Blog Archives

Flash Movie Review: Genius

I sit and wait, searching their face for any clue on which direction their reaction will go. It is a gamble; I know that going in, but I am willing to take the risk. Of course, I make sure I have plenty other choices in case any one of them goes bad. You see I love trying new products, especially in the food category. Anytime I have people over to the house I try offering something new to them and myself. It could be from any food group, I would take a chance on it. And here is the little dietary secret; if a guest enjoys the new product I make them take it home because I do not want it to stay alone with me. It would be too much temptation. This way I get to taste something new without overindulging myself. The other secret about having new food items for company is seeing the look on people’s faces at that first bite; I do not know if I can explain it but I truly love seeing someone putting on a happy face due to some new discovery I found. When I am at the grocery store I feel like a treasure hunter when shopping for an upcoming party. Now before you tell me I need to find a new life, let me tell you I feel the same way outside of my home. When I was a kid I wanted to be a tour guide for the city. I wanted to take people I knew or people they knew and show them something they had never seen before. It could be art, architecture, nature or a restaurant; it did not matter as long as the person would have a positive experience from my tours. My desire to be a discoverer played right into this biographical drama.   MAX Perkins, played by Colin Firth (The Railway Man, Before I Go to Sleep) had a special place in the literary world. He was the book editor for Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe. This film festival nominee had a top notch cast of actors. Besides Colin there was Nicole Kidman (Secret in Their Eyes, Paddington) as Aline Bernstein, Jude Law (Spy, Sherlock Holmes franchise) as Thomas Wolfe and Laura Linney (Mr. Holmes, Primal Fear) as Louise Perkins. I was excited not only for the cast but the story itself, seeing these authors I was familiar with coming to life was a treat. You will understand now why my disappointment in this film was significant because the script did not live up to the characters. For such dynamic well known authors this story needed more levels of emotion, besides offering more of the artists’ motivations and feelings. Sure there were drunken and screaming scenes but I wanted to hear more about the “why.” The look of this picture was appropriate and the acting was the best the actors could do with the script; I just wished the script would have been at a higher level to match the story. Considering this film was only playing at 2 theaters in the city, I still felt like I was discovering a little piece of history.

 

2 1/3 stars

 

 

Advertisements

Flash Movie Review: Papa Hemingway in Cuba

Between the people slightly in front an arm was thrust towards me so I shook hands with it. I did not have time to see who was attached to the arm so I asked the person alongside me. It was a city politician who was walking the parade route. Funny this was now the 4th handshake I have had with a political figure. You can learn something from a person’s handshake; I still remember the feelings I experienced when I shook the previous hands. One politician’s handshake was more of a squeeze instead of a shake; he was tightly wound in my opinion. Another politician’s handshake was firm but respectful who deliberately made eye contact, exuding confidence. The most I have been able to say to them was something about being glad to meet them. I think my handshake conveys my feelings; it is direct and firm most of the time. If I happen to get a negative feeling from a person I keep the handshake light and less firm so I can remove myself quickly. Besides politicians the only other celebrities I have met were a couple of directors who came to the screenings of their movies. I have seen actors at different locations but I am not the type to go run up to them and carry on about meeting them out in public. However what I really would enjoy is being able to sit down with them for coffee or dinner and just have a conversation that goes beyond the surface. This would apply to anyone from any facet of life who I admired. I can only imagine how it must have felt for the journalist in this biographical drama.   WHEN the phone rang at his office Ed Myers, played by Giovanni Ribisi (The Rum Diary, Ted franchise), could not believe who was calling him. The gentleman on the line said he was Ernest Hemingway. Based on a true story I had never heard of this event. The first thing I have to tell you is I thoroughly enjoyed watching the outdoor scenes in this film festival winner because they were shot in Cuba; talk about timing as the United States has moved away from its previous policy towards the country. Starring Adrian Sparks (The Manhattan Project, The Purge: Anarchy) as Ernest Hemingway and Joely Richardson (Event Horizon, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as Mary Hemingway; I thought the acting was good, especially from Joely and Giovanni. Set during the late 1950s in Havana, Cuba the idea to film this story sounded like it would be a dramatic win-win situation. Now I did like this movie but I felt it did not do real justice to the characters; the script kept things too simple so some scenes came across manipulative and over-dramatic. The actual experience was more important than what was told in this picture; but I have to tell you, I would be just as excited as Ed Myers if I were to meet the person who I felt changed my life.

 

2 2/3 stars

 

Flash Movie Review: Hemingway & Gellhorn

From two places one could easily find themselves in the middle of a raging battle in a foreign land, to relaxing at a beach resort on a faraway island. All it takes is either reading a book or watching a movie. Sitting in a comfortable spot, a book will take me out of my home and let my imagination conjure up the places I am reading about. In my mind I can add the sounds, the colors and the inflection of people’s voices; there are no limits on what I can create. When I watch a film my eyes are the first to be stimulated. There is nothing I have to add; when a movie is good it will go beyond the limits of the screen it is projected on and engulf me into its story. I love both experiences. The visual stimulation in this dramatized biography was awesome. From the comfort of my sofa, I was transported back to the Spanish Civil War. From there I wound up in Cuba, the United States and on a fishing boat. It was the incredible filming of this story that immersed me in the tumultuous relationship between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn. Nicole Kidman (Stoker, The Paperboy) as Martha was wonderful. I want to know how her eyes always had my attention in every one of her scenes. Clive Owen (Children of Men, The Boys are Back) was over the top as Ernest, to the point it was buffoonish for me. However, I cut him some slack since Hemingway was a larger than life character. Adding to the capable cast was David Strathairn (Lincoln, The Whistleblower) as John Dos Passos and Tony Shalhoub (Feed the Fish, Monk-TV) as Mikhail Koltsov. Similar to the filming style of Forrest Gump, I thoroughly enjoyed the intermingling of historic footage with current characters. The gentle shifting from black and white to sepia to color in the film was beautifully done. I am sure this movie took major liberties in regards to historical accuracy, facts about Martha and Ernest, along with the other characters in general; but I did not care. This Emmy award winning film was great to watch and I was able to visit different places around the world from my cozy couch. A few scenes with violence, blood and war casualties.

 

3 stars — DVD

%d bloggers like this: