Archive for the ‘FILM REVIEWS’ Category

Hurricane Irma Part 2A   Leave a comment

Hurricane Irma  2A

Just before the rains started

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u9OgsaGdu8

 

3 minutes later

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXm4_qeaPrE

Right now it is a question of how long before the electricity goes out!! Miami already has 40,000 outages while Fort Lauderdale 6,000.

I have made a few vidieos—including my first one with the camera but want to get caught up before the Internet goes down.

A few notes:

  1. 5.6 million ordered to evacuate—don’t know how many did
  2. Fill garbage bags with water
  3. TimLaFonatinesuggested going to earthcam.com/usa/florida/Miami to get an idea of what is happening
  4. Though Irma is now supposed to hit the southwest harder than the southeast which is a bit better for usbut wewill still get tornadoes, floods, heavy rains and winds

5 Fort Lauderdale under curfew from 4 PM until ?????

  1. Got the penny and water set up! :O)
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“Dunkirk”–Oscar worthy?–my review   Leave a comment

“Wings” won the first Best Picture Oscar in 1929 and since then 16 other war movies have been honored with that award. I have never been a fan of the genre, in fact missed seeing “Braveheart” and the 3 war themed movies that Clint Eastward made plus skipping the Oscar winning “The Hurt Locker” so I approached “Dunkirk’ skeptically hearing excellent word of month.

Christopher Nolan is a better director than screenplay writer. There are a lot of intense war scenes including some that will have you on the edge of your seat but emotionally you don’t become involved with the few characters he does concentrate on. In most cases very few have names, no or very little background. As an example in one scene a young man you get to know briefly dies and you sort of shrug your soldiers.

The cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema offers many haunting, striking images while the music by Hans Zimmer sometimes adds to the horror of war while at other times distracts from the sounds of war that have a rhythm of its own.

Nolan intertwines 3 story lines at first dividing them calling the first part “The Mole” representing the war on land as we follow Fion Whitehead and takes place over a week, part two is a day at sea as we join civilian Mark Rylance, his teenage son Tom Glynn-Carney and the latter’s friend Barry Keoghan along with a soldier they rescue from the sea Cillian Murphy while the third is an hour in the air seen through the eyes of pilot Tom Hardy. The director/screenwriter goes back and forth between the different parts and times and though it may add to the film it really isn’t necessary to give the time most thought.

Many people under 50 may not know the story of what happened at Dunkirk and they might not quite follow what it is all about but no matter what age you have seen the horrors of war before.

In 106 minutes “Dunkirk” moves quickly and while it doesn’t get boring, neither does it get you involved to feel what victory or defeat meant in the case of this particular epic part of World War 2.

I will probably be proven wrong but I don’t believe it is Oscar worthy!

 

 

 

 

Dunkirk trailer

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cmgiys2n1o

“The Little Hours”–a movie review   Leave a comment


Do you think nuns using the ‘f’ word is funny? Do you think virgin nuns trying to seduce a supposedly deaf mute young hunky guy is funny? Do you think an orgy of 3 nuns and a man is satire and funny? Do you think that showing women in full frontal nudity but only showing the chest of a man having all kinds of sex is okay? If so then “The Little Hours” is meant for you.

In the past week I saw the movie of the year so far, “The Big Sick”, and a very different sort of love story, “Maudie” taht held my interest from beginning to end, then today I saw the worst movie of the year so far called “The Little Hours” beating out “A Very Sordid Wedding” which held the title until now.

Look at the trailer and after seeing/hearing the first line you think this is your kind of movie go for it but, even though I will always put watching a film on a movie screen versus a televison screen, save yourself movie and watch it on youtube.

I am far from being a prude but I found “The Little Hours” to be distasteful!

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYycHr4RsJw

“the Big Sick”–best movie of the year so far BUT…   Leave a comment

“The Big Sick” is an excellent movie with only 3 negatives, two really minor and another, in my opinion, major but I got over it!

The movie is being sold as a romantic comedy, which two thirds of it is, but a major third is the drama and all are in equal parts. With Kumail Nanjiani, who I am familiar with from the HBO show “Silicon Valley”, starring and Judd Apatow producing I expected a lot of laughs and they are delivered in grins, smiles, laughs, out loud guffaws along with nods of the head that derive from real moments in life that all can identify. The drama also gets the spotlight and in some scenes you will be crying and laughing at the same time while in others the tears will flow. Yes the romance is there and it is as romantic as in any film you have seen.

The two really minor negatives, surprisingly, are the stand up routines by the real in life stand up comics Aidy Bryant, Kurt Braunohler and Bo Burnham and the interactions between them and Kumail but none really take up that much time.

Not getting into the screenplay itself, written by Nanjiani and his real wife Emily V. Gordon and based on their true romance, the acting is some of the finest from the whole cast including what would be considered minor roles such as the nurse played by Myra Lucretia Taylor and Kuhoo Verma as a potential bride.  Anupan Kher and Zenobia as his parents could teach today’s parents in how to make your child feel guilty, especially the mother.

A big discovery for me was Zoe Kazan who I don’t recall seeing before. She makes Emily a real person whether it be in her kookiness, ‘only having sex once the first time with somebody’, who is going to be a therapist and in some scenes could really use therapy. She makes a lasting impression any time she is on screen but also has you thinking of her when she is not in a scene.

Ray Romano has never caught my attention as I was usually more interested in his co-stars, whether on television or movies, but here as a father, referring to his daughter, says “Being a parent is a nightmare. Loving somebody this much sucks” he is funny and heartbreaking sometimes in the same sentence.

I could talk for days about Holly Hunter’s performance in “Big Sick”. She appears on screen about 30-40 minutes into the film and steals every scene from everyone in the film for the rest of the film. No way do you want to get her teed off in a comic club because no matter how tall or big you are you aren’t going to win! Don’t you dare hurt her daughter because you will get her wrath, sneers and coldness but show her daughter love and with one gesture you know you will never be able to do anything wrong again. I certainly hope she is remembered at award time.

Yes Kumail Nanjiani is playing himself, even being called Kumail, but you get to know more than the comedian. You get to know the man, the actor, the writer, the comedian, the man who can woo women with doe eyes, a smile and caring. I hope he gets to do more roles where he is involved as a person who happens to also be a comedian or not.

The “The Big Sick” is a must see movie and be prepared to laugh, cry and, yes, experience the drama of the title.

 Movie Trailer

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJmpSMRQhhs

“The Beguiled”–a movie review   Leave a comment

Of the 60 plus movies that Nicole Kidman has made I have seen at least 30 and she is always good, many times rising above the material given her to work with. Of the 6 movies Sofia Coppola has made I have seen 3 and have no desire to see any more by her.

In “The Beguiled” Kidman once again rises above the material while only Colin Farrell and Kirsten Dunst equal her. Oh yes the plantation, the inside and outside, which is the set of the movie, also rises above the material.

Coppola, directing and writing, remade the movie, originally directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page, eliminating a very interesting aspect from the original, and leaves many questions as to why and what did she think she was bringing to the film?

We have seen Southern women and girls in peril during the civil war before in many movies and she brings nothing new to that angle and her two most forceful scenes will have the audience turning their head away and/or closing their eyes.

I found “The Beguiled” to be a slow, quite boring movie.

 

 

Beguiled trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRKXyeoWfco

“3 Generations”–A Movie Review   Leave a comment

“3 Generations” could have, would have and should have been a great movie if the director Gaby Dellal and Nikole Beckwith, who co-write the screenplay withDellal, didn’t go off on a tangent instead of dealing with Elle Fanning’s character Ray, who was born Ramona, and has many obstacles with his transition.

His single mother Maggie, played by Naomi Watts, and Ray, live with her mother, Dodo, played by Susan Sarandon, and her longtime lover Frances, played by Linda Emond.

At the beginning of the movie we see Maggie trying to deal with Ray’s decision, struggling with what verbs to use, worried that after Ray goes through the change he may think he made a mistake plus having to put up with Dodo, an old time feminist, who believes Ray should stay Ramona and just be a lesbian. If the film had stuck with Ray’s story and the reaction of the two older generation it would have been an excellent film but instead it veers off to Maggie’s past and the complications that involves

Ray’s father Craig, played by Tate Donovan, who hasn’t had anything to do with Ramona for more than a decade, now discovers his daughter needs his signature on the consent form to become his son. We also meet his brother Matthew, played by Sam Trammell, who was involved with them.  Throw in that Craig now haves another family with 3 kids and all of a sudden we turn from an involved story of a transgender person into a soap opera.

Maggie’s story is interesting but she deserves her own movie. This movie is only an hour and 27 minutes but it feels as if 3 hours was being packed into it.

Elle Fanning gives a very strong, believable performance as a transgender teenager who knows who he is and is willing to stand up for his decisions while Naomi Watts as his mother shows the perplexing problems a parent can go through while this is all taking place with an equally strong performance. As always Sarandon gives a dynamic performance while Linda Emond is very droll as the put upon lover. They are both wasted in the film as are Donovan and Trammell’s story lines .

Television is way ahead of film regarding the issues and understandings of transgender while movies, aside from “Boys Don’t Cry” and “The Crying Game”, need to get serious on the subject.

“3 Generations” is a good start on transgender issues but it gets bogged down in what use to be called a ‘women’s film’. It is worth seeing for Fanning’s performance and for people who have no idea what transgender people are about and go through.

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MeFmXpkryw

“The Dinner”–A Movie Review   Leave a comment

Actors and movies constantly amaze, amuse and befuddle me. I know actors have no say about when their movies will appear in theatres but in the past week two of Richard Gere’s latest movies appeared at The Gateway Theatre and shows why he has been a major star for over 40 years. In the first movie “Norman” (see my review Wednesday, May 3) he plays a New York City ‘fixer’, schemer while in today’s film, “The Dinner” he is a Congressman running for Governor and he is completely two different men in appearance, acting and persona.

I really never know what to expect from a movie as I very seldom read reviews before I go see one and generally will pick a movie based on the cast and/or any vibes I picked up about it regarding genre and story. “The Dinner” has a major cast of Gere, Laura Linney, who I have never seen give a bad performance and, mostly, as she does in this film, gives an outstanding performance, Steve Coogan, a strong actor and Rebecca Hall who I had seen in a few movies and seemed to be waiting for that breakout role.

Gere, married to his second wife Hall, and Coogan, married to Linney, are brothers whose mother favored the former while the latter seems to have inherited the mental illness he has from her. Coogan and Linney have a teenage son Mike (Charlie Plummer) while Gere has had a son, Rick (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) whom he had with his first wife Chloe Sevigny and Gere and Hall have an adopted Black son which may or may not be a child Gere and his loyal aide, Adepero Oduye, had.

The two brothers and their wives are meeting in a very upper scale restaurant in a mansion where each course is explained as it is being served and you know that the cost would be prohibitive to 99% of the people. At the very beginning Coogan remarks about the cost of a bottle of wine being sinful. The purpose of the meeting finally comes to light and the questions the film wants to ask are that of how much will/would a parent do to protect their child, how much of an obligation do they have to their families and what should they do or not do.

Though “The Dinner” is based on a novel by Herman Koch it is almost as if the director/screenwriter Oren Moverman had taken a play and wanted to ‘open’ it up. Flashbacks to earlier years, to events that happened earlier in the evening, a trip to the Gettysburg battlefields, many voiceovers, to classroom scenes of Coogan, who was a teacher of history, plus the dinner itself blurs what should have been a linear telling instead of losing its focus.

Now as a man who loves food even the restaurant scenes become dull as they are all over the place as for different reasons the party of 4 is moved from room to room and the descriptions of the plates soon blend into each other.

Many times the direction by Moverman, the cinematography by Bobby Bukowski and the music by Elijah Brueggemann are disconcerting to what is taking place on the screen.

The acting of the cast in “The Dinner” is certainly consistently top rate and reasons enough to see the film plus I need someone to explain the ending to me!

 

“The Dinner” trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aUPksk2fjg

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