Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lies and Alibis

A fun sleeper, stream it, don't buy it, I got it for less than a dollar at a yard sale. Steve Coogan and Rebecca Romjin, (Mystique in the X-Men), are unknown to me, but I thought they did well. Particularly enjoyed Sam Elliot as the hitman.

Basic premise is they help people cheat on their spouses and not get caught. There is no nudity, but the  plot line pretty much means younger people should probably not see it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


This is an incredible movie. I really enjoyed it. I was not familiar with Lolita Davidovich, but the interaction between her and Paul Newman is incredible. There is a scene of nudity, but I think the movie does a fantastic job of exploring racial prejudice in politics and the incredible story of Earl Long.

This was on the same Blu-Ray we got from Wal-Mart at less than 3 dollars with both Billy Bathgate and Blaze on the same disk. Nice!

Billy Bathgate

Talk about an incredible list of stars including Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, and Bruce Willis, (and more), in a movie I had never heard of, but this is it.

A bit dark, I would not show this to kids, it is a gangster movie, but it is also well done. I think this is one of Kidman's best roles.

If you are looking for a sleeper, I think you might find this worth streaming. We got it from Wal-Mart as a blue ray for less than three dollars; good buy.

Seeing Double

OK, this is a stupid movie. I had never heard of S Club, but then my sense of music ends with the 70s; Hang on Sloopy, Green Onion, and Get it On are the next three songs I am going to add from iTunes.

It is an innocent movie, I am not sure if kids under five years old should see it, but violence is limited to loosely tieing people up with big white ropes.

However, there is something about it that made it worth watching to the end. I am glad we have this movie, I think I paid a dollar for it and will put it with my kids collection.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Flirting with Forty

Sunday was a big day and Kathy and I decided to watch a movie and somehow we selected Flirting. There are many things they play on my heart with the movie.

One is simply the concept of aging. Jackie, (Heather Locklear), is divorced, (not her choice), and approaching her 40th birthday and in a rut. She has a Stella got her groove back type experience in Hawaii.

A second theme of the movie is the idea of commuting to Hawaii. I think that will be my fate for the next few months. We stayed away for a year, but we have a house there, friends and co-workers there and I have no doubt that 7 hours flight from SEATAC to LIH is in my future; in fact, we already have tickets for June 3.

A third theme is the interaction with Jackie and her kids. I think that is done well. This is not surprising considering this is a made for TV movie by Lifetime and they do the family interaction thing well. In similar fashion, it is fun to see how Jackie's peer group tries to manipulate her life.

It was a surprise to see that Locklear can act. I thought Kristine, (Vanessa Williams), was well done. It was uplifting to me to see a Caucasian and an African American portrayed as best friends; even though this is 2014, there is still too much of a racial divide in this country. One slight complaint, I thought Robert Buckley played his role well, but did they have to choose Kyle Hamilton as his last name? Hawaiians and surfers in general are going to find that a bit opportunistic.

Parents, you are strongly cautioned, the movie describes sex outside of marriage. There are no graphic scenes that I noticed, but the concept is there and in the spotlight.

The bottom line, when you watch a movie you are investing time. This is borderline waste of time/OK movie, I guess B grade describes it well. In our case Sunday was a bit intense and we were trying to wind down so it worked. Nothing about the movie tends to spin you up.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Either Along for the Ride -OR- Forever Lulu - 2000

I picked this up out of the $3.95 DVD bin at WinCo. The DVD has the title Along for the ride. However, when I tried to look this up on the Internet, it was Forever Lulu. It stars Melanie Griffith, Patrick Swayze and Penelope Ann Miller.

In short, this borderline nut case Lulu escapes from the looney bin, calls her now married, college sweetheart, and they go on a road trip. To me the movie is very sad and slow. I gave up and ejected it. If it is cool with Kathy, I will up this on the sale or trade shelf.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

T2 Judgement Day - 1991

Kathy wanted to go to sleep early tonight, this gave me an opportunity to watch a "shoot em up". I chose Terminator 2. I have seen this movie before though it has been a while.

There seem to be four phases of the movie:

  • The beginning where Sara is locked in the mental hospital, and John O Conner is acting out his frustrations. The two terminators arrive from the future, one to protect John, one to kill John.
  • Terminator to Terminator warfare, lots of nifty special effects.
  • The race South to get weapons. This is also where we have the major relationship building phase.
  • The battle to destroy the original terminator parts stored at Cyberdyne and the last battle of the terminators.
I always find time travel movies interesting. I am not sure the idea of going back in time makes sense, time seems to move forward. It stopped once, in one way or another, or at least the sunset was held back, but never went back. Assuming you *could* go back in time, the thought that one person could change history is a bit overdone. There are lots of people playing on the stage if you get my drift.

Great special effects, especially considering the era. The molten metal terminator was pretty cool. I am glad I have this movie and will almost certainly watch it again. If you are in the cybersecurity field, you almost certainly know this, but the author of the computer worm netsky, Sven Jaschan, was a fan of terminator. So, if you ever pronounce the worm, call it Net Sky, not Net Ski.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Goodbye Girl - 1977

I have seen this movie before, like a thousand years ago, but really smiled when Kathy ordered this from Amazon. Personally, I find the first half of the movie quite sad, but the dialog is incredible. The play of words between Paula McFadden, (Marsha Mason), and Elliot Garfield, (Richard Dreyfuss), is incredible, an extraordinary job. Dreyfuss reminds me of someone I went to college that is also an actor; shout out to Dr. Chip Straley.

Lucy McFadden, (Quinn Cummings), turns in quite a performance as a tween.

The romantic scene on the roof was fun, this is the night after Elliot kissed Paula in the bathroom and it was not returned. Then the next night as they danced on the room, Paula says, "Are we going to sleep together tonight?'

The painting the apartment scene really cracked us up. The painter puts the one color on the wall and Paula says no. The painter mixes in a lighter color and bang, the color of the wall is a perfect pattern match for the color in our entertainment room.

Anyway, I am deeply thankful we have this in our collection. As a security guy of many years, I am a bit paranoid. I don't want Netflix, Amazon prime etc to have what we watched, when we watched it etc. Of course Amazon, ( and everyone else after this blog post), will know we bought the movie, but this one had zero chance of showing up in the DVD or Blue Ray bin at Wal-Mart if you get my drift.

Anyway, I fully expect we will watch it again. There is an interchange in the movie where Paula says, "Another Goddamn actor. "I happen to have a lawyer acquaintance?" Right out of A Streetcar Named Desire. Stanley Kowalski in summer stock, right?" This is something Kathy and I do and have done for years. It is actually something we learned from Hunter. We will sometimes use movie lines when communicating in public, because it tells the back story too, so anyone else that is with us, hears the words we say, but does not get the full meaning. I have no doubt we will watch this movie a couple times. (Security people, this paragraph is why I sent this to my SANS Google + circle)

Parents, I think this movie will be fine for kids. There is no nudity, though there is a scene where some ladies are dancing in bikinis in a bar, but I am from Hawaii, I have seen a lot of bikinis, so you have to make up your own mind. There are two scenes with violence, but in one there is no injury, in the other Elliot gets a black eye. But the movie has a happy ending, everything is carefully done.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Red Dog, (The most famous dog in Australia) - 2011

I have seen this movie before, I love this movie, don't think this is your standard animal movie; it is, but it is uniquely Australian. Some of the cinematography is fantastic.

Red Dog arrives at a rough and tumble mining town. There are so many themes woven in I can't tell them all, there is Red Dog, but much more. The primary characters from all over the world. They are on the side of the ocean in Australia, so of course there is the deadly shark named Lord Nelson. You can already guess, if you have a Red Dog, then there is also going to be a Red Cat. The Western music playing for the showdown with Red Dog and Red Cat was just too funny.

The scene where  meets up with Johnny is totally awesome. Soon after we meet Nancy, a pretty girl in a mining town that is almost all guys. She puts Red Dog in his place on the bus.

There is no point in me telling you any more about the movie, I recommend it highly.

Parents, not sure what to say. there is no nudity, I suppose there is some vulgar language, but I didn't pick up on it, there is some violence, but it is done carefully. My guess is this would be appropriate for kids that can understand loss of life. We don't see it happen, but it is an important part of the story.

Blade Runner - 1982

I do not own this movie, but thought I would stream it to see if I wanted to add it to the library. I like, but do not love Ridley Scott movies. There is some serious star power in this movie. Wow that is a young Harrison Ford. And, I enjoy M. Emmet Walsh, I like him best in Mighty Quinn.  Rutger Hauer is an extraordinarily skilled bad guy. So many movies cast Daryl Hannah as a ditzy blond, but she is pretty scary in this movie.

I didn't make it to the end of the movie so I do not think I will add it to the library at least not at this time.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Home Alone - 1990

I have seen this movie before, but it was over 20 years ago. We saw it in the $5.00 bin at Wal-Mart and thought why not, we host guests fairly often. I was shocked  at how badly Kevin, (Macaulay Culkin), was treated by his family, but it does set the plot up nicely.

I had forgotten some of the details of the set up, the power outage so they had to rush through the airport. Harry Lime, (Joe Pesci) coming by dressed as a police officer to case the property. And the kid across the street coming over and getting his head counted so they left thinking they had everyone.

The polka experience driving across the country was fun and I had forgotten John Candy was in the movie. And there were some touching moments, I remembered it as all slap stick. The home defense section of the movie is very creative, probably would not work, but certainly creative.

Touching ending, but that is all I will say about that. Glad we have it in the collection, but I probably will not watch it again unless we have a young person over.

Parents, you have probably seen the movie, there is no nudity, I do not recall any foul language, there is some violence, but it is what I call cartoon physics violence, reminds me of the Three Stooges.

Eat, Pray, Love - 2010

I don't think there is a movie that Julia Roberts has starred in that I did not like. We own this movie and have watched it several times. I like it better than Kathy. Don't fully understand the beginning, but I am intrigued by the idea of a woman, that knows she needs to find herself.

The idea she had was to travel for a year, Italy to taste food, India to find God, Bali to find Love. I think the script is excellent and Roberts performance is excellent.

There are some awesome lines, In Italy, Julia types to her former boyfriend, "Ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation."

The movie is touching and you can see Julia's character healing and growing stronger with each transition. Almost all of us have loved and had it fail and you know how much it hurts. This is a great exploration of that topic.

I am thankful we have this disk and I will watch it again and encourage you to see it. There are lots of unique bits to absorb, consider or even reject.

Parents, there is no nudity or violence that I recall seeing. Christian parents, there is a line in the movie you want to be aware of, "God is in us and he is us".

Friday, February 21, 2014

Private Benjamin - 1980

We have this movie and have seen it before, but it has been a while and I had forgotten a lot. I find the storyline to be a bit contrived, but Goldie is quite funny.

There are some great lines, for instance when they are handing out the uniforms, Judy says, "Excuse me, is green the only color these come in?"

When Judy mentions the latrine needs cleaning, gets the really cool smile and you can tell what is going to happen next. Then Captain Doreen Lewis says, "Can I see your toothbrush?"

I had forgotten the fight over the blanket in the barracks. The scene where her parents find out she has joined the Army is awesome. This is a big turning point in the movie.

They really build up to an important ending. I am glad we have the movie and don't expect to see it many times, but I do think I will watch it again.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big Fish - 2003

I had not seen this movie, hadn't even heard of it. I sort of like Tim Burton films. The opening was very promising. The beast fish story cracked me up and reminded me of Grumpy Old Men, or was that Grumpier?

There are some great lines in the movie, here is an early one, "We were like strangers who knew each other very well."

The glass eye scene kinda reminded me of Beetlejuice, not sure why, probably because they were both Tim Burton films.  Truly enjoyed the "monster" or "creature" scene. The bones outside the cave were a wonderful touch. Really identified with the jumping spiders, I have experienced that myself, in Hawaii we have cane spiders that jump. That part of the movie could have developed a bit more.

Interesting how they weave crows throughout the plot. Here on the lake we have nesting eagles, and also crows. Crows torment the eagles, or at least try to. When the eagles land in a tree, the crows fly all around them. They chase the eagles when they fly.

Absolutely nuts movie, but I liked it and think I will watch it again.Very touching, I plan to watch again.

Parents, I am not aware of any nudity or graphic violence, but I think the subject matter is not appropriate for young childres.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Desperately Seeking Susan -1985

Great movie, great soundtrack. I own this movie in both houses and love to watch it. Hilarious opening and it just keeps going. Madonna shows a lot of depth. She is clearly more than just a singer.

My favorite lines, "At least he's not a PhD." and of course the all time classic, "Why can't you take a valium like a normal person". It is interesting, but Leslie Glass, (Laurie Metcalf), is not the strongest talent on the film, but she does get some of the best lines.

Gary Glass, (Mark Blum) does a great job at being an unlovable rascal.  I think this is my favorite Rosanna Arquette, (Roberta Glass, Gary's wife) role in any movie. I do not really an eye for fashion, that is Kathy's department, but they sure dress Roberta funny in the first half of the movie. Aldan Quinn, who ends up with Roberta also delivers an outstanding performance.

Bottom line, of course you have seen this movie, but I think it is a candidate for a second viewing.

Parents, this is not a good choice for young children, end of story.

Kindergarten Cop - 1990

I love this movie. I love the contrast between the opening where John Kimble is a rough and tumble street cop and the first day teaching kindergarten when he drops exhausted into the bed. Kathy and I could both relate. She was a teacher for 25 years. I would have a bad day at work and wanted to share what happened to me, but then Kathy would share things like, "We had a bomb scare and they sent the pregnant secretary back into the building to search for the bomb." Then, I got connected with the SANS Institute and authored and taught their Intrusion Detection Course. After the first day teaching, I caught up with Kathy in our hotel room. I said, "I never knew teaching could be so tiring" and she erupted into laughter.

There are some great lines in the movie, one from his partner Phobe, "Kimble, if you were any stiffer we could take you surfing", is one of my favorites.

I enjoyed the love interest play. The bad guys are good at being bad guys.

This is a movie I have at both houses. It is not my absolute favorite, but it is my favorite "Arnie", Say what you will but this guy can act.

Parents, there is some violence, a reference to drugs, no nudity. I would have let my kid watch this movie at pretty much any age, in my view is a good family choice.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Romancing the Stone - 1984

In the first two minutes of the movie, we see a bit of a beautiful blond girl's charms, but still clearly in the PG arena. We see an improbable knife throw, I think it is a Scottish dirk. And here a great line, "he raped and murdered my sister, stole my ranch, shot my dog and stole my bible".

Twas all fiction though, she is a writer, Joan Wilder, (Kathleen Turner, and this is where set really gets her start). She is the city mouse of all city mouses, and she has to go rescue your sister. She gets on a bus, the wrong bus, but he the landscapes are incredible. She would have been history, but Jack, (Michael Douglas), shows up and pulls off a rescue. This is followed by a long chase in the jungle.

A major plot change occurs in a crashed drug smuggling plane in the jungle. They take shelter in side, leading to an insane line, "throw another kilo on the fire". They have a conversation and the relationship is born. Later at first kiss, she initiates it.

Now they are a couple, how much trust there is, who knows. There is a concept they get some money and buy a boat. Several of my peers, SANS instructors, have living on a boat with their families and traveling the wet world as a dream. I dunno, I like living in a house and putting my big boat, a canoe in the lake in our back yard.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oh God - 1977

This is a fun one. I saw it a long time ago in a theater. We were watching the movie and Kathy remarked Jerry Landers looks like a young John Denver. Well there is a reason for this, he is a young John Denver. He actually was in several movies, I am considering picking up Walking Thunder.

Great screenplay, lots of talent, great lines, what is not to like. One of my favorites in the early part of the movie is when Jerry is telling God, (George Burns), why he can''t do it. Jerry says, "I don't belong to a church", God replies, "Neither do I."

There is a bit of a slow start. Bobbie, (Teri Garr), does a pretty good job of being the confused and worried wife. One thing that is pretty nifty is that Jerry's message goes viral. The religious editor would not publish Jerry's message that God wanted him to share. But God convinced him to try again. This time he got one line in an article. That led to other papers and TV and that of course leads to trouble. Trouble for Jerry, trouble for the Landers family. His kids start to put distance between themselves and Jerry. You can imagine what the kids in school did to Jerry's kids.

Somewhere in the middle of the movie, Jerry appears before a multi-denominational religious panel. They give him a set of questions written in Aramaic and he agrees to be locked in a hotel room and answer them. God shows up as a bus boy and answers the questions.

Love the scene where Jerry takes the questions to the TV evangelist and calls him a fake.

Parents, no violence or nudity stood out for me. Obviously the movie will have a few takes that will run counter to what some denominations teach. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that something in the movie will run counter in some way to what all denominations teach. But at the end of the day, if you are willing to let your kids watch Joshua, (2002), or show it in your church, this is not so different.

I am glad we saw the movie, not at all certain I will watch it again, so it may end up in the trade box.

One thing puzzles me, if you know the answer please answer by comment, why is there so much orange in the movie? Play on John Denver's last name with the Broncos?

Leap of Faith - 1992

I have seen this movie before and I like it. It opens up as something between a charade and outright blasphemy. Jonas Nightengale, (Steve Martin), puts on a Vegas quality show in tiny towns across the country.

I don't usually like Steve Martin, but this is a role that he really shines in.

The tent set up scene, is truly awesome. There are amazingly high quality lines in the movie. Whoever, wrote this script was just plain on.

The interplay between Liam Neeson and Debra Winger is just gorgeous. We have this movie in both of our houses and watch them from time to time. The interplay between Steve Martin and

Parents, what do I say?  No violence or nudity caught my attention. The ending left me hopeful, but I am not sure how kids would process a flim flam man. In particular, Christian households should be prepared to discuss the movie after watching it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Almost an Angel - 1990

What the heck, any collection needs a Paul Slogan sleeper. The short plot line, a life long crook saves a boy from being run over in a street. In a dream he meets God, (played by Charlton Heston).

I had never seen this movie before, hadn't heard of it, Kathy picked it out somehow and blessed me with commentary throughout the movie . . . Kathy: "No you can't fly, probationary angels can't fly. Certified angels can fly, faculty fellows can definitely fly."

There are some great lines, I am not sure why this did not do better. The drug dealer intervention scene was priceless.

There is a possibility that politics and economics of the movie industry kept this movie down. I surely do not know. However, Kathy and I enjoyed it and if you get the chance to watch it, I would think there is a better than even chance you would to.

We have this in our library and we can watch it later. I do plan to watch it again.

Parents, I think this should be OK for kids of any age, obviously the theology is incorrect, but the violence/nudity etc is much more like a Disney film than most of the entertainment available.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Conan the barbarian - 1982

If I was stranded on a desert island with not much than a cold fusion energy source, a 1080p/Blu-Ray screen and 200 or so movies, I would pick this as one of them.

It really is an amazing movie. Incredible talent in the actors, a solid plot. A good balance between violence, a sense of wonder at what might be possible, and some humor. I was really struck by the opening, steel is what you can trust. I personally only trust in God Almighty, but there are a number of edged weapons in my house. They are something I know and understand. Most of them are fairly short; in close quarters a Scottish Claymore really can't be used to advantage.

After Conan's mother is beheaded by Thulsa Doom, and he is put into hard labor, we understand he is forged to become a great warrior. Love the cinematography where he is morphed from a boy into Arnold, er, uh, Conan.

They take him from slave labor to a gladiator style fight, he wins, no surprise or it would be a very short movie. There is intermittent narration from this guy with the coolest voice. As a successful gladiator he is taken to the East to learn advanced fighting technique. In a strange plot twist he is freed from captivity, chased by wolves and falls into a hard to believe burial chamber where he acquires a sword from the skeleton of an ancient king.

What bonded me to the movie comes later when they find the head quarters of Thulsa Doom. They are doing some chanting thing. A long, long time ago, when we lived in a duplex in Fredericksburg VA, we were at that part of the movie. There was a loud pounding on the door. I used to keep a special club, a trailer hitch ball on a threaded table leg by the door. Made note of its location. Opened the door. There was this guy; straight out of a movie. "What's going on in here", he asked, "devil worshiping?" No, sir, we were watching a movie. It turned out the tenants downstairs violated the terms of their lease and allowed an additional party to live there.

Parents, this is not a movie for young children. Violence, witchcraft, and brief bits of partial nudity.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Secondhand Lions - 2003

I have seen this movie before and I love it. Two eccentric gentlemen end up living with a boy that has no place to go.

There are tons of great scenes, shooting at traveling salesmen, don't worry nobody dies. All the relatives wanted their money, but not a relationship.

Then through the corn you see a giraffe. Turns out he was on an ACME Animal Transport bringing them a lion, a very old lion. Their plan was to let him go and hunt him, but he would not get out of his crate.

The fight scene, such as it was, in the restaurant after Bud escaped from the hospital which he had to because of a heart attack was pretty funny.

Latter comes the plane, but that is all I will say about that.

Highly recommended, I am thankful we ran across. Parents, if you would be willing to let your kids watch TV reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies, you are probably OK letting them watch this.

TV Charlie's Angels, season 1, the pilot - 1976

Kathy and I were at Wal-Mart and they were selling TV seasons for $5.00. So we brought it home. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane.

The pilot is a little bit different than the follow on episodes. It is much longer, movie length. And there are two handlers, Scott and Bosley, Scott gets cut from the team after this.

The hilarious thing was Tommy Lee Jones as a guest star in the pilot, he seems so young.

I think the collection will prove to be a lot of fun. Tonight, I finished the first season. A couple notes. Two of the angels drive cobra mustangs, one is a cobra II, the other one I have never seen before. I tried to look it up on the Internet, but my GoogleFu is not sufficiently advanced apparently to get the scoop on the second cobra.

One thing that caught my attention is that none of the angels wore the same outfit twice. It was kind of funny seeing the clothes. The lady's outfits could pretty much be worn today and would not stand out, but some of the male outfits were outlandish.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Witness - 1985

We saw this a long time ago, rented it from Blockbuster in Fredericksburg, four houses ago. We were amazed just at the opening, how much we have forgotten.

After, we finish the movie, we intend to watch the documentary on the making of the movie. It is a great action film, but it is more than that, the cinematography is very well done. I think this is one of Kelly McGillis' best performances, the other being Top Gun.

Harrison Ford looks so young in the movie, it is incredible. Though it is action thriller, humor is woven in.

The scene where Eli catches John and Rachel dancing had a huge impact on me both the first time I watched this and this time. Eli was so good when he counseled Samuel, I did not think he was out of line, in fact I thought given the context it was she that was out of line.

The barn raising scene is one of my all time favorites. Another is when he goes into town to use the phone for the second time. I won't say any more than that. Great plot, fine acting, well filmed, what fun. I am glad we have added this to our library and intend to see it again sometime.

Parents, I can't recommend young kids watch the movie, there is a gruesome killing by knife in the opening of, a semi-nude shot of Kelly McGillis in the middle and plenty violence to go around towards the end.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The sessions - 2012

OK, let's get this out of the way first. What is a self proclaimed Christian doing watching a movie with full frontal nudity? Well, I happen to be a polio survivor myself. This movie is deeply personal for me. No, I am not in an iron lounge, at least not yet, but I cannot know that my future is not similar as this.

Mark O'Brien, has a strong religious faith and puts his priest to the test. He wants to lose his virginity, I realize some evangelicals will vote one way, others, the other, but unless you have tasted the ravages of polio, perhaps it is best to be slow to come to an opinion.

The movie is beautifully done. There is nothing easy about the subject matter at hand. However, people will have extraordinary circumstances.

Sorry, we fell asleep, will try to update this latter.

Six days, seven nights - 1998

Let's cut to the chase. Kathy and I have seen this movie before and intend to watch it again. Harrison Ford is an actor, we like to watch. Much of the scenery is from Kauai where we have a duplex. Kathy said, and I didn't do anything to evoke the statement, "This is a movie I would watch again and again."

I just ached when I saw the beach and ocean, we do not get to visit Kauai for another two months.

I love the scene when the weather kicks up while they are flying and Robin Monroe, (Anne Heshe), takes the xanex, and is really chilled about the situation they are in.

What more should I say? Watch this movie.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The five year engagement - 2012

I have never seen this movie before or know anything about it; I am guessing this is a Kathy pick.

Gosh, I am not sure I am qualified to comment on a chick flick, other than the fact that I am married to a chick. This is the second movie in two days with weird wedding party toasts.

I did enjoy the Christian Jewish menage with the wedding couple. But got confused with the plot where Violet Barne's, (Emily Blunt), sister got pregnant and ended up getting married first.

The movie gets dark, or sad, or something.

Parents, I did not see any nudity, but I left multiple times including a shower and a beard trim to get ready for church on Sunday. There is certainly a lot of discussion about pre-marital sex and there are some language issues.

We never reached the ending. This movie is just a waste of time. Avoid.

Stick it - 2006

I have seen this movie a couple times and we decided to watch it again tonight. This is your classic troubled teenager Haley Graham, (Missy Peregrym), finds her niche. Haley does a great disaffected teen routine. I love Jeff Bridges as he plays Burt Vickerman, the gymnastic coach. The movie really is casted very well.

Burt starts to turn her around after talking with her at Cadillac Bobs cafe. She starts participating in the exercises. Just before the internal competition to determine who would go the meet there is a line I really love about don't let the leotards fool you, gymnasts are more elite than Navy Seals, there are about 2,000 Seals, but only 200 world class gymnasts. I have no idea if it is true, but it is a great line. 

The choreography as they are preparing for the meet is really excellent, it is a combination of great "tricks" as they call them as special effects.

Good movies, movies you want to watch again play to your emotions. When she walked out of the meet, I felt a lot of sadness while being hopeful that she would turn it around. Of course having seen the movie before I had reason for hope. 

After Burt's accident, when they go out, and they are in the prom dresses doing gymnastics was very rich imagery. 

Haley's narration before the start of Worlds was excellent. I loved this line, "Four events, four judges per event, that equals sixteen judges to tell us how much we suck." The end of the movie? Shall we just say the end is "revolting", but you will have to watch it to see what I mean.

Parents, I am not sure this movie is appropriate for a two year old kid, but for a tween or teen, it should be required viewing. It meets all the criteria to be on our bookshelf.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What's your number (extended version) - 2011

I have never seen this movie before nor heard of it. When we go to Wal-mart we often go by the box of $5.00 and I think this was one of those. We stuck it in the DVD. At least at the opening, the movie left me flat, if fact when Ally Darling, (Anna Feia), was embarrassing herself with the toast at the party leading up to her sister's wedding, I ended up fast forwarding the movie.

The plot is actually clever. When she meets Colin Shea, (Chris Evans), across the hall in her apartment building who is even more promiscuous than she is, a strange twist in the plot is based on two people that do not seem to be able sustain a relationship.

There are a couple fun lines, "Dad didn't take me to many ball games, but we went on a lot of stake outs." "I wouldn't have know I was gay if I hadn't dated you," one of her ex-boyfriends, (who is talking about running for president of the USA says to her. He wanted her for cover, "America is ready for a black president, but they aren't ready for a black gay president".

The movie does get a bit more interesting, the Horse basketball scene in Madison Square Garden was fairly interesting. I also enjoyed the Twitter scene with her father.

Parents, you probably should not let your kids watch this movie. When I was in the Navy on the Kennedy, we had a movie every Friday night, the old style where the movies were on a reel. They tended to be a lot like this, they called them T&A, (don't ask). I even ran the projector when I was not flying. After the aircraft carrier crew watches the movie, we fly it to the destroyers in the carrier battle group with any postal mail for that ship. They would say thanks by sending awesome food back up with the cable hoist. Once, we had been at sea for five months with almost continuous flight ops. Somehow they had come up with fresh peaches, it was so tasty, though when I looked down at the peach and saw half a worm, my joy was a bit diminished. The second half of the movie is well done and touching and not so full of T&A, but the first half is a bit like half a worm in a fresh peach.

Let's cut to the chase. My partner, when I was an executive at SANS, Mason Brown, taught me that you could not have an infinite sized "book shelf". The team met several times a year to determine what could stay on the roster or if a promising course should be added. That was a virtual shelf, so in point of fact we could have kept them all. However, that would cause us to lose focus. Now at our house we have a physical book shelf. Kathy and I have agreed that we only want movies we intend to watch multiple times. We keep a cardboard box and the movies that are not keepers end up in the box. I understand there are services that let you trade your duplicates and movies you don't want to keep. When the box gets full, I will sort out what to do. This may be a candidate for the box.

Accidental Spy - 2001

I love Jackie Chan movies and what a plus; this one is largely filmed in Hong Kong and also Turkey.

Parents, I would be hesitant to allow young kids to watch this, there is some significant violence. Mostly it is the standard Jackie Chan type of violence where no one gets particularly hurt. This is the only movie I can remember where there was nudity and it is no less than Jackie himself. He is chased from a Turkish spa and ends up in a Turkish bazaar sans towel. I am not a particular fan of a naked male, but they are creative about how he tries to cover himself.  

There is also the magic of Jackie Chan using everything imaginable as a weapon. The defibrillator scene was brilliant. One of the amazing skills Chan has is amazing facial impressions. And I love the way he was doing BASE jumping when BASE jumping wasn't cool.

Usually with a Jackie Chan movie, you have the plot figured out. This movie is coming in with layers like an onion. I like that.

I was trying to multitask, but when he went to spread the ashes on his mother's? grave, I got sucked in. The action was fast, the stunts were incredible, the improvised boat incredible.

I am glad this movie is in my library, I do expect to watch it again.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Where the wild things are - 2009

I used to enjoy reading the book to age appropriate kids. I was not prepared for how sad the beginning of the movie made me feel. The sister telling Max to go play with his friends, the snowball fight ending in the destruction of his igloo, the fit of rage in her bedroom that was almost Asperger-like and him mom being too busy to see what he did in his room. And that school teacher talking about the end of our solar system, that was a harsh little speech. Something needs to change in his life. And so it shall.

The storm at sea in the little boat was quite compelling. Even though I had read the book it was hard not to be impacted.

The meeting of the wild things was fun. It is amazing how calm their voices are even in the wild rumpus. I love the everything you see is yours, except, it is a great monologue.

The rock collection to build the castle which is part mountain with a laboratory to build robots was fun to watch, but I doubt OSHA would approve.

I am glad we have it in the collection, we have guests a lot and while I would be very careful of showing the movie to really young kids, somebody about the size/age of Max would probably enjoy the movie.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Alien - Director's Cut -2003

I have always been fan of Ridley Scott as a director and usually favor Sigourney Weaver. I have seen Alien several times though that was a long time ago., but this is my first time with the director's cut. I am not going to do the which is better, this version or the 1997 theatrical release, just share some impressions.

In the early part of the movie a few things really stood out. One was the effort at computer and control systems. They did a pretty good job seeing this was filmed in 1996, though the green screen terminal really made me smile. The cigarettes on a space ship was a moment of cognitive dissonance, how could you possibly filter the air? And a cat on a space ship? I had forgotten the total mercenary attitude of the crew, you want me to do something you need to pay me. The special effects with the space ship were fun and if real that thing would be huge, you can really understand why they want to mine asteroids.

The landing snafu did not make any sense to me, but for the movie, I am guessing they needed it for the storyline, now that our technology is degraded, we are much more vulnerable. The space suits for the walk to the facility were pretty cool! The breathing sound when they enter the alien space ship is interesting, but there are three astronauts and one breathing sound. The, (I presume dead) alien pilot was a pretty cool. When the one astronaut goes down the hole, I feel the terror you are supposed to feel with a sci-fi horror movie. When he doesn't run when the egg opens, I am thinking idiot. When they let the guy in with the alien stuck to his face, I am thinking, hey, I just watched Jurassic Park 2, Lost World.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rumor has it... - 2005

Have seen this movie once before, and really loved it.

It is an improbable plot and don't want to say too much about the plot, if you haven't seen the movie, it is a blast discovering the plot.

I love the scene in the airport when Sarah, (Jennifer Aniston) is briefing her fiancee, Jeff, (Mark Ruffalo) on how to talk to her father, Earl, (Richard Jenkins), who has an amazing depth in acting. The dialog in the rehearsal dinner is fantastic, I particularly adore the conversation between Sarah and Katharine, (Shirley MacLaine). During the toast, Earl lists the date he got married and since Jeff know her birthday, he says, "Your parents didn't waste much time", he points out the dates and it was a possibility she might have been pregnant when she was married, if not it had to happen within a few days of the wedding. Sarah decides she wants to know and decides her Aunt Mitsy, (Kathy Bates), would know. It is a bit part, she is an incredibly talented actress, remember Miss Sue in the Blind Side?

Sarah learns enough from Aunt Mitsy to know who the only possible love interest her mother could have other than her dad, she tracks him down. Beau Burroughs, (Kevin Costner), is giving a speech to a bunch of people that sound like venture capitalist. Some of the lines are pretty funny to a fellow techie and venture capitalist, my favorite is the conclusion of Beau's speech, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Internet isn't coming, it has arrived."

I love Beau's two most words he ever heard, "be present". I think I need to work on that.  Can't say anymore than that or I will risk spoiling a plot that is meant to be enjoyed as it unfolds.

Parents, this movie probably is not suitable for children, it is primarily the conversations, there is no nudity, but there is a short scene which some folks would consider risque.

I am really glad to own the movie, and plan to watch it several times. There are some lines in the movie I want to commit to memory such as, "Life should be a little messy, otherwise it is just a bunch of Thursdays strung together".

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jurassic Park 2 Lost World- 1997

I saw JP 1 in a theater, Kathy ended up leaving during the spitting dinosaurs scene. I checked out JP 2 from Blockbuster a long time ago. Had to watch it while Kathy was at women's Bible study. All I can remember is that I thought this was one of Ian's, (Jeff Goldblum), better performances and one of his lines. But then, he does get tossed some great lines.

The opening scene when the cute little girl meets the cute little dinosaur was really scary. The next scene in the house of John Hammond, (Richard Attenborough) bored me.

The preparation for the safari was kind of cool. There is some angst between Ian and his daughter, Kelly. She did not make her school's gymnastics team. The fictional Lindstradt air gun is way cool and very humane. Then they get to the also fictional island. The team has their first dinosaur encounter and one guy exclaims, this is fantastic and my favorite Ian line, (and the only one I remembered), ensues, "Oh yeah, oooh ah, that's how it starts, then later the running and screaming."

The arrival of the Imgen hunter posse team brings the dark element to the movie. I don't like them. Not against hunters and hunting, there are so many parts of the country that I am afraid to drive at dusk or dawn because of deers.  If you think I am a chicken, wait till you hit one! So I am all for safe and compassionate hunting practices especially if deer are the prey.

I had a bit of cognitive dissonance with the baby tyrannosaur, would you bring one in your living facility knowing the parents would be looking for it. And it is hard to explain that they were just trying to fix the baby's leg to the parents.

Another great line from the movie happens when they are in the control center under attack from Velociraptors. Ian's daughter jumps out grabs onto a water pipe and starts spinning around like they do in gymnastics and then slams both feet into the raptor. Ian replies, "They cut you from the team?"

Need to be careful not to be a spoiler, but the scene in San Diego, while replete with all kinds of mayhem is kind of funny. My favorite line in that section, Sarah says, "How will we find the adult?" Ian replies, "Follow the screams."

Is this a great movie? Probably not. But I am glad I have it in the collection and will probably watch it again, but not often.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicago - 2002

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have seen Chicago several times in the past and I love the movie. Love the way the movie opens with the jazz band. I have always enjoyed the jazz scene stretching from Chicago to New Orleans. The opening dance/music number All that jazz, with Velma Kelly, (Catherine Zeta-Jones) was fun to watch. The energy and complex dancing was awesome. 

The second dance and singing number sets up a lot of the movie, and I enjoyed seeing the plot get established. Roxie Hart, (Renée Zellweger) who cheats on Amos had me strongly disliking her. I loved the scene right after they put her in the cell. The rhythm starts with a dripping water faucet and then moves into one of my favorite numbers in the movie, He had it coming. Very fun.

I loved the opening conversation between Roxie and Billy Flynn, (Richard Gere), which is quickly followed by the puppet scene which is full of little tidbits to look for if you have seen the movie a few times, (and yes, Richard Gere sings his own parts).

I know it is a musical and reality is suspended. But, Mr. Cellophane, always makes me a bit sad. I have even sung a few bars, for instance in restaurants when I can't get water or a check. I am guessing there is a bit of cellophane in all of us.

My favorite scene bar none is the razzle dazzle, (only slightly edging out He had it coming), especially the tap dance on the back end of it, that is also Richard Gere. Awesome. 

Glad this movie is in the collection, have every intent of watching it again.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Caribe - 1987

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I had not seen this movie before, nor even heard of it. I found it in a second hand shop and the price was low enough that if it totally goes South, I could just put it in the trash.

Helen, (Kara Glover), looks like an Arquette.  You have to give it violence points, not surprising, the main theme is arms smuggling.  However, it was less violent than I expected.

The screenplay says it is in Belize. I like some of the scenery.  It reminds me of a cross between Kauai and Cable Beach Australia. The waterfall and small boat scene was great.

I enjoyed the discussion between Helen and Jeff, (John Savage, British intelligence) up in the really cool ruined building on the top of the mountain which they call a pyramid.

And then reality is suspended :)  the wood dugout canoe chases the motorized barge up the river. Next, Helen, an accountant, rigs a set of explosives like an expert. But the wick is noticed and put out. Next, the barge full of explosives catches on fire. big time, and does not explode. And Jeff gets shot two different times in the jungle, once in the shoulder the other in the leg, and lives even though he has no antiseptics. It was an OK section of the movie, but when it is not believable, it is hard to really ride in the adventure.

Favorite line in the movie, after Jeff is shot in the leg, has no weapons and tells Helen to run ahead and blow up the barge and he would stop the bad guy. Helen says, "oh yeah, what are you going to do, bite him in the knee".

Bottom line, to me this is a bit like holding McDonalds stock in 2013, it is OK, but there are better opportunities. Kathy says she would watch it again, I would prefer not to. I have a friend that is planning to move to Belize, maybe I can mail him the DVD.

Hackers - 1995

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have seen this movie several times, when you are in the business of cyber security it is always fun to be able to insert a quote from the movie into a conversation. This was the third movie that was on the Angela Jolie and the main reason I bought the DVD. The other two were Love is all there is and Original sin.

I had to smile when the movie opened saying Seattle 1998, I am in the Seattle area :). When the storm troopers run into the house, I had to laugh, soon as they are in the door they are shouting "upstairs". Really? You can tell from a modem what floor it is on? I certainly never learned that.

Of course the movie is a bit dated, but the social engineering in the second scene of the movie was awesome and just as valid to day as it was then. And dumpster diving, (looking for sensitive information that has not been shredded), is just as effective today. There are also some tibits that are very far reaching, "The FBI has files on 20 million people"; close. "You need an army, an electronic army".

I had forgotten how Dade, (Jonny Lee Miller), was so cynical with his mother, I didn't like that. I understand what they are trying to do from a plot perspective, but I found myself identifying more with his long suffering mother than Dade when the two of them are talking in the apartment in New York. In fact, I was amazed at how many of the details I had forgotten.

I really enjoyed the interplay between Dade and Kate, (Angelina Jolie). I thought the hacking contest to harass FBI Agent Richard Gill was very well done.

And love the ending though I have no intention of being a spoiler.

Original Sin - 2001

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

Our neighbor was in the hospital and is in a rehabilitation center for a couple of weeks. He called and asked is there was mail in his mailbox; it was so full I filled a Trader Joe's shopping bag with the contents. Today we drove up to Enumclaw to deliver the mail. On the way back we stopped at Buckley, and there was a second hand store. We found they had DVDs for $3.00 and one of them was Angelina Jolie movie collection with three movies. Kathy and I already watched Love is all there is.

I had not seen this movie before or read about the plot. I now know this is a remake of Mississippi Mermaid - 1969.

Loved the opening scene, they are an arranged marriage, (hope that is the right term, she appears to be a mail order bride). The have both lied in their letters to one another, but the logic in both cases is reasonable. However, Julia AKA Bonny, (Angelina Jolie), says something that ignites my curiosity, "we have something in common, we both can't be trusted".

Early on I start to sense this will be a dark film. When Luis, (Antonia Banderas), signs over this bank accounts to Julia, I was immediately concerned. To put it simply, it is clear this is not going to be a comedy.

The movie is sad and it is gripping. If is also a reminder of the importance to be careful in relationships. However, it does explore the idea of total commitment and love.

Parents, there is nudity,violence etc in this film. I would not show it to my kids. I doubt seriously I will watch the movie again, but it certainly is suspenseful.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Love is all there is - 1996

This blog post is not a review or a plot description there are plenty of those, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I had not seen the movie before and didn't know anything about the plot line. It was a a far piece into the movie when I finally figured where they were taking the movie.

I loved the opening. The narration is very well done. Listen carefully to the opening, she says "subtle" in a way we used as an inside joke.

Some of the outfits Sadie and Mona are wearing in the beginning are just a scream, clearly the folks putting this on have a sense of humor. The naked candles were another hilarious touch.  The interplay between Sadie, (Lainie Kazan, from Big Fat Greek Wedding), and Mona, (Renee Taylor, who co-wrote the script and plays the psychic.

The movie does make me laugh. It is not the funniest thing I have ever seen, in fact it gets a bit slow from time to time. That said, I love remakes of the great themes, I think I have five or six Camelot/King Arthur films and three Robin Hoods. It never occurred to me someone would attempt a comedy version of the Romeo and Juliet.

There are some great dialog scenes in the kitchen catering that is a high point of the movie. If you liked My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you might like this. If you are Italian, you probably will enjoy the movie.

We paid $3.00 at a second hand shop for a 3 movie DVD with Angela Jolie, this was one of them. I think I will watch it again. Oh, by the way, some of the reviews say there is nudity in the film. Not to say they are wrong, but I sure did not see any. However, there is a sense of pre-marital sex that parents should be aware of.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cocacola Kid - 1985

I love this movie. There are some inappropriate scenes, but I taught classes for SANS over ten times in Australia and this maps to ground truth in many ways. This movie quite fairly makes fun of the US and I think of Coca Cola corp as well. The interplay between  Eric Roberts and Greta Scacchi is all smiles.

Appreciate the opening scene when they are spraying the plane after it has landed to eliminate bugs. They really did used to do that. Kathy and I have been sprayed. Fantastic choice of the first office scene with the Sydney opera house in the background.

A US marine, coming down to change sodapop drinking habits in rural Australia is a recipe for humor, (and heartbreak). I enjoy seeing him be kind to Greta's daughter at the copy machine.

The first visit to Anderson valley is a gas. A bunch of surprises. Can't say one is above another, but even after viewing the movie multiple times, I smile on that series of scenes.

I am very glad to have this one in our library. In fact, this is the second copy. This movie is not for everyone, but Kathy and I were in Australia in the late 90s and we sort of "get it".

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ghostbusters - 1984

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have seen this movie many times before, and was in the mood for a laugh, so I stuck it in the player. 
I forwarded it to the scene where Dana Barrett, (Sigourney Weaver), comes to the firehouse to talk about her kitchen. The earlier scenes do a fine job of casting Peter Venkman, (Bill Murray), as a creep, and there are some funny scenes, but for me the rest of the movie is funnier than the beginning.

I picked up a bit more about the interplay between Dana and Peter this time. But really enjoyed the scene where Dana is overtaken by Zuul.

This time I noticed some of the special effects are a bit dated, doesn't lessen my enjoyment, but it shows how much they have progressed over the years. 

For me, it is still a hoot after probably 15 different viewings. I am glad it is in the library and I am certain, that I would enjoy seeing it again.

Gran Tourino - 2008

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have never seen this movie before. Walt Kowalski, (Clint Eastwood) is a combat veteran and a very cynical person. I suppose the intent is to have us not like the character, but I have seen him as a grumpy, dangerous person before and I kind of like the way he plays the role. I can almost hear him say, "Do you feel lucky punk".

I enjoyed seeing him stand up to the first gang with an M1 Garand and the second, with an M911A1. I love all the dialogs between Walt and Sue, (Ahney Her), his neighbor that ignores all the slights and dishes them right back. He has a similar relationship with his barber. Kind of reminds me of Grumpy Old Men. 

I felt serious empathy with the relationship between Walt and the young boy next door, Thao, (Bee Vang), that they are trying to induct into a local gang. I loved the "I take the top or I'm out of here" line where Thao finally shows some pluck. That warmed my heart. 

By the time we get to the barber ship scene where Walt and Martin teaching Thao, "man talk", I am really loving the movie and the interplay. To be honest I did not expect it to be either heart warming or funny, that is in between scenes of violence. 

I don't like spoilers, but I will say that the movies packages its ending up very well. I am glad this one in in our library and will look forward to seeing this again. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Leap Year - 2010

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

This is going to be short.  I have seen this movie before and love it. It is a romantic comedy and the first  1/3 of the movie is disaster after disaster. I would have a cardiac. But it is funny and having seen the movie before, makes the craziness less stressful, in fact, downright enjoyable. I call this type of movie a "hockey stick"; learned the term from Dr. Eric Cole, a SANS Instructor. He is also the primary author of SANS' flagship course, SEC 401,  Security Essentials, which is a tough course to maintain; ask me how I know, *smile*.

Think about the Nike Swoosh.  From left to right it goes down, then hits bottom and works its way up. For me, the bottom is just before the bed and breakfast scenes. Now there will still be twists and turns,  (lots of them), but they start to move up.

Eric taught me that any presentation to senior management should include a hockey stick, "We encountered some difficulties then made some adjustments to turn things around and now we are not only on the road to recovery, but we see an opportunity for further improvement ahead.

Well this is the hockey stick of love and it is a well done presentation.  I treasure the scenery, the interplay and when the bus and coffee scene happens, I find I am rooting for the couple and the movie even throws in a romantic song. By the time they get to Dublin, I am really rooting for them. One of the things I like about the movie is how it depicts marriage, so many long time couples are in the movie, loved the kissing scene at the B&B.

I am deeply thankful to have this movie in our library and certainly intend to watch it again.

Green Mile - 1999

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have not seen this or even read about it. For some reason, I thought was a war movie. I loved the way the older man in the nursing home, Paul Edgecomb (Dabbs Greer), gets out and walks, it grabs my attention and I want to know more.

The TV scene at night with all the residents of the home was interesting. The men are all on our left, women on the right, while Paul is sitting next to Elaine.

I really enjoyed the scene when young Paul, (Tom Hanks) first meets John Coffey, a giant of a man. Unlike the last movie I watched, Vanilla Skies, this one is making sense, and a genuine plot is emerging.

The mouse scene really cracked me up. When I was in college I was sharing a huge apartment with four other guys. One of them was not the tidiest guy in the world, in fact Chip's bedroom looked a lot like the storage room in the prison where the mouse would disappear. One day, a mouse came into our apartment. We were chasing it hoping to put back in the wild area, (our apartment was next to the Rappahannock river). Any way, we weren't able to catch the mouse and he made it into Chip's room, we all looked at one another and shrugged. Funny thing is we never did see the mouse in our apartment again.

The mouse in the movie does come back and in more than one way than one.

The execution chamber scene was really tough. The movie makes really easy to dislike Percy, (Doug Hutchinson), dude is messed up.

Things take an interesting turn after that. The plot still remains on track, but the character interactions continue to deepen and I keep getting sucked in. For ten years of my life I was an active member of a Kairos prison ministry team. It is fascinating, the first time you go in, they are all really big and scary. Then you start to get to know them. And you get to watch their interactions with each other. Prison or not, people form relationships and over time and through shared experience they deepen. I find I am happy when the good guys score and quietly cheer when the really bad people have really bad things happen to them.

The I'm tired speech really hit me between the eyes, I could completely empathize with John. The last 4th of the movie really pulls you in.

This is the part where I stop, it seems to be a good movie though a bit sad. But then, death row in the 1930s is going to have a lot of sadness; I think the actors and directors all handled it well. I really appreciated the touch Tom Hanks put into his character.

 I am glad this movie is in my library and fully expect to watch it again.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Vanilla Skies - 2001

This blog post is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

This is my first time to see this movie. In the beginning of the movie I empathized with David, (Tom Cruise).  I can remember when I would pick the grey hairs from my beard, like fast cars, and also have a Mustang GT 5.0. I was also a sleep deprived senior executive that didn't fit the mold.

The near accident scared the heck out of me.

By the time we get to the birthday party I was totally confused. When he chose to pick up 
Brian Shelby's girl, Sofia Serrano (Penélope Cruz), I found myself not liking David anymore. The Cameron Dias car off the bridge scene was pretty strange and now I don't know what I feel. Actually thinking about turning the movie off.

The next few scenes are an emotional roller coaster for me, do I like David? No. I understand that he has been through a lot, but the movie starts to get to be painful to watch and listen to. Nothing like what David had to go though, but I have had some significant setbacks of late and yet try to be graceful to those around me.

Not going to go any further into the plot, but reality can sometimes be elusive. Will this stay in the library? I simply do not know, Kathy said it best, this is a strange movie.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Magic of Belle Island - 2012

The is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have seen this movie once before, but I can't remember anything about it. I do know I enjoy watching movies with Morgan Freeman, he is one of my favorite actors.

Monte Wildhorn, (Morgan Freeman), was great, so it the story. I laughed, felt good, and even cried. I tried to figure out which of the Belle Islands this movie referred to, never did succeed. While trying to look it up, I found that the movie was filmed at Greenwood lake in New York.

As the movie opens, Henry, Monte's nephew is driving him to the isle. The first ten minutes have some touching moments, some fun such as Charlotte standing on the roof wetting it down, there was a fire on the other side of the lake. Henry says, There's something you do not see every day, a beautiful woman on a roof. Charlotte saying, "Girls its not polite to stare" and then they all resumed staring at Monte as he heads up the ramp after arriving at the lakefront cottage. As I write this, I am writing from a lake house and lake living has been a part of my since I was a boy, seeing the lake scenes. was very nostalgic for me.

As much as I like Morgan Freeman, it is hard to like Monte, he is such a grumpy guy. When I first saw Charlotte O'Neil, (Virginia Madsen ) in her strategic location next door to Monte, I found myself wondering is there was a possibility of a deep friendship, or even love, (after all age difference means what to who?).  Though have to say, the first time they met, Monte did everything he could to alienate her.

Willow Tree, (Madeline Carroll), the oldest of Charlotte's daughters, shows up very early in the movie. She is your classic disaffected teen permanently attached to her smart phone. I suppose that I have a bias against rude teenage girls. One of my close friends and his wife came to visit us, (we have guests quite often, seeing as we live at a beach when we are not living on a lake). Anyway, they had one of these rude teens in tow and it was amazing how uncomfortable she could make us feel. But, Willow had her first, but not last, moment of decency and that was a turning point for Monte.

Monte is watching his neighbor on the opposite side of the house play basketball and drop with what I think is a massive heart attack. Monte says, "That is why I always refrain from any sort of exercise."

As the movie progressives Monte starts to develop some relationships and mellow out and I start to like him. In particular I loved his talks with Ringo, er, uh Spot, the labrador he is taking care of.

The relationship between Monte and Finnegan is my favorite. They do have a special bonding and it is touching. The angry Finnegan approached by Monte is a wonderful scene and leads to a stronger appreciation for both characters. I start to feel a happy ending is within the realm of possible futures.

Not going to talk about some more scenes, but the movie is incredibly touching, they take us through the range of emotions and keep unveiling new plot bits.

I am thankful to have this movie in my lakehouse library and I want to see it several times in the months to come.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Minority Report - 2002

The is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

In the opening scene, they are working in their very high tech office. I gotta get me a workstation like that! I also love their removable media!

They are working furiously to locate a man about to commit murder. Finally they mobilize in high tech flying machines, the movie does a great job of building suspense. I have seen this movie once before, but still felt the intensity.

After the first four scenes, Captain John Anderton (Tom Cruise). is still a mystery to me. Do I like him? I think I like him more than the opposite, but there are so many mysteries.

The interaction between Anderton and the precog had plenty of startle factor.

Now we learn the system is not perfect. I had been thinking the FBI guy, ( that I thought was a jerk), when he questioned the integrity of the system,turned out to be right. The system, in terms of computers and network, may be perfect or nearly so. But as the FBI agent said, its the people, the flaws in just about everything. The stunt with the cars was pretty intense, but I was pretty sure he would not fall to his death, they need to chase him for a while I suspect.

The intense stunts, action, and Aderton's ability to improvise against overwhelming odds remind me of Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

The deadly plants scene is the last one to reflect on, I never get comfortable with moving plants that can poison or cut. And in the greenhouse, he learns about his one chance not to get put-away with pre murder.

I doubt I will watch this as often as Mama Mia, or Overboard, but I glad this is in my library and expect to see it again some time.  

Take the lead - 2006

The is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I enjoy watching Antonio Banderas, he has an incredible range of roles he can play intently. Kathy and I have seen this movie before. In this movie he is an accomplished dance instructor and the calmest most patient person I can imagine. Kathy was a teacher in an inner-city school teacher, so we empathized with the plot.

I am not going to make any attempt at the names of the students in detention. In the opening scene where we had the angry high school student with the ticket to the dance and they would not let him in, I felt for him and the social injustice, but then he took matters in his own hands. I served with Kairos, a prison ministry group for a number of years and can't tell you how many times I was speaking with an inmate that said, "I just made a mistake". Throughout the movie he has several opportunities to "make a mistake", but largely avoids serious legal problems.

He is patient through the gaining trust phase with inner city high school students and I would begin to wonder if he was ever going to get through to the students. Since I have seen the movie multiple times, this was a bit boring for me and I read my email waiting for the scene where he does the tango with the gorgeous, but somewhat bitchy blond pro dancer. Even though I have seen the movie before, it is still an emotional roller coaster, you are impressed with her skill and performance and then in one verbal comment, I no longer empathize with her. But it was surely enough for a state change with the students.

Pierre Dulaine, (Antonio Banderas), is now getting through to his dance students, ( also known as detention, because that is why they are there). I loved the way they move to the conclusion, little subplots add dynamic tension right up to the end when Rock arrives after the competition waltz has already begun to dance with LaRhette.

NOTE: In real life Pierre's program "Dancing Classrooms" continues to expand. We just closed on the sale of our house in Richmond VA and they were trying a kickstarter campaign to get the program started in the local area:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

While you were sleeping - 1995

The is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have seen this movie multiple times and love it and am a real Sandra Bullock fan as well. After the dramatic rescue where Lucy, (Sandra Bullock), jumps on the subway tracks to help Peter, (Peter Gallagher), who is thrown from the subway and is unconscious on the tracks. Lucy had managed to develop a crush on Peter who does not know she exists. I find I am rooting for Lucy and also quite aware that being with an unconscious man on an active train track is a bit scary.

They avoid getting crushed by the train. And at the hospital the drama begins, a rumor gets started that she is his finance and while she was careful about what she said, she did not stop the story. I feel conflicted, oh my this is not going to work out well.

In the deliver the furniture scene, Lucy and Jack, (Peter's brother played by Bill Pullman), take a long walk together and while we still have to conflict coming when Peter wakes up, I find myself rooting for the potential the couple has.

This is a comedy and the funniest exchanges are between Lucy and her boss Jerry. Kathy and I could not keep from laughing when they had their exchanges.

They do a great job of keeping the dynamic tension up until almost the very end. When Peter was willing to accept any and everything, I felt bored really, I think they could have eliminated that scene.

I do not want to go any farther for fear of spoiling the ending for anyone that has not seen the movie.