Friday, October 24, 2014
It’s always a pleasant surprise to walk out of a movie thinking, “That was a lot better than I thought it would be,” and that was my reaction to “St. Vincent”.
I am not a fan of Bill Murray and it didn’t help that once again he was playing a curmudgeon and that It didn’t help from the first shot most of the audience laughed at everything he said and did, even when not funny! I don’t remember at what point it happened but all of a sudden he stopped playing Bill Murray and became Vincent.
Along with being negative about going into a movie starring Bill Murray I was also hesitant about seeing Melissa McCarthy once again playing a loud mouth, vulgar woman doing anything for a laugh but from her first appearance on the screen she is playing a true character, Maggie, a about to be divorced mother who is doing what she can to take care of her son, Oliver, played by Jaeden Lieberher.
Lieberher, an 11 year old, underweight, is bullied his first day in a new school and, due to the screenplay, is put together with Vincent. Okay you get a precocious young boy and an old curmudgeon you know where this movie is heading but Lieberher almost steals “St. Vincent” from Vincent!
As a teacher priest, Brother Geraghty, (Chris O’Dowd) , a bookie Zucko, (Terrace Howard), Daka (Naomi Watts), a ‘lady of the night’ and paid friend of Vincent’s who is pregnant, Sandy, (Donna Mitchell), from Oliver’s classmates to all the extras every part is perfectly cast, with the exception of Watts accent, and her being Russian, doesn’t add to the film though she does.
The screenplay by Theodore Melfi holds no surprises, but his direction of the actors and their inherit talent is spot on, and will get the tears where he wants them.
In all probability Murray will/should get starring award nominations as might McCarthy will get supporting nominations and Jaeden Lieberher certainly deserves accolades in his role as Oliver and a future career in movies.
“St. Vincent”, and Bill Murray, were a lot better than I thought they would be!
Monday, October 20, 2014
(ALLEN ON LEFT AND ME ON RIGHT DOING PUBLICITY FOR "ANNIE")
There is pure joy coming into an unexpected perfect day and this was one of them.
I slept in a little later than usual, got up, did my usual look in the mirror and saying out loud, “You’re okay Martin!” and getting that smile on my face.
Had orange juice and coffee then checked my emails and posted a couple of blogs plus making a few draft posts to get ahead.
Around one o’clock, looking outside, I decided to take two of the many magazines piled up on my table and go seat outside and do some reading.
I wish I could describe the feeling that engulfed me when I walked out of the building towards the water. The warmth of the sun seemed to wrap around me while a breeze kept it from being too hot. My legs didn’t hurt, I didn’t have a care in the world and life just seemed to be glorious.
I sat on the bench and started to read one of the magazines but I couldn’t concentrate as the combination of the sun, the breeze, the blue water and sky, the large green tree and just the feeling of peace seemed top ask me to relax and just look around.
In addition to relaxing and looking around I took my camera and did a short video so that I would remember this day. This is the video--this is the day.
No matter what may happen this day, the rest of this month, the rest of 2014, I know I will carry this perfect day, Sunday, October 19, 2014, with me until the next perfect day comes a long and I know it will!
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Mother Nature. She is absolutely amazing whether being good or bad!
Here at Gateway, where I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we have over 230 trees. There are orange, lime, lemon and other fruit trees along with palms of all kinds. We over 30 specimens from oaks, African Tulip, Schefflera, Black Olive, Gumbo Limbos, Bottle Brush, Queen Crepe Myrtles, Fistulas, Silver Buttonwood to Tabuias just to name a few.
And yes, though many doubt it, we do have Autumn here as you can see in the slideshow.
I look out my window and see four glorious trees including an Avocado that is still giving us produce for our guacamole!
The first thing I do with visitors is take them for a walk around the grounds to see the towering trees that are in-between and around the buildings plus the Queen Crepe Myrtles that line our driveway from one end to the other and when they are in bloom they are an unbelievable sight to see.
Wonder what Mother Nature will bring tomorrow!
Friday, October 17, 2014
In “The Best Of Me” it is 1992 and Amanda (Liana Liberato) and Dawson (Luke Bracey--looking too old) become high school sweethearts. She comes from a wealthy Louisiana family while he is described as ‘poor white trash’ by his father (Sean Bridgers), with her father, Jon Tenney, trying to buy Dawson off, not succeeding. For unknown reasons Dawson leaves the town and Liana.
Twenty years later we meet Dawson (James Marsden) who is now an oil rig worker who just escaped death and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) is married, has a son, lost a younger daughter to leukemia and whose husband (Sebastian Arcelus) is a drunkard.
Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, with the screenplay by J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters, we know true love won’t run smooth. Along the way we meet Dawson’s two redneck brothers played byHunter Burke and Rob Mello, Gerald McRaney, as Tuck, his mentor and the reason for Amanda and Dawson getting together again all these years later. The writers throw in all the cliché twists and turns that good romance novels/films have hopefully in paying off with the audience in tears. There are two surprise twists that unfortunately are telegraphed before they happened.
The soundtrack tries to work on the heartstrings while Louisiana is photographed in all its hanging moss glory, skies with millions of stars, the actors looking their best and
A HUGE mistake, which might not have been as obvious had the movie not constantly shifted between 1992 and 2012, is the fact that the younger Dawson, not only looking too old, has no resemblance to the older Dawson plus none to his father and two brothers. At least the young and older Amanda both have long curled hair so there is some resemblance. All the actors do what is required of them and there is chemistry between the younger Amanda and Dawson along with the older pair.
“The Best Of Me” is not an unforgettable romance movie but gives the audience what it comes for, though logic has to be left at the door when walking in. Having to choose between this movie and “Fury” we made a good choice.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
“Pride” is the very close to perfect movie that it seems only the English know how to make. It pulls at your heart strings, makes you smile and laugh, then ends making you want to cheer!
The movie is based on a true story about a group of Lesbians and Gays from London who go to Llandello, Wales, after collecting money to help the striking miners, showing solidarity between two groups who are marginalized, oppressed and shunned, especially by the government.
The film opens with the Gay Pride March in 1984 and ends with the Gay Pride March in 1985. In between we see the interaction between the Gays and miners, some of the latter accepting the former while some are against them. There is really only one villain as through various actions, conversations and incidents most come to accept each other.
Most of the characters are clichés from the boy on the verge of coming out to the man in the village who has lived his life in the closet but the actors make you forget what you know is going to happen. Each actor gets a ‘star’ turn and though some have bigger roles, such as Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Ben Schnetzer, Paddy Consindine, Andrew Scott, Dominic West and George MacKay than others all earn a well deserved acknowledgement so be sure to stay for the credits.
It is almost a perfect movie but the director, Matthew Warchus, and the screenwriter, Stephen Beresford, try to cover too many characters and don’t have, or take the time, to see them through while original music by Christopher Nightingale at times overcomes the scenes.
All in all this is definitely a movie to see and, on a personal note, I want to take the next flight to Llandello, Carmartheshire and Danwen in Wales, plus drive across that magnificent bridge. I did research but couldn’t find out the name of the bridge so if anyone knows please let me know!
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