Category Archives: Movies

Throwback Thursday: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

We all want to be in love and most if, not all of us, would like to say “I do” to someone at some point.

In the 1954 movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Adam (Howard Keel) married Milly (Jane Powell) after knowing her for less than a day. When Milly arrives at her new home, she discovers that her husband is the eldest of seven boys. Inspired by their eldest brother, the rest of the Pontipee men are eager to marry.

While watching his wife turn his brothers in gentlemen, Adam is inspired to find wives for them. The method of finding wives comes from the story of the capture of the Sabine women by the Romans.

There are many musicals from this era that are considered to be classics. They are also slightly misogynistic. For its time, this movie musical is fine. But what bothers me is that the screenwriters gloss over the fact that the Sabine women were according to legend, raped, not captured with the intent of marriage.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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On This International Women’s Day, I Just Want to Say Thank You

Today is International Women’s Day.

There is a lot that has been said, but I feel like it comes down to two words: thank you.

Thank you to the generations of women who have come before us. Their bravery, strength, and courage paved the way for us.

Thank you to the current generation of women who continue to fight for our rights. And finally, thank you to the future generation of women who will end the fight and live within the equal world that we are all fighting for.

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Flashback Friday-Something Borrowed (2011)

Fear is one of those barriers that seems insurmountable. But, we will only get over that fear if we refuse to let it stop us.

In the 2011 film, Something Borrowed, Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is in love with Dex (Colin Egglesfield), one of her law school classmates. But she is unable to tell him how she feels. When Dex meets Darcy (Kate Hudson), Rachel’s best friend, Darcy claims him for herself. Now they are engaged and Darcy has asked Rachel to be her Maid of Honor.

Things get complicated with Rachel and Dex sleep together after a night out. Will she ever tell Dex how she feels or will he potentially be forever lost to her?

As rom-coms go, this film on a scale of 1-10 is a 7. It’s cute and slightly predictable without veering in the bland and dry territory that some films in this genre sometimes go to.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.

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Throwback Thursday-Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005)

When it comes to movie sequels, there is an opportunity to expand both the narrative and the character arc. The question is, does this expansion succeed or fail?

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, the sequel to Miss Congeniality, was released in 2005. Gracie Hart’s (Sandra Bullock) life has changed in ways she did not expect. Unable to do her job as an F.B.I agent because of the notoriety that she has gained, her new role is now in media relations. Watching Gracie’s back is Agent Sam Fuller (Regina King). The hitch is that Sam and Gracie don’t exactly get along.

When Gracie’s friends are kidnapped, she has to work with Sam to find who took them and where they are.

As rom-com sequels go, this film is decent. It’s not the best film (or the best sequel) ever released, but, it could have been a lot worse.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Ordinary Love Movie Review

Breast cancer, like all cancers (and all diseases) knows no boundaries.

In the new movie, Ordinary Love, Joan (Lesley Manville) and Tom (Liam Neeson) are well, an ordinary couple. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, they must find a way to soldier on, in spite of the challenges that the disease puts in their path.

Some of the best love stories are not set in faraway fairytale-like setting or in romantic novels. The best love stories are simplest, a couple who sticks together against all odds. I appreciated that this movie is short on the drama and long on the narrative. I also appreciated the perfect chemistry between the lead actors. However, the film does not hit home as much as I would have liked it to be. There were points in the film when I was almost bored, ready to move on with the story.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Flashback Friday-The Sundowners (1960)

Life is an adventure. The question is, do we grab that adventure by the proverbial balls or do we just do nothing?

The 1960 film, The Sundowners takes place in the Australian Outback during the early part of the 20th century. Ida and Paddy Carmody (the late Deborah Kerr and the late Robert Mitchum) are living out of their wagon, doing what they need to do to get by. Ida and their son are ready to settle down, but Paddy is not so sure if he is ready or able to settle down.

I like this film. I like it because, at its heart, it’s the story of a family who is making tough decisions that are not easy and have consequences. Tough decisions is sometimes what life is all about.

I recommend it.

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RIP Katherine Johnson

History is not always made by the big names that are in the headlines. It is sometimes made by those who are not in the spotlight.

In the 1960’s, the Space Race was heating up. It was also a time of change in America. The Civil Rights movement forced the country to face it’s shameful past of denying human and legal rights to the African-American community.

Katherine Johnson may not have known it at the time, but she had a role to play in changing America for the better. Mrs. Johnson passed away today at the age of 101.

In her day, she was automatically disqualified for certain jobs because she was a woman and a citizen of color. But when push came to shove, her mathematical abilities overcame those barriers and helped America go into space for the first time.

After decades of silence, she was finally given her due in the 2016 film, Hidden Figures. She was played on screen by Taraji P. Henson.

May her memory be a blessing and an inspiration.

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Throwback Thursday-Contagion (2011)

The story of humanity is chock full of stories of virus outbreaks that kills hundreds, if not thousands.

In 2011, the movie Contagion hit theaters. In the film, a virus spreads around the world like wildfire. It’s a race against time to stop the virus and save as many lives as possible.

It’s often said that art imitates life. Though this film is nearly ten years old, life has imitated art as the coronavirus is making it’s way around the world in a similar fashion. As a thriller, this film is well done, even if looking back now, it hits a little too close to home.

I recommend it.

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire Movie Review

When it comes to art, it is more than the materials that the artist used to create it. It tells as much about the artist as it does the subject.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire was released in the US this weekend. In 1760, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is a painter whose newest commission is to paint a young woman who lives on the island of Brittany. Her subject is Heloise (Adèle Haenel), whose marriage is pending on whether or not her fiance will like her portrait. Heloise refused to sit for the previous painter, leaving their work unfinished.

Marianne pretends to be a companion for Heloise so she can complete the portrait. As the women bond, they become friends and then something more. But the reality is that while they are becoming closer, they both know that the end date of their relationship is coming.

To the naked eye, this film appears to be an LGBTQ period drama with the standard narrative and character hallmarks. But it is more than that. The film shows a world in which men are in the background and true equality exists between women. It also reminds the audience of the severe limitations on women during the period in a way that does not hit the audience over the head.

I absolutely recommend it.

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For Sama Review

A mother’s love is endless. She will do almost anything in her power to ensure that her child is happy and successful. In a time of war, that includes nearly doing the unthinkable.

In the Oscar nominated documentary, For Sama, is the story of an ordinary woman who is merely trying to survive the Syrian civil war. As the war starts, Waad al-Kateab is doing what we all do. She goes to school, gets a job, falls in love, marries her husband and has a daughter, Sama. But the world that Sama is growing up in is not ordinary. Told through the perspective of Waad’s camera, this documentary takes the viewer into a Syria that few of us outside of that country will ever see.

Directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, this documentary is both personal and hard hitting. In telling the story of this woman and her family, the western audience is given a vantage point that only someone who is on the ground can provide.

I absolutely recommend it.

For Sama is available for streaming on Frontline.

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