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Visit my previous Blog "Movies and More: Positively Personal Reviews" for my earlier (pre-May 2011) reviews and ramblings.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Takes place in the not too distant future, in which well -meaning son brings his aging father (played by the always excellent Frank Langella) a Robot  (perfectly voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) to serve as his health-care-giver and companion.  This movie gets better and better as it progresses.  The clever dialogue is marvelous, the unexpected plot unfolds with unexpected twists. Directed by Jake Schreier, this splendid film  is not just for senior citizens to appreciate!   Don't miss it!   All in all, what a treat!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Even the truly excellent cast, headed by Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton couldn't compensate for the overly confusing plot and the annoying, fast and furious, disruptive, jerky camera work.  I got really, really tired of (bored with) the endless motorcycle chase (though it did offer one pleasing moment supplied by Weisz, who put her helmet to good  use).  Of course the film is noisy and violent, but that's to be expected.  The ending seemed weak, a whimper rather than a bang.   I miss the real "Jason Bourne."  (Renner plays another agent named"Alex Cross." "Bourne" doesn't even figure in the story.) As one critic mentioned, if Matt Damon saw this script, it's no wonder he didn't sign on! (Besides, there was really no role in it for him.)  Furthermore, unless I'm having a senior moment, this film bore no resemblance to the plot in the book of the same title, which I had read, and enjoyed. What a disaster!   Tony Gilroy directed.  (What was he thinking???)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Perhaps because I am not a great scholar of French history, I could simply sit back and enjoy this film which took place in four days in July of 1789, inside the insular walls of Versailles, as seen through the eyes of the Queen's reader,"Sidonie."  The Queen, Marie Antoinette, played by the gorgeous Diane Kruger, is presented as a charming, if somewhat like a temperamental, spoiled child, but she is nevertheless quite appealing and likeable. Wonderfully directed by Benoit Jacquot, the audience is pulled into the very corridors and rooms of the palace, creating the "you are there" feeling" as you follow the absolutely loyal and devoted young "Sidonie" who is happiest when she can serve her Queen. Gossip abounds, some of it accurate, some not, as the days lead up to the actual Revolution. That Marie was enamored of another woman came as a surprise to me, I had never heard that before (remember, I'm not a student of French history). Based on a novel by Chantal Thomas, the beautiful costumes and excellent cinematography deserve appreciation.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


This is a wonderful film for Grown Ups!  i.e. mature people who can appreciate  the real challenges that a 31 year old marriage that has gone stale presents.An Intelligent script with excellent dialogue delivered flawlessly by Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones (the married couple, "Kay" and "Arnold"), and Steve Carell as the "Couples Retreat" therapist, "David Frankel." Surprisingly, Carell plays it straight -- not as the the comedian that we kept expecting.  Everyone else  in the cast was incidental, as these three marvelous actors -- on screen throughout -- were each and all pitch perfect. Funny and true to life, well done!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Beautifully photographed, the gentle rolling Provence countryside  is the pleasant setting for this charming  story of the Well-Digger, a widower with his six (count-em) daughters, especially the eldest,   Patricia, who has been brought up and educated in Paris. Having come home to help raise her younger sisters, she finds herself in a "condition" that will soon become visible, and thus she confesses her "sin" to her volatile father, who sends her to stay with his sister, in order to avoid local gossip. The handsome (wealthy family, too) young man, a pilot in WW I (played by Nicolas Duvachallel)is abruptly called to the front and his message to Patricia is intercepted by his mother (hiss, boo).  Directed by Daniel Auteuil, and starring Auteuil as the Well-Digger. Excellent dialogue (subtitles, of course), flawless acting, a real winner,  I love French films!  This one could be a classic; it takes its time to unfold, but never seems slow, and is definitely never boring!