Release Date: April 6th, 2009
Ty Ponder, Scott Bass, and Troy Page's "Between the Lines" (2009) Click this text to view the BTL Internet Movie Database page.
Though it has already had it's world premier to rave reviews,
the "World Premier"...for me anyway...was right here in my living room on the evening of 3-14-2009.
Ty sent me a pre-release copy of the DVD. This is certainly one of the best / favorite documentaries ever.
But, of course, that comment came from a surfer.
I've seen many docs through the course of a lifetime...NOTHING hit home like this one.
This film was such a great surprise for me.
I truly lived my own version of this story in the late 60's.
My trip to Richmond, Va. for the draft physical was one of the most dramatic, and ridiculous events in my life.
Narrated by John Milius...as only he can....to quote him:
"This is the soil from which APOCALYPSE NOW grew out of;
...it's as simple as that."
This is the true story of the effect that the Vietnam war had on the surfing community.
2 surfers are profiled: Pat Farley and Brant Page.......Pat went to war.....Brant evaded the draft as best he could.
The narrative, the footage, the music is PERFECT!....NOT TO BE MISSED.
Emotions from surfin' grins to tears...it's all here.....beautifully and carefully depicted.
Truly amazing images of China Beach surfing and renderings of surfing in the war zone!
....such a compelling, emotional film...I didn't want it to end.
Adjectives such as poignant, soul stirring, heartrending...don't seem powerful enough.
Rick Thomas, Herbie Fletcher, Mark Martinson, Ron Sizemore, Tom Luker, Drew Kampion, Howard Fisher,
Greg Samp, Greg Murray.....if you have followed surfing through the years....several of these names will be familiar to you.
This film is one of the reasons why cinema is our ultimate artform.
Visit Pat Farley's Site at: Surfing to Saigon.
These reviews are brief. I'll let the work speak for itself.
I only review films worthy of my time ...and yours.
It is my humble opinion that the real genius
coming out of Hollywood these days is CG / animated.
If it's here in this review / recommendation list...see it.
Most of the films I review here will be older.....and certainly worth a second viewing.
Independent works, away from the Hollywood community,
are windows into the soul of human nature.
Visit Film Movement - Wonderful Films / Artists / Cultures from all over Earth. Ginger and Cinnamon was verrry funny...see it....Adult Alert!
In addition to trying to complete the daunting task of writing a film treatment...
I have become obsessed with film composers...the folks who give a movie it's personality....it's heart and soul.
Again, in my humble opinion, cinema IS Earth's grandest showcase for composers.
Here's a partial list of the most amazing, dazzling bunch of artists in existence:
I once heard Rob Reiner say something similar to
"To make movies, you must create your own moral universe"...and such is the case.
My recommendation to you as a reader of this review page
is to see A MOVIE A WEEK at the minimum.....it's an exercise, if nothing else....just do it!
Movies are windows into our society...our very existence...our souls.
Which movies, and types of movies you like, is a reflection of YOU.
I recommend asking people what their favorite films are...
It's a fast, effective way to get to know someone.
You'll find many / maybe even MOST movies a waste of time...
....but you will catch some great ones worthy of discussion and your time.
Stories of intellect, passion, romance, fantasy, a playground for good and evil......
I own certain films because they are special effects showcases...
...others because of the message...the moral.
Above all...STORY DOMINATES.
If the story isn't important...or just plain fUN...if it doesn't enrich our lives....
Why waste your valuable "entertainment time"?
To me, it is worth it to see several terrible films, just to get to a great one.
I really enjoy analysis to the finest detail.
I pride myself at being good at telling you what is a waste of time, and what has merit.
Just a thought on truth...
Here's an exchange between Jeff Goldblum's character (Dr. Ian Malcolm)
and Arliss Howard's character (Peter Ludlow) in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997):
Malcolm: "...and I told the truth"
Ludlow: "Your version of it"
Malcolm: "There aren't any 'versions' of the truth..."
As Arnold Schwarzenegger's character said to his deity in John Milius' "Conan the Barbarian" (1982)
"...and if you do not listen, then the hell with you."
See ya in the dark....
This is such a TINY cross section of films I want to review here...update now slowly in progress - 6-10-2012
The LATEST ADDITIONS are at the beginning and end of each line.
The list is in no particular order.....while moving mouse over paragraph...close eyes...click.
I live and love cinema.....and pay close attention to everything in a film.
This one was nicely done....perfect job by masters Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt.
...a perfect Bethany by AnnaSophia Robb!
Original score by Marco Beltrami....as always....incredible.
This composer scored I Robot, Terminator 3, The Hurt Locker, etc., etc., etc.
...by the way.....The Hurt Locker took 6 Oscars in the 2010 Awards.
There's a bunch of great music from other artists in the SS soundtrack.
It is such an understatement to say the story was inspirational...SEE IT!
This webauthor has been following Ms. Hamilton's surfin' long before she crossed paths with that tiger shark.
She's truly an amazing athlete....if I were a competitive rival, I wouldn't want her in my heat!
IF you love surfin', and are, or were competitive...you know what a thrill, source of joy and satisfaction surfing competition is!
Just being a threat is sooOooo much fUn....
I personally have just one surfing trophy!....and....it's a second place....how many humans on Earth can say they even have a surfin' trophy???
Sooo....at the top level with Bethany...welll....all those grrrls have hundreds of trophies.
Know this....there is NOTHING like surfing.....no similar sport...no simulation.....nuttn......except, of course, a skateboard.
Snowboarders insist their sport is much like surfing.
Feet locked in a fixed position.....and it's freezing cold.
.....truth is....in the ski racing arena.....a snowboard is weird, dangerous, and goofy. Click on "Dinosaur / Ski / Snowboard Related" at m51.com/Surfing.
About sharks.....the creepy cartilaginous cruisers are truly Earth's wildest creatures...primitive, elegant and horrific.
One can lament and question all they want....but... when mother nature steps in with an apex predator.........
...when something like THIS happens... you WILL humble yourself before God and Nature!
Bethany's faith and strength sets an example for us all.
In the extra features section of the DvD,
in "Heart of a Soul Surfer"....we see her smiling and bouncing around while still in the hospital.
....that's such a statement to us all...an inspiration....she is a testament to the human spirit.....period
I personally think it's a verrry cool / exceptional way to lose a limb!
yOw...but that was such a close call....fortunately the creature got distracted.
In the movie they caught a tiger shark,
and Bethany's Dad was called to have a look.
He fitted the bite in the surfboard to the animals mouth and it was a perfect fit.
There could be 10 tigers that size in the waters surrounding any of those islands at any one time. See national Geo's "Creatures of the Deep" episode about tigers.
The main thing is......Beth is still with us...
...and... we get to see this incredible story of a delightful surfing family
dealing with a surfer's worst nightmare.
We also learn of Beth's humanitarian nature...her kindness.
DO NOT MISS the EXTRA features on this disk.....namely "Heart of a Soul Surfer", etc., etc....
Bethany!....if you ever read this......YOU ROCK!!!!!!!
I'll say it....what if... the shark event did not occur?!.....here's what everyone has been thinking all along!
Heaven help the current ASP leaders!!!!!!!!!
....the story is ageless.
I rented this wonderful DvD from a Blockbuster automated DvD rental device in Fraser, CO.
It had gunk and scratches, and the image froze a few times, plus some artifact...but it didn't interupt that much.
When I see gunk...yUk...gotta wash the disk.
...hazards of public DvD rental....I would have been reeeeally mad if this one didn't play!!
This film begins with a concise / entertaining history of surfing in Hawaii.
It then takes you through the wild history of the sport in California.
The story progresses to the pinnacle of extremes in the sport...riding waves too big to paddle into.
Tow in surfing...the water rushes up the face of the wave too fast in a 40+ ft wave....
Jet skis are used to tow surfers into the wave long before it hits the reef and begins to break.
The narration is done by the veteran stars of surfing....
...Greg Noll (my first board was a Noll), and Sam George....
You'll meet Gerry Lopez and Laird Hamilton...just to name a few.
There is a parental guidence alert: Greg Noll has a "colorful vocabulary"...it's very funny.
Greg Noll was among the small group that pioneered the North Shore of Oahu in the 50's.
This group was the first to ride Waimea Bay, and Pipeline.
DON'T MISS the segment on Teahupoo (in Tahiti)...
...the wave is a freak of nature...and the world's deadliest!...
...even more so than Pipe...is that possible?!
You won't see Teahupoo get really big in this particular film....
I can go on and on about Riding Giants....JUST SEE IT!...
Also...don't miss Bruce Brown's "The Endless Summer 2" (1994)
and Dana Brown's "Step Into Liquid" (2003).
These 3 films are 6 hours of guaranteed fUn for you!!!!!!
Jack Johnson and Chris Malloy's "Thicker Than Water" (2000) -
As is everyone mentioned in the above films, Johnson and the Malloys are surfing world royalty.
This film is a beautiful, more artsy depiction of the sport we love so.
It is quite a departure from the surfing films mentioned above....
Filmed mostly in Indonesia, the music, camera work, and editing is artsy and creative....
a mood setting film to watch with your grrrlfriend or family...
it's not as long as most surfing movies, but every second is worth your time.
It's a beautiful piece of work, and not to be missed.
This is the only feature film I've ever worked on.
It was a local production (Denver), and had a few Hollywood level stars.
I was surfing coach for the actors, grip, and electric.
The World Premiere was April 5, 2006 at The Temple Buell Theater in Denver.
The release of the DVD was August 21, 2007 in the US and Canada.
The movie is light hearted fun splattered throughout with humor, romance, and Cerina Vincent.
It was a fUn, high stress learning experience for me.
I got to see the workflow of film making from the inside, and the surrounding culture.
I spent many hours holding shiny boards, etc.
Story: Robbie and his Mom move to Colorado from California for a new start in life.
Mom (Lindsay Wagner) gets Robbie (Randy Wayne) a job at Water World,
where a surfing competition in Thunder Bay wave park takes place
as part of the employee annual end of season competition.
Fun characters, great humor, fun music.....See it!
I will use this review as a communication to:
Bernie Murray, Lindsay Wagner, Alan Thicke, Cerina Vincent, Ben Ziff, Randy Wayne,
Travis Perkins, Gabriel Iglesias, and Ryan Haug.
To Bernie: I'm embarrassed.....my fault...we ran out of wax.
I was amazed other movie crew found surf wax in Colorado.
....and...of course, I was almost fired several times for taking photos.
To Lindsay: I was completely out of control taking photographs....my apologies!
To Alan: It was great fun to talk surfin' with ya!
To Ben, Randy, and Travis: Was that weird fun surfin' at Colorado's Water World?!
It is verrrry cool to see you guys in movies, network TV / Commercials, etc.
In the "Soul Surfer" DvD previews, you'll see Randy Wayne in Brian Baugh's "To Save a Life" (2009).
This is THE best education related film ever, except possibly, for Peter Weir's Dead Poets Society (1989).
Films like these make me realize how much time I've spent
in K-12 and beyond under the tutelage of teachers that were not passionate.
IMDB.COM describes this movie as a "documentary portrait".
The teacher is Georges Lopez, and it's a one room school in rural France.
I highly recommend this one...ESP. if you are parents, or want to be....
Check out Georges' ability with the kidlings...there are 13 of them....they are completely charming and funny...
...ages ranging from 4 to 12....this gentleman is an amazing educator for quite an age span of young earthlings.
It was fun to see this film....all parents of 4+ yr olds should SEE IT!...bothered by subtitles?....get over it.
A question for the kidlings!
How does your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th grade teacher compare to Georges?
Ben Burrt's "Blue Planet" (1990) -
Yes...I'm opinionated...that's why I have this movie review page.
In no uncertain terms, this film is the most important movie ever made.
It is soft spoken... powerful...and it has the most spectacular images you will ever see in a film.
It's a quick 40 minutes long....the narrator's voice (Toni Trow Meyers) is soothing.
Know that it's premise will be realized in the next several centuries.
It was one of the first films made for the IMAX screen.
All of our mistakes show from space....dirt runoff from de-forestation...
...the effects of the incessant pumping of pollutants into the air and into the oceans
since the dawn of the industrial age...
When you see our planet from orbit, you'll know why it's called the 'blue' planet...
stunning... a world of water....
....so why do we dump waste products into the sea and atmosphere?
When you dump waste (radioactive or otherwise) inland....
It makes it's way to the sea....... What's our world going to be like in a few centuries...or a few millennia?
Our "elected officials" are removed from the logic inherent in laws of science
as they pertain to stewardship of a planet.
They are apparently incapable of using insight that spans millennia. Do you think they care?
A documentary based on biologist Ernst Haeckel's (1834-1919) research on radiolarians.
These tiny invertebrates (protozoa) date back 570 million years (Cambrian).
The beautiful mineral skeletons created by these life forms represent an amazing blend of science and art.
They are stunning in their variety, detail and form.
Great original music by Yuval Ron...
...an incredible compilation / photographic work by Lebrun...an art, film, and science student must see!
Mr. Reiner's first movie, and not to be missed....to this day....just listening to the band talk in the DVD menu is fun.
............in a grumpy mood?.....watch Spinal Tap.
This will always be one of my very favorite films....
One of, if not, THE most FUN movie franchise ever....Wonderful acting, action, romance, special effects...
....all tied together with the most wonderful music by a couple of the worlds greatest composers.
Beginning with The Curse of the Black Pearl, scored by Klaus Bedelt. Dead Man's Chest and At World's End were scored by Hans Zimmer.
He kept that wonderful Bedelt melody you hear during many action sequences.
How can ya not love the casting, characters and story?...nuttn' else really needs to be said....see 'em all again.
When one has a dream....it is human nature to tell you that you can't do it...that it's impossible...not wise....too dangerous....or, some other sad comment.
The stresses on family, and accompanying events surround a retired pilot as he builds a rocket for Earth orbit in his barn.
Billy Bob is a great artist....Virginia Madsen is so talented and gorgeous.
A great family experience is depicted, and one of the most wonderful morals in film history....do NOT miss this tale.
If it weren't for our dreams, what would we have?
I personally relate to the negativity and ridicule that Thornton's character endured.
If I should lose insight, and tell someone I'm writing the most fun science fiction tale ever told,
...............................you can imagine the responses.
James Marsh and Philippe Petit's "Man on Wire" (2008) -
Truly one of the most amazing characters / athletes / artists / folk heroes ever!
An incredible display of Philippe Petit's ability to stay focused in his "art".
This is the gentleman that strung a wire between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.
He stayed on the wire for 45 minutes....
This is a dizzying documentary of the planning and execution of this insane feat.
They used a bow and arrow to get the line across the 140 foot space.
I have textbook acrophobia....sooooOo....
I was cringing and hanging on the the chair throughout this great film!
When he was arrested just after the event...they did not know what crime to charge him with.
....the clerk at police headquarters put "man on wire" on the form.
This is an elegent, well spoken gentleman....and a living icon.
One woman was overcome by the feat and boinked him!
You'll enjoy hearing him describe thoughts and emotions.....
DO NOT MISS this one, y'all.....
"Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps" (2010) -
Oliver Stone's sequel to "Wall Street"..... is an example of a great story continued. Gordon Gekko gets out of prison, and we get a view of trading and emotions in the 2008 bear market.
Great motion shots of New York buildings and skyline...
I must say....the music was not the best choice.
With the body of intellect and ability in today's film composers,
Stone may have goofed with David Byrne's music....Byrne is a genius....a great artist...
...but his sound is out of place in this film....I think he chose this composer because the lyrics were pertinent.
The melodies just don't go along with the drama and glory of Wall Street....
That's it folks..............great movie...great story...great cast..............not the best choice of music.
I never thought I'd say this.....no contest...Daniel Craig IS the BEST James Bond in the history of the franchise!!!!
How can ya get better than Sean Connery??.......................this is how!
Masterful editing, Judi Dench, Aston Martin....say no more.....
See both Casino, and "Quantum of Solace (2008)"...Mr. Craig ROCKS!!!!!!!!
I can't remember.....isn't this is the first Bond to have wounds on his face after fights?
A young Jennifer Connelly...David Bowie...Epic Muppetry / sets....
What can I say....a masterpiece, and always fun to see again.
.....bet there are still quite a few kidS that have not seen this...not to be missed.
All the Muppet films are an everlasting testament to the genius of Jim Henson!
Four Oscars....wanna cheer up?....watch it again....the film is a work of genius.
Won Oscars for:
>FILM EDITING - Arthur Schmidt
>SOUND EFFECTS EDITING - Charles L. Campbell, Louis L. Edemann
>VISUAL EFFECTS - Ken Ralston, Richard Williams, Edward Jones, George Gibbs
>SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Nominated for Oscars:
>SOUND - Robert Knudson, John Boyd, Don Digirolamo, Tony Dawe
>ART DIRECTION - Art Direction: Elliot Scott; Set Decoration: Peter Howitt
>CINEMATOGRAPHY - Dean Cundey
Pure Film Magic...the ageless classic I watch at least once a year during the Holidays.
SooooOo many references in sooOo many movies to Wizard.
It spawned many stage and screen works....and is possibly the most influential film ever made.
In the version I have, there are wonderful DVD extra features..........
....the Oscars that year...Judy, when things were happening so fast in her life.
Incredible stories from cast and crew about the making of the movie...
...wonderful Munchkin experiences!
Who isn't sentimental about this one.
I remember seeing it as a child in Portsmouth, Va.
I can't remember if it was the State, Colony, or Commodore theatre....
I do have a weakness for love stories....so.....
The latest version of Sabrina was 1995.
Julia Ormand is beautiful...and Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear are at the top of the pinnacle of acting.....but c'mon...it's Audrey Hepburn!
No contest....the 1954 version wins hands down!....ain't nobody like Audrey!
With Bogart and William Holden?....repeat: no contest......see this great oldie again!
...but again...it's Cinema...everything is relative....check out the latest Sabrina to see which you think is best.
John Badham's "Wargames" (1983) -
I'd venture to say this is the first high profile computer "hacker" movie...
It's a truly fun tale about a clever high school student...starring young Matthew Broderick,
along with an entertaining cast of characters.
It's fun to see "state of the art" home computers & related hardware, and the emerging sub-culture in the year 1983.
Kurt Wimmer's "UltraViolet" (2006) -
The epic sci-fi vampire combination....a great ride! Milla Jovovich is hauntingly beautiful, and such a great / colorful character.
I bet most males on Earth fell in love with her after this film was released!
I would guess this movie set a record for number of human males killed by a single non-human female!
Scored by Klaus Badelt....sooOo...the music is great.
CG was still evolving in 2006....
Don't miss UltraViolet...it's great fun.
Took Oscar for Makeup: Sarah Monzani, Michèle Burke.
Don't miss this look back to civilization 80,000 years ago...truly great fun....epic creative film making!
Rae Dawn Chong's character, Ika, wears nothing but mud....she is one of my all time favorite characters in a film EVER!
The scene when she breaks out into laughter is an epic cinema moment!
Ron Perlman's character, "Amoukar", is sooOo entertaining / funny!
...and yes...there is a creepy cannibalistic tribe...
Each character in the star clan has an individualistic, entertaining personality.
It was a time when some tribes could create fire....and some couldn't.
The mammoths were very good...considering there was no CG in 1981.
I still don't know how they got the big cats fitted with those saber teeth!
......repeat....do not miss this gem........
This was not that long ago......if you live on a geologic / astronomic timescale, as I.
My personal favorite, and one of the most incredible examples of screen chemistry between actor and actress ever!
Rhys Ifans' character Danny, is a scruffy cement worker in Sydney, Australia.
Miranda Otto, portrays Glenda, a parking ticket cop in the small Aussie town of Clarence.
You'll recognize Miranda from "Lord of the Rings"...she's such a beauty, and Ifans is as handsome as human males get.
Romantic screen chemistry doesn't get any better than this...especially IF you like love stories as much as I do.
A witty, amusing script...it's Aussie humour.....perfect acting in a film many will avoid because of the title.
I don't even want to disclose any of the story, it's such a delight...but here's a teaser fact:
IMDB quote: "Inspired by the antics of "Lawnchair" Larry Walters who flew from San Pedro, California
to Los Angeles International Airpot in a lawn chair rigged with 42 weather balloons on July 2, 1982.
The moOvie is great fUn.....period...do yourself a favor...do not miss it!
Again....another great love story....well...almost a love story.... revolving around the Clasky family.
Starring the stunning Paz Vega (perfectly gorgeous!), with Adam Sandler, and Téa Leoni....
Paz's character (Flor) has a daughter (Cristina) played by Shelbie Bruce.
Cristina has written her essay for acceptance at Princeton, and the story is told as she reads the essay.
This is an all time favorite of mine....great acting...great moral....great writing...great characters....
Cloris Leachman's character (Téa's Mom) is wonderful!
Adam's character is a chef....
Two things will occur while watching this movie:
You WILL get hungry, and..... you'll fall in love with Paz Vega........
Don't miss this delightful tale!
A robot love story for all time...it is toOoo charming....JUST A WONDERFUL TIME.
This webauthor truly loves CG and animation...I love to think about what is possible in this wondrous realm.
Wall-E stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class.
Wall-E's love, Eve, is an "Extraterrestrial Vegetation Examiner".
There are great / important messages in this delightful story....do NOT miss.
Andrew Stanton won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in the 2008 Awards for his work on Wall-E.
Thomas Newman was nominated for his Original Score....say no more...SEE IT!
When I first saw this film.....I realized how much I love the humour of Ellen DeGeneres.
She is simply sooOo much fUn in her character, Dori.
Dori is a Blue Tang, also known as a Palette Surgeonfish.
That fact is from FishBase.net.
Albert Brooks as Marlin the Clownfish....a delight.
Nothing that has ever taken place under the sea has been any more fun.
Andrew Stanton took the Oscar in the 2003 Awards for Best Animated Feature Film for his work on Finding Nemo.
Thomas Newman was nominated for his Original Score.
An amazing documentary look at the offspring of some folks we all know.
The film is a work of genius.
Jamie Johnson (Johnson & Johnson heir) created this,
and I don't think anyone else on Earth could have.
It's great fun, maybe a bit humbling, and an exercise in examining your own aspirations....do NOT miss this gem.
That's Ivanka Trump with Jamie in the above photo at the time this was made.
Barry Levinson, Barry Morrow, and Ronald Bass' "Rain Man" (1988) -
One of the most delightful tales ever told in film....I guess I say that a lot.
That's because I only recommend moOvies that I KNOW will entertain you!
Cruise's character meets his autistic savant brother (Dustin Hoffman) he didn't know he had.
Dustin is such a profound master of his art.....
You can't miss this, ESP. if you've never seen it.
If you mention this film to most anyone, they will instantly smile!
From the opening music to the very end...
...a film masterpiece through and through.....a story that will be viewed in a thousand years and loved just as it is today.
...and, last but not least, original music by the veteran master, Hans Zimmer.
A wonderful story...One I will always highly recommend to all ages.
The true story of Robert Kearns, inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper mechanism.
This first appeared on production cars in 1969, but I have to do further research to be sure.
The photo above is the Kearns family showing other drivers they are not touching the wiper on and off switch.
Both Ford and Chrysler stole Kearn's idea, and the story is inspirational and fun.
Sit down with the family for this one....Kearns represented himself in court, and an example he used was wonderful.
The comparison was to Dickens "Tale of Two Cities".....just words, right?
There is a certain order of Dicken's words that form the story.
There is a certain ordering of the components in the intermittent mechanism. Click this text to read the patent and see actual diagrams at "Google Patents". Legally, there is a Flash of Genius Doctrine...click this text!
If you haven't already, see this movie...otherwise...see it again!
Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) -
First perfect space craft in cinema history, stunning imagery, artistic...always an event to watch.
Nominated for Oscars in Art Direction, Directing, and Writing.
Mr. Kubrick won the Oscar for Special Visual Effects.
...not sure I'm remembering correctly, did 2001 play in Norfolk's Rosna Theatre?.... our local "Cinerama" theatre in those days.
Davis Guggenheim's "An Inconvenient Truth" (2006) -
G.W. Bush's competition for the presidency (Al Gore) makes a great case for global warming.
Al Gore has set himself aside from the entire political community.
To this webauthor...there is NO ONE else in the running for either President of the USA,
or Chief Global Science Officer.....there is no one even a close second in Congress.
It is a sad and embarrassing lot.
This film is family viewing....and to say it is educational is an understatement.
He goes ahead in time in most of his examples and graphs about 60 years...
My only suggestion.....just for fun, theorization for Earth climate
should venture out several millennia.
Of course, this film is mandatory viewing....
All K-12 schools and colleges should have it in their film library.
Gore was obviously comfortable pronouncing the scientific terms.
The issues covered by Gore, and mentioned at GTAC,
will be factors in the future chemistry of our atmosphere.
unless... some very important things are entered into law....
...Science RULES...established LAWS of SCIENCE (e.g. what happens when you let go of an apple?)
are NOT up for discussion......the "laws" created by "lawmakers"........are.
Just a personal thought here:
The global warming concern may be a "non" issue. The current ice age is waning.
Through geologic time....polar ice masses shrink and grow.
Have we affected the balance of atmospheric gasses?
It seems so now.....but we'll have a better idea of whats really taking place in a few centuries.
If you want to have some fun...try to talk science to an attorney.
Sean Penn, Samantha Morton...Uma...my gosh....can moOvies actually be too much fun...
It is the 1930s....folks go out to hear acoustic guitar w/band for a night's entertainment.
This is the riotous fictional tale of Emmett Ray....one of the best guitarists in the world.
His obsessive awe and fear of Django Reinhardt is such a fUn element.
Samantha Morton portrays Ray's grrrrlfriend, Hattie.
Sam's character is delightful!...I wouldn't ruin it by describing her to you.
Mr. Penn is simply a genius...such a broad range...a great talent.
Woody is a genius....Penn and Allen together?
...c'mon...ya can't go wrong for an evening's entertainment :)
Samantha and Sean both nominated for Oscars: Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor.
BEST ACTOR -- George C. Scott - NOTE: Mr. Scott refused the award.
ART DIRECTION -- Urie McCleary, Gil Parrondo; Set Decoration: Antonio Mateos, Pierre-Louis Thevenet
DIRECTING -- Franklin J. Schaffner
FILM EDITING -- Hugh S. Fowler
BEST PICTURE -- Frank McCarthy, Producer
SOUND -- Douglas Williams, Don Bassman
WRITING (Story and Screenplay--based on factual material or material not previously published or produced) -- Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North
It was nominated for:
CINEMATOGRAPHY -- Fred Koenekamp
MUSIC (Original Score) -- Jerry Goldsmith
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS -- Alex Weldon
I love General Patton, his attitude, his personality....as depicted by George C. Scott in this grand movie.
I imagine, that if George were in command during the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he would have examined global news footage.
Everywhere there was celebration, a nuclear device detonated.....problem eliminated.
He was the last of the true warlords....he truly loved it....Patton exited the military as politics entered.
"Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle."
"Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.
It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle.
The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood."
"Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn't give a hoot and hell for a man who lost and laughed.
That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war."
- George S. Patton
Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" (2005) -
As much fun as I've ever had in a movie theatre.
A loophole in the underlying science:
The machines emerged from the ground....they would be much too easy to detect.
The emergence was spectacular, though!
The film was great fun....Spielberg's film making is the best.
Take note of the ETs...they are verrry creepy.....nicely done.
The Tom Cruise / Dakota Fanning interaction is a joy to watch.
Trivia Note: Many people I talk to here in Colorado say
they haven't seen recent movies starring Tom Cruise
because they just don't like him.....from my viewpoint...Tom is brilliant in front of the camera...
when he's NOT in front of the cam...who cares?
I think he's talented and a lot of fun ....camera or no camera!
Rob Bowman's "Reign of Fire" (2002) -
I love perfectly done monster moOvies....there really aren't that many great ones, and this is a great one.
Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey portray such great characters in this story.
Def. a must see, especially if you've never seen it.
The CG dragons are perfect, very creepy.....check the haunting London landscape with dragons perched on the ruins.
This was beautifully done. I favor dragons over unicorns for creatures in literature with no fossil record.
Unicorns are just........annoying.
...oK....I admit it....I do love mermaids.........and, of course, Disney's "The Little Mermaid (1989)".
...anywayyyy....back to dragons.....This movie hit home for a sense of impending danger from an awesome 1800 pound creature!
The story is based on the premise that dragons remain dormant, emerge and become dominant if allowed.
A London mining company stumbles upon the bull, and a perfectly acted, imaginative story ensues.
See the "Special Features" section to see how the pyrotechnics were handled....this story has a LOT of fire.
Eugène Lourié, Ray Bradbury, and Fred Freiberger's "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" (1953) -
I'm thankful my Dad always took me to movies!
I was five, maybe six years old...this was the film that introduced me to the concept of geologic time....and the fauna of ages past.
The original master of frame by frame animation, Ray Harryhausen, did the creature....the fictional "rhedosaurus".
I was completely consumed and enthrawled. The scene when the animal climbs onto the dock on Manhattan Island,
was engrained in my head forever...there is intelligent writing, great acting, romance, people get squashed,
a policeman gets eaten....it's wonderful...except for the sad ending.
SEE this grand sci-fi oldie!!!!
Nathan Juran and Robert Creighton Williams' "20,000,000 Miles To Earth" (1957) -
I was nine when I saw this great oldie....Mr. Harryhausen created a great extraterrestrial creature from the planet Venus....
thus my interest in astrobiolgy began....I began to look at the night sky differently.
What forms can life take elsewhere?....a wondrous thought... at any age.
Completely great monster....great, sincere acting...I think the creature would have been friendly if NOT provoked...oWell.
Roland Emmerich's "Godzilla" (1998) -
The talented Matthew Broderick and the always fun Jean Reno star in a great modern monster movie...
Humor, romance, the BEST Godzilla in film history.....wonderful effects. This Godzilly Rocks!
Many of you probably avoided this one because it's another Godzilla movie.
...!MISTAKE!....fun writing, characters, and HUNDREDS of baby Godzillas....I'll say it.....dont' miss this one, either...it'll surprise you!
How many times can I say Godzilla in one paragraph....?
Check it's resemblance to "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms"...mentioned above.
Matt Reeves and Drew Goddard's "Cloverfield" (2008) -
T.J. Miller's character 'Hud' is handed the video cam to document his friend's going away party.
The whole story is told from the perspective of Hud's camera eye view.
It can be a bit dizzying...but, to me...it's perfect, immersive, and great fun!
I won't tell what happens, so, ...see this perfectly done movie.
You'll never know it's a monster movie during early character development.
Many folks have not seen this one, so don't tell them it's a monster moOvie.
All the characters are talented and great fun....I lOve Lizzy Caplan...
The creature?..... verrry cool looking, perfectly done and sure to be legendary in the annals of monsters.
"Clover" is my favorite of all.
James Cameron's "Avatar" (2009) -
I have much to say about this film and story...but like the very best films......let the work speak for itself.
I am assured now that cinema ETs have come of age...the Na'vi are perfect.
Click this text for a look at the motion capture process.
This is stunning, glorious Sci-Fi, CG, and storytelling. The bar is raised higher with each great story.
Cameron's writing is wonderful ...a tale that had to be told.
Beautiful sets, action, romance....what can I say?
I can go on and on about composer James Horner...
and how much a part of cinema storytelling music really is....but....I'll just leave it at that.
Won Oscars in:
ART DIRECTION -- Production Design: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
CINEMATOGRAPHY -- Mauro Fiore
VISUAL EFFECTS -- Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
Nominated for Oscars in:
DIRECTING -- James Cameron
FILM EDITING -- Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
MUSIC (Original Score) -- James Horner
BEST PICTURE -- James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
SOUND EDITING -- Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
SOUND MIXING -- Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
Nominated for an Oscar in ART DIRECTION -- Michael Seymour, Les Dilley, Roger Christian; Set Decoration: Ian Whittaker
Won Oscar for VISUAL EFFECTS -- H.R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, Denys Ayling
This was such great fun when it came out....I admit to owning all four.
By the way.....Some verrry cool furniture at: www.hrgiger.com.
The "Alien" lifeform, and the spacecraft and it's interior were fashioned with the Giger look.
There are Giger Bars, and big money art and jewelry.
I couldn't find info on prints, but I may have overlooked it.
Peter Jackson produced this film....needless to say....
His "Lord of the Rings" trilogy exemplifies what this gentleman is capable of.
I found "District" fUn / slam-bang / engaging sci-fi....a simple story with many messages.
Immersive camera action / motion by Trent Opaloch.....perfect!
A spacecraft descends upon Johannesburg, South Africa.
The ETs are bi-pedal crustacean-like creatures....w/cute children.
We build housing for the ETs, and 20 years pass.
Their housing is a slum, the "prawns" problematic,
and humans uncertain of the purpose for all this.
Upon closer inspection, we find the ETs are sensitive and intelligent.
Grossness Alert: ET dietary choices are repulsive.
The CG, as in Avatar, is perfect....great, expressive eyes!
This is the result of masterful motion capture...."mocap"....by Vancouver's Image Engine.
Their work is so perfect, I had to email and tell them I'm definitely thinkin' about ImageEngine for my film!
Here's the response from Shawn Walsh:
"Thanks Burton! Go get 'em!!!"
See District 9.........a fun sci-fi tale...worth your valuable entertainment time!
...of course....the all time epic ET story...and always great fun to see again.
I remember telling a couple of the women I worked with in 1982 (Tidewater Renal Dialysis Center in Norfolk, Va.) to take their kids to see ET....
response?..."I am not taking my child to see a movie about a space monster".....uhhhhhuhhhhh.....not a clue.....
Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" (2008) -
This puppy won six Oscars in the 2010 Academy Awards:
BEST PICTURE -- Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers
DIRECTING -- Kathryn Bigelow
FILM EDITING -- Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
SOUND EDITING -- Paul N.J. Ottosson
SOUND MIXING -- Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
WRITING (Original Screenplay) -- Written by Mark Boal
It was nominated for:
ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE -- Jeremy Renner (Staff Sergeant William James)
CINEMATOGRAPHY -- Barry Ackroyd
MUSIC (Original Score) -- Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
The story takes place in Baghdad, Iraq in 2004.
"The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction...
...for war is a drug." - Chris Hedges...journalist, author, and war correspondent.
Not to be missed...I would venture to say this is the very the best cinema war movie you'll ever see...truly suspenseful and scary.
You'll follow an Army bomb squad...
Camera views put you in the story....perfect wartime cinematography by Barry Ackroyd.
As viewer, you WILL attempt to disarm IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
You roll along with the bomb robot.
Incredible acting by everyone.....an amazing work on the current state of warfare on Earth.
I was amazed at the long range rifles...yOw.
I'll go out on a limb and guess: m107 50 caliber?
Some soldiers enjoy the hunt...thrive on war...crave the hunt and kill.
A great example is Pat Farley in Ty Ponder, Scott Bass, and Troy Page's "Between the Lines" (2009).
Our warriors truly exemplify the honor and pride of being American.
THE number ONE Christmas movie of all time!
Presented (and produced) as only Mr. Spielberg and Company can!
The opening number gives me goosebumps....Darlene Love's "Christmas, Baby Please Come Home".
Every Christmas Eve, all humans break out their copy of Gremlins for a grand family viewing.
BeeyoOtiful film and story...grand history and story telling of a great ladies' life.
You owe it to yourself to see the story of author of the most successful children's books in history.
Please do not miss the DVD Features section for Beatrix Potter's life story...great photos!
Music by Rachel Portman....my favorite all time cinema love story....hands down....a movie for the incurable romantic...
...a dreamlike story set in an idyllic French village....a dual between moral / religious duty, and indulgence...a real masterpiece!
Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, and Alfred Molina ...
Lena Olin's character, Josephine, is a favorite!
An epic Lena line....."Who says I don't know how to use a skillet?".
...all truly great characters and such a great story!
I will warn you.....you will begin to crave chocolate while watching!
I wouldn't ruin it by telling you anything more about it....just see it with one you love...or at least like a lot..........
Hands down....a grand all time favorite.
The extreme sport of the late 1800s was long distance horse racing....
...and Frank T. Hopkins dominated.
Cinema just doesn't get any more fun than this.
....Viggo Mortensen is perfect...the story is perfect...the sets are perfect....the music is perfect.
Viggo's character is invited to a 3000 mile race across the "Ocean of Fire" in Arabia.
It is such great fun to watch Omar Sharif at work in this film...his character, Sheikh Riyadh.
The Sheik's daughter (Jazira), played by stunning Zuleikha Robinson, creates the most wonderful element of romance...
...balanced by the presence of villians everywhere.
As always...incredible music by James Newton Howard...the story is a gem for the ages.
Viggo's character is colorful, gentlemanly ...this movie is a film delight...period...
...ESPECIALLY if you love HORSES, as I do....see the DVD Features section to see what Mr. Mortensen thinks of horses.
It seems that in reviews of the very best movies, it's best not to say much and let the work speak for itself.
.....if you've seen Hidalgo...see it again.
I love the art of storytelling....Hollywood does not have to be historically correct...the mission is to entertain us.
Barry Levinson and Mitch Markowitz's "Good Morning, Vietnam" - (1987) -
Here's to the genius of Robin Williams....
Only he could pull this one off...a great tribute to our fighting guys and grrrls.
It's a love story set against the backdrop of militay operations in Vietnam.
Radio was so very important for morale in that environment.
Williams plays the character of Adrian Cronauer, radio DJ for our troops.
Watch for the real Cronauer in the DVD extras, explaining what actually happened and what didn't.
I lived through the Vietnam Era....See this one again.
Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda's "Easy Rider" (1969) -
REVIEW in PROGRESS...............................................................
2 Oscar Nominations....a story taking place back in the days when humans with long hair and unusual clothing
were in danger in certain regions of the country.
In the opening transaction scene, look for the legendary / infamous Phil Spector making a purchase.
In the DVD Extras, the actors describe what it was like to work with each other and make the film....this is as much fun as the movie itself.
A truly colorful time in America...the height of the disco craze....70's and early 80's.
.......intoxicant of choice was cocaine...this is the true story of George Jung,
the first large volume supplier in the USA, working with the Medellín Cartel (Columbia), namely Pablo Escobar.
Escobar is perfectly played by Cliff Curtis...truly a sincere, scary character.
Such a dangerous and thrilling story, and a great evening for an appropriate audience.
This is adult viewing...so be forewarned!
It's a part of American history.
J. Depp as George Jung, Paul Reubens, Ray Liotta, Penélope Cruz....a great cast...a great story.
...always fun to see this one again.
Truly magnificent film making / storytelling...not to be missed.
An 1885 period film illuminating the delight and wonder of kingdom animalia,
and the terrible ways of humans. The film shows that there is some good in every man.
A story for young and old alike....Breathtaking, heartbreaking, and heartwarming.
Watch for the cub's "bear dreams"...they are great...
there's even a "bear trip" after eating the wrong mushrooms!
Parental Guidance Alert: brief bear sex....Bart the Bear scores!
Quite simply... the best film involving animals ever made.
.....do yourself a favor....SEE THIS!
Luc Jacquet's "March of the Penguins" (2005) -
It's penguin love.....a remarkable true life adventure filmed in the most severe environment on Earth.
Morgan Freeman's narrative is perfect...see this with someone you want to snuggle with....
......it's a forbidding place. The seasons pass....the lack of sun intensity,
and angle of the sun creates a lighting effect that makes you feel cold.... like you're there.
Parental Guidance Alert: brief penguin sex......the courtship is truly sensual....
During the storms, you'll wonder if all these guys are nuts for picking this place as a home!
Again...the very definition of all out blockbuster film....It is my custom to watch this one every July 3rd or 4th.
Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Fierstein, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, Vivica Fox, Mary Mcdonnell, Robert Loggia, .....
All characters are such great fun....spectacular spacecraft and creepy ETs.....as I always say......see it again!
The true definition of big money, full bore blockbuster.
...care was taken to make sure every moment was great FUN!
Wonderful job by actors...character development filled with entertaining personalities.
...and greAt humour throughout.
As much fun as I've ever had watching a movie.
I avoided this one for about a year, thinking it was for a much younger audience........!!! MISTAKE !!!
Armageddon is, in itself, the true definition of a full bore blockbuster movie.
It is as much fun as I've ever had watching a film....a delight, to be sure.
Care was taken to make sure every moment was exciting and fun.
These are the two big "extinction movies", as I call them.
They merit mentioning here due to the geological / astronomical element.
In my attitude toward the cinema realm, and in my life...science dominates.
I recommend Armageddon for the spectacle, action, and fun...
and Deep Impact for the human element of an impending impact.
Most impact craters on Earth are highly eroded...but the large ones show from orbit.
You don't think impacts from space actually take place?
One of the largest is right in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia...my old stomping grounds.
When something big enough hits us, can it change the angle of the axis of the planet?
Also....in case you were wondering why there aren't any dinosaurs,
mammoths, mastodons, or saber toothed cats roaming around in the woods...or...
...why there are Ice Ages.
We are in the (possibly waning) Quaternary Ice Age now, and have been for the last 2.58 million years.
Is the melting ice "global warming"?....maybe....
The Earth has been in an "interglacial period" known as the Holocene for more than 11,000 years.
Polar Ice grows and shrinks through geologic time,
and most humans really have NO concept of geologic time.
Are our emissions and waste affecting the atmosphere?
IF it continues through geologic time....that's a big affirmative there, folks.
Visit NASA's NEO WebSite. Here's some recent press from the UK on NEO's.
James Cameron's "The Abyss" (1989) -
The first perfect CG in a Sci-Fi movie....the "Russian Water Tentacle" scene.
The actual ETs were not up to todays standards for motion...but they were beautiful.
Their craft, however, were perfect....beautiful with great motion.
Great story of a sub-marine ET civilization, with the always great acting by
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn.
Also, a colorful, entertaining crew in the submarine rig.
It won the Oscar for:
VISUAL EFFECTS -- John Bruno, Dennis Muren, Hoyt Yeatman, Dennis Skotak
and was nominated for Oscars in:
ART DIRECTION -- Art Direction: Leslie Dilley; Set Decoration: Anne Kuljian
CINEMATOGRAPHY -- Mikael Salomon
SOUND -- Don Bassman, Kevin F. Cleary, Richard Overton, Lee Orloff
....The Abyss is an all time favorite for me....not to be missed...been a while?....see it again!!!
This review is here just as an example of CG in the years 2000-2001, when it began to get a bit more refined.
It's fun to compare motion and detail of the "Spirits" characters to that of "Avatar" characters.
Great "phantom" life forms in Final Fantasy.
Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, and the Jim Henson Company's "MirrorMask" (2005) -
The IMDB.com tagline is: "An extraordinary dream quest to rescue a world out of balance."
This is fun, cutting edge art for the cinema realm.
Young Helena's dream on the evening of her mother's hospitalization is the story.
It's a delightful fantasy tale...an amazing blend of 2005 CG and live action.
You have to listen closely...it's intelligent, it's bizarre, it's a little spooky....it's poignant in places...it's brilliant in places.
Some of it doesn't make any sense...
...but there's wisdom here and there if you watch / listen closely!
Watch for Helena's transformation to the tune of "Close to You".
Mandatory viewing for art students...the Henson Company scores again
for raising the bar in the cinema arts! It really is a feast for the eyes.
This is a branch at the very top of the muppet evolutionary tree.
Mike Figgis' "Timecode" - (2000) -
A typical scandalous / Hollywood type entanglement tale done by a true innovator
in film making, Mike Figgis. It's how it's presented that warrents a review on this page.
The screen is divided into 4 sections......4 cameras begin recording...no edits....no written script.
It's quite exhausting to follow...you'll find a good musical score...
matched to a constantly changing play of images in each window.
I found it very interesting...I personally didn't care that much for the story....
but I bet you'll be intriqued and amazed by the presentation!
Salma Hayek is always gorgeous!
A film school must see.
The greatest depiction of a child's love for his mother ever in film.
A stunning piece of work...always an event to watch.
The ending, to this day, makes me tearful, and gives me that tingly feeling
as only a great ending can...great writing.
A journey and story as only Mr. Spielberg can create.
Spanning 2000 years, the sets and characters are amazing.
Some of it you will like...some you may not...this, as is true of many films, is not for everyone.
Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law were absolutely perfect in their roles as robots.
It is a sad tale, so be ready for it....it is not to be missed.
As a child in Tidewater Virginia, I remember hearing
my first sonic boom when a plane broke the sound barrier.
Each of the actors in this film really do look like their counterpart in the original seven!
After all these years, the ending still elicits that special tingly sensation.
Trivia Note: The city of Virginia Beach, Va. demolished the Alan B. Shepard Convention center,
a beautiful geodesic dome structure, in 1994. They replaced it with a parking lot.
"The Dome" was built in Shepard's honor.
What bunch of idiots in the city legislature would authorize something like that?
I saw Jimi Hendrix play twice at "the Dome".
Alan Shepard lived in Va.Beach while on assignment with Fighter Squadron 42 at Norfolk, Virginia.
I watch this every October...
A true story: When the Soviets launched Sputnik on Oct. 4th, 1957,
the impact on 4 high school students in a small coal mining community
in West Virginia is depicted in this great film.
Such an inspirational story....great acting by Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern.
It rates along with "The Right Stuff" as a favorite in my genre of "pre-space" films.
See the bonus features on the DVD to see / listen
to the real Homer Hickam talk of his experiences.
He went on to become an engineer at NASA.
The movie has great oldies music of the times, mixed with a most excellent score by Mark Isham.....don't miss it.
Trivia Note: As a 9 year old sitting in the car with my Mom,
I remember hearing the radio broadcast of the Sputnik event.
Steven Spielberg trusted Joe Johnston with Jurassic Park 3
...so you KNOW Johnston is a great director!
I see that Joe is/was doing "Jurassic Park IV",
first scheduled for release in 2008.....the project appears to have been abandoned for the time being.
Reviews in Progress......
Roger Spottiswoode's "Turner and Hooch" - (1989) -
Truly a great movie...stories where dogs die always cause me to get emotional. Marley and Me (2008) was rough there for awhile at the end.
Hooch has THE most epic dog entrance in film history,
in slow motion to the tune of Sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss)...An incredible cinema moment.
I LOVE that dog....his name is Beasley...and he lived from 1978 to 1992....as far as I know, this was his only film....whattadawggy!
Mr. Hanks, as a detective on the trail of Hooch's master's killers, is delightful.
The interactions between Hanks and Beasley the Dog are truly great fun.
...of course, there is Mare Winningham's character, Dr. Emily Carson, the local veterinarian babe....and a wonderful romance.
...do not miss this wonderful story........wunnerfulwunnerful......datzmyreview!
ps.................Here's to the seemingly effortless mastery / genius of Mr. Hanks.....see "Cast Away" (2000) ...again!
REVIEWs in PROGRESS.......................................
Paul Verhoeven's "Robocop" - (1987) -
Most certainly....a tale that had to be told!
Jonathan Lynn's "My Cousin Vinny" - (1992) -
What can I say...Marisa, with Joe Pesci as defense...Fred Gwynne as the judge is toO much fun.
...not to be missed...Any YOOTS out there?
Marco Brambilla's "Demolition Man" - (1993) -
In the future, Taco Bell is Earth's classiest, most elite restaurant chain!
Sandra Bullock, Stallone...don't miss it!
Peter Hyams' "Timecop" - (1994) -
Jean-Claude Van Damme at his best!
Fun, creative, futuristic law enforcement...I love the holdup scene in the old west!
Danny Cannon's "Judge Dredd" - (1995) -
Stallone...what can I say?!...now THIS is my kind of justice!
This is THE grandest legal story of all....Do NOT overlook it!!!
There's a fair chance that many of you have never seen "Inherit the Wind".
I truly love the duel between science and religion...it defines who we are as a civilization.
The year is 1925..................
The case....The State of Tennessee v. John Scopes....also known as the "Scopes Monkey Trial".
Spencer Tracy's masterful portrayal of Clarence Darrow is amazing and good natured.
Fredric March plays attorney and three time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.
See these two elegant gentlemen engage each other in court...it is truly fun.
My favorite piece of evidence presented in the movie....a "10 million year old" rock.
Of course, everyone's name was changed in this cinema classic.
Here's to independent thinking and creative teaching from educators!
You owe it to yourself to learn about one of, if not, THE the most important court trial in the history of planet Earth! Click this text to learn a bit about high school teacher John Scopes.
Steven Soderbergh's "Erin Brockovich" - (2000) - The real Erin, pictured above was the waitress that served Julia Roberts and family in the restaurant scene.
This is one of the most wonderful stories ever told in cinema....the GRANDEST of legal tales!
Julia won the Best Actress Oscar for this one...
From 1952 to 1966, hexavalent chromium was used to fight corrosion by Pacific Gas & Electric in their "cooling towers".
It made it's way into the drinking water of the residents of Hinkley, California....
If you're in law school....see the movie again....everyone should see the movie again....period. Visit the Official Brockovich Website.
Also....IMPORTANT....m51.com entertainment advisory!
DO NOT MISS the "groundwater / pollution related" documentary by Josh Fox: "Gasland" (2010).
...it is verrry scary.
Written by Dr. Carl Sagan.....one of the most moving films I've ever seen.
The movie has the most impressive / spectacular opening sequence you will ever see in a film.
A civilization in the vicinity of the star Vega sends us instructions on how to build a machine
to transport a single human occupant to the Vega system.
Listen to Jodie Foster's character in her interactions
with Matthew McConaughey's character.
A duel between science and religion ensues
as the screening panel tries to find the best representative of humanity.
....is 95% of Earth, in fact, delusional?
The film is a marvelous piece of work...it is so much fun!
I, like many sci-fi lovers, wanted to see the ETs during the climax...
The representation of the ETs came in the form of Ellie's father...to make it easier for her.
....that was the only disappointing element in the film...
It is stunning, exciting, and beautifully acted.
I watch this film more frequently than any I own.
The music by Alan Silvestri...particularly the melody...gives me goOsebumps. Read the SETI take on this film.
Most people respond negatively when I tell them a film is subtitled...but then again....I'm in Colorado.
Jeunet supersaturated the colors in selected scenes in this masterpiece...
you'll see a deep saturated green all through the film,
along with the rest of the colors that appealed to the film maker....soooo...it's very colorful!
It is one of the most delightful tales I've ever seen on film!
Young Amelie is so cute and amusing.....grown Amelie is gorgeous...
...of course...it's Audrey Tautou!....
You'll see her with Tom Hanks in Ron Howard's "The DaVinci Code" (2006).
Amelie is filled with French humor and wit....the subtitles go fast at times....
so you may have to pause the DVD to read them...it is verrrry funny....
This story is weird and wonderful.
Amelie finds a tin box hidden in her bathroom wall
filled with a past resident's childhood treasures, and she searches for the owner....
She tries her hand at matchmaking, revenge / trickery...
...she falls in love with an odd, fun character who works both at a porn shop,
and a spooky amusement park ride.
See this with one you love... or at least like...
Bienvenue au Paris....Do not miss it.
Steven Soderbergh's "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" - (1989) -
An attorney's untruthful relationship with his wife is at the center of this story.
It seems being a good liar is a job specific skill in the "legal" realm, as well.
This movie is adult in nature...so be advised....and it's a great attorney bashing opportunity!
In a way, reminds me of the principal illustrated in Liar Liar (1997) with Jim Carrey.
What happens if you always tell the truth?...an interesting exercise for you.
Andie MacDowell, Laura San Giacomo, Peter Gallagher, and the always fun / talented James Spader make up the cast.
The attorney / husband is played by Gallagher....Spader is the visiting college friend.
I love the two actresses.....and this story....it's truly a great piece of ART...do NOT miss it....it will elicit some interesting emotions!
Use your imagination as to how the story goes....I won't disclose details.
Original music by Cliff Martinez.
This movie represents the time in our culture when video capability came into our homes, and it was quite thrilling at that time!...still is!
A good chronicle of the progression of video cameras available to the public is in the film, Auto Focus (2002).
It's a creepy story masterfully played by Greg Kinnear.
He portrays "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane....and Bob was a creep.
Willam Dafoe plays John Carpenter, a video industry rep. with first access to the latest equipment....he befriends Crane.
See Auto Focus if you're curious....it's a fun tale.
Sex, Lies?...MANDATORY viewing for both married & unmarried couples....as an exercise.
Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" - (2004) -
Important viewing...it will make you angry...it will make you laugh
...you may think much of it is horsepoOp....
You may think it is all true, and stand in disbelief that g.W.busH was ever actually in office...
I'm merely presenting the film and recommending you see it....
again...this is yet another "exercise" in cinema viewing....see this film.
It may be one of the most important docs ever made....you decide.
...it won "Best Picture / 2004" at the Cannes Film Festival.
Mr. Moore won the Oscar for his "Bowling for Columbine" (2002)....and it is a work of genius.
Moore seems to annoy a few people...but the Oscar speaks for itself.
Do not miss this documentary about our love and fear of guns.
Based on the book by Arthur Golden.
"A story like mine should never be told..." ...as the narration begins....
This is a tale of the hardships that must be endured in the life of a Geisha.
Wonderful color....sets....wardrobe...the kimonos, the geisha.... are things to behold...
They are interpretations of 1930's Geisha regalia...as is true of the hair styles.
Young Chiyo (later named Sayuri) and her sister are sold
to an okiya (Geisha house) out of financial necessity.
Sayuri is portrayed by the impeccable Ziyi Zhang....stunning, to say the least.
Gong Li is the rebellious / jealous geisha in the okiya.
Gong Li is forbiddingly beautiful....
If you want to see what a heartbreaker she is,
see her with Jeremy Irons in Wayne Wang's "Chinese Box" (1997).
Michelle Yeoh is Sayuri's teacher....sigh...whatta gorgeous woman.
See this film with one you love...you must be in the correct mood for this one.
John Williams' score is haunting.
You just can't go wrong with Itzhak Perlman on violin, Yo Yo Ma on cello....and composer John Williams.
I love the mysterious "floating world" of the Geisha as depicted in this grand and romantic story.
World War 2, the beauty, the hardship, the romance, the sets and scenery...the music....great moOvie!
This is a Kevin Costner depiction of the Michael Blake novel....
...an epic and wonderful story about the displacement of the Native Americans
in the American frontier at the time of the Civil War.
Were the American military forces really the pigs shown in this film?....no comment.
This is an endearing portrait of the Sioux in the old west...although it is a sad tale.
In addition to the American army threat, the Pawnee conflict with the Sioux
over hunting grounds was cause for tribal warfare.
Costner's character takes a post at a remote location on the prairie in Sioux territory.
I especially enjoyed the Sioux interactions with each other and with Costner's character.
Mary McDonnell is beautiful as an orphaned American child
raised by the tribe's holy man.
"Dances" develops into a truly romantic tale....
One of my favorite characters was "Two Socks", the wolf.
All the sioux children were great....Michael Spears' character, "Otter", and Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse as "Smiles Alot", are favorites.
You'll see a number of Indians that look "Caucasian"....
Native American extras are scarce......Our military killed most of their ancestors.
Perfectly acted by Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, and Don Cheadle....
My favorite depiction of family life in America!
It's a fantasy tale....a "glimpse" into a life that could have been for a successful Wall Street arbitrage master.
Much of it takes place during Christmas...it's a view of life in two different worlds.
Please do yourself a favor....DO NOT miss this delightful film.....
You are left to create your own moral....
"I choose us......" will have meaning for you after seeing this wonderful story!
This is high priority viewing, folks!
The director is the great grandson of H.G. Wells....a perfectly acted re-make of the 1960 original.
Klaus Badelt's beautiful score accompanies the story....I am always researching composers....and Klaus is among the very best.
This composer scored Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator...among others.
This re-make is a GREAT film, and not to be missed.
It's been a long time since I've seen the original...but with CG, there's no way it can be more entertaining than this re-make.
It's definitely worth a viewing...beautiful sets and very nice time travel effects.
Perfect job by Guy Pearce as Alexander Hartdegen.
Jeremy Irons as the uber-morlock...seriously creepy.
Robert Altman and Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" - (2006) -
Garrison Keillor: "We come from people who brought us up to believe that life is a struggle,
and if you should feel really happy, be patient: this will pass."
Altman's last film before his death in Novembr of 2006....
Do yourself a favor and see this director's last work.
You'll remember Altman's work as director of "M.A.S.H." (1970).
In Home Companion, Altman keeps true to his style of having 3 cameras rolling
to catch ALL candid remarks from his actors.
His focus are these candid remarks...he is a master at weaving a wonderful tale out of this.
There will always be several people talking at the same time,
and you will hear everything everyone says!
I have been a Home Companion fan for many years,
so if you do not like PHC humor, you shouldn't bother.
I personally think it is a rollicking good time!
It is a remarkable tribute to the humor, the music, and the personalities of the radio show.
DO NOT miss it!........
Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Garrison Keillor (as himself),
Virginia Madsen.....Lindsay Lohan....all so very talented and most excellent!
Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly are such great fun.
The special features are mandatory viewing:
Listen to Altman and the actors talk of their experiences with each other.
The musicians are amazing...the film, AND the special features, are a delight.....
Trivia Note: Read Garrison Keillor's cat quote on the m51.com "Pets" page.
Michael Mann's "The Insider" - (1999) -
The true story of when big tobacco was exposed
as an addictive substance that is detrimental to health.
......NOT to be missed!
This is such an important story.....a most excellent film.
Great camera work....masterfully acted by Russell Crowe as Dr. Jeffrey Wigand,
and Al Pacino as "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman.
High tension...threat....drama...corruption....welcome to the world of big corporations.
Nominated for 7 Oscars....also: the music is extremely cool. Lisa Gerrard's group at that time was named "Dead Can Dance".
I have the soundtrack and listen to it often....haunting, GREAT music for intense drama.
Trivia Note: This film is especially entertaining to me,
because I found the smell of tobacco repulsive at age 5.
A wonderful period science fiction tale beginning at Edinburgh University in 1880.
James Mason, Pat Boone (in his hayday), Arlene Dahl (she's so beautiful!), and Diane Baker star in this great oldie.
An expedition into the interior of Earth is depicted.
The journey begins through an opening in an Icelandic volcano.
The descent is filled with a spectacular series of subterranean sets.
Parts of the film were shot in Carlsbad Caverns.
Though the term is overused...the effects were "state of the art" for the time.
You'll be amazed at the dinosaurs...they are iguanas, with make up!
Perfect job...they truly look like Dimetrodons! Don't miss it!!!
If the camera work and effects were more polished, they would rival today's computer generated dinos!
You will be surprised by this movie....it always brings a smile to my face.
You'll hear Pat Boone sing Robert Burns' "My love is like a Red, Red, Rose" to Diane Baker...it is so very romantic.
Boone was the teen heart throb of the day....remember hearing "Loveletters in the Sand" on the radio?...
Trivia note: When I saw this one in the movie theatre at age 11, I cracked a tooth on a piece of popcorn.
Then...30 years later when VHS was the standard, I rented it and cracked another tooth eating popcorn at home!
ok....OK....so I loved this movie.....based on Lauren Weisberger's novel.
The formidable Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is unforgiving as editor
of a very high profile New York based fashion mag.
Anne Hathaway's character (Andy Sachs) takes a job as Miranda's "fashion handicapped" assistant.
Streep's character and the office staff are ruthless in their comments and sarcasm.
Watch for cameos of Valentino and his entourage.....this is great fun...
....a story with an inherent humor not everyone will appreciate.
Stanley Tucci is wonderful (true of any role he plays) as the artistic director for the publication.
I truly think Anne Hathaway is one of the world's most beautiful grrrls.
Watch the sudden, neccessary transition into character of Miranda's assistant....head to toe...Chanel boots to perfect makeup.
You have to live it, to do it...and the stresses of this type of job take a toll on Andy's relationship.
It's female clothing at the highest level.... I love this stuff.
You KNOW the clothes are off the scale gorgeous.....and Anne Hathaway is breathtaking in them.
If matters of vanity bother you....go elsewhere for your movie entertainment,
for this story takes place in one of the world's epicenters of business and vanity....
....and there's a segment in Paris, of course, for the Valentino event.
I thought the ending was a bit unrealistic...
In real life, would someone really abandon a job like that, as Andy did?
I also think her boyfriend would have been totally supportive,
rather than how he behaved in this story.
I think the story needed the complication of the boyfriend's discontent.
The movie is respectful to this awesome industry...
The clothes filter down through the big department stores and eventually into the "outlet malls"...
...so it actually touches more people than you think.
Don't miss the special features on the DVD.....
ps...Click this text to see the current Prada presentation...
Don't miss the slideshow of Nathalie Djurberg's art and the Trembled Blossoms animation.
It's quite bizarre with many messages...hmmmm..."Trembled Blossoms" is not there now...
Here it is on You Tube: Trembled Blossoms
The female stuff is gorgeous...the "male" line, as always, is truly weird...
I do like the men's "crocodile driver" shoes....$1450.00...hmmmm...I'll have to wait on that one...
How do I begin with this one....first....parental guidance alert for adult language and drug references....
This is probably my favorite depiction of a child beauty pageant...a weird series of events and emotions throughout!
Abigail Breslin is perfect and truly charming as Olive. She qualifies for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.
Soooo.... the family takes off in a VW bus to Redondo Beach, California
for the beauty pageant...Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette (as husband and wife),
Alan Arkin, Paul Dano and Steve Carell play the other family members....
Carell is always a riot...he plays the suicidal, gay brother of Toni Collett's character...
so.....this will give you a idea of what kind of story this is.....
Abigail Breslin's character is perfect, so to speak, in her performance in the pageant.
You'll actually feel the embarrassment for her...at first, that is......
Then a great surprise finale, and an important moral about competition and family values....
Personally, I find makeup, clothing, and beauty pageants for girls this age out of line.
It's weird! SEE IT!...again, as I sometimes say....this sort of humor is not for everyone.
I enjoyed the alternate endings in the special features!
Trivia note: Long ago, I had a VW bus and the horn actually did malfunction
and constantly beep, exactly as in this movie.
Here's another great Abigail Breslin moOvie...she is much younger here...and too cute!::::::::::::::::::
M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs" (2002)
My favorite, all time depiction of the Peter Pan tale....Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman...
Tinker Bell Julia Roberts...Bob Hoskins....izzitoOmuchfUn?!
John Williams meeyoOzik....mandatory holiday viewing.
5 Oscar nominations.
Brooks Arthur, Allen Covert, Seth Kearsley and Adam Sandler's "Eight Crazy Nights" - (2002) -
yUp....it's an animated Chanukah tale ...
...done as only Adam Sandler and company can.
The characters are so weird and wonderful....
Initially, Adam's character, "Davey" is gross and anti-social....but not without purpose.
... a deliquent who learns a lesson in humility and kindness......
I especially loved Eleanore and Whitey......
Every word out of Eleanore's mouth was totally funny......I guess that's just my taste in humour...
She's truly THE funniest cartoon character I've ever seen!....not just saying that....she really is.
Sandler did the voices for: Eleanore, Whitey, the herd of deer, and Davey.
The deer are truly weird and make very funny sounds....
Other voices you'll hear are those of Rob Schneider, Norm Crosby, Jon Lovitz, Tyra Banks....
This story has such a great moral....don't miss it!
...how many times can I say weird in the same review...this film is not a bad weird, though.
Of course....Adam's Chanukah Song 3 tops it all off in the special features.
It is a ritual with me to start the holiday each year, the first candle lit, with The Chanukah Song....
The Dreidells as the background chorus (extremely cute!)...what a delight. Click this text to hear "The Chanukah Song Part 3" (audio only)!
...and puleeze...don't miss Eleanore, Whitey, and director Seth Kearsley talking you through the film.
...also..."A Day With the Meatball"....one of the Sandler family dogs....also in the DVD extra features.
To quote imdb.com, "A cinematic portrait of the controversial comic book writer / artist and his traumatized family."
The film is presented by David Lynch...so...understand what you're in for.
...of course, this is an excuse to mention a talented and interesting director....
He is Hollywood's Crown Prince of Darkness & Weirdness.... and his music / lyrics are truly coOl.
His actors ALWAYs give their very best for him....
The fact a director would set up such outrageous/great scenes, is fascinating.
Those of you not familiar with Lynch: Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Mulholland Drive (2001),
and Inland Empire (2006).
I must warn you about "Inland Empire"...
It is like being in cinema HELL for a couple hours, and because of that,
it's wonderful ...and a great piece of cinema art.
Lynch has his own "niche" in cinema. His films are NOT for everyone.
I think he's funny / entertaining / bizarre / very artistic....in a David Lynch-ish sort of way.
...anywayyyy...back to "Crumb".....NOT for a general audience....
The Crumb family is bizarre....in an interesting sort of way...be forewarned! Robert Crumb was the artist for Zap Comix
and miscellaneous other publications back in the hippie days.
I've seen his "Keep on Trucking" image on big semi trucks' mud flaps, all kinds of clothing, who knows what else.
Robert's renderings of hippie grrrls are a riot. His drawing is a window into an amusing and complicated personality.
You'll probably only want to see it once...but it's fun to show others.
Know this...no one is acting...this is pretty much a documentary....again...this type of entertainment is NOT for everyone.
......AND...I would give it an R to X rating...keep young offspring away.
Many of you may seriously hate it........IF you are an artist of some sort, I bet you'll have fUn!
I found it very interesting.............in a bizarre sort of way............................................................
Great moral...Great movie! William Foster (Michael Douglas) is a disgruntled ex-defense company worker.
The story begins in a traffic jam in southern California....
The "pressure cooker" in Foster's mind explodes,
and Douglas' character abandons his car in the traffic jam....
His journey on foot, throughout gangland and affluent southern California, begins....
This is all filmed in the vicinity of Venice Beach....What a fun ride...a roller coaster of emotions!
This is one villain you may identify with....the villain is the hero....depending on your point of view.
All the injustice....all the evil in society ....is William Foster's vigilante pursuit...
One issue with society after another is encountered.....a chain of events you must see to believe!
Again...as I say with many films...Do yourself a favor and see this...
Douglas' acting, as always, is wonderful...and great fun to watch, especially in this role.
Robert Duvall plays the detective in pursuit....Duvall is excellent in ANYTHING he plays!
Barbara Hershey portrays Foster's ex-wife who lives in constant fear of her "unstable" ex-husband.
Adult language alert....at first viewing, you'll want to keep the kids away....however...it is important enough
for them to see when you think they are old enough!!!!
The true story of Captain Christopher Sheldon and his wife on the last voyage on the sailing vessel Albatross.
It's a period film beginning in 1960....
a year long nautical / academic / adventure experience for wayward high school students.
One of the greatest coming of age stories ever told...spectacular...moving...powerful....and NOT to be missed!
The teenage crew with their varied personalities learn of honor,
responsibility, and compassion on the high seas.
Open ocean footage shot off the coast of South Africa is awesome and dizzying.
A "white squall" is encountered at the climax of this wonderful story.
It's a storm condition so fierce, it is spoken of as legend.
I won't disclose any detail about this story...simply because it's a "must see".
The sailing experience was a life changing experience for the crew members.
Truly a high drama climax, to one of the greatest stories ever told in film.
See it with or without your teenage offspring...no matter WHAT mood they're in....it's a riveting tale!
It may be better if teens view it privately because of certain scenes.....just get 'em to SEE IT!
Trivia note: In the screenplay, Alan Shepard's Mercury capsule passes overhead in the night sky...
but actually, it was a daytime suborbital flight that lasted 15 minutes.
Gabriele Muccino's "The Pursuit of Happyness" - (2006) -
The true story of Chris Gardner (portrayed by Will Smith) and his family (portrayed by the real life Smith family).
Gardner's struggle to take care of his family in San Francisco is truly inspiring...
...a profound tearJerker.....so be ready for this.
With this film, Will Smith has established himself as masterful an actor as anyone in the business.
The hardships compound, and you'll think nothing any worse can happen to this family.
Will Smith's character shows the constant attention to his son as only a loving father can...
.....hold on...it's gonna pull at your heartstrings!
This movie is a great example of the force of the human will...so perfectly acted by all.
Chris Gardner applies for an internship at Dean Witter Stock Brokerage
soon after crossing paths with a stock broker parking a Ferrari.
Gardner is eventually abandoned by his wife.
I'll say no more about the story...SEE IT!
Will, Jada, and son Jaden (Will and Jaden were presenters at the Oscars)
get my most sincere compliments for their work in this film.
Having a tough time with your finances?...see this for inspiration.
It's a true life adventure with a message for all of us.
Don't miss the DVD special features: Listen to the real Chris Gardner talk of his life,
and his experience with Will Smith.
I'd venture to say, this is the most successful, grandest Bollywood film ever made.
Aishwarya Rai (as Lalita Bakshi) is spellbinding....Martin Henderson (as William Darcy) is "searingly handsome"
as described by the director, Gurinda Chadha.
Aish gets my vote as one of the world's most perfectly beautiful women!
All I can do is blabber about her....so I'll get on with the story description....
If you haven't seen a Bollywood work yet...I'd recommend this one for starters...
a great love story spanning India, London, and Los Angeles.
Every five minutes or so...they'll break out into a musical number....Welcome to Bollywood!
The music is wonderful.....very romantic and sexy...as Indian music can be.
This film is such a pleasurable experience.....Henderson's character is a wealthy American
checking out India as a location for one of his company's hotels....
...of course.....he is smitten by Aish...as any human (or extraterrestrial) male would be.
Family politics, misunderstandings, and a villian add just the right elements
to make the romantic climax even more delightful to watch!
The film is filled with Indian culture, many grand dance numbers...
there is no such thing as a Bollywood actor/actress who can't sing and dance!
The clothes are gorgeous...blazing colors throughout the entire production.
The Bakshi family is delightful....Lalita has 3 other beautiful sisters.....all available for marriage.
One of my favorite songs is "No Life...Without Wife"...where Lalita's sisters taunt her about a prospective husband
(Nitin Ganatra as Mr. Kohli - very funny)...Every piece of music in the film is great!!!
nooOOoo....this one is my favorite: Take me to love...goOt gawad dats a gorgeous wOman. Take Me To Love Part 2.
What a great musical...wanna get cheered up?....this is priority viewing!...and one of the very few musicals I own.
The screen chemistry between Lalita and Darcy really made me feel the drama and intensity
of the developing relationship.....ok...OK...I'll stop...I loved this movie!
Other musicals that I own: Moulin Rouge (2001) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
I think Rob Marshall's "Nine (2009)" is THE sexiest musical I've ever seen!...
...great dance numbers...again...verrrRry sexy.
I was completely amazed at Kate Hudson's number!...yOw...we love you Kate!
She had the most amazing eye make-up job I've ever seen.
....and needless to say....Penélope Cruz is spellbinding.
...Daniel Day-Lewis is a true master of his art!
Nine was nominated for four Oscars.
A Hollywood grrrrl surfing movie.....It's the adventures of a group of surfer girl friends
living and working on the North Shore.....This one passes as not too goofy and fun to watch.
Our star...Kate Bosworth's character, Anne Marie, is in training for the Pipeline Masters surfing contest
which, by the way, is NOT on the A.S.P. women's tour.
The ASP women's tour does compete at Sunset Beach, though. Click this text to read the profiles of the women who compete at this level.
In addition to Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez as Eden, Sanoe Lake as Lena, and Mika Boorem as Penny
(Anne Marie's teen sister) make up this entertaining bunch.
Anne Marie falls for a football star on vacation in Hawaii...it's a nice teen/20something love story.
Anyone who rides waves will probably give it an "OK and Fun" rating.
In closeups during the surfing, the face of Kate Bosworth was superimposed
on ASP pro Rochelle Ballard's body...so it looks like Bosworth is surfing.
It's the same technique used with talking animals you see in films.
From time to time, you'll feel the power of the North Shore...it is not possible to photograph this place
without getting awesome footage of the waves and surfers.
This is light fare, mildly adult in nature here and there.....
Look for a cameo of former world champion Tom Carroll just after he really got injured (facial cut) at Pipeline.
The actors got spooked about paddling out after seeing Carroll's injury...see DVD features.
This film gets an overall "Fun / See It" rating....cool music, also.
My old friend at Sunset Beach said Kam highway traffic was hung up for a month during principle photography.
Hey Grrrls...check out the extra features on the DVD....a look at Billabong's clothing line.
Truly one of the most delightful film experiences!
A Coca-Cola bottle is thrown from an airplane...and N!xau, a Kalahari bushman (a REAL one!), finds it.
The events that unfold after that make for EPIC comedy fUn!
The story is narrated by a distinguished sounding Paddy O'Byrne.
Uys (the director) will speed up the film from time to time for comic impact.
You'll notice that when ever someone lights a campfire,
A rhino comes running out of the jungle and stomps it out.........
This is one of many elements in this work that make it an all time favorite for me.
So many little items that make this such a wonderful film experience....
There is a strange blend of buffoonlike villains, lots of gunfire, romance, and Kalahari adventure.
All shots fired hit anything from banana trees to miscellaneous objects other than humans....
Anything involving animals is totally fUnny...and there are animals throughout the film.
Romance between two of the lead characters may be the most fun in film romance history!
Marius Weyers plays enamored Andrew Steyn, and Sandra Prinsloo portrays school teacher Kate Thompson.
Weyers' character is truly one of the funniest things I've ever seen on film.
Keep your eye on the children...they are a riot...very cute.
Note: Topless Female Alert...remember the photos in National Geographic when you were in the 4th grade?
Every comic effort in this film is brilliant...do NOT miss it!...the heroes...the villains.....ALL of it is a riot!
Don't miss the sequel...The Gods Must Be Crazy 2 (1989).
N!zau's kids are a bit older in this one....and sooo totally cute and funny.
Both films are family safe, by the way.
Please see the bonus feature about Xixo (N!xau)...it covers his life since the movie.
It is well filmed and quite sad.
Family Viewing: Stephen Sommers' "Van Helsing" - (2004) -
The consummate hAlloween tale with great CG effects and fun writing.
Kate Beckinsale is gorgeous, and Hugh Jackman is always great fun.
Pretty sets...mountains and snow...beautiful / creepy babe vampires.
My FAVORITE Frankenstein EVER...you'll love him!
The story ties in the most famous horror characters from literature...Def. a fUn halloweeeEen moOvie!
As always....wonderful music from Alan Silvestri.
Jan de Bont's "The Haunting" (1999) -
The most beautiful house in cinema haunted house history...a re-make of the 1963 original "The Haunting"...
...which I must say is as good as this re-make for creeps.
Of course the CG and the sets are great in the new one...but...
...you'll have to check out the '63 version...for scares and jumps, it's pretty good!!
The cast makes this movie, with Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, and Lili Taylor...
...all of whom are perfect in this story, and GREAT actors.
Steven Spielberg was an executive producer.
Jerry Goldsmith did the score....Michael Kahn did the editing...how can ya go wrong? Click here to see the house that was used as a cover, and as a miniature.
Family Viewing: Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" - (1993) -
...such a great work that ties together the holiday season...
with the musical magic & wizardry of Danny Elfman.
Geoffrey Sax and Niall Johnson's "White Noise" - (2005) -
Want to try it?...can't think of a more creepy Halloween thanggg to do.
It's really easy to do....best to get a handheld digital recorder...they have LEDs that light up when they pick up sound.
If you see that LED light up....you're recording something.......
This, of course, makes the whole experience extra creepy!
Find a place, a room in a house, a cemetery.....anywhere someone has died, or is buried.
A good old non-digital cassette recorder works, also!
Just ask a question..."anyone there? are there any happy souls near us right now?
if you can hear me, would you speak to me?...I want to hear from you."...say anything to try to elicit a response.
Most responses occur soon after your question.
....you won't hear it while you are recording.
.....it is only detectable when you capture the wave form on your hard drive.....
............................................whatta fun way to freeeaakyerselfOUT on Halloween night......
Adults Only: Tony Scott's "The Hunger" - (1983) -
An epic opening music number by Bauhaus.
Beautiful, haunting classical score mixed in.....view the film with a thundering sound system.
The setting....an exquisite townhouse with beautiful artifacts....NYC.
Great characters, fun creepy story, and gorgeous actresses...Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon, David Bowie.....say no more.
Adults Only: Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses" - (2003) -
Halloween night....creepy locale, hapless victims, berserk crazed hillbillies, very hot females, ZombiE rock & roll....ooOoyeah.
Karen Black and Sheri Moon Zombie...ok...so convict me... I think it's fun...you'll recognize Rainn Wilson from "The Office".
If you want to have some fun with unwitting guests....let the menu run before beginning the movie...it's a riot...but again.....my taste in humour.
Adult Advisory: Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" - (1992) -
THE best Dracula ever made...great snow / mountain settings in the Carpathians.
Keano Reeves is flat, as always....but it fits in perfectly....Gary Oldman (as Count Dracula) is perfect in all his roles...a great artist.
I think they should have casted British / European actors.....Keanu and Winona's accent was distracting.
Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing.....perfect, as always.
Watch for a truly creepy Renfield played by Tom Waits.
Original, most excellent creepy music by Wojciech Kilar.
It's the Halloween Section....overuse of the word "creepy"...everythang B creeeeEepy.
Adults Only: William Friedkin & William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist" - (1973) -
The first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture Academy Award.
Cinema history's first truly scary movie...still gives me the creeps.
Check the added scene/effect of Linda Blair's character (in recent releases)....repeat...still gives me the creeps. I've seen the famous 'exorcist stairway' in Georgetown, D.C.
Georgetown was a verrRry cool "hippie era" hangout.
Anyone remember E.F. Sly & Co. on Wisconsin Ave.?
Old friend Roger told me just to go see it...he wouldn't describe the movie to me.....he simply insisted.
It was strange...the floor seating area of the Naro Theatre in Norfolk, Virginia was almost empty....
I looked up and there they were...the balcony was filled to capacity with lifeforms.
I came home after the event with meatloaf, rice, and pieces of hot dog in my shirt.
So....I suggested old friends Nan & Leo come see it with me.
Leo stood up and emptied his drink on the rows behind us.
It's simply a fun rock musical....the talent, personality, and music is contagious....
Have an annual viewing at Halloween or whenever....Tim Curry...Susan Sarandon....ooOooo...I truly love Susan!
You'll see Meatloaf in one number... "Hot patootie, bless my soul....I really love that Rock and Roll." Lyrics by Richard O'Brien.
O'Brien played Riff Raff...one of my favorite characters in this wonderful, berserk musical.
The rock melodies are ALL great....know this...there are probably quite a few humans that have never seen this movie!
Tie your unsuspecting guests to chairs and throw the DVD in the player!!!
Untie them from their chairs and insist they all do the Time Warp dance or you'll throw them out of the house!
A l'il versage from the opening number:
"Michael Rennie was ill
The Day the Earth Stood Still
But he told us where we stand
And Flash Gordon was there
In silver underwear
Claude Rains was The Invisible Man
Then something went wrong
For Fay Wray and King Kong
They got caught in a celluloid jam
Then at a deadly pace
It Came From Outer Space
And this is how the message ran...
SCIENCE FICTION (ooh ooh ooh) double feature
Doctor X (ooh ooh ooh) will build a creature
See androids fighting (ooh ooh ooh) Brad and Janet
Anne Francis stars in (ooh ooh ooh) Forbidden Planet
Wo oh oh oh oh oh
At the late night, double feature, picture show...
I knew Leo G. Carroll
Was over a barrel
When Tarantula took to the hills
And I really got hot
When I saw Janette Scott
Fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills
Dana Andrews said prunes
Gave him the runes
And passing them used lots of skills
But When Worlds Collide
Said George Pal to his bride
I'm gonna give you some terrible thrills....."
Though all his work is filled with genius, this is my favorite Woody film.
A singing and dancing Greek Chorus in full regalia opens the film
and advises Lenny (Allen) throughout...very artsy and fun!
Lenny and Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter) decide to have a child,
but she doesn't want to bother with childbirth.
They adopt when the opportunity is presented to them...the child is beautiful and brilliant.
Lenny is so taken by his childs intellect, he must find the biological mother to satisfy his curiosity.
Enter...Linda Ash (Mira Sorvino)....this is absolutely one of the most delightful encounters I've ever seen on film.
Mira is so beautiful, honest, and has a totally X-rated vocabulary.....she's a prostitute... her apartment is
off the chart funny with all sorts of adult art objects on the shelves and walls.....even in the aquarium.
...you have to see this encounter to appreciate it....fun film making, folks....but keep the kids away!
The way Sorvino talks...walks...laughs....cries...her clothes...what a great character.
She has sort of a monotone voice....every sound out of her mouth rings with sincerity.
Mira is a true living doll of Hollywood....so very endearing. Endure the early character development in the film...
...because when Linda Ash (Sorvino) enters the story....you won't believe how funny a situation can be in a film.
Mira gets my vote for one of Earth's most gorgeous women...I truly love this actress.
She is living art in motion......won the OSCAR for best supporting actress in this film.
Dont' miss this...but again...it IS adult in nature...so use discretion.
Trivia Note: I did like "What's Up Tiger Lily (1966)"...but I heard it was edited and ruined.
Won Oscars for:
>ART DIRECTION -- Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta
>CINEMATOGRAPHY -- Guillermo Navarro
>MAKEUP -- David Martí and Montse Ribé
Nominated for Oscar:
>MUSIC (Original Score) -- Javier Navarrete
>WRITING (Original Screenplay) -- Written by Guillermo del Toro
>FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM -- Mexico
A fairy tale for adults....please see del Toro's prelude....this film is not to be missed.
It contains the most despicable character ever in film, along with one of the most delightful ones.
Wonderful effects, and a true tear jerker...a magical tale to get lost in.
Quite simply, the greatest depiction of the Tarzan tale in film history...from overture to end...an epic work.
Orignial score by John Scott.....and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra......wonderful!
Magnificent scenery, acting......
The film is dedicated to the late, great Ralph Richardson (1902-1983).
Only blip I found: Upon first appearance in the story, adult Tarzan was cleanly shaved.
John Duigan's "Lawndogs" - (1997) - Another film I would classify as an adult fairy tale.
Great moral....great job by the actors.... Mischa Barton portrays a brownie scout selling Grrrrl Scout Cookies in her affluent neighborhood.
She befriends the lawn caretaker, played by Sam Rockwell...don't miss it! Click to see the trailer.
Another "young Mischa Barton film"......Léa Pool's "Lost and Delirious" (2001)
Simply put...as intense and passionate a tale of love.... as you will EVER see in a film.
Piper Perabo, Jessica Paré, and of course, Mischa....
Note: keep the kiddies away for both of these Mischa classics!
"You are going to die one day....
If that doesn't create a sense of urgency,
I don't know what will."
- m51.com -