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Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Give yourself a Christmas present !
I have been a Holmes fan since I first started reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 8th grade. I have been disappointed with other filmed versions of the past, and I was skeptical of this "newer" Holmes. My children took me (as a gift) on Christmas Day. I was prepared to be silently critical. Imagine my surprise when I was speechless with joy. And what was most surprising, my sons, who are not Holmes savvy, enjoyed the movie as well. It was a delight to the eye, a heartfelt, wistful return to adventuresome reading and a bit of jolt to the adrenal system. Congratulations to Guy Ritchie for this fabulous recreation of Holmes and gang. And to Downey and Law, special appreciation, it was like falling in love again. I was gleefully entertained and thoroughly satisfied. Bravo !
The Women (2008)
"Sleepless" a la Meg, this was a Nightmare!
An old friend and I go to the movies once a month and we gravitate to non-violent stories about people. I wished I had read the reviews here before I went. The trailers and the cast and English were what sent us out to see the Women. We are both over 50...just. We are both fairly well educated professionals. She is divorced I am married 32 years. When I am entertained, I just follow the movie. Last night all I was doing was finding faults...because that was all I saw. I had never even heard of the original...but now I will definitely seek it out.
**SPOILERS only to what cast members played in each character ** The casting (however marvelous each of these actresses are and I am a fan of each and everyone) was too big name heavy. I happened to feel sorry for Candice Bergen. She was really very good, but at 62, she is tooo young to portray Meg Ryan's mother...what were they thinking! OH yeah...wait, Ms Bergen had already played Ryan's mother in a film back in 1981 for George Cuckor's last film "Rich and Famous". You've come a long way Candice, not so much Meg. This actress is like little Sally one note (pun intended).
Cloris Leachman is magnificent and I was all smiles when she appeared. Annette Benning was also very good but again, was not a good pairing with Ryan. Debra Messing's character was a bit over the top, but there are so few comedies I would think she would jump through rings to be in this picture. Eva Mendez was stunningly and evilly cast. That was a good choice, and done well. Jada was cast for name only, I thought, not quite a part for her.
Love Bette, but I would bet that a much of her contribution to this film was left on editing floor. She was a stereotype of herself, which was probably intended, but the lady can act, and they should have had her sing at least one of her songs in the soundtrack. Carrie Fisher? Now I know who she is, but I'm old. How did she get a part...(awful)
India Ennenga played Meg Ryan's daughter. She was very good and I think we'll see more of her. But I hope casting directors don't judge her on the weight of this film or she is sunk.
I read in some of these reviews about the absence of men. It was very effective. Also, the comment about the extras is also true...your mind wanders to them when you are bored with the action. There is one in purple in a scene with the manicurist. No director was paying attention to her at all :) Save your theater money and wait for this to come to TV...don't even bother to rent it. Or go or rent knowing you are paying for the big money cast, not Meg Ryan. Time to grow up dear and act your age.
Married Life (2007)
Watch for this at academy awards
If for nothing less, this film should get awards for costume, set, lighting and sound. The film sent me right back to my grandmother's era, so vividly and lovingly recreated I could almost smell it. I want to see it again and again to relive that time, it was so beautifully done. That said, it was also a very entertaining film. I chuckled, gasped, held my breath, felt my heart beating faster. Some reviewer wrote that they thought Pierce Brosnan was improperly cast, but I thought he was perfect for the role. I cannot write much more without giving serious spoilers. This was not a Hollywood blockbuster film with a huge budget, but a perfect gem with complex characters you would love to have as friends or neighbors, set in a time that is sadly passed.
Beware, there is a great deal of smoking (as there was in that era...) I would have loved not seeing how badly generations have been addicted to it. But it DID make you remember what it WAS like back then.
Don't miss this quiet film, or you will be sad you missed it when award time comes around.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Do yourself a huge favor and go and see this film and then tell your friends about it. It has no special effects!!! No HUGE stars (though Kinnear and Arkin are famous and perfectly cast) This film has just great characters, unusual but perfectly understandable circumstances,fantastic dialog, wonderful actors,stunning cinematography, effortless direction and seamless editing.This film was very well received by the audience I sat with. I laughed,I cried and laughed until I cried. I heard that this film only cost three million dollars to make...it just goes to show that tens of millions need not be spent to get a treasure. Go see it and be thoroughly entertained. This is one good old-fashioned movie for everyone over 13 (if you preempt the grandfather's language, which is really part of his character). Hope it gets some nominations!!!