Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Flick Picks 7/31/09

It's a funny weekend for films arriving in RI theaters. Big studio release is Funny People (ha). Bit more of a drama than a comedy, from what I've read. MOON, my summer darling, FINALLY comes to an RI theater. Opera House in Newport is he venue, check it out. The Hurt Locker also arrives. Good war drama, very intense. The Ugly Truth, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Up, The Hangover and Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen are in theaters for your enjoyment. G-Force, Ice Age:Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Aliens in the Attic is the family fare. Stay cool and enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Animation and Advertising in DVD

In my DVD queue is Sita Sings the Blues. An animated offering from India that I have read wonderful things about. TV series I'm checking out this week is Mad Men. Rental choices still pretty meager. I'll take suggestions.

PS: I missed Bart Got a Room on the first posting of this. Great coming of age flick, worth a look

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker is an emotional roller coaster that is well worth the ride. The film grabs the audience, shakes it by the throat, sets it down, and repeats. A masterful film style takes us inside the tasks and emotions of a special bomb unit in Iraq that meets dramatic circumstances. Dealing with their enemy, their emotions and their job makes for a thriller of a war film.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Flick Picks 7/24/09

Every Friday morning, armed with the local paper and a highlighter, I choose my movies to see over the weekend. For the first time in a very long time, the pen did not touch the page today. *sigh* I've seen everything I'm interested in. Cheri, Orphan and The Ugly Truth open here, but don't feel they are worth my movie dollar. Though the temptation is to go see MOON again, The Hurt Locker is playing at a little over an hour away. A road trip may be in order tomorrow. The Hangover, Public Enemies, Up, Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince are all worth a look. Is this the summer doldrums for film??? Good time to catch up.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Boys can be silly. Especially boys who live for Star Wars (though they do have the token girl along for the ride). Fanboys is all about that. A group of Star Wars fanboys go on a road trip to storm Skywalker Ranch, to steal a copy of Phantom Menace because they can't wait for it to come to theaters. I might be a bit of a fanboy myself, cuz when they are in Lucas' memorabilia room I got chills. A silly movie, but kinda cute.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jaws .... again

Things I'd forgotten about the movie Jaws:

Quint drinks Narragansett beer.
Old Spice in the towel while chumming.
Brilliant camera work.
I still know all the words to Show Me the Way to Go Home.
The acting is skillful and believable.
What you don't see is scarier than what you do see.
Most of all, forgot how much I love this movie.
And, no, I don't swim in the ocean at night any more.......

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heroes and Heroines in DVD

This week, the two DVD releases I've seen are adapted from popular books. Coraline is adapted from the children's book by Neil Gaiman. Watchmen comes from the popular graphic novel. Both worth a look. In my DVD queue are Echelon Conspiracy and The Great Buck Howard.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is probably the most performance driven of the Potter films so far. Though it has it's moments of visual brilliance, the actors have matured as well as their characters. The performances they deliver are interesting and captivating. Harry and Dumbledore are trying to figure out Voldemort's evil plan, the Death Eaters reek havoc and Malfoy is a tormented soul helping the Death Eaters gain access to Hogwarts. This film sets the stage for the next two. Something to look forward to.

PS : They show the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are before the film, and though we've sen it on the Internet, it looks awesome on the big screen. I got a little choked up watching it. Can't wait for this one.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Flick Picks 7/17/09

So the big news in RI theaters is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Can't wait to catch up with the wiz-kids. According to Sony, Seekonk is the new Providence. If you live in RI and want to see MOON.... and you want to see MOON, the closest venue is the Showcase on Rt. 6 in Seekonk, MA. Well worth the ride. It also opens on more screens in the US and UK this weekend. SEE IT! In art houses we've got the documentaries Food Inc. and Herb & Dorothy. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Bruno, The Hangover, Public Enemies, Up, Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen and Whatever Works are all in theaters as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Moon ..... again

I first saw the film Moon at Tribeca Film Festival back in April. Since January, the film has been squired to film festivals far and wide by it's director, Duncan Jones. I had the pleasure of meeting this young man when Sony sent the film to Newport Film Festival in June. It was the week before the film would open in limited release, and he admitted to a case of nerves on how the film would be received. Having seen the film already (and loving it), I was fascinated with his insecurities. A kind, funny, talented, polite guy who won this film fan over in a matter of minutes. A few hours later, he and his film had wowed the festival. This weekend Moon finally opened near my neighborhood, giving me the opportunity to see the film again.

On my first viewing of Moon, I was all about following the story. Delighted by the twists and turns of the plot, many of the fine points went over my head. On that night in April, as the lights came on in the theater, all I could think was, "I've got to see this one again." So last night I took the ride to the Showcase in Seekonk, MA, settled into a prime seat and let the film unfold in front of me for the second time. The delight for me on this viewing, was the attention to detail. An homage to infomercial products, big old fuzzy dice hanging in the rover, tasteful (and much appreciated) attention to Sam Rockwell's handsome backside (moon? ha!), the gorgeous score and using the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This story takes place in a sci-fi setting, but the story is a great psychological drama. Though I could have waited for this one to come out in DVD for my second viewing, there is a benefit to seeing it on the big screen. This is a gorgeous film you deserve to see in a theater... big, big big. For weeks I've been obnoxious on Twitter and here, encouraging folks to see Moon. So much so, my daughter said, "Mom it sounds like you're getting something out of this." She's right, I get the thrill of recommending a damn fine film that I hope people will enjoy as much as I did. And a note to Mr. Jones: please make more!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Flick Picks 7/10/09

Joy, joy, joy, the film Moon goes into wider release this weekend and it comes to my little world! Technically, the film is still not playing in RI, but the Showcase Rt 6 is in Seekonk, MA, right over the state line. See it! Throw Down Your Heart is at the Cable Car Cinema. Filmmaker Sascha Paladino brings us the travels of his brother, Bela Fleck (virtuoso banjo player and hell of a nice guy), to Africa to explore the origins of the banjo. As a special treat, Bela Fleck will be there tonight for Q&A and maybe a tune or two. Check it out. Also opening this weekend is Bruno, outrageous comedy abounds. Other films in theaters are Public Enemies, Ice Age:Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Whatever Works, Away We Go, Star Trek, Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen, My Sister's Keeper, The Hangover and Up. And did I mention MOON? Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The film Hounddog was controversial when it was being shot, when it was being released, when it was sent to DVD. A young girl growing up in the poor south is a huge Elvis fan. With a messed up family, he is her passion and her downfall. This film acknowledges the girl's sexuality, though it goes to a very dark place. There is a rape scene that brings the film to a screeching halt, and changes the direction of the plot. This film is full of poignant scenes, some difficult to watch. The snake imagery is very creepy. The camera work is beautiful and the story will break your heart.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Away We Go

In Away We Go, a couple is expecting a baby and needs to figure out where they want to live. They set out on a road trip to evaluate their options, and learn a lot about themselves, life and the people they think have it together. A sweet story of growth and discovery that I really liked.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Vision and Vantage in DVD

Two films about psychic vision are in my DVD queue this week. Knowing is about a man who cracks a code to future events and Push is a sci-fi thriller. Another sparse week in DVD releases.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Whatever Works

Life philosophies are examined and explored in Whatever Works, the latest piece from Woody Allen. The film is a journey in self discovery for all the characters. I am always surprised by how much I like Woody Allen films. The writing is clever and the performances very relaxed. Larry David's character, Boris, takes us on a journey that examines life and how we live it. "Whatever works.." Lots of laugh out loud moments, a bit risque and very direct. I liked this one.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Public Enemies

In Public Enemies we are taken inside the last days of legendary bank robber John Dillinger. The performances are subtle and the gun fights explosive. Made me wish I knew more about ballistics. A stylized film that tells more about the events than the people. Worth a look.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Flick Picks 7/3/09

The weekend comes early thanks to the 4th of July falling on Saturday. I'm lucky enough to have today off, so it's an extra day in the theater for me! Public Enemies, My Sister's Keeper, Whatever Works and Away We Go are on my list for the weekend. If I have time, I may get to $9.99 or Summer Hours. Ice age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is out there for families, along with Up. If you need to watch robots going nuts, there's Transformers:Return of the Fallen. For summer popcorn entertainment check out Star Trek, Night at the Museum:Battle of the Smithsonian and The Hangover. Have a happy, safe 4th of July!

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

I wasn't sure if I should admit that I watched Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, but I was surprisingly entertained by this silly monster movie. The title says it all.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Phoebe in Wonderland

The story of Phoebe and her family, in the film Phoebe in Wonderland, is nothing new. There's tension, arguments, mental illness, angst and the teacher who is going to save the day. What makes this film worth seeing are the performances. The kids at the school, Phoebe, the teacher, the sister, the parents, but especially Phoebe. Worth a look.