Daily Archives: May 24, 2015

Tomorrowland

There was a time when we all believed that the future would be wonderful. People would live in peace and harmony. There would be no fear or wars or starvation. We would respect each other and solve the World’s problems by working together.  If you speak of the future that way today, people will laugh at you or shake their heads like you are crazy or just plain stupid.

The movie Tomorrowland starts at the 1964 World’s Fair, when the future still stretched  before us as a wonderful and beautiful adventure. A young boy goes to the Fair and is one of the chosen few to be transported to Tomorrowland. It is not a ride, or an illusion, but a real place where scientists and dreamers can plan  to make things better for all mankind.

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Of course, we all know the future did not turn out the way the 1964 World’s Fair predicted. Tomorrowland shows where things went wrong, and how it still might not be too late to put things back on course.

This  is a great movie starring George Clooney and two extremely talented young actors, Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy.  George Clooney is Frank Walker, who was the young boy at the World’s Fair. He has now turned into a cynical disillusioned man who believes nothing can be done to stop the downward trend to destruction of this planet.

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Britt Robertson is a high-school girl who is brilliant and still has the sense of wonder and adventure that Frank lost many years ago. They are brought together by a young girl from another dimension named Athena (wonderfully played by Raffey Cassidy).

Tomorrowland is a Disney movie rated PG, that children and adults will both love. It has dramatic special effects, but they do not get in the way of the characters or the acting. George Clooney, Britt Robertspn and Raffey Cassidy are a terrific trio. The fact that these two young women were able to work so naturally with a major star like Clooney, shows just how talented they are. We look forward in seeing them in many future films.

We Rate this movie Five Stars *****

 

Olive Kitteridge – T.V. Review

If you have not yet seen the miniseries Olive Kitteridge HBO,  I recommend taking a look. The acting and the storyline line are amazing.  It is the story of a woman who most people would  describe as “cold, or even “nasty.” However, as we get to know Olive, we see that she is far more complex and fragile than she ever lets on.

Olive is a middle-school teacher in Maine who has no tolerance for misbehavior or stupidity on the part of her students or even adults. Despite her abrasive attitude, she actually cares deeply about the people around her. In one episode, she helps a former student through a tough time when he is contemplating suicide. She does not do it with a lot of kind flowery words, but by simply speaking to him in a very logical and direct manner.

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As I watched the episodes, something about the personality of  Olive Kitteridge seemed very familiar  to me. Then I realized that she is exactly like a number of the older relatives in my life when I was growing up.  You see, they had all grown up in rural New England, and felt that it was simply undignified to show your emotions.

Olive Kitteridge is perfectly played by Frances McDormand.  She has mastered  the Maine accent and attitude, without overdoing it.  You always feel that Olive is a real person you could walk out the door and meet any minute.

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Olive’s husband Henry is in most ways her opposite. He is warm and outgoing and people just immediately like him. This actually makes Olive’s life more difficult. She is very aware of her own inability to connect with people, and seeing Henry make friends effortlessly only points out her own flaws. Henry is played by Richard Jenkins who is wonderful in this role.

The interplay between Olive and Henry and their complicated New England love for each other is the central point of the story. At one point Henry asks Olive if she is going to leave him.  Instead of some loving Hallmark Channel type of response, Olive replies, “You know, you can be so annoying sometimes.” That is about as close as Olive can get to expressing love verbally. Olive is a loving and caring person but she demonstrates it through actions rather than words.

Also in the show is Bill Murray, as one of the town’s residents. Over the years, Bill Murry has changed from the Saturday Night Live Comedian, to a seasoned character actor and it is wonderful to see his talents continue to grow. Like Olive, he is trying to cope with the injustices and indignities that happen to people as they approach old age.

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So many series and movies only focus on young and beautiful stars. The series Olive Kitteridge shows that, if anything, the lives of people become more interesting and more complicated as they age.

We rate this miniseries 5 Stars *****