Movie Review (drama): “Northfork” (2003)

September 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm (drama, fantasy, movies, Uncategorized)

I’m sorry this movie went completely under my radar when it first came out, because it must have been amazing on the big screen. “Northfork” is dreamy and magical, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

The year is 1955, and the town of Northfork, Montana is 72 hours away from becoming a lake. Almost everybody’s been relocated. A team of company men (featuring the always wonderful James Woods) has been dispatched to talk the few remaining, stubborn straggles into leaving.

Meanwhile, the town priest (Nick Nolte), who ran a school and orphanage in the town’s heyday, is caring for Irwin, a desperately ill little boy who is too fragile to be moved.

About half of the action revolves around the company men, and their efforts to move the eccentric stragglers. These semi-surreal set pieces are loads of fun, showing a quirky, dry sense of humor that isn’t common in American films.

The other half of the film takes place in the nearly comatose Irwin’s fevered dreams. He imagines a strange set of characters, Flower Hercules, Cup of Tea, Cod, and Happy, whom he hopes will take him “A thousand miles away.” The strangeness of his dreams seems to seep into the world of the company men.

Slow-moving but beautiful, sometimes very funny, and touching without being sappy, “Northfork” is a gem.

5 out of 5 stars.

Rated PG-13. The content is OK for older kids and teens, but most of them won’t want to sit through it.

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Movie review: (drama/horror) “The Donner Party” (2009)

December 13, 2010 at 8:26 pm (drama, horror, movies)

Oh wow! A desperately boring movie about the Donner party! Even my adorable Crispin Glover couldn’t save this glacial bore. I guess it was partially realistic–long, boring scenes of starving-looking people huddling around fires and looking miserable. Then they added in a bunch of ax murders that probably never happened, but you don’t even get to see them. I literally fell asleep several times watching this. Go watch “Cannibal the Musical” instead.

-Rated R
-2 out of 5 stars
-OK for older teens, but only if you’re deliberately trying to bore them to death

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Movie review: (drama/dark comedy) “CSA: Confederate States of America”

December 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm (dark comedy, drama, movies)

  Wow…Netflix describes this as a comedy, and parts of it are, in fact, pretty funny, but it’s also one of the most uncomfortable movies I’ve ever seen. I mean that in a good way, though.

The premise is simple. The Confederacy won the war. This is straight-up alternate history, presented as a BBC special. It’s brilliant and deeply, deeply disturbing. Watch if you’re feeling up to a challenge.

-Rated PG-13
-4 out of 5 stars
-Probably OK for older teens

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Movie review: (drama) “Cadillac Records” (2008)

December 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm (drama, movies, music)

WOW I loved this movie! Considering that I love just about every artist who ever recorded with Chess, I was bound to. Great music, great story.

Particularly outstanding performances by Eamonn Walker as Howlin’ Wolf and Beyonce as Etta James (“At Last” is still prolly the best make-out song EVER.)

Mos Def steals every scene he’s in as Chuck Berry. He really gets the charming naughtiness of The Chuck.

If you love blues and/or early rock, check this one out. It’s delightful.

-Rated R
-5 out of 5 stars
-Grownup movie

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Movie review: (drama) “3 A.M.”

December 11, 2010 at 7:23 pm (drama, movies)

This wasn’t bad. Not a horor movie, not even really a thriller. It’s more about a group of New York and the struggling company they work for. A character piece. There’s a lot about race relations. It’s pretty well written, and I’m always happy to see Micihelle Rodriguez.
There’s an entertaining surprise toward the end. I would have given it a higher rating, but the storyline is a little loose and floppy. You could watch a lot worse, though.

-Not rated
-4 out of 5 stars
-Grownup movie

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