May 5, 2014



Tequila Sunrise

October 21, 2009

Not a great or a classic movie, but Michelle Pfeiffer looks so good that the movie is worth watching just to see her.  OK, Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell have a nice screen chemistry, and the movie has its high points.  Putting aside its utter predictability and incredibly weak plot, the movie is worth watching for the fine performances of several big names, including Raul Julia and J.T. Walsh.

Sexy Beast

August 18, 2009

The title does not say it all. Not much really “sexy” here unless you use the term in quite a loose sense. The concept here is that a British outlaw who has retired to Spain is called upon again to do one more job. He doesn’t want to do it, but an old pal, played by Ben Kingsley, shows up to convince him to do it. The old pal, Don, is a character that everyone would want to play. He is a total ass-hole with no social redeeming value of any kind. He constantly hurls insult after insult and has everyone around him scared to death. And in the end we see he is a tougher than tough guy. Don doesn’t show up at the big heist, even though the “sexy” guy he went to Spain to recruit does. That gets Ian McShane’s character, deftly portrayed (as usual), into a bit of a tizzy. But it must be business before murder. I suppose some folks might see this movie as a love story, but it has enough violence in it to earmark it as something other than a romance. It is an ok piece of entertainment but I wouldn’t try to talk you into seeing it.

Hearts of War

August 18, 2009

I am not sure what to think of this one. It takes place in the early part of WWII and is about a love affair between a young, romantic, anti-war German officer and his Jewish lover. They are separated and then brought back together and then separated and then brought back together. The cast includes Daryl Hannah and Roy Scheider but their parts are small, especially Scheider’s. The acting is not without merit, but the plot line seems to lack pizzazz. As a result the whole thing just sort of happens, maybe even drags on a bit. If I had gone to the movie house to watch this movie I would probably have been disappointed, but as a late night time-killer it passes muster. That is, I wouldn’t go out of my way to view this one but if it happens to come on TV while you are vegging out then take a look.

Easy Rider

August 18, 2009

One gets the distinct impression that Peter Fonda and especially Dennis Hopper are not acting in this movie. It is more like there is a movie camera following them around as they go about their everyday business. Much of the movie is cheesy and the dialogue seems contrived, but the ultimate effect is one of being entertained. Jack Nicholson makes a short appearance, one that garnered him an Oscar nomination and probably a pretty lucrative career as well. Bottom line is that this is a movie that is worth watching once every once in a while. Clearly a classic. It carries a message, even if it is one that slaps you in the face.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brody

June 10, 2009

Maggie Smith really out did herself in this movie.  She plays the role of Miss Jean Brody to the hilt, reinforcing all my stereotypes of British women (even though she is really Scottish in this movie).  She won an Oscar for her performance and she deserved it.   One scene in which Miss Brody tells off the Head Mistress shows the confidence and command Miss Brody (the character) had, and I think it took an actress (Miss Smith) with the same degree of gut and guile to pull off the role as Smith did. I guess there really are women out there like Miss Brody, totally dedicated to her craft but possibly unaware of her effect.


Viewed Jun 8, 2009


June 2, 2009

I don’t care what anyone says about Tom Cruise or how crazy they think he is.  I think his movies are almost always entertaining.  He is not a great actor, but he is a good entertainer.  This movie is not as far all the deep-end as his Mission Impossible flicks and he doesn’t do anything grandiose.  Maybe that is because the movie is based on fact and the director thought that he would try to keep it real.  At any rate, it is a credible performance in a movie that tries to be profound but, well, it just doesn’t pull it off.  Worth watching but don’t go out of your way.

Viewed June 1, 2009.

Women’s NCAA Basketball Final Four

April 8, 2009

The Louisville Cardinals made it to the final four for the first time ever, so I had to watch.  I watched them beat Oklahoma on Sunday night and then I watched them lose in the championship game to UConn on Tuesday (April 7). It was the third time this year that UConn beat them, but there is no shame in losing to the Huskies.  Their final record for the season is 39-0 and they won all their games by double digit margins.  It was the first time a Louisville women’s team had ever made it to the final four.  We can only hope it will be the first of many.


April 8, 2009

Hitchcock in 1944.  A group of Americans are stuck on a lifeboat after the ship they are on is attacked by a U-boat.  They pick up a nazi, who happens to have been the captain of the U-boat, and then the fun begins.  First they save the nazi and then the nazi sort of takes them as prisoners and begins rowing the lifeboat in the general direction of a German supply ship. Clearly, the Germans are not to be trusted.  Much symbolism — for example, the nazi happens to have been a surgeon in civilian life and must amputate the leg of one of the Americans because it has gangrene — and messages throughout this movie.  Each of the survivors is a caricature of some aspect of American society.  The plight of the boat is also highly symbolic of what Americans wanted to have happen during WWII, which was not yet over when the film was released.

Viewed April 8

Quantum of Solace

April 6, 2009

I am a James Bond fan.  Always have been.  Nothing is to be said about any Bond movies regarding the plot because everyone pretty much knows what is going to happen.  Execution is what one looks at in assessing a Bond film.  Now that I am used to Daniel Craig as Bond I can think about how well the movie is done.  It is fine.  Not great, not terrible. Gadget-wise this movie is quite tame by Bond standards.  Bond doesn’t pull anything out of his boot or his tie-clasp to save the day.  Some of the action scenes — and there are two of them — are standard well-beyond-the-pale Bond, but what the heck?

Viewed April 5 with Dillon