Saturday, October 31, 2020

Pick of the Litter

The Pick of the Litter is a documentary about the work involved in training guide dogs. The amount of work involved for both the dogs and he trainers is impressive. Inspiring and heartfelt rental.

Friday, October 30, 2020 in Lock-Down

 When I first experienced the Empty Nest in the late 90s I had more time to watch movies. My older daughter was a bit of a cinephile, and I was fascinated when she and her friends would see a film on it's opening weekend. I liked movies, but did not consume them as voraciously as she. As my idle hours increased this changed. I got used to going to the cinema by myself and trips to the video store were frequent. In 2002 my daughter started talking about something called Netflix. I was skeptical of getting DVDs in the mail, but she signed me up as a birthday gift. And what a gift it was! As I merrily scrolled through the library, adding films to my queue, I realized that many titles I tried to find at the video store or the library were now at my fingertips from the comfort of my home. In no time I eased into a routine of renting 3 movies a week. Quite a value and great entertainment.

 My other form of movie consumption was the cinema. Every weekend I would follow my daughter's lead and head to that room in the dark to see the latest releases. From big studio blockbusters to art house gems, I was a consumer. If the reviews on a film were so-so I would put the title in my Netflix queue for a low risk, high value viewing at home. Over time, I learned how to get the latest releases and classic gems delivered to my door. 

A few years ago, I was approached to be part of a group to promote the newly branded Netflix service Swag arrived at my door and reward points could be earned by posting on social media and participating in activities.#DVDNation #ad I was even fortunate enough to meet the people in this Directors group on a visit to one of the Netflix distribution hubs. Seeing the process of how they turned around thousands of DVDs a day was fascinating. We joked about who had the most movies in their queue and reveled in the joy of our mutual love of film and physical media.

When we went into lock-down in March, the closing of theaters made sense. Though I understood, it left a void in my film world. The comfort that I took in my Netflix subscription was valuable. Movies delivered to my house? Sweet! Since I had been to the hub and knew that they sanitized the discs, I was not worried about exposure. The USPS handled the deliveries like a champ. At first, I leaned toward light fare and comedies, but I was feeling and unsettled restlessness. Renting the 1927 film Wings taught me a lesson. I found comfort in a film made over 90 years ago. The themes of comradery and loyalty, along with some amazing cinematography was very comforting. Then the movie Auntie Mame (1958) was recommended as a movie to watch with the family. Once again I was comforted by a film of a certain age. The movies kept coming and I kept finding satisfaction in films from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. The best part was never leaving the house to get them. The service from the hubs and the USPS has been flawless. I have never appreciated their services more. Since March, I have made sure to write my thanks to both the USPS and Netflix on the return envelopes. I hope they know how sincere those messages are. If you love movies is the way to go with the best DVD library around and unbeatable service. Thanks so much to Netflix!

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

Halloween season is the perfect time to watch The Spiral StaircaseTrapped in a house with a serial killer, a young woman is in peril. This is a perfectly crafted thriller. Great rental for this scary season.

Thursday, October 29, 2020


The wild thriller Bug is a crazy ride through delusion, paranoia and conspiracy. Agnes: "I am the super Mother bug!" Cool film.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

The People Under the Stairs

If you like something creepy with a touch of social justice check out The People Under the Stairs. Wes Craven takes us to a house and a hidden world that becomes an unexpected adventure to make things right. Well done.

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Hot Rock

The Hot Rock is a classic heist film with a great cast. Films from the 70s hit a chord with me through the cars, hair and clothes. Seriously, what was going on with Redford's hair? There are a lot of bare chests in this film as well. Some good, some not so much. Sad what they did to that Mustang and I question the handling ability of that Mercedes. The driving sequences are harrowing, sometimes terrifying. The lower Manhattan skyline with the Twin Towers under construction really set us in the time period of the early 70s. I really liked this film.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Being There

The film Being There is an interesting exploration of what's real. The most realistic quote in this film is, "All you've got to be is white in America to get whatever you want." This film has a lot of heart and the ending is the "aha" moment. The performances and story are so good and so satisfying. I really liked this movie.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Trial of the Chicago 7

If you like historical drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7 portrays an important time in American history. Excellent film. Outstanding performances. Disturbing look at our justice system. "The whole world is watching." Well done.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Hospital

In The Hospital things just keep going wrong. The distortion of power and bureaucracy is depicted well. I saw this in the theater back in the day and it still holds up. Outstanding performances.


Not every Inheritance is about money. A mystery man surfaces after a wealthy man dies. Who he is and why he's there makes for a mystery that takes some startling turns. I liked this movie a lot, but it's pretty bizarre.I liked it.

Friday, October 16, 2020


A supernatural horror film, Exeter, was made in RI at an alleged haunted site. Teenagers awaken the supernatural to a creepy effect. There are plenty of jump scares. This is a decent scary movie.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Making The Boys

Making the Boys is an excellent documentary about making The Boys in the Band, both the play and the film. Mart Crowley tells the story along with the cast and collaborators. The film is personal and powerful. Great rental.

Monday, October 12, 2020

No Time for Sergeants

 The classic No Time for Sergeants is a military themed comedy. The interactions between all of the different personalities makes for very funny scenes. This is a great cast. Very entertaining.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Charlie's Angels (2019)

The 2019 version of Charlie's Angels is a cool action film that stays true to the source material...and then some. The story is interesting and the chase and fight scenes rock. Well done. Good rental.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Winter Kills

I got classic 70s vibes from the drama Winter Kills. Wardrobe and cars are spot on. Basically, this is a murder mystery that goes many different ways. I won't spoil it, but there is a yellow Pinto in a chase scene. The last half hour is the best part of the film. Wonderful performances.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Dirty Grandpa

In Dirty Grandpa a hijacked road trip is played for laughs. A raunchy ride with a sweet spot. I liked this one more than I expected to.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Dick Johnson is Dead

A unique look at end of life, Dick Johnson is Dead is a sweet tribute to the film maker's father. Lots of heart. Lots of humor. Lots of love. Long live Dick Johnson.

Saturday, October 03, 2020


In Driveways, while trying to settle her deceased sister's estate, a woman's young son befriends the elderly next door neighbor. This story about generational relationships packs an emotional punch. Many feels.