Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Watermelon Woman

 A creative deep dive into film history is the base of The Watermelon Woman. Researching an actress from the 30s, sheds an unexpected light for an industrious film maker. The detailed fictional creation of what-if is very satisfying. I especially liked the surprise revelations. Good film.

Word is Out

The stories of a group of gay and lesbian people in the documentary Word Is Out are powerful and important. Made in 1977, one of the subjects referred to "faggotry in the late '50s" as sissy, lilies, pansies, limp wrist, faggoty. This terminology was jarring to me, and drove home one of the levels of disrespect that is experienced. There are also stories of human rights issues that are just as problematic and need to be addressed. Over the years, some have, but there is still work to be done. This is an important documentary for awareness and activism.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


The public meltdown of a popular sports announcer is our introduction to Brockmire in this series. Describing situations with statements like, "A doozie of a pickle of a shitstorm.," the colorful character of Jim Brockmire barrels through his personal and professional life. For as brash and inappropriate as he can be, he is also likeable and as a big heart. I really liked this series. Very funny with an edge and just the right amount of drama...and that jacket!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Les Girls

 In Les Girls we see the same situation told from several points of view. The costumes and dance numbers are outstanding. Wonderful film.


 There is a charm to Topper that is extraordinary. The story of a charismatic couple meeting their demise and then roaming the earth as spirits, has the perfect level of whimsy and humor. Their banter as they move from situation to situation shows their devotion to each other and their love of the life they have left. I saw this film as a kid and I think it was the first time I heard the word ectoplasm. This film has a lot of creativity and joy. Fun film.

Summer Stock

 On an invitation by her sister, in Summer Stock a young woman lets a group of performers use their farm to stage their performances. The line between the survival of the farm and putting on a musical becomes blurred by best of intentions. Two different goals must be met and the conflicts supply the drama and comedy. The music, dance and performances of both are great.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Saint Frances

 A ways into the film Saint Frances I thought to myself, "Frances is no saint." A relationship develops and evolves. Things don't always go right and consequences are real. For all of the uncomfortable moments, there is satisfaction. Good rental.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Love Jones

 In Love Jones the exploration of love and sex are given a lot of thought and discussion. Are they in love? Is it just chemistry? This is a very thoughtful, honest love story. Well done.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


The fear of discrimination lies in the motivations of the characters in the film Victim. Blackmail and injustice make for high drama. The performances in this film are great. Lifestyle and morals play a big part in 60s London. My favorite line? "If you're old enough to vote, you're old enough to choose your own way of life." Good film.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Da 5 Bloods

The post-Vietnam war story Da 5 Bloods starts as a reunion and turns into a treasure hunt. There is high drama when the soldiers return to Vietnam to find a treasure. There is camaraderie and betrayal, violence and compassion. This was an adventure I did not expect. The writing, directing, music and performances are outstanding. Worth a look.

Our Betters

 In a story of class and infidelity Our Betters looks at whether the upper class is really better. In what way? The characters are awful, yet make excuses. The subject matter is disturbing, but the performances and costumes are great.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Shawshank Redemption

 I saw The Shawshank Redemption many years ago, I knew I liked it, but had forgotten many of the details. On a re-watch, this film really holds up. The story of friendship, rehabilitation, perseverance and escape is compelling. The performances are great. I can see why people watch this film over and over. It's that good.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Addams Family

 After listening to interviews with both Angelika Houston and Barry Levinson, I realized that I had never seen The Addams Family. The lives of the Addams' is funny and also rather sweet for a family of horror figures. When con-artists try to get at the family fortune, hilarity ensues. This film is very clever and very entertaining.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Love Story

 Love Story was a book I read over and over when I was in middle school. It was made into the film Love Story in 1970. The brash characters' story of falling in love, captures a clash of class and culture. It takes a tragic turn, but love is always the centerpiece. This film still holds up.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020


Discussing the injustices of racial inequality, 13th is an important film. It focuses on the prison system and the blatant racism in those systems. It is necessary to raise awareness of this history and the times we are living in.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

The Lovebirds

When a couple finds themselves accidentally on the run, The Lovebirds becomes a caper movie very quickly. Trapped is a series of bad decisions, after a disastrous accident, they plunge deeper into trouble as the story develops. This is an entertaining film with charming performances. A decent rental. 

Cleopatra (1963)

The epic story of Cleopatra is told in grand style with an all-star cast. Elizabeth Taylor breathes life into the Egyptian queen in a passionate performance as she deals with the Romans and her love-life. The sets are elaborate and stunning, the story is high drama.  From the battlefield to the bedroom, this epic has it all. This is not just a film, it is an experience.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Clueless (1995)

In Clueless the story of Jane Austin's Emma is set in the 90s. The central character is in high school, and she rules the roost. Privileged and popular, at first, she comes off as vacuous, but it becomes apparent that she has ingenuity and a good heart. The ups and downs of high school are present no matter your class. The performances are great and the fashion of the day is a character itself. This movie holds up.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Mata Hari (1931)

The story of Mata Hari is a thriller. The movie, based on an exotic dancer who was a spy in WW I, is intriguing. Though this film is a fictional account, it claims it's drama in the reality of history. The costumes and performances are outstanding. I really liked this film.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Last Christmas

I was not prepared for the fantasy element in Last Christmas, but it worked. A young girl makes the most of the few associations she has to find direction in her life. The less you know going into this film the better. I really liked the twist. Well done.