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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Joyeux Noël (2005)



France 1914. A moment of humanity that made history.

Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominee for Best Foreign Film, Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) tells the true-life story of the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce declared by Scottish, French and German troops in the trenches of World War I. Enemies leave their weapons behind for one night as they band together in brotherhood and forget about the brutalities of war. Diane Krüger (Troy), Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!) and Benno Fürmann (The Princess and the Warrior) head a first-rate international cast in a truly powerful, must-see film.

Joyeux Noel captures a rare moment of grace from one of the worst wars in the history of mankind, World War I. On Christmas Eve, 1914, as German, French, and Scottish regiments face each other from their respective trenches, a musical call-and-response turns into an impromptu cease-fire, trading chocolates and champagne, playing soccer, and comparing pictures of their wives. But when Christmas ends, the war returns...Joyeux Noel has been justly accused of sentimentality, but if any subject warrants such an earnest and hopeful treatment, it's the horrors of trench warfare. The largely unknown cast--the more familiar faces include Diane Kruger (Troy), Daniel Bruhl (Good Bye Lenin!), Benno Furmann (The Princess and the Warrior), and Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot)--deliver low-key but effective performances as the movie dwells on the everyday elements of life in the face of war. Based on a true incident (though considerably fictionalized). --Bret Fetzer








Monday, December 8, 2008

The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2004)


No Life Is Meaningless

"This is a story of a man named Eddie who was shown the secret of heaven: that each life affects the other, and the other affects the next. The world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - The Five People You Meet In Heaven DVD

A critical, abusive, alcoholic father. The nightmares--and a physical wound--courtesy of war. Infertility. A beloved wife struck down with a neurological disease. Evaporating dreams of being an engineer, replaced with a life-long job as a theme park maintenance man.

Eddie feels like a loser. He was a nobody-his alcoholic father made sure of that. Working at the theme park Ruby's Pier, like his father before him, is how Eddie died and went to heaven.

Author Mitch Albom wrote the script for the made-for-TV movie The Five People You Meet In Heaven, which is based on his bestselling book. The theme of this story is that no life is a waste, no matter how seemingly insignificant-and that there are no random acts, because all are connected.

The profound but simple truths in this poignant story by Albom reflect the themes that all is one, there are no random acts, and that peace, learning and growth face us on the Other Side.

On a sunny day at Ruby's Pier, a cable system breaks down on an amusement ride, and Eddie, played by veteran actor Jon Voight, tries to save a girl from death. He feels small hands in his as he tries to pull her to safety.

"When Eddie died, he felt no pain. He experienced calm-as if every pain he experienced on Earth was washed away."

In heaven, Eddie is first met by a man who used to be a part of Ruby Pier's freak show-a man tinted blue by a chemical tincture he drank as a child. The man of blue (brilliantly played by Jeff Daniels) tells Eddie that he will meet five people in heaven, and each will share things which will be a lesson for Eddie. The part that the Blue Man played in Eddie's life was unknown until Eddie arrives in heaven: as a small boy, Eddie was playing ball in the street, and the Blue Man, driving down the same street, swerved to miss him. The Blue Man ended up dying of a heart attack, and Eddie was unaware of his part in the story.

When the Blue Man shared what happen, Eddie felt badly-that the accident wasn't fair, and that it should have been him that died. The blue man replies: "There is no fair in life and death. If it were, no good men would die young." Eddie assumes that he will now pay for his "sin" and be judged. The Blue Man dismisses this idea, almost with amusement: "No, no, no.", he says, shaking his head. In heaven, there is no judgment, but rather an opportunity to examine our lives-who we touched, the choices we made, and the consequences of those choices.

Eddie is then visited by four more people, in their own unique heaven. Forgiveness is another theme of the story, and the character of Ruby tells Eddie: "Hatred is a curved blade. The harm we do to others is harm we do to ourselves...no one is born with anger. It builds up over time, with the things we don't say and the things we bury. When we die, the soul is freed of it-free to see the truth."

The process that Eddie goes through when he dies is consistent with the case studies featured in the books Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls by hypnotherapist Dr. Michael Newton. No angry God awaits us at the gates of death, but instead, we are met with kind, loving guides and souls-eventually being ushered into a personally designed `curriculum' for our soul's growth and edification. When Eddie meets his former military captain in his personal heaven the captain says to him: "Time isn't what you think it is, kid. Neither is dying." Also consistent with between-life regression case histories is the ability for souls to change shape (like Eddie's wife did when he asked her to become "old" again), as well as the ability to "choose" your heaven.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven is a story of redemption and personal meaning, as Eddie finally realizes that everything- even difficulties, disappointments, and deaths-happen for a reason. We're also reminded that "all endings are beginnings. We just don't know it at the time..."

Throughout the story, Eddie calls himself a loser, feeling that he did not accomplish anything with his life (like going to engineering school as he planned). He felt alone, and without anything to show for his life. However, at the end of meeting the five people from his life on the Other Side, Eddie is shown the results of his everyday, "mundane" work as an amusement park maintenance man: a sea of people of every age, race, and walk of life that were kept safe over the years by his diligence:

"All the accidents he prevented, all the people he kept safe-their children, and their children's children-are because of the things he did day after day."

The human search for a sense of meaning and purpose to life is a deep one. Perhaps the first thoughts of the first human were "Who am I? Why am I here?" We're still asking these questions--and desperately looking for the answer.

Living in an increasingly complex and stressful era, it's tempting to think that the mundane is meaningless and that life is a random crapshoot. I was deeply moved by this story, reminded that no interpersonal interaction is by chance, and that every cruel, painful, or disappointing situation serves a higher purpose that will someday be explained. The Five People You Meet In Heaven shows that, truly, no life is a "waste", and no life is insignificant. My story is a part of your story, because all of us are connected in the web of life. By Janet Boyer "JanetBoyer.com"


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A Christmas Carol (1999) (TV)


A Brilliant Performance from Patrick Stewart

160 years ago (1843), Charles Dickens (1812-1870) wrote one of his most beloved short stories, "A Christmas Carol". After the advent of film early in the twentieth century, several different directors have attempted to capture Charles Dickens' story, and various actors have portrayed the story's protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Such was the case in 1999 when director David Hugh Jones directed an updated version of the classic story for television, which stared the venerable Shakespearean-trained actor Patrick Stewart. (Patrick Stewart was also one of the film's executive producers.) Patrick Stewart, who is well known for his portrayal of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the 7-year TV-series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and 4 "Star Trek" feature films (as well as many other roles), has always used his Shakespearean training to create a very realistic performance in most anything that he does, and his portrayal of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge was no different.

Though some viewers have commented that the 1999 version of "A Christmas Carol" is joyless and that they haven't enjoyed it, the reality is that that more closely resembles the environment of Charles Dickens' original story. Hence, Patrick Stewart created a very realistic embodiment of what Charles Dickens envisioned for Ebenezer Scrooge: a joyless miser who has completely forgotten what it means to live and to love. Also, these same viewers neglect the amount of detail present in this rendition of the film that has often been absent in previous big-screen film versions, such as young Ebenezer's (Kenny Doughty) work for his first employer Mr. Albert Fezziwig (Ian McNeice) and the old women (played by Liz Smith and Elizabeth Spriggs) fighting over a deceased man's belongings.

Other memorable performances in the film include Jacob Marley (Bernard Lloyd), Bob Cratchit (Richard E. Grant), Mrs. Cratchit (Saskia Reeves), Tiny Tim Cratchit (Ben Tibber), Ebenezer's nephew Fred (Dominic West), Ebenezer's sister Fran (Rosie Wiggins), Mrs. Fezziwig (Annette Badland), the Ghost of Christmas Past (Joel Grey), the Ghost of Christmas Present (Desmond Barrit), The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Tim Potter) and Belle (Laura Fraser). Of the many actors who have portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge over the past century (George C. Scott in 1984, Albert Finney in 1970, Alastair Sim in 1951, and Reginald Owen in 1938 to name a few), I am glad to see Patrick Stewart numbered among them.

Overall, I rate the 1999 version of "A Christmas Carol" with 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it. Sadly, since the film was produced for television, it was not filmed in widescreen format (which is my only complaint about the film), but that does not take away from this film's splendid portrayal of Charles Dickens' classic short story. By M. Hart


Friday, December 5, 2008

Michael Haneke's Funny Games


Ein Alptraum.

It is impossible to have a neutral opinion about the Austrian thriller Funny Games --a movie so relentless in its ability to shock that it gained pariah status on the film festival circuit in 1997. In the warped tradition of A Clockwork Orange, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and Blue Velvet, this is a film--directed with electrifying audacity by Munich-born Michael Haneke--that addresses the controversy of screen violence by making the viewer as guilty as the Leopold and Loeb-like killers who terrorize a young family of three during their summer vacation. They arrive as friendly neighbors, seducing the family with phony congeniality, but soon Funny Games reveals its devious strategy, turning savage and appalling... and completely captivating for those who can endure the terror. There's actually less violence than you'd see in a typical American horror flick such as Scream, but Haneke's forceful staging effectively fulfills his agenda of viewer complicity; we vividly experience this doomed family's fate and feel helpless to save them. So helpless, in fact, that Haneke dares to offer a hint of respite by giving a victim the upper hand, only to "replay" the same scene with the darkest of outcomes. Funny Games is guaranteed to outrage some viewers with its manipulative schemes, but there's no denying the film's visceral impact, generated by Haneke's expert handling of a superior cast. Don't even think of allowing anyone under age 17 to watch this film; all others should proceed with caution. --Jeff Shannon


Funny Games (1997)


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Shall we begin?

Michael Haneke is a modern master, which his spellbinding films Cache and The Piano Teacher proved to an international audience. When it came time for a Hollywood remake of his ultra-disturbing 1997 picture Funny Games, who better than Haneke himself to helm the new version? And indeed, the second Funny Games bears the impeccable sense of control and technique that the Austrian version had: it is a horrifyingly precise account of a family terrorized by two psychopathic young thugs at a vacation home. For anyone who's already seen the '97 film, this new one--a nearly shot-by-shot transcription of the original--will seem superfluous, no matter how impressive the performances of Naomi Watts and Tim Roth are. (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet are suitably creepy as their menacers, too.) For newbies, the movie might be as infuriating and thought-provoking as Haneke intends it to be. That's because Funny Games is an intellectual game itself, a direct rebuke to the audience that gobbles up gratuitous violence and cynical manipulation. Haneke sets up our expectations, and then refuses to provide the conventional catharsis… or the conventional anything. All of this was pretty bracing in the first go-round, but feels like gamesmanship in the remake. Even if you dig what Haneke's up to, this is a brutal movie-watching experience. --Robert Horton

Funny Games U.S. (2007)


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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mockingbird Don't Sing (2001)



A horrific story of child abuse.


Mockingbird Don't Sing is an American independent film which is based on the true story of Genie, a modern-day feral child. The film is told from the point of view of Dr. Susan Curtiss (whose fictitious name is Sandra Tannen), a professor of linguistics at University of California, Los Angeles. Although the film is based on a true story, all of the names are fictitious for legal reasons. The name "Genie" has been changed to "Katie". The film was released to US theaters on May 4, 2001. It won first prize for best screenplay at the Rhode Island International Film Festival (tied with Wings of Hope).


From the age of one and a half to thirteen, Katie, was imprisoned by her parents. Locked in a room, tied and immobile, bound to a "potty-chair", Katie endured years of isolated silence punctuated by brutality. When Katie’s case finally came to public attention she was moved to a hospital in Los Angeles, where it was discovered she had never been taught to speak. Katie was an anomaly, a modern day Wild Child. Medical and psychological doctors descended on the girl in droves, often with selfish motivations in this heart-breaking story. With stunning care to detail Mockingbird Don’t Sing tells Katie’s story of imprisonment, discovery and her difficult road to joining the human family as a beautiful young woman.

First, a couple technical details which are not included in Amazon's technical details info... the DVD is presented in full screen, although clearly the movie was filmed in widescreen. Surprisingly, although presented in full screen format, the audio is presented in true Dolby Digital 5.1. The audio quality is very good, although there is nothing particularly challenging in the soundtrack content to tax one's system.

That out of the way, I must mention that the overall acting calibre in this film was only a touch above what one would see in a "made-for-TV" movie. The story itself is interesting, but the half-hearted acting never let the story get completely off the ground and into your soul. The twenty minute Dr. Susan Curtis interview will completely bore you to tears unless you are an aspiring linguist. If you insist on watching it, at least keep your eyes closed because the doctor is, how to put it kindly... well, more than a bit freaky and weird in appearance and mannerism. I can't comment on the director's commentary, as I did not want to watch the movie a second time with the commentary. Considering the full screen presentation and lackluster acting in conjunction with the high asking price of the DVD, I would have to recommend against purchasing this DVD. By Whodathotit



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

RFK (2002)


Dreamer. Rebel. Leader. Brother.

Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20, 1925–June 6, 1968), also called RFK, was an American statesman. He was United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 and a United States Senator from New York from 1965 until his assassination in 1968. He was one of the younger brothers of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and also one of his most trusted advisers, working closely with the president during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also made a significant contribution to the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

After his brother's November 1963 assassination, Kennedy continued as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson for nine months. He resigned in September 1964 and was elected to the United States Senate from New York that November. He broke with Johnson over the Vietnam War, among other issues.

After Eugene McCarthy nearly defeated Johnson in the New Hampshire primary in early 1968, Kennedy announced his own campaign for president, seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party. Kennedy defeated McCarthy in the critical California primary but was shot shortly after midnight of June 5, 1968, dying on June 6. On June 9, President Johnson assigned security staff to all Presidential candidates and declared an official day of national mourning in response to the public grief following Kennedy's death. (wikipedia)

Plot Synopsis

The first biographical film produced by the FX cable channel, RFK covers the last five years in the life of Robert F. Kennedy, here played by British actor Linus Roache. The narrative begins in 1963, with the assassination of Bobby's brother, president John F. Kennedy (Martin Donovan). His appointment as Attorney General already a source of outrage for resentful new President Lyndon Johnson (James Cromwell), Bobby now finds himself in the position of proving his worth all over again -- not only to his brother's successor and the world, but also himself. With the spirit of his brother acting as counsel, Bobby succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, especially in the field of social and racial reform. By 1968, he is a viable candidate for the presidency himself, and there seems to be no stopping him -- but fate, as it often will, again takes a hand in matters. Unlike previous cinematic recaps of the early 1960s, RFK is careful not to identify its characters as heroes or heels, but instead as human beings with all the strengths and shortcomings indigenous to the species. Filmed in Ontario, RFK originally aired on August 25, 2002. by Hal Erickson (allmovie)


Monday, December 1, 2008

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


May The Silence Be Broken!

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 suspense film directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Anthony Heald and Ted Levine. It is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, his second to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter, brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. In the film, Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, seeks the advice of the imprisoned Lecter on catching a serial killer known only as "Buffalo Bill". The film won the top five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress.

Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster gained overwhelming acclaim with their portrayals of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling, even though Hopkins' screen time in the entire film is just over 16 minutes. Their respective portrayals won both of them Academy Awards in 1992, and Hopkins' portrayal as of 2008 remains the shortest lead role ever to win an Oscar.

Promising student Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is pulled from her training at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia by Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) of the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit. Crawford tasks her with interviewing the notorious Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), the brilliant psychiatrist and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer, believing Lecter's insight would be useful in the pursuit of vicious serial killer Buffalo Bill. Starling travels to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where she is led by Dr. Frederick Chilton to Hannibal Lecter, the sophisticated, cultured man restrained behind thick glass panels and windowless stone walls.

Although initially pleasant and courteous, Lecter grows impatient with Starling's attempts at "dissecting" him and viciously rebuffs her. As Starling departs, another patient flings fresh semen onto her face, enraging Lecter, who calls Starling back and suggests she consult one of his former patients. Starling interprets the patient's name as a riddle. It leads her to a storage lot where she discovers a man's severed head. She returns to Lecter, who tells her that the man is Benjamin Raspail, who is linked to Buffalo Bill. Though Lecter denies killing Raspail, he offers to profile Buffalo Bill if he is transferred away from the venomous, careerist Dr. Chilton.

Hours and miles away, Buffalo Bill abducts Catherine Martin, the daughter of United States Senator Ruth Martin. Starling is again pulled from Quantico and accompanies Crawford to West Virginia, where the body of another of Bill's victims has been found. Starling helps perform the autopsy and extracts the chrysalis of a Death's-head Hawkmoth from the victim's throat. At Quantico, as news of Catherine Martin's abduction sweeps the country, Crawford authorizes Starling to offer Hannibal Lecter a fake deal promising a prison transfer if he provides information that helps profile Buffalo Bill and rescue Catherine Martin. Instead, Lecter begins a game of quid pro quo with Starling, offering comprehensive clues and insights about Buffalo Bill in exchange for events from Starling's traumatic childhood, something she was advised not to do.

Unbenown to both Starling and Lecter, Dr. Chilton tapes the conversation and reveals Starling's deal as a sham, before offering to transfer Lecter in exchange for a deal of Chilton's making. Lecter agrees and is flown to Tennessee where he reveals information on Buffalo Bill to Senator Martin and her entourage of FBI agents and Justice Department officials. Lecter claims that Buffalo Bill was the gay lover of his former patient, Raspail, whose head Starling found. He even gives a name, but Starling believes that it is just an anagram and a false lead.

As the manhunt begins, Starling travels to Lecter's special cell in a Tennessee courthouse and confronts him about the false information he gave the Senator. Lecter refuses Starling's pleas for the truth and demands she finish her story surrounding her worst childhood memory. Starling tells of how she was orphaned, relocated to a relative's farm, discovered the horror of their lamb slaughterhouse and her fruitless attempt to rescue one of the lambs. Lecter gives her the case files on Buffalo Bill, before their conversation is interrupted by Dr. Chilton and the police who escort her from the building.

Later that evening, Lecter escapes from his cell. The local police storm the floor when they hear gunshots, discovering one guard barely alive and the other eviscerated and strung up on the walls. Paramedics transport the survivor to an ambulance and speed off while a SWAT team searches the building for Lecter. As the team discover a faceless body in the elevator shaft, the survivor in the ambulance peels off his face, revealing Lecter in disguise. He kills the paramedics, murders another man for his money and papers and escapes to the airport.

Notified of Lecter's escape, Starling pores over her case files, analyzing Lecter's annotations before realizing that the first victim, Frederica Bimmel, knew Bill in real life before he killed her. Starling travels to Bimmel's hometown and discovers that Bimmel was a tailor, with dresses and templates identical to the patches of skin removed from Buffalo Bill's victims. Realizing that Buffalo Bill is a tailor fashioning a "woman suit" of real skin, she telephones Crawford, who is already preparing to make an arrest, having cross-referenced Lecter's notes with Johns Hopkins Hospital and finding a man named Jame Gumb who once applied for a sex-change operation. Crawford instructs Starling to continue interviewing Bimmel's friends while he leads a SWAT team to Gumb's address in Calumet City, Illinois. Starling's interviews lead to the house of "Jack Gordon," who Starling soon realizes is actually Jame Gumb, and pursues Gumb deep into his multi-room basement, where she discovers a screaming Catherine Martin in a dry well just before the lights in the basement go out, leaving her in complete darkness. Gumb stalks Starling in the dark with night vision goggles and prepares to shoot her when Starling, hearing the sounds of his revolver, spins and fires into the darkness, killing Gumb.

Days later at the FBI Academy graduation party, Starling receives a phone call from Hannibal Lecter who is at an airport in Jamaica. Lecter assures Starling he has no plans to pursue her and asks her to show him the same courtesy. He then excuses himself, remarking that he's "having an old friend for dinner". He hangs up the phone and casually follows Dr. Chilton through the village.
Source: Wikipedia

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The Silence of the Lambs (Trailer)



For the Boys (1991)



Bette Midler gives the brassiest, sassiest performance of her career as Dixie Leonard, a USO singer whose electrifying stage presence, and flair for outrageous comedy, captivates troops and civilians alike. Teamed up with America's beloved song and dance man, Eddie Sparks (James Caan), the whole world becomes Dixie's stage through three very different wars, and 50 years of music and memories, laughter and tears. All of it... FOR THE BOYS.

The only reason Miss Midler didn't win that year, (Jodie Foster won for Silence of the Lambs) was because 'For the Boys' was a box-office dud. I wish back then the marketing executives at 20th Century Fox would've sold this movie a little better. First of all the soundtrack had two possible mega hits, 'In My Life' the Beatles' tune in which Bette's renditon turned into an emotionally packed moment in the movie. I get a lump in the throat every time I see it. The other tune, 'Every road leads Back to you', like 'Wind beneath my wings' is a wonderful song reflecting on a bumpy and long, yet close and loving friendship. These songs should've been airing over the radio way before the movie was released. Secondly, 'For the boys' was pitted against 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Addams Family' when it was released.


It's no wonder this movie got shoved aside. As for the movie itself, it's evident that Miss Midler poured her soul and guts into the whole project. Yes, the movie does try to cover a lot of war-history in 2 1/2 hours, but Bette as Dixie and her love-hate relationship with Caan as Eddie do have an appealing quality despite all their tumultuus bickering behind the scenes of entertaining the boys. Critics complained about how awful the aging makeup looked on Midler and Caan. Well my argumnent to them is, when you see an elderly performers win a lifetime acheivement award on TV, aren't they supposed to look somewhat gray and wrinkled...Or do all aged show biz icons have to look like Joan Collins and Dick Clark? Nevertheless, the scene of Dixies's first time singing with the troops in 1942 is the reason why people love to see Bette....I just wish more people would have done so when this was released in 1991. By customer TL


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)


It's fun, daring, over-the-top and unforgettable.

The usually menacing British actor Terence Stamp does a complete turnaround as Bernadette, an aging transsexual who tours the backwaters of Australia with her stage partners, Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) and Adam/Felicia (Guy Pearce). Their act, well-known in Sydney, involves wearing lots of makeup and gowns and lip-synching to records, but Bernadette is getting a bit tired of it all and is also haunted by the bizarre death of an old loved one. Nevertheless, when Mitzi and Felicia get an offer to perform in the remote town of Alice Springs at a casino, Bernadette decides to tag along. The threesome ventures into the outback with Priscilla, a lavender-colored school bus that doubles as dressing room and home on the road. Along the way, the act encounters any number of strange characters, as well as incidents of homophobia, while Bernadette becomes increasingly concerned about the path her life has taken. by Don Kaye (allmovie.com)

Always loved this movie 5
I went to see this movie many times when it was at the theater, and I couldn't wait for it to release on DVD. I lost that copy in a move and went out and bought it again. It's hard to believe this movie was made on a shoe-string budget, and that they could get such an accomplished actor as Terence Stamp. Hugo Weaving, also a favorite of mine from the Matrix and Rings movies is hilarious. Guy Pierce is so believable in his role. The three combine for a hilarious and sometimes emotional rollercoaster ride through the australian outback. I recommend this for anyone's collection.

Camp & Crazy Cross-Dressing Road Trip to Laughter 5
This is not a kids' movie by any means, but that being said, this movie deserves its cult following as one of the most outrageous comedies ever to be produced and shot in the Land Down Under.

I don't know what it is about Australia that produces such great movies and actors, but the world of entertainment would be lacking without them.

If you are up for a devilishly fun romp, grab a bottle of wine and settle in for a truly funny and outrageous movie experience. Now, you may be thinking that you wouldn't like a movie about the adventures and mis-adventures of three drag queens traveling the outback in a giant pink tour bus. That is what I thought and can report I was dead wrong, this movie is simply tons of over-the-top fun ;-)

The "Road Trip Movie" may never be the same again !


Monday, November 24, 2008

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)


An Outrageously Funny Affair

This utterly charming, little British film took me completely by surprise the first time I saw it. I did not know what to expect going in, but I quickly found myself falling completely in love with it.

The plot is structured around the five events mentioned in the title. A magnificent group of seven dear friends attends a string of weddings, none of them, unfortunately, involving any of the principles. Our focus is on Charles (Hugh Grant), a devilishly handsome man who is completely incapable of committing to marriage. He is, as an ex-girlfriend describes him, a "serial monogamist."

There is some hope, however, that that might change when Charles meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell), a beautiful American woman. He falls in love with her, and we suspect she might love him, too, but instead she gets engaged to Hamish (Corin Redgrave), a boring, but rich man, twice her age. Our hearts break along with Charles' because we know that she is making a mistake. He is too disappointed, though, and too afraid to do anything about it.

There is something so pleasing about friendship in a movie. When it is done right, as it is here, it involves the audience in a way that most stories cannot. While watching this film, I could not help but wish that I knew them all better. Who wouldn't want a group of such trusted and wonderful friends? Because we like them, and because we feel we know them so well, the events in the film aren't just happening to somebody else. They are happening to us as well. That is why "Four Weddings" is so touching and so moving.

The acting is nothing short of brilliant, especially the work done by Hugh Grant. Not since Cary Grant has an actor displayed such suave, British charm and natural good looks. He is a delight to watch and, no doubt, has an excellent future ahead for himself. Andie MacDowell is equally enchanting. She has never appeared as lovely in a movie before as she does here.

The screenplay by Richard Curtis is extremely well written. The scenes have the ring of truth to them; the characters feel as real as anyone we know. The writing always hits just the right note, striking a delicate balance between moments of great humor and romance, as well as deep sadness.

Mike Newell's direction is fine, never distracting us the center of the film: the characters and their words. At the same time, there are moments of inspired visual artistry. The sight of Charles arriving late for Carrie's wedding, standing alone in a broad, Scottish moor, is touchingly sad. Even better is the funeral chapel, stranded in a bleak, industrial wasteland, overlooking the dull, gray Thames. It is a very evocative and poignant moment.

I do not want to give the impression that this is a sad film because it is not. At times it is rather hilarious, the romance is always enticing, and it does have a happy, if unexpected, ending. More importantly, all of its emotions are genuinely earned. "Four Weddings and a Funeral" is one of the most delightful films I have seen in a long time. By David Montgomery "Book Reviewer"

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Four Weddings and a Funeral Trailer

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Freaky Friday vs. Freaky Friday


In 1976 ... Annabel and her Mother are not quite themselves today- in fact, they're each other!

Now experience all the laughs of the original comedy classic that inspired Disney's hilarious hit remake. Trading places was never so funny, and it could only happen on Friday the 13th! That's when the tomboyish and free-spirited Annabel (Jodie Foster) switches bodies with her straitlaced mother, Ellen (Barbara Harris), and suddenly finds herself responsible for running the entire household. In turn, Ellen, now in her daughter's body, faces the daunting challenges of school, including a typing test, field hockey competition, and much more!

FREAKY FRIDAY 19765
I saw the Newer Version, FREAKY FRIDAY 2003, before I saw this Original. And it wasn't until a LONG while later as I didn't think that I would of cared for it. But, I really enjoyed this original version with Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster. Both ladies did a sterling job in playing their normal aged selves, then in switching over to their opposite ages. Barbara was so full of youthful energy, and Jodie was more mature in her attitude. Plus, I grew up in the 70's and it retains that 70's atmosphere. I still love FREAKY FRIDAY 2003 the best though, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, as they totally rocked the theater with their excellent acting skills and they also were EXTREMELY FUNNY! I think that if you see one or the other, then you HAVE to get the other as a companion DVD. For, though they are similar stories, each one has it's very own flavour. Plus, Boris is in both films. Nice touch.



The beloved Disney teen movie from 1976 gets a power-pop makeover. As in the original, mother and daughter magically switch bodies, and the best parts are when they put each other's lives through the paces. The saucer-eyed Lindsay Lohan, as the daughter, morphs from a slouching rocker into a
perfect-posture girl, a Junior League aspirant set loose in high school. Jamie Lee Curtis has the more difficult assignment, contorting her adult body into the ungainly angles of adolescence. She pulls off the transformation with precision, and both she and Lohan grace their scenes with moments of dead-on physical parody. Together, they provide a delightful double take on the old mother-to-daughter mantra: Act your age. -Michael Agger
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker


An Awesome Remake!!!5
To me, Disney's 2003 version of Freaky Friday is a lot better than the original. I don't hate the original, I just think this one is a lot funnier and more up-to-date! Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan were hilarious trying to be the opposite of each other. After having a big fight with each other on Thursday, Anna (Lohan) and Tess (Curtis) switch bodies on Friday morning, and throughout the entire day, you see hilarious moments as Tess acts like a rebelious teenager and Anna acts more mature. Tess is supposed to be married on Saturday, and if they don't switch back, they'll have to post-pone it. It's also awesome to see Jamie Lee jammin' down at the concert later toward the end of the movie! If you love comedy, you'll love FREAKY FRIDAY!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)


Attitude is everything.



This clunky road movie about three drag queens (Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguziamo) who get stranded in a sleepy Nebraska town on their way to a beauty contest, is too uplifting for its own good. Released during drag's mid-'90s heyday when RuPaul and the Wigstock documentary were all the rage, To Wong Foo aimed straight for the mainstream with its inoffensive camp and "can't we all get along" moralism. While gay-activist groups howled about straights getting the lead roles in To Wong Foo, in the end the filmmakers really couldn't have done better than this trio of actors. John Leguziamo provides real sass and bite as a Latino (or should we saw Latina?) drag queen, and Wesley Snipes is surprisingly fierce as the imposing leader of the pack. Saddled with a cloying Southern accent and off-kilter wig, Patrick Swayze barely holds his own with his costars, though. To Wong Foo is best viewed as a cultural artifact of a time when it seemed as though drag could rule all tomorrow's parties. --Ethan Brown


To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar5
I have treasured this movie for years. I own the vhs version, but rarely want to take the time and trouble ( all that rewinding) to get it out. With the new and used option at Amazon it is very simple to find your favorites at great prices with just a few clicks of a button. Who can imagine those three hansome guys posing as women? Hard to believe but they do it well. Even with those bulging muscles they all are great at portraying elegant "Drag Queens". This movie is wonderful, funny, and setimental. I never tire of watching it. At the time this movie came out there seemed to be an era of "Drag Queen" movies. This one, by far, is the best. The others are entertaining as well however; I believe this one tops them all. While watching you can Laugh, cry, and relate to the personal growth of each of the characters as they try to help "the little boy in drag" reach "her" true potential. These amazing "career girls" also give the entire tired and dowdy town a great makeover. I would highley recommend this movie to anyone for a great evening's entertainment.




To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything5
The movie came on time and was very happy with the prduct. I have tried to look for this item in the stores and had no luck. So thank you for having this movie on stock


Friday, November 21, 2008

Little Buddha (1993)

Little Buddha
Moving, touching, inspiring beginner's story of Buddha

Little Buddha is a wonderfully entertaining and historically accurate film. The story has two plots, making it confusing at some times. One tells of a Buddhist priest searching for the reincarnation of his dead teacher, while the other tells the story of Siddhartha Guatama, the Buddha. (Played by Keanu Reeves)

As far as the acting goes, this film gets five stars from me. Siddhartha, (Reeves) is played beautifully, along with Lisa Conrad, (Bridget Fonda) and Lama Norbu. (Ruocheng Ying) Another plus about the acting are the three children who played the candidates for the reincarnation of the teacher. I especially liked Gita, who is the only girl candidate.

I liked the costumes, too, as they are historically accurate, and stand out with the bright colors and makeup. I found it strange that the men wore makeup, but they do, and the film portrays it brilliantly.

All along I have been mentioning how historically correct this film is. I have been saying this because it is the truth. Not only is the story of Siddhartha correct, but all of the facts about Buddha and Buddhism are too. If you know nothing about the religion, watching this film will give you a basic introduction to Buddhism. by a customer



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