Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jane Austen Book Club

I may have mentioned this one before, but Jeanne and I had a great time watching "The Jane Austen Book Club" again. It's a movie that has great characters and smart dialogue and they never forget to sprinkle in a little humor.

It is an entirely satisfactory 

(I've been reading Nero Wolfe) 

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Nanny McPhee

One of the significant things that makes this an exceptional movie is that the screenplay was adapted and written by Emma Thompson. Inspired by the Nurse Matilda trilogy, Thompson really cam up with a delightful story concept.

Jeanne and I have watched this several times and it is a source of delight, having the real magic of a much needed nanny mixed into the story. After it was finished the other night, we talked for some time about what we liked and how it proves that casting Emma in "Saving Mr. Banks" was the best choice.

The DVD has extras that lend even more insight into the  wonderful craftsmanship that went into this wonderful family fare.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

When I saw the preview, I groaned. To me it looked stupid and why make a remake of that movie. If you liked it, nothing could top the original, if you didn't like it, what's the point?

So I could easily wait through the theatrical release until it came out on Netflix..no problem. I even wondered if I really wanted to get it.

It's one of my favorite movies ever! It's at least in my top 25. It's imaginative, kind hearted and thought provoking while still being entertaining.

Don't miss this, if you're like me you'll want to own it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Ratings System

The ratings system is a pretty good way for us as consumers to figure out what content a piece of film will contain. It provides a good guideline for us as to whether we should attend  or view a movie with our kids or even if we should see something at all (based on our preferences). But there are some vast holes in the system that tends to brand movies and this is one of the reasons that this blog and others opinions can be helpful.
For one thing the "G" rating can be the kiss of death to many movies because we associate that rating with the horrible, sickly sweet fare that is churned out for children. It's so bland that only children five or under could enjoy it. So when a reasonable, well made piece of entertainment is rated "G" we need to let our friends know about it.
Many older movies are simply NR which nearly fall into the "G" black hole where we assume it's either pablum or and unrated "NC-17" version.

Dean Spanley is one of those pictures that suffers from the NR rating. This little gem is one of those. Just a great period piece, very Victorian, very English and very thought provoking. When it was over, Jeanne and I both said, "Huh!" not a question but an exclamation of satisfaction. We had both been held, mesmerized for the length of the video which we viewed by streaming on Netflix.

This is not an action blockbuster, but a quiet, elegant, thought provoking piece of entertainment.

It is a huge blessing to have the "PG-13" rating, before that movies were either PG or R. One of favorite is "Nuns On The Run" which was rated in those pre "PG-13" days. That "PG" rating it received was very liberal since it has a scene where the two "nuns" are found in a girls locker room as the naked girls shower. That scene is really funny and not done in a lecherous or pornographic way, but it does show a lot of nudity and you wonder if you'd want your 14 year old teen aged son watching that scene.

Recently we watched an "R" rated movie, "The Artist and the Model," A drama set in 1943 and filmed in black and white. If they hadn't told us it was done in 2013 I would have though it was done in the 40's. It is a great piece that will inspire artists in many ways. I just wished we had gotten to see the process where the plaster model was transferred into marble. 
The rating "R" is appropriate because there is nudity through half the film. But it is in no way the kind of assault on the senses that most "R" rated fare is.

So, I recommend it to artists and mature adults. I'm very happy that the rating system is there as a set of guidelines that can help us make better choices. You certainly wouldn't want to take a girl or your first date to any R rated fare, or your kids, but that doesn't mean there aren't gems out there that are acceptable.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

To Kill A Mockingbird

After over two years, finally Netflix got it and they FINALLY sent it to me.

Jeanne and I watched it this evening. We've both seen it before and since then, she read the book for her book club and then went to the play. It's a heart felt story of innocence set in the deep south where some children are growing up and being reared by a single father who is truly heroic.

Black and White and just superb this is in my top ten favorites!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Story Of Film

You've got to be a serious film buff to enjoy this series, the narrator will put you to sleep if you're no careful and some of the very obscure films and directors are less interesting. But after watching over half of the 15 episodes, I'm viewing life and art differently. They talk about lenses and shots and how one director did something which inspired other directors and that makes me view art in those cinematic terms and also life..how would you best set this shot?

It's eye opening and dry as a bone!

I'm finding films to rent that I either haven't seen or haven't seen in a long time.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

This is an easy one to have missed. I found it on Netflix and began to watch it. Almost turned it off because it seemed childlike and goofy, but there was something about it, quirky and off the wall that held my attention so I kept watching and the subtle strangeness of the adventure began to grow on me.

It was only later that I discovered that it was based on a graphic novel and the writer/director was Luc Besson (fifth element) It was probably a miss at the box office because it's in french and you have to read subtitles, but once you get into it, that isn't a problem.

This little gem is worth a try.