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Flash Movie Review: Stan & Ollie

I DID NOT CRINGE UNTIL SHE attempted to speak. She had assistance walking across the stage of the awards show; it was expected considering her frailty and advanced age. In her day, decades ago, she was a top billing major star. Now as I watched her trying to talk, it was obvious to me she was quite confused. I had no idea if the producers of the show requested her or her management team offered her; either way, I felt uncomfortable and sad. Growing old is harder when it is done in the public eye; I think about myself with the classes I teach. Will I know when it is the time to hang up my cycling and yoga apparel? Will I graciously retire when I realize, if I even realize, I am not teaching class at the same level as I have in the past? These are things I have given thought to as I have grown older. I look at some people who have obviously had extensive plastic surgery and wonder why they did it. There has never been a time I have seen an older celebrity and not known they had altered themselves simply by looking at their semi-paralyzed face or their skin stretched tightly like plastic wrap sealing a bowl of leftovers. What is it they are trying to do?      ONE OF THE ANSWERS I CAN come up with is they do it because they still need to get adulation and compliments from people. I would like to know how having a wrinkled face would stop someone from admiring you. I went to a concert that was being held in a small movie theater; the headliner was a celebrity who was past his prime. What I mean is their voice could no longer handle their song catalog and their dance moves were reduced to a simple swaying side to side. He was only one of the musical acts; so, there were some people in the audience who had no idea who this man was and what songs he had sung that brought him fame. If it were me I could not get on stage and perform unless I categorically knew it would be at the same caliber as before. As I write this I am reminded about former celebrities who either do advertisements or shall we say low-brow projects. I always wonder if they need the money or they are so starved for attention. Regarding this film festival winning biography, I haven’t yet decided which one the comedy duo needed.      AFTER THEIR FAME AND FORTUNE HAD dimmed in the world Laurel and Hardy, played by Steve Coogan (Philomela, The Dinner) and John C. Reilly (Holmes & Watson, The Sisters Brothers), decided they would re-capture it by doing a live tour. It didn’t matter to them that they were older and maybe not as wise. This comedic drama’s story was based on actual events. Without a doubt this picture’s fate was dependent on Steve and John. Gratefully, the two of them were stupendous. I might have to tip the scales more to John’s Oliver Hardy being more authentic, but it still would be a tight race between the two of them. With them front and center the other actors like Shirley Henderson (Transporting franchise, Bridget Jones franchise) as Lucille Hardy and Nina Arianda (Midnight in Paris, Florence Foster Jenkins) as Ida Kitaeva Laurel; though good, were more in the background for me. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this picture. Seeing some of the original comedy acts Laurel and Hardy used to perform and getting the back story on them was a treat. I thought the script and direction worked hand in hand to produce a well-rounded bit of comedic history. Make sure you stay through the credits to see actual clips of the two the producers reproduced in this wonderful film.

 

3 ½ stars

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Flash Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Before I taught my 1st fitness class, I made the conscience decision that my classes would be filled with fun and laughs. With no political or religious discussions; I only focused on light, humorous subjects. This was what I decided my collection of movie reviews would be on my blog. However, under the circumstances with today’s review; I know in my heart, I must acknowledge the horrific act that took place at this movie’s premiere in Aurora, Colorado. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims. The movie viewing experience will never be the same. I never imagined my life’s timeline would include such a life altering, heinous act. And now for my review of the final installment of this Dark Knight trilogy. It has been 8 years and a reclusive Bruce Wayne/Batman, played by Christian Bale (The Fighter, The Prestige) has aged, including having bad knees. When Gotham is threatened by the evil anarchist Bane, played by Tom Hardy (Warrior, This Means War), Batman returns to Gotham’s defense. There were brilliant scenes in this nearly 3 hour movie. The fight scenes were intense and well orchestrated. I loved Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs, Rachel Getting Married) as Selina, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for Michelle Pfeiffer. Michael Caine (Harry Brown, Sleuth) as Alfred had a more emotional role in this film and carried it off beautifully. I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 50/50) was his usual excellent self in this new role of Blake, Commissioner Gordon’s assistant. On the downside, I had a hard time understanding Bane’s voice at times; so, I felt I never really understood his motives. In a way, I would have to say the same about Selena; I was not sure how she got mixed up in all of the chaos. Even with some confusing parts in this action thriller, I did feel like I was at a special event. Also, pay attention in the last hour for a couple of hints of what the future may hold for all of us.

 

3 stars

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