Wednesday, January 4, 2012
This drama involves a British midwife who searches for family information about a newborn whose mother has died after child birth. Her search results in crossing paths with the Russian mafia in London. This apparently well-researched story gives a glimpse into the intricacies of that organization and its unforgiving violence. Viggo Mortensen is excellent representing the subtle nuances of a smooth, well tempered mobster.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a somewhat weird, long-haired metal head who moves himself into the home of a grief stricken family that has just lost its wife/mother. In his own strange way, he manages to help each overcome their debilitating sadness. Not a great movie, but quirky and funny.
This 1964 film has Burt Lancaster leading an effort by the French underground during WWII. The allies are approaching Paris and the Nazis aim to ship a train full of classic, priceless, French art to Germany before the liberation arrives. Lancaster’s character directs the counter action. Based on a true story.
The Overture:A very interesting and inspiring film made in Thailand. Based on a true story, it follows a musician, highly skilled in playing a xylophone-like instrument called the ranard-ek. This musician and others work to preserve the traditional music threatened by the government’s attempted cultural genocide in the 1940’s. Includes some amazing scenes of musical prowess.
Though a decent coming of age story (probably only attractive to pre-teens) and entertaining child acting, this sci-fi effort lacks the gee-wiz quality of typical Steven Spielberg produced movies of this genre.
The Tree of Life:
A very different kind of film that some will love and others hate. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn star in this story about a man looking back on his life that included a loving mother, an overbearing father, and the devastating loss of one of his brothers. As one who has experienced the loss of a brother, I can identify with the spiritual reflection experienced by the character. Even if you wind up not liking this effort, you’ll have to admit that it’s an interesting piece of filmmaking.
Seven Days in May:
A very riveting, enjoyable drama released in 1964. Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster square off during an attempted military coup by a high ranking general against the president of the United States. It’s quite ironic and even spooky that a movie with this kind of story was released not long after the Kennedy coup.
A true story about a young teen girl in Australia who loses an arm in a shark attack. This tragic event, however, doesn’t dampen her ambition to remain a competitive surfer. A nice enough story but the film is so directed at young kids and pre-teens that it winds up being too sugary.
The Devil's Double
This interesting drama looks at the man who worked as a body double for Uday Hussein, one of Saddam’s demented progeny. While forced to give up his own identity, he struggles to find a way to return to his family and being the man he once was.
This French made film finds a young wife who takes off to the front to find her soldier husband during World War I in France. She takes up with a French army unit that turns out to be made entirely of deserters. A sometime strange film that seemingly attempts to convey the desperation and hopelessness of war but doesn’t quite succeed.
The Ascent of Man:
This 5 disc series, 1973 documentary is written and narrated by Dr. Jacob Bronowski, a leading scientist and versatile intellectual from the early and mid-20th century. It presents a unique perspective of the history of human beings through scientific endeavor, and the resultant technological and social evolution.
What in the World Are They Spraying?:
This documentary features G. Edward Griffin, Michael Murphy, and Paul Wittenberger researching and discussing the phenomenon of geo-engineering, manifested in the form of chem-trails in the sky left behind by jet aircraft. A must see if you wish to understand how the global elites are poisoning your air , soil and water to exploit and even kill you.
A suspenseful drama done in the spirit of “Open Water.” Five individuals sailing off the coast of Australia find themselves in the water after there boat runs aground and sinks. They then attempt to swim through shark infested waters to the nearest land .
Atlas Shrugged- Part I:
I’ll come clean and painfully admit I’ve never read Ayn Rand’s novel. I can sense the story is a bit rushed to fit within the context of a feature film. But this is not surprising considering it was condensed from a 1000+ page novel.. Not much time is allowed for character development. For those who immediately “get” the theme and idea of the story, Part I is quite enjoyable and inspiring, as well as illustrating nicely the very conflicts between individuals and state criminals that exist today. Those who don’t “get” this attitude will probably find it a bore.
A very intense drama about Russian soldiers who train at boot camp together then are sent off to fight in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It just so happens they are there during the final year or so before the withdrawal of Soviet troops. The film does an excellent job of conveying the merciless brutality of war.
A nice little British comedy about a hit man, who instead of killing his target, winds up being her protector. All in all, mildly amusing despite running out of steam at the end.
This 1940 feature stars Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy as two oil wildcatters. Unfortunately, an entertaining film about two roughnecks repeatedly making and losing fortunes (and always with a smile on their face) is bogged down by their mutual relationship with a woman. Must all story plots contain a love interest?
Faith Like Potatoes:
An attractive true story about faith and resilience is marred by a mediocre screenplay and even worse acting.