dramatically and musically. The music is good, featuring songs like "America" and "I Feel Pretty", and the plot of course is wonderful. "West Side Story" is a great musical picture that you will definitely enjoy if you look at it from an artistic sort of perspective.
Young at Heart (1954)
With Frank Sinatra and Doris Day, how could you go wrong?
In the 1950s, musicals were at their peak. All the studios were dishing out lavish, carefree, Technicolorful musicals loaded with production numbers and talented performers.
Maybe "Young at Heart" isn't very lavish or carefree, and it certainly isn't loaded with production numbers. But in the talented performers category it is way ahead. I mean, with Frank Sinatra and Doris Day, how could you go wrong? Based on "Four Daughters", the story starts off with an average, happy family. There are only three daughters this time, one of which is engaged. A second is greatly admired by the plumber. Everything looks perfect when a fun composer (Gig Young) takes a fancy to the youngest sister, Laurie (Doris Day). That is, until Barney Sloane (Frank Sinatra), a troubled bar singer comes along.
In a superb cast, Sinatra's performance stands out as spectacular. He and the rest of the cast turned what would have been a mediocre melodrama (rather like "Four Daughters") into a breathtaking, emotional film. The score is great, too: songs include "One for my Baby (and One More for the Road)" and "Someone to Watch over Me".
Red River (1948)
Good story, good acting, good movie
Now, I'm not a huge fan of westerns, but I have seen a few that I have really enjoyed. "Red River" (1948) would have to be near the top of the list.
I watched this movie mostly because of Montgomery Clift, who is at the height of his good looks in this film. But as I watched I discovered many other reasons to like "Red River".
The plot is very interesting. Dunson (John Wayne) is a ranch owner who, with the help of his cowhand, Matt (Monty), is bringing cattle to Missouri. The road is dangerous, but, despite many warnings, Dunson will not divert his path to a safer route.
The Duke's acting is at its best in this film (though I can't help but wonder what would it would have been like if Gary Cooper had accepted the role of Dunson), as is Monty's. Also in the cast is Walter Brennan, who is great as always, along with Joanne Dru and others. A great film that I fully recommend.
The Young Lions (1958)
An interesting drama that is very well done
"The Young Lions" is a war movie from the late '50s, but it is different from any other war movie I have seen.
The film tells the story of three very different soldiers told from three very different points of view. The first (portrayed by Marlon Brando), supplies one of the most interesting aspects of this movie : he is a Nazi named Christian Diestl who isn't completely sure he agrees with what Hitler is doing, but isn't quite sure he disagrees either. The second is Noah Ackerman (Montgomery Clift), an American Jew who is very sweet and shy. The third is Michael Whiteacre (Dean Martin in the role that proved he wasn't just a crooner who could play comedy-- he was a crooner who could do drama, too!), a singer who is battling fear but doesn't want to be a coward. Though all three leads are great actors and are good in their parts, I would have to say that this is Clift's movie, though Martin ran him a close second. Brando is great, and I love Dino to pieces, but Monty really steals the show in this one. His performance as Noah is very touching and real.
All in all, an interesting drama that is very well done. I would definitely recommend it.