Friday, August 12, 2011

The Help

My View:  The Help   Emma Stone plays Skeeter Phelan, a recent college graduate who returns home in 1962 to Montgomery,  Mississippi to work for the local paper.  She befriends two maids (played by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) and decides to write a tell-all book about their lives, working in the world of the privileged.  This is a touching movie.  While Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard (who plays the queen bee of the society ladies) are entertaining to watch, the heart of this film is the moving performances by Spencer and especially Viola Davis, whom, I predict, will be in the nominee mix for a supporting actress Oscar nod.  When I saw this film, the audience, rightly so, clapped at the end.  My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again   The Help Website
The 50 (a movie from my best/worst films of all time)
#37 Worst Film:
Neighbors  (1981)  John Belushi is Earl, a mild-mannered middle class husband with a wife and kid, living the quiet life in suburbia.  It all changes when loud-mouthed Vic (Dan Aykroyd) moves next door with his wife, Ramona (played by Cathy Moriarty). While Aykroyd is fun to watch as the out-of-control character who creates a hellish world for his neighbors, Belushi appears as though he just wants out of this picture.  He apparently was so unhappy with the direction, he spent much of the shooting schedule drunk. Director, John Avildsen, seems to never decide if he is making a sit-com or a black comedy, and the film never settles into anything watchable.  Watching this film will make you want to sing the blues.   Neighbors Info
Forgotten Film:  The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings  (1976)  Billy Dee Williams plays a pitcher in the 1930’s, who acts out against the team owner, leaves the team and convinces other all star caliber players to join him on an All-Star team to barnstorm the Midwest.  The cast of players include James Earl Jones and a young Richard Pryor, who is very funny as a player who is always trying to figure out a way he can break into the big leagues.  This is a comical, well written film that showcases a long-forgotten segment of American history.   Bingo Long Info
In Case You Missed it (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Jane Eyre  (2011)  This film, part romance, part horror, is  worth watching because of the two leads, Mia Wasikodska, who plays the plain and headstrong Jane, and Michael Fassbender, who plays the love of her life, the mysterious and troubled Mr. Rochester.  Jane has been hired to be a governess by Mr. Rochester, a man she, at first, finds cold and aloof, but soon falls in love with.  She soon discovers, however,  he may be hiding a terrible secret.  Waskiodska is brilliant in the part as she brings a multilayered performance to this role, much better than her other starring role in Alice In Wonderland.   My Rating:  Full Price   Jane Eyre Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Warrior:  Two brothers, who are struggling to survive in today’s world, meet in the finals of a mixed martial arts tournament.  Note to reader:  Please read the following sentence while listening to dramatic music.  The youngest brother is fighting to escape the demons of his past; the older brother is fighting for the survival of his marriage and family.   But one brother has an edge over the other, as his trainer is their father.  Wait!  Maybe it’s not an edge.  The father is played by Nick Nolte.  Could be game over for that fighter.  Warrior Website

Weird Credits From the credits of Salvation Boulevard:  Lizard Wrangler

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)  A new horror film written and produced by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) about a young girl sent to live with her father and his girlfriend.  Early in the film, the girl discovers there are creatures living in the house, and they want to claim her as one of their own.  This film is getting noticed as a scary movie that is also intelligent - something that is rare these days in Hollywood.   Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Website
Until Next Time!

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