Friday, May 25, 2012

Ball Of Fire (1941)

I love the oldies and I love movies starring Barbara Stanwyck!  In this film, Barbara Stanwyck stars as  "Sugarpuss" O'Shea a nightclub singer who is the girlfriend of a mob boss named Joe Lilac (Dana Andrews).  While working at the club, she meets professor Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper) who wants to ask her questions about modern American slang words as he is writing an encyclopedia about all human knowledge with some other professors.  She is not too thrilled with this and turns him down. 

When she finds out that she is going to be questioned about her boyfriends mob activities, she is told by his henchmen to skip town.  The only place that she can think to go is to the professors house where he and his other professors live and work.  These professors are lovably geeky and take to her right away.  The housekeeper however is not thrilled with her at all and wants her gone.  The professor and Sugarpuss eventually grow close and he asks her to marry him and she accepts.  Unfortunately her boyfriend wants her to marry him so that she can't testify against him. 

I recently read that Barbara Stanwyck had 12 soldier pen pals during WWII, what a gal!  Love the hair and clothing in this film!

Really cute film!  Love it!

111 MInutes.  Not Rated.  I give this film FOUR AND ONE HALF STARS!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Melancholia (2011)

This movie, directed by Lars von Trier, was apparently well received by critics as well as some people. It was not well received by this person! I didn't even finish it.

The film is about a woman, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) who falls into a depression after marrying her husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) at her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law's (Kiefer Sutherland) resort. Her parents are both a mess and give rotten and inappropriate speeches and Justine wanders the grounds instead of mixing with her guests. She even falls asleep with her nephew at one point. Her relationship with her husband degrades during the movie as does her relationship with her sister. This is all happening as a yet undiscovered planet is hurtling toward earth.

I found this movie weird and boring, not entertaining at all. I got about half way before I had to shut it off. I am not sure what all the accolades were with regard to this film. A lot of it was supposed to be because of Dunst's acting, but I did not think that the acting was exceptional. The first 10 minutes of the movie (at least it felt that way) was of the bride and groom trying to get their limo up a hill. WTF?

Rated R. 135 Minutes.  I give this movie ONE AND ONE HALF stars.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Hangover II (2011)

It's happening again. Yes, our boys have gotten themselves into a bit of a pickle. This film basically follows the same formula that the first installment has, I guess the feeling is why mess with it if it makes millions of dollars. I myself can't help stopping to watch the original every time I stumble upon it on HBO. I also find myself singing about what tigers dream of.

This version has everyone going overseas to Thailand for Stu's (Ed Helms) wedding to Lauren. They are here because it is important to Lauren to make her father, who has nothing but rotten things to say about Stu, happy. Right before the wedding, the boys decide to have a drink on the beach and have included Lauren's little brother Teddy (Mason Lee) in their group much to Alan's (Zach Galifianakis) disdain. In the morning, Phil (Bradley Cooper) and the rest of our group, wake up in Bangkok in a totally disgusting hotel room. Doug (Justin Bartha) left the group before the action happened, so he woke up at the beautiful resort in Thailand. The missing element here is Teddy minus his finger which is found in the hotel room. Mr. Chow also plays a larger part as does a very talented monkey.

The critics really ripped this one up, but the people seemed to enjoy it. I thought it was pretty funny although there were a couple of parts that were pretty crude.

102 Minutes. Rated R. I give this film THREE STARS.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Skyline (2010)

This movie takes place in Los Angeles and stars Eric Balfour, Donald Faison and Scottie Thompson. Aliens come to L.A. and possibly the rest of the world, put people in a trance and take them. Where do they take them you ask? Into their spaceship where they take their brains is my answer.

This "film" if it can be called that, is one of the worst movies that I have seen in a long time and I have seen "Natural Born Killers". In that movie, at least the audience could walk out of the theater (no kidding, at least 15 people walked out). I watched this entertainment nugget at home so all I could do is stomp off to the restroom. I have nothing good to say about it and neither would you. Don't waste your time. I can't even bring myself to subject anyone to a clip, so I'm not posting one.

92 Minutes. Rated PG-13. I give this movie 1/4 OF ONE STAR. Hey, c'mon, someone put their heart and soul into making this thing after all.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Fighter (2010)

This film is the true story of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his older brother Dicky Eklund.

Boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) lives in Lowell Massachusetts and is being trained by his older half brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) who is a boxer in his own right having once fought Sugar Ray Leonard. While Dicky is training Micky, he is being trailed by a camera crew from HBO that is filming Dicky for a documentary about his life. Unfortunately Micky is what the boxing world calls a "stepping stone" meaning a boxer that is used by other boxers to beat so that they can advance. Another unfortunate issue is that Dicky is a crack addict and he often doesn't follow through on his obligations such as making it to training sessions on time.

When Micky has a scheduled fight and the other fighter is ill, a replacement is found but he is significantly heavier than Micky and Micky isn't sure that he wants to fight him. His mother Alice (Melissa Leo), who is also his manager, wants him to do it because of the money. Micky loses and is embarrassed. While at a bar, Micky falls for a bartender named Charlene (Amy Adams). After a while, Alice arranges another fight for Micky, but he isn't sure he wants to do it. Alice and the family blame Charlene for her influence which sets off conflict for most of the rest of the film. Micky gets an opportunity to go to Las Vegas to train and get paid for it in Las Vegas, but Dicky insists that he will come up with money to match it. To get this money Dicky begins running a scam that includes impersonating a police officer and gets caught. When Mickey hears and runs over to try to help his brother, he gets caught in the middle, his hand gets broken and Dicky goes to jail.

While in jail, the HBO documentary is screened and they see that the documentary was actually about Dicky's drug use and is called "High On Crack: Lost Lives In Lowell" and talks about how crack ruined his life. Devastated, Dicky finds the strength to push himself to get his life together while in prison. In the meantime, Micky finds that he has a chance with a new team to help him with his boxing as long as he can separate himself from Alice and Dicky. Before a bout, Micky visits Dicky in prison and Dicky gives him some boxing advice. Micky thinks that he is only giving him the advice for himself and disregards it. At the actual fight, Micky finds himself getting beaten and decides go with his brothers suggestions and wins.

When Dicky gets out of prison, he expects that he will jump right in with Micky's training and he, as well as Alice, are told that they can't participate. This causes a huge fight on both sides of Micky and he angers Charlene as well. Dicky stomps off to where he used to do drugs with his friends and says goodbye to them. He goes to Charlene's house and says that they have to work together for Micky's sake. Everything works out and Micky goes to London and his title bout.

This film was really good. The acting was extraordinary and the movie was nominated for best picture. Christian Bale won the Golden Globe and the Oscar for his role as Dicky Eklund. Melissa Leo won the Oscar as his mother and Amy Adams was also nominated for her role as Charlene.

Christian Bale's performance was especially good. Here is an Englishman born in Wales that must pull off a crack addicted guy with a Massachusetts accent and does just that. Many people are astounded that he has an English accent. You can check out some of his other films including one of his earliest "Empire Of The Sun" from when he was just 13. He has also played Batman and has been in "The Machinist", "American Psycho" and "Terminator Salvation". Melissa Leo also stirred up a bit of controversy when she marketed herself to win the Oscar when it is traditionally done by the studios.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Kings Speech (2010)

At the beginning of this film, Prince Albert, Duke Of York (Colin Firth) must give a speech at Wembley Stadium. He stutters horribly and the people listening seem to find it painful to hear. The Prince tries to cure his stutter, but nothing is able to help until his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) finds Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) a speech therapist to help him. At first Prince Albert gets frustrated with Logue, especially since Logue insists on calling Prince Albert "Bertie". Logue has Bertie read a passage while recording him at the same time that loud music is playing to see what the problem might be. The Prince thinks that this is a waste of time, throws a tantrum and leaves. Logue gives him the record. Later as Bertie's father gives his Christmas address to the British people, Bertie listens to the recrod and realizes that he was not stuttering. Bertie goes back to Logue and finds hope in Logue's rather unconventional therapies.

After Bertie's father dies and his brother David, the Prince Of Wales takes the throne as King Edward VIII, King Edward finds that he must abdicate the throne if he wants to marry and American woman named Wallis Simpson as she has been divorced. King Edward steps down but not before accusing Bertie of getting speech lessons because he knew he would be taking over. Bertie gets upset at Logue because of the pressure and is very cruel to him.

When Prince Albert becomes King George VI he realizes that he needs Logue's help more than ever and goes to Logue's to apologize. When King George must give a speech regarding England's declaration of war with Germany, Logue is right there giving him support. King George does a fine job and from then on Logue was always there when King George gave a speech.

This film may be a bit slow for some folks, but it was quite good. Colin Firth received an Oscar for his performance. Even Brian was glad that he saw it. Even if you think it might be boring, do yourself a favor and Netflix it.


Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2010)

Sorry, never gonna happen. What is it about this kid that everyone likes?