Showing posts with label Drama movie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drama movie. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2016

Review of "The Huntsman: Winter's War" A Captivating Movie
In 2012, the movie "Snow White and the Huntsman" was released in theaters.  It seized the childhood fairy tale and brought it to an adult audience.   That movie focused on the evil queen, Ravenna, sending the huntsman to kill Snow White after the infamous mirror on the wall informed her there was "another destined to surpass" her beauty.

"The Huntsman: Winter's War" gives the background story of the huntsman in the fairytale.  He was raised to be a warrior in the kingdom ruled by the Ice Queen, Freya, who was Ravenna's sister. 

The movie started a little slow.  Plus, after 4 years, I found myself struggling to remember if we had ever been introduced to Freya before.  However, I did finally settle into watching the drama of the Ice Queen unfold before me and frankly didn't care whether we knew the queen from Snow White had a sister.  Once I was able to set that aside, I very much enjoyed the movie.


About The Huntsman: Winter's War 

Freya, the Ice Queen
Unlike her selfish sister, Ravenna, who had schemed and murdered in order to become queen and to take control of a kingdom, Freya was a sweet girl content with a more common life that included love and a family.  It is well known that Ravenna, the queen, is a sorceress.  We learn in this movie that her powers are not even conquered by death. 

Ravenna had often admonished Freya that she should seek her own supernatural powers, embrace them and become powerful like herself.  When Ravenna discovered she had a new rival, her diabolical actions cost Freya everything that was ever important to her, including the life of her only child.   Once Freya's daughter was murdered, she turns ice cold toward everything and everyone.   She is immediately overcome by anger and hatred.   Her entire body becomes a vessel for evil and wickedness.  She finds her supernatural power in being able to literally freeze anyone and watch their bodies shattered as broken ice.  This ability reflects her frozen heart and she feels nothing but disdain for anyone who loves.  She sees it as a great weakness that should be eliminated.  

Freya leaves her sister's kingdom to establish her own domain.  


The Huntsman:  Eric (Chris Hemsworth)


Chris Hemsworth
Freya conquers region after region in order to build a massive kingdom.  She spares the lives of the children and brings them to her castle to train them as warriors.  She also strives to eradicate love from their lives.

As you may have guessed by now, Eric is one of the children she "captures" to train as a warrior.  He and Sara, another child captured in the same raid, excelled as warriors.  They also fall in love with each other, a sin punishable by death in the Ice Queen's kingdom.

The Ice Queen forms an ice wall between the couple as their comrades carry out orders to attack and kill each of them.  After watching Sara's murder through the ice, Eric is rendered unconscious and thrown into a river by his "adopted" brother.  He survives, but ends up in the land of Snow White mourning the death of his beloved wife. 

My Opinion and Recommendation of The Huntsman:  Winter's War

 The Huntsman: Winter's WarTo be blunt, I liked this movie a lot better than it predecessor, "Snow White and the Huntsman".   

It is easy to accept Charlize Theron as the gorgeous queen whose beauty cannot be surpassed.  As always, her performance was exceptional!  How someone can be so beautiful, and yet be the face of evil at the same time, is quite fascinating.

Emily Blunt was Freya and did an outstanding job of playing the part of a fractured soul struggling to survive an unimaginable experience.   Her facial expressions throughout her reign as the Ice Queen revealed just enough to make you wonder if she struggled with her determination to extinguish any semblance of love. 

These two woman on the screen together are quite impressive.  They are both beautiful woman with regal carriage.  Their acting is superb, and their costumes in this movie are exquisite.  

To the naysayers of this movie who bemoan the fact that Kristen Stewart (Snow White) was not in this movie, I have to say I disagree.  She was not needed, nor was she missed.

As far as the huntsman and the love story in this movie, Eric and Sara were easy to like.  Their relationship and the evolution of romance shows that regardless of laws and hardships, people still care for each other.  The human desire for love and natural response to love cannot be exterminated.  

I also really liked the ending of the movie, but you will have to go see it yourself to know what happens.  Actually, you should go see it for yourself!  Don't let the negative press and reviews that are just plain wrong keep you from going to this movie.

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review & Recommendation Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reviewing Mildred Pierce

A Classic Story Revisited

My husband and I just recently watched Mildred Pierce together. The version that we watched was the HBO mini-series first released in 2011. It had 5 parts to it that for the most part were 1 hour each so it didn't take us very long to get all 5 episodes finished. Over the course of a couple of evenings we were engrossed in the twists and turns of the plot.

Kate Winslet played the divorcee in this adaption of James M. Cain's classic novel from 1941. Oh the struggles that poor woman went through! The story takes place during the depression so life is pretty darned tough for everyone. Mildred lives in Glendale, California and is struggling to make ends meet by baking cakes and pies for neighbors and friends. She has a good business sense about her and eventually starts her own restaurant which is a huge success even in the dire economic climate of the 1930's. No small feat for a woman back then!

Mildred has a daughter named Veda that is just the most spoiled rotten kid you would ever want to meet. Veda is very demanding and wants a much better life for herself and she will stop at just about nothing to get what she wants. Her mother, Mildred, makes so many sacrifices trying to give Veda what she wants but it just never seems to be enough. Throughout the story that girl betrays her mother so many times!

We, my husband and I, really enjoyed watching this HBO version of this classic book and film but I have to admit that I really liked the original movie from 1945 that starred Joan Crawford better. Crawford won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Mildred Pierce. In fact, the movie was nominated for 6 Academy Awards that year.

I have not read the original novel but I think that I might put it on my reading list because I loved both of the adaptations of it so much. What I find remarkable about the story or plot that James M. Cain gives us is that he wrote it in 1941 at a time that we just didn't see the real struggles of a single mother portrayed in book or movie form. Having been a child in a single parent home, he pretty much nails just how hard it is and was for a woman to get by back then.

Being an antiques enthusiast, we really enjoyed the costumes and set designs in the mini-series, too! Oh my goodness! I kept noticing things that people collect now. There was one scene where Mildred is serving some coffee or tea and the pot is a Jewel Tea Autumn Leaf long spout tea pot that so fits the time frame of the story! She served the beverage in what was then Anchor Hocking mugs but would later become Fire King. It was the attention to detail in the surroundings that made the series so enjoyable. Sure, we loved the plot itself but those little period things just really added to the entertainment factor. The architecture was to die for!

So, if you love a good drama I can highly recommend watching either the original movie or the HBO mini-series of Mildred Pierce. You won't be disappointed in either version.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, January 29, 2016

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant may sound like a movie that most women, including myself, would not be interested in seeing due to it's graphic violence.  Any of the trailers for this movie tell you well in advance that this movie is going to be hard to watch for the tenderhearted.  I can tell you from experience now, that it is hard to watch even for the not so tenderhearted. 

However, it is loosely based on the true story of a real life frontiersman, Hugh Glass.  Therefore, it is an enticing movie to history buffs.

The actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, is a major draw for this movie.  He already has a very large group of fans that will flock to his movies regardless of plot. His acting in this particular movie is quite likely to add even more followers to his "club". 

Plus, the scenery in the movie is breathtaking. 

The True Story of the Real Hugh Glass 

The Real Revenant - Revenant means "one that returns after death or a long absence"

"Hugh Glass News Article" by The Milwaukee Journal - Yahoo News. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

  • The historical Hugh Glass enlisted with the second Ashley-Henry expedition to the Rocky Mountains in 1823.  He was an expert marksman / hunter for the party and was in fact mauled by a mother bear with 2 cubs.
  • After the bear encounter, the expedition party made the decision to move on, leaving 2 men behind to care for Glass. 

Quote from the article above:  "Delay of the party in this hostile Indian country might mean disaster to all and a lengthy council was held to determine which course to take.  Finally Major Andrew Henry induced two men by reward of $82 to remain with Glass until he should expire, as not the slightest hope for his life was entertained."

  • After 5 days, those 2 men did indeed abandon him, leaving him without any supplies or weapons.  They then rejoined the expedition party reporting the Glass had died and that they had buried him.  

  • Hugh Glass did indeed survive in spite of being abandoned by his companions.  He did, in fact, crawl 100 miles alone to the safety of Fort Kiowa.  He also did eventually find one of the men who left him to die. 

However, that is as much as the real Hugh Glass and the movie have in common.

The Movie Revenant

 The Revenant [Blu-ray]The movie starts with the hunting party, which included the widower Hugh Glass and his son, Hawk, being attacked by Indians.  Only a small regiment of men escape the massacre by reaching their boat and setting off downstream.  They are, of course, pursued by the Indians on the cliffs surrounding the river.  Hugh Glass advises Capt. Andrew Henry that their best chance would be to abandon the boat and track across land back to their fort.  Not all of the men agreed with Glass, but Capt. Henry makes the decision that they will follow Glass.

At this point, John Fitzgerald, the man who most vehemently disagreed with Glass, takes the opportunity to verbally attack Hugh Glass and his half Native American Indian son.  Even suggesting that he has previously killed an army officer.  Anything seems to be an acceptable accusation from the man who wished to diminish Glass in the eyes of the Captain and the other men.

Later, as Hugh Glass is out scouting, he encounters a mother bear and her two cubs.  He is mauled by the mother bear before he is able to kill her.

The hunting party arrives on the scene and pulls the dead bear off Glass.  They build a stretcher for Glass and try to carry him along with them as they traverse through the woods back to their fort.  When they come to an exceptionally difficult mountainside to climb, they make the decision to leave Glass with 2 of the men who are willing to be paid to stay with him until he dies.  Ironically, one of the men who stays for the pay is none other than John Fitzgerald.  Hawk, his son, also stays by his side along with another young volunteer named Jim Bridger.

John Fitzgerald kills the son in front of the incapacitated, but very much awake Glass.  Fitzgerald lies to Jim Bridger saying that he has spotted a group of a dozen Indians by the river and they must flee to save their own lives.  He acts as if he has no idea where Hawk is, but that they must leave immediately. 

They abandon the still living and breathing Hugh Glass after dragging him into a shallow grave, which Fitzgerald did take the time to do even though they needed to make their getaway.  

Just as the real Hugh Glass, this fictional Hugh Glass miraculously survived and crawled to the safety of the fort across the rugged, mountainous, freezing terrain.   He survived by eating whatever he could find, including abandoned buffalo meat.

The fictional Hugh Glass did get help along the way, including having his wounds stitched up somewhat and treated.  There is no report that any such aid was provided to the real Hugh Glass.

Amazingly, the fictional Hugh Glass also managed to rescue the Pawnee Chief's captive daughter when he witnessed her being raped by one of her abductors.   

The Best Parts of the Movie "Revenant"      

I have no doubt that by now you already know how I felt about this movie.  You may even wonder why I stayed until the end.  

I stayed mostly because I was not alone.  I went to the movie with my husband and my son.  However, I did find a few things to enjoy while I was being mentally battered by the violence. loved the scenery in the movie!  Perhaps that is simply because it was real and not filmed in a studio.

I also appreciated the very believable acting job by Leonardo DiCaprio.  This is probably his best ever acting.  Of course, even I recognize that his "acting" was truly real.  The man was freezing to death out there.  Still, I admire his fortitude and determination.  I must tell you, he so clearly communicated that he was freezing, that I started freezing.  I put on my coat and gloves right there in the theater and I was still cold! 

I also feel somewhat better prepared should I ever be mauled and abandoned in the wilderness.  He exhibited some excellent survival skills by eating after wolves, catching and eating live fish, using the carcass of a death horse to warm himself and stay alive.  I am hoping I never need to use these lessons, but I do feel better prepared now.

My Conclusion and Why I Give the Movie "Revenant" Low Ratings

Would I recommend this movie to anyone?  Absolutely not!  It was violent from beginning to end.

I do understand folklore and how stories as they are handed down from generation to generation are embellished.  However, I have a real problem with the extreme liberties that the movie took since they used the history of a real men and completely submerged it in fiction.   I do not embrace revisionist history even if it does make a story "more entertaining."

The real Hugh Glass's struggle to survive after being abandoned, eating berries and whatever he could steal from wolves would be a fabulous movie without all of the other social agenda and ridiculous attempt for romanticism.  

There is certainly no need to add a fictional son who is killed by the men left to care for the mauled man.  Being abandoned in the wilderness to die without any means to even defend yourself is indeed sufficient incentive to seek revenge.

In my opinion, the only true redeeming points for "The Revenant" were the exceptional acting and the gorgeous photography.   Oh!  And, the fact that it did have an end even though I wondered for nearly 2 hours if the movie was ever going to end.

The Revenant Movie Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Limitless, The Movie - Now a TV Series

Limitless, The Movie
Have you ever seen this movie? Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro are the stars.

The movie has now morphed into a TV Series carrying the same title as the movie 'Limitless'.

Perhaps you managed to catch the TV Season opener this past week (September 2015)? It was entertaining, and I'll be including this one on 'my fave new fall shows' list. 

Although the stars of the TV Series are Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter, fans of Bradley Cooper will still see him in several episodes playing the character he becomes in the Movie, 'Senator Edward Mora' ... enough of a reason to watch!

In the movie, Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, who's a struggling artist with a case of writers block that essentially spirals him into a less than stellar life.  

He runs into the brother of his ex-girlfriend who introduces him to a drug that is designed to take the human brain from 20% usage to essentially 100% usage. The movie offers a lot of twists and turns and certainly keeps your interest all the way to the end. 

I've always been fascinated by the untapped power and mystery of the human mind and wondered what society would be like if our brains worked at 100% capacity. If every living soul operated at maximum potential, would that generate more good, more evil, or both?
In the movie, Eddie Morra is learning at light speed, working at maximum capacity - he learns to play the piano in three hours, he learns new languages almost instantly and he becomes a financial genius. 

Here's the 2011 Movie Trailer for Limitless:

Can you imagine having that kind of brain power?

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, July 3, 2015

Sense and Sensibility Movie Review I suspect we all have movies that we "go to" when we simply want to unwind.  A movie that we know we can trust to sooth our nerves while entertaining us time and time again.  Sense and Sensibility is one of my "go to" movies.  For a first time viewer, it may have some fairly stressful events and drama, but for me, it is an old comforting friend.  You see, I know the way it all ends!

The actors in Sense and Sensibility are so well suited to their parts that I often forget they are actors and do appear in other movies.  In my mind, Emma Thompson will always be the sensible Elinor.  Kate Winslet will always be the sensitive Marianne and Alan Rickman will forever be that dashing and stable Colonel Brandon, not Snape in Harry Potter.  As a matter of fact, he plays those two parts so well and claims them so completely, one would think he was two different people.

As for Hugh Grant, his youthful good looks and his ability to appear somewhat shy and naive, make him the perfect Edward Ferrars.

I should note, I do know there are other versions of this movie, but this is the version I prefer and these are the actors I identify in their respective parts.

Sense and Sensibility:  The Plot

By C. E. Brock via Wikimedia Commons
The movie Sense and Sensibility is based on the book (same title) by Jane Austen.  It takes place in the very late 1700's.  In a time when women were most often completely dependent upon their male relations.   In the case of the Dashwood family, the entire Dashwood estate was willed to one single male heir, John Dashwood, who was the son of Henry Dashwood and his first wife.  It is important to note here that even the current Mrs. Dashwood did not inherit anything and was dependent upon the benevolence of John Dashwood or other relatives.

After the death of Henry Dashwood, the Dashwood women all became the responsibility of their half-brother, John who was easy manipulated by his selfish wife, Fanny.  The three Dashwood sisters and their mother are forced to move out of their home of luxury and wealth and into a small cottage owned by a distant relative, Sir John Middleton.

The story is not only about their struggles to survive, but also the various romances of the young women.  Unfortunately, their reduced economic circumstances made them no longer desirable alliances by the wealthier families, which made them less likely to marry back into the wealth of which they were born.

There are broken hearts, shattered dreams, unexpected alliances and kindness, but there is also love.  The kind of love that hopes all things and endures all things.  For the forever hopeless romantic, this movie is an absolute must!

Trailers and Scenes from Sense and Sensibility

There are many remarkable, quotable scenes in Sense and Sensibility, but none quite so palpable as the moment when Colonel Brandon says "give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad".   His concern for the gravely ill Marianne, his stress and his need to do something, touch every heart in this unforgettable moment.

This was the only video I could find with the quote focus. 


If you enjoy the works of Jane Austin, historical romance or simply romance, I have no doubt you will enjoy this awesome movie.  If it is your first time to see Sense and Sensibility, I recommend you have your Kleenex close by.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, January 9, 2015

"The Scapegoat" Movie Review
I absolutely love it when we discover a movie that both my husband and I enjoy.  Thus was the case with "The Scapegoat" and I knew I had to write this movie review and recommend this movie to all of our readers.

It was a bit of a fluke actually that we found "The Scapegoat".  No one had recommended it, neither of us had ever heard of it and the actors were not familiar names to us, but we felt we had nothing to lose by turning it on.  After all, if it wasn't a good movie, we could certainly stop it and select another.

Within moments, we were pulled into the British world of the past and completely enthralled in the movie plot.  

"The Scapegoat" Movie Plot Synopsis

By chance, a wealthy businessman meets an out of work teacher who looks exactly like him.  The businessman appears to befriend the teacher and plies him with drinks until he is quite drunk.  In the morning the teacher awakens to find that the businessman has taken the liberty of trading lives with him.  Even before he has a chance to fully grasp what is happening to him, a chauffeur, believing he is the businessman, has "helped" his employer to the car and they are fast on the way home.

We quickly start learning, right along with the teacher, what a deceitful, cheating, treacherously duplicitous character the businessman is in life.   It is easy to understand why he would want to escape his crumbling "house of cards" life and leave someone else to deal with the failures in business and his personal life.

But, what looks obvious is not the complete story.  

This is a must see movie that will appeal to mystery movie lovers as well as the romantics.

"The Scapegoat" Movie Based on a Book

I cannot tell you how surprised I was to discover this morning that "The Scapegoat" is based on a book written by Daphne du Maurier, who just happens to be one of my all time favorite authors.  

It made me wonder if I have previously read the book and simply did not recognize the plot in movie form.  As we all know, movie screenplays don't always follow the books perfectly, but are often more loosely based on a book.

Regardless, I will reading the book, perhaps for the first time, over the next few days and I am quite certain it will also be fabulous.

"The Scapegoat" Movie Rating

I highly recommend "The Scapegoat".  It really is a great movie and deserves a lot more recognition that it has received.

In my opinion, "The Scapegoat" is a 5 star, must see movie! 

5 out of 5 stars

One additional note:  The DVD that is available on will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

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