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Saturday, February 25, 2012


Stellar Cast --made up of Greg Kinnear (One of my favorites),perfect in his role,  Alan Arkin (fantastic!), and Billy Crudup (an absolute riot as the criminal locksmith). The actors were superb in this "long con" of a film.  It is full of suspense and deceit, mixed with unexpected (albeit 'dark' )humor -- but you just have to laugh!   Kinnear plays an Insurance salesman (of the worst kind), taking advantage of  everyone he can.  There's a dog.  There's a violin (actually several, and many, some very valuable) that gets stolen a few times -- I lost count.  You have to pay really close attention to follow all the plot ploys and curves - but it's worth it. (some critics complain it's "slow" moving  -- but I savored (almost) every scene.  (I wasn't enamoured of the interaction between Kinnear and his  ex-wife.)  Oh, and even Kinnear's secretary (promoted to CFO of his tiny office - without a commensurate pay raise) was wonderful!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Good Grief!   What a downerI hated this movie.  I almost walked out, but wanted to see how it would end, and then  (spoiler alert)  it did not provide a resolution, and the end, as the credits rolled,  left you wondering.  Aaaargh! It was two hours of people yelling and screaming, some lying, plus the suffering of the obviously intelligent  eleven year old daughter, (marvelous actress) trying to keep her parents together.  Of course, the Critics loved this film!   Yes, the acting was flawless (way too realistic, showing how awful (loud and abusive) people can be to each other).  I can't find fault with the photography, but, OMG  --  I'm not a masochist, and this was just too painful!  Takes place in  Iran, I believe.  (The women all keep their heads covered.) Plots and subplots interesting, but sorry, I can appreciate some drama, but  I go to the movies to be entertained, not punished. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012


That (title) was the question posed by Buckminster Fuller, with whom Foster, the 76 year old British Architect, had a lifelong friendship. If you love exquisite photography -- truly gorgeous  and appreciate outstanding architechture, you will enjoy this film, as I did.  I've always love looking at buildings.  Throughout my travels, I was fascinated with seeing buildings in the countries I visited.   Critics complain that this film doesn't delve into enough of Norman Foster, the man, but I was quite content just to see his work, and see/hear him explain about it.  He stated that "Architecture should improve the quality of life by design." 


Denzel Washington is such a fabulous actor, that it's always a pleasure to watch him in anything --- even in this ultra-violent, guns blazing, film, he excels.  Despite the fact that his character is that of a rogue CIA agent, you've still got to love him, even if it appears he's a "bad guy." But, of course, when you finally find out why he went rogue, it makes sense.  Then his marvelous co-star,  Ryan Reynolds,  is teriffic. They really make a dynamic duo.  So, it's not light entertainment, but it's a really exciting movie.  My only complaint is the blue/black color tone used to shoot every scene.  I would still have known it was a 'dark' drama without suffering through the 'off' color that was annoying to watch.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


At least the clothes were memorable, and Liza Minella's stories of her friendship with Halston, the remarkable, original, outstanding designer of the '70's were fairly interesting.  The interviewer, however was not very good at interviewing anyone. (Well, at least he tried.)   Some of the film footage from years gone by went by too fast, and some couldn't have gone by fast enough to suit me, considering the X rated content.   The critics were right on this documentary, it was just not good. Oh, the title comes from his 'discovery' and use of "Ultrasuede" (the name of the fabric) that made Halston immediately famous.   Its wash-and-hang-dry-wrinkleless quality made it  a sensation.  Halston definitely knew how to drape and cut fabric.  Halston was the first American Designer to make a name for himself - and America - on the clothes designing scene, As a bonus extra:  if you (want to?) remember "Studio 54" -- it gives some attention to it along the way.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


"The King's Speech" this ain't!  I didn't believe the critics, because usually they are too harsh, but in this case, they are definitely accurate. This film is really bad.  Badly directed by Madonna, with a confusing, poorly written script that tries (via many, many confusing flashbacks) to interweave a 1998 auction of the effects of  the famous duo, Wallace Simpson and her King of England (for a few days, anyway), who abdicated his throne "to be with the woman I love." (I was not yet in my teens when I  heard  him make that famous radio speech.)  Oh, and there is the present day heroine (?)  named "Wally" who is obsessed with the  romance that upset a nation; so obsessed that she has imaginary conversations with Wallace Simpson.  (A role dutifully and actually beautifully played by Andrea Riseborough -- what a shame to waste such talent in such a mediocre {to put it mildly} film.) Also a fine performance by the young man who played the guard at the exhibition that preceded the auction.   Don't waste your time or your money on this film.