Monday, April 26, 2021

Zappa

The documentary Zappa is a fantastic film about a talented artist, activist, composer and human. This film documents Frank Zappa's life and works on a very personal, heartfelt level. Much respect.

"Any decision you make based on money is not an artistic decision." ~Frank Zappa

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Pinocchio (2020)

 This version of Pinocchio is creepier than most, but it sticks to the classic story. The makeup and costumes are very good. Worthy of the Oscar nominations. An interesting take that could be too intense for little ones.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Spontaneous

The crazy events in Spontaneous seem to be a metaphor for what is going on inside the teen mind during pandemic. Ideas of uncertainty and death can weigh heavy on the mind. This is an unusual story with a lot of drama to struggle for survival and a little humor. Interesting film. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)

 I saw the 1952 version of Jack and the Beanstalk on TV when I was a kid. The comedy duo of Abbott and Costello, along with a stellar cast, bring this children's story to life in a wonderful way. I'm glad that it was available on TCM to revisit. Well done.

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Muppets Take Manhattan

A Muppet classic, The Muppets Take Manhattan is so much fun. Earnest and funny with great cameos. Fun rental.

21 Bridges

21 Bridges is a disturbing conspiracy story with a lot of WTF moments. set in NYC, how do you shut down 21 bridges? Dramatic and intense. High level police drama. Good rental.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

This is a Robbery

The series This is a Robbery brings an unsolved art robbery to life. So interesting. So Boston. So mysterious. For Isabel Stewart Gardner, being eccentric was a way of getting out of the house circa 1903. In a 1990 robbery 13 pieces of her art collection were stolen. Fascinating story. Famous last words? "Nothing happens on nightwatch..."

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Children's Hour

 In the film The Children's Hour a malicious act destroys lives. The performances are outstanding and the story is so disturbing. Worth watching.

The Mole Agent

The humanity in the documentary The Mole Agent is so heartwarming. What starts as a story about an investigation, ends up as a story of compassion and friendship. Very worthy of the Oscar nomination. I liked this doc.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Bullit

The crime thriller Bullit takes us through the streets of San Francisco to solve the crime. I love the classic cars, especially the el camino. Cool action film.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Good Omens

David Tennant and Michael Sheen bring so much charm to the Good Omens series. Good and evil bump up against each other as the end of the world approaches. Well done.

"I do not endorse everyday sexism."

Friday, April 09, 2021

Love and Monsters

I watched Love and Monsters because it was Oscar nominated for visual effects. This is a rather forgettable quest movie, but there were a few quips that struck me.

Q: "What if I have terrible Instincts?"

A: :You'll die."

~ "You traveled 85 miles across hell, I think I can stop 3 assholes."


Genius: Aretha

 Watching the life story of Aretha Franklin in the Genius TV series is so satisfying. Cynthia Erivo portrays the Queen of Soul in in a powerful way. Having seen Erivo live on Broadway a few years ago, I really appreciated this performance. Worth watching.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

The Onion Field

The murder of a police officer sets off a crime drama in The Onion Field. This story runs high in emotions and manipulation of the legal system. This film is intense and disturbing. Well done.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Our Friend

The life of Nicole Teague is the inspiration for the film Our Friend. This film is a tribute to Nicole, friendship and loyalty. It is respectfully done with a big heart. Lovely film.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Never Too Late: The Doc Severinson Story

 The documentary Never Too Late: The Doc Severinson Story is an inspiring look a musical master. Doc Severinson's life and career is fascinating too me. What a talent. Excellent documentary. 

Friday, April 02, 2021

The Lavender Hill Mob

The Lavender Hill Mob is a charming, classic heist film. Fun to watch Sir Alec Guinness young with the same voice. I really liked this movie.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Brilliant in many ways, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff? is a roller coaster ride of events and emotions. The performances are electric and the story is wild. I love this film.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Godzilla vs Kong

The monster movie Godzilla vs Kong met all of my expectations. So many battles! The Kong CGI is great. There is a butt scratch, a great reaction to snow and so much saliva in that roar. Monster movies scratch a certain itch for me, especially when the human says, "Oh shit...." Well done.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Moxie

I find portrayals of blatant sexism to be very disturbing. The story in the film Moxie struck me as both inspiring and infuriating. A student creates a magazine to bring awareness to the social injustices at her high school. Well done.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Another Round

Alcohol abuse is the result of a social experiment among some Danish teachers in the film Another Round. This film is an interesting take on relationships, confidence, friendship and substance abuse. A surprisingly inspiring dance sequence is a highlight in this film.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Tenet

Tenet was a difficult film to watch both technically and conceptually. I struggled to understand the plot and its time-jump theory. "You have a future in the past." I also struggled to understand the characters speaking with gas-masks, mumbling and competing with the sound track. The sound mix was way off in my opinion. The visual effects were good, but that's about it. Frustrating rental.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

News of the World

The film News of the World is a historical reminder of how hard communication and life was. This is an old timey road trip well told. The extra feature about the Kiowa is especially heartwarming.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary is a paranormal adventure with a sweet center. The humor is dark, but it suits the story. Well written and performed, this one is clever and funny. Good rental.

Monday, March 22, 2021

The White Tiger

The White Tiger is a story of clawing out of poverty. Drama ensues. Not for the faint of heart. Excellent film.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan is a story about animal protection. I'm not always a fan of talking animals in movies, but the CGI is good and so is the voice acting. The story of "400 pounds of pure power" is based on a true story. The Big Top Mall is quite a concept. Good movie.

The Last Blockbuster

"Make it a Blockbuster night". The Last Blockbuster is a documentary that captures the nostalgia of the physical act of going into a Blockbuster store. Browsing around, chatting with other customers, the kid at the register, the smell of candy and popcorn. I miss it. Good doc.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

I love Shaun the Sheep, but A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is as clunky as the title. Technically well done, but the story is pretty blah. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Promising Young Woman

The film A Promising Young Woman portrays reactions to misogyny, sexual assault and injustice. The way we turn our heads on hurtful behavior is put under a magnifying glass, as it should. This is a heartbreaking story very well told.

Mulan (2020)

The animated film Mulan is one of the few Disney films I had not seen. The more recent live action version does the Chinese folk-lore proud. I loved the music. Well done.

Better Off Dead

In the coming of age film Better Off Dead a teenager feels he needs to take dramatic measures when his love life does not go the way he wants. His ultimate plan works out better than his original intentions. This is a goofy, funny 80s comedy I really enjoyed.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Miss Stevens

When Miss Stevens chaperones high school students to a drama competition, we get a story set in a high school environment with very real characters and situations. There is a struggle between adult and adolescent behavior. The performances elevate the plot which did not go where I expected. That was refreshing. Good film.

The Sunshine Boys

In The Sunshine Boys two comedic geniuses reunite for a TV show. The problem? They hate each other. This situation is played for big laughs in this very funny film. A pleasure.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Onward

The Disney film Onward is the story of two brothers trying to bring the father they never knew back for just one day. They embark on their quest with family and fantasy, humor and heart. Magic plays a large role, so does bravery and loyalty. I liked this film a lot.

Over the Moon

Loosely based on Chinese legend, Over the Moon is a sweet story with vivid animation, beautiful music and a big heart. I'm glad that it got an Oscar nomination.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Stardust

 The film Stardust tells the story of David Bowie's first visit to the US and the inspiration for Ziggy Stardust. The story is actually quite amusing and this film is well done.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Avalon

 While sorting family memorabilia from my parent's house, I came across the film Avalon. The story of family, immigration, work and love was a good companion to the task. An outstanding cast a beautiful set design make this a film worth seeing. Lovely.

Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art

The documentary Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art dives into the story of art fraud in NYC. Fascinating story.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Framing Brittney Spears

 The documentary Framing Brittney Spears is a sad story of control, money and abuse. Very troubling. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Miss Juneteenth

Dreams, expectations, family dynamics and hard work play their parts in the strong coming of age story Miss Juneteenth. A young woman works toward her own identity despite her well-intentioned mother. The way she finds it works well in this film.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Jayne Mansfield's Car

Generational differences and experiences make for family drama in the film Jayne Mansfield's Car. Two very different families gather for a final farewell. War, relationships, drugs, culture, cars and history all amplify emotions. I liked this interesting film.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Long Shot

The movie Long Shot is a solid romantic comedy. A reunion of two people with little in common than their past relationship, leads to an interesting fish-out-of-water story. This movie earns it's R rating and delivers the laughs. The chemistry between these two is great and it is beautifully shot. The extras on the DVD are worth watching.

Raya and the Last Dragon

I was invited to watch Raya and the Last Dragon to take part in Movie Night. Fun with the family from 200 miles away. Technology rocks. Beautiful animation and cool story. I learn about water dragons and "butt-kickery". Wonderful movie and a good time with the kids.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Cold Comes the Night

Unusual circumstances of a kidnaping and robbery set the stage for tension in Cold Comes the NightDesperation and money drive the plot of this gritty drama. Alice Eve's character and performance are that glue that holds this crime thriller together. Cranston is understated and menacing. Good film.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Father's Little Dividend

 In Father's Little Dividend a father who has just adjusted to his daughter's marriage, struggles with the news he will soon be a grandfather. A little silly, but the performances make this film worth seeing. I enjoyed this.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

The United States vs Billie Holiday

The story told in The United States vs. Billie Holiday is tragic, enraging and dramatic. Andra Day is a force. Holiday's treatment was true low point in the history of law enforcement. Good film.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme

I'm so sorry that I missed this show live, but the documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme is very satisfying. "Fit me like a well worn hoodie." Shows that happen for the first and last time...that's improv...that's art. Well worth watching.

Pieces of a Woman

The heavy drama surrounding a huge loss is portrayed in Pieces of a Woman. The first half hour is brutal, but sets the stage. Weighty performances make this a drama worth watching..

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ghostbusters (1984)

I watched the original Ghostbusters for the first time in decades. Joining this crew of scientists battling the paranormal, I had forgotten what a masterpiece it is. The story, performances and production value are top notch. What a fun classic.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Drive He Said

Jack Nicholson made his directorial debut with the film Drive, He Said. Set in the 70s it deals with themes of sports, war, relationships, education and adult decisions. Great cast. Well done.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Night Catches Us

The film Night Catches Us depicts the Black Power movement on a personal, family level. Powerful film.

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Accused

After listening to a few interviews with Jodie Foster, I decided to revisit the film, The Accused. As disturbing as the subject matter is, this was worth watching. Justice does not come easy. It is as good as I remembered.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Little Things

The Little Things is an unconventional crime thriller that takes an unexpected turn. Looking for evidence in a serial killer case is more than they bargained for. Good film.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Patrice O'Neal: Killing is Easy

The documentary Patrice O'Neil: Killing is Easy helped me understand Patrice O'Neal and his comedy better. It was nice to be back in the Comedy Cellar. ~"Great comics have instant opinions."

I Care a Lot

Awful people doing awful things to awful people. I Care A Lot is a thriller that takes many typical crime tropes and turns them on their head. What a watch. ~"If we make each other rich, the trust will follow. "

Friday, February 19, 2021

Nomadland

The story in Nomadland strikes a chord in many ways. Lifestyle choices are dealt with in a very thoughtful, sensitive way. The film is in the hands of masters from the creators to the performers. Poignant film.

The Climb

The film The Climb is a creative, funny, weird, dysfunctional look at friendship and relationships punctuated by punches. I really like the structure of this film. There is a certain poetry of how it moves from chapter to chapter. At its core there's a big heart. Worth a look.

Mermaids

The stellar cast of Mermaids has great chemistry in this unconventional family drama. Christina Ricci is a charmer. This is a beautiful story that makes for a very entertaining film. What a pleasure.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Lady and the Dale

The Lady and the Dale is a docu-series that follows the rise and fall of Elizabeth Carmichael. She promoted a fuel-efficient, three-wheeled car known as The Dale. There was a lot of drama and intrigue in her story. This is worth a watch.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Patrice O'Neal: The Elephant in the Room

In his first full length special, The Elephant in the Room, comedian Patrice O'Neal tackles tough topics with crowd work and a strong point of view. A bit prophetic in places. Well done.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Judas and the Black Messiah

Fred Hampton was an integral part of the Black Panther Party in the 60s. In Judas and the Black Messiah, dynamic performances take us through this important chapter of American history. Fortitude, justice and betrayal are all addressed as the painful events unfold. I watched this more than once, it holds up to multiple viewings.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Anna Lucasta

Anna Lucasta is a heartbreaking story of family, love and loss. Fantastic performances. Eartha Kitt and Sammy Davis Jr. have great chemistry. And oh that snare. Excellent rental.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Insignificance

What would happen if Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Senator Joseph McCarthy and Albert Einstein met? We find out on one night in a hotel room with these 4 historic figures. In the film Insignificance we take this crazy ride with wonderful performances, especially Theresa Russell as Monroe. The conversations take us back forth in time with skillful editing. This film is a solid rental worth seeing.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Palm Springs

When I watched Palm Springs I had these reactions. This film is charming, quirky, funny, edgy. confusing, delicious. The less you know going in, the better. I loved it.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

The King of Staten Island

 It took me a long time to warm up to Pete Davidson. The King of Staten Island helped. His character comes to terms with his grief, and embracing an adult life. This is a poignant coming of age story I liked. 

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Let Him Go

The drama Let Him Go quickly becomes a thriller. When grandparents find out that their grandson is in peril, they act. They are no-nonsense and do what they need to do. This film is darker than I expected, which worked for the story. Well done.

Wild Mountain Thyme

Wild Mountain Thyme is a sweet love story with a bit of an edge. Family, land and attraction drive this romance. The likeable cast helps too. I enjoyed this film.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Locked Down

 A couple finds themselves Locked Down together by the pandemic at the time they were intending to break up. This drama turns into a very satisfying heist film with some complicated details. I liked this film.

Monday, February 01, 2021

The Late Show (1977)

 The 1977 film The Late Show pairs two gifted comedic actors in a story of mystery and murder. I like a who-done-it and I like these performances. A bit silly at times, but I thought it was entertaining.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Genius

The film Genius takes us inside the world of publishing and editing in 1929. It explores the relationship between writer and editor in a very personal way. This is an intimate look at the literary world. I liked this film.

Dead Again

A mysterious story of past lives in the present is the premise of Dead Again. Working out the mysteries of a disturbing dream, we go back and forth in time to reveal the truth. It's a wild ride. Great performances. I always enjoy Robin Williams in a dramatic role. Thompson and Branagh shine.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tiger

The documentary TV mini-series Tiger follows the rise and fall of golf superstar Tiger Woods. This is a  sad story of self destruction. In some situations it seems that there is an element of abuse, in others, a tendency of self-sabotage. An interesting, disturbing story.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Some Kind of Heaven

The documentary Some Kind of Heaven explores the retirement community The Villages in FL. Several personalities are highlighted and some of the stories are doozies. An interesting look inside an interesting lifestyle. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

An American Pickle

The fish-out-of-water story is told in An American Pickle. A 100 year old man navigates present-day Brooklyn with his great grandson. This film is funny and sweet.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

David Byrne's American Utopia

The Broadway presentation of David Byrne's Utopia is available to enjoy on HBOmax. For this Broadway fan who especially loves music, dance and creativity, this is a treat. Lockdown has curtailed my Broadway attendance, so a show like this brought into my home is a dream. I'll be back in the theater some day, but for now, I will be grateful for presentations like this.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Easy to Wed

As classic films go, Easy to Wed is a gem. How many times can you marry? Public opinion 40s style plays a big part. Lucille Ball and Ester Williams knock it out of the park. This is a good one.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Ammonite

The film Ammonite examines female roles, both personal and professional. We are treated to stunning performances in this intricate story of profession, friendship, intimacy and class. Honest, warm and sexy. I liked this film.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Blackbird

The film Blackbird tells the very emotional story about choosing your end of life. A woman brings her family together to present her plan. The family dysfunctions are magnified by being together. Drama ensues. I thought this was a powerful film.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President

The film Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President is an interesting documentary. Carter was the first President I voted for. I still remember getting my absentee ballot notarized at the general store in Bethany, WV when I was in college. It Was fun to see Providence, RI gets a moment. Carter is is honest and sincere. Worth a watch. 

Music is the voice of the heart ~ Garth Brooks

Outrage

Closeted politicians are discussed in the documentary Outrage. Making decisions based on anyone's sexual orientation, is government at its worst. This is a disturbing, yet important documentary.

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

Watching The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart  I realized that their music was the sound track of my formative years. The Bee Gees' music was always on the radio or in films when I was a teenager and young adult. So singable and fun to dance to. What a contribution their talents brought to our culture. This is an excellent music documentary about a family of talented performers. What a ride!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Rental

 As modern horror films go, The Rental is a good addition to the genre. Two couples rent a house for a weekend getaway and soon fall into issues of voyeurism and infidelity. The plausibility brings the scares, especially in the last half hour. Creepy rental that I liked.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Words on Bathroom Walls

 In Words on Bathroom Walls we get a coming of age story with an interesting premise. Charlie struggles in his senior year of high school, but finds support in places he did not expect. The performances in this film are strong. I really liked this one.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

All is Bright

 I had one more Christmas movie on my list. A dismal story of a quick money scheme set at Christmas, All is Bright is dark, but I liked it. The performances are excellent.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Kajillionaire

The film Kajillionaire is a thoughtful story of family, survival, cons and acceptance. The performances are outstanding. I watched this film twice in one day, it's that good.

Tickled

 The film Tickled is not the documentary I expected. When a reporter delves into a tickling competition, he finds more than he bargains for. The less you know going in, the better. What a crazy story.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Ratatouille the Musical

 My first virtual performance experience was so fun! Ratatouille the Musical was creative, energetic, funny and heartfelt with wonderful performances. Post-show meet up on FaceTime after with my family was icing on the cake. Bravo!!

Let Them All Talk

 It's kind of fun to watch women in their 60s act like middle-schoolers. In Let Them All Talk we get that and more. I liked the story, I liked the characters, I liked the performances. I liked this film.