I have known this statement to be true for a while. Last night it was proven to me again. In a movie of all things. And perhaps in a movie where you would least expect it.
Through my two children I was introduced to the Fast & Furious movie franchise. I never expected to love these films…but I did. These movies are what you would expect…in a way. They have fast cars, crime, shoot outs, but they also have family and family values.
I looked forward to each and every new release…only once did I have a moment of…oh dear…really.
So it was with sadness that I heard the news that one of the stars of these movies died. Paul Walker died too young.
For a time I wondered if I would watch this last movie of the franchise with him in it, because it was only possible to be released with two of his brothers standing in for certain scenes.
I am so glad I finally did see it. Even if it broke my heart watching the ending. Knowing that those scenes had been filmed with the intention of saying goodbye from his cast members.
Vin Diesel may not be everyone’s cup of tea…but his tribute in the last scene…well it reminded me that family is those that live in our hearts and not just our veins.
I know this to be true because I have family that in no way are related by blood. They are related by heart, because I love them as dearly as it is possible. Just as I love some family by blood as well. So I know what Vin Diesel means when he says…”I used to say I lived my life a quarter mile at a time, I think that’s why we were brothers, because you did too. No matter where you are, whether it is a quarter mile away or half way across the world, you’ll always be with me.”
I swear…the stunts are fantastic…I held my breath with the car and three buildings one. I really did. Please…please watch this wonderful movie. You will not regret it.
A few weeks ago I watched Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby. I had put off watching it, fearful that it would fall short of the 1974 movie that as a teenage girl had me wringing my hands and my heart writhing with pain at the injustice done to Jay Gatsby.
For it is often that those long ago influences capture a part of us, particularly when youth catches us impressionable and full of yearning for beautiful men who long for just one woman.
This 1974 movie was also what drove me to discover F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald is said to have described the book as his imaginary eldest brother. Though not a successful novel in his time, it is estimated that the novel’s sales average around 500,000 copies a year.
The story of Jay and Daisy reminds me much of Heathcliff and Cathy. Daisy and Cathy are both spoiled and selfish women. The men who loved them doomed from the moment their hearts opened and allowed these women passage to their souls.
Remakes are often a disappointment, even when decades have passed. Yet in watching the new Gatsby, with all its excess, I found myself once again leaving the walls of my home to be transported to another time and place.
These two versions of this wonderful story could not be more different. Yet the most important aspects have changed little. Redford’s Jay swelled my teenage heart. Leo’s Jay did the same for my middle aged one.
In comparison Redford’s Jay is a much more subtle portrayal. Calmer, though still with that underlying urgency to please Daisy. But as the film continued I found myself liking Leo’s Jay just that little bit more. His desperation is more palpable, his nervous energy when around Daisy makes him a little more vulnerable.
I have never liked the character of Daisy. After all, she threw Jay in to the whirlwind in both films. That said…what a wonderful character she must have been to write. Mia Farrow’s version of Daisy left me scornful of this silly, vapid and selfish woman. Carey Mulligan’s Daisy found me a little more sympathetic. Not much, but there were subtle nuances in her portrayal that in comparison Mia Farrow missed showing us.
The Buchanans as a unit are such wonderful villains. For villains they are. They remind me of a gin and tonic. Both bitter on their own. Yet it is when put together that they meld to take you down before you know it. In fact, the Buchanans belong together in their toxic relationship and worthless world.
Tobey Macquire took on admirably the role of Nick Carroway from Sam Waterston. Both men did a great job. Nick is a wonderful character as he narrates his way through the time he spent with Jay and Daisy. There is something haunting about Toby Macquire’s voice that I have always liked. I think that casting him as Nick was a wonderful choice.
The 2013 movie is most definitely a Lurhmann production. And he doesn’t always get it right. While I loved Moulin Rouge I disliked almost everything about Australia.
I think the cast is where he got this one right. Their performances added a dose of subtlety to his usual need for excess. I was prepared to hate this version. Instead I found myself falling in love with this story all over again. I knew I was lost when a familiar feeling was roused in my chest. I wanted to protect Jay from the inevitable.
As most of you know I grew up in Sydney. It was a time that it was okay to hitchhike home at 3 in the morning from a club. The beaches weren’t crowded. Bands such as INXS were just starting out. I was lucky enough to see these guys before they became a worldwide hit. Unless you have stood in a crowded, smoky club, where you have to yell to be heard and the floor actually vibrates to the music that travels through your body, where a voice slides smooth and deep over words that tell YOUR story then I perhaps you will not understand the truly amazing experience that was INXS live. Every bit of an INXS concert was a high without the after effects. I have never lost my love of their music, their showmanship, their brilliance.
I cried when Michael Hutchence died alone in a hotel room in Sydney. Because we lost a genius. A flawed genius maybe, but aren’t they usually the ones who take us to places we never thought to experience?
I have just finished watching ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ – an Australian mini series about the band.
There is a bit of controversy. Well of course there is. Family members who hate the series, claiming it contains completely fabricated scenes. Friends of Michael Hutchence who feel it is still too soon for this. Critics who slam it for not being in depth enough, for not choosing either to be only about the band or only about Michael. Then there are the slurs about it being a marketing ploy to sell more INXS CDs.
Taking in to account all the above…it is still a series worth seeing.
Lots of reasons.
I am going to tell you two of why I actually really enjoyed this, as well as give what are my thoughts on the controversy.
The cast. Luke Arnold is Michael Hutchence. It really is eerie watching him at times. He has the mannerisms, the charisma…like I said, eerie at times watching him. That said, he isn’t the only piece of terrific casting. I do have to say that they got it a bit wrong with two characters. Bono and Molly Meldrum…oh dear. Considering how brilliant the other casting is, how did they get these two so wrong ????
The story. It crosses. Between the fans and the non-fans. What do I mean by that? For the fans, like me, it brings you the beginning, the middle, the end. There was so much I never knew. How young John [the drummer] was. How steadfast, staid, yet beautifully normal [in so many ways] Andy was. Talking about Andy…he really was such a musical genius. I have to mention this…as a girl who played Yum Yum at school in the Mikado…I loved the scene where his wife sang “Three Little Maids From School.” The fact that Michael lost his sense of smell and taste, something I never knew, and how that impacted on him. But for the non-fans…this series really shows you what it actually took to be a success, as well as highlighting the incredible music. I read one review from an artist from the same time in Australia who criticised some scenes. I want to use one instance to argue my point that he, and others are wrong. He said that the few scenes used to show how they toured the world to get famous does not show what it is really like. WRONG. This is a 3 hour plus mini series trying to show 20 plus years. You have to compact. As a viewer…I thought that how they showed what that time was like was very good. Other criticism has been that it must either be about the band or Michael. WRONG. I am a huge fan of INXS…but Michael’s story has never let me go. Chris Murphy says that this series is about giving Michael his dignity back. I think he has a point. Michael’s death has always been the end note of INXS for me. Until now. While I will say that never once since Michael died has INXS been the same for me, but…oh yes…there is the but again…this series makes you realise these guys were more than just Michael’s backing band. It is a story not just of INXS, not just of Michael Hutchence, but of Chris Murphy and the incredible drive that made him MAKE this band a success. And this mini series is also about giving Michael something more than being remembered for the way he died. I am a fan of the Australian mini series. They do it well. They did this well. Yes they glorify INXS. Why wouldn’t they? Yes, they glorify the time, but take it from someone who lived that time…they did a good job. Forget the scandal of Paula Yates, forget the scandal of how he died, watch this and remember the music, the genius of a group of boys from Australia who made rock history.
And the ending…perfect !!!
Don’t ask me what you know is true
Don’t have to tell you, I love your precious heart
I, I was standing, you were there
Two worlds collided and they could never tear us apart
We could live for a thousand years but if I hurt you, I’d make wine from your tears
I told you that we could fly, ’cause we all have wings but some of us don’t know why
I was standing, you were there
Two worlds collided and they could never ever tear us apart
I (Don’t ask me), I was standing (What you know is true), you were there (Worlds collided)
Two worlds collided (We’re shining through) and they could never tear us apart
You (Don’t ask me), you were standing (What you know is true), I was there (Worlds collided)
Two worlds collided (We’re shining through) and they could never tear us apart
I, I was standing, you were there, two worlds collided…
I watched this last night. Up front I want to say I am a HUGE Leo fan. But I will admit when he gets it wrong…God how I hated the movie The Beach. But when he gets it right he really gets it right.
He got it right with The Wolf of Wall Street. I was actually howling with laughter at some of it.
With all the crap that goes on in Wall Street of course you should hate these guys…right ???
I was actually rooting for Jordan Belfort in the end. I know…but what can I say. The guy was so screwed up about wealth and drugs and sex that he becomes the perfect anti-hero that you end up loving a little bit.
If you want to see a real life commentary of the damage this guy and his work buddies most certainly caused then you will have to wait for a documentary. But as far as entertainment goes this film ticks all the boxes for me.
The cast is brilliant.
Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff is a masterpiece of acting. One minute the guy had me rolling with laughter the next I wanted to hit him with a two by four. All the while completely mesmerized by his character…almost as much as Leo’s.
Matthew McConaughey makes a small but oh so Matthew appearance…so for you fans out there…
The cinematography is breathtaking. I love the script. It is fast, funny and there are so many really clever little bits in there . I will be watching for more of Terence Winter’s scripts. As a writer there is not much I love more than a really good book or script.
Rob Reiner as Jordan’s Dad Max does a superb job. Right from the moment you meet his character in the movie you are under his spell.
And brilliantly cast as Aunt Emma, the ever so wonderful Joanna Lumley. Boy was I jealous of Joanna…getting to get ever so close to the delicious Mr Di Caprio.
Please do yourself a favour and go see this film. You won’t regret it. I sure didn’t.
And I have to say it was lovely seeing Leo up there gripping his Golden Globe. He really did deserve it for this one. Now if only I can bring myself to watch The Great Gatsby. I am fearful about that one.
As superheroes go – THE BATMAN – is in a class that only has room for one !!!
There have been a few Batmen over the years.
However, as far as I am concerned, only two have ever come close to personifying what The Batman is.
Michael Keaton from the 1989 Batman and the 1992 Batman Returns is one.
Christian Bale is the other.
Both (for me) captured the darker as well as the vulnerable sides of Batman and Bruce Wayne.
I’m still tossing up who is the better but for now lets look at Christian Bale as The Batman. We’ll take it one movie at a time.
I like the Christian Bale Batman movies because they delve into the history behind The Batman. What led him to take on such a persona. Christopher Nolan (director) has gone back to the darker side of the story.
A darker Batman and a darker Gotham City.
In saying this he has not turned the movie into a blood and gore spectacle. I love that he kept that part of it restrained. The movie is dark enough that too much blood and gore would have turned it into a far different type of film.
What an incredible cast in this movie. All actors who can pull out wonderful performances.
1. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
2. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
3. Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth
4. Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard/Ra’s al Ghul
5. Gary Oldman as Sgt. James Gordon
6. Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes (She did a good job people. Pity she married Tom and never did the sequel)
7. Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow
Let’s face it – Batman needs good villians. Liam Neesan and Cillian Murphy were perfect for the job.
Back to The Batman himself. Unless you live under a rock you know how The Batman came into being. His parents were shot and killed in front of him as a young boy.
Which left Bruce to be raised by the family’s butler Alfred Pennyweather. When Bruce’s parents’ killer is shot dead, Bruce leaves Gotham. He decides to study criminals and he ends up in prison in Bhuton where Henri Ducard finds him.
Bruce trains with Ducard learning the arts of armed and unarmed combat as well as how to be invisible in the hunt. But Ducard wants Bruce to join the League of Shadows. A group under Ra’s al Ghul, who have over the centuries taken down a few corrupt civilisations.
Now we are getting to it. Bruce has been brought in to the League because they want to destroy Gotham City.
This is where I love Bale’s handling of the characters. Bruce is conflicted. Yes he still has revenge in his heart – but he hasn’t lost his humanity.
Bale once described the part of Batman as having to play four characters: the raging Batman personality; the shallow playboy façade that Bruce used to waylay any suspicion; the vengeful young man; and the older, angrier Bruce who is now back in Gotham and discovering his purpose in life.
So – he takes down the League, but makes one error. Bruce saves his mentor Ducard. Even at this point in the movie I could see that that was a bad move. But – we need conflict right.
Bruce calls Alfred to come and pick him up. They could not have chosen a better Alfred than Michael Caine. Alfred has always been my favourite character after The Batman himself – so this was important to me.
The one thing Bruce feared was bats. This comes from being trapped with them as a child. So what does he do – immerses himself in them when he and Alfred find them in an old cave under the Wayne mansion.
Bruce also begins to let people get to know the playboy persona while they set about gathering the tools The Batman is going to need.
Christian Bale has been quoted as saying that being in The Batman suit made him grumpy (as the suit was uncomfortable and hot to wear) – which was actually a good thing character wise.
The Batmobile is a work of art. I wondered how they were going to make it modern without losing its magic – I think they scored a hit !!
There is a lot more I could tell you. But I think if you haven’t seen this movie – well you should.
He played the role of Steve, with Charles Bronson as Arthur Bishop, in the 1972 version of The Mechanic.
The film was a classic.
So that you are clear – The 1972 film is one of my favourite movies in the world.
Sometimes Hollywood should learn to leave classics alone.
I finally convinced myself to watch the remake. After all – how bad could it be?
I like Jason Statham – he’s made some good movies.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
The Italian Job
The Bank Job
All movies I have liked.
And I like Donald Sutherland.
Honestly – Jason Statham really wasn’t bad in The Mechanic. But he wasn’t Charles Bronson.
Donald Sutherland wasn’t bad either. He is after all – Donald Sutherland.
But what the hell were they thinking.
Jan-Michael Vincent was chilling as Steve.
He was the perfect counterpart to Bronson’s Arthur Bishop.
Stunningly handsome and about as screwed up as you can get.
Ben Foster played the 2011 Steve as a wimp. A twisted wimp – but a wimp who shed tears…
Steve shedding tears.
Are you people crazy ????
Steve is a psychopath who has no compassion for anyone.
And that is what made the 1972 movie so compelling. Watching him play off against Arthur Bishop was riveting. All I wanted to do watching this version was give him a swift kick and tell him to grows some balls.
They also played around with other parts of the film that made it so great.
The beginning of the 1972 movie had no dialogue for over 15 minutes – it was fantastic filming.
Bishop’s relationship with the prostitute he hired to write love letters to him.
Steve’s offhand treatment of Louise (his girlfriend) when she slits her wrists.
The last mission Bishop and Steve go on together – the fact it was a set-up to kill them both.
They altered all these parts of the movie. All of them.
But what really ticked me off.
In the 1972 version, both Bishop and Steve die.
As it should be – people – as it should be.
My thinking is that they are considering a sequel – because they kept Bishop alive in this one.
I hate wasting time – which is precisely what I did when I spent the 1 hour, 28 minutes, and 31 seconds it took to get to the end of this film.
I thought about adding a clip from the 2011 version – but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I watched “Never Say Never”, the Justin Bieber movie, or rather documentary of his whoosh into the world of superstardom.
Let’s be clear.
I will probably never buy a CD of his, I will never go to a concert, and I will never faint and scream at an appearance.
But the kid has something.
Does he have the best voice in the world?
Not in my opinion – but he’s savvy.
And he’s kind of sweet – he reminded me of when my own son was that age. For a kid with all that attention, and all those people sucking up to him, in the movie he still comes across as a kid with a dream, an ability to work hard, and a sense of fun.
His rise in the star stakes is incredible – and most of it done through putting in the hours to get him noticed by the right people.
Justin did the rounds of radio stations – even those who were not playing his music.
He started tweeting.
He put videos on YouTube.
When the record company didn’t think they could find a place for him – Justin found his own place.
He wanted recognition – and he wasn’t afraid to go after it.
There aren’t many young guys who would approach Usher asking to sing for him.
I admire all that.
I also admire his manager Scooter Braun.
Scooter had little experience when he took on Justin Bieber, just a belief in the boy and his ability. And together they managed to make it – in a very difficult profession.
I hope he stays as grounded as he seemed in the movie.
I hope that his team manage to hold it together and guide him through.
I hope that the public remember that he is a kid.
He’ll make mistakes like all kids. Only Justin’s will be public mistakes.
It doesn’t mean they should crucify him for being a kid and doing what kids do – dumb stuff that they shouldn’t but need to do to learn not to do it again.
For now – well I admit defeat and will be in the kid’s corner hoping life makes him happy.
Even if I don’t listen to his songs except when they are on the radio.
There are just some things you shouldn’t mess with.
Dirty Dancing is one of them.
Lionsgate’s press release said this about their upcoming remake: “Paying tribute to the emotional excitement of first love, the thrills and complexity of sexual awakening, the soul stirring power of dance, and the classic tale of teenage Baby’s forbidden romance with Johnny Castle, the remake will incorporate classic songs from the 1960s, hits from the original film and brand new compositions.”
Are they on LSD?
Johnny Castle is Patrick Swayze.
MTV is naming Justin Timberlake as the forerunner to take over Patrick Swayze’s role.
Baby is Jennifer Grey.
Maybe…and this is a big maybe, I could have endured it had they modernised it, and made a new movie.
No…not even then.
In a way they are right.
Dirty Dancing is about that time period.
But you don’t fix what ain’t broke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some movies are not meant to be remade too soon.
This is too soon.
My daughter’s friends have watched it. They all felt it’s charm. It was is still relevant.
Dirty Dancing is my favourite movie. I won’t lend the DVD to anyone – not even the daughter.
There are so many special moments in this film.
Made special by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.
It’s a movie about falling in love, and discovering sex.
Jennifer Grey brought the right mix – Baby was smart, but still savouring her place as Daddy’s little girl. Letting go of that when she chooses to be with Johnny, growing up, is what this movie is about.
Johnny Castle – the slick, street smart dancer with a soft creative streak. Patrick Swayze delicately balanced these pieces of the character so that it wasn’t just Baby who fell for Johnny. Millions of woman world wide wanted to make his world an easier place to be.
I feel sick when I think of someone else in these roles.
Can anyone imagine someone else with the ‘Mickey and Sylvia’ scene.
Baby: Yes Mickey
Johnny: How do you call your loverboy?
Baby: Come here loverboy
Johnny: And if he doesn’t answer?
Baby: Oh loverboy
Johnny: And if he still doesn’t answer?
Baby: I simply say
Baby: Baby, oh baby, my sweet baby, you’re the one
Johnny & Baby: Baby, oh baby, my sweet baby, you’re the one
Can you imaging the movie without this scene?
Cry to Me is a sweet tender romantic moment. It is innocent. It is sensual. It is the way a love scene should be made.
It is probably already screaming at the injustice of someone trying to redo it.
It is my favourite scene.
When he flicks her top away – so much restrained power and emotion in that gesture.
I’m wobbly just thinking of it.
“Saying yes to this project was a really tough decision for me, and one that I wrestled with for a long time,” said Kenny Ortega who was also the choreographer on Dirty Dancing. He should have wrestled some more.
Leave it alone people !!!!
This little movie that became a cult hit and a classic deserves to stand alone – at least until I am dead.