Friday, September 23, 2011


My ViewDrive (2011)  Ryan Gosling stars as a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver for hire.  He gets involved with his next door neighbor (played by Carey Muligan) and because of her, he takes part in a heist that goes bad.  This is a very strange movie with lots of artsy shots, and then some very graphic violence, most of it performed by our hero with a backdrop of 80’s music.  Even the opening titles are reminiscent of 80's films like Beverly Hills Cop.  Gosling plays the driver who doesn't do a lot of talking, but he never hesitates if he has to fight back. Mulligan isn't given much to do; she mostly just looks cute.  And, the surprising Albert Brooks plays a crime boss who gets forced into the mix.  There are a few good car chases, but for a movie named Drive, it never really got moving.  My Rating:  Cable   Drive Website
Indyfest (A Look at a Small, Indie or Foreign Film)The Guard (2011)  Brendan Gleeson (Braveheart, Harry Potter movies) plays a local Irish policeman who is forced to work with an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) on a drug case.  To say that Gleeson is an unconventional police officer would be an understatement, as we see him taking drugs, hanging out with hookers and making gun deals with an old IRA acquaintance.  But, there is great play back and forth between the straight-laced FBI agent, Cheadle, and the Irishman.  This film, while a mystery (Gleeson's new partner gets murdered), has quite a few funny moments, and you really end up rooting for the odd couple to solve the crime.  My Rating:  Full Price   The Guard Website
The 50 (a movie from my best/worst films of all time)
#34 Worst Film
The Trial of Billy Jack (1974)  Everyone must pay for their sins, and apparently, the audience must pay for making the first Billy Jack film such a big hit.  In the sequel, Billy Jack is brought to trial for the crimes he committed in the first film. He is sentenced to four years in prison.  When released, Billy Jack finds that "the man" is trying to shut down his school of peace/love/equality.  Billy goes on a "vision quest,” more like a bad acid trip, and then goes out and kicks butt.  When the end of the film finally arrives, you will have wanted some of that acid.   The Trial of Billy Jack Info
Forgotten FilmDawn of the Dead (1978)  George A. Romero always wanted to go back to the theme of his first zombie movie, the 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead.  So, he created this movie where the zombie invasion is taking over the United States and the living humans are losing the battle.  Members of a TV station and a police swat team escape via a helicopter and land on one of the few buildings that hasn't been overrun by zombies, a shopping mall.  This movie has some scary moments and, typical of Romero's films, the heroes of the story have to make difficult choices to survive.  And, any fan of horror movies will enjoy the action sequences, especially the many unique ways zombies are killed, including death by helicopter blade.   Dawn of the Dead Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Bridesmaids  (2011)  Kristen Wiig co-wrote and stars in this very funny comedy about a group of women serving as bridesmaids for Maya Rudolph's wedding.  While I liked Wiig and Rudolph, recent Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy is the reason to see this movie.  McCarthy plays the man-crazy but very butch sister of the groom.  McCarthy steals every scene she is in and is just flat out funny in this film.  My Rating: Full Price   Bridesmaids Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea)Jack and Jill  From the same team that has brought you Just Go with It and Grown Ups, this is a movie where Adam Sandler plays two parts, grown up twins.  Yes, you get to see Adam Sandler in drag.  Can Tom Cruise please get Katie Holmes a better agent and keep her out of stuff like this?   Jack and Jill Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Drive:  Biscuit Driver

Flictionary (a Definition of a Film Term):  Second Unit Director  During a film, the principal cast and crew shoot the main scenes while a second crew shoot scenes where the principal actors of the film are not needed, like establishing shots (example:  a shot of outside of building to show the audience where the next scene is taking place in) or close-ups of things like phones or car doors opening.  The director in charge of these shots is called the Second Unit Director.  Many directors got their start in films by being Second Unit Directors.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Anonymous   What if William Shakespeare didn't write all his plays?  In this political thriller, Vanessa Redgrave plays Queen Elizabeth, whose reign is being threatened by a power struggle.  Her lover, played by Rhys Ifans, may be involved in the plot, and he may also be the real writer of the plays.   Anonymous Website
Until Next Time!

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