Monday, May 17, 2010

Sherrybaby (2006)

A woman returns from jail and tries to reunite with her young daughter.  No Hollywood happy endings or cheesy lessons from this one.  It's an all-too-true portrait of Sherry, an idealized addict who is clueless as a bag of hammers as to her own behavior.  Maggie Gyllenhaal is absolutely outstanding.  She is cut and dried as a troubled addict, yet elicits compassion as well.  Brad William Henke and Bridget Barkan are well balanced as her her brother and sister in-law, who have been caring for Sherry's child and have their doubts as Sherry desperately comes back into their lives.  Very well told by writer/director Laurie Collyer.  If you werent  a fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal, you will be after this one.  A real treat is Danny Trejo's appearance playing a pretty nice guy.  Gritty, true and good.

Quickie Synopsis
Her Baby

Friday, May 14, 2010

School of Rock (2003)

A failed musician scams a gig as a schoolteacher and teaches a group of 10-year olds to rock out.   This is perfect vehicle for Jack Black, who is majorly nutty and hysterical.  His insane passion for music shines and actually infects the viewer as much as the kids.  Excellent tale of redemption with thorough laughs throughout and great for the family.  His original songs are pee-in-your pants funny.  Cute appearance by young actress Miranda Cosgrove (aka iCarly) The ultimate Jack Black.

Quickie Synopsis

Monday, May 10, 2010

Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975)

A one-armed kung fu instructor is hunted down by a blind "flying guillotine' master.
Ok, ok.  Yes, cheesy.  Also magnificent.  Fu Sing Wu Chi (say that fast) expertly wields what looks like a fiercely weirded-out hat on a chain.  But alas, if it lands on your melon, you're in trouble!  Forget plot and all that.  This is pure Kraft Velveeta Kung Fu.  Fantastic fight scenes with an oddball assortment of kung fu masters, running up walls, extending their arms to 10 feet long, and of course, the deadly Flying Guillotine.  Make sure to see the 1975 original, as there are a few in this franchise.  Most likely an inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's deadly schoolgirl Gogo Yubari  in Kill Bill.

Quickie Synopsis
From A

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Time After Time (1979)

H.G. Wells travels in time to modern San Francisco to hunt down Jack the Ripper.  Mucho fun, with Malcolm McDowell perkily playing Wells, and Mary Steenburgen is cute as pudding playing a sweet Frisco girl.  Watching Malcolm as the brilliant Wells adapting to modern day Frisco is a treat as is David Warner playing Jack the Ripper.  Basically a feel good thriller with a bit of an edge.  A must for McDowell fans!  Go see!

Quickie Synopsis