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Angela's Ashes (1999)
A miserable Irish childhood is overcome
Being married to a man from Ireland, I can really relate to this movie. I went to see his family home in 1978 and he grew up in very similar circumstances. The movie portrays the depression and drinking problems the Irish have. Emily Watson is great as his mother- she has to swallow her pride and beg so her kids can have food and clothes. The Vincent De Paul society is a great presence in Ireland. The way the kids are beat in school is right on- my husband tells me horror stories of how the priests and nuns treated him. Like Frankie he was able to get out of the country when he was 19-- This movie captures both the good and the bad of McCourt's book. I showed it to my son so now he understands his father a lot better. As a whole the movie deserves a lot of credit for staying true to McCourt's words. Robert Carlyle is good as Frankie's father. Everyone in the movie-- fits one type of Irish personality. We still keep candles burning in front of the statue of Mary at home. I will watch this move again so I can pick up on some of the other aspects
of Irish life.
Cocaine destroys lives
Having worked with addicts in the past in a treatment center, I have seen this story first hand. Johnny Depp does a fine job portraying the type of character that got involved with the whole scene. It is a dirty world- a lot of my patients were desperate people. This movie does a good job showing the deception and dangers of the profession. The movie also shows how everything that touches these people gets destroyed or lost. I would reccommend that parents make their children see this- it would to a lot of good to keep kids off drugs.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001)
Music can bring love
At first I didn't think I would like this movie, but as it progressed it became better and better. I love music and I was impressed with how well Cage could fake the movements of playing a mandolin. My son was with me and he also like the movie a lot for its music and the story and the way the story unfolded--- slowly showing how Corelli won the girls heart. The acting and the story were both well done and well directed. At first Corelli's bravado was irritating, but soon he grew on you. The twists in the plot were intriguing especially the relations with the Germans. I would like to see this again to follow all the side plots. I also want to buy the sound track to hear the music again.
G.I. Jane (1997)
Women can compete
Having friends in all branches of the military service, I came to appreciate this movie. Demi Moore is great as the woman who made SEAL- a friend of mine who is a SEAL saw this with me and said that is exactly what training is like. Demi Moore never backs down- even when beaten by the Masterchief. She also confronts the Senator to protest her unfair treatment. In this movie she is both strong and vulnerable. As a woman in the military she beats the odds, but as a woman in love she has to let her boyfriend know she will NOT stand back and be patronized. Some of the scenes were hard to watch-- especially her treatment by the Marines in charge. All together I watched this move three times-each time I found more in it than I expected. My boyfriend who was a Marine in combat in Vietnam also liked the movie and watched it several time.
Huo shao dao (1990)
Good guys win out in the end
I usually don't like martial arts movies, but this one appealed to me for the story line and the fighting scenes. The action was good and the scenes of life in prison seemed real. Prison is a hard place to me. Overall, Chan did a good job of portraying his character and the other aspects of life in prison. I even watched it twice.
Rush Hour 2 (2001)
Double the fun!
This movie was just as good as the original. I went with my son and he and I laughed a lot. My son also is a martial artist and we really liked the fight scenes. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker make a great team. Some of the stunts were really spectacular. I hope there is another rush hour in the future.
Finding Forrester (2000)
A mentor is a wonderful person
For four years I wrote a bi-weekly commentary for a radio show. Early
on I met a college professor who helped me tremendously. He was able to bring out the best in me just like Forrester did for Jamal. What I liked was that he helped me find my true voice- He would give me exercises- he'd ask me what I wanted to write about- I covered everything from tattoos to strippers to censorship in libraries and the Vietnam wall-- no matter what I wrote he found some good in it and helped me develop it-- just as Forrester did for Jamal-- The movie was very much like my relationship with the professor-- I stopped last year when my producer left to begin teaching college... This movie brought back wonderful memories of my many hours in his office with him reading and editing my work. This movie has both tension and resolve. Some of the writings that Jamal does are beautiful. I recommend any aspiring writer watch this movie. Sean Connery gives a very muted performance so that Rob Brown can bring out all the aspects of Jamal's character.
Is winning everything?
This movie presents a real moral dilemna... should students who have always been thought of as losers take the chance and cheat. The teacher has the toughest decision to make- whether to let his students cheat and what to do if they get caught. Jeff Daniels plays the part well- showing how he is torn- wanting his students to get recognition and wanting to teach them right from wrong. This movie is a very good look at the moral questions we all face in life.
Wo hu cang long (2000)
stunning fight scenes
I had heard a lot about this movie-- but I wasn't prepared for the stunning fight scenes... this was a movie both my boyfriend and I could enjoy since he has been in martial arts for 17 years. The scenery is stunning and the fight scenes exciting.... I don't like dubbed movies since I have to read them outloud.... Great movie I intend to watch it again...
Cast Away (2000)
Survival at all costs
Once I got lost for 10 hours on an island and was panicky- how one man survived 4 years is incomprehensible to me. One know one man who could do it- my friend Mark.... he could catch food and entertain himself like the hero of the movie did.... all is all this is a good film despite the ending-- if he had been my boyfriend I would have waited.... I enjoyed this look at survival under the harshest of circumstances... I intend to watch it another time to catch things I missed the first time.
What we do today affects eternity!
I have always loved movies that deal with ideals like love, hate and revenge. This movie has all three. Russell Crows does a great job playing the slave that gets revenge and frees his men. As my boyfriend said as we were watching the movie- life is fight or die. Rome its rise and fall have always fascinated me. This movie embodies both the good and bad about the Roman empire. As a whole the move held my attention. The stunts were great and the music too. I am glad that I rented it. I plan to watch it several more times.
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Split personalities can be funny
Jim Carrey is a master of physical comedy. This movie is no exception. His jokes are sometimes crude and off-color but altogether a movie that made me laugh at least a dozen times. My boyfriend laughed at his antics even more. The whole movie was silly from start to finish it held my attention to watch it two times.
Turner & Hooch (1989)
Dog and man make for strange partners
My boyfriend loves this movie so I watched it and I laughed. Hooch acts exactly like our dog- big and messy and destructive. Tom Hanks was very convincing as a meticulous detective and Hooch is a hoot as a dog that can rattle him.. All in all this is a good movie to watch on a rainy afternoon like we did.
Joe's Apartment (1996)
Funny little singing critters
Decided to pick a film I'd never heard of- this turned out to be very funny especially the songs of the cockroaches. Connolly plays a down on his luck character well and the scene at the 911 operations is hilarious-- even my son was laughing along with me. Whoever designed the set deserves credit for their creativity.. a funny film that deserved more credit than it got.
My Dog Skip (2000)
Love me I'm a dog
I just got my first dog in 27 years- this movie though meant for children really impressed me- Frank Muniz is excellent as the young Willie Morris, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane round out a good movie for the whole family. The contrast between the young Willie and Dink is well done. Dink does prove himself in the end to be a hero. I wish the movie would have followed the book a little closer. A great movie to introduce kids to what having an animal friend is all about.
Blast from the Past (1999)
A funny time warp!
I really liked this movie because all the actors carried it off so well- Brendan Frazer is both naive and worldly, Alicia Silverstone plays well against his innocence . I like how the mom kept drinking the cooking sherry and how the father drank hot doctor pepper. And the changes that the building above them went through from hamburger joint to heavy metal bar.... the director was right on with this... great movie
The Blood Oranges (1997)
Boring and inane!
I thought this would be a sexy movie but it was not- it was just full of hot air and trite sentiments. I loved his other movie Angels and Insects but this movie was not up to that one at all. The acting was bad and the story was stupid. The only person who was somewhat believeable was Hugh's wife. A waste of time
Boogie Nights (1997)
Sex, drugs, booze, downfall
This is a very hard movie to watch- Mark Wahlberg does a good job as a young man who gets caught up in the porn industry. Burt Reynolds plays the porn director with aplomb. William Macy plays the cuckoled husband sympathetically. The women are also very good. They give the viewer a sense of what makes people go into this industry. The music is good and the overall movie, while confronting a controversial topic does a good job.
Three Kings (1999)
The conscience can outweigh greed
I usually don't like war movies, but this involved more than fighting- it showed the feelings that men in combat have for one another. I also pointed out that often good will outweigh the bad in man. Mark Wahlberg was better than I expected. A movie that leaves you thinking- what would I have done under the circumstances.
Permanent Midnight (1998)
How many times can you watch a drug addict lapse back into his old ways. Stiller tries to make us like his character but it is impossible. The movie couldn't hold my interest at all. Elizabeth Hurley tries but just doesn't make the grade. All in all a pititful look at Hollywood.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
A girl David takes on Goliath
Julia Roberts is outstanding in this movie of a single mom who is able to defeat a huge corporation. Albert Finney as the lawyer is her perfect foil. The addition of George shows that not all bikers are bad. The reactions of the people affected by the poison are varried, showing the hearthbreak of some and the determination of others. Great film
La vita è bella (1997)
Hope is the name of the game
Life is Beautiful tells a story of what a man will do to save his family. Robert Benigni is both a clown and a very clever man who devises a way to protect his son. The whole movie was very uplifting except for the end. The scenery is beautiful except in the concentration camps. I don't know where Italian Jews were quartered, but that makes no difference, the story is the main thing of this movie.
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Sanity is a tenuous state
Angelina Jolie does a tremendous job portraying an agressively mentally ill patient. Her performance reminded me a lot of Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cucukoo's Nest. Wynona Rider is fragile enough to fall under the stronger girls domination, but when she learns to stand up to her the whole course of the movie changes. Not since the classic Snake Pit have a seen a movie that showed what its like to be inside a mental institution.
Great movie- a little hard to watch when Jolie's character is browbeating the weaker girls.
There's a thin line between sanity and insanity and he crossed the line
Jack Nicholson uses his talents for manic characters well in this movie. Louise Fletcher is stone cold and evil and an equal match for Nicholson. The whole movie from start to finish makes you wonder how you would react to such a situation. I like the twists and the turns in the movie especially one the with Indian chief. Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito and others round out this great ensemble movie about life in the mental ward. Cucukoo's Nest sets a standard for how mental institutions should NOT be run. Nicholson as R.P, McMurphy portrays one of the most memorable characters from literature. A must see movie.
Modern Hamlet is right on the mark
I really liked this new interpretation of Hamlet. Ethan Hawke has just enough angst to portray the young man whose father was killed and then betrayed by his mother. Julia Stiles as Ophelia gives a credible intepretation of the role of the confused girl. Bill Murray shines as Polonious. Sam Shepherd as Hamlet's father is corporeal and not ghostly at all. Most of all Diane Vernoa as Gertrude plays the guilt ridden woman who must atone for her sins. Amy Hobby producer did a fine job of getting all of this done for about 2 million dollars. The scenes in the Guggenheim were disturbing. A unique look at an old classic.