Thursday, August 31, 2017
In the film Dean the themes of loss and recovery are handled with care and a little humor. A young man and his father are dealing with the death of their mother and wife and trying to move on. They express their pain and work through their grief in realistic ways. The tone of the film is light with out being frivolous. It takes on serious feelings without being a bummer. This film has a big heart, some excellent performances and is well written. I also liked the look of this film. I missed it at Tribeca Film Festival, so once again Netflix brings a lovely film to my door.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
I enjoy light comedy, but do it well and do it smart. One Crazy Summer delivers just that. Saving the family home becomes the mission of a group of young people on Nantucket. There is a bad guy, there are pranks, there is heart, there are laughs. I liked this film a lot. Perfect for end of summer viewing.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
I have always enjoyed Robert Pattinson's work, though he has not always chosen the best projects. The film Good Time was an excellent choice. The story begins with an introduction to a mentally challenged young man with a therapist. His older, well meaning brother takes him out of the situation in a protective gesture and involves him in a crime. Things go wrong and the string of things that go wrong gets longer and longer. This is an intense, violent, desperate story. The film is shot and edited in a creative fashion. The film makers do a lot of interesting things with light. I liked this film a lot.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
I love Aubrey Plaza's style so Ingrid Goes West was an easy choice for me. She plays a deranged woman who is obsessed with Instagram and pushes her way into the life of an Instagram star. The acting is outstanding, but the story becomes very sad. This is a strong black comedy I liked.
Friday, August 25, 2017
I used to read every Stephen King book as soon as it came out. I like scary, weird stories and his suited my taste. It was interesting when they started making films based on them, some were good, some not so much. The classic film Christine is one of the better ones. John Carpenter was masterful bringing the story of an evil car to the screen. Well done. Glad I watched it again.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
After listening to an interview with Jennifer Jason Leigh I decided to rent Last Exit to Brooklyn. This film has an interesting look, but the story is disturbing. Fifties NYC, drugs, crime, prostitutes, unions and violence fuel the plot. There is a love story that is hopeful, but sad in the end. A gritty drama I liked.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The boxer Chuck Wepner's story is told in the film Chuck.He is a struggling boxer who actually went 14 rounds with Mohamed Ali. When the movie Rocky came out, there were many similarities between the film and Wepner's life. Though his is a classic boxer's story, he did sue and there was an undisclosed settlement. The story is well told and the performances are very good, especially Elizabeth Moss. Good film.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Monday, August 21, 2017
We meet a passionate playwright distracted by love in The Incredible Jessica James. Jessica Williams brings a lot of heart to the main character. She teaches a young writers program which gives her perspective. Her adult relationships past and present are interesting and grounded. This is a good drama with a dash of romance. I liked this film.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
In a discussion about Big Little Lies, the work of Nicole Kidman came up. The film Practical Magic was recommended so I rented it. A cheesy 90s movie with magic, love, loss, family and recovery. Kidman is outstanding, as is the whole cast. The story holds up. I liked this movie a lot more than expected.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
I missed the premiere of The Circle at Tribeca Film Festival this year, so I was happy to be able to finally rent it. This is a story of a future where transparency is encouraged and promoted. The question of when is this an invasion of privacy looms large. It also gets dangerous. I liked the performances and concepts in this film. Well done.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Though this film is over 20 years old, Mother is very relatable and very funny. Albert Brooks' character is divorced and decides he'll live with his Mother until he figures out his life. The chemistry between Brooks and Debbie Reynolds is great. Her comic timing is perfect. The food conversations are very funny. I enjoyed this film quite a bit.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The cast of Snatched makes this comedy very watchable. The story runs the damsel in distress formula, but Amy Schummer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusak give this movie a little more weight than it would have ordinarily had. I liked this movie much more than expected.
Friday, August 11, 2017
In the film The Dinner we meet a group of very unlikable people who don't really like each other as they share a very fancy meal. We learn of their relationships and their problems. They bicker, they flat out fight. High drama with a first-class cast.
Saturday, August 05, 2017
Dog-sitting in Brooklyn this weekend, I was not inspired by the choices at the TKTS booth. Talking to my daughter on the ride into the city, she schooled me on the musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. She told me about an actor I was dying to see, Okieriete Onaodowan, was playing Pierre and you can sit on the stage! When I went to buy a ticket the gentleman in the booth said, "do you want to sit at a table?" I said, "Why not?!" There were several orchestra pits and my seat was about 10 feet from one of them...on the stage. Before the show, cast members milled about explaining that we needed to remain seated and if a prop was put in front of us leave it. I was also offered a warm, yummy dumpling. So much positive energy, I could not wait for the show to begin. The cast moved through the entire audience throughout the show and watching from the perspective of the stage was new and thrilling. I was on a Broadway stage in the middle of a kick-ass musical! The story is a tragic love story adapted from a small part of War and Peace. There is love, angst, betrayal and camaraderie. Set in 1812 Russia, there is culture, there is history and boy, oh boy there is music. There were rollicking party songs and heartbreaking ballads. The song Dust and Ashes made me cry. There was audience participation throughout. I was given a folded piece of paper during Letters (it said "you are beautiful xoxo") and the entire audience was given egg shakers to join in during Balaga. A cast member even put his head in my lap! What a time. I love Broadway!
Friday, August 04, 2017
A child custody story is enhanced by the performances in Gifted. A brother promises his sister that her gifted daughter will have a normal life. When his sister dies, and the grandmother and social services step in on behalf of the child, an interesting story unfolds. There is enough heart in this drama to keep it from being trite or cheesy. I liked this film.
Thursday, August 03, 2017
The HBO miniseries Big Little Lies plays out in seven episodes. The story of suburban families dealing with life, feelings and relationships is well written and acted. It is presented as a mystery, and the clues to who-done-it are parsed out bit by bit. The cast brings the drama home. I enjoyed this series very much.