Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 585th Edition

Welcome to the 585th Edition of my series.  I look forward to the ROYAL RUMBLE tonight and next week we have the Super Bowl.  I will be the first to admit, I am excited for Lady Gaga performing at the halftime show.  I know others will get angry and I find that no matter who gets put in the halftime show, it will get a very mixed reaction.  I for one say Peter Gabriel for the Super Bowl halftime show next year.  I don't really want to touch on politics and nothing else is really going on right now so on with my selections for the week and I have brought back the "Fun and Useless Facts" segment

The Age of Adaline (2015):  Lee Toland Krieger directed this film which was written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz.  Blake Lively stars as Adaline Bowman who is born in the turn of the 20th century and at 29 years of age is in a car wreck that for some reason renders her ageless and immortal.  She goes through many years living this way and starting new lives in the fear that her secret will get exposed so she tries not to let herself get close to anyone.  She soon meets a philanthropist named Ellis Jones, played by Michiel Huisman, who through pe(rsistence wins her heart and must reexamine what she wants in life when meeting the parents, played by Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker, of Ellis.  Ellen Burstyn, Amanda Crew, Lynda Boyd, Richard Harmon, Hugh Ross, Anthony Ingruber and many others co-star in this film.  This movie really examines the price of immortality.  Lively is great as the title character as well as GAME OF THRONES alum Huisman as her love interest.  I also noticed that they might have done the best old/young casting in Harrison Ford as Ellis's father and Anthony Ingruber in flashback scenes of that character.  I thought Ingruber captured the personality of Ford very well in his mannerisms and even vocal patterns while looking like a young version anyways.  This is available on Amazon Prime.

The Last of the Mohicans (1992):  This is part two of my two-part Daniel Day-Lewis series.  Michael Mann directed this adaptation of the popular novel by James Fennimore Cooper.  Day-Lewis stars as Hawkeye who is the adopted son of the Mohican tribe.  Along with his adopted father Chingachgook, played by Russell Means, and his brother Uncas, played by Eric Schweig, they are looking for another home and when a traitorous scout leads them to an ambush putting them into the middle of the French and Indian War.  Madeleine Stowe, Jodhi May, Steven Waddington, Wes Studi, Maurice Roeves, Patrice Chereau, Terry Kinney, Pete Postlewaite, Colm Meaney, Dylan Baker, Jared Harris, Tom McGowan, Sebastian Roche, and many others co-star in this film.   This has had more than one adaptation, most notably in 1936 where Randolph Scott plays Hawkeye and I really believe this one is far better with Day-Lewis perfect for his role and felt there was more authenticity in this one.  There is also some great cinematography and music score to go along with the performances.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993):  Chris Columbus directed this comedy which stars Williams as divorced father Daniel Hillard.  As his ex-wife Miranda, played by Sally Field, is looking for a housekeeper, he puts his acting skills and vocal skills to use as a older female housekeeper of the title name so that he can see his children, played by Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, and Mara Wilson, more often.  Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein, Polly Holliday, Robert Prosky, Martin Mull, Paul Guilfoyle, and many others co-star in this film.  Williams is his usual hilarious self but watching it this time gave me a realization of the message in this film.  I feel this movie takes a look at the price of having the courts decide custody and also maybe discovering abilities that were never possessed like cleaning skills Daniel learned being this character.  An interesting thing I learned about this movie is while it is rated PG-13, there were rated R and NC-17 edits of this film.

The Water Nymph (1912):  This is my silent short for the week which was directed by silent era legend Mack Sennett who also co-stars in this film.  Mabel Normand stars in this comedy as a girlfriend meeting the father of her boyfriend with some comical results.  Normand was a very significant actress of this era who worked a lot with Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle and broke a lot of rules on how women were supposed to act.  This is something that would be enjoyed by silent film buffs.

Up the Down Staircase (1967):  Robert Mulligan directed this film based on a novel by Bel Kaufman.  Sandy Dennis stars as idealistic teacher Sylvia Barrett who takes a teaching job in an urban area in her first year and gets far more than what she bargained for.  She does what she can to get through to the troubled high school youth when much of the school staff has mostly given up.  Patrick Bedford, Eileen Heckart, Ruth White, Jean Stapleton, Sorrell Booke, Roy Poole, Florence Stanley, and many others co-star in this film.  This is a good look on an idealistic teacher trying to get through to very troubled kids with Dennis doing a great job in her part and the unknown cast also doing very well in its authentic look

Third Man on the Mountain (1959):  This is my Disney film for the week and a live action one directed by Ken Annakin.  James MacArthur stars as Rudi who lives in Switzerland which is covered by mountains and whose father was a famous mountain climber and succumbed making his family not want him to pursue climbing mountains.  He does not listen to his family and after he done washing dishes at his job, he goes out and climbs mountains and dreams of climbing the most dangerous one of them all in the Citadel.  Soon, he meets famous mountain climber Captain John Winter, played by Michael Rennie, who takes in interest in Rudi and includes him on the epic climb in hoping to be the first to climb the Citadel.  Janet Munro, James Donald, Herbert Lom, Laurence Naismith, and many others co-star in this film.  This is a good family film and is a rather inspirational one as well on following your dreams.

The Fault in our Stars (2014):  Josh Boone directed this film based on the novel by John Green.  Shailene Woodley stars as the teenage Hazel who is a cancer patient with very little hope of survival but tries to make the most of however long she has in her life.  Her well-meaning parents, played by TRUE BLOOD alum Sam Trammell and Laura Dern, feel she needs a support group in which she does not want but goes out of respect.  While there, she meets fellow cancer patient Gus, played by Ansel Elgort, and they meet and fall in love with each other in a life-changing journey.  Nat Wolff, Lotte Verbeek, Willem Dafoe, Emily Peachey, and many others co-star in this film.  This was a very enjoyable film which yes it is a love story but so much more.  In some ways it is a story about expecting the unexpected.  Woodley and Elgort were very well matched together and make a great couple helping each other through their struggle with cancer.  I openly admit to tearing up to this film a few times.  Those who are a fan of the book, it sounds like this was pretty faithfully done.

Downhill Racer (1969):  Michael Ritchie directed this skiing film.  Gene Hackman stars as U.S. Olympic Ski team coach Eugene Claire who is trying to get together his ski team after his top player gets injured.  Robert Redford stars as skier David Chappellet who is a very good skier but not a very friendly person nor is a team player like Claire wants.  Camilla Sparv, Jim McMullan, Kathleen Crowley, Dabney Coleman, and many others star in this sports film.  This is a really good look at the world of skiiing and the various people involved.  It comes down to a really good climax skiing climax.  This is some very good early Hackman and early Redford that deserve a look.

Boomerang! (1947):  This is part two of a two-part Elia Kazan series.  No, this is not that 90s movie with Eddie Murphy.  This is a crime drama based on a true story.  Dana Andrews stars as prosecutor Henry Harvey where a murder of a respected priest happens in a small Connecticut town.  Through the investigation of the police, they find that a man named John Waldron, played by Arthur Kennedy, is the murderer and while he denies it, no one will believe him.  The more Harvey talks to Waldron, the more he believes in his innocence and looks to prove his innocence while having his superiors and police force bringing down his neck to actually prosecute him.  Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb, Cara Williams, Sam Levene, Taylor Holmes, Robert Keith, Ed Begley, Karl Malden, and many others co-star in this true crime film-noir.  Kazan was determined to make this look as authentic as possible.  It was filmed close to where the incident happened and is shot some like a documentary adding a really good element.  Andrews is great as the noble prosecutor who looks past his duties to do what he feels is right.  This is still available on the website and on the release day of this blog is its last day if you have time to catch it.  A very underrated film from this era.

Biutiful (2010):  I end the week with this Spanish film where I seem to be focusing a lot on death and immortality this week and no this one is not about immortality.  Alejandro G. Inarritu directed and co-wrote this film which stars Javier Bardem as Uxbal who is a single father and has an illegal job in helping illegal immigrants.  He soon finds that he is terminally ill and is trying to make things right with his life and his children.  He also is looking for a better home for his children than their manic depressive and abusive mother Marambra, played by Maricel Alvarez.  Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella, Eduard Fernandez, Chikh Ndiaye, and many others co-star in this film.  Bardem is great as a man trying to make things right for the people around him and while it is rather dark and melancholy, it does have touches of hope as Inarritu has said.

Well, that is it for this week but I did bring back my "Fun and Useless Facts" segment so continue reading.  Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week which includes Michael Keaton, John Ford, james Mason, and many others.


I return with this segment of my blog where I pretty much link up actors from different movies.  I did not use any interconnections unless I could find someone else from another movie.  I am sure there are plenty of other things so if you find any, please comment.

Blake Lively (The Age of Adaline) and Pete Postlewaite (The Last of the Mohicans) were in the 2010 film THE TOWN.

Lynda Boyd (The Age of Adaline) and Robert Redford (Downhill Racer) were in the 2005 film AN UNFINISHED LIFE.

Hugh Ross (The Age of Adaline narrator) and Gene Hackman (Downhill Racer) were in the 1994 western WYATT EARP.

Harrison Ford (The Age of Adaline) and Dylan Baker (The Last of the Mohicans) were in the 2013 comedy sequel ANCHORMAN 2:  The Legend Continues.  Harrison Ford (The Age of Adaline), Dylan Baker (The Last of the Mohicans), and Paul Guifoyle (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 1999 movie RANDOM HEARTS.  Harrison Ford (The Age of Adaline) and Paul Guifoyle (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 1997 film AIR FORCE ONE.

Ellen Burstyn (the Age of Adaline) and Dylan Baker (The Last of the Mohicans) were in the 2012 mini-series POLITICAL ANIMALS and the 2000 film REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.

Ellen Burstyn (the Age of Adaline) and Laura Dern (The Fault in Our Stars) were in the 1974 film ALICE DOESN"T LIVE HERE ANYMORE.  Dern was a little girl and an extra as a girl eating an ice cream cone.

Michiel Huisman (the Age of Adaline) and Laura Dern (The Fault in Our Stars) were in the 2014 film WILD.

Wes Studi (The Last of the Mohicans) and Gene Hackman (Downhill Racer) were in the 1993 film GERONIMO:  AN AMERICAN LEGEND.

Dylan Baker (The Last of the Mohicans) and Willem Dafoe (The Fault in our Stars) were part of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.  Baker was Dr. Curt Connors who would later become the Lizard but Raimi let go of the reigns to early and Dafoe plays Norman Osbourne who becomes the Green Goblin.

Dylan Baker (The Last of the Mohicans) and Pierce Brosnan (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 2005 comedy THE MATADOR.

Tom McGowan (The Last of the Mohicans), Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubtfire), and Gene Hackman (Downhill Racer) are in the 1996 comedy the BIRDCAGE.

Daniel Day-Lewis (The Last of the Mohicans), Jared Harris (The Last of the Mohicans), and Sally Field (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 2012 biopic LINCOLN where Day-Lewis and Field were married as Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.

Dylan Baker (The Last of the Mohicans) and Sally Field (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 1998 mini-series FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

Eric Schweig (The Last of the Mohicans), Jodhi May (The Last of the Mohicans) and Robert Prosky (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 1995 movie THE SCARLET LETTER.

Colm Meaney (The Last of the Mohicans), Jared Harris (The Last of the Mohicans), and Robert Prosky (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 1992 film FAR AND AWAY.

Pete Postlewaite (The Last of the Mohicans) and Paul Guifoyle (Mrs. Doubtfire) were in the 1997 film AMISTAD.

Russell Means (The Last of the Mohicans) and Jean Stapleton (Up the Down Staircase) were in the Disney animated film POCAHONTAS 2:  Journey to the New World.

Polly Holliday (Mr.s Doubtfire) and Robert Redford (Downhill Racer) were in the 1976 film ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.

Robert Prosky (Mrs. Doubtfire) and Robert Redford (Downhill Racer) were in the 1984 film THE NATURAL.

Paul Guifoyle (Mrs. Doubtfire) and Gene Hackman (Downhill Racer) were in the 1996 movie EXTREME MEASURES.

Paul Guifoyle (Mrs. Doubtfire) was directed by Robert Redford (Downhill Racer) in the 1994 film QUIZ SHOW.

Robert Mulligan (Up the Down Staircase director) directed Karl Malden (Boomerang) in the 1957 film FEAR STRIKES OUT.

Roy Poole (Up the Down Staircase) and Robert Redford (Downhill Racer) were in the 1980 film BRUBAKER.

Ruth White (Up the Down Staircase), James MacArthur (Third Man on the Mountain), and Ed Begley (Boomerang) were in the 1968 western HANG 'EM HIGH.

Willem Dafoe (The Fault in Our Stars) holds his employer Robert Redford (Downhill Racer) captive in the 2004 film THE CLEARING.

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