Friday, August 31, 2012

French Kiss (1995)

When Kate finds out that her fiance Charlie has fallen in love with a French Goddess named Juliette, and tells her he's not coming back home, Kate decides to travel all the way to Paris, in spite of her fear of flying to win him back. While on her way there she meets smutty Frenchman Luc Teyssie, a petty thief who smuggles in a stolen diamond necklace and vine cutting so he can use them, and Kate to have his own vineyard. Meg and Kevin have great chemistry in this cute rom-com; and you got to love Kline's hammy French accent. Starring Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, Timothy Hutton, Jean Reno, Francois Cluzet, Susan Anbeh 7/10 Rated PG-13

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Film Quote of the Day

Hoover: Will you tell those assholes to shut up?
Boon: Hey! Shut up you assholes!

-National Lampoon's Animal House, 1978

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Psycho (1998)

Heche plays Marion Crane, a secretary from Phoenix, Arizona who is supposed to deposit some money for her boss but steals it for her and her boyfriend. Stopping at a motel because of inclement weather, she meets Norman Bates, the owner of the motel. Marion has a change of heart and decides to go back to Phoenix but ends up being murdered. A week after her sudden disappearance, her sister and a private investigator try to find out what happened. Pointless shot-by-shot carbon copy of the 1960 Hitchcock classic; Heche is not believable and Vaughn is ridiculously miscast as Norman Bates. Forget this one ever existed and see the original. Starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Viggo Mortensen, Rita Wilson, Robert Forster, Philip Baker Hall, Rance Howard 4/10 Rated R

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Film Quote of the Day

Argus Filch: Students out of bed! Students out of bed! Students out of bed!
Minerva McGonagall: They are supposed to be out of bed you blithering idiot!

-Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2, 2011

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Character Spotlight: Captain Hook

James Hook lives in Never Land, and is the Captain of the pirate ship The Jolly Roger. In addition to being a captain, he spends his time killing Indians and Lost Boys (runaway orphans). His long-time nemesis Peter Pan cut his arm off and fed it to a crocodile, which was replaced with a hook, thus giving him the nickname "Captain Hook". Hell bent on getting his revenge, he uses Peter's children as bait to lure him back to Neverland for a long-awaited battle. Played by Dustin Hoffman in the 1991 Spielberg film Hook, Captain Hook is one of the most recognizable pirates ever, featured in the children's book Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Hoffman's portrayal of the ruthless and sleaziest villains of the seven seas is easily a nostalgic favorite.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Change-Up (2011)

David is a stressed-out lawyer who is also married, and a family man. Mitch is a single, care-free, stress-free actor and womanizer. Thinking the other has it made, they make a wish that they had one another's life. The next morning they wake up to shockingly discover that they have switched bodies, but soon find out that other friends' lifestyle isn't at all what they expected. Funny as hell with raunchy humor a plenty; think Freaky Friday for the guys. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin 7/10 Rated R

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Top Ten Favorite Movies

I've seen and reviewed many many films, but what are my favorites of all time? It was hard to pick from so many, but here are my top ten favorite movies.

10. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid - 1969 
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Why I love this film: Besides being one of the best westerns ever filmed, this telling of the Butch and Sundance "Hole in the Wall" gang who robbed both trains and banks also has a terrific blend of adventure, suspense, action, humor, and of course the appeal of the two main characters. Newman and Redford have such great chemistry and it shows on screen.

9. West Side Story - 1961
Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno, Simon Oakland
Why I love this film: Adapted from Shakespeare's love tragedy Romeo and Juliet, this story is centered on Puerto Rican Maria, who falls in love with an American named Tony but are forbidden to be together because of their differences in society, and the two rival gangs of New York City, The Sharks and The Jets. The musical numbers by the legendary Leonard Bernstein are fantastic, and that's why it is one of my favorite musicals ever made.

8. Young Frankenstein - 1974
Starring: Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth Mars
Why I love this film: Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, the descendant of the mad scientist Victor Frankenstein wants nothing to do with his grandfather's work. However after the death of his great grandfather, Frederick inherits his castle in Transylvania where he is drawn to how he recreated life. A parody of one of the most famous monsters in horror, this film by the incomparable Mel Brooks never ceases to make me laugh out loud every time I see it.

7. Amadeus -1984
Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Jeffrey Jones, Elizabeth Berridge, Christine Ebersole
Why I love this film: Although it's the story of the life of one of the greatest composers who ever lived, Amadeus is about Mozart's rival composer, Antonio Salieri, who both envies and hates him for being the most famous composer in Vienna, and after attempting suicide he blames himself for Mozart's death. Everything about this film is great; the acting, the writing, the costumes, the sets and of course the music is the cherry on top.

6. Sunset Boulevard - 1950
Starring: Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Nancy Olsen, Erich von Stroheim, Cecil B. DeMille
Why I love this film: Swanson plays Norma Desmond, the aging silent film queen that Hollywood has long since forgotten about to perfection; with the help of an unsuccessful writer to help finish her script, Norma plans to return to the silver screen. I love the dark noirish feel of this film, in addition to the moments of black comedy.

5. Rebel Without a Cause - 1955
Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Corey Allen, Dennis Hopper
Why I love this film: The film that defined teenage rebellion, Jim Stark is the new kid in town who is misunderstood by his parents, pressured by the local bullies, arrested for drunkenness and becomes friends with classmates Judy and Plato, who also have a difficult family life. What makes this film so memorable are the three lead performances; and their longing for acceptance and friendship.

4. It's a Wonderful Life - 1946
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers, Thomas Mitchell
Why I love this film: Good friend and family man George Bailey is in a terrible dilemma and is so desperate that he considers suicide, until a man claiming to be his guardian angel saves him and shows him what life would be like if he never existed. What makes it so poignant is the fact that George has touched many lives, and in seeing that George realizes his own self-worth.

3. Psycho - 1960
Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, Martin Balsam, John Gavin, Simon Oakland
Why I love this film: It's Hitchcock, need I say more? A young woman is in her own private trap when she meets loner hotel owner Norman Bates, whose also in a trap because of his confined mother. After she goes missing, her sister and boyfriend try to find out what happened to her. The buildup of suspense in this film is still as brilliant today, as only the master of suspense could do. And of course Bernard Herrmann's famous score of screeching violins can't be beat.

2. Immortal Beloved - 1994
Starring: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbe, Isabella Rossellini, Valeria Golino, Johanna ter Steege
Why I love this film: After Beethoven's death, his secretary Anton Schindler sets out to find the identity of Ludwig's secret lover, known only as the "Immortal Beloved", that is to inherit all his music. The atmosphere of the film and wonderful acting from such a talented cast, particularly Gary Oldman as Beethoven makes this so special; the lavish locales and scenes, all being set to Beethoven's best symphonies is truly unforgettable.

1. The Dark Knight - 2008
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Why I love this movie: The vigilante known as The Batman has a new villain to fight; The Joker, who lives for anarchy and chaos, not to obtain wealth or power but just because he has so much fun doing it. Along with the new District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman battles to take him down, while the Joker tries to bring them down to his level. Along with the remarkable performance of the Heath Ledger, one of the most terrifying portrayals of the Joker, the action is like being on one wildly fun and exhilarating roller-coaster ride.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

It has been eight years since Harvey Dent's death, and Gotham City has put away more criminals because of the Dent Act. The vigilante known as The Batman has vanished as well as Bruce Wayne, and Wayne Enterprises is on the verge of collapse. A new villain, the massive monster called Bane plans to destroy Gotham while a saucy cat burglar named Selina Kyle plays cat and mouse with Bruce. The effects and stunts in this film are unbelievable, and what makes it so compelling is Bruce Wayne's struggle to choose to return as The Batman or not. Newcomers Gordon-Levitt and Cotillard are terrific, as well as Hathaway who makes an unforgettable heroine and Hardy, who in spite of his face being covered delivers a chilling performance. Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman 9/10 Rated PG-13

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Character Spotlight: Oda Mae Brown

Oda Mae lives in New York, New York and owns a small business where she is supposedly a spiritual reader and adviser. But unbeknown to her customers she is just a fake who scams them out of money. However, Oda Mae is shocked to realize that in fact she really has psychic abilities and can hear the voices of the dead, which her mother and grandmother also possessed but she never believed she did. Until a ghost named Sam contacts Oda, telling her he desperately needs her help because his girlfriend is in danger and needs Oda to be the medium. Played by Whoopi Goldberg (in an Oscar-winning performance) in the 1990 romantic drama Ghost, Oda Mae is a unique character with a spunky attitude and an extraordinary gift, who learns that death cannot stop real love.