Category Archives: Movies

Drop. Your. Sword.

I watched The Princess Bride for the umpteenth time again today.

(It came on TV suddenly; what else could I do?)

I was playing on Facebook and Twitter at the same , where I encountered a bunch of pumpkin stuff. This spurred a random thought –

Are there any Princess Bride pumpkin carvings out there?

princess bride pumpkinprincess bride2 pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you wish!

Sticky sentiments

Back in late August,  I shared the happy news that my Upper West Side neighborhood is getting a local bookshop — indeed, the Shoppe Around the Corner that inspired You’ve Got Mail is returning to the hood.

Apparently the owners wanted to get a feel for the locals’ reaction to their announcement.  So they used an old-school method — post-it notes — to recreate comments aka Facebook on the storefront window:

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I’d say it’s pretty positive.

Because I’m happy

I LOVED Hector and the Search for Happiness.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will.

hector_and_the_search_for_happiness_simon_pegg_posterThis movie will evoke a very specific, personal response from each and every theatergoer.

When Hector, a London psychologist, feels he is no longer helping his patients, he embarks on a trip around the world to research happiness.

His girlfriend supports his quest and even gives him a journal to record his findings.

A few of these findings really resonated with me, leaving me tearful in the theater and very thoughtful long after I left.  It even inspired a two-hour phone call.

Simon Pegg is well-known for his zombie comedies, but Hector is a big step, I believe, toward bigger and more exciting roles.  He hits it out of the park.

It is rare to not only enjoy a movie but also feel it has so much to say about your own life and experiences.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still talking about this one for weeks to come.

 

Shopgirl

It’s been almost 20 years since Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks put Manhattan’s Upper West Side on the map in the rom-com classic You’ve Got Mail.

Visit my neighborhood today and all the movie’s sights are still here — the local restaurants where they rendezvoused, the farmer’s market, Riverside Park. Everything but her little Shop Around the Corner.

Well, that’s changing.

book-culture3Book Culture is opening their doors literally around the corner from my brownstone apartment and taking up the ‘small bookshop mantle’ that Meg’s character abandoned lo’ those many years ago.

Their window says it best:

youvegotmailNow, the modern version of the movie’s ‘big bad Fox Books’ exists today — Barnes & Noble is just a couple of blocks away.  So it will be interesting to see how this small store will compete on selection and pricing.

But I for one am excited to see life imitate art just feet from my doorsteps.

Wonder if the proprietor will be as photogenic?

When Wallace Met Chandry

It’s no accident that the movie poster for What If places good friends Wallace and Chandry at a diner.

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The film is clearly trying to be the When Harry Met Sally for this generation…and does a decent job.

Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan are quirky and appealing, their friendship believable,  their banter quick and smart.

She has a boyfriend (who made me laugh), and Daniel has emotional baggage — plus best friend Adam Driver of Girls who has huge energy…and is huge standing next to Daniel (which is pretty funny right there).

This is a rom-com, so there are misunderstandings, yearning, romantic postcards (in this day and age), implusive international flights, fist fights, and at least two weddings — babies, too.

What if that stuff still worked in films?

You know — it kinda does.

Star gazing

This morning was grey and rainy, so I decided to go see Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians-of-the-GalaxyI didn’t think the trailer looked that interesting, but all the critics were singing its praises…and a few friends who attended the first showings loved it, too.

So, off I went.

If you love Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation and have been on the fence, go see it.  This is a superhero film infused with his trademark sense of humor.

Bradley Cooper is also hilarious as the voice of the raccoon.  And the talking tree, who can only speak four words, will become a favorite.

I have to admit, though, one of the most gut-wrenching movie moments in the theater today was seeing the trailer for Interstellar for the first time.

Wow.

Schooled

kidnapped for christIf you subscribe to Showtime, I encourage you to watch the documentary Kidnapped for Christ, currently available OnDemand.

The film centers on a Christian boarding school in the Dominican Republic that advertised itself as a rehab center for troubled US teens.  The filmmaker, an evangelical school student, was allowed complete access to the teens there and, during production, uncovers disturbing information about the school’s “behavior modification program.” She also learns that some students had been kidnapped from their homes with their parents’ full knowledge and permission.

Her commitment to the project eventually morphs into a determination to help these abused teenagers — one in particular who wants to leave the school where he is essentially being held prisoner.

This story is heartbreaking and, I learned, just one case among thousands around the world.

It is a must-see.