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

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
Read more of my reviews.

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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:
Family Video
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.


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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Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Good Romantic Comedy for the Whole Family

Available on Amazon
If you're looking for a good romantic comedy movie, look no further! While You Were Sleeping is a flirty, fun, cheerful film that the whole family can watch.

What's the Movie About?

Sandra Bullock plays Lucy Moderatz, a Chicago Transit Token Collector who's in love with a handsome man she's never met, but sees everyday taking the train. That man is played by Peter Gallagher; his character's name is Peter Callaghan.

On one particular day, a mugger pushes Peter onto the tracks, and Lucy, without thought for her own safety jumps into action and saves Peter from an oncoming train. When he's brought to the hospital, unconscious and in a coma (where he stays for most of the movie), they won't let Lucy see Peter because she's not family...at which point she quietly says under her breath, 'oh that's alright I was just going to marry the guy'. One of the nurses hears what she says, misunderstands it, and lets her see Peter, explaining to the hospital staff that she's 'Peter's fiance'. His family show up and are told by a nurse that Lucy is Peter's fiance - they're rather shocked! It seems she's not really Peter's type as Peter is a high powered lawyer, where Lucy is a down to earth loving, single, non-manipulative women...the type Peter doesn't usually attract.

Lucy Falls in Love with Peter's Whole Family

The story centers around Lucy being unable to tell Peter's family that she's not really his fiance because for the first time in a long time she feels like she's part of a family again. You see, Lucy lost both her mother and father, was an only child, and doesn't have family.

The story centers around Christmas time as well, so being invited over for Christmas and being around all the fuss of the season in a family home gives Lucy a sense of connection she's long needed.

Things Get Complicated When Lucy Meets Peter's Brother Jack

Lucy ends up spending the night on the couch at Peter's parents home after dinner and late that night Jack, played by Bill Pullman, comes home..Lucy hears him speaking to his sister Mary, pretends to be sleeping and tries to slip out quickly in the morning to avoid speaking with Jack. Unfortunately that plan doesn't work; Jack is waiting on the staircase to speak to Lucy before she leaves. You can see that despite that fact that he doesn't believe she's Peter's fiance, he's very attracted to her. Thus, things begin to get emotionally complicated when neither Lucy or Jack can tell each other their true feelings about each other..since, after all, Lucy is engaged to his brother (but not really!).

The Movie is Filled with Numerous Funny Characters

One of the funniest characters is Joe Fusco Jr., played by Michael Rispoli! He's the son of the landlord in the building Lucy lives in. He has a 'thing' for Lucy, but of course, she's sweet to him, but doesn't have 'those feelings' for him. He flirts with her in comical ways..one day he's standing at the bottom of the staircase as Lucy's unlocking her apartment door, flashing some tickets, he shouts up to her.."Tomorrow night, eight o-'clock... I got ice capades...I know I guy" - This movie line gets tossed around in our house all time!
Peter Boyle plays Ox Callaghan, the father and his dry sense of humor adds dimension to the film as well as Jack Warden who plays 'Saul', the family friend.

How does it End?

I won't be spoiling the ending on this one, so if you haven't seen it, you'll have to watch to see how it all turns out. It's a wonderful feel good movie to watch on girls night or with the family. It usually comes on TV during the holiday season. I watch it every year!

My Personal Sense when I Watch the Movie

I'm not sure if this happens to you; but some movies bring me back to a point in my own life and leave me almost missing that time gone by. My early 20's remind me of Lucy's life: I moved to Toronto, had finished school, was working and loved being a city girl. The 'city setting' makes me think of my young days of living on my own, in my own apartment in Downtown Toronto...a time I loved. Watching the characters walk through the city, and laugh together...the cold winter days and nights...all of it brings a familiar smile to my face. Her fun loving relationship with Jack also reminds me of another time in my own life: Love how this movie makes me feel!

Here's a teaser with the movie trailer!



By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Movies Reviewed: Comedies

During the holidays, I frequently need a break from decorating and cooking for guests.  It is at those moments that I reach for a Christmas movie that will make me laugh.  I always feel rejuvenated after resting and watching a comedy that really makes me laugh till I cry.

There are two Christmas movies that are great comedies that our entire family loves, so no matter who is visiting, I know these movies will be fun to share.  

If you haven't seen them before, get ready for some real belly laughs! 



 

A Christmas Story  (Rated PG)


A Christmas Story (Full-Screen Edition)A Christmas Story (Full-Screen Edition)Check PriceI will admit, "A Christmas Story" was not a personal favorite until I was married and old enough to identify with the characters.  There were highlights in the movie that would make me laugh when I was a child, but now I absolutely roar with laughter over the "relationship" with the leg lamp, and I can certainly imagine big dogs eating our Thanksgiving turkey.  Those things were simply too far from my own personal experiences as a child for me to really understand how funny they are to parents.

The "gift" from Aunt Clara has significance to everyone!  Don't we all receive gifts we end up wearing just so the giver thinks we like them?  While the bunny outfit might be a bit outrageous and exaggerated, I think we can all appreciate Ralphie's plight, but I especially "appreciate" the father's reaction. 



As you can well imagine, there are several gifts that are perfect for "A Christmas Story" fans.  You can see them here:  A Christmas Story Gifts



Christmas Vacation (Rated PG-13)


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition)National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition)Check Price"Christmas Vacation" starring Chevy Chase and a host of other favorite actors, is my all time favorite Christmas comedy.  We actually watch it several times each year and still laugh like it was the first viewing.  

There are so many wonderful characters that make this movie great.  All of the actors do a tremendous job, but the outlandish actions of Cousin Eddie throughout this movie, either remind us all of a relative or make us appreciate our own relatives more.  

Randy Quaid very nearly outshines Chevy Chase in this movie.  Truly, one without the other would not be as funny.  The two together make Christmas Vacation a fabulously hilarious comedy.





This movie has a PG-13 rating for good reason. While we all find it hilarious, it really is not appropriate for children due to profanity and adult situation references.    

You can find a selection of gifts for the Christmas Vacation fans here:   "Christmas Vacation" Gifts


More Christmas Comedies


I am sure I have left no doubt in our readers minds, that I suggest breaks full of laughter, from the work surrounding the holidays. Finding something that makes us laugh adds to the natural rejuvenation of our body and spirit which will help us to enjoy our holidays more thoroughly.  

Here are a few more Christmas Movies:  Comedies that will make you laugh out loud.

 


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Friday, October 31, 2014

The Judge starring Robert Downey, Jr. & Robert Duvall ~ A Movie Review


The Judge starring Robert Downey, Jr & Robert Duvall - A Movie Review
A Highly Recommended, Must See Movie! 

Rarely do I go to the theater to see a movie and come away feeling like I actually saw a movie worth viewing. It is especially rare for both my husband and myself to equally rave over a movie. 

I didn't expect to really like The Judge. I was mostly going to be with my husband and The Judge is the movie he had selected. I should have known with a cast that included Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duvall, Vincent D'Onofrio and Billy Bob Thornton, that the movie would be outstanding. 

It was actually better than outstanding, and I can highly recommend it. 



The Characters in The Judge

Hank Palmer (Robert Downey, Jr.) is a tough, hard-hitting successful defense attorney who is known for defending criminals and winning. When his mother dies, he has to go back home for the funeral for the first time in years where he almost immediately comes face to face with the past and a father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), who seemed to always be disappointed in his middle son. 

By GabboT [CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The oldest son, Glen, masterfully played by Vincent D'Onofrio, never moved away from their home town. He is married with children, owns a auto tire shop and has spent his life being a dependable, respectable, basically good guy. 

There is also a younger brother, Dale, who is mentally handicapped and is obsessed with making home videos. Another character who is very easy to like. 


Brief Synopsis of the Movie, The Judge

On the evening of their mother's funeral, a once convicted murderer who was sentenced by Judge Palmer, is killed. Judge Palmer is accused and charged with the murder. As it becomes abundantly clear that the "nice" defense attorney Judge Palmer has hired is no match for Dwight Dickham (Billy Bob Thornton), the Judge has no choice but to rely on his son, Hank, to defend him. 

The Judge actually makes defending him very difficult for Hank because his wants to preserve his reputation and insure that the decisions he has made in the cases he has presided over will not be challenged.





Review of the Movie, The Judge 

So many movies today are very surface. They are all about the blood and gore, sex or sensationalism. 

That is simply not the case with The Judge. The movie has a real, "old fashioned" plot! 

As a viewer, you feel like you actually get to know the characters. Each of these men do such a superb job of playing their roles, that you forget that they are actors on a screen and cry, scream or rant right alone with them. 

There are several touching, revealing scenes in this movie. Almost like real life. You think you know someone and what makes them tick, only to find out that you were mistaken about their motivation. Why they made certain decisions and judgements. How simply reminding a person of someone we know, can alter the way we treat an individual. That is amazingly realistic. 





Conclusion 

If you are looking for a movie that has a real story line that may even make you question your own judgement, you will love this movie too. Personally, I always enjoy a movie that makes me introspective, one that causes me to seriously think, not just sit back and be visually stimulated. 

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

5 out of 5 stars





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