Argo (2012) Rated R

argoA CIA agent goes undercover as a Hollywood film producer to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina

The film takes on an unknown story of the rescue of the six Americans in Tehran. I thought this was brilliantly done. Even though the story is known of the rescue of these Americans the filmmakers were able to keep the suspense of the story going. It still amazes me the lengths that they went to rescue these Americans, not only to save them but also put their own lives at risk for that. I  am aware that the rescue in and of itself was not as dramatic as the film portrayed  it to be but what a story. The story was told wonderfully and it was worth a watch.

 

 

Posted in 2012, Biography, Drama, films, historical, Movie reviews, movies, Rated R, reviews, Thrillers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Academy Award Winners 2017

oscar-2017

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Moonlight

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Emma Stone for La La Land

Best Achievement in Directing

Damien Chazelle for La La Land

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

“City of Stars” from  La La Land

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

La La Land

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

The Salesman

Best Live Action Short Film

Mindenki

Best Documentary Feature

O.J.: Made in America

Best Documentary Short Subject

The White Helmets

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Zootopia

Best Animated Short Film

Piper

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

The Jungle Book

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Hacksaw Ridge

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Arrival

Best Achievement in Film Editing

Hacksaw Ridge

Best Achievement in Cinematography

La La Land

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Suicide Squad

Best Achievement in Production Design

La La Land

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Viola Davis for Fences

Best Adapted Screenplay

Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay

Manchester by the Sea

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Bill Paxton (1955-2017)

1955-2017

1955-2017

 Titanic (1997) Rated PG-13

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

 Apollo 13 (1995) Rated PG

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

 Twister (1996) Rated PG-13

Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.

 The Terminator (1984) Rated R

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

 U-571 (2000) Rated PG-13

A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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Madiba (2017) Rated TV-PG

madibaA miniseries based on the life of Nelson Mandela. Starring Laurence Fishburne, Orlando Jones, David Harewood, Michael Nyqvist, Terry Pheto, Jason Kennett, Kate Liquorish, Hlomla Dandala, Meren Reddy.

I was really looking forward to this miniseries with hopes that BET would be able do justice to Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary life in six hours (not an easy feat). Unfortunately, they took the easy road and avoided all sense of conflict which permeated Mandela’s life. They also somehow managed to strip Mandela of his humanity, choosing to simply retell the facts without connecting us to the man himself. A disappointment at best, this series is a pass.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Based on a true story, Canadian Films, Drama, films, Miniseries, Movie reviews, movies, Rated TV-PG, reviews, Tv shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Independent Spirit Award Winners 2017

independent-spirit-awards

Best Feature

Moonlight

Best First Feature

The Witch

Best Director

Barry Jenkins for Moonlight

Best Female Lead

Isabelle Huppert for Elle

Best Male Lead

Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea

Best Supporting Female

Molly Shannon for Other People

Best Supporting Male

Ben Foster for Hell or High Water

Best Screenplay

Moonlight

Best First Screenplay

The Witch

Best Cinematography

James Laxton for Moonlight

Best International Film

Toni Erdmann

Best Documentary

O.J.: Made in America

Best Editing

Moonlight

John Cassavetes Award

Spa Night

Truer Than Fiction Award

Nanfu Wang for Hooligan Sparrow

Someone to Watch Award

Anna Rose Holmer for The Fits

Producers Award

Jordana Mollick

Robert Altman Award

Moonlight

Posted in 2017, Award Shows, films, Lists, movies, Top Films... | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Me Before You (2016) PG-13

me-before-youA quirky, optimistic young woman becomes caretaker for a jaded, wealthy paralytic.  Based on the book by JoJo Moyes. Starring Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer, Charles Dance, Brendan Coyle.

This film has a sweet charm and tenderness which endeared me to it from the start.  The only thing which I found off-putting was Clarke’s overly expressive face, but her character’s delightful personality (and eccentric clothing) made up for it.

The movie was both well-written and well-paced. Although the concept was not entirely original, the dialogue felt fresh, and the actors were adept at handling the transitions from witty banter to serious discussion. Claflin was an especially good choice in his role as the paralyzed man.  He manages to exude sexual charm, tenderness and charisma, even without the use of his arms and legs.

Despite the circumstances, the movie maintained a steady flow, with no sudden emotional shifts. I think this was, in part, due to the excellent supporting cast, who grounded the lead characters and provided a sense of reality to the story. I will say that I’ve never heard so many popular radio songs in one movie since perhaps The Bodyguard; thankfully, I liked most of them, and the rest of the soundtrack was quite good (and varied), as well.

I know that many were disappointed by the ending, but I felt it was a thought-provoking decision on the writer’s part in response to a hopeless situation.  I guess I only thought it could have been prolonged due to the great affection the characters had developed for each other. Overall, it was a lovely film and worth a watch.

Posted in 2016, Based on a novel, Drama, Rated PG-13, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary + Jane (MTV) Rated TV-MA

mary-and-janeA couple of L.A. roommates work to get their pot delivery business into the “The Green 15”.  Starring Scout Durwood, Jessica Rothe.

At first glance, this looks like a show about female buddies who are high on drugs, but it’s actually a bit more than that.  Although it is well-written and funny, it still falls short. It is nothing like Weeds.  There is an overabundance of weed usage, especially among the lead characters, which makes this more of a parody than a realistic show about business entrepreneurship.  The concept is supposed to be about two, smart women trying to make a go of an unorthodox business, but instead they come across as foolish. This show is not worth a watch.

 

Posted in 2016, comedy, MTV, Rated TV-MA, reviews, Tv shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New This Week in Theaters, February 23, 2017

 Rock Dog (PG)
Opens on Friday, February 24
Starring: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons

When a radio falls from the sky into the hands of a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, he leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician, setting into motion a series of completely unexpected events.

 Get Out (R)
Opens on Friday, February 24
Starring: Keith Stanfield, Bradley Whitford, Allison Williams

A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.

 Collide (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, February 24
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins

An American backpacker gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver, though he winds up on the run from his employers across Cologne high-speed Autobahn.

 Bitter Harvest (R)
Opens on Friday, February 24
Starring: Barry Pepper, Max Irons, Richard Brake

Set in 1930s Ukraine, as Stalin advances the ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, young artist Yuri battles to save his lover Natalka from the Holodomor, the death-by-starvation program that ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians.

 As You Are (NR)
Opens on Friday, February 24
Starring: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg, John Scurti

Set in the early 1990’s, “As You Are” is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation.

 Punching Henry (NR)
Opens on Friday, February 24
Starring: Henry Phillips, Tig Notaro, J.K. Simmons, Mark Cohen

Hapless satirical songwriter Henry Phillips is lured to LA when a veteran TV producer decides to make a show about the life of a loser.

Synopsis by IMDB.

Posted in 2017, films, Lists, movies, New in Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enlightened (HBO) Rated TV-MA

enlightenedA self-destructive woman takes a new approach to life by becoming enlightened, which wreaks havoc at work and home. Starring Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Sarah Burns.

A quirky comedy with an unlikable lead character, this show has its work cut out for it.  With a cast of flawed characters and a case of the crazies throughout, it is both interesting and off-putting.  I can’t help but watch as these characters try to make sense of the insanity around (and within) them, and yet, I feel no affinity for any of the characters or their problems, which makes this show problematic.  Although it is well-written and acted, it just lacks the element of connection, making it a pass.

 

 

 

Posted in 2011, comedy, Drama, HBO, Rated TV-MA, reviews, Tv shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imposters (Bravo) Rated NR

imposters-bravoCon artist Maddie is as beautiful as she is dangerous. In her wake, she leaves her targets robbed of both their money and their hearts.  However, when she leaves her latest mark, little does she know that other former marks are after her. Starring Inbar Lavi, Brian Benben, Katherine LaNasa.

A well-developed concept with an interesting premise, this show follows Maddie as she adopts different personas in order to capture the hearts and pocketbooks of her marks.  Unexpectedly, it is a comedy, and while it does have some humorous aspects, what makes it engaging is the ever-changing lead character. Definitely one of the better shows this season, Imposters has fantastic writing and a plot line that keeps the viewer on his toes, wondering who the good and bad guys actually are.  The actors are equally fabulous, especially Lavi with her many transformations. This show is worth a watch.

 

Posted in 2017, Bravo, comedy, Rated NR, reviews, Tv shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment