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My Week with Marilyn (2011)
I was quite looking forward to seeing this. Now that I have, I feel letdown. As many have said, portraying MM is just about impossible. She was one of a kind. Or, simply: "she was." There can be absolutely no other. Michelle Williams, although a fine actress in her own right, just does not have the look, the sparkle, the radiance, the presence of MM. It was like watching a cloud. However, the character of Colin Clark, played by Eddie Redmayne and, Branagh as Olivier are excellently reenacted. Again, I feel Williams was miscast. MM just rolled off the screen when you watched her. She engulfed you. WIlliams does not. This is a pleasant romp of a movie capturing and remembering a time when a young man had the great fortune of being an assistant on a movie with the great Marilyn Monroe. That's all. A movie that I feel is the story of this young man's week (it was much more than that) with MM, but to me, since I was eager to seeing Williams portray MM, I was, terribly, let down. She is no MM. Was she even trying to be. Hardly in the looks department, and barely in the radiance department. Very flat, very humdrum.
Lassie Come Home (1943)
Sad, Tearful and Wonderful
A classic. A dear story of a impoverished English family who has to sell their prized possession, a collie dog named Lassie, to make ends meet. I never tire of seeing this movie whenever it plays, even though I own the DVD. Make sure to get out a handkerchief or some tissues for, surely, you will be tearful, if not totally slobbering. It is that touching and endearing. It is without time constraints, veneer or facade. This was the first Lassie movie and showcases the first Lassie. Now, in 2012, as I write this review, there is Lassie 10, a direct descendant of the original brilliant collie. Again, the collie escapes to travel many miles from Scotland to England to reunite with his master. He endures great hardships on his journey. The movie is lustrous, brilliant, and excellently acted with young ELizabeth Taylor. Just a lovely classic movie, as modern as it is old fashioned, yet not old fashioned at all. I enjoyed the speech patterns and scenery. A movie that is for any age, but remember, get out the tissues. What an endearing movie.
Portrait of Jennie (1948)
I do not know what to say about this perplexing movie. I have written many, many reviews on this site, but I am really at a standstill about my impressions of this movie. I had to read over some of the reviews and message comments before I actually, finally, understood the story. I mean, I did, sort of, but needed some clarification. As I see it, Portrait of Jennie is a story of the supernatural--told in a very unusual, sensitive, romantic way, and without the science-fiction angle. An astute commenter wrote, Jennie is a ghost who died--but returns--to die again. Figure that out. I did, however, I feel that Jennifer Jones, in her late twenties, should not have played the child, Jennie. Ridiculious. They should have used a child here to portray a child. Jones looks absolutely too old, with a face full of makeup and lipstick, and a ridiculous new school girl outfit. Cotten, as some have suggested, was too old to be portraying a struggling artist, but, I don't necessarily agree. Many of us do not find ourselves until much later in life. Anyway, the thing here is that the struggling artist just cannot seem to catch a break until his life is transformed and transfixed by the mysterious appearance of Jennie. She talks strangely of times past and long ago, and rather than thinking she is a nut case, the artist seems bewitched by her and whilst painting her portrait, seems to find his success in it. He falls in love with the now adult Jennie, and the movie traces his efforts to reconnect with her---think of the movie with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, Somewhere in Time--a very similar theme. You either love it or think it's really ridiculous. I wouldn't mind watching it again, now that I have a better understanding of Portrait of Jennie.
The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
William Powell stars in the title role. The real Ziegfeld died just 4 years earlier, in 1932. Why his wife, Billie Burke, who was very much alive, didn't play herself is baffling....although Miss Loy did a splendid job, but still... I enjoyed the movie. I saw it on television for the first time a few nights ago. I just ordered it from Amazon. So, that says something. Mostly that I want to watch it again. The musical numbers were stupendous, although as many have said--too long. Actually, the entire movie was too long. That's really my main criticism. It's a treat to see Fanny Brice sing, but as so many said, her song was cut---stupid. From doing some research, I understand that Flo and Anna Held were never ever married, so that is a stretch, but then again, what movie biography is 100% true. The daughter, Patricia, was in her teens when her father died, but she is portrayed much younger here. But, all in all, we get a sense of the movie, and the title is most accurate: The Great Ziegfeld. I recommend it. But it's long......!!
Down to Earth (2001)
Early Rock--And Not His Best
Young Chris Rock stars as Lance Barton in this "comedy" about a messenger who is also an aspiring comedian. He dies too soon--a heavenly mistake I will put it like that--which is rectified by giving him temporary custody of another body. The body is that of Charles Wellington, a rich older white man. I never saw this movie until the other day, although it is about 11-12 years old as I write this. I was watching Chris Rock on an Oprah Winfrey rerun promoting it. Oprah seemed to really find it hilariously funny, so I bought it. Sorry I did. It is not that funny. Well, it has a few moments here and there. And Wanda Sykes adds to those fleeting moments, but it is just not that funny. I always liked Chris Rock, but even his acting appears stilted. Perhaps he was not too experienced then. You can see that the memorized lines are just coming out of his mouth without much feeling. As I said, I now own this movie. It's on a shelf. I will never view it again. Once was enough. Perhaps I'll toss it in the trash. If you, reading this review, want it, please let me know, you can have it---free.
I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)
Don't Waste Your Time or Money
Simply awful. Sarah Jessica Parker is a career woman with a job that is making increased demands on her. These demands put a strain on her marriage......nothing we have not heard, seen, read before....over and over. Both Kinnear and Parker are not a good match here, or no screen chemistry, as the saying goes. Brosnan is older, with increased girth in both his neck and stomach and also miscast. It is such garbage that I don't even want to spend too much effort typing out the various reasons why. Just don't bother. I loved her in SATC and the movies, but this.....please. SJP...she does hair color commercials, so why does she always have inches and inches of dark roots? Forget this trash.
Not Bad--Pleasant Enough Entertainment
As I said: not bad and peasant enough entertainment. A story about a young girl who goes to Hollywood from Iowa to find herself, enter show business and be a star, more or less, coupled with how a former dancer needs to get money together to pay her mortgage and other expenses, more or less, to save her night club, called Burlesque, from becoming an office building. I never was much of a fan of Christina Aguilera, but I clearly see from this movie that she is quite a talent. The long blond wig she wears--the color--is quite a better shade of blond than the her real hair, bleached that hideous white color she usually sports. She does quite a nice acting job, and is a finer singer--even singing an old Mae West song--and she does nicely at that too. I don't think she is particularly pretty, with her awful nose and too close together eyes, but she is talented. Now, Cher. She looks just awful. I don't see why she took this role. She sings one or two songs, but is not at all animated in this movie. She does not dance, but just seems to sit around, walk around, stand around...so what is the big deal of having her. I will say it again: she just appears to sit around. Stanley Tucci who seems to be in so many movies these days (liked him in a lot in Julie and Julia) does a god job, Cam G. is all right--I mean that part could have been played by any young male actor, but his tattoos are too distracting. What is it with these young male actors and their hideous tattoos? I heard a lot of people compare this to Dreamgirls. I disagree. Big time. Dreamgirls is totally different. To me, it is a movie I could see over and over, and I did--perhaps 8 times. Burlesque does not do it for me. I do recommend it as an entertaining movie, the songs are sublime, the story is really and totally sort of unrealistic, but, again: it is pleasant enough.
Gift of the Magi (2010)
Total Garbage with Even Worse Acting
There was just nothing on television the other evening that particularly appealed to me, so I watched this lame excuse for The Gift of the Magi. If you want to see an excellent adaption, skip this, and get or rent O'Henry's Full House. Farley Granger plays Jim in this adaption. This film was so far removed in every aspect from the original classic short story, that I had absolutely no clue what I was watching. The names are changed, new locales are invented, the storyline is changed to the ridiculous, but, the acting..the acting is so horrendous, I almost muted the sound/volume. Yes, it was that bad. It was intolerable, unrealistic and pitiful. It was like they were reading not speaking their lines. Drone, drone, drone. Boring. Boring. Boring. I absolutely could not take it. Now, perhaps if the title of this film were changed, it could be a barely acceptable made for TV movie, but as it is now, it is total and complete garbage in every sense of the word--and that goes double for anyone who knows the short story or who has seen this made before.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
Strictly a Teen Movie
I saw Twilight on television. See my review of it on this site. That movie was enough. I skipped the second movie. There was absolutely nothing to see around here, so I reluctantly saw this crap last evening. My friend and I were going to leave after about one half hour, but because the admission price of a ticket was so costly, we stayed. Oh, torture. A real teen movie with a 25 year old Pattinson who simply, to me, is not all that, and an 18 year old buffed bodied kid with such a bulbous and wide nose, well, that is all you see of Taylor Lautner the minute he appears on screen--that big, wide nose. And this, the result of a nose job, too. I do not see the appeal of him or for him. Sure, he has a nice physique, but even with his nose job, he needs another. His nose is all over his face. I read there was not much they could have done. Some noses are like that, especially with thick nose skin. I repeat: a teen movie and with horrible acting encased in a juvenile plot, that is fantasy come to life. Teens made this saga a hot money maker, and now a third one is coming. Awful. Complete garbage. And the wigs in this movie were so obvious, it bordered on the absurd. Stay home.
My Friend Flicka (1943)
Touching Movie of Long Ago, Yet Still Timely in What it Teaches
This is a very dated movie with obvious sets. It is about a young, impressionable boy who does not seem to fit into the Wyoming ranch life his father loves. As a result, his father puts him in charge of a horse. The movie is replete with with its Hollywood make-up, perfect ranch clothing, sets, and backdrops that are just terribly apparent. The young boy speaks with such perfection of speech, such respect, and such politeness, it is just foreign to the backdrop of a Wyoming rancher. But---but,the story is timeless. What both the father and son learn---from Flicka--endures to this day. I saw it for the first time on television this afternoon. I was extremely touched and at the point of tears. It is, indeed, a classic, for children as well as for adults, and simply an endearing movie to enjoy. I recommend it. Great acting by the horse, too.
Sex and the City 2 (2010)
I Really Like It--Great Entertainment
I have a review of the first Sex and the City movie on this site, so if you are interested in what I wrote, I invite you to read my review. Now as for this, the second, Sex and the City, movie, well, my review is just about the same, in that I really enjoyed it. I think it is simply fabulous entertainment---NOT to be taken too seriously, but just to be enjoyed. It follows the lives of the four women two years later. Miranda is having a problem with her new boss; Charlotte is finding motherhood somewhat of a challenge; Samantha's mind is competing with her aging body; and Carrie is not exactly thrilled that married life to Mr. Big is not the social whirlwind she may have envisioned for herself. Stanford gets married in a lavish gay wedding, complete with Liza Minelli, who looks older, thinner, who seemed very,very strained in her voice and in her speech--something was amiss with her speaking voice. The plot in the first movie was more of a drama; this movie is not as intense as the first movie, but more of a comedy--that is how I would classify it. That is really the big difference between the two films. All, with the exception of the slim downed Kim Cattrall, do look a wee but older, or as someone else said, the photography of the women is not the best in this sequel. Kim, as I said, lost a lot of weight, and looks great. Carrie's hair is a bit darker, so, perhaps, that is why she looks drawn. The girls have an adventure in the UAR, and the whole plot is unrealistic and very, very far fetched--as if anything like this could possibly happen to someone in REAL life, but, again, this is a movie. A lot of the reviewers here are taking the whole thing just too seriously. I found it a funny, touching and just a great movie. I could see it again and again. You should too.
Little Chenier (2006)
Not For Me and Not for Many Others
Just found it sort of ridiculous. When was it set--what era? Can't figure that out. Seems modern, yet then seems to be happening many, many years ago. The story of two brothers, one uneducated roughneck, the other, impossibly mentally retarded, and a third friend who seems not to own a shirt. Do people like this exist in real life? Well, it is a movie, and I did not think it too well acted, the plot seems incredulous, and the ending simply ridiculous. If you want to see the middle, rent it. Judge for yourself. This movie, at least the reviewers here on this site, are divided--either you totally like it, or totally dislike it. I totally disliked it, and I found the music annoying.......
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
An Absolute Delight
This is one of my most favorite movies. I own it, and each and every time it comes on TV, I watch it over and over again. What superior casting. What lines. And, did you hear the rent on that penthouse apartment back then? Can you imagine what it is now? Just a delightful movie, wonderful cast and very, very funny. I think the plot is just great---three girls rent a penthouse apartment to meet millionaires, after all, they say, where is the best place to meet millionaires, in a joint like this, or a walk up on 8th Avenue.....? Just a lot of fun, and although made nearly 60 years ago, very, very timely, or as Marilyn's character says, "naturally." See it.
Julie & Julia (2009)
Delightful. Eat it up!
Saw it three times. Always a delightful movie. So well made. Casting is superior. Amy and Meryl again. I think they are wonderful together, although in this film, they are not in any scenes together. Interesting. The story of a NYC woman with a quest to cook all of Julia Child's recipes, and how Child herself came to write her book, paralleled with the biography of her life. I also found out this was based on a true story. Tucci and Streep, together again, and the perfect casting as her husband, Paul. Just a delight. You will be thoroughly entertained. This is a funny, touching movie, and Meryl Streep always has a knack for accents is so funny as Julia Child. A movie that is a comedy, a drama, and a biography. See it.
Oh, lots of fun here!
Just wonderful. I saw it about three times. Always a treat. Just a romp. Fanastic. Love, love that tune, "Lady Come Down." This is a superior adaptation of Wilde's play. A movie that is not to be missed. Lively, fun dialog and casting is perfection, especially Rupert Everett. The story of two men who woo two women who are in love with the man's name of Ernest. After all, such a name "inspires the utmost confidence",they say, so who wouldn't love a man named Ernest. I recommend seeing this movie. You will be entertained from start to finish. It is interesting that although the story took place in England, it seems to be such always "charming weather", another line from the movie. What else is there to say. See it for yourself.
I see nothing spectacular here.
I finally saw this movie on TV this evening. I never saw it before and was eager to see what the fuss is all about. I was not impressed. I kept looking at the clock waiting for it to finally finish. I can see why teens may like this with its lame storyline and teen idol appeal of Robert P., who, to me, is a big nothing, with two moles prominent behind his left ear, and one on his face, that, and heavy, heavy eyebrows, although somewhat plucked for this movie. That wig on Lautner was half coming off--you could see right through it. I just thought the movie was stupid, senseless. That baseball game was just ridiculous, as were the bunch of motley characters who seemed to escape from a Halloween party. A fantasy, but just ridiculous, even for a fantasy. A good teen movie, but not for intellectuals. Garbage.
A Royal Scandal (1945)
Caught this on TV last evening. Wonderful, amusing and funny. Tells the "story" of Catherine the Great, or as Mae West said, "Catherine WAS Great." A clone of Tyrone Power plays one of her lovers, and too bad this actor, William Eythe, did not appear in more movies. Who can say why? In any case, Tallulah shines, looks great, there's that word again, and you can tell she is having fun with the part. I really recommend this movie. It is very seldom on TV, but do catch it. A side note, Eythe was gay, but so was Tyrone, a coincidence, isn't it, and then, Tallulah also fooled around with both sexes, fitting for Catherine the Great.
Sex and the City (2008)
I am a man and I absolutely loved the movie
I never ever watched the show--not once in all the years it was on. Not once. I saw the movie, and I loved it. After seeing it in the theater, I started to watch the series which reruns on late night television. They don't have all the years of the show and keep replaying the same episodes, which, by now, I have seen all. And, I still, some nights, watch them over again. Needless to say, I have become a huge fan. The other day, the movie came on HBO and I watched it again. It came on the following day, and I watched it for the second time on TV, and I can watch it again and again. I do not know what all these negative reviewers want: it is a made up story. It is not real life, for as we well know, real life rarely has a happy ending. The movie, to me, is pure enjoyment and sizzling entertainment. Why over analyze it. Just enjoy it. I did and I still do. It is a glorious movie.
Stumbles, Plods and Trods Along
Tom Cruise is terribly, terribly miscast here. A mid-western American accent comes out of the mouth of a stiff Nazi soldier. Very unconvincing. I felt the whole movie was slow, slow, slow to the point of total boredom. Hard to watch and hard to figure out what was going on in the beginning. Not only until the last third of the movie does it get marginally interesting. The laugh came from the portrayal of Adolph Hitler. I mean, didn't the producers and directors watch their own film. Who did the casting here. And the photography. Was there a shortage of lights or good weather. The whole film is so black and dark, photographed in shadows. Just very hard to watch. You could see the strain on Tom Cruise as he tried to elevate this colossal mess. I felt it was awful; simply awful. Miscast, bad acting, obscure photography and does not even have the look or feel that it takes place in Germany of the 1940's. The movie stumbles, plods and trods along., They are killed at the end. Goodbye. The end. Awful.
Superior Story and Acting
Reviewers here either love it or hate it. Well, I cannot say that I loved it. I certainly did not hate it, but I liked it a great deal. I found it a superior story with equally superior acting from all involved. The makeup was extraordinary. The tale of a man who goes from old to young rather than from young to old. Really no difference, or is there. I thought Brad Pitt did a fabulous job in the role, and I was really into the story or plot. I do have one thing I thought was rather unnecessary---that was the whole sequence of how things went amiss so as to cause the car to hit Daisy--that whole thing how one was late, one had a fight with a boyfriend, a shoe lace broke----all that, I felt, was unnecessary. Just show her getting hit by a car; that whole sequencing thing should have been cut. In any case, I enjoyed this movie, found it entertaining to watch and behold. The acting was excellent and a fabulous story.
The Boys of 2nd Street Park (2003)
Nothing terribly watch worthy or notable here....and, as a matter of fact, rather boring. Nothing out of the ordinary from many, many other young men who grew up in similar neighborhoods and who had similar experiences. Trite and hard to watch. Repetitive and really humdrum. Similar situations; similar plots. The men seem to all blend together into one boring person and come together at the end of this so called documentary at the park for a geriatric game of basketball, huffing and puffing away. Sad occurrence of one friend who either was murdered in a drug bust or who killed himself. Boring. Whoever hatched this idea together should have selected men, at least, who have dissimilar backgrounds. Then, it may be more interesting. A glimpse into time gone by, but good bye is more like it.
Comfort and Joy (2003)
Dribble and AWFUL acting
I watched this dribble and I found it a mess. It is very confusing. The whole thing is about a woman who has a car accident and while momentarily unconscious, dreams about her life with someone she always had a crush on. When she awakens, who should rescue her, but her Prince Charming of all people, and they sort of go off into the sunset and begin the life together she dreamed about. Just like that; no questions, nothing. Mind you, the man who rescues her, just placidly and calmly opens her car door. After this terrific crash, she has only a bruise on her forehead. No ambulance, no hospital, no confusion. He doesn't think she is some kind of a nut, but sort of goes along with it. I watched this crap, and that is what it is. The music is so juvenile and so overbearing and interferes with the already horrible and stiff acting. The movie was almost unwatchable. The scene with the parents is totally contrived, the the actor who plays the father is miscast. Dixie Carter is at her worst. The actor who plays Steve is stiff and totally wooden and hollow. The main character, doesn't seem to be able to pull it together with this plot. You can see, even she acts by the numbers. It is totally unrealistic. I repeat: the acting was so horrible, it was like an amateur production. It sort of has a moral about not desiring the materialistic, and this borders on the Christmas theme, but, it is one of the worst movies imaginable. Totally unrealistic and immature. Horrible acting and just ridiculous. Dribble and awful acting.
Great. Touching. A Must See.
Just saw it for the first time, and bought the DVD on eBay. Very fine movie of a man, played excellently by Fess Parker, who tames a wild stallion, Smoky, and how they bond. The secondary plot concerns the growing love affair between Fess and the pretty Diana Hyland, who sort of reminds me of Inger Stevens. Shades of Fury and many scenes are reminiscent of Black Beauty. But it is the horse who is the star in this movie. The horse was not played by Fury, for those of you who are thinking that, as I, myself did. I totally recommend this movie. Great family fare and a lovely, touching story. A must see and a must see for every member of the family.
The Invasion (2007)
A lot of Noise and Confusion
We have the tall Nicole Kidman wearing a very similar wig that Marilyn Monroe wore in The Misfits and very similar makeup and eyebrows. We also have the distraction of Nicole's boob job in a tight sweater. I couldn't decide if the director, stylist and make up people wanted to have Nocole channel Marilyn, as she seems to be doing in this absolutely awful movie. Daniel Craig seems lost and the little boy who plays Nicole's son is stiff and wooden. This movie is really hard to watch, hard to believe and even harder to write about. Don't bother. Don't bother renting it, buying it, or even watching it on television. A lot of noise and confusion---that sums it up.
Knocked Up (2007)
What a waste. Absolute idiocy. The story of two mismatched people who are mismatched at the beginning, mismatched after she gets pregnant, and mismatched at the end. A total disaster with excessive---I repeat: excessive profanity uttered in just about every single sentence from every single unrealistic character. Horrible acting. With a cast of ridiculous characters that add nothing to the already silly plot. Why didn't she just get an abortion or just leave the jerk. I don't even believe I watched the whole thing. There was else on to watch, I guess. Pass this up. Why it was produced is a mystery to me. Do yourself a favor, and don't even bother.