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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Tuesday, March 3, 2014
The Wind Rises. Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki has made another charmer that is both beautiful to watch and tells a heartfelt story of romance against a threatening world. The film is loosely based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer responsible for the famous Japanese World War II Zero Fighter airplane. Jiro is primarily a gifted engineer trying to create the perfect airplane that will soar among the clouds, but he is also a dreamer. He is dedicated to his engineering but is a gentle soul who falls hopelessly in love with Naoko Satomi. Naoko is beautiful but tragically afflicted. Their love transcends. Jiro’s childhood dreams of flying and creating inspired aircraft are dashed when the reality of World War II destroys his world. Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images and smoking. It is a Peggy’s Pick. Dubbed in English so no subtitles.
Non-Stop. We violated one of our rules and saw this film about terror on an airplane. We enjoyed it a lot more than anticipated. Liam Neeson is Bill Marks, an air marshal assigned to a routine flight from New York to London. The flight is anything but routine when he receives a series of text messages that passengers will be killed unless the airline transfers $150 million into an offshore account. Bill springs into action as he must sort out who the bad guys are and who the good guys are as passengers die. The thrills intensify as misdirection and clues keep us guessing. All of this taking place in the confines of an airplane at 40,000 feet. Taut action keeps the film going until its surprise ending. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some language and drug references.
Love Is All You Need. Ida is a Danish woman (Trine Dyrholm) just finishing her cancer treatments. She returns home early to find her husband in mid coitus with a much younger co-worker. She takes off for her daughter’s wedding in Italy leaving the husband behind. She encounters the father of the groom, Philip (Pierce Brosnan) and makes a dreadful first impression. At the seaside villa where Philip once lived with his deceased wife problems arise. Ida’s husband shows up with the co-worker, conflicts arise among the family members culminating with the groom coming out of the closest. Amid this chaos, Philip and Ida find a connection and realize they both have a chance at a new life together. Rated R for brief sexuality, nudity and some language. This is a silly melodrama that we missed when it was released last year while we were on vacation; it should have stayed missed. In Danish, Italian and English with subtitles.
Oscar Nominated (2014) Live Action Shorts. All but one of these was disappointing. They are available at selected theatres and on VOD services. The live action shorts are:
1. "Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me) which portrays the awful situation with child soldiers and war lords in Africa.
2. "Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything) exposes the plight of a woman and her family escaping an abusive husband.
3. "Helium" is a parable explaining heaven to a dying boy.
4. "Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)" is a clever look at a modern family on overload.
5. "The Voorman Problem" is a strange look at deism meets modern psychology.
Stalingrad. A modern Russian film that tells a singular story of a group of Russian soldiers holding a strategic building against unrelenting German assaults in late 1942. They remain hidden in the ruins and discover a young girl still living in the building. Her whole family is dead and she alones survives. The soldiers not only must and will impede the German’s advance they must also protect her. The film is a large-scale tribute to the men and women who saved Russia from German aggression. It is also intimate story of survival, family and love. The film is interesting to see the Russian point of view some 70 years after the historic battle along the Volga. Rated R for sequences of extreme war violence.