BB Film Productions, F.J.Productions, FJ Productions,
Leighton Meester, Debra Messing, Billie Joe Armstrong, Julian Shatkin, James McCaffrey
The story of Eleanor (Leighton Meester) who is floundering. She used to play cello and was an award winning cellist. But she is estranged from her rarely there parents, and without friends. She loses he job as a waitress due to her flaky musician boyfriend who is not good to her. She talks he way into a nanny job taking care of a 12 year old prodigy Reggie (Julian Shatkin) who is extremely talented and intelligent and way smarter than his age would indicate. His parents are always gone, and Elenor and Reggie hit it off. In many ways he has learned to deal with his lonely life and missing parents, and the two of them work through each others situation and they are able to help each other to survive.
This was in many way a really decent film. I really liked Julian, and his portrayal was spot on. He plays a really good Richie Rich without the smart mouth. He’s just the right amount of clever and mischievous without being over the top. He was awesome. Additionally, Leighton was excellent in her role as well and played it quite well. Debra Messing is Reggie’s mother, and she’s not in the movie much, but she also helps deliver some of the desperation of wanting to be a Mother, but just being too damn busy with her other interests to pull it off. This should be exactly like several other very similar movies, but surprisingly it came off as fresh and different. I really enjoyed it, and I can recommend this film. It’s off the radar for most folks, but very much worth looking for. This is a good solid movie without any major flaws.
3 Arts Entertainment, Jolie Pas, Legendary Pictures,
Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, Jai Courtney, Jack O’Connell, Alex Russell, John D’Leo
Based on the true story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who was a promising young track start headed for the Olympics when WWII broke out. Louis was a bombardier who crashed due to a malfunction and ended up stranded in the ocean for 47 days. When he was rescued it was by the Japanese, and he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war forced to work for the Japanese while being starved and severely tortured.
This is directed by Angelina Jolie. I’m not sure why that really ticked a lot of people off, but much of the criticism I feel is anti Angelina flack. There are some problems with this film. The lead actors were not big blockbuster names, but I certainly felt they did a pretty good job playing the roles. There isn’t a lot of criticism of the acting, although it was completely snubbed by the Oscars in almost every category. But I found the movie to be touching and inspiring. Yeah, other people have been lost at see and imprisoned by the enemy, but that’s not the problem. This is based on the true story, so it is what happened, sorry if it’s similar to other people’s experiences. It was interesting that as a young boy, Louis was persecuted for being Italian in the neighborhood and he learned to be tough in a hurry. This prepared him for the resolve he would need to stand up and survive this experience. Perhaps those who read the book found the movie lacking. That’s a common response from a good book. But as a film, I think it was very well done. The action sequences in the war were really well done. The cinematography was really good from the fight scenes to the raft scenes to the years in the POW camp. I thought this was nicely done and well worth watching, and I recommend this film as a really good picture of life in America and the horrors of WWII. This is a good movie, very well done.
Zarina (Christina Hendricks) is a pixie dust-keeper who is excited to show off her new found skill at creating pixie dust, but an accident caused her to be banished. She stole all the precious blue pixie dust and headed off to join up with a pirate who is interested in the pixie dust. But when Tinker Bell and the other fairies set out to find Zarina and convince her to come home, all kinds of challenges await them.
This is one of the direct to DVD Pixie stories that have abounded to extend the pixie realm from poor TinkerBell to a bunch of her new friends. This was a surprisingly good little TV style movie. The animation is pretty good TV style animation (No this is not Pixar or Dreamworks) and the colors are vivid and very interesting to watch. This is a very typical Disney story of an misunderstood outcast, setting out on his own, and realizing his mistake after it’s too late. Then comes repentance, acceptance, and forgiveness. This is the Disney formula. Still, especially for the kids, this is a really good story that will keep them entertained. This is a great animated film to share with the whole family. I was really pleased with this movie, and I can recommend it for lovers of traditional animation and for families that are looking for something good to share with the young-uns.
Eric Stoltz, Kate Connor, Lyndsy Fonseca, Andy Hirsch, Camryn Manheim, Brendan Fehr, Seymour Cassel, Johnny Pacar, Matthew Lawrence
Frank Stirn (Eric Stolz) became a barber for the U.S. Army and was sent to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin during WWII. Fort McCoy was also the site of a Nazi POW camp run the soldiers in the fort and containing captured Germans. This movie is based on the memories of Kate Connor of Frank and Ruby Stirn (Kate Connor) as she plays her Grandmother in the film. The family was in a precarious situation living just outside the walls of this camp filled with Nazi prisoners. It shows how as an American family living in rural Wisconsin you can still be affected by the war. Based on the true stories, life in 1944 was brought vividly to life in this independent film that shows an unusual slice of American life.
I was not completely blown away by this film, but it was very solid. This was well worth watching, and was rather interesting. This is the kind of film that flies under everyone’s radar, and that’s a shame as it has a lot to offer. Were this fiction, you would probably pass it off as an unbelievable story, but certain events in their lives are absolutely real, told by the people it happened to. The family is all pretty good, but Gertie Stirn (Gara Lonning) is the little girl of the family who makes a friend of a German child she sees across the fence. She also serves as our narrator. The film is simply, but beautifully shot, and the story is rather entertaining. I see this film out on DVD now for rental, and available from streaming services, so it is reachable, and well worth the time spent in looking at another side the latter stages of World War II. I recommend this dramatic true story.