Movie Poster: A Farewell to Arms

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Movie Trailer: Bagman

Corruption in government is a hideous thing and perfect for a film treatment such as this. I'm sure Kevin Spacey will be fantastic in the role as Jack Abramoff.

Still waiting on the movies about the corruption of the Clinton Administration, heck, still waiting for the one delving into the impeachment of the POTUS - remember that? Still waiting on the movie covering the corruption involving Fannie & Freddie, Chinese infiltration into U.S. voting, the international Global Warming scheme and on and on...

Amazing that the only interesting stories of corruption come from the Bush years. Funny thing.




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Screen Shot: Das Boot (1981)



Das Boot movie still


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Crazy Heart (2009)

Should I see it?
Absolutely.


Short Review: It's The Wrestler, but this time the run-down, worn out, haggard wash out is guzzling Jack Daniels instead of popping pain pills.




Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a used-up country singer floundering in the death throes of his career. His best years long past, Blake is a stodgy drunk playing bowling alleys and bedding wrinkled, old, bar fly groupies. He's been better.

Inexplicably, Bad Blake hooks up with Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal) a struggling journalist/single mother who is literally half his age. Their relationship creates the backbone of the film. The problem? Their relationship never quite makes sense. Blake isn't crashing and burning. He's crashed and his smoking ruins are already starting to go out. There is nothing for Jean to find endearing, wonderful or redemptive. Her relationship with the haggard singer is a pathetic leap of self-destruction. Only a woman on a mission of ruining herself further would get involved with a guy like Blake. There is nothing strange about this, there's plenty of self-destructive women out there (trust me, I've met them), but Jean gives no clue that she is harboring any self-loathing. Actually, since she's portrayed by Gyllenhaal, she doesn't provide much of anything beyond line readings.

Despite the awkward, and let's face it, downright icky relationship at its heart, this is still a very good film that I can easily recommend. Why? Bridges.

Jeff Bridges provides a nuanced performance as the soured drunk and gets the audience to care about his pathetic mess of a life. Bridges fits in the role perfectly and this is not a simple role to pull off. Bridges has to expose Blake's horrible drunkenness while simultaneously explaining his pain. On top of this, Bridges has to carry himself onstage, performing as Blake would - the old workhorse who can sing a song for the thousandth time and still make people feel something.

The soundtrack is also remarkable. I am not a country/western guy. However, this film made me reconsider. Blake sings the old dirty country of Cash, Nelson and Jennings. His gravely voiced tunes feel authentic. This contrasts the souped-up, polished new country tunes performed by Blake's protégé Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell). Sweet is wildly successful but sings to please instead of the express himself. He is Burger King where Blake is a greasy spoon dive. The contrast of the two styles buttresses Blake's disjointed life. He is outdated in an age that doesn't make sense.

This is one of the rare times I get to say that the end of a film is nearly perfect. The final moments of most films are Hollywoodized cinematic warm fuzzies that often ignore the motivations and incidents leading to the final conflict. In this case, writer/director provides an intelligent and completely fulfilling resolution that makes complete sense - on top of that, it is the most moral ending that could have been written for the story. I'm willing to recommend this film based just on the final sixty seconds alone.

Ignore Gyllenhaal's weak link yammering. Ignore the fact that she's kissing up on a drunk who is literally twice her age. Ignore these things and you will find a worthwhile movie fronted by a inspiring performance from an actor who has rarely gotten enough credit.


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Related Reviews:
Jeff Bridges movies
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Fisher King (1991)


Other Critic's Reviews:
Independent Critic
Combustible Celluloid




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Movie Poster: Die Blechtrommel "The Tin Drum"

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Movie Quote: Tequila Sunset (1988)

Jo Ann
What is it? You need some chap stick or lip gloss or something? Because your lips keep getting stuck on your teeth. Or is that your idea of a smile?












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You Are What You See - What Does the Title Mean?

I explain the title of my new book You Are What You See: Watching Movies Through a Christian Lens.



For more videos, information, resources and sample chapters, please visit the official site for the book http://www.youarewhayousee.com.





Scott Nehring Good News Film Reviews

Video: The MPAA and Ratings Creep (Repost)

There is a phenomenon known as Ratings Creep. Ratings Creep is when content of a film becomes more palatable over time as society's tastes coarsen. What was Rated-R in 1980 is now PG-13 or PG. What was PG yesterday is Rated-G today and so on.

I also discuss the purpose and mindset of the Motion Picture Association of America. Do they work for you or are they there for the studios?



For my latest videos, please subscribe to my YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/YouAreWhatYouSee.




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Movie Poster: 2001: A Space Odyssey


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Movie Trailer: A Matter of Size

For a movie about a bunch of fat men in diapers, this doesn't look half bad.


video

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Screen Shot: La Femme Nikita (1990)



La Femme Nikita movie still


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Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Should I see it?
Sure.

Short Review:
Remember back when they cast men to act in the male roles in film?


This is a John Wayne movie and God bless it. The Lord made man and Wayne stands as an iconic reminder of what men should be like - strong and self-reliant.

It’s refreshing to see men acting like men in film. I believe that is what's most striking thing about these older movies, men are actually masculine instead of being the half-man simpering feminist fantasies we see today. The men were confident in their role, had purpose and took charge.

Today we have “Oprah-ized” sissy-men crying and whimpering about their feelings every time they drop their Chapstick. Even when we get a character who is “a man” he’s prettied up like a whore. George Clooney and Brad Pitt are not men - they’re male models. The Rock is a big guy but he shaves his eyebrows and is best known for wearing hot pants. I say we drop the man-as-bulky-woman crap and bring back the John Wayne type: far from pretty, determined and ready to defend himself and others.

When boys watch films they gain a sense of what they should act like. One of the things they learn is how society expects them to behave in their role as men. By today’s standards men should be reflective, guilt-ridden, mincing, teenage girls who despise all things male and American. I say forget that! Bring back the honest, protective, get-the-job-done types who are willing to kick some butt if someone gets out of line. Our society is a cesspool of liberalized pornographic thinking - it is time to drain this swamp.

What…oh, the film? It’s a fun watch. Yes, the acting is stylized and stiff and some of the dialog is corny. Actually, there are some great lines for The Duke in this one. If you enjoy his work, this is a film for your short list. It displays Wayne's style and stands as one of his better non-western roles.

The film was made only a few years after the horrors of Iwo Jima and back then a movie was not seen as a chance for the entire country to examine its soul. It has the sense of a country which respected itself and was given to complimenting rather than criticizing its military men and women. Sure the movie lightens war, I do not deny that. Conversely, it does respect the warrior, which is something we're missing today. War is hell, we all know this, but Hollywood has taken things to the next step and decided that this must mean all soldiers are devils. Not true.

This is a classic and deserves a viewing, even if you’re a mincing-man pantywaist who loves What Not To Wear and Sex In The City. Who knows, maybe this film will open your mascaraed eyes and you’ll put down your diet soda and one-minute manicures and get you searching for the place you left your testicles.

And you thought I was going to forget to talk about the movie.



Related Reviews:
John Wayne movies
Stagecoach (1939)
The Quiet Man (1952)


Other Critic's Reviews:
Old School Reviews
Monsters & Critics



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Movie Poster: D.C. Cab

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Movie Trailer: Tangled

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (The Brothers Grimm) are credited for writing the movie on IMDb.com. Cuz, like, this is just like their story and stuff.

This looks okay, but then again I don't trust Disney in the slightest so...we will have to wait and see.



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Movie Poster: Cimarron

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Movie Trailer: Takers

I would normally dismiss this out of hand but Zoe Saldana and Idris Elba are both actors who grab my attention. Personally, their presence makes up for the loud, stupid vibe coming off this trailer.




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Movie Trailer: Morning Glory

This seems like what it is sold to be, a light, fluffy comedy like The Devil Wears Prada. Actually, it looks like a carbon copy of the thing. Trade fashion for television and Meryl Streep's arrogant snob for Ford's growling old coot.




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Movie Poster: D.O.A. (1950)

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Movie Trailer: Gulliver's Travels

It is a BAD sign when the trailer looks like two different movies. Movie A is Jack Black as a mail room loser who plagiarizes and lies his way to get close to the girl of his dreams. Then Movie B hits - a dumbed-down, crap culture deconstruction of a classic.

It is pretty remarkable how severe the transition is. The first 3/4ths of the trailer have nothing - NOTHING to do with the final fourth. Odd.



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Screen Shot: Lifeboat (1944)



Alfred Hitchcock Lifeboat


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The Carnival of Cinema: Episode 109

Welcome to this installment of the Carnival of Cinema. Every two weeks we get together to present the best film-related posts from around the world.



MOVIE REVIEWS

This week we begin with a slew of reviews about the latest film from Pixar, Toy Story 3.

Jason Koeppe from IN TOUCH & INFORMED BLOG has a parental guide, release dates, an official Trailer and some other stuff at his site.


Dann is the next one up with his review of the animated movie on his site 100 WORDS OR LESS. This week, Dann also provides a review of the Russell Brand comedy Get Him to the Greek.

MANNY THE MOVIE GUY
returns with a review of Toy Story 3. Manny also has a post of Colin Farrell talking about Ondine and an interview with Josh Brolin talking about Jonah Hex.


Next, Eli Horowitz switches things up by showing contrasts between two Sex and the City 2 reviews - what, exactly, should we make of this (apparently godawful) movie? Go to RUST BELT PHILOSOPHY to find out.


Need to find out if Russell Crowe's latest movie Robin Hood stinks or not? Good news, Vedavyasa of IS IT WORTH WATCHING will let you know.


Hey, someone went to go see A-Team. No really. There's proof - a review from JASERS.COM.


Over at MOVIESBLOGGEDBYVALERIE is a review of Youth in Revolt. Go check it out.


Have you see the new The Karate Kid movie? No? Well, head over to MARTIAL DEVELOPMENT for an opinion on the flick.


The final review of the week comes from Warren Nicholson Y. Fernando. On W.N.Y.F.'s site 24K FOREVER! explains why he likes the film Grosse Pointe Blank.


LISTS

We have lists.

Caroline Burner and her co-blogger Karyn and love romantic comedies, but they also can't help laughing at the ridiculously mismatched couples that often show up in them. They review movie romances, giving our opinion about whether the couples are the real thing or not. Go to THE COUPLE: JEN KORNFELDT & SPENCER AIMES for more.


Sometimes when you run the carnival of got to say weird stuff...

Jessica-toes of TIME FLIES WHEN YOU'RE MADE OF SPONGE has a list of well known actors and actresses in brilliant foreign films. Perhaps she will make a list of obscure thespians in crappy domestic movies next?


The last list in our listing of lists is a list of the Greatest Movie Locations of all Time according to Katie Sorene of TRIPBASE BLOG.


NEWS

Bringing in the news is DISCOVER TODAY'S TOP STORIES' Ariana Burgess who has info, on Robert Pattinson on the set of Water For Elephants and more.


The VIDEO DETECTIVE has the lowdown on Toy Story 3 and Jonah Hex and the speculation that there may be a movie based on the TV show 24.


Thanks to everyone for their posts.


...and CUT and PRINT!


To submit your film-related post to next week's edition, FOLLOW THIS LINK.











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The Carnival of Cinema is intended to increase readership and availability of a broad range of opinions. This wide selection means that not all opinions will be correct or stated well. The content on the sites linked to in this post are not the responsibility of Good News Film Reviews.

Movie Poster: The Bride of Frankenstein

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Movie Trailer: Ye Yan "The Banquet"

Okay, enough with the flying around business. It worked in Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon and that was it. Now you just look stupid.

Another Ziyi Zhang flick. Ziyi Zhang looks all cute and is dressed in fancy clothes. Then she hops around and kicks butt. Got it. Seen it. Have better things to do, thank you.




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Movie Quote: Milk (2008)

Harvey Milk
My fellow degenerates...












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Constantine (2005)

Should I see it?
No. Double no.


Short Review: This film goes over as good as jalapeño dip at a burn center.


Widely considered not to be the greatest actor of his generation, Keanu Reeves remains the poster child for Hollywood’s lowered requirements for fame. His performance in this film is so singularly horrid it boggles my simple mind. It is as if they made a movie from his rehearsals for The Matrix sequels. Yet I have to admit that to complain that he is stiff and poorly executes his lines is like complaining that the ocean is moist - these are the base elements of his professional existence.

Honestly, it is stunning that in a film about Hell, the most frightening thing in it is Keanu’s elocution. There were times when I actually had to stop the film and play it with subtitles to understand what Keanu was saying. Marlon Brando whispering with a mouthful of cottage cheese spoke more clearly than this mush mouth.

How does he get work? To answer my own question, he gets work because he puts butts in seats. This begs the question, what is wrong with these butts?

I should focus more on the movie itself.

When you see dogs sniffing one another, they’re actually checking to make sure the other dog doesn’t carry the stench of this film. This flick is truly that awful. It is a grand, brilliant gem of vile stupidity.

This dirty little ditty is based on the Hellblazer comic books. John Constantine (barely played by Keanu) has the gift of exorcism. He kicks demons back to Hell for a living and…what am I doing? I just spent more time explaining the plot than the filmmakers do in the film. The story is about a guy and some demons. The details are in there someplace but no one has bothered to unearth them as of yet.

I urge you NOT to see this film if you have any theological bent to you at all. This is a heretical piece. I do not make that claim lightly. At every turn this film dismisses the Christian faith while embracing its symbols for its own devices. This is a celebration of demonic imagery and humanistic, new age jawboning. If you have any faith in you at all, this movie will turn your stomach. My long-suffering wife, who is particularly sensitive to such displays of disrespect, was yelling at the screen so much that by the time the credits rolled she was sounding like Nick Nolte after a couple of packs of Pall Malls.

Steer clear of this movie and hopefully it and its filmmakers will eventually go away. I sincerely hope the filmmakers come around and realize the insulting work they have done here and look for forgiveness – from God for spitting on him and from the audience for asking us to watch.


Related Reviews:
Keanu Reeves movies
Dangerous Liasons (1988)
Street Kings (2008)


Other Critic's Reviews:
Hollywood Jesus
Rotten Tomatoes



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