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Showing posts from August, 2017

The "Before..." Trilogy (1995) (2004) (2013)

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Rating: R Genre: Drama, Romance Directed by: Richard Linklater In Theatres: Jan 27th 1995 / Jul 2nd 2004 / Jun 21st 2013  Run Time:  101 minutes / 81 minutes / 108 minutes  Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Summaries: “Before Sunrise” (1995) Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy play twentysomethings, Jesse and Celine, who meet on a train in Europe, sense a connection and explore after-hours Vienna together. 
“Before Sunset” (2004) Picking up 9 years after the events of Before Sunrise, Jesse and Celine unexpectedly meet in Paris and have only one fading afternoon to decide if they should share their tomorrows.
“Before Midnight” (2013) On the last night of their idyllic Greek vacation, Jesse and Celine reminisce about their lives together and what different choices might have brought. 

Review: This is a remarkable trilogy. What makes it so is that all the films are largely set in real-time, and the stories unfold completely through dialogue as Jesse and Celine converse. It’s incredibly unique and…

"Say Anything" (1989)

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Rating: PG-13 Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance Directed By: Cameron Crowe Written By: Cameron Crowe In Theatres: April 1st, 1989 Runtime: 100 minutes Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Corporat
Summary: In a charming tale of first love, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart of Diane Court (Ione Skye), an unattainable high-school beauty and straight-A student. It surprises just about everyone when she returns the sentiment. But Diane's overly possessive, divorced father (John Mahoney) doesn't approve and it will take more than the power of love to conquer all.
Review: This is a wonderfully cute coming of age film that will make any cynical person think again about the trials and tests presented after falling in love. John Cusack and Ione Skye play two characters that present very real qualities, unlike many of the rom-coms out there both before and after this film was released. 
While the story may initially seem a bit one-dimensional, throwing us immedia…

"Saving Mr Banks" (2013)

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Rating: PG-13 Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family Directed By: John Lee Hancock Written By: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith In Theatres: Dec 20, 2013 Runtime: 120 minutes Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Summary: Prompted by a promise made to his daughters, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) sets about obtaining the movie rights to “Mary Poppins”, a quest that would ultimately span over 20 years.  However, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of the stories, is uncompromising when it comes to letting go of her beloved characters, having no intention of doing so. However, when the books stop selling and she finds herself in need of money, Travers reluctantly agrees to consider Disney's proposition.
Review: Saving Mr Banks is a wonderful and warm film with fantastic performances from both Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be touched once more by the magic that became Marry Poppins. 


In my opinion, this could be one of Emma Thompsons best movie roles. She is truly fantastic. While…

"Coraline" (2009)

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Rating: PG (for scary images) Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy In Theatres: May 8, 2009 Runtime: 101 minutes Studio: Focus Features
Summary While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery, until Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her there forever. Coraline must use all her resources and bravery to make it back to her own family and life. Based on the 2002 fantasy/horror novel by British author Neil Gaiman.
Review This is not a children’s film…is it? It’s traumatising! A creepy, creepy film. I loved it.  It’s a very creative film. There’s certainly nothing else like it!! The whole thing with the buttons for eyes, while scary, is also clever.
I guess it’s a tendency for us to imagine another alternative world to the one we live in, a “better” world. This film is a classic example o…

"Corpse Bride" (2005)

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Rating: PG (for some scary images and action) Genre: Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy Directed By: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson Written By: John August, Pamela Pettler, Caroline Thompson In Theatres: Oct 21, 2005  Wide Runtime: 74 minutes Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Summary: Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria's (Emily Watson) families have arranged their marriage. Though they like each other, Victor is nervous about the ceremony. While he's in a forest practicing his lines for the wedding, a tree branch becomes a hand that drags him to the land of the dead. It belongs to Emily, who was murdered after eloping with her love and wants to marry Victor. Victor must get back aboveground before Victoria marries the villainous Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant).
Review: This is a wonderfully quirky film - sort of like a Halloween-themed Romeo + Juliet. But a sweeter version! All the characters are quite eccentric making a very fun movie to watch. 
The animation …

"Doc Hollywood" (1991)

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Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language, nudity) Genre: Comedy, Romance Directed By: Michael Caton-Jones Written By: Neil B. Shulman, Laurian Leggett, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Daniel Pyne On Disc/Streaming: Oct 6, 1998 Runtime: 103 minutes Studio: Warner Home Video

Summary: 
Michael J Fox plays a cocky young doctor named Ben Stone who embarks on a road trip to California in pursuit of a relaxed and high-paying career as a plastic surgeon where he can tend to the rich and famous. However, as luck would go, on route he crashes his car on a small-town judge’s property in South Carolina. Unable to continue his journey, he is enlisted as the town’s doctor as a way of serving his time for his fau-pas at the local hospital. While initially repulsed by the idea, the community spirit soon brings him around, as well as a pretty ambulance driver, Viaula, played by Julie Warner.
Review:  This film has been in our cupboards at home for years after my parents recorded it on VHS. This was a sign, for …

"Weird Science" (1985)

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Rating:  PG-13 Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy Directed By: John Hughes Written By: John Hughes Runtime: 94 minutes Studio: Universal Pictures

Summary: 
Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak electrical accident brings her to life in the form of the lovely, superhuman Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). She sets about dressing Gary and Wyatt in cool clothes, surprises them with a Porsche and helps them stand up to bullies (of sorts) Ian (Robert Downey Jr.) and Max (Robert Rusler). All the while, the boys must hide Lisa's existence from Chet (Bill Paxton), Wyatt's nightmare of a big brother.
Review:  This is actually really funny. I think some moments you just have to go with and not question or think about too much. The whole plot is whacky. It’s a fantasy. It’s a John Hughes film! 

I love the creativity behind the plot though and watching the two boys as they go about the process of creating their “…

"Risky Business" (1983)

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Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity) Genre: Comedy, Romance Directed By: Paul Brickman Written By: Paul Brickman Runtime: 99 minutes Studio: Warner Bros.
Summary: 
Tom Cruise slides into our hearts as the lovable teenager, Joel Goodsen, in this pre-Top Gun adventure. Thrilled at the idea of his parents being away for a few days, Joel takes advantage of his freedom by hiring the gorgeous Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) for a night of delight. However, stunned by the amount of Lana’s “bill” the next morning, and after crashing his father’s Porsche, Joel grows frantic. In an effort to raise a lot of quick money, a very desperate Joel turns his house into a brothel.  
Review:  I'd just like to say first that I love this film. It’s one of my favourites. 
Both Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay are fantastic together. Two gorgeous people. Even their characters fit together really well, they both sort of need each other. There is one scene when things have sort of gone to shit (excuse the phrasing)…

"Ask Me Anything" (2014)

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Rating: NR Genre: Drama Directed By: Allison Burnett Written By: Allison Burnett In Theatres: Dec 19, 2014 Runtime: 100 minutes Studio: Phase 4 Films

Summary:  Based on the novel “Undiscovered Gyrl” by Allison Burnett, “Ask Me Anything” stars Brit Robertson. She plays Katie, a young woman who chronicles her sexual adventures in an anonymous blog that exposes her innermost desires, shames and secrets. Martin Sheen and Christian Slater also co-star. The film was also directed by Allison Burnett. 
Review:  This is a surprising gem of a movie. I came across it a few months ago in a quandary over what to choose to watch on Netflix. I thought it was going to be just another rom-com of sorts or chick flick, light and easy-going. And to be fair, it does start off with what appears to be an opinionated rebellious slightly self-centred teenager worrying about first world problems. But there is so much more depth to each event that takes place and each of the characters than what initially appears. Every …

"Some Kind of Wonderful" (1987)

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Rating: PG-13 Genre: Rom-Com, Teen Directed By: Howard Deutch Written By: John Hughes In Theatres: Feb 27, 1987  Wide Runtime: 93 minutes Studio: Paramount Home Video
Summary: Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz), an artsy high school outcast, tries to land a date with popular girl Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson) with some help from his tomboy best friend, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson). However, his advances draw the ire of Amanda's snobby ex-boyfriend, Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer), who makes plans to get even.
Review: I actually enjoyed this movie a lot. I wasn’t expecting to as much given that the plot in all honesty is fairly predictable. It’s your typical 80s teen rom-com really. But the characters are good. And the soundtrack is good. And the story is cute.
Eric Stoltz is good in the lead role as Keith. I haven’t seen him in anything else. I don’t think he’s particularly funny, but he’s sweet and suitably sensitive for the part. Lea Thompson is great as Amanda as well. I liked her character, she was p…

"Sixteen Candles" (1984)

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Rating: PG Genre: Comedy Directed By: John Hughes Written By: John Hughes In Theatres: Jan 1, 1984 Runtime: 93 minutes Studio: MCA Universal Home Video
Summary: With the occasion overshadowed by her sister's upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with typical adolescent dread. Samantha pines for handsome older boy Jake (Michael Schoeffling), but worries that her chastity will be a turnoff for the popular senior. Meanwhile, Samantha must constantly rebuff the affections of nerdy Ted (Anthony Michael Hall), the only boy in the school, unfortunately, who seems to take an interest in her.
Review:  It happens to be my brother's birthday this week. Still another year before he can refer to the movie's title, but I thought I'd review Sweet Sixteen in spirit of the occasion nonetheless!
This was John Hughes' first directorial film. And he certainly made an entrance with this one! Even more impressive to think he wrote over a weekend. It…