Friday, May 22, 2015

Best & Workst Movies, TV/TV Specials & Web TV, Theme Songs, Costume Design, Sets & Score of 2014


Exodus: Gods & Kings
Dawn of the planet of the apes
The Lego Movie
The Hunger Games: MockingJay Pt1
The Amazing Spiderman 2
The Edge of Tomorrow
Purge 2 anarchy

3 Days to Kill 
Non Stop
The Equalizer
The Giver
Monuments men
Guardians of the Galaxy
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (TV)
Flowers in the Attic (TV)
Transformers: Extinction
Walk of Shame 
The other woman Noah 
Vampire Academy 
Ride along
Aaliyah: Princess of R&B (TV)


About a Boy
How to Get Away With Murder
Project Runway Threads
Under the Gunn
American Dream Builders
THe LEftovers
The Night 
Young & Hungry
Chicago PD

Web Series
Toddler Vs. Toddler

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 5/5/2015 Selma, Love, Rosie, Mr. Turner, The Last Five Years, Spare Parts & more

SelmaLove, RosieMr. TurnerThe Last Five Years

Selma2014 PG-13 Drama

Oscar winner: Best Song

Plot: Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, this stirring historical drama highlights the courage of the marchers as they withstand racist and violent attacks by the police.
Review, Rating & Watch With: 
Love, Rosie2015 R Rom Com

Plot: Best friends from the time they were tykes, Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart remain close as adults. Although each takes a different partner, an intimate attachment between them lingers -- one that could dramatically affect the course of their lives.

Review: This movie looks sweet and reminds me of the movie One Day. Claflin is definitely one to watch, and I had no idea Lilly Collins wasn't a Brit (born there with a British dad but raised in the U.S.). Looking forward to seeing this. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
The Lucky One

Mr. Turner2014 R Biopic

4X Oscar nominee: Cinematography, Costumes, Score, Production Design





Timothy SpallPaul JessonDorothy Atkinson,Marion BaileyKarl JohnsonRuth Sheen

Plot: This incandescent biographical portrait of famed 19th-century painter J.M.W. Turner spotlights his artistic genius, along with the eccentric and frequently insensitive behavior that he exhibited in his private life.

Review: I always enjoy films about art. Timothy Spalling is a great, often underrated, actor who I'm glad to see in a lead role. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with: 
Big EyesSelmaWildUnbroken

The Last Five Years2015 PG-13 Musical

Chicago International Film Festival nominee: Audience Choice Award

Richard LaGravenese

Filming Locations:


Plot: Telling their story through song, novelist Jamie and his actress wife Cathy retrace the blossoming and decay of their five-year romance from opposite ends of the timeline and meeting in the middle -- with Jamie's marriage proposal.
Review: I love musicals in film & Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan has a really good voice, but I've never cared for his acting. I love the premise as well.

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
Happy Christmas

Spare Parts2015 PG-13 Drama & True Story

Sean McNamara
Plot: The journey of 4 undocumented Mexican-American high school students from Phoenix, AZ who form a robotics club and are led by their teacher with nothing but spare parts and a dream to compete against MIT in a National Underwater Robotics Competition.

Review: I love true underdog stories. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
Black or White

Against the Sun2014 PG Action Adventure

Brian Falk
Plot: After their torpedo bomber crashes into the ocean during a World War II scouting mission, three crewmen end up in a life raft without food or water -- and sharks closing in. With safety 1,000 miles away, they must keep their wits intact to survive.

Review: I wonder if this is supposed to be like Unbroken. I wanted to see more of the time at sea and thought that part in and of itself would make a good movie. I'll get to see it I guess. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
Black Sea

Miss Julie2014 PG-13 Drama- adaptation of the play by August Strindberg

Chicago International Film Festival nominee: Audience Choice Award

Liv Ullmann

Plot: At her family's rural estate, young Julie spars with and seduces her father's handsome valet in an intense encounter that stretches over the course of a summer night before reaching a shocking conclusion.

Review: This acting looks amazing, and I'm very curious what's going to happen at the end. What tragedy befalls these three.

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
SaloméMiss Julie

Weekly Netflix Instant New Releases
(My Picks)

May 1

Legally Blonde (2001): Starring Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson and Selma Blair. When a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined.

Shameless Season 1 (2011): Starring Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy and Ethan Cutkosky. An alcoholic man lives in a perpetual stupor while his six children with whom he lives cope as best they can.

May 3

Royal Pains Season 6 (2014): Starring Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Constanzo and Reshma Shetty. An unfairly discredited but brilliant diagnostic surgeon winds up working with his cheesy brother in the Hamptons as a concierge doctor to the uber-rich and ultra-elite.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 4/7/2015 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Immigrant, A Most Violent Year, The Voices & more

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 2014 PG Adventure

Kids' Choice Awards winner: Choice movie actor (Stiller)

(studio) (Vancouver Film Studios) (University of British Columbia)

Plot: Security guard Larry Daley plunges into an adventure that transports him to a London museum, where he's surrounded by a new set of artifacts -- including the remains of an Egyptian pharaoh who's resurrected by a magic tablet.

Review: I've seen the first two, and they were pretty good. I love the premise of the franchise as well as getting to see Stiller play a Neanderthal. I tend to like Stiller in goofy roles rather than these awkward put-upon characters like the security guard. I'm looking forward to seeing this really only because it is Williams' final role on screen. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:

The Immigrant2014 R Dark Emotional Drama

Cannes Film Festival & Indie Spirit Noms: Palm D'Or & Cinematography (Indie) & Actress (Indie-Cotillard)

Marion CotillardJoaquin PhoenixJeremy Renner
Plot: After arriving in New York, Polish immigrant Ewa must provide for her ill sister -- and soon falls under the thumb of charming thug Bruno, who forces her into a life of prostitution. But when she falls for a magician, her fortunes may turn.

Review: This film looks beautiful and was nominated for 2 Indie Spirit awards. Those are enough reasons for me to see this. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:

A Most Violent Year2014 R Thriller

3X Independent Spirit Awards nom: Editing, Screenplay, Suporting Female (Chastain)

J.C. Chandor

Plot: Amid New York City's crime-filled winter of 1981, immigrant Abel Morales and his wife try to operate a successful business, only to see their efforts threatened by the lawless atmosphere permeating the streets.

Review: I love crime movies especially ones where women seem to call the shots. I've heard this film is a bit different than the trailer suggests and that Chastain is only a supporting character and not a lead. However, I'm still interested in watch it as I've heard great things, love the genre, and it got nominated for Indie Spirit awards & a Golden Globe. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:

The Voices2015 R Dark Comedy

2X Gérardmer Film Festival winner: Audience Award & Jury Award

Plot: Leading a quiet bachelor existence, factory employee Jerry develops a crush on the lovely Fiona from accounting but ends up killing her by accident. Luckily for Jerry, his suddenly verbal cat and dog are there to help him consider his next move.

Review: I love dark comedies and movies about crazy people. I'm happy to see Reynolds taking some risks in his career with roles like this. 

Watch with:

Home Sweet Hell2015 R Comedy

Plot: Despite the trappings of a storybook existence, Don Champagne's marriage to the overbearing Mona has long since lost its sparkle. But when she discovers Don's affair with a sultry co-worker, Mona refuses to admit that anything is amiss.

Review: I've hadn't heard of this film til I watched the trailer for this article. I love the premise and Heigl seems perfect for the role (which I haven't been able to say in a while) with Wilson as a perfect counterpart to her. Good cast. I've never seen Brewster in acomedic role before so I;m curious. I hope she can carve out a name for herself outside the Fast & Furious franchise especially now that "Dallas" has benn cancelled. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
The Voices

Preservation2015 NR Horror COMING to Netflix Instant Apr7

Christopher Denham

Filming Locations:

Plot: An anesthesiologist must awaken her animal instincts when she, her husband and her brother-in-law become the quarry of unseen hunters who want to turn them all into trophies.

Review: I like the two male leads from TV. I don't recognize the female lead, but her arch seems interesting. I always like films that have seemingly weak characters having to find strength to survive. The premise isn't all that original, but I'm hoping the lead female's performance pulls it through. I'm also very interested in seeing Stanton in a modern film in a completely different genre. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
Out of the Dark

Netflix Instant Weekly Releases
the ones that I recommend

April 2

50 First Dates (2004) Poster(2004):

Peoples' Choice Award winner: Favorite On-Screen Chemistry

Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and Rob Schneider. 

filming locations:

Plot: Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day.

My take: This is a great date movie cuz the rom com lover with enjoy the great chemistry between the leads while the comedy lover who hates rom coms will like the Adam Sandler style comedy. I like this movie and love the soundtrack which I own. This is a movie, as someone who doesn't always enjoy Sandler movies, that my hubby & I can watch together. BTW, the brain damage that she has in the film is a real disorder called Anterograde Memory Loss or Short Term Memory Loss. 

American Psycho (2000) Poster (2000)

 Starring: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux and Willem Dafoe.

Plot:  A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies.

My take: This is one of my all time favorite films with an Oscar worthy turn by Bale.  I own this film. I love this film. 
This is a must see!

American Psycho II: All American Girl (2002) Poster(2002):
 Starring Mila Kunis, William Shatner and Robin Dunne. 

Plot: A girl named Rachael Newman has developed a taste for murder and will stand at nothing to become a college professor's assistant.

MY take: This is terrible if you compare it to the original, but funny & a guilty pleasure if you watch it not expecting much. Kunis is great in this. I love her in comedy. This is a dark comedy. 

Bella (2006) Poster2006 Romance

Toronto International Film Festival Winner: Peoples' Choice Award

Starring: Tammy Blanchard, Eduardo Verastegui and Manny Perez.

Filming Locations:


Plot:  Sooner or later every one of us will face an irreversible moment that will change our lives forever. If it hasn't happened to you will. Bella is a true love story about how one day in New York City changed three people forever.

My Take: This looks like a sweet film. I like that it's also a true story. 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) Poster2008 Pg-13 Drama

Starring Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis and Rupert Friend. 

Plot: Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

My Take: I've never seen this movie, but I've been wanting to for a while. What many films about the Holocaust fail to do often is discuss the motives of the Nazis. They show the brutality of what happened to the Jews & their sympathizers, but often fail to explore what the Nazis actually thought of the Jews they were murdering. I suppose that it's much the same as the motivations for slavery. The sheer hate people have for each other astounds me as does what people will do for power. It all boils down to power. 

Braveheart (1995) PosterR 1995 Biopic

5X Oscar winner: Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Best Makeup

Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau and Patrick McGoohan. 

Plot: When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt and leads Scottish warriors against the cruel English tyrant who rules Scotland with an iron fist.

My take: One of the greatest movies ever made & arguably the finest performance & direction by Gibson. This is a long & difficult movie at times, but it is worth every second to this this fine piece of cinema that resulted in one of the greatest monologues in film. 

Disturbing Behavior (1998) Poster1998 R Horror

Starring: Katie Holmes, James Marsden and Nick Stahl. 

Plot: The new kid in town stumbles across something sinister about the town's method of transforming its unruly teens into upstanding citizens.

My take: Like Stepford Wives with teenagers, this film has an interesting premise that I actually enjoy. It's not scary so much as disturbing and thought-provoking. Though not terribly well-acted by Holmes, everyone else is good in this. 

The Last Samurai (2003) Poster2003 War

4X Oscar nom:  inc Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Starring: Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly and Tony Goldwyn. 

filming locations:

Plot: An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

My take: One of my favorite films. I own this & the soundtrack. Both amazing. Cruise should've received an Oscar nod for this. 

Mommie Dearest (1981) Poster1981 R Biopic 

Starring Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid and Steve Forrest. 

Plot: Mommie Dearest, best selling memoir turned motion picture, depicts the abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother...screen queen Joan Crawford.

My Take: This is such a great guilty pleasure. It's laughably over the top, but it's also very sad because this movie is based on the little girl's memoirs about her life with Joan Crawford. Watch this before Mother's Day and truly appreciate what you two have. So many Razzie nominations lol

Natural Born Killers (1994) Poster1994 R Action

Golden Globe nom: Best Director



Starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis and Robert Downey Jr. 

Plot: Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

My Take: I've always wanted to see this for 3 reasons: 1. I love Oliver Stone, 2. This was Ashley Judd's first film technically though her scene was deleted. 3. I love crime films. 

Nine to Five (1980) Poster1980 PG Comedy

Oscar nom: Best Music, Original Song: for the song 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

 Starring:  Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda. 

Plot: Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.

My Take: It's no wonder the film got turned into a Broadway musical. It's hilarious with 3 female comic gems. 

Open Water (2003) Poster2003 R True Story Drama

Starring :Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis and Saul Stein. 

Plot: Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left.

My Take: This movie is my nightmare. I love the beach, but hate sharks. I've had one encounter with a tiny sand shark that didn't result in injury, but I've never forgotten how scared I was or how fast I swam. 

Remember Me (2010) Poster2010 Pg-13 Romance

 Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin and Chris Cooper.

Plot:  A romantic drama centered on two new lovers: Tyler, whose parents have split in the wake of his brother's suicide, and Ally, who lives each day to the fullest since witnessing her mother's murder.

My Take: This movie is more than meets the eye, but I can't really say why without some major spoilers. Open your mind. You might be surprised. 

Shrink (2009) Poster2009 R Comedy-Drama

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Keke Palmer and Jack Huston. 

Filming Locations:


Plot: Unable to cope with a recent personal tragedy, LA's top celebrity shrink turns into a pothead with no concern for his appearance and a creeping sense of his inability to help his patients.

My Take: I will pretty much watch whatever Spacey is in. Movies about psychology also interest me as well as films about the entertainment industry who comprise his patients. 

Titanic (1997) Poster1997 PG-13 True Story Drama

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates. 

Plot: A 17-year-old aristocrat, expecting to be married to a rich claimant by her mother, falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

My Take: I saw this movie 2X in the theaters as a kid and loved it. I've seen it since, but not recently. I want to again. I loved the movie despite a dumb ending between the romantic leads, no chemistry between them, and not liking Winslet in the role at all (though I adore her now as an actress & liked her before this in other roles). It's the CGI, the other characters, a strong performance by DiCaprio, and the tragedy of it all that had me swept away. 

Underworld (2003) Poster2003 R Thriller

Starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman and Bill Nighy. 

Plot: Selene, a beautiful vampire warrior, entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

My Take: I have the full series. I really enjoy it and was surprised in the first film how good Beckinsale was in this. I was afraid she wasn't going to be tough enough in this. She was. 

April 3
Chopped (2007) Poster
Chopped Collection (2008 – 2013): Food Network's wildly popular cooking competition series.

Life Partners (2014) Poster
Starring Gillian Jacobs, Leighton Meester and Adam Brody. 

Plot: Sasha and Paige’s co-dependent friendship is tested as Paige gets serious with a guy for the first time.

MY Take: I love Meester. I'm glad they casted her as the lesbian cuz it's unexpected. Looks like a modern story about friendship that I haven't seen before in film.

April 4
The Quiet Ones (2014) Poster

Starring Jared Harris, Sam Claflin and Olivia Cooke.

Plot:  A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process.

My Take: Haven't seen this yet. Read about the real experiments in my psych classes in college so I'm very interested in where they go with this. They could be obvious or clever. We'll see. 
Starry Eyes (2014) Poster

 Starring Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller and Noah Segan. 

Plot: A hopeful young starlet uncovers the ominous origins of the Hollywood elite and enters into a deadly agreement in exchange for fame and fortune.
MY Take: I'm liking this new resurgence of original horror films coming out in the indie circuit and taking over the mainstream cinemas. Looking forward to this. 

Read More: New Netflix Instant Releases: April 2015 |