Tuesday, July 29, 2008


When I was fresh out of college, I had a job as the assistant to the director of an air show. I was 21, single, ambitious and loved airplanes. I met acrobatic pilots from all over, and more military flight jocks than any girl could dream. It was a fun job and a wonderful education. Our show was respected in the industry, and so was I. The pilots were always very sweet, and sometimes protective. At the frequent parties, if I was getting what appeared to be unwanted attention, I would feel an arm around my shoulders, and a familiar voice greeting me in a brotherly fashion. One of my guardian angels was the jet pilot Corkey Fornof. Not only a talented stunt pilot, but a hell of a nice guy and easy on the eyes.

In my continuing quest of viewing all that is James Bond, next was Octopussy. The opening sequence involves an escape from the bad guys in a miniature jet. As I watched, I thought, "hmmm, that move looks familiar." Upon checking the credits, sure 'nuff, the stunt pilot was my bud Corky Fornoff. Fun stuff. The movie was OK, a bit slow. I liked Maude Adams as Octopussy. Sexy and strong, a good Bond character. Most fun for me were the aerobatic stunts, thanks Corkey!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rock n Rollers in DVD

In DVD this week, is the wonderful documentary , Shine a Light. Up on the stage with The Rolling Stones, Martin Scorsese weaves his film magic around intimate performances at New York's Beacon Theater. I'm not even a Stones fan, and I loved this movie. In Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, the stoner duo are on the road. Running from the law, rude crude, socially unacceptable and full of laughs. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Wackness

Memorable quotes from The Wackness :

"I see the dopeness in everything, and you just see the wackness."

"We just come in here to laugh at the weird old guys."

"I'm not a virgin, I just haven't officially had sex yet."

For me, The Wackness is a brave film that tells the story of a young man trying to find his way with his heart and his life. Odd friendships and young love, make for an interesting story. The characters are quirky, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. The references to life in New York City in the early 90's are poignant, accurate and bold. I enjoyed this film .... a lot!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Flick Picks 7/25/08

RI theaters are all about The Dark Knight this week. Stunning film. For fun there's Mamma Mia! People are singing along. For super silly, Step Brothers opens this week, I'll wait till DVD for this one. The Wackness arrives this weekend along with CSNY - Deja Vu. Kinda slim pickin's in RI movie theaters, but Son of Rambow is at the second run movie house, the Patriot. Well worth a look. Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gamble with DVD

The depiction of a group of MIT students taking Vegas for millions, makes for good film, in this weeks' DVD release, 21. An all star cast tells an interesting story. Worth a rental.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mama Mia!

For years, the posters of Mamma Mia!, the Broadway musical, have assaulted me every time I visit New York. Though I love musical theater, I have never had the desire to see it. The premise sounded silly and c'mon, ABBA?!? All set. Then, this spring a trailer came on TV, for the movie version. It looked so joyful and fun, I was smitten. And ever since an encounter with Meryl Streep, her performances carry new meaning for me. I was sold.

After reading mixed reviews, I went to see the new movie Mamma Mia! today. No expectations, I figured it would be silly and light. For the most part, I was right. The beginning of the movie was fun , developed the characters well and I'm grateful that I have no familiarity with ABBA tunes. A lot of the musical numbers need to be taken for the fun that is intended. Then the second act hit, and I became the blubbering mess in the middle of the movie theater, as I watched a single mother spend the night before her daughter's wedding in maternal bonding bliss. (Once again, did not bring enough Kleenex *damn*) The third act was a bit of a mess, plot wise, but the crazy antics and happy ending worked for me. There has been criticism of the singing performances, especially the men, but it kind of reminded me of the myriad of 50th birthday parties I've been to in the last few years. My friends and I sound a lot worse, though we have just as much fun! Mamma Mia! was a fun summer movie for me!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight

I don't often post pictures here, but this license plate in the parking lot of the movie theater, when I went to see The Dark Knight today, was so appropriate. The movie was all I wanted it to be. The performances were strong. The bad guys, oh so bad, the good guys moral and flawed. There were plenty of surprises, and rockin' fight and chase scenes. The vehicles and gadgets always give me a thrill. Heath Ledger's performance, as The Joker, is one of the best I've ever seen. Nuanced and maniacal, as entertaining as he was freaky. Add another strong action movie to the summer collection!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Flick Picks 7/18/08

Every Friday morning I sit with the movie section of the morning paper and a highlighter, planning my viewing strategy for the weekend. This morning I have a thick, yellow border around The Dark Knight, it will be my priority tomorrow, can't wait! At some point I'll get to Mama Mia! as well. If the heat gets to be too much (it's supposed to be a scorcher here this weekend) I've marked Encounters at the End of the World, Up the Yangtze and When Did You Last see your Father?. Have a great weekend and stay cool!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Robbery and Romance in DVD

In DVD this week, The Bank Job is the story of a bank robbery in London. Intricate and well planned, it's told well. In the film Penelope, a girl with a strange birth defect has to learn to function in the world, and cope with her surroundings and herself. Both of these films are good rentals.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Flick Picks 7/11/08

The big red guy arrives in RI theaters this weekend, Hellboy : The Golden Army should be a fun ride for fans of the comic book hero. Journey to the Center of the Earth as well, a family adventure. I was asked what my favorite movies of the summer are so far, and I'll say that WALL-E tops the list. Iron Man is on my "must see" list. This has been such a great summer of movies, so far. Don't forget Indiana Jones, Get Smart, The Incredible Hulk, Hancock and Wanted. Mongol, The Edge of Heaven and The Fall are in art houses. The kids will enjoy Kung Fu Panda and Kit Kittredge. Grab a popcorn, sit back and enjoy!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

City of Men

Rio de Janeiro is exotic, tropical and dangerous. In City of Men we see two young men turning 18. They do not know their fathers, their families are fragmented. They struggle with the responsibilities of life, while the gang culture around them is daunting and violent. An interesting story, in an exotic setting. A heartbreaking life to watch in this film.

Friday, July 04, 2008


It's hard to watch a Will Smith film without thinking of what made him famous. Roles like Fresh Prince and Men in Black as a wise cracking, smart-ass, are embedded deep in our fan brains. Smith is capable of so much more, and has proved it in roles like Ali, Pursuit of Happyness and I am Legend. Though the trailer for his latest release, Hancock, makes this look like a mindless action comedy, it's not. The story of John Hancock, a misunderstood, haphazard, superhero, is an interesting treatment of heroism, image, discovery and doing the right thing. Smith brings a sadness and isolation to his misunderstood character. I really liked the jarring twist that comes midstream, and was so invested in the characters, that by the end, I got choked up at seeing a single image. There are some funny lines, but I'd have trouble classifying this as a comedy. Relax, have no expectations, open your mind and let the story unfold. I did, and totally enjoyed this summer action film.

Kit Kittredge : An American Girl

The film Kit Kittredge:An American Girl, draws an interesting audience. There were families, senior citizens and my favorite, the little girl tightly clutching her Kit Kittredge doll. The American Girl books are a series of stories, about strong young women throughout history. Well loved by young readers, and perfect for adaptation to the screen. Julia Roberts and her sister Lisa, gave this project a little umph, along with the star power of Abigail Breslin, Joan Cusack, Jane Krakowski, Chris O'Donnell, Stanley Tucci, Willow Smith (not a typo, it's his daughter) and a wonderful supporting cast. They do a nice job bringing the young, depression era journalist to life. A good story of resilience, community, prejudice, service, family and loyalty. I liked this film a lot, take the kids, take your folks!

My Blueberry Nights

My Blueberry Nights was nominated for the Palm d'Or at Cannes in 2007. It did not win, but it is a strong drama, with a unique style and all star cast. Gentle and slow, the story unfolds through a young woman's eyes. She is coming out of a relationship, befriends a stranger, leaves town, works to build a new life, and takes risks grounded in trust. Norah Jones, Jude Law, Rachel Weitz, NataliePortman and David Strathairn do this story proud.

Friday Flick Picks 4th of July 2008

Though the cookouts, beach and parades are a fun way to celebrate, I love a movie on the 4th of July (surprise). If it's scorching hot, you are in the comfort of the movie theater, if it's overcast and drizzling (like today) you are in the comfort of a movie theater, follow? RI theaters have a lot to offer on this 3-day weekend. The big opener is the new Will Smith action comedy, Hancock. Will Smith? I'm in! We've also got Kit Kittredge:An American Girl, a story from the American Girl franchise, set in 1934. Produced by Julia Roberts and her sister, Lisa and starring Abigail Breslin, this one looks good. Mongol, The Fall, Before the Rains, Surfwise and The Children of Huang Shi offer nice variety in local art houses. If you haven't seen WALL-E yet, what are you waiting for!?!?! Box office blockbusters, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, Wanted, Sex and the City and Kung Fu Panda are all at the multiplex, enjoy!! Have a happy and safe 4th of July!