Dark Shadows is a campy horror comedy. It’s based on a supernatural soap opera about a vampire named Barnabas Collins that aired from the late ’60s to the early ’70s. The show was remade in the ’90s. The film version is set in the early ’70s. Tim Burton’s film stars his muse Johnny Depp as well as his long time girlfriend (she would be considered his common law wife if they lived in the US), the awesome Helena Bonham Carter.
The cast is rounded out by Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller and Jackie Earle Haley (or as we may always think of him, 2nd Freddy Krueger).
Back during my Vincent Perez phase I bought this on VHS. It’s decent as far as his flicks go. He doesn’t have a great Spanish accent (which is odd since he grew up all over the place) but I’ll overlook any problemos in that area. This movie is about an Irish woman who goes to Spain and becomes a governess. She finds political pressure in Spain, just as she did in Ireland. Polly Walker, Frances McDormand and Penelope Cruz costar.
Did you ever want to see what it would be like to see Prue and Cole in love? Lucky that you came across this flick then. Shannen Doherty is in love with Julian McMahon but ends up going back in time to shortly before her former, late lover’s death.
I love everything about this film, the idea, casting, visual choices, etc. Mickey Rourke stumbles into a traveling sideshow and meets a beautiful young woman (Megan Fox) who plays the part of an angel. They fall for each other. Their love unravels since he’s tangled up with some other unsavory folks. The movie costars Bill Murray, Kelly Lynch and Rhys Ifans.
Good Dick is listed under romcoms but it’s anything but. The movie is about a man who works at a video store and falls for an introverted woman who rents a lot of porn. It’s a very touching drama that I definitely recommend. Marianna Palka (also the director), Jason Ritter, Martin Starr and Tom Arnold star in this flick.
Conversations with Other Women is a personal favorite. I own and have watched this film and the special features often. (I have entertained thoughts of making independent films and it was shot on a DV camera). The writing is top notch. It’s about a woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who is attending a wedding and meets up with a man (Aaron Eckhart) that she shares special chemistry with.
Last Night is about a married couple (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington) who’ve been together for a while but are both tempted to cheat on the same night. Knightley’s character is definitely more fleshed out and relate-able. Worthington mainly seems like a stock faithful husband who is confused and tempted (by Eva Mendes though so it totally makes sense).
A Beautiful Life (Mei Li Ren Sheng) (China/Hong Kong) (Available Until December 13, 2012)
A booze and high heel loving real estate agent meets a police officer. She leads him on while using him to do things for her. It’s one of those friend zone relationships that actually goes somewhere.
Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr, Gena Rowland and Kathy Najimy star in this film about love and starting over. It’s about what happens when your husband is a piece of shit so you have to heal and start again.
Random Hearts is definitely a different kind of movie. It has a slow build and it’s long. Plus it’s very sexy without being very sexual. This Sydny Pollack movie stars Harrison Ford (ahhh!) and Kristin Scott Thomas as two people whose spouses both die in a freak plane accident. They fall for each other while grieving, but her job gets in the way. Charles S. Dutton, Bonnie Hunt, Dennis Haysbert, Richard Jenkins, Peter Coyote and Dylan Baker costar.
It took me a long time to get around to catching this flick but since I’ve seen it I must heartily recommend it. Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges star as struggling jazz musicians who hire the sexy, talented Michelle Pfeiffer as their singer.
No matter how many times I see Where the Heart Is I will never stop being amazed by it. I read the book back in the day and it was incredibly schmaltzy and just okay. However the movie is totally made by the amazing, believable performance of Natalie Portman as Novalee Nation (I know). She’s a pregnant teen whose bf is such a dick that he ditches her at a Walmart. However she makes the best of things, befriends a bunch of really great people and finds her passion in life (and love) while bringing up her son. Ashley Judd, James Frain, Stockard Channing, Joan Cusack and Sally Field costar.
The first time that I saw Suburban Girl I was dissapointed. However I don’t blame the film, I blame US Weekly. During filming all of the on set picks made it seem like it was fun and upbeat. Then it was released and marketed as a romcom. However it’s actually more dramatic. The flick is about a book editor (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who starts dating a much older man (Alec Baldwin).
I originally rented this on a whim and it definitely turned out to be a good idea. It’s a period drama set in wartime London about the lives, loves and friendship between two women played by Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller. Matthew Rhys and Cillian Murphy costar.
At First Sight was mercilessly bashed upon it’s release but I’ve always loved it. It was actually put down for not being realistic while it was based on a true story and Val Kilmer shadowed the guy that it was actually about (I know, so wrong). Kilmer is a blind masseuse who finds love with Mira Sorvino. She helps him experience new things when he undergoes an operation that gives him his sight back but will it last? Kelly McGillis, Steven Weber, Nathan lane and Bruce Davison costar.
Since the 84th Annual Academy Awards takes place this weekend (Sunday, 02/26/12) I decided to choose some Oscar winning films that you can enjoy right now on Netflix Streaming.
If you are more of a watcher than a reader and/or just want to watch me fangirl out over some of these flicks you can watch me also explaining this post above, or you can just skip that and read through.
(Best Director-Ang Lee, Best Adapted Screenplay-Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Best Original Score-Gustavo Santaolalla)
Brokeback Mountain is the story of two cowboys who fall in love but can’t be together except during a brief time when they are working alone on a mountain. The film stars the late Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway and Randy Quaid.
(Best Visual Effects-Joel Hynek, Nicholas Brooks, Stuart Robertson & Kevin Scott Mack )
Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Annabella Sciorra star in a movie about a man who tries to find his wife in the afterlife after he dies. The problem is that while he was meant to reside in heaven she is damned to hell.
I finally watched all of The Graduate last year when I was able to see it as part of a classic film series on the big screen. It’s quite disconcerting. Dustin Hoffman is a guy who’s right out of college and drifting. So he spends his summer drinking and sexing up Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Then he decides that he’s in love with her daughter. In homages to the movie Hoffman is usually portrayed as a sympathetic character but he actually seems totally sociopathic.
(Best Actor in a Supporting Role-Robin Williams, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen-Matt Damon & Ben Affleck)
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck made their splash into hollywood when they wrote and starred in this Gus Van Sant flick. Affleck is a janitor at a college who is actually a genius. When he starts attending the college himself he butts heads with the yuppies. Robin Williams, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgard costar.
(Best Actress in a Supporting Role-Angelina Jolie)
This is the fantastic adaptation of the Susanna Kaysen novel (which I also recommend) about a depressed young woman. She ends up in a mental hospital during the interim between high school and college. The film stars Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy and Jared Leto. There’s no doubt that Jolie is great in this but I always felt like it must have sucked that the press on her performance overshadowed Ryder’s leading role. Ryder’s character is basically just misunderstood and being treated in a sexist manner (though she’s officially diagnosed with borderline personality disorder) while Jolie’s character is completely out there.
(Best Actress-Hilary Swank, Best Actress in a Supporting Role-Chloe Sevigny)
Boys Don’t Cry is based on the true story of Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank) who was a trans man (a person who is born female but gender identifies as a man) who falls in love with the pretty Lana (Chloe Sevigny) and the hate crime that follows. Peter Sarsgaard and Brendan Sexton costar.
(Best Makeup-Greg Cannom, Ve Neill & Yolanda Toussieng)
I do believe that Mrs. Doubtfire was the first video tape that I ever begged for (and received!) as a birthday gift. Robin Williams (how is he in this post so much anyway?) is a man whose wife (Sally Field) is divorcing him. He’s a struggling actor who is desperate for both a steady job and a way to see his children more often. Of course the best idea is to dress as an elderly woman and become their maid, duh! I rewatched this again not long ago and it’s still great. Pierce Brosnan and Harvey Fierstein costar.
(Best Original Song-(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life-Franke Previte, John DeNicola & Donald Markowitz)
I wish that I could be nonchalant and say that I don’t even like Dirty Dancing but alas, no, not true at all, I have one of the special edition DVDs and eveything. The late Patrick Swayze stars as the older dance instructor that teen Jennifer Grey falls for, while developing her dirty dancing skills.
Kathy Bates stars in this horror movie based on a Stephen King book. She’s an obsessive fan who snaps when her favorite author (James Caan) has stopped writing his huge hit book series that she loves. So she kidnaps and cripples him to force him to write a new book in the series. Lauren Bacall costars as his literary agent.
(Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role-Anne Baxter, Best Actor in a Supporting Role-George Sanders, Best Director-Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Best Costume Design-Edith Head, Charles Le Maire, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording)
This drama stars Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm and Marilyn Monroe. It’s about an aging actress and a young actress who usurps her popularity.
This is a such a good costume drama. Michelle Pfeiffer is fantastic as woman who is considered to be scandalous because she’s left her husband. Daniel Day Lewis starts seeing her on the side despite being engaged to the adorable young Winona Ryder.
(Best Visual Effects-Ken Ralston, Doug Chiang, Douglas Smythe & Tom Woodruff Jr.)
Death Becomes Her is definitely a favorite of mine. The stunning Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep star as vanity obsessed women who fight over Bruce Willis. They will do anything to stay young looking, even take a magical potion from Isabella Rossellini. It’s awesome that this movie won for visual effects because they still stand up today.
(Best Makeup-Ve Neill, Steve LaPorte & Robert Short)
Yes, Beetlejuice! A married couple (Geena Davis and an adorabley young/faux nerdy Alec Baldwin) die and discover that they are still trapped in their home. When some annoying yuppies (Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara) and their gothy teen daughter (Winona Ryder) move in they hire a bio-exorcist to scare them away. They don’t realize that this guy, Betelgeuse, (Michael Keaton) is worse. You don’t know how cool I was when I played a copy of this PG masterpiece at my 6th birthday party.
(Best Animated Feature Film of the Year-Lee Unkrich, Best Original Song-We Belong Together by Randy Newman)
Toy Story 3 is cry worthy even for adults. When Andy grows up his favorite toys, Woody and Buzz, end up accidentally being thrown out. They arrive at a daycare center with some scary, stern toys and then must escape.
(Best Picture-Saul Zaentz, Best Director-Anthony Minghella, Best Actor-Ralph Fiennes, Best Actress-Kristin Scott Thomas, Best Actress in a Supporting Role-Juliette Binoche, Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published-Anthony Minghella, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration-Stuart Craig & Stephenie McMillan, Best Cinematography-John Seale, Best Costume Design-Ann Roth, Best Film Editing-Walter Murch, Best Original Dramatic Score-Gabriel Yared, Best Sound-Walter Murch, Mark Berger, David Parker & Christopher Newman)
I haven’t watched this in forever, despite it starring the delicious Ralph Fiennes, because it’s depressing. You’re going to want to check it out at least once though. Plot: “At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.” (via IMDB.com) The film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe and Colin Firth.
UPDATE: According to this article Lohman gave birth to her son in the timeframe of November 2010 to February 2011. She and her hubby were spotted out with him in August 2011. That is when they finally mentioned the baby to the press.
I was recently rewatching Matchstick Men and was, of course, struck by how good actress Alison Lohman is in it. Then I thought that some people might not be familiar with her work. I first noticed Lohman in the drama White Oleander which is about a teen girl with a volatile mother who finds herself while living in a series of foster homes. It’s based on the book of the same name by Janet Fitch.
In 2009 Lohman starred in the Sam Raimi horror film Drag Me To Hell, which was really scary and disturbing even though it did include classic Raimi slapstick. It’s about a woman who is plagued by a gypsy curse.
However my favorite role of hers is as the headstrong reporter Karen in the murder mystery Where The Truth Lies. Most of the attention that this film received was due to the racy sex scenes but there’s so much more to it than that. I highly recommend this film. I also recommend the novel of the same name by Rupert Grint that the film is based on. It’s very good.
I realized that I hadn’t seen her in anything in a while. A quick search produced rumors of her being pregnant late last year, which explains her recent hiatus from films. This YouTube video verifies the information. In it she is shooting a foreign magazine spread whilst pregnant. During this break you can catch up on all of her old roles.
Where The Truth Lies Trailer