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Movies, Movies, Movies! #21 January 21, 2020

Image result for happy the man and happy he alone

Tom Jones (1963) (no not the singer!)  (quote above is from the movie)
Starring: Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith, Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood, Diane Cilento, George Devine, David Tomlinson, Rosalind Atkinson, Angela Baddeley, Avis Bunnage, Julian Glover, Joyce Redman, Peter Bull, Lynn Redgrave, Michael Brennan, Patsy Rowlands, George A. Cooper, Mark Dignam, Freda Jackson, Rachel Kempson, Rosalind Knight, Jack MacGowran, Wilfrid Lawson, John Osborne
Director: Tony Richardson
Synopsis: lifted from netflix: Based on Henry Fielding’s novel, this four-time Oscar winner (including Best Picture) also scores points for outrageous comedy. Orphaned as an infant and adopted by Squire Allworthy (George Devine), the devilishly handsome, womanizer Tom (Albert Finney) truly loves only one: Sophie.
Per wikipedia, regarding the novel:
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, often known simply as Tom Jones, is a comic novel by English playwright and novelist Henry Fielding. It is both a Bildungsroman [a novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education] and a picaresque (The picaresque novel [Spanish: picaresca, from pícaro, for “rogue” or “rascal”] is a genre of prose fiction that depicts the adventures of a roguish, but “appealing hero”, of low social class, who lives by his wits in a corrupt society.) novel. It was first published on February 28, 1749 in London, and is among the earliest English prose works to be classified as a novel.

The movie is hilarious and full of debauchery. Finney was a perfect choice for the hapless Tom Jones that catches every woman’s eye. The kind gentleman that he is, he’s unable to resist even one. This is a “big” period piece that spared no expense with locations, costumes, casting, etc.
Grade: 8-8.5
Etc. Jim, I know you would love this one.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
Starring: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, Mike Epps, Finn Wittrock, Danny Glover, Thora Birch, Daewon Song, Warren Keith
Director:  Joe Talbot
Synopsis: from netflix blurb: After Jimmie enlists his best friend Mont to help reclaim the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco, they begin a search for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. A wistful odyssey populated by skaters, squatters, street preachers, playwrights, and other locals on the margins, this is a poignant and sweeping story of hometowns and how they’re made — and kept alive — by the people who love them.
Grade: 7.5
Etc. Brad Pitt (Plan B) is one of the producers. BASED ON A TRUE STORY. Jimmie Fails, the main character, is the real guy.  There is an excellent write-up on the movie at Vanity Fair here, which I would urge you to take a look at.


The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2019)
Starring: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Lee Stanfield (star of Sorry to Bother You), Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Claes Bang, Cameron Britton, Vicky Krieps, Synnøve Macody Lund
Director:Fede Alvarez
Synopsis: Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are thrown back together to stop a program that can access nuclear weapons worldwide (and launch them presumably) from getting into the wrong hands. The programmer is a good guy that designed a dangerous thing that everyone wants to control the world. The Americans have it, but the Swedish want it. And of course, so do the “bad guys.” This is an action-packed movie with a female lead. Think Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible but with a female doing those crazy stunts. Aside from all that, there is a subplot about the sinister family drama involving Lisbeth and her evil relatives. The woman who plays her sister chilled my blood.
Grade: 7
Etc. Fairly formulaic espionage action film; beautiful landscapes shown of Sweden. I preferred the original actors Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace that were in the first 3. This installment is the 4th movie in a series (if you don’t count the crappy American copy), based upon the Millennium series of books.
per wikipedia:
Millennium is a series of best-selling and award-winning Swedish crime novels, created by journalist Stieg Larsson. The two primary characters in the saga are Lisbeth Salander, a woman in her twenties with a photographic memory and poor social skills, and Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist and publisher of a magazine called Millennium.
arsson planned the series as having ten installments, but due to his sudden death in 2004, only three were completed and published. All three were published posthumously: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2005, The Girl Who Played with Fire in 2006, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest in 2007. Larsson’s novels were originally printed in Swedish by Norstedts Förlag, with English editions by Quercus in the United Kingdom and Alfred A. Knopf in the United States translated by Steven “Reg Keeland” T. Murray. The books have since been translated by many publishers in over fifty countries. By March 2015, 80 million copies of the first three books had been sold worldwide.

In 2013, publisher Norstedts Förlag commissioned Swedish author and crime journalist David Lagercrantz to continue the Millennium series with Larsson’s characters. Lagercrantz’s first novel in the series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, was published in 2015. Another installment, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, followed in 2017. His third novel, The Girl Who Lived Twice, was published in August 2019. With Lagercrantz’s first two installments, the Millennium series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide by May 2019, making it one of the best-selling book series in history.

Life on Mars (2006) UK Series Season/Series 1
Starring: John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster, Noreen Kershaw, Tony Marshall
Directors: S.J. Clarkson (6 episodes 2006-2007), John Alexander (2E in ’06), John McKay (2E in ’06), Bharat Nalluri (2E in ’06), Richard Clark (2E in ’07), Andrew Gunn (2E in ’07.)
Synopsis: Exceptionally good cop show with a twist: one of the main characters has been thrown back in time, to the 1970’s, after getting hit by a car and is trying to get back to his former time. The ensemble chemistry here is priceless, especially between the two main characters. There is sharp edge to the intelligent dialogue and plots, all set in what looks like ordinary working class neighborhoods in Manchester, England. The clothes, the cars, the hairstyles, are a delight to withhold, not to mention the music. The music! Any 70’s music lover will go ga-ga over their soundtrack. It’s hard to peg the genre, as it drifts between sci-fi, police drama, and comedy. The time traveler’s bedroom description could take a paragraph by itself. It must be seen. The way females are talked about and constrained in the show feels authentic. Can you tell I love this show? There are only 2 seasons, each 8 episodes long. I just finished S1 and have S2 at the ready. Yes!
Grade: 8.5-9
Etc. Hans and Max both recommended the series to me. Thanks Guys!

10 thoughts on “Movies, Movies, Movies! #21 January 21, 2020

  1. Glad you like it so far! My favorite episode of the first season was the one with the honey trap. Love Gene Hunt… He is a caveman but…he is good at heart and fits his time. Let me know when you are finished…they had a sequel to this show.
    24 episodes in 3 seasons named after another Bowie song… “Ashes to Ashes” about the 80s with a female cop. Not as good as this one but really good. I found this show in 2007 when they were wrapping it up…I’ve watched it many times. Both lead actors are great. John Simms worked hard on it…he had to be in every shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should watch Tom Jones if you can find a copy. It’s been years since seeing Garp movie but I remember really liking it and think it’s based on a John Updike novel. Updike is a hell of an author. In The Girl movie, there is a bunch of cool technology stuff in it like that.

      Liked by 1 person

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