Friday, March 25, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer

My ViewThe Lincoln Lawyer (2011)  Matthew McConaughey plays a defense lawyer who works out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town car.  McConaughey, with big bucks in his sight, is hired to defend a rich twenty-something who has been accused of assault on a woman he picked up at a bar.  The case is far more complicated than he anticipated, and people start dying.  While I liked McConaughey’s performance, the storyline was right out of a1970’s lawyer T.V. show but with higher paid actors (such as Marisa Tomei and William Macy).  Even the soundtrack seemed like it was from the 70’s.   My Rating:  Cable  The Lincoln Lawyer Website

The 50 (a movie from my best/worst films of all time);
#47 Worst Film:
North (1994):   A Rob Reiner directed film, starring 11 year-old Eljah Wood who is searching the world for a new set of parents who will pay attention to him (after suing his own parents for a “divorce”).  Considered one of the big bombs of the 1990’s, this movie just doesn’t make sense, and the ending is one of the worst endings of all time.  In a review of the film, Roger Ebert wrote, "I hated hated hated hated this movie.”  I can't say it any better.  North Info
Forgotten FilmA Simple Twist of Fate (1994):  Steve Martin wrote and starred in this film about a man who lives a miserable, isolated life until a baby gets left on his doorstep.  Martin, in a delightfully restrained role, decides to adopt the child, and the little girl changes his life for the better.  Their life is then turned upside down when the girl’s father shows up to take custody of the girl from Martin.  With a great, unexpected ending, this film is a wonderful viewing experience.  A Simple Twist of Fate Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD)Hereafter (2010)  Clint Eastwood directed Matt Damon in this strange drama about a retired psychic (Damon) who  intersects with two other people whose lives have been touched by death. The movie explores how we deal with death and our beliefs of the afterlife.  I felt the film never found its voice after a stunning tsunami sequence at the beginning, and Damon is just boring in the lead role.  My Rating:  Cable  Hereafter Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Jane Eyre“Chaperones”

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Hanna (2011)  A 16-year-old, played by Saoirse Ronan, has been trained as an assassin by her father.   Cate Blanchett plays the federal agent who will do anything to stop Hanna.  Hanna Website
Until Next Time!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

My View:  The Adjustment Bureau (2011)   I saw three movies this week, and this film was the only one where the dialog was worth a damn.  Matt Damon plays an up-and-coming Congressman, who, on election night, has a chance encounter with a woman (played enchantingly by Emily Blunt).  The two instantly connect but don't learn each others name, and fate brings them together a few months later.  It seems, though, there are mysterious forces that will do almost anything to keep the two lovers apart.  This is a SciFi thriller that, surprisingly, has strong, romantic undertones.   The chemistry between Damon and Blunt is so good that we start rooting for them to end up together very early on in the film.   My Rating:   Full Price  The Adjustment Bureau Info  
The 50 (a movie from my best/worst films of all time list):
#48 Best Film:
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)  Few films out there that can be called a "Man's Musical," but the dancing in this film is so athletic, we can label it so.  The film begins when the oldest of seven brothers (played by Howard Keel), a woodsman from Oregon, decides he wants a wife and heads out to the big city to find one.  He finds a girl who is smitten with him, and, after a whirlwind courtship, he takes his new bride (played by Jane Powell) back to his mountain home.  She quickly learns she will be caring for not just her husband, but his six unruly brothers, as well.  The six brothers soon crave female companionship, decide they also want wives and concoct a plan to kidnap their future spouses from town.  Their plot is a success, they escape the townsfolk chasing them by triggering an avalanche, and the brothers and their kidnapped women are isolated together for the winter.  The brothers soon discover they must court the women to win them over and look to their new sister-in-law for courtship guidance.  This film showcases wonderful dance numbers and is shot in glorious Technicolor. The ever-famous Barn Raising dance number is definitely one of the greatest film moments of all time.  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Info
Forgotten Film:   Inside Moves (1980)  A troubled young man (played by John Savage) fails in his own suicide attempt that, tragically, partially cripples him.  While the main character is recovering from his hospital stay, he comes upon a neighborhood bar full of ragtag misfits.  John Savage’s character soon learns, with the help of his fellow bar mates, that life is worth living when you have the support and help of true friends.  Good performances by David Morse, Diana Scarwid, and Amy Wright round out the cast with a special, memorable role written for Academy Award winner (and World War II vet), Harold Russell.  Inside Moves Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  The Fighter  (2010)  Mark Wahlberg plays the starring role of a boxer trying to  succeed in spite of his controlling mother and manager (played by Melissa Leo in an Academy Award performance) and his brother, a former fighter and now drug addict, played by Christian Bale.  Bale recently won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role.  Wahlberg is good, as is Amy Adams, who plays his girlfriend who gets him to believe in himself.  It’s Bale, though, who dominates this movie and is amazing in every scene he is in. I put this film, based on a true story, in my top ten movies to see of  the year. It should go to the top of your queue.  My Rating:   I  Would Pay to See It Again  The Fighter Info

Weird Credits:    From the credits of The Adjustment Bureau:   “Mr.  Damon's Costumer” and “Mr. Damon's Chef.”

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)   After a string of flops, this movie could be Mathew McConaughey's trip back to the winner's circle.  There is a lot of  good buzz in Hollywood about his portrayal of a L.A. criminal defense lawyer who gets a high profile case that just may get him killed.  The Lincoln Lawyer Info
Until Next Time!

Friday, March 11, 2011


My View:  Beastly  (2011)   This is an absolute mess of a film.  It's a modern day telling of Beauty and the Beast targeted at the Twilight teen crowd. The film takes place in a wealthy private high school in New York where the good looking, too-smart-for-his-own-good, school pretty boy (Alex Pettyfer) pisses off the school’s witch (played by Mary-Kate Olsen).  The school witch lays a curse on the handsome class president, making him extremely ugly, bald and overly tattooed (like a biker who just won the lottery and spent all his winnings getting tatted up).  He has one year to find someone to tell him that they love him or he will stay hideous forever.  Vanessa Hudgens is his love interest, who looks cute in her bangs, but can't act her way out of a paper bag.  I was praying at some point that Angela Landsbury would start singing, but much to my disappointment, the movie just kept going on and on. Unless you are a pre-teen girl, do not see this movie.   My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again  Beastly Trailer

From My 50 Best/Worst Films of All Time List:
#48 Worst Film:
Hudson Hawk (1991):  Bruce Willis starred and co-wrote this cartoon –like, live action film.  The film never decides if it wants to be an action film or a parody of an action film with cartoon sound effects.  It has always been rumored that Willis demanded, in some of his performances, thinning hairline enhanced with special effects.  If only his writing had been enhanced in this film.  Hudson Hawk Info

Forgotten Film:    Breaking Away (1979)   Wonderful small film about a group of local teenagers in a small college town in Indiana.  The boys have just graduated high school and are trying to figure out what they are going to do next.  Dennis Christopher plays the lead as a young man who is obsessed with the Italian cycling team and actually adopts an Italian accent.  Dennis Quaid plays his best friend who is trying to deal with the realization that his best days may have already past him by.  To compete with the college kids in town who stole their jobs and girlfriends, the team decides to enter a bicycle race.  Great movie about coming of age and friendship.  This film won the 1980 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for 4 others.  Breaking Away Info

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Morning Glory (2010)  I really enjoyed Rachel McAdams as the hard working, spunky producer of the last place national morning news program.  I did not like Harrison Ford's performance of a legendary newsman, who is bitter and thinks any job on a morning show is beneath him.   Diane Keaton’s acting ability is wasted as the co-anchor of the morning program.  If not for the fun, feisty McAdams, I would give this movie a lower rating,   My Rating:   Bargain Matinee  Morning Glory Info

Weird Credit:   From the credits of Somewhere:   “Thank you Mom and Dad.”    Note:  Sophia Coppola directed the movie, so "Dad" would be legendary film director, Frances Ford Coppola.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Sucker Punch:  This movie is going to be great or it's really going to suck.  But the trailer makes the movie look like it's one big fun adventure.  Sucker Punch Website
Until Next Time!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


My View:  Somewhere (2010):  Writer/Director Sofia Coppola brings to the screen this tale of a handsome, hard living actor (played by Stephen Dorff) who has to not only deal with the pressure of living the "Hollywood Life," but is trying to fit in an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter.  Set in the surreal world of the infamous Chateau Marmont (known as the site of John Belushi's last days), the setting's dark hallways, and old style lobby are in constant contrast with the ever-present California sunshine.  This film tries hard to communicate what it’s like living in the artificial world of Los Angeles, but the theme and plot just don't go anywhere.  Elle Fanning's (Dakota Fanning's younger sister) style and presence draw us in, but we don't develop much sympathy for Dorff's womanizing character, and we just don't care if he ever gets his life together.  My Rating:  Cable  Somewhere Website

The 50 (a movie from my best/worst films of all time list):
#49 Best Film:
Annie Hall (1977):  Groundbreaking romantic comedy from Woody Allen that set his comedic style of the neurotic, shy New Yorker who might get the girl but wouldn't keep her for long.  Diane Keaton became a star in this movie, as the clothes horse ditzy Annie Hall.  This is one of Allen's better films and what is interesting about this movie is, when they started to shoot, Keaton was just playing a small, supporting role.  Once Allen and his team of editors saw what they had on the screen with Keaton, they reworked the film to feature the love story between her and Allen.  Annie Hall gives you a fun and wonderful look at living in New York in the 70's.  Annie Hall Info

Forgotten Film:  One, Two, Three (1961):  Wonderful Billy Wilder comedy set in Berlin (right before the "Wall" went up).  Jimmy Cagney (in one of his last film roles), plays a Coca Cola executive, whose job is on the line when is boss' daughter (who is visiting from Atlanta) falls in love with an East Berlin Communist.  Cagney truly tears up the screen in this bombastic performance.  His scene near the end of the movie, where he is shouting out orders right and left, is great fun to watch.  One, Two, Three Info

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):   127 Hours (2010):  James Franco, in his Oscar-nominated role, plays a carefree thrill seeker who, while hiking alone in the vast canyons of Utah, gets his arm stuck between a rock and a cave wall.  For a movie that takes place mostly in a very confined space with primarily one actor, Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, does a remarkable job creatively moving the story along.  The pivotal scene is a little gruesome, but it's worth it to see if Franco's character can survive.  My Rating:  Full Price  127 Hours Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Unknown:  Underwater Set Decorator 

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Thor:  Hey, it's got indy darlings Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings, so it can't be all bad. Thor Trailer 
Until Next Time!