Showing posts from January, 2013


Quartet is Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, so I had a feeling it was going to be good, as I love him as an actor and he's had a long and varied career. As a classical music fan, too, I very much enjoyed Quartet, although it definitely had some slow spots throughout.

Beecham House is a home for retired musicians, all of whom still love practicing their craft. The birthday of Verdi (a composer) is coming up, and the Beecham residents are preparing a big concert to celebrate. Reggie (Tom Courtenay), Wilf (Billy Connolly), and Cissy (Pauline Collins) are all opera singers who used to be very famous, actually, and they're shocked when they find out that a woman who was in their quartet, Jean (Maggie Smith), is going to be Beecham's newest resident. It's especially problematic for Reggie, who used to be married to Jean before she broke his heart many years ago. The director of the Verdi concert, though (Michael Gambon, aka Dumbledore from the Harry Potter films) kno…

Ellen is moving to 3pm!

This may surprise you, but occasionally I do watch TV in addition to all of the movies I see (!). I have a few favorites, mostly prime time shows, but one of the talk shows I really like is "Ellen," the #1 top talk show in Detriot, which is shown on Local 4 in this area

Ellen is moving from the 10am to 3pm time slot, which means she will be on TV right before Ruth and Chuck on Local 4 News First at 4. That's exciting because it's a more accessible time, and more people should be tuning in. Keeping up on the latest news and interviews is best when done on the same day an episode airs, I've found, and her new 3pm slot may make that easier for some of her viewers, both returning and new. It's a time more accessible to students as well, and parents will be able to watch the show with their tweens and teens. When The Ellen Show moves to 3pm, her program will now be airing between 3-5pm for all of the top twenty markets in the country, Detroit included.

I've f…

Abel's Field on DVD: Review and Giveaway

I will be the first to say that I'm not really a religious person, so when it comes to reviewing "faith-based" DVDs and movies, I tend to be choosy. That's not to say that others won't enjoy them; it just means that I often don't. With Abel's Field, I liked the movie overall; however, the film itself is very slow, which for me often makes the movie less interesting.

Synopsis of the film:
Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) faces enormous pressure as he strives to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. But fighting back only finds him singled out for punishment and assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of the reserved groundskeeper, Abel (SOUL SURFER’S Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that Abel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth toward desperate measure…

Broken City

We last saw Russell Crowe as an honest French policeman, but in Broken City, he's a corrupt and dirty politician - and I have to say, the role definitely suits him. Mark Wahlberg plays an ex-cop that gets used by NYC Mayor Hostetler (Crowe), and decides he's about had enough of him. Catherine Zeta-Jones is Crowe's wife, though they've been emotionally estranged for some time; even so, with the mayoral election around the corner, she must play the doting wife so that he can beat newcome Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper) to remain the mayor.

Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) has been a private investigator for the past seven years, since Mayor Hostetler essentially fired him from his job after he was embroiled in a murder scandal back then, even though he was pronounced not guilty. He's been with his girlfriend, Natalie (Natalie Martinez), for about the same amount of time, and he met her while on the job - her sister was raped and killed at a blighted government housing develo…

Gangster Squad

I had been excited to see Gangster Squad for quite a while now, not only because my boy Gosling is in it (ha), but because the ensemble cast and the movie itself looked great. The film ended up being a lot bloodier than I originally thought it would be, though I guess its "R" rating should have given me an indication of that, and it's more of an ensemble movie than one focused on one main character, save for the main gangster, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), who definitely steals the show.

It's Los Angeles in the late 1940s, and gangster Mickey Cohen, originally from Chicago, has started taking over the town. He's connected with everyone, even the police, and it would be extremely hard to "take him down" - but police chief Parker (Nick Nolte) wants to do exactly that. He "hires" Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to put together what later becomes known as a "gangster squad" - all cops, none of whom will be wearing the badge on this part…

Zero Dark Thirty

I had heard a lot about Zero Dark Thirty, and after it got nominated for a few Oscars, including one for Best Picture and one for Best Actress for Jessica Chastain, I was even more curious about it. I also wondered about the significance of the title, which is never really explained in the movie, but if you think about it, it does make sense: at the end of the film, Osama bin Laden's house is raided, and a quick pan to a clock is shown, in military time - which is 00:30. Zero thirty, then, or Zero Dark Thirty, which refers to the "darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade-long mission," as director Kathryn Bigelow has said.

The film opens powerfully with sounds only (no images). The date is September 11, 2001, and the Twin Towers have just been hit: we hear snatches of conversations and 911 calls. We then meet Maya (Chastain), a CIA employee who was recruited out of high school, and over the course of the next two and a half hours, we learn that she's made…

The Lion King at the Detroit Opera House - win a family 4-pack!

Metro Detroit Mommy is giving away a four-pack of tickets to see The Lion King on Broadway, at the Detroit Opera House, and I am one of the hosts of the giveaway! See below on how to enter the contest. The Lion King is one of my favorite Disney movies!

Disney’s THE LION KING is Coming to the Detroit Opera House February 13 - March 10, 2013 Tickets on sale Now

Broadway in Detroit reminds theatregoers:, and are the only authorized online ticket sellers for the Detroit engagement of Disney’s The Lion King

Disney's The Lion King is a dazzlingly inventive show that brings the Pride Lands' animals to life right in front of you through a combination of breathtaking costumes, fantastic choreography and the award winning music we have all come to know and love.  Don't miss your chance to feel the chills as Rafiki sings "The Circle of Life,"  tap your toe as young Simba sings "I Just Can't Wait to be King," o…

Not Fade Away

Not Fade Away is the first film from David Chase, who created and produced the acclaimed TV series The Sopranos. The film follows Doug (John Magaro) as he moves from suburban New Jersey to New York City with dreams of starting a band with his friends. The film takes place in the 1960s, during the height of a rock-and-roll period filled with new acts like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Although the movie has a great soundtrack, it tends to jump and use quick transitions, and in the process it becomes more lackluster than unique.

Doug (Magaro) graduates from high school and starts a band with some of his friends. His father (James Gandolfini) disapproves of the band, but as long as Doug goes to college, he's fine with it - for now. Doug comes back from his first semester of college looking like "someone off the boat," as his father repeatedly calls him, and he wants to record a demo with the band and try to make the band his main source of income, dropping out of col…