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I heart period pieces.

Three days and three movies into 2011:

Charlotte Gray (2001)
Screenplay by: Jeremy Brock (based on the novel by Sebastian Faulks)
Directed by: Gillian Armstrong
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Michael Gambon, Rupert Penry-Jones, James Fleet, Helen McCrory, and Anton Lesser

Synopsis: During World War II, a Scottish woman (Blanchett) is recruited by the Secret Service to act as a courier for the French Resistance. During her first mission, as she searches for information about her pilot boyfriend (Penry-Jones) whose plane has been shot down behind enemy lines, she befriends a member of a Communist resistance group (Crudup) and his elderly father (Gambon), and helps care for two Jewish boys whose parents have been arrested and taken to a work camp in Poland.

Going undercover...Collapse )

Investigative Journalism

We're two days into 2011, and I'm already on my second movie post of the year. Woo hoo!

Veronica Guerin (2003)
Screenplay by: Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Ciaran Hinds, Gerard McSorley, Brenda Fricker, Barry Barnes, Don Wycherley, with a brief appearance by Colin Farrell

Synopsis: This film is based on the true story of Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, who was assassinated in 1996 after she exposed Dublin's most powerful drug lords in a series of stories for The Sunday Independent.

Why would anyone want to kill Veronica Guerin?Collapse )

Spy Game (Part 2)

Happy New Year, LJ!!! May you enjoy health, happiness and prosperity in 2011!  A new year means a new movie watchlist:

Smiley's People (1982 BBC miniseries)
Screenplay by: John Hopkins (based on the novel by John le Carre)
Directed by: Simon Langton
Starring: Alec Guinness, Bernard Hepton, Eileen Atkins, Anthony Bate, Michael Byrne, Bill Paterson, Michael Lonsdale, Barry Foster, and Patrick Stewart

Synopsis:  When an aging British Intelligence agent is murdered and no one seems to care, George Smiley takes it upon himself to find out what happened. As the pieces of the puzzle slowly come together, Smiley discovers that his old Russian nemesis may be involved.

Guillam: You won, George. Smiley: Did I? Yes. Yes, I suppose I did.Collapse )

Speech Therapy

Last post of 2010!  Happy almost New Year, LJ!!! I just realized that I do not have a Colin Firth icon; this oversight must be rectified immediately! (ETA: problem solved! *points to icon*)

The King's Speech
(2010)
Screenplay by: David Seidler
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Ehle, Timothy Spall, and Derek Jacobi

Synopsis: This is the story of King George VI, a.k.a. "Bertie" (Firth), who assumed the throne following the sudden abdication of his brother Edward VIII. Suffering from a debilitating stammer, he seeks the aid of Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Rush), who helps the war-time King find his voice.

Lionel: Why should I waste my time listening to you? Bertie: Because I have a voice! Lionel: Yes, you do.Collapse )

Spy Game

Okay, I lied: my previous entry wasn't my last movie post of the year. This one is. Probably.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979 BBC miniseries)
Screenplay by: Arthur Hopcraft (based on the novel by John le Carre)
Directed by: John Irvin
Starring: Alec Guinness, Ian Richardson, Michael Jayston, Bernard Hepton, Ian Bannen, Hywel Bennett, Anthony Bate, George Sewell, Terence Rigby, Michael Aldridge, Alexander Knox, and Patrick Stewart

Synopsis: At the height of the Cold War, former British Intelligence officer George Smiley is pulled out of a forced retirement and asked to conduct an investigation to uncover a Russian mole within his old spy agency.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief...Collapse )

Sunday Double Feature

This is most likely the last entry on my 2010 movie watch list (Although that could change; one never knows for sure!), and I've got TWO new movies to talk about:

Black Swan (2010)
Screenplay by: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John McLaughlin
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder

Synopsis: When a NYC ballet company artistic director (Cassel) decides to replace his prima ballerina (Ryder) with a fresh face for the company's upcoming performance of Swan Lake, he chooses Nina (Portman) to perform the dual roles of the White Swan and the Black Swan. While Nina dances the White Swan perfectly, she struggles to fully embody the Black Swan. When Nina strikes up an unusual friendship with a new dancer (Kunis), she begins to lose control and starts to embrace the sensuality of the Black Swan. But things are not at all as they appear...

Quest for perfectionCollapse )

True Grit
(2010)
Screenplay by: Joel & Ethan Coen (based on the novel by Charles Portis)
Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper

Synopsis: When fourteen year old Mattie Ross' (Steinfeld) father is killed by his hired hand Tom Chaney (Brolin), she hires US Marshall and notorious drunk Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) to track the murderer down. Joined by a preening Texas Ranger (Damon) who also wants to capture Chaney, the three set out for the Indian Territories where they are sure to face many unknown dangers.

The wicked flee when no man pursueth...Collapse )

Merry Christmas!

For those of you on my f-list who celebrate, I'm dropping by to wish you all a very merry Christmas!

                

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."  
 
                                                                                       -- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)

Tags:

Lying Liar

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I started my movie watch list!  Up next:

The Invention of Lying (2009)
Written and Directed by: Ricky Gervais & Matthew Robinson
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Rob Lowe, Jeffrey Tambor, Tina Fey, Fionnula Flanagan

Synopsis: Mark Bellison (Gervais) lives in a world where everyone always tells the truth. After losing his job and being threatened with eviction by his landlord, Mark -- now in dire straits -- tells the first ever lie and discovers that by not telling the truth he can get just about anything he wants. But is this new found power really all it's cracked up to be, and will lying help win over the girl he loves (Garner)?

Your baby is so ugly, it's like a little rat!Collapse )

Hanna trailer!

Cate as the antagonist = YAY!! (Also, I love her as a redhead.)

Despite the subject line, this is not a post about Mandy Hampton. Sorry to disappoint. ;-)

A Christmas Carol
(2009)
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Screenplay by: Robert Zemeckis (based on the novella by Charles Dickens)
Starring: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Bob Hoskins, Lesley Manville, Molly C. Quinn

Synopsis: (Honestly, if you don't already know this story, you must have been living under a rock your whole life.) Miserly businessman Ebenezer Scrooge (Carrey) has no place in his heart for kindness and lacks even a hint of compassion for his fellow man. Then, one Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his long-deceased business partner Jacob Marley (Oldman), who warns Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come (all Carrey). Their visits prompt Scrooge to change his current ways in order to avoid a dire fate.

Bah humbug!Collapse )


Like I need yet another time waster.

I, for some unknown reason, now have tumblr.  I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for yet...probably interesting links, photos and video. My handle is 13-pines and you can find me here. If you're a tumblr user, feel free to follow me, and let me know it's you so I can follow you back!

(FYI, I'll still be posting here just as often as I normally do -- I'd never abandon you, LJ!)

Tags:

Deathly Hallows the First

I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I last Friday, but with the holidays, etc. I didn't have time to sit down and write a decent entry about it until now.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010)
Directed by: David Yates
Screenplay by: Steve Kloves (based on the novel by J.K. Rowling)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Brendan Gleeson, Alan Rickman, David Thewlis, Rhys Ifans, and practically every other British actor that's ever lived.

I don't think they can be called spoilers if the book came out three years ago, but here's a cut anyway.Collapse )

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans, and to the rest of you: I hope you've had a wonderful Thursday! I finally forced myself out of my earlier Tryptophan coma in order to tell all you LJ folks how thankful I am for both your friendship and your entertaining (and oftentimes enlightening) posts. Happy holidays, and for those of you headed out to the Black Friday sales tomorrow morning, be safe!

Unrelated to Thanksgiving:  The US trailer for Another Year finally appeared online this week. I've been waiting for this movie be released in US theatres since the spring when it first started getting major buzz during the Cannes Film Festival. The film was written and directed by the always amazing Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Secrets & Lies), plus it has an incredible cast that includes: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Imelda Staunton, David Bradley, and Lesley Manville (also known as the first ex-Mrs. Gary Oldman and a very talented stage actress).

Are you afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Watch this trailer and guess the ONLY reason I'm going to see the movie (a correct guess wins you an as-yet-to-be-determined prize):


"From the Director of Twilight" *shudders*

But Catherine Hardwicke isn't actually a bad director (Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown, anyone?); she just had Stephenie Meyer's horrible material to work with, not to mention some embarrassingly bad actors. Plus this movie is executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio...that's a good sign, right? He's notorious for choosing excellent scripts. I can't decide whether this movie is going to be totally cool or completely awful. It could go either way.

At least it's visually appealing...the red cloak juxtaposed against the white snow is gorgeous. Also, check out the purple cassock!

Royal Wedding Bells

Prince William is officially engaged to Kate Middleton.

Well, there goes that marriage prospect! And here I was, expecting him to call me up any day. ;-)

Congrats to the lovely couple!

Unrelated, but equally awesome: The Beatles are now on iTunes!

They left out Noel. Noel!

TV Squad counts down the 10 greatest (or TV Squad's opinion of the 10 greatest) West Wing episodes here:

Best West Wing Episodes of All Time

Thoughts? Opinions? You already know what I think -- They left out "Noel," therefore this list is invalid. (However, I will admit that I completely agree with the top three.)

Tell me that's not George Smiley.

Read this article, take a look at the corresponding photo, and tell me that man doesn't look perfect for the role. Go ahead, I dare you. Ohmygodiamsoexcited!

Le Carre update: I finished the Karla trilogy in September, bought A Murder of Quality at the airport bookstore two weeks ago, and am hoping to read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold over the Thanksgiving holidays. Any other suggestions of must-read Le Carre novels?

Reunited, and it feels so good!

Entertainment Weekly has gathered together 12 television and movie casts, including the cast of The West Wing, for a Reunion issue.  The folks over at EW.com have posted some great footage and interviews from the reunion photo shoots.  Make sure to check out the West Wing reunion video here. (Be sure to watch to the end for Bradley Whitford and Janel Moloney's thoughts on what Josh and Donna are doing now!)

I haven't abandoned you, LJ, I swear! Life has just been hectic, and I haven't had much to say.

Last weekend's New York Comic Con featured a panel on Cate Blanchett's upcoming film, Hanna.  Starring Blanchett, Eric Bana, and Saoirse Ronan, Hanna tells the story of a teenage girl who has been trained by her father to be an assassin (Think Leon: The Professional, but...different).

The movie certainly sounds interesting, plus it's directed by Joe Wright, so I have relatively high hopes for it. We shall see come spring. If you're interested, check out these articles about the Hanna panel at NYCC from The Film Stage, Cinema Blend, and EW's PopWatch.

Flying high

Up In The Air (2009)
Screenplay by: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner (based on a novel by Walter Kim)
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride, Amy Morton, Zach Galifianakis, JK Simmons, Sam Elliott

Synopsis: Ryan Bingham (Clooney) spends most of his life on an airplane, zig-zagging the US firing people for a living. His goal of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and his hotel-based relationship with a fellow frequent flyer (Farmiga) are threatened when a young up-and-comer (Kendrick) at his company comes up with a new business plan that could keep him on the ground permanently.

How many frequent flyer miles do you have? Spoilers...Collapse )

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