Grace and Frankie Review

I tripped across the Lionsgate series Grace and Frankie accidentally recently and I enjoyed it. It is definitely an in-your-face comedy program about aging. It includes plenty that you might or might not object to including drugs, alcohol and sex.

It stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston and June Diane Raphael. I think the first four did a fine job of representing older folks and the issues that they may or may not face in the future.

In the series, both women have been married for forty years to men who have just come out as being gay. Not only are they gay but the men are in love with each other and have been having an affair for twenty years. If you are thinking this is not really a funny subject, I agree but put that aside and enjoy the myriad of funny situations in the show in which the women, though totally different from each other, wind up sharing a beach house because they own it jointly and have been life long friends. Friends that is, with issues.  The story revolves around issues related to the demise of those marriages the continuation of their new family lives.

Here's the trailer:

I expect if you are part of the aging population ah, like I am, you might enjoy this program, if you do not object to some of the subject manner. We will all face some of these situations as we age. Hopefully, we will be able to do so with humor wherever possible. Growing old is not fun.

The Telegraph says, "This septuagenarian comedy is sharp, moving and celebrates the vigour of growing old. It's lighthearted in celebrating the continued vigour of people in the later years of their lives, addressing their concerns without reducing its characters to fumbling old biddies with a lost sense of purpose, and the excellent leads bring life and plausibility to a story that might otherwise have fallen flat." I agree.

Be aware that not everyone I spoke to liked this show but I did. You can buy the DVD on Amazon or you can watch the videos on Amazon Prime. Find both formats by clicking right here. There are four seasons of the show available though at this moment just two are available. I am also told that there is a fifth season on the way.

Have you seen Grace and Frankie? Did you like it or not? If not, will you be watching it?

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Quick Links:

Buy Grace and Frankie from Amazon.

Oliver's Ghost Hallmark Halloween Movie (2011)

Oliver's Ghost Hallmark Movie

Oliver's Ghost, A Ghost Of A Story

Oliver's Ghost aired originally on the Hallmark Channel, a  Halloween movie in which a boy can see ghostly spirits. He moves to an old house in the suburbs where he can see the previous home owner's spirit and he and a neighbor work together to help free that spirit by having him let go of his earthly regrets, which allows the house and the family to resume normal living.

Here's the movie trailer:

FAST Facts About Oliver's Ghost 

DIRECTED BY: David S. Cass Sr.
STARS: Martin Mull, Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Stargel, Cameron Daddo, Bridget White, Daniela Bobadilla and Preston Strother.
RELEASE DATE: October 22, 2011
RUNTIME: To be determined.
RATING: Undetermined, although the trailer certainly makes the movie look like a family movie.
WRITTEN BY: David Golden

Meet Nicholas Stargel

Meet Nicholas Stargel Child Star of Oliver's Ghost Nicholas Stargel plays the child star in Oliver's Ghost. He started acting when he was five, appearing on the t.v. show Monk. In the next five years, he has appeared in six more shows and movies: Hallmark Hall of Fame's Front Of The Class, One Tree Hill, Past Life, Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns and Drop Dead Diva. He has also appeared in many television commercials for companies like Subway and Special K and has appeared in print. Nicholas lives in Georgia and California, splitting his time, as required. Besides acting, Hallmark says that he enjoys sports including baseball, football, soccer and that he is also a singer and guitar player.

Oliver's Ghost DVD

As far as I am aware, Oliver's Ghost has not made it to DVD so you will have to catch it when and if Hallmark airs it at Halloween time.  If you know otherwise, be sure to let me know. If you have seen this movie, be sure to let us know what you thought, too!

See you
at the movies!

More Halloween:

Not Too Scary Movies For Tweens or Pre-Teens on Halloween.
Your Tween will probably be clamouring to see a scary movie this Halloween and probably will want to do so without you around....
Hallmark's Growing The Big One.
Hallmark's 2010 fall or Halloween themed movie, featuring small town life and giant pumpkins..

Halloween Every Day, A Halloween Blog.
Take six Halloween enthusiasts, put them in a great big black cauldron and stir. What do you get?

In The Name of the Father Ireland Movie Review (2013)

When we set off on this episode of our armchair traveller's trip to Ireland, I had not heard Gerry Conlon's story nor that of the Guildford Four. Conlon, as the Blu-ray cover says, was "falsely accused, wrongly imprisoned and had to fight for justice for his father's name."

Despite the R rating for language and violence, I did enjoy In The Name of the Father and thought that Daniel Day-Lewis did an excellent job of portraying the victim. The movie did not win any Academy Awards, but was nominated for seven, a definite indicator in my mind of a good movie.

It was not easy to watch, however. The fact that Conlon was a drifter and a petty thief did not make his tale of gross injustice any easier to watch. The level of police corruption was definitely disturbing.

In The Name of the Father is set in Belfast, Ireland and in Guildford, England in the 1970s. The IRA bombed a pub in Guildford and Conlon and his friends had the misfortune of being Irishmen in the vicinity at the time.  Using the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the police arrested him and his friends and eventually 15 members of his family.  In 1989, after the Guildford Four had spent 14 years in prison, Conlon's lawyer found a piece of evidence that had been hidden by the police, proving the innocence of Conlon but also of his father who died while in prison, his friends and his family.

Blogger Oscar Champs reports in his post that the story is not completely accurate, which is usually true of historically based stories and most movies and the director of In The Name of the Father eventually said that he changed facts, dates, etc. to suit his story. With this regard, the New York Times said that the film is "faithful to the larger facts while taking minor liberties," which seems reasonable to me. Even if the movie is not completely accurate, I believe that it tells a story that needs to be told and that it provides another look into Ireland's history. 

In his 1994 review Roger Ebert said that the story is really of how Conlon grows while in prison from an "unbalanced, angry homeless man" into a man who is "sober, intelligent, radicalized." He called the film interesting because "much of it is inspired by the love of the father for his son." Despite such praise, he gave the film 3 stars.

In closing their review linked above, The New York Times said, "A personal tragedy and a plea for reason, this tough, riveting film succeeds on both scores." 

Is this movie recommended by me? Yes, if you are interested in a look at this period in Ireland's history, if you are interested in a totally unbelievable story that is actually true and if you keep in mind that it is rated R for violence and language. There is a lot to think about here.

You can learn more about In the Name of The Father or buy your copy on Amazon by clicking right here. If you want more story, you might check out Conlon's book Proved Innocent on Amazon, too. Presumably, it does a better job of sticking to Gerry Conlon's version of the facts.

See you
at the movies!

More About Ireland:

Buy In The Name of the Father on Amazon.

Read my My Left Foot Movie Review.
Read my Michael Collins Movie Review.

My Left Foot Irish Movie Review (1989)

I had no expectations from the 1989 movie My Left Foot and picked it up because it was set in Ireland. Yes, it was to be another movie in our armchair traveller's trip to Ireland.  Anyway, I thought that the movie started off slowly and that it seemed dated but in the end the story of Christy Brown and his family reeled both myself and my husband in.

Christy Brown was born with cerebral palsy in 1930s Dublin in a time when most born with that disease and many others were shipped off to care facilities. However, Christy was born into a poor family who could not afford to send him away and was raised in the interesting and economically struggling environment that he was born into. Despite the many challenges provided by this home, he was loved and was included and eventually goes on to become a painter and the author of numerous books including the one of his own story as shown below.

Here’s a look at the movie via the original trailer:

Is My Left Foot recommended by me? YES.

We totally enjoyed this story despite the uncertain beginning. But don't take my word for it, this movie was unexpectedly successful and widely circulated in the end but originally produced for the local Irish market. When it received wider circulation both the critics and the audiences liked it. Daniel Day-Lewis won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Brenda Fricker for Best Supporting Actress. Other nominations for the film were for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and for Best Picture.  I believe that the cast, which also included Ray McAnally and Fiona Shaw, was indeed excellent and that the movie drew us in in large part because of the performances put in by that cast.

Roger Ebert said, "It is the story of a stubborn, difficult, blessed and gifted man who was dealt a bad hand, who played it brilliantly, and who left us some good books, some good paintings and the example of his courage."

The Guardian calls it, "A moving portrayal of an astonishing man with a brilliant brain trapped inside a damaged body."

If you like a good story about one person's battle to express himself and you don't mind that it is a bit gritty and dated, I think you might enjoy My Left Foot. While it is not meant to be about Ireland, it is a good peek into Dublin in the 1930s. Let me know what you think of it if you do check the movie out.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Find the Christy Brown book and movie on Amazon.
Fifty Dead Men Walking movie review.
Michael Collins movie review.

Michael Collins Irish Movie Review (1996)

Next up on our armchair trip to Ireland is the movie Michael Collins, which is yet another story of troubled times in Ireland that is based on a true story. It is set in that beautiful country but once again it is definitely not a beautiful movie as it tells another extremely violent story.

Michael Collins is a historical biopic film that tells the story of the man of the same name who led a guerrilla war in Ireland against the United Kingdom and eventually went on to create the Irish Free State and lead the National Army during the civil war. It is set roughly between the years of 1916 and 1920.

IMDB says that this movie was given the rating of PG in Ireland because of the historical value of the film despite the fact that it includes so much violence. They wanted the film to be available to young people who needed to know about that time frame in the country’s history. The film is more appropriately rated R elsewhere.

Here’s a look at the movie via the original trailer:

The New York Times says Collins was, “a leader who experienced a sea of change during his brief career, evolving from a pioneer of modern-day terrorism into a proponent of compromise and peace.” I believe that Liam Neeson does a solid job of portraying Michael Collins. Also in the cast are Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman and Julia Roberts. 

Is this movie recommended by me? Well, yes, if you are interested in a look at this period in Ireland's history and if you can tolerate the unpleasantness. The Guardian says that Michael Collins is, “A watchable and mostly well-judged film on a worthy subject, but one that is undermined by a couple of careless liberties with the facts.” For my and possibly your purposes of understanding a bit more about the history of Ireland, this film works even though it may not be 100 percent accurate. I would hazard a guess that most historical movies have taken liberties with the facts. Learn more about Michael Collins and/or buy your copy on Amazon by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Link:

Order Michael Collins from Amazon.
Visit Ireland in the 1980s via my Fifty Dead Men Walking movie review.

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