Theme Week

Valentine’s Day

by Alan Rapp on February 14, 2013

in Theme Week

valentines-day-2013

Looking for the perfect movie for tonight? Check out some of our past St. Valentine’s Day favorites including Love Actually, Casablanca, Pride & Prejudice, Say Anything…, Before Sunrise, Garden State, The Princess Bride, The Secret of My Success, and much more!

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The Perfect Movie for Valentine’s Day

by Alan Rapp on February 14, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Love Actually
  • IMDB: link

love-actually-dvdWritten and directed by Richard Curtis, Love Actually is a celebration of love. More than that, however, it’s a celebration of movie love. The film is jam-packed with characters, stories, situations, sampling the best romantic comedies have to offer. It’s not a spoof of romcoms, but a celebration of the best movie romances have to offer.

The film focuses on eight couples, each in a different part of their relationship as well as two additional stories which help tie them together: an aging rock star (Bill Nighy) and his manager (Gregor Fisher) attempting to win a holiday contest and jewelry store attendent (Rowan Atkinson) who shows up only when needed.

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Waitress

by Alan Rapp on February 14, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Waitress
  • IMDB: link

A film about pies, all types of wonderful pies with funny names like “Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie,” and “I Can’t Have No Affair Because It’s Wrong & I Don’t Want Earl to Kill Me Pie.” 

If you haven’t eaten beforehand, and even if you did, this film will make your mouth water.  Add to that an off-beat love story, more than a little tragedy (mixed with more than a little humor), two extremely likable stars, and you’ve got a recipe for a film that is well worth your time and might by this year’s Little Miss Sunshine

Adrienne Shelly‘s final film is a tribute to her writing, directing and acting ability, and a bittersweet reminder that this is the last piece of pie on the counter.  Savor each bite.

Trapped in a loveless marriage to a complete jerk (Jeremy Sisto), Jenna (Keri Russell) discovers she’s pregnant.  Far from bringing her joy however, the news just makes her more sullen and sad as she sees nothing but an empty future

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The Whole Nine Yards

by Alan Rapp on February 14, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: The Whole Nine Yards
  • IMDB: link

whole-nine-yards-posterHis role of Friends aside, I’ve been largely unimpressed with Matthew Perry (Serving Sara and Three to Tango come to mind). It’s really a shame he’s made such bad choices on scripts because when you watch this flick you realize how good he could actually be in motion pictures. 

The idea of a comedy starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry might not inspire much confidence, but what we get turns out to be pretty darn good. The Whole Nine Yards is a quirky, fun, occasionally dark, entertaining little movie. Full of odd characters and terrific comic sequences, most notably from Perry. And it provides not one but two love stories.

Nicholas ‘Oz’ Oseransky (Matthew Perry) is trapped. He’s living in Montreal with a horrible wife (Rosanna Arquette) who has made his life miserable for years. He continues to work at the dental practice he started with his father-in-law whose debt from an embezzlement scheme he is forced to pay off. 

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Classic Love

by Alan Rapp on February 14, 2011

in Theme Week, Top Tens & Lists

Hollywood has been making romantic movies for decades (and believe it or not there was a time when they were actually good!). If you’re looking for something more than simply latest braindead romcom here are few Hollywood classic love stories worth spending some time with this Valentine’s Day.

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  • Title: To Catch a Thief
  • IMDB: link

“I’m in love with you.”
“Now that’s a ridiculous thing to say.”

A new string of burglaries along the French Rivieria prompt police to suspect the notorious John Robie (Cary Grant) has returned to his life of crime.  The trouble is Robie is innocent, but no one, not the police nor his former friends will believe him.  With the help of an insurance agent (John Willliams) Robie hatches a plan to catch the thief in the act and clear his name.

He cleverly insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy widow (Jessie Royce Landis) and her beautiful daughter Fraces (Grace Kelly) knowing that their jewels will be on the list.  What he doesn’t anticipate is Frances recognizing him as the Cat and still being attracted to him.

In terms of enjoyment and escapism there are few films as well made as this one.  Though not on the level of some of Alfred Hitchcock‘s more important films like Psycho or Rear Window (also starring Grace Kelly, read that review) aside from North By Northwest it’s the most fun film the great director ever made.

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The Holiday

by Alan Rapp on February 14, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: The Holiday
  • IMDB: link

the-holiday-posterDirector Nancy Meyers gives us a great Christmas present – a fun romantic comedy, a chick-flick that guys can actually tolerate and enjoy. Who would have thought it possible? Merry Christmas everyone!

Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) have two things in common: neither has good taste in men, and both are depressed and alone at Christmas. The two complete strangers decide to swap lives for two weeks.  And so movie trailer maker Amanda finds herself in a small British town in a cozy home with a stack of books, and Iris ends up in a posh L.A. mansion with a host of DVD’s.

As each explores their new surroundings they meet new people. Amanda falls immeadiately for Iris’ roguishly handsome brother (Jude Law), and Iris cultivates two friendships – the first with an elderly screenwriter (Eli Wallach), and the second with a composer (Jack Black) who has as much luck in love as she does.

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She Gave Me a Pen

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Say Anything…
  • IMDB: link

“Get ready for greatness.”

say-anything-posterThe quote is stolen from the film as Llyod shares his love for Diane with his two best friends but I also think it’s appropriate for those who are getting ready to watch the film for the first time.  Cameron Crowe’s love story between the likeable slacker and the class brain “trapped in the body of a game show hostess” is pure movie magic and is indeed the stuff of greatness.

Llyod Dobler (John Cusack) is a friendly underachiever who everyone knows and likes.  The film begins with graduation and we learn that Llyod has no idea what to do with his future except maybe become a professional kickboxer and take Diane Court (Ione Skye) to the end of the year party.  Llyod has carried a torch for the beautiful but aloof valedictorian for years and the scene where he invites her to the party should bring smiles to every guy who has ever shot for the moon and asked out his dream girl.

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We Are All Fools in Love

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Pride & Prejudice
  • IMDB: link

pride-and-prejudice-posterLet me start out by saying I’m not a big Jane Austen fan and just the thought of reading a novel of hers makes me drowsy.  Joe Wright‘s new version of Pride & Prejudice is anything but dreary.  With a wonderful eye, energetic performances, and a droll since of humor and wit this piece of Austen’s work comes alive on screen and not only is fresh, inviting, and enjoyable it just happens to be one of the best movies of the year.

In England during the Georgian era Austen’s tale follows the lives of the Bennet women especially the headstrong Elizabeth (Keira Knightley).  The Bennet clan is headed by Mr. Bennet (Donald Sutherland) and lorded over by his wife (Brenda Blethyn) who spends all her time trying to wed off her five daughters and improve the family’s fortunes.  Into the picture arrives Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods) a wealthy suitor who takes a fancy in the eldest Bennet daughter Jane (Rosamund Pike) and his rather drab companion Mr. Darcy (Matthew McFadyen) who raises the ire of Elizabeth.  What follows is the tale of love found and lost and the consequences of choices made.

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Between Sunrise and Sunset

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

Let me tell you a strange but wonderful story.  Once upon a time there was a filmmaker who made a small independent art house movie that was moderately successful.  No big stars, no special effects, no plot twists here kids.  It was just a two character piece about a man and woman finding each other in Vienna and spending one day and one night together sight seeing, discussing their lives, loves, beliefs, desires, both large and small, and falling in love. 

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