Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mrs. Paltrey at the Claremont

Mrs. Paltrey at the Claremont is a more sane and slightly acceptable film than one it is compared too: Harold and Maude. Joan Plowright is a terrific English actor: superb is more like it. She shows up at the Claremont, a hotel for those getting old, put out to pasture and out of the way mostly by family. In a happenstance (this is the great thing about the movies, they can put together a good story: not so easy in real life), she has a fall just as a young Renaissance type guy happens by. They have instant rapport. He becomes her "make believe" grandson, replacing an unresponsive one; and, the adventure begins.

Great characters and good story and a chance to think about getting older and our responses to our own older loved ones. 2 parachutes

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Two Weeks is the second movie I've seen recently that deals with death and dying. Let's face it, we all die.

Two Weeks attempted to convey how four siblings dealt with the death of their Mother. Having seem the movie, I am still trying to figure out how well they did. With such a weighty subject, a Director would have to be unusally talented to do justice to it.

This movie would be ideal to have student discussions around, all the way from undergraduates to med school. Not only the subject but the characters and their depth or lack thereof, would lend itself to ample comment.

As this family struggled to come to grips with the Mom's death, the family dynamics left something to be desired. And, of course, as viewers, we get a chance to observe the dysfunctional nature of who they are. Sometimes, you just wanted to say, "grow up."

It is hard to say exactly what made this picture so unsatisfying. Unappealing characters? To be fair, I think the movie tried to do too much in two hours. Americans are so impatient and have the attention span of a tree.

Sally Field was great. She pretty much carried the movie. I liked the way they did these little vignettes with her on camera, not penetrating enough, however. I'm glad she's back at work in TV. I've felt that she got way too much negativity from the "they really love me" parody when she won an academy award. Oh well.

Even with reservations, I still recommend this movie. See it, two parachutes.


Righteous Kill is one of those movies where everybody gets killed but the director. Al Pachino and Robert DeNiro play themselves. And, to me they are always delightful. And, in this movie, being reasonably objective, they are.

A good story with a twist or two. I think that the basic premise of the movie is something all of us mull from time to time. We would like to see the bad guys really get it. Those heinous crimes where the evilness of man emerges: the college student kidnapped and killed, the drug dealers who destroy lives, on and on--they get to court and get off or slapped on the wrist. Well, in Righteous Kill, there's a final justice for these low lives. Kind of reminds me of the TV show Dexter, a righteous serial killer who has his own way of taking care of the bad guys. Instead of saying, "the person should be killed," we say, they should be Dextered.

See Righteous Kill, it, at least, will take care of your vicarious need to see the bad people get it. 2 parachutes.


Tell Me A Riddle is a movie mostly about the finality of "age" in crisis. There are so many nuances that simply cannot be conveyed in a two hour movie and consequently the viewer is left to guess lots of things. Hands down, however, if you are someone like myself wanting movies to have some redeeming purpose, this one does.

The story is about an old Russian emigrant couple at a stage of their lives where decisions have to be made about their futures with the wife soon to go on to her rewards. Selling the the family home is kind of symbolic of change. The wife doesn't want to sell and move to an assisted lining facility. The husband is gruff and comes across as a patriarchal insensitive type but not really. The children seem a little flummoxed about the whole thing. In a kind of peculiar happenstance, they end up with a granddaughter in San Francisco, every visitor's favorite city for it's beauty at least. The granddaughter is a nurse and I guess is the reason they end up with her. She has her own dilemmas which adds nothing to the story, however. The dying mother has flashbacks to her time in Russia, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) type flashbacks. Interesting movie. I liked it. Two parachutes.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Longshot was an outstanding movie about a girl who was bullied in school. Her father left her 5 years ago and her uncle is the only one who has time to take care of her. At first he is an annoying uncle who won't leave her alone, but as time goes on they start doing little things.

The Uncle was playing football with a couple of friends when he drops the ball at her feet. Jasmine (the niece) picks the foot ball up and throws an amazing pass back to her uncle. So he starts passing and training her to tryout for the boy's football team. She gets really good, so after the coach considers it, she is finally put on the team, but is never played. When the Browns (the name of their team from Milton) were losing by a ton, the coach finally decides to put her in. They win that game. Jasmine gets her team all the way to the Superbowl for the Pop Warner League. In the last minute, the team loses.

This is a movie about a girl going through stress but is able to pull herself together through a game. Jasmine and her uncle go through a journey where they learn more about themselves and each other. It teaches a great lesson that you can be what ever you want to be when you grow up. I strongly suggest that you should see it.

Lupe Jacobson, age 12, guest reviewer