Category Archives: DVD

Like Something The Lord Made (2004)

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Something The Lord Made

Something The Lord Made

It loses half a star for being hard to get my hands on.Something The Lord Made

The true story of two medical pioneers — one celebrated, one overlooked — is brought to life in this made-for-cable drama. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) is chief surgeon at Johns Hopkins University, where he is pioneering new techniques in heart surgery. Blalock makes the acquaintance of Vivien Thomas (Mos Def), a carpenter hired to work at the University, and to his surprise discovers a man of keen intelligence who has a great interest in medicine. However, as a poor black man in the Jim Crow South, Thomas lacks the financial resources to obtain a medical degree, though he certainly has the knowledge and the desire. Blalock takes Thomas on as his lab assistant, and together they develop a technique that allows them to correct a common congenital heart defect in children.

Wow! I watched Something The Lord Made tonight last night and was thoroughly captivated. I have been wanting to see it for some time and have had it on my Blockbuster Online list almost from the start (it actually got sent out once but never made it to me) SG, being the thoughtful guy that he is and knowing I have been wanting to see it, noticed it was on Monday night and programmed it in for us to watch during dinner.

Consummately captivated – I love small movies like this. Alan Rickman was, as usual, brilliant. Mos Def showcased Vivien Thomas’ genius, and his vulnerability. The story held your attention, even though you know how it turns out. (I do wonder how much of it was fictionalized, though I would love for every frame to have been true)

Can’t think of anyone in my circle I wouldn’t expect to enjoy and benefit from this film.

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics N/A; Audience 90%


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Beyond The Sea (2004)

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Beyond The Sea

It gets half a lip for the times it made me laugh, even if it was unintentional

I was intrigued when I heard Kevin Spacey was making a movie about Bobby Darin – Spacey is a good actor, Darin is an interesting subject..ought to be good, right? WRONG!

Beyond The Sea is possibly the worst movie I have seen in the last 10 years. Possibly worse than a bunch of movies I haven’t seen. In fact, I think the only way to make this movie worse would have been to cast Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in it.

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I Am David (2003)

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I Am David

I Am David

When I watched The 13th Warrior (which I liked, wanna make something of it?!?!) I was mesmerized by the Scandinavian babe, Maria Bonnevie, Maria Bonneviewho treated Antonio Banderas‘ wounds.

I was wondering the other day what other movies she may have done and found one on Blockbuster. It turned out that James Caviezel * was in it, too, and since I like him I rented it.

The movie is I Am David and it is wonderful. It took me a few days to get around to watching it…unfortunately. As it turns out, the two performers I had originally hoped to see were barely in the film – though what they did was pivotal.

David, a 12-year-old, escapes from a Communist concentration camp with little more than a compass, a sealed letter, a loaf of bread, and instructions to carry the letter to Copenhagen, Denmark. David is thrust into the free world for the first time in his young life as he travels across Europe. His spiritual voyage of discovery, where David slowly loses his instinctive mistrust of humanity and begins to smile, share, trust and ultimately, love, addresses the cruelties, politics, and suffering of warfare while celebrating the resilience of youth and the unbreakable spirit of a child.

There is only one person in my immediate circle that I wouldn’t expect to really enjoy this film. It is currently making the rounds in my family; my sister had it last night, my mom and step-dad have it now….

That earns it a rare perfect score on the Word of Mouth Scale.

* the actor who portrayed Pilate, condemning Caviezl’s Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, here portrays the prison commander, condemning Caviezel’s Johannes.

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Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 38%; Audience 84%

De-Lovely (2004)

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I have been curious to see this movie since I heard it was in the works. Kevin Kline is always fun to watch, and Ashley Judd (as much of a dip as she may be) is ridiculously beautiful. The story of Cole Porter’s life is one that lends itself to movie making.

Unfortunately, the story has never been well told. This telling was a bit too “All That Jazz” in it’s presentation. I enjoyed the technique in that movie, don’t get me wrong, but it’s already been done – and much more effectively. I did enjoy Jonathan Pryce in the role of ‘host’, but he is no Ben Vereen (the host in All That Jazz).

I enjoyed De-Lovely, and I am glad I watched it, but it was not the movie it could have (or should have) been. The only two people in my life that I would recommend it to watched it with me, so on the Word of Mouth Scale it only rates one.

I think perhaps my disappointment may have been fueled by the songs, made over by contemporary artists. Singers who are not up to the task. Alanis Morrisette’s version of “Let’s Do It” is particularly painful. Sheryl Crow has nowhere near the vocal talent required for “Begin The Beguine”. Whether it was the performers or the arrangers, the wink and a smile that Porter wrote into his songs is sadly absent on most of the film tracks. The interpretations feature affectations that would not have been heard in that era.

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 48%; Audience 61%

The Outsiders (1983)

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The Outsiders

SG Jr wanted to watch The Outsiders after his game yesterday. I wasn’t really in the mood for the teen angst genre, but he is too sweet to turn down.

He said a friend of his had said that it was one of Tom Cruise‘s best movies. Since he is on screen for less than 10 minutes, I have to agree – I’ve never seen him better

Fun to see all the stars sooooo young. It is a good story, or should I say a good adaptation of a good story, and it is well acted. But, since I can’t think of many people in my circle I would recommend it to (and those have probably already seen it) it doesn’t score too high on the Word of Mouth scale.

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 64%; Audience 81%

Shrek 2 (2004)

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Shrek 2

Shrek 2

Princess Fiona’s parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres.

A movie that survives as a sequel. Loved all the references to other films, love Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy, love John Cleese and Julie Andrews. Don’t get why they needed Cameron Diaz in the part, let alone paying her $20 million to do it – she doesn’t bring anything extra to the role. We laughed straight through, I would definitely watch this one again. And again.

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 89%; Audience 69%

About A Boy (2002)

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About a Boy

About a Boy

So, last night S.O. Man suggests we “do something together”

Great. Sounds good to me.

“Hey, let’s rent a movie. We’ll get something you want to see, a chick flick – how about Basic?”

That’s what he considers a chick flick? Well, there is a chick in it ~ I think. I heard it was incredibly bad and I am not in the mood for a bad John Travolta movie (of which there are many)

Fortunately, I managed to get “About a Boy” instead. I had heard it was quite good, and I really enjoy Toni Collette’s work. Happy to report it was a nice movie. A middle-aged man coming of age story. Heartwarming, moving, funny and all that.

I enjoyed it and it got S.O Man laughing. A smashing success.

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 93%; Audience 51%

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