Archive for the ‘MOVIES’ Tag

“INFINITELY POLAR BEAR”–MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


For 23 years Mark Ruffalo has been a journeyman actor, always becoming the character he is called on to play as in his last 3 films. He was Dave Schultz the wrestling Olympic champ in “Foxcatcher”, Ned Weeks, AIDS activist, in “The Normal Heart”, and in today’s movie “Infinitely Polar Bear” is Cam, husband and father who is bipolar. Though probably not a “STAR” or  “A” list actor as defined in Hollywood he has had 55 nominations for acting roles in movies, on television and the stage. Lucky for us he can star in ‘large’ movies that allow him to star in ‘small’ movies.

In “Infinitely Polar Bear”, a name his youngest daughter gives to her father who was diagnosed as manic-depressive order in the late 1960s which will become bipolar disorder years later, Cam is handed the responsibility of raising his two daughters, Amelia (Imogene Wolodarsky) and Faith (Ashley Aufderheide) for 18 months in Boston while his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) goes to New York to earn her MBA at Columbia in New York while the born to a rich for generations family he is poor. 

The film opens with Cam having a mental breakdown and unable to hold down a job and though his family believed in a first rate education he was kicked out of Harvard and other schools. His background is explained somewhat but it doesn’t go into detail as to why his grandmother would pay his rent for an apartment and, offer him her Bently when his car is really in bad shape, yet won’t offer to send her grandchildren to private school. 

Though based on a true story written by the director-writer Maya Forbes about her family she seems to have handled her father’s illness with humor whether he was experiencing bipolar episodes or going out on a drinking binge. The fact that her mother is an African-American and father white of  an elite Boston family—remember this is in the 1960s–is referred to very briefly in a scene between Maggie and her daughter Amelia, who looks Caucasian as her father and Faith looks Black, telling the former she is Black having a Black mother. Sadly Saldana’s role is underwritten and we learn nothing about her family, or how she learned to deal with her husband’s illness but not why she stopped any sexual relations with him and seems reluctant to resume them.

Instead of looking into a man’s mind who is bipolar or a family who is biracial, and the problems both situations may have caused, we are given a warm, funny, feel good family movie where it might have been the way the director-writer dealt with the problems.

Mark Ruffalo IS Cam presenting a bipolar man who is a hoarder, a curser, an alcoholic who clearly loves his wife and daughters and takes care of the latter, not always in the best ways, but doesn’t hold back his love. Zoe Saldana is excellent even if her role is underwritten. Imogene Wolodarsky, as the older daughter, represents a teenager embarrassed by her father, which most teenage girls are, but even with dealing his bipolar loves him more. Ashley Aufderheide, the director’s daughter, is a little preconscious and loud but neither daughter changes in any way over an 18 month period.

The main reason to see this movie is for another memorable portrait by Mark Ruffalo.

TRAILER

http://www.bubblews.com/posts/infinitely-polar-bear-a-movie-review

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Posted July 10, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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“MAGIC MIKE XXL”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


I approached the sequel to “Magic Mike” expecting fun, fun, fun and guys with fantastic bodies shaking their junk and booties all over the place. “Magic Mike XXL” has the guys, with fantastic bodies, shaking their all but it isn’t fun, fun, fun but boring, boring, boring!

There are too many unnecessary storylines, written by Reid Carolin, while the direction by Gregory Jacobs and the choreography by Alison Faulk, have the guys in gay bars–but none, of course, are gay–straight bars, a whore house, at a strippers competition and in a Southern woman’s house filled with divorcees and wine.

The first movie was based somewhat on Channing Tatum’s life before he became a star and this is a Hollywood movie which seems to have little basis in truth. The choreography is polished, each of the strippers have a ‘back’ story and at the very beginning Mathew McConaughey’s is explained but he is missed. 

The men besides Tatum are: Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Donald Glover, Stephen “tWitch Boss, Michael Strahan, plus a few extras, certainly have the bodies to make guys in the audience make a resolution to hit the gym–right after the July 4th weekend! They also have the dance moves down but the editing, costumes and most of the dances are just ‘off’ a bit enough to make their scenes distracting.

Jada Pinkett Smith takes McConaughey’s place as the emcee of the boy’s show and has a fling with Tatum in the past.  Amber Heard, as Andie MacDowell’s daughter who is the Southern woman hostess and the rare woman who can take XXL Manganiello, is the new love interest for Tatum. Gabriel Iglesias, as the only gay guy with the group not as a dancer until he enters in Carmen Miranda drag to win a contest but is the driver of a truck for the guys and has a bad accident closing his eyes while driving and all the guys are high on ‘molly’. Elizabeth Banks has a few minutes on screen as the competition’s director and as an ex of Jada–don’t ask!

As with most sequels “Magic Mike XXL” doesn’t stack up to the original, is not as sexy though there are more dances and men, and not as much fun–not one man or women in the audience threw dollar bills at the screen!

TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLoyU3xYwbs

Posted July 3, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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“DOPE”–A MOVIE REVIEW   2 comments

“Fun”, “One of the more commercial prospects coming from the Sundance Festival”, “Breakout star”, “Dynamic camera work”, “Vibrant comedy”, “Best movie soundtrack of 2015” and, once again, as happens 2-3 times every year I get pulled into a movie by the hype and sit there dumbfounded at what is up on the screen!

Let’s see what “Dope” has. A lot of violence, some gratuitous, definitely a lot of cursing, a woman urinating on the street and/or vomiting in the face of a guy, nudity, mostly female of course, a high school teenager masturbating a couple of times and, of course, let’s not forget drugs, a lot of drugs. And that soundtrack? Definitely a generational thing!

Is there a neighborhood in Inglewood, California, known as “The  Bottoms”? Do A students, with their eyes on Harvard, have their sneakers stolen in school, physically taken from their feet, with no adults around to stop the thieves? Do they have their bicycles stolen on the way home and is there no place in-between a geek and a dope dealer in Black neighborhoods? 

One of the reasons I love the movies is that I can learn about groups of people I may not know otherwise but in “Dope” I didn’t know whether I was watching a comedy about stereotypes, and/or clichés, or this is the way a segment of Americans live. I have never lived in a ghetto, always in a community of various races, sexes, genders, nationalities, religions, geeks, jocks and people who made their living from all the different walks of life but this is one movie I was completely lost.

Shameik Moore, as Malcolm, is a charmer as the Harvard want to be student who gets involved in a backpack full of drugs along with a gun , and, by the way, a Bitcoin, scheme. Tony Revolori, as Jib, who is ‘14% Black’ and Kiersey Clemons, as a butch lesbian, along with Moore are the stars of the movie as the best of friends. Zoe Kravitz is a much wiser than he is love/sex interest for the virgin Malcolm. I felt sorry for Chanel Iman as her role is demeaning to all women while Kimberly Elise, as a single working mother represents the best in women, which is rare in this movie. A$AP Rocky as a local dope dealer, Quincy Brown as Iman’s brother, Roger Guenveur Smith as a Harvard interviewer along with Keith Stanfield, De’Aundre Bonds, Blake Andeson, Rick Fox and Amin Joseph, along with producer/narrator Forest Whitaker add to the film in various roles.

The music, mostly by Pharrell Williams, along with Lee Haugen and Germaine Franco, definitely is not for me! The direction and screenplay by Rick Famuyiwa was lacking and confusing to me and for a ‘comedy’ there was very little reaction from the mainly Black audience.

I left the theatre asking myself, “What did I miss?”

TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L41xwM8tIRQ

Posted June 19, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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“SPY”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


There isn’t a crude word and/or gesture that I don’t know and have used at one time or another in my lifetime but I am from the ‘old school’ of being  a gentleman who doesn’t curse in front of a woman or give someone ‘the finger’. I avoid films with Adam Sandler and his ilk because they are guaranteed to have curse words, vagina and penis jokes, a foot in someone’s crotch and other things that appeal to the naughty 14 year old boy who secretly looks at the pictures in Playboy.

I admired Melissa McCarthy in “St. Vincent” where she was a supporting player in a quiet role and I have enjoyed her in “Mike and Molly” her television series where she is funny without the vulgarity of the ‘boys’. It was first in “Bridesmaids” where she started her way on to stardom and each movie after that had her getting more and more raunchy and in “Spy” she has reached her lowest.

McCarthy seems to be very comfortable with her body and can give and take fat jokes like the professional comedian she is but in “Spy” she curses more than any man, constantly hits guys in the crotch, vomits on someone and is vulgar from beginning to end. This is suppose to be a comedy, a spy spoof, a take off of James Bond’s films and yet I didn’t find anything funny in the film and, except for 3 audience members who laughed from beginning to the end even at very not funny scenes, no one else found it funny either.

“Spy” is full of unnecessary violence and in too many scenes it is very obvious that doubles were used and not for humorous purposes.

It is always good to see Jude Law and he is fine in this film but Bobby Cannavale, in my opinion, gives his first really bad acting job. Rose Byrne’s role and acting is cringe inducing at parts and Allison Janney continues giving good support in movies while Jason Statham and Peter Serafinowicz have very odd roles that should be funny but they strain too much. Miranda Hart takes a stereotypical role and does her best with it.

The writing and directing by Paul Feig is a mess, all over the place, and I hope somewhere he acknowledges the writers of “Criminal Minds” and  gives them big thank you for the way he wrote the relationship between Jude and Melissa which is almost word for word for the characters played by Shemar Moore and Kirsten Vangsness.

It is predicted that “Spy” will be a big hit for Melissa McCarthy but I would like to see her use her comedic talent without relying on all the vulgarity. I do not recommend the movie as either a comedy or a thriller or a film to see.

“SPY” TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrY3v1eDmQY

Posted June 5, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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“I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


I don’t know if 2 movies of the same genre are the start of a trend but I hope so. During the second week of May I went to see “Five Flights Up”, a movie about an elderly couple together  for forty years with neither dying of Alzheimer’s or any other ‘old people’ diseases nor were they battling with being an inter-racial couple. They were a pair who made and enjoyed a life together the only trauma being of the old man and their old dog having to climb 5 flights of stairs. The leads were played by Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman each looking and feeling comfortable in their long term relationship and the audience believed in them.

This week I saw “I’ll See You In MY Dreams” with Blythe Danner sparkling in her role as an independent woman, a retired school teacher, who, when younger, had dabbled as a band singer, now a widow for 20 years, has a daughter who lives on the other coast and they maintain a mother/daughter relationship and friendship. She lives in her own home having enough money to maintain it along with hiring a pool boy. Her major conflict at this point in life is that she may have to put down her beloved Hazel, a dog, of 12 years. Just watching the light go out of Danner’s blue eyes as the procedure is done is the dramatic moment of the movie though other things do happen.

Danner plays cards with her girlfriends June Squibb, Rhea Perlman and Mary Kay Place, all who are trying to get her to move into the retirement community where they live. These are women who have adapted to being seniors who can get goofy on medical marijuana, go on a speed dating romp, play golf, talk a little ‘naughty’, drink some, well a lot, of  wine.

When Mary Kay sees Danner’s pool boy leaving her house early one morning she is not above thinking what most women would think and when a handsome, virile looking, possibly Mr. Right in the form of Sam Elliot shows up in a meet cute scene you think you know where the movie is heading just as you might justifiably think you know what will happen between Danner and the pool boy Martin Starr when they go to a karaoke bar on what might be or not be a date.

Directed by Brett Haley, who also wrote it along with Marc Basch, this is not a Golden Girls television situation comedy or a cougar and young man story or woman desperate for another man to make their life whole. This is a film, like “5 Flights Up”, that looks at a group of people who have lived most of their life, are near the end,  and still find aspects to explore. Actually along with “Love Is Strange” starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, these pictures show professional actors who have always supported others with first class work now doing the same with and for others giving themselves a chance to be the stars they are.

PS No one ever made scarves look as good as Blythe Danner’s face and eyes do!

TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AhP-EeIMc4

Posted May 31, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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“THE 100 YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED”–FILM REVIEW   Leave a comment


While watching “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared” (hereafter called 100!) I would flash on to Peter Sellers in “Being There” and Tom Hanks in “Forrest Gump” more so the latter due to Robert Gustafsson’s performance as a man, Allan, who meets famous people in history and sometimes changes the course of that history.

The flashbacks to Allan’s earlier years, and his love of pyrotechnics at times, plays with your head and makes you lose track now and then though this movie doesn’t go as deep as the other two but we join him on his adventures after climbing out that window stumbling on a suitcase of money, rescues a elephant and wanting to live and see 101!

The biggest problem I had with the film was that it seemed to have been written by at least a dozen writers and had a feeling that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ so much to my surprise I see it was written only by the director, Felix Hemgren, who also directed, and Hans Ingemansson based on a best selling Swedish novel by Jonas Jonasson. There are 6 different languages used and characters come and go without explanation. One minute it is a comedy and the next it seems to be reaching for farce while a lot of slapstick is thrown in but it doesn’t quite gel. A lot of the humor fell flat for me though there was a guy in the audience was laughing constantly.

The cast is led by Robert Gustafsson who doesn’t seem to make the role he plays, that of Allan Karlsson, likeable and for a guy who blows up people, gets sterilized because he ‘must have some Negro blood due to the size of his penis’, kills people and walks away as if nothing happened, that likeability is missing. Allan goes through life seemingly not aware of all the chaos he creates around him and for other people.

I’m not quite sure who played who but I believe as his partner in crime Iwar Wiklander  seemed more solid than Gustaffson while Mia Skaringer as Gunilla exchanged some sharp dialogue with a few of the men particularly a ‘suitor’ who is ‘almost’ everything.

While Allen liked this film a lot more than I did I am inclined to put it on my 2015 ‘worst’ list.

TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-7VM1QOrI0

Posted May 26, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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VHS GAY THEMED MOVIE VIDEO TAPES PART 2   Leave a comment


I’ve spoken about my tape collection in the past at one time having over 600 tapes. I sold most of them on eBay and gave a lot away but I held on to my gay tapes–no, not porno! I currently have about 84 tapes of which 33 were pre-recorded while the other were taped from both cable and network stations.

In any case I am looking to give them away either singularly or the whole lot and will only asked to be reimbursed for mailing them. If anyone is interested in knowing the titles of the ones I taped just drop me a line at GreatMartin2003@yahoo.com

Here are the pre-recorded one and a comment here and there.

1. The Celluloid Closet–a history of gays and gay films before gay was acknowledged until the present.

2. Another Country with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth as gay British spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean

3. As Is–Robert Carradine and Jonathan Hadary–an ex-lover takes care of his AIDS ex partner when the latter’s young lover can’t deal with it

4. The Children’s Hour  Shirley MacLaine and Audrey are accused of being  Lesbians

5. Common Threads: stories from the quilt

6. The Birdcage with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane  An American version of the French film La Cage Aux Folles

7. Beautiful Thing  A British film about a love story between two youths

8. The Crying Game  Stephen Rhea, Forest Whitaker and Jaye Davidson with the latter as Whitaker’s  ‘exotic’ girlfriend

9. The Broken Hearts Club A gay baseball team starring Dean Cain and John Mahoney

10. Big Eden A man faces his unrequited passion for his high school friend–it is an American fable about home and family

11. Kiss of the Spider Woman  William Hurt won an Oscar as a gay political prisoner

12. Gods and Monsters  Ian McKellan as gay director James Whale with Lynn Redgrave and Brendan Fraiser

13. Gypsy of the Year–a tradition of Broadway musical theatre

14. It’s My Party  Eric Roberts is dying of AIDS and decides to throw a great farewell party for himself before he dies–Margaret Cho, Olivia Newton-John, George Segal, , Gregory Harrison, Lee Grant

15. The Lost Language of Cranes  The destructive sexual hypocrisy of one family– with Brian Cox, Eileen Atkins, Corey Parker

16. Maurice The film of E.M. Forster’s controversial novel with Hugh Grant, Simon Callow, Rupert Graves, Ben Kingley, Billie Whitelaw

17. An Early Frost the effects of AIDS on an average American family–Aidan Quinn, Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Sylvia Sidney

18. Making Love  A married man falls in love with another man with Harry Hamlin, Kate Jackson and Michael Ontkean

19. Midnight Cowboy the classic film starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight

20. Priscilla Queen of the Desert  the Australian classic starring Terrence Stamp

21. In & Out  Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Matt Dillion, Debbie Reynolds

22. Love! Valour! Compassion! The Tony award winning play by Terrence McNally

23. My Own Private Idaho River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as hustlers directed by Gus Van Sant

24. Midnight Express Brad Davis arrested in Turkey for smuggling drugs and receives a 4 year sentence.

25. Normal–Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson The latter confesses to the former that after 25 years he wants to have a sex change (Bruce Jenner anyone?)

26. Priest A young priest faces extraordinary events within his own congregation.

27. Philadelphia A landmark film dealing with AIDS starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington

27. The Opposite of Sex  Christina Ricci seduces her brother’s boyfriend Matt who jilted his ex-lover  Lisa Kudrow, Johnny Galecki, Lyle Lovett

28. Querelle Brad Davis as a gay sailor, Jeanne Moreau and Franco Nero in a film based on Jean Genet’s novel and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

29. Sunday Bloody Sunday–Glenda Jackson and Peter Finch both are deeply in love with Murray Head

30. The Sum of Us A father wants his gay son to be happy  Russell Crowe is the son

31. Six Degrees of Separation A gay hustler claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier works his way into a wealthy white family–starring Will Smith

32. The Twilight of the Golds  If there is a gay gene would you abort a pregnancy because the child might be gay? Brendan Fraiser, Jennifer Beals, Faye Dunaway, Rosie O’Donnell, Garry Marshall

33. Tea and Sympathy A teenager is wrongfully accused of being gay and his teacher’s wife proves to him he isn’t–Deborah Kerr and John Kerr directed by Vincent Minnelli

Posted May 23, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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