Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Paul Newman 1925-2008

It has taken me a few days to digest the passing of Paul Newman. Though I am a huge fan of his work as an actor, he was so much more. Aside from the acting, sense of humor and philanthropy, two things always come to mind when I think of Paul Newman. First, his marriage to Joanne Woodward. The commitment, the joy, the love *sigh*. Second, his love of race cars. When folks say the name Paul Newman, my mental image is of the man easing his gorgeous frame out of a race car. A life well lived, thanks Paul.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gadgets, Gold and Goof Balls in DVD

It's a good week for DVD releases. First up, Iron Man. The comic book action character brought to the big screen, such a fun ride! The romantic comedy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, has laughs and heart. In my DVD que, Taxi to the Dark Side. The Oscar winning documentary from Alex Gibney about a taxi driver's wrongful death, the circumstances and investigations. Cool stuff.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


In the film Choke, a man deals with many demons. He's a sex addict, a con artist, a friend, a son. He struggles with the past, he is not always given the best information to work with. Well written, this is a dark comedy with some very interesting characters and a lot of sex.

Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye is an action thriller that gives us crazy chase scenes, cyber intelligence and unnerving government cover ups (there's also a hint of a love story). Two strangers become unwitting accomplices in a race to save the President. Instructions come from a disembodied voice that knows every move they make, and has a plan. The lines between good-guys and bad-guys become a bit blurry. The chase scenes are pretty wild, no car is spared demolition. In the end, brute force overcomes all the electronics and cyber intelligence. For me, this was a fun ride.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rent on Broadway 1996-2008

Through my tears, I marveled at the joy on the faces of the performers singing their hearts out in the final number of the final act of the final performance of Rent at the Nederlander Theater on Broadway (9/7/08). Thankfully, this performance was taped and brought to movie theaters to fans like me. I have seen this rock musical, live, twice. Once in Providence, RI (1998), and once on Broadway (2005). Having sat in the Nederlander Theater, surrounded by the magic that is the musical Rent, I felt called to the local movie theater to see this final performance. I was overwhelmed by the first shots of the stage. For me, Rent is heart. The story, the music and the creator. I am grateful for film, as it is the best way they have preserved the original cast in a feature film, Johnathan Larson's life story in a documentary and now this final Broadway performance. Original cast members joined in the final anthem of that last performance, it was a thrill to see them on that stage again. I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to see this performance. The walk down 41st St. will never be the same.....

Made of Honor

I'm not a big fan of chick flicks, but I like Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan so decided to give Made of Honor a shot. The typical guy-loves-girl, guy-wants-girl, guy-pushes-girl-away, guy-wants-girl-after-someone-else-proposes rom-com, where all the action culminates on the night before the wedding *yawn*. The performances are what kept me going through this one, not a bad rental.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Flick Picks 9/26/08

Openings in theaters this weekend are rather mediocre. Eagle Eye, Nights in Rodanthe, Choke and The Luck Ones are all getting so-so reviews. So, by request, I'm going to recommend a few movies out in DVD that are worth a look.

On the action side, Batman Begins is well worth a look. The back story of Batman is well told. Leatherheads is a fun look at the inception of professional football. George Clooney and John Krasinski are not too hard to take.

In documentary, the movie Young @ Heart is entertaining and inspiring. Murderball, Mad Hot Ballroom and Shut Up and Sing well worth a look too.

Two of the best chick flicks I've seen lately are In Her Shoes and The Devil Wears Prada. Though both will appeal to the ladies, I know a lot of manly men who enjoyed both of these movies.

Independant films I've enjoyed lately are Son of Rambow, Juno and Lars and the Real Girl.

For the kids I always turn to Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Monster House and Ratatouille.

And, as always, my favorite movie, Little Miss Sunshine is always an awesome time.

If you live in the northeast, stay dry, it's going to be a wild, wet weekend. Happy viewing!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Football, Fat and Friends in DVD

Out in DVD this week, we've got a goofy comedy in Leatherheads. The origins of professional football makes for a good story. Uber-chick flick Sex and the City hits the disks, and will most likely fly off the shelves. Well worth a look. Run Fatboy Run is a story with a lot of heart that surprised me earlier this year. In my que is the thriller, Deception. Panned by the critics, I'm still going to give it a look. Happy renting!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Benjamin Wagner ... live!

I'll admit it , I'm a big fan of Benjamin Wagner. Musician, film maker, athlete, writer, husband, son, uncle, friend, media executive, good guy. I've only seen him live once, 2 years ago, late at night, rather tipsy (me, not him). He was playing in NYC today. My friend Randi and I dropped in to Rockwood Music Hall, to catch an hour of Ben Wagner's musical magic. His friends and family filled the room. There was beer, wine, Shirley Temples, sippy cups and strollers. The crowd was all ages, we were ready. Ben and his crew (Chris, Tony, Jamie and Casey) took the stage, and launched into a handful of songs from his new release, The Invention of Everything Else. I was happy to hear these songs live. Then the show shifted gears. You are My Sunshine and this Little Light of Mine rocked the house, along with a bunch of kids that joined in song and dance. I was the lady at the bar, in the back, singing along and enjoying the reverie. It was awesome, nice show Ben!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Flick Picks 9/19/08

Ghost Town arrives in RI theaters this weekend. This film was well received at the Toronto Film Festival. A comedy about a man who has ghosts looking to him for help. The animated film Igor is out for the kids. Lakeview Terrace is a mess, I'd suggest waiting for this one to come to DVD ... even then, meh. Burn After Reading is s wild ride, a dark comedy that's earned an R rating for the violence. The Dark Knight and The House Bunny are still in theaters. Enjoy this last weekend of summer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lakeview Terrace


Lakeview Terrace: swiss cheese plot, poorly written, sloppy editing ...... ugh.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cops, Crooners, Cars and Companions In DVD

One of the best films I've seen this year is out in DVD. Young @ Heart is a documentary that will lift your spirit, break your heart and make you smile. I had the privilege of seeing this musical group perform live, and it is something I'll never forget. Speed Racer will be a fun rental. Every time you see the corporate goon, hit fast forward - enjoy!

I've got 88 Minutes in the mail to continue the Pacino love fest. Snow Angels has had some great reviews, so I hope to have that one in my DVD player soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Righteous Kill

I've written about actors that I would watch read the phone book, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are on that list. In Righteous Kill, these men play partners on the NYPD. A serial killer is murdering heinous criminals who are free on technicalities. This is a film where no one is who they appear to be, and the ending has plenty of twists. The strong performances are the highlights of this film. Pacino really shines. The end is dragged out, but this is still a good crime thriller, with two true film legends leading the way. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch The Godfather Part II, one of my favorite films featuring Pacino and De Niro.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Burn After Reading

Things that surprised me about Burn After Reading:

How damn funny Brad Pitt can be.

That I noticed the beautiful shots Joel and Ethan Coen set up and execute.

That I had forgotten how much I love the Coen's crazy black humor.

That I had forgotten that John Malkovich is an amazing, intense, funny actor.

The last half hour of this film ... holy crap! Loved it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Fall

In The Fall, a little girl is in a hospital with a broken arm she suffered in a fall. She befriends another patient who keeps her company by telling an epic tale. At first he is using her, then the friendship takes command (after another fall). The imagery of falling runs through the film, and is significant at the very end. The story is a colorful fantasy of beautiful images. Poignant, poetic, melodramatic and sweet. I liked this one.

Friday Flick Picks 9/12/08

Things are looking up in RI theaters this weekend! Burn After Reading looks like a fun ride, I'll be there! The pairing of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in Righteous Kill, a cop thriller, is another one I'm looking forward to. I've marked The House Bunny and Transsiberian if I have time this weekend. The Dark Knight is still in theaters and still worth seeing. Wall-e, Tropic Thunder and The Pineapple Express are still in theaters too. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Babies and Beauty in DVD

The comedy Baby Mama is a fun ride, and should be an off the hook success as a rental. My DVD que holds The Fall. A film I have read is beautiful, as a storyteller helps distract a sick child.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

He's My Dad ... Meet the Film Maker

As a film fan, it's always a thrill to meet a film maker. Yesterday I was at a party, and in walked Heath Mensher. What? You've never heard of Heath Mensher?!? I predict that some day you will. Heath is young film maker I met a few years ago. This year, he made a short film called He's My Dad that is funny, thoughtful, quirky and touching. A thirty minute resume for this creative film maker to take to market. He had a great turn at the Palm Springs Short Film Festival, being one of the film makers interviewed by the local news station. (press ... yay!!) He told me that he's off to the Route 66 Film Festival, with his film as part of the program. He's excited, animated and working on a feature. It's always fun for me to talk to film makers about their work and their projects. A big smile, enthusiastic conversation and his lovely wife accompanied him to the party. Always nice to see Heath, I'm hoping that he gets that feature film made, I'll be first in line for a ticket!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Flick Picks 9/5/08

This is a quiet week for openings in RI theaters. The spectacular Man On Wire arrives in RI theaters, a thrilling documentary that's worth a look. My favorite film in theaters right now is Vicky Cristina Barcelona. For comedy there's Tropic Thunder, The House Bunny and Pineapple Express. Many of the big films of the summer are at the Patriot in East Providence. Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Hancock, Wanted, even The Rocker. Tough to go wrong for $1.99.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


OK, I'll admit it, I'm a little over the top with my Robert Downey, Jr. and Christian Bale attention this summer, but can ya blame a girl?!? Latest up in my DVD que is Soapdish. A comedy from 1991 about the nonsense that is soap operas. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my share of soaps back in the day, and I respect the actors that have made a living in the genre. But you've got to admit, it's all a bit silly. Kill me off, write me out, get a disease, come back to life ... enter the world of daytime TV! Soapdish does a great job combining the show with the actor's real lives. Which has more drama? Only the network executives know for sure..... The all-star cast is highly entertaining, this was a very fun rental.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Goofs and Geeks in DVD

The film, Then She Found Me is out in DVD. I saw this film earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I wouldn't normally mention TV here, but I am so enamored with the sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, I want to mention the release of it's first season to DVD. I giggle just thinking about it!

My DVD que holds the films The Promotion and Reprise. The Promotion is being touted as one of the most overlooked films of the year. Reprise is a foreign drama.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Elegy /el-i-ji/ n a sad poem, especially for someone who has died.

The film Elegy is a well acted, poetic film that mourns the death of callous relationships and a cavalier attitude toward love. A college professor who left his wife and son, thinking he was not cut out for marriage, takes up with students on a regular basis. The film explores two of these relationships. Their intersection, becomes the professor's undoing. He becomes a caring, mature individual, much to his confusion. The performances are excellent, a dramatic piece I enjoyed.