Monday, November 25, 2013

What's new in the film world

Here's some exciting news - especially if you're a fan of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. They're actually going to make a sequel. According to the report I read, all of the original cast will be on hand except Tom Wilkinson. And most interesting of all, Richard Gere might sign on to play a new character. Shooting is supposed to start in January.

Critics Corner

Gail Brown has sent us another review.

Movie:  Hunger Games; Catching Fire

Rated:  PG-13

Genre:  Action, Adventure, Sci Fi

Ratings:  IMDB 8.3, Rotten Tomatoes

Cast includes:  Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Lenny Kravitz, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks.

Synopsis: The sequel to the Hunger Games, begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts.

One Critics Comment: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is that rare instance when the movie is better than the book, and the second movie is better than the first.

My comment:  I love a movie that takes me to places with characters, situations and an environment that are new to me.  I totally enjoyed the first movie and enjoyed this one equally. The characters are bigger than life.  Jennifer Lawrence is totally dedicated to this role and does an excellent job.  The visuals are stunning.  It is a movie you cannot look away from..every moment is interesting and provides a fun ride for the audience.

It took hundreds of craftspeople to put this movie together…the credits go on forever….and ever…An effort that works well…at 2 ½ hours it seemed to go by in a flash (how rare is that).

The ending definitely has you eagerly anticipating the next movie… hopefully coming out next year.

Field Trip

I was in New York the beginning of this month and had the pleasure of visiting The Museum of Moving Image. It's located in Astoria in a kind of industrial area. The buildings in this area were once giant sound stages and tons of movies were filmed there starting in the 1920s. There were several years when nothing was happening there and then a Mr. Kaufman (they were erecting this sign when we were visiting)

bought the property and not only is the museum housed there, but the sound stages are again being used, mostly for television productions. In fact when my daughter and I were visiting, they were filming an episode of "Orange is the New Black".

The museum is quite handsome. This is the restaurant area. You could see it wasn't very crowded that day.

There are exhibits from several movies. Here's one from Little Big Man. Recognize Jack Crabb?

This one's from The Exorcist. Recognize Regan MacNeil?

There were several interactive displays that were fun. In one you could do a video and it would be made into a flip book.

Or you could add your own voice to a movie clip. Here's my daughter trying her luck at doing a voice over for My Fair Lady:

One of my favorite exhibits was a collection of costumes from the Frida Kahlo film.

How fun to see the costumes in person as well as the designer's sketches and fabric samples.

It's a fabulous museum. Put it on your must-see list for your next trip to New York.

In the next post we'll be announcing the list of movies for the next season. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Intouchables

This Sunday, Nov. 17, we are in for a real treat. The film The Intouchables sounds like a movie we really can't miss. Everyone who's seen it, absolutely loves it. The film tells the story of a quadriplegic millionaire and his African care-giver, Driss. In the course of the story we'll see how Driss changes the boring life of the millionaire and his employees as well.

John Anderson has come up with the following questions:

1. What aspects of THE INTOUCHABLE'S' "Bro-manticism"  allow the characters to appreciate their differences in class and culture?

2. Why does the film align social class and cultural taste so precisely?

3. How are the roles and functions of women proscribed in the film?

4. How does race and disability represent "loss" in the film, and how does the "Bromance" plot restore wholeness to its character's lives?

Think about the answers and come prepared Sunday to enter into the discussion after the film.

Critics Corner

Gail Brown sends us the following review of 12 Years a Slave (based on a true story).
Rated: Hard R for violent scenes aplenty
2 hrs, 13 min.
Ratings: Four of us rated it 8 - 10, IMDB - 8.6, Rotten Tomatoes - 9.0
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt (very small but pivotal role)
Director: Steve McQueen (not the actor who died years ago!)
Synopsis: Solomon Northup, A NY state citizen is kidnapped and sold into slavery in New Orleans in the 1800's. The movie is based on his memoir. 
One Critics Opinion: The extraordianry 12 Years a Slave thrusts its lead character and the audience into slavery's moral and psychological morass more fully and directly than any movie before it.
Gail's Opinion: I felt every minute of this movie. The brutality was over the top but was, most assuredly, a true depiction of slavery in those times. It makes you wonder how and why man is so inhumane to man.

The casting, acting and directing could not have been better.  (Although some in our group thought it was a bit slow. My thought was that it was intentional so you could feel the pain and suffering of those who lost their freedom).

And the Oscar nominations go to:
Lead Actor - Chiwetel Ejiofor
Supporting Actor - Michael Fassbender
Director - Steve McQueen
Best Movie of the year.

Note: If you thought Django was have not seen brutal.

A friend sent me this video which I thought I'd post because it's so fantastic. Maybe you've already seen it, but it's fun a second time. Supposedly this Oscar performance didn't make it to the television audience. I wonder why. Too long of a show? How horrible for the performers though to not get exposed to one of the biggest television audiences.

See you at the Digiplex on Sunday, 3:00 pm for The Intouchables.