There’s usually a problem with movies that feature comedians in dramatic roles. The problem is the marketing. In order to fill up the seats, marketers convince movie goers that the film is a comedy. Movie goers feel deceived; and, the movie goes under-rated.

Diamonds in the Rough –

Adam Sandler in “Punch Drunk Love”

Matthew Broderick in “Cable Guy”

Conversely, some comedians have made the transition to dramatic roles. And the audience accepts the transition. Most notably, Bill Murray in “Lost in Translation”, plays a washed up actor in Japan to film a commercial. No one is expecting “Caddyshack”, and, the movie does not suffer from false marketing.


I have just returned from dinner with some friends. The movie “Sideways” came up when we were toasting with wine.

Sideways Movie Poster

Sideways Movie Poster

Remember the scene in “Sideways” when the main character, played by Paul Giamatti, drinks mind-numbing amounts of wine in a McDonald’s?

Continue reading ‘Sideways, Like Wine, is an Acquired Taste’ »

The trailer for the new Hunger Games installment is up on the internet.
“Catching Fire”, starring Jennifer Lawrence, is due out in the Fall of 2013.

Jennifer Lawrence in Catching Fire

Jennifer Lawrence in Catching Fire

Continue reading ‘Trailer Released for Catching Fire – Hunger Games Part 2’ »

I’ve been getting ready for the new Hunger Games installment. The movie “Catching Fire” is due out in Fall, 2013. I picked up a copy of the book at a local bookstore. It’s wonderful. Can’t wait for the movie.

(No spoilers here).

What is a mockingjay  A cross between a jabberjay and a mockingbird

What is a mockingjay A cross between a jabberjay and a mockingbird

In the book “Catching Fire”, Katniss explains, “What is a mockingjay?”

Continue reading ‘What Is a Mockingjay? Get Ready for The Hunger Games Catching Fire’ »

Here are pictures of my favorite actresses (boys will be boys):

Carey Mulligan in a red dress

Carey Mulligan in a red dress

Keira Knightley all dressed up

Keira Knightley all dressed up

Natalie Portman dolled up in a scantily clad evening gown

Natalie Portman dolled up in an evening gown

“Leaving Las Vegas” is not a movie, it’s a film.

Movie Poster for Leaving Las Vegas starring Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue

Movie Poster for Leaving Las Vegas starring Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue

The movie stars Nicholas Cage as an alcoholic who has, quite literally, moved to Las Vegas to drink himself to death.

Elisabeth Shue stars as a prostitute who lives in Las Vegas on the good graces and cruelty of the men she meets.

Continue reading ‘“Leaving Las Vegas” is not a Movie, It’s a Film’ »

I was flipping through channels last weekend; and, I stumbled across “Say Anything”.

Some romantic comedies age well. They are just as funny and romantic as they were when first released. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is an example.

Poster for Say Anything starring John Cusack and Ione Skye Just Give Him a Pen

Poster for Say Anything starring John Cusack and Ione Skye Just Give Him a Pen

Some romantic comedies just get stale with time. Some early Tom Hanks movies come to mind.

But, “Say Anything” is somewhere in the middle. It was better twenty years ago. But, still, today, it’s not so bad.

Continue reading ‘“Say Anything” Stars Teen Angst and Middle Aged Crime, Just Give Him a Pen’ »

EDITOR’S NOTE: After the posting of this article, it was announced that The Great Gatsby will not open Christmas Day, but rather sometimes in the first half of 2013.

My family tries to get together for a movie on the day after Christmas.

Carey Mulligan as Daisy in The Great Gatsby with 1920s automobile

Carey Mulligan as Daisy in The Great Gatsby with 1920s automobile

This December 26th, we’re going to see “The Great Gatsby” starring Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The newest version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic will start on December 25. But, we’ll probably be sleeping soundly that afternoon.

Continue reading ‘The Great Gatsby to Open in The Year 2013 – Starring Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio’ »

In an effort to make the internet more appealing to users (and increase sales), programmers have written software to highlight related stories, or, related products.

I’m sure you have seen on shopping sites, software points out similar products for the one you are viewing.

Humphrey Bogart - Rick in Casablanca - 1944 Best Picture

Humphrey Bogart - Rick in Casablanca - 1944 Best Picture

But, I give up – How are Humphrey Bogart and Laika related?

Continue reading ‘OK, I Give Up – How are Humphrey Bogart and Laika Related?’ »

I saw “Magic Mike” tonight. In fact, I saw alot of Magic Mike tonight. And I mean alot.

Movie Poster for Magic Mike directed by Steven Soderbergh

Movie Poster for Magic Mike directed by Steven Soderbergh

And so did the ladies. The theater was filled with about 99 percent women.

And there were audible sighs when Magic Mike appears naked in the first scene of the movie. (from behind, no frontal nudity…)

Continue reading ‘Magic Mike has Lots of Eye Candy for the Ladies but Not Much Plot’ »

Laika, the first dog in space, died aboard Sputnik 2 in 1957.

The Soviet Union officially claimed at the time that Laika was euthanized on Day 6 of the flight, just prior to oxygen depletion.

Laika was the Russian space dog aboard Sputnik 2 - the first animal in space

Laika was the Russian space dog aboard Sputnik 2 - the first animal in space

Continue reading ‘The Story of Laika the First Dog in Space That Died Aboard Sputnik 2 in 1957’ »

Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio will be starring in the Christmas Day, 2012 release of the remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

Here are some more studio stills from this much anticipated movie.

Carey Mulligan as Daisy in the 2012 remake of The Great Gatsby

Carey Mulligan as Daisy in the 2012 remake of The Great Gatsby

Continue reading ‘More Pictures of Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby’ »

It’s being reported today that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are getting a divorce.

This will wrap up the third marriage for Tom Cruise – all ending when the wife was 33 years of age.

Continue reading ‘Third Time’s The Charm? Not for Tom Cruise’ »

In the battle for sexiness, it’s Keira Knightley vs. Keira Knightley.

By coincidence (or, are there any coincidences?), both Keira Knightley’s feet and her face with mouth agap have been featured on Just Movies in the past week.

So, which is sexier?

Well, it’s all about personal preference. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. The first picture is of Keira Knightley turning to the side, mouth wide open.

Keira Knighley with mouth agap Sexier than her feet?

Keira Knighley with mouth agap Sexier than her feet?

I placed that particular picture of Keira Knightley on the website with the article about her new movie, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.”

Continue reading ‘Keira Knightley’s Face with Mouth Open or Keira Knightley’s Feet – Which are Sexier?’ »

I’m still thinking about various aspects of Citizen Kane.

In a previous post, I discussed the use of camera angles by Orson Welles.

I also mentioned a YouTube video that I had found explaining the use of low camera angles in order to give Charles Foster Kane an imposing profile.

Citizen Kane Low Camera Angle Technique by Orson Welles

Citizen Kane Low Camera Angle Technique by Orson Welles

You know how it is. I went on YouTube to see the video about the low camera angle technique used by Orson Welles.

(By putting the camera below the floor, and, looking up at Charles Foster Kane, Welles was able to present Kane as an intimidating, authoritative pose.)

Continue reading ‘The Director’s Use of Blocking Scenes and an Example from Citizen Kane’ »

Most Americans are at least aware that India has a thriving movie business.  These “Bollywood” movies are typically filmed in Mumbai in the language of “Hindi”.

My first introduction to Bollywood was about 15 years ago with the movie, “Monsoon Wedding” which received a fair amount of attention in American cinemas.

Movie Poster for Bollywood hit Monsoon Wedding

Movie Poster for Bollywood hit Monsoon Wedding

A couple of years ago, I saw a wonderful Bollywood comedy called “3 Idiots” (or Three Idiots).  In addition to wonderful comedic timing, “3 Idiots” was complete with sweeping dance numbers with the dancers in beautiful outfits.

Continue reading ‘An Introduction to Bollywood’ »

I know you were wondering, too.  Has the world exhausted topics for new websites?

I can confirm that the answer is “Yes”.  There is a website dedicated to pictures of the feet of celebrities.

Keira Knightley's Feet - The World Wide Web is Now Complete

Keira Knightley's Feet - The World Wide Web is Now Complete

I found the website by accident… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Continue reading ‘Keira Knightley’s Feet, Yes There is a Website for Everything’ »

Steve Carell and Keira Knightley are two of my favorite performers. Steve Carell because he is so funny.

Keira Knightley because she is so incredibly cute. And that’s not totally fair to Keira Knightley, because she is also very talented.

My two favorite movies starring Keira Knightley are “Atonement” and “Never Let Me Go.”

Steve Carell Kiera Knightley and Asteroid Matilda star in Seeking A Friend for the End of the World

Steve Carell Kiera Knightley and Asteroid Matilda star in Seeking A Friend for the End of the World

Continue reading ‘Steve Carell and Keira Knightley are “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”’ »

It’s good to be Snow White. And it’s profitable. Kristen Stewart of The Twilight Saga and Snow White and the Huntsman is the highest paid actress according to Forbes Magazine.

Mail Online reports that Ms. Stewart earned over $30 million in the past year. Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bullock were also in that lofty company.

Continue reading ‘Youth is Served – Kristen Stewart is Year’s Highest Paid Actress’ »

It’s a great movie when you’re still thinking about it a week later. Last week, I saw “Citizen Kane” on the big screen. And, I’m still thinking about the characters and themes.

The theme of the movie, it seems to me, was that Kane started out idealistic; but, over the passage of time, became increasingly self-focused.

Continue reading ‘“Citizen Kane” Redux – More about the Themes and Characters in Orson Welle’s Classic’ »

Is it just me?

I was listening to some old tunes on Youtube. I found a video of Jewel’s. My thought: Jewel looks a lot like Jennifer Lawrence.

So, here are some pictures:

Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games and Winters Bone

Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games and Winters Bone

The first picture is of Jennifer Lawrence, known most recently for her star performance in The Hunger Games. She is also in a very good, lower budget movie called Winter’s Bone.

Continue reading ‘Jennifer Lawrence and Jewel Look Alike – Or Is it Just Me?’ »

Here’s a snippet from a great article i found at The Blaze.

Orson Welles’ Oscar for Best Screenplay for “Citizen Kane” was auctioned off for almost $900,000.

Continue reading ‘“Citizen Kane” Oscar Sold at Auction for Almost $900,000’ »

The new version of “The Great Gatsby” is due in theaters on Christmas Day, 2012.

There’s already a lot of excitement about this new production of the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you haven’t seen the trailer for “The Great Gatsby” yet, you can view it here.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in the 2012 version of The Great Gatsby

I am receiving many emails and comments about casting.  The cast is full of headliners, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and, Tobey Maguire in the three lead roles.  But, you may disagree with the casting selections!

Continue reading ‘Let’s Cast the 2012 Version of “The Great Gatsby”’ »

 

I was lucky enough tonight to see the movie, “Citizen Kane” at a one-time showing at a local theater.

Movie Poster for one time showing of Citizen Kane - Orson Welles was only 25

Movie Poster for one time showing of Citizen Kane - Orson Welles was only 25

After the movie, I was asking myself the question, “How old was Orson Welles when he did Citizen Kane?” And by “did”, I mean, he co-wrote, directed, and, played the lead.

Continue reading ‘“Citizen Kane” – Orson Welles was 25 Years Old’ »

“Shame” is the most intense work so far by young actress Carey Mulligan. It’s true that Carey Mulligan gets totally naked in the shower. It’s true that the film “Shame” (rated NC-17) is a sexually charged movie.

Carey Mulligan gets naked in Shame both physically and emotionally

Carey Mulligan gets naked in Shame both physically and emotionally

But, Carey Mulligan does great work as the insecure sister of a sex-addicted brother. Mulligan’s character seems emotionally exhausted. The character of her brother is emotionally sealed off.

Continue reading ‘Carey Mulligan Naked (In the Shower and Emotionally)’ »

 

“Boogie Nights”, starring Burt Reynolds, Mark Walhberg, Julianne Moore, and Heather Graham, is a 1997 movie set in the 1970′s golden age of porn.

As  shown in the film, before the days of VHS tapes, porn was less accessible and, thus, more valuable.

Movie Poster for Boogie Nights starring Mark Walhberg and Heather Graham

Movie Poster for Boogie Nights starring Mark Walhberg and Heather Graham

The movie chronicles the rise and fall of Mark Walhberg’s character “Dirk Diggler” and Heather Graham’s character “Roller Girl”.

Continue reading ‘“Boogie Nights” – The Golden Age of Porn, and, Then the Fall’ »

 

The song that plays during the closing credits of the movie “Battleship” is none other than “Fortunate Son” by Creedance Clearwater Revival.

Movie Poster for Battleship starring Taylor Kitsch

Movie Poster for Battleship starring Taylor Kitsch

… which, let’s face it, is kinda strange because, if you listen to the lyrics, “Fortunate Son” is a war protest song.

Let me start at the beginning..

Tonight, I went to see the movie, “Battleship” (2012) starring Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins, if you are a fan of “Friday Night Lights”).

Continue reading ‘“Battleship” – The Song at the End is “Fortunate Son” by Creedance Clearwater Revival’ »

 

HEADLINE: “The Great Gatsby” Previews Released – Director: Baz Luhrmann – Release Date: Christmas Day, 2012

VIEW TRAILER HERE – Trailer for The Great Gatsby, 2012

 

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey MacGuire in The Great Gatsby

Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby

And so concludes the great American novel.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s epic “The Great Gatsby” returns to the silver screen for Christmas 2012.

Continue reading ‘“So We Beat On, Boats Against the Current, Borne Back Ceaselessly into the Past” – The Great Gatsby Previews Released’ »

,

“Get Him to the Greek”, in its simplest form, is a comedy that continues the character of Aldous Snow, this time as a washed up rock star who will make his comeback at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.

The responsibility to deliver the wayward rock star to his assigned appointment falls on Aaron Green, a junior music producer played by Jonah Hill.

Movie Poster for Get Him to the Greek

Movie Poster for Get Him to the Greek

As you may remember, the character Aldous Snow, played by British comedian Russell Brand, was introduced to us in the comedy, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”.

Continue reading ‘“Get Him to the Greek” – A Comedy with Meaning… and Comedy’ »

 

The decision to go ahead with a movie is called giving the project the “green light”.

But, have you ever walked out of a movie theater with but one question on your mind, “How did that movie ever get made?”

Movie Poster for The Go Getter, a disappointing Indie film

The Go Getter is a disappointing Indie film

Money doesn’t grow on trees… and somebody had to spend money to make that.

Continue reading ‘How Did That Movie Ever Get Made? “The Go Getter” Drags On Until It Ends’ »

 

Jessie Eisenberg (of “The Social Network” fame) and Kristen Stewart (of the “Twilight” saga) were in a really great movie together that drew much less attention than their marquee roles: “Adventureland”.

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg in Adventureland

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg in Adventureland

“Adventureland” is a nostalgic look at that summer job that most of us had… this particular job was working at a theme park. Of course, it could have been working at a movie theater, or a putt-putt golf course… the common elements are: a nerdy boss, a cute co-worker, and an otherwise boring job made exciting by said co-worker.

Continue reading ‘Jessie Eisenberg (from “The Social Network”) and Kristen Stewart (from “Twilight” saga) in “Adventureland”’ »

 

“Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael”, a 1990 comedy/drama starring Winona Ryder, Jeff Daniels, and, Laila Robins, used to have a firm place on my list of Top 101 Movies.

movie poster for Welcome Home Home Roxy Carmichael - You Only Fall in Love for the First Time Once

Movie Poster for Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael ' "You only fall in love for the fist time once."

While the movie about the anticipated return of Roxy Carmichael to her small home town has been nudged from the Top 101 list, it’s still a very good movie.

In fact, one of my favorite lines from any movie is spoken by Jeff Daniels, whose character was the boyhood sweetheart of the now superstar Roxy Carmichael.

As Jeff Daniels’ character reflects on his past, and, Winona Rider’s character’s present, he reflects, “You only fall in love for the first time once.”

Continue reading ‘“You Only Fall in Love for the First Time Once” – Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael’ »

The movie: Pulp Fiction

The writer: Quentin Tarantino

The actor: Samuel Jackson

movie poster for Pulp Fiction

The situation: When Samuel Jackson’s character and John Travolta’s character show up at an apartment to collect some money, Brad (or Brett) answers a trivia question correctly.

Continue reading ‘Brad’s Big Brain – “Check Out” or “Look At”?’ »

 

I have to admit a bias:  I hate movies that make fun of the South.  My take is this:  Movies (and television shows) are produced on the East Coast (New York) and the West coast (Los Angeles).

Movie Poster for My Cousin Vinny

Movie Poster for My Cousin Vinny

Since most people don’t find pleasure in making fun of themselves, the East Coast and West Coast collectively look for someone else for their comic relief.  The South is an easy target.  (So is the Midwest, but I don’t live in the Midwest… so those are kinda funny).  (joke).

Continue reading ‘“My Cousin Vinny” – Very Funny, Even to this Southerner’ »

Avalon is on my “101 Favorite Movies” list. Avalon is also a great movie to watch on Thanksgiving Day.

The story of immigrants making their way in America, this generational drama shows the struggles and hopes of the new Americans of the early twentieth century. From large Thanksgiving celebrations, to the tight knit fabric of family, from starting a business to moving to the suburbs, this sweeping, ambitious movie tells the story of one immigrant family.

Continue reading ‘“Avalon” – A Great Movie for Thanksgiving Day’ »

Now what?

Besides movies, another hobby of mine is politics.

I just logged on to RealClearPolitics, and, looked at the Electoral College Map for 2012. They even have a map you can fill in yourself.

So, I did.

Amazingly, when I was done (this one for Romney, that one for Obama…), the final tally was:

2012 Electoral College according to my expert prediction:

Romney 269
Obama 269

Continue reading ‘Electoral College 2012 – It’s a Tie! Obama 269 – Romney 269’ »

Anne Hathaway can be a brilliant actress handling thought-provoking scripts and developing interesting, multidimensional characters.

Movie Poster for Rachel Getting Married

Movie Poster for Rachel Getting Married

Or, she can play typical “Hollywood girl meets boy”, and, eventually, finds happiness, all in 100 minutes of clever banter.

Continue reading ‘“Rachel Getting Married” vs. “One Day” – The Script Choices of Anne Hathaway aka “Cat Woman”’ »

“Primary Colors” is a veiled look at Bill Clinton’s 1992 pursuit of the Democratic nomination for President. At least, that’s what the press says.

So, the next question becomes, “Is all that really true?”

Movie Poster for Primary Colors

Movie Poster for Primary Colors

I’ll leave that to speculation. But, if the movie is accurate, there are two things we come to know about Bill Clinton:

Continue reading ‘“I Am Not Comparing the Players. I Don’t Like the Game.” – Primary Colors starring John Travolta’ »

 

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2

Dorothy Day was a populist activist in the 1930′s. She tirelessly worked for the poor and disenfranchised, and, was called a “socialist” by her critics.

Movie Poster for Entertaining Angels The Dorothy Day Story starring Moira Kelly

Movie Poster for "Entertaining Angels, The Dorothy Day Story"

The movie “Entertaining Angels – The Dorothy Day Story” does not so much dwell on Dorothy Day’s political leanings. The focus of the movie is her compassion for the less fortunate.

Continue reading ‘“Entertaining Angels – The Dorothy Day Story” Stars Moira Kelly’ »

“Never Let Me Go” takes place sometimes in the future in the United Kingdom.

Movie Poster for "Never Let Me Go"

Movie Poster for "Never Let Me Go"

The movie begins with what looks to be a gathering at a strict British boarding school. At the time, neither the audience nor the children realize that this is not an ordinary boarding school.

We are introduced to the movie’s three central characters as children: Ruth, Kathy and Tommy.

Most of the movie takes place during the main characters’ young adult lives (late teens and early twenties).

Continue reading ‘Dystopian Society of “Never Let Me Go” stars Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield’ »