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MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS - Late Summer 2010 - GIANT List With "Favorite Movies" List Too!
21 Aug 10 - By J. Ganz - Compilation

MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS - Late Summer 2010 - GIANT List With "Favorite Movies" List Too!

Here are the latest and greatest movie recommendations - This huge collection includes the category "My Favorite Movies" - There are lots of great suggestions for movies to see or see again - Enjoy!

Movies! Late Summer 2010

Edge of Darkness
We really liked this movie. Very well done. Keep in mind it is not a happy movie. Love Mel Gibson.
Netflix: As a seasoned homicide detective, Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) has seen the bleakest side of humanity. But nothing prepares him for the toughest investigation of his life: the search for his only daughter Emma's (Bojana Novakovic) killer. Now, he is on a personal mission to uncover the disturbing secrets surrounding her murder, including corporate corruption, government collusion and Emma's own mysterious life.

The Girl in the Cafe (2005) (2 Votes)
This incredible movie flew under the radar. It was written by Richard Curtis, who wrote ‘Love Actually’,  ‘Four Weddings’, ‘Nottinghill’, etc. It is the most powerful movie about personal integrity I have seen in a long time. It starts as something simple and sweet and slowly builds to a  powerful conclusion.

2nd Vote:
We LOVED IT! The beginning when these two very shy people meet, was almost "painful" to watch. OY! I wanted to hug them both and tell them "It's gonna be OK." : ) It was stunningly done and both leads were awesome.

After meeting Gina (Kelly Macdonald) in a café, lonely civil servant Lawrence (Bill Nighy) asks her to join him at the G8 Summit in Iceland. The shy outsiders hit it off, but their attraction is tested when Gina's personal convictions contradict Lawrence's professional duties. Macdonald earned an Emmy for her performance in this made-for-television movie.

Fighter (2007)
Netflix:  Although her strict father (Sadi Tekelioglu) expects her to study medicine, Aicha (Semra Turan) won't be deterred from training to become a skilled kung fu fighter. But in the process of building up her strength with a professional club, she unexpectedly falls for an adversary. At first, Aicha's passionate relationship with Emil (Cyron Melville) is like fire -- but in the end, her Turkish roots could tear them apart.

Red Cliff, Parts I & 2 (2008)
A great story of good vs. evil, honor, love, great battles in the tradition of Kurosawa, directed by John Woo.
Netflix: When a warmongering prime minister (Fengyi Zhang) advances his armies against two rival kingdoms, he unwittingly prompts his adversaries (Chen Chang and Yong You) to work together in this martial arts action-adventure. The ensuing conflict culminates in the epic battle of Red Cliff, a struggle by the sea involving more than one million soldiers.

People Will Talk (1951)
A very good love story, with quite a few twists. How can you not like Cary Grant?!
Netflix:  Dr. Praetorius (Cary Grant) is a well-liked medical professor at a dull Midwestern college who impresses those around him with his unorthodox ways of teaching. Not as impressed is Praetorius's archrival (Hume Cronyn), a conservative doctor who does everything within his power to bring Praetorius down. Out of the blue, Praetorius meets and falls in love with an unattached pregnant woman (Jeanne Crain), spiraling him into uncharted territory.

The Dancer Upstairs (2002)
I rented this because it sounded interesting and was directed by John Malkovich. However, the story really captivated me and the acting was great. This is patterned after the Shining Path revolutionaries of the 80's and the capture of the leader, Abimael Guzman. Very reminiscent of some of Costa Gavras' movies and in fact he is referred to in the movie. It is a bit gruesome and on the dark side, so not for everyone.
Netflix:  Augustin Rejas (Javier Bardem) attempts to find the mysterious Ezequiel, the leader of a revolution being fermented by native people of a Latin American nation. But weighing equally heavy on Rejas's psyche is his attraction to his daughter's ballet teacher (Laura Morante). The affair provides solace to the emptiness of his marriage and his frustration in the search for Ezequiel, but it isn't a cure-all. John Malkovich directs.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)
My sons 7 and 11 say it's awesome. Pretty clean for the kids, too violent for little kids. Not a toddler movie at all. Stay through the credits.
IMBD:  Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Inception (2010)
What an awesome movie! A good thriller with lots of twists and turns. Don't go if you are tired though, you have to keep up!!! Great story, writing and acting. It is 2 1/2 hours and I didn't notice the time at all. We went with friends and looking back I couldn't believe how much we talked about the movie after at dinner. Just on and on with - well do you think blah blah,  no because, blah blah... OMG! and on and on! Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.

Salt (2010)
We really liked this movie. You MUST like action chase scenes, because believe me, this woman is chased a lot!!! I like Angelina Jolie very much and she did a superb job.
Netflix:  After she's accused of being a Russian sleeper spy, rogue CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) goes on the run, using every tactic, accent and disguise she knows to elude her pursuers, clear her name and protect her husband. Her supervisor, Winter (Liev Schreiber), buys her story, while counterintelligence officer Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) decidedly does not and will do anything to stop her in this fast-paced, intrigue-filled spy adventure.

The Last Brickmaker in America (2001)
This was a great movie, my wife & I give it 5 stars. Sidney Poitier is such an amazing actor, he is one of my all-time favs!
Netflix:  Haunted by the death of his wife and the obsolescence of his life's work, brickmaker Henry Cobb's (Sidney Poitier) existence is invigorated when he becomes the unexpected mentor to a troubled 13-year-old boy (Cody Newton).

Green Zone (2009)
Good story and good action/thriller movie with an excellent script and acting. We liked this movie very much. It's not a totally uplifting movie but it has quite a bit of truth in it. :o)

I looked up Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of the book the Green Zone was based on.  One link had some excerpts from the book. Quite enlightening. 2006080901267.html 

U.S. Defense Intelligence Agent Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) doesn't want to hear what Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) has to say about not finding the weapons of mass destruction -- evidence that could launch a war -- he's been sent to Iraq to unearth. Why the cover-up? Rajiv Chandrasekaran's expos~ Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone inspired this frenetic wartime drama. Paul Greengrass directs.

Away We Go (2009)
This is a LOVELY, LOVELY movie with a touching ending and yet there are some amazing laugh-out-loud moments. I'm a movie lover, and this is at the top of my list of new favorites.
Netflix:  Buoyed by the news that they are expecting their first baby, Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) embark on a journey to locate the perfect place on the planet to raise their child. But their quest inevitably yields many unexpected surprises. Sam Mendes directs this quirky comedy while Allison Janney, Catherine O'Hara, Josh Hamilton, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jeff Daniels co-star.

The Little Mermaid (1989)
I use this movie as a great example of how handle suppression in one's environment - Plus, it's a great movie!
Netflix:   Winner of two Oscars for Best Score and Best Song, this colorful adventure tells the story of an impetuous mermaid princess named Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson) who falls in love with the very human Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes) and puts everything on the line for the chance to be with him. Memorable songs and characters -- including the villainous sea witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) -- helped make this an instant Disney classic.

Jane Seymour: Beyond the Bond Girl  (2010)
OK. Please forgive the indulgence....this is not a movie. I'm recommending it because I want to inject twenty-two minutes, forty-seven seconds of pure Joy and Inspiration into your life! I encourage you to watch this interview with Jane Seymour, an elegant, talented, very "real", lovely woman. She talks about her affinity for Christopher Reeve, with whom she starred in the movie "Somewhere in Time". I was a talent agent and we repped him, around the time he was riding high on "Superman". A very cool guy!

Somewhere in Time (1980)
What an awesome movie!  It is the one that Jane Seymour talks about in the above interview. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend it!
Netflix:  In this unabashedly romantic film, an elderly woman approaches playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) and presses a pocket watch into his hand whispering, "Come back to me." Years later, Collier becomes obsessed with a picture of an early 1900s actress (Jane Seymour) and discovers that she's the woman who gave him the watch. Collier wills himself back in time to find the woman, and the two begin a love affair.T

The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
I love this movie! I picked it up as a DVD for $5.00 and it was well spent. I was very excited to see this movie again. Another classic with integrity, honor, humor and much more. If you've never seen it you're in a for treat and if it's been since you were a child, you're in for a treat as an adult. Enjoy!!!
Netflix:  Based on the novel by Theodore Pratt, this quaint little children's fantasy leads the viewer on a deep-sea adventure. Henry Limpet (Don Knotts), a bespectacled, milquetoast bookkeeper, loves his pet fish so much that he longs to be one. When Henry's wish comes true and he's turned into a talking fish, the simple ocean life he'd envisioned proves more exciting than mundane as he helps the U.S. Navy defeat the Nazis during World War II!

Flipped (2010)
This is a precious movie! It's funny and light and so well made. The audience clapped at the end. Another well done to Rob Reiner!Netflix:  From director Rob Reiner comes a multigenerational family saga about the highs and lows of love. Bryce and Juli first meet as second graders, with Juli having a crush on the uncertain Bryce, and as they mature, it appears their love may blossom. As they wrestle with the problems of adolescence, their parents cope with an assortment of issues of their own. Aidan Quinn, Rebecca De Mornay and Anthony Edwards co-star in this poignant romantic comedy.

Departures (2008)
We found this movie delightful.  Some good humor - some drama.  Not a fast movie, it's slow paced.
Netflix:  Freshly unemployed, young cellist Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) has an epiphany in which he realizes he's been heading down the wrong career path. Retreating to his hometown, he trains for a new professional role as a nakanshi, or one who prepares the dead for burial. Tsutomu Yamazaki provides comic relief as Daigo's eccentric mentor in director Yojiro Takita's Oscar-winning, richly detailed -- if unlikely -- drama about finding your bliss. Understated, emotional, sentimental.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) (Swedish w/English subtitles) (2 Votes)
If you have read the books then I don't need to say much. They are international best sellers and I loved all 3. We enjoyed the movie very much. I must say though there are a couple of sex scenes and a pretty bad rape scene which we fast forwarded through. Otherwise, a very well done movie!!

2nd Vote: A thriller made from the first book of the best-selling triology by Stieg Larson. Very well-made movie and very close to the book.
Netflix: Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and rebellious computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) team up to investigate the unsolved disappearance of wealthy Henrik Vanger's (Sven-Bertil Taube) teen niece (Ewa Fr~ling), only to uncover dark secrets about Vanger's powerful family. Niels Arden Oplev directs this Swedish thriller based on the first novel from Stieg Larsson's best-selling trilogy.

Wild Hogs (2007)
There were many laugh out loud moments, the characters were fun and the plot was pretty strong for a Disney slapstick movie. John Travolta is always a favorite of mine and his character was kind of a Chili Palmer going through a mid-life crisis. I'd say that this is an excellent movie night for a family or couple looking for some good laughs.
Netflix:  Restless and ready for adventure, four suburban bikers (Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy and John Travolta) leave the safety of their subdivision and head out on the open road. But complications ensue when they cross paths with an intimidating band of New Mexico bikers known as the Del Fuegos. Jill Hennessy, Marisa Tomei and Ray Liotta also star in this freewheeling comedy from director Walt Becker.

Knight and Day (2010) (4th Vote)
Just plain fun!!
Netflix:  Perpetually unlucky in love, June (Cameron Diaz) becomes intrigued by a mysterious man (Tom Cruise), who unexpectedly drags her into a whirlwind adventure involving devious enemies, life-threatening confrontations and a major discovery that may alter the future of humankind. Directed by James Mangold, this exhilarating action-comedy also features Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano, Maggie Grace and Viola Davis.

My Favorite Wife (1940)
OK.  I'm hoppin' on the Cary Grant bandwagon with this one. It was SO fabulous and so much fun. The acting is great, but Irene Dunne outdoes herself!
Netflix:  After a man's wife has gone seven years missing at sea (and is long believed dead), she suddenly shows up on the very day he's about to marry again! Cary Grant stars as the beleaguered husband, and Irene Dunne is hilarious as his returning wife. She -- on top of everything else -- must adjust to a hectic life far removed from the island where she was marooned. Garson Kanin directs this comedy, which received three Oscar nods.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
We happened upon this wonderful movie quite by accident while flipping the channels and we were so happy we found it! The movie is such a great way to educate children and adults about the value of the Rainforest, without being "preachy".  Robin Williams is one of the voices, so there are some funny moments too : )  There is FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue which we look forward to seeing.
Netflix:  When a sprite named Crysta shrinks a human boy, Zak, down to her size, he vows to help the magical fairy folk stop a greedy logging company from destroying their home, the pristine rainforest known as FernGully. Zak and his new friends fight to defend FernGully from lumberjacks -- and the vengeful spirit they accidentally unleash after chopping down a magic tree. This fun, animated film features the vocal talents of Tim Curry and Robin Williams.

Leap Year (2009)
This movie was fantastic if you're into romantic comedies. Takes place in Ireland and is really good fluff.
Netflix:  Anna (Amy Adams) chooses February 29 to propose marriage to her "perfect" boyfriend, Jeremy (Adam Scott), sure he'll accept because of an Irish custom. But after meeting charming innkeeper Declan (Matthew Goode) en route to Dublin, Anna must evaluate her original plans. Anand Tucker directs this charming romantic comedy about finding what one really wants in the most unexpected places. John Lithgow co-stars.

Valentine's Day  (2010)
One would probably call this a chick flick, but, my husband did like it. Very humorous, lighthearted and touching moments.
Netflix: In this Los Angeles-set comedy from director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman), the tripwires of modern love are exposed in a carousel involving relationships and the single life on the most romantic day of the year: February 14. Proposals, infidelity, loneliness and more are explored. Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper and Patrick Dempsey lead a star-studded cast.

Member "favorites" submissions:

Dances with Wolves (1990)
Netflix: Wounded Civil War soldier John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) tries to commit suicide -- and becomes a hero instead. As a reward, he's assigned to his dream post, a remote junction on the Western frontier, and soon makes unlikely friends with the local Sioux tribe. This special edition of Costner's Oscar-winning directorial debut features an extended cut of the film, an audio commentary from Costner, a behind-the-scenes featurette and more.

Mama Mia (2008)
Netflix:  On the idyllic Greek isle of Kalokairi, single mom Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep) goes into a tizzy when her bride-to-be daughter (Amanda Seyfried), in a bid to learn her father's identity, invites three of Donna's ex-lovers to the wedding. Buoyed by the tunes of ABBA, this effervescent yarn -- a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) -- also stars Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård as the trio of potential dads.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Netflix: A young physician (Omar Sharif) and his beautiful mistress (Julie Christie) get swept up in the danger and drama of the Bolshevik Revolution in this Oscar-winning epic based on the classic novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Boris Pasternak. The film earned five Academy Awards in all, including statues for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Score and Best Screenplay. Alec Guinness and Rod Steiger co-star.

The Last Castle (2001)
I watched the this recently and what incredible acting by the main characters & of course Robert Reford is at the head of the cast!  This  story really captures ethics, justice, code of honor.
Synopisis: General Irwin (Robert Redford) -- a POW in Vietnam and a revered hero in the Persian Gulf and Bosnian campaigns -- is court-martialed for disobeying orders, he's sentenced to serve time at a maximum-security military prison run by a hard-nosed disciplinarian (James Gandolfini).

Seabiscuit (2003)
One of my absolute faves. Awesome movie!
Netflix:  A knobble-kneed colt becomes a winning thoroughbred at the hands of its owner (Jeff Bridges), its unorthodox trainer (Chris Cooper) and its jockey, a half-blind ex-prizefighter (Tobey Maguire), in this depression-era drama based on the true story of champion racehorse Seabiscuit. During a trying period in U.S. history, people across the country became fascinated with the inspiring success of Seabiscuit, awarded Horse of the Year in 1938.

City Slickers (1991)
Funny movie. Love Billy Crystal. Just looking at him makes me laugh : )
Netflix:  For a change of pace, three amigos (Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby) facing midlife crises sign on for a fortnight cattle drive through the Colorado hills. The urbanites' survival depends on a leathery trail boss (Jack Palance, who won Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role) who doesn't cotton to greenhorn city slickers. Though they run into foul weather, pregnant cows and pistol-packin' ranchers, trail's end brings a bittersweet victory.

The Firm (1993)
Netflix:  When Harvard Law School graduate Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) joins a prestigious firm, he ignores the warning of his wife (Jeanne Tripplehorn), who fears the lucrative deal sounds too good to be true. When two of Mitch's colleagues die in a mysterious accident, he launches an investigation into the firm and finds himself entangled in a web of Mafia connections and FBI operatives. Gene Hackman costars in this thriller based on John Grisham's novel.

Hero (2002)
This is a lush and beautifully filmed movie - The story is about honor, intention, character, personal strength, etc. and is told from 3 different viewpoints. Again, it's incredibly beautiful and would be a pleasure to watch just for the cinematography.
Netflix: The Qin King has long been obsessed with conquering all of China and becoming her first Emperor, which makes him the target of three legendary assassins. As a result, he promises great power to anyone who can defeat them. Jet Li heads the stellar cast as Nameless, the enigmatic county sheriff who earns his audience with the mighty King and stands to win mountains of gold in the process. Zhang Yimou directs this lush, Oscar-nominated epic.

The Usual Suspects (1995)
A really well-done movie with an Oscar winning screenplay and a great cast - one of my favs!
Netflix: When five unacquainted scalawags are hauled into a police station to appear in a criminal lineup, they decide to pull off a heist together. The plan gets complicated, however, when they intermix with an underworld kingpin named Keyser Söze. Gabrial Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey star in this intricately plotted, critically acclaimed thriller that won another Oscar for Best Screenplay.

Schindler's List (1993)
This movie won a load of well-deserved Academy Awards. It's tough to watch at times but the goodness and strength of the human spirit comes through and it's worth every minute.
Netflix: Liam Neeson stars as Oskar Schindler, a greedy German factory owner made rich by exploiting cheap Jewish labor. But as World War II unfolds, he becomes an unlikely humanitarian, spending his entire fortune to help save 1,100 Jews from Auschwitz. Co-starring Ralph Fiennes, Steven Spielberg's holocaust epic won seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and is an unforgettable testament to the possibility of human goodness.

Calendar Girls (2003)
This movie is touching and inspiring and very funny! We loved it all over again. It's NOT a chick flick but might not be appreciated by younger males... Older males, however, will find it hysterical!
Netflix: The members of the Rylstone Women's Institute of North Yorkshire are resourceful and refined -- and they're about to shock the residents of their little English town with a daringly bare philanthropy project. When one of their own (Julie Walters) learns her husband has cancer, the group decides to spice up their yearly calendar fundraiser by forgoing the usual images of the Yorkshire dales and gracing the pages in the nude. Helen Mirren co-stars.

Immortal Beloved (1994)
A little known but terrific movie - romance, mystery, historical figures, beautiful music - Enjoy!
Netflix: Upon Ludwig van Beethoven's (Gary Oldman) death, his lifelong friend Anton sets out to discover the identity of the composer's mysterious muse after uncovering heartfelt love letters addressing her only as "immortal beloved." Through flashbacks, director Bernard Rose investigates Beethoven's artistic and romantic passions, with a finale that features a magical encapsulation of Beethoven's life and loves set to his "Ode to Joy."

Invictus (2009) (3rd Vote)
This is a GREAT movie! We both loved it. Inspiring and a true demonstration of "What is Greatness". Both Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon do an incredible job. A true Clint Eastwood classic.
Netflix: In this drama based on real life events, director Clint Eastwood tells the story of what happened after the end of apartheid when newly elected President Nelson Mandela used the 1995 World Cup Rugby matches to unite his people in South Africa.

The Grass is Greener (1960)
Because I'm a Cary Grant fan and a classic movie-lover, I'm recommending a lesser-known, but WONDERFUL Cary Grant movie. This movie re-unites Mr. Grant and Deborah Kerr (the famed duo of An Affair to Remember) in a delightfully loveable comedy. No tears at the end of this movie, just a smile.  And I guarantee many laughs along the way.  I have my personal list of movies I could watch over and over again, and this is on that list. :-)