Bottle Shock – Movie Review

March 2, 2009 Written by JP

One of the greatest joys for a cinephile is being introduced to a piece of history that you never knew existed. Bottle Shock provided me with my most recent pleasure of this kind.

The film is based on the true story of the first “blind” wine competition between the reigning champions (the French) and the scrappy newcomers from Napa Valley (in northern California). Read more »

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Academy Award Trivia and Picks

February 22, 2009 Written by JP

Like many of you, we’re joining some friends for an Academy Award party this evening. So instead of my weekly movie review, I thought I’d pay a little tribute to Oscar on his 81st birthday. Read more »

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The Visitor – Movie Review

February 15, 2009 Written by JP

Have you ever watched a movie and seen an actor who looks really familiar, but you just couldn’t place him or remember his name? You think to yourself, “I’ve seen this guy before in lots of films, but which ones”? Such performers are often referred to as “character actors”. One of the best contemporary character actors is Richard Jenkins. At the tender age of 61, he’s finally getting some much deserved attention and a leading role. Read more »

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Appaloosa – Movie Review

February 9, 2009 Written by JP

They just don’t make many westerns anymore, and that’s a shame as far as I’m concerned. The old west played an important role in the development of the United States, and I believe that tales from that era have much to teach us. Read more »

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Gran Torino – Movie Review

February 1, 2009 Written by JP

From the moment you see the sour expression, the squinting eyes and deep wrinkles on his face, you begin to understand exactly who Walt Kowalski is. Mr. Kowalski, as portrayed by Clint Eastwood, is an angry old Korean war vet who’s just lost his one connection to humanity – his wife of nearly fifty years. We first meet him at her funeral. And it’s a strong impression that he makes. Read more »

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Movie Review – Burn After Reading

January 26, 2009 Written by JP

Burn After Reading is a new comedy by Joel and Ethan Coen. The Coen brothers are a filmmaking duo that has enriched my life by making cinematic gems such as Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Fargo and No Country for Old Men. They’re also critical darlings, having been nominated for multiple Academy Awards and just about every other award you can think of. So it’s no surprise that they’re able to attract an impressive group of actors for all of their productions. This film is no exception. The cast of this film includes such heavy hitters as: George Clooney, John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton and Richard Jenkins (2009 Academy Award Nominee for Best Actor in The Visitor). Read more »

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Movie Review – The Secret Life of Bees

January 19, 2009 Written by JP

The Secret Life of Bees is based on a much beloved novel by the author Sue Monk Kidd. I had never read the book and so I sat down to watch this film without any specific knowledge of its subject matter. Sometimes that’s a good thing. I believe that’s the case here. Read more »

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Movie Review – Vicky Cristina Barcelona

January 12, 2009 Written by JP

Vicky and Cristina are two friends who arrive in Spain for the summer. Vicky, played by Rebecca Hall, is settled in her life, she has a career plan and is engaged to be married. Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is more of a free spirit. She likes taking risks when it comes to relationships and in life in general. Read more »

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Movie Review – Rachel Getting Married

January 4, 2009 Written by JP

When’s the last time you attended a wild and raucous wedding? A wedding that you had the pleasure of viewing from afar? If it’s been a while or if you just like going to weddings, then I’m inviting you to see Rachel Getting Married. Read more »

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Movie Review – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

December 21, 2008 Written by JP

When we’re children we often look forward to being older. We think of all of the opportunities that will magically present themselves if we could simply have some extra years to allow us access. But somewhere along the line our desire to add numbers to our age takes a radical shift. We find ourselves well into our adult lives wondering what it might be like to go back to a simpler time. That’s often the way life presents itself to us. But that’s not the case for a curious man named Benjamin Button. Read more »

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Movie Review – Slumdog Millionaire

December 15, 2008 Written by JP

Today I’m going to be writing a different type of blog. I’ll be reviewing a motion picture that I think might warm your heart and lift your spirit. I know this isn’t the typical fare of a health blog. But it will be a regular part of this health blog. Films can provide us joyful entertainment and laughter. They can move us and help us to understand life in a different and more meaningful way. When I find a film that meets some those criteria, I’ll happily share it with you. Read more »

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