Movies Of The Week–18 June 2013

 

Wednesday

Action/Thriller/Suspense Flick

Burning Bright [2010]

A divorced father Johnny Gaveneau (Garret Dillahunt), mad with financial desperation, makes the decision to start a small zoo using money that was supposed to go to the welfare of his autistic child Tom Taylor (Charlie Tahan) and a gorgeous daughter Kelly Taylor (Briana Evigan) with her mind set on college. He buys a tiger using false paperwork but his intentions are far from making money through displaying the big cat to paying audiences. This story will rev your nerves, keep you breathing unsteadily and gasping more often than you thought possible. The only question to pose is: What happens when there’s a tiger loose in the house on an extremely windy day (there’s a hurricane out) so the doors and windows are boarded shut and a bad father leaves his daughter and autistic son inside all so he could get something from it all?

I absolutely enjoyed this movie. Some Indians were on the crew who made this film and the idea of watching a tiger do anything at all is fun. To know that three different big cats (Kismet, Katie and Schicka) brought their trained talents to this movie made me want to watch it again. I lost my breath several times as this movie progressed.

[Duration: 1 hr. 25 mins.]

Chick Flick

Beaches [1988]

This heart-tugging movie takes you through the lives of two best friends CC Bloom (Bette Midler) and Hillary Whitney Essex (Barbara Hershey) and all the happiness, sorrow, loss, disappointment and desperation they go through to settle in life. This simple story displays a very human need for bonding and an even more human need to feel selfishness and not know how to handle it. CC Bloom’s a star in the making but finds her career going nowhere for which she blames her looks while Hillary is born with a silver spoon but feel she has no talent despite her attractiveness.

Growing up can be a *****! It’s one of those things we all know and sometimes dislike. This movie made me feel a lot more than I expected and I couldn’t have asked for a better-rounded flick to see in the afternoon.

[Duration: 2 hrs.3 mins.]

Animation Flick

101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure [2003]

Following the adventures of all your favorites from the first part of this animation feature, herein you’ll find newcomers like Thunderbolt (voice by Barry Bostwick) and his sidekick Lightning (voice by Jason Alexander) who together star on a hit TV show where Thunderbolt saves the day when in reality the dog has an all too real weakness he aims to hide. The Dalmatians we’ve all come to love and adore from movie-1 and some of the villains too, especially Cruella de Vil (voice by Susanne Blakeslee) play their parts to satisfaction as one thing leads to another, Lightning has ulterior motives to become top dog and Patch, the ‘different’ Dalmatian, has his work cut out for him as he saves the day despite realizing his TV hero to be someone other than the brave dog who saved the day.

Being a sequel to a hit first movie is hard and this one hasn’t quite lived up to the awesomeness of its predecessor. However, I enjoyed watching it as it brought back some good memories but I have to admit I felt it was under-written.

[Duration: 1 hr. 10 mins.]

Comedy Flick

The First Wives Club [1996]

With a triple lead role comprising Bette Midler (Brenda Cushman), Goldie Hawn (Elise Elliot) and Diane Keaton (Annie Paradis) and superb supporting actors like Sarah Jessica Parker (Shelly Stewart), Maggie Smith (Gunilla Garson Goldberg) and others like Dan Hedaya (Morton Cushman) and more, this is one laugh out loud movie you’ll never forget. Tracing the schemes of three women to get back at each of their husbands for sins committed and divorces rendered, this flick progresses smoothly, ends wonderfully and is a riot fest throughout.

I never expected to enjoy this one but have seen it thrice since. The performances alone were a staggering ode to comedy and its elusive timing and I was driven to tears and grinning till I had jaw ache watching Bette, Goldie and Diane do what only one other female comedian in a scheming situation was capable of doing and making it seem credible and hilarious, namely Lucille Ball.

[Duration: 1 hr. 42 mins.]

Fantasy Flick

Mirror Mirror [2012]

Under the artful direction of Tarsem Singh and a plotline that’s as enchantingly different as it is following in the original’s footsteps, this movie version of snow white has both modernity and literary appeal as she (Lily Collins), with the help of Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer), finds a way to put right what her evil stepmother, the gorgeous Julia Roberts, has done to her father’s kingdom.

I was thrilled by Julia’s performance as the evil queen, she nailed the part superbly. I was in stitches at the comedic lines Nathan Lane (playing the queen’s advisor Brighton) had going for him and I was especially impressed by Lily Collin’s acting in this flick. Being a Disney fan I absolutely loved what Tarsem did with this number. The man, living up to his heritage, even wove a nice Bollywood-themed dance routine at the end of the movie, in keeping with Disney’s flair for musical endings and I enjoyed that most of all (it took me by surprise).

[Duration: 1 hr. 48 mins.]

Horror Flick

The Covenant [2006]

As horror movies go, this one is alright. However, add good CG effects, good performances by a talented cast and a curious plotline and you have yourself an entertaining movie that is sure to send chills up your spine despite it having a rather action-movie kinda flair. When Caleb Danvers (Steven Strait) returns to his hometown he completes a circle that finds origins in a supernatural legacy his parents shared with other members whose children, about his age, including Pogue Parry (Taylor Kitsch) and Tyler Simms (Chace Crawford), still living there, sense on his return. Growing love for Sarah Wenham (Laura Ramsey) whom he puts in more danger than rescues from it Caleb battles a wronged Chase Collins (Sebastian Stan) whose desire for justice crosses a line even he cannot avoid.

The movie has a slow start, some corny moments, a captivating plotline, wonderful expressions from the actors and a satiating conclusion. I really liked this one.

[Duration: 1 hr. 37 mins.]

Drama Flick

The Rose [1979]

The female rock star role Bette Midler plays, as Mary Rose Foster, based on the real-life Janis Joplin, not only confirms yet again how talented a singer, dancer and actress Bette is but the fact that she takes you through the life of a woman who feels loneliness, heartache and loss despite being a famous rock star and does what she can to hold it all together, makes several mistakes without learning from it, and finally breaking down at the end of her tour-run, succumbing to a sad part of life many a rock star knows only too well.

I admit this is the third Better Midler movie on this list, but that’s only because I happened to see them close together and found each perfect for the genre at hand. This movie, like all of Bette’s work, fascinated me, what with her ability to wield drama and comedy so exquisitely.

Duration: 2 hrs.14 mins.]

Classic Flick

Ace In The Hole [1951]

When Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) finds his successful career as a reporter threatened with a possible go-nowhere situation, he gets desperate enough to find that one story that will get him back up the ladder, even if he has to craft a lie to print that perfect headline. Lorraine Minosa (Jan Sterling) finds herself facing a poorly progressing one-sided marriage and when her husband is stuck in a cave rockfall, she tries to leave. However, Chuck sees his chance and manipulates her into staying, promising her business, slow as it is in this quiet old town, an increased cash flow due the headlines the man in the cave was making for Chuck who maintains his sole-contact role, keeping all other press people away. Lorraine plans on using the money people paid at her restaurant, the one she owns with her husband, to make good her escape after the man comes out alive while Chuck plans on making a career statement with his story. Until it all falls apart…

As with most classic flicks, this one drags a bit and has that signature black-and-white experience all those familiar with yesteryear movies will like. The story, I found, was very interesting and I enjoyed waiting to learn what would become of the man in the cave. The ending was logical, the plot after that well thought up and the movie quite memorable, teaching the importance of a human life above all the fame in the world.

[Duration: 1 hr.55 mins.]

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