Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rear Window (1954) PG - 4½ Stars

I can't say enough about one of Hitchcock's best!!! An all time classic that if you have'nt seen it yet, make a point to. A true classic that never gets old. Stewart and Keyy are awesome and, for me, the innocence of the era adds to the excitement of the film.

L.B. Jeffries , (James Stewart) is confined to his apartment after breaking his leg. With not much to do he takes comfort, with his binoculars, watching his neighbors through his window into the courtyard. While watching their normal daily routines and lifestyles, he develops nicknames for his neighbors. But suddenly, he can't believe what he thinks he sees. Could one of his neighbors just have murdered his wife and now trying to dispose of her body in a suitcase?

On the brink of obsession, he can't take anymore and involves his model girlfriend, Lisa, (Grace Kelly). Voyeurism at it's finest.

Awards include:

1998 - Rear Window - American Film Institute - 100 Greatest American Movies.
1997 - Rear Window - Library of Congress - U.S. National Film Registry.
1954 - Rear Window - National Board of Review - Best Actress.
1954 - Rear Window - New York Film Critics Circle - Best Actress.

Paramount Pictures
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: John Michael Hayes
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
I viewed 6/07

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sicko (2007) PG13 - 3½ Stars

You either like Michael Moore's work or you hate it. For me, any movie that stirs me up and makes me angry and causes a reaction in me is a good thing. Michael produces directs and stars in this documentary on the health care system here in America as well as other parts of the world. When you see how much the costs we pay for prescription drugs and medical treatments here in the United States versus other parts of the world, well something isn't right.

Though Michael gets a bit dramatic towards the end of the movie, it was very sad to learn that detainees in Guantanamo have better health care then most American citizens do. Yet we as a society don't do anything to protest it but just complain.

Awards include:

2007 - Sicko - Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Documentary.
2007 - Sicko - Las Vegas Film Critics Association - Best Documentary.
2007 - Sicko - Phoenix Film Critics Association - Best Documentary.

Lions Gate Films
Director: Michael Moore
Writer: Michael Moore
Producers: Meghan O'Hara, Michael Moore
I viewed 1/08

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dan in Real Life (2007) PG13 - 3½ Stars

What fun a large family reunion like this one would be. This movie, set in the great back woods of Rhode Island, is a wittey comedy that gives you that farm fuzzy feeling of finding love.

Dan Burns, (Steve Carell), is a single father and writes an advice column for the local newspaper. His column is directed toward parents and being one himself, he can relate to how hard it is to make intelligent choices. It's been four years since his wife died and he is struggling with the needs of his fast growing and outspoken daughters. Jane, (Alison Pill), Cara (Brittany Robertson), and Lilly (Marlene Lawson).  On a family reunion to Rhode Island, he meets the woman of his dreams Marie, (Juliette Binoche), only to find out his brother Mitch (Dane Cook), has brought her to the reunion as his guest - girlfriend, Situations clash and Dan finds out from his daughters what true love really is.

Buena Vista Pictures
Director: Peter Hedges
Writers: Peter Hedges, Pierce Gardner
Producers: Brad Epstein, Jonathan Shestack
I viewed 3/08

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Age of Adaline (2015) PG-13 3 1/2 Stars

Unless it's an animated Disney or Pixer movie, it's hard for me to get into a movie that wants me to believe the impossible. This movie does just that, expecting the viewer to accept the fact Adaline can never age beyond her 29th year. Parts of the movie are narrated by Hugh Ross which sometimes go on too long. However, this simple love story, with good acting and romantic cinematography, allows you to get past the impossibility and step on board the ride.

Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively), was born 12:01 New Years Eve 1908. She lived a normal life, married and had a child named Flemming. At the age of 29, she lost her husband in a tragic accident and then was involved in a horrible car accident of her own. Because of the crash, and a weather phenomenal fluke allowing her body to never age past 29.

As Flemming ages (Ellen Burstyn), Adaline is forced to keep her age a secret by moving every decade, changing her identity and never allowing anyone to get close. While her youth has it's benefits of beauty it holds her back on living, never becoming close with friends or relationships. That is until she meets Ellis Jones, (Michiel Huisman), with his persistence and charm. As he takes her home to meet his family William Jones, (Harrison Ford), and Kathy Jones, (Kathy Baker) she'll be forced to make a bog decision.

Lakeshore Entertainment
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Writers: James Mills Goodloe, Salvador Paskowitz
Producers: Steve Golin, David Kern, Andre Lamal, Sidney Kimmel
I viewed 6/16

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Das Boot - The Directors Cut (1981) R - 5 Stars

I've got to say this is one looooong ass movie but also one of the best submarine war epics I've ever seen and well worth the time spent watching. The acting is outstanding and it's great to hear the German dialect, with subtitles easy to read. You really get to experience what it's like being in the tight quarters of a submarine and your mission is war. Based on the true story of a World War II photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, from the images he captured during the grooling days waiting for war. "Sometimes you're the prey and sometimes you're the hunter." One of those movies you have to see at least once and go for the directors cut.

Some of the actors include:
Capt.-Lt. Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock - Der Alte - (Jürgen Prochnow)
Lt. Werner - Correspondent (Herbert Grönemeyer)
Chief Engineer Fritz Grade - Der Leitende-Der LI (Klaus Wennemann)
1st Lieutenant - Number One-1WO (Hubertus Bengsch)

Awards include:
1982 Bavarian Film Awards - Best Director - Wolfgang Petersen
1982 Bavarian Film Awards - Best Cinematography - Jost Vocano
1982 Munich Film Festival - Best Young Actor - Heinz Hoenig

Bavaria Film, Radiant Film GmbH, Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writers: Wolfgang Petersen, Dean Riesner
Producers: Edward R. Pressman, Günter Rohrbach, John W. Hyde
I viewed 4/14

Friday, June 10, 2016

9/11 Explosive Evidence Experts Speak Out (2012) NR - 4 Stars

I, for one, will never be convinced that 9/11 unfolded the way the world has been lead to believe. Never having been one of the herd that just conforms to the crowd, I question just about everything. Sometimes to the point of obsessiveness; how did my good friend put it "I can complicate a free lunch," that can sometimes be true. However, it frustrates me when people are so narrow minded they do not want to even consider the slightest possibility of something different than what we are told.

How do you explain the towers falling in so preciously in just 9 seconds and Tower 7 not even hit by a plane imploding in just 12. Controlled demolition explosives is the only explanation but when you look at the 9/11 commission reports, they never even address the possibility or test for explosives. There's eye witness reports from reliable sources firemen eye witnessing of hearing explosions but NSID does not even address the possiblity. The film has counselors at the end who try to explain why society doesn't want to hear or believe our government could cover something like this up.

I'm sorry but war is good business. It keeps a lot of people in jobs and holds power over the country when they want you live in fear. I believe we created the hatred of ISIS and Al Qaeda and all the people who want to blow us up because we stuck our noses where they didn't belong starting with Iraq. At least keep an open mind and listen to what qualified experts with PHD's say. Steal just doesn't melt unless you plan it to.

Janson Media, AE911 TRUTH
Director: Richard Gage
Writer: Richard Gage
Producer: Francis Battaglia, Charles Ewing Smith, Richard Gage
I viewed 5/16

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

9/11 The Falling Man (2006) NR 4 Stars

Very good documentary, tastefully done, about the worst day in modern U.S. history and in particular, one of it's most controversial photos published after the attacks on 9/11/2001.

The media quickly filled the newsstands with images of devastation and destruction of the terror attacks. It also filmed and published controversy images of people seemingly jumping to their deaths. One photo in a series taken by photographer Richard Drew, who just happened to be there, was labeled "The Falling Man." With it's powerful imagery, Drew captured the quiet and calmness of one man alone who felt there was no other choice. Many images were taken that day of people jumping/falling to their deaths but this one stood out symbolically. But after it's appearance in the next mornings news, it was "quickly airbrushed it out of history" due to it's gut wrench emotion no one wanted to continue to feel. The photograph was stifled and never seen again about being published on 9/12.

I remember viewing that photo and it was very hard to look at yet I couldn't look away. The images were quickly replaced with images of the heroic side of America coming together in the face of disaster. To prove you couldn't keep America down. But it's hard to imagine looking out of a window so high in the sky and thinking, yep I'm jumping. One can only imagine those horrific last moments of these victims lives.

The documentary follows one journalist who is committed to finding out the identity of this one brave man who seems so calm looking falling to his death. Like many others that day, who felt the better choice was to jump rather than burn, one can only imagine being faced with their options. But while trying to identify the man, one family's religious beliefs are shattered when the journalist tells them he believes it's their beloved father, brother and husband. They are unable to rest knowing his soul would go to hell by taking his own life. When it is finally revealed it is not their beloved, they can finally accept his death in peace. Even though the film finds a pretty good idea of who this man is, the film establishes the strength of the photo speaks for itself of the terror of that horrific day.

Like the tomb of the unknown soldier in, the picture represents everyone who lost their lives that day especially those who had felt they had no other option but to jump.

2007 New York Festival - Best Documentary - Henry Singer

Darlow Smithson Productions
Director: Harry Singer
Writers: Tom Junod
Producers: Harry Singer, Sue Bourne, John Smithson
I viewed 5/16

Friday, June 3, 2016

Red State (2011) R - 3 Stars

Here's a freaky one for you starring John Goodman. A religious group of gay haters congregants three young boys who were looking for sex on the Internet. This grandpa preacher thinks he can save their souls by killing them. For me it was sort of a small glimpse into religious Wacko fanaticism as you watch these believers defend their holy grounds along with their preacher and an arsenal of weapons. The ending is not what I had expected. Not great, but worth a watch if you have Netflix.

Three young teenagers Travis (Michael Angarano), Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun), and Jarod (Kyle Gallner) make an online date with an older woman (Deborah Aquila) who after some lewd conversation agrees to take on all three boys. The excited boys show up at the woman's trailer and offered beer to drink to set the mood. The beer is tainted knocking all three teens out. When they awaken, the boys are tied up together in the hands of Pastor Abin Cooper (Michael Parks), who accuses the boys of homosexuality since they were willing to have sex together with this woman. Pastor Cooper and his daughter Sara (Melissa Leo), as well as the entire congregation are convinced the boys need to die to rid the Satan within them. Government agent Joseph Keenan (John Goodman), has to treat these religious fanatics have now become terrorists and must be eliminated.

2012 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards - Best Supporting Actor Michael Parks
2011 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival - Best Actor - Michael Parks
2011 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival - Best Film - Kevin Smith

Harvey Boys, SModcast Pictures
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Producer: Jonathan Gordon
I viewed 8/15