Sunday, August 13, 2017
Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 613th Edition
Welcome to the 613th Edition of my series. We have one more show for BURNT PART BOYS. The show is going well and I look forward to the future. I'm still unable to find a paid fantasy football league. I cannot do the paid websites due restrictions in Indiana, among other states so if anyone has a paid league going and need someone else, please let me know. I will get to my selections for the week.
The Late Shift (1996): I start the week off with this tv movie that was directed by Betty Thomas and based on the book by Bill Carter. This is a dramatization of the late night wars of the early '90s when Johnny Carson was retiring and where David Letterman, played by John Michael Higgins, and Jay Leno, played by Daniel Roebuck, would fight over who gets THE TONIGHT SHOW. Most of the fighting happened between the people behind the scenes and some got rather underhanded to get their way. Kathy Bates co-stars as Leno's manager Helen Kushnick who was willing to do whatever she had to do for Jay to win. Treat Williams co-stars as agent Michael Ovitz who Letterman brought in to fight for him. Bob Balaban, Peter Jurasik, Reni Santoni, John Kapelos, Steven Gilborn, John Getz Lawrence Pressman, David Brisbin, Chichael Chieffo, Nicholas Guest, Rich Little, and many others co-star in this tv movie. It was good to hear a reference to my town of Muncie, Indiana which is where Letterman attended college at Ball State. This is a really good look at the late night wars and a good behind the scenes look of the late night world. This is available on HBO On-Demand.
The Gathering Storm (2002): This is part two of my potential Vanessa Redgrave trilogy. This is my political film for the week which was directed by Richard Loncraine and based on an unknown time with Winston and Clemmie Churchill, played by Albert Finney and Redgrave. This takes place in the '30s where Churchill was out of the government at the time but tried to warn of German rearmament and warned about Hitler. Jim Broadbent, Linus Roache, Lena Headey, Derek Jacobi, Ronnie Barker, Tom Winkinson, Celia Imrie, Hugh Bonneville, Gottfried John, Anthony Brophy, Edward Hardwicke, Tom Hiddleston, Tim Bentinck, Diana Hoddinott, Dolly Wells, and many others co-star in this film. I never really knew much about Churchill but Finney brought the character to life very well. This is also a good look at pre-WWII. This is available on HBO On-Demand and Amazon Prime.
Hello, My Name is Doris (2015): Michael Showalter direced this film that is based on Laura Terruso's short film DORIS AND THE INTERN. Sally Field stars as Doris who appears to be a rather lonely woman and takes a liking to her younger co-worker John, played by Max Greenfield. After a self-help session, she is inspired to romantically pursue him. Stephen Root, Tyne Daly, Rich Sommer, Leilani Smith, Peter Gallagher, Natasha Lyonne, Don Stark, and many others co-star in this film. This was a very cleverly written comedy which goes beyond romantic comedy and is kind of coming of age for the older generation. I will also say that the self-help seminar was inspired by WWE superstar Bo Dallas who taught us that the word impossible really means "I'm Possible" which is the message in this film and unfortunately Mr. Dallas go no credit in the thanks portion but I guess I will let that go. This is hard to discuss much further without giving anything away so just watch it on Amazon Prime which is where it is available.
Insect to Injury (1956): This is my animated short for the week which features Popeye the Sailor Man. In this one, Popeye is building a home but has a problem and no it is not Bluto this time. This time it is a a band of termites that keep ruining what he is doing. He tries frantically to stop them and while needing spinach for strenth, Popeye must rely more on his wits this time instead of just his strength. This is a rare one where Bluto and Olive Oyl are not involved so it was good to see them stray from the formula with a rather clever story. This is available on Amazon Prime on Cartoon Classics Volume 2 which as 25 classic cartoons.
Wise Girl (1937): Leigh Jason directed this romantic comedy. Miriam Hopkins stars as heiress Susan Fletcher who wants to raise the two daughters of her late sister and finds that in a will, they were placed in custody to their Uncle John, played by Ray Milland, who is leading the bohemian lifestyle. She finds that she likes that life but is afraid that having the children is keeping him from his potential as an artist leading her to go to court. Walter Abel, Henry Stephenson, Margaret Dumont, and many others co-star in this comedy. I did find myself laughing quite a bit at this movie with people trying to adjust to different worlds. Milland played a much lighter character than usual and did very well in his role.
Frenzy (1972): Alfred Hitchcock directed this film in which he returned to England after many years and got his first R rating. In London, there is a serial killer called the "Neck Tie Murderer" and all signs point to Richard Blaney, played by Jon Finch, who did not commit the killings but does not do much to make anyone believe otherwise with his tempered personality. Blaney goes on the run determined to prove his innocence with the help of girlfriend Babs, played by Anna Massey. Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Alec McCowen, Billie Whitelaw, Clive Swift, Bernard Cribbins, Michael Bates, Jean Marsh, Madge Ryan, and many others co-star in this film. I will start by saying, this will not be a murder mystery to watch and try to guess. We see the murderer at the beginning though I will not reveal who but the story of Richard trying to prove his innocence is very compelling and the journey there is what makes this worth watching.
Colombiana (2011): This is my guilty pleasure action film for the week. Zoe Saldana stars as Cataleya whose parents are murdered in front of her as a child. As a grown-up she learns to be an assassin as she works for her uncle while spending other time pursuing the mobster that killed her parents. Jordi Molla, Lennie James, Amanda Stenberg, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Beto Benites, Jesse Borrego, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Callum Blue, Graham McTavish, and many others co-star in this action film. Luc Besson co-wrote the film without being sued for plagiarism this time and was originally going to be a sequel to the 1994 film LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL but was scrapped when Natalie Portman moved onto other things so it was rewritten. This is a pretty decent popcorn movie with some pretty cool action scenes and I liked the scene which takes place in a prison.
Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947): This is my Japanese film for the week which was directed by Yasujira Ozu. This takes place in post-war Japan where a man brings home a lost boy to the tenement. No one wants to take him in but a bitter and widowed woman named Tane finally takes him in for the night. She takes him back to his neighborhood but finds his father is no longer there. She tries to get rid of him but he won't leave her and slowly the boy grows on her. This is a very touching film showing the lives of these people in this time of Japan. It is only about 72 minutes long so not very long at all.
Adventures of Mowgli (1973): I came across this last week after putting together my "Fun and Useless Facts" segment and found that SAUSAGE PARTY actor Ian James Corlett was the American voice for Mowgli in this Russian adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's THE JUNGLE BOOK. This is another animation film that came after the 1967 Disney film THE JUNGLE BOOK. This shows Mowgli from childhood and into his adult years. Dana Delaney, Charlton Heston, Campbell Lane, Scott McNeil, Sam Elliot, and many others co-star in this film. I found this was every bit as good as anything Disney put out and really liked how this was animated. All of our animal friends like Baloo, Baheera, Shere Khan, Kaa, among others are there. It also has a good soundtrack with the film. I don't know when the American version got made but it is the only version I could find. It is available to watch on Youtube and deserves more exposure.
Where God Left His Shoes (2007): I end the week with this holiday film which was written and directed by Salvatore Stabile. John Leguizamo stars as failed boxer Frank Diaz who is supposed to have a big fight but is taken off making him lose money. Out of the blue, him and his family are evicted from their home. They end up in a homeless shelter with Frank taking odd jobs. They get called to get an apartment but things become complicated when Frank does not have steady employment and must pursue a job. Leonor Varela co-stars as his wife Angela while David Castro and Samantha M. Rose play their kids Justin and Christina. I know there are some out there who are in the Christmas 24/7 mode and would possibly watch this. I know there are others who like Christmas and would want to wait until that time. I had this on dvd from Netflix so I needed to get it watched not knowing it was a holiday film. Now I do want to say that this is not a typical holiday movie. I thought I knew what was going to happen but it might not be as predictable as you think. This was actually made from IFC films and is not one of those Hallmark movies. It was actually worth a look in my opinion and really got my brain moving a lot watching this movie.
Well, that is it for this week. Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week which so far includes Evan Rachel Wood, David Carradine, Clint Eastwood, and many others.