Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Amadeus - 1984


A Milos Forman Film

(Theatrical Version) Rated PG
(Director's Cut) Rated R
My Rating: 3 stars

F. Murray Abraham
Tom Hulce
Elizabeth Berridge
Simon Callow
Roy Dotrice
Christine Ebersole
Jeffrey Jones
Charles Kay
Kenneth McMillan

Amadeus Wolgang Mozart, genius musician such as the world has never seen before or after. But genius that he is, Mozart has many faults. Those two factors combined lead to his death and the everlasting guilt of Antonio Salieri.

People question if this film is accurate but from what I have read, I must say that I believe this portrait of Mozart is fairly correct. He was a foolhardy, spendthrift, arrogant man who was given a gift that the rest of us can only dream about. I loved how this movie showed Mozart composing and explained to a certain extent how his mind worked in music. Mozart understood the science of music when he was 4 years old. He was absolutely amazing.

The Director's Cut of Amadeus had twenty minutes of extra footage in it that jacked the rating way up to R. Some of it I think could have been left out completely. However, I was glad I was able to watch some of it because it actually gave me a bigger picture of what Mozart was like and the extent of Silieri's hate.

What I Liked:
1: The music
2: That crazy laugh that makes me smile whenever I hear it (though I can't vouch for that being accurate... this is the first I've heard of it)
3: Salieri's hate and methods of destroying Mozart were very realistic.
4: How well cast Mozart, Silieri and the King were. They totally merged into their characters and became one. It was amazing to watch the extra footage later and seeing them out of character! It was as if they were completely different people. ::applauds::
5: 99% of the movie was believably 18th century.
6: This film left me with a feeling like I would never watch a movie quite like it again. It is unique.

What I didn't Like:
1: Mozart is portrayed as a very vulgar man. I am fairly sure he was but they seemed to go overboard a couple times. Thus...
2: Crude language (this is in the Director's Cut) occurs several times.
3: Mozart's Wife, Constanze, is shot with frontal nudity. This definitely could have been completely cut... and it is in the Theatrical Version of the movie.
4: One shot of Mozart and Constanze without their wigs is very, very 80's. That drove me crazy. Lol! But the rest of the movie was so good that I was able to forgive them. :-)
5: Elizabeth Berridge played Constanze Mozart. She was a good actor and I was impressed with her talent. But I must admit that I found in 50% of her scenes, she wasn't Constanze, she was only playing Constanze. Big difference. I couldn't forget that she was Elizabeth Berridge.

This movie is one of those very powerful, moving stories that I will never forget. For music lovers everywhere, this is excellence.

Little Women --1994

Little Women

Rating: G
My Rating: 5 Stars

Wynona Ryder
Gabriel Byrne
Trini Alvarado
Samantha Mathis
Kirsten Dunst
Claire Danes
Christian Bale
Eric Stoltz
John Neville
Mary Wickes
Susan Sarandon (Marmee)

Who doesn't know about Little Women? The instant classic by Louisa May Alcott that some genius took and made a wonderful movie out of? Indeed. :-)

Four sisters. One Marmee. One Father, chaplain in the army. Two neighbors across the way. One grouchy old aunt across town. Makes for a delightful plot, does it not?

Louisa May Alcott had been writing and publishing for several years before someone asked her to write a story for girls. Her other stories had been moderately successful but she wasn't quite happy with them. In fact, at one point, she had been writing horror stories... stories with drugs, mediums, spiritualists, villains, passionate lovers, etc, etc, etc, in them. Then the values with which she had been raised asserted themselves and she promptly burned all her manuscripts and didn't know where to start over. But it was then that a new dawning arrived.

When the publisher asked for a story for girls, Louisa didn't know where to start. She hadn't been a very girly girl when growing up... didn't play with dolls or such like. In fact, where you'd most likely find her playing was with the boys and a hoop or a ball or frogs. She was a real tomboy. But she had three sisters and some of them had liked to play with dolls. Think of all the adventures they had while growing up. What if she wrote a story about her life? She and her sisters growing up years?

So she did. And it was a success from the first. Not just in monetary terms! But little girls (and boys!) all over the world loved this story of a typical American family in the late 1880's. And they still love it... because the values that Louisa May Alcott blatantly wrote in her story still hold true today. People today still relate to the humor and adventures and love that bring a warm glow to the heart of any reader.

“Why do they like it so much?” Louisa asked her father, bewildered at the wild success of her story.
“Because you wrote from your heart,” he replied. “You wrote from your heart.”

The 1994 version of the movie is excellent. They had perfect actors for the characters. :-)

What I disliked:
!: The only things I disliked about the movie was that it was too short... since they had to keep it down to a certain length of time, they had to skip a lot of the adventures and things that happened in the book. However, also included in the things they skip over are things conservative Christians tend to complain about in the book(such as the plays that include witches and the part where Amy converts to catholicism).
2: Also, there are a few more kisses in the movie than in the book. Meg and Mr. Brooke... Jo and Laurie. But for the most part, I would say it's not inappropriate in any way.

Watch and enjoy!

Dreamer -- 2005


Rated PG for mild elements
My Rating: 5 stars

Dakota Fanning
Kurt Russell
Kris Kristofferson
Elisabeth Shue
David Morse
Freddy Rodriguez
Luis Guzman
Oded Fehr

Based on a true story.

Cale Crane. Loves. Horses. She lives on a horse farm. Her Dad works at the racetrack as a trainer. Her Grandpa was a horse trainer and raised top fillies for racing. Does Cale have a horse? Nope. In fact, there is not a single horse on their farm.

One morning, Cale convinces her Dad to bring her to where he works... The stables at the racetrack are filled with beautiful, top racing horses but the best one is a lovely little filly named Sonyador. She had been trained by Cale's father and she was a wonder. Even at her young age, she had won many awards and her owners were sure she had a great future ahead of her.

But today, Cale's dad is sure that Sonya doesn't want to race... heat in her leg... acting a little strange. “She shouldn't race,” he said. But Sonya's owner insists that she's fine and the filly is taken out to the track. The whistle blows and they're off. Sonya takes the lead and all seems to be well... and then, it happens. Sonya and her jockey are down on the track while the others race around them to the finish. Cale's dad has them bring Sonya into the stables and they x-ray her leg. It's the cannon bone... spiral fracture. The owner said to put the horse down. When Cale's dad objects, he is promptly fired. But then Cale's dad does something unexpected.... he buys Sonyador.

It's through this beautiful creature and the faith in their hearts that the Crane family will learn to dream again.

The rest of the movie I leave for you to see. I think it's one of the best horse movies ever made... and it's one so clean, the entire family can enjoy it.

What I Liked:
1: All the actors. They are all so good and there is such a variety of characters and personalities. This movie is golden.
2: This movie was the first one directed by John Gatins
3: The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Crane is so sweet and wholesome.
4: How realistic this story is.
5: Cale is fairly respectful 99% of the time. But she also has a mind of her own.

What I didn't Like:
1: Mrs. Crane occasionally wears a dress with a lower neckline.
2: Cale, while speaking to the bad guy, uses a slightly crude term.
3: The rare swear word (nothing major).

I want my kids to be able to watch this movie someday. It's a classic.

Ben-Hur -- 1959

William Wyler's presentation of:



Rated G

Charlton Heston
Jack Hawkins
Haya Harareet
Stephen Boyd
Hugh Griffith
Martha Scott
Cathy O'Donnell
Sam Jaffe

Who hasn't heard of the magnificence of this film? It was the most expensive motion picture of it's time. The actors they picked were the best of their era. The sheer size of this production, the richness, 'old school' filming and the wonderful story.... Ben-Hur is one of a kind.

When General Lew Wallace (author of the book Ben-Hur) began writing his novel, he was neither a believe or an unbeliever in Jesus Christ. But while in the process of writing, his path was thrown in with Robert Ingersoll, “The Great Agnostic” as they refer to him. During a conversation with said Mr. Ingersoll, they argued heatedly against God, Jesus Christ, heaven, etc and Lew Wallace was so taken aback by the agnostic's disbelief, he was forced to review his own beliefs. When he was finished reviewing them, he was not only in disagreement with Mr. Ingersoll, he had become a firm believer in Jesus Christ and the redemption we have in His blood. After that turning point in General Wallace's life, there was a new flavor in his writing.

When Ben-Hur was published in 1880, it wasn't an overnight success. But two years later, sales suddenly increased, so much so that it became a publishing phenomenon. With it came many offers to make his book into a stage production. But it wasn't until someone came up with an idea that treated the God figure in the story with enough reverence that General Wallace agreed to let it be produced on stage.

After that, many audiences were thrilled with the drama of Judah Ben-Hur and his journey from greatness, to the extreme opposite back to greatness... but not before some great spiritual changes had been made in his heart. I suppose this is one of the reasons why this movie is still very well known, and why it always seems to move on with the technology of the times. It's a story with a purpose and it is well told.

The era: Rome had taken over the entire world (as they knew it), Israel being part of it. True to prophecies, Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem and Herod commands his soldiers to kill every child 2 years old and under in that town.

Years pass and we see Judah Ben-Hur: born a prince among his people with many assets, a mother and sister. In his youth, he had a friend who saved his life once. This friend was a Roman boy named Messala. Over the years, in spite if the differences in their upbringing, they become so close that they are like brothers. But when the boys are still young, Messala had to leave for Rome to train as a soldier and leader.

The story begins when Messala arrives back in Judea. The two friends reunite and all is well... until Messala asks Judah to betray his people. Judah refuses and Messala's true character emerges as he seeks revenge and does his best to completely destroy Judah's life and those he loves.

The most powerful part of the film is the character of Jesus Christ. You never see his face. You never hear his voice. But His life and actions and divinity are apparent in everyone who comes in contact with him... thus, the viewer is given the impression that you saw His face, heard His voice and felt His power in your life.

What I liked:
1: How Jesus Christ is portrayed.
2: The powerfulness of the story.
3: Haya Harareet: beauty, majesty. The only Jew to play a Jewish character on this film... For how inexperienced she was, her skill as an actress is truly amazing. I wish she could have stayed young forever and played in some of my other favorite movies... Fiddler on the Roof, for instance.
4: Hugh Griffith: wonderfully hilarious and yet, so serious. I applaud those who made the decision to award him for his performance in this film... and whoever cast him for the part.
5: How rich and spectacular the entire film is. It takes my breath away.
6: Cleanness. This movie is very good in that aspect too.
7: 99% of this movie is very accurate. They researched for a year before they began building the sets and costumes, etc, and you can tell.

What I Didn't Like:
1: Charlton Heston. I have watched several movies that he acted in: The Ten Commandments, The Little Kidnappers, Call of the Wild, Alaska) and in each, it's frustrating to watch him because he had such potential.. but he can never completely be the character he's playing. He's much Charlton Heston. He's not Moses or Ben-Hur. I wish he could have taken lessons from Hugh Griffith! Because you can just feel and see the potential of the most dynamic actors of all time in Mr. Heston. For the record, my favorite role that Charlton Heston played was in Alaska.
2: The dance by the Ethiopians. They aren't dressed very well. However, I must admit that it's totally accurate for the time. You can't see much but I cover the screen.
3: Some of the things that happen in the story (or the way these things are presented) is unrealistic.

Do I recommend this film? Definitely! If not for the story, then for the quality of production. But the story is one of the great epics of all time. If not for the production, go for the story. :-)

A Cinderella Story

A Cinderella Story

rated PG for mild elements
My Rating: 5 stars

Hilary Duff
Jennifer Coolidge
Chad Michael Murray
Dan Byrd
Regina King
Julie Gonzalo
Lin Shaye

I usually go for period films or something that has something to do with history but A Cinderella Story has got to be one of the best chick flicks of all time. When you get an actor like Hilary Duff to be the abused heroine, Jennifer Coolidge to be the evil stepmother, Chad Michael Murray to play the... Mmm. I won't give it away.

Enter the world of Sam (Hilary Duff) who lives in the attic of her stepmother's cottage that could look like a swiss chalet surrounded with the only green yard in the entire neighborhood, even though their part of CA is in the middle of a drought. Sam's father died when she was young and since he left no will, her stepmother got everything: the house, the car, the Diner. Oh yeah. The Diner. Sam's father owned the coolest diner in the valley. Employees and customers were friends and diet was a four lettered word. But when Sam's dad was killed during an earthquake, everything changed. For worse.

Fiona (Jennifer Coolidge) is a horror and her two stepdaughters are just as bad. Sam is their slave, whom they blame everything on, the odd man out in school... she basically doesn't fit in anywhere. Before he died, Sam and her dad had shared a dream together: for her to go to college at Princeton. But the more Sam works towards this dream, the more Fiona works against it.

The only thing that keeps Sam going is her mysterious friend whom she chats with every day. Neither of them know who the other is, only that Sam is a girl and her friend is a guy. The more they get to know each other, the more he talks about meeting. But Sam is scared. Can anything turn out happily in her life?

What I Liked:
1: How funny this movie is.
2: How well acted it is. Perfect actors for the characters. Jennifer Coolidge and Regina King are wonderful.
3: The sappiness of it. Not often do you get a story like this that is so clean.
4: How rich it is... it's vibrant and full of color and character.
5: Lessons on judging character and being courageous.
6: Some of the score was lovely!

What I Didn't Like:
1: The girls tend to dress seductively.
2: Some crude humor... I must admit, however, that it wasn't too bad and it always completed the feel of the scene.
3: The kissing scenes... ditto #2, though. ;-)
4: Part of the score was a little... well, not my style. ;-)

But I do recommend this movie to anyone who likes clean sappiness... I love this movie. It's great entertainment. :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010



PG-13 for violence

Matthew McConaughey
Penelope Cruz
Steve Zahn
William H. Macy
Rainn Wilson
Delroy Lindo

My Rating: 4 stars

Even though I'm somewhat of a fan of Indiana Jones, I must say that I thought this movie was as good or better. It had all the elements of Indiana Jones: legend, action, (clean) romance, medical, desert, lots of humor, etc, etc, except that I found it to rely not only on action to keep the audience fascinated. The story actually slowed down at times and there were 'breathers' in which I could quickly review or just enjoy the humor.

Ever heard about treasure seekers? How about ocean treasure seekers? Dirk and Al are best buds from college, all through military and afterwards. They're both dedicated but Dirk is seriously obsessed with a armored ship that disappeared during the Civil War and was rumored to have been last seen on the rivers of Africa. The rumors seem ridiculous to everyone but Dirk, and he searches ceaselessly. Al, of course, accompanies Dirk everywhere and helps get them through the tough situations with his ready wit.

Around about then, they meet two doctors who are trying to get to a city that seems to be the source of a plague that kills painfully and seemed to be spreading very quickly. One of these doctors is a woman. A beautiful woman to boot, and she's about to get into some serious trouble as she delves more deeply into the source of the plague. Guess who has to save the her and get the bad guys?

What I Liked:
1: How fully one felt the land, the story, the characters. It was so well directed and filmed that it seemed like the viewer was there.
2: How clean the romance was. The only kiss is at the very end.
3: The humor was super clean, too. My favorite line is Al's, “Hi. How are you?”
4: There was not too much offensive language.
5: The beautiful landscape... desert can be gorgeous.
6: Great story... a bit of an intrigue, which I love.
7: Excellent bad guys.
8: Penelope Cruz's character was modestly dressed for 75% of the film. I found that refreshing. :-)

What I didn't Like:
1: There was some offensive language. I think that the movie could be have been made more family friendly with the lack of it.
2: Penelope Cruz's character should have retained her over shirt after she was kidnapped. It would have fit into the storyline better, since that was her regular wear.
3: The bikini scene at the very end could have been cut out. It was totally put in there for guys to look at. BUT, for worried Mum's and Dad's, that scene can be covered with no damage done. Also, it could be completely skipped over since it's the very last scene of the movie.

Do I recommend this film? Yes. For very conservative readers, even though Penelope Cruz is in a tank top for some of the film, the action is very brisk and the camera doesn't rest on her for very long. The language is not terrible. I would say it's cleaner than Indiana Jones or most other action type films. And the humor is great!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Legally Blonde (2001)

Legally Blonde
A Marc Platt Production

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual references
My Rating: 4 stars

Reese Witherspoon
Luke Wilson
Selma Blaire
Matthew Davis
Victor Garber
Jennifer Coolidge

This movie held my attention from start to finish and it made me laugh out loud. Definitely a chick flick, complete with a sappy finale!... but with some morales upheld that make the viewer examine their own.

Enter into the world of Elle Woods, more specifically, the (dangerous!) world of gorgeous blondes. Ellie is a rich man's daughter who has never met with affliction (other than, of course, being late for her pedicure appointment) until her beloved boyfriend breaks up with her the night she expects him to propose to her. It was a horrible blow, but Elle wasn't going to be left behind. After over a week of mourning (watching romantic movies, eating half of each chocolate, dropping the remainder in the box and throwing the entire thing at the T.V. whenever the hero in the feature pronounces his love to the heroine), she decides to go to Harvard Law to show her blind, misguided ex-boyfriend that she is indeed smart and good enough for him.

Wonder of wonders, she manages to be excepted into Harvard and what she thinks is going to be simply winning back Warner Huntington III turns into a major life changing experience that leaves her feeling fulfilled as never before.

What I Liked:
1: Reese Witherspoon. It doesn't matter what role she plays, the lady in her shines through.
2: In spite of groaning over her complete blondishness, by the time you're a third through the film, you have learned to like Elle.
3: Lots and lots of very laughable humor.
4: This movie is so well directed. Bravo.
5: The lessons Elle learns are lessons that viewer learns as well. That's good acting. :-)
6: Jennifer Coolidge is one of the funniest actors ever. She adds such a wonderful flair to this movie; it wouldn't have been right without her.
7: Elle's innocence.
8: How different the cast of characters were. They were all unique and easily remembered.
9: The mystery. I love whodunits. :-)

What I Didn't Like:
1: Sexual humor could have been cut out.
2: Elle and other girls are dressed seductively for many of the scenes.
3: There was some language.

For conservative families, this film is not for you. For people who can over look the negatives and simply appreciate the superb quality of acting, directing and storyline, this film is a must see.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Enemy Of The State

Enemy of the State

A Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckhemimer Production

Will Smith
Gene Hackman
Regina King
Jon Voight
Gabriel Byrn
Loren Den
Jake Busey
Barry Pepper

Rated R for violence, language and brief sexuality/innuendo
My rating: 4 stars for excellence

Robert Clayton Dean is a successful D.C. Attorney and happily married family man who lives in relative peace. Little does he know that his life will soon be ripped to pieces... and unless he takes drastic action, he won't get it back. Unknown to him, he has in his possession a video of a murder... a political murder. And the murderer is willing to go to all lengths to get rid of it and anyone who may know about it. The result is lots of action, some humor, some tears and a good feeling when you're done watching the film.

What I liked:
1: The wonderful relationship between Dean and his wife. In spite of their mistakes (and there were some big ones), their relationship grew stronger through each storm they weathered.
2: How Dean always had his wife and kid on his brain, regardless of what he was going through.
3: Dean's determination to live, even if it meant doing some of the stupidest, most uncomfortable things he'd ever heard of.
4: Gene Hackman's character and the relationship between him and Dean. It was an interesting physiological mix of hate and respect, that eventually turned to appreciation and, shall I say?, affection.
5: The way I totally got the story and what was happening, even though it moved very quickly.
6: Not being much with electronics, etc, I doubly appreciated how easily I could understand what each piece of technological equipment was for and how it worked.
7: This movie was extremely well acted, well directed, and all the strings were neatly tied when the movie was finished.

8: Even with the elements that I didn't care for, I must admit that nothing seemed excessive or out of place. Each scene and sequence fit very well and helped flavor the film.
9: It seemed totally 100% realistic. Being raised in a home that questions everything about the culture we live in and our leaders, I was very interested in the message of this film. And it was this: we have little privacy. As Will Smith said in an interview, “The only privacy we have is in our heads.” It's a movie that made me think and I think it's a movie that will be around for awhile because (I hope!) there are other people who appreciate being woke up.

The things I didn't like:
1: The language.
2: The sexual content... which, thankfully, was “tastefully done”. There is a scene in a Victorian Secret store, in which Dean is trying to buy some lingerie for his wife. One could cover the screen and listen to the dialog because it is important to the rest of the story. Scene two that is a little colorful is when Dean finds that nearly all his clothing is bugged or has censers. He strips down in an apartment quickly, while the older oriental lady looks on and claps enthusiastically... but Dean only gets down to his undershirt and skivvies (which, thankfully, the bad guys forgot to bug... Lol!) before he starts to run again. That actually was the most disturbing scene for me because I tend to want to respect older ladies and this one had me totally disgusted. :-P Another scene is when Dean and Gene Hackman's character film a congressman having an affair with someone who isn't his wife. The camera pans away before one sees too much and even then, you can simply cover the screen and listen to the dialog, which is also important. The final scene (that I can remember) is when Dean and his wife see each other for the first time in a few days and engage in an affectionate embrace (mostly kissing) that includes Carla wearing the lingerie he got for her. Again, it's tastefully done but personally, I would cover the screen.

What surprised me in this film:
1: The appearance Gabriel Byrne. I love his role from Little Women (2002) as Professor Baer so was pleasantly surprised with his brief but memorable appearance here.

Do I recommend this film? To a mature audience, definitely. If you enjoy a good film, with intrigue, a beautiful romance (I love it when the romance is between a married couple :-)), lots of action, a good message and all the strings tied, watch Enemy of the State.



Disney - Pixar
rated G

Patton Oswalt
Ian Holm
Lou Romano
Brian Denneky
Peter Sohn
Peter O'Toole
Brad Garrett
Janeane Garofalo

This animated film combines a sweet story, morals, humor and fine food. I find it a perfect recipe for an enjoyable viewing experience. In fact, I'll go as far to say that next to Fiddler on the Roof, this film is my favorite.

Who is the hero of this film? A brave hearted, bewhiskered, cute little fellow named Remy. Remy is a rat. But contrary to what most people think about rats (unless you've watched Disney's version of Cinderella, of course), Remy lived for fine food. He spends hours in a house of an old lady who falls asleep during the cooking show on T.V. so Remy can watch the famous chefs and read the wonderful cookbook, “Anyone Can Cook” Sadly, his family didn't understand his quest or gift for food at all. Due to a slight accident, Remy and his family are separated and Remy ends up in Paris... right beside a world famous restaurant. In fact, it's the restaurant of a chef who wrote the cookbook that Remy loves so well. Imagine that!

When he is rather thrown into the path of aspiring cook Linguini (garbage boy of the restaurant), they decide to team together, using Remy's skill with food and Linguini's skill at looking human and a hilarious string of events is set in motion.

This film is amazing in every area. At times, the quality of the picture is so good that it seems like it's real instead of animation. I recommend it highly!

The Last Days -- Documentary

The Last Days

A film by James Moll

Steven Spielberg and The Shoah Foundation

Winner of the 1998 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

This is the first Holocaust documentary I have seen but I have read extensively about this era in history. From my research, I can give this film a “two thumbs up!” as Joel Sigel and Robert Egert did when they reviewed it. Emotional but not overly. It kept you horrified but not so much that your interest wained. It showed pictures, film footage and documents of the time but also interspersed up to date footage of the survivors being interviewed.

It's interesting how you can read of all sorts of disgusting things and it doesn't affect a person like seeing it. I knew the inmates looked like walking skeletons when the allies came. I knew of the mass executions and torture inflicted by the SS. I knew about the deportations and children being torn in half and how they saved their valuables (forgive me for not going into detail). I had read dozens of books about the barracks. I had read about the doctors and experiments. But to see it...

How did it suddenly seem so real? Why did I feel like I was the one losing my family members? Seeing that smoke stain the sky and knowing it was them? Watching one of the camp's doctors who managed to get pardoned as he spoke unemotionally about the people he experimented on and suddenly wishing I could slap him across the face. If I could only cause him a fraction of the pain he inflicted on the innocents.

And then I remembered... these are who Jesus Christ died for. It seems out of this world. I can't imagine, if he had any conscience left, how much guilt he has to live with every second of the day. I don't envy him. And I thank God that I have never been placed in his position.

For those interested in the Holocaust, this a good film to see. But I would recommend reading some books with it so you will understand it better. One of the reasons it affected me like it did was because I knew some of the other stories around those that were told in this film.

Alicia, Rena's Promise, Night, To Life, I Light A Candle and Pied Piper are some very good stories that will let you see a little more of this time in history. It's hard to get a clear picture of something without looking at several different views.

If anyone has recommendations for other documentaries, movies or books about the Holocaust, I would be interested in hearing them.

Poste de First -- Welcome

I'm not sure how far this project will go or how long it will last but I'm going to give it my best shot. The reason I created this blog is because I have only found one website that reviewed movies, books, etc, with a conservative viewpoint. I have been raised in a very conservative home and although I'm coming out of it to a certain extent, I experience daily and remember the shocks of the world that I am/was unaccustomed to. I wanted someone to tell me every little detail that might be offensive to me and my family. (Especially them.) But there isn't anyone who has been raised with my values.

But more than that, I love reading reviews and other people's opinions. That is what this blog is about: opinions. I would love to hear others opinions of what I review and what recommendations you have. Please keep in mind that I will not allow lewdness or impropriety. I want this blog to be conservative people friendly, since it is written partially from that viewpoint.

Films, books, music: that is my goal for now. Eventually, I might review websites, photography, musical instruments, actors/actresses, authors, musicians, etc. But the first three will definitely keep me busy enough until I get more internet time. Research is limited because of that.

To be honest, I'm excited about this. Hope I'll be able to get this off the ground and soaring. Cheers and happy reading.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Village -- 2004

The Village

directed by
M. Night Shyamalan

PG: frightening scenes

My Rating: 5 stars

Joaquin Pheonix
Adrien Brody
Bryce Dallas Howard
William Hurt
Sigourney Weaver
Brendan Gleeson

The gist of the story is this: a village set in the 19th century fears an evil lurking in the forests around their small valley. Due to a certain set of circumstances, one of their number must venture out to the Towns to get medical supplies.

The story is told in such a way that it is a great mystery. I will not give it away and spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I must say that I was surprised several times. I did have inklings at one point but somehow, the director cleverly cleared them all away from my mind, then thoroughly surprised me with exactly what I had suspected earlier.

The first ten minutes of this film, I was rather disappointed because I found that most of the actors weren't saying their lines well. It sounded like they were reading them or repeating them from memory. Actually, what it really seemed like was that most of the actors hadn't 'become' their characters yet. But as the ten minute mark passed, so did my negative criticism. The actors and their characters made a complete merging and the movie became a work of genius on all counts.

That being said, I must digress for a moment: Adrien Brody and Joaquin Pheonix were excellence from start to finish. I never thought that Adrien would look so good insane but he's a genius at whatever role he plays, be it playwright, soldier or madman!

For those who love a good mystery, unique story and a lovely, sweet romance, this film is for you. The scariest thing about it? That the story might be true.

I'm now looking for M. Night Shyamalan's other films. :-)