Friday, June 30, 2017

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 606th Edition

Welcome to the 606th Edition of my series.  Not much going on right now except being in rehearsals for BURNT PART BOYS in Fortville.  The show is in August so I'll give more details closer to time.  With that, I'll just get on with my selections for the week.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2013):  This is part six-part Viola Davis series.  Ned Benson directed this film and this movie was made in three parts that are called "Him", "Her", and "Them".  This movie centers around an estranged married couple named Conor, played by James McAvoy, and Eleanor, played by Jessica Chastain.  They are a couple being torn apart by a tragedy and are trying to pick up the pieces of the past.  Bill Hader, Ciaran Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, Nina Arianda, William Hurt, Jess Weixler, and many others co-star in this film.  I ended up watching the parts called Him and Her which were the same story but from different perspectives.  I did not bother with the one called Them because from what I can see, that was the two of them being edited together and then shortened a bit.  I think it's best to start with Him, then go Her but will work either way.  This was a really good look at an estranged couple and then seeing it at their own perspective.  This is available on Netflix.

Adele:  Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2011):  This is my concert movie for the time which as you might guess is Adele performing at the Royal Albert Hall.  I don't really need to say much to describe this one, it is a live performance of Adele performing mostly her music and a couple of remakes.  First thing is you must like Adele to enjoy this, if you do, she does a good job performing along with the band and is pretty entertaining between songs.  Talks about where a lot of her songs came from and reflects on her life and career.

The Chaperone (2011):  This is my WWE films entry for the week which was directed by Stephen Herek.  Former WWE champion Triple H stars as the paroled Ray Bradstone who is looking to go straight and connect with his daughter Sally, played by MODERN FAMILY co-star Ariel Winter, and his ex-wife Lynne, played by Annabeth Gish.  He finds that finding honest employment is not very easy and some of the people from his past are looking to get him back into the crime game.  He agrees to do one more job but changes his mind and leaves them without a driver.  To get away from them, he manages to be a chaperone on his daughter's field trip while they are on his trail.  Kevin Corrigan, Jose Zuniga, Kevin Rankin, Enrico Colantoni, Ashley Taylor, Israel Broussard, Darren O'Hare, Jake Austin Walker, Cullen Chaffin, J.D. Evermore, James DuMont, and many others co-star in this comedy.  This will not go onto become some big classic but still pretty fun to watch.  Triple H fills the role very well and is quite likable as the lead.  Winter plays off him very well as his daughter.  This is available to watch on Netflix.

The Art of Skiing (1941):  This is my animated short which is from Disney featuring Goofy.  He is at a resort and the narrator looks to show the basics of "sheeing" by showing it to Goofy.  As expected, Goofy has all kinds of trouble getting with the skiing.  The clumsy dog trying to ski brings a lot of laughs to this eight minute animated short.

Cruel Story of Youth (1960):  This is my Japanese film for the week.  Nagisa Oshima wrote and directed this film.  Yusuke Kawazu stars as Kiyoshi who treats women mostly as objects.  Miyuki Kuwano stars as Makato who is just coming of age and along with friends accept rides from middle-age men as they say for fun.  Kiyoshi saves Miyuki from one of those men trying to take advantage of her and begin a very destructive relationship.  He also gets her to essentially prostitute herself to get their money.  This is not a very upbeat story and gets a lot of comparison to REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE which I can see but this one is even more bleak.  This could be a really good double feature.

The Song of Songs (1933):  I follow up with another rather dark film.  Rouben Mamoulian directed this film based on the play by Edward Sheldon.  Marlene Dietrich stars as country girl Lily who goes to live with his aunt, played by Alison Skipworth.  She tends her aunt's bookstore and soon meets Richard, played by Brian Aherne, who is the sculptor across the street.  He decides she is perfect to posing for a sculpture and she reluctantly agrees to do this.  They soon form a relationship but it is not easy for Richard and eventually Lily marries the more wealthy Baron Von Merzbach in a loveless marriage.  This was what they call a pre-code film where they could get away with a lot more than in the later years.  Dietrich would always push the envelope for that era.  The evolution of her character was quite amazing going from a timid country girl to essentially becoming a socialite.

Logan (2017):  This is my superhero film for the week which was directed by James Mangold.  Hugh Jackman is in what he has said his final outing as Wolverine unless he can become a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  This takes place in the year 2029 where there is a much smaller population.  An aging Logan's healing powers are dwindling and has turned to alcohol while making a living as a chauffeur and caring for an ailing Professor X, reprised by Patrick Stewart.  He is soon asked to protect a young girl named Laura, played by Dafne Keen, who is being hunted by sinister figures.  She soon demonstrates some powers that resemble that of Logan.  Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E. Grant, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal, Quincy Fouse, and many others co-star in this film.  Jackman had two pretty unpopular solo movies but as they say the third one is the charm and that phrase is very true here.  I also want to let know that this is rated R so may not be good for kids so don't make the same mistakes you did with DEADPOOL.  An element that I really liked is that they live in a world that exist these mutants which was the basis for the X-Men comic books that Logan makes very clear are not accurate to real life.  It is also a very moving superhero film and I admit I did tear up some during this movie.  Jackman may have been the most perfect cast for a superhero and it shows in this film.

Edward, My Son (1949):   George Cukor directed this film which stars Spencer Tracy as Arnold Boult who is the narrator of the film reflecting on the time with his son and his short lived life.  This goes into various moments of his life where he first meets Evelyn and gets married to her.  She slowly sees that Arnold is not the most honest of men and becomes very concerned about how he indulges their son.  Ian Hunter, James Donald, Leueen MacGrath, Felix Aylmer, and many others co-star in this film.  This movie actually has no one cast as Edward and everything is through discussion of those around her.  Tracy was a lot meaner than usual, even more than Mr Hyde in DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and I really liked seeing him more villainous.  Kerr was also very good as his wife.  This is a rather underrated film that is worth a look.

The Land that Time Forgot (1974):  Kevin Connor directed this sci-fi movie based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I doubt that Connor ever foresaw this becoming episode 7 of the new season of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 but it did.  This takes place during WWI where a German U-Boat and makes a very wrong turn ending up in the unknown land of Caprona where Dinosaurs and Neanderthals still exist.  Doug McClure, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon, Keith Barron, Anthony Ainley, Steve James, and many others co-star in this sci-fi movie.  What more can I say about this movie?  WWI Germans meet the cavemen and have to deal with dinosaurs.  This whole series is available on Netflix where I have been including these on a somewhat weekly basis.

Next of Kin (1989):  I end the week with this action film and is part one of a possible Liam Neeson trilogy.  John Irvin directed this film which stars Patrick Swayze as Chicago cop Truman Gates.  Soon, his brother Gerald, played by Bill Paxton, is murdered and he sets out for the killer.  His brother Briar, played by Liam Neeson, arrives from Kentucky and is also looking for the killer.  While Truman hates what happened, he is more out for justice, Briar is more out for vengeance so we get some early violent Liam Neeson in this movie and he is also a hillbilly so another interesting element plus even in this movie I would never want to anger that man.  Adam Baldwin, Helen Hunt, Andreas Katsulas, Ben Stiller, Michael J. Pollard, Ted Levine, Del Close, Valentino Cimo, and many others co-star in this film.  Many might also know Swayze's other action movie from 1989 in ROAD HOUSE and this is a pretty decent supplement of that guilty pleasure 80s classic.  I think most of you read that Patrick Swayze, Bill Paxton, and Liam Neeson are a trio of brothers, quite possibly the the ultimate brother trio.  Also, a young Ben Stiller plays a mobster character.  I think it's time for a guys night double feature with the two Patrick Swayze action movies of 1989.

Well, that is it for this week but I am bringing back the Fun and Useless Facts segment so continue on reading for some useless information that could come into play at bar trivia sometime.  Tell me what you like and what you dislike and stay tuned for next week which so far includes Ethan Hawke, Christopher Lee, Sylvester Stallone, and many others.


I do this every once in a while and had some time so I thought I'd give it a go again.  I don't really say anything about actors in the same featured movie unless one from another movie was involed.  About everything I do are connections from actors in different movies  I do usually stop at a certain point so anyone is welcome to comment something I did not post if you know others I did not get.

James McAvoy (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) plays the younger Professor X in the X-Men franchise and Patrick Stewart (Logan) plays the professor in this week's feature LOGAN as well as many others in the X-Men franchise.

Jose Zuniga (The Chaperone) and Liam Neeson (Next of Kin) were in the 2000 film GUN SHY.

Nina Arianda (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and Ben Stiller (Next of Kin) were in the 2011 movie TOWER HEIST.

Yeardley Smith (The Chaperone) and Helen Hunt (Next of Kin) were in the 1997 comedy AS GOOD AS IT GETS.

Viola Davis (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and Hugh Jackman (Logan) were in the 2013 film PRISONERS.

Marlene Dietrich (The Song of Songs) and Spencer Tracy (Edward, My Son) were in the 1961 film JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG.

Viola Davis (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and J.D. Evermore (The Chaperone) were in the 2014 James Brown biopic GET ON UP.

Ariel Winter (The Chaperone) and Patrick Stewart (Logan) were in the 2006 animated Disney sequel BAMBI II.

Ciaran Hinds (Disapperance of Eleanor Rigby), Patrick Stewart (Logan) and Liam Neeson (Next of Kin) were in the 1981 Arthurian film EXCALIBUR.  Below is a photo of Hinds and Stewart from the film.

Boyd Holbrook (Logan) and Liam Neeson (Next of Kin) were in the 2014 movie A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES and the 2015 movie RUN ALL NIGHT.

Bill Hader (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and Kevin Corrigan (The Chaperone) were in the 2007 comedy SUPERBAD, and the 2008 comedy PINEAPPLE EXPRESS.

Boyd Holbrook was a Hatfield while Bill Paxton (Next of Kin) was a McKoy in the 2012 mini-series HATFIELDS AND MCKOYS.

William Hurt (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and Kevin Corrigan (The Chaperone) were in the 2014 movie WINTER'S TALE.

Stephen Merchant (Logan) played Paris in the 2011 animated movie GNOMEO AND JULIET and I plays Paris in a 2013 production of ROMEO AND JULIET in Farmland.  There are two other familiar Professor X's but this particular fact is about myself and Stephen.

William Hurt (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and Jose Zuniga (The Chaperone) were in the 1995 film SMOKE.

Patrick Stewart (Logan) plays King Richard in the 1993 parody ROBIN HOOD:  MEN IN TIGHTS.  Ian Hunter (Edward, My Son) plays King Richard in the 1938 film THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD.

William Hurt (Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and Enrico Colantoni (The Chaperone) were in the 2001 film A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

Patrick Stewart (Logan) and Liam Neeson (Next of Kin) were in the 2015 sequel TED 2.

William Hurt (Disappearance of Elearnor Rigby), J.D. Evermore (The Chaperone) and James DuMont (The Chaperone) were in the 2013 mini-series BONNIE AND CLYDE.

Kevin Corrigan (The Chaperone) and Liam Neeson (Next of Kin) were in the 2010 film THE NEXT THREE DAYS.

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