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

Friday, October 26, 2018

Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Movie Review
The old classic movies starring Bette Davis still stand out in my mind as the very best suspense movies ever made.  Pure acting excellence coupled with a great plot is all too often missing in current day films.  Therefore, when I want to see a really great movie, I frequently look to the classics of the past.

I was recently reminded of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte and simply had to watch it again.  I remembered bits and pieces of the plot, but had totally forgotten the reason John Mayhew was killed and who was responsible for his death. 

Once again, I was pulled into the story of the movie and the mystery behind the murder.  I had totally forgotten the motive and the secrets surrounding the crime.  Ironically, I didn't remember the opening scene of the movie at all, and it sets the stage for the events that follow.  Actually, I wonder now if I had ever seen the opening before since it precedes the credits and the title of the movie.

This movie makes you think.  It will remind you that betrayal often bears a hefty price.  It will make you grateful that you are not wealthy.  Sadly, wealth makes you a target, especially when you are too old to defend yourself.


The Plot of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte


 Hush.Hush, Sweet CharlotteCheck PriceThe movie and story begin in 1927 when Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis) was young and in love with John Mayhew, (Bruce Dern) who is already married.  When Charlotte's father (Victor Buono) is informed that his only daughter is entangled with a married man, he is determined to see the relationship end.  

The movie opens with the meeting between Mr. Hollis and John Mayhew.  Mr. Hollis is furious and disgusted with idea of his beautiful daughter being involved with a married man.  He refuses to accept that this man will have both his daughter and her inheritance, the land and property he has struggled to make prosperous.  

Mr. Hollis demands to know their plans after informing John that his wife, Jewel Mayhew, told him about their affair.  When John tells him that they had planned to run off from a dance together the following night, Mr. Hollis instructs him to break off the relationship with Charlotte instead.  In reference to his home and daughter, he lashes out at John and says, "I created both and I am going to keep 'em."


The Murder of John Mayhew


At the dance the following night, John does as he was instructed and breaks off his relationship with Charlotte.  She is devastated and runs from the room after exclaiming "I could kill you!" 

Moments later, the murderer enters the room with a meat cleaver and John is killed by an unseen assailant who cuts off his hand and head.

When Charlotte enters the dance hall with blood on her white formal dress, the music stops and everyone turns to stare at her.  This introduction section of the movie ends with her father approaching her to remove her from the room.



The Tortured Spinster in Hush Hush Sweet Charotte


The movie fast-forwards to 1964.  Charlotte's father is dead and Charlotte is basically alone with only her long-trusted housekeeper, Velma (Agnes Moorehead), to care for her.   Rumors of the crazy spinster, perhaps murderer, prompts even the children in town to taunt and tease Charlotte relentlessly.  She never leaves her own property, but they come to her home to torment her.

If you enjoy a fabulous suspense movie that has a unexpected end, you will love the classic movie, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte starring Bette Davis.
This file is in the public domain on Wikimedia
Unfortunately for Charlotte, Louisiana seizes her property to build a bridge through her land to join roads.  But, Charlotte refuses to leave the house or even acknowledge the legality of them stealing her home & property.  She grabs her rifle and shoots at the demolition team with the road construction crew, which brings the sheriff out.  Even though he doesn't want the responsibility, the sheriff informs Charlotte that she has only 10 days to vacate the premises.  Charlotte is desperate.  She has already contacted her cousin to come and help her.  After all, Miriam (Olivia De Havilland), was taken into her home as a child when her own parents were killed, and subsequently cared for by Charlotte's father.  Surely she will know what to do to save the estate and help her.

When Cousin Miriam admits there is nothing she can do to save the property, Charlotte becomes enraged and reveals that Miriam was the one who told John's wife, Jewel Mayhew, about Charlotte and John's affair.  

It becomes all to clear that poor Charlotte is only hanging on by a short thread mentally.  She frequently lapses into confusion and mourns for John all over again.  It also becomes abundantly clear that someone is torturing Charlotte by sending letters and leaving macabre reminders of the murder in her home, as if she isn't tortured enough by the memory of her lover being killed.  She even begins to believe that John is visiting her again, playing the piano, and singing to her.


Dr. Drew Bayliss (Joseph Cotton), who was once Miriam's boyfriend, is Charlotte's attending physician.  He is certain she is close to needing full commitment due to her failing mind.

Charlotte clings to her love for John and highly treasures the gift he gave to her.  It is a music box that plays the tune of the his song to her. 



Another Important Character in the Plot


Mr. Willis is an insurance investigator who was previously a news reporter.  He is investigating why no one ever claimed the life insurance after the death of John Mayhew.  He wants to interview Jewel Mayhew, as well as Charlotte, in the hopes of finding the answer.

 Both of the women seem to like him.  Jewel Mayhew invites him into her home for a chat.  She gives him a letter for safekeeping along with her permission to open it at the time of her death.  She believes he will know what to do with the information in the letter.

Even Charlotte trusts Mr. Willis and talks openly with him until someone touches her beloved music box.  Then she flies into a rage and orders everyone from the house.


The End


There is no way I will  reveal the end, or even who murdered John Mayhew.  What I will say is that if you enjoy a fabulous suspense movie that has a unexpected end, you will love Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.






Check Out More Movie Reviews at
ReviewThisMovies.com



Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Movie Review Written by:

House of Sylvestermouse







 





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Perfect Plan (2010) Movie Review - Emily Rose & Lucas Bryant

Perfect Plan (2010) Movie Review - Emily Rose & Lucas Bryant
Perfect Plan is not in my normal genre of movies to watch, but surprisingly I liked this thriller mystery movie. It was fairly predictable, but that was mostly because of the written movie description. It revealed too much of the plot in my opinion. When it comes to a mystery movie, I prefer that the "mystery" be left to be discovered when watching, not in the movie description that should be labeled spoiler alert.  Nevertheless, the actors still make the movie worth watching.

Some of you may already be familiar with the actress, Emily Rose.  This was the first movie I have ever seen her star in and it made me look her up to see her other tv films.  I did see several TV films listed that I plan to watch soon.  Frankly, I liked her better than many of the current day major movie actresses in Hollywood.  


The Perfect Plan Movie Plot

The movie opens with two campers being murdered one night.  Their identities are not revealed until later in the film when their brother starts searching for them.  Within minutes of the first scenes, we are moved from the Appalachian Trail to Chicago city where we meet Lauren Baker.
  
 Perfect Plan (2010)
Starring Emily Rose & Lucas Bryant
Lauren (Emily Rose) is co-owner of In the Loop Realtors.  She and her best friend, Maddie, are struggling to keep the company open in the depressed real estate market.  When Lauren lists a mansion in an exclusive area, they see an opportunity for things to financially turn around for them.  

The mansion is owned by a brother and sister who inherited it when their parents died in a car accident.  Since neither of the siblings live there, they want to sell fast.  When Lauren quickly finds a cash buyer, everyone is happy.  At least, they are happy until they see the newspaper article about the bodies of Sean and Rebecca Crawford being found on the Appalachian Trail in PA.   


Perfect Plan Movie Rating and Recommendation


Personally, I thought the movie was pretty good.  I appreciated the plot twists and lack of grotesque murder scenes.  However, this movie is for mature audiences only due to adult scenes and content.

While it may not be an "edge of the seat" thriller mystery, it is well worth watching. 


Perfect Plan (2010) is available on Amazon and is included for free with Prime Membership.




Perfect Plan (2010) Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

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




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Revenant Movie Review

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-revenant-movie-review.html

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

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

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


Plus, the scenery in the movie is breathtaking. 





The True Story of the Real Hugh Glass 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



The Movie Revenant


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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


The Best Parts of the Movie "Revenant"      

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

I stayed mostly because I was not alone.  I went to the movie with my husband and my son.  However, I did find a few things to enjoy while I was being mentally battered by the violence.

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/I loved the scenery in the movie!  Perhaps that is simply because it was real and not filmed in a studio.

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

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




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


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

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

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

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

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


  
The Revenant Movie Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Movie Review: A Good Marriage by Stephen King

I am not truly a Stephen King fan, although I do recognize his writing talent.  In fact, the reason why I am not a huge fan of his books is simply because his stories often scare me half to death.  That fact alone best demonstrates that he is an excellent writer of horror and suspense.

Since I joined Sling TV a few months ago, I am back to watching movies, TV series, and news again.  After a day of work, I find a good movie at home quite relaxing.  My husband and I enjoy watching movies together and we alternate who selects the movie for the evening.

Because I am a romantic at heart, I was drawn to the movie "A Good Marriage".   Because it was written by Stephen King, my husband enthusiastically sat down to watch it with me.  It was an excellent movie that we both enjoyed viewing, but I have to warn you, it still haunts me a bit.


Synopsis of "A Good Marriage"


This movie gets right to the heart of the story almost immediately and we were drawn into a world of suspense very quickly when the wife discovers that her husband is a serial killer.

I had never really considered how the wives of serial killers react or feel, especially when they are so totally clueless to the dark side of their spouse.  When she accidentally uncovered indisputable evidence that her husband was in fact the notorious killer "Beadie", she was forced to face the obvious and decide how she was going to react and respond.

Most of us sitting here would be thinking just call the police, but the story was so well written that I could easily understand the hesitance and denial, questioning how it could possibly be true that a loving and devoted husband and father could be the torturing, killing creature that was terrorizing women.

I was rather surprised by how the wife, after her initial shock wore off, logically made a plan and methodically carried it out.  She certainly proved to be her husbands equal when it came to being able to "act" normally while simultaneously setting the stage for "capturing" her own mark.

Since I never believe in spoiling the show for others when I review a movie, I will stop there and reveal no more than the basic plot.  Besides, this is a movie that you absolutely must see for yourself and follow the moment by moment details.  I would be cheating you of the magnificence of the author by writing more myself.


 

 The Actors in "A Good Marriage"


Joan Allen is the wife, Darcy.  Anthony LaPaglia plays the role of the husband, Bob.  Anthony LaPaglia is the perfect choice because he really does have that normal, nice guy appearance who anyone would trust, yet he is easily believable as a methodical serial killer.

Like LaPaglia, Joan Allen looks the part and she did an exceptional job of playing a calculating wife who is capable of her own deceptions.

Together, they make me believe we can never really know our friends well and we certainly have no idea what they might be capable of given the right set of circumstances.


My Rating of the Movie, "A Good Marriage"


I have seen what the critics say about the movie and I also see the star rating on Amazon.  However, I am not going to fall in line with others.  I would give this movie 5 stars.

I base my rating on the fact that this was a suspense thriller that I could watch without being grossed out.  Graphic images were certainly not necessary to scare me, or to make me sit on the edge of my seat.  I believe that is the mark of a truly outstanding writer, as well as believable actors.

In addition to that, I appreciated the thoughtful perspective of someone who is also a victim of a serial killer, but is more often considered complicit in the crimes.  I think we all want to believe the "Bundys" and "Dahmers" of the world have some "telling" personality traits that anyone close to them would easily recognize.  Because we think there is no way they could not have known, we often make the family members pariahs in the community.  Any movie that can cause me to evaluate my own thoughts deserves a higher rating.


I highly recommend this movie for any adult.  




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.