Silver Skies


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 96 Minutes
From: Virgil Films
Available on DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  April 4, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Silver Skies on on DVD and Digital April 4, 2017Everything was coming up gold for me when watching “Silver Skies,” a movie about a bunch of seniors getting evicted from their apartment complex community, but then the movie took a dark turn that seemed better for shock value than to finish up the film. Suddenly we were down to bronze.

Let’s get to the story…

George Hamilton is Phil. He thinks he is Dean Martin, which is funny at times, until you keep remembering he thinks he is Dean Martin because he has Alzheimers. Jack McGee is Nick. He lives with Phil, is the best friend, and is doing everything he can to prolong Phil’s time in society instead of going to an institution.

The problem for our heroes, and the rest of elders? It seems their apartment complex is going condo as the owner, who is also the uncle of the manager of the complex, is getting rid of the place, and now Continue reading Silver Skies

Elle


Rated: R | Running Time: 130 Minutes
From: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital:  March 14, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Isabelle Huppert is Michele in ElleWow, that was a rough movie to watch. Great, but rough.

The movie is “Elle,” it’s directed by Paul Verhoeven, and it stars Isabelle Huppert as Michèle. It starts with the rape of Michèle, and it’s graphic. Then she gets raped again, and it’s still graphic. And there are flashbacks, and they are graphic. Yes, this movie is a hard “R,” and yet the movie is still a really great movie.

I figured I would get that out of the way at the start as that may stop those who are offended, or have no interest in watching any scenes such as that. Yes, the movie at its core is supposed to be about a woman who doesn’t want to be a victim, a woman who is empowered, but wow, it’s a rough watch. It’s also in French with subtitles so if you don’t want to “read” a movie because you don’t know French, heck, that might also be a turn-off. Still, it’s a great movie.

Let’s get to the story… Continue reading Elle

Lost Cat Corona


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 83 Minutes
From: Virgil Films
Available in Select Theaters: February 24, 2017
Available on VOD & HD Digital: February 28, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Ralph Macchio and Paul Sorvino in Lost Cat CoronaI will admit there are times when I get movies to review and I will start the movie at near about the same time I open my laptop. Usually it’s because the movie seems like it will be a “there’s 90 minutes I will never get back” kind of film, so I try to at least keep a few of the minutes to myself as multitasking sometimes becomes the order of the movie-watching. “Lost Cat Corona” started much the same way as the synopsis seemed kind of generic – Man goes out looking for a lost cat and funny ensues, and no offense to Ralph Macchio, but having Ralph Macchio, who hasn’t been really tearing up the silver screen lately, almost made it seem like one of those “He’s trying to make a come-back” films.

Quickly, however, the laptop was closed, and dammit, funny did ensue.

Dominic (Macchio) is married to Connie (the wonderful Gina Gershon). Connie is kind of a pill when it comes to being a wife, and Dominic is kind of a wimp. Continue reading Lost Cat Corona

Cross Wars


Rated: R | Running Time: 98 Minutes
From: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital:  February 7, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Cross Wars ReviewFirst I have to assume the film people involved with “Cross Wars” were going for a B-Movie feel, which is fine. I generally like B-Movies and can usually enjoy the campiness of them. Sadly this movie didn’t make the grade of B.

In doing a little reading I found that “Cross Wars” is the sequel to “Cross,” a film trying to be in the “out of the comic book and on to your big screen” kind of movie. The basic rundown is that Callan Cross (Brian Austin Green) is handed down this Celtic cross amulet that has powers, and Callan is now kind of a superhero. He rounds up a team of folks to save the world from bad people.

Continue reading Cross Wars

The Weird Power of Music


For most of the day, yesterday, I was in a pretty good mood. It was one of those days when there seemed to be a spring in my step, I was feeling good, and then for whatever reason, still unknown to me, as evening came I became grumpy. Little things annoyed me, I was in this weird mood of just feeling like I couldn’t get anything done, couldn’t get the gumption to start, and just plowed through the evening.

Kind of worried I might snap at my wife for no good reason, I just opted to go to bed, flustered at why my mood changed, and hoping to wake in a better mood.

Nope.

Continue reading The Weird Power of Music

Helping Settle a Court Case

Have you been summoned for jury duty?

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There it was, a jury summons. I get the mail, flip through the normal bills, flyers, stuff that instantly gets shredded, and then whisper, “Shit.” I looked just like the guy in the “Welcome to Jury Duty” video, or whatever they called it, who opens his mail and sees his jury notice, only I didn’t see him whisper, “Shit.”

And so began my odyssey to achieve, as the “Handbook for Illinois Jurors” says, a “higher opinion of the privilege enjoyed by the free citizens of our country to participate in the administration of justice.” My journey began almost like the stages of grief. There was the denial, the bargaining, the depression, the anger, and then finally the acceptance.

First came the denial.

Continue reading Helping Settle a Court Case

One Bag Gone

In a quest to be more healthy, at least I think it’s more healthy, for the past months I’ve eliminated most white sugar. Yup, no products with white flour, no pasta, limited fruit, no cookies, no ice cream, and for the hell of it, no beer, and a lot of looking at ingredients on products and putting it back on the shelf wondering why it needed sugar in the first place. However, on this quest, I allow myself one cheat day, a day to eat as much, or as little, of anything I want. Usually cheat day is Saturday, usually there are cookies, usually there is ice cream, and almost always there is beer.

Snyder of Berlin Cheese CurlsThe challenge, however, is defining “cheat day.” Normally I stick with the definition that cheat day begins after waking  and ends when going to bed, the basic cycle of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but then, for our latest weekend, my wife suggested a 24 hour cheat day, starting at about 7PM. This definition came about mostly because she had a craving for some cheese, then a craving for chocolate, then my reminding her that we had special chocolate that was about to expire, and then some cheese curls, and not just any cheese curls, but the best cheese curls in the entire universe from Snyder of Berlin, delivered to me by my sister and brother in law on a recent visit.

Continue reading One Bag Gone

The Dead on Facebook

Have you wished a dead person "Happy Birthday" on Facebook?

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If you’re on Facebook long enough and have enough friends, eventually, if it hasn’t happened to you already, one of them will pass away. I remember the first time it happened to me – the odd post on someone’s wall that hints something is wrong. It could be a simple “I’m going to miss you and the times we shared” post, or the “I’m glad you are at peace now” post, or a post by a family member who is able to log into their account mentioning their dying. The first time I found it a bit unsettling, that here I am, on Facebook, finding out about someone I know dying, from their own timeline nonetheless. I also remember one time I was looking for a person I used to know, found their page, and found out they were dead. Damn. what a bummer. I wondered what happened to the good, old days, when you would find out with a phone call, but then part of me realizes that it’s probably easier to use Facebook so that you don’t have to deal with dozens of “explaining” what happened conversations, the “Let me know the funeral plans” and thereby being burdened with the responsibility of remembering to tell them said plans, or the uncomfortable, rehashing over and over, the person’s dying. Facebook: It’s how we notify, and avoid people.

Okay, back to dead people on Facebook…

Continue reading The Dead on Facebook

The Sheik


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 96 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
On DVD March 1, 2016 : Via Digital Download Now

The most hated, and at the same time beloved wrestler of all time has a story that can simply be summarized as “The good. The hated. The ugly. The survivor. The star.” He is Khasrow Ali Vaziria, he is The Iron Sheik, and the documentary “The Sheik” tells it all without pulling any punches, or camel clutches as it would be, in a fascinating look at The Sheik’s roller coaster of a life.

Starting at the beginning, “The Sheik” traces Khasrow all the way back to his story in Iran, born in 1942 and becoming a wrestler, a star athlete in the Olympics, and a bodyguard for The Shah. Seeing his star rising yet not as high as fellow wrestler Takhti, when Takhti supposedly “committed suicide” and rumors abounded that it was The Shah who didn’t like the gold medalist’s popularity thereby “taking care” of the national hero, Khasrow realizes he needs to leave his beloved Iran for his own safety, and he heads to the United States.

Continue reading The Sheik

The Family Stone


Rated: PG-13 | Running Time: 100 Minutes
From: 20th Century Fox
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

I hate when a movie has potential to, well, not really be a classic, but at least one that I would probably sit down and watch when it comes on cable (lately I’m hooked on “The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause” and I’m embarrassed to admit that), and “The Family Stone” had that potential until it decided to put in an all-too-easy, sentimental, sub-plot, that the movie didn’t need, a sub-plot I don’t want to have to relive at Christmas-time. I’ll try not to reveal this sub-plot, nor the other obvious plot twist that is supposed to surprise you, but here we go…

Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) is in love with Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), and of course it’s the time of the year, Christmas-time, when boy must bring girlfriend to meet his parents and family, and what a more awkward time to do it than at said Christmas-time, especially when your family is slightly dysfunctional, even though you probably don’t realize it. And it’s even worse when your dysfunctional family doesn’t really like your girlfriend, based on an earlier dinner when your sister, Amy (Rachel McAdams), met up with the two of you, and now they fear that you want to ask her to marry you. Such is the problem facing Everett and Meredith. Now, Meredith, is your atypical, big city, career driven kind of woman, perfectly clothed, with tight hair and stuck to her cell phone. Everett seems just kind of lost, yet still supposedly in love. Anyway, Meredith arrives and it’s pretty much Amy’s job to make her feel as lousy as she can, and Meredith is so miserable that she ends up staying at the local inn instead of at the Stone household, and calls her sister, Julie (Claire Danes), to help her save her reputation with the family. Julie arrives, there is a highly uncomfortable Christmas Eve dinner, and all of our cast of characters, also including Mom Stone (Diane Keaton), Dad Stone (Craig T. Nelson), Ben Stone (Luke Wilson), and Thad Stone (Ty Giordano), all have revelations that would change their lives through the next year.

Alright, that’s a pretty crappy synopsis of a movie that at it’s core is a fun look at a wacky family and a girlfriend who really doesn’t fit, although she really does, just not knowing it yet. There’s some seriousness (Mom doesn’t want to give son her Mom’s wedding ring, even though she promised she would if said son found the woman of his dreams), some odd-ballness (Ben is pretty great), some funny-ness (Meredith’s breakdown on Christmas morning gave me one of the biggest laughs I’ve had at a movie in a while), and the typical family-ness (in the end, it’s Christmas, a time for family, and a time for all to get along). But what I didn’t need, want, or want to have to see again, is the sub-plot, that although is a sub-plot everyone will have to go through at a Christmas (not exactly like this sub-plot, but the same concept) or Holiday, I don’t want an entertaining Christmas comedy with a nice hint of drama to make me have to relive every time I see it. I know that might not make sense if you don’t see the movie, but as I just re-read this review so far, nothing really makes sense.

Look, the movie is entertaining, and as much as I’ve been reading bashing of Sarah Jessica Parker’s portrayal of Meredith, I thought she did a pretty good job going from the hoity-toity New York City girl, to the girl who really has a sentimental side, to the girl who just needed some rubbing from Ben to let her freak-flag fly. Luke Wilson was fantastic as the stoner-type brother who always seems to be filled with stoner wits of clarity, and Diane Keaton was just fine as the overly protective mother, who didn’t need to be burdened with the extra story she had. I’ve always been in love with Claire Danes, so she can do no wrong in my eyes, and Rachel McAdams was utterly perfect, especially when she uttered the words “Of course you do,” and then walked away. All that said, dropping the totally sentimental, unnecessary sub-plot, I’d have given this movie 4 ½ stars out of 5. With that part in it, I’m dropping this rating to 2 ½ stars out of 5. It did have one of the biggest laughs I’ve had in a while, but for goodness sake, don’t make the tear-jerking so easy.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!