After years of prodding by family and friends I have decided to tread gingerly into the field of nameless, faceless bloggers! Adding to the myriad of individuals posting their thoughts and opinions and hoping that there are some who agree and fewer that do not!
I LOVE movies!!!!!!!!! Millions of us do. Where does this love come from? From childhood bedtime stories that transport our young, untainted and impressionable minds into a world of make-believe and fantasy? A world that might or might not exist. From the desire to escape the mundane and sometimes
monotony of our daily existence? Searching on the screen for answers to our questions; questions about our choices our ambitions our goals, our loves? Or is our passion for film just an intricate part of our DNA?
For me it is still a question or a quest that remains unanswered.
I do not go to the movies because of the director, producer or even the actors (although I do have my favorites); I go for the story, whether based on fact or fiction; nothing pleases me more than meeting someone or something on the screen that I have never encountered before. Naturally, the success of the story relies on the talents of the above mentioned.
Each movie must be judged on its own!
It is also natural that the “stars” become our “friends” and we tend to lionize them on and off the screen; but as paying customers we should realize that they need us more than we them. Hence, I want to keep them on the screen and admire their inimitable transformative powers. I do not want to know who they sleep with, who they vote for and most importantly I do not want them to tell me who I should vote for!
That being said, my reviews will be based on a five star system:
Five Stars, the movie has to be flawless in all categories.
Four Stars, almost perfect.
Three Stars, good but not great.
Two Stars, go if you have absolutely nothing else to do.
One Star, the movie should not have been made.
Due to the length of my introduction these mini reviews of recent releases are listed below:
Inglorious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino’s ultimate WWII fantasy. It is worth the price of admission to see the
stunning performance of Christoph Waltz; the most charming portrayal of evil visited upon the screen in recent memory. He is definitely worthy of an Academy Award nominatoin! Four Stars!
The Informant: Matt Damon’s characterization of the brilliant savant Mark Whitacre is breathtaking; he is at the pinnacle of his acting career; my guess, an Academy Award performance. Steven Soderbergh’s adapation of the true tale of the demise of Archer Daniels Midland is riveting. Four Stars
The Burning Plain: panned by some, I thoroughly relished the intricacy of the story woven by director
Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros); the remarkable and gorgeous Charlize Theron and the still breathtaking Kim Basinger give performances worthy of their previous Academy Awards. Three Stars.
The September Issue: Unlike The Devil Wears Prada or The Last Emperor, left me cold. The only interesting and successful aspect of the film was the very real depiction of the pressure and the stress of making their September deadline. Fashion addicts will enjoy the clothes; travelers, the scenes from Paris, New York, Rome and London. Two Stars.
The Baader Meinhof Complex: great German film! A fair and unbalanced look at the real life gang and their march from idealism to anarchy. What I loved about this movie was that we, the viewer,could draw our own conclusions. The motives of the Baader Meinhof gang and their demise have been the subject of debate and scrutiny since its inception in the late 60’s to the present. The famed German painter, Gerhard Richter, has immortalized them in some monumental works. Four Stars.
Extract: from commencement to conclusion my fervent wish was to “extract” myself from this film. It was a total waste of talent, with the exception of Ben Affleck (whose talent has always been questionable) who does a fine job as “stoned” bar owner. The 25-40 audience might be able to educate me in the subtleties
and humor that totally escaped my observations. Two Stars……………and I am being generous!
My One and Only; a gem of a film starring Renee Zellweger, about the formative travails of George Hamilton. A sensitive, real and delightful flick, just fun, easy on the eye and mind. Three Stars.
Saved the best for last:
Julie and Julia; from the first delicious minute this mouth-watering inspirational film was a pure unmitigated
joy to experience. Due to the inimitable talents of Meryl Streep, Julia Child once again reigns in our kitchens!
Ms. Streep is the Midas in the world of celluloid; every role she embraces turns to gold. Her genius will once again be recognized on Academy Award night. Also, Amy Adams deserves accolades for her performance as a frustrated writer whose passion for food saves her soul! Horrah for Nora Ephron for giving us this fabulous love story! Five Stars.