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I am ultra-conservative, but believe that everyone has the right to their beliefs.
I am Judeo-Christian.
I am 29 years old.
I am a mother.
Mommie Dearest (1981)
God help me, it's one of my favorite movies...
God help me, it's one of my favorite movies... But then again, I came from a psychotically abusive home like this one, so I felt this film championed my reality. No one will ever say this is a great, or even good, movie, but it is an honest movie. Insane people act insanely. The dialogue seems stited and creepy, because that's probably the way it was. Crawford was a woman in such denial about life, love, and basic human decency, and this film reflects all of that. I am grateful to children like the real Christina Crawford, who endured all of this and survived. Read the book and its sequel, "Survivor", and you will understand the scope of the pain, and the lifetime it takes to overcome it. Then watch this movie again, and it doesn't seem like anything less than the Gospel truth. Also, try "Radio Flyer" and/or "Bastard Out of Carolina" and/or "The Woodsman". Serious subjects don't always make for good entertainment, but they should be given a look anyway.
Live and Learn and Die and Learn Some More
One of the best movies I've ever seen. Reminiscent of "A Christmas Carol", but protagonist is redeemed after his death.
PLOT: Man thinks he's seen and heard (and learned) everything. Then he dies. Then he revisits his past acquaintances and places, and transforms his soul.
In the beginning, you think he's a poor schmuck who never did anything right, has a bad limp, a low-paying job, etc.
Moving, gripping, touching, sad, and enlightening. Incredible idea, reminded me of "What Dreams May Come" and "The Happy Prince". Centers on lifelong-afterlife redemption, anger issues, and the value of finding peace.
When revisiting scenes from his life, you see that things were not always what they seemed. His father rescued his mother from rape, his wife died from cancer, his C.O. shot him to save him, etc.
When confronted with the little girl he accidentally killed during wartime, she forgives him. She explains what really happens, and FORGIVES him. He is reduced to tears, and begins to understand the meaning of compassion and sacrifice.
The Happy Prince (1974)
Best movie for children of all ages
Best movie I have ever seen. Ever. The book is even better, but only slightly. The movie is true to form, and like the book, does not mince words (or graphic images) of poverty, despair, aristocracy, etc. I was shown this in Catecism class in 1983, and it has always stayed with me. I recently found it through my local library, and introduced it to my daughter. We then read the book together. Needless to say, I cried and cried. The main messages are that charity and compassion are good things, and that sacrifice is not always a bad thing. Also, the picture of heaven and God's rewarding them with verbal praise will underscore your faith. I felt like it reassured my entire belief system. If you like this, you should also try "What Dreams May Come" and "The Five Things You Learn in Heaven".
Working It Out (1990)
Gentle, sweet comedy 2.5 out of 4 stars
I remember this comedy as sweet and gentle and funny and sweet. It starred Jane Curtin and Stephen Collins as two lonely but skittish single parents who meet in cooking school. They were trying to get out of the house, and they both take a continuing education-type class at a local school or restaurant. They both seem hurt from their divorces, and feel unsure about how to approach socializing and (*gasp*) dating again. When they meet, it's sweet. Not exciting, as this show was never exciting, but really sweet. Mild hijinks ensue. They attempt a first date, a first conversation, a first kiss, and a first intimate encounter. Everything that goes wrong, does. But mildly. And sweetly. Good acting, believable dialogue, nice production.
Last Dance (1996)
Much better than Dead Man Walking
Tough-to-watch story about a death row inmate (Stone) and the weeks before her execution. She is on death row for murders committed 10-15 years before, while under influence of alcohol, drugs, crazy boyfriend. Young hotshot lawyer (Morrow) tries to appeal, using evidence that would have cleared her, had it ever been introduced in trial. Story is actually about the struggle of love: romantic, platonic, self-esteem/love of self, love of humanity/against the death penalty. Funny thing happens to this lawyer on the way to death row...he falls in love with his client/prisoner. Is love from afar, as they never have physically intimate moments, but audience can feel the love/passion/heartbreak unfold on screen. Best performance for Stone, who believably delivers line after line of heart-wrenching, white trash, prison living drama. Not only do you feel for her, and Morrow's lawyer character, but you begin to re-examine your stance on prison and the death penalty. My heart broke, and I sobbed, when she uttered the line, "I ain't gonna beg for something I'm not gonna get." She is referring to the compassion and forgiveness her lawyer went to seek from her victims' families. You will struggle to keep it together during this movie, and will need time to emotionally recover afterwards. I cried as much as when I watched Saving Private Ryan. Both movies should be part of your permanent collection.
Seize the Day (1986)
Excellent acting, possible connection to Dead Poets' Society
8 out of 10. An unrecognized gem. His acting is excellent, better than most all other actors. He is particularly gifted in his drama and dramedy (drama/comedy) skills. He is specific, vulnerable, and challenges the very audience who watches him. This film (and his others) deserve greater recognition and he should be cast in more meaty roles. And more movies. And then win all the awards... Was the title "Seize the Day" was an unknowing sign of things to come? Maybe. Who could have foretold of his future excellence in the dramatic flick "Dead Poets' Society"? For those who remember, in that film, he taught the boys the importance of living. He repeated Carpe Diem, Carpe Diem, which is Latin for Seize the Day.
Cold Heaven (1991)
I wanted to like this movie, but couldn't...
I wanted to like this movie, but couldn't follow it. It flashes back and forth and provides real time dialogue intermixed with whispers, which are the main characters thoughts. She thinks she is going crazy, and after listening to all the whispering, you will think you are, too. The husband, a role phoned-in by Mark Harmon, is either dead or alive or brought back to life, or never really got hurt. I can't figure it out. Seeing Talia Shire play an overzealous nun was just bad casting. And seeing the monsignor's face transform several times in a few seconds just made me queasy. I think it was supposed to be a metaphor for her new faith being tested. The premise of the story is impressive, too bad it didn't get the screenplay it deserved.