Movie Mom
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Thanks for the great questions!An American romantic film in which a female high school principal falls for a Mexican handyman working at the school. In a whirlwind romance she goes to Mexico with him where(I think) she gets married on impulse. Back at the school she goes through a period of self doubt but, in the end, true love prevails. Any clues?? Many thanks for your help. That is “Crazy from the Heart” with Reuben Blades and Christine Lahti.I am trying to find the name of an old black&white comedy movie that has a genie in it i can’t remember a lot about it. I think the movie started off with 3 or 4 men trying to start a small band playing music in the streets for money. They eventually enlisted in to the military services to get some money, there was a genie lamp that was thrown out in the rubbish that one of the men owned and was eventually melted down and was turned into a button which was stiched on to a military uniform. That’s “Alf’s Button.” There’s also a sequel, “Alf’s Button Afloat.” There was a family movie from the early 80’s where the daughter had some medical condition (heart or lungs??) so the family, consisting of the parents and the 2 children (boy and girl) moved into the wilderness mountains and encountered and battled wilderness hazards like raccoons and bears. It was a great movie I would love to watch with my niece. My friend and fellow critic Dustin Putman reminds me that is “The Adventures of the Wilderness Family.” I believe it was a 1980’s movie. A couple that lives under high tension wires has new neighbors move in. The new neighbors are “swingers”. This is a COMEDY movie. The “straight” neighbor ends up putting the “swingers” airplane (or fancy car) in the swamp. I am thinking it may have been one of the Saturday Night Live people that starred in the movie. Just can’t remember any of the stars at all. Been driving us crazy for 3 days! You have a good memory! That’s “Neighbors” with Dan Ackroyd.I don’t have much info at all. so this will be tricky. I remember seeing it somewhere in the late 70’s early 80’s maybe and I thought the name of the movie had the word NOVEMBER in it. It was a love story. It was on the late, late movie. I know this is a tough one. I am pretty sure you are thinking of the bittersweet Sandy Dennis love story called “Sweet November” (remade with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron), about a woman who takes a lover for just one month and then moves on to another one the following month. Looking for the name of an old movie, maybe even a black and white. Starred a famous man and women about some sort of love affair, maybe forbidden, but in the end he comes to her and she is on the couch, hiding the fact that she can no longer walk. That’s a classic! “An Affair to Remember” with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. There are also earlier and later versions (“Love Affair” with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer, and “Love Affair” again with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening), but the one with Cary Grant is the best known.Help! I saw a movie (not “Forever Young”) but it was about two brothers running from the police, sometime in the 40’s or 50’s, one guy had kidney disease, they were frozen and defrosted some 40 years later. one of the guys was getting married and he looks up his wife. it is so much like “Forever Young” but it is not. I cant remember any of the actors. Any clue? I love that movie! It’s “Late for Dinner” with Peter Berg and Marcia Gay Harden. They are actually brothers-in-law. Enjoy!No idea of who was in it. I think it was an 80’s B SciFi movie. The “scientists” developed a computer/recorder that could “tape” thoughts. The key to identify it was that one of the characters made a loop of the tape to experience repeated sexual experiences and died. That is “Brainstorm” with Natalie Wood (her last film) and Christopher Walken.The film is based in the US is in black and white. It is in the 1930’s and a group of men have a still to make illegal whisky. There is a raid by agents and an agent gets killed by one of the group. I am not sure but I think the lead was James Stewart. He is arrested, sent to prison and more or less spends the rest of his life there but during his later years he comes up with a new design for a light-weight rifle. The rifle gets produced, he eventually gets out of prison and they all live happily ever after. Corny but a good film and I can’t remember the name of it. You have a good memory! That movie is “Carbine Williams” with Jimmy Stewart, based on a true story.I saw this movie and only remember bits and pieces and I am trying to find the title. I can’t remember any big star names. The male lead might be the most famous. I’d guess it was made 2000-2005, or maybe a few years on either side.The best part of the movie was the main male character hitting on some attractive blonde (who I have never seen elsewhere – maybe an Australian actress) on an airplane near the beginning of the movie. The blonde replies something to the effect that “I am out of your league. I am so far out of your league that when someone in your league turns on a light bulb, my league doesn’t see it for 3 days.” Something like that. Of course, they two get together by the end of the movie.The movie is like a cross between Indiana Jones, American Treasure and League of Extraordinary Gentleman. The male lead is some kind of expert in arcane something. He has been chosen by some secret society to help find something and somehow save the world from the evil doers before they find it. The blonde is there to protect him, although he doesn’t know it at the start. You are thinking of “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear.” She says, “I am out of your league, I’m so out of your league, that if your league exploded, I wouldn’t hear about it for three days. So let us go on in a companionable silence shall we?”What is the name of the movie with a teenage girl that sees a white owl all of the time, and then her baby sibling gets taken and she has to go to this foreign land to get him back, and there are clocks everywhere like she’s running out of time? That is “Labyrinth” (1986) with Jennifer Connelly. Great film!What’s the name of that movie, that was made in the 80’s where this little boy mixed up peanut butter and cobwebs and put it in his hair and the next day his hair was really long? That’s “The Peanut Butter Solution,” made in 1985.Old b/w movie about a pair of candle sticks and the saying “life is to give and not to take.” “Les Miserables”A guy comes out of his house and starts to sing about being in love and the whole time he is singing he is jumping up and down like a rabbit all over town. He never stops jumping, even meeting people in the town, shaking their hand and still singing about being in love. Jumping non-stop for over 3 minutes. It has always stuck with me. But I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the movie. The actor may be Donald O’Connor, but I’m not sure. Please help. That’s Bobby Van in the unforgettable “Take Me to Broadway” number from “Small Town Girl.” Enjoy!I saw this movie several years ago on either HBO, Showtime, etc. It was about a single mother who was overly obsessed with her teenage son but she ends up sneaking around with her neighbor who was a little person. I think it has “neighbor” somewhere in the title. Thanks for any help you can give. That is one of the stories in “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her” with Kathy Baker. Great film.I watched a Japanese animation movie 10 years ago. I’m trying to find it now, unfortunately I can’t remember the title. It was a children’s movie (for maybe a 5 to 10 year old?). If I remember correctly, there was no speech. The soundtrack consisted of only classical music. The main character was a boy who played a flute and lived in a sort of magical world. It reminds me of “Fantasia.” If you could help me find it, I would be very grateful! My fellow critic and friend Mark Jenkins says he thinks you are remembering a Chinese film called “The Cowboy’s Flute.” I am trying to find the name of a movie where a father takes his family from their home to the Amazon to start a new life. He creates a incredible home, garden and ice machine which gets destroyed by natives. That’s “The Mosquito Coast” with Harrison Ford.What was the name of the movie starring Kirk Douglas that involved a trapped miner named “Leo?” That is “Ace in the Hole” (sometimes known as “The Big Carnival”). Terrific film directed by Billy Wilder.

“This is the story of one week in my life. I was seventeen. It was the week I slept in Orson Welles’s pajamas. It was the week I fell in love. And it was the week I changed my middle name – twice.” That is the opening line of a charming novel by Robert Kaplow about Welles’ famous Mercury Theater production of “Julius Ceasar,” which has now become a charming film from Richard Linklater (“School of Rock,” “Before Sunrise”), starring “High School Musical” heartthrob Zac Efron.

Welles is played by British theater actor Christian McKay, who starred as Welles in a play called “Rosebud” and perfectly captures the legend’s cadences and presence without making it an imitation. It is a true performance, and one that astutely conveys Welles’ galvanizing talent — and the infuriating single-mindedness that may be necessary to achieve his brilliant productions but never looks back at its shattering effect.

Efron plays Richard, a high school senior Welles impulsively brings on to play Lucius in the production that is about to open. Claire Danes is Sonja, Welles’ ambitious assistant. And the Mercury repertory company, many of whom would go on to become established theater and movie stars, are there for fans of “Citizen Kane” and the 1930’s to appreciate: Joseph Cotten (James Tupper), George Coulouris (Ben Chaplin), and John Houseman (Eddie Marsan). The tumult and brinksmanship that goes into any theatrical production are deftly presented, and as we see everything through the eyes of Richard, a bright, confident, dedicated, but inexperienced newcomer, we appreciate the brutal demands but also the passionate commitment, and the thrill, of presenting something that everyone knows will be an unforgettable experience for the performers and the audience.

Efron turns out to be a real star, with enormous screen charisma that works well for the character, making us understand why Welles and Sonja are drawn to him. But he turns out to be a real actor, too, very much part of an ensemble, with one of his most impressive achievements how effectively he blends in so seamlessly. Utterly effortless, whether talking to another teenager with artistic ambition (Zoe Kazan as aspiring writer Gretta) or asking an older woman for a date, Efron is always engaging.

We know from the beginning that Richard will be disappointed; that is inevitable in any coming of age story. But we are confident that he will also develop the perspective to make the most from what he has learned. The glimpses of the actual modern-dress production, gorgeously staged, resonate and inspire. We leave looking forward to seeing more from Welles, and from Efron, McKay, and Linklater as well.

I’ve been hoping someone would do this — Moviefone has found 30 references to games, music, and pop culture in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” Any that they missed?

Cable series about desperate circumstances do well because they put our daily lives into the sharpest possible focus. Somehow, they make characters who deal in drugs (“Weed,” “Breaking Bad”) or mental illness (“United States of Tara”) or even the compulsion to murder (“Dexter”) seem if not normal at least accessible. The latest addition premieres this week and the first episode (slightly edited) is available on YouTube.
Laura Linney stars in “The Big C” as a wife, mother, and teacher who has always taken care of others and colored in the lines who discovers she has terminal cancer. This causes her to think carefully about who she is and what she wants and needs. She had organized her choices based on having a lot of time. When she discovers that her time is limited, she tells a waiter, “I’m just having desserts and liquor.” She does not tell the people around her about her illness, but she begins to tell them the truth about other things. The cast includes Gabourey Sidibe of “Precious” as an outspoken student and Oliver Platt as an affectionate but needy husband. I especially like her interaction with her young doctor. Even he is relying on her for support because it was the first time he ever had to tell a patient she was terminal.
This may be a comedy, but it is no sit-com. It is an adventure with a woman trying to maintain some sense of control and achieve some sense of meaning. It is the way her diagnosis liberates her that makes the show bracing, provocative and yes, even funny.
Linney is one of the finest actresses in Hollywood and it is a treat to see her show us how a woman finds that the prospect of death makes her begin to understand for the first time what life really means.