Frank Herbert’s (mostly) beloved Dune series was turned into a train wreck spectacle in the 1984 version directed by David Lynch. Personally, I love that train wreck, but it has many detractors. So, imagine if Dune was instead made by eccentric Chilean/French director Alejandro Jodorowsky during the crazy 1970’s. He lined up a cast and crew like no other: Orson Welles as the evil Baron. Salvador Dali as the Emperor. Mick Jagger in the role later occupied by Sting. It was to be scored by Pink Floyd. Throw in Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger (Alien, Aliens…), and you have the potential for an
When Thomas Avery’s son, Daniel, is killed in the Pyrenees, Thomas leaves California to retrieve Daniel’s body. Once he gets to France, Thomas discovers that Daniel was walking the Camino de Santiago, which is a pilgrimage that is, at its roots, spiritual but is taken for many other reasons. For his own personal motives, which are both glaringly obvious and maddeningly discreet, Thomas decides to make the pilgrimage.
It felt as if the movie swooped in and folded itself around me. The scenery was absorbing, Martin Sheen played a convincing and mesmerizing grief-stricken father and the music
What a fun, fun movie! I missed Pitch Perfect when it came out in the theaters, but I'm so glad I caught it on DVD! It's quirky and offbeat (but never off-key) (ha ha, see what I did there!), sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes gross-out funny, and sometimes the kind of funny that leaves a quiet smirk on your face and a twinkle in your eyes. Pitch Perfect is the story of Beca (Anna Kendrick), who goes off to college to please her father, but really just wants to be a DJ and music producer. Her roommate ignores her, her boss is apathetic to her, and she can't find the right group to hang
Psychologist Chris Kelvin, played by George Clooney, arrives on a spaceship near the planet Solaris to investigate why the crew is suffering. Kelvin has a vivid dream of his deceased wife his first night on the ship and then discovers her lying next to him after wakening. Later that morning, Kelvin realizes that others also have “visitors” and that Solaris is affecting the crew almost like an afterlife in which the living can be reunited with the dead. Director Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris is a moving investigation into how we might handle longing and loss when offered the opportunity to
What would you do if you were given the option to know when you would meet your soul mate? Would you want to find out? Oona (Emma Caulfield) desperately wants to know the answer to when and who. In her world you can find out by having a timer embedded in your wrist. There’s a catch, your soul mate also has to have a timer for the countdown to begin. Oona’s timer is blank. She dates people who are timer-free and when things start to get serious, she takes them to get timers. Unfortunately this results in the termination of the relationship, as the newly embedded individual is not her match
Spirit of the Marathon follows six runners as they prepare for and compete in the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Some are competitive runners who have placed in previous years, some are Olympic medalists, and some are regular people, just like you and me, with no aspirations other than to finish. While I found inspiration in Spirit of the Marathon and can relate to all the conflicting emotions involved in running races, I don’t know if someone who doesn’t run would “get it” after watching this. In fact, one commenter said, “It is an exaggeration to say that running a marathon will change your life .
Stardust, is a movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, Stardust. It is a magical tale of a small town that borders a land of fantasy, where by the simple act of crossing a stone barrier, one can jump between the worlds.
In this story, a young man promises to retrieve a “fallen star” for the girl he fancies. But once he sets out on his journey to retrieve the “star”, he instead finds a beautiful lady who fell from the sky when the king of Stormhold threw his ruby into the land below, decreeing that the first of his sons to retrieve it will become the next king. While his first meeting with
The BBC reboot of Sherlock Holmes updates the iconic detective for the twenty-first century. The genius remains on the cutting edge of technology, virtually glued to his phone, and his longsuffering Watson records their adventures in his therapist-mandated blog. Gone are the pipes, replaced with nicotine patches (“It’s impossible to maintain a smoking habit in London.”), yet Dr. John Watson is still an injured veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
The first season of this critically acclaimed series features three ninety-minute episodes. The first, “A Study in Pink”, introduces the updated
Abba Kiarostami is a legendary Iranian director , and Certified Copy is his first movie shot outside Iran and produced in the English language. The plot is simple: A French émigré (Juliette Binoche), who manages an antique store in Italy, meets an English cultural historian, James Miller (William Shimell), who is visiting her town. They start a conversation.
Certified Copy is done in Kiarostami’s old tradition of narrative filmmaking where two people casually discuss their lives. The movie has an easy conversational rhythm. However, Kiarostami is playing with us again, both by utilizing
It is 1865 and the country is going through many changes. The Civil War is over. The Emancipation Proclamation has given freedom to millions of slaves. Conflicts continue between the Native Americans and settlers. In the midst of all this change, the Union Pacific is pushing westward to complete the first transcontinental railroad.
Hell on Wheels is a television series from AMC. The series focuses on life in the transient town that followed behind the railroad construction. Cullen Bohannon, former Confederate soldier, has come to Hell on Wheels on the trail of the Union soldier who murdered
Midnight in Paris is a movie that stayed with me long after viewing. It is a sweet romantic comedy/fantasy starring Owen Wilson who is perfect as stand in for Woody Allen. Playing the part of screenwriter Gil Pender, he is on vacation in Paris with his materialistic fiancé and her like-minded parents. Though they seem to love each other, he is gradually realizing their differences, subtle though they seem at first. For instance, getting wet and walking in the rain in Paris holds no interest for her while he feels this would be the perfect romantic Paris experience. While she and her parents
Conversations with Other Women is not your typical film. Shot entirely in split screen, the story follows a woman (Helena Bonham Carter) and man (Aaron Eckhart) as they meet at a wedding. As the night progresses, it becomes clear that this chance meeting might not be all that it seems.
I picked up Conversations with Other Women after a friend suggested it to me. The subject matter is not light, as it deals with failed relationships, emotionally exposing yourself, and former expectations that may not have come to fruition. I found the story to be engaging in the way it unfolded between these
This contemporary Italian film depicts everyday people dealing with everyday problems. It tells a touching love story of two people who met each other too late in life. Prior to their first brief encounter, they each live a comfortable life in Milan. Later, an innocent flirt turns into a deep relationship which lives in secrets, lies and hidings. The film measures the day-by-day emotional cost of the affair to satisfy the irresistible attraction. The couple living just for their short Wednesday escapes, away from the reality of screaming kids, nagging wife, an inattentive husband and
Directed by Doris Dörrie
Doris Dörrie is Germany’s most popular contemporary movie director. Her movie Enlightenment Guaranteed belongs among my favorite movies. I consider it interesting on three levels: it is a very funny comedy, has beautiful scenery of the Japanese countryside, and has a philosophical undertone. The plot starts simply. Two brothers find themselves on an airplane bound for Japan, one of them with an idea of vacationing in a Buddhist monastery, while the second brother got on the airplane by mistake. The story takes many twists and turns before the brothers finally reach