Becoming Jane, Tom Selleck, and Jack Palance

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Mr. McAvoy was the faun in Narnia then the irresponsible doc in The Last King of Scotland. I don’t recall his blue blue eyes in either one of those shows. The were more noticeable in Children of Dune. This movie is a fictionalized drama based on the life of Jane Austen and follows Pride and Prejudice up to a point. I can’t say how it deviates for fear of spoiling it. I liked it and will give it 3/5 acorns. The scenery is gorgeous and the castles amazing. I have to admit, I have never made it through any of Jane Austen’s books, but I have loved every single movie based on them that I have watched, including at least 3 versions of Pride and Prejudice.

I watched Stone Cold on the tube. Tom Selleck plays a divorced LA policeman who moves to a small town to become sheriff. Apparently this is the first of 3 stories based on this character. A serial killer shows up in the small town and Tom is on them in a second. Of course he has his personal dramas and also has to solve a rape case along the way. He also acquires a dog and loses a girlfriend. He is still attached to his ex, and the bottle. I was entertained. Mr Selleck is aging well. He isn’t the deepest actor, but many shows need a Marlboro man. OMG, I just read that Tom was never the Marlboro man. Wonder who started that rumor?

The show is not too original but entertaining.  I will give it 2/5 acorns.  Some dead bodies show up so the clive avoiders can turn away, but it is made for TV, so no real brain spatter on innards.

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Another TV movie I watched was Living with the Dead. Ted Danson talks to the dead. In fact the dead seek him out and try to get him to solve the mysteries of their deaths. Stephen Gyllenhal, dad of Maggie and Jake directs. Queen Latifah is also in this show. She plays a close friend of Ted who is dying of cancer. Mary Steenburgen is a detective who enlists Ted’s aid in solving murders. Jack Palance, the man I love to hate, showed up as his dad. He played a lot of bad guys in his day, and had just the face for it. Just the typical Ukrainian cowboy. He passed away in 2006, acording to IMDB after a very long career. IMDB also mentions he was in, “the biblical bomb”, The Silver Chalice. I will digress a bit to take issue with that. I loved the book which I borrowed twice from the church library, and hey, Paul Newman was in it, too. This movie was made in 2002, 3 years after the Sixth Sense the quintescential talking to the dead movie, imo.  Another not too original show, but entertaining and worth 2/5 acorns.

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Show me the movies!

The two free trial sure went by fast. The service has been pretty amazing. There is a local warehouse and the turn around time is 3 days. Now I have lots of movies to review.

Alphaville is on pretty much every SciFi list of required movies. It is French and in French with subs. It is very slow by today’s standards and takes a bit of concentration to get in to. The special effects are un-amazing by today’s standard. Perhaps I have become accustomed to the idea that the future will be radically different from 2007 and technology will have changed the world so much that what I see today will just be tiny bits of rubble. In this world people are executed for irrational thoughts and every day phrases are deleted from the dictionary so that people can no longer think these irrational thoughts. Love and all feeling are pretty much on the list. Director Jean-Luc Goddard has the criminals executed in a very unique way…as the criminal says his piece he is shot and falls into a swimming pool. A synchronized swimming team dives in and finishes the execution.

The lead man, Eddie Constantine, plays a man from the Outland. I never saw him before in anything, and he is discribed as “craggy”. He is a caricature of the film noir detective. When asked why he shot the man in his rooms, he mutters something like…I’m too old to talk so I just shoot.

Now I can say I saw it. The themes have been updated in movies such as Bladerunner and Terminator. I will rate this one 2.5/5 acorns. No clives.

Samurai Champloo is a 26 episode anime about the adventures of two samurai and women, who meet by chance and form a pact. The two guys won’t kill each other until they successfully help her find a samurai who smells like sunflowers. It has a hip hop soundtrack. I enjoyed the first disc and only hve 5 to go go. So far 3/5 acorns.

Samurai Champloo

The Fountain stars Hugh Jackman and is rated 7.6 by Internet Movie Database. I had a difficult time following this movie although it was in English. It jumps between 3 parallel worlds. Hugh is trying to find a cure for his wife who is very ill. The director, Darren Aronovsky from Brooklyn, has also done Pi, and very strange movie, and also Requiem for a Dream which I still have not been able to sit through. In the sequence closes to the 21st century, Hugh is scientist who is so driven to finding a cure for his wife, he crosses ethical boundaries and sacrifices valuable moments he could have shared with her. It didn’t work too well for me. I will rate it 2/5 acorns.

Earthsea is a made for TV movie based on books by Ursula K. LeGuin. Ursula LeGuin was born in Berkely of scholarly parents and met her husband, another Fulbright scholar in Paris France. She now lives in Portland, Oregon. Earthsea is a land of wizards and magic, and a young man mentored by Danny Glover, goes off to find his destiny in wizard school. He inadvertently creates an evil Gebbeth that tries to take his soul. The city is governed by a ruthless man who has designs on the full power of the high priestess and her amulet. She has the keys and half the amulet which keeps the evil powers at bay. This was an entertaining show, very TV. I will rate it 2.5/5 acorns.

Jerry McGuire was on TV and although I’d seen it before, I didn’t remember most of it. There was local girl, Mrs. John Travolta, Kelly Preston, playing a barracuda and the sweet Renee Zellweger as the “real” woman. Tom Cruise was very good, but Cuba Gooding, Jr. steals the show imo. He dances, he plays football, he is loyal, loves his family and he is one hyper dude! And he has the great line “Show me the money!” Tom’s character is ruthless sport’s agent, who has let his success go to his head. He has it all, he thinks, the best clients, the lifestyle and a successful business. When he shows a bit of integrity, his world starts to crumble, leaving him nearly broke, with one loyal client and one employee who believes in him. I will rate this one 4/5 acorns. It has staying power.

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Army of Shadows and Bourne Ultimatum or How to Make a Glowing Tomato

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/757249/make_a_glowing_tomato/

Ultimatum, ultomato, glowing tomato, get it? Okay, I’ll keep my day job.

Army of Shadows is a French 1969 movie about the French Resistence druing WW2. My first impression of this movie occurred while trying to needle felt acorns. Reading subtitles and stabbing wool with sharp objects are not compatible and the movie is gloomy and austere. As the pressure on me was to return this flick for another during my free two week trial with Netflicks, I found dedicated time and must say this movie drew me in. There is no humor here. My knowlege of French history for this period is very limited. The stakes are high for these characters in the resistance. The code of secrecy is unforgiving. It’s not a story or life for the faint of heart. It stirred an interest for more about this period of French history although the costumes and setting have none of the color and beauty of the Renaissance. I will rate this 3/5 acorns. There is some torture so I’ll add a small clive

Bourne Ultimatum is one rousing, continuous chase scene. It has great bad guys in Scott Glen (or is it Glen Scott?), David Strathairn, and Albert Finney and great good women in Julia Stiles and Joan Allen. Matt Damon does a convincing Bourne. I will rate this 4/5 acorns. I love the action. There are some great hand to hand combat scenes with another “asset” and the ending is quite satisfying.

Netflicks arrives

Well those ads for 2 free week trial finally lured me in and I created a list of movies to watch.

The Secret was not what I expected.  I thought it was a movie, but instead came off more like a seminar with testimonials of how the secret tranformed lives.   It is all very mysterious and I’m still not sure why it was deemed necessary to keep the Secret and secret.  The great secret is that positive thinking, not the wishful kind, creates an energy that can get people anything they they want.  If a person nurtures a sense of gratitude and joy, good things follow.   I didn’t watch all the way through.  I won’t rate it because it’s not a movie.

The Thin Red Line is a story about Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands.  It was a pivotal battle won by the Allied Forces in the Pacific against the Japanese in 1942-1943.  There are a ton of actors in this movie and from what I’ve read, many scenes were cut, including those with Viggo Mortensen, Brad Pitt, and Billy Bob Thorton.  Elias Koteas has a nice role.  I was pleased to read that other confuse him with Christopher Meloni.  Christopher Meloni is a little taller and French/Italian, and Elias Koteas is Greek.   Nick Nolte is a bit over the top in his performance.  John Travolta and John Cusack both have small parts.

The realities of war are painted with forceful fire, and blood spatter.  It tries to see war in general as well as this specific battle from the viewpoint of many different participants. ..the natives of the island, the Japanese, a seasoned military man at the end of his career who has been passed up, the new recruits,  and many more.  War is brutal stuff.  Both sides do horrible things.  The innocent suffer.  Down there in the trenches does one know the bigger picture and why?

This movie is in contrast to the war pictures I grew up with, where no questions are asked about who are the heroes.  I learned a bit of history reading about Guadalcanal.

My two first movies were okay.  The service was something else.  Bet I extend longer the then 2 week free trial, as long as there are movies for me to pick!

Ratatouille, Review

Ratatouille is an animated film from the Nemo people, Pixar. Remy is a country rat who is born with a gift. He has very acute senses of taste and smell. His father gives him a job smelling all the garbage as he can pick out the poison, but he finds this job un-fulfilling and boring. He dreams of becoming a great chef. While in search of saffron for his mushroom dish, he causes the destruction of his rodent clan’s habitat, and in the exodus he is separated from his family. He ends up in Paris, home of his idol, the great TV chef, Gasteau. Unfortunately, Gateau has died and his restaurant has declined from 5 to 3 stars. But, the ghost of Gateau speaks to the starving Remy and he ends up the kitchen where the real adventure begins.

Will Remy realize his dream of becoming a great chef? Will he find his family again? Will Gasteau’s restaurant rise to it’s former glory? Will the dense but agile Linquini find his destiny and true love? Can a rat make it in the human world? My lips are sealed.

Acute movie, I will rate 4/5 acorns.

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Earth Girls are Easy, Review

Earth Girls are Easy is a 1988 flick starring Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayons. Geena Davis is a tall woman at 6 feet and she was married during this period to Jeff Goldblum who is at least 6’4″. All that tallness…sigh. 3 furry aliens crash land in Geena Davis’s swimming pool in the Valley. They are horny having been in space for quite a while, and catch a Finnish commercial from earth with some Finnish babes. They start arguing over them, even though they are hairless and accidently steer the ship into her pool. She has been trying to spice up her romance with her fiancee, a clueless, self centered doctor. After going blonde with the help of Julie Brown, her salon buddy and doing research she lays in wait for him at home, only to find that he has a brought a nurse home with him. Jim and Damon are in search of Finland babes. Geena explains they are in the Valley, and that Finland is the capital of Sweden. Jeff, however, falls for her.

Most sites give this flick lackluster ratings and reviews, but I love this movie cuz it’s scifi, dumb and has a happy ending. Actually fast-rewind.com rates it well, so I’ll agree with them and give it 3.8/5 acorns. Absolutely no clives unless you want to count the fish in a scene reminiscent of A Fish Called Wanda made the same year.

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Mutant bean?  While all the beans puffed up with soaking, what’s up with this giant lima bean?  Is it a mutant?  Was it bombarded with gamma rays?  Inquiring minds wanna know!