Archive for June, 2011

Anchor Bay Films, Code Entertainment, Dundee Entertainment

Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Linda Cardellini, Tony Darrow, Robert Davi, Fionnula Flanagan, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, Paul Sorvino, Mike Starr

The 1970’s was a wild time in Cleveland, Ohio. Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson), an Irish mobster was fearless in taking on the Italian Mafia. This movie is his story from his rise in the criminal underworld to his eventual fall. Danny was fearless, and after numerous failed assassination attempts, Danny turned the mafia into a laughing stock, even granting TV interviews where he’d make fun of their attempts to kill him. He was fiercely proud of his Celtic heritage and opened a club with a huge Irish flag outside and used to sit out in the open under the flag daring someone to come after him. He started out in the Longshoremen’s Unions, then took over and formed the Garbage Collectors union. He was a known FBI informant, and played both sides. Many looked at him as the Robin Hood of Collinwood.

Co-starring Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken, this movie has some great performances. Paul Sorvino has a small role but adds a lot to the story. I was very impressed by the way they told this story. It was very well done. The story is exciting, and Stevenson’s portrayal of him is excellent. He’s fearless and menacing, but shows the soft loving and caring side as well. Danny was someone who donated money to help children, donated food to the food banks, and often paid off debts for friends and near strangers when someone was in need. As a very well done crime story, this is a good as any of the great mafia pictures. Click here for the Wikipedia biography of Danny Greene.

I enjoyed this film a lot, and recommend it to anyone fans of crime stories or biographies. It is based on a book by the same title. It’s a very well done little film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Menageatroz, Mod Producciones, Focus Features

Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Eduard Fernández, Diaryatou Daff, Cheng Tai Shen, Guillermo Estrella, Hanaa Bouchaib, Luo Jin, Cheikh Ndiaye

Uxbal (Javier Bardem) — a divorced father raising two children was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He is determined to atone for his life as a black marketeer in this engrossing character study that unfolds in the slums of Barcelona, Spain. Uxbal is involved in a lot of illegal activities, from human trafficking to drug dealing and everywhere in between. Uxbal has an ex-wife who is bipolar and is very abusive of the children every time he turns his back. He knows the children won’t survive with her, but as his time is running out he has to figure how to support them.

This is a highly accredited foreign film, all in Spanish. The DVD has English subtitles. The movie is L-O-N-G!!! It’s over 2 1/2 hours and for no logical reason that I can see. The story is very, very slow. It’s a dark, sad character study, and nothing seems to happen. There are long dragged out scenes of talking and talking, in Spanish, so for those of us who don’t understand it, it’s long dragged out scenes of reading and reading. I know this was nominated as best foreign film, and I know Javier Bardem was the first performer in a 100% Spanish role who was nominated for best actor, but this is not the kind of movie I can enjoy. Now I know that some people love this type of film. These are the ones who hang out at film festivals and art theaters and attend brunches where the hidden meaning of The Great Gatsby is discussed ad nauseum. Although I typically like films that make you think and have strong characters, I don’t think this really has either. Be forewarned if you want to watch it. Drink lots of coffee.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday June 29, 2011

  • Sucker Punch
  • Beastly
  • Season of the Witch
  • The Warrior’s Way
  • Barney’s Version
  • 3 Backyards

Greetings readers,

Last week I rambled on about Traffic Exchanges. In the last week it’s been buzzing over there. I found a lot of people who were fans of EdsReview and know me from this blog. A common question is “What’s a good movie out in the theater now.” That’s a lot like asking, “What flavor of ice cream is the best?” Everyone has a different answer. But I can only warn them that it’s my opinion, and what I like is only what I like. If you don’t believe me, ask the folks at film school who were huge fans of The Fantastic Mr. Fox what they think of my negative review of the film. I made a lot of enemies that day!

But it’s fine to disagree. I love to chat, and am happy when anyone wants to drop a comment or two whether you agree with the review, or not. Especially if you disagree! Also, I often want to know what other people think of other films. I’ve watched more than 5000 movies in the last 10 years, so I’m always happy for someone who wants to ask, “What did you think about such and such?”

Well, I had quite a few referrals on the new traffic exchange [Shockwave-Traffic.com], and even a couple on [TopHits4U.com] which was my first membership. That and [HorrorMovieHits.com] which is a monster movie themed traffic exchange. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read the post from last Tuesday, 6/21/2011 which explains the concept in detail.

We’re going through a few more weeks of slim DVD releases, then it’s going to break loose, it looks like, in mid-July. It’ll be nice in the warm summer evenings to have some cool new DVD’s to see. Can’t wait.

–Ed of EdsReview.com

http://www.edsreview.com/wp-admin/edit.php


Author: EdG

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Thin Man Films, Film4, Focus Features International (FFI)

Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Oliver Maltman, Peter Wright, David Bradley, Martin Savage, Karina Fernandez, Michele Austin, Philip Davis, Imelda Staunton

Another year is the story of a happily married elderly couple, medical counselor Gerri (Ruth Sheen) and her geologist husband, Tom (Jim Broadbent), over the period of a year. Broken up into chapters Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, this is a view of their interactions with friends and family throughout a single year. Most everyone, other than Tom and Gerri, are very unhappy, and the message of the film seems to be that we are responsible for our own happiness. We peep in on them through happy times, arguments, birth, and death. It’s a year in the life of ordinary people, nothing more, nothing less.

This movie will bore the hell out of many people. It’s a character story and there isn’t much in the way of action. There are long scenes full of conversations. The characters are developed and through watching them, we learn their fears and shortcomings and the reasons for why they are not happy. But there is no real message nor is there a point. This is very similar to the 1981 film The Four Seasons starring Alan Alda and Carol Burnett. It’s the same type of story, four couples who meet once each quarter for a get together or vacation of some sort. This is very, very slow in the beginning, but as it goes on and you get to know the characters better you do start to care a bit about them. If you’re the kind of person who likes indie style character based films, this is probably your cup of tea, but be forewarned that it’s quite boring at the start. If you have the inclination to stick with it, it does get better in the end.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Peace Film

Danny Glover, Nia Long, Evan Ross, Summer Bishil, Roger Guenveur Smith, Kunal Sharma, Dorian Missick, Peter Carey, Stacie Hadgikosti, Kimberley Drummond, Dredan McFall

In his first year of college Tariq (Evan Ross) has begun questioning his beliefs and his life so far. He’s been raised in a strict Muslim school and being pushed by his father extremely hard to stick to the Muslim ways. Abused by the professors and forced to memorize over half the Koran, Tariq has now changed his name to “T” and though his father insisted he be placed with a Muslim roommate, he is pretty fed up and wants some freedom to live life as he wants. His mother (Nia Long) is on his side, but his father is very harsh. Told through flashbacks to Tariq’s childhood, we begin to see why his is like he is. Suddenly the attacks of 9/11 hit, and life changes for all Muslim people as everyone is a suspect now. Tariq has some hard questions to answer as he sees the affects of 9/11 on the school and the country as a whole.

This is a very touching film. It does not take a particular side and tries really hard to show the life of a Muslim child who’s father was a radical in the 60’s fighting with the likes of the Black Panthers and Malcolm X, but it is now a new century and trying to force his son to be like him doesn’t really work anymore. His mother supports dad, but also loves and cares for her son and knows something is wrong. His sister is in the middle and not sure where to go. T’s friends also can’t understand why he’s like he is. It’s a matter of understanding Tariq’s life and what he’s endured to please his father. This helps up understand him a lot better and makes sense of the senseless things he does. Then his eyes are opened at the hatred faced after 9/11. This is a very good study of Muslim culture and helps us understand where they are coming from as well. It’s very well done, not one sided, and a real good character study. I wasn’t expecting a lot from a movie about this, but it was way better than I expected. It was a definite plus, and a good look at what it’s like to be raised in an environment where you are expected to meet the requirements of a fanatical parent. Many people in many cultures have grown up in an environment such as this. All sides of the family are shown and it’s easy to see why the dynamics are like they are. Danny Glover plays the dean of the college who is at odds with a somewhat radical teacher whose not really doing anything wrong, but for the wrong reasons. He’s at odds over finances and donations that could be affected. But the dean of a college has to worry about things like this or there is no more college. Still, Glover is good in his role, as always, but it’s under used and could easily have been left out of the story as it’s mostly just a distraction at this point.

But all in all MOOZ-lum works and is a really decent film. If you’re a fan of dramatic character driven films, or remotely curious in Muslim life, this film will not disappoint.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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