Friday, September 5, 2014

The Identical

My ViewThe Identical  (2014) PG Two Identical brothers are born in the 1930s to a poor family. One brother is given up to the local preacher (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd). The two brothers grow up not knowing about each other, and one becomes a famous entertainer and the other brother struggles with his love of music and his dedication to his family. He now must choose between his love of music and his father’s wishes for him to follow in his footsteps.  The biggest problem with this film is the music, and there is a lot of it. There are only original musical numbers in this film, and they sound like they were written by a Las Vegas lounge singer from the 1960’s.  I like Ray Liotta, who gives a very restrained performance as the preacher who loves his son. It’s amazing that we see Ray Liotta age throughout this film, but Ashley Judd doesn’t age at all.  Blake Rayne, who plays the two singers, is average as an actor and has a good voice but has almost no star power, and it shows on the screen.  My Rating: Cable  The Identical Website

Indiefest: The Last of Robin Hood (2014) R Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline), dashing Hollywood film star, meets an up-and-coming young woman, Beverly (Dakota Fanning). The two enter into a relationship, and Errol tries to land a big part in a film for his new girlfriend. Little does he know, Beverly, under the tutelage of her mother, Flo (Susan Sarandon), is working under a false birth certificate…her real age is 15.  Kevin Kline gives a great performance as Errol Flynn, and Susan Sarandon is equally as compelling as the ultimate stage mother.  The weak link in this film is Dakota Fanning.  She just doesn’t have the star power to hold her own with the other two actors.  I wish someone else had been cast in this role, like Chloe Grace Moretz, because Fanning brings down the scenes that she is in with her lack of energy on screen.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  The Last of Robin Hood Info

IndiefestCode Black (2014) This is a documentary on what goes on at the L.A. County General Hospital Emergency Room. Doctors in training are working in an environment that is more like a war zone hospital than an inter-city one. A word of warning - this documentary is hard to watch. It is filled with a number of scenes in the emergency room where you see lots of blood and surgeries.  There are also a number of people who die while on the table in the ER.  If you have a strong stomach, it’s an interesting and engrossing film showing just how tough it is to be a doctor in an ER.  The film follows a number of doctors as they make the transition from a building built in the 1930’s to a new, modern hospital.  Surprisingly, with the new hospital, the care of the patients  decreases.  If you enjoy the hospital based TV shows like “Greys Anatomy" or "ER" and want to see how a real hospital works, then see this film.  My Rating: Full Price  Code Black Website

Indiefest:  A Five Star Life (2014)  Irene (Margherita Buy) thought she had the perfect life. She gets to travel around the world evaluating five-star hotels.  Then she met Kate (Lesley Manville), and her world turned upside down.  I really enjoyed this Italian drama about a woman who lives a lonely life of travel.  She has a sister who has a family, and even her best friend is starting a family, but Irene is starting to feel there is more to life than just a job.  Margherita Buy gives a striking performance in the role, and the film goes to a number of exotic locations as Irene travels around the world.  It’s not an earth-shattering film, but one that I truly enjoyed.  My Rating: Full Price  A Five Star Life Info

Forgotten FilmThe Insider (1999) R Russell Crowe is brilliant in this film about a research chemist who worked for a tobacco company and goes on Sixty Minutes.  In the interview, at great expense to himself, he tells the truth that the CEO of the company knew that cigarettes can cause cancer and that his company added chemicals to make the cigarettes more addictive.  Great dialogue and even better performances by the whole cast make this film riveting to watch from the first minute. My Rating: Full Price  The Insider Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Identical: period hair stylist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouTracks (2014) PG-13  A young woman (Mia Wasikowska) goes on an adventure to travel 1,700 miles across the desert of West Australia alone, with just four camels and her dog.  The trailer reminds me of one of my Forgotten Films, Walkabout (1971).  Tracks website
Until Next Time!

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