January - Film...2019
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Best of December: Bad Times at the El Royale.
Best foreign language film: The Chorus. (French)
Highly recommended: Red Dog.
Worst of December: Goosebumps 2 (No surprise there!)
My favourite films of the year (in no particular order).
The Shape of Water.
The Death of Stalin.
All the Money in the World.
The 12th Man. (Norway)
Bad Times at the El Royale.
Kills on Wheels. (Hungary)
I couldn't keep it down to 10...Sorry!
Best of December
Best Series: Father Brown
The Great British Baking Show
Secrets and Lies
Worst of December: Dark Crimes
Favorite Films of 2018
The Book of Henry
The 9th Life of Louis Drax
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Wait For Your Laugh
Obit. Life on Deadline
A Star is Born 2018
The Chorus (French)
The Two Mrs. Carrolls
Best Film of December 2018
Documentary- Monkey Business-The Adventures of Curious George’s Creator 5/5 star
Worst Film of December 2018
Affairs of State
A wonderful satirical biopic about Vice President Cheney and his underhanded dealings as a politician. Shocking!
>5 JulieLill: I loved Maudie. I know A Star is Born has had phenomenal reviews. My daughter was impressed with Lady Gaga, but I'll keep on avoiding the weepies. I've added "Wait For Your Laugh" to my list. Thanks for taking the time, and a Happy New Year to you.
>6 JulieLill: This is a definite for me.
>6 JulieLill: I also loved "Maudie" and "The Book of Henry". What a fantastic kid he was.
Wish Upon (2017)
Twelve years after discovering her mother’s suicide, 17-year-old Clare Shannon is bullied in high school, embarrassed by her manic, hoarder father, Jonathan, and ignored by her longtime crush. All that changes when her father comes home with an old music box whose inscription promises to grant its owner seven wishes. While Clare is initially skeptical of this magic box, she can’t help but be seduced by its dark powers, and is thrilled as her life radically improves with each wish. Clare finally has the life she’s always wanted and everything seems perfect...until the people closest to her begin dying in violent and elaborate ways after each wish. Clare realizes that she must get rid of the box, but finds herself unable and unwilling to part with her new-and-improved life...leading her down a dark and dangerous path.
There have been other movies based on this same theme but this one was very well done. It's not Academy Award material but it holds your attention and makes you hope that Clare figures out how to get rid of this thing before her 7th wish. The ending wasn't at all what you expected since you thought Clare had really pulled this final wish thing off.
A Wrinkle In Time
Following the discovery of a new form of space travel as well as Meg's father's disappearance, she, her brother, and her friend must join three magical beings - Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which - to travel across the universe to rescue him from a terrible evil.
An interesting concept. Being Disney it was a bit overdone. It was very, very "busy" for lack of a better word. The scenes that took place in the "universe" became almost painful to watch. I read the book several years ago and I found that it deviated way too much. It was like they just borrowed the name. Still most of it was worth 4 stars.
Three fails at the start of the month/year...not good!
White Boy Rick. (Matthew McConaughey)
State Like Sleep. (Michael Shannon)
Wildlife. (Jake Gyllenhaal)
All in the recycle bin.
Iceman: The Time Traveller. 2018. Chinese fantasy. Donnie Yen as the man with the secret of time-travel, being double-crossed by his brothers-in-arms. Perhaps it might have made more sense if I had seen the prequel, but I very much doubt it. Appalling rubbish. Donnie, my love, what are you doing? 1/10
The Old Man & the Gun. 2018. Biographical crime drama. Robert Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a man addicted to robbing banks. He's been doing it all his life and has spent large chunks of it in prison and again after escaping on numerous occasions. A lone detective (Casey Affleck) begins to piece together the sheer number of robberies carried out by Tucker and his, so called "Over the Hill Gang" and starts closing in on the septuagenarian. A lot is made of his polite manner while robbing a bank, but it may be that being English colours my view of this man who threatens with a gun, no matter how nicely he does it. He doesn't need the money and he has formed an attachment with a nice widow (Sissy Spacek), but is it enough to make him hang up his spurs? 5/10
The Legend of Lucy Keyes (2005)
An urban family leaves city life behind for the confines of rural New England. Little do they know that their new home once belonged to the Keyes family, a clan who experienced the tragic loss of their daughter some 250 years ago.
I love a good ghost story and this one fit that bill perfectly. It's an intriguing story about an old New England legend....supposedly based on a true story. Anyone, like myself, that likes a spine chilling ghost story will love this film.
Watched a TCM film collection on Lucille Ball which included DuBarry Was A Lady, Forever Darling, The Long, Long Trailer and Room Service.
Loved DuBarry Was A Lady and Room Service (which starred the Marx Brothers). The other two were just okay for me.
They Shall Not Grow Old. 2018. WW1 documentary directed by Peter Jackson. The lines of the poem by Laurence Binyon that gave this film it's title always affects me deeply, so I was wary of watching "another" war documentary, but this was absolutely incredible. I wasn't aware that old film had been given technological treatments that turned the old, grainy pictures into pristine footage. The attitude of the "boys" in the trenches both before, and after the conflict showed a people who no longer exist. Their only complaint was that they returned home to a country who often would not employ them. All those dead, and why? They didn't know! Not rated. It obviously wasn't possible to rate the entertainment value. It should be essential viewing.
>16 .cris: My library does a noon film during the winter months once a week. They recently did this one. I missed it but I know the library has it and I would really like to see it. Very nice review.
Wonderful film about the relationships between the English Queen Anne from the18th Century and the two women who vie for her time and love. Great performances from the whole cast! Historical/dark comedy genre.
Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return -- and has no intention of letting her escape.
I found the movie to only be "average." The story suffers from a mediocre plot twist, leading to an anticlimactic ending, after a more than average build-up.
And This is Free: The Life and Times of Chicago's Legendary Maxwell Street
This documentary was a compilation of several segments cobbled together on this DVD. This is one of poorest and boring documentary's I have seen in awhile. This definitely could have been edited better.
A priest is having a personal crisis and gets involved with a pregnant woman and her depressed husband. Things go downhill from there. I did not like this though I did like the cast.
>21 JulieLill: Did you mean "compilation" in your first review? I nearly choked on the first tea of the day when I read what you wrote.
>21 JulieLill: Oh my goodness.... the "complication" of the English language!! You'll be awhile living that one down...but you can blame it on spell check:)
>22 .cris: Sorry for the mis-spelling- I am lol at my mistake!! It would have been a more interesting DVD with the other word!
Before and After (1996)
Two parents...(Merle Streep) and (Liam Neeson)... deal with the effects when their son...(Edward Furlong)...is accused of murdering his girlfriend.
The story got me to thinking what I would have done if my son or daughter had gotten into a similar situation. I understood both parents wanting to protect Jacob and the mother wanting to...and seeing nothing wrong with telling the absolute truth. They hired an attorney but refused to listen to him. I would hope I would be smarter.
This is the 1965 film, starring Jimmy Stewart, of a southern family torn apart during the civil war. The father does not believe in fighting and when one of his sons has been grabbed by the military to fight, he and his other sons go on a quest to find him. I think this holds up pretty well despite its age. I always have enjoyed Jimmy Stewart's films.
>26 JulieLill: Love this movie. It's a good thing since I believe when my mother was here we watched it every other week at least:) I'd say it was her favorite...or at least one of her favorite movies.
Rewatch: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. 1994. Two drag artists and a transgender performer drive a bus from Sydney to Alice Springs. With Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp, this bitter-sweet comedy rocks! 8/10
Keepers ( aka The Vanishing). 2018. A reimagining of the mystery of three lighthouse keepers who disappeared while on duty on the remote Flannan Isle in 1900. Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan grapple with a washed up body and a chest of gold. 6/10
The Book of Henry. 2017. An extremely smart kid suspects that his highly respected neighbour is abusing his step daughter. He can't get anyone to take action, so he comes up with a plan that should be foolproof. He is not aware he will have to ask his mum to carry it out for him. Two cute kids and some tissues required. 7/10
The Killer Inside Me. 2010. A charming Texan police deputy becomes involved with a beautiful prostitute. Together they plan to blackmail the town's wealthiest man, but the cop has a plan of his own. Squeaky-voiced Casey Affleck carried his part with panache. It was recommended to me, so I felt obliged to watch it. It was OK. 4/10
A Twelve -Year Night. 2018. Spanish language, fact based drama set in Uruguay in 1973. A military coup results in three high profile democratic freedom fighters being held in solitary confinement in various establishments over a 12 year period. The ruling government hope that they will be driven mad. Not exactly a barrel of laughs. 6/10
The Favourite. 2018. A very odd film based around Queen Anne who reigned over England, Ireland and eventually the Scots from 1702 - 1707. She was fragile and mercurial and had allowed Sarah, The Duchess of Marlborough to virtually rule in her stead. A penniless relative Sarah's turns up at court looking for work and manages to inveigle herself in with the Queen, much to the horror of Sarah, who sees her power slipping away. Olivia Colman is brilliant as the frail, yet manipulative and deeply depressed monarch. I will be rewatching when it appears in Blu-ray. Beware, it does have lady-sex in it! Funny and sad! 7/10
Keys to the Heart. 2018. Korean comedy/drama. I picked this up because it has Lee Byung-hun as a washed-up boxer with anger issues. He meets his mother who abandoned the family home, due to domestic violence, and who now lives with her autistic son. Filled with hatred for her and with no interest in the young boy, he moves in to freeload. This has the most inappropriate event I've ever witnessed in film and, naughty me, I laugh every time I think of it. Yet another comedy that requires a big hankie. I don't know what's going on with me? Abducted by aliens, and replaced by a doppelganger with overactive tear ducts? There can be no other reason for me crying at everything! 7.5/10
What They Had. 2018. Drama. Hilary Swank plays a dissatisfied wife with a surly daughter. She receives a phone call from her brother (Michael Shannon) who tells her that her mother, who has dementia , has gone missing. She flies home and has to mediate between her father, who wishes to care for his wife at home and her brother, who thinks his mother should be committed to a home that specialises in dementia patients. Good cast and obviously very sad. 5/10
1985. 2018. A young man goes home to Texas for Christmas after three years living in New York. He has news for his parents, but his father's christian beliefs are such that he knows he will be told to expect to burn in the fires of hell. I just wanted the young man to spit it out and do us all a favour. 3/10
>34 .cris: I also saw The Favourite this weekend. I enjoyed it a lot more than The Lobster, the only other film I've seen by that director. Agree about Colman's performance. Also loved the look of it, the attention paid to artifice.
Black Rock (2012)
Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls' weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.
Same old same old...pretty girls go off by themselves to a deserted island ...pretty girls meet creepy guys...creepy guys try to kill them. I did learn some vocabulary from the script though. The only problem is that all the words started with "F".
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