The Blonde and The Maven Review April
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and sociable dentist has become a withdrawn shadow of what he once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.
Blonde: Mav, I will be out of town next week.
Uh-huh… And where would you be going…. ENGLAND!
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
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…
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!
Oh sure, like I’m not!!!! William will love me!
YOU SAID THE SAME THING ABOUT CHARLES!
The Blonde: FITCH!
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
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
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!
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
The Maven: I do not sneak! I will however,
allow you to have the first word on this subject.
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.
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
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
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