Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Certain Women

A gentle pace takes us through the stories of four women in the film Certain Women. The stories have the similarities of inner struggles and personal coping. The performances are very good and what is communicated in quiet moments is impressive. I liked this film.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The second volume of the Guardians of the Galaxy deals with feelings and relationships much more than I expected.  There is action, chases and battle scenes, but the emotional baggage of the characters is front and center. When the plot gets heavy, whimsy and humor slides in and the tone stays light. This is a fun ride, but some scenes could be too much for younger children.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Hero

In the film The Hero I've been thinking that there may have been more than one hero. An older actor faces his life decisions and career as he is given a fatal health diagnosis. Along the way we meet his daughter, ex-wife, drug dealer and younger girlfriend. Each plays a role in taking care of one or the other. There are successes, there are failures. A poignant story of life.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Trip to Spain

The Trip was a popular TV series with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon driving. riffing, eating and drinking through Europe. The Trip to Italy is a feature film that continues the journey through Italy. We join the duo again in The Trip to Spain. Each has a writing assignment that takes them to beautiful locations in Spain. Each meal is a work of art that is filmed in a way that makes you feel like you are at the table. The two are very funny together as they try to out-clever each other. The locations are stunning and beautifully filmed. The story of their respective lives runs runs in the background with phone calls and Skype interactions. In general the film has a light tone, but the ending is heavier than I expected. Good film.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


In the thriller mother! we experience the allegory of the conflicts in the world in the story of a couple at a difficult time in their lives. The film is being interpreted in many ways. Some people love it, some hate it. I loved it. See it and decide for yourself.

Buster's Mal Heart

Buster suffers a terrible loss, and in flashbacks we learn the story in Buster's Mal Heart. Rami Malek gives a powerful performance as a man dealing with a tragedy. Good film, sad story.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Le Mans

I have always loved car racing, especially on a road track. The film Le Mans takes on a documentary-like treatment to the 24 hour road race. Le Mans is one of the oldest auto races and the gravity of history, technology and tradition are played well in this film. The plot is a bit thin and dialogue is minimal, but the visuals and sound design make up for it.The juxtaposition of cows and race cars in a scene in the French countryside is effective. The 70s vibe is also very nostalgic for me. Cool film.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Beatriz at Dinner

Themes of money, class and relationships ring strong in Beatriz at Dinner. A young masseuse is stranded at a client's house and is invited to dinner. Listening to an opportunist developer is tough for her and she suffers an emotional crisis of ethics. A good drama with excellent performances.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


In my younger days I read every Stephen King book as soon as it came out.The book It was long and a challenge, but I enjoyed it. This coming of age story is brought to the big screen in the film It. The "Losers" are well cast and well played. The plot makes sense and Pennywise is creepy as hell. I'm so glad I saw this in the theater because the audience I saw it with was verbal and reactive to all of the jump scares and drama. Fun, scary film experience.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

All Eyez on Me

The thug life and rise of the rap career of Tupac Shakur is depicted in the film All Eyez on Me. An urban tale of success, rivalry, violence and art. Shakur had a volatile life that was full of great highs and shattering lows. An interesting piece of music history.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Wind River

Wind River is a good crime thriller. The structure is solid, from where a tracker finds the body of someone he knows, to the resolution involving the tracker, FBI and local authorities. A tricky situation of politics and emotions. The cinematography is excellent and so are the performances. The fight scenes are especially well done. I liked this film a lot.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Operation Avalanche

There have always been theories that the moon landing was fake. In Operation Avalanche two CIA operatives pose as documentarians to catch a Russian mole in NASA. I am old enough to remember the space race so this film seemed very realistic. The excitement of film making along with the thrill of espionage is well done. The story adds enough humor to make it less threatening. I liked this film.

100 Favorite Films

In early 2017 I read a challenge to name your 100 favorite films of all time. I thought it would be easy, so I started my list. It was harder than I thought. I have been watching movies for over 50 years. That's a lot of titles, especially in the last 20 years. Over the last eight months, I have added to the list in fits and starts. I finally feel like I can push the publish button. Again, these are my personal favorites, not a "best" list. All of the films touched me in some way and hold up to multiple viewings. This list is in no particular order. Enjoy.

The Godfather
Little Miss Sunshine
Sing Street
Pieces of April
Don't Think Twice
Mary Poppins
The Iron Giant

The Incredibles
The Big Lebowski
In Her Shoes
Pulp Fiction
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
The Hateful Eight
Die Hard
The Godfather II

The Shining
Being John Malcovich
Sing Street
The Dark Knight
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Taxi Driver
The Last Waltz
It Might Get Loud
West Side Story

The Sixth Sense
Sunset Boulevard
Swing Time
Baby Driver
The Big Sick
Get Out
In the Heat of the Night
Six Degrees of Separation

Paris Can Wait
I am Not Your Negro
Monsters Inc.
Hidden Figures
La La Land
The Magnificent Seven
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

Love and Basketball
Hell or Highwater
The First Monday in May
Swiss Army Man
Ghosts of Mississippi
The Family Fang
Cabin in the Woods
Green Room
Elvis & Nixon
Midnight Special

The French Connection
Shaun the Sheep
Mad Max: Fury Road
Ex Machina
The Revenant
Mister Rogers & Me

He Named Me Malala
Man On Wire
The Intern
Duck Soup
It's a Wonderful Life
Young At Heart
The Red Balloon
A Few Good Men
The Wrecking Crew

Sound City
Attack the Block
The Host

The Hours
All That Jazz
From Dusk Till Dawn
District 9
Angels in America
My Cousin Vinny