Sunday, April 19, 2015

RECKONING with PAUL BETTANY

RECKONING -- Evidently there are two movies called Reckoning released the same year. The other Reckoning is described as a horror movie and is NOT this one.

First, Paul Bettany is not hard on the eyes. Blue eyes and blond hair. Excellent actor.



I think what I like best about him is his deep voice and lovely British accent.

I first noticed him in the movie A Beautiful Mind. He was the imaginary friend of John Nash. He also met his wife on the set of that movie--Jennifer Connelly. He has played priests and monks in a few movies like Da Vinci Code and sequel.

Bettany has a list of other movies on IMDb. He's been a supporting actor much of the time. Plays, now one of the characters in Avengers; a red guy with a strange costume.

In Reckoning he is the lead character. The movie hinges on his character. In literary terms the story is told from his POV (point of view.) That doesn't mean he narrates, just in case you wonder.

I thought Reckoning was a newer movie than it is. Came out in 2003-2004. I assume both has to do with when it was released in Britain and then in the United States. I don't care enough to stop here and look it up.

I now have, in addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Acorn and several free streaming channels such as Crackle, PBS, History. I assume I am now a movieholic, huh?

I will tell you now that Reckoning is a deep movie. The blurbs about the plot of the movie are shallow so don't even bother to look them up. For instance it's a drama not a mystery. It's awesome in the true definition of the word. It's about a priest who leaves his church in the Middle Ages. He find himself in a group of actors who travel from town to town to put on morality plays (stories from the Bible.)

The priest sees an injustice in the town and tries to convince his acting troupe to put on a play about recent events in the town with hopes of helping the townspeople see themselves in a new light.

There is also several mysteries, one in which he has to reveal he is a priest. There is suspense and danger. Tension and strength of character. In short I was blow away by this movie though it doesn't really try to do that. It's just a good movie.

There is nothing wrong with any part of this movie. Everything and everyone is wonderful. 

It's a dang good movie for the thinking-person. If you like to watch movies with LIFE portrayed in a dramatic, dynamic way please watch this movie.

Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany 





Friday, July 25, 2014

THE END OF THE BIG BANG THEORY

How do you want The Big Bang Theory to end? Not yet, I hope, but eventually. The shows we love are gone before we're ready.(Like Star Trek faded into oblivion?)


WHY is Sheldon Cooper smiling?


Assuming they don't reverse the big bang and suck all reality back into a vast void, I'd like to see how everyone's lives end up like this.

Of course, Penny and Leonard marry. Each other. Since Harry and Hermione didn't end up together, I would like to see Penny and Leonard stick together in a true love relationship. Like Chuck and Sara and Pete and Myca. (If you consider these to be spoilers, oh come on. Everyone knows already.)

Howard and Bernadette split up & plan to go separate ways--he's hired by a big company where he can meet with beautiful models and find the "future Mrs. Wolowitz" or two. Bernadette lands big job overseas as a class one scientist and waves good-bye.

Raj finally lands a brown girl that his parents will like. He skypes Mommy and Daddy and tells them he has met a girl who has recently relocated to southern California.  They are thrilled to hear she is Indian. He introduces her, Tamaya Echohawk from Pawnee.

Here it gets tricky.

Amy gets a make over, at the urging of Penny and Bernadette, for a party celebrating the engagement of Raj and Tamaya.  Amy proves to be a shapely, pretty girl with long soft curls and red highlights, in a gold lame' dress and  sexy heels (well, not too high.) She comes on to Sheldon but he backs off in embarrasment. Fortunately Stuart is there and Amy, snapping out of her disappointment, catches his eye. We finally get to see Stuart smile. Amy smiles back and asks him to dance.

Mrs. Wolowitz asks her butcher to move in with her. She's happy in-love since she has someone she can feed and boss around.

Sheldon falls head-over-heels in love. He is amazed at how his OCD (or whatever he has) fades to the background when he meets someone with whom he could have lasting relationship.  He tells his mother he has met someone that has rocked his world, a Roger Smirnoff who's a scientist from a nearby University whose IQ & accomplishments rival his own. 

His mom is is pleased but curious. "What do you mean seeing someone named Roger?" 

Shelton tells her Amy has deserted him for Stuart and that Roger is his boyfriend. 

His mom: "Shelly, what do you think Jesus would think of this?" 

Sheldon smiles a big sincere grin and and starts humming the tune of a song his mother sang to him as a little boy. 

End. Strange but funny. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

STREAMING AS A WAY OF LIFE

I began this way of life with Netflix DVD rentals using an online account. Then I switched to streaming because it was faster & I didn't have to drive to my mailbox (it's two miles from my house and uphill both ways.)

I got a Roku device which gives me access to a myriad of channels.  Receives signals from my wireless internet connection.

Despite the prevalence of identity theft (sez who?) and possible hacking (like the NSA?) I do use my cards on-line. Who would want my credit rating, low CC limits and measly bank account balance?  I'm told, "They can get your information and set up credit in your name!" Fat chance. I can't even do that.

Next my sister --from different parents-- told me about the Acorn channel. It's British TV in one convenient place changing and updating available show regularly.  An  excellent (low) yearly fee.

I like the British detectives & mystery shows. Those shows are not as graphically violent as American shows (and not nearly as stupid). British detectives solve cases, arrest bad guys, all without guns & handcuffs. Except Swedish detective Wallender; when he shot a bad guy he promptly had a nervous breakdown and quit his job. Until the next season. 

British shows do NOT have the characters speak in phony accents. They talk the way they talk. If a person is supposedly speaking Swedish would he have a Swedish accent? Of course not.

I'm pleased to say, I now can understand most of the British accents including Scottish, Irish and Welsh. I'm also good at reading closed captioning without taking my eyes and ears off the action. 

I also have Crackle, Popcorn Flix, (why did I mention popcorn--I can "smell" it. My mouth is watering), Film Noir, PBS, Smithsonian, Premier, Docudrama & History. In fact I added PopFlix Classics while I was researching Roku just now.  

I did a search for a new series The Americans. I liked Matthew Rhys in Brothers and Sisters.   SPOILER:   The Americans is about a couple of Russian spies during the Reagan era who were assigned to work together passing as Americans. They bought a house, opened a travel agency to make a living and are so under cover they've had kids.

These "Americans" spy on as many agencies as they can, bullying people who would rather be moles than dead. They regularly go deeper undercover, i.e. the "husband" recently married another women who is now an unwitting source in the NSA & FBI. Oh. They occasionally assassinate people.

The Americans is a current series. Season One was on Amazon Prime so I signed up for a free trial. I didn't get through all the episodes, so when my free trial was over I stuck around and became a paid member of Amazon Prime.

Surprise surprise. Amazon Prime doesn't offer all movies for free. I will have to pay for season 2 episodes of The Americans as they are released. Boo hiss.

With some shows on Amazon it's cheaper to buy the entire DVD set. Like CHUCK. But you've heard me mention him before (Chuck=Zac Levi). Major crush.

[With Amazon Prime I also get free two day deliveries of books. I feel guilty when the UPS man has to drive so far back into the woods for one book. He says he enjoys being out in the country. I'll make sure I don't order a book when it's muddy or snowing.]

I do recommend getting an inexpensive streaming device like Roku or using your Wi-fi (whatever that is). Don't go wild signing up for premium channels. There are zillions of shows to choose from free of charge. Especially if you like B-movies. I think streaming free channel through Roku is cheaper than cable. (There is always network TV to fall back on, too.)  

However: I'd like to remind you if you have a spouse or a sweetheart, pay attention to them frequently. Don't forget to read. Travel. Eat at a table. Avoid becoming a couch-potato. Life is short. Be in your own home "reality show" as often as you can.

Friday, February 14, 2014

SLEUTH -- REMAKE 2007

I ordered Sleuth DVD from Netflix.

It arrived and I rubbed my hands together in anticipation.

I saw Sleuth years ago when movies were shown on television on network or local stations for free. I was anxious to see if it was as good as I'd remembered. (It was made in 1972.)

I loved it. I was impressed. It was an unexpected plot done in a new way. Perhaps like a play in a small theater. Thoughtful. Tense suspense.

When I took the DVD out of the package I saw it was the newer version of Sleuth. I watched it anyway.

I don't believe it was anything like the older version except for the title and the fact there were two men in a battle of wits.

Remakes rarely do justice to the original screen play. Just as stage plays rarely translate to the silver screen or a movie from a book. 

I was disappointed with this remake.

I was, however, impressed that two non-handsome men were cast in the roles. Pretty-boys just wouldn't have worked. What happened to the old days when actors just looked like everyday people?

Using literary dialogue was refreshing too after so many trite new movies. Too bad the story wasn't convincing. The acting was good but the story fell flat. The suspense was mostly waiting for the real suspense to start.

In my opinion. You can decide for yourself if you like it. I don't care either way. I'm not selling anything.

If you haven't seen the original Sleuth and don't know anything about the plot you might like as just a plain old motion picture. I think it'd be a waste of your time.

I do recommend you see the original movie Sleuth. Lawrence Olivier was a pro. The younger generations ought to be given the opportunity to experience and appreciate him if nothing else.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

THOR: THE DARK WORLD & ZACHARY LEVI

Chuck: Intersect & Spy

Fandral: a blond Chuck?

 





I saw Thor: The Dark World today.

I mainly went to see Zac Levi as Fandral. He looked real real good. I just wish he'd been in more scenes. At least a good close-up.  

In fact, I wish all the characters weren't just cardboard characters. The comic-hero movies are as long as other movies and enough to develop the characters more. Maybe less FX and battling? Not all of us go to movies to see a ton of smashing and killing.

The fact is, I'm sold on 3D movies. They sure have changed since I saw 3D in the 1950's.

Zach played the title role in the TV series Chuck. He sure was a cutie in that show. Good comedic actor.

Super-spoiler here: Wasn't that Stan Lee that asked for his shoe back?

Zachary Levi

About Shades of Ray, 2008, Austin Film Festival now on HuluPlus


Saturday, January 25, 2014

WHAT DO CHUCK AND THOR SEQUEL THE DARK WORLD HAVE IN COMMON? ZACHARY LEVI

Alrighty. I've done it again. Fallen in-love with a movie star. My "affair" with The Phantom is over. (The phantom of the opera, that is.) Farewell Gerry Butler.  

My new romance all started when I saw that Chuck was finally on Netflix streaming. It had been one of the TV series my late husband Ed really liked. Ed died before the end of the series.
I wanted to finish watching it for Ed. I stuck around for Chuck. And Zachary Levi. 

The show was funny & cute, then entertaining, then good and then a production of quality. I watched a bunch of kids blossom into some seriously good actors.

Zachary Levi is easy on the eyes. His voice is terrific. He's tall and good looking with curly dark hair and a repertoire of facial expressions that are ... how shall I put this? ... adorable.  He exudes emotion as the character. Many smiles. Wow- smiles. Some people don't notice.  I fall in-love.

He's young. Somewhere between the age of my youngest son and oldest grandson. God, am I old or what?

While I'm waiting for the DVD of Thor II, I thought I'd watch the first Thor on DVD. I can't say it blew me away.  I'm sorry I missed both movies on the big screen. Unfortunately the trend in action movies is towards FX for 3D and less on story and character. Oh well.

Zack plays Fandral in Thor: The Dark World. I hope Fandral is on the screen more than he was in first movie. Fandral was, well, underwhelming.
 
I can't wait to see Zack with goatee & blond hair. Yum. I can almost forgive him for not having bright blue eyes. He makes brown eyes work.



Way to go "Agent Carmichael". Love ya.
Congrats, Zack, for making it on the big screen as well as the small (AND the stage. Bet you were great.)

You look like you're having fun. You make it fun for the fans.

Sing more, and star in your own movies. Looking forward.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

DOC MARTIN, SEASON 6, SEMI-SPOILER

I loved the first 5 seasons. I saw them on Netflix. Doc Martin is an hour-long British television series with upbeat musical background and no irritating laugh-tracks. It started life as a comedy with dramatic elements, but now I'm not so sure what it is.

Season 6, which I had anticipated eagerly, is on Acorn channel. (one additional  episode is posted every Monday throughout November.)

I must say, if it's aiming at comedy this year, it's not very funny. If it's now trying to be a drama with humorous elements inserted, it barely achieves that either.

The first first 4 episodes stink. Doc Martin is so detached; he appears majorly unhappy and angry. In some instances he seems so detached as to appear unconcerned and even neglectful. It appears he doesn't like anyone and shows a cold-shoulder for everyone including Louisa and his baby. What the hell?


See?
Doc Martin comes across, not as the grouch House did in his series, but as a robot adjusted to the wrong setting. Even Data wasn't this mechanical. In my opinion the writers have gone overboard with his disagreeableness into the area of  mood disorder or even sociopath and not just OCD and/or high functioning autistic.

If I were Louisa I would soon consider his behavior emotionally abusive. I'd not only move out of Doc's house but out of Port Wenn. I just can't see how Doc and Louisa ever got friendly enough to get pregnant. Is this his true reaction to being married? If Doc is as grumpy in the dark as he is during the day I don't see how they ever had a kid. There is absolutely no tenderness. He doesn't ever say thank you to anyone. Nor smile & coo at the baby.

They also make Louisa into something of a nag while trying to force some reaction out of him. She was such a lovely optimistic girl. I'm beginning to doubt her sanity this season.

Have they changed writers? Directors? Has Martin Clune gotten sick of the role? 

Where are the camera shots of the houses and streets we are familiar with? Have they moved Port Wenn? It's disconcerting because it was so lovely. I miss the inside of the Inn and scenes of Burt's cafe. The  beautiful steep hills, and especially the tide going in and out with the quaint boats. 

The wedding was uneventful, not funny nor serious. Where the heck is the tenderness and loving behavior from newlyweds? (That's the spoiler here, I guess.) Liz and Richard did better in The Taming of the Shrew. THAT was a funny wedding.

I must admit Doc Martin picks up in episode 5: The Practice Around the Corner, (a title that makes no sense). The episode focuses on other characters -- the police officer, Al and his dad Burt, and Mrs.Tishell. These story lines were more "cute" than funny.  I like the way they are woven together throughout the hour.

At least Doc appears a little softer around the edges in episode 5. He actually says "Bye" to his aunt when she says "Bye" to him. What a shock. He shows a little concern for Louisa when she has a bit of insomnia. He actually reveals some emotions about his own insomnia and leaks a  modicum of worry about another aspect in the story. 

(Don't these newlyweds handle insomnia like other couples? I'm just sayin...)

He even seems introspective at the end of that episode which is a surprise because Doc has always seemed devoid of any self-awareness. The word oblivious comes to mind.

I'm hoping season 6 of Doc Martin continues to get better because this has been one of the best comedy shows to come around in long time. Compared to earlier near-perfection this season falls apart. 

I'm disappointed but I still love the show and I will continue to watch it. So don't let me deter you. If Doc Martin ends it would be really sad.








Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MATTHEW GOODE & STOKER

Stoker  

From IMDb: "After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him" 

Ha ha, very funny. This is not what I would say about this movie. 

Director:


I have no idea what other works the director and writer have done. I don't really care.  

I feel in love with Matthew Goode in Leap Year, a movie he himself said was not a good movie and was basically a waste of time for him to make. I thought his acting in Leap Year was wonderful; the screenplay was an exceptionally written romantic comedy.

Stoker was weird. It wasn't very suspenseful. The meant-to-be-shocking scenes were telegraphed. It was guessable.

My reaction when the DVD was over, the credits rolling and the strange eerie elevator music came on, was to laugh. Laugh out-loud as in LOL. I live alone. I laugh often. Life is funny. 

It's pretty much an ego trip for the director. It's very artistically done; what I like to call artsy craftsy. The story and acting were pretty much a side effect o the cinematography with it's close ups of people and textures and attempted distortion of images. Like I said artsy/craftsy.

I don't believe I need or want to see Stoker again. Not because it was bad but because...well, I don't know. I can't explain what this movie is. I guess the word that comes to mind is "okay" or  "blah" or "bleh."

I'm sometimes slow to catch on, like not realizing Departed meant "dearly departed" as everyone is dead by the end. It won the academy award. I didn't like it. My reaction to that was OMG. I didn't like it. I watched it for Leo because he's cute and I still hate Matt.

Stoker was about a family with the surname Stoker. Now have you ever heard of anyone named Stoker? Have you seen it in the telephone directory? The only place I've seen that name is on the cover of Dracula. It was written by Bram Stoker a long time ago. 

I don't know if they titled this movie as a warning to be on the look-out for a semi-horror movie. (It has nothing to do with vampires. So Twilight fans--too bad.)

After Matthew Goode bad-mouthed Leap Year, his American film career came to a slow halt.

After Leap Year he did an Australian film. The Burning Man. It was billed as a story about a chef whose wife dies and he has a young son--you get the idea. I have no idea what that movie was supposed to be about but that wasn't it. It was horrid. Worse than Chasing Liberty which I hated. I turned off Burning Man DVD before it was half way done.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to find a new favorite actor. My advice now is that Matthew Goode ought to change careers & look for another job. He's been a cook in a couple movies so maybe that would be a good idea. I had high hopes for him' dashed to the ground. I'm disappointed in him though his acting as Stoker wasn't bad.

Oh I nearly forgot. Nicole Kidman looked so much like Amy Adams in some scenes that it was eerie. The red-hair and the profile. I'm surprised that her character wasn't named Anna since Goode has been with a number of Anna characters. 

Some people loved this movie. You might like it. It was just a movie though. I never forgot it was a movie. Un-emotional, un-frightening, non-dimensional characters.  

OK, I'll shut up now.



 

Monday, August 5, 2013

THE BROKEN (2008)

I watched half of this movie one night and didn't like it. I was startled by a scene that made me think it was a horror film and I didn't want to risk it.

The next night my curiosity got the best of me and I watched the second half.

If you like mini-horror, suspense, and puzzlement, this movie is for you,.

I had to look it up on IMDb to find out if what I suspected was true.

The plot is very simple though wrapped in a lot of details. If you think like I do, and you think you know what's going on, well, you're right.

The best part was the star Lena Headey. She's beautiful and elegant and does a really good confused and sort-of-scared face. She very easy on the eyes and her acting is good though not great which might be because of the script.

You might remember her as the Queen in 300.Pretty, huh?

There are other movies called Broken and Broken Something Else so look for it on one of the streaming services.

That's my movie opinion. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

WHO ARE ELI STONE and JONNY LEE MILLER?

Jonny was born in London.
Jonny Lee Miller stars in flop after flop on television. 

It's not his fault.. He's a good actor. He's just an ordinary person, not a glamorous looking guy. We don't see enough average guys in show/movies much anymore. 



   
Tho I wish he'd pick an accent and stick to it. (I can't understand the one he uses in Elementary.) His American is good; his British, in all it's varieties, is not so good (which iS funny considering he's a Brit.)

Eli Stone is a cute series. Cancelled after one season. (That follows my belief that television producers don't want to present quality shows for intelligent, thoughtful people in search of quality stories. They want to reach people who loved Married with Children and Dog the Bounty Hunter (no offense, I like Dog sometimes.)

So, why the hell was Eli Stone cancelled?

It was well done with an appeal half way between serious and funny. Entertaining and fun. Quality. Damn it.

Luckily, it's on Netflix and other streaming sites. I found it there thinking it was lost forever. 

I liked it when it was new, on once a week. Disappointed when it was cancelled. I'd forgotten most of the details and it was delightful recently for the second and third time. If my memory failure holds out, I'll watch it again, I'm sure.

If you liked it or never heard of it, give it a look-see. 


Thanks



BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH



He's great in Sherlock.

I suspect he'll be a major, well-know actor from Star Trek: Into Darkness when it hits the theaters.


I love his British accent. 

Go Ben!

MERCURY RISING 1998

I admit I'm about 15 to 50 years behind in my movie viewing pleasure. I suspect many of you, like I, now have streaming, cable, satellite, and/or DVD service. Sometimes I only go to the theater to eat delicious popcorn in the quiet dark. At lot of times lately, I don't find the movies very good.
If you're like me, you'll surf through listings under every genre, sampling a few or adding them to your watchlist. We're all looking for something we'll like. Something "good" that meets our own requirements.
Since there's a zillion movies out in cyberland, it's often better to know the title of a movie to find a good one.  So here's one I like.
Mercury Rising from 1998. 
I know. When Bruce Willis first started in television on  Moonlighting with Cybill Shepherd, I thought he was a cute little a jerk trying to be funny. His best feature was his crooked smile. Later I revised my opinion to "a jerk who likes to pretend he's tough."
Bruce has flung himself all over the universe and traipsed all through the genres. Dozens and  dozens of movies to his credit.
The real news it, now I realize that he's a damn good actor. He's not Bruce Willis as a character, he's a character in Bruce Willis. Part of his expertise is that he doesn't make it look like expertise. He makes acting look easy. It just rolls off of him naturally.
Another important aspect is he is, for the most part, in damn good movies.
Another thing or two I like about Bruce Willis is his Pennsylvania accent (I've never heard him fake a souther, Bostonian, or British movie.) That he gives his kids odd names (cool). And--he's brave enough to walk around with the name Bruce. It's not a name most people would equate with tough guy or romantic lead. But you know? It doesn't matter.

I didn't know a thing about Mercury Rising. I don't know how I missed seeing it all these years (it came out in 1998; and I can't remember for the life of me what I was doing in 1998.) 

It's a good movie. Bruce isn't so much of a tough guy as he's also a compassionate guy. A guy that wants to do the right thing. I like that in a character. 
It isn't a violent movie despite some of the shoot-em-up scenes. I'll say without purposes of spoilers the only person he offs in this movie is in self defense.
I like thrillers to be thrilling. Even if I know it's gonna turn out ok a the end, I still want nail-biting, edge-of-seat, heart-beating suspense. Those with intense feelings (if only on occasion it's my own feelings. A movie or actor that makes me feel my feelings is a good one. )

Willis is the star of this movie inasmuch as he's in every scene (mostly). The actual "star" of this movie is Miko Hughes who plays Simon a nine-year-old autistic boy. The story revolves around Simon. 

It's a good movie, well-acted, well-written and enjoyable. It met my standard of a thriller movie being thrilling.

So if you're meandering around Netflix, Crackle, or Amazon.com do a search on Mercury Rising. 








Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THE CARRIE DIARIES



I like the new CW show "The Carrie Diaries".

I like the show and I'm 67 and a half years old.

I don't usually watch the young adult shows on CW. I don't relate. I don't always get the humor. I can't understand why the characters are so interested in what they are...young people trying to find true love, vampires, werewolves, etc. I would describe some of them as fantast "soap operas."

I find those shows shallow and the characters immature. The plots are sort of boring for an old chick.

BUT...

The Carrie Diaries characters are believable not just sterotypes. Very new and refreshing for American TV.

Not all the actors are made to look "movie star" pretty. Carrie herself is not silly at 16 and might just be more mature and responsible than I am.

Even though it's set in a high school social level, the stories are much deeper, interesting and quality.

It may have the "same" lead character Carrie Bradshaw as the hit HBO show "Sex and the City" but that's the only similarity between the two shows. They're based on the books of Candace Bushnell who has just opened a new line of Young Adult novels about the young Carrie.

It just goes to show that YA books are for ages as are the TV series based on them.

The Carrie Diaries and the kids in them, are all over the internet and on facebook. So look 'em up.

Watch an episode. (Watch two, actually, since when I recommend watching a show, invariably the one show that'w awful. )

It's only moderately continued week to week so once you know all the characters it's easy to follow the story. (Plus there are secondary stores that include Carrie's sister and her Dad. So there's is an attraction for the younger kids as well as adults. Though I'm old enough to be her Dad's mother.)  

I posted a candid photo because the official publicity shots don't really look like the real characters and actors in action.  The show is not full of glamorous, plastic characters.

It's on CW Monday evenings at 8:00 PM Eastern/Pacific time and 7:00 PM Central/Mountain time.

 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

IN THE CUT


 

IN THE CUT

I have no idea what the title means. Alas, I did not read the book.

This movie is not for just anyone. It has some graphic scenes. After all, it's a murder mystery & thriller. It's also sexually graphic. Not in a guilty peek but an integral part of the story. Romantic (I use the word loosely.)

It's gritty and tough to watch.

The lead characters played by Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo, really got to me. It's a watch-again movie.

There are some shall we say "surprises" for lack of a better word, so I won't spoil it.

It's true-to-life in that it doesn't Hollywood it all up. Detectives cuss, the girl like to do-it, they don't talk things over, they don't live in half-million dollar houses and drive Jaguars. And thank God they do not explain or spell things out.

His character grew on me. (**somewhat spoiler** Besides being tough and NY-coppy in a way. He slowly revealed himself as a giver, a lover, & a deep guy. He says it himself in passing, it's  "compassion".)

I fell in love with him.

Mark Ruffalo did a damn good job creating a complex character. I'd like to see him in more serious roles.

Meg Ryan was really good in a serious movie, vastly different from usual roles romantic comedies (in which she is equally good.) Appreciate her building a complex character too.

So take a look, and if you don't like it, turn off the DVD player or remove it from your instant viewing list.

Though I would like you to stick it out, if you're a grown-up and not easily offended. It's a work of art in it's entirety. 

(Comments encouraged. Did you like it or hate it? Cuss words accepted. Don't comment if you are an ignorant bigot.)

Thanks.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

MATTHEW GOODE IN BURNING MAN



I'm glad I didn't buy the DVD from Australia a year ago. A Matthew Goode fan I wanted to see it sooner rather than later. I did put it on the wait-list on Netflix. Before the DVD was available it appeared on streaming.

So I watched it. Some of it. I watched some of it twice.

I often stick with a movie just to see if it gets better. But not this time. I gave up.

It's so disjointed I couldn't tell if it were the past or present. It was ALL done in flashbacks even the present (all out of chronological order). And some of the flashbacks are obviously not in chronological order either. We get immediate past, way past, medium past.

Not only that, the past was more interesting than the present. I could have done without all that continual flashback'ing. Showing us the story would have made it into a good movie worth watching.

Maybe that's just how they like their films in Australia.

It could have been a good picture if they'd put it in order and brought out the story rather than doing fancy stuff with the cinematography, And put less sexual scenes which, besides making a comment on the number one character, were pretty unimportant to the whole film and were rather tasteless.


It's a shame that Matthew  Goode messed up his opportunity to have an American film career when he bad-mouthed Leap Year. At least he played a grown up in that movie.

I'm sorry he had to go to Australia to make this poorly done movie. Maybe he just wanted to go there awhile for the weather and fishing.

The movie wasn't much good. And neither was Goode good. Sorry to say. Though I think he's a marvelous actor he seemed to be phoning in his performance, like the cliche says, this time. I'd like him to get back on the big screen in America again. If nothing more I'd settle for Masterpiece on BBC and PBS. He's good in MP movies though he's not in the star role. I'd like to see him in a supporting role if not the lead in a movie, hoping he won't be cast as a background character or worse.

I understand his next movie Stoker with Nicole Kidman is done filming. With Kidman it might be an Australia movie since she's Australian. From the trailers on line, I get the impression it's a horror movie, or creepy thriller, or a dark dark comedy.

Let's hope it is shown in the USA before Netflix gets it and sticks it on streaming. Then again, streaming is a marvel. I love it.

Matthew Goode's career burning?

Some people might like Burning Man. So watch it on Netflix if you dare watch it at all. Don't get stoned first, there's no need. Weird is built in.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

MATTHEW GOODE UPDATE

No details. But apparently Hollywood has forgiven Matt for his comments about Leap Year.He has a new movie coming to screens SOON (I hope.)

From the trailers, I think it's a horror movie.




THE ARTIST

The Artist.

B & W, silent, modern movie.

Good movie.

Watch it.

(No time to blog, I'm doing NaNoWriMo. Tho my "novel" is pretty much one long blog.)


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BISEXUAL & THE BIG BANG THEORY

I'm committed to myself to write 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo. November is National Novel Writing Month.

And I have a whole sink, heck kitchen, full of dirty dishes, pots and pans. Not to mention glasses and cutlery. It's almost worth it to go buy new stuff and chuck all this in the trash.

However, I'm going to take the time to air one of my pet peeves.

Comedy shows making jokes about mental illnesses and sexual orientation.

I don't mind when Big Bang makes fun of us nerds. We are kinda funny.

But making Sheldon's OCD or Narcissism into a humorous elements has to be toned down so that it's ironic and OCD people can have a laugh when the recognize themselves in the jokes. Just making Sheldon look crazy isn't really funny.

Now to the big thing I've noticed in BIG BANG. Amy and Raj are obviously written as bisexual. It's perfectly acceptable to be BI and even gay. But making fun of a people who don't recognize bisexuality in themselves (like nerds don't know they are nerds, and crazy people never know they're crazy) isn't really a subject for humor in itself anymore than being gay now is funny, or mental illness is funny.

The humorous remarks about some of the characters being Jewish,  mothers of Jewish, Christian and academic backgrounds, smart people, people who love comic books and science fiction movies are usually well done. The jokes aren't necessarily based on Sheldo'n's Mom being Christian but what she says and does is funny.

I don't mind the sexual situations and jokes because they are not sleazy and childish. They're cute.  

We don't poke fun at black people, women, or heterosexual people, or Republicans. (Well, maybe Republicans are funny. Bad choice of words.) Women, poor people, etc. Sure they do funny things and they say funny things. But it's not correct to open season on people with "differences".

The Big Bang Theory is the best sitcom I have seen in years. It's classy. It's for intelligent people with high-brow senses of humor. I don't want to see The Big Bang Theory do low-brow jokes. If Raj finally finds a romantic partner and it happens to be a man, that would be cool. Amy has an obvious crush on Penny, but her getting to at least first base with Sheldon would be entertaining if sexuality and mental illness were part of what makes it funny.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

SHERLOCK: HOW DID HE DO IT? **Spoilers**



  It's late. After midnight so I don't have time to google and view ALL the comments about "How did Sherlock fake his suicide?" Someone may have come up with "solution" besides me but I really don't know.

I've been thinking and thinking about what one of the authors said in an interview about this show. He said that there was a clue in the movie; something Sherlock did that was "out of character" and was a clue to how Sherlock might have done it. He even said he was surprised that no one seemed to have caught it.

I've watched that episode (season 2, episode 3) over and over looking and listening for that one clue. I couldn't stop watching it until I found that clue! Although I doubt that will stop me watching it and all the Sherlock episodes. They are a work of genius and a work of art.

So, I finally heard THE clue. It was somewhat anticlimactic since the internet traffic with hundreds if not millions of people posting constantly. The furor seems to be over for now.

Here's what I think. Sherlock was so terribly rude to Kitty. He's usually indifferent or detached from people that he considers unimportant or not worthy of his attention. Here, in this scene, he is deliberately mean to her.

He says to her and her recording device, "You repel me."

So out of all the clues and red-herrings and other mysterious elements, this is THE clue I have been scouring the DVD to hear. I feel pretty confident that this is it.

It's a pun. Repel and rapell. Rock climbing--the way a person gets down from a very high cliff, a mountain, or building in this case. Using ropes and body harnesses..

Sherlock made sure John would only see the beginning of the fall. Then John hit his head on the pavement so he was dopey. The people around Sherlock made sure John didn't get to close, pulled his hand away when he was groping for a pulse.

Since it's obvious that Sherlock set this all up, that those surrounding him on the pavement were the homeless network (that "clue" was when he said the homeless network were easier to "bribe" than the police. I also think Molly arranged the paramedics to cart "the body" into the hospital.

That's it. Sherlock rapelled down from the roof after he took a free fall half the way, the half that John could witness. I don't know how, but he did.

The mystery now is, why was he so scared? He's afraid of heights? No, he jumped between buildings in the first episode. Was he was thinking he might really die? Maybe. He was definitely worried about that when he told Molly, "I think I'm going to die."  He hoped the people he was counting on were in place and ready to go into action when he jumped? Could he trust all of it to work? If so, did that thought make him doubt his arrogant attitude that he was so much smarter and capable than other people? Did that make him feel he was a fake? Whatever it was, it made him tremble, look scared, and fight off crying.

Only time will tell. One thing I do see is that Sherlock was worried about Moriarty killing him so he had to plan some sort of "death" for himself before Moriarty got the chance. He chose the roof of a hospital. How convenient.

That's my guess of the clue "everyone missed" that told "how he might have done it". I'm pretty confident that's what it was. The mechanics of how he actually repelled is still a mystery. It could be any explanation, any scenario. After all, it's fiction. It's fantasy at it's best. 

Oh, yeah. The dummy at the beginning of the episode was hanging from a rope. Aha. Hint? I think I saw a rope curled up on the roof  when Sherlock and John were having their phone call/suicide note. Are these more subtle clues?

What about the big red lettered graffiti on the wall behind Sherlock and John while they were escaping from police custody? Of course most viewers, if not all, caught a glimpse of them. They were I.O.U. I also noticed, though, in subsequent viewings, that the rest of that graffiti was a big pair of wings.

It's good to read a well-written mystery and it's great to watch a well-written movie. Thanks guys.

Over and out. Sandy Schairer






Sunday, August 26, 2012

BURNING MAN--MATTHEW GOODE




I've been searching the Internet today trying to find information about Burning Man starring Matthew Goode. It's the only one of his movies I haven't seen.  

I've seen many links that say "see full movie online now for free". But, alas, these are come-on ads zapping me to streaming sites with free trials. Most of the time they offer other movies besides the one's they say they're offering. Or like that.

As far as I can tell, this movie is just not available in United States yet.

I earlier saw the DVD for sale on an Australian site but I was unable to find it again today. It was over $30. And just think of the postage from there to here.

Searching online lead me to a site saying: In theaters July 27, 2012 (limited) and on demand starting July 20 on DishTV and Comcast. But theaters where? Albuquerque? United States? Plus I don't do Dish or Cable so what else can I do but.

Part of the problems in googling is that there are a number of movies with the title Burning Man. Amazon has a couple for sale right now, none of which have Matthew Goode in them. Some choices include the Burning Man or "Zozobra" Festivals. Been there, done that. You can imagine the traffic jams in Santa Fe.

But these other burning men have nothing to do with my desire to see Matthew Goode role-ing around in a bundle of emotions complete with over-the-top acting-out behavior. Hoping the trailer is for-real.
 
I see on IMDb that Matthew's Burning Man received a number of nominations for FCCA (including nomination for Matthew as best actor) and three wins in Awgie--best film [writing] and FCCA for best editor & best musical score.

It received nothing but good reviews.

The movie opened in Australian theaters October 2011. No idea when it will be available here in America.
I have it on my Netflix "save" list.

I've watched all of Matt's other movies on DVD from Netflix. Even bought Leap Year and Imagine Me and You. They're not everyone's cup of tea (romantic comedy) but I slurped them up with milk and sugar.

Goode was so good in The LookoutMy Family and Other Animals was an enjoyable, delightful, funny movie. Even though he didn't have many scenes, Goode--as usual--did very well.

I was concerned that his remarks about Leap Year a couple years ago jinxed his opportunities for doing more American movies. I loved Leap Year but evidently Matthew didn't. (No further comment from me.)

Here is the list of his roles from IMDb that he's done, or will do, since he did Burning Man.

Belle (pre-production)
2012 The Poison Tree (TV mini-series) (
filming)
2012 Birdsong (TV series) 

Episode #1.2 (2012) … Captain Gray
Episode #1.1 (2012) … Captain Gray
2012 Dancing on the Edge (TV series)  

Friday, June 22, 2012

MORIARTY DEAD?

Andew Scott as Moriarty in Sherlock
Is he really dead?  I HOPE not. It would be a terrible waste of a  a great villain.

Moriarty is the most delightful villain since TNG writers created the Borg.




As Moriarty told Sherlock during their tea party, “Every fairytale needs a good villain.”

And Andrew Scott was good. I just loved his eloquent dance in the Tower getting ready to “steal” the Crown Jewels’, his creepy singsong and utterly chilling voice that goes up an octave when he’s making threats, and his innocent looking evil smile when he’s telling Sherlock just what he what he plans to do him. 

Oh, no, he didn’t tell Sherlock what he was going to do to him during tea. He said “I already told you. You weren’t listening.” Then when?

My mind keeps going back to the beginning of episode one when Moriarty, instead of blowing Sherlock up he gets right up in his face and says, “I will BURN you. I will burn the HEART out of you. Was this a death threat or a threat to break Sherlock by getting to his “heart”?

I have a novel idea that hasn’t been considered (I think.) Moriarty isn’t the big bad villain we’ve been lead to think. I think he works for Irene Adler. I think SHE’s the big bad guy. (There are more than a few clues as to this theory.)

I know that’s an absurd theory but it proves the point that in a good suspense thriller mystery NOTHING is what it seems.  (And I've changed my theories about this episode  any times as my blog readers will attest.)

It was clear Sherlock was attracted to Irene. She’s obviously someone considers as smart as he which would be the only way a woman could get to him. She let’s him know she is attracted to him, too. Was Moriarty speaking for her when he says he will burn the HEART out of him?

Irene got to him so strongly that he actually had EMOTIONS in this episode!

After all she made her living in S&M and Moriarty claimed to be an actor.

Did Sherlock fake his suicide because he wanted to go undercover, way under, to continue detecting this mystery? Or another?

Sherlock is a work of art.

Moriarty as Andrew Scott
Will Moriarty and Andrew Scott be coming back for season 3?

It won't happen. Link about Andrew Scott as Moriarty, in case you're interested:
http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/sherlock/21117/what-villains-can-we-expect-in-sherlock-series-3

Link to Andrew Scott as everybody else (acting career).
He won the BAFTA award for best supporting actor but he obviously stole the show at the end.

Thanks Andrew. Be seein' ya. 
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/andrew-scott-a-pinup-who-is-hard-to-pin-down-6288320.html 

Monday, June 11, 2012

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE'S SHERLOCK

I can't stop hitting a dead horse...or a "dead" Sherlock for that matter.

I tend to think the keys to the screenplay of the last episode of season 2, in which Moriarty shoots himself and Sherlock jumps to his death, can somehow be gleaned by knowing the stories of the elements in the story: Grimm's Fairy Tales and the stories in Doyle's tales of the most famous detective in history...sorry Hercule you're really dead in Agatha Christie's last book about Poirot.


Conan Doyle





I think the biography of Conan Doyle (is that his last name or is Conan his middle name?) may give us some insight into Sherlock the character. This information was, of course, available to the screenwriters of modern Sherlock. Hopefully they don't rely on Wickipedia like I do.

I'm not sure how to refer to Conan Doyle. Is Conan part of his last name or one of his middle names? Why do public people need to use middle names anyway unless someone else has the same name?  There is a modern athlete Conan Doyle. Oh. He was: "Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle  (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930...a Scottish physician and writer...he was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels."

Evidently he had a lot of time on his hands between patients.

This is the link to Wikipedia's site with Conan Doyle's bio.  Arthur Conan Doyle 

Of course any information on the internet is filtered through a writer's understanding. Historical facts tend to become popular mythology within two or three generations. And in the case of some stories we hear on news broadcasts it's much faster than that--say a day or two. So facts are some the the greatest fiction we'll ever run across.

In a nutshell, Doyle wrote for years, got tired of Sherlock and killed him off, or so he intended, in The Final Problem. Due to popular outcry he brought Sherlock back to life as if he'd been alive all the time. Sherlock was gone for 10 years, at least on paper.

The new Sherlock series is loosely based on the stories in the Conan Doyle series. For instance the titles are (slightly) different--Study in Pink vs. Study in Scarlet. I think viewers versed in English Literature who knows Conan Doyle stories well can follow the TV series along and see where the stories may have the same elements and where they differ. I myself didn't spend much time on English Lit in college.

I think there are also clues in the clues in the series. What good would a mystery be without clues? .

What would a good TV series be without a little, "What the hell was THAT about?" Not the element of surprise but more the element of bafflement.

So I don't want to go on and on about this. I would like to learn more about the Sherlock novels & short stories and get a little knowledge of Grimms' Fairy Tales (which in their day were pretty grim before Disney got hold of them.) There are several of their dark tales that might be a "basis" for the clash between Sherlock & Moriarty--if indeed the screenwriters even used a "basis".  I surmise they are way more well-versed in all literature and vastly more clever than I can even suspect.
One of the faked Cottlington Fairy Photo

Here's a little about Doyle and his conception of Moriarty (perhaps). It might help to know that in later life Doyle was a spiritualist (talking to the dead) and believed in the Cottington Fairies. He also believed Houdini was truly supernatural even thought Houdini tried to convince him otherwise.




Wikipedia:  "Death" of Sherlock Holmes

"In 1890 Conan Doyle studied ophthalmology in Vienna, and moved to London, first living in Montague Place and then in South Norwood. He set up a practice as an ophthalmologist. He wrote in his autobiography that not a single patient crossed his door. This gave him more time for writing, and in November 1891 he wrote to his mother: "I think of slaying Holmes... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." His mother responded, "You won't! You can't! You mustn't!"

In December 1893, in order to dedicate more of his time to what he considered his more important works (his historical novels), Conan Doyle had Holmes and Professor Moriarty apparently plunge to their deaths together down the Reichenbach Falls in the story "The Final Problem". Public outcry, however, led him to bring the character back in 1901, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, though this was set at a time before the Reichenbach incident. In 1903, Conan Doyle published his first Holmes short story in ten years, "The Adventure of the Empty House", in which it was explained that only Moriarty had fallen; but since Holmes had other dangerous enemies—especially Colonel Sebastian Moran—he had arranged to also be perceived as dead. Holmes ultimately was featured in a total of 56 short stories and four Conan Doyle novels, and has since appeared in many novels and stories by other authors.

Jane Stanford compares some of Moriarty's characteristics to those of the Fenian John O'Connor Power. 'The Final Problem' was published the year the Second Home Rule Bill passed through the House of Commons. 'The Valley of Fear' was serialised in 1914, the year, Home Rule, The Government of Ireland Act (Sept.18) was placed on the Statute Book."


Final note: Didn't the TV show have Sherlock's brother say something to John (Watson) they didn't want a  repeat of  1922? Or was it 1962? You can look that up for yourself.

PS: I thought I wrote on one of the Sherlock blogs it was my opinion that this episode of Sherlock was acted expertly by Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and especially Andrew Scott. He was a deliciously evil villain and stole the show. He can't possibly be dead because we want to see more of him!!! Whose willing to bet me Moriarty shows up on "The Storyteller" TV series of Rich Brooks?


Friday, May 11, 2012

The Man Who Wasn't There


THIS MOVIE IS A WORK OF ART

I conjured up a movie on Netflix streaming last night and I wasn't sure I'd like it because of a few unimportant reasons.

One, it was done in black & white. Two, it had Billy Bob Thornton in it (heck, he WAS it) and three, I thought it would be just another boring thriller suspense mystery crime drama like I watch everyday. 

Then I saw it was a Coen brothers movie and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

The Coen brothers have a deeply disturbing sense of humor. That's my kinda guy.

This was a good movie. There was nothing about this movie that wasn't good. There is no way I'm going to say a word without it being a spoiler. You have to see this one and appreciate it for yourself.

It's a work of art.









Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DREAM CATCHER

The title of this movie fooled me twice. I read the Stephen King book and my impression was “icky.” (It’s the book King mentioned in his autobiographical book On Writing, as being the story his wife referred to as “The Shit Weasels.” Yeah, that’d a perfect title too.)




The first time I saw Dreamcatcher was at the theater when it was new. I don’t know why I thought it would be better than the book. Maybe I didn’t even realize it was the same Dreamcatcher as the book. It’s just a cool title.



The movie was better than the book. For one reason it was shorter and less complicated. The long scenes from the book were condensed in the movie for maximum shock purposes.



Years later I joined Netflix. I saw the Dreamcatcher DVD was available. Thinking it was a paranormal story about Native American lore, I sent for it.



Surprise! It was the same movie based on the Stephen King book of the same name.



This time the movie was definitely better.



One—the screen was smaller and it the gross scenes weren’t right-up-in-my face like it was in on the theater big screen.



Two—I paid more attention to the movie and understood it better.



Three—I enjoyed the actors and characters more this time around.



Four—One of the main characters was played by Damian Lewis, the British actor I’ve come to appreciate from shows like the short detective series Life, BBC mini-series The Forsyte Saga, a romantic comedy (sort of) like Assassin in Love and one movie about a nut case that I can’t remember the title and couldn’t watch all the way through anyway. He’s not handsome and nor spectacular actor but he’s good enough for me. (Of course he’s an alpha male type which you don’t see very often in real life. As a Zen ex-con detective in Life he does these long looks into peoples eyes like he can see into their souls. Melted my heart. He has a British accent and does a perfect American accent. He uses both of these accents in a remarkable way in Dreamcatcher. All while in an extremely involved fast scene. (Damien has red hair too and blue eyes—two of my favorite qualities in an actor, heck in men and women.)



Five—well, after thinking about Damien Lewis, I’ve forgotten what # 5 is.



I do like watching closely to see Stephen King in a cameo appearance in the movie like Alfred Hitchcock in his. It’s exciting to find him and disappointing when I don’t. So look fast so you don’t miss him.



Dreamcatcher is not necessarily a drama nor a horror movie, a thriller, a fantasy. It’s in a category of its own. Stephen King stories usually are. You can decide. If it’s too icky for you, close your eyes don’t skip the movie just because the sight of a little blood makes you sick.



Stephen King fans will want to rent this one even if they’ve seen it already. It follows the book in case you don’t like movies based on books that have no remote connection to the original story.



People who haven’t see it yet, don’t be fooled by the title. Remember it’s not about that little round thingy they hang over a baby’s bed to keep bad dreams away. It’s not about a dream and it doesn’t keep bad things away.

BURNING MAN with Matthew Goode

I see only one DVD available on the internet of this Australian movie.

It's $38.

I've heard it's well done and good. And I love Matthew Goode (as an actor).

But do I love him enough to pay $38 for a DVD with shipping from Australia?
What would other Matthew Goode fans do?

Monday, March 19, 2012

BARTON FINK

I just finished watching Barton Fink award winning, low-grossing film (only $6million).



I got it from NetFlix and I swear I don’t remember renting it and putting it on the top of my queue.

But there you go...


Since it was about a writer with writer’s block, and I’m a writer (sort of), I might have thought this movie was about writer's block. LOL. I wanted to see a funny movie about writing...i.e., "funny haha". As it was, it was "funny strange".

Even so...


It was a bit more bizarre than I expected. I also expected a surprise ending that would make everything okay if not actually tie up the loose ends or even giving us a hint as to why it was so strange.

Sure enough, though, it WAS a shocking surprise. Shock #1: seeing it just end instead of drawing to a close. #2: noticing at the end that the Coen brothers wrote the script. That was a big surprise for me. 

If you've ever seen a Coen brothers movie you know what I'm talking about. (Now that I think of it, #2 wasn't such a surprise at all. I should have guessed.) 

I wish I'd known it was written by the Coen brothers before I fired up my DVD player.

But what do I know...

There are lots and lots of words posted on the internet about Barton Fink. I suspect if you took the time to read a bunch of them it would take you longer than actually watching the movie.


The crap written about all the symbology is about as enlightening as the symbology crap written about Mulholland Drive. Viewers with half a brain can actually find their own symbols. Forget about obscure literary and historical allusions because if you have to hunt for them, or have someone tell you about them, well, that's just not what watching movies should be about.


If you like weird and/or Coen brother's movies, you will like Barton Fink for sure. 

The acting was very good. (And sort of like the clown show at the circus--you don't know whether to laugh or to be frightened.)

But seriously, if you read all the reviews and deconstructions about it, skip the movie. If you want to watch the movie, skip all the internet things written about it.

So...

That's that.