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6/10
Could Have Done Without Cher
29 July 2018
Cher looks like a caricature of her former self and to me, she and a lot of actors and actresses for that matter, eventually should just decide to hang it up and let memories of what they used to be stick with people. Cher could use her voice in voice-overs or commercials or just sing on CDs or something but she looks ridiculous to me. And yeah, I know she's really old, but even so, she looks ridiculous. I much, and I do mean MUCH, prefer the folks who allow age to come along as it should - to me they are beautiful. But those who have indulged in tons of plastic surgery and augmentation of some sort of another surgery look foolish and even older than those who age with grace into a natural beauty. At any rate, the movie could jolly well have done without Cher and been better for it. The premise was good, combining past and current characters was a clever touch. Just wasn't nearly as good as the first Mama Mia though.
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1/10
No Spoiler Alert -But HATED The Ending
10 May 2018
Okay, plenty of action, lots of humor, excitement galore...so why the 1 rating from me? Because, and I'm not telling you one word about how it ends, this has to be the WORST way to end a movie I've ever seen...and wished I hadn't. The heck with it. Guess who won't be lined up to see how the next one goes? That would be ME 'cause frankly, at this point, I don't care.
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9/10
Runs Close To The Book And The Book Is One Of My Favorites
6 May 2018
Saw this really good movie this week. Finally was able to find a showing of The Leisure Seeker. It's one of my very favorite books and the movie was pretty close to the book. Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland star in it. And do a superb job, both of them. It sounds like a depressing story, but it isn't. An old couple - she's dying of cancer and he is suffering from Alzheimer's to the extent that half the time he doesn't know where he is - or even who she is - climb into their old RV and head off across the country to see the ocean. I know. Sounds depressing and the story does move along pretty much as you might expect it to. But it's a heart-warming, touching book and film with some humor. I don't know. You just come to like these people and understand where they're coming from. Like I said, it's one of my all-time favorite books. When I'm at a used book sale and I find a copy, I hold it up, wave it around and ask any and all if they've read it and if they haven't they need to buy and read it. (I've managed to sell a lot of copies that way) I just want everyone to read it, it's that good. If you haven't read it, do so. If you haven't seen this film, do so. You don't have to be old to enjoy it. I went with someone much, much younger than I am, and they loved it. My recommendation? Go ahead - if you can find it. For some unknown and infuriating reason it was only shown in one theater in my entire area. But I bet you'll like it.
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10/10
Hollywood Pay Attention To This Movie
17 March 2018
Here's the thing - I only go to matinees. And rarely, over the years have I seen more than a dozen people in the theater during any one movie. This week I went with two other friends to see I Can Only Imagine. I told them I wanted to get there about 20 minutes early because I figured the place would be packed. They laughed at me, but went along with it. As it turned out, it was a good thing we arrived early because we got the last three seats together up on the top row. By the time the movie started every other seat was filled too. And as we left, the lobby was teaming with people waiting to get in to see it. This is a splendid movie with a message, music, good acting and it contained none of the usual trash turned out by Hollywood these day. In fact, rather than spend ridiculous amounts of money to churn out unfunny, raunchy so-called comedies, slash everyone to bloody bits horror messes or the usual suggestive or downright explicit garbage Hollywood deems what America wants, somebody with a working brain should be paying attention here. Give us what we really want to see - decent movies - and we will buy tickets. As for this one, I will gladly buy another ticket to see it again. It's that good.
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Wonder (I) (2017)
10/10
Wonder Doesn't Even Begin To Cover This Film
16 December 2017
If this movie isn't nominated for Picture of the Year, a great disservice will have happened. Uplifting, engrossing, characters you will love, dialogue as well written as you could ask for. I almost didn't see this because I thought it would be too sad and I'd cry too much. I'm so glad I ignored that. Did I cry? Yes, but only in the very best parts where I was so much a part of the story I could hardly stand the joy of it all. Jacob Tremblay as Auggie is captivating, endearing, Owen Wilson as Nate, his dad is wonderful, charming and amusing, Julia Roberts as Isabel, his mom is perfectly played, and Izabela Vidovic as his sister, Via, will steal your heart. She plays a sibling who dearly loves her brother, but feels left out, ignored and forgotten as the sibling in a family where there is a child of special needs so often does. It was terrific to see Mandy Patinkin as Mr. Tushman. Haven't seen him nearly enough in movies lately and he's wonderful. All in all, the casting for this picture could not have been better and I urge you, with my whole heart, to see this one. You will leave the theater feeling so good. And isn't that a rarity in the mess that today's offerings from Hollywood tend to be?
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7/10
Disney Needs To Return To Pure Entertainment
23 March 2017
Okay, Emma Watson did a great job. Who knew she could sing so well? As did Dan Stevens as the Beast, Kevin Kline as Maurice and Luke Evans as Gaston. Josh Gad as LeFou - this actor has such a charming face, so likable. Why did they have to make him a flaming whatever? For the most part, the cast was wonderful. In so saying, however, frankly I SO love the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast that there can not possibly be any improvement on it. When I hear 'Mrs Potts' sing, I want to hear Angela Lansbury. When Lumiere sings Be Our Guest, I want to hear Jerry Orbach. Seriously. This is a good version, if a version absolutely had to be made. But did it, beyond having to mix in some liberal views? Here's the thing, Walt Disney must be up there somewhere shaking his head in dismay. Not sure who or what is in charge of the Disney world now, but obviously someone who simply feels compelled to throw in politically correct foolishness to the nth degree – even if it means spoiling the movie for thousands and thousands of previous Disney fans. Come on. Stop the insanity and get back to entertainment. Enough with the politically correct spoilage. Get back to 'family entertainment' will you, Disney people?
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The Shack (I) (2017)
9/10
You Will Come Away From This One Thinking - And Feeling
4 March 2017
This is a wonderful family film. Here's a tip for Hollywood. My friend and I go to a matinée pretty much every week. There are sometimes, at most, a dozen, sometimes a half dozen, people in the theater. For this one? The room was a good half full. Now tell me why Hollywood insists on producing nasty, foul, poorly-written and acted pieces of trash all the time? Really. Anyway, this one gives you so much to think about. There are several instances of symbolism in this picture that took my breath away, that brought me to tears. Well written, well-acted, this one is so worth seeing. I am anxious to see it again and trust me, that isn't often the case. I took away from that theater a new feeling and I've thought about several of the lines of dialogue many times since. The truth and the trust of this picture will stay with you. I know it did me. I am always surprised by Tim McGraw. The man can surely sing, but he can also act. He's a natural. Octavia Spencer seems to be in about every movie there is lately - well, not quite but still - however, there is a reason. She is wonderful. She brings her role to life every time. And she most certainly did in this one. Trust me, this is one you want to see. Take your family. Take your friends. Or go alone. Doesn't matter. Just see it.
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Lion (2016)
9/10
An Emotional Journey
18 February 2017
What a fabulous film! The first half has sub-titles which could turn some off, but shouldn't. It's set in India, they are speaking Indian and it's all when this lad is very young, becomes lost from his brother, his family. Some of it is difficult to watch as, in truth, this sort of thing does happen to so many youngsters there. But it will grab your heart and hold on tight. There should be an Oscar for those 12 or 14 years old and younger. I thought that when Sixth Sense came out and I think it even more with this picture. Sunny Pawar is amazing. He, and his voice, will stay with you – well, if like me – probably forever. The movie loses the sub-titles and switches to English when this little lost child is adopted by a family in Australia where Nicole Kidman as his new mother is wonderful. This is an emotional movie from beginning to end. Dev Patel is one of my favorites anyway and he literally shines in this picture. Perfection. I felt wrung out, but not unhappy when I left the theater. And this is not a spoiler but you won't discover why the movie is titled Lion until the very end. This one has Oscar winners written all over it.
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8/10
Asa Butterfield Is Once Again Perfect
18 February 2017
I didn't go into this movie expecting much – certainly not amazing space shots, or extraordinary visual artistry – but I was absolutely taken with this film. Asa Butterfield stole my heart away in the film Hugo and in this picture, he is once again ideally cast. He is wonderful as Gardner Elliot, the first baby born on Mars, trying to find himself, love, and what earth is all about. Carla Gugino as 'the best mother he never had' is also perfectly cast. I was impressed, also, by Gary Oldman. Britt Robertson as Tulsa, the street smart kid Gardner connects with on earth is okay, but why is it that every time I look at her I see a young Renee Zellweger before she had her face totally redone and became somebody else? I think it's maybe the mouth, not sure, but I kept seeing Zellweger anyway. Not that she didn't do a good job, because she did. Perhaps a bit over the top on occasion, but that's likely due to her script more than anything. All in all, this is a beautiful story. And I was surprised to see places here on earth with a new eye – "What's your most favorite part about Earth?" – and the beauty of it all. The sensory overload in Las Vegas was absolutely believable and fitting. I really did enjoy this movie and will likely buy it when it comes out in DVD. I liked it that much.
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La La Land (I) (2016)
9/10
I Can See Why This Won So Many Awards
11 January 2017
I loved this movie. This is not a spoiler but it didn't quite have the happy ending I would have liked. However that didn't change my liking of this film. Gosling and Stone were wonderful. Had absolutely no idea Gosling was such a fantastic pianist. But he most certainly is. A natural. And the music from this movie is wonderful. When you come out of the theater humming the music, it's good. And I did. Here's the thing- instead of the raunchy movies with nothing but foul language in place of real dialogue - why isn't Hollywood making more musicals? It's obvious the public loves them. That we will gladly spend money to see them over and over- and happily buy them when they come out in DVD form. We need more lovely movies like this!
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9/10
Can't Wait For A Sequel
12 November 2016
Okay, I'll start right out by admitting I'm a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan so went in to this with high expectations. They were met! The role of Captain Strange allowed us to see Benedict change and grow into this character, which he did in splendid fashion. There was not one role miscast in this one. Everyone was terrific! The special effects are phenomenal. And in addition to the action -­ lots -­ there is some laugh out loud humor, too. I would have gladly given this movie 10 stars but for one thing toward the end of the picture that I did not like­ - it made little sense and less logic. No spoiler here,­ you check if out and see. Also, when I see a movie I like I enjoy sitting through the credits while still wrapped up in what I've just experienced before venturing out into the real world. Was glad I did. This is one of the pictures where you want to hang around for a few instead of bolting out ­as there's a cool, short scene that you don't want to miss along the way through those credits.
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8/10
Tom Cruise Gets Better With Age
29 October 2016
There is something so fantastic about the action characters as they gain a few years. Tom Cruise in Reacher, Tom Selleck, loved him in Magnum but he had something solid and special going by the time he got to Jesse Stone, Ben Afflick in his recent action films, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Liam Neesom – would love to see Alex Baldwin in another Shadow film - Jeff Bridges, Jeff Daniels, Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan, Keanu Reeves ….the list goes on and on and I hate to leave anyone out 'cause there are lots more, but these guys, the ones without resorting to ego-driven plastic surgery anyway, are so much more handsome getting older – rugged, attractive faces with character. They seem more believable, much more able to be dependable in an emergency, up to the task of taking out the bad guys, than they did when they were younger. I thoroughly enjoyed Tom Cruise in the latest Jack Reacher picture. And would gladly pay to see another one in the future as he's growing more into the part all the time. Lots of action in this one. The female lead, Cobie Smulders as Turner, was gorgeous enough and tough enough to make a great match for Reacher. Good chemistry between them. Patrick Heusinger made a most convincing villain and Holt McCallany's role was well played, too. I liked this movie.
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9/10
I Love A Good Action Film - And This Is A Good Action Film
21 October 2016
This has to be one of my favorite movies this year. The part of a math savant, Christian Wolff, was made for Ben Affleck. One of his best yet. Enjoyed the heck out of some of the characters – John Lithgow, good to see him in something other than a comedy – J.K. Simmons, I could watch him in any part, he is especially good in this one 'cause you don't know quite how to take him until he unfolds his story for you. Jeffrey Tambor, Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal as Brax – too many good roles to mention. And no slouches either, Seth Lee and Jake Presley, who played the younger versions of Christian and Brax. I really didn't see a badly played part in this one. This is a violent picture, lots of deaths add up, but I'll tell you, it's a good movie and it keeps you involved to the very end. I will see it again and probably end up buying it when it comes out to be bought. I like it that much!
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6/10
Zellweger's Facial Contortions Ruin The Film
24 September 2016
This is a mediocre movie, that might have been better, primarily due to Renee Zellweger's mugging her way through the picture. Not sure what the reason was, perhaps to show that in spite of having a plastic face she still could purse her lips, frown, and twist her face around just as if it was a real one. Who knows? I know all it did was show the gal can't act but she sure can make faces. Big deal. Patrick Dempsey and Colin Firth were excellent playing total opposites and maybe dad's for Bridget's baby. Emma Thompson, as the doctor, was a hoot and well cast. The music of Ed Sheeran was a delight, too. Altogether, this was a rather cute idea made into something rather on the silly side by Zellweger and the plight of the writers who seem to be of the ilk that think writing a whole lot of f-words as dialogue is sufficient. It isn't. Much of the foul language could have been cut as there was no apparent reason for it other than, like I said, inept writing.
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10/10
Should Be Oscar Winners Galore Here
18 August 2016
This, in my estimation, is the best picture ever from Streep and from Hugh Grant. Especially from Hugh Grant. His character in this movie had depth and honesty, you felt for and with him. It was acted to perfection. I loved this movie. It made me laugh a lot and cry a little. A gentle romance with both hilarious and heartrending overtones. Can't ask for more than that. Simon Helberg who portrayed Cosme McMoon, the pianist, was adorable and, as with the other two, was extremely well performed. Meryl Streep – what can you say about Meryl Streep? Every role she takes on is memorable and unique. But this one is going to stay in my mind for a long time. Longer than any other I believe. And as my 10 star rating indicated, there was not one misstep here for me. If there were minute historical errors, who cares? They had to be so tiny as to make absolutely no difference to the excellence of this picture. Based on a true story of probably the world's worst singer - and if you check, you can actually buy a copy of the record of her performance. This one you really don't want to miss.
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7/10
Major Casting Flaw Kept This From Being As Good As The First One
2 July 2016
If they couldn't get Isla Fisher, who placed Henley Reeves, in the first one, why on earth could they not find someone like her? The bold, brassy, in your face gal, Lula played by Lizzy Caplan, her replacement, not only did nothing for the film but she kept the whole feeling of the 'team' from forming. They never came together as a group with her in there. The addition of Daniel Radcliffe was a brilliant stroke. He was excellent, as was the rest of the cast. Another wonderful character added was Bu Bu played by Tsai Chin, as the little oriental shop owner. And please, could they not find a razor to fit Mark Ruffalo's face? I love him, but he looked so tired and scruffy – mainly because of that face full of whiskers, that I was put off. In other words, this film had all the makings of another great picture like the first Now You See Me, but because of a few flaws, mostly Lizzy Caplan, it just never got there. What a shame. Was so looking forward to it.
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The Nice Guys (2016)
9/10
There HAS To Be A Sequel
9 June 2016
….and not only that, but if they're smart, they'd be filming it already. Plenty of violence, lots of laughter and excellent chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. I'll tell you, I'm not really a Russell Crowe fan, but he was perfect for this role. I heard people, as they were leaving, saying things about hoping there'd be another one with The Nice Guys before too long. Personally I think there is going to be a market for a series of them. It was that good. The daughter, Holly, played by Angourie Rice, was a tad on the precocious side but in the grand scheme of things, it worked rather well. This is reminiscent of good detective films from the past with a modern slant and these tough detectives, with their history and issues are sheer entertainment. Crowe showing a vicious side as well as a tender side is the epitome of the tough cop-type and Gosling, trying to be father, find another drink and still earn money detecting is a hoot. Bring on another one. And soon!
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Elvis & Nixon (2016)
8/10
Quirky, Cute Movie
1 May 2016
I really hadn't heard much about this film, and certainly wasn't going in expecting an Elvis impersonator or someone looking exactly like President Nixon. Wasn't disappointed there in regard to Elvis. Michael Shannon didn't look much like Elvis, but he did have the soft voice, the southern charm thing going for him. He did a fine job with this role. And actually, Kevin Spacey did manage to look a great deal like Nixon. Sounded like him, too. Everyone in this movie did a good job, and worked the roles of those involved in this slightly absurd moment in history to justice. So, I guess what I was, was really pleasantly surprised by this picture. Totally enjoyed myself with lots of laughs and a few poignant moments. I dimly remember this episode with Elvis showing up at the White House wanting to become an FBI Agent Abroad. With a badge. And at the time I recall thinking that only Elvis could be that naïve and yet that brash at the same time. In all honesty, this picture managed to show all of that, and more. What a colorful moment in American history all wrapped up in this fine little film.
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10/10
The Jungle Book Is Destined To Be A Classic
21 April 2016
Yes, we know going in that much of this film is computer generated. In fact, when you check out the credits at the end, you will see a virtual plethora of artists involved in this venture. However, it isn't long before you lose all thought of this and simply get lost in the wonder and beauty of it all. Neel Sethi, as Mowgli, could not have been better cast if the entire world was combed for a boy to play him in this marvelous movie. The voices of Christopher Walken as King Louie, a gigantic monkey who would, indeed, be king, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the protector and guardian of young Mowgli, Scarlett Johansson as a particularly seductive and slinky Kaa the Snake, Bill Murray as the irresistible. lovable bear, Baloo, and Idris Elba as a genuinely scarred and scary Shere Khan are excellent. As are Giancarlo Esposito and Lupita Nyong'o as Mowglie's wolf parents. The casting could not possibly be better. The best of the music has been preserved and worked into this venture, which only adds to the perfection. The actor, the voices, the scenery, there is not one single part of this picture not splendid. Stay for the credits at the end. Some of the cutest, most clever work can be seen there. Plus more of the singing of Christopher Walken. All I can say is enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
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The Boss (2016)
1/10
Where Have All The Good Writers Gone???
14 April 2016
And what one earth is wrong with Melissa McCarthy? She is beautiful, talented, funny….and yet she keeps making these foul, way too much sex pieces of trash. It's hard to figure out why. Do people in Hollywood think there are no more decent people out here wanting to see good, funny movies? Nobody left without the mouth or mind of a waste container? If so, they are wrong. The thing is, with this movie in particular, it could have been very funny. Good cast, fair premise, but instead we ended up with a film that was nothing much more than garbage. When a movie ends and everyone is just looking at each other with, "What the heck did we just waste money on?" looks on their faces, it's not good. Even worse, waiting for this one to come on, we were treated to a couple of coming attractions with pictures as bad, or worse. Foul language, as if the writers have completely lost any ability to write witty, clever dialogue, or dialogue at all that isn't merely four letter words, over the top sex that, frankly, is not interesting, is tiresome, and is so over- done. Who decides to spend money putting out money for this stuff? Nobody with any intelligence, I'm thinking. Too bad. You're cheating movie audiences, big time.
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Spotlight (I) (2015)
10/10
One Of The Best And Most Important Movies I've Ever Seen
4 December 2015
….and I see a lot of 'em. This film shows how professional journalists work to uncover a tremendous story – said professionalism so sadly lacking in today's media world - with hard work, dedication and honesty. How finding out the truth and exposing it was crucial to bringing hard to grasp facts to the focus of the entire world. I see Oscar winners written all over this picture. Best Picture right on to Best Male Actor – and two of them should be nominated here, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton. Terrific performances by both. This movie moves right along, bringing it all together in a way that almost numbs your mind by the time it's done. When the end credits roll and it shows how this single story brought out atrocious child molestation scandals, not only in America, but all over the world, and you see the long, long list of places, you can hardly manage to get up from your seat and walk out into the world. You are stunned. This is not a spoiler, but I have to say, at one point in this film, without a word spoken, you watch the camera scroll down pages of names and facts, and in the background you hear a chorus of innocent young voices singing a Christmas carol, the hair on the back of your neck rises….you KNOW you are watching something brilliant. And that's what this production is, brilliant. Without question one of the best pictures you will ever see. And the one that will have you thinking and talking about it for a long, long time after.
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The Walk (II) (2015)
9/10
The Walk Is Taut, Riveting.
16 October 2015
Although there is definitely humor in this film, all in all it's an intense, terrorizing, real-life picture – especially in 3D. If you are the least bit afraid of heights, this one will surely get to you. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in the role of Philippe Petit is amazing in this movie. He is perfect for the part and does it justice from start to finish. Ben Kingsley, as Papa Rudy who was Petit's mentor, is wonderful. This movie will get to you on many levels. Not only the audacity, the power of positive thinking, and sheer confidence in one's ability that was shown by Petit, to achieve his never to be able to be repeated walk between those two enormously tall buildings, but because of the terror attack involving the Twin Towers in New York, there is no way not to think of the horror of that day. No way on earth to see the picture of the Twin Towers at the end without the thought of 9/11 coming to your mind. This is a tremendously entertaining and thought-provoking movie, one that left me thinking about it on all levels much after I left the building, in fact I'm still thinking about scenes from this picture. Amazing.
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The Martian (2015)
9/10
Well Worth Watching
11 October 2015
Wasn't sure I wanted to see The Martian all that much, but after viewing it, was glad I did. There was not the horrid sense of doom and gloom I had anticipated, in fact, there was hope, humor, suspense, and for me, although gripping, the occasional feeling of being so isolated, so alone that it was momentarily stunning. This is a good movie to show the ingenuity of man when the chips are down, for those of us positive people, the proof that we can, indeed, do whatever it takes to survive when called on to do so. Matt Damon, as the left behind for dead astronaut, was wonderful in this role, portraying fear, despair, humor, hope, determination…all of the emotions the role demanded. And in 3-D, the view of the heavens was spectacular as was the feeling of being one person so alone on such a large, stark, basically unfriendly planet. I do recommend this film as one to see that will leave you feeling secure that there are people – not merely MacGyver– for those who remember the I-can-do-it-all-with-only-a-paper-clip-and-a-rubber-band kind of guy that was on TV years ago – out there. To imagine that our astronauts are so able leaves the audience feeling good about the program and the people involved. And in this case, with world cooperation when needed. It's solid entertainment.
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Everest (2015)
8/10
Everest As Intense As The Weather Surrounding The Mountain
3 October 2015
Having read the book, I knew what to expect. However, seeing it unfold on a big screen, in 3D, made it even more chilling (no pun intended). First off, I will never, ever understand the people who willingly put themselves into, not only harm's way, but a terrifying, frigid, unforgiving harm's way such as this. The entire cast was more than up to the standards a movie like this demands. Harsh, heart-rending, and either exhilarating if you are into such self-inflicted misery, or puzzling and perplexing if you are like me, not seeing the need or necessity to scale a huge, unwelcoming, unpredictable piece of the planet such as Mount Everest. Make no mistake, this is not a happy, uplifting picture, but it is gripping and intense.
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The Intern (I) (2015)
9/10
The Intern is The Boss!
25 September 2015
Robert De Niro, as a retired 70 year old who re-enters the work force and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that oldies are still goodies….also proves just why he is a star as he shines so bright in this movie as to be blinding. He is perfection. There are some actors that the older they get, the better they get, and De Niro is most certainly one. Anne Hathaway, as the genius behind a too-fast growing company is playing what I consider one of her best roles yet. And Rene Russo is still gorgeous as ever. I was impressed, also, by Anders Holm who played Hathaway's husband. But then, actually, I was impressed with everyone in this movie. There really wasn't a single thing or character I would change in this one, and that's saying something. The casting, the plot, the dialogue…and fancy this, it was a funny, touching, enjoyable picture with NO foul language, NO overly-suggestive crude garbage that usually just makes the audience cringe. It was well written, well -acted, and well presented. All rare these days where just the writing ability seems to have dwindled into the dirt. This one is evidence that there are still writers and creators who have talent out there. More movie producers should make a point of seeking and finding them! This is a fun movie that you are going to be recommending to everyone within reading or hearing distance. One of the best films we've seen in some time and left us all smiling as we left the building.
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