Sunday, January 12, 2014

Movie Daze

We've been going to the movies a lot lately.

Here are my top three:

1. American Hustle. Great movie! Incredible script and fantastic acting all the way around. Story: It's "a fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation." American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale ... who looks the part of a fat balding Jewish guy who has the worst toupee you've ever seen), who along with his equally cunning and seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams ... fake British accent and all) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper ... who looks and acts the part of a dumb agent). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence ... who looks great) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.

2. Saving Mr. Banks. Another great movie! Story: Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) tried for 20 years to obtain the movie rights from P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) , the author of Mary Poppins. Mrs. Travers is a difficult Englishwoman. She fusses over every detail of the script. "No cartoons." "Not your Mr. Dick Van Dyke. Laurence Olivier is great." (Can you imagine Laurence Olivier playing Bert the chimney sweep?) "No made-up words." This pronouncement inspires a truly hilarious yet compact scene, no more than a look and a gesture really, of the Sherman brothers (music and lyrics) concealing the sheet music for "Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious."

3. Grudge Match. I don't care if it's about 70 year old boxers ... I love this stuff. I could watch Rocky movies all day long. Story: Boxers Henry "Razor" Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (Robert De Niro) become rivals after two fights, one in which Kid beats Razor and one in which Razor beats Kid. Before they have a rematch, Razor announces his retirement, ruining both of their careers. Years later, Razor is working in a shipyard when he's visited by promoter Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin Hart), who wants Razor to provide a motion capture performance for a video game. Razor begrudingly accepts $15,000 needed to renovate his house. At the recording studio, he is surprised by Kid, who was also invited by Slate, and the two get into a fight and damage the studio's equipment before being arrested. Cellphone footage of the fight is uploaded on YouTube and goes viral, giving Slate the idea of organizing a final fight between Razor and Kid, which he calls a "Grudge Match".

Lots of other choices that are out there ... "Wolf of Wall Street" (not for the faint of heart or the faint of language), "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (entertaining, light remake of the classic) and Lone Survivor (I'm going to see that one Monday night with a bunch of ex military guys).

Feel free to list your favorites here too!\

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