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The Blonde and The Maven Review April Movies

This month we couldn't agree on just one film, so we covered four films. Lucky you!
“Reign Over Me”

The Blonde: This is the tale of two men searching for healing and understanding in post-9/11 New York. When the airplanes went down on that dreadful morning in 2001, Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) lost everything that he had to live for, his wife, three daughters and his poodle. Five years have gone by since Charlie lost his family, and now the once-successful and sociable dentist has become a withdrawn shadow of what he once was. When fate brings Charlie and his former college roommate Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) together, once again on a Manhattan street corner, Alan is more than shocked to see just how far his old friend has gone down. Though it would appear that Alan has the perfect life, the pressures of his family and career (he, too, is a dentist) have been weighing heavily on him. When Charlie and Alan both need a trusted friend to help them work through their monumental challenges they face in life, the healing power of a rekindled friendship provides what they both needed to move forward into the future with hope and inspiration.

If you have not seen this film….RUN and do so now! It is an unbelievably powerful story about what it is like to lose yourself and begin to find your way back. The performances are breathtaking. The story manages to be both tragic and funny, which is in-and-of–itself rare. Writer/Director Mike Binder (who we absolutely adored since the “Upside of Anger”) has truly delivered a story that so many will be able to connect with on many levels. This is a story about sorrow, family, healing, male friendship, mental health challenges, pain, humor and the meaning of real love. “Reign Over Me” is a hypnotic movie that draws you in with its characters. Adam Sandler delivers an Oscar performance here. You have never seen this side of Adam. HE IS BRILLIANT, HE IS STELLAR. As for Don Cheadle, AS ALWAYS his qualities of sincerity, class, charm, and honesty come through in this role. His character, too, is broken and struggling. The lovely Jada Pinkett Smith, (wife of actor Will Smith) also delivers a terrific performance. WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL! I rate “Reign Over Me” a solid A.

The Blonde: Mav, I will be out of town next week.

The Maven: Uh-huh… And where would you be going…. ENGLAND!

The Blonde: OK fitch, don’t even start with me! YES! OK! YES! Prince William broke up with…. that commoner girl Kate Middleton and this is my last chance to be a real princess. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT?

The Maven: WELL….. he is in his 20’s ….. and … AND YOU’RE NOT!

The Blonde: SO? AND YOUR POINT IS? AFTER ALL, He loved his mum, and DI and I are SO much alike!

The Maven: Yeah, she was 5 ten and you are 5 feet…

The Blonde: EXCUSE ME, 5 FEET 1 AND A HALF inches!

The Maven: She had short natural blonde hair and you have long, she had a waist and…

The Blonde: YESSSS????? She wore a size 10 shoe and I wear a 6. And what is your point exactly?

The Blonde: Never mind, you go to England, I’m staying here! OH AND SHE WAS SWEET!

The Blonde: Oh sure, like I’m not!!!! William will love me!


The Blonde: FITCH!

“The Reaping”
The Maven: I always enjoy movies that deal with G-d and the Devil. I have been waiting anxiously for “The Reaping” ever since I learned that the filmmakers were actually filming around the time of Katrina, in Louisiana. Hillary Swank (“Boy's Don't Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby”) stars as Katherine, a former Christian Missionary who lost her faith in G-d when her family was tragically killed. Now a renowned expert in disproving religious phenomena, she is called in to explain what seems to be a reoccurrence of the Ten Plagues. Katherine’s faith is truly tested when she is faced with the possibility that a young girl may be the cause of the plagues. Hillary does a good job in this film, as usual. There are a few plot twists to keep you interested, but nothing really scary happens. Near the end it gets a little hokey. It is an interesting story, but it could have used some fine tuning. I rate this film a C for competently handling a subject that could have been preachy and clearly avoiding slipping into the genre of horror. 

Speaking of horror, I am horrified that Russia is falling back to its Fascist past. About 2,000 people were demonstrating against the Kremlin. They were then surrounded by 1,500 riot police and several were beaten and 200 were arrested (among the arrested was Gary Gasparov, former award-winning chess player). The Kremlin explained that they were marching without proper permits and that was why so much force was used. A spokesman for the demonstrators said the Kremlin refuses to give permits to the opposition. It seemed that Russia was making good progress towards democracy before Putin came along. Do you know how much coverage of the demonstration and its aftermath appeared on the television news? ZERO!
The Blonde: Okay first of all, why are people SO upset with the GREMLINS? They are just fun little creatures. Why is everyone demonstrating against them for gosh sakes? This is a crazy world! AND…Never mind that! Why was the movie you saw called “The Weeping”? Was Hillary always crying over her dead family or was it the townspeople crying about the plagues? There is no excuse in this day and age for not knowing that you can avoid the plagues by putting some lamb’s blood on your front door.
The Maven: The movie title is R-E-A-P-I-N-G, not weeping. The title refers to something in the New Testament.
The Blonde: Oh... Never mind……….. OK. Then what about the Gremlins?

The Maven: NO COMMENT!

The Maven: I can just imagine people running out to buy lamb and actually smearing it on their doors. I hope you don't take everything so literally, my darling Blonde. The next film I saw was “Grindhouse.” WOW! Now this is a movie that really puts out!

The Blonde: This is a pornographic film?

The Maven: If you liked the old double feature movies of the '70's, you will love “Grindhouse.” Even the previews are part of the “Grindhouse” genre. I really want to see "Don't." The first of this double feature is “Planet Terror” by Robert Rodriquez. Forget the stars, some of witch are not even credited. The movie is a zombie thriller involving a retiring go-go dancer who hopes to become a stand-up comedian, army dudes hooked on nerve gas and an old boyfriend who is really, really cute. Things blow-up and zombies eat people. It's a lot of fun to watch! The second feature is called “Death Proof.” This is a little less gory, has a lot more dialogue and is very reminiscent of some of the car scenes in “Vanishing Point.” In fact, the lead characters refer to this film several times. I found this film to be female empowering and also fun to watch. Please note that the car scenes are all stunt work, not CGI work. The movie is typical work of Quentin Tarantino and you won't be disappointed. He even appears in both films! The whole experience is so 60's and '70's, with missing reels, melting film and scratched film, that I craved one of those sour pickles the theaters used to sell! If you haven't figured it out yet, I rate this film an A for its amazing trip back to my drive-in days. This is pure fun, but it is all violence and gore, not for the faint of heart. I can only hope that the conservative right in this country doesn't take OUR right to see such movies away from US.
The Blonde: Are you sneaking in a dig about the Don Imus debacle?
The Maven: I do not sneak! I will however, allow you to have the first word on this subject.
The Blonde: Where do I begin? I must state that I am not, nor have I ever been, an Imus fan. I never GOT HIM in the first place. However, doesn’t firing him take away our CIVIL rights to speak out? I mean, what he said was DESPICABLE AND WRONG on so many levels, but that will silence most of REAL comedy as we know it today. I think they should have made him pay a half a million dollars (or more) fine to the Rutgers University women’s basketball scholarship fund or resign. At least that would have done something worth while! He should not have been just fired. Your turn!

The Maven: The way I feel, is we still have the right to change the channel when we don’t like something. Firing was excessive.
“Perfect Stranger”

The Blonde: Directed by James Foley, this psychological thriller stars Halle Berry a feisty reporter for a major New York City newspaper who goes undercover to investigate the unsolved recent murder of her childhood friend. To accomplish this, Rowena assumes some new identities in the real world and online. She lands in a complicated world as a temp in the office and the personal life of multi-millionaire Harrison Hill, CEO of a powerful advertising agency played by the multi-millionaire actor Bruce Willis, who she begins to suspect of the crime. All of this drama has left her unsure of herself as well as of the motivations of others. (Aren’t we all?)

The plot thickens as Rowena investigates Harrison from all angles. She then uses the devastatingly effective tools of cyberspace in an attempt to bring her victim to justice. In addition, there is also Miles, played by Giovanni Ribisi, her aid and accomplice throughout the story. There are many twists and turns all leading up to a surprise ending. I felt that James Foley directed Halle beautifully, bringing out a wonderfully strong performance. Might I add that she looked phenomenal?! The costume designs were brilliant and deserve some kudos her as well. Sad to say, but I do feel that Bruce just walked through this film only delivering some rather flat, colorless, unmoving acting. Sorry Bruce, seen much better from you! Giovanni was outstanding! I expected more from this movie and was disappointed. I rate “Perfect Stranger” a C--.

The Blonde: Hey Maven: Aren’t you sleeping much better now, knowing who the daddy of Anna Nicole’s baby? Finally, after months of worry, I get 8 hours of sleep! I mean really, if you looked at a photo of Dannielyn and Larry Burkhead it was no mystery at all! Furthermore, so much for the prince’s accusations about being the baby’s daddy (Zsa-Zsa Gabor’s hubby) so he turned out to be a media pig! AND… I can’t help it, I feel a bit bad for Howard K. Stern.

The Maven: I have nothing to say on this subject. I hate this subject!

The Blonde: WELL!!!!!! Be that way!

The Maven: However, I will be glued to the TV wondering when you get arrested for stalking Prince William!

The Blonde: You are so jealous! Readers, have fun at the movies!

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