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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am so glad summer is over...the heat, the humidity...and most of it all, not many good films. Fall, in all its brilliant color is here, and at last, so are some decent films. Only two films I saw this summer are worth seeing: The Kids are All Right with Annette Benning, Julianna Moore and Mark Ruffalo and Salt with Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber. I liked both; one for its portrait of modern life and the other for its all out unrealistic action and suspense.
Kids was the most talked-about movie at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and the winner of the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) from an original screenplay that she wrote along with Stuart Blumberg (Keeping the Faith). The film is funny and poignant. A richly drawn portrait of a modern family and how bonds of trust and love can be tested.. Benning is outstanding.
Salt, an action adventure film cloaked in mystery and suspense, keeps you guessing nearly to the end. Salt, a victim of another type of family environment, is a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy . She uses all her skill and training to elude capture and prove her innocence. If you prefer realism this is not for you. If you like action films with implausible plots that only
Hollywood can produce, you'll love it. How could anyone except Jolie withstand such a beating and run away in the end?
If you you missed them in the theater, call in you reserve. I will add them to the collection as soon as they are released. I have seen several cant miss films in September and October which I will write about next time. Hopefully I will be able to post recommendations more regularly as we approach Academy Award season.

Monday, September 13, 2010

.......... ...................... READ IT ........................THEN ...................SEE IT ........................
A Very Private Gentleman, a 1990 cat-and-mouse thriller by British novelist Martin Booth, was recently released as The American starring George Clooney and Violante Placido. Alone among assassins, Jack is the best. When a job ends badly he vows his next assignment will be his last. In a small Italian village tucked away in the countryside, Jack relishes being away from death. He seeks out the friendship of a local priest and pursues romance with a local woman. Put when next assignment comes, he is soon back in the fray. By stepping out of the shadows, will he be tempting fate!

The Romantics based on the novel by Pankaj Mishra will soon be released starring Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel. Seven close friends reunite for the wedding of two of their friends. Problems arise because the bride and the maid of honor have had a long rivalry over the groom. During the course of the raucous night before the wedding, friendships and alliances are tested and the love triangle comes to a head. A love story that examines the camaraderie of youth.

The Town is a film adaption of the prize-winning book by Chuck Hogan Prince of Thieves which won the 2005 Hammett Prize for excellence in crime writing. The film, starring Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner, will be in theaters soon. Men wearing masks with guns drawn make a bank manager open the vault. Their timing and execution is brilliant. It could be the perfect heist. But as the huge sum of cash is stolen, so is one man's heart, and that man is the Prince of Thieves, the brains behind the tough, tight-knit crew of thieves. The girl who has caught his heart has another admirer: FBI agent Adam Frawley, who is investigating the gang determined to bring them to justice.

Never Let Me Go this 2004 novel by Kazuo Ishiguro is adapted into a film starring Keire Knightly, Carey Mullligan and Andrew Garfield. The story is narrated by 31 year-old Kathy who reminisces about her childhood at the sheltered boarding school and her life after leaving the school. An idyllic life in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society as well. When two of her classmates come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory and the dark secret behind a nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood—and about their lives now. A tale of biomedical science fiction that asks the question "what makes us human."

The Social Network, a film starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake, is based on Ben Mezrich's nonfiction book The Accidental Billionaires which uncovers the true story behind the founding of Facebook. A high-energy tale about two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers who are trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex end up creating Facebook. Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends and clearly on the outside. Getting invited to join one of the Harvard's Finnl Clubs could be their ticket to social acceptance. Mark finds a way to stardom by hacking into the university's computer system, creating a database that rates all the female students on campus. At that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born revolutionizing the way hundreds of millions of people relate to each other.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the final book in Stieg Larsson's millennium trilogy, follows The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire with this exhilarating conclusion. Lisbeth Salander, the brilliant computer hacker who was shot in the head at the end of Fire, is alive and the prime suspect in three murders in Stockholm. While she convalesces under armed guard, journalist Mikael Blomkvist works to unravel the decades-old coverup surrounding the man who shot Salander: her father, Alexander Zalachenko, a Soviet intelligence defector and longtime secret asset to Sweden's security police. When able Salander will have to prove her innocence, denounce those in authority who allowed the attack on her life and seek revenge against the man who tried to kill her. Once a victim. now she's fighting back.