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Saturday, September 30, 2006

GREENLIGHT #77: All the Kings Men (with "Mystic River" and "A Face in the Crowd")

Ann and Les don't agree on how All the Kings Men (2006) was put together. While they both say the movie is a disappointment, Les was so impressed with Sean Penn's peformance that he is willing to give it a yellow. Ann, on the other hand, thinks Mr. Penn's performance was one of the most tiresome parts of this tiresome movie. Both wonder why talented director Steve Zaillan would remake such a movie if he had nothing new to say about it. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, they recommend seeing the original but Les goes on to recommend his favorite Sean Penn starring and Clint Eastwood directed movie called Mystic River (2003.) A film that won an Oscar for Penn and co-star Tim Robbins and had some star turns by Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Kevin Bacon, and Laurence Fishburne. Les was also personally delighted that he liked this film because it was based on a novel written by his friend Dennis Lehane. Ann recommends a much better political intrigue movie by the amazing director/writer pair of Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg. The movie features an astounding dark performace by the loveable Andy Griffith along with then newcomers Patricia Neal, Walter Mathau , and Lee Remick. It's called A Face in the Crowd (1957.)
RUNNING TIME: 14:57

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GREENLIGHT #76: Flyboys (with "The Great Waldo Pepper" and "All Quiet on the Western Front")

Ann and Les liked Flyboys (2006) well enough, particularly when it's in the air. Watching those bi-planes in action was thrilling. Watching James Franco and his pals on the ground was a bit dull. They're pretty impressed, however, that director Tony Bill got this film made because World War I does not garner a lot of screen attention. Les and Ann just wish the attention it got was of a little better quality. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends an underappreciated film about bi-planes called The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) directed by George Roy Hill and starring Robert Redford with a bit part by a young Susan Sarandon. Ann recommends Lew Ayres in the granddaddy of all war films, especially ones about World War I, called All Quiet on the Western Front (1930.)
RUNNING TIME: 14:57

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

GREENLIGHT #75: The Last Kiss (with "Diner" and "Parenthood")

Ann and Les were charmed by The Last Kiss (2006.) Not-so-known director Tony Goldwyn is paired with the fabulously successful writer Paul Haggis on a film about young adults in serious relationships who are afraid to commit to forever. Zach Braff stars in his first film and they think he does quite well along with Jacinda Barrett, Casey Affleck, Blythe Danner, and Tom Wilkinson. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends Barry Levinson's fabulous film about that fear of commitment in his beloved Baltimore called Diner (1982) starring Steve Gutenberg, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, along with a bunch of other great guys and a few girls including Ellen Barkin. Ann recommends Steve Martin,Diane Wiest, Mary Steenburgen and Rick Moranis in a huge ensemble film about life after the commitment by director Ron Howard called Parenthood (1989.)
RUNNING TIME: 14:49

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

GREELIGHT #74: The Black Dahlia (with "The Blue Dahlia" and "Double Indemnity")

Ann and Les were put in a black mood by The Black Dahlia (2006.) Brian De Palma directs a confusing attempt at a film noir film and succeeds only in getting the worst performances from the likes of Josh Hartnett , Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, and Hilary Swank . For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends the obviously related but vastly superior film The Blue Dahlia (1946) starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, and William Bendix. Ann recommends Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson in director Billy Wilder’s masterpiece of film noir Double Indemnity (1944.)
RUNNING TIME: 15:00

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

GREENLIGHT #73: Hollywoodland (with "Frances" and "Unfaithful")

Ann and Les are split on Hollywoodland (2006.) It's a true story about the mysterious death of the guy who used to play Superman on television. Les thought it was entertaining if not grippingly so. Ann thinks the story, while sad, was of little interest to the general public at the time and even less so now. Though they both agree that Ben Affleck looks as bad as he acts in this one but Diane Lane almost makes the movie worthwhile all by herself. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends Frances (1982) starring Jessica Lange who plays the title role of Frances Farmer, a lovely but troubled Hollywood starlet who's life ended surrounded in mystery. Ann recommends another stunning performance by Diane Lane directed by the stylish Adrian Lyne and co-starring Richard Gere and Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful (2002.)
RUNNING TIME: 14:49

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Friday, September 08, 2006

GREENLIGHT #72: The Illusionist (with "The Score" and "Primal Fear")

Ann and Les were simply dazzled by The Illusionist (2006.) They think it is a lovely, intriguiging, magical movie. In particular, they think the lead roles were cast perfectly with Edward Norton playing "The Illusionist" and Rufus Sewell playing the mean and nasty Prince. But they think Paul Giamatti just steals the show outright with his fantastic performance as the conflicted "Inspector Uhl." A real delight, so kudos to director Neil Burger. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, they focus on Edward Norton whom they love and don't think gets enough attention, so Les recommends the sleeper The Score (2001) starring Mr. Norton along with Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando. Ann recommends Mr. Norton in his stunning debut that outshined the wonderful performance of his co-star Richard Gere in Primal Fear (1996.)
RUNNING TIME: 14:57

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

GREENLIGHT #71: Trust the Man (with "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" and "Hannah and Her Sisters")

Ann and Les wouldn't trust any man (or woman) who said good things about Trust the Man (2006.) Supposedly this movie was a sophisticated romantic comedy but it was not sophisticated, romantic, or comedic. The men, David Duchovny and Billy Crudup, were weak and wimpy. The women, Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhall, didn't give you anyone to root for either. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) starring Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliott Gould, and Dyan Cannon as another pair of couples you wouldn't want to be but you'll enjoy watching them go through their growing pains. Ann comes back with the master of sophisticated relationship comedies (you can't always call them 'romantic') with Woody Allen directing Barbara Hershey, Diane Wiest, and Mia Farrow (among many, many others) in the wonderful Hannah and Her Sisters (1986.)
RUNNING TIME: 14:56

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