Saturday, January 29, 2011
and even more movies

"THE TOWN" is a very interesting well done film, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, along with Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner, who is nominated for a SAG Award and an Oscar, in the Best Supporting Actor category.....There is also a wonderful young actress named Rebecca Hall, who is very good in this film.....This is rent-able from Netflix and if you like films that keep you on the edge of your seat---this is for you! Plus, it is rather thrilling to see what a wonderful film maker Ben Affleck is becoming---if and when he decides to give up acting, he has before him, a great career as a Director. I liked this film a lot, though I was a little confused by the ending......"ANOTHER YEAR". This is a truly wonderful little film by writer/director Mike Leigh, who's films are always so very personal and detailed....Everyone in it is superb! And in particular, a fine actress named Lesley Manville, who, in my opinion should have had an Oscar and SAG Nomination, but didn't.....We follow Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen who play a longtime married couple, through a year of their lives, Season by Season, and their interactions with friends and family during that time period....It is a simple heartfelt beautifully rendered film, about people and their humanness---it is touching and painful and sweet. And a film not to be missed! Not rent-able yet, but I know it will be, eventually....... "INCEPTION". Well, I had such a hard time with this film I could not finish watching it. I had no idea who anybody was; I had no idea what the hell they were all doing or why they were where they were, or in fact why they were anywhere at all; and, most importantly, I Didn't Care About Anyone. For me, that last part--not caring about anyone is a huge 'no, no'. I tried to get through this film two different times. And I did get through more of the film the second time...(about forty minutes in, I think...) But, finally, I just got angry at it and decided I was not going to waste any more of my time on it. And here is the thing: It is one of the ten Nominee's for Best Picture at The Oscars, so, maybe I don't know squat, but in my subjective opinion.....well, you get the idea! "FAIR GAME" is a really terrific movie. It is based on the true story of The White House 'outing' of Undercover CIA Agent, Valerie Plame, to get back at her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson for openly calling out the Government for basing the Iraq war on false information, (which they knew was false), about WMD's, and what this 'outing' did to their lives. It is a cautionary tale that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck because it is true. In many ways this show of power by The Bush White House is almost scarier than the war itself. Naomi Watts and Sean Penn play the two principals and they are both terrific! You will have look for this film because it kind of has been swept under the rug. Hmmmm. I wonder why? Well, in truth, that is a no-brainer. Do take the trouble to find this really important film once it is rent-able. It is very much worth your time. Personally, I love films that teach me something about the way the real world works, even though it is exasperating and often shocking and also rather depressing, as well. Sometimes the truth is all that, and so much more! This is a brave film. "GHOST WRITER" was a film I knew very little about and which I enjoyed seeing tremendously. It is a mystery-thriller. My very dear previous next door neighbor, Pierce Brosnan, is wonderful in this film, as is everyone else....Ewan McGregor, Kim Catrall, Olivia Williams and the incredibly talented 95 year old Eli Wallach.....It is thrilling and inspiring to see this wonderful actor, still working at ninety-five years old. And he is as good as he ever was. This is the film that is directed by Roman Polanski, which he had to edit while under House Arrest in Switzerland. Say what you want about Mr. Polanski, that he is not a very good man, or wasn't, but he is a truly wonderful talented film maker....."Rosemary's Baby" was exceptional, and then, there is that gem of a film, "Chinatown"......."Chinatown" takes place in Los Angeles in the 1930's and is a kind of romantic mystery...... Just recently they showed this wonderful film on one of my movie channels, and I watched it marveling at what a really great film this was---everything about it; the actors, the screenplay, the direction, the costumes, the music---It was like watching it for the first time again. And let me tell you, it holds up fantastically well---it seemed fresh and new to me, and for me, that is the sign of a truly great film. "CHINATOWN" had Elevcn Oscar Nominations back in 1974. ('Godfather 2' kind of walked away with a lot of the Oscars that year...but not every one....) This films Oscar winning screenplay by Robert Towne is superb! Then, there is the always fabulous Jack Nicholson, looking extremely handsome, by the way, and Faye Dunaway, when she was at her best.......And the great Director John Houston, in one of his rare 'acting' appearances, was perfect as Faye Dunaways smarmy and utterly despicable father....If you don't know this film...You have a real treat in store for you...And if you are familiar with it---re-visit it once again. Why talk about a film that is 37 years old? Well, because it is top notch film-making at it's very very best, by a top notch film maker, who is still making terrific films! If you decide to rent this film, believe me, you won't be disappointed in any way......It's got movie stars, when there were "Movie Stars".......!

Earlier today, I watched a wonderful little film that won the highest Award at The Sundance Film Festival in 2010....It is a small Independent Film with practically no recognizable actors in it. It is about a very poor Ozark family held together by the 17 year old daughter, who has a mentally ill mother and two younger siblings that she cares for, and a drug dealing father who has disappeared some weeks before----It is about strength and determination and tenacity and family....! It is called "WINTERS BONE". The 17 year old is played by a young woman named Jennifer Lawrence, who is quite extraordinary. Her performance is so real and simple and arresting---She is nominated in the Best Actress category by SAG,..(These Awards are on Sunday, January 30th), and she has also been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category....(Her fellow Actor, John Hawkes, is up for a SAG Award and an Oscar, too, in the Best Supporting category)....This makes me so proud to be a part of The Screen Actors Guild and it makes me proud of all the actors who voted for both of these exceptional performers---but particularly voting for Jennifer Lawrence, giving her these well deserved nominations, and it makes me proud of our industry---and all the people who vote on these nominations........And by the way, it was Nominated for an Oscar in The Best Picture category, too....! Phenomenal!!It says that a truly little unknown film can touch people's hearts and their sensibilities. Now, I am ashamed to say, I did NOT see this film before the SAG voting closed. It wasn't available to me until today because it finally became rent-able, as of January 25th, from Netflix. This is a harsh movie in so many ways, but inspiring and ultimately it is about the power of determination and the power of love.....! I found it very heart warming and moving, that a little film like this has had the kind of truly deserved recognition that it has---No big Studio behind it; no expensive PR available to them; no big names as a selling point; no budget for heavy advertising....Just a really wonderful film made by very talented wonderfully dedicated people. (The Director/Writer is a woman named Debra Granik---also not a big name, and Bravo, to her.) And this kind of recognition is almost never the case! "Winters Bone" is also up for a couple of Independent Spirit Awards, too. These Awards are held the day before The Oscars and worth finding in your TV Listings---it is always a fun afternoon and lots of worthy films are recognized. Plus, they do not cut off any one's speech---at least they haven't in the past. This little film has already received an incredible amount of well deserved recognition, with lots more to come, I'm sure......

There are a few more films I hope to see before The Oscars....And after I do, I will share my thoughts about them with all of you........


More To Come........



links to this post








Tuesday, January 25, 2011
more movies....

Above, Melissa Leo & Christian Bale, playing Mother & Son, in "THE FIGHTER".....Both of these actors won Golden Globes, weekend before last, in the Best Supporting Actor & Actress in a Movie category.....And deservedly so. Based on real people, this film, starring Mark Wahlberg is good! In my opinion, not something we haven't seen before, though certainly it holds one's interest and there are some terrific performances....Again, in my opinion, another performance that deserves attention from all the Award shows---Amy Adams. I will be interested to see if she gets an Oscar Nomination as she did with The Golden Globes and The SAG Awards----it will be interesting to see if she wins The SAG Award.......If you are a 'fight movie' fan, you will enjoy "The Fighter" a whole lot! "RABBIT HOLE" was first a play on Broadway before it became a film....And as you can see above, Cynthia Nixon and John Slattery starred in the play--Ms. Nixon, winning a Tony for her performance. The film, stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart and is a well written very good film that many people may find quite painful to watch....It is about a couple struggling through the grief of having lost their young son.....Both Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart are very very good....
But the performance that I found to be truly lovely was Dianne Wiest as Kidman's mother....She has a monologue about loss that is beautifully written and further---is beautifully played by the wonderfully talented Ms. Wiest, who I think is one of our most brilliant actresses. She is better than good, in everything she does....The first and second season of the HBO Series "In Treatment" as the psychiatrist, to name just one recent performance....... "THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT" is a good film. Though for me, I wish they could have cast the two leading characters with less well known actresses. I had a hard time separating the well known actresses (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) from the characters they were playing---And that got in the way of my just going with the story and forgetting about who the actresses are that were playing these parts. Having said that, both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are very fine actresses and Bening has already been
recognized for her performance with a Golden Globe.....We'll see what the Academy thinks on Tuesday, when the Nominations are announced, and at The SAG Awards this Sunday night....Mark Ruffalo as the Sperm Donor/Father of this couples two children gives a very subtle and layered performance....Is there a SAG Award in his near future? He is a truly exceptional actor! "127 HOURS" is pretty much a one-man-band affair. Based on the true story of a young man hiking by himself who falls almost to the bottom of a canyon, where his hand and part of his arm is stuck behind a huge immovable boulder....Most of the film is his struggle to move the boulder, which, no matter what he does, he cannot budge---this goes on for days and finally, he has to cut his arm off to save himself. I found it very very gory and quite upsetting, to say the least---and in fact, had put off watching this film because I knew it had to be pretty graphic----But I must say, I have great admiration for James Franco, who plays this seasoned climber/hiker--He was very very good....It is a rather odd movie, though....the film ends quite abruptly and I'm not sure why Danny Boyle, who directed the film, wanted to make this picture. I know it should be inspiring, but I found it a 'cover your eyes' type of picture....So, dear reader, fore warned is fore armed, as they say. (Oh, I didn't mean that to have a double meaning, at all....!) The always exciting and truly gifted Javier Bardem, stars in this Spanish Language film...(It should definitely have a Best Foreign Film Oscar Nomination and Mr. Bardem a Best Actor Nomination....) It is a beautiful performance---so tender and loving---the polar opposite of Mr. Bardem's character in "No Country For Old Men"---a character that was truly horrible.....This film, Directed by and Co-Written by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu---a very very talented man, (21 Grams & Babel, to name just two of his other films...) is not an easy film to watch because of it's raw truthfulness, but it is a special film that deserves to be seen and felt....I was deeply moved by it. This is a film in which you care so very much about the people, flawed though they may be....There is a lot of humanity in this beautiful film called, "Biutiful"......There are still more films to write about and they will be coming along here in a few days....And by the time you read this post, The Academy Award Nominations will have been announced---5:30 a.m. today here in Los Angeles.....Hell, I might even stay up for that.....!

More To Come........




links to this post








Thursday, January 20, 2011
movies

No real news here except that I have been watching quite a few films... I would say it has been a marathon of watching and it is still not over....I am trying to see everything I can so I can vote on the SAG Awards..."THE KING'S SPEECH", (above) is a true treasure of a film....All the performances are stellar....! It is moving and inspiring and a wonderfully entertaining film, too. Colin Firth gives an extraordinary performance and one that is memorable in every way....An Academy Award should be coming his way this year.....In fact, ALL the performances are really quite spectacular---Goeffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are both really perfect, in this true story. A "do not miss" film in every way......I watched it twice and could watch it again, and no doubt will.......!"THE SOCIAL NETWORK"....a terrific film! Fascinating in every way and a film that is so very well done. Great Screenplay by the Oh So Talented Aaron Sorkin....Directed by David Fincher, it has a cast that shines....! You don't have to be on 'Facebook' to understand and truly appreciate this wonderful film....! Another "don't miss".....! And lots of awards are coming to this film, also, and rightfully so.....! "TRUE GRIT".....I'm not a huge 'western' fan, but I really liked this film, a lot! Besides having the special and most talented Jeff Bridges playing 'Rooster', there is the very talented Matt Damon and a young teenager named Hailiee Steinfeld who is pretty fabulous....I'm not a big fan of the Coen Brothers usually, but they did a masterful job with this very wonderful film.....And Jeff B. is perfect as the alcoholic U. S. Marshall, adding yet another unforgettable performance to his amazing body of work.....This is, in my opinion, another 'do not miss' film....... "BlACK SWAN"....Well, I may be in the minority here, but I really did not like this film at all....! Too many things about this film left me not really caring about the people or understanding who they were or what they were doing and why they were doing what they were doing. I found it manipulative and did not think it a good film, at all.....! I felt sorry for many of the actors having to create characters out of nothing. How do you do that? You don't. And, if I don't care about anyone in the film--well then, what's the point? "HEREAFTER"......A very very interesting film in every way---the first 15 to 20 minutes of this film are incredibly startling and great film-making....You feel it is happening to you. Clint Eastwood directed this film and he always surprises in his choice of material.....The actors are all quite wonderful and you are interested and care about the people a great deal. It is a flawed film, but so worth seeing......I knew very little about it so it was all new to me and it held me right to the last frame...... I really liked "SECRETARIET" very very much. It probably won't win anything but it is a wonderful film about the greatest racehorse of the 20th Century....! I lived through the amazingly exciting times of this fantastic Horse, but knew very little about the background of this Triple Crown Winner and his owner.....A really good film that your whole family can go and see and be inspired by.....! And again, the actors are all wonderful--Particularly Diane Lane and John Malkovitch.

I still have a number of films I need to watch before the weekend is out, so.....I will write about those films next time........


More To Come.......







links to this post








Saturday, January 15, 2011
new years eve-finale

This was the one thing I actually wanted that was in the game....I opened this one after I got a seven....But, it was taken away from me later--And is was quite popular throughout the 'timed' section of the game....When all was said and done, I lost it. But, due to the kindness of Garrett Parks----He gave it to me! Once the game is over, there are no rules about giving things away...... Earl was about to open one of the sillier funnier things that was in the game...... It is called a "Butt Bank"....When you put money in the top it makes a rather rude but funny noise....! If you don't know what I mean---Well, it is a four letter word beginning with 'f' and ending in 't'!
As you can see, we are a group who are a bit bawdy and who like to laugh.....Oddly enough, this particular item never left Earl's pile of presents---It seems, nobody wanted it so it was never taken away from him. So, he was stuck with it and he took it home, happily, I think. He can bring it back but not for two years....! And speaking of that....This guy came back after 3 or 4 years.....! In the top out-of-focus picture this was his first appearance, three or four years ago....And the bottom picture was from this New Years Eve..... He too stayed with the person that opened the package he was in.....Poor guy--no one wanted him this year, either....lol! There were some great books in the game this year. This one that Betty opened was a terrific book on Marilyn Monroe....She was able to hold on to this book luckily, because her granddaughter Maddy, loves MM and has a whole collection of books about her......Another wonderful book was this one below...... This was a very popular item, and moved from one person to another and back again----many times!....In other words, it changed hands quite a few times, but I believe Andy Parks ended up with it....He draws and captions truly wonderful Cartoons, himself, beside being a lovely actor.....Such a talented man! Charley had opened this, whatever-it-is, that you see sitting on top of the White Box in front of him. It looked like a bird in a little boat or something---No one could quite figure out what it was...Needless to say, he ended up taking that home.....! (lol) As you can see in this picture above, quite a few things were getting opened up....There was a 'grabber' which actually was very practical....You can just see the Handle in the lower left area of the picture. It's one of those things that you can use in your Kitchen when you cannot reach certain shelves anymore---those of us who have shrunk quite a bit would find this very handy, Betty ended up with that.....And then moving over in front of Andy, there was this fun Hot Water Bottle with a British Flag on it....! A closer look, below.....You can see that Hot Water Bottle better in this picture. I thought it was adorable! And on the other side of Andy, he had opened this Hard-Case Carrier for one's Credit Cards and SAG Cards, and other Union Cards, too....That was a very useful present....And there were some more books and some CD's, too..... This is a fantastic book....I put this in the game because I had gotten one for myself and it is such a great great book---in every way---Much much more than just a book of lyrics. Sondheim talks about the creation of each show and specific songs and the talent involved....And it is such a rich and special book....This moved around the room until the very last moment....! I was pleased that so many people wanted it. As you can see, we all know our audience---Always lots of Show Business related items, though there were less DVD's in the game this year than in the past.....I had also put that Sondheim 80th Birthday Celebration DVD in the game---Another item that was very popular, which showed a picture of in the previous post. Now, the glass table was getting full, too, with all the goodies that had been opened....Near Betty there were two very interesting 'gifts' that were lots of fun...! That tall box bear Betty was called "Roll A Lotion"...It sounded quite risque to us, maybe because of another gift I will show you in a moment....I guess our minds were already in the gutter, so to speak....lol. His name is Southpole Santa....the operative word being "pole".....His private parts were covered with what looked like a Santa Hat and when you pushed a button, he sang a dirty song and his hat with "pole" inside would rise and fall a few times during the song.....! He really was pretty lewd, but he was incredibly funny, too!There were some other fun things and some very pretty things, as well.....In the picture below, you can see a very pretty flowered ceramic clock over on the right side of the picture, on the table.....And, there was a Chia Pet, too....! I haven't seen one of those in years and years..... I think there is a better picture of the Chia Pet..... Yes! Well, not really much better....There is the Chia Pet and the pretty clock in front of it.....We were getting very close to the end of the game and midnight was about 12 minutes away......Here below, the Dice with a Seven showing, and they are sitting on top of the British Flag Hot Water Bottle, now, in front of Garrett because he took it away from someone else......Then we went out on the Deck with Champagne and Sparkling Cider to see and hear The New Year in the middle of Hollywood.....We saw some fireworks in different parts of the city and there was a lot of yelling and whooping and hollering as we reached midnight. And so, another New Years Eve came to a close.....Everyone had a really special time this year. Almost everyone called me to say just that. I don't know what made it so special.....I wish I knew, but I'm just glad that it was so special and that everyone seemed to feel that way.......! So....here we are, already the middle of January 2011.....Time really does seems to be flying by faster and faster. Is it just me, or does everybody feel this way these days?






More To Come........



links to this post






Home | Newer›  ‹Older




view my profile
100 things about me

Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California



















Powered by: Blogger
design by: girliebits.