James Quillinan, known primarily for his expertise in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Conservatorships and related Litigation is also an avid movie-goer. His reviews started in the Law Office around 1998 when associates and clients began asking him about the movies he had seen. He began sending his reviews by email to a list of friends and movie fans which now has grown to include world-wide distribution.
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Monday Morning Movie Reviews - February 1, 2016
45 Years. As their 45th wedding anniversary approaches, Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff Mercer (Tom Courtenay) get a letter that tells them the body of Geoff's first love was found in a glacier in Switzerland. She accidentally was lost in 1962. This bit of long ago tragedy launches a bittersweet love story. Their seeming devotion to one another starts to unravel as the past comes back to haunt them. We see the couple at parties, on a boat with friends and in bed. The film is slow paced as it builds turmoil into seeming rage. The problem is these two characters have no real depth. The hitch in their relationship should have been just that, not something devastating. Rated R for language and brief sexuality.
The Lady In The Van. A wonderful bit of British wit and humanity as a playwright (Alan Bennett) lets a bag lady move her van into his London driveway for a few days and she stays for 15 years. Based on real events, Dame Maggie Smith is The Lady in the Van. She gives a subtle, brilliant performance as the irascible Miss Shepard who is living with demons but has a certain charm about her. The film is full of mysteries that slowly reveal who Miss Shepard really is. The core of the film is Bennett’s relationship with The Lady. Cleverly Bennett is two characters who deal with Miss Shepard, each in their own way. This is an engaging, funny film that is thoroughly enjoyable. Rated PG - 13 for a brief unsettling image. It is a Peggy’s Pick.
Fifty Shades of Black. Marlon Wayans pokes unmerciful fun at last year’s Fifty Shades of Grey. This film is too gross to be called a parody, it’s more of a burlesque of roles, racism and morals or the lack there of. Fifty Shades of Black is quite funny in spots, but only in spots. The sight gags are clever and at times are laugh-out-loud moments. Otherwise the film is just a quagmire of gross-out humor and winks at the camera. Rated R for strong crude sexual content including some graphic nudity, and for language throughout.
The Wonders. This Italian film is a celebration of all things Italian. We meet a family of beekeepers who live in rural Italy and function according to unique rules. A German, his Italian wife and their four daughters run the apiary. Their eldest daughter seems to be in charge. The family keeps the outside world at bay and protects their isolated life. The outside world intrudes as a reality TV show coerces them to participate. A young delinquent German boy becomes part of their lives. As the father foments about the loss of their special connection to nature, the eldest daughter leads them to a better place to survive close to nature. The film is quite odd and seemingly out of place. Not rated, but would be R for language. In Italian and German with English subtitles.