I watched very few movies in January (for me), but here is my take on the ones I did see.
One for the Money:
Based on the brilliant series by Janet Evanovich, this film lacks the humor and fizzle of the books. It’s a pleasant enough way to spend 90 minutes, but I was disappointed. Not too surprisingly as I am often disappointed when movies or shows are made from books I love.
An American Tail:
When I admitted to a friend of mine that I had never seen this movie, I was told to rectify that immediately. So, I did. A lovely film, and how do you fault an animated feature that makes you cry? If I were a kid, I think it would find it very scary, but as an adult it is ninety minutes of fun. Come on, everybody join in, “Somewhere out there…”
This movie came highly recommended by Mom and Lynn, so I decided to give it a chance. Michael Caine and Demi Moore join forces in 1960’s London to steal diamonds from their employer. I’m surprised this did not get wider play as it is an amazing movie. The two leads are at their best and all of the supporting players meet that standard. The story is a bit cliched and predictable, but it left me cheering for the thieves. I love shades of gray in movies. Watch this one.
I hadn’t seen this film in ages and it came up in something else I was watching recently. I decided to re-watch it. My goodness, but it is an amazing piece of cinema. Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta are all brilliant and, although the movie is long, it never falters. I remembered it as being much more violent than it is, but maybe that’s just because it takes more to shock me now than it did in 1990. There are some scenes that are tough to watch, but the violence never feels gratuitous. If you’ve never seen this, or if it’s been awhile, watch it. The three leads are a lesson in great acting and alone are worth your time.
North and South:
If there is one thing in which the BBC excels, it is in adapting novels for television. One of their all time triumphs is this, based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. It originally aired in 2004 and I have the most vivid memory of watching it live. I did not know the story, so I was entranced from the first scene. All four episodes sat on my DVR until the BBC released the DVDs and I have watched this literally dozens of times. There are similarities to Pride and Prejudice, so if you like that story, give this one a chance. I promise -- you’ll love it! Perfect rainy day/Sunday night viewing.