Throwback Thursday-The Three Musketeers (1993)

Alexandre Dumas’s classic novel The Three Musketeers is many things. It is a historical novel set in pre-revolutionary France. It is the story of a young man leaving his comfortable home for adventure. It is also the story of three soldiers who are fighting for king and country against a corrupt and greedy government.

It has translated to the silver screen many times over the years. The 1993 adaptation starred Charlie Sheen (Aramis), Kiefer Sutherland (Athos), Oliver Platt (Porthos) and Chris O’Donnell as D’Artagnan, the young hot head who leads the reader into the world of Musketeers. When Cardinal Richelieu (Tim Curry) disbands the Musketeers, most of the men return to their lives and their families. But Aramis, Athos and Porthos suspect that something is not right. To protect king and country, they must band with D’Artagnan together before the Cardinal’s devious plan is completed.

This is the type of movie that is just plain fun. Keeping close to the novel, it has everything. History, action, adventure, romance and a compelling story. And of course, what early 90’s film is incomplete until it has a Bryan Adams song attached to it?

I recommend it.

Throwback Thursday-Working Girl (1988)

Women in the 1980’s were on a threshold. The doors that had been previously closed to their mothers and grandmothers were opening. Women, who had they been born a generation earlier might have settled for being a wife and a mother, were entering the professional world in large numbers.

In the 1988 movie Working Girl, Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) works as a secretary. Feeling stuck and frustrated, Tess takes her revenge on her boss, Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), when Katharine steals one of Tess’s ideas. When Katharine is home, recovering from a ski accident, Tess pretends that she is the boss, not the secretary. Things become complicated when Tess becomes involved business wise and romantically with Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford). Will Tess be able to get away with the ruse or will it backfire in her face?

This movie is a 1980’s business Cinderella meets second generation feminism. While it has many of the hall marks of a traditional romantic comedy, there is something different about this movie. It speaks to many women, then and now, who are eager to climb the corporate ladder, but for one reason or another are kept at their present position. While the clothes and the hair are a bit cringe worthy (it was the late 80’s, after all), this movie  still speaks to audiences today.

I recommend it.


Steve Jobs Movie Review

The late Steve Jobs was a study in contrast. He was a visionary, a genius and the public face of Apple. He was also known to be hard-headed, stubborn, demanding and difficult to work with.

The new movie, Steve Jobs, is not the normal biopic. Director Danny Boyle and screenwriters Aaron Sorkin and Walter Isaacson (who wrote the book that is the source material for the film) focused on three key points in the life of their main character.  Broken up into three acts, we meet Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) at three different, but equally important junctures in his life: 1984, 1988 & 1998.

Surrounding Steve is his right hand woman Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), former Apple CEO John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), technician Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), his former girlfriend and mother of his daughter Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterson) and their daughter Lisa, played at three intervals in her then young life by three different young actresses.

This film is not the standard biopic and I am very glad that it is not. With the focus on the very different and dramatic time periods, the tension remains throughout the film. Jobs is a complicated characters. He is known for his genius, but also known for being difficult and temperamental.

This film is excellent and I foresee that it will do well come award season.

I absolutely recommend it.

Steve Jobs is presently in theaters. 

History And Movies

We all remember the history books from our school days. The text was often bland, flat and devoid of the real story behind the facts.

Sometimes we learn more about our history not from a school history book, but from a fictionalized telling of that history.

Two movies are coming out soon that will bring history to life.

The upcoming movie Race (2016) is about Jesse Owens. In 1936, Jesse Owens, an African-American won four Olympic medals for track and field. The games were held in Nazi controlled Germany. He is still remembered today as one of the greatest athletes in Track and Field.

The other movie is Trumbo (2015). Dalton Trumbo was one most respected writers in the 1940’s. Then he was accused of being a communist. Blacklisted because of the accusation, he wrote under a pen name. Two of his films that he wrote while he was blacklisted, Exodus and Spartacus, are still remembered today as timeless classics.

Whether or not these films will be successful, only time will tell. But if the audience learns something, regardless of the box office receipts, then these films have succeeded.

Sufragette-A Movie That Every Woman Must See

Suffragette opens  Friday.  This movie has been on my must see list for months. Here is why it should be on every moviegoers’ must see list.

  1. To appreciate the present, you must understand the past: For women under a certain age, the idea of going to school, getting a job and being independent (read i.e. single) before settling down and having a family is completely normal. We think nothing of extending our education as far as it can go or climbing the corporate ladder while maintaining the traditional life of marriage and motherhood. This idea is a relatively new one. It was an unspoken tradition that women’s education up until a few decades ago was minimal or non-existent. If a woman had the want or the financial need to work, the opportunities were limited, the working conditions were deplorable and the paycheck, compared to their male colleagues was pitiful.
  2. Women voting and having an active voice in their government is still a relatively new idea. American women have only been able to vote for 95 years. Other countries granted women the right to vote only a few decades ago.
  3. Women are still a minority in Hollywood: Many of the decision makers are men. Many of the directors and producers are men. A majority of the speaking roles are  written for male characters. This movie has a female centric plot, a female centric cast and production team made up of women. I hope and pray that this movie succeeds and proves once and for all the women’s voices in Hollywood are just as loud and capable as men.
  4. It reminds us why we still need feminism. Many of the issues that our fore-mothers were fighting for are still being fought for today.

Whether or not the movie is successful is to be seen. I hope and pray that it is.

Flashback Friday-90’s Television Siblings- Sister,Sister (1994-1999) & Smart Guy (1997-1999)

Hollywood is known for it’s acting dynasties.

In 1990’s, the Mowry’s were a part of the television landscape.

Between 1994 & 1999, elder sisters, Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry- Housley starred in Sister, Sister.  Tia Landry (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) and Tamera Campbell (Tamera Mowry Housley) are twin sisters who are adopted separately and raised to think that they are an only child. Meeting as teenagers, their adopted parents agree to move in together to raise their daughters. Type A Ray Campbell (Tim Reid) and fashion addict Lisa Landry (Jackee Harry) don’t quite get along, but they try, for their daughter’s sake. Add in Marques Houston as Roger Evans, the annoying boy next door who never really gets the message that his attention is unwanted.

In 1997 it was little brother Tahj’s turn. Between 1997 & 1999, he starred in Smart Guy. T.J is a preteen whose intelligence is well above his peers.  Quickly advancing to high school, his presence is annoying to his older siblings Marcus (Jason Weaver) and Tasha (Essence Atkins).

The only thing I can say about these shows is that they are very late 90’s.  Both were interesting, but unlike other shows that transcend the era that the it was filmed in, both shows are stuck in the late 90’s.

Do I recommend them? Yes, if only for nostalgia’s sake.


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