2000 BILLY ELLIOT

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2011 by sinhaladhamma

Billi Elliot is One of the finest movies I saw. Acting, Direction go hand in hand. The story of a young boy in desperate economic and social enviorn emerging to achieve an impossible dream. This movie won a host of awards.


STORY: Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) is any 11-year-old living with his proud miner father (Gary Lewis) and older brother Tony (Jamie Draven) during the political and social unrest of the 1984 miner’s strike. Times are hard – the men of the house spend their days on the picket lines clashing with the police, while Billy navigates the minefield of adolescence and takes care of his increasingly senile grandmother (Jean Heywood).


Determined to forge his son in his own image, Billy’s father sends him for boxing lessons with pal George (Mike Elliot) at the local village hall. Unfortunately, Billy isn’t interested in expressing himself with his fists, he’s much more taken with the ballet lessons next door, run by jaded Mrs Wilkinson (Julie Walters).


When Billy’s old man learns that his son has forsaken boxing gloves for ballet shoes, he is distraught: dancing is not a manly pursuit, certainly not for a miner’s son. Fearful of what his friends might say, Billy’s father bans him from taking classes and searches for a glimmer of hope in the bottom of his beer glass.


One night, during the long trek home from the pub, Billy’s father happens to witness his boy performing a routine for schoolfriend Michael (Stuart Wells). Moved almost to tears by the boy’s passion, Billy’s father suddenly realises that he has let his preconceptions and macho pride cloud his judgement, and sets about raising the money to send his son to London, where the admissions panel of the Royal Ballet awaits.

Beautifully observed and surprisingly free of mawkish sentiment, Billy Elliot is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale that speaks straight from the heart, juxtaposing Billy’s battle of wills with his prejudiced father, with the community’s struggles against the larger forces of the outside world

1996 Michael Collins

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2011 by sinhaladhamma

A Movie based on true events surrounding the life of the Co-founder of IRA was an absorbing creation. Michael Collins plays a crucial role in the establishment of the Irish Free State in the 1920s, but becomes vilified by those hoping to create a completely independent Irish republic. The performance of Liam Neeson was considered the best. It was nominated for two Oscars in 1997

READ A REVIEW

1994 Forest Gump

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2011 by sinhaladhamma

A sentimental simple silly movie which touched all in the audience in 1994. The coming of age of Tom Hanks was the event of the decade.

“Life is Like a Box of Chocalates” his mama told him. because you dont know what you are going to get.

REVIEW

Directed by Robert Zemeckis; written by Eric Roth, based on the novel by Winston Groom; director of photography, Don Burgess; edited by Arthur Schmidt; music by Alan Silvestri; production designer, Rick Carter; produced by Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch and Steve Starkey; released by Paramount Viacomcoei. Running time: 140 minutes. This film is rated PG-13. WITH: Sally Field, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and Robin Wright.

 “Forrest Gump” is such an accomplished feat of cyber-cinema that it makes these tricks, not to mention subtler ones, look amazingly seamless. As he did in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and the “Back to the Future” films, Robert Zemeckis is bound to leave viewers marveling at the sheer wizardry behind such effects. Even the opening credit sequence, featuring a feather that drifts along a perfectly choreographed trajectory until it reaches its precise destination — a fine visual embodiment of Forrest’s own path through life — is cause for astonishment.

But as with Mr. Zemeckis’s “Death Becomes Her,” the audience won’t simply ask how; it will also wonder why. Structured as Forrest’s autobiography, and centering on his lifelong love for an elusive beauty named Jenny, “Forrest Gump” had the elements of an emotionally gripping story. Yet it felt less like a romance than like a coffee-table book celebrating the magic of special effects.

Luckily, “Forrest Gump” has Tom Hanks, the only major American movie star who could have played Forrest without condescension and without succumbing to the film’s Pollyanna-ish tone. “Let me say this: bein a idiot is no box of chocolates,” says the slow-witted narrator of Winston Groom’s tart, playful novel, on which Eric Roth’s screenplay is based. The film’s Forrest expresses this thought in much more saccharine fashion, announcing that his mother used to say life was like a box of chocolates because “you never know what you’re gonna get.”

 Forrest’s love of Jenny (Robin Wright) is the film’s only unifying thread, but it’s a thread stretched almost to the breaking point. You are sure to watch this story chiefly for its digressions, especially those expressed with Forrest’s comically oblivious powers of description: “Now the really good thing about meetin’ the President of the United States is the food.”

Forrest says this when, having been named an All-American, he visits the President Kennedy in White House and winds up drinking too much Dr. Pepper. Typical of the film’s magic is a brief glimpse of Forrest writhing uncomfortably and telling the President that he has to go to the bathroom, with a naivete that makes Mr. Kennedy chuckle.

The President’s voice sounds authentic, his mouth movements match his movie dialogue, and he and Mr. Hanks appear to be on precisely the same film stock, in the same frame. Special kudos for this go to Ken Ralston, the film’s special-effects supervisor, and to Industrial Light and Magic, pushing the technical envelope further than ever. Superb gamesmanship like this is its own reward, even if it accounts for only a fraction of the film’s screen time and sometimes is allowed to wear thin (a patently phony shot seating Forrest next to John Lennon on the Dick Cavett show, with Mr. Lennon’s small talk consisting of “Imagine” lyrics).

Disabled as a young boy but goaded by his loving Mama (Sally Field) to make the best of his abilities, Forrest eventually becomes a football star, a war hero, a successful businessman and an international Ping-Pong champion. Is Mr. Hanks hitting real Ping-Pong balls at high speed? Or have the balls and whacking sounds been artificially added? By the time this sequence comes around, viewers will have lost all ability to distinguish real images from clever counterfeits. The single most dazzling special effect turns Gary Sinise, as Forrest’s Vietnam friend and subsequent business partner, into a double amputee.

In fact, “Forrest Gump” is  loaded with hit songs and eye-catching costumes that these superficial elements often supplant the narrative. When Forrest, demonstrating the kind of benign whimsy that brings to mind Kurt Vonnegut’s early fiction, decides that he feels like running across America for a couple of years, “Running on Empty,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Go Your Own Way” and “On the Road Again” are all used for musical accompaniment. While en route, he also invents one very popular bumper slogan and the “Have a Nice Day” T-shirt logo.

If Forrest is a holy fool, Mr. Hanks makes his holiness very apparent. Only in this touching, imaginatively childlike performance does the film display any emotional weight. Sitting on a bench at a bus stop during most of the film, eagerly recounting his life story for a succession of strangers, Mr. Hanks’s Forrest has an unerring sincerity and charm. If it’s difficult to reconcile this sweet, guileless performance with the film’s technical obsessiveness (a special satellite was used to track the sun’s position and determine optimum lighting for the film’s outdoor scenes), well, maybe it should be.

Deserving of special mention among the actors are Mykelti Williamson, as the Army buddy who turns out to be a perfect match for Forrest, and Mr. Sinise, whose dark, bitter performance offers an element of surprise. Ms. Wright’s role is structured mostly as a set of costume changes, but she is as strong and resilient as the material requires. Ms. Field, unfazed by the job of playing Mr. Hanks’s mother, charges through the story in flowery, emphatically genteel Southern costumes. Like everything else about “Forrest Gump,” she looks a little too good to be true.

“Forrest Gump” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). It includes brief nudity, sexual references and mild profanity. FORREST GUMP

 

1992 SCENT OF A WOMAN

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2011 by sinhaladhamma

Al Pacino at his best in the 1992 movie. Oooh Haa

Scent of a Woman is both a funny and moving film. Pacino gives a fabulous performance, portraying Frank’s blindness, wit, and gung-ho attitude with incredible skill and precision. Pacino’s convincing work here is a testament to this incredible talent and versatility; just this past October he was equally believable in James Foley’s Glengarry Glen Ross playing a radically different character–a hotshot real estate salesman. This year, Pacino could very well win the Oscar that has long eluded him. He receives effective support from O’Donnell, who gives a likable, albeit slightly stiff, performance as Charlie.

Bo Goldman’s screenplay is witty but far from perfect, its only flaw being an uninspired subplot involving a pending disciplinary action against Charlie. But this one flaw is responsible for stretching Scent‘s running time to a ridiculously unnecessary two hours and thirty-plus minutes. The script also loses its edge near the end, when the film loses its sharp-tongued humor and becomes maudlin and overly melodramatic. But Goldman’s screenplay never becomes a complete disaster, thanks to the vastly interesting and original character of Frank. The character is so flawed that he is never boring; you can’t keep your eyes off of him because he’s so much like a real person.

A funny, impassioned, and all-around enjoyable film, Woman bears the sweet Scent of success.

 

1989 – DAD

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2011 by sinhaladhamma

Dad was a really beautiful family movie. the story of a Son a Father and his son where responsibility and duty is overtaken by Love and devotion.

Jack Lemmon
Jake Tremont
Ted Danson
John Tremont
Olympia Dukakis
Bette Tremont
Kathy Baker
Annie

Full Acting Credits for Dad »

REVIEW

Any movie titled ”Dad,” with Jack Lemmon playing a lovable old codger of 78, would seem to be something to be avoided by everyone except charter members of the Jack Lemmon Fan Clubs of America. It sounds pretty sticky.

The second hour of this two-hour comedy-drama is just that. People smile through tears to the point where a fire hose would seem to be the only way to bring them back to reality. It has two too many potentially fatal illnesses and maybe a half-dozen too many scenes in which one family member clutches another family member and says, ”I love you.”

It is this film’s exhausted notion that those three words, boldly stated with a slight catch in the throat, can wipe out lifetimes of disappointment, sorrow and fury.


”Dad” eventually exceeds one’s worst expectations but – and this is what makes movie reviewers schizophrenic – the first half is quite easy to take, and Mr. Lemmon does a superlative job that is limited only by the tacky material.

”Dad,” which opens today at the Beekman and other theaters, is an awful movie with some exceptionally good things in it. Its origins are significant. ”Dad” is the first theatrical feature to be written and directed by Gary David Goldberg, whose previous credits include the hugely successful, very canny television series ”Family Ties,” from which sprang Michael J. Fox. Though the source material for ”Dad” is a serious novel by William Wharton, who wrote ”Birdy,” the new film’s sensibility is strictly prime time. One-liners alternate with the kind of sentiment better poured over ice cream and topped by a cherry.

Yet the soft-headed screenplay somehow permits the members of the cast to give good performances and, in Mr. Lemmon’s case, a performance that is often something of a wonder.

He plays Jake Tremont, long retired from his blue-collar job at Lockheed and now slipping into contented senility with the help of his tiresomely take-over wife.

She is Bette (Olympia Dukakis), a horror, though Jake doesn’t realize it. Bette tells Jake how much sugar he likes in his coffee. She doles out his pills and drives the car when they go shopping. She is forever loving him through her disapproval.

When these two are on screen together, without the help of too many snappy one-liners, ”Dad” has the air of truth. Dick Smith, the special-effects wizard, has provided the way for Mr. Lemmon with makeup that quietly transforms him without calling attention to the transformation.

Miss Dukakis’s makeup is also effective. The two stars take it from there. Mr. Lemmon walks as if he could feel his bones, though they don’t necessarily hurt. Even his eyeballs seem dim. Miss Dukakis, who is not supposed to be quite so old, walks with purpose on legs that have begun to bow into the shape of a cowboy’s. Her performance would be the equal to Mr. Lemmon’s were it not for the maddening dialogue. This sounds as if it had been written especially for her, at least for her image as the Bea Arthur of the Big Screen.

The members of the supporting cast are also good, particularly Ted Danson as Jake and Bette’s son, a Wall Street wheeler-dealer and himself the father of a son who is as strange to him as he is to Jake. Kevin Spacey, who appeared with Mr. Lemmon in the Broadway production of ”Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” is vivid and funny in the small role of Jake and Bette’s son-in-law.
That is the good news. Absolutely all of it.

The rest of ”Dad” is composed of a series a harrowing situations about terminal illnesses and family relationships that sound more and more phony as the film becomes more serious. Instead of moving the audience, Mr. Goldberg achieves the kind of effect that Jack Benny got when he played his violin.
The flesh crawls.

”Dad,” which has been rated PG (”Parental Guidance Suggested”), includes material about illness and death that could disturb very young children. Contented Senility And a Tiresome Wife DAD, direction and screenplay by Gary David Goldberg, based on the novel by William Wharton; director of photography, Jan Kiesser; film editor, Eric Sears; music by James Horner; production designer, Jack DeGovia; produced by Joseph Stern and Mr. Goldberg; released by Universal Pictures. At Beekman, 65th Street at Second Avenue, and other theaters. Running time: 117 minutes. This film is rated PG. Jake Tremont … Jack Lemmon John Tremont … Ted Danson Bette Tremont … Olympia Dukakis Annie … Kathy Baker Mario … Kevin Spacey Billy … Ethan Hawke Dr. Chad … Zakes Mokae


NEWYORK TIMES REVIEW

Win
  • First Prize – 1989 National Media Owl
Nomination
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy – Jack Lemmon – 1989 Hollywood Foreign Press Association
  • Best Makeup – Ken Diaz – 1989 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Best Makeup – Greg [mu] Nelson – 1989 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Best Makeup – Dick [act] Smith – 1989 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

1988- RAIN MAN

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2011 by sinhaladhamma


Cast :

Dustin Hoffman … Raymond Babbitt

Tom Cruise … Charlie Babbitt

Valeria Golino … Susanna

Gerald R. Molen … Dr. Bruner (as Jerry Molen)

Jack Murdock … John Mooney

Michael D. Roberts … Vern

Ralph Seymour … Lenny

Lucinda Jenney … Iris

Bonnie Hunt … Sally Dibbs

Kim Robillard … Small Town Doctor

Beth Grant … Mother at Farm House

Dolan Dougherty … Farm House Kid

Marshall Dougherty … Farm House Kid

Patrick Dougherty … Farm House Kid

John-Michael Dougherty … Farm House Kid

AWARDS

Rain Man won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Dustin Hoffman), Best Director, and Best Writing, Original Screenplay. It was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography (John Seale), Best Film Editing, and Best Music, Original Score.

The film also won a People’s Choice Award as the “Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture”.[2] At the 39th Berlin International Film Festival, the film won the Golden Bear award

 

Rain Man (1988) is the story of a young man who regains his humanity through the unexpected love of a brother he never knew he had.

One of the best performance by Dustin Hoffman (Who reminds me of my old buddy Piyathileka) .

The story holds a very subtle unseen truth about the human mind. There is a grain of love and kindness in everYone that need only a teeny puff of wind to set ablaze. The story goes like:

Charles Sanford “Charlie” Babbit is a self-centered Los Angeles-based automobile dealer/hustler/bookie who is at war with his own life.Charlie, as a young teenager, used his father’s 1948 Buick convertible without permission and as a result, he went to jail for two days on account that his father reported it stolen. It is then that Charlie learns that his estranged father died and left him from his last will and testament a huge bed of roses and the car while the remaining will of $3 Million goes into a trust fund to be distributed to someone.

Charlie seemed pretty angry by this and decides to look into this matter. It seems as if that “someone” is Raymond, Charlie’s unknown brother, an autistic savant who lives in a world of his own, resides at the Walbrook Institute.

Charlie is enraged by what has happened and by his father keeping Raymond’s existence from him for his entire life, Charlie then kidnaps Raymond and decides to take him on a lust for life trip to the west coast as a threat to get the $3 Million inheritance. Raymond’s acts and nagging, including repeated talks of “Abbott & Costello”, “Four minutes till Wapner”and refusal to fly on an airline except Quantas drives Charlie insane… and out of his selfish world into a cross-country trek of pure love and understanding that these two both have.

Charlie learns that he’d actually known his brother when he was young, mispronouncing his name as “rain man,” but Raymond had burned young Charlie badly in hot water and, for this reason, was forced him to live at Wallbrook–all but forgotten. By the time the two reach Los Angeles, Charlie’s love for his brother has rekindled the humanity within himself. He’s left mystified by the enigma that is tins his brother and grows from the experience, even turning down Dr.Bruners offer to walk away for $250,000.

1979 – APOCALYPSE NOW

Posted in Uncategorized on April 10, 2011 by sinhaladhamma

There are scores of movies based on the War in Vietnam.

Francis Ford Coppola proved his mastery with this movie starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall. In the era when everybody was upset about the  American war in Vietnam this film added fuel to fire.

Movie Review by Bill Rendall

Apocalypse Now is based on Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness which is not about Vietnam. Heart of Darkness was written in 1902 and is about a journey up the Congo river into the heart of darkest Africa to find a power-crazed white trader named Kurtz.

This isn’t a film about Vietnam. This film is Vietnam.” So claimed Francis Ford Coppola, the director of Apocalypse Now.

You should see Apocalypse Now for a spectacular depiction of the insanity of war and mankind in general. Apocalypse Now suggests that America and her allies might be the bad guys committing atrocities. This was a change from earlier war movies which tended towards propaganda.

An effective movie contains scenes that you will recall long after watching it. While there may be a question about the accuracy of some of the scenes in Apocalypse Now there is no question about their impact.

Who could forget the combat-crazed Kilgore? Who could forget the helicopters blasting out Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ as they approach a Vietnamese village? According to Scandinavian myth the Valkyries were goddesses who carried the slain from the battlefield to Valhalla but I don’t think the villagers would appreciate the irony.

One of Coppola’s controversial quotes was that he patterned his life on Hitler. The music and philosophy of Wagner was a significant source of inspiration for Hitler and evokes memories of the atrocities of World War II.

Coppola’s friend George Lucas established the practice of using pre-existing pop songs to set the timeframe of movies in American Graffiti. Coppola took note of this. ‘The End’ by the Doors is used to great effect in Apocalypse Now. Sixties rock music became de rigueur in movies about the Vietnam war.

Harrison Ford played a small role in Apocalypse Now, as he did in American Graffiti. His character was named G. Lucas.

Apocalypse Now could have been a classic but it is spoiled by a confused ending. Coppola brought in Marlon Brando to play Kurtz in the hope that he would repeat the success of his performance in The Godfather. Brando came in unprepared and improvised his role. The result was aimless mumbling and raving. Without Brando the movie would have been better and Coppola would have saved himself a lot of money and anguish.

Perhaps I am being too harsh in my criticism of Brando. Nobody could have saved the ending of Apocalypse Now. The real problem was that Coppola took on too much himself as producer, director, co-writer and financier. He even composed some of the music with his father Carmine. He really needed an independent producer to rein the movie in.

A redux version of the movie was released many years later which significantly extends the movie’s length. It does nothing to resolve the problems of the latter part of the movie.

Despite my criticisms of Apocalypse Now I consider it essential viewing. It is a magnificent example of hubris and Robert Duvall’s performance as Kilgore is brilliant.