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Breaking Free (1995)
This movie endeared itself to me so much, I bought the DVD
This is a lovely movie. My whole family enjoyed watching this movie in our family room with Youtube 480p video resolution and very good audio quality on this Youtube version with a beautiful music score. This movie endeared itself to me so much, I bought the DVD used on Amazon but, this movie on DVD is called "A Leap of Faith," not "Breaking Free." But, to look up this movie in IMDb.com, you have to use "Breaking Free (1995)" as the search protocol. You will like this charming movie about a horse, a guy, and a girl with personal struggles. You can watch the full movie for free on Youtube. Here is the link to copy and paste into your web browser: https://youtu.be/GqWQ3Aqtswc
Angry Birds (2016)
A smartly written and produced animated film that pleases the fans . . .
Angry Birds the Movie was released on Redbox today and my kids watched it this evening. I noticed that the movie actually hits the right notes for anyone that has enjoyed playing the Angry Birds game app.
I remembered how my kids acquired plush toys of the various Angry Birds characters over the last several years and they had some intense pretend play sessions with those toys so, when they were watching the Angry Birds movie for the first time, they were totally eating it up.
I have not been a fan of Donald Trump but, watching Angry Birds The Movie for the first time, stimulated my imagination about current events. The whole theme of this movie seemed to embody the Trump campaign platform. "Keep the bad people from coming into our country and sometimes there are situations were it's right to get angry."
I'm loosing my appetite for computer animated movies, with my aging but, this Angry Birds movie turned out better than I expected and I enjoyed it, especially the last half.
The producers and writers for this movie took a vague and ambiguous theme and turned it all into a smartly written and produced animated film that pleases the fans of the Angry Birds game app.
I'm not qualified to judge this movie at face value because I was totally dazzled and engrossed with all the familiar sights
One of my Facebook friends postings, yesterday about the old flat-iron building in Mt. Auburn, motivated me to look up this movie that was shot in Cincinnati in 1992 and '93, called Airborne.
I have a Roku1 plugged into the back of my TV, and I used it to rent Airborne (1993) from Amazon Instant Video. So, last night, our whole family watched Airborne in the family room for the first time. I was totally eating up this movie. I could recognize almost every location scene and I had difficulty following the story because I was totally eating up the familiar location shots. Watching Airborne was like celebrating my dating years from 1991-1994. The night time scenes on the Covington Landing barge, old Newport restaurants near Pompilio's, and the Western Hills and Prospect Hill scenes, along with shots around Longworth Hall, near UPS. I loved the shots in Mt Auburn, Mt Adams, Eden Park, and the Flower Conservatory.
I was dazzled with the familiar sights and my kids enjoyed seeing me get excited about it. The redheaded teenage cousin, Wiley, reminded me of house hunting for my first home in Covedale and Westwood in 1994 walking through beautiful charming old small homes that had at least one bedroom totally "tricked-out," in decorum, by a young teenage sloth. My first house on Veazey, Ave, between Ferguson and Boudinot, was just a couple blocks away from Western Hills High.
Watching this movie is like celebrating my courtship years in downtown Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport. I'm not qualified to judge this movie at face value because I was totally dazzled and engrossed with all the familiar sights and places that I have grown to love these last 30 years.
The film critics were wrong when they said there is no real Devil's Backbone. There is a Devils' Backbone that runs off of Ebenezer Rd. on the West Side, near Rapid Run. Devils' Backbone is close to the large house that Pete Rose used to live in and the road does have some challenging grades and turns. I'm thankful to one of my Facebook friends, from my Mt. Auburn years, for helping me discover Airborne for the first time.
Inside Out (2015)
This addition is one of Pixar's better achievements, in my opinion.
Inside Out is a story where all the emotions of a person are individuals inside a person's brain with a command and control center and the story gets clever and insightful with that theme, especially in dealing with memories of the past.
If you liked Toy Story, Bug's Life, Monster's Inc. and Finding Nemo, you might find that InSide Out is going back to Pixar's roots of stories that have a heart and sole. After a few years of Pixar wondering into superficial movies like Cars, Cars 2, Planes, and Planes 2, Inside Out is refreshing. Amy Poehler, from SNL, re-wrote the entire script for Pixar and voiced a principal role in this cartoon.
The movie is good for people that are already into Pixar films. If you are not into computer animated theatrical films, this movie might not be special enough to grab you. I, myself, am a Pixar animation connoisseur and this addition was one of Pixar's better achievements, in my opinion.
Return to Nim's Island (2013)
Refreshing to see Steve Irwin's daughter, Bindi, step up her film acting . . .
I knew this sequel was made for a TV/DVD release only and not for a theatrical release so, they used affordable unknown actors. But, Bindi Irwin is not an unknown, of course.
Steve Erwin was not quite the film actor that his daughter has turned out to be. She was a good child actress in in the Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove movie. But, in Return to Nim's Island, Bindi is a very capable adolescent actress with real theatrical film talent.
Her Mom was very natural in front of a TV camera and Steve's acting style was mainly ramping up his enthusiasm and volume when doing Animal Planet. Maybe Bindi has the best of both parents in her acting ability.
I knew this was not a real sequel, not bringing back any of the original Nim's Island actors but, this was a fresh sassy Australian produced alternative sequel to Nim's Island. Well done!
The trailers for this film made me a skeptic but
The trailers for this film made me a skeptic but, I watched Planes for the first time from a Redbox rental last night while my kids were in bed and while I was recovering from my root canal, done earlier in the day. I had so-so likings for Disney's Planes. I did not like how Dusty was too similar to the Owen Wilson voiced Lightning McQueen character and I did not like how Skipper was too similar to the Paul Newman voiced Doc Hudson character.
Today my 12-year-old son watched Planes with his 9-year-old sister. The enthusiasm barometer from my kids was way up, while watching Planes, compared to their first viewings of Cars and Cars 2. I guess all those times I took my kids to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, cultivated their aviation enthusiasm and they were ripe for watching Disney's Planes, today.
My son got teary-eyed when Skipper recounted his painful battle experience in War 2. My son also got teary-eyed when the other racing plains started donating replacement parts to Dusty.
Watching the movie with two kids that were loving it made me enjoy it more. Then, the DVD's Special Features won my heart over with a section about the great vintage war birds, including the P-51D Mustang.
So, today, I ordered Disney's Planes (Blu-ray/DVD, 2013, 2-Disc Set, Including Digital Copy).
This film and special features cultivates my existing love for aviation. I would have liked to seen more expensive high-powered actors doing the principal roles in this movie but I respect Disney/Pixar's choice to cut production costs since aviation movies don't do all that great at the box office. Planes was not a block buster but, it did produce a respectable profit to cost ratio. It's worth seeing for the first time. I suggest renting it before deciding to buy it.
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
I came across this movie by accident. It turned out to be pretty good.
I came across this movie by accident and it turned out to be pretty good and entertaining. It stars Alec Guinness, who later became the elderly Obi-Wan Kenobi in Stars War IV - A New Hope. The Lavender Hill Mob is kind of a crime-caper-comedy and I think the two 1950s Alec Guinness movies, The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Ladykillers (1955) were the precursors to the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies of the 60s and 70s.
This film has some pretty advanced 1951 visual effects involving the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, and a spiral staircase inside the Eiffel Tower. It was pretty impressive filmmaking and screen writing for a movie that was only shot in black and white.
The Lavender Hill Mob is fast moving and it really requires you to engage your brain to watch. It's definitely worth seeing.
Loved Matthew Modine and Mia Sara in this film...
I rented this movie on VHS in 2002 and watched it for the first time. This film introduced me to the film acting of Matthew Modine and Mia Sara for the first time. I liked the character that Matthew Modine portrayed in this film and Mia Sara was remarkably charming. Matthew and Mia had great romantic chemistry on screen and the film had a smart plot from smart screen writing. Now my kids are mature enough to watch it so, I enjoyed watching it again recently with my kids. It's a real joy to watch and the bad-Jack-character caused me to be introspective about my life.
The story parallels the Christian doctrine of the first Adam brought sin and spiritual death into the world and the second Adam, Christ, brought spiritual redemption, salvation and restoration to the World. And here we have the first Jack bringing death and destruction to the other world and the last Jack brings restoration to that other world. The chanting crowds wanting the last Jack to be executed reminded me of some Easter passion plays I have watched.
It's been a wile since this movie was shipping new on DVD so, the prices for new and used copies are too high, at the time I'm writing this post but, once the DVD is re-released again, the DVD prices for this film will become friendly once again.
I was able to borrow a copy from my public library and I also saw it for free legally, on the Internet. So there are ways to sample this movie before you decide to buy the DVD. It's a great movie.
Der rote Baron (2008)
The best dogfight movie I have ever seen
Beautiful cinematography, with a great music score. Probably the least sloppy about historical accuracy, when compared to all the other aerial combat films that have been released in the last 25 years. George Lucas said he made Red Tails to make a dogfight movie the way a dogfight movie should be made but, I would have to say this 2010 release of The Red Baron is the best dogfight movie I have ever seen.
The CGI work in creating the dogfights scenes, composited in with the footage of real live actors, was superb and spectacular but the story was bigger than the aerial combat sequences.
The profanity and sex in this film was so light, it could have been rated G. I thought the violent war scenes were very realistic but not gratuitously graphic. Perhaps the violence is what gave this movie a PG13 rating.
I have not looked up the discrepancies but I'm sure a lot of creative license was taken with the story, when compared to the historical narrative. But, I'm OK with that as long as it looks compelling and believable. I did, however, have a problem with the story having the Red Baron land in a farm field to chat with an enemy allied pilot while his squadron was still up in the air fighting. I know Manfred Von Richthofen was always looking out for his squadron and he would have not left them alone, fighting in a furball, so that he could chat with an enemy acquaintance. This particular departure from the historical narrative made Manfred an un-sympathetic protagonist, at this point in the story. I was able to put that scene behind me as a screen writer's fopah and still enjoy the movie immensely.
The casting was superb. I think American film producers need to seriously consider using Matthias Schweighofer and Til Schweiger in some future big Hollywood movie productions. On IMDb, I see that this has already happened with Til Schweiger.
I think I will want to buy a DVD copy of this well done film.