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I also love the theatre when I can afford to go, this year I joined a Shakespeare reading group and through this I plucked up the courage to goto The Globe, it's my favourite theatre now, and I love being part of everything, standing in the yard of the big O dodging swords. I'd go much more often, but my woofer is still my first love, so it's a balance not too be away from him to much, but to get to see as much Theatre as possible.
I am also tracing my family tree
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Really brutal film
This film covers a very small period of the life of Jesus Christ Opening on the night when Jesus was arrested through to after the crucifixion, it is so brutal, that it is really hard to watch. It shows some of the time before this time line in flash backs of memory. A lot of the film is seeing Human beings form into horrible mobs that just seem to have no morals, heart or compassion. It's completely disgusting to think that so many people could take part in or even watch and allow something like this to happen to any other human being. Even if it was a criminal who had done terrible things, this would still not be acceptable. Because the hope would be that no human being, could have the stomach or ability to be so cruel. Technically the film does make the experience feel very real. Should something like this be made. If it could anyway reduce the cruelty that does happen in the world, then it would be a good thing.Crucifixion
The Iceman Cometh (1973)
really makes you examine your life
This is a fabulous film about human nature IMHO, written by someone who knew suffering all too well, all his characters are just so rich and recognisable. They easily transfer to a modern age, as sadly trying to push down feelings of discontentment, unhappiness and guilt with alcohol or chemical abuse and lies you half believe, told to yourself, is just as much a modern hobby.
The film see's everyone waiting for the arrival of Hickey (Lee Marvin), why because Hickey is fun, he makes everybody feel better, not only by supplying the booze and therefore artificial joy that brings, but also because he can further enhance the delirium with his gift of knowing just what people want to hear.
Harry's bar provides the setting for this drama, throughout the film we never leave this dark claustrophobic environment. To it's inhabitants though, it's a haven, a place where they can exist one day at a time, without having to ever face the real world.
They all firmly believe that a wonderful life is just waiting outside the door, wishing they would come out, eager for their participation, and just happy to hang on for them to be ready to decide too participate.
Well maybe they don't firmly believe this, when the effects of the alcohol subsides and they have not got someone like Hickey to blow on their tiny little embers of self delusion with words of hope, cold moments of reality, rattle at their consciousness, as the truth attempts to rear it's ugly head.
The occupants of the bar are like a self support group of agoraphobic's, fellow sufferers provide distractions and so less moments of clarity too nag at their guilt ridden souls, asking for a reckoning regarding what a waste they are making of such a precious thing as a human life.
However when Hickey turns up, it's not the Hickey they all know and love, his long awaited arrival, lacks it's usual comforting effect.
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
to blood thirsty needed more story
This for me was just to blood thirsty and an over indulgence of special effects.
It just needed more story.
I ended up having to stop the DVD and explain this Luckily I had seen a documentary about "Salah Al-Din" and the crusades,
My Step Dad loved all the fight scenes and the great effects,
But for me I just wanted more of a narrative and a better chance to understand the characters goals and motivations,
in the DVD extra's the red boxes are really interesting with some fascinating facts, just a shame more were not actually used in the movie.
I loved gladiators, but this seems to have less heart, and be really stingy on the dialogue.
The West Wing (1999)
I pretty much avoid any kind of TV dramas I like the fact that films are written and then produced, soaps can just amble too much and go round in circle, but this is the exception there always is to every rule.
My Mum and I just both love the West Wing is just so fabulously written and executed, I watched the first episode and I was hooked, definitely give this a try, you'll love it, it's fast delivery of lines like Howard Hawks "His Girl Friday"
It's educational interesting and makes you think you probably need to watch it from series one, as you probably would be quite lost starting in the middle, but so worth the effort this show.
The Dark Side of the Sun (1997)
this was so sad, he faces such rejection Rick
This was so sad, he's so alone and feels he is so different and his life is not real because he lives behind a mask, so he sacrifices himself in order to have 3 normal days, as he feels the only way he can really live is without the mask and without the mask he will die.
But the bike people and the girl actually make friends with him, love him after he has made the sacrifice, but at times he still has the mask on, how soul destroying that would be.
It seems really sad that the girl could ignore something good right in front of her, but be so caught up by the mystery, by something unreal.
I thought it was fantastically shot, lucky Brad Pitt getting to play with the dolphin, he's not my type of guy look wise but I think he sometimes does some really good acting.
Whale Rider (2002)
A taste of culture
This film is so beautiful, its wonderful too experience different cultures and beliefs through the silver screen, as sometimes you get a overdose of always the same thing with movies, and there's not really any heart too it. This definitely felt from the heart and the imagery was just so beautiful.
It also seemed a lesson in the dangers of prejudice and how in a strange way people have to be open to change even to keep old customs alive. Films like this and "Rabbit Proof Fence" are so enjoyable too watch.
It was lovely the way they talked and the dress and seeing all the traditions, really educational, the storyline was quite Hollywood, but it was nice that it was kept so simple and took it's time and let you taste the lifestyle.
In my opinion it's a wonderful film and I hope it inspires more of its kind.
Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)
Alan Bates is just fantastic
What a treat to see an adaption of this marvellous but hard going book, of course it's always worth the effort to read Hardy, but it takes getting into, you have to be in the right mind frame, so dramatisations of his wonderfully rich characters are always wonderful to watch, and open up his work to a wider audience I should imagine.
This film in particular was pretty true to the script, if a little condensed, in places. I felt Alan Bates was just fantastic on screen, but probably had the right amount of charm and screen magnetism for the box office, but a little too much to be a true Farmer Oak as described by Hardy, what women in her right mind would ever turn him down,being so sweet and looking like that, I must watch more of his films.
Everyone else was just brilliant as well, and it was lovely to see the beautiful Dorset I visit often so on the big screen and note it really hasn't changed that much at all since the filming in the 60's.
An excellent film, don't miss it !!!
Scorpion Spring (1995)
A knowledge of Spanish would be useful
There are some nice shots in this film, it catches some of the landscapes with such a beautiful light, in fact the cinematography is probably it's best asset.
But it's basically more of a made for TV movie, and although it has a lot of twists and turns in the plot, which keeps it quite interesting viewing, there are no subtitles and key plot developments are unveiled in Spanish, so non Spanish speakers will be left a little lost.
I had it as a Xmas gift, as it's a family trait to work through the films of a actor we find talented, and Matthew Mconaughey was just awesome in "A Time to kill" , and the "The Newton Boys " so I expressed I wanted to see more of his work.
However although it says on the DVD box it is a Matthew Mconaughey film and uses this as a marketing ploy, he has a few lines and is on screen for not very minutes at the end of the film, he is basically an extra and he doesn't exactly light up the screen while he is on, so die hard fans, really not worth it from that point of view.
The films star though, Patrick McGaw is great though and very easy on the eye, and his character is just so nice and kind and caring, a true saint of a guy, he'd be well written into a ROM com.
So for true Mcconaughey acting brilliance of the ones I've seen, I'd recommend, "A Time to kill" , "The Newton Boys " "Frailty", "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", "Edtv" and "Amistad" and avoid too "Larger Than Life" and "Angels in the Outfield" unless you feel like a kids film or have kids around as neither of these are indicative of his talent, but are quite amusing films for children, again MM is really nothing more that a supporting artist with just a few if any lines.
As for Scorpion Springit's not a bad film but it also isn't screen stealing either.
Lost in Translation (2003)
How lost we all are
This film is slow, and some will find it hard work, it's certainly not escapism and it's more hard brain work than just switching off and being amused, but it's worth the effort.
The main character "Bob" is/ was famous, advertisers will pay him two million pounds to say he drinks a brand of whisky, because they believe him saying he likes it will encourage the masses the representation of us Joe public within the film, too like the whisky because Bob likes it.
So Bob is someone who people perceive has all the answers and makes wise decision they should copy. He sets a example we should follow, because we probably think he is happy and successful.
However Bob is unhappy, bored, confused, mixed up, lost, dazed, seeking escapism and wanting to be understood, not really a great candidate too copy, probably he is just like the majority of Joe Bloggs in the film in his heart.
Do the advertisers falsely believe his endorsement holds this power, or are they correct and everyones so lost that what brand of Whisky Bob drinks does hold some significants.
It's just one issue amongst a multitude of issues that this abstract film will raise for you, if you put in the work, and watch it thoughtfully.
Vader, Raging against Death, unable to accept the loss of those he loves
How could sweet Anakin (Jake LLoyd), that you just want to adopt and make his world better, turn bad, thats what struck me after seeing "The Phantom Menace".
So I thought it was a stroke of genius, to choose something that cuts us all to the core, no matter how honourable, educated, grounded, religious, kind and generous a person is, do they really ever accept the loss or prospect of losing someone they love.
George Lucas comfortingly has the Jedi not fearing death for them or loved ones, because they all come from the force and so return too it, so nothing really is lost to them.
However it must take a great strength of character too truly believe this, and be completely at ease with the concept, to the degree that loss holds no fear for you at all.
So we can understand why Anakin is not at peace with this, and so reluctantly becomes Vader in order to gain the ability to save those he loves from death, and to save himself from the pain of living without them.
It's such a heart rendering reason, for anyone that has experienced grief, you can relate and sympathise and understand.