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Friday, May 24, 2013


It is said that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while starring in the movie "Cleopatra."  When I saw it the other day (re-released celebrating its 50th Anniversary), I could certainly believe it!   Wow, what a film!  What I didn't know in advance was that it ran for four hours (plus a fifteen minute intermission half-way through.)   A real epic extravaganza, with hundreds of extras cast as members of the Legions of Rome, and of course there are battles with Egypt as the home ground for Cleo.   Sadly, in the end,she does die of the fatal bite of asps, when she receives a false report that Antony is dead.  He finds her resplendent in her best finery lying atop her tomb and of course manages (with a little help from a friend) to kill himself in despair.   I noted that in addition to being gorgeous,  ET was actually  a  good actress.  And each of Burton's syllables were enunciated pitch perfectly! I hope you get a chance to see it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


If you like fishing (I don't) you will probably like this film. 
 (I didn't. ) Yes, the acting was excellent, the photography (ahem, "cinematography") was excellent.  Story was good.  But I simply am not and was not interested in all the detail (albeit excellent) shown about fishing, gear, etc.   Of course, I was lured (pun, ha ha) to see "Mud" because of the positive reviews -- and the star, Matthew Mc Conaughey.  (He's definitely got the muscles to go without his shirt through most of the film.)  It didn't hurt to have Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepard in the fine cast.  I especially liked the two young boys who find Mud on an island,  ala Huck Finn.  Director: Jeff Nichols.  It's somewhat of a "lost love" story.   So, I was disappointed, but then, that's just me.   Sorry.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Remember the movie a few years ago called,  "My Dinner With Andre"?   (Conversation between two friends.)  Well this picks up on the life of the taller, thinner man (not the one who lisps)  quite a few years later  -- and it's  wonderful!   Gregory is quite charming and articulate.   It's filled with clips of photos of his childhood and youth and his career as an actor and a director (though I must admit I'd never heard of him other than the previous "Dinner" movie.)     I believe it was "written" and filmed by his daughter.   I  highly recommend it.

I have to admit that the "Reluctant Fundamentalist" was an excellent film, but it was much too accurate in portraying India and Afghanistan which made the whole thing, despite the excellent acting and probably realistic plot a very unpleasant experience for me.   I guess my memories of India are not positive ones.  

Now I want to read the novel on which this movie was based, because I imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing is great..  However,  the film was painful to sit through!   Over the top production (Bas Luhrnan directing) with wild, frantic, blaring, soundtrack! (I wouldn't call it "music")     Exhausting!    Leonardo DiCaprio was marvelous as Gatsby.  He has really become a fine actor   (and it doesn't hurt that he's so handsome!)    Tobey Mcguire, however, as Nick seemed too bland.   (intentionally?)  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Directed by Francois Ozon, this French film is involved, unique, and somewhat uncomfortable to watch, but worth seeing.  Uncomfortable because the main protagonist, a sixteen year old is a clever but twisted ( I want to say "evil" -  but I don't know if that's exactly correct) boy who writes a series of excellent "chapters" telling of the  experiences he has after insinuating himself  into the house of one of his classmates.   His English teacher 
("M. Germain") is superbly played by Fabrica Luchini, who is fascinated by the essays his pupil writes, a blend of fact and the boy's  imagination.  Kristin Scott Thomas, in one of her finest performances plays the wife of the English Teacher.  The boy is enamored of the beautiful mother of one of his schoolmates, and seduces her after going to live with that family.  But, that''s not all.  He eventually seduces the wife of the English teacher.  He manages to  ruin a lot of people's lives. This is a very French film.   (I am not familiar enough with French actors' name to credit each of them, but they are all excellent.)  Not a happy movie.


It's been at least ten years since I walked out on a movie, but after about 20 minutes of  watching a plethora of nearly naked girls cavorting;  lots of strange camera work accompanied by an ear 
splitting sound track that was as noisy as a battlefield, I'd had more than enough Pain, and no Gain.   So I walked out and was able just in time to see a different film ("In the House*).   I don't go to the movies to be tortured.   I had been lured to this one by the names of Mark Wahlberg, Dwane  Johnson, and Tony Shaloub.   Maybe if you are a teen-age boy, you might like it.  I'm not, and I didn't.  Directed by Michael Bay. (* see separate review.)