What else to watch?
Young Guns II

Release Date: 30 July 1990 in USA (Hollywood, California) (premiere)

Rated:

Runtime: 104

Genres: Action, Western

Director: Geoff Murphy

Cast: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christian Slater, William Petersen, Alan Ruck

Synopsis

Why review Young Guns II and not Young Guns? Because, good as the first one is, Young Guns II is far superior. Think of them as the Gospel According to Pat Garrett (Young Guns) and the Gospel according to Billy the Kid, or a character called Brushy Bill, who may or may not be the real Billy the Kid. Continue reading

Comments Off
Flightplan

Release Date: 22 September 2005 in Israel

Rated: Rated PG-13 for violence and some intense plot material

Runtime: 98

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Director: Robert Schwentke

Cast: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean, Kate Beahan, Michael Irby, Assaf Cohen

Synopsis

Jodie Foster acts again in confined spaces after her acclaimed last movie, Panic Room. But the claustrophobia generated here is at 40,00 feet from sea level, when a bereaved widow, Kyle Pratt, played by Foster, wakes up after a nap to find that her six-year-old daughter Julia(Marlene Lawston) has disappeared. What’s worse, no one seems to have seen her daughter on board, nor is there any other evidence to support her presence. This results in mounting disbelief amongst the crew and the passengers and the flight from Berlin to New York becomes the venue for the taut drama that plays out, to eventually somewhat fizzle towards the end.
Continue reading

Leave a comment
Flags of Our Fathers

Release Date: 20 October 2006 in USA

Rated: Rated R for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language

Runtime: 132

Genres: Drama, History, War

Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery, Barry Pepper

Synopsis

Flags of our Fathers is a moving film that recounts the stories behind the lives of some well-known American soldiers from World War II. Upon Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima, one of the most treasured and memorable pictures from World War II was taken on February 23, 1945. The photo of five marines and one navy corpsman raising the American flag is now a nationally recognized icon. Sadly, of the six soldiers depicted, only three survived the war. Flags of our Fathers tells their tale. Continue reading

Leave a comment
Natalie Portman

Birth: 09 June 1981, Jerusalem, Israel

Occupation: Producer, Director, Actress

Story

Natalie Portman is one of those pretty faces that is, well, more than a pretty face.  Talented, civically-minded, undeniably intelligent, and sophisticated beyond her years, Portman has been dubbed the “new Audrey Hepburn.”

Portman was born in Jerusalem in 1981 to Avner and Shelley Hershlag.  Her father, a fertility doctor, and her mother, an artist, moved from Israel when their daughter was three to Washington D.C., and then later, New York.  At the age of 11, she was discovered by an agent at a pizza parlor.  Initially, she was pushed into modeling.  However, strong-willed and independently-minded even then, Portman decided to pursue acting. Continue reading

Leave a comment
Bad News Bears

Release Date: 22 July 2005 in USA

Rated: Rated PG-13 for rude behavior, language throughout, some sexuality and thematic elements

Runtime: 113

Genres: Comedy, Family, Sport

Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, Sammi Kane Kraft, Ridge Canipe, Brandon Craggs

Synopsis

I didn’t want to like this film. I didn’t want to like Billy Bob Thornton in a role that Walter Mathau made famous. I was dragged to this film by an eight year old who loves to play Little League. By the end of the film, he had to drag me away from the screen. Continue reading

Leave a comment
Jennifer Connelly

Birth: 12 December 1970, Catskill Mountains, New York, USA

Occupation: Actress

Story

Jennifer Connelly is one of those women who have it all—beauty, talent, and brains.  The past few years have seen resurgence in her career, for which her stunning role in A Beautiful Mind is to thank.  However, Connelly’s acting career and personal life have been chock full of successes from childhood.

Many people remember Connelly as Sarah in the Jim Henson film Labyrinth.  She played a careless older sister who must find her baby brother after he is stolen by the Goblin King (David Bowie).  This was her first major role, gotten through a national search by the Jim Henson crew to find the perfect young actress to counterbalance David Bowie’s sinister Goblin King.  Other early career moves include modeling (she appeared in the teen magazine Seventeen) and a role in which she danced in the movie Once Upon a Time in America. Continue reading

Leave a comment

One cannot always get a grand sense of a country even when one travels there. The history of a nation and the particular stories bound up in the lives of its inhabitants are not readily apparent in the two-week stints one normally has for vacations. The following films provide a sense of Australia and New Zealand through fictional films and films based on actual facts to give the viewer a greater personal and historical sense of a place and its peoples. Also, the films are simply good and fun to watch.

The Piano, directed by Jane Campion, is set in the wilderness of Victorian-era New Zealand. It stars Holly Hunter who won an Oscar for her marvelous performance of a mute woman who travels to a foreign land with her daughter to marry a man she does not know. A young Anna Paquin also won a supporting Oscar for her portrayal as the woman’s precociously cartwheeling daughter. The piano plays a pivotal role in the machinations of the film’s drama. Beautiful and not to be missed by film connoisseurs. Continue reading

Leave a comment
Flags of Our Fathers

Release Date: 20 October 2006 in USA

Rated: Rated R for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language.

Runtime: 132

Genres: Drama, History, War

Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery, Barry Pepper

Synopsis

One of the most celebrated movies of 2006 is now available on DVD for your viewing pleasure. The widely acclaimed film Flags of Our Fathers, from acclaimed director Clint Eastwood, is now available to the home viewer, in both full screen and widescreen formats. Continue reading

Leave a comment

High definition DVD represents an evolution of the present DVD format. Regarding its video and audio quality, high definition DVD is much better than the actual DVD as this was compared to the features of the old VHS videotapes. The birth of the high definition DVD was determined by the evolution of the television sets which have become capable of displaying high definition pictures, fact that requested a step forward for the home video.

In other words, high definition DVD’s aim is to provide 1080 lines of video resolution, compared to the 576/480 lines presently offered by the actual DVDs. Continue reading

Leave a comment
Everything Is Illuminated

Release Date: 03 September 2005 in USA (Telluride Film Festival)

Rated: Rated PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language.

Runtime: 106

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Director: Liev Schreiber

Cast: Eugene Hutz, Elijah Wood, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jana Hrabetova, Stephen Samudovsky, Ljubomir Dezera

Synopsis

Everything is illuminated is the story of a journey into past secrets by three men and a dog. Alex, the narrator of the story, played by Eugene Hutz, and his grandfather are in the tour guide business. What they really do is drive American Jews to the places where their forefathers died. Continue reading

Leave a comment