Monthly Archives: November 2011
I am not one to compare my life to the misfortune of others, but once in a while I need a jolt, to get myself out of myself. This documentary was that jolt for me. Two filmmakers travel to Calcutta, India to document the children of prostitutes, who work the red light district. Seeing their plight was heart wrenching for me. One of the documentarians decided to give still cameras to the children and have them go out and explore the neighborhood, through their camera lens. You know part of that saying, “Out of the mouth of babes?” The children’s photos were amazing and touching for me. One has to wonder, if there is a reason or purpose for everything; then, what is the reason for these children coming into the world this way? I hope you can overcome any concerns you might have in viewing this movie and experience it for yourself.
3 1/3 stars — DVD
As this movie started, the feeling that came over me was similar to the one I get finding an old, comfy sweater hanging in the back of my closet–warm fond memories. And I was hoping this movie would add to them. However, it just didn’t quite happen. It had its fun moments and I enjoyed the variety of cameos from different celebrities; but, with the weak story I was a bit bored. Amy Adams, who I usually love in a movie, was stale here. One doesn’t usually associate Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up) with a kid’s movie, but surprisingly, he wasn’t too bad. The basic story is Jason, his brother, who happens to look just like a Muppet and Amy help the Muppets, in trying to save their old theater from an evil man. There was the usual scattering of jokes, songs and dance numbers, but what did the younger children think was the best part of the movie–the fart shoes.
2 1/3 stars
When a movie has both Judi Dench and Maggie Smith in it, can it really be bad? In this case, absolutely not. This charming movie has a wonderful story line: Judi and Maggie play two aging sisters living in a cottage on the coast of England, back in the 1930’s. One day they discovered a young man had washed up onto shore and decided to nurse him back to health. The chemistry between the sisters felt real to me, as I watched the two actresses in their roles; forgetting they were Maggie and Judi, believing they really were sisters Janet and Ursula. If you want to see good acting and be entertained, then this is a movie you should see.
3 1/4 stars — DVD
What were they thinking when they made this movie? Nothing original in the story, I found this film to be simply boring. Evidently, Mickey Rourke reached the pinnacle of his resurrected career with The Wrestler. His performance here was the formula he used in Iron Man–limited dialogue, stone faced expression, with no acting talent on display. Mickey portrays King Hyperion who is in search of a weapon that could aid him in destroying humanity. Will the Gods above put there faith in one man to stop the King, as he leaves a trail of destruction across the land? I did not care nor do I believe you would either. Take a pass on this movie.
Give yourself a real movie treat, let the kid in you come out and if you do not see any other movie this year, do yourself a favor and see this magical movie. Martin Scorsese has made a truly classic film. I am not a fan of 3D but in Martin’s hands, the 3D was like an invited guest at the dinner table, instead of the drunken neighbor who intruded on your dinner party and wouldn’t go home. If you do not see this movie in 3D, I don’t believe it will make the experience for you any less; but if you can, see how Martin uses it to complement a scene by not making it the main focus, such as objects coming out of the screen to poke you in the eye or fly over your head. Because I want you to go into this movie with as little information as possible, let me just say it is about an orphan who lives in the Paris train station. Asa Butterfield, who portrays the orphan, has some of the most expressive eyes I have seen on a young actor. By the way, of the entire audience I was with, there was only one child. Please make the time to see this movie and get lost in its enchanting story.
Don’t look now, but there well could be a dark horse in the Oscar race and it is Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia!, My Week with Marilyn) in the dual role as Latif Yahia, who was the real life body double to Uday Hussein–Saddam Hussein’s elder son. What an amazing performance as Dominic portrays the ruthless, decadent Uday and the look alike Latif who tries to maintain his sanity as he is forced into servitude. This intense drama was horrific to watch in parts as Uday truly was allowed to run amok; whether it was raping, beating or killing anyone who came within his line of sight. If you can handle it, then do not miss this movie based on the true story by Latif Yahia and the incredible portrayal by Dominic Cooper. As far as I am concerned, Dominic has every right to get a best acting nomination for his work in this film.
3 1/2 stars — DVD
What an incredible performance by Michelle Williams as she plays Marilyn Monroe. Based on the memoirs of Colin Clark, an employee on the set during the filming of Marilyn’s and Sir Laurence Olivier’s movie, “The Prince and the Showgirl,” we get a peek behind the scenes into the friction when old theater people meet young Hollywood movie people–mainly Marilyn and Laurence. Truthfully, it did not matter to me if everything I was watching was true or not; I could not take my eyes off of Michelle as the camera truly caressed her in every scene. The era this took place, the 1950’s, was laid out perfectly in scene, in costume; I really started to get lost into the magic of this movie. Also, as far as I am concerned, Judi Dench could read the Waffle House menu to me, I loved listening and watching her in the few scenes she was in. There is no doubt in my mind that Michelle will get an Oscar nomination. Whether gentlemen prefer blondes or some like it hot (young ones may not get this) go see this wonderful film.
3 2/3 stars
I am not Team Edward nor Team Jacob; though, I do have the unread 1st book sitting on a shelf. And after seeing this movie I may never read the book. This movie was so boring–I cannot remember being at a wedding this long since my nephew’s wedding. At least his was amazing and I was eating and dancing the nights away. So little action in this film, opposite from some of the trailers I previewed. And do you know what was the worst part of this film? It was the soundtrack, absolutely annoying. There seemed to be music in every single frame–swelling up and slipping back, trying desperately to inject some drama into this dull story. Now as a side note here, I did my own informal polling and discovered that most women enjoyed this film, where men did not. No statement here, just an observation. I consider myself an old-fashioned romantic but I am telling you, this was not my idea of romance. For those of you who have seen the previous movies and will see this one, make sure you do not leave when the credits begin.
1 1/4 stars
China in the 1920’s, the head of a powerful family weds his 4th wife, moving her into his compound with his three other wives. Each wife plots and schemes to gardner the attention of the lord and have the red lanterns hung in front of her residence, which meant he would be spending the night with her. This was a steady paced, fascinating story with the wonderful actress Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Farewell My Concubine), who did a quiet and powerful performance. The director had individual scenes set up to emphasis the emotions that were on display. I was totally into this film and think you will be too. Chinese with English subtitles.
3 1/2 stars — DVD
So hear is the exciting news: this is a 4 star movie! I loved everything about it. First off, this was George Clooney’s best role, I have seen to date. Playing a detached father, George is forced to be the primary parent to his two daughters, when his wife is hospitalized from a boating accident. Next, the story was real and filled with real emotions. Watching the relationship between the father and oldest daughter was great chemistry between the two stars. The directing was perfect with scenes unfolding in a gentle progression. This is not a fairy tale family; this is a dysfunctional family, trying to find their way in life. Do not miss this movie, since George Clooney should be nominated for best actor. And I would not be surprised if the older daughter, Shailene Woodley, gets a nomination her way, too.