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The Man Who Invented Christmas

An excellent look at the life of Charles Dickens and his most beloved story
Some spoilers may exist!

In this mixture of fact, fantasy and dreams, we get a rare look into the mind of the man responsible for creating, "A Christmas Carol", probably the favorite Christmas story of all time. Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens, a man tormented by debt, past memories and, worst of all, a complete writer's block. The unique way in which he manages to rid himself of the writer's block and create this beloved Christmas story is done cleverly and with great acting. You will recognize many famous lines from the original story, being presented in ordinary conversation. The casting, writing and acting from all concerned is exceptional. I can see this becoming another classic Christmas movie watched year after year.

An Affair to Remember

The Epitome of All Love Stories
I saw this film for the first time when I was about 12 years old. To me, it was then, and still is at the top of the list for all romantic movies. When I was 12 I didn't really understand why this story affected me so deeply. It was only after I was older that I realized that Cary Grant had the ability to seem more deeply in love with his leading lady than any other actor of his era. He also had an incredible on-screen chemistry with Deborah Kerr.

Although this film is certainly dated, by today's standards, in some of the language (for example, the conversation at the beginning where Terry McKay claims to not having an understanding of business and the newscaster who talks about Ferrante getting "all that lettuce and a luscious tomato, too, in regard to his engagement), the repartee' between the main characters is entertaining and even the children from the orphanage are a charming diversion while we are waiting to see if these two ever get together.

Some have said the scene where the 2 black orphans do some dance steps in the middle of their performance of "The Tiny Scout", is racist. While it is certainly stereotypical of the treatment of African-Americans of that era in film, I don't think of it as racist. I think it is more because the Civil Rights movement was still in its infancy. I think this was a sincere, if misguided, effort to show some diversity, but, by today's standards it comes across as glaringly stereotypical and awkward.

The last scene of this movie is, of course, the one that brings most women and some men to tears. I can remember the first time I watched it ("Saturday Night at the Movies"), I was sure Cary Grant was going to leave without finding out that Deborah Kerr couldn't walk. I have probably seen this movie at least 20 times and that scene can still bring tears to my eyes.

All in all, this movie is, as I said earlier, the epitome of love stories. It captures the heart and makes you believe, if only for the duration of the movie, that love really does conquer all.

The Lone Ranger

Not a bad movie, but not the Lone Ranger
This movie was entertaining, as long as you forgot any preconceived (or remembered) notions about The Lone Ranger. This movie bore no resemblance to the Clayton Moore, Lone Ranger of my youth, and Johnny Depp was even less familiar as Tonto. It was, however, a fun movie & Depp, as always, was very good. Clearly, the writing and acting were better than the original TV show,but for those of us who have fond memories of the characters portrayed by Clayton Moore & Jay Silverheels, it was certainly a disappointment. As you can probably tell, I feel a lot of ambivalence about this movie, as I am torn between the new version and the nostalgia of the old version. For people my age, though, this is not the Lone Ranger.

Mr. Sunshine

Smart, funny show
If the rest of the episodes live up to pilot, Mr Sunshine will be a big hit. It is a smart comedy with dialogue reminiscent of some of the episodes of "West Wing". Allison Janney & Matthew Perry play off each other well and though Matthew Perry's character seems a little like, "Chandler - the Later Years", it's still very funny.

As with most ensemble comedies, it will take a little time to learn the characters and their individual personalities. I think this show has the potential to be a big hit and it is in an appropriate spot in the line-up at the present time, following 3 other hit comedies. Let's hope the network doesn't move it around to other time spots, as sometimes happens, before it has time to create its audience.

Beauty and the Beast

This Movie Should be Released on DVD
Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairy tale. When this version was first shown on Hallmark Hall of Fame, I thought it was the perfect version and have longed to see it again. I have tried to buy it from Hallmark, but, for some reason this is the one title not available.

I wonder if Disney has bought the rights to it in order to squelch the competition. I can't imagine that one movie would hurt them that much but I can't figure out another reason for it not to be available. I love the Disney version but it is a different story all together.

I would just love to see this version available for adults with a romantic side to watch.

Michael Clayton

Excellent writing. Excellent acting
The best movie I've seen in a long time. Intelligent plot which didn't rely on action, gunfights or explosions to create suspense. Well though out & well written. Oscar material.

George Clooney has proved his acting ability & his depth with this film. Tom Wilkinson has also done a superior job and Sidney Pollack is, as always, a delight to watch.

The writer of this film has produced a great story, with enough twists & turns to keep the audience captivated for the entire length of the film, including an ending which, while not completely unpredictable was enough to keep one guessing.

Great film. Absolutely should get an Oscar nomination.


Not bad but not the book I read
This movie would have been much more entertaining had I not read the book first. Why do screenwriters think they have to make major changes in a decent book. Are they so egotistical they think they can do better than the original author? If they don't want to tell the story that was written, perhaps they should write their own & not disappoint people who have enjoyed the book. Obviously the book I read & the one read by the people responsible for this movie were two entirely different books.

As far as the performances go, the main characters, although miscast, all do decent jobs. Jeremy Irons, for example, while a fine actor is certainly not the image I had of Brom.

Some of the acting by the actors in lesser roles, is however, almost laughable, i.e. Djimon Hounsou as Ahijad.

And where, by the way, were the elves & dwarfs? It seemed to me that the movie stopped about half-way through the book. Did they run out of money? 90 minutes certainly isn't the length of any "epic film" I have ever seen.

Overall, I was very disappointed, but I think I would have enjoyed it more, had I not read the book and been looking forward to the movie so much.

I'm sure Christopher Paolini is very disappointed. He should talk to Dean Koontz.

3000 Miles to Graceland

The movie by which all bad movies will forever be measured!
This movie has no "good guys", only bad guys & worse guys. It is so bad that, as much as I have liked Kevin Costner in other movies, by the end of this one, I was wishing someone would just shoot him & put him out of my misery. It is a truly terrible movie with very little plot & a lot of violence for no apparent reason. To rent it on 99 cent video rental night would be a waste of money.

The Lion in Winter

Amazing emotional roller coaster ride.
This film has the best of the best! The best actors and the best writing of any film I've ever watched. It is not an action movie nor even a movie with a complex plot but it is impossible to turn away from it once you start watching & listening. It is completely captivating.

The Lion in Winter

Amazing emotional roller coaster ride.
This film has the best of the best! The best actors and the best writing of any film I've ever watched. It is not an action movie nor even a movie with a complex plot but it is impossible to turn away from it once you start watching & listening. It is completely captivating.

You've Got Mail

Excellent feel-good movie!
"You've Got Mail" is everything we have come to expect of Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan in a romantic comedy. It is the best "feel-good, warm & fuzzy" movie since "While You Were Sleeping". Does it have any surprises? Not really but the acting is good & it leaves you with such a good feeling, you really don't notice.

The Rat Pack

Very well done.
Having been a rat pack fan as a teenager,this movie was one I was very anxious to see. I was especially impressed with Mantegna as Dean Martin & Don Cheadle as Sammy Davis, Jr. This movie was very well written & acted.

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