January 2021 Films

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January 2021 Films

Dic 22, 2020, 1:53pm

New Year for movies. What are you watching?

Editado: Ene 3, 9:14am

Bull - Season 4 (2019)

I was reluctant to watch this series starting with season 1. to begin with. Michael Weatherly, who portrayed Tony on NCIS became the tech savvy Dr. Jason Bull...a completely different type of character...except he had kept the "I'm better and smarter than anyone else" attitude which I didn't care much for in either role. I liked the idea of the show though and it was fascinating to watch his team work with some really high tech stuff to determine who should be on a jury and how they would be likely to come to the final decision. Dr. Bull's attitude has been toned down by this season and I enjoyed it more than the 3 previous seasons.

Ene 3, 3:27pm

>2 Carol420: I like that series and I like the group of characters.

Ene 3, 4:08pm

>3 JulieLill: I like the series also. I'm just glad that Dr. Bull is kinder and gentler than he started out being.

Ene 4, 11:41am

The Girl
A dark film about the relationship between Tippi Hedren and her relationship with Alfred Hitchcock while he filmed and mentored her through her roles in The Birds and Marnie. This was a TV film from 2012 but I had never seen it. Very interesting. I would like to read her biography!

Ene 5, 3:13pm

Finally caught up with Avengers: Endgame when TNT did the TV/cable premiere Sunday Jan. 3. Full of Marvel Universe in-jokes and references. I’d say the only required pre-viewing would be Avengers: Infinity War, for which Endgame is a sequel. TNT did one of its microscopic two-second credit sequences, but pretty much all of the Marvel characters (including the ones “disappeared” by Thanos) eventually make cameo appearances. With all those characters it’s not surprising that the cable broadcast was 4 hours (actual runtime is about 3 hours). One of the characters new to me was Brie Larsen as Captain Marvel (haven’t seen her movie). The Bruce Banner/Hulk hybrid was amusing, as well as Thor, now a fat drunk. The look of most of the film was gray and smoky most of the time, which I found depressing. The sort of film I could see playing on the TV while I’m doing something else, kind of like football games, for which it shares the spectacle function.

On TCM, saw High Society (1956) for the first time. A hit musical in its day, but it nearly put me to sleep. Opens with Louis Armstrong & his group doing a calypso song in the back of the bus. Arriving in Rhode Island for the Newport Jazz Festival, Armstrong is staying at the mansion of friend C. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby), the ex-husband of Tracy Lords (Grace Kelly), mainline rich girl about to marry George Kittredge (John Lund). Based on the play (and better movie) The Philadelphia Story (1940), but in this version, it’s a musical, with folks bursting into Cole Porter songs at unlikely moments. The dancing is of the ballroom type rather than a lively stomper like Good News or Seven Bridges for Seven Brothers. Turn-offs for me: heard too much of the Bing Crosby song True Love when it was a hit in the 50’s, Tracy & Dexter bonding on the yachting term yar, and Kelly’s uninteresting rich girl. Frank Sinatra & Celeste Holm play reporter & photographer respectively for a gossip paper. Both Sinatra & Crosby are excellent singers but too Vegas for my taste.

On HBO, caught Underwater (2020). The only star is Kristen Stewart. Really got caught up in the pacing of the film. In a drilling station 6 or 7 miles down in the Mariana Trench, we see Stewart brushing her teeth & then the station bulkheads start to collapse (due to an earthquake or something or other), & the rest of the film is one mad dash by the survivors through air pockets & broken metal supports & pressure suits running out of oxygen to escape to an auxiliary station before the main one implodes. Would have been better if the writers stuck to the underwater catastrophe/survival story, but toward the end they throw in monsters from The Trench awakened by the drilling, and Stewart has to become Sigourney Weaver. But still, the entire film is just one crazy roller coaster ride.

Ene 10, 3:23pm

A group of climbers on Everest are caught in a enormous storm, killing some and stranding others while others try to rescue them. Based on a true story.
This had been on my list for a long time. I thought this was okay but probably could have been edited a little more. Personally, I think these people are very crazy to do this.

Editado: Ene 11, 7:56am


21 (2008)

"21" is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.

They were extremely "book" smart young adults but they weren't very "world" smart or they would have known that this teacher that was their leader... could have cared less that what he talked them into doing was only going to lead to disaster. Contrary to how anyone feels about casinos and your money that goes into them...they are NOT in business for you to win. You have to win sometime or you won't come back with more of your money, and they have very, very, high tech equipment to monitor just HOW much of their money they are allowing you to take and they certainly know how you are doing it. It's not their first rodeo as these "kids" found out. Good movie. Reminded me a lot of the "Ocean" movies, 1-8... only the ages were different but the technique was the same.

Ene 11, 12:59pm

Three Identical Strangers (2018) Documentary

New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds' joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but it also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives - and could transform our understanding of human nature forever.

I've always liked documentaries and this one was more than interesting. Robert Shafran, Eddie Galland, and Robert Kellman were born as identical triplets to a single mother and later adopted into different families. This documentary chronicles their story which includes their eventual reunion and beyond. Most movies finish with the "happily ever after" ending at the end...this one starts with a "happy to start with", beginning. Joy in the reunion and the enormous ripple effect it causes almost leads the viewer to know that all is not well and probably won't end well... and we are right. Once the thrill starts to settle down, the young men start to learn more about their birth and adoption circumstances. What they learn turns the film into a sinister mystery. Once the mystery is revealed, the emotional impact is stunning. Well worth the hour or so.

Ene 11, 1:07pm

Pick of The Litter (2018)

Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they're born and begin their quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind, the ultimate canine career. Cameras follow these pups through a two-year odyssey as they train to become dogs whose ultimate responsibility is to protect their blind partners from harm. Along the way, the dogs meet a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human. The stakes are high and not every dog can make the cut. Only the best of the best. The pick of the litter.

I dare you to look at that little face and the faces of her brothers and sisters and not give this documentary less than 5 stars. Interestingly was the facts that only three hundred of every five hundred puppies make it through the cut down to become guide dogs. It's both a dog story and a human story as you see how each of the various people involved in the guide dog raising and training process become attached to the animal and have to go through a grieving process each time they let go. Get your box of tissues for this one.

Editado: Ene 12, 7:10am

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

When Henry DeTamble meets Clare Abshire in a Chicago library they both understand that he is a time traveler, but she knows much more about him as he has not yet been to the times and places where they have already met. He falls in love with her, as she has already with him, but his continuing unavoidable absences while time traveling - and then returning with increasing knowledge of their future - makes things ever more difficult for Clare.

I saw this when it first came out at the theaters and I bought the DVD as soon as it became available and since have probably re-watched it 50 or more times. It's just a fun film with a lot of the impossible but makes you think "what if?" Sometimes the writers, directors and the producers "get it right" and in this case they did. They managed to captured the story...the flavor... and the essence of the book...(which I have also read numerous times) even if they did leave some things out.

Editado: Ene 15, 10:35am

The Judge (2014)

Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

I've owned this DVD for 6 years and it is one of my favorites. It's a good courtroom drama but also a very touching story with a great cast of actors. Always enjoy watching it again and again.

Ene 15, 11:26am

>11 Carol420: After reading the book, I was so disappointed in the film. What is more disappointing is that the author has not written much since that book. She was to be working on the book sequel in 2013 but I haven't heard anything new about it.

Ene 15, 4:08pm

>13 JulieLill: You just never know how the book or the movie is going to color a review of either one. Too bad that that happens. i see very few reviews that the the reviewer liked both the movie and the book.

Editado: Ene 15, 4:16pm

Oh Happy Day (2007)

Two guys battle through the consequences of having had a one-night stand just before they started working together, and learn that to make a relationship work, you have to reveal everything...no matter the consequences.

It was interesting, a bit ridiculous...and sometimes funny...but the entire plot was very predictable.

Editado: Ene 16, 9:26am

The Front (2010) Based on the novel by Patricia Cornwell

A detective in a Boston suburb is assigned by his female district attorney to reopen an old murder case, which throws his life into grave peril.

The plot centers around a police officers investigation of an old case. This is brought into the current by a similar crime occurring. The police officer is a more than OK actor...Daniel Sunjata... but Andie McDowell is very poor as the DA and you really can't work up any desire to care what happens to her.

Ene 16, 3:43pm

The Baby Boomer Years 1959
This is an interesting set of DVD's. We watched the 1959 DVD and will try to get some of the others. They are only about 30 minutes long but they highlight the music, art, fashion and fads of that year.

Ene 16, 3:47pm

Come To Daddy
A young man goes to visit his estranged father but finds out that he is not the man he thought he was and it turns into blood bath when someone wants his father dead. It wasn't a great film but we couldn't take our eyes off of it because we had to see how it ended.

Editado: Ene 17, 4:41pm

The Baby Boomer Years 1957
This is the second one we watched. Again a short fun film!

Editado: Ene 17, 8:36am

Derailed (2005)

When two married business executives having an affair are blackmailed by a violent criminal, the two must turn the tables on him to save their families.

The description isn't exactly right...but you'll find that out soon. They can be described as two incredibly stupid people. You just want to shake the guy who is so willing to put everything he holds dear on the line for a one night meeting...can't even call it an affair...with a woman that he just met on a train. But of course he does and manages to open a can of worms that the lid can't ever go back on. It did have a very good and entirely unexpected twist that you will never see coming. That twist alone gave the movie 4 well earned stars.

Editado: Ene 18, 8:19am

Burning Blue (2015)

Following two fatal aircraft accidents aboard an Aircraft Carrier, a government agent is placed aboard the ship. His mission is to determine what may be at the root of these mishaps and prevent the inevitable third chain breaking accident which abruptly changes course when a sailor reports seeing one of the top ranking fighter pilots in a gay club. The aviator and three of his squadron mates and their spouses all become the subject of a deadly modern day witch hunt entangling them in a web of jealousy and deceit which tests their concept of love, friendship and honor and changes their lives forever.>

The aircraft carrier accidents really had nothing to do with the real reason the agents were placed aboard. There also was not very much about the amazing skills these piolets process...but there was a lot about the attitude of the "employer" that cared more about how the world would view them if people found out that a man or a woman in their ranks...that was doing their job just fine...might actually love another man or another woman. The government adopted a policy that they called DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) that allowed these folks to stay in the military but mostly blocked any advancement. President Barack Obama overturned this policy and they now have the same rights as every other member. Trent Ford, who portrayed Daniel Lynch the young piolet... did a fantastic job of making the viewer feel his frustration and despair after the death of the man that he had planed to share his life with. It's a movie that requires the audience to think and to imagine what it was like back in the days when your career...and not just within the boundaries of the military...depended on who you dared to love.

Ene 18, 12:55pm

"Seven recent films help commemorate King’s legacy in fighting for racial justice."

Robert Daniels. NYT, 01/17/2021: Movies to Stream for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Editado: Ene 19, 7:25am

The Glass House (2001)

When Ruby Baker's parents are killed in a car accident, she and her brother, Rhett, must travel to Malibu, to live with Terrence and Erin Glass, their former neighbors. At first, all seems well. Ruby is making new friends at school and Rhett is getting more video games and flashy toys than he's ever had in his life. When Ruby speaks to her family's estate lawyer, he tells her that her parents have left Rhett and her $4 million. Suddenly, Ruby begins to notice odd behavior from Terry and Erin.

The fact that these "former neighbors" were chosen as guardians of the children by the parents instead of their mother's brother who seemed to have a good relationship with the children's parents, was rather questionable. One thing that makes the viewer stay with it is that you're never sure whether you can always trust Ruby because even she is often too arrogant and "teenager" defiant most of the time. You get the idea early on that she seems like she could easily be trouble going somewhere to happen. Watching Ruby and Rhett in action though was worth the 90 odd minutes of the story that started out with several possible endings. This one can be described with many adjectives but "boring" is diffidently NOT one of them.

Editado: Ene 20, 8:27am

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Everybody knows that your life is a story. But what if a story was your life? Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is your average I.R.S. Agent: monotonous, boring, and repetitive. But one day this all changes when Harold begins to hear an author inside of his head narrating his life. The narrator it is extraordinarily accurate, and Harold recognizes the voice as an esteemed author he saw on television. But when the narration reveals that he is going to die, Harold must find the author of the story, and ultimately his life, to convince her to change the ending of the story before it is too late.

I had almost forgotten that I owned this movie, but when I found it in the "collection" I remembered how how much I loved it. No hard core violence but just a story of a man that suddenly has his life on an unexplained path. It's basically just a "feel good" movie with some very odd undertones.

Editado: Ene 21, 9:24am

Secret Window (2004)

A successful writer in the midst of a painful divorce is stalked at his remote lake house by a would-be scribe who accuses him of plagiarism.

It's a moody, "Hitchcockian" thriller with a major story twist. The pacing is slow causing lots of waiting for something to happen. I'm not crazy about Johnny Depp as an actor but his movies seem to always be worth repeat watches...this is no exception. While the twist is good...it's also not very original and the plot sometimes defies logic. Still the twist at the end makes it 4 star worthy.

Ene 21, 1:42pm

Elizabeth Is Missing
Glenda Jackson stars in this film about a older woman with dementia. Her friend has disappeared and she struggles to remember what has happened to her. Well done!

Ene 21, 6:17pm

>26 JulieLill: I read the book but I didn't know that it had been made into a movie. The book is by Emma Healey.

Ene 22, 11:41am

>27 Carol420: I didn't know it was based on a book!

Ene 22, 2:12pm

>28 JulieLill: The book was really good.

Editado: Ene 31, 2:08pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

Editado: Ene 27, 7:41am

Appointment For A Killing (1993) A.K.A. Above Suspicion

A web of deceit, lies and sex sends a woman on a risky mission to catch a deranged killer in this tightly wound thriller. Two decades of brutal and mysterious murders have gone unsolved as a concerned wife begins to suspect that her seemingly mild mannered husband could be responsible. The key to trapping the unlikely maniac lies deep in the man's bizarre and twisted psyche: his greatest sexual turn on is actually talking about his victims. Now, can his wife manage to seduce her husband while getting him to admit his crimes on tape?

Appointment for a Killing is a very average made-for TV movie from the early 90's. It was based off a true story, which made it very satisfying to see Stan get his just rewards in the in the end.

Ene 29, 11:35am

Hope Gap
3.5/5 stars
A husband comes home and tells his wife he is leaving her for another woman just when their grown son comes home for a visit and leaving him to deal with the fallout. This got mixed reviews but I really enjoyed it and the performances by the lead actors played by Annette Bening and Bill Nighy.

Ene 29, 12:25pm

>24 Carol420: Will Ferrell is very good in this one. His comedy movies are hit or miss for me but when he tackles a serious role, he really shines.

>32 JulieLill: I like both Annette Bening and Bill Nighy. Will have to keep an eye out for this one, thanks!

Editado: Ene 31, 10:41am

Preoccupied with other things, mostly watching comfort food genre pix on TCM. Re-watched most of the Thin Man movies with William Powell & (sigh) Myrna Loy. Plots are mostly incomprehensible to me; go for the interaction of the PI and his wife. Song of the Thin Man (1947). One of my favorites since it features Keenan Wynn as a jazz clarinet player; mostly for the amusing hep cat argot of musicians jamming after dark. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941). Murder (or was it?) at the race track with more murders to cover up. One scene with Nick, Nick Jr. & Asta on a merry go round with special effects, foreshadowing Strangers on a Train 10 yrs later. The Thin Man Goes Home (1944). Like the title says; meet Nick’s mother and father; small town mystery; Japanese sniper rifle has a role, with spies and incriminating paintings. After the Thin Man (1936). This one has James Stewart & lots of fog. Another Thin Man (1939). Starts at a country estate with the murder of a magnate. But there’s a scene in a nightclub with Nora in a backless evening dress my god.

Two of the Hercule Poirot movies that featured Peter Ustinov as Poirot. Death on the Nile (1978). With David Niven (who has a sword cane) & Mia Farrow as the woman spurned, hitching a ride on a riverboat tour of Egyptian antiquities. Lois Chiles as the heiress. With roles for Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, & Angela Lansbury. I’ve also seen the TV version with David Suchet. Both likeable. Apparently there’s a Kenneth Branagh version in the works. Evil Under the Sun (1982). Notable for a score cleverly incorporating Noel Coward songs. Diana Rigg gets to sing one. Maggie Smith has an important role, though she plays a different character than her role in the Nile picture. Nice scenery, though why anyone would want to vacation on an isolated Greek island is beyond me. Like the Thin Man pix, these two were relaxing.

And finally, Deathtrap (1982). With Michael Caine as a burned out playwright & Christopher Reeve as his protégé. With Dyan Cannon as Caine’s wife & Irene Worth as the psychic. Very theater oriented (based on a play by Meyer Levin) – most of it takes place on one set. Starts out seemingly as a show business version of Macbeth but then has an Agatha Christie twist midway before ending on a theatrical death. OK stuff. Murder by Death (1976). Dinner party hosted by Truman Capote playing a ghoulish writer, with guests who are parodies of fictional sleuths, including Sam Spade (Peter Falk), Nick & Nora Charles (David Niven & Maggie Smith), Hercule Poirot, and Charlie Chan. As bad as it sounds. Charlie Chan is not one of Peter Sellars better roles. Might have been more amusing if he played Inspector Clousot.

On a completely different note, the Les Blank documentary The Blues According to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1970), a short (31 min.) capturing rural Texas in 1967, tied together with excerpts of acoustic (mostly) guitar blues by Hopkins & various accompanists. There’s an anecdote about a black man getting a $500 parking ticket when his car gets stuck in a muddy ditch that sounds like things haven’t changed all that much since then. Loved the music though I haven’t heard Hopkins since high school days (which were about that time, come to think of it).

Editado: Ene 31, 9:23am

Let's Scare Julie (2019)

A group of teen girls set out to scare their reclusive new neighbor, but the prank turns to terror when some of them don't come back.

What a waste of good film...good time...and good money if anyone actually bought this piece of crap!! The girls were absolutely annoying and stupid. Nothing happened that was ever explained except these "Children" had a mean streak a mile wide and the only adult in the house spent most of the most of the movie asleep on the couch. Don't waste your time with this one.

Editado: Ene 31, 2:09pm

Angel of Mine (2019)
3.5/5 stars
A mother (Noomi Rapace) who has lost a daughter at birth, comes across a young girl who she feels is the daughter she lost. She befriends the family and does everything she can to be around the girl. This has a most unusual ending. I enjoyed it!

Editado: Ene 31, 2:21pm

The Invisible Man (2020)

When Cecilia's abusive ex-boyfriend takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

We know from the start that Cecilia isn't imagining things and that Adrian faked his suicide and is now stalking her while invisible. It was an interesting idea but somewhere along the line it just lost everything. No one was even willing to trust Cecilia's knowledge of her husbands abilities and his cruelty. It was over 2 hours of just hoping that someone one would take her 50% seriously before he 100% killed her.

Feb 1, 7:46am

Five Days To Midnight (2004)

Five Days to Midnight (styled as 5ive Days to Midnight) is a five-part miniseries which ran on the Sci Fi Channel in June 2004. It stars Timothy Hutton as J.T. Neumeyer, a physicist who discovers a briefcase containing postdated documents and evidence which indicates he will die five days into the future.

It's long but it is anything but boring. The DVD's come in a set of 2. I love the suspense and the characters were mostly likeable. The story alone was worth a 5 star rating.

Feb 1, 11:31am

>38 Carol420: My library system has this so I will put it on my list. I do like Timothy Hutton ever since I saw him in Ordinary People.

Feb 1, 6:09pm

>39 JulieLill: I was amazed at how much I liked it. I was gong to watch the first disc and save the second one for later...but ended up having to watch the whole thing.

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