Friday, August 31, 2012

A Simple Twist Of Fate

Talking at the school the other day I was surprised that none of the teachers had heard of "A Simple Twist Of Fate" written and produced by Steve Martin. I thought teachers would have seen or heard of it since it was loosely based on Silas Marner, the book that my generation was required to read in certain English classes. Somehow, I managed to escape that particular required reading..but now I'm not so sure that was good luck.

Because the story in this movie is delightful. Reviewers panned it, said it was a mistake for Martin to do it, too self serving..blah blah blah. I'm often surprised that a good, well done movie that I find entertaining can be met with negative insults. And it's almost as if they all pile on with the same comments. And they are all wrong.

I liked it and recommend it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Conversations With God VS The Answer Man

"Conversations with God" is a serious biographical account about the man who went through much ordeal and wrote a book about his imagined or real conversations with God. As I watched it, I was driven nuts becaise I had seen a movie that was so similar about an author. The other day I stumbled on the movie which is "The Answer Man."

Answer Man came out 2 years after Conversations so it's a parody on the other. Both movies were intersting in their own way. The biographical Conversations movie was a thought provoking look into the life of a human being who went through some serious trials in life, found some answers and learned to deal with lifes challenges.

Answer Man is R rated for some bad language toward the beginning of the movie. It's about an author dealing with the fame that his writings bring him. It's a heart warming story that is full of promise as the story unfolds.

Both movies are worthy of a view because they each show a spiritual side of people and demostrate folks who are interested in life's questions. But each is completely different in the way they are presented.

Friday, June 8, 2012


This thriller was a fast paced, enjoyable escape about a girl with a history. She was abducted years ago and been haunted by the experience ever since. But here's the twist, the cops don't believe her, they treat her like "the girl who cried wolf" so when her sister goes missing she has a difficult time ralleying the troops and has to take matters into her own hands, something law enforcement frown on.

A great escape movie with all you'd expect from the genre.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Man On A Ledge

I got the movie this week and asked my married daughter and her husband if they wanted to watch it. "No, did you see the previews, it looks boring, it's just about a guy standing on a building."

And on the surface, that's what it's about...but this movie is anything but boring. The storytelling is exciting and well crafted.

Sam Worthington (Avatar) is no stranger to action and he gets a few scenes in flashbacks that are pretty spectacular.

Elizabeth Banks (30 Rock regular) plays the negotiator trying to talk the jumper down and does a believable job as the cop who lost a negotiation with a jumper only a month ago.

Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) was an underused and underdeveloped character in the movie, they could have done more with her and I was really expecting more. And I thought the cop ex-partner played by Anthony Mackie was played well but could have been developed more.

But, this is not a boring movie, and it's not just about a guy standing on a building. Give this one a try!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Knight's Tale

I made a copy of this movie for a teacher at school. She had a pre-recorder copy on tape but no longer has a way to show tapes to class.

I rented it fron Netflix and after the copy was complete, Jeanne and I watched it. We enjoyed it a great deal. It's better than I remembered. The upbeat rock musical tracks really add to the film.

Ledger died in 2008 of prescription drugs poisoning. Vicodin, Oxycotin and Valluim were among the several drugs in his bloodstream. How could he have gotten so many prescriptions is beyond me. Just trying to get one prescription for pain meds is tough enough. His performance as "The Joker" was world class and had him headed for superstardom.

This movie isn't the best, but has many great moments and is certinly worth another watch.

The ensemble cast was very good. Paul Bettany plays the part of Chaucer, a down and out writer who adds witt and charm throughout the movie. Cast as his companions in the adventure, Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk) keep the adventure moving right along..always with the threat that they might quit at any moment. Laura Fraser is the blacksmith, Kate who joins the band and adds even more comraderie to the group.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Weird movie! Made in 2009, I watched it because our daughter is named Camille. Weird. It it a ghost story? Is it a romance? Is it about criminal behavior?


David Carradine is in it and lends a weird quality as the cowboy with the horse of a different color.

Scott Glenn is a strange enabling uncle.

James Franco is a creepy groom on parole.

Senna Miller is a bossy bride.

Back luck to not have rice thrown at a wedding? Who belives that?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Diminished Capacity

In 2008 this movie was released and I'd never heard of it. You can instant view it on netflix, which is how I saw it. Mattew Broderick heads a cast that also includes Alan Alda.

The main character played by Broderick has had a traumatic brain injury and is slowly healing. He's having trouble at work and then his mom calls to see if he can help with his uncle who also has diminished capacity for aging reasons.

From there we are set on an arch of discovery and adventure. Virginia Madsen plays the love interest in the story.

This is Jeanne's kind of movie! When we owed the video stores, the movies she got excited about were usually not as popular, but they always had great plots and interesting characters. But when we watched it together, she wasn't as taken with it as me so I may be wrong..this can only be a 3 out of 5 star movie.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Adventures Of Tintin

New out on DVD, the adventures of Tintin is a mystery to me. The comic strip is unknown to me maybe from the 30's or 40's? Now technically it was a great piece of work. The animation is supurb, the action believable, little bits of humor were all there and yet I found it lacking. No matter how good the animation, it's still animation and the peril just doesn't have that ring of truth. Many of the scenes seemed reminiscent of something from Indiana Jones, but the peril wasn't convincing. When watching the Jones movies you'd ask yourself, "How did they do that?" But you don't have that element of awe when watching a motion capture animation. This is a far cry from "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," and yet the fantastic adventure scenes were still lacking.
After all that, I highly recommend the movie, you wouldn't want to miss it and you may find the little things that bothered me silly.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Way

Our son, Dane is an avid hiker and camper. So when Jeanne and I watched this compelling story of a father who learns his son has died on a hike in Europe, we really were invested emotionally.

I thought it was really engaging. I found it an interesting and thought provoking video.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wedding Singer

When it first came out, my daughter (Amy) and I went to watch it so I could write a review for the local paper. I found it quite enjoyable. That's because Amy and I enjoyed the music and the comedy. So I suggested that we go see it at the dollar show with my parents. Two of my brothers told me I was crazy to take the folks. I ignored them. It was embarrassing several times with some of the gross jokes.

But I still think it's a great show. Just think before taking your parents!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jurassic Park

You can get the entire Trilogy on Amazon for a very good price.
The first was Jurassic Park
Then came Lost World Jurassic Park and
Finally Jurassic Park 3
The first two were directed by Stephen Speilberg and the last was produced by him.

Watching them again (rented from Netflix) They're still very good, magical fantasy flicks.

Friday, February 10, 2012


As you know, I'm a science fiction fan and this is a near perfect SF tale. Imagine if you could take a drug that would allow you to be a better version of yourself. This is the premis of the story and it's great!

I especially like the way they show scenes that are tinted in yellow when the perosn is on the drug. Magical!

It's been out awhile, but I gave it another view last weekend and it's still a great tale!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne is an unexpected treat. It's a movie where bad things are happening to many of the characters that we meet, but these people are finding ways to cope and rise above.

Larry loses his job, but he keeps going. The economy is bad, it's hard to find work, but he keeps moving forward. Housing isn't worth what it was a few years ago, so Larry faces this reality. It seems that every time he gets hit with a new problem, he just keeps on going and finds solutions. It could have been a depressing story, but it's not. Not even for a moment because these are mostly characters who are willing to take what life has to offer and deal with it.

Within minutes of starting the movie, Jeanne and I both liked Larry and we were hoping for him to suceed. We wanted him to find happiness and solutions to life. It was a joy to see each new turn and twist to this guy's life.