19
Jan
2014

Review of “Riddick”

Rented “Riddick” last night with the husband. I was looking for an entertaining movie, and “Riddick” did not disappoint. “Odysseus in Space”, the movie showcases Vin Diesel’s best growling persona. Abandoned on a hostile planet, Richard B. Riddick battles beasts and mercenaries in an attempt to hijack a spaceship and return to his home planet. Like other good science fiction stories, “Riddick” doesn’t explain everything, just expecting the viewer to accept Riddick’s super hero abilities, the alien environment, and why these people are so darned violent. Oh, and there are jet engine powered motorcycles, a must have for any bad-ass space mercenary. What I liked most about Riddick is that it actually told a story with well-acted supporting characters. Katee Sackhoff always shines as the tough chick and Aussie Matt Nable kinda stole the movie for me. I recommend “Riddick” as a great veg-on-the-couch rental.

08
Jan
2014

Review of “Captain Phillips”

The fact that most viewers know how the story of Captain Phillips ends is inconsequential. This movie grabs you from the time Captain Richard Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, boards the Maersk Alabama until the nail biting end. The hand-held camera device made me dizzy at first, but half way through the movie, I didn’t care anymore. Hanks shines as the tough as nails Yankee captain who repeatedly risks his own life in an attempt to stall desperate Somali pirates. Director Paul Greengrass shows, rather than tells, the utter hopelessness of the kidnappers’ plans. From the sweeping aerial view of the enormous cargo ship being pursued by tiny skiffs, to the harrowed faces of the drug addicted Somalis, to the “Holy crap, are they ‘gonna shoot or not?” climax, you won’t move past the edge of your seat. By the end of the movie, the viewer is emotionally drained, but left thinking, “What would I have done in his place?” I highly recommend “Captain Phillips.”

02
Aug
2013

My Movie Bucket List

This is the American Film Institute’s list of the 100
Greatest Movies, selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon
panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American
movie community.
1.CITIZEN KANE (1941)
2.CASABLANCA (1942)
3.GODFATHER, THE (1972)
4.GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
5.LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
6.WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
7.GRADUATE, THE (1967)
8.ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
9.SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
10.SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)
11.IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
12.SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
13.BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957)
14.SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
15.STAR WARS (1977)
16.ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
17.AFRICAN QUEEN, THE (1951)
18.PSYCHO (1960)
19.CHINATOWN (1974)
20.ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)
21.GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940)
22.2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
23.MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
24.RAGING BULL (1980)
25.E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
26.DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
27.BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
28.APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
29.MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
30.TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
31.ANNIE HALL (1977)
32.GODFATHER PART II, THE (1974)
33.HIGH NOON (1952)
34.TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
35.IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
36.MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
37.BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, THE (1946)
38.DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
39.DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
40.NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
41.WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
42.REAR WINDOW (1954)
43.KING KONG (1933)
44.BIRTH OF A NATION, THE (1915)
45.STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, A (1951)
46.CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A (1971)
47.TAXI DRIVER (1976)
48.JAWS (1975)
49.SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
50.BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
51.PHILADELPHIA STORY, THE(1940)
AFI is a trademark of the American Film Institute. Copyright 2005 American Film Institute. All Rights Reserved.
52.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
53.AMADEUS (1984)
54.ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
55.SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965)
56.M*A*S*H(1970)
57.THIRD MAN, THE (1949)
58.FANTASIA (1940)
59.REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
60.RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
61.VERTIGO (1958)
62.TOOTSIE (1982)
63.STAGECOACH (1939)
64.CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)
65.SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE (1991)
66.NETWORK (1976)
67.MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE (1962)
68.AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN (1951)
69.SHANE (1953)
70.FRENCH CONNECTION, THE (1971)
71.FORREST GUMP (1994)
72.BEN-HUR (1959)
73.WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
74.GOLD RUSH, THE (1925)
75.DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)
76.CITY LIGHTS (1931)
77.AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
78.ROCKY (1976)
79.DEER HUNTER, THE (1978)
80.WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)
81.MODERN TIMES (1936)
82.GIANT (1956)
83.PLATOON (1986)
84.FARGO (1996)
85.DUCK SOUP (1933)
86.MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
87.FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
88.EASY RIDER (1969)
89.PATTON (1970)
90.JAZZ SINGER, THE (1927)
91.MY FAIR LADY (1964)
92.PLACE IN THE SUN, A(1951)
93.APARTMENT, THE (1960)
94.GOODFELLAS (1990)
95.PULP FICTION (1994)
96.SEARCHERS, THE (1956)
97.BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
98.UNFORGIVEN (1992)
99.GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
www.afi.com

30
Jul
2013

Monsters University, Part 1

I can only write about the first half of Monsters University, ’cause that’s all I saw. Here’s why: took all three kids to see a movie for the first time. My (almost) four year old daughter did great for the first half – not so much during the second half. And why do kids’ movies have thirty minutes of previews anyway? Her popcorn was gone by the time the movie started. And that was bad.

From what I saw of Monsters it was great. Everything you would want to see Mike and Sully doing in college. The fact that Disney managed to make a G rated movie about college may have been the best part. I didn’t see much after the point in the story where Mike and Sully and their band of misfits tried to break into the power plant. My daughter and I ran up and down the halls of the theater while my sister and boys watched all the cool looking monsters do funny and amazing things – becoming lifelong best friends in the process. At least that’s how I imagine it ended.

There’s hope! It’s called Blu-ray. And if Monsters University is like every other Pixar disk in my house, it will play over and over again for days and days to the point where I can recite the dialogue – backwards – in my sleep. Can’t wait!

15
Jul
2013

Pacific Rim was a blast!

I took my ten year old son and his friend to see “Pacific Rim”. Great fun for a Godzillas vs. Robots movie. The CGI was outstanding. The boys sat slack-jawed still during the entire show. It may have actually changed their lives. I laughed at the stiff dialog and out of place characters, but HEY, it was ten story human piloted robots taking out giant alien monsters with lasers and metal chewing acid. I’m still not sure why Ron Perelman’s character got eaten by a newborn alien monster, so I think I might just need to go see it again.