Archive for the ‘MOVIES’ Category

“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

“Maudie”–a movie review   1 comment

Walking out of “Maudie” I felt the same way I did after seeing “Monster” when I said that IF Charlize Theron didn’t win an Oscar for her transformation, and acting, then I would never go to the movies again. Whew! She did. I am saying almost the same thing about Sally Hawkins playing the title role in this film. Her transformation into Maud, and her acting, draws you into the film to such a point that you forget she is Sally Hawkins, the actress.

“Maudie” is a love story between two people who not only are different from everyone else but completely different from each other. I wasn’t aware the screenplay, by Sherry White, was based on a true story until the end and it made me wonder how true it really is. About 30-35 minutes into the film I gasped and really didn’t believe what I had just seen but that was only part of the story. There are sweet, funny, sad and cruel moments along the way. Neither Maud nor Everett, played by Ethan Hawke, had an early easy life and when we meet them they are still struggling in the world they inhabit.

The film is 1 hour and 55 minutes, with Newfoundland and Labrador filling in for Nova Scotia, is, necessarily, slow moving but still could have been cut by about 10 minutes.

The film basically concentrates of the story of Maud and Everett with minor characters such as Gabrielle Rose as Maud’s aunt and Zachery Bennett as her brother along with Kari Matchett as a vacationing New Yorker and Billy MacLellan as possibly the only friend Everett might have. Though Hawke does a fairly good job he does not quite reach Hawkins’ level.

“Maudie” in many ways is not an easy film to sit through but should be seen for Hawkins performance, and possibly, learn about an artist you didn’t know about. I hope I am wrong but I don’t think this movie will ‘sell’ to the public.

Movie trailer

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

“The Hero” a movie review   Leave a comment

Sam Elliot is one of those very rare actors who can make a bad role and/or movie better just because he is doing a role and he does it effortlessly! He is very seldom the star of a movie but whatever star is playing opposite in a scene is forgotten as your eyes will go to him.  Tall, lean, with a silver mane any old man would envy plus a mustache that falls in love with women (see the movie!) and a voice that can melt any female, plus quite a few males, that even with 50 movies plus 137 episodes and television movies he has never reached that upper tier of actors and has very seldom been listed above the title.

In “the Hero” Sam Elliot, and that mustache, star in the film experiencing every emotion a man can have including all the extremes and takes the audience along with him. We see, and believe, a woman, Charlotte (Laura Prepon), 35 years younger than him, falling in love and pursuing him. We feel bad for him when he messes up an audition and we cheer when accepting an award his speech goes viral to over 2 million people. His disconnect with his daughter Lucy (Krysten Ritter) is heartbreaking and his reaching out to the wife he is divorced from, Kathryn Ross (his real life wife), is touching as you understand why they divorced.

The story revolves around Lee Hayden, who made a western movie four decades ago that was a big hit but he is now making a living doing voice over commercials. His best, and seemingly only, friend is a fellow actor Jeremy (Nick Offerman) who had appeared in a TV series with him and now makes a living selling drugs, including to Lee and Charlotte which is how they meet. On the same day that he is asked to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Western Appreciation and Preservation Guild he receives the news from his doctor that the tumors he has found on Lee’s pancreas is malignant.

Though we wish “The Hero” had followed, and gotten more into, the relationship between Charlotte and Lee just watching Sam Elliot makes sitting through this 93 minute movie a treat. Stretching it with too many waves landing on the beach, it takes place in Los Angeles, Director Brett Haley, who also wrote the screenplay with Marc Basch, throws in some not meant to be but are laughable scenes involving the poetry of Edna St. Millay and Lee, Charlotte and Jeremy smoking weed in scenes that add nothing to the movie except time. The soundtrack offers many songs adding to the many different moods in the film.

For fans of Sam Elliot this is a must see fan while those who may be familiar with his face should come to see it for the actor. Laura Prepon, of “Orange Is The New Black”, is new to me and I am looking forward to seeing her in more movies.

And lets not forget that mustache!!

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiKtUnI0u4U

“My Cousin Rachel”–a movie review   Leave a comment

Like sequels, very seldom is a remake of a movie ever as good or, less seldom, ever better and “My Cousin Rachel” certainly isn’t as good as the original which was made in 1954 and featured Richard Burton in his first American movie earning an Oscar nomination for his role as Philip Ashley. Philip is an orphan and adopted by his cousin, Ambrose, who becomes the father he never knew.

Ambrose goes to Italy because of his health where he meets, falls in love and marries Rachel. He writes Philip praising Rachel until suddenly his letters get darker fearing that she is scheming to kill him. Philip races off to Italy but by the time he gets there Ambrose has died and Rachel is gone. He swears vengeance and her and returns to the estate in England that he will soon inherit on his 25th birthday.

When Rachel eventually shows up at his door his vengeance turns first into puppy love and then a love so deep, so blind, he decides to turn his inheritance, the estate and jewels, over to her at the stroke of midnight on his birthday. It is then that Philip starts to get sick and as Rachel makes him a special brew of tea he gets even sicker.

The question asked at the beginning of the film is “Did she? Didn’t she? Who’s to blame?”. During the film the questions become whether she is just a strong woman at the wrong time and place–the 1830s in England–or a dangerous, bewitching woman who goes after what she wants no matter what sinister behavior it involves?

Sam Claflin, as Philip, is no Richard Burton and gives the weakest performance in the movie. Rachel Weisz, as Rachel, is a good enough actress that you don’t know who she really is and what she wants.

The supporting cast, as in many English movies, is strong but the director-writer Roger Michell who based the film on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, brings it into today’s world of film by having a sex scene, referring to one of the male characters as ‘being more interested in boys than girls”, having the male lead showing a bare backside and doesn’t make the love story more interesting or the suspense, mystery scenes more suspenseful and mysterious.

The bottom line is I really didn’t care if she did it or didn’t do it!

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVaPJxe0Qxs

Posted June 9, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

“Wakefield”–a movie review   Leave a comment

“Wakefield” is based on a short story by E. L. Doctorow in The New Yorker that would have been better as a one man play than it will appeal to a movie audience.

It is a story told in one voice, that of Howard Wakefield, of a successful businessman, husband and father, who decides to ‘disappear’. He goes up in the attic in a converted carriage house that is part of his home that allows him to spy on his wife and kids, while they have no idea what happened to him.

We follow him as he survives going through garbage at night, all the time talking about what, where he has been, what brought him to this point to want to walk away from his beautiful wife and 2 daughters.

Bryan Cranston is excellent as Howard, and what made me think of his doing it on stage, while Jennifer Garner is his wife Diana and Jason O’Mara, his friend Dirk, who competed for and lost Diana to Howard.

Becoming unkempt with long hair and beard and a general look of a homeless man he is, to a certain point, after being ’gone’ for awhile, can walk around town without being noticed as just one of the many homeless men.

“Wakefield” is not a movie for everyone but it enthralled me to the point that I wanted to know what happened after ‘the end’ appeared on the screen plus I want to read the original short story.

The director and screenwriter Robin Swicord, along with Byron Cranston and a few raccoons, handle what is a one man story while the production values all are first rate.

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E00DODio0Wk

 

Posted June 6, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

“Paris Can Wait”–a movie review   Leave a comment

How can you not love a movie that is full of food being talked about, served, eaten, cooked and shown in restaurants, hotel rooms, in open markets, farms and let’s not even get into the love of chocolate by the female star? Let’s throw in wine, lots of wine, for every, and any, occasion. Oh heck, toss in a car of roses driven by a man who knows nothing about a car but can make every topic about food.

Diane Lane is Annie, a woman married to a workaholic producer Michael, played by Alec Baldwin, who seems to be so busy I think he had 5 minutes screen time! He is on his way to Budapest but because of ear infections can’t fly with him so she agrees to drive from Cannes, where they are, to Paris which is a 7 hour drive if she didn’t accept her husband’s business associate, Jacques, played by Arnaud Viard, to drive with him which turns into a 2 day journey.

Yes, Jacques is the food man who can pick dandelion greens and talk about making a salad or insists they stop here and there where he knows a chef, a restaurant owner, a farmer or when they have car trouble just happens to have a picnic basket and who keeps on insisting that “Paris Can Wait” and who can say he is wrong?

Anne, like some people I know (ME!), is constantly taking pictures with her digital camera of all the food she is surrounded by plus the museums, churches, Roman ruins and the very photogenic locations they drive through sometimes stopping the picturesque France we have always imagined. I think she took more pictures than he smoked and a drinking game involving a shot every time he had a cigarette could end with everyone getting bombed before the movie ends!

“Paris Can Wait” has a story with the irascible French roué plying her with things that could seduce her as only a Frenchman can and it may interest you but the food, the wine and the roses steal the picture.

The chocolate candies, cakes, hot chocolates, every and any form of chocolate you can think of, is reason to see the movie, even you strange ones who say you don’t like chocolate!

 Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGyZnzjm7Og

Posted May 26, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

“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

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