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Flash Movie Review: My Cousin Rachel

ARSENIC was what killed the husband. It did not happen overnight; according to the news reports his wife mixed a small amount of the chemical into his food every day. In my naivety I wondered why she just did not divorce him, but a friend quickly informed me it probably involved money. Since money has never played a major factor in deciding my relationship decisions, when I have been with someone where we have shared expenses, all I can think of if the relationship sours is to get out with the least amount of drama. Most possessions are just stuff we have accumulated; how much does a person really need? Recently I met someone who was actively seeking a relationship by using a dating service. On the occupation section of the application they told me they only would list the field they work in without giving the job title. When I asked why they told me there were several potential dates that made contact even though there were no similar interests in the profiles. I listened as they explained when they listed their occupation there were more responses; but they soon discovered after a couple of meetings, the dates were interested more in salary levels then learning about their personal history.     WHEN you first meet a couple that has a large age gap between them, what is the first thing you think about them? If you are like the others I have asked, your first thoughts could be leaning towards the idea of a gold-digger, a cougar or a scam artist. We had a family friend who was a widower for many years. Later in life he met a woman who was a widow. After a sweet courtship they married and settled into a calm domestic life. A few years went by before our friend died. Now there was no proof, no autopsy (at that age most doctors just say it is due to old age) and little time before his new widow moved away. It turns out our family friend was her 6th husband; all her previous ones had died a similar way.     CONVINCED his guardian’s death was suspicious Philip, played by Sam Claflin (Me Before You, The Hunger Games franchise), believed his guardian’s widow Rachael Ashley, played by Rachel Weisz (Denial, The Light Between Oceans), was behind it. Based on Daphne Du Maurier’s (Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek) novel, this dramatic romantic mystery simmered and sizzled with the chemistry created between Rachel and Sam. The two of them did a wonderful job of acting that outshone the supporting cast which included Holliday Grainger (Jane Eyre, The Finest Hours) as Louis Kendall and Iain Glen (Resident Evil franchise, Game of Thrones-TV) as Nick Kendall. Visually this picture had some interesting contrasts. Interior shots had darkness to them either with atmosphere or costumes. Where outdoor scenes had a vivid or striking look to them, I particularly was fascinated with Rachel’s clothing against her white horse. On the down side the script was the weak link in this film. I felt it had too many dull parts between the good sections. This added to the slowness I felt during parts of the story. If the acting had not been so good, this film would have died a slow death.

 

2 ½ stars    

 

 

Flash Movie Review: The Meddler

Rarely did a day go by where she did not stick her head out the window to yell her son’s name. If the atmosphere in our neighborhood was conducive to producing fog, she would have been perfect as a foghorn; that is how loud and piercing her voice was from the 2nd floor window. Everyone in the neighborhood knew of her. She actually was a fun mother who was the first one to help out at any school functions and kept her home fully stocked with candy and treats for any guests. Though if you were to ask her son what he thought of her, he may have had a slightly different opinion. He always had to call her if he was going anywhere out of range from her vision. If he went over to a friend’s house he had to call her when he got there and when he was on his way home. There were a few boys who would tease him about it but the rest of us kept quiet. I thought it was better than the mothers who wanted to actually come out and play with us. Not the kind who would agree to be our pitcher if we were one player short; I am talking about the ones who wanted to participate in snowball fights or king of the hill. They would even dress in a less adult way where one would not first think they had kids; it was just weird to me. And especially when you get towards that adolescence age where you don’t want any parents around as you are feeling more independent, it can turn into an embarrassing situation.   AFTER her husband died Marnie, played by Susan Sarandon (Tammy, Robot & Frank), needed a hobby. What better one to have than her daughter Lori, played by Rose Byrne (Neighbors, Spy)? This comedic drama started out in familiar territory to the point where I thought it would become obnoxious. But here is the beauty of it; in its sly way the script took me to a whole different place. Let me start out with the acting; besides Susan there was J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Terminator Genisys) as Zipper and Cecily Strong (The Boss, The Bronze) as Jillian. I was surprised at the different type of character J.K. performed, doing a wonderful job. Then there was Susan, she was sensational in the role. The two actors really formed a connection on screen. I enjoyed the way the script took her on a journey and I am not referring to her traveling from New York City to Los Angeles; it was a well told story of an individual’s growth. Regarding the comedic scenes, I think most viewers will react favorable because of familiarity with the circumstances. Continuing with the Mother’s Day theme from the weekend I feel this film should have been the one to market more than the one I reviewed this past Monday. I recognized several mothers I knew from my childhood in this picture and did not have to hear my friend’s name being shouted out from the window.

 

3 ¼ stars

 

 

Flash Movie Review: I’ll See You in My Dreams

You see them with their heads bowed, peering down at the item in their hand. If you did not know better you would think everyone standing in the aisle was having a moment of silence. What they are looking for is the defining answer on whether they will purchase that particular item; it all depends on the expiration date. If the date is close or even past the day’s date, the food item is placed back on the shelf and the shopper looks for a fresh container. Thank heaven love doesn’t have an expiration date, though seeing some people’s reactions to an elderly couple being affectionate makes me wonder. If two people can find each other and form a long lasting love relationship then I say more power to them. I am not comfortable when I see anyone performing public displays of affection that go way over the top, where you want to tell them to go get a room. For those types of individuals I think they are doing it more for the people around them than the recipient of their affections. However, when I see a couple holding hands or one has their hand gently resting on the other person’s leg or back I think those two people have a comfortable connection. When I am in a relationship I enjoy resting my hand on the person’s arm or leg, especially at the movies because I can get an extra read on how they are reacting to the film. So why should it matter how old a person is if they can still find and enjoy being in love?    CAROL Peterson, played by Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents franchise, The Lightkeepers), had been a widow for many years. Encouraged by her friends she attended a speed dating event. It only reaffirmed why she preferred to be alone all these years; but did she really prefer it? This comedic drama had everything working in its favor. Blythe was so good; she may get a nomination for best actress for this role. I cannot believe this was Blythe’s first starring role; she was in every scene and was wonderful. Joining her in this story were June Squibb (Nebraska, Scent of a Woman) as Georgiana, Rhea Perlman (Matilda, Cheers-TV) as Sally, Martin Starr (Knocked Up, Adventureland) as Lloyd and Sam Elliott (Tombstone, Draft Day) as Bill. The script was smartly written, allowing characters to grow in a real and organic way; I was quite taken by this movie. The script felt fresh and was not predictable. Whether you are young or old, I feel everyone could connect to this picture on some level. Love is a powerful force; it would be hard to resist it and this film.

 

3 1/2 stars

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