Monday, December 21, 2009

Father Of The Bride II

This is not a Christmas movie, but I was checking to see if it had skips and we just started watching it! Just such a joyful movie. It reminds you what's important in life without being preachy or sappy. Just a good, funny reminder of how important family is.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Vacation

Christmas Vacation is every bit as stupid and crass as any of the other National Lampoon movies, and we're watching it tonight and laughing at all the stupid jokes.

The Bishops Wife 1948

We got back from the opening of our art show late last night with just enough time to watch a favorite Black and White comedy from 1948, The Bishops Wife is a light hearted comedy about a Bishop (David Niven) who prays for help to build a new cathedral and (Cary Grant) is the angel sent to help him.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Last Holiday

Released on DVD in 2006, I saw this movie last year for the first time and had to get a copy on DVD. It's just so well done! Katherine didn't want to watch it, her friend Robyn said it was sad. And it's true, there are some sad elements in this movie, but the message is anything but sad. Queen Latifa plays a woman who is timid and has been putting her life on hold. But the fates intervene and she is forced to live the time she has remaining to the fullest.

No movie last night because we were finishing a stained glass window for our show at the Covey Center.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Holiday

Tonight we watched "The Holiday". A great little movie with wonderful old movie references. The story of two women who swap houses for Christmas. The soundtrack references and the trailer bits are sure to make movie buffs fans of this movie. It may be a couple of years old, but it's still a well crafted romatic comedy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fred Claus-On DVD in 2008

The Christmas Movie for tonight is Fred Claus. It was panned by critics and I say it's pretty easy to sit there and smuggly judge a movie by your own snotty standards, but we love this movie! It's true that when you have high expectations, you can be easily dissapointed by a film. I suggest critics go back and watch this one again. It's really enjoyable, and not any more silly than any other Santa Claus movie!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Tonight we're watching Christmas in Connecticut, it's the original from 1945. The comedy is well done and this is a favorite of ours. I've grown to have many favorite lines from this movie, Barbara Stanwyck,"Everytime I opened my mouth, he talked!" And Sidney Greenstreet (Yardley), "Cold Chicken Is My Weakness." S.Z. Sakall plays the part of Uncle Felix, my favorite character in the movie. Just the perfect mix of madcap silliness. Uncle Felix says, "Fatman," in disgust as Yardley takes a drink from him, who is no larger than he is.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Miracle On 34th Street

Tonight, being Thanksgiving Day, we watched the remake of "Miracle On 34th Street." It starts on Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas, so it's the perfect start for the holiday season. Many things are well done in this version, some things I even like better than the original, but there are some moments that are less happy than the original.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Christmas Cottage

Tonight's Christmas movie that we watched was one we hadn't seen. The Christmas Cottage is based on events in Thomas Kincaids life. I expected it to be hokey and b-movie-ish, but we were pleasantly surprised. It's a very good, low key production. It's not earth shaking, you can live without seeing it, but neither was it a waste of time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Family Man

We're just finishing "The Family Man" with Nickolas Cage and Tea Leoni, we try to watch it every Christmas season and it just doesn't get old! It is such a great movie about goodness and family and hope.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Life In Ruins

Quite a few people didn't like this movie, so you may have missed it since it got poor reviews. I'm here to tell you that you can't believe everything you read. It's not a riot, but it is a perfectly fine little comedy that has a great sentiment. Richard Dryfuss is very entertaining and steals the show.

The cast was suburb and even though they could have been used better by a more highly polished script, they did lend an air of fun to the overall story.

Tis The Season!

On Saturday (yesterday) we watched all three of the Santa Claus(e) movies. A great way to really kick off the season (we had already seen Elf and a couple other flicks, but this marathon really got us in a Jolly mood).
What movies do you watch year after year?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Star Trek - 2009 on DVD

We got our copy of Star Trek on DVD this week and it's just great! I've played it several times through, it's been company in the background while I work. It's just got so many layers to the story that it's worth seeing or hearing again and again. For me, it just doesn't get old.

I really never cared for the original hokey episodes of Star Trek and those movies weren't all that good, but this new encarnation is so well done, that I'm officialy a fan of this new franchise.

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past

I didn't like it.
Here's the thing, it's advertised as a light romantic comedy. It promises to be a fun light hearted parody of Dickens Christmas Carol. But it doesn't deliver. What we get is this womanizing main character who we hate because he uses and throws women away. You just can't like Matthew McConaughey in this role. And then they promote this attitude that women want casual sex throughout the movie. Talk about duel messages. He's a creep for having casual sex, but it's normal? It's just jacked up new age crap. I think that most folks would agree, nice monogamous marriages are something to strive for. Even if we can't reach that ideal, we admire those who do and we know that they are happier for it. This movie heaps lie upon lie and isn't even funny doing it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Imagine That

This is a very great movie. Eddie Murphy really hit the mark with this one and little Yara Shahidi was perfect as his daughter. This was a great movie and I hope kids get it the way we did when watching it. A very heart warming story about a clueless dad who learns to pay attention to his daughter.

Murphy proved that he can really act and brought the level of comedy up a notch without the kid comedy becoming stupid. Martin Sheen did a short cameo at the end that was also well done.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Year Of The Dog

You know that feeling you get at the end of a movie and you turn to the person you're with and you ask them, "Why do you think they even made that movie?" That's what I felt after watching this movie. Jeanne found it and wondered why we hadn't ever watched it. As it got underway, I remembered that Katherine had seen it and told us it wasn't very good, which is why we hadn't watched it in the past.
Boy! was she right Year Of The Dog is a dog! because it's a comedy that isn't funny! There seems to be a trend with movie makers, they make movies that make you uncomfortable and that's supposed to be funny. Just not something I'm in love with but this really was a dog, just wasn't funny.

Just Like Heaven

Jeanne and I watched this last night. It's a very well crafted story and, in an age when comdy's aren't very funny (See Year Of The Dog) it was surprisingly good. With a plot that kept you wondering throughout the film, It really was a treat!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Review Of Duplicity

I prefer to write favorable reviews about movies and videos, but I have nothing good to say about this one! It was extremely confusing with the story cutting back in time for a flashback, now we're back to today, then we jump to some other time. It was too much work to follow along. I found myself feeling weary with all the jumps back and forth and truthfully I could follow it by careful viewing, but I didn't really want to. We all sat watching (Jeanne and some friends) and the comment we all made was "surely it'll get better." But it didn't!

And the biggest problem was that Julia Roberts and Clive Owen had NO chemistry. They kept running into each other and there was just no connection. They could have cast any "B" level actors together and had an equally disappointing movie.

So, if you've already seen it, I'm sure you'll agree that this one is a dog and if you haven't seen it, I've saved you a few hours of boredom!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Defying Gravity

Okay, It comes on Sunday night and I really like it! They say it opened to disappointing viewing numbers and I say, "What else is new?"

Science fiction takes time to catch on, except to real fans of the genre. But I recommend it. Maybe you can catch up by watching episodes on Hulu. But don't miss it, it's pretty entertaining.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Ben Stiller and Drew Barymore team up in this cute comedy about a couple who buy a home and have to deal with a rent control tenent.

It was released in 2003 and came out on video in 2004, so you've probably already seen it, but if not, you're in for a treat!

Arrested Development

We recently finished watching the entire series of Arrested Development. I had never seen it and Jeanne and I found it to be well worth watching. It's such a quirky comedy and Ron Howards narration is so great.

My favorite episode is in the second season. I think it was called "Good Grief." But they kept playing the music from the Charlie Brown Christmas when he's walking sadley home. It was funny, but it got more and more funny. You don't find yourself laughing out loud at many tv series, but we both were during that episode.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Arrested Development

Katherine Allens son, Stratton, loaned us his set of Arrested Development DVD's. We've watched the first 6 episodes and find them quite humorous and worth watching. They are a little "un-refined" but that's what makes the series so funny. This dysfunctional family will make yours seem normal and so you'll find yourself feeling better about your life. Ron Howard directs and narrates this quirky comedy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Show Premieres

There are so many new shows now that the summer season has kicked off. I watched the two episodes of "The Listener" they showed last night on FOX. I was watching and with all the Fall foliage, this had to have been shot last year, so even the producers knew the show was weak. I might give it another chance, but for now, it really wasn't excellent.

"Mental" is another FOX offering and it felt like a "House" wanna-be. The premises is allright, but the characters seemed pretty soft, not great but some good possibilities.

The winner was last nights premiere of the USA drama, "Royal Pains." Very well done, I liked the characters right away, they are flawed but not stupidly so. And it was an enjoyable storyline. As the episode was coming closer to the end, I found myself wishing that it would go on, that there was another episode to watch, it was that engaging.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Star Trek - 2009

Christopher and I went to see "Star Trek" tonight. He had already seen it, but was up to seeing it again.

Here's my review, "Man, oh man, oh man, OH MAN!!!! It was non stop, but not the kind that never lets up, there was a real plot, with real character development. The writing was smart, not at all like the original...but it was so true to the original...only so much better. Comedy is sprinkled through out, but not so much that it wrecks the show...just a well done ride! This has to be my vote for best summer movie, I can't imagine anything topping this!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quantum Of Solace

With a name like "Quantum Of Solace," I was already wondering about this flick. I thought, "maybe a book had that name..but I couldn't find it. Maybe it would make sense after watching the movie. I did hear the word "Quantum" but ehh!

But this new bold Bond is so tough and violent. He's like a "real" spy, not some posing playboy. I did like "Casino Royale" and this movie picks up just after that one. Just as fast paced, it didn't have the graphic violence that the first did, so I found it even more enjoyable. Very intense! Not one Jeanne has any interest in seeing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today On Oprah 5/19

Today, Oprah had a show of note, celebrating the good people are doing for one another. Some very creative people are out there, giving those in need a hand up. One man has started a garage that fixes up cars and sells them to people for little or nothing to folks in need. Another lady was at a foreclosure sale and bought a womans house back for her. Very inspirational stories of people...not government...helping out those in need.

Today On Oprah 5/19

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Last Chance Harvey

I'm probably the last to see and review a show. We wait till they come out on video and then don't usually get them that quickly. Jeanne and I really enjoyed this romantic comedy. It was our kind of show, thoughtful, witty and poignant. We were looking forward to the film since we liked "Stranger Than Fiction," which they both starred in.

Extreme Make Over - Session Finale

I never thought I would feel driven to write about this show, but the 2hr season finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was unique. The family was a father who was raising his boys on his own and has become a role model of a huge number of kids in the community. It was a message of hope and perseverance.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Name Is Earl Season Finale

Earl is a pretty consistant show. Not as funny as it was in the first season, but it's pretty good. The season finale presented some pretty good open questions that make me want the fall season to get here. It was a fairly uncomfortable episode. Norm MacDonald's character "Little Chubby" is pretty sickening and not very funny.

Lie To Me Finale

Very interesting plot twist in this season finale. Not the big suspenseful ending that most shows go for, but there are several threads that the new season will have to pick up.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Grays Anatomy Season Finalie

The two back to back episodes last night were very dramatic. They really built on the relationships between people that have developed recently and mixed in some real drama. In the past, Jeanne and I have been uncomfortable at times with some of the story lines. Why writers feel the need to push homosexual relationships on us is a whole course of philosophy in itself. But the show has seemed to mature over the last few seasons and last nights episodes was not only dramatic, it showcased some very interesting ideas about war and presented both sides of the issue, while not being preaching or taking sides and it was still entertaining. A very good conclusion to the season, now we have to wait for Fall!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maid In Manhattan - 2002

We watched this again tonight. It is a cute romantic comedy. Jennifer Lopez is really believable in the role of a maid at a major hotel. Ralph Fiennes is well cast in the role of the poor duped male in the comedy. It was fun to watch it again, it didn't lose a thing, even though we knew what was going to happen and I may have enjoyed it more now because the music was familiar and it brought out a bit of nostalgic feeling.

"What defines us is how we rise after falling." (Bob Hoskins Character)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lady In White - 1988

It's not my normal choice of movies, but if you are in the mood for an old fashioned ghost story/murder mystery, "The Lady In White" is a pretty good thriller. Fans of slasher movies and blood and guts horror movies probably won't appreciate the subtle slow build as this movie takes us step by step, building to a very suspenseful ending. I found it to be quite good, although they telegraph some of the ending. It's worth seeing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Just TV ???

Tonight we just had to sit down and catch up with some TV viewing. I watched an episode of "Bones" while Jeanne was catching up on some writing. Then we watched "Grays Anatomy" that was enjoyable. Then we watched the Michael J Fox special about optimism. It was good, but I have to confess, I wouldn't have finished it if Jeanne hadn't been enjoying it. Now, she's gone off to read so I can catch up on one or two of those stupid shows I like to watch, like "Castle." She might like it, but over the years, she's gotten to where murder mysteries are less and less her favorites. We used to laugh out loud at "Monk," but now she'll only watch an episode after the murder is over and then she doesn't find it that funny. BUT I DO!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School

This quirky movie was made in 2005 and Katherine and Scott watched it tonight, so we saw most of it as well. It is just nuts, it's so strange and so engaging. It moves slowly but it really is interesting. Mary Steenburgen is the teacher at the Dancing and Charm school. The characters are all so different. John Goodman plays a bit part as the man who has an accident. Robert Carlyle (of Hamish Macbeth fame)is the kindly baker who stops to lend assistance at the scene of the accident and is drawn into the lives of people who frequent the charm school.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The illusionist - 2006

The movie came out about the same time as "The Prestige" and I liked it then, but after watching it again tonight, I really admire this movie! Edward Norton and Jessica Biel were the leads of the show, but I just loved Paul Giamatti. Yes, he was good in "Fred Claus" and "Cinderella Man." But Oh what a great character in this movie!

Fringe - The Fox TV show

In its first season, Fringe is a fairly intriguing show, although the puzzles and episodes are not nearly the caliber that X-files were. Maybe it takes time for the mix to be found. What I really like is the notification that Fringe will return in 60 seconds. I will often say, I can wait 60 seconds and let the commercials run for that long. But what drives me nuts are the stupid graphics of 3D letters hanging in the air whenever we get an establishing shot. Just because you can introduce a new video technique doesn't make it a good idea.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

French Kiss

After watching two episodes of Extreme Makeover, The Home Edition this evening with Jeanne, Katherine insisted that we watch a movie with her and Scott, and we chose "French Kiss." You know it's just a timeless romantic comedy. Very well put together, sweet and sensitive.

Crude at times and crass, but in a funny way. A watching it nowadays, her hair style doesn't seem as strange as it did when the movie was new.

Moonlight-The SciFi Channel Series

I didn't know that the Moonlight series was so new. We recently changed to Direct TV and now we get the scifi channel again. I discovered the Moonlight series and have seen four or five episodes. I highly recommend it.

Mick St. John is a charming private investigator from Los Angeles with a dark secret. Sixty years ago on the night of his wedding, his bride, the seductive Coraline, bit him, turning him into a vampire who will be eternally locked in the immortal world.

Forever 30 years of age, Mick is as handsome and charismatic as the day he was "turned," and he rejects others of his kind who view humans as nothing more than a source of nourishment. With only a handful of like-minded confidantes for company, including the wealthy and mischievous Josef Kostan, Mick fills his infinite days protecting the living.

If you've got scifi..set your DVR..this is really a well done series.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Utah Premier Brass

Wait a minute, this isn't video! But it is entertainment and boy was it good. The Utah Premier Brass always does a good concert, but their performance last night was very touching. All about war and peace and the photos that were shown during the second half made it a mutimedia event. They have a website if you are interested in following their activities. Very good concert and well worth the time.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amos And Andrew

This movie was made in 1993. I had never heard of it but Katherine and Scott brought it by this evening. Samuel L Jackson and Nicholas Cage star in this quirky comedy about a police screw-up. I figure if you don't expect much, you'll enjoy the movie. You know how it is, if you expect a lot, you're dissappointed. This is the Nick Cage of Raising Arizona and Peggy Sue Got married, not the action hero of today. It's funny as a mix-up escalates.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Day The Earth Stood Still

We watched it this evening. I thought it was pretty good update on the original black and white movie. The original was an okay 50's sf story. And now it's an okay 2008 movie. The story line is still a little lame but the effects are better and it is a stronger story.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Heroes - Series 4 Ends

When the first season of "Heroes" was airing, I was so into it, that I DVR'ed every episode and then burned them to DVD without the commercials. That activity took many hours.

Then when they released the DVD set so quickly, I realized I didn't need to spend all that time. So during season 2 I just watched episodes and then got the DVD's when they came out. But season three is just now coming out at the end of season four, quite a wait and I've forgotten much of what transpired during the third season. I could have watched on line but I haven't enjoyed internet viewing.

So, each season has had its own strengths and weaknesses. Of course the first season was the best since everything was new and fresh. It's just a great science fiction/fantasy series.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Direct TV

My grandson Nickolas was over today and he was asking me about the TV. "How many channels does it have, is it like 1000 channels?" We found that that was about right and decided he must have the same system at home. The same insideous system where there are thousands of channels and nothing to watch. Except with the DVR that's no longer true. Nick says his favorite channel is HBO. (I shudder)

Then we had a nice talk about books. He's really been reading some fun ones. When they were gone, I reflected about TV versus Books and then resumed watching the saved "Storm Of The Century" that the SciFi channel broadcast last week.

Ovation TV

It's not like I need another channel to take up my time. I swear I have a love hate relationship with my DVR. I love that it can record two programs at the same many times in the past have we had to choose between one program or another.

But now that I have Direct TV, I'm faced with a quandary. I have the "Ovation TV" channel. And it's so good! Filled with many documentaries and shows about art, photography, the environment. It's just such a resource and wealth of inspiration and knowledge.

Like I needed another channel that demands my attention. The DVR really has ruined my life! As a junkie, I have to watch a certain amount of TV. But, with a DVR, it's just too easy!

Seven Pounds

I really respect Will Smith's ability to choose wisely. He picks the movies that he's involved in very well. Almost everything is thought provoking and smart.

Tonight we finally goy around to watching "Seven Pounds." A very good, well constructed story line. I guessed what was going on and several things that would happen within the first five minutes of the show. But it was great to follow the story and enjoy the way it unfolded. There were several things I was wrong about, but for the most part it was pretty fun to figure it out.

Katherine said she thought it was confusing and I think Jeanne found herself a little lost from time to time, but for me it was well done. A non-linear story that used flashbacks well to carry the story forward.

The title refers to some Shakespearian reference about paying a debt with a pound of flesh. I'm not really up on which play it came from, but I think it's a reference that has passed down through time. I remember hearing or reading about seven pounds of flesh at some time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This Old House

On Saturdays, I try to watch "This Old House." I think I watch more projects being done than I do myself. But the show is full of good ideas and techniques that can come in handy. I was waiting at the bank yesterday and saw a clip on the discovery channel and the old host of TOH, Steve Thomas was featured on a video. But I missed what show it was. It was on the discovery channel, but when I checked their schedule, the only thing iy might have been was "How Is It Made."

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Babylon 5 Episodes

So the other day, I must have been watching an old video that had an ad for "Babylon 5: The Lost Episodes." It was made back in 2007, but I'd never heard of it. So I jumped on Netflix and here it is.

Jeanne and I both watched the entire series of B5 when we were living with my sister and brother-in-law about 9 years ago. We all enjoyed the series and now I'm happy to have found this new DVD.

When I wrote reviews

Years Ago, I started writing a weekly column for our local newspaper in Missouri. I don't have a copy of a single reveiw that I wrote. I would go to the local movie theatre (they had 5 screens), watch a movie and write a review and send it in to the newspaper. I paid for the show and wrote the reviews for no charge. My hope was that as I gained experience and popularity, I might be able to syndicate my column and get published in many papers and along the way somehow I would make a living. It was fun. The manager of the thetre got to know me and began to invite me to come to the theatre at 110pm or midnight when the shows were over and he would run them for me and a guest for no charge. My daughter, Amy was prgnant at the time and didn't like to be seen in public, so she would go with me and watch the movie we'd both eat pocorn and I would write notes for my article. I tried to go to movies that I felt would get a good review and I wanted to go to all family (not R) movies first so that my family audience would get to read reviews they would be interested in. There was a time that I had reviewed all the non R movies excpt for one, "Spice World." I really didn't want to review it because it looked sostupid. But it turned out to be fairly entertaining, I was able to say that Spice Girls fans would love it and even those who weren't fans might find it enjoyable.

How we found Hamish Macbeth

We loved both series, "Monarch Of The Glen" and "Ballykissangel", so when I stumbled on "Hamish Macbeth" on Netflix, I couldn't resist trying out the series and we like it.