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Downton Abbey (2019)
What I Expected
I've seen it twice within a 48 hour period, once by myself and then with a friend. "Downton Abbey" was what I expected. It was like watching two one hour episodes strung together. It was like being in my livingroom on a Sunday evening, only with a much larger screen. My idea of a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours. The core characters haven't changed, the sets haven't, the introduction of new characters. It transports me to an era that I don't think exists very much anymore, unless you're part of or involved somehow with the British Royal Family. Maggie Smith was, again, ready for one of her tart remarks that made me chuckle. Well, now that the Crawley family and their devoted servants have survived a royal vist from King George V and Queen Mary, I say bring us more! I can see at least two more films from this. How does the Crawley family survive the Great Depression and the Second World War.
Ricki and the Flash (2015)
This, along with, "She Devil" and "Death Becomes Her" are my favorite Meryl Steep movies. She showed her talent toward comedy. I also liked "The River Wild" a lot.
I really liked watching Meryl in "Ricki and the Flash" because she did not have her usual, what I call Merylisms. She has a tendency to use the same facial expressions, hand movements and body language in every movie that she has done. I like Meryl, but Cate Blanchett is a far better actress that can disappear into a role, whereas, when you are watching Meryl, you are watching Meryl. It's the same as watching John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart or Bette Davis. With that criticism out of the way, Meryl did not do that in this movie. I've watched in many times. There are a couple of parts that drag, mainly the scene with her and Kevin Kline stoned in the kitchen and then going to the basement to go through his Rubbermaid memorabilia. That scene could have been cut, in fact Kevin Kline could have been cut. Anyone could have played that part. The real chemistry with Meryl with Rick Springfield and the band. That's when the movie came alive for me. Meryl can sing, but, I must say, rock is not her best genre. I just like her interaction with Rick.
She was good with her real life daughter, Mamie Gummer. Her character did get on my nerves though. She was a bit over the top. Maybe it's because I have known and worked with many depressive needy victims in the past and I can't say that I have that much sympathy. I did like at the wedding when Mamie's character was going to turn and run, Meryl said "No, no, no, don't run away. Walk on". That was her reflection of what she had done when she left her family to pursue a singing career that did not turn out the way that she had planned. But, she realized it, as did her daughter in those two sentences.
The oldest son's bride, I could have just smacked her. But, in all honestly, she was reacting to the situation. She was definitely an uptight ivy league type who was used to the "perfect" family that she was marrying into and then all of a sudden, here comes this rocker chick in her late 60's, what's a girl to do? React to every little event, I guess. She was just window dressing that was also over the top. I did like the bride's maids and brides dresses. They were unique and lovely.
The two sons, meh. Again, like Kevin Kline's character, anyone could have played them.
The real chemistry was when the band played on.
Good Omens (2019)
I Tried, but I Couldn't Make It
I was really looking forward to this as I've seen the trailer for months. I've always liked both Michael Sheen and David Tennant. I was highly disappointed after one and a half episodes. The story was all over the map and in and out of history and just hard to follow. I can't imagine trying to read the book. The special effects were a bit cheesy looking, especially, the snake in the beginning. Michael Sheen just was a throw back to the 1940's comedies, featuring the roly poly portly characters used for comic relief that never came off very well, like S.Z. Sakall or Frank Morgan. As for David Tennant, he was trying to imitate Bill Nighy from either "Love Actually" or "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", with his jutted out jaw and pouty bottom lip. I could only see a younger Bill Nighy in my mind when David Tennant was on the screen.
This is Well Worth Watching
I just watched this on Amazon Prime. All three stories kept me well involved. Ms. Dickinson can really act the whole spectrum in this movie. She's a marvel to watch. I don't want to say anything about any of the stories. Just watch, as I did without checking IMDB. It is very rare for me not to stop a movie at least once. I did not stop it at all.
A shout out to the only other reviewer, dgroche, I hope that you come across this review to see that it is currently on Amazon Prime streaming. You can catch the third act.
This is STILL My Favorite Version of this Film
I remember seeing this in the old Coliseum Theater in Seattle when it came out in 1966. I was 10. I've never gotten over the vibrant colors and the actors that were in it. I've always loved Ann-Margaret. She played the role of Dallas so well. It had some much more than the 1939 Wayne/Ford versions which I don't know why it's a classic. Even seeing it as an adult and liking Golden Age of Hollywood movies, that wasn't one of 'em. The next best version after 1966's, is 1986 with Willie Nelson (yahoo) and his cohorts, Cash, Kristofferson and Jennings. Good fun!
I Love You to Death (1990)
If You Want a Great Laugh
Well, Dame Joan Plowright steals every scene that she's in. She's fabulous and I love her in everything she's in! Comedy is her calling. The rest of the cast is terrific. William Hurt and Keanu Reeves as "would be" killers are funny. In fact, William Hurt's character kind of reminds me of my ex's brother. It was almost surreal. Kevin Kline is always good and a very good movie debut for Tracy Ullman. Just see it and have a good laugh. I was also good to see Tacoma of 1989. I live there.
Gloria Bell (2018)
A Very Disappointing Re-Make of the Chilean Triumph
The Chilean film had passion and very good acting, especially Paulina Garcia in the title role of Gloria. I connected with that film and with her. There was life in it. There was a lot of emotion and feeling. See the original.
I had been looking forward to Julianne Moore playing this role in the American version by the same director, Sebastian Lelio, as the original. She was a perfect choice. Well, the whole film felt flat. I didn't connect with it, her or with any of the characters. I was surprised because I like Julianne Moore, but she brought no emotion to the role. John Turtorro is another matter. I've just never liked him and he didn't disappoint.
It was just a flat, bland, unemotional film. I gave it 2 stars because of the music, Julianne looks fabulous in her dancing clothes and I felt bad for the cat.
Larry King Live (1985)
Larry King Was a Terrible Interviewer!
I did TRY to watch some of his interviews when he was still on CNN. I just tried to watch an interview, several years old, that had Tippi Hedren, Janet Leigh and Eva Marie Saint. It was so IRRITATING that he NEVER let a person answer his question(s) when he would ask another question. I wanted to listen to the guest, not the egotistical host, which was Larry King. I'm glad that he is no longer on television!!!
I Saw the Light (2015)
I Didn't Dislike It, but the Script Could Have Been so Much Better
The performances were top notch. Tom Hiddleston is way better looking and can sing way better than Hank Williams ever could. The songs were Hank Williams' art, not his voice. Tom Hiddleston does have a resemblance to Hank Williams and I can see why he was tapped to play this role. He was excellent. The down side is, the script and the direction, I just didn't have any compassion for the character. I thought that Elizabeth Olsen was very good as well, but again, no compassion. I found myself not caring about what happend to any of the characters. That is a fault that lays with writer and the director. This should have been a way better movie than it was. I kept thinking of "Coal Miner's Daughter" that explored both the private and public life of Loretta Lynn and how well done that whole project was.
Delhis vackraste händer (2017)
I Was Captivated
After seeing Bjorn Kjellman in a couple other movies, I like him. Here and in "I Love You", he's just so super nerdy. There are gaps in the script and cultural things that I don't understand, but it did not stop me for enjoying this 3 part mini series. As the program progressed, he came out of his shell more and more. He went on an adventure that he wouldn't normally go on, got over his ex wife (although I can see why she would have left), fell in love with a lovely Indian woman (I think that she was so unhappy in her marriage, she was an ornament for her wealthy husband), fell in love with a country and culture that was so foreign to him, being from Sweden and finally, began to like and respect himself and not think of himself as a loser as so many other people did. The Indian man who befriended him, Joy Sengupta, was so much fun to watch. It's too bad more people don't have his character's outlook on life. I recommend this mini series.
Double Jeopardy (1992)
1990's Version of 1940's Film Noir
It was very much in the realm of film noir. I've seen similar plots in some 1940's B & W noir. You know, guy is a sap over old flame and trusting wife at home. He doesn't show good judgement for an afternoon and finds himself in a jam. Just goes to show, some style of movies never go out of style. The acting was good, the script kept me guessing, but I did figure some of it out before the end. The ending was not good. It was too "wrap everything up". Rachel Ward's character should have been able to walk away from everything, but not scotfree. Looking at both Rachel Ward and Sela Ward, I couldn't help but think that Bruce Boxleitner's character sure went for the same physical type of woman. They really almost look like sisters, but are not related in spite of their last name. It's a decent movie.
Got Sucked In, But
It really could have ended by the end of the 5th or even 6th episode. It was way too long. I don't know how the writer's can keep the plot, plot twists and characters straight. I thought that Jonah (John Simm) showed no sense whatsoever throughout the series. He couldn't trust the police and yet, during a couple of instances, he was ready to call the police. And, he wasn't very careful with his person because he was beat up more than a couple of times or when he would spout off in front of the wrong people. Not very bright. Maybe it was because he was kind of a milquetoast to begin with and he was going to prove something. The best acting IMO was Anthony Wong as David Chen. The rest were a bit on the, let's overact and see who can out act whom. Yet, I watched it. all 8 episodes.
Hank and Asha (2013)
The New Pen Pal Connection
I was delighted by this indie film. I didn't even pause it and that's unusual for me. In an hour and 15 minutes, the filmmakers managed to go through almost all emotions of a new relationship with a twist that glued me to the screen. It's a cleaver connection that is used, but as I titled it, it's the new pen pal. And, the two leads, Mahira Kakkar and Andrew Pastides, knew what they were doing. Very natural acting.
If you like indie movies made on a small budget, you may like this.
Mad Men (2007)
I didn't want to watch it to begin with
There have been a few people who have told me how great this series is. I finally relented and have watch the first four episodes because I don't like to watch a series that I HAVE to watch the first episode to know what the hell is going on throughout the entire series. There are a few acceptions that I have and do make. This series WILL NOT be one of them. OMG! I can't get emotionally attached to ANY of the characters. That is not good writing. They are all just walking through each episode like they are dead. I will mention that the creators must have watched Billy Wilder's 1960 "The Apartment" which is one of the best films made, IMO, for the idea of office executives cheating on their wives and the unfortunate women that it happened to. You feel for the Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon characters and that's a 2 hour film. But,"Mad Men". I've watched four hours of it and don't feel a thing. Bad show. Let's not forget the Darrin Stephens, of "Bewitched" fame, was one of the actual "Man Men" that was really in the 1960's. I'd rather watch reruns of that show.
After the Ball (2015)
"After the Ball" is one of my go to movies when I want something enjoyable to watch. I'm grateful that it's on Prime after Netflix no longer had it.
I enjoy it from beginning to end. Mimi Kuzyk is always good in everything that I've seen her in. I loved her clothes and jewelry in this one. Carlo Rota, as Richard, just steals every scene he's in. He's a riot, Buttercup. Marc-Andre Groudin is very suitable for the role of Daniel aka Prince Charming. David Michael, as Maurice, is another scene stealer. He's hilarous. It's a good thing that he and Carlo Rota didn't share any scenes. They would be out stealing each other. Bless them! Chris Noth and Lauren Holly suited their roles. They were so mismatched as a couple, which I think was supposed to show. Get a load of her nails. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near her. Talk about the scene stealing. I loved Natalie Krill as Tannis and Anna Hopkins as Simone. They were perfection as the no so bright daughters of Lauren Holly. They were "Awesome". Last and of course not least is Portia Doubleday. She is so fresh and sweet. I have to say though, I really liked her as a guy. She was cute as a guy. And, the costume designer really had fun dressing her as such. I loved Nate's outfits. That vintage vibe really did it. Enough said from me. This is a lighthearted and funny movie that I recommend.
I don't know the history or lore of Indian culture. With that said, I found the movie incredibly intoxicating. The traditional music and traditional dancing are beautiful and mesmerinzing, the sets are stunning and words cannot describe the richness and details of the costumes and jewelry. The women beautiful and the men gorgeous. I would compare this too the contemporary epic, "Avatar" as far a the word epic means. This stands alone.
There were a couple of things though. I know that in Indian movies, characters break out in song, not unlike musicals. However, the scene in the Sultan's tent in his bath, the servant breaks out in song and I found that out of place to do that and the content of the song. The other thing was that even though the actress playing the main role of Padmaavat, was beautiful, but the actress playing the other queen, Nagmati, in my opinion, should have been playing Padmaavat. She was much more striking. She had an Ava Gardner quality and Ava was so ethereal.
Todos queremos a alguien (2017)
Didn't even finish watching it after about 25 minutes
1. I didn't know that a good part of the movie would be in Spanish with subtitles. The preview was in English. I don't have anything against subtitles, but tonight was not the night for them.
2. Totally smarmy ex boyfriend trying to get back into the good graces of the main female character. Don't go there! Been there, done that and bought the tee shirt.
3. Main female character got rip roaring drunk in, I estimate, 4 or 5 days of each other. It seemed that she did this on a regular basis. Personal experience of ex husband and ex boyfriend, been there, done that and bought the tee shirt.
4. Yep, I'm a little on the cynical side.
I Found It Again!
I saw this on American Playhouse when it was released in 1982. I recorded it on VHS tape at the time. I watched it over the years almost until it wore out. It is now streaming on Amazon Prime. What a huge treat it is to find this gem again! It is well acted and you get the feel for small town living in the 1960's. I'm a Susan Sarandon fan and well, Christopher Walken can play some quirky characters. I would, in a way, compare this with one of my all time favorites, 1955's "Marty". It's about two very shy and lonely people who find each other. If you haven't seen either one, try both because love doesn't change just because of the period of time it is found.
Repeat Performance (1947)
If you like fantasy, film noir this is for you
I just caught this on Amazon Prime streaming. I had never heard of it before. I like 1940's film noir and then I saw that Louis Hayward and Richard Basehart were in it. The concept is something that maybe you would see in the original Twilight Zone. I wouldn't doubt that Rod Serling may have gotten some of his ideas from this. Since then, there have been a wave of films that have time travel or reliving your life. This must have been one of the first ones though. A woman gets to live 1946 over again to try to live it differently. Joan Leslie was a lovely actress. Tom Conway was solid in his role. Give it a try if you want to see something of this sort.
An Offbeat Film, But I Thoroughly Enjoyed It
I was so immersed in the music, dancing and culture of the Romany people. I have read some of the reviews that say that not all Romanian people are poor and uneducated. I figured that out. The director was showing a rich culture and I think a tight knit culture that their music and dance bring together. It's an offbeat and a little bizarre movie and I will admit, not for everyone's taste, but I liked it.
A Very English Scandal (2018)
I'm Not Sure What I Think
I just finished watching Part 3. On the whole, it was very well done. However, if both real life men Jeremy Thorpe and Norman Scott really acted like they were portrayed by Hugh Grant and Ben Wishaw, I would have turned around and walked the other way. I don't like pompous arrogant jerks and woe is me victims.
And reading all of the reviews that say Hugh Grant was a revelation, there were still an awful lot of his Hughisms in his performance. I especially liked the comment of "are we running out of actors?" I agree with that reviewer that Thorpe was in his 40's when the scandal broke, Hugh Grant is 58, but looks 65. He looks way beyond his years.
The Favourite (2018)
I don't get why....
There are so many positive critic and audience reviews. I was expecting something spectacular, what I got was a major yawn. I have read some about Queen Anne (she wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but a lot of royalty in England or elsewhere weren't) and Sarah Churchill. I do have to say that they came to life in Olivia Coleman's and Rachel Weisz's portrayals. Emma Stone, once again for me, fell flat. I don't understand her appeal. And, couldn't they get a British actress to play a British role? Anyway, there were scenes of sexual nature which I have absolutely no doubt happened at court in early 18th century (not the ones between the main female characters). So, I think that those scenes, the kitchens, servants quarters and brothel were accurate. But, the story itself was a bore and with all of those long powered wigs, it was hard to tell which man was which. I found it hard to follow except for the main plot line of one cousin trying to usurp the other cousin to be the favorite of the queen and one lord trying to stop the war with France because it was costing so much. I would have left, but it was a first showing and it had a lot of people that I would have needed to crawl over, kind of like Sarah Churchill and then her cousin, Abigail.
I saw this today. I understood the story just fine. Apparently, it was a mix of the ballet and a short story. I loved every minute of it. I was transformed to a fantasy world that I would like to see! The sets, costumes, hair, dancing, CGI was absolutely brilliant. I recommend this to anyone, especially the little ones. They will be mesmerized. Thrilling comes to mind.
Wonder Wheel (2017)
Kate Keeps Getting Better and Better
I have liked Kate Winslet from the first time that I saw her in "Sense and Sensibility". I've watched her acting mature and she's a gem. Every time she was on the screen, I would only watch her. Flawless. She should be been up for another Oscar. I'm going to say because the film is set in the 1950's, she was a manic depressive which makes more sense that bipolar. I believe that's what her character was. High one moment and low that next. Her life not taking the turn that she intended.
The film itself is beautiful. The colors and the 1950's atmosphere was brilliant. The only two distactions that I did have. Jim Belushi, who I do like, sounded a lot like John Goodman of Roseanne and The Conners. I think that Woody Allen should have had Jim have his own sound to his voice because his acting was good. But, I couldn't get John Goodman out of my mind when Belushi spoke. The other thing is, Justin Timberlake, was good, but again, with the voice. Woody Allen had Timberlake sounding just like him. It's ok, Woody, your character's don't have to sound like you.
The Conners: Tangled Up in Blue (2018)
Not Missing a Beat
I like this show. Even after two episodes, the writer's are concentrating on each character and not focusing on one as they did with Roseanne, whom I do not miss at all with her harpy personality. I want this show to succeed because it's good to watch something that has good writing and getting better rounded characters. The scene where Darlene and David actually discuss divorce, the emotions rang true with both characters and how hard that is after you've been together for a long time. Bring on more of "The Conners"!