Thursday, September 15, 2011


My View:  Contagion   Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Lawrence Fishburne headline an all-star cast in this movie about a disease outbreak that starts killing people at an alarming rate with no cure in sight.  The heroes of this story are twofold:  the husband (played by Matt Damon) who loses his wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) very early in the story and struggles to keep his family safe and alive and the doctors of the Center for Disease Control, who are trying to figure out what the disease is and how to treat it.  This is not a movie for the squeamish or the hypochondriac, as half the cast in this movie gets sick at some point.  Reminiscent of the all-star disaster movies of the 70’s (Airport, Poseidon Adventure), we become acquainted with many plots in this film, most of which are told very well.  Kate Winslet, as the onsite investigator on her first big case, and Jude Law, as a renegade blogger who feels the world is being lied to, stand out in this cast.  I enjoyed this film, but maybe because of the director, Steven Soderbergh. I came away wanting more from the story.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Contagion Website
Indyfest (A look at a small, Indie or foreign film):  Bellflower (2011)   Two lifelong friends, Woodrow and Aiden, are getting ready for the apocalypse and build a flame thrower and a muscle car named, Medusa.  One night at a bar, Woodrow (Played by Evan Glodell) meets Milly (Jessie Wiseman).  On their first date, she warns Woodrow that they can’t become serious about each other because she will break his heart, and of course, throughout this strange tale, she does.  This is a film where, after you see it, you will still be trying to figure out just what happened.  Be warned.  There is lots of bad language, sex and violence in this movie, but I did like it.   What I enjoyed the most was that your opinion of many of the characters changes throughout the film.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Bellflower Website
The 50(a movie from my best/worst films of all time)
#35 Best Film
The Lady Eve  (1941)   This is director/writer Preston Sturges at his very best with this screwball comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.  Stanwyck plays a con artist who, at the beginning of the movie, sets her sights on her next victim, Charles Pike, a shy explorer who is heir to a vast family fortune.  But Stanwyck doesn’t count on falling for the young adventurer, and after he discovers her plan, she must figure a way to get him back.  As with most screwball comedies, there are a lot of twists and turns, mistaken identities, plots that go wrong, and with most great comedies, interesting chemistry between the two leads.  Fonda is a joy to watch as he becomes putty in the hands of Stanwyck, while Stanwyck is so beautiful molding him.   The Lady Eve Info
Forgotten Film:  Peggy Sue Got Married  (1986)  Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and staring Kathleen Turner in her Academy Award nominated role as Peggy, a woman who is on the verge of a divorce and attends her high school reunion.  At the reunion, Peggy faints and wakes up back in 1960, her senior year of high school.  She realizes she has been given a chance to change her life.   Turner is superb in the role, and while the audience does have to suspend reality a bit to accept her in high school, she does an incredible job reliving her school years.  There are quite a few supporting players in this film who went on to become big stars, including Helen Hunt and a very young Jim Carrey, who plays a high school boyfriend.   Peggy Sue Got Married Info
In Case You Missed it ( A Film Just Released on DVD):  Thor (2011)  I thoroughly enjoyed this film when it was released in the theatres.  Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the God of Thunder is banished from his world by his father and is sent to Earth.  There he is found by a scientist (played by Natalie Portman), and Thor now must learn to live among the mortals.  The action sequences were first-rate, Chris Hemsworth is a worthy Thor, and there is lots of humor sprinkled throughout the film.  My Rating:   Full Price   Thor Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas   Sometimes I think Hollywood releases films just to make me wonder about their sanity.  Do we really need another Harold & Kumar film?   Where they have shot Santa?   In 3-D?  Why?  No, really, tell my WHY?   Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Contagion:  Snowmaking Coordinator

Flictionary (a Definition of a Film Term):  Screwball Comedy:  Screwball Comedy is a term used to describe a comedy (mostly ones made in the 30’s and 40’s, but it can also be applied to some recent films) where there is a combination of slapstick, fast paced dialogue, quick romantic involvement, and very often mistaken identities.   The romantic leads are usually opposites, such as the shy man matched with the strong woman.  Good examples of the screwball comedy are It Happened One NightBringing Up BabySome Like it Hot and Sullivan’s Travels.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  What’s Your Number?   Anna Faris plays a woman who decides to find the past men in her life and see if one is her true love.   I hope this film is worthy of the comedic talents of Anna Faris.    What's Your Number? Website
Until Next Time!

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