Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Monday, September 6, 2021

Ghostbusters Movie - Reviewed

 

Ghostbusters Movie Reviewed

We are huge fans of Saturday Night Live with the original cast. So, when the movie Ghostbusters hit the big screen in 1984 staring, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray we just couldn’t wait to see it.

 

Now it’s 37 years later and we still love to watch it, (really 37 years, what happened?). Over the years Ghostbusters 1 and 2 have become classic movies and are still popular today. The Ghostbuster movies created such a huge market of products. Such as action figures, video games, Legos, T-Shirts, and so much more.

 

Ghostbusters Movie Plot:

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The movie centers on parapsychologists Peter Venkman played by Bill Murray, Raymond Stantz played by Dan Aykroyd and Egon Spengler played by Harold Ramis.

 

After they lose their research funding from the University, they open a paranormal exterminator service called (you guessed it) “Ghostbusters”.

 

The movie starts with their first paranormal experience in the public library. Just prior to that is one of my favorite scenes is where Bill Murray is testing two young subjects for their ESP abilities, using mild shock treatment.

As Murray holds up cards with shapes on them, they must visualize and tell him what they see. The young man gets them all right but Murray zaps him anyway, while the young girl gets them all wrong, he smiles and tells her right, you are good at this.

 

They are then hired by a New York City Hotel to investigate a haunting. After causing a lot of damage to the hotel they capture their first ghost. This is where they become well known as they continue to rid the city of paranormal activity. 


After being thrown in jail by the EPA the Mayor calls upon the Ghostbusters to save the city. This is a perfect family movie, and so much fun to watch. It keeps you laughing throughout the entire movie.

 

Our grandson Bobby has become a huge fan of the Ghostbuster phenomenon. Bobby has watched the Ghostbusters movies over and over. Bobby also has mastered the Ghostbuster video game, and still plays it today.

 

We live in Jamestown New York, home to the National Comedy Center. Dan Aykroyd donated his Harley motorcycle to the Comedy Center for their grand opening on August 6, 2018. It was quite an event for all of us.


Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd donates the Harley motorcycle that he drove to Saturday Night Live in New York.


Ghostbusters signed

 Knowing Bobby is such a huge fan, I told him to bring his Ghostbuster DVD and we will try to get Dan Aykroyd to sign it. And, we did just that, here is one happy kid.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

An Officer and a Gentleman - Movie Review

 

An Officer and a Gentlemen Movie Review

An Officer and a Gentleman hit the big screen in July of 1982, a time when some of you weren’t even born. Just to let you know how long ago that was, the price of a gallon of gas was $1.31, and the average cost of a movie ticket was $3.00.

This movie grossed almost $130 million and came in third in the box office. E.T.-The Extra-Terrestrial was number one and Tootsie was number two. If you are too young to remember those 2 movies, go and get them they were both excellent movies. An Officer and a Gentleman is the movie that made me a Richard Gere fan.

An Officer and a Gentlemen Movie Plot:

The movie stars, naturally, Richard Gere as Zack Mayo who joins the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School to turn his life around after a troubled childhood. Zack’s sole purpose is to become a Navy Pilot.

Louis Gossett Jr. plays drill instructor, Emil Foley. As the movie goes on you will see that Foley is your typical tough drill instructor. Foley rides all of the candidates hard, and especially Zack throughout the movie.

Debra Winger, as Paula, a girl who works in a local factory, meets Zack at a Navy dance, where they strike up a relationship. One of my favorite parts of the movie is where Foley tries to break Zack. After he finds out that Zack has a little side business on the base and doesn’t approve, and believes Zack is not worthy of becoming an officer. Zack prevails with his sheer determination not to fail, and will not give up.

Notice that I said one of my favorite parts of the movie. The best part of the movie is the end, this is where the music starts to play, and as you watch your heart starts to pound, your breathing becomes a little heavier as you get all choked up inside.

I’m going to stop here because if you haven’t seen this movie I don’t want to spoil it. If you have seen it then you know what I’m talking about. I call it that Richard Gere Moment. This moment has been repeated in many of his movies after Officer and a Gentlemen.

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Did You Hear About the Morgans? - Comedy Movie Review

Did You Hear About The Morgans?
I discovered this movie when seeking an easy movie to watch that would make me laugh. This movie definitely fit that bill! 

I've read mixed reviews on "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" which I really don't understand.  This is not meant to be an epic movie, rather it is light entertainment.  While neither of the main actors are on my list of favorites, I must say, this movie made me like both of them better.  Together, they really made me laugh.  

Admittedly, having a cameo appearance of a stunning grizzly bear, did help.  Hugh Grant's reaction and facial expressions during his bear encounter truly made me laugh out loud.

This is a movie to watch when you simply want to sit back and enjoy a show that doesn't require a great deal of emotional involvement, other than humor.  


Did You Hear About the Morgans? Movie Synopsis

"Did You Hear About the Morgans?" is a just for fun movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker (Meryl Morgan) and Hugh Grant (Paul Morgan). 

 Did You Hear About the Morgans? DVDCheck PriceThe Morgan's live in New York and are both successful in business.  Meryl owns a real estate company and Paul is an attorney.  In spite of their professional success, there are problems in their marriage.  Due to Paul's infidelity, the Morgans are separated.  Of course, adultery is not funny, but in this movie their separation does provide the set-up for some rather humorous situations.

Meryl agrees to have dinner with Paul and afterwards they decide to walk to her next appointment together.  Upon arrival, they witness the murder of her client.  They see the murderer and he sees them!

When it is clear, the murderer plans to eliminate the witnesses, Meryl & Paul are placed in the witness protection program "together" as a married couple and sent to a very remote area in Ray, Wyoming.  They are placed under the protection of two federal agents who happen to be married.  

Clay (Sam Elliott)  and Emma Wheeler (Mary Steenburgen) have provided shelter and protection for many witnesses in the past. They have a bedroom set up just for their "guests" and have restricted access to phones and computers, which keeps their guests from contacting friends or family.  Meryl still manages to make a phone call back home, which brings the killer right to their temporary door step.

I highly recommend "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" for a anyone seeking to relax, laugh and enjoy the show!







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Did You Hear About the Morgans? - Comedy Movie Review Written by:
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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Review

The big screen has had its share of famous duos. Either Hollywood knows how to pick them, or it's just luck that two actors work together so well. 

To name a few of these famous duos that we have come to love and adore; Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and how about Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon.

These actors and so many more have teamed up to make so many classics. Their characters and personalities complemented each other to take us into another world for a few hours. They make us laugh, cry, gasp, or sit on the edge of our seats to see what happens next.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Review


Paul Newman and Robert Redford, in my opinion, were one of these duos that were perfectly matched. In 1969 they teamed up in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. This film was said to have launched Robert Redford's career.

Movie Plot:

The film is based on real-life outlaws in the late 1890's. Robert Leroy Parker is known as Butch Cassidy played by (Paul Newman), and Harry Longabaugh is known as the Sundance Kid played by (Robert Redford). Butch is the leader of the group known as The Hole in the Wall Gang.

The gang devises a new plan to rob the Union Pacific Railroad on both the eastbound and westbound runs. The first robbery goes well, but the second robbery things go wrong. A second train shows up carrying six lawmen.

 As the six lawmen jump off the train on their horses, the gang decides to split up, Butch and Sundance go one way and the gang goes another. But, the six lawmen follow Butch and Sundance. All attempts to elude the six lawmen are failing.

 Butch and Sundance find out the group is lead by a famous Indian tracker known as "Lord Baltimore" and a determined lawman Joe Lefors.

They find out from Sundance's girlfriend Etta played by (Kathern Ross) that the team of lawmen was hired by the head of the Union Pacific Railroad. Their job is to track them down and kill them. Butch, Sundance, and Etta move to Bolivia to try and start a new life.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the movie if you haven't seen it. This is one of those movies that will make you laugh, and you're going to find yourself rooting for the bad guys.


This short video is one of my favorite parts of the movie

Paul Newman and Robert Redford teamed up again in 1973 to make "The Sting". After these two hits by this duo, they never made another movie together. What a shame because they worked so well together.

You can find this classic on Amazon Prime or other streaming sites. Or, you could buy the DVD here.

These are the only two movies that Paul Newman and Robert Redford made together.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Widescreen Special Edition) by 20th Century FoxButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Widescreen Special Edition) by 20th Century FoxThe Sting [Blu-ray]The Sting [Blu-ray]

 Clich




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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Reviewing the Movie The Post

Based on real events

newspaper post
Newspaper post image from Pixabay.com
My husband and I recently watched the movie The Post directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. I would like to review it for you this morning. Let me just start off with saying that I am shocked that it did not receive any academy awards. It was nominated but was shunned at the ceremony for the Oscars. 

The movie is based on actual events in our nation's history. In my humble opinion those events were quite significant and often overlooked in society today. Basically the story is about the battle between the press and our government over what is allowed to be published for the public to read and what should be suppressed from being printed. The battle at the time was over whether newspapers had a right to publish classified documents showing the shady and deceitful decisions of our government concerning Viet Nam. The documents became known as The Pentagon Papers. These classified documents spanned four decades documenting the government's real involvement in Southeast Asia and how they had lied to the American people. These papers were first leaked to the New York Times and later to the Washington Post. 

At the time, the Washington Post was owned by Katharine Graham. This was 1971 when Graham was not just the only woman publisher of a newspaper but the very first woman to run a large newspaper in the United States. The movie shows quite accurately the general opinion of most men that a woman was not capable of running a business. It was a different time with very different viewpoints about the capability of the female population. Those of us who were young women at the time will be able to relate to how Katharine was treated and talked to back then. 

The Pentagon Papers revealed to the American public that our government had lied to them. They had interfered in elections in South Viet Nam, had continued to send our boys over there even when they knew that there was no way that the war could be won or ended. Obviously, the government did not want the public to know about any of this and when the Times published the first installments of the papers the Nixon Administration slapped an injunction on them to cease and desist. The Washington Post now had copies of the classified documents and Katharine had to decide whether to publish or bury it. Her advisers, board members and bankers were telling her to not publish but her heart and her instincts couldn't follow that advice. She was a very courageous woman! 

The case of government vs the press was decided by the Supreme Court. In a 6-3 decision the court upheld the freedom of the press protected by our forefathers in the Constitution. Some of the justices sitting on the court felt that something like this was exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they added that first amendment preventing the government from interfering with distribution of information and opinions. 

This movie relating an historical event that I actually lived through, moved me in many different ways. I actually want to watch it again. It brought back so many memories of those events and times. I sincerely think that this movie is important for young people to watch. My generation was being put down at the time for questioning the motives of our government; turns out we had a right to question. From an historical perspective, it is important that the younger generations get a feel for where we were and how far we have come. 

I highly recommend The Post to you. If you are my age, you will most likely remember this time in 1971. If you are younger, you should know about this time in our country. 




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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Marvel Black Panther Gifts Reviewed

Ideas For The Fans Of Marvel's Black Panther

black panther
Black Panther image from Pixabay.com
Let's review some gift ideas for the fan on your gift list who loves the Marvel Black Panther movie and story line. My husband and I recently watched the movie and became new fans of this character from Marvel. 

Obviously, if the person you are looking to gift is a fan then I am sure they have seen the movie that was released in February of 2018. If you have not seen it yet; I recommend that you watch it. For one thing, seeing the movie will help you decide on items that your fan will love. Besides, it is really a good movie especially if you are one who enjoys the Marvel line of Superhero movies that are currently available. 

Before I suggest gifts, perhaps I should tell you a little about the movie. Most of the story takes place on the continent of Africa where we become aware of the legend of the Black Panther King. We learn about the advanced civilization of Wakanda that hides itself from the world to protect their source of vibranium from getting into the wrong hands. This metal is only found in the area where the Wakandans live and because it is the result of a meteor strike centuries ago, it has unusual elements. As with any substance that can give an advantage to power, the bad guys want the metal to do harm. The people of Wakanda know the potential danger to mankind and have protected it for centuries.

So, the first gift that I suggest for the fan of Marvel's Black Panther is the Lego set that builds the Royal Talon Jet Fighter. The advanced technology that the people of Wakanda have developed from the vibranium has allowed them to have jets of this nature. It is a pretty darned cool machine!

Something that I really loved about the movie and story line was that we have a Superhero of color. There is quite a lot of violence as in any superhero plot so this is not for children under 12 or 13. That being said; I do love that kids can be introduced to a different culture. The people of Wakanda are split into five tribes which have totem or spirit animals that they identify with. Obviously, there is the Black Panter as one. We also see the Rhino who the Border tribe identifies with. The Jabari who have moved up into the mountains see the Gorilla as their spirit animal. Personally, I love that this is a part of the story. I also loved that the warriors for the Royal family are women.

Additional ideas for gifts are:

  • Action figures
  • T-shirts of several designs
  • A really cool jigsaw puzzle
  • bedding for a child's bed
  • a vibranium power claw glove
  • sleepwear for boys
  • dvd of the movie
Currently the selection is a little limited. I have a feeling that as we approach the gift giving season that additional items will become available for you to consider for that fan on your list. 

I hope that we see more of this particular Marvel Superhero! He really grabbed my heart! I have been a fan of all of them but the ones that have been introduced or re-introduced in the past few years are so very interesting. As I said earlier, if you have not seen this movie yet; you really should. Perhaps you will also become a fan. 






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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Man Who Invented Christmas Review

Movie About Charles Dickens

Christmas Carol Illustration
One might think that a review of the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas would be about the Christmas holiday, but one would be incorrect in their assumption. Certainly Christmas plays a part in the story, but it really isn't the main gist of this wonderful movie that I am about to recommend that you watch. 

I hazard to guess that if you have not read the book A Christmas Carol; you have at least seen one of the many movie renditions of the the tale by Charles Dickens. The story became an instant success when it was first published on December 19, 1843. It remains after 175 years to be a favorite of many adults and children a like. 

The premise of this movie is about how Charles Dickens wrote the novella, his struggles and a snippet of his life in the early years of the Victorian era. Charles was trying to cope with dwindling finances after having written three flops in a row (at least they were flops then but are not looked at that way now). In 1843, he had already had success with The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. He had toured the United States and Canada; he was an international success. He needed to write something new and one that would be well received. The trouble was he did not have a clue what that story might be. 

Dan Stevens, of Downton Abbey fame, plays the young Dickens superbly! Christopher Plummer haunts Dickens as the character of Ebenezer Scrooge and Jonathan Pryce portrays the father of Charles who can be most infuriating to his son. The set designs, costume designs and cast of characters are magnificent. All of these combined make this movie a treasure to watch.

What I loved the most about this movie was how the author is portrayed in the writing process of his much needed prose. I think that anyone who has tried to write a short story, novella, novel or play can identify with the inner battle a writer has while trying to form the story in his or her head and then to transfer those ideas to paper or the keyboard. The story shows how Dickens needed to name Scrooge before he could come to life in his head and the story could begin to form. Once Scrooge was alive in his mind; Ebenezer would haunt the author in his office and around London. There were times that Dickens small office was crowded with the characters (seen only by Dickens) arguing points of the story. It is a process that I think any writer of fiction can identify with. I know my characters follow me around as I write and sometimes even wake me up telling me that I need to add something before I forget it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it to you all. Actually, I think that I want to watch it again. Oh, who am I kidding? I don't think, I know I want to watch it again. I enjoyed it that much! Now, if you will excuse me one of my characters is insisting that I re-write a scene because she says that I have made her say something that she wouldn't say. I think I just heard Scrooge shout, "Bah, Humbug!"





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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mr. Church Movie Review

Inspired by a True Friendship


Recently I went in search of a good movie. What I found was a character who touched my heart. His name and that of the movie? Mr. Church. Here's my review.

It's been hot out, good movie watching weather, so recently I went in search of a new movie to enjoy. What I found was a character who touched my heart. His name? Mr. Church.

I was attracted to the movie at first by the number of excellent reviews, over 18,000 on Amazon, averaging 4.7 out of 5, with zero 1-star ratings (which may put the accuracy of the old saying, "You can't please all the people, all of the time" in question).

The movie description came next, something about a little girl, her dying mother, their cook, and a family bond that lasts forever. I watched the trailer, though I actually suggest that you might want to skip that. I like to go into a movie knowing little about the twists and turns of the plot and this trailer, typically, does give a few things away. But, on the other hand, you might want to watch it just to get a taste of the beautiful mood of the movie. And it is a beautiful movie. I'll leave the trailer decision up to you.

The movie stars Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson. Yes, the same Eddie Murphy that you might know from Saturday Night Live or The Nutty Professor. But this movie is no comedy. It's a touching drama that will capture your curiosity just like Mr. Church captured Charlie's (Britt Robertson's character) when she first saw him and reported to her mother that, "There's a black man in our kitchen, cooking eggs."

Every character in the movie is well written, well cast, and well acted. Even the minor characters, those with less time on screen, are important as is every line of dialogue they speak. In fact, this movie reminds me of a wonderful book, one with not a single word that isn't important to the whole of the story. The setting, too, beginning in 1971 Los Angeles, was perfect.

I want to tell you more, but I don't like spoilers and I hope you'll trust that I'm steering you in a direction you'll be glad you followed once you watch the movie and get to know Mr. Church for yourself.

This movie is rated PG-13. It contains some rough language, but only in what I would call "appropriate places," and the subject matter is not intended for young children.

Mr. Church is available at the link to rent, stream, or purchase on DVD and may be included with your subscription of Amazon Prime.


~Susan Deppner
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Monday, August 29, 2016

Brooklyn Movie Review

Brooklyn
Brooklyn is a beautiful romantic period drama set in the early 1950's.  We watch as Eilis, a very young Irish woman, prepares to leave her country and her family in order to build a life in America. We are present as she struggles with the trip, the transition, and finally with the definitions of  home and family. Brooklyn is a movie that I will need to purchase as I find myself wanting to watch it again and again.

Brooklyn


Brooklyn was released in theaters in the US on January 26, 2015 and released on DVD in 2016. The movie was directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby. The movie was based on the book Brooklyn written by Colm Toibin.

In the movie, we watch as Eilis learns that she is being sponsored by a Irish priest in America. On her first trip over, she is fortunate that her roommate is a more seasoned traveler and a more out-spoken woman who is not at all afraid to advocate for herself and Eilis.  She gives Eilis helpful information about traveling by ship, how to combat horrible sea-sickness, and how to handle herself upon arrival at Ellis Island.

Although a very quiet and gentle movie, there is enough tension to keep me glued to the screen.  Eilis arrives at the boarding house and we meet the characters there. She obtains work at a department store, and we watch as she transitions from her job in a very small shop in Ireland to a huge department store in the US. We watch as she meets Tony, a handsome and hardworking young man, and meets his Italian family. During all of this, Eilis is balancing severe homesickness with feelings of success in America.

Eilis is suddenly called back to Ireland.  While there, we get glimpses of the conflict between her feelings of home and the familiar with feelings of doing well in America.  She loves both Tony and yet has met a man in Ireland who quickly develops feelings for her. She has a secret, and as her mean-spirited boss in Ireland threatens her with this secret, Eilis has a decision to make.  

Will she make the decision that you want her to make? 

What Others Are Saying About Brooklyn


The film and/or the cast has been nominated for, or has won, more awards than I care to list here.  A few of those awards and nominations are from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and many more. 

On Amazon, there are currently 2,119 reviews that result in 4.5 out of 5 stars. And on IMDb, over 75,000 reviews result in a rating of 7.5 out of 10 stars.  

There are some folks who refer to this movie as a "chick flick", not their cup of tea, and as a film with under-developed characters.  I have to say that I agree with those opinions to a certain extent.  Yes, it is a young woman's love story.  A coming of age tale of a woman.  It is also a movie, which is relatively short in length compared to books, and it is difficult to "know" the characters in a deeper sense with such a large cast.  I would have liked to know more about the other gals at the boarding house. And I would have liked more reasons to dislike the difficult boss in Ireland.  The glimpse into Tony's family was the briefest peek, leaving me wanting more.  But these things did not distract from the movie for me. I still enjoyed the movie very much. So much so that I plan on reading the book. 

Brooklyn - A New York Time Bestseller


Many, many reviews commented on the excellent production design. From the streets and stores, to the automobiles, the dresses, and newly redesigned women's bathing costumes... we are whisked fully into the 1950's. And oh, that polka dot dress! I thought of the stories of my grandmother taking on boarders. And remembered photos of my mother in her dresses in those old black and white photos. Right down to the shoes - Brooklyn seems to have gotten the details right.

I don't know why I did not take note when this movie was in the theaters. Although, I often wait for movies to be released on DVD before I see them.  I randomly chose to watch this movie and I'm so glad that I did.

Related Links


I cried along at one point in the movie. As Eilis is serving a meal to many of the Irish men who literally helped build the US, but were now alone with the exception of the other gentleman gathered, one man stood and sang. Larla O' Lionaird sang a haunting, a cappella version of Frankie's Song. You can sample and/or purchase this amazing song here

Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly - Galway Bay is another story of Irish emigration. While Brooklyn is about the choice of leaving Ireland in order to access more opportunities, Galway Bay is the story of families being forced out of Ireland. Famine did not leave them much choice to remain. The opportunity they were seeking was the opportunity to survive. Galway Bay is a story I will never forget.

A Ring with a Heart and Hands -- Whether you know this ring design as a Fede Ring of Italian origin or later as a Claddagh Ring, you can be sure that the ring symbolizes deep loyalty and love. How one wears the ring matters and our Barbara Tremblay Cipak educates us on the wearing of the Ring with a Heart and Hands.

Official Movie Trailer






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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reviewing Love and Mercy

A Movie That Touched My Soul: Love & Mercy

It occurred to me this morning that I do not often do movie reviews which is odd because my husband and I watch at least one movie per week. We rarely watch a movie for a second time but there are a few that we will decide to view at least once more.  Love & Mercy is one that we chose to watch a second time. The story moved me the first time and touched my soul even deeper upon the second viewing.

I can't imagine that there are very many people in the world who have never heard a Beach Boys song at some point in their lives. My generation listened to their music on the radio, danced to the songs at parties and traveled miles to see them in concert. They are a band that has transcended time and are loved by multiple generations. They are truly iconic in American music and rock and roll. Their music made us happy, made our feet want to move to the beat and sometimes made us sad. It spoke to us in many ways.

This movie tells the poignant story of Brian Wilson who co-founded the Beach Boys with his brothers Dennis and Carl. Brian was the leading force behind the band and wrote or co-wrote many of the songs that they recorded and performed. He is truly a genius when it comes to creating a song and has been innovative in the approach to recorded music. We see some of that genius at work in the movie.

What we also see is the tortured soul of a man who hears music in the most remarkable ways. We see a man who was abused by his father, pressured by the band to create hit songs and misunderstood by so many people in his life. We see a man being taken advantage of by a person who was supposed to be trying to help him heal. We also see the miraculous healing when the grace of love and mercy comes into a life. I don't think that anyone can watch this movie and not be touched by it in a multitude of ways.

There is a scene in the movie where Brian sits down and plays a melody on the piano for Melinda. She tells him that she thinks it is beautiful but she doesn't recognize it. He says that it was the music he heard in his head when he saw her. She is amazed and asks if that is the way it works, the song just comes to him. He says that sometimes it works that way, that it is something in his head or his soul and that sometimes the soul wants to come out and play. That explanation just blows me away. I just love the message....sometimes our soul just wants to come out and play.

I think it is a shame that this biopic film has not reached the acclaim that I think it deserves. John Cusack and Paul Dano do a remarkable job of portraying Brian Wilson as the musical genius and troubled soul that he is. We see glimpses of the influence of Brian's creativity on rock and roll music back in the 1960s and we see how even a celebrity can be manipulated by people who have their own agenda.

Personally, I love the movie Love & Mercy, so much so that I watched it a second time.



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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bridge of Spies Movie Review

"Bridge of Spies" movie review, starring Tom Hanks. The movie is suspenseful, historically significant, a thriller that held my attention all the way through. Here are my top 3 impressions.
My husband and I went to the movies last weekend to see "Bridge of Spies." We don't go out to see movies very often, but this one attracted both of us, my husband because of the Cold War era setting (1957-1962), me because of the spy story. Other than knowing that the movie was inspired by actual events and that Tom Hanks was the star, I knew very little about it. I learned a lot during the 142 minutes we watched and that's what I want to talk about in this review.

There were a number of young people in the audience and by "young people" I mean teenage boys (Saturday night, $3 movie). There were a few old mature baby boomer-era folks like us, but most members of the audience were too young to remember first-hand much about the Cold War. As I watched and the story unfolded, I found myself wondering how much of this history the audience had ever read about, learned about in school, or knew about at all, and how they felt about the movie, the story, the characters, the historical significance, as the story was revealed.

"Bridge of Spies" tells the real-life story that centers around attorney James Donovan (Tom Hanks) and his role in defending accused (and widely presumed guilty) Russian spy Rudolf Abel, as well as Donovan's role as civilian negotiator, recruited by the CIA and tasked with securing the release of captured American U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers. Those two events become entwined in a tale of patriotism, duty, character, and the sanctity of the United States Constitution, the likes of which was impressive, to say the least.

It's hard to talk about the movie without giving away much of the story, so I'll focus on three impressions that I took from the film and try to avoid spoilers.

Berlin Wall, eastgerman border guard looks at the Kubat-Dreieck, July 1st 1988
Berlin Wall, East German border guard
looks at the 
Kubat-Dreieck, July 1st 1988
First was the representation of the city of Berlin, where construction of the infamous wall dividing East from West was being completed as Donovan arrived to negotiate Powers' release. Today many of us remember that wall in its later life, graffiti covered and coming down in pieces following the urging of President Ronald Reagan. The movie gave a taste of how horrifying life actually was on the east side of that wall for the honest-to-goodness human beings who lived, and tried to escape from, there. As I watched the movie, that part of history really came alive to me and affected me as no history textbook ever did.  

My second impression is that, while there were humorous moments, there was a little more laughter in the theater than I thought appropriate. That brings me back to the audience. I almost wish I could have done a quick exit interview with some of the movie-watchers to ask how they liked the movie and what about it impressed them the most. I really hope some of the young people in the audience will remember the film as they study the post-World War II period in history class. I wish I would have appreciated my world history class more, 'way back when I was in high school, still in the midst of the Cold War years.

Third, and perhaps the impression that is most important to me, was the character of James Donovan. This was a man who stuck with his principles unwaveringly, going above and beyond, doing the right thing not only when his own reputation as well as his patriotism were questioned by friends, neighbors, and coworkers, but also when his wife's and children's very lives were threatened. I'm not sure what drove James Donovan, but how impactful his actions must have been to his children and even to his neighbors once his task involving Gary Powers was revealed!

I recently read a movie review by friend and fellow reviewer Cynthia in which she gave the movie a low rating in large part because the writers strayed so far off the real-life incident on which that particular movie was based. That got me thinking and wondering how accurate "Bridge of Spies" is, in relation, especially, to the portrayal of James Donovan. So I went looking and quickly found this article from Forbes which confirmed that screenwriter Matt Charman felt "just how important it was to tell this story right and do justice to everyone involved." He also confirms in his interview, regarding the Donovan family at the movie premiere, "... their reaction was the most wonderful review you could ever get and I feel proud we put the real man up there." I was very happy to read those words.

The movie is suspenseful, historically significant, a thriller that held my attention all the way through. Based on my impressions from watching the movie and what I have since read about the real events, I give this movie 9 stars out of 10 and highly recommend it for families including children over age 13 (based on the intensity of the subject).

"Bridge of Spies" stars Tom Hanks, directed by Steven Spielberg. Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor, Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel. Release date: October 16, 2015. DVD release date February 2, 2016.

Enjoy this trailer:



LINKS:
Recommended Reading: Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers by James Donovan (#1 NYT Bestseller)

Buy or Rent "Bridge of Spies" from:

Walmart
Amazon

Photo Attribution: Berlin Wall Photo CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

~Susan
Meet the Reviewer




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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Begin Again - A Movie Worth Watching

Begin Again - DVD on Amazon
It's all about FEELING, You'll Feel from the beginning to the end, And When it Ends you'll Want More

Begin Again starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo and featuring Adam Levine, transports you to a place where the ugliness of personal mistakes takes a back seat while you become a participant in the artist's musical lives. The music is the focus; the characters follow, and it all works. 
If along with realism, music and art, you intimately understand the hidden mystique of a city, you'll feel even more from this movie
The story centers around the once Grammy Award winning success, but currently down-on-his-luck character Dan Mulligan, played by Ruffalo, meeting a recently heart broken yet fiercely independent singer-songwriter, Gretta James played by Knightley. They decide to make an outdoor album with each song performed in different locations of New York City, making this the energy that fuels the music. The city's heart automatically beats with the music and although the city isn't directly a dramatized focal point, it's pulsating imperfections connects every aspect to the characters.

If you're drawn to movies that depict the intimate flaws of people, but can still manage to ooze beauty via the complex backdrop of urban discommodity and the souls within, this one wins.

Some Movie Facts:
  • Begin Again premiered in September 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
  • Keira Knightley learned to sing and play guitar for the movie
  • The song 'Lost Stars' was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song
  • Fans of The Voice will remember Adam Levine performing Lost Stars with Season 7 finale contestant Matt McAndrew
  • The soundtrack for the movie was released in June 2014 with most of the songs performed by Knightley and Levine.
Lost Stars, a magnificent song, is now part of my personal playlist. Here's the video of Adam Levine performing Lost Stars, from the scene in the movie:

Personally Speaking: Begin Again, is now ranked as one of my top ten all time favorite movies. Mark Ruffalo's character is powerful; also one of my favorite actors... as I also appreciate what he stands for off-screen.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Drageda.com - Owner



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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?






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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The 1989 Movie 'Always' - A Must See!

Always
Have you ever seen the 1989 movie “Always” written by Steven Spielberg starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Audrey Hepburn?

It’s one of my all-time favorites! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh some more and in the end you'll be left with a feeling of hopefulness.

Richard Dreyfuss plays a risk taking Aerial Firefighter named Pete while Holly Hunter plays his love interest, also a pilot and dispatcher, named Durinda. They’re very much in love. John Goodman, also an Aerial Firefighter, plays the part of the best friend.

Pete (Dreyfuss) takes one risk too many while trying to put out a forest fire and Durinda is completely devastated and cannot get past losing the love of her life.

Although Pete dies, he suddenly finds himself in a field getting his hair cut by a spiritual guide played by Audrey Hepburn, named ‘Hap’. She explains to Pete (after he realizes he’s died) that it’s his job to provide “Spirit” or some call it the divine breath, also referred to as Intuition, to a living soul, since his time is done.

Hap explains to Pete that “they'll hear you inside their own minds as if it were their own thoughts.”

His tough assignment is to inspire a young handsome, almost incompetent, Aerial Firefighter. However, this young man finds his path crossing with Durinda (Pete’s love), and Pete has difficulty letting go enough to aid this new relationship along.

Even though it was made in 1989, it still has a current feel to it. By the way, the theme song for this movie is the beautiful “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”.


Here's a trailer for the movie, rent this one, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


There's a line from the movie I'll frequently quote around the house (I'm sure most of you have movie lines you toss about): John Goodman is trying to convince Holly Hunter to date the new tall good looking hot trainee and with typical sass, Holly Hunter states:
'He's too much twisted steel and sex appeal. I can't be with a guy that looks like I won him in a raffle' - LOL!  



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Monday, September 7, 2015

If you were a kid of the 70's, 80's or 90's

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/2015/09/if-you-were-kid-of-70s-80s-or-90s.html
There are a few things that would have made an impact on your lives.  It didn't matter whether you were a girl or a boy, because you would have been touched by this either way.

What in heaven's name am I talking about?  Well believe it or not, just as you were touched in the '70's, '80's and 90's so will the kids of today start to understand as they become the next generation to be "touched" by the STAR WARS phenomenon!

Today, the 4th of September was the roll out day for marketing  all things new and old from Star Wars, as the newest addition to the Movie sequence is about to happen in December of 2015.

The powers that be, already know they have a loyal following as bits and pieces are leaked to the media and people all over the US, Canada and beyond, are eating up anything and everything regarding the new movie.

Star Wars figures, jet planes, trackers, planets, scenes and games are all the rage, as are a whole new aresenal of weapons and robots, transporters and many other futuristic space related items.  All of them coming from the imaginations of the writers, producers, directors and actors in the new film. Film makers and their crafts, will again be highlighted in the production of "The Force Awakens", the newest addition to the Star Wars Movie Family.


The battle between Good and Evil is a theme that will never be old.  O h the characters may change and the surroundings are different, but the basic principle is the same.  Will the strength of a Few Good Men out do the Evil Ones.

If you haven't seen all the Star Wars Movies by now, I would highly suggest that it would be a good time to take in the Series or even better to review and recapture the excitement and wonder before the next installment comes to the Big Screen.

Then be prepared for your children asking for those same toys (just newer) that you loved as a child.  I know my boys will be wishing they still had their original R2D2's and Luke Skywalker figures, along with a few more.  These toys never get old and somehow, the boys of the 70's and 80's can hardly wait to indoctrinate a whole new generation into the story of  "STAR WARS".

The trailers I have seen for the newest edition, will have me wanting to line up early in the month of December, for an eye full of imagination and the excitement of what might be in the future......

To help you get ready for this Action Packed Thriller, I suggest a few Movie nights with the family, so that you are with the "Force" and the "Force" is with you, when it makes it's comeback.



Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]


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Monday, May 18, 2015

Movie Review - Still Alice

Still Alice
The movie, Still Alice is based on the book written by Lisa Genova. The book is a New York Times Bestseller and the movie has won more awards than I care to list. Despite these accolades, I'd never heard of the movie. I am so glad that I purchased a copy and enjoyed it so much that I have already viewed it twice this past weekend.  If you have not seen Still Alice, you may want to. 


Still Alice


Alice is a professional, highly educated, and highly respected woman who has successfully raised three children and maintained a marriage. She is healthy, active, and appears to have everything the American dream consists of.  Until she begins to lose the part of her that she feels most defines her - her cognitive functioning.

According to Mayo Clinic, dementia ...

..."describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning."


Alice (played by Julianne Moore) begins to change, and declines fairly rapidly with her diagnosis of rare early onset Alzheimer's. While the movie is limited by time, we get a snapshot of how the world of a confident woman is turned upside, her family core shaken, and how family roles change. Incidents of seemingly normal forgetfulness turns to forgetting how to do mundane tasks, not recognizing places, forgetting family members.  As she struggles, her husband and children struggle and roles change. 

As in any real situation in which a family member becomes chronically or terminally ill, there are people who fade away and there are people who step up and take care of the ailing person. We watch these dynamics unfold in this love story. 



This movie brought me to tears. During some of the hard-to-watch scenes as Alice deteriorates as well as during some of the scenes that we witness how she is loved during this very difficult time. We learn very few of the facts of Early Onset Dementia. Instead, this is a very intimate look at one woman, one family, and the many feelings that dementia brings.  I wish I could describe my thoughts about the movie in-depth but I don't want to risk a spoiler. Instead, I want the seasons of her life to unfold in front of you as they did in front of me.

Just don't forget to bring the tissues when you sit down to watch Still Alice.


For more personal stories of living with a loved one who has Alzheimer's:


Chicken Soup for the Soul








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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Moonstruck Love in a Classic, Funny Nicolas Cage & Cher Movie

Moonstruck on Amazon
Snap Out of It! It's a Moonstruck Movie Review!

That's what Cher says to Nicolas Cage when he tells her he's in love with her, "Snap out of it!", then she slaps his face! It's a famous, classic scene in the 1987 movie Moonstruck starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.

A Movie about Love Centered Around 'Cosmo's Moon'

Moonstruck ranks as one of my personal all time favorite romantic comedies. If you haven't seen it, and you're a fan of funny romantic movies, then you're sure to enjoy this one! You know a movie ranks high on your radar when you start quoting lines from it all your life! Well, that's what this movie did to me!

Some of the famous movie quote lines from Moonstruck:
  • When you love them they drive you crazy because they know they can (A quote by Olympia Dukukas who plays Rose Castorini, Cher's (Loretta Castorini) mother in the movie
  • Rose Castorini asks, 'Do you love him Loretta? Loretta says, 'Yah Ma I love him awful', 'Awe gee that's too bad', says her mother
  • It's Johnny Cammareri <---It's the way Julie Bovasso who plays 'Rita Cappomaggi' says this - She plays Cher's Aunt in the movie
  • La Bella Luna!
  • Alla famigilia, Salut!
What is Moonstruck About?

The movie is about a thirty something woman, Loretta Castorini, played by Cher, whose boyfriend, Johnny Cammareri, played by Danny Aiello, finally proposes to her. She accepts because she feels it's time to be married.

Her mother Rose asks her, 'Do you love him Loretta', she says no Ma..she responds saying she only likes him and that he's a good man. Her mother is relieved to hear that, because as pointed out in the above famous quote, Rose tells her daughter, 'when you love them, they can drive you crazy'. Rose's husband Cosmo (Loretta's father in the movie, played by Vincent Gardenia), drives Rose crazy; she loves him, and suspects he's having an affair.

After their engagement, Johnny has to fly to Palermo, Italy to be with his dying mother, and he asks Loretta to go visit his brother Ronny (a brother she had no idea he had!) Johnny wants to resolve his differences with his brother, and asks Loretta/Cher to invite him to the wedding.

Loretta goes to see Ronny (played by Nicolas Cage). He's a funny dramatic caricature of a scorned man. Ronny blames his brother for the lose of his fiance five years previous. Loretta ends up going upstairs to his apartment to talk sense into him, and one thing leads to another and they sleep together, but even worse, they fall in love!

At the end, her mother asks her, about Ronny, 'Do you love him Loretta?' ...Loretta says, 'Yah, Ma I love him awful'...her mother says, 'ah gees, that's too bad'.

There are a lot of other 'love mix-ups' taking place, which make this movie pure entertainment to watch!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

What is Cosmo's Moon?

The movie centers around the moon, referred to in the movie as Cosmo's moon. Rita's brother, Raymond Cappommagi played by Louis Guss tells the story of when he was a young boy who saw this huge moon in the sky, so he proceeded to his bedroom window to look at it and he swears he saw Cosmo standing outside his sister's window. Apparently the 'ole wise tale is that the moon brings the woman to the man.

Here's the Movie Trailer:

Article by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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