Welcome to another installment of Movies, Movies, Movies! This will be the last one until December 7, 2021 as I’m taking a blogging break for the month of November. See you in December!
Breaker Morant (1980)
Starring: Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters, Bryan Brown, Charles Tingwell, Terence Donovan, Vincent Ball, Ray Meagher, Chris Haywood, Russell Kiefel, and many more.
Director: Bruce Beresford
Genres: drama, history
Synopsis: The main focus of the film is on the British-run court-martial trial of 3 Australians officers for murdering prisoners during war-time in South Africa.
lifted directly from imdb:
During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. The trial does not progress as smoothly as expected by the General Staff, as the defense puts up a strong fight in the courtroom. Written by Kasper Sevaj
Impressions: War is ugly business, but when a land is invaded by not one but two foreign powers and then those two foreign powers engage in war for who keeps control of a land that isn’t rightfully theirs in the first place, it’s going to be particularly ugly. I thought it was well-done in showing the wrongness of it. I really liked Jack Thompson as Major Thomas, the defense attorney for the 3 men on trial. The 3 men on trial were all extremely likable characters and they were depicted as almost noble sacrifices who were made to the cause. The reality is they were mercenaries and well-aware of what they were walking into in this war.
Etc.: Australian film, filmed in 23 locations in Australia; based on actual events; there is a wealth of good trivia at imdb; As a result of the trial of Morant, Handcock, and Witton, the Australian Army refused to ever again allow their troops to be tried by British court-martial. All future charges against Australian soldiers would be put before fellow Australians.
Awards: 13 wins and 8 nominations
First a trailer and then I see the whole movie is on youtube to watch, so a nice bonus.
(full movie video won’t show up here, but you can find the full movie out on youtube)
Lightning in a Bottle (2004)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Genres: live music, documentary
Synopsis: Shot at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, one night of great blues musicians
Impressions: Difficult to jam pack every great blues musician into less than 2 hours’ time. Some of the greats were missing, others were present that didn’t strike me as particularly bluesy. Still a good show.
Etc.: 1 hr, 43 minutes long
Awards: 1 win and 2 nominations
Here Today (2021)
Starring: Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, Dierdre Friel, Alex Brightman, Matthew Broussard, Max Gordon Moore, Susan Pourfar, Gianmarco Soresi, Sarah Stiles, Joanna Adler, Justin Linville, Brandon Uranowitz, Andrew Durand, and many more.
Director: Billy Crystal
Genres: comedy, drama
Synopsis: Charlie Burnz (Crystal) has been a successful comedy writer for many years. What Charlie is hiding from everyone is he’s starting to lose his memory among suffering other symptoms of a type of progressive dementia. He randomly gets acquainted with Emma Payge (Haddish,) which over time turns into a half-friendship, half-caretaker relationship. Charlie’s grown son and daughter are both disconnected from him for different reasons. When Emma’s presence in their dad’s life becomes known, there is a domino effect of events that affects them all. Charlie also tries to mentor a young writer at his work in the middle of all of this.
Impressions: Nice to see Billy Crystal again. I really liked Haddish in this. This is a drama trying to play at being a comedy, rather than the other way around. I’m not sure it works well. I liked Charlie and Emma’s connection. I liked Charlie’s little granddaughter. His children were wooden characters that it was difficult to find any connection with. I thought adding the mentorship between Charlie and the young writer was too much for the movie; yet at the same time I thought it was one of the better parts of the film. Maybe the whole family aspect should have been dropped out instead.
Awards: too soon
Exhumed: A History of Zombies (2020)
Starring: Emily Zarka
Director: David Schulte
Synopsis: Emily explores the origin of zombies by going to different places and interviewing various people who are knowledgeable about zombies, past and present.
Impressions: Low budget, low key, mostly rehashes the material again and again through the hour-long show.
Test Pattern (2019)
Starring: Brittany S. Hall, Will Brill, Gail Bean, Drew Fuller, Ben Levin, Donna Morell Gafford, Katy Erin, Caroline Bloom, Melissa Jo Bailey, Kay Salem, George Oliver Hale, Kally Khourshid, Amanda Jo Erickson, Molly O’Leary, and more.
Director and Writer: Shatara Michelle Ford
Synopsis: Renesha (Hall) and Evan (Brill) are in a caring relationship. One night Renesha goes for a girls-night-out with one of her friends and two guys start hitting on them. Because Renesha’s friend likes one of the guys she convinces her to stay out and drink against her better judgment. One thing leads to another and she ends up in a stranger’s bed, disoriented. The guy drops her off at her house and soon it is clear she was roofied and raped. Evan convinces her to go to the hospital to have a rape kit done so the man can be arrested. What the two soon find out is that it isn’t so easy to have a rape kit done. The rest of the focus is how the rape has a serious effect on the relationship between Renesha and Evan.
Impressions: Very frustrating movie to watch from the very beginning and until the end. It really had the feel of someone’s personal story that they wanted told on the big screen. Scary to think of how many stories like this are out there.
Awards: 3 wins and 1 nomination