Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
A Film That Reminds Us of Our Childhood
The lead actress was phenomenal in her portrayal of an orphan who finds a loving home but still has to face the trials, triumphs, disappointments, and challenges of youth. This is a series that will probably appeal more to girls/women than boys/men because women face societal restrictions and prejudice in male-dominated societies.
There were situations in this series that reminded me of events in my own life where there was an epiphany that I stored away. I loved nature and books as the young heroine Anne does. Discernment is a gift.
This series can serve both as reverie for older women like myself or an awakening of possibilities for girls and young women.
You Can't Fool All the People All the Time
This expanded version of the Peterson murder was pretty absorbing, even though I had seen a treatment of this earlier that I thought was more consistent and comprehensive regarding the facts of the case.
I thought then, and still believe, that Michael Peterson is a self-pitying, manipulative, psychopathic double murderer. The chances of having two spouses die in the same manner are astronomical. The chances two people would bleed to death from falling down 15 wood stairs is ludicrous. The huge area of blood splatter on the wall does not jibe with a fall. Both wives were repeatedly hit on the head from someone over and above them. (Someone = Michael)
Peterson thinks he's clever and smarter than everyone in the room. He's not. All that fake crying, limping around, playing for sympathy was pathetic. He's GUILTY as sin. His children don't want to believe the obvious.
Wild Wild Country (2018)
Film About Con Man and Pathetic Followers
This is not a compelling film at all; it's discouraging and dispiriting to see how easily people can be manipulated by a song and dance put on by a showman and his female manager. It's all hype and mirage. He's like Donald Trump in a swami getup. Tell disaffected people that the answer to their angst is breathing exercises and healthy donations to his wallet -- and there you go. It's hypnotism of a group of people incapable of critical thinking and reason. Once in Antelope; now it's America. We get the government we deserve.
Certain Women (2016)
Loved this movie!
I get it that most men and some groups of women may not "get" this movie, but I loved it. What a poignant look at the lives and character of each of these women: two lonely, sensitive, and unfulfilled and the other manipulative and self-absorbed. The writer/director gives us snapshots of these people's lives; it's up to us to discern the rest. This is pretty close to the perfect film in my opinion.
Line of Duty (2012)
Fine Crime Series
This is a well-done police series that requires you to pay attention because the plot is complex and the players are all interesting. I don't know why, but British crime series are uniformly better than what the U.S. produces. I love Acorn TV because it carries a lot of European and Australian productions. I could hardly stop watching this involving Line of Duty series. Highly recommend.
Haunting and Riveting
I stumbled on this terrific Norwegian mystery series by chance and was slowly pulled in to the drama in the first episode. This series requires your attention because the characters and events are revealed over time. The two young lead actors are a charismatic duo. The story is unique; the landscape is gorgeous and foreboding, and the interaction of the players is dramatic. I loved this series and finished all the episodes over 2 days. The images and the dialogue haunted me for days. This is truly a unique drama/mystery with great performances and cinematography.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
All Dressed Up
Beautiful music in the background and bicycles rides through the Italian countryside cannot turn a movie about a pedophile seducing a kid half his age into a romantic flick. It's disgusting. This isn't about a boy working through his sexual identity in any kind of age-appropriate manner. It's about an adult pedophile exploiting a boy's vulnerability. You can't have this kind of imbalance in age and experience and try to make it normal. It's not. It's criminal.
Jestem morderca (2016)
Well Done Polish Docu-Drama
This was a tightly produced production about a real-life search for a serial killer in Poland. But the real story is about ambition versus honor -- the good things in life at the price of your soul.
The lead actor did a good job of working his way through ambitious young detective to vaunted hero but there was something terribly wrong. Doubt. Our hero is an alcoholic and adulterer which only adds to his troubles with his big case. (As an aside, I wondered if this actor would make it through filming or die of lung cancer before the film wrapped. I've never seen anyone smoke so many cigarettes!) This is one of those many foreign films that has something special to offer the discerning viewer. If you're tired of all the comic-book theatrics and remakes of old films from America, there are a lot of good films being made in other countries.
Uncertain To Say the Least
Well, first let me say that there is one place in America that is just like Uncertain -- Alaska, it's just colder there. The thing that makes them similar is the per-capita number of outlaws. People go to both places for the same reasons: to get lost, to evade the law, or to break the law with impunity. Guns are an obsession in both places. There's a whore house along the side of a road in Kenai. People in Alaska love to gossip while maintaining that they mind their own business. The two main social groups are church goers and alcoholics. Alaska produces a lot of oil but has high gas prices. An Alaska nitwit was chosen to be the Republican vice presidential candidate in one of our elections. Swear to god.
Cries from Syria (2017)
What Has Assad Achieved With This?
Given the 600,000 dead, the millions who left the country, and the devastation from all the bombing, what exactly has Assad achieved with all this horrific destruction? He ranks right up there with Hitler and Stalin for betrayal of his own people and ruthless domination at any cost. The horror of this situation is clearly exposed in this HBO documentary. Everyone in the world should see this film to better understand this tragedy. Assad's senseless and brutal attack on his own countrymen has also caused a huge immigration problem for Europe. It is hard for these countries to absorb and assist this many people at one time -- let alone deal with the complications of culture, religion, terrorism paranoia, and economics. I don't know how this is going to be resolved.
I wish America would do more to help by assisting more families. We are all descendants of immigrants. I'm a descendant of Irish people fleeing Ireland's potato famine in the late 1800s. American's didn't like the Irish at all -- they didn't speak English and they belonged to that awful religion. They were ridiculed and had a hard time finding work. It's a familiar story: shunning The Other. The blacks, the Jews, the Italians, the Swedes, the Mexicans. Now the Syrians, and all Muslims. Hasn'tsomeone in our ancestry been rejected and reviled at one time or another?
Very Unique Tale
This is a Russian production, so there are the subtitles, but this is a movie worth your time. It's a hard movie to define because it has the elements of teenage angst, religious fanaticism, bullying, mental illness, teacher/student issues, and culture. I can't say I've seen any movie quite like it, but it held my interest throughout because I didn't know exactly where it was going. The characters are well defined and the acting is very good. I agree with the critics that this is a captivating subject, well produced and directed.
And When You're Old and Gray????
Is Social Security going to be enough to live on (medicare, supplement, rent, car insurance and repairs, etc.). Still going to be skate-boarding when you're 87? Young people do a lot of adventurous things -- tour Europe, join goofy groups, take dope, and get into debt. Education is expensive. Life is expensive. Old age is really expensive. This is a "lark." It's a nice approach to life generally, but it's not realistic financially. These guys will edge toward old age and face a pauper's future if they don't work and save up a boatload of money for their old age.
La mort de Louis XIV (2016)
Impeccable Costumes and Photography
Every frame of this movie could be an art museum masterpiece. I can't remember seeing such a beautifully mounted production. The acting was finely nuanced. This is a study of regal life and death. It's interesting to note how far medicine has advanced since those days -- an advance we blithely take for granted.
I loved this movie mainly because it is beautiful. The garments, the hairpieces, the attention to detail in every frame is just incredible. I liked that the camera lingered on the faces of the players so that we viewers could take in the beauty of it all. Few movies achieve this level of art. A feast for the eyes.
Black Butterfly (2017)
Good to see Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a good role since his star turn as Henry the Eighth. Antonio Banderas looked a little rough since I last saw him in a movie. The two actors played off each other well in this twisty tale about two clever fellows. I didn't see it coming, as they say. Nice mystery/thriller for those who like the genre.
Berlin Syndrome (2017)
One Clear Lesson
Do not go home with the handsome, sexy guy you meet on the street while traveling alone through Europe. Your mother was right.
Very well done thriller with good performances by both leads and stylish production values. Other than lust and control, there never was an explanation for the guy's obsession. Parts in German were not subtitled in English; maybe more of the story was revealed there that I missed. Better than I expected. Recommend for those who like the thriller genre.
Terrific Exploration of the Concept of Responsibility
The consistent response among all these boys and young men was the sense of responsibility attached to this first job of theirs. It also gives them their first opportunity to make their own money and serve their neighborhood. Both my brothers had paper routes and a newspaper stand on a busy street in Seattle. Those were leans times -- during the Depression -- where every penny counted. Both of my brothers worked and paid their way through college. Both of them were responsible citizens and family men. Paper routes contribute to character building and learning early how to earn and manage money. It's also good exercise. I enjoyed this short documentary very much. It was well done and the young men seemed comfortable having the film crew interview them. A nice slice of life in contrast to a lot of negativity in the news and film.
City 40 (2016)
What Happens When Apathy Rules
This is a terrific and terrifying movie about what happens when citizen apathy takes over a city or a country. When people aren't informed because the "state" is the only voice heard. When there is no free press and active judiciary, authoritarians take over. Lies are told and fear is spread. People don't vote, don't volunteer, and don't run for office. Big money takes over when corporations are judged to have free speech rights like people. When people give up, they give in. Democracy requires strict controls on too much power in the hands of one part of government over another. Better a free press than silence; better a strong, balanced judiciary than tyranny.
Beyond Sleep (2016)
People Will Either Love or Hate This Movie
I really liked this movie. The lead actor held the whole movie together with his mesmerizing portrayal of a fragile personality being stressed by insomnia and delusions. The movie was beautifully photographed. I kept thinking about the improbability of the human race ever surviving the raw elements, predators, fear, fatal accidents, tribalism, brutality, and the constant search for food and warmth. Humans seem like an unlikely species to beat the odds.
The Other Side (2015)
Darkness on The Other Side
I'll give the producers of this documentary credit for selecting a topic that is rarely disclosed this bleakly and darkly. If their goal was to shock viewers about rampant self-destructive and militaristic, macho, aggressive behavior, they achieved that in spades. This is definitely not a movie for children. I don't know what the title "The Other Side" means. It felt dark, oppressive, hopeless, and depressing. Well made, but a definite downer. You've been warned.
The Dinner (2017)
I didn't know exactly where this movie was going with the Gettysburg aspect of the story, but it all starts to come together when you think about how people throughout history have told themselves stories that justified a bad decision in life. What happens when your are face to face with a clear moral dilemma? Can you bury your integrity in lies? Surely, such a deception will haunt you if you have a conscience. Self interest makes it harder to do the right thing, and this test will be faced by everyone at some point in their life.
The Handmaid's Tale (2017)
This Was Great Until the End
Great story and acting. Atwood and Orwell seem to have predicted our current (and devolving) social and political situation very well. My only gripe is with the finale. The commander would let the Houseboy commandeer an extraction like that? (I don't think so.) It didn't fit with the general political hierarchy that seemed in firm place by this time. Oh well, the project was well done and I'm glad to see Atwood's work represented so well.
This is a great movie about self esteem and taking charge of your own path in life. Dependence is never a good idea. The acting and photography were excellent, as was the unique story of two lonely people. I don't know why Nordic films seem to be more adult and direct about life than American films, but they just are. Highly recommend.
Prime Suspect 1973 (2017)
Not Well Cast
Why would the producers cast an Italian brown-eyed actress to play a prequel to Helen Mirren's (a blue-eyed actress) character? Weren't there any natural blonde, blue-eyed actress in Britain good enough to play this role? The stories are interesting enough for standard British mystery fare, but the lead actress's lack of resemblance to Ms. Mirren is distracting to say the least. I remember the 70's and I didn't let men patronize me then or ever. I doubt that Mirren put up with it either.
Nøgle hus spejl (2015)
Bittersweet Truth About Aging
There is no sentimental "walking off into the sunset" when it comes to the stark reality of losing your memory and your identity as a result of dementia. Who wants to live their "golden years" with doubts about one's grasp on reality? This movie is a jolting depiction of what could be in store for anyone over 70. The movie is a little bit idealistic about the romance between two nursing-home residents. With the ratio of about 10 women to every man, the competition is fierce for companionship. Still, I give this film high marks for the acting and the realistic look at age-related atrophy of the brain and its effects on the principals and their families. Old age takes courage, fortitude, and a sense of humor in the best of cases. There just isn't a pill for everything.
Hard Candy (2005)
Suspenseful, electric, and riveting!!
Ellen Page was masterful at presenting herself as a naive young girl, while in reality being a conniving revenge seeker. Patrick Wilson is such a terrific actor. How can a man be so handsome and yet fully embody some of the most hateful characters in film? There's always something mysterious and captivating going on behind those blue eyes.
Wilson skillfully plays both predator and prey in this stunning film. His character is such a loathsome, manipulative monster -- but he has clearly misjudged the wily object of his intentions.
It's not easy for two actors to carry a movie by themselves, but Page and Wilson play off each other in such devious and malevolent ways, which makes for a riveting audience experience.