A few more movies worth a visit

We have seen a few more movies since I last gave an update. Some we rented from the local non-profit video store I have mentioned, others we saw on the television and one we just saw in the theater. Let me start with the more recent theater one and go back in time from there.

Dear Evan Hansen – This is a movie based on the highly successful musical play starring Ben Platt who played the first Evan Hansen on Broadway. The theme is complex and very sobering and the music is well done sung by a host of high school and parent singers. You will go through a range of emotions, so please bring some tissue. The story is advertised in the previews, so it won’t be telling too much to say Evan Hansen, a troubled teen, was asked by his therapist to write a letter to himself. Another troubled teen steals the letter from Evan and unfortunately commits suicide leading his parents to believe Evan was their son’s friend, when they thought he had none. The movie was directed by Stephen Chbosky and also stars Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Nik Dodani and Julianne Moore.

16 Blocks – This one is surprisingly good, but I wondered why I did not remember it coming out a few years back. In essence, Bruce Willis plays a disgruntled, weather-beaten cop who was set up to fail in delivering Mos Def’s character in protective custody sixteen blocks to testify against a rogue cop. The relationship between the two men evolves especially when Willis’ character decided to do something unusual – the right thing. It is directed by Richard Donner and also stars David Morse, Jenna Stern, David Zayas.

Local Color – This movie is also surprisingly good. It is a coming age of movie based on a true story about an artistic (and observant) eighteen year-old who wants to learn from a renowned, but reclusive artist who lives near by. The teen is played by Trevor Morgan with Armin Mueller-Stahl playing the curmudgeonly artist who is far more complex. Samantha Mathis plays a nearby friend of the artist who reminds him of his long ago deceased wife. She is getting over the loss of her son due to a car accident, so she is also in need of some healing. Key small roles are played by Ray Liotta as Trevor’s father, Ron Perlman as a self-professed art expert and Charles Durning as an early mentor. The movie is directed by George Gallo.

Conflict – an old black and white film is an excellent movie as well. It stars Humphrey Bogart and Sidney Greenstreet, but this time in reversed roles. Bogart plays the antagonist in this one, with Greenstreet an observant doctor. The movie is advertised as Bogart’s character killing his wife because he is in love with her sister, which happens early on. From there I will leave it to your imagination. I was wondering why I had not heard of this movie before and it may be due to Bogart playing the heavy. The movie was directed by Curtis Bernhardt and also stars Rose Hobart as the fated wife and Alexis Smith as her sister.

A couple of other movies that are also good are “Trucker” with Michelle Monaghan and Nathan Fillion about a mother who has to take care of her son while being a trucker, as his father is dying and “Phone Booth” starring Colin Ferrell, Forrest Whitaker, Radha Mitchell, Katie Holmes and Kiefer Sutherland which is about a sniper forcing a selected man to stay in a phone booth until he gets satisfaction with the man confessing his sins to his wife and mistress. I would also give high marks to “Biutiful” with Javier Bardem, but this one is in Spanish with subtitles and “3:10 to Yuma” with Christian Bale and Russel Crowe.

Let me know what you think. If you have seen them, please share your feedback. Are there others you have seen that are worth letting others know?

21 thoughts on “A few more movies worth a visit

  1. “Phone Booth” directed by the late, great Joel Schumacher (“Falling Down” is another of his I’d recommend) was shot in “real time”, that is in sequence starting at page one of the screenplay and taking up each day where he left off the day before, and so on until the whole movie was complete.

    • Robin, many thanks for the background. At first, you won’t think it will be enjoyable, but you simply cannot turn away. It reminds me a little of Tom Hardy in “Locke” where he is the only one on screen driving a car, as events transpire via the telephone. It is also riveting. Keith

  2. Thanks for the movie recommends, Keith. I’m always looking for something new to watch.

    Have you seen Sweet Tooth on Netflix? Highly recommend. Fascinating, moving and deeply relevant to the times we are living in.

    Also The Sinner (Netflix) with Bill Pullman as Detective Ambrose is great. My favorite was season 3 — each season is a fully self-contained story, so you don’t have to watch them in order. The only recurring character is Ambrose. (Other shows come up with that name, so make sure it’s the show with Detective Ambrose).

    Guilt, a Scottish psychological thriller, is excellent. I think I watched it on PBS Masterpiece Mystery.

    Best wishes and happy binge watching, MW 😊

    • Thanks MW for the recommendations. I have not seen those. We have been watching “American Rust” with Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney on HBO. And, last year they had a terrific miniseries called “The Undoing” with Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman. Another show we like is a Canadian series called “Coroner” and we are fans of “Frankie Drake.” We also watch a few British and Australian shows. Keith

      • Hope you like them. Thanks for more recommends. They all sound good! Here are two more for you: Safe (Netflix), a British crime drama series. Kept me guessing. Lots of twists and turns.

        And Dancing On The Edge, (London 1930‘s) which I think I watched on Amazon Prime.

      • Thanks MW. There is an American made mini-series about a British story called “A Call to Spy” regarding the first female spies in France for WWII. Great story. Keith

  3. I keep meaning to see ’16 Blocks’, because I did enjoy ‘The Last Boy Scout’ and it sounds in that area. That Bogart one was new on us, we must seek it out.
    My recommendation has to be ‘Glory’ with Morgan Freeman, Mathew Broderick, Cary Elwes with break-out roles for Denzil Washington and Andre Braugaher. Set in the Civil War it tracks the formation of and combat experiences of the 54th (African) Infantry Regiment, one of the first African American regiments. It contains many classic moments.
    Currently though, to relax and clear my head I am going through a stage of recent comedies and rom-coms which are not exactly subtle, nor wry.

    • Roger, “Glory” is a great movie about a subject that needs more notoriety. I did not see “The Last Boy Scout,” so thanks for the recommendation. Keith

      • I won’t give the whole away, but Willis is at his shabby laconic best. There is a scene where he deduces his wife and his partner in a detective agency have been having an affair. His confrontation with the guilty pair has classic pay off lines somehow only Willis could deliver.

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