Sunday, December 6, 2020

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 781st Edition


Welcome to the 781st edition of my series.  It's been a bit of a long week but I'm still here to get you my selections for the week so I hope you enjoy so I'll just get on with it.

The Adderall Diaries (2015):  This is part two of my Christian Slater trilogy where last week he was defending someone on trial but this week he is on trial.  Pamela Romanowski directed this film which was based on the novel by Stephen Elliott, played by James Franco.  Franco stars as author Stephen Elliott who is struggling to come up with a new idea due to many things like writer's block, substance abuse, and the relationship with his father, played by Ed Harris.  He got the idea to follow the murder trial of computer programmer Hans Reiser, played by Slater, but had to deal with his other issues before he could really be productive.  Amber Heard, Jim Parrack, Timothee Chalamet, Danny Flaherty, Cynthia Nixon, Tamzin Brown, Rochelle Bostrom, Laura Frost, Jake Katzman, Adam LeFevre, Michael Cristofer, Willie C. Carpenter, Raymond T. Williams, Wilmer Valderrama, and many others co-star in this film.  This is a pretty intriguing story that takes a look at both sides and how we sometimes remember what we want to remember.  This is available to watch on Hoopla Digital.

A Christmas Carol (2019):  This is technically an FX mini-series which was directed by Nick Murphy and a new take towards the classic story based on Charles Dickens.  The usual story is still there where Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Guy Pearce, who is preparing for the day he hates which is Christmas.  He is then visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley, played by Stephen Graham, who warns he will be visited by three ghosts from the past, played by Andy Serkis, present, played by Charlotte Riley, and future, played by Jason Flemying, to show what has happened, what is happening, and what might happen.  Joe Alwyn, Vinette Robinson, Remmie Miller, Johnny Harris, Kayvan Novak, Billy Barratt, Carmel Laniado, and many others co-star in this mini-series.  This goes far more in depth and just about any movie or stage play that has been done.  This has three episodes where we see Marley in a more expanded role.  This is much darker than the other versions even though other versions are pretty dark when it comes to the future scene but this becomes in some ways a horror show so this is not for everyone.  I don't think that Serkis has ever had the same look in a movie.  This is available to watch on Hulu and before watching it understand that it rated TV-MA and that it is quite different than other versions.

Sherlock:  The Abominable Bride (2016):  Like my last selection, this is technically a holiday tv special and a special episode of the BBC series SHERLOCK.  That series is a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson but in this episode, they were in 1890s London.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star as Holmes and Watson in where they investigate murders that seem to happen from ghosts which Sherlock is determined to undermine.  Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Scott, Louise Brealey, Amanda Abbington, Jonathan Aris, Yasmine Akram, David Nellist, Catherine McCormack, Tim McInnerny, Natasha O'Keefe, and many others co-star in this tv special.  It might help to watch at least some of the series before looking at this one.  Most of this series is available on Netflix but not including this one with it not being an official season episode.  From my understanding, this episode has a lot of book references.  

A Trip to the Moon (1902):  This is my short film for the week which was directed by Georges Melies.  A group of astronomers take a trip up to the moon and encounter some really magnificent things.  They also encounter a group of aliens while on the moon.  It also has the iconic face on the moon.  This is possibly the granddaddy of sci-fi which have some really good special effects that hold up today.  The Smashing Pumpkins paid homage to this with the music video of their song TONIGHT TONIGHT.  Just an fyi, before Billy Corgan became the owner of the National Wrestling Alliance, he was the frontman of the band Smashing Pumpkins.  The movie HUGO would be a really good movie to follow up after watching this one.

The Defender (1957):  This is another selection that is technically a two-part television episode of the series STUDIO ONE IN HOLLYWOOD but fortunately, I make the rules.  Robert Mulligan directed this two-part series which star Kenneth Preston and a young William Shatner as father and son attorney team Walter and Kenneth Preston.  They are defending a 19 year old named Joseph Gordon, played by a young Steve McQueen, who is being accused of murder but swears he did not do it.  Walter starts to have a moral conflict as he is convinced Joseph is guilty and puts him at odds with Kenneth who is doing what he can to help get their client off.  Martin Balsam, Ian Wolfe, David J. Stewart, Eileen Ryan, and many others co-star in this trial show.  Also look for a young Edward Asner as one of the jurors and is his debut in film or television.  This is a very early appearance for McQueen who is far from that Steve McQueen personality we know today.  This was also used in an episode of the tv series BOSTON LEGAL which starred Shatner and using this as a flashback scene that played into it very well.  This is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

The Apartment (1960):  Billy Wilder directed this romantic comedy.  Jack Lemmon stars as C.C. Baxter who is trying to move up the corporate ladder at his job, part of which is to allow his higher-ups to use his apartment for some extramarital affairs.  Things get complicated when he finds Miss Kubelik in his bed and finds she is having an affair with his married boss Sheldrake, played by Fred MacMurray.  He already knows her from being an elevator attendant and takes a liking to her.  Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, David Lewis, Hope Holiday, Joan Shawlee, Naomi Stevens, and many others co-star in this romantic comedy.  Lemmon is at his usual comedic best in this rather raunchy comedy for its time.  This is not a holiday film but it does take place some around Christmas.  This was around the time MacMurray starting doing the family oriented Disney films and was reluctant to play his morally ambiguous character.  This would be a great date movie that both can enjoy.

Lilo and Stitch (2002):  This is my Disney selection for the week which was directed by Dean Dublois and Chris Sanders.  This takes place on a Hawaiian island where young Lilo, voiced by Daveigh Chase, adopts what she believes is an unusual looking dog and names him Stitch, voiced by co-director Chris Sanders.  It turns out that Stitch is a fugitive alien from another planet and must evade some bounty hunter aliens while forming a bond with Lilo.  Tia Carrere co-stars as Lilo's guardian sister Nani.  David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Zoe Caldwell, Jason Scott Lee, Kevin Michael Richardson, Amy Hill, Erica Peck, Bob Bergen, Steve Blum, Rodger Bumpass, and many others provider their voices in this rather underrated Disney film.  It is unfortunate that Lilo never gets named as one of the "Disney Princesses" but she deserves her spot.  This also pays quite the homage to Elvis as they manage to work in a lot of his songs.  This is a very fun Disney film that has a really good look at family.  This is available to watch on Disney Plus.

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951):  Sidney Lanfield directed this holiday comedy though I suppose calling this a "holiday film" might be subjective.  Bob Hope stars as con man Sidney Milburn whose nickname is that of the title.  In a con that involved the horse race track, Sidney manages to cost gangster Moose Moran's, played by Fred Clark, girlfriend, played by Marilyn Maxwell, $10,000 which was also his.  The Lemon Drop Kid has until Christmas to come up with that $10,000 to pay back Moose.  Lloyd Nolan, Jane Darwell, Andrea King, Jay C. Flippen, William Brawley, Harry Bellaver, Sid Melton, Ben Weldon, Ida Moore, and many others co-star in this comedy.  While this movie does not tend to go on any holiday lists, this is what introduced the famous Christmas carol SILVER BELLS.  I also learned that the song was originally to be called "Tinkle Bells" until the wife of one of the composers let know that the word tinkle is slang for urinate.  This does have a lot of funny moments and is mostly of interest to fans of Bob Hope.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967):  Arthur Penn directed this biopic that takes a look at infamous bank robbing couple Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.  Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway star as the couple.  Bonnie Parker is a bored waitress and meets ex-con Clyde Barrow who charms her enough that she decides to go along with him.  They created a crime spree and even had the Barrow gang that in addition to them included C.W. Moss, played by Michael J. Pollard, Clyde's brother Buck, played by Gene Hackman, and Buck's wife Blanche, played by Estelle parsons.  Denver Pyle, Dub Taylor, Gene Wilder, and many others co-star in this film.  Wilder makes his film debut in more of a cameo appearance.  This was an era where outlaws tended to be portrayed as anti-heroes, biggest examples that come to mind are DILLINGER and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.  Beatty and Dunaway filled the roles very well in a movie that was rather fun to watch but did not hide Clyde's ruthlessness.  

Christmas Lodge (2011):  I end the week with this holiday tv movie that was produced by Thomas Kinkade and has a formula that Hallmark is known for.  Terry Ingram directed this holiday movie.  Erin Karpluk stars successful businesswoman Mary who is visiting her small town and encounters the lodge where she had many childhood memories but is in despair.  The lodge is owned by Jack, played by Michael Shanks, along with his adolescent daughter Charlotte, played by Michelle Creber.  Mary decides to use her resources that include her family and her place of employment to rebuild it before Christmas.  Rukiya Bernard, Rebecca Toolan, Michael Kopsa, John Innes, Michael Patric, Scott E. Miller, Peter Benson, Alvin Sanders, and many others co-star in this holiday movie.  There are some who prefer the holiday movies that are violent or dark but there are others that just want the sentimentality and predictability of a feelgood holiday movie which is what this movie does.  This is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Well, that is it for this week but I did bring back my "Fun and Useless Facts" segment.  Stay tuned for next week which so far includes Patricia Arquette, and many others.


James Franco (The Adderall Diaries), Andy Serkis (A Christmas Carol), and Michael Kopsa (Christmas Lodge) were in the 2011 film RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

Ed Harris (The Adderall Diaries) and Gene Hackman (Bonnie and Clyde) were in the 1997 movie ABSOLUTE POWER.

Ed Harris (The Adderall Diaries) and Jack Lemmon (The Apartment) were in the 1992 film GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.

Ed Harris (The Adderall Diaries) and Gene Hackman (Bonnie and Clyde) were in the 1993 law film THE FIRM.

Christian Slater (The Adderall Diaries) and William Shatner (The Defender) were in the 1991 film STAR TREK VI:  THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY.

Christian Slater (The Adderall Diaries) and Michael Kopsa (Christmas Lodge) were in the 2001 action movie 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND.

Christian Slater (The Adderall Diaries) and Edward Asner (The Defender) were in the 1998 action movie HARD RAIN.

Adam LeFevre (The Adderall Diaries) and William Shatner (The Defender) were in the 2005 sequel MISS CONGENIALITY 2:  ARMED AND FABULOUS.

Willie C. Carpenter (The Adderall Diaries) and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde) were in the 1996 crime drama ALBINO ALLIGATOR.

Andy Serkis (A Christmas Carol) and Martin Freeman (Sherlock:  The Abominable Bride) were in the 2018 superhero film BLACK PANTHER.

Vinette Robinson (A Christmas Carol) was a recurring character on the series SHERLOCK which has its special episode THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE featured this week.

Jason Flemying (A Christmas Carol) and Jason Scott Lee (Lilo and Stitch) were in the 1994 movie THE JUNGLE BOOK.

Kayvan Novak (A Christmas Carol) and Benedict Cumberatch (Sherlock:  The Abominable Bride) were in the 2010 comedy FOUR LIONS.

Joe Alwyn (A Christmas Carol) and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock:  The Abominable Bride) were in the 2018 royalty film THE FAVOURITE.

Johnny Harris (A Christmas Carol) and Tim McInnerny (Sherlock:  The Abominable Bride) were in the 2010 movie BLACK DEATH.

Charlotte Riley (A Christmas Carol) plays the Ghost of Christmas Present in the week's feature A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  William Shatner (The Defender) plays the Ghost of Christmas Present in the 2003 tv movie A CAROL CHRISTMAS.

Stephen Graham (A Christmas Carol) plays Jacob Marley in this week's feature A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  Edward Asner (The Defender) voices the role of JACOB MARLEY in the 1997 animated movie A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Shirley MacLaine (The Apartment) and Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde) are real-life sister and brother.

Steve McQueen (The Defender) and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde) were in the 1974 disaster movie THE TOWERING INFERNO.

Steve McQueen (The Defender) and Dub Taylor (Bonnie and Clyde) were in the 1972 chase film THE GETAWAY

Steve McQueen (The Defender) and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde) were lovers in the 1968 film THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR.

Steve McQueen (The Defender) declined the role of Buzz Lloyd in the 1969 movie MAROONED which would ultimately go to Gene Hackman (Bonnie and Clyde).

Ian Wolfe (The Defender) and Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde) were in the 1981 film REDS and the 1990 comic book movie DICK TRACY and would be Wolfe's last movie.

Edward Asner (The Defender) and Jack Lemmon (The Apartment) were in the 1991 film JFK.

Jack Lemmon (The Apartment) was called onto the stage of the 1998 Golden Globe awards by Ving Rhames (Lilo and Stitch) when he won an award for Best Actor in a TV Movie and gave Lemmon the award he won.

No comments:

Post a Comment