Sunday, November 20, 2016

 

Winter's Bone

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

 

Number of "Movies" as of Today

    Counting every television series as "1", I have 333 "movies" as of today. Might be time to thin out my collection, again. I've already spotted a few that I doubt I'll ever watch again and have no sentimental value. Look for more "yellow" movies in the future.
 

Maleficent

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Sleeping Beauty

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Warner Brothers 20 Film Collection Thrillers

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The Bridge on the River Kwai

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An Autumn Afternoon

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The Designated Mourner

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Network

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The Bourne Classified Collection

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China Beach Complete Series

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Breaking Bad Complete Series

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A Few Good Men

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I Origins

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Sound of My Voice

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Another Earth

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The East

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The Godfather III

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The Godfather II

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JFK

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The Crush

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Diabolique

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Pacific Heights

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Copycat

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Where to Invade Next

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Michael Clayton

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The Ghost Writer

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Wall Street

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Birdman

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Limitless

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Game of Thrones: Fifth Season

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Malcolm X

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Schindler's List

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Meet John Doe

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Gone Girl

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A Bridge Too Far

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Another Huge Catch Up; All Movies waaay AMD

    It's been ages, I know. All the following movies have been purchased and watched (unless noted otherwise in the Commentary) since Mom died (AMD=After Mom Died). This list, however, hasn't lost its utility, especially, it seems for borrowing friends and occasional family members.     I've dropped all but the Commentary section. As well, at this writing, I'm not attaching the titles to web links, although I am linking titles to this journal in order to set the titles up for later outsourced linking. I'll probably edit for web links, later. I will be tagging all entries for personal categories.     And, yes, I know many of the outsourced links on movies already listed are out of date. I'll clean those up, eventually, as well.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

 

More Catching Up

    I didn't expect to ever be catching up, again, but, today, when I was going through the list to the left at the request of a friend who wanted to borrow a movie or two for entertainment, I realized I've picked up a few since the last time I recorded movies, back on June 12, 2010, and, as well, forgot to record a movie I picked up before those last updated posts. So, below, here are the "new" movies, pretty much for my convenience only, none of which my mother ever watched, all of which will be added to the roster on the left.
 

The God Who Wasn't There

  1. Who's watched:  Watched this movie with Mom before Mom died; bought it AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I like watching this movie every once in awhile to remind me of why the life of Jesus upon which Christianity is based is more myth than reality. It doesn't make a difference to me, actually, since I'm not a Christian, but I don't shy away from religious discussions and the information in this movie helps ground me.

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The Day After Tomorrow

  1. Who's watched:  Watched and bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  This is another movie that was released well before Mom's death but which neither of us noticed, until it was too late for her. I'm sure she would have enjoyed it at least as much as me. Another one of those movies I can watch again and again. Yes, I know, this scenario is highly unlikely, but, frankly, considering our continued head-in-the-sand attitude toward the increasing climate change and what we, as humans, think of as climate chaos (what happens probably isn't considered chaotic from the perspective of the climate gods), how would we know what's likely and what's not? This movie has a peculiar effect on me. Every time I watch it (and, actually, I watched it, yet again, last weekend), my unedited emotional reaction is, "Yes! Let it happen! Let it happen!" Pretty much the same as my reaction to Earth 2100, which I don't yet own but probably will, since I no longer have cable, on which it used to show about once every three months.

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Fracture

  1. Who's watched:  Watched and bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  It seems that this movie was released a good year before Mom died, but I didn't hear of it or see it until a few years after she died. Aside from the fact that the story is a nail-biter no matter how many times I see it, it is pure pleasure for me to watch the astonishing, perfect chemistry between Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling, over and over and over and over ...

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Inside Job

  1. Who's watched:  Watched and bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I can't tell you how many times I've watched this movie. Although it has a clear political point, it also contains an explanation of the financial crisis that I understand and the special features never fail to remind me of aspects of the financial crisis I continue to feel the need to research, as more and more opinion is added to the expanding conversation about what happened then and what's happening now as a result. It's like a class outline for me.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

 

Yes

  1. Who's watched:  Watched and bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  Finally, one more AMD movie that isn't fluffy, not even close! I stumbled across this movie by chance when I was browsing Netflix. It sounded interesting. I fell in love with it as I began watching it and became even more intrigued when I realized that the entire script was written in poetry. It is so skillfully written, directed and acted that I can imagine lots of people watching this movie and never realizing it is poetic. It's modern day Shakespeare. The story was also mesmerizing, especially it's peculiar overview of romantic relationships, sly and ironic, erotic in an offhanded way, which makes it hard to call this movie a romance, although I'll include that label on this review. I was so enthralled that when I bought the movie I also bought the script and, as well, had a copy of this movie sent to one of my sister's who I just knew would find it as intriguing as I did. I also excerpted one of the monologues from the movie, over-narrated by a character who is in a nursing home, pretty much comatose and immediately dying, to read at my grief support group because it confirmed something I rather suspected from having attended my own mother's death; that the dying (and the dead) don't necessarily want their survivors not to grieve for them.

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You've Got Mail

  1. Who's watched:  Bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  Funny about this movie. Yes, it's yet another emotional and, this time, comedic fluff movie that I bought after my mother died, for the same reasons I bought all the others. It was, as well, one of the movies that I recorded on our DVR long before my mother died and kept there because both of us enjoyed watching it so much, thus, watching it now has the added dimension of remembering my mother's and my shared pleasure in the movie. Although we enjoyed the entire movie, we especially liked the title sequence featuring Harry Nilsson's "The Puppy Song". Too bad this guy died so young. This isn't the only one of his compositions that intrigue me. I bought it in order to erase it from the DVR and, of course, watch it at my leisure.

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The Devil Wears Prada

  1. Who's watched:  Bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  It seems, after my mother died, I ended up buying a pretty few of these movies that are pure fluff, either emotional, visual or both! Here's another. Actually, Mom saw this movie and liked it so much that if we noticed it playing when we were channel surfing we'd click into it, to the satisfaction of both of us. I linked it to Roger Ebert's review because one of the things I like about it is the "gee-whiz" quality he identifies in the movie. I also like the opening title sequence and the emphasis on fashion. My favorite aspect of the movie, though, is Meryl Streep's performance. She imbued her character with astonishing dignity, to the point where it almost made me wish I'd decided to become a corporate dragoness! I also consider this a type of pussy-flick...substituting "fashion" for "pussy"...but it carries the same watchable quality as pussy-flicks.

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Flashdance

  1. Who's watched:  Watched and bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I admit it. I'm a Flashdance junkie, just like millions (maybe billions, considering its stunning entry into the global cultural lexicon; if you doubt this, watch Caro diario. Yes, the story is dumb, yes it's pretty much badly acted, yes it's a pussy flick, but I don't care. I love the music/dance sequences. My favorite is the "Maniac" sequence. My second favorite is the "Manhunt" sequence: LOVE it when the dancer crawls across the floor! My third favorite is the one that features a reaction to television. I found myself craving this film after my mother died, (much as I craved, with much personal embarrassment, the movie City of Angels) because I felt like I needed to feed off its energy. It worked, and still works. Did my mother ever watch it? Possibly, during one of its infamous (but infrequent) television reruns, although I can't remember. Whether or not she saw it, would she have liked it? Absolutely, for exactly the same reasons I like it. I refuse to say any more on the grounds that it might incriminate me.

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Across the Universe

  1. Who's watched:  Watched and bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  Although this movie was released before Mom's death, I didn't watch it until after she died, when it became available for rental. On first watching I determined that I wasn't particularly interested in owning it, even though it was entertaining. I wasn't impressed by the story. I did, however, find myself keeping the movie for several days and re-viewing the music segments, some of which I found captivating, and playing it in the background because I found that the reproductions of the songs by various artists added flavor to the compositions. I still resisted owning it, though, until I stumbled across a severely marked down copy. I don't find it an adequate substitute for The Beatles, but it's an interesting and informative adjunct.

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Capitalism: A Love Story

  1. Who's watched:  Watched and bought this movie AMD
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  Well, of course I own this movie! I watched it in the theater when it was first released, then bought a copy. I regularly force watchings upon relatives and friends. Much has been written and said about this movie which doesn't need repeating. I can tell you, though, that one moments I found the scariest was observing the slight smile on President George W. Bush's face when he announced the economic "global meltdown"; as though the plutocrats had not only orchestrated it but were rubbing their hands together with glee when it happened, knowing it would lead to a government bailout of the plutocracy and a startling, one time transfer of even more more wealth into their rarefied percent of the population. As it happens, the financial reform that is now being wrangled over in the Legislature will likely not prevent another economic meltdown (although it's debatable whether any more bailouts will be okayed, at least in the near future). I want to mention that I found some of the special features on the DVD as, if not more, interesting than the movie. Two in particular, Commie Taxi Drivers and The Socialist Bank of — North Dakota? [Both linked to their availability on Michael Moore's Website, where you can see all the special features] are especially hopeful. The movie can be relatively discouraging, so I have to be careful about repeat watchings. However, I have to say, Michael Moore's last line, "I refuse to live in a country like this — and I'm not leaving," more than makes up for the discouragement this movie and the some of special features dish out.

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Catching Up

    I'm adding a few movies to my list; all of them purchased after my mother's death. I suppose, in a way, I'm breaking an assumed rule, here, considering the name of the site, but a few of my friends use this site as a reference for movies they'd like to borrow and watch. As well, because movies played such a large part of Mom's and my life over the last years of her life, especially after she no longer found the theater experience comfortable, it is impossible for me to watch any movie in any venue, including at home, without thinking of her and speculating how she might have reacted to the movie.
    Poignant story: Yesterday I decided to attend the new version of The Karate Kid [I'm linking to this review because it's the kindest, although I was not as thrilled with the movie as Roger Ebert was; I very much enjoyed Jackie Chan, though, AND, there is one particular scene I can't get out of my head: At the final tournament there is a moment when the bully, Cheng, registers a facial expression of simultaneous confusion and insight; the shot is gone almost as quickly as it appears, but it's startling and left me thinking that Wang Zhenwei is an actor to watch) at our local theater. Aside from the fact that I liked the first (only the original, not particularly the sequels), the original was one that Mom loved and we'd watch whenever we found it on a television channel line-up. Although the theater was fairly packed, the seat in which I sat had an empty to my right. As the movie played, I noticed I was reaching over and laying my hand on the seat during sequences that I found interesting. When my mother and I watched movies, either at home or in the theater, I always sat to her left and she and I always reached over and touched one another when we found a scene or a bit of dialogue significant. Often we'd look at each other and smile, especially when we found our hands meeting in mid-air as they were traveling between us.
    Not sure, as I continue listing movies, here, if I'll mention how I think my mother would have reacted. Maybe...maybe not. I haven't actually purchased many movies since my mother died. Since the collection we have is more than enough for me, even minus those I've donated to the local library, and I don't find myself "losing touch" with the memory of movies I love, as my mother did, thus needing to watch them over and over, it mostly doesn't seem necessary to own any more movies than already exist in the collection. But, there have been a few...

P.S.: For these movies, in the area of the review labeled "Who's Watched:", in the following phrase, "Watched [and/or simply] bought this movie AMD", AMD stands for After Mom's Death.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

 

As of May 1, 2010...

...Blogger will no longer allow FTP publishing. Updates to this blog can be found at http://moviesmomandme.blogspot.com. This section of the journal will also remain at in it's domain directory, so accessing links should not present a problem.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

 

Demetri Martin: Person

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I almost forgot about entering this DVD because its more or less permanent place is right by the DVD player. MFS sent this to me maybe two months ago, so, it's one of those post-Mom DVDs. I'm not sure whether she thought it was time for me to laugh, again, but that's what this DVD accomplished. I've watched it three times since she sent it. I've watched ALL the special features on this disc. I've looked up his show, Important Things (which is right now in repeat, but I still watch it, I need to be reminded of his attitude) on cable. I've watched episodes of that. This is one of my favorite types of humor: Droll, bizarre, outrageously unassuming, ridiculous...I LOVE this guy's take on the world, which, by the way, extends to his website (which is also VERY unassuming...there's almost nothing there and he appears white on white...hilarious in itself. His "music", his drawing, his skits, love 'em. This is one of the kinds of humor with which I was raised in my family. Watching Demetri Marin feels like coming home. And Laughing.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

 

Yentl

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  This is the second movie I've bought since Mom died, strictly in memory of Mom, this time. This was one of her favorites. Although it didn't play on the cable channels often, I doubt that we ever missed a showing of it. There are many reasons she liked it: Its portrayal of a bright, gutsy young woman refusing to give up her dreams and desires in the face of a woman-stifling culture; its periodicity; its intriguing presentation of a woman who is so successful at masquerading as a man that she marries a woman who thinks she's an exceptional (because she's a woman) man (Mom has always loved gender-benders); the very messy, thus very realistic resolution. Although its not one of my favorites, I have to say that certain scenes have the power to mesmerize me, despite the outlandishness of the story. The movie wasn't released on video until this year, some months after Mom died. When I saw it at Costco I knew it was necessary for me to purchase it. And watch it, multiple times, I'm sure. In honor of Mom...and Momandme.

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The Women (2008)

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  This is one of the few movies I've purchased since Mom died. It came out the Tuesday after she died. We'd talked about getting it so that we could compare it with the first version and looked forward to seeing it. I'd talked, the week before she died, about it's release coming up the next week. Thus, of course, I bought it.
      There are two critical schools of thought on this remake. The first is echoed in the link to the title of the movie above. The second is here, courtesy of The New York Times. The former expresses my sentiments, although not completely. Roger Ebert seems not to have watched either movie closely enough to realize that the remake actually follows the structure of the first one very closely. Some of the dialogue is even repeated. The resolution is completely different and the satire is toned down significantly so, yes, these are two "different" movies. And, I definitely missed the presence of the hats and the silly clothes that Sylvia wears in the first movie. I also missed the hilarious actress credit sequence from the first movie that wasn't even attempted in the second. I was curious to see what the producers of the remake would do with that. The second movie also explores the eternal mother character much better than the first, and I like the twist in the remake on the relationship between the mother and daughter. The first is much cattier, but the second portrays deeper friendships which would be trivialized by the catty fast talk of the first. Both movies, as well, have interesting fashion runway sequences. My preference is for the first. I prefer the context, love the fact that the movie switches to color for that sequence, and I love the clothes in the first movies' fashion sequence much better than the clothes in the second. I should have been born so that I could have been in my clothes-horse prime during the thirties through the early forties. For satiric dazzle I prefer the first movie. For emotional satisfaction I prefer the second. I'd love to know which my mother would have preferred. I will be keeping both movies.
      You'll notice that I categorized the first as a romance. It was. I can't categorize the second as such, because it isn't; unless you count romancing one's friends, and one's self, which is a clear slant of the second movie. Ah, what the hell; why not. It's a romance. Just not the usual kind.

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Thank You for Smoking

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I rented this, fell in love with it as the ultimate in political instruction and purchased a copy for myself as a reminder of what I'll be up against if I ever decide to enter into politics (which I may) and how to give as good as I get. Although this movie is, of course, a broad satire, it is also a case of a no holds barred portrayal of reality being the satire. It isn't that I haven't been aware that much of politics is froth...it's that this movie made me realize that one can't beat the influence of froth unless one understands it and, as well, is willing to occasionally decorate one's priorities with froth. And, no, Mom never watched it. I made the choice not to show it to her. I was concerned that the speaking was so fast and furious that she would get lost in the shuffle. I now think I may have underestimated her ability to understand the point of this movie, and enjoy it. Maybe I'll do better next life.

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State of the Union

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  Ah! This movie is a buried treat! I knew nothing about it when I spotted it at Costco. The play from which it is adapted continues to be produced and, apparently, over the last few years, has been considered especially timely: check out this link for proof. I purchased it solely on the strength of it being yet another Tracy/Hepburn movie. When Mom and I enthusiastically cracked the case that afternoon and watched the movie, we were both blown away! Aside from the fact that I can't believe this movie isn't more well known, it's extremely timely. It talks about political and economic issues with which we are still struggling; it suggests the possibility of not only a European Union but a World Union with a World Currency; it discusses the problems of corporate industry and talks about the relationship between management and unions...and, of course, it deals heavily with political corruption by lobbyists and business. It's story line includes a sub-story which is a frank exploration of marriage versus mistresses and the "sacrifices" wives and husbands appear to be obliged to make when one of them becomes involved in politics. It is yet another one of Frank Capra's movies and is clearly identifiable as one. And, it was made in 1948!
      Mom and I were both wowed by this movie and wondered why it isn't considered among the Tracy/Hepburn classics, or among Capra's classics. We watched it multiple times before Mom died. I've watched it a couple of times since.

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Spanglish

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  This movie is purely Mom's delight. From the beginning, when the narrator begins to tell the story of what her mother means to her, my mother follows the movie all the way through. That's why I decided to purchase a copy one day when I saw it selling at the grocery store at a ridiculously cheap price. I enjoy it, too...even though my Adam Sandler fandom runs more to movies like Punch Drunk Love. It was fun for me to watch Mom watching this movie, though. She just beamed through the entire show. I think she identified strongly with Flor.

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Sister Wendy Collection

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Our collection consists of the following:  Aside from the comments in the Mention, above, you should know that the theme for the series casts a spell over me, as well. My mother never tired of watching these videos. Neither do I.

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Singin' in the Rain

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  I don't care why critics think it's a great movie...I just love it. Every single moment of it; especially the dancing and singing in the rain and the dance sequences with Reynolds, Kelly and O'Connor. LOVE watching O'Connor and Kelly together. They both looked like they just "[Had]'ta Dance"! Mom loved this movie, too. The only reason we didn't own it before last year is that it showed on TCM so much that it seemed as though we didn't need to own it...until I ran across a copy of it on the cheap and decided it was time. Also, I consider this movie film art because of the way dance was translated to the screen.

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Sicko

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I keep this movie as reference. I think it will come in particularly handy in the next few years. Mom and I both watched it. I think it bored Mom, especially since I insisted on watching all the special features which were, in many cases, more interesting than the movie. I care about this movie because I am one of Uninsured America. Since I was 22, I have had medical insurance for only nine months out of my entire adult life. In addition, I earned my fighting chops defending my fully insured mother against the USA Medical-Industrial Complex, including the insurance industry. Shouldn't surprise you that I'm a fan of this movie.

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Sex and the City, The Movie

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  My reaction to this movie is complicated.
    • I'm sure you've heard the following: "If you love the series, you'll love the movie." Not so. I agree that in order to become involved in the movie one has to be familiar with the series, but I love the series and the movie was a disappointment. I can see how my mother liked the movie. Aside from her reaction noted above, it was so colorful and splashed so broadly on such a huge canvas that it was kind of like watching a cartoon.
    • That having been said, I was deeply affected, after my mother's death, by the scenes involving Carrie's mourning of what she assumed to be the definitive death of her relationship with Mr. Big. These scenes tugged mercilessly at my heart. At one point, the week after the first group of visitors left, I would watch the series of scenes, from her phone dropping at the wedding site when she hears that John has decided not to come to the wedding, straight through to her finally arising from an emotionally drugged three day sleeping binge in Mexico and joining the rest of her friends, endlessly. I would weep uncontrollably throughout...then continue my own mourning, which while it didn't include constant sleep, did include loss of appetite, drawing of all drapes, extinguishing of all sources of light and a strict isolation from everything that implies the continuation of life. That part of the movie continues to tug at my heart. On bad days, I make it a point to watch that series of scenes, yet again.
    • I was completely disappointed in something about the movie, but I couldn't place my finger on what until MCS and MCNC came to visit in early spring and we watched the movie (they hadn't seen it). When MCS pronounced it, after having watched about a half hour of it, as "a bunch of privileged women buying things", I realized what bothered me about the movie: The hard-driven focus on fashion, which is so relentless that the story lines get lost in the shuffle. Although the series has a decent fashion thrust, it isn't relentless; nor does it obscure story lines and ideas. The movie, unfortunately, took the fashion/money thrust to the limit and, in doing so, limited the ability of the story lines to come through.
      I'll keep the movie, though, as a part of my SATC collection. I hope the company doesn't plan to do another, though. My hope is that they consider all loose ends tied up tight. Enough is, as this movie proves, more than enough.

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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I resisted placing this movie in our collection for some years, even though Mom insisted on watching it every time it came on TV and, I have to admit, I love the dancing, especially the "athletic" (as one critic called it) sequence involving the testosterone soaked brothers against suitors of the town vying for the affections of seven sprightly town maidens. Finally, winter before this last, I found it at Costco and brought it home for a weekend surprise. We watched the movie twice in a row, at Mom's request (and have watched it several times since). I was fascinated to discover that my mother's favorite dance sequence was the one done in the dead of winter while the seven brothers are chopping wood and bemoaning their singular (pun intended) fate. As she would watch that sequence, every time, she'd mention how much she liked it, her body would weave to the adagio accompaniment of the silken cowboy ballad and she'd swing her arm in an arc from her elbow each time an axe swung to a down beat. She loved the rest of the movie, as well, the Sabine Women sequence, in particular, and I loved watching her watch it. I will continue to love watching it and remembering the her high pleasure in the production.

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Savages

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2*
  3. Commentary:  I think I said everything that needs to be said about this film in the first of the Mentions. I am assigning it to the "caregiver" category, marginally, but I don't actually think of this as a caregiver's movie; even though most of the critics who watched it did. A lot of critics, I guess, haven't cared for elderly relatives and friends.

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Requiem for a Dream

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I had wanted to watch this movie ever since it came out and somehow never got the chance. I never mentioned it to anyone, but I thought of it often. When we joined a rental service I put it in my queue but there were always so many other, much lighter movies that I placed before it because, somehow, I knew this wasn't a film Mom would want to watch. Then, during the spring of 2008 when Mom was in the hospital an rehab, out of the blue MFS sent me a copy of this movie...even though I'm sure I never mentioned my interest in it to her...it's become, since, a symbol of our psychic link.
      This movie is frenetic, tragic and gorgeous, all at the same time. Ostensibly the story of what addiction (to a variety of "things", including dreams) can do to a person. It's wonderfully acted and so succinctly imagined, written, produced, directed and portrayed that, after one scene in which one of the characters sexually compromises herself for drugs, MFS told me she felt like she needed to take a shower after the scene. It's true: The movie throws the grime of desperation right through the screen at you. There's something in this movie to make anyone, everyone feel dirty. The desperation never lets up; it's like watching a family version of Titus Andronicus. Which, of course, thrills me. I don't know why I'm attracted to such spot-on portrayals of the dregs of life, but I am, and this one is a masterpiece. I've watched it three times since I've received it. I'll watch it again. I've even created the category of "tragedy" for it, because, oddly, despite my attraction to tragedy, except for some of the video adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, we have no other relentless tragedies. I think I held off while Mom was alive because I suspected that I wouldn't be able to watch them, much. I was right...but, (cackling deleriously and rubbing hands together) THE SCREEN IS MINE, ALL MINE, NOW...

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Persuasion

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I picked this up because Mom and I so enjoyed the video versions of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility that we own and a friend told me that I'd probably like this version of the JA novel, too. I'm usually wary of friends recommending movies to me, but she was right. Mom and I both enjoyed this one. Film adaptations of Jane Austen and others' works can be disappointing; Mom and I have been disappointed before. This one isn't. I still prefer the books, but this movie and the other two JA adaptations we own bring the characters and environments to life.

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Legends of the Fall

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I'm truly surprised that I never mentioned this movie in the journals because, after I'd first seen it, the year it was released, I was mesmerized by it and talked it up to everyone who would listen, rented it endlessly and forced relatives to watch it with me, etc. I've often tried to explain why this movie has such a hold over me. Luckily, Mom always enjoyed it, as she does most big country-spectacle-epics. The acting is poor to fair to good to very occasionally excellent (usually the minor characters ring in the excellence in acting); the story is, well, the father-son story at the base of it is reasonably interesting but predictable; but the whole business about bears and the fall...it resonates with my own interest in bears and the fact that I've always been unreasonably proud of being a fall baby and feel "special" because of that accident of birth timing. I tend to feel as though I am in a dream when I watch this movie. Weird, I know. But, I expect to unreasonably love this movie for the rest of my life. I was lucky that Mom enjoyed it, too, I think it was like reading a sprawling novel, for her, thus she indulged my need to watch this at least once a year, if not more.

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Ordinary People

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  I picked this up on a whim. The memory of Mary Tyler Moore's performance in this movie haunted me for years. Stunning. When I stumbled upon across a copy on the cheap I decided to purchase it. Mom didn't remember having seen it; perhaps she didn't; but she enjoyed it as a family tragedy that "works out in the end". Mainly, my interest is in MTMs performance, the story doesn't interest me, much, but her performance, I could watch certain scenes over and over again. And I have. And I will.

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Mrs. Brown

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Despite the unresounding reception Mom gave this film when we first watched it, after some extensive wrangling I finally obtained a copy of it, solely because I wanted to watch it again, and again, and probably again. After a second watching of it, Mom warmed to it. It's a subtle movie, restrained acting in display of a restrained household...which is part of its magic. Judi Densch and Billy Connolly are wonderful in it.

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Mongol

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  One of the advantages, for Mom & me, of subscribing to a DVD rental service was (and remains) the availability of foreign films. Slowly, because of my interest in films from everywhere, if they're good, she learned to handle foreign language films with subtitles. Our favorites, though, were the sweeping epics that communicate mostly without language. This movie became one of our favorites in 2008. You'd think, because it is mostly about conflict, sometimes bloody, short on specific cultural information, etc., we would have found it boring. Quite the opposite. Mom loved the scene-after-scene sprawl of the steppes. I loved the mythical ambience of the film.

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All material copyright at time of posting by Gail Rae Hudson

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