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MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS - Fall 2011
14 Oct 11 - By J. Ganz - TheRazzLine Compilation

MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS - Fall 2011

Hello Movie Lovers! When asked "Have you seen a good movie lately?" YOU DELIVERED! This huge list should keep ya goin' for a while!

List includes both new in theaters and on DVD/streaming ~


 
GREAT MOVIES! - Fall 2011



The Pope's Toilet
(2007)

The Pope's Toilet is a very quirky Uraguayan picture with English subs. A truly unique comedic plot.
Netflix: While others in his small Uruguayan border town rush to prepare food in anticipation of the pope's arrival, Beto (César Troncoso) turns his attention to scatological matters: After all, if tourists turn up to eat, they'll also need a place to relieve themselves. But as Beto embarks on his mission to build a public toilet that's fit for the masses, he runs into a series of problems that threaten to derail his dreams.
 
Richard III (1995)
Recently I watched the 1995 version of Richard III, starring Ian McKellan. Incredible! Fabulous rendition. Not necessarily for the squeamish.
http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Richard_III/26587474?trkid=2361637
I highly recommend this movie. Especially because the first part of the movie is the same monologue Jim Meskimen is now making viral with his YouTube celebrity impersonations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part II (2011) (2 Votes)
I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It's excellent! It's the eighth in the series and a thrilling end of the Harry Potter saga. This is a must-see for all Harry Potter fans! It is a must-listen as well, as ace film composer Alexander Duplat masterfully weaves the John Williams' earlier film themes into this film and squeezes out every drop of emotion that film music can possibly convey.
Netflix:  In the second installment of the two-part conclusion to the überpopular Harry Potter series, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), continue their quest to vanquish the evil Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) once and for all. Just as things begin to look hopeless for the young wizards, Harry discovers a trio of magical objects that endow him with powers to rival Voldemort's formidable skills.
2nd Vote:
The last Harry Potter movie was great. I saw it in 3-D, the special effects are awesome, and it nicely ends the Harry Potter Saga.
 
Horrible Bosses (2011)
I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Well written and well acted comedy, with Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey in roles you've never seen them in before! Raw humor, and an unusual story line. Very much in the line of humor of "The Hangover" and "Bridesmaids".
Netflix:  Disgruntled buddies Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) can't leave their miserable jobs, so they cook up a creative strategy for eliminating each other's micromanaging and maniacal employers (Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey) instead in this crackpot comedy. Peculiar advice from con artist Motherf**ker Jones (Jamie Foxx) gets the scheme in motion, but the pals can't keep the wheels from flying off.
 
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
I watched this film inn an IMAX 3D theater which I give 5 out of 5 stars for ultimate effects, sound and impact that glued me to the back of my seat! Gotta see it that way! An at home option is to see it on a large HD screen with a great surround-sound home audio system.
Netflix:  The third installment in Michael Bay's trilogy travels back to 1969's historic moon landing, when Neil Armstrong and his Apollo 11 cohorts touch down in the Sea of Tranquility ... and discover what appears to be a downed Transformers craft. Flash forward to the present, and the Decepticons are ready to exact revenge on Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots. Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, the Autobots' human ally.
 
Thor (2011) (3rd Vote)
I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. This film surprised me. I thought it was going to be trite and with bad acting.  Instead, I loved it!  The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh who's mainly known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays.  It stars Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as Thor (he played James T. Kirk's father, George Kirk, in the opening scenes of J.J. Abrams' 2009 film "Star Trek"), who is so perfect physically to play Thor, that you'd think that once he tried to speak and act, you'd be disappointed.  But Chris Hemsworth is a wonderful actor and he fully measures up to the bran he portrays as Thor.  It also stars Natalie Portman as Jane Foster and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.  I thoroughly enjoyed this superhero film.
 
Super 8 (2011) (2 Votes)
Netflix: 
With a nod to producer Steven Spielberg's landmark sci-fi films of the 1970s and '80s, writer-director J.J. Abrams crafts a supernatural tale about six kids who witness something incredible while shooting a movie with their Super 8 camera.
2nd Vote:
Super 8 is a great movie, a 21st century Sci-Fi "Goonies". The acting and storyline are great.
 
Midnight in Paris (2011) (4th Vote)
Woody Allen's recent release, starring Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody (awesome cast). I must admit that I'm not always a fan of Woody Allen movies, but I'm a fan of this one! I give it 5 out of 5 stars! The story was great, Owen Wilson did a magnificent job as a Woody-esque character, the acting was superb, and it was wonderfully shot. In short, a great and enjoyable film. I highly recommend it!
Netflix:  In this bittersweet dramatic comedy, legendary director Woody Allen focuses his lens on a young engaged couple whose experiences traveling together in Paris make them begin to question the kind of life they want to live as a couple.
2nd Vote:
I saw and loved Midnight in Paris. It is a beautiful film with an important message artfully delivered. It is especially good if you know the writers and artists from early 20th century Paris. The actors playing Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dali, Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Man Ray, etc. were such a pleasure to watch.
 
 
Taken (2008)
Netflix:  While vacationing with a friend in Paris, an American girl (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped by a gang of human traffickers intent on selling her into forced prostitution. Working against the clock, her ex-spy father (Liam Neeson) must pull out all the stops to save her. But with his best years possibly behind him, the job may be more than he can handle. Famke Janssen also stars in this relentless action-thriller from director Pierre Morel.
 
Man on Fire (2004)
Netflix:  Jaded ex-CIA operative John Creasy (Denzel Washington) reluctantly accepts a job as the bodyguard for a 10-year-old girl (Dakota Fanning) in Mexico City. They clash at first, but eventually bond, and when she's kidnapped he's consumed by fury and will stop at nothing to save her life. Tony Scott directs this thriller about a demoralized soul whose sense of purpose is reawakened by a human connection. Christopher Walken and Mickey Rourke co-star.
 
Source Code (2011)
Source Code was a really great movie. Very interesting plot. Good performances. Something positive to say about the human spirit.
Netflix:  Jake Gyllenhaal portrays a soldier recruited for a time-bending government investigation that places him in another man's mind and body, reliving the same traumatic event repeatedly in an effort to identify the perpetrators of a terrorist bombing. Vera Farmiga plays a communications specialist who provides the vital link to the soldier's primary reality as he searches for critical clues within a recurring nightmare.
 
Dangerous Beauty (1998) (2 Votes)
An older movie, but it is awesome.
Netflix:  Prevented from marrying her nobleman lover (Rufus Sewell) because of her commoner status, real-life historical heroine Veronica Franco (Catherine McCormack) is left with two choices: join a convent or become a courtesan. Following in mother's (Jacqueline Bisset) footsteps, she chooses the latter. Set in 16th-century Venice, this biographical drama follows Franco as she rises to power and fearlessly fights off accusations of witchcraft.
2nd Vote:
Based on a true story - we enjoyed it a lot. Really well done script, costuming, art design and cinematography.
 
The Four Feathers (2002)
Awesome!
Netflix:  In Victorian-era Sudan, British officer Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger) resigns his post right before a battle against Mahdi rebels, prompting his fiancée (Kate Hudson) and three friends to give him four white feathers as a symbol of what they perceive to be cowardice. Little do they know Faversham is going undercover and may soon have the chance to redeem himself in their eyes. This classic adventure is based on the novel by A.E.W. Mason
 
The Illusionist (2010) (Tons of previous votes for this one)
I thought it was very good.
Netflix:  Oscar-nominated for Best Animated Feature, this wistful tale follows the fading fortunes of aging illusionist Tatischeff , who's forced to perform in obscure venues as his act is eclipsed by the growing popularity of rock bands. He gets an emotional lift, though, from a wide-eyed girl named Alice, who thinks he possesses magic powers. But Tatischeff's "sleight of hand" efforts to impress her with expensive gifts may lead to his financial undoing.


The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) (6 Votes)
I really liked The Lincoln Lawyer. It was an exciting legal action movie which is now on DVD.
Netflix:  Tasked with defending rich lothario Louis Roulet, who's been charged with assault, lawyer Mick Haller finds himself and his family in danger when he deduces the truth behind this and former cases he's worked on.
 
Rabbit Proof Fence (2002)
Another true story.

Netflix: Australia's aboriginal integration program of the 1930s broke countless hearts -- among them, those of young Molly (Evelyn Sampi), Gracie (Laura Monaghan) and Daisy (Tianna Sansbury), who were torn from their families and placed in an abusive orphanage. Without food or water, the girls resolve to make the 1,500-mile trek home. Meanwhile, a well-intentioned tracker is trying to return the girls to the authorities.
 
Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)
Netflix:
  Playing the hero first portrayed by Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury, Donnie Yen reprises his own performance as Chen Zhen in this breakneck kung fu thriller set in Shanghai during its occupation by the Japanese in World War II. Seven years after his supposed death, legendary fighter Chen Zhen resurfaces in the city in disguise. He immediately begins settling old scores -- with both the Japanese and the Chinese mafia who've been cooperating with them.
 
IP Man 2 (2010)
True story.  This guy was one of Bruce Lee's teachers.
Netflix:  Newly arrived in Hong Kong, martial arts instructor Ip Man (Donnie Yen) encounters stiff opposition when he begins teaching the Wing Chun fighting style. But instead of bowing to his rivals' demands, he perseveres and retaliates with amazing speed and power. Inspired by Ip Man's life story, this martial arts sequel boasts impressive fight sequences and co-stars Lynn Hung, Simon Yam and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo.
 
Mississippi Masala (1992)
Netflix: 
Mira Nair concocts a fascinating picture of Mina (Sarita Choudhury), an Indian woman whose father (Roshan Seth) pines for his native Uganda, where his family lived prosperously until the evil Idi Amin took power. Transplanted to rural Mississippi, the family struggles to make ends meet by running a string of motels, but they don't yet feel at home. When Mina falls for an African American entrepreneur (Denzel Washington), complications arise.
 
In the Name of the Father (1993)
A very moving true story with wonderful acting.
Netflix:  Nominated for seven Oscars in 1993, this biopic features the dramatic prowess of Daniel Day-Lewis as the Irishman Gerry Conlon, who was wrongfully sentenced to life in prison for an IRA terrorist attack that killed four people. As if a forced confession weren't enough injustice, the police work to implicate Conlon's father (Pete Postlethwaite) in the same crime. Emma Thompson plays the lawyer who worked for years to uncover the truth.
 
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
For those of us who were in our teens and 20's in the mid-80's, may I recommend "Hot Tub Time Machine”.
Netflix:  Fueled by energy drinks, vodka and nostalgia for their younger, wilder days, a group of aging best friends travels back in time to 1986, where they get the chance to relive the best year of their lives. And their time machine? Well, it's a hot tub. John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover and Sebastian Stan co-star in this out-of-the-box comedy that takes time travel to a whole new level.
 
My Name is Khan (2010) (3rd Vote)
Features an adult suffering from Autism and how he handles life during turbulent times.
Netflix:  Rizwan Khan (Shahrukh Khan), a Muslim man with Asperger syndrome, lives happily with his wife, Mandira (Kajol), in San Francisco until a tragedy drives her away after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now he is on a quest to recapture the heart of the woman he loves. Traveling across America, Rizwan faces prejudice because of his religion and unusual behavior, but he also inspires the people he meets with his unique outlook on life.
 
Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion (2003)
A documentary showing the systematic destruction of a non-violent, highly spiritual country and it's people.
Netflix:  Ten years in the making, this feature-length documentary was filmed during nine remarkable journeys throughout Tibet, India and Nepal, chronicling the dark secrets of Tibet's recent past through interviews, personal stories and archival images. Martin Sheen narrates, and Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris provide voice-overs for this powerful film that takes viewers to the long-forbidden "rooftop of the world" with an unprecedented richness of imagery.
 
The Dancer Upstairs (2002)
This is the directorial debut of John Malkovich. It comes from a book written by a fellow named Shakespeare who heard about this Ecuadorian policeman who was a hero.  The author traced down the policeman and wrote the whole story, got it published and John liked it so much, he chose it as his first movie to direct.  It's good.
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 Help (2011)
When I saw the poster for this movie I was not interested, but after seeing it I have decided that it is one of the best movies I've ever seen! It is not the same old same old. I highly recommend it.
http://thehelpmovie.com/us/#s=videos&v=1
Netflix:  In 1960s Jackson, Miss., aspiring writer Eugenia Phelan crosses taboo racial lines by conversing with Aibileen Clark about her life as a housekeeper, and their ensuing friendship upsets the fragile dynamic between the haves and the have-nots. When other long-silent black servants begin opening up to Eugenia, the disapproving conservative Southern town soon gets swept up in the turbulence of changing times.
 
The Way Back (2010)
Wow. We really enjoyed this one! It's based on a true story and has a wonderful cast including Colin Farrell and Ed Harris. Directed by Peter Weir (Master and Commander).
Netflix:  After narrowly escaping from a wretched World War II Siberian labor camp, a small band of multinational soldiers desperately undertakes a harrowing journey to traverse Siberia, the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas on foot.

Swordfish (2001)
Great the second time around. John Travolta is just wonderful.
Netflix:  Rogue agent Gabriel Shear (John Travolta) is determined to get his mitts on $9 billion stashed in a secret Drug Enforcement Administration account. He wants the cash to fight terrorism, but lacks the computer skills necessary to hack into the government mainframe. Enter Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman), a n'er-do-well encryption expert who can log into anything. Halle Berry co-stars (in the buff!) in this high-tech thrill ride.
 
The Untouchables (1987)
Really good movie.
Netflix:  G-man Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) will stop at nothing to take down legendary gangster Al Capone (Robert De Niro) -- even if it means bending some rules -- in director Brian De Palma's period crime drama written by playwright David Mamet and based on the 1959 television series. Sean Connery steals the show with his Oscar-winning performance as Jimmy Malone, a tough-as-nails Chicago street cop who shows Ness the ropes.
 
Limitless (2011)  (2 Votes)
We just didn't have any interest in seeing this movie. There we were at Redbox and couldn't find anything we wanted to see so we rented it. Very good movie; kept me interested from beginning to end. It is a drama with a bit of thriller to it.
Redbox:  Out-of-work writer Eddie Morra gets rejected by his girlfriend Lindy, confirming his belief that he has zero future. However, that all vanishes the day an old friend introduces Eddie to NZT, a designer pharmaceutical that makes him laser focused and more confident than any man alive. Now on an NZT-fueled odyssey, everything Eddie's read, heard or seen is instantly organized and available to him. As the former nobody rises to the top of the financial world, he draws the attention of business mogul Carl Van Loon, who sees this enhanced version of Eddie as the tool to make billions. But brutal side effects jeopardize his meteoric ascent. With a dwindling stash and hit men who will eliminate him to get the NZT, Eddie must stay wired long enough to elude capture and fulfill his destiny. If he can't, he will become just another victim who thought he'd found invincibility in a bottle.
2nd Vote:
I liked this one more than my husband did. A good story, part sci-fi, part thriller = techno-thriller. Great cinematography - it's unusual when it's really a part of the story, almost a character on its own. Bradley Cooper does a good job and I liked seeing him in a "real" role.
 
True Grit (2010) (3rd Vote)
I just saw "True Grit" with Jeff Bridges. I really enjoyed it. It seemed like an accurate depiction of what life was probably like in those times.
Netflix:  After drifter Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires alcoholic U.S. Marshal Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to help her exact revenge. The disreputable lawman still has grit, though, and mounts an epic search. Joining the duo on their quest is a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) who's also hunting for Chaney in this updated Western that received multiple Oscar nods, including Best Picture.
 
The King's Speech (2010) (4th Vote)
Quite brilliant, especially if you are an Anglophile!
Netflix:  Britain's King George VI (Colin Firth) struggles with an embarrassing stutter for years until he seeks help from unorthodox Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) in this biographical drama, which received multiple Golden Globe nods, including Best Picture. Logue's pioneering treatment and unlikely friendship give the royal leader a sense of confidence that serves him and his country well during the dark days of World War II.
 
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
I recommend The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. Made in 1938, it remains one of the most uplifting movies of all time (IMHO). My own two cents? -- Olivia de Havilland is an angel.
Netflix:  Errol Flynn stars as swashbuckling hero Robin Hood in this Oscar-nominated classic. When the greedy Prince John (Claude Rains) seizes the throne and raises taxes on the peasants, Robin assembles his band of Merry Men to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Along the way, he woos the lovely Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) and faces off against the dastardly Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone). Patric Knowles and Alan Hale co-star.
 
You Kill Me (2007)
Outrageously hysterical with wonderful acting by Ben Kingsley and a fabulous script.
Netflix:  After alcoholic hit man Frank (Ben Kingsley) botches an assignment, he leaves the Polish mob family he works for to clean up the mess and relocates to San Francisco, where he dries out, gets a job at a mortuary and falls in love with Laurel (Téa Leoni). But when a rival gang threatens the family, he returns to take care of business -- with Laurel in tow. Philip Baker Hall and Dennis Farina co-star in director John Dahl's quirky crime comedy.
 
The Missing (2003)
Tommy Lee at his best with Cate Blanchett, directed by Ron Howard. If this doesn't get your juices flowing, nothing will!
Netflix:  When Maggie Gilkeson's (Cate Blanchett) oldest daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is abducted by a witch doctor turned bandit, Maggie enlists her estranged father's (Tommy Lee Jones) help to find her. But they soon discover that other girls have gone missing -- and that time's running out. Father and daughter reunite for a battle even larger than the one they wage against each other in this suspenseful drama helmed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard.
 
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) (3rd Vote)
Three movies in one. I was totally absorbed. The female lead is incredible!
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 Fröling), 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.



Notting Hill (1999) (3rd Vote)
How can you go wrong when Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant costar? It tore my heart out -several times!
Netflix:  A chance encounter brings together reserved bookstore owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant) and Hollywood icon Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), who forge an improbable romance until Anna's megastardom begins whittling away at their relationship. Can their love overcome all the pretense -- and the flash of the paparazzi? Rhys Ifans co-stars in a scene-stealing turn as Spike, William's dim-bulb, bedraggled flatmate.
 
La Femme Nikita (1990) (2nd Vote)
The original French version of a kick-ass broad.
Netflix:  Internationally acclaimed director Luc Besson delivers the action-packed story of Nikita (Anne Parillaud), a ruthless street junkie whose killer instincts could make her the perfect weapon, in this French film that was remade as Point of No Return in the U.S. Recruited against her will into a secret government organization, Nikita is broken and transformed into a sexy, sophisticated "lethal weapon."

Ronin (1998)
Robert Deniro, French actor Jean Reno, and gorgeous/devious Natascha McElhone. Let's get ready to RUMBLE!
Netflix:  Director John Frankenheimer helmed this action thriller at full throttle. A briefcase with undisclosed contents -- sought by Irish terrorists and the Russian mob -- makes its way into criminals' hands. An Irish liaison (Natascha McElhone) assembles a squad of mercenaries, or ronin, charged with the thorny task of recovering the case. But the team, led by an ex-CIA agent (Robert De Niro), mistrusts one another. Can they accomplish their mission?

Saving Grace (2000) (Note: There are several movies with this title)
An English comedy about gardening and creating some extra income.
Netflix:  In this Sundance Audience Award-winning comedy from director Nigel Cole, newly widowed Grace (Brenda Blethyn) finds herself in financial ruin when she discovers that her dearly departed husband has left her deep in debt. With the help of her gardener, Matt (Craig Ferguson), Grace applies her green thumb to ganja plants -- and soon, everyone in her small English town is getting high on more than life.

Idiocracy (2006)
Corporate control of America has led to ravaging of the environment, impoverishment of citizens, and a general dumbing down of the population. If we stay on this track, where are we going to end up? This movie answers that question. Joe is the movie's hero. If you haven’t seen it, you're in for a treat. http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/4765.html
Netflix:  To test its top-secret Human Hibernation Project, the Pentagon picks the most average Americans it can find -- an Army private (Luke Wilson) and a prostitute (Maya Rudolph) -- and sends them to the year 2505 after a series of freak events. But when they arrive, they find a civilization so dumbed-down that they're the smartest people around. Mike Judge and Etan Cohen ("Beavis and Butthead") reteamed for this futuristic farce.
Genre:Comedies, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Cult Comedies, Late Night Comedies, Political Comedies, Satires, Cult Sci-Fi & Fantasy This movie is: Goofy, Raunchy, Witty
 
Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring (1986)
Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources are the double masterpiece based on Marcel Pagnol's (famous French novelist, filmmaker and playwright) novels. It is beautiful and emotional. Do no miss it, I rate it 5 stars!
Netflix:  Claude Berri directs this pair of award-winning dramas that tell the story of a farmer who falls victim to a cruel scheme by his neighbors, and the comeuppance later delivered by the man's daughter. In Jean de Florette, two men (Yves Montand and Daniel Auteuil) block the water source that a new farmer (Gérard Depardieu) needs for his crops. In Manon of the Spring, Jean's grown daughter (Emmanuelle Beart) goes after the two men with a vengeance.
 
Tower Heist (2011)
My friends and I went to see Tower Heist at a preview screening. It was hilarious; I laughed practically the whole time! It reminded me of Wild Hogs it was so funny. It should be in theaters in the next few weeks.
IMDB:  When a group of hard working guys find out they've fallen victim to a wealthy business man's Ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence. The movie stars Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller and Casey Affleck.
 
The In-Laws (1979)
An old movie; kind of wacky, but very funny with a good ending. Starring Peter Falk.
Netflix:  Alan Arkin stars as a dentist who quickly grows skeptical about his daughter's wild claims that her future father-in-law, Vince (Peter Falk), is a CIA agent. But when he's sucked into a bizarre adventure in a banana republic, Arkin begins to reassess his opinion. Is Vince really all he's cracked up to be, or just out of his mind? Arkin and Falk excel as an odd couple brought together by outrageous circumstances.

The Game (1997)
Michael Douglas was intense, but very good, I thought. Had a good ending.
Netflix:  In honor of his birthday, San Francisco banker Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas), a financial genius and a coldhearted loner, receives an unusual present from his younger brother, Conrad (Sean Penn) -- a gift certificate to play a unique kind of game. In nary a nanosecond, Nicholas finds himself consumed by a dangerous set of ever-changing rules, unable to distinguish where the charade ends and reality begins.
 
Moneyball (2011)
I really enjoyed the movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt. It is a great movie about baseball, strategy and going against the grain.
IMDB:  The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.  Also stars Robin Wright and Jonah Hill.
 
Sanctum (2011)
We really liked this one - James Cameron is just amazing! It's a very uplifting and intense survival story.
Netflix: Based on a true story and using technology developed by executive producer James Cameron, this breathtaking thriller follows the adventures of expert diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh), who heads an expedition to map a network of underwater caverns. When a tropical storm cuts off their exit, the team, including Frank's teenage son, must use all their resources and strength to avoid panic and find a route to the surface. Ioan Gruffudd co-stars.
 
I Am Number Four (2011)
There are so many trashy sci-fi flicks that when a good one comes along, it's really worth noting. Note this one!
Netflix: After nine aliens flee their home planet to find a peaceful life on Earth, their plans are shattered by pursuers who must kill them in number order. Number Four is a teen named John (Alex Pettyfer), who uses his extraordinary abilities to battle his enemies. John's guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), aids him in his deadly fight while he tries to protect his human girlfriend, Sarah (Dianna Agron), and connect with the others who share his powers.
 
Battlestar Gallactica (2004-2009)
OMG we've been watching a TV series on Netflix streaming! We're in the middle of Season 3 and really enjoying it. 45 minutes, no commercials, great story line that doesn't leave you hanging, good acting, good scripts, and most of all, it's interesting!
Netflix: Deep in the universe, cybernetic Cylons have all but wiped out the human race, laying waste to the Twelve Colonies of Man. Cast out, the few survivors aboard the Battlestar Galactica search for a so-called 13th colony: the mythical planet Earth. Cmdr. Adama (Edward James Olmos) and President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) lead the desperate quest with the Cylons in hot pursuit in this Syfy hit series, a reimagining of the classic 1970s program.

Mao's Last Dancer (2010) (4th Vote)
I believe this was already recommended and I would like to second it. Wonderful true story.
Netflix:  A delegation from Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy selects 11-year-old peasant villager Li Cunxin to study ballet in far-off Beijing, where he trains for seven grueling years to become one of China's greatest dancers. His efforts win him the opportunity to dance in America, opening his eyes to a new love and the possibility of a dramatic defection from China in this remarkable true story based on Cunxin's autobiography.
 
Havana (1990) (2nd Vote)
An old, but good spy flick with Robert Redford, Lena Olin and Raul Julia.
Netflix:  High-stakes poker player Jack Weil (Robert Redford) is looking to score big in the final hours of Batista's Cuba, a nation on the brink of a revolt. But Weil lands in dangerous political territory when he agrees to help the alluring wife (Lena Olin) of a communist revolutionary (Raul Julia). Alan Arkin and Richard Farnsworth co-star in this atmospheric drama helmed by veteran director Sydney Pollack.
 
Uncorked (1998) (2nd Vote)
A very off-beat movie that I found very entertaining.
Netflix:  When Ross (Rufus Sewell), a bankrupt entrepreneur, decides to sell his family's priceless wine collection to buy a failed manganese mine, his girlfriend Kendall (Minnie Driver) and Uncle Cullen (Nigel Hawthorne) desperately try to stop him and get him back on track for success.
 
Shine (1996)
A true story with great acting.
Netflix:  A richly deserved Oscar went to Geoffrey Rush for his riveting portrayal of Australian virtuoso David Helfgott and his ultimate triumph over a domineering father (Armin Mueller-Stahl, who also earned Academy honors for his supporting turn); schizophrenia; and an obsession with the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3. Sir John Gielgud, superb as ever, plays Helfgott's tutor, with Lynn Redgrave co-starring as Helfgott's future wife.
 
The Concert (2009)
This is a great movie about a conductor who goes to great lengths to fulfill a life long dream. Highly recommended.
Netflix:  Golden Globe-nominated as Best Foreign Language Film, this uplifting comedy follows fallen Russian maestro Andrey Filipov (Aleksey Guskov), who seizes a chance to reunite his orchestra and reclaim his life 30 years after politics cut short his music career. After intercepting an invitation sent to the Bolshoi to perform at a Paris theater, Filipov gathers a ragtag band of ex-colleagues and a French violinist (Mélanie Laurent) to realize his dream.
 
Morning Glory (2010)
Extremely funny with Harrison Ford playing the grumpy old newscaster.
Netflix:  Whiz-kid producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) finds her abilities put to the test when she's charged with bringing a network morning show back from ratings purgatory. Her first job: getting the show's feuding, acid-tongued co-hosts (Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton) under control. Jeff Goldblum co-stars as Fuller's network-exec boss and Patrick Wilson is Becky's put-upon boyfriend in this comedy from the writer of The Devil Wears Prada.

Kinky Boots (2005)

Hilarious true story.
Netflix:  After inheriting a shoe factory, Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) aims to take the fashion world by storm with help from a flashy cabaret dancer named Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who helps him design a racy line of men's boots, in this whimsical comedy from British director Julian Jarrold. But on the eve of the Milan Shoe Fair -- just as Charlie's about to introduce the world to his signature shoes -- everything falls apart.

Temple Grandin (2010) (4th Vote)
I just saw another great movie!
Netflix: Emmy winner Claire Danes stars as Temple Grandin, a brilliant young woman coping with the stigma of autism at a time when it was misunderstood. With the support of her loving family, Temple dedicates herself to learning and becomes a famed animal behaviorist. Her passion for animals gives her a unique ability to understand them, and she fulfills her love of education by teaching about autism and the most humane ways to treat livestock and pets.
 


That does it for this edition!