Sunday, April 29, 2018

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 650th Edition

Welcome to the 650th Edition of my series.  I continue to be busy with LEND ME A TENOR which I am finding to be my most challenging role so far.  I have my most lines I have ever had in a show, I have to have an Italian accent, and there is a lot of comedic timing involved.  The show is at the Marion Civic Theater on May 18th and 19th so please consider coming out to see this show.  Tickets are $10 and the shows are at 8 pm.  I know it's ways away but it will creep up on us sooner than we know.

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014):  Lasse Hallstrom directed this film based on the novel by Richard C. Morais.  This centers around the Kadam family who leave India for France where they open a restaurant across from the reputable restaurant which is run by Madame Mallory Michelin, played by Helen Mirren.  Hassan, played by Manish Dayal, of the Kadam family is a really good cook and helps to give the fancy restaurant a run for their money.  Om Puri, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah, Farzana Dua Elahe, Dillon Mitra, Aria Pandya, Michel Blanc, Clement Sibony, and many others co-star in this film.  This was a really good movie centering around the restaurant industry and I suppose coming of age.  Mirren and Puri are great as the head rivals and has a great amount of comedy and drama to keep just about anybody engaged.

The Impatient Patient (1942):  This is my animated short for the week which features Daffy Duck.  Daffy is having issues with hiccups and is near a doctor named Dr. Jerkyl, which is an obvious parody towards Dr. Jekyll, who uses a scare cure on Daffy by chemically changing himself into someone named Chloe.  Mel Blanc performs all the voices in this short.  There were some pretty funny moments in this short with a great parody towards DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE.

The Who's Tommy (1975):  Ken Russell directed this rock musical which was written by the Who.  The Who frontman Roger Daltrey stars as the title character who becomes deaf, dumb, and blind leading to becoming a really good pinball player and ultimately becomes the part of a cult being seen as a messiah type.  The rest of the Who including Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, and John Entwistle co-star in this film and I didn't know until this viewing that Moon plays Uncle Ernie.  Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Paul Nicholas, Jack Nicholson, Robert Powell, and Tina Turner have parts in this musical.  This is not really for everyone but I have always gotten into it and the music.  I watched this with my friend Stephanie who bought it on dvd so decided to include in this one.  I still have figure out he does and I still don't know what made him so good.  Years ago, the Muncie Civic Theater put this on as a musical and could be a good one to be in sometime.

The Neverending Story (1984):  Steph and I continued our movie watching with some '80s fantasy and I don't think I've really watched this since I was an absolute youngster.  Wolfgang Peterson directed this film based on the novel by Michael Ende.  Barret Oliver stars as Bastian who is a troubled youth stumbling into a book store where the owner shows an ancient storybook warning of its danger so Bastian takes the book and hides out in the school attic reading the book as well as escaping some bullies.  While reading he is drawn into the world of Fantasia which needs a hero to save it from destruction and entrusts in the mature youth Atreyu, played by Noah Hathaway.  Bastian also finds that the book is involving him in in the story.  Gerald McRaney, Deep Roy, Moses Gunn, Alan Oppenheimer, Tami Stronach, and many others co-star in this film.  This is some classic '80s fantasy with the extremely catchy theme song.  This also has some great creatures that work well with the '80s special effects like Falcor but many others creatures with cameos.  This is some timeless family entertainment and glad to have gotten reacquainted with the film.

The Walking Dead (1936):  No, this is not that popular graphic novel and AMC zombie series.  Michael Curtiz directed this crime horror film.  Boris Karloff stars as pianist and ex-con John Elman who gets caught up with a gang of racketeers which in turn frame him for a murder.  John is sentenced to execution and when his innocence is proven, it is too late as he is executed.  Through science he is brought back to life but with supernatural powers and a very vengeful mind towards those that wronged him.  Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn, Margarite Churchill, Warren Hull Barton MacLane, and many others co-star in this film.  This was a pretty good combination of a gangster film and a horror film.  This is a rather overlooked film which is only about an hour long and worth a look to classic horror buffs and Karloff fans.

In Bruges (2008):  Martin McDonagh wrote and directed this crime comedy.  Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star as London based hit men Ray and Ken who are on an assignment gone bad.  When awaiting orders from their boss Harry, played by Ralph Fiennes, they must consider their lives and where they want to be in life while Ray is still guilt stricken over the job.  Eric Godon, Zeljko Ivanek, Anna Madeley, Clemence Posey, Jordan Prentice, Ciaran Hinds, and many others co-star in this film.  Farrell and Gleeson work together as hit men and dealing with the aftermath of what happened.  Farrell is pretty funny as the rather naive hitman.  There is also a really good action climax at the end making a great blend of action, drama, and comedy

Flamingo Road (1949):  Joan Crawford stars in this film noir as Lane Bellamy who is a dancer who forms a relationship with Sheriff Fielding Carlisle, played by Zachary Scott, and is caught in the middle of a feud between Fielding and corrupt political boss Titus Semple, played by Sydney Greenstreet.  She is driven out of town where she cannot find work even getting arrested on wrongful charges.  She finds a new life but cannot let go of her past.  David Brian, Gladys George, Virginia Huston, Fred Clark, and many others co-star in this film.  This is a film-noir that takes more of a look at wronging someone else's life.  Greenstreet is great as the very unlikable villain and matches up with Crawford very well.  This is another rather overlooked film and more unknown Crawford that deserves a look from the fans of older cinema.

Inning By Inning:  A Portrait of a Coach (2008):  This is my documentary for the week which takes a look at University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido who is the winningest coach in the NCAA.  This takes a brief look at his childhood where he formed aspirations of being a coach to getting into the world of coaching college baseball.  It also takes a look at his approach to the game of baseball and interactions with his players.  This includes interviews with many of his former players, much of which are in the major leagues including Roger Clemens.  I haven't really followed baseball since I was a kid, let alone college baseball which is mostly televised during the world series so I knew nothing about this man going into my viewing.  That being said, it was good to learn about this coach and his unique approach to the game of baseball which goes way beyond the game of baseball teaching life skills.  Richard Linklater directed this documentary.  Garrido died in February of this year but lead a great life.

Hannie Caulder (1971):  This is my western for the week which was directed by Burt Kennedy.  Raquel Welch stars as the title character who lived the simple life until the Clemens Brothers gang, played by Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam, and Strother Martin, raids their home resulting in the murder of Hannie's huband and her own rape.  She enlists the help of bounty hunter Tom Price, played by Robert Culp, to teach her how to use a gun to avenge the outlaws.  Christopher Lee and Diana Dors co-star in this western.  This is the first and only western for horror legend Lee.  This will not go down as one of the top westerns of all time but is still quite watchable.  I mean, where can we go wrong with Raquel Welch with a gun and hellbent on revenge?  Tarantino also cited this as an influence for his KILL BILL series.  This is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Nosey (2017):  I end the week with this short film which was written and directed by Dave Fairman.  Jeff Giroux stars as Frank who has nothing better to do but snoop on his neighbors.  One day, he sees someone in a ski mask breaking into his next door neighbor's home and when trying to report to the police he is pretty much seen as the boy who cried wolf so takes it upon himself to solve the situation getting far more than he bargained for.  A.J. Orille and Ali Perich co-star in this short.  This was a pretty funny short film showing the price of snooping.  This is also available to watch on Amazon Prime and is worth the 12 minutes so let's help get this more exposure.

Well, that is it for this week.  Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week which so far includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Edward Norton, and many others.

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