Random Film Reviews


Over the past few days I’ve viewed four films that I thought were all worthy of a mention. I think all of them are from a few years back, which shows how current I am on the latest films.


The first from 2009 was Precious, about an extremely uneducated and overweight black woman and her struggles to overcome her life’s situation. It won some academy awards, at least for the actress in the title role as I recall. It was a much better film and story than I expected. A sad and moving story, well worth the time to watch.


The second from 2015 was TRUMBO about the blacklisted screenwriter, and communist sympathizer Dalton Trumbo. A well written, well-acted story illustrating the true events and characters at that time in politics and old Hollywood. As usual, Bryan Cranston is superb in the title role.  The only film that I’m aware of him writing was SPARTACUS, from 1960 also one of my favorites. I'm sure their were many other credits to Dalton Trumbo under many other names.


The third film, also from 2009 is one simply called MOON with actor Sam Rockwell in the lead role. This is an interesting story with a very small cast and some intriguing ideas.  I missed the opening scenes so it had me guessing from the beginning, and trying to figure out what was going on.  I don’t know if there were any set-ups in the beginning that gave away any of the surprises. It’s kind of like The Martian from 2015. Similar in a way but different in that the story revolves around one guy based alone on the moon. In this story, the main character is working for the big corporation, maintaining a vital mining operation, and learning over time that things were not exactly what they seemed.  I liked the film MOON a lot and will probably watch it again.


The fourth film I watched early this morning called Cinema Verite, with Tim Robbins, Diane Lane, and the late James Gandolfini among others. This is an HBO-produced film and is a retelling of a real documentary about the Loud Family, which was one of the earliest examples of reality television. The original documentary, a production of An American Family, a 1973 PBS television series was controversial in its day, due to the effects of the filming on the subjects, namely the lives of the Loud Family members, and the manipulation pushed upon them by the director and the networks to create some conflicts to exploit. One of the reasons I like this is because of the 1970’s setting, they captured the vibe of the time very well. I give this one a thumbs up too.


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