Archive for the ‘Classic’ Category

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 1

December 9, 2017

Season 1 of the Amazon Prime exclusive, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel succeeded my wildest expectations after loving the pilot during Amazon’s Pilot season earlier this year. Gilmore Girls creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino work their magic once again, this time in 1950’s New York City. Miriam “Midge” Maisel falls into stand-up comedy after a nasty break-up with her husband. Midge spent her young life being a daughter, wife, and mother. Now she’s back home living with her parents, two kids in tow while she figures out how to make money and how to break into show business. I love, love, love this series. It’s got everything: tight delivery, outstanding cast including Rachel Brosnahan as Midge (a star is born), Alex Borstein as Suzie, Midge’s lesbian manager, Marin Hinkle incredibly cast and nailing her role as Midge’s Mom, Tony Shalhoub as Midge’s dry sense of humor Dad, and Luke Kirby occasionally appearing as Lenny Bruce. The sets, costumes, design – all outstanding. The drama comedy balance perfect. I know I’m ruining it but I can’t help it. I love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Midge teaches us what it means to be a modern woman, figuring out how to break the chains of patriarchy while holding on to the parts of her life that work. The show never knocks you over the head. It teaches through the drama of the every day story. You’ll be hooked on Midge and her journey from the moment you begin. And did I say the series is so much fun? Laugh out loud moments, period songs inserted at just the right moment. 5 out of 5 for the Sherman-Palladino’s new creation. Thank you Amazon.

Advertisements

More Than Meets the Eye: William Wyler (NYC’s Quad Cinema Retrospective)

November 30, 2017

Nominated twelve times for Best Director Oscar and winning three, fans of American film director William Wyler can immerse themselves in a retrospective of 25 Wyler classics at New York City’s Quad Cinema in December. From More Than Meets the Eye’s Quad Cinema,

In The American Cinema, Andrew Sarris grouped William Wyler in the dreaded “Less than Meets the Eye” category, alongside Huston, Wilder, and Lean as “directors with reputations in excess of inspirations.” And what a reputation Wyler has: this consummate perfectionist worked for nearly half a century, from the silent era to the dawn of the New Hollywood, earning the most-ever Best Director Oscar nominations with 12 (and three wins). His name has become virtually synonymous with Hollywood craftsmanship and prestige; Wyler made unapologetically big movies about big themes with big performances. But a closer look reveals countless grace notes between the crescendos, and shows Wyler to be an acute chronicler of mid-century American life. He had the range of an accomplished journeyman, but whatever the genre, he proved a fluid stylist of startling invention. The Quad is proud to present New York’s most extensive Wyler retrospective in 15 years, a much-needed reconsideration of this vital film artist.

Click here for a list of the 25 films and their screening dates.

Reel Charlie Wyler favorites include:
The Best Year of Our Lives
The Children’s Hour
Dodsworth
Funny Girl
The Heiress
The Little Foxes

L.A. Law: Season 3

November 27, 2017

I’m maxed out on L.A. Law seasons here in the States. The Region 1 DVDs only go as far as Season 3 which I just finished. Damn. I guess this is the end of the road for me – for now. I sure wish someone would stream all eight seasons. I know it changed a lot over the years. After Susan Dey left, I stopped watching. But I’d love to see where it goes and if I could stay with it. Meanwhile, Season 3 continued the excellence of the first two seasons. Great stories, Lots of humor. And the women really shine in this series. Very balanced characters gender-wise. Probably a big deal back in the 80’s to execute that. Even the Roxanne character proves not everyone who works for a law firm manages their money or even makes enough in the first place. Mickey and Grace are on the rocks, Ann and Stuart try to make a baby, Abby ventures out on her own, Jonathan finds his footing, and Victor continues to work strong. Season 3 truly features the classic cast. Still holds up after more than 30 years. 5 out of 5 for this television legal drama that not only paved the way for many other shows like it, but inspired many people to become lawyers.

Daisy’s Adoption Day

November 25, 2017

While Dennis and I are acclimating rescue dog Daisy to her new home today, talk among yourselves.

Reel Charlie and Daisy

Or better yet, dance!

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

November 23, 2017

I certainly have many things to be thankful for this year – great friends, an amazing family, a supportive and loving non-partner/partner (my bex, Dennis), a fantastic job in a career that helps the disenfranchised and people at risk, wonderful co-workers, a healthy body that responds to exercise, doctors and medical staff who keep me humming after all these post AIDS crisis years, and a brand-new 7 year-old puppy girl who will come live with us on Saturday.

But this year has not been without struggle. Now more than ever it’s important I keep myself glass half full. There is so much to do if we are to make this country and our world a reflection of decency, kindness, love and inclusion.

Today is U.S. Thanksgiving. Many of you will be home with family and friends. I wish you a calm, happy, foodie day. And afterwards, if you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving movie, consider What’s Cooking. It’s very American and very ethnic. Which is very American. Now more than ever.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of the perfect Thanksgiving film: What’s Cooking.
What’s Cooking is currently streaming on Amazon with a Tribeca Shortlist subscription. Or rent it digitally for $3 from Amazon, Apple, or Vudu. Or get the DVD from Netflix or your library.

The Best Years of Our Lives (Blu-ray)

November 17, 2017

Revisiting this classic brings joyful tears to my eyes each time I watch. Click on the image below for an updated review of William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives.

Shakespeare Wallah at The Quad (NYC) with James Ivory and Madhur Jaffrey

November 8, 2017

Exciting news for Merchant Ivory fans in the metropolitan NYC area. The Quad is screening a restored version of Shakespeare Wallah this week with director/screenwriter James Ivory and star Madhur Jaffrey. I went to the city a few months ago and was honored to catch Ivory for the screening of Maurice. It was a magical evening. Loved hearing stories from one of my favorite film partners of all-time.

Shakespeare Wallah
1965, 120m, DCP, UK/India

Opens Friday—North American theatrical premiere engagement of 2K restoration
The second feature uniting director/screenwriter James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant—known then and forever as Merchant Ivory—with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and actor Shashi Kapoor secured the world cinema reputations of all concerned. Based in part on the diaries that Geoffrey Kendal kept while performing Shakespeare all across India with his wife Laura Liddell, the film introduced audiences to their daughter Felicity Kendal, who stars as the UK theatrical troupe’s ingenue, caught in a love triangle with an Indian playboy (Kapoor) and a Bollywood film actress (Madhur Jaffrey, named Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival). The Merchant Ivory tenets of literate wit, heartbreak, and cultural collision all take center stage.

With Madhur Jaffrey & James Ivory in person at 6.30pm on Fri November 10

Purchase tickets online at The Quad.

Sunshine State Screening at the Library: Saturday, 11/11/2017

November 5, 2017

Our final John Sayles film, Sunshine State screens at Fairfield Public Library this Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm. Join us for our American Independent Film Director series final event. Click on the image below to register.

Lone Star

November 4, 2017

A classic independent film comes to Fairfield Public Library. Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of Lone Star.

Alien (Blu-ray)

November 3, 2017

Rounding out my scary Halloween week movie watching, I turned back time to 1979 and caught Alien on Blu-ray. I remember being scared the first time I saw the film. Alien in 2017 reads as a very simple film with a camp monster. It harkens back to B movies such as Creature from the Black Lagoon and classic films such as James Whale’s Frankenstein. Why do so many science fiction films portray characters as scrappy? Is that an American thing? It’s a trope I’m frankly tired of in a big way. Alien is worth watching for Sigourney Weaver and other cast members John Hurt and Ian Holm. Veronica Cartwright’s screaming gets on my nerves. In the end, it’s the kind of film you watch for the set designs and animation more than the story. 3.5 out of 5 for Alien.


%d bloggers like this: