Reviews by Ruth.
I'm at a bit of a loss to review this movie objectively. I saw the first Jack Reacher and loved it, and I've read all twenty of the novels the films are based on, each of which was extremely enjoyable. Needless to say, I had been really looking forward to this new one. Was it worth the wait? Hardly. Every bit of visceral fun, not to mention testosterone, has been sucked out of this movie, leaving behind a dried up husk of tired gender issues and predictability in its wake. 2/10. Now killing souls in theaters everywhere.
Another lumbering behemoth from the franchise that wouldn't die. Somehow, I made it through this movie (though not all in one sitting), tempted to keep a score card on my lap of every time a tenet of the original classic '60's TV show was violated. People make fun of that show for its goofy, low-budget special effects, but what has a bigger budget brought us? The visuals are truly stunning, no argument, but they are a lot more like watching a special effects house's demo reel than being part of story worth watching. Curiously, a great effort is made to degrade Kirk from savvy '60s hero to slouching pretty boy, whom the film is determined to make a fool of. For those of you who look for symbolism in cinema, this one has a peach: Kirk literally ends the film with a black eye. A "No" out of 10. Streaming and on DVD/Blueray.
This is one of those shows we happen across and say, it's a BBC historical drama, those are always great, let's give it a shot. As usual, we were not disappointed.
Though I was prepared to be as the opening credits on the first episode revealed the story was based on a book by Sarah Waters, famed author of "The Little Stranger." I had read that book and was not impressed (though I seem to be alone in that opinion; my husband, clearly a man of good taste, loved it. Additionally, it won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction [shortlist], in 2009, as well as being nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. So what do I know?). I persevered, however, and I'm certainly glad I did. This story of gothic romance, suspense, and betrayal, plays out as though Ms. Waters sat down and said to herself, you know, I really like Dickens; I'll write something like that! Full of twists and turns that genuinely shock, held together by an extremely touching romance, this was a great, great watch. 9/10. A three part mini-series from 2005. On DVD and streaming from Amazon.
I've got a real soft spot for Disney pictures, particularly the early live-action productions made during Walt's life time. They are such gems, full of sparkle and fun, with tight execution and clear storytelling. Not to mention, the always capable Sherman Brothers are on hand to give a truly singable tune or two, as are a cast of 1960's "who's who" of charmers. Hayley Mills heads the list, with Dean Jones, Dorothy Provine, Elsa Lanchester, Ed Wynn … need I say more? The real star of the picture, however, is the cat. In one of the biggest failures of agent-ing in Hollywood, not only does this gifted feline not even get a screen credit, but neither do his handlers(?!). For my money, you can keep DeMille's parting of the Red Sea and Lucas's explosion of the Death Star; the real miracle of film-making is this cat. For those of you who have co-habitated with cats (no one "owns" a cat, as Hayley's character rightly points out) you know how difficult it is to get them to do ANYTHING, let alone hit their marks and ACT. Somehow, "unnamed siamese cat" performs like a trooper. 9/10. From Walt Disney Pictures, 1965. On DVD and streaming.