ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) movie review

Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday (1953) starring Gregory Peck

This is it. If I have to choose a favorite film. I think this is it. Top 5 at least.

Audrey’s first starring role as the illustrious Princess Ann proved her perfect for the post in posture, eloquence, and manners. She was born to play a princess. Annex-Hepburn-Audrey-Roman-Holiday_01-230x300In this story, her life takes a drastic turn the night her daunting schedule full of royal duties becomes too much for her and she decides to run away.  Her rescuer is the soak-em-for-a-buck fast-talking journalist Gregory Peck. He knows who she is and decides to take advantage of the opportunity for an inside scoop. Their adventure around the city of Rome tours the best of all sites: the Trevi Fountain, gelato on the Spanish Steps,220px-Audrey_Hepburn_and_Gregory_Peck_on_Vespa_in_Roman_Holiday_trailer scootering past the Coliseum and Vatican City, a walk through the forum, a ride past the wall of memories, a boat dance in the evening, and best of all a trip to the “Mouth of Truth.” Watch for Audrey’s real reaction to Peck’s joke there.
220px-Audrey_Hepburn_and_Gregory_Peck_at_the_Mouth_of_Truth_Roman_Holiday_trailerI’ve been to Rome, and other than the newer scooters and larger crowds it is all the same. Go. Visit Rome with Joe and Anna, the one they call Smitty. Get to know the City with their good pal Irving the photographer. 220px-Gregory_Peck,_Audrey_Hepburn_and_Eddie_Albert_in_Roman_Holiday_trailerIt is well worth the few hours away and the lessons you’ll learn about love and duty will always haunt you.

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Filed under Classic, DramCom, Family friendly

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961) movie review

breakfast-at-tiffanys-237x300Audrey had a way with people. She wooed them. She still does. For instance, audiences everywhere still believe this a sweet film with tender moments. It’s not. It’s odd and torturous, full of shocking secrets, prostitution, escort services, fear of rape, mob connections, and a man-eater gold-digger culture to rival most shows today. It’s also inappropriately racist considering Mickey Rooney’s character.audrey-as-holly-in-sleep-mask_with-cat-on-backSet in the well-sauced sixties, nightlife loving New York model shows a Sunday afternoon side, singing on the fire escapes and befriends a young and beautiful escort George Peppard.tumblr_mq71b4a2iH1r5yygpo1_500Henry Mancini wrote the famous song “Moon River” for this film. Studios weren’t going to let Audrey sing it because of her whispey vocals, but Mancini stood up and said if she didn’t sing it they wouldn’t get to use it.
Yet, there is something about their day of firsts, her voice in his head inspiring him to write, her mysterious backstory, the day trips to SingSing and the public library.
In Funny Face, Audrey tours Paris and transforms from bookish to bombshell.Breakfast-at-Tiffanys_Audrey-Hepburn_black-hat-bandRoman Holiday sweeps is up into Gregory Peck’s arms for a guided tour of Rome taking Hepburn from Princess to tourist in a day.
And Breakfast at Tiffany’s travels NYC in a Pretty Woman story for the ages demanding the exclusivity of love despite all insecurities.
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Perhaps there is a moral to this classic tale.

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Filed under Classic, Drama, Historical Drama

CHARADE (1963) movie review

audrey-hepburn-charade-1963Audrey month continues with Stanley Donen’s film Charade. It may look like a Hitchcock film, but it isn’t. Though suspenseful (and way too scary for children), it keeps the conversation light and romantic. And don’t miss the perfect score by Henry Mancini. Charade-Movie-Audrey-Hepburn-Pictures-5-HD-Wallpapers-500x271

Charade-Movie-Quotes-04-202x300Watch it for the sensational screen love between Audrey and Cary Grant. Their lines are shockingly modern, more “New Girl” than silver screen. Audrey’s delivery slices comedic, and Cary Grant is equally quick and savvy. Despite their age gap (which made Cary Grant almost refuse the role), they use playful banter for excellent on-screen allure.
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Filed under Classic, Thriller

FUNNY FACE (1957) movie review

Funny-FaceIt opens as the first Devil Wears Prada as scene-stealer Kay Thompson entices the world to “Think Pink.”
These filmmakers were way ahead of their time in creating art films. A visual collage in each scene, and this a backdrop for Givenchy’s designs including the classic “Audrey look” debuting in this film.

From New York’s quaint village bookstores to the picturesque streets and sights of Paris, each scene sets the stage for this film to show off the visual allure of the fashion industry while simultaneously preaching a unique feminism that attempts to promote brains before beauty.Funny-Face-audrey-hepburn-maginifying-glass-close-up

While that non-traditional perspective for that era surfaced, Audrey played the girl with the “funny face” which made her eternally iconic.

Under the flattering pink glow of Parisian city lights, a romance with fashion and more so with the city itself flourishes.

It’s entertaining and lovely, classic and pure. Where the music fails to fit, Audrey’s class fulfills. Don’t miss this dip into Paris in the 50’s and catch all of its sights with the goddess of fashion. Audrey at the Eiffel Tower. Audrey fishing on the Seine. Audrey at the Louvre in that gorgeous red gown.tumblr_lplb5hEhRH1qir469o1_500“I don’t want to stop I like it. Take the picture. Take the picture!”

What Audrey and her famous dancing counterpart lack in romantic chemistry they somehow make up for in breathy swooning endearing moments which turn out rather “swonderful” in the end.

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Filed under Classic, Comfort Film, Family friendly, Musical

MR. HOLMES (2015) movie review

1425493080204Sir Ian McKellen, versatile and vibrant, spins a good yarn. He becomes his characters, or perhaps they become him. No longer the man behind the Magneto mask or the old grey beard of Gandalf, McKellen is an aged Sherlock Holmes.
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In search of a medicinal cure for the aging mind, he has one crime left to solve, and it isn’t the one he’s pursuing. He retires to the seaside along the white cliffs of Dover and finds there a small boy wonder, a fan of Holmes, who may be the key to opening Sherlock’s memory banks and subsequently, his heart.
rs_560x415-150304172941-1024.ian-mckellen-holmesCharming and enchanting. Heartwarming and thought-provoking. It’s a mystery to solve inside the resolve of lovely dear and true friendships.

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Filed under Drama, Historical Drama

THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (2015) movie review


pg-28-oldie-filmsGo back for seconds if you enjoyed the first. This addition picks up the same story a few months later and offers more depth, color,  humor, and sweetness.

A few more likable characters also grace the screen, but old favorites stay favorites.unnamed-29 The traditions of Indian wedding celebrations set the timing and pace for events in the film. You will want to discover this India: the joy of music and dancing, the encouragement of friends and feasts, the companionship in conversation, and the honor of heritage in this most vividly adorned culture.Packed-matinees-a-scene-f-007

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Filed under Chick Flick/ Rom Com, Comedy

JURASSIC WORLD (2015) movie review


Spielberg gives Tomorrowland a frightening facelift in this latest installment in the Jurassic universe.JW-8 John Hammond’s flea circus-turned dino theme park dream becomes a reality. Universal Studios tram ride through King Kong’s city scape, Disneyland’s jungle safari cruise, and Sea World’s main attractions combined cannot compare to a day on the original island now paradise once more.DLC00012-720x405DLC00020-720x405 DLC00011-720x405But hubris married with technology begets genetically amalgamated super saurus. Only the gritty ex-military turned raptor trainer, Chris Pratt, can calm the cage free and the control freaks. JW-7And, Bryce Dallas Howard proves for womankind that she can run a marathon in heals.bjwax76bjjl4i19u72dy

Some blood, but more jump scares. Some great lines, but more memorable characters. Tons of product placement and even more marketable park merchandise. Sure, every character is a caricature, but this film is meant for pure entertainment. It is meant to be a family action film.

Newby director and writers prove once again that Spielberg is not attempting to keep the legacy of big production film in Amblin’s name only. Art is meant for everyone, to be shared. No corner on the market. Just go and make your movie, and maybe someday a nice guy like Spielberg will pay for the promotion and you too will have the biggest box office weekend like Colin Trevorrow did.

Have fun. Don’t get scared now.JW-2

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Filed under Action, Comfort Film, Sci Fi