Hope Is A Good Thing (The Shawshank Redemption)

“Get busy living or get busy dying,” Andy Dufresne tells Red in the Shawshank Redemption.  It’s a great line from a great movie. But like a lot of Hollywood truths, it doesn’t quite translate to the real word. It needs a little tweaking. We’d like to think we’re either living or dying, but it’s not quite that simple. The reality is aContinue reading “Hope Is A Good Thing (The Shawshank Redemption)”

Rooted Or Roaming (Up In The Air)

Up in the Air is a movie from 2009 about a man (Ryan Bingham), who spends most of his life up in the air, flying from one place to another. He is away from home about 300 days a year and his goal is to reach the 10 million mile mark in air travel— something thatContinue reading “Rooted Or Roaming (Up In The Air)”

Who Needs Your Music?

I watched The Shawshank Redemption recently. I’ve seen it a few times over the years, but it has probably been a couple of years since I last saw it. One of the tests of a picture’s greatness is how it ages over time. When you initially see a movie that impresses you, there are certainContinue reading “Who Needs Your Music?”

Iron Sharpening Iron (Operation Mincemeat)

Well, I liked Operation Mincemeat—despite the lukewarm reviews it received. Of course, I tend to watch movies a few minutes at a time (and often over a few days) while I write or do other work on my laptop, so what is slow-moving to most people often isn’t noticed as much by me. Another complaint,Continue reading “Iron Sharpening Iron (Operation Mincemeat)”

We’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat!

We’re all familiar with the movie director, Steven Spielberg. He’s made a boatload of movies—from franchise pictures like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, to the cute movie about the extra-terrestrial, to the powerful, dramatic portrayals of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. But before he made any of those, he made a movie about three guys, a boat that was tooContinue reading “We’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat!”

Swords Out! (The Darkest Hour)

There shall be no negotiated peace. That’s what Winston Churchill says in his address to his Outer Cabinet toward the end of the movie, That Darkest Hour. The movie focuses on the tumultuous events of May 20-28, 1940. England and France had previously declared war on Germany in September of ’39 (after their invasion ofContinue reading “Swords Out! (The Darkest Hour)”

Worthy (Lawrence Of Arabia)

T.E. Lawrence was one of the more fascinating and controversial figures of the previous century.  While there is still a healthy, ongoing debate aimed at separating the man from the myth, we are sure of certain things. We know he was a gifted writer of books and letters. He published a translation of Homer’s Odyssey. We know inContinue reading “Worthy (Lawrence Of Arabia)”

Who We Are (Departures)

Departures is a Japanese movie that won 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. As you might expect, it’s little different, but elegant in its presentation and musical score. It is the story of Daigo Kobayashi, a cellist with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. As the film begins, the orchestra has folded for financial reasons andContinue reading “Who We Are (Departures)”

Who Really Has Grit? (True Grit)

Everything about the Coen brothers’ True Grit feels like a western . . . the music, the costumes, the sets, the cinematography, the language. Okay, maybe not the language. In keeping with the book, the characters in the movie rarely use contractions in their speech, with the result being that the dialogue (which sounded wooden in the original movie version),Continue reading “Who Really Has Grit? (True Grit)”

Who Needs Our Lifeline? (A Street Cat Named Bob)

James Bowen is down to his last chance at life in A Street Cat Named Bob. He’s a heroin addict, living on the streets of London, busking (playing music for donations) and eating out of garbage cans to stay alive. A social worker assigned to his case gets him into a methadone program but he usesContinue reading “Who Needs Our Lifeline? (A Street Cat Named Bob)”