LG BD590 250GB HD Blu-ray Player Review

Let me introduce you to the LG BD590 250GB HD blu-ray player, LG's 2010 flagship blu-ray player. It has numerous claims to fame including the fact that it has an instant tray opening and is fast loading and that it is the first blu-ray player that features a 250GB hard drive for easy CD ripping.

The BD590 also features easy wireless networking and movie streaming so that you can easily enjoy your favorite material whether from NetCast, Netflix, Pandora, Picasa, VUDU, Netflix, CinemaNow, YouTube or Accuweather.

Appearance? Well, I do not think there are many attractive blu-ray players out there but the BD590 features LG's mirror-like front finish and a good although basic remote control.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, at least to me, is the quality of the picture and the sound that a blu-ray player provides. (Why bother if the quality is not top notch?) Besides all the features packed into this player, the BD-590 is also a top performer in those regards, featuring full HD 1080p output that gives superior audio performance and excellent picture quality.

Of the Amazon customers who have reviewed it, six of seven have given it a top rating of five stars and the online experts seem to agree with them.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Order your LG BD590 from Amazon.
Read the Amazon Customer reviews of the LG BD590.
Read more about the LG BD590.


(The Sony Playstation 3 also has a hard drive but I don’t know if you can rip CDs on it.)

Here's A Cowboy Who's GUNLESS!

Picture an outlaw with a broken gun...and you have GUNLESS. Imagine being a cowboy in the wild, wild west with a gun that does not work. What are you going to do? Maybe talk your way out of a situation? Well, that's exactly what Paul Gross has to do as the outlaw 'Montana Kid' in the new movie Gunless.

Montana Kid previously solved most of his problems with his gun but he has to learn to interact in a new way, without violence or a gun. Gross says that "the spirit of the movie is about an outsider - your classic fish out of water - who learns about himself and larger notions of social justice when he starts making friends in this small town." I think that is an interesting premise for a movie. My husband lifts an eyebrow at a western that is also a comedy; I think it looks like fun.

Gunless is a Canadian movie, filmed in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, which premiered yesterday in Ottawa. No, I did not see it. I read about it instead in the newspaper and I was intrigued. I look forward to reading more about it and checking it out in the future. Let me know if you have seen it.



Bonus? Gunless features new music by Blue Rodeo.

An American hiding out in the Dominion of Canada.
A Gunslinger without a fight...Gunless!

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Who is Paul Gross?

* An Actor/Writer/Director for Passchendaele
* A Mountie in Due South
* A long list of other productions, as seen here.

Order your copy of Gunless from Amazon by clicking right here.

Inkheart: A Book And A Movie Gift Set

Second in my series of a book and a movie gift ideas is Inkheart, a movie about a book written by Cornelia Funke that was hugely popular with the tween and teen set. I have not read the book myself but my son heartily recommends it. He was quite excited to hear that the book was being made into a movie although slightly nervous to see what result would be made of a beloved tale.

The storyline in the book Inkheart follows a girl and her father as they travel in search of a book and her mother. It turns out that the father is a silver tongue and, whenever he reads aloud from a book, someone or something appears out of the book...and someone or something else goes back in, which is how the mother was lost. Of course, not everything that comes out is pleasant and includes several evil characters.

The movie pretty much follows the storyline of the book although, according to my son, it is not as good as the book. I enjoyed the movie though and think that any one who loved the book would enjoy seeing what they made of the film.

Inkheart is a family film, rated PG or parental guidance because it contains some scary moments and brief language. It is available on your choice of DVD or blu-ray disc.  The blu-ray disc is not highly praised by the experts so this is one movie that you might want to gift on DVD unless you are interested in what blu-ray.com considered a "rousing TrueHD audio track."

Inkheart is not a blockbuster but rather a pleasant family movie for home video. Team it with a copy of the book for an interesting gift set for the tween in your life.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Read more about Inkheart.
Buy Inkheart the book from Amazon.
Buy Inkheart the movie from Amazon.

Are You Looking For Anne of Green Gables?

Fans of Anne of Green Gables may be surprised, as I was, to discover that there is a new Anne film out. Looking For Anne is a totally unique film because it does not tell a story from Lucy Maud Montgomery but instead tells a story that illustrates the importance of Montgomery’s book to the women of Japan since World War II.

The story is that of a seventeen-year old Japanese girl who plans a trip to Prince Edward Island with her grandmother to discover the Island and to follow Anne's footsteps. She eventually takes the trip alone and winds up on a quest to find the young soldier who gave her grandmother a copy of Anne of Green Gables in Japan in 1946.

Looking For Anne opened in Japan on October 31, 2009 to much success and went on to win two prestigious awards at the Singapore Asian First Film Festival, one for Best Film and one for Best Director. It is a joint Canadian and Japanese film with approximately 60 percent in English and 40 percent in Japanese with subtitles, as appropriate.

Looking For Anne was filmed in Prince Edward Island and is said to be a beautiful travel film, if you are interested in seeing what P.E.I. looks like. The pictures I have seen so far have managed to make me homesick for the Atlantic Provinces.

Unfortunately for North Americans, we are unable to see this film at this time. However, the official Looking For Anne Facebook Fanpage says that it will be released in Canada this spring. (I’m not sure about an American release.)

Right now, if you are curious about the movie, you will have to settle for the official movie trailer with English subtitles. It looks like a great film, subtitles or no subtitles.




Are you an Anne fan? Are you curious about the impact Lucy Maud Montgomery's work had on girls around the world? Will you be Looking For Anne when this movie is released?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

The Looking For Anne (Of Green Gables) Movie

A Book and A Movie Gift Recommendations

Last year, I invested some time finding gifts for almost every member of my extended family that included a book and a movie. I used quite a few resources online and offline and was able to come up with some great (at least I hope they were great) movie and book pairings customized to the interests of each one of the recipients.

This year, I am determined to help make a similar search easier for both myself and for you by creating a resource aimed at recommending great book and movie pairings. I hope I'll be able to find something for everyone on our gift giving lists from Grandma right down to the new toddler in the family and that, by the time the holidays roll around, we will both have a plan in hand for each and every one of the people on our gift-giving lists.

I started this week with Marley and Me. This book and movie combination would definitely suit any dog lovers on your list, adult dog lovers, that is as well as anyone who loves a funny story. Personally, I enjoyed the book and I loved the movie.

You should be aware that, contrary to popular belief, the book Marley and Me was written for an adult audience and NOT for children. Fortunately, however, the author went back to the drawing board (or his computer) and created a series of Marley and Me books for children and, as well, he created a version of the novel that is more suited for younger readers.

Rated PG, the Marley and Me movie is suitable for children of middle-school age. Be aware that the story in the book and the movie touches on issues related to sexuality and pregnancy and features some sad situations.

You can read more about this gift recommendation on the first page dedicated to our new adventure, A Book and A Movie: Marley and Me Gift Set.  I hope you will return to see what other book and movie combinations I come up with.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

A Book and A Movie: Marley and Me Gift Set
Buy the Marley and Me book and movie on Amazon.

The Seventh Seal Movie Review on Blu-ray and DVD

Blu-ray.com said, "I have not seen anything like The Seventh Seal yet. A perfect presentation. Very highly recommended." The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Criterion Collection film by the legendary Ingmar Bergman, chosen by Sound and Vision Magazine as one of the best blu-ray movies of 2009.

A black and white film in Swedish with English subtitles, it featured Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Ingmar Bergman, Erland Josephson and Bengt Ekerot.

An iconic film, it one of the most important movie imports of the 1950s art-house period and it had a huge cultural impact. There are scenes which are considered to be important moments in the movies. James Monaco said in How To Read a Film, that The Seventh Seal "had a symbolism that was immediately apprehensible to people trained in literary culture who were just beginning to discover the 'art' of film, and it quickly became a staple of high school and college literature courses... Unlike Hollywood 'movies,' The Seventh Seal clearly was aware of elite artistic culture and thus was readily appreciated by intellectual audiences."

The Seventh Seal won a Special Jury Prize in 1957 at the Cannes Film Festival and, more recently, landed on Sound and Vision Magazine’s 2009 list of the 10 top blu-ray movies, which was where I discovered it.

The story? The Seventh Seal is about a knight returning disappointed and tired from the Crusades to a plague-ridden land. He meets Death on a beach but puts him off by challenging him to a game of chess. The game of chess takes place throughout the movie as the knight winds his way home, searching for the meaning of life.

This film is not a fantasy movie; it is about the search for God and the dread that He may not really exist. The set is magnificent, with its medieval world of the Crusades, complete with knights, jugglers, taverns and so on, but it is really a philosophical movie, perhaps suitable for those 14 years old and up.

This movie is not for everyone. First, you have to deal with the subtitles. Until recently, I have not enjoyed movies with subtitles. The Seventh Seal, however, was okay. Then there are the themes of death, violence and religious fanaticism. I did not find the violence anywhere near as extreme as many of today’s movies but it was still there and that, coupled with the religious fanaticism, was disturbing.

The blu-ray? As you saw from the quote at the top of this page, Blu-ray.com was more than a little impressed with the transfer. They also said, “Contrast and detail…are spectacular. The close-ups in particular look unbelievably strong…the color-scheme is the best I have seen on a Criterion disc thus far - the blacks are rich and unbelievably lush while the whites are gentle are natural looking. Additionally, film grain is fully intact. The actual print is also notably healthy - I did not detect any debris, scratches, dirt, or stains to report in this review. Simply put, this is a fantastic Blu-ray release!"

I am no quality expert but I know what I like and I have to agree with this review. Throughout the movie, I found myself thinking that this black and white film was amazing to look at. Over and over again, words like sharp and beautiful occurred to me.

The numerous critics on Rotten Tomatoes rank this movie a 93 percent.  On Amazon, 78 percent of the customer reviewers on Amazon gave The Seventh Seal five-stars. Personally, I am not sure how to rate this movie.  Because of its cultural importance, I am glad we watched it.  I am still thinking about it and I am finding the blu-ray special edition features enlightening.

The Seventh Seal is definitely an unusual, interesting and thought-provoking movie. What do you think, is it for you?

See you
at the movies.
Brenda

Quick Links:

Order your copy of The Seventh Seal on blu-ray or DVD from Amazon.
Buy the book How To Read A Movie from Amazon.
Read the best blu-ray movies of 2009 list.

Who is Colin Firth?

Colin Firth was born in England on September 10, 1960. He is an Oscar-nominated actor who has appeared in many movies, on television and on the stage.  Perhaps his most well known role is that of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 version of the period piece, Pride and Prejudice.

His list of films is impressive and some of the ones that I have enjoyed are Bridget Jones's Diary, Circle of Friends, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, The Importance of Being Earnest, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Love Actually and Nanny McPhee.

More recently, Firth has been working on A Single Man (for which he received an Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA for best actor) and The King’s Speech.

A Single Man is a drama movie based on a novel written by Christopher Isherwood. Firth appears as the leading figure, a gay university professor in 1962 who has struggled to be happy ever since his partner died in a tragic car accident. The film takes place in a single day when we visit his past and his ‘empty’ future.

Currently, he is working on The King’s Speech, a historical drama set to appear in a limited release in theatres on November 26, 2010. In this story, Firth plays King George VI. When his father abdicates the throne, he must assume it and the film chronicles his efforts overcome his stammer.

You can watch seven of Colin Firth’s movies on blu-ray.  Which Colin Firth movies do you recommend?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Colin Firth movies on blu-ray.

Not A Shutter Island Movie Review

This is not a Shutter Island movie review, exactly. It is a review of the book and my discussion of whether or not this movie is too dark and disturbing for me. If you are reading this and have seen the movie, PLEASE let me know what you think.

Last summer, long before I heard of Shutter Island the movie, I read the Shutter Island book by Dennis Lehane.  It was so good that when I saw the movie trailer on television, I said to my husband, "I've already seen that movie." He replied, "No, you haven't, it's not out yet."

How weird is that? Pretty weird, if you ask me but maybe, just maybe, it is a testament to the book.  A very good book.  The story, the main character, the island, the action were all so well done that I could see them in my mind's eye.

The story? Set in 1954, two U.S. Marshals arrive on an island near Massachusetts. The island is home to an institution for the criminally insane and someone has escaped. When the island is hit by gale-force winds, one of the two partners disappears leaving the other to solve the mystery alone. What is going on this island? A novel of the workings of the human mind, a psychological mystery and a real page-turner.

Given my enjoyment of the book, I knew I wanted to see the movie.  I was anxious for its release and when I discovered it was rated R I was disappointed and I found myself wondering, given the subject matter, if the movie was going to be an uncomfortable one for me.  So I'm left wondering if I should see this movie or not...and as usual, I turn to the experts to see what they have to say.

One of my favorite movie reviewers is The Movie Mom.  Her reviews cover much more than the expected children's movies and I find I am on her wavelength, exactly.  Right away, she says the this movie is rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity.  Those words have me thinking this movie is NOT for me but The Movie Mom's review is so well written that once again, I have pictures from the book in my head...I love the idea of the mystery, the setting in a storm, but wonder if they have pushed the dark storyline too far for me. 

Maybe I'll try watching Shutter Island at home on blu-ray, where I can stop it if I don't like it.  What about you? Did you see this movie? Did you think it disturbing? Should I watch it?  I'd love to hear from you if you've seen this movie...and even if you have not.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island book from Amazon.
Pre-order Shutter Island the movie from Amazon.
Shutter Island will be released on blu-ray and DVD on June 8, 2010.

The Lord of the Rings Blu-ray Trilogy Disappoints

A quick check of the bestselling blu-ray movies on Amazon today, April 21, yielded few surprises in terms of the movies that are on the list. They included Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, The Blind Side, Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Lord of the Rings: The Trilogy. However, there was one very big and very unexpected surprise.

That surprise was the Amazon customer reaction to The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy which shows 2,926 1-star reviews. That could well be the poorest review of any movie release that I have ever seen and, considering this was supposed to be one of the top most wanted blu-ray releases, that is truly surprising.

I flipped over to one of my favorite online blu-ray experts to see what they had to say. High-Def Digest actually came right out and said, "fans are going to be pissed off." They went on to say that the blu-ray features the theatrical and not the extended versions of the movies. (Major disappointment.) That the supplements are disappointing as is the video transfer. The only upside was the audio. Despite all the flaws though, High-Def still considers this movie release a must own for your blu-ray collection. They feel that there is a difference between an upscaled DVD and the blu-ray disc.

What do you think?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Buy The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy on blu-ray from Amazon.

Return To Me Movie Review

Return To Me is, as Leonard Maltin says, "Fresh, Funny and Charming."  A light, romantic movie, I put this one on one day while I was working in the kitchen.  That wasn't a great idea as I was quickly pulled heart and body into the big easy chair in our family room.  (So much for supper!)

The story? That of a widower and a waitress who fall in love. (I did say romance movie, didn’t I?) It is, however also a comedy, following the widower’s blind date at an Irish-Italian eatery. Unfortunately, the woman he falls for is not his blind date but rather the waitress. With a bit of help from the waitress' grandfather, the two eventually manage a relationship which the truth threatens to shatter.

"Who knew when he ordered the special, he'd get the dish of his life."

Return to Me made me smile, it made me laugh and it almost made me cry.  This 2000 movie stars David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Carroll O'Connor, Robert Loggia and Bonnie Hunt and is rated PG.   Amazon calls it "A gentle, pleasing romantic comedy." I agree.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Buy Return to Me on DVD from Amazon.
(Not available on blu-ray.)

Do You Know Who Gregory Peck Is?

A warm welcome to my latest guest blogger and friend, Bev.  Bev recently introduced me to Gregory Peck and a few of his movies on her page titled, Gregory Peck Film Star. Today, Bev took the time to teach me a bit more about Gregory Peck and her interest in him and this is what she had to say:

Movies are something that I have enjoyed immeasurably since I was a very little girl. Of course, back then, we had to go to a movie theater to see them or wait until one of the local networks decided to show it on our black and white television set. One of the film stars that caught my young attention back in the 1950s and that I still love to watch is Gregory Peck.

There are many movies to choose from as Mr. Peck acted in 71 movies over his 56 year career in the movie industry. The world lost Gregory Peck in 2003 but his wonderful movies live on for generations to enjoy for decades to come.

What captured my attention as a young girl was his handsome face but it was more than that. His characters all had an intelligence about them. He could be witty, charming, and very much a man’s man. Whenever he would be a guest on a talk show he had the presence of a true gentleman and didn’t seem to take himself too seriously. He always came across as a nice man.

Gregory Peck was also a humanitarian and political activist in his lifetime. In fact, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1967, which is the highest honor a civilian can be given in the United States. So, he wasn’t just a handsome face on a movie screen. He actually cared about the world around him and used his celebrity to make a difference. That has made him even more endearing in my heart.

My favorite Gregory Peck movie is “To Kill A Mockingbird”. He received the Oscar for best actor for that movie in 1963 along with the Golden Globe Award. His character of Atticus Finch showed a man of character, love, and compassion for his children and his fellow men. Atticus, played by Peck, was a man you would want for a neighbor and a model for fathers.

Thank you, Brenda for allowing me to tell your readers more about one of the most charming and talented film stars in the movie industry, Mr. Gregory Peck.

You are welcome, Bev and I thank you for introducing Mr. Peck to those of us who really don't know very much about him. 

For my blu-ray fans, I will just add that I checked and there are two Gregory Peck movies available on blu-ray, Omen (1976) and How The West Was Won (1962.)  Omen is a classic horror film that High-Def Digest says "outclasses its standard DVD" and which features an enormous special features package. DVDtalk.com says that "Warner has done itself proud" with the release of How The West Was Won.  Sounds like both are good candidates for purchase on blu-ray.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Bev's Page, Gregory Peck Film Star.
Buy Gregory Peck on blu-ray from Amazon.
Buy To Kill A Mockingbird on DVD from Amazon.

Looking For A Great Horse Movie?

Horse enthusiast and painter Mona Majorowicz of Wild Faces Gallery recently created a page dedicated to her favorite horse movies.  Since she is an artist, she says that she has a special interest in simply looking at horses but that these are all good, enjoyable horse movies and great family entertainment with a warning that a couple of them are PG or PG-13. 

Mona took the time to set up her horse movie recommendations in a helpful manner, which includes sections called 'Plot Premise,' 'Why I Like This Movie,' and 'My Favorite Quote From This Movie.'  She also includes a few movie related items in case you are looking at putting  a gift set together.  (Wouldn't a great gift combo for a horse-loving girl be a copy of the National Velvet movie and a plush horse?)

I don't think a horse list would be complete without some of the classics, like Black Beauty and National Velvet, but Mona's list also includes some newer horse-themed movies, like the two that are available on blu-ray, Seabiscuit and  Hidalgo.

Horse enthusiasts who are interested in blu-ray will be glad to hear the Seabiscuit blu-ray transfer is considered excellent, with High-Def Digest saying that the video of Seabiscuit is close to flawless and the audio sounds even better than it did before because of a high-definition soundtrack.  High-Def's Seabiscuit review closed with them saying that the blu-ray version of Seabiscuit is 'mighty fine.'

If you are looking for a great list of horse-themed movies, I recommend you read Mona's My Favorite Horse Movies.  You can do so by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Chocolat: The Movie & The Book Gift Ideas For Mom

Mother's Day is quickly approaching and I'd like to recommend a fabulous gift set in the form of Chocolat, the movie and the book. Chocolat is on my list of my favorite movies and I loved the book, too. I think they are perfect for Mom on Mother's Day. 

Chocolat was written by Joanne Harris and was Joanne Harris’ first novel. It tells the story of a chocolate maker who arrives in a quiet French village with her young daughter and proceeds to weave her magic on the local villagers. However, her bonbons, cocoa and patisserie are not welcomed by all and the she must struggle to win friends and supporters.

The Chocolat movie, of course, is also delicious whether enjoyed in DVD or blu-ray form.  It is a film from the year 2000 that was directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starred Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench. It received five Academy Award nominations including Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Original Music, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.  Any female Johnny Depp fan will love this movie.

Many times you either love the movie OR the book, but this time, you can savor them both. The book and the movie would make a wonderful gift set for Mom or any woman who loves a beautiful story.  Of course, it would be a bit tastier if you added just a wee bit of chocolate, too!

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Click here to order the hardcover version of Chocolat from Amazon.
Click here to order the paperback version of Chocolat from Amazon.
Click here to order the Chocolat movie on blu-ray or DVD.

The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter Blu-ray and DVD

A friend asked me today, "Why was I watching The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter?" I couldn't answer except perhaps to say that I do like many of the Rolling Stones songs and I am intrigued by the history of both the band and the era.

Gimme Shelter is a remastered Criterion Collection release that is available on both blu-ray and DVD. A 1970 film, the new versions were released on December 1st, 2009.

Some call Gimme Shelter "the greatest rock film ever made" and "one of the greatest documentaries ever created." It follows the Stones on their 1969 U.S. tour with a particular focus on the 300,000 person free concert at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway. I am thankful that the cameras were there as they recorded an unbelievable era and a concert the likes of which I hope will never happen again.

Of course, it features the band members -- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman -- a few years younger than they are now. It was supposed to feature The Rolling Stones Altamount Speedway free concert in Northern California and it did.

That concert at the speedway was also supposed to be the West Coast’s version of Woodstock but things went badly wrong from the very beginning when Jagger was hit in the mouth and the concert and film wound up being a very dark experience with everything from bad acid trips to the stabbing death of a concert goer. It turned out to be a concert and documentary like no other and may have helped end the 'Peace and Love' hippy movement, a time as evidenced on this documentary, without rules and order.

Let me warn you that, while this film is interesting from a history and music perspective, it is also disturbing. Not rated, it has plenty of alcohol, drugs, nudity and violence to be aware of. The video, which follows, gives you a peek at the contents of this film.



Because I have limited access to blu-ray movies, I watched it on DVD and therefore turn to the experts to see what they have to say about the blu-ray format of Gimme Shelter. High-Def Digest is able to highly recommend it and considers the blu-ray a good transfer, considering the quality of the original 16 mm material. Others concur that this is the best Gimme Shelter will ever look.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Buy your copy of The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon.

P.S.  I read just now that The Grateful Dead refused to go on stage and I thought thank goodness someone had some sense...

Avatar on Blu-ray and DVD April 22

If you missed seeing Avatar at the movie theatre, you are in luck for the movie is being released on blu-ray and DVD next Thursday, April 22nd.  However, there is a little complication.

There will be THREE releases of Avatar.

The first release, available next week, is going to be WITHOUT any features. A 'superbit' release, this is a movie that is released without any features so that the movie on the disc can be featured in the highest quality audio and visual presentation possible. (Extras take up space on the disc.)

The second release will be the multiple disc Ultimate Edition in November and that release will have the features that we have come to expect on our movie discs.

Finally, the third release will probably be next year, when they hope to have the 3D version available and to have a larger number of viewers buying 3D movies.

That leaves you with one big question. To buy now or to wait and buy later?

There is no question in my mind that the movie is worth buying and that it will be wonderful on blu-ray so I guess it boils down to a) whether or not you have already seen the movie and b) how important the special features are to you...

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Order your copy of Avatar from Amazon on blu-ray or DVD.
Read a longer review of Avatar and watch the movie trailer.

Bright Star, A Moving Period Piece and John Keats' Love Story

Bright Star is a beautiful 2009 period piece set in England in the 1800s, which tells of three years in the life of poet John Keats. A love story, it focuses on his romantic relationship with Fanny Brawne. Fanny was his ‘Bright Star.’

The film appeared in the 62nd Cannes Film Festival and was released to the public on May 15th, 2009. It does include the recitation of some of Keats’ poems including The Eve of St. Agnes and Ode to a Nightingale. However, I definitely do not think you need to be a fan of poetry or a fan of John Keats to fall in love with this movie.

Bright Star was based on a screenplay written and directed by Jane Campion who also directed The Piano and The Young Victoria. She took her inspiration from Andrew Motion’s biography of Keats and from letters actually written by Keats. Lines from those letters appear in this film.

Bright Star is considered exceptional in two areas including the wonderful performances put in by actors Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw and Paul Schneider who were, in my mind, perfectly cast, which resulted in a Best Supporting Actor award from the National Society of Film Critics.

The other area it is considered exceptional in is the way it presented life of the time period. As a result, the movie was nominated for an Academy Award at the 82nd Academy Awards for Best Achievement in Costume Design and it received awards for Best Technical Achievement For Cinematography from the British Independent Film Awards and a Truly Moving Sound award from the Heartland Film Festival.

I think anyone who loves a period piece, loves poetry or who enjoys a good love story will enjoy this movie. It is a quiet film and truly beautiful. Poetry lovers, of course, would take special enjoyment from Bright Star but, as I said earlier, I really do not think you have to be a poetry fan to love this movie.

If you have never heard of this film but I have managed to tweak your interest, you can read more about it and see the video trailer at my review of the Bright Star. If you are interested in buying it, you will find it nicely discounted on Amazon by clicking right here. I was disappointed to learn that this film was not released on blu-ray.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Read my full Bright Star Movie Review.
Order Bright Star from Amazon.

Where Is Disneynature's The Crimson Wing? rel="nofollow"

Disneynature's The Crimson Wing looks like a magnificent film about the life cycle of the beautiful pink flamingo. However, North Americans continue to wait for their chance to view this film.

I expect it must have been released in Europe first because it was a joint British/French/America project. It has been out for a while though, as it premiered in 2008 in France, and it has since opened in the United Kingdom and Italy.

If we are lucky, it just might be released in 2010 in North America although the only reference to such a release that I could find was that it will appear sometime after the premier of Disneynature's Oceans on Earth Day, April 22nd. (Unfortunately, the reference to a North American showing was not an official one from Disney.)

That leaves us waiting...unless you want to order an imported region-free blu-ray copy of The Crimson Wing from Amazon which is possible by clicking right here. However, if you choose to do so it looks like you will still be waiting...check the delivery timeframe…and you will have to pay a premium since imported media is always more expensive.

It does sound like a beautiful film, with an important environmental issue as the breeding ground of millions of flamingos in Northern Tanzania is considered threatened. Hopefully, this movie can help get that message out.

To read my page with more information about Disneynature's The Crimson Wing, you can click right here. There, amongst other information, you will find three video trailers which demonstrate the awesome beauty of this film and of the majestic, mysterious pink flamingo.

See you
at the movies!
(Although I'm not sure
about The Crimson Wing!)
Brenda

Quick Links:

Disneynature's The Crimson Wing Flamingo Nature Documentary Movie.
Order your copy of The Crimson Wing from Amazon.


Disneynature Oceans Free Quiz

Just ten more days before Earth Day and Disneynature's latest film, Disneynature Oceans, arrives.   I've been following the Disneynature Facebook page and found some free goodies that you might enjoy including:

Disneynature Oceans trading cards.  These cards feature beautiful scenes from the film and tidbits of information from the movie, like "More creatures live in coral reefs than any other habitat on Earth."  Did you know that? I sure didn't.

Disneynature Oceans free quiz on facebook.  If you interested in nature and our oceans, you might enjoy testing your knowledge and see just how blue (or you might say green) you are. The quiz was a bit hard for me but I am always interested in learning more about the wonderful world we live in.

How about you? Will you attempt the quiz and report back to let us know how you did?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Read more about Disneynature's Oceans.
Dare to Compare Disneynature's Earth and Planet Earth.
Order your copy of Disneynature's Earth on sale at Amazon.
Order The Crimson Wing from Amazon. Disneynature's The Crimson Wing has not been released yet in North America but is available on blu-ray only as an import through Amazon.

How to Train Your Dragon 3D Movie Review

A warm welcome to guest blogger and friend, Stargazer00, who recently viewed and graciously agreed to write a How to Train Your Dragon 3D movie review for us. Dianne writes:

My husband loves movies so I go with him once in a while but I am usually disappointed. That’s why I was reluctant to go along when my husband and son wanted to go see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it very much! The animated characters are cute. The story is interesting and there are several funny one-liners.

The Night Fury Dragon that young Hiccup (the main character) tries to slay and ends up training has a funny personality and is very endearing.

The 3D is well done. At one point there is ash flying through the air, which looks like it is so close in front of your face that you could reach out and touch it.

How to Train Your Dragon was thoroughly enjoyable and a nice afternoon of entertainment. If I had young children, I would not hesitate to take them to this movie.

Thanks, Dianne! I already told you that I am not usually a fan of animated movies and had planned to pass on seeing this one. (I saw two 3D movies in March!) However, I love an entertaining, family-friendly movie with good one liners so this one sounds like I just might need to see it, too...and you've made the 3D element sound pretty tempting...

See you
at the movies!
Dianne and Brenda

Quick Links:

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Review
Read more about How to Train Your Dragon on Amazon.

Surrogates Movie Starring Bruce Willis

We watched Bruce Willis in the Surrogates movie one night last week. Surrogates is a movie based on a comic book series by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele.  Perhaps not my favorite Bruce Willis movie ever, it was however enjoyable.  We could all use a surrogate sometimes, couldn't we?

Definitely a psychological thriller, the ultimate battle in this movie is that of technology versus humanity.

Imagine a world where everyone, in an effort to avoid all of the dangers in the real world, stays inside and goes about their errands using a surrogate who is designed to be in whatever shape, size and appearance you desire.

At first thought the idea of having a surrogate sounds interesting, until you stop and think about who is controlling who, who you can trust and what sensations and experiences you would be missing out on.

In terms of the blu-ray, High-Def Digest says, "The video is pretty good for a film that isn't all that striking visually, it's got a really great audio track, and a few extras that aren't all that interesting." I am inclined to agree with their recommendation that you buy this one on DVD if you are a Bruce Willis fan or you rent it if you want to see an entertaining movie.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Buy your copy of Surrogates from Amazon.
Check out the Surrogates comic books at Amazon.

Steve McQueen Bullitt Movie Review (1968)

Set in San Francisco, Bullitt is a 1968 police thriller which won an Academy Award for Best Editing.  Starring Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn, Don Gordon and Robert Duvall and directed by Peter Yates, Bullitt includes a pretty famous car chase scene, set on the streets of San Francisco.

I enjoyed the police story and I really enjoyed Steve McQueen's roll. McQueen played a part that fit his image perfectly. I also enjoyed seeing all the other now-famous actors who appeared in this film.

The cars were beautiful, too, and included a 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 CID Fastback in Highland Green (a car that that my 16-year old dreams of owning) and a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum in Tuxedo Black. These automobiles really are nice to look at.

We chose Bullitt because it was a car movie. However, I would have to say that this one would not make MY list of the top 10 car movies of all time, if I had such a list. Even though the film (according to Wikipedia) contains one of the most "influential car chase sequences in movie history," the car chase is NOT a huge part of the movie.   It was enjoyable and entertaining but not nearly good enough to qualify for my favorite movies list.

The blu-ray disc? Blu-ray.com gives the blu-ray transfer a 3.5 out of  5 but says this about the movie, "Bullitt is an iconic representation of classic American muscle, both in its sinewy automobiles and the aloof charisma of Steve McQueen, its sex-symbol star."

Bullitt has also been deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the National Film Registry. Both of these reviews are pretty good recommendations.

My recommendation? I would say if you are a film buff or a car fan, you might want to see this film because of its trip back into the 1960s. Lovers of good detective films or Steve McQueen would also enjoy it. 

Given blu-ray.com's score, however, you might want to consider this movie on DVD rather than blu-ray.

See you
at the movies,
Brenda

Quick Links:



Disneynature Oceans, Disney's New Nature Movie

The latest Disneynature film, Disneynature Oceans, arrives in movie theatres on Earth Day, April 22, 2010. It sounds promising...although it is a bit too early to know for sure.

The only advance review that I could find was by blogger Collider.com who saw an advance showing at the Tokyo International Film Festival and who said that it was a good film and that he has seen the BBC's Planet Earth. In case you don't understand the innuendo, I assume that his reference to Planet Earth is because of the uproar about Disney's re-use of Planet  Earth material in it's first film, Earth.

I enjoyed Disneynature's Earth, it was beautifully done. However, I had not seen the entire BBC's Planet Earth series.  All the reading I have done on those two films, however, would lead to two recommendations on my part.

If you HAVE seen Planet Earth...you might care to take a pass on Earth.  However, if you HAVE NOT seen Planet Earth and are not interested in viewing the whole series, Disneynature's Earth is a beautiful choice.

Meanwhile, just a few days remain until the release of Disneynature's Oceans. Disney is, once again, making a contribution to help the environment. This time, they will be making a contribution for every individual who attends the movie from April 22nd to 28th toward protecting the coral reefs. If you are planning to see the film at the movie theatre and you go in that time frame, you will also be making a small donation to help the environment.

I'm looking forward to another beautiful nature documentary film.  How about you?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Read more about Disneynature's Oceans.
Dare to Compare Disneynature's Earth and Planet Earth.
Order your copy of Disneynature's Earth on sale at Amazon.
Order the BBC's Planet Earth series on sale at Amazon.
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