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The Green Mile (1999)
A Near Perfect Film, at least I think so!
Usually before I take the time to write a short review, I read over the previous comments to get a general feel for what has been said already to avoid any repetition. What struck me immediately was the love-it or hate-it view, with hardly anybody sitting on the fence. I really can't understand the ones who hated it, but of course they are entitled to their opinion. I was mesmerized and at the films end said that I had just seen the best picture of 1999. In fact, I would say that this was a near perfect film. Being a Stephen King fan, I read The Green Mile in its original serial installments, and remember marking each installments release date on my calendar, and buying each on its release date. I was very pleased to hear that a film was being made, and that Tom Hanks would play Paul. I even convinced my wife (not a Stephen King Fan) and daughter to read the books prior to last nights viewing. The 3+ hours, I didn't even notice them. The near filled theatre was quiet, and riveted. I did not notice much movement, or talking with the exception of the all to frequent cell phone interruption. The casting and acting, again near perfect. I cannot think of an alternate actor to play any of the parts that would have been better. It was great to see David Morse, Bonnie Hunt and Harry Dean Stanton. Gary Sinise, although with very little screen time, leaves a lasting impression on the Depression era mentality (morality). Like I said at the beginning, a near perfect film with a mix of suspense, humor, and spiritualism. I can already see Billy Crystal doing the "water closet" scene during his best film montage at the Oscar's.
Music of the Heart (1999)
Just Back from the local Premiere
I can't remember the last time I sat through an entire film and did not hear one curse word, witness one act of violence, been bombarded with loud music and quick "MTV-Style" editing, until last night!
What a wonderful film Wes Craven has decided to direct between Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 3! Looking at Mr. Craven's filmography, I believe this is his first non slasher/thriller/horror film! Kudos to Wes Craven! And Kudos to Miramax Films! Here is a company that is constantly badgered because of their link to Walt Disney and their independence to produce and distribute all types of films! But, how much Press will Miramax get when they release a fantastic film like this?
This film is very good, very heartwarming, and at least a 4-tissue rating! It should be viewed by all educators regardless of their vocations. It is a film that the entire family can go and see, share and enjoy!
"Music of the Heart" is the true story of Roberta Guaspari (played by Streep), a musician who has a devastating divorce, moves out on her own with her two young sons, and takes a job as a substitute-music teacher in East Harlem, NY. The film chronicles two major battles, first the acceptance of violin teaching not only by the teaching staff, but also the parents. And second, the struggle to continue the classes when funding is cut-off. Yes, there are more struggles as you can imagine a single mother would have being placed into this situation.
La vita è bella (1997)
Not to be missed!
Don't let the subtitles keep you away from this GEM of a film. For the first half, you'll laugh. During the second half, you'll still laugh, but you may also cry. What great lengths a father will go to protect his only son. Even if it means he has to make a game out of living in a Nazi Concentration Camp.
A pleasant surprise!
I never thought that I would welcome the sight of "Antz" in a theatre, but after last nights (9/29/98) Sneak Preview, I was pleasantly surprised. I will admit, I went into this film with a closed mind, thinking that Disney had absolutely nothing to worry about. But after a few minor projectionist glitches early on, I soon found myself engrossed into this film. Not only is the animation totally believable, and the attention to detail awe inspiring, but also the story kept us into the entire film. I cannot recall any points where the film seemed to drag. Also, be aware that this is not a "slap-on-you-knee" comedy. I would say that it is more of a satire. And, not that it is rated PG due to some language. I definitely have to back and see this again. It will be hard for Disney's "A Bug's Life" to play catch up since "Antz" will be released this weekend, but I look forward to the competition that SKG will push onto Disney.