Sunday, April 15, 2018

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 648th Edition

Welcome to the 648th Edition of my series.  Today is the last day for ON GOLDEN POND in Alexandria, Indiana at 3:30.  It has been a fun show and hope to be able to do something else soon as I must go back to normal life for the moment.  There is not much else happening at the moment so I'll just get on with my selections for the week.

Micmacs (2009):  Jean-Pierre Jeunet directed this French film which has quite the blend of action, drama, and comedy.  Dany Boon stars as video store clerk Bazil whose life changes when his father was killed by a landmine and he survives a shot to the head.  After this, he loses his home and job putting him on the streets until meeting Slammer, played by Jean-Pierre Marielle, who is part of a group of scavenging dwellers that make me think of the group in MOULIN ROUGE.  Bazil decides to go after the arms dealers responsible for his situation and concocts a plan that the rest are willing to help.  Andre Dussollier, Yolande Moreau, Dominique Pinon, Michel Cremades, Julie Ferrier, Omar Sy, Urban Cancelier, and many others co-star in this film.  This is from the director of AMELIE and A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT which both have a female protagonist in Audrey Tautou so now there is a man.  That being said, it has kind of the same feel as the others with the way it flows.  This is a satire on the world arms trade and is very well done if into this type of film.

Killing Bono (2011):  Nick Hamm directed this film loosely based on the 2003 memoir KILLING BONO:  I WAS BONO'S DOPPELGANGER by Neil McCormick, played by Ben Barnes.  Neil and his brother Ivan, played by Robert Sheehan, dream of becoming rock stars and are stuck playing in smaller venues while their high school classmates have rose in the world of rock music.  Ralph Brown, Sean Duggan, Joni Kamen, Aiden McArdle, Martin McCann, Hugh O'Conor, Pete Postlewaite, Krysten Ritter, Peter Serafinowicz, Stanley Townsend, Luke Treadaway, and many other co-star in this film.  This was Postlewaite's last film and died shortly after this movie.  I have always been a pretty big U2 fan, obviously more on their '80s work and this was a pretty enjoyable look in the music scene of this era.  McCormick has created quite a life for himself and I suppose him and his brother Ivan could be compared to Pete Best.

Dad (1989):  This is part three of my Jack Lemmon trilogy and kind of along the lines of last week's feature and my recent play ON GOLDEN POND.  Gary David Goldberg directed this film based on the novel by William Wharton.  Ted Danson stars as executive John Tremont whose life has mostly centered around his work.  He learns that his mother Bette, played by Olympia Dukakis, is in the hospital and rushes to be by her side while becoming caretaker for his father Jake, played by Lemmon.  Helping his father brings them closer than ever and forces John to rethink his life a bit.  Kathy Baker, Kevin Spacey, Ethan Hawke, J.T. Walsh, Zakes Mokae, Peter Michael Goetz, John Apicella, Richard McGonagle, and many others co-star in this film.  I have to say, I am pretty sure this is the only time I have seen Jack Lemmon with a mustache.  This is a pretty good family drama and has some very touching moments.  I also really liked the father/son dynamic of Danson and Hawke who both had to work through their differences.  This is available to watch on Netflix.

The Old mill (1937):  This is my animated short for the week which is from the world of Disney and their Silly Symphony series.  This consists of various birds, mice, and fireflies moving into an old windmill and then dealing with a storm.  This is all set to some music mostly by Strauss with some well-done animation.  This is from the Blu Ray of last week's feature BAMBI.

The Boston Strangler (1968):  This is part three of my Henry Fonda trilogy.  Richard Fleischer directed this film based on the book by Gerold Frank.  This is based from the point of view on the investigators that were investigating the murders of the many they dubbed "The Boston Strangler" which stars Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo who turns out to be the strangler.  George Kennedy and Fonda co-star as two of the detectives investigating the murders and looking for the more "obvious" suspects.  Mike Kellin, Hurd Hatfield, Murray Hamilton, Jeff Corey, Sally Kellerman, William Marshall, George Voskovec, Leora Dana, and many others co-star in this film.  This had a really good documentary feel to it and I really liked the split screen.  There were things added for dramatic effect including portraying DeSalvo as having multiple personality disorder.  If you can get past that, this this is a pretty compelling film to watch.

The Mark of Zorro (1940):  Rouben Mamoulian directed this adaptation on the Johnston McCulley novel THE CURSE OF CAPISTRANO.  Tyrone Power stars as Diego De La Vega who is returning to California after being gone in Spain and finds his native land under a dictatorship.  With this going on, he dons the the costume of the masked avenger Zorro.  Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Eugene Pallette, J. Edward Bromberg, Montagu Love, Janet Beecher, and many others co-star in this film.  I have always thought Tyrone Power was the best person to don the Zorro outfit.  Basil Rathbone also does a great job as the villain of the film having a really good swordfight scene with Power in the climax scene.  Unfortunately, this is the movie that Bruce Wayne and his parents saw only for Bruce's parents to be murdered right in front of him.  In all seriousness, this is the character that inspired the duel identity that most superheroes have today.  Today is the last day to watch this movie on TCM On-Demand.

Personal Shopper (2016):  Olivier Assayas wrote and directed this supernatural psychological thriller film.  Kristen Stewart stars as Maureen who is a personal shopper in Paris for a celebrity named Kyra, played by Nora von Waldstatten.  Maureen is also a medium and lost her twin brother Lewis who also had connections to the spiritual world.  Random things happen making Maureen believes she has a connection to her late twin brother.  Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie, Ty Olwin, Benjamin Biolay, Audrey Bonnet, Pascal Rambert, and many others co-star in this film.  I admit to not hearing of this movie until I found it at my local library but I tend to take interest in non-Bella work from Kristen Stewart and does a good job in this film.  If looking for some movie centered around shopping this is not the one and this is also billed as horror which I don't really agree with either.  It is more of a drama that involves ghost but also deals with grief and trying to move forward in life.

Ice Castles (1978):  Donald Wrye directed and co-wrote this film along with Gary L. Baim.  Lynn-Holly Johnson stars as the teenage Alexis who is a figure skater with natural talent and getting in late to the game.  She is on the verge of being on top of the world but a freak accident prevents this from happening.  The people of her small community look to help her overcome what has happened in hopes of still realizing her dreams.  Robby Benson co-stars as Nick who is Lexie's high school sweetheart that cannot stick to anything he tries except his love for Alexis.  Colleen Dewhurst, Tom Skerritt, Jennifer Warren, and David Huffman co-star in this film.  This is a pretty good sentimental film with a good debut out of Johnson.  I also always enjoy Benson in this era before her become the voice of the Beast in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Gypsy Colt (1954):  I decided to continue with the sentimental selections but this is one of those that involves an animal.  Andrew Marton directed this movie based on a story by Eric Knight.  Donna Corcoran stars as the young Meg who is very devoted to her horse Gypsy.  Her parents, played by Ward Bond and Frances Dee, make the choice to sell Gypsy as a potential race horse after fallen on the financial hard times.  Gypsy soon escapes and makes a long trek home.  Larry Keating, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Hyatt, and many others co-star in this film that is essentially a B-movie from MGM.  Many may read the plot and right away thing LASSIE, COME HOME which is true and extremely similar to that classic.  This was not any easier to watch the the other mentioned one.  I felt this was still of worth to see Ward Bond in a bigger role than usual and a young Lee Van Cleef.  Also one for the family to watch, just might not be easy if like me when it comes to animals making a long trek home that you know they will make it but know they will have a rough journey.

Beyond Rangoon (1995):  John Boorman directed this film that is based on a true story.  Patricia Arquette stars as Laura Bowman whose husband and son are murdered and goes on a vacation to Burma with her sister Andy, played by Frances McDormand.  Things get complicated when Laura loses her passport during a political rally and is unable to leave at the time.  She falls in with a group of students fighting for democracy and witnesses some bloody acts of oppression in trying to escape to Thailand.  Spalding Gray, U Aung Ko, Victor Slezak, and many others co-star in this film.  I found this to be a pretty moving film where I was really behind Laura.  A good double feature in this movie would be to include THE LADY which features politician Aung San Suu Kyi which is the person that inspires Laura.  A pretty underrated film that has gone overlooked and deserves a look.

Well, that is all for this week but I have returned with my segment "Movie Night in the Town of Pottersville".  Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week.


Krampus (2015):  I took most of the week off with my show and after a rehearsal I went to hang out with my friends Stephanie and Drew.  While, this is usually a movie to watch during Christmas, they had just bought this on dvd and Steph insisted on watching it so I went ahead and stuck around having not seen it.  The young Max, played by Emjay Anthony, becomes disillusioned by Christmas not knowing he is summoning a festive demon forcing his dysfunctional family to come together and fight.  Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler, Conchata Ferrell, Allison Tolman, and many others co-star in this holiday movie.  This is more of a comedy than anything and really targets the Christmas haters and still enjoyed it even though I'm not really a hater of the holiday.  Koechner really reminds me of Randy Quaid from the Vacation movies and once had the pleasure of seeing him put on a local one man show in my town of Muncie.  I had not seen this but could start making this an annual holiday movie.

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