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Movies Movies Movies #12 – November 19, 2019

Domestic Violence (2002) documentary
Starring: real-life individuals, mostly battering victims, shelter workers, and police officers
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Synopsis: blurb from netflix: “By shadowing residents of The Spring, Florida’s largest shelter for battered women and their children, documentarian Frederick Wiseman sheds light on domestic violence and reveals the complications that make it such a difficult problem to solve. Though painful to watch, Wiseman’s gripping film allows each victim to share her own horrific story in a way that’s brutally honest, as they all try to rebuild their lives while living at The Spring.” You’ll note it was made in 2002, but the subject is timeless and as relevant today as it was in 2002. Wiseman speaks through his choice of people, places, the situations to show. For anyone who minimizes the impact of domestic violence on individuals and society, you should watch this and see if your feelings change. DV is a sick cycle of dangerous/deadly dysfunction that will never end until humans start to take it more seriously.
Grade: 8
Etc. disturbing images

I wasn’t able to find any clips (maybe not available to protect the victims?) but I did find one of Ben Kingsley about to present Mr. Wiseman with an award.  I will also include a clip of another of his documentaries I saw and was greatly affected by, Titicut Follies, about a psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts.

Frederick Wiseman, in his 80s and still going strong!!!!!!

The Girl on the Train (2016)
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Édgar Ramírez , Laura Prepon, Allison Janney, Darren Goldstein, Lisa Kudrow
Director: Tate Taylor
Synopsis: Emily Blunt shines in a film that starts out very calmly but soon has more twists and turns in it than an origami-folded bird. The cast is superior in this on-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery thriller.
Grade: 7.5
Etc. a few disturbing acts of violence

Dracula Untold (2014)
Starring: Luke Evans, Zach McGowan, Samantha Barks, Sarah Gadon, Charlie Cox, Paul Kaye
Director: Gary Shore
Synopsis: Vlad started as a child warrior and grew into a prince of his people. The nearby country keeps squeezing his population for money, army recruits, etc. until Vlad decides to draw a line. He enlists the assistance of evil to accomplish his ends. Not bad for this kind of movie.
Grade: 6
Etc. lots and lots of killing

Best not to watch the trailers as it gives too much of the plot away.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)
Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, Connie Britton, Oliver Platt, JJ Feild, Maggie Castle, Allie Gallerani, Chris Conroy, Ken Cheeseman, Frank Ridley
Director: Angela Robinson
Synopsis: Based on real live people and events. William Moulton Marston was a Harvard Professor of the new psychology department and invented the polygraph machine with his wife, also a brainiac that wasn’t allowed to get a PhD from Harvard because she was female, and their lovely research assistant, Olive Byrne, whose aunt and mother were two of the biggest suffragettes at the time. These 3 unconventional individuals decide to brazenly buck the convention of the nuclear family and add another wife to the mix. The story is fascinating for its historical significance as well as managing to be quite titillating. The freak flag flies high in this one but it does so in a very tasteful and stylish manner. All 3 of the main characters (Evans, Hall, and Heathcote) are charismatic and smoking hot. The chemistry between them is not to be missed. Of course mainstream society cannot tolerate too much fun, so in they step.
Grade: 8
Etc. brief nudity, bondage/domination, Ménage à Trois

Birds of Passage (2019)
Starring: Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes, Jhon Narváez, Greider Meza, José Vicente Cotes, Juan Bautista Martínez
Director: Ciro Guerra, Cristina Gallego
Synopsis: This movie is being pushed a gang war type of film concerning marijuana running in Colombia from 1960-1980, but it is SO much more than that. It’s about indigenous populations and their ways and how non-indigenous practices are incompatible with the old ways. The film is an intricately woven tale with breathtaking environments and profound acting. Based on a true story, students of the illegal marijuana trade in Colombia as well as sociologists will find the movie interesting. The story is deep, with tribal/spiritual aspects.
Grade: 9
Etc. filmed in 3 locations in Colombia. Subtitles. Languages: Wayuu, Spanish, English

They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)
Starring: soldiers who were in World War I
Director: Peter Jackson
Synopsis: blurb from netflix: Using state of the art technology to restore original archival footage which is more than a 100-years old, Jackson brings to life the people who can best tell this story: the men who were there. Driven by a personal interest in the First World War, Jackson set out to bring to life the day-to-day experience of its soldiers. After months immersed in the BBC and Imperial War Museums’ archives, narratives and strategies on how to tell this story began to emerge for Jackson. Using the voices of the men involved, the film explores the reality of war on the front line; their attitudes to the conflict; how they ate; slept and formed friendships, as well what their lives were like away from the trenches during their periods of downtime. The movie is about 90 minutes, but there is also a mini-movie where Peter Jackson talks about how the movie was put together, keeping authenticity as its number 1 priority. Anybody interested in WWI history will find it compelling. Anybody with a loved one/ancestor who served in this war will want to see it.
Grade: 9
Etc. lots of images of dead and wounded

This movie is in the theaters now.  My library had a copy last week, before it was in theaters; explain that one!

8 thoughts on “Movies Movies Movies #12 – November 19, 2019

  1. I saw They Shall Not Grow Old and loved it. What he did with that footage is beyond great. It is so clear. Great documentary.
    Just think about what he will do with film from 1969.

    Liked by 1 person

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