Sunday, July 26, 2020
Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 762nd Edition
Welcome to the 762nd edition of my series. I haven't really had a lot happening this week so I'm just not going to say anything and get to what everyone came to see.
Chicago (2002): This is part seven of my eight-part Renee Zellweger series. Rob Marshall directed this musical based on the stage production by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb and the music written by Ebb and John Kander. Zellweger stars as Roxie Hart and Catherine Zeta-Jones stars as Velma Kelly who are both murderesses in prison competing for fame, publicity, and the attention of attorney Billy Flynn, played by Richard Gere. Queen Latifah co-stars as Matron Mama Morton and was perfectly cast in the role. Taye Diggs, John C. Reilly, Dominic West, Jayne Eastwood, Colm Feore, Chita Rivera, Mya, Christine Baranski, Lucy Liu, and many others co-star in this film. I have always enjoyed this musical that is essentially a dark comedy. I thought this was Gere's best performance of his career. Rivera played the role of Velma in the original 1975 production. I would love to play the role of Amos, played by Reilly, one day on the stage. Go ahead and check this musical out and all that jazz.
Parkland (2013): This is part seven of my eight-part Paul Giamatti series where he plays an amateur cameraman named Abraham Zapruder that gets footage of the JFK shooting when just hoping to get footage of our president at that time. Peter Landesman directed this docudrama which was based on the book by Vincent Bugliosi. This takes place during the aftermath of the JFK assassination. This takes a look the investigation of the crime, the shattered Oswald family and even gets the point of view from the secret service at times. Giamatti, Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Matt Barr, Billy Bob Thornton, Elizabeth Tulloch, Ron Livingston, Jason Douglas, David Harbour, James Badge Dale, Larry Jack Dotson, Austin Nichols, Jonathan Breck, Eugene Lee, Nico Evers-Swindell, Tom Welling, Mark Duplass, Gil Bellows, Colin Hanks, Gary Grubbs, Jackie Earle Haley, Rory Cochrane, Jacki Weaver, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, and many others co-star in this docudrama. This really looks most at the events surrounding the events at this time and does not do a lot in the way of character development which I have noticed is a criticism from some. I did enjoy Giamatti playing a more serious role than usual as opposed to where he is either humorous and/or very sarcastic. I also liked the stuff with the Oswald family and yes, I believe Oswald did it. This is available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Windy City Heat (2003): Bobcat Goldthwait directed this tv movie from Comedy Central which I guess is a documentary. This centers around a man named Perry Caravello who is being lead to believe he is the star of a movie directed by Goldthwait but is unaware that it is a hoax. Lisa Arch, Dane Cook, Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, William "The Refrigerator" Perry, Kitana Baker, Tom Hughes, Toby Huss, Sal Iacono, Tom Kenny, Bob Legionaire, Geoff Pierson, Colin Quinn, Roger Rose, Laura Silverman, Tom Stern, Toshi Toda, Wayne Wilderson, and many others co-star in this film. There were times I laughed and other times I thought "wtf" and still laughed especially with Caravello who was just absolutely convinced he was a big star. Give this a look if it seems up your alley.
Elmer Elephant (1936): This is my classic animated short from Disney. This centers around a birthday party which consists of many animals. Elmer is being made fun of for his big nose but is able to save the day with it. I guess Elmer will always be in the shadow of Dumbo and was not in much after this though has a cameo in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. This guy also deserves to be remembered in Disney history and is said to be the precursor to the later hit movie DUMBO. This is available to watch on Disney Plus.
The Lost Volcano (1950): Ford Beebe directed this jungle movie for a lack of a better description. Johnny Sheffield stars as Bomba the Jungle Boy whose friend David, played by Tommy Ivo, is kidnapped by hunters that believe he can lead them to a treasure. It is Bomba to the rescue. Donald Woods, Marjorie Lord, John Ridgely, Elena Verdugo, Don C. Harvey, Grandon Rhodes, and many others co-star in this movie. Sheffield played "Boy" in the Tarzan movies during the the Johnny Weissmuller era of the franchise and would go onto be the featured character in this series for a number of movies which would be the end of his film career. It is never really inferred that this is the adopted son of Tarzan and Jane though maybe in the earlier movies. This character spoke in the third person but was more articulate than his adopted father Tarzan, at least in the early days of the character. I had never heard of these movies until I came across it on Amazon Prime so something of interest in my opinion.
The Great Race (1965): Blake Edwards directed this comedy where he reunites Billy Wilder's comedy duo of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon from the 1959 comedy SOME LIKE IT HOT. In this movie, they are rivals in the early 20th century and agree to take part in a big race. Curtis stars as professional daredevil The Great Leslie and Lemmon stars as the dastardly mustached villain Professor Fate. Joining in the battle for the purposes of getting a story is reporter Maggie Dubois, played by Natalie Wood. In this race, they run into all kinds of obstacles like being stuck on an iceberg and an epic pie fight occurs as well. Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn, Vivian Vance, Arthur O'Connell, Dorothy Provine, Larry Storch, Ross Martin, George Macready, Marvin Kaplan, Hal Smith, Denver Pyle, William Bryant, and many others co-star in this comedy. This has a lot of really funny moments with Lemmon great as the villain and Falk very amusing as his henchman. This could go along with the comedy IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD as a double feature
Knives Out (2019): Rian Johnson wrote and directed this murder mystery. Christopher Plummer stars as crime novelist Harlan Thrombey, played by Christopher Plummer, who is found dead on his 85th birthday. Private detective Benoit Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, is anonymously enlisted to investigate the death which appears to be a murder from someone within the dysfunctional and eccentric family. Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, LaKeith Stanford, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Frank Oz, K Callan, Noah Segan, M. Emmet Walsh, Marlene Forte, and many others co-star in this murder mystery. This takes a lot of turns and is told a lot through flashbacks and just when you think they are getting somewhere, more twists get layered on. This has a really good modern-day feel to Agatha Christie and this is available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968): This is my western for the week which was directed and co-written by Sergio Leone along with Dario Argento and Bernardo Bertolucci so quite a writing trio there. Charles Bronson stars as a mysterious stranger who plays the harmonica and teams with a desperado named Cheyenne, played by Jason Robards. They look to protect a beautiful widow named Jill McBain, played by Claudia Cardinale, whose family was murdered by a ruthless assassin named Frank, played by Henry Fonda. Gabriele Ferzetti, Woody Strode, Frank Wolff, Lionel Stander, and many others co-star in this western. Ennio Morricone has one of his usual great music scores. Henry Fonda was always known to play the hero or at least be a gray area in his movies but he takes a turn as an all-out villain in this one. This is everything one would expect from a spaghetti western and Henry Fonda being a villain was a big thing at the time. This is available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Where the World Meets (1952): This is my documentary for the week which was directed by Hannu Leminen. This was part one of an Olympics film for the XV annual Olympics in Helsinki. Most of this was footage from the Olympics and the commentary on the track and field events as well as the opening ceremony. There is a follow-up movie in 1953 called GOLD AND GLORY by the same director. This and many others Olympic documentaries are available to watch on the Criterion Channel.
Mission: Impossible II (2000): I end the week with this action sequel based on the hit tv series. John Woo directed this action film where our favorite Scientologist Tom Cruise reprises his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. Ethan must stop a virus called Chimera in which the creator was murdered and the antidote was stolen by disavowed IMF agent Sean Ambrose, played by Dougray Scott. Thandie Newton co-stars as Nyah Hall who agrees to go undercover and learn what she can about Ambrose and the virus. Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Rade Serbedzija, William Mapother, Dominic Purcell, Anthony Hopkins, and many others co-star in this action sequel. It was interesting how this movie kind of hits home with the times we are in though that was not intentional on my end to feature this. This was a little easier to understand than its predecessor. This has some great photography, interesting characters, and a lot of action and has become quite the franchise in film.
Well, that is it for this week, tell me what you like and dislike. Stay tuned for next week which so far includes Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger, Rachel McAdams, Mary Astor, Michael Caine, Joaquin Phoenix, the late John Saxon, and many others.
at 4:36 PM