Sunday, January 31, 2016

42 (2013)

Happy Birthday !!

Jackie Robinson was born on this day in 1919. The man changed baseball. And this film does it's best to show the challenges and ugliness he faced. Not to mention, it features Harrison Ford in one of his most-ignored roles ...... Article for Jackie Robinson: 

Run Time:  128 mins
Genre:  Drama, Sports, Biopic
Format:  Widescreen Format, Color
Director:   Brian Helgeland
Starring:  Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman, Lucas Black and Alan Tudyk Entry for the film: Article for the film: Article for Chadwick Boseman: Article for Harrison Ford: Aticle for Director Brian Helgeland: 

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

I have always enjoyed the historical, biopic-type of movies.  It is that docudrama-type of film, when Hollywood tries, ever so hard, to explain our history.  This is the story of famed baseball player and color-barrier breaker Jackie Robinson.  The updated 2013 version of The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), only this time it is a movie, not archival documentary footage.  Chadwick Boseman, who, up to this point, has acted mostly in TV shows, is cast in the role of Jackie.  The headlined actor and best presence in the entire film is Harrison Ford as Dodgers GM Branch Rickey.  It is very refreshing to see Ford do something totally different than what we usually see him in and he is excellent.

Mini Bio: Jackie Robinson on YouTube:

The film shows us how far we have come as an American-culture and even helps you understand how much further we still need to go when it comes to racial differences and color barriers.  I was amazed and embarrassed, at the same time, about how bad things were with racial tensions back then.  I knew about the “back of the bus” nonsense and the white’s/black’s bathrooms and fountains insanity, but It never dawned on me that even the National Baseball League had segregated seating - crazy!!!  

On a lighter note, those of you around my age will get a kick out of seeing Detective Stan “Wojo” Wojciehowicz (Max Gail), from the TV Show Barney Miller as the Pennant Winning Dodgers Manager, Burt Shotton.  Other than a few editing mistakes and weird reaction shots, this is a winning picture.  It is really interesting how director Brian Helgeland shows us the power and energy one person can inflict on change.  That one person, as quoted in the movie, can be a superhuman, physically and symbolically.  It is a wonderful film that reminds us of a lesson that most of us have finally passed, but that many are still trying to learn. - Phil

Don't know how long this will be up.  Sometimes studios put films out for the public to gobble up, as a promotional tool online, before they yank them off the internet, sort of a free public domain truce for a time period, but here it is on YouTube.  The full Jackie Robinson Story (1950).

Click the link below at to see where you can stream or watch 42 (2013) online or on TV right now: 

Or check out to see if this film is playing on TV/Cable in your area:  
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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Unforgiven (1992)

Happy Birthday !!!!!

The great Gene Hackman turns 86 today! Enjoy retirement, sir !!!  He has way too many films to choose from .... Article for Gene Hackman:

....  so we picked .....  Unforgiven (1992)

Run Time:  131 mins
Genre:  Western, Drama
Format:  Widescreen Format, Color
Director:   Clint Eastwood
Starring:  Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett, Saul Rubinek and Frances Fisher Entry for the film: Article for the film:

Find the link to Director/Actor Clint Eastwood's Article from our The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) Post:

Find the link to Morgan Freeman's Article from our Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) Post:
Or, find it from our Shawshank Redemption (1994) Post: Article for Richard Harris:

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

This is probably one of the most "real" western films ever made.  It takes away the Hollywood action cowboy and also buries the Roy Rogers cowboy and takes that cowboy and turns him into an aging, pissed off killer, who you shouldn't mess with.  This happens in an era during Clint Eastwood's career when he just finished all the Dirty Harry movies and moved on to the types of films that an older star should take on.  This is pure, gritty, old west style, not seen in a long time.  Enjoy! - Phil

Clint Eastwood would go on to win Best Director and Gene Hackman would go on to win Best Supporting Actor at the 1993 Oscars ......

and then this happened .....

Unforgiven Wins the Best Picture Oscar at the 1993 Academy Awards on YouTube:

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Today in History !!!

Kansas became a state today way back in 1861. Article for Kansas: 

Celebrate this day by seeing a film that came out 100 years after that fact with Elia Kazan's, cinematic mid-western treat, Splendor in the Grass (1961) ...... 

Run Time:  124 mins
Genre:  Drama, Romance
Format:  Widescreen Format, Color
Director:   Elia Kazan
Starring:  Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie and Barbara Loden Entry for the film: Article for the film: Article for Director Elia Kazan: Article for Natalie Wood: Article for Warren Beatty: Article for Pat Hingle:

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

The story of two Kansas high school sweethearts growing up in the late 1920s through the stock market crash of 1929. Bud and Deanie are very much in love, but the pressures of sex in society creates a rift in their relationship. Bud's father encourages him to leave Deanie to find "another kind of girl" which drives Deanie into madness. She is committed into an institution while Bud reluctantly obeys his father and enrolls in Yale. The crash of '29 hits and changes the lives of both their families. Together they learn the harsh lesson of love and life in the '20s and sadly go their separate ways. 

Boy, we sure have come a long way.  We are still a nation of prudes, but at least we can be more open with each other, even about sex. In Elia Kazan’s exploration of fly-over space America from 1928 to the mid 30s, using 1960s film devices, the film opens up to an intense shot of a couple making out by a waterfall, with the beautiful Natalie Wood and perty-boy Warren Beatty (in his first film role), giving us an excellent look at what the kids had to go through back then. From Natalie (Wilma), getting advice from her, obviously, religious mother as well as questions like, “You haven’t gone too far have you Wilma?”, to all kinds of subliminal-like messages of sexual taboos and naiveté’ thinking and a very intense exploration of characters with major libido issues. What really is interesting about this film is the turn it takes.  As we get beyond the days of the depression, the story takes on an almost anti-romantic feeling.

Other than a few nit-picky mistakes, a side-story about Beatty’s drunken sister that becomes slightly tedious and a very odd Phyllis Dillar sighting, everything else fits into place quite well in this masterpiece. I was impressed by Beatty’s performance and Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon from the Burton/Schumaker Batman movies), does an excellent portrayal of Beatty’s father.  

I can’t say for sure or even prove it, but it would be nice to think that Kazan was influenced by The Crowd (1928), and the opening scene was made for that reason, because the parallels are there, especially when you think of the year 1928. Article for The Crowd (1928): 

See Splendor in the Grass (1961), because it really represents the transition that film started to go through when the changing tides between the old Hollywood and new Hollywood started to appear. 
- Phil

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Happy Birthday  !!!!

.... to film director, Frank Darabont, who turns 57 today !!! Article for Director Frank Darabont:

Here's one of our favorite films Mr. Darabont directed and one of the highest rated films on .....  The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

Run Time:  142 mins
Genre:  Drama, Crime
Format:  Widescreen Format, Color
Director:   Frank Darabont
Starring:  Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown and James Whitmore Entry for the film: Article for the film: Article for Tim Robbins:

Find the link to Morgan Freeman's Article from our Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) Post:

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

This film is based on the Stephen King novel "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption", published in 1982. Article for "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" Novel by Stephen King: Article for Stephen King:

Frank Darabont also directed The Green Mile (1999).  He also developed and was Executive Producer on the first season of Walking Dead (2010-2011) and directed the pilot for that show.

SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION Filming Location Video with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman on YouTube:

What more can you say about the highest rated movie on at a 9.3 ???  Find out for yourself.  It is beautifully put together and has become a cultural icon in some ways and it is awesome !! 

Just for fun - The Shawshank Redemption 20th Anniversary: It's All About The Script on YouTube:

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Caddy (1953)

Happy Birthday !!!!

The unbelievably beautiful Donna Reed, who's work spanned over 40 years, most notably on television in the widely popular sitcom The Donna Reed Show (1958-66), and the movies It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and From Here to Eternity (1953), was born on this day in 1921. Article for Donna Reed:

So, to celebrate her birthday we picked one of her film's that she did with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis that came out the same year as From Here to Eternity ....  Check her out, as your film for tonight, in THE CADDY (1953) .....

Run Time:  95 mins
Genre:  Comedy, Romance
Format:  Standard 4:3 Format, Black and White
Director:   Norman Taurog
Starring:  Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Donna Reed, Barbara Bates, Joseph Calleia and Fred Clark Entry for the film: Article for the film: Article for Dean Martin: Article for Jerry Lewis: Article for Barbara Bates: Article for Director Norman Taurog:

Trailer for the Film on YouTube:

Dean performs "That's Amore" in this film.  This film features a lot of professional legends from the world of Golf, who were famous in the 1950s.

Get ready for Donna Reed's appearance around the 33 minute mark.

This film also features stock footage of the boys when they were surprised by thousands of screaming fans (yes, just like the Beatles), outside their townhouse window, so the producers included it as part of this film.

Remember, when Dean went off on his own in the 60s to pursue his solo career he became known as the Beatle-Smasher, because he was the only guy ever to knock the Beatles out of the number one spot.  That is true power and talent.  In fact, among entertainment lore, it turns out Dean predicted he would knock the Beatles out of first place.  A bet he placed with his son, who was a huge Beatles fan. - Phil

Just for fun - Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin Bloopers & Out-takes from "The Caddy" Radio Promotion on YouTube:

Check out to see if The Caddy (1953) is playing on TV/Cable in your area:

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Finding Nemo (2003)

Good day, mate! Happy Australia Day !!!

...... which also just happens to be the location that Nemo disappears to in Finding Nemo (2003) !!!

Where's Nemo?  He's not in here !!  See the movie to find out !!  (Photo courtesy of Mike Vaughn)

Run Time:  100 mins
Genre:  Comedy, Animated
Format:  Widescreen Format, Color
Director:   Andrew Stanton
Starring:  Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis and Geoffrey Rush Entry for the film: Article for the film: Article for Director Andrew Stanton: Article for Ellen DeGeneres: Article for Albert Brooks: Article foe Willem Dafoe: 

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

Chris and I love this movie so much that we once set up a white bed sheet on a tennis court fence and watched the film outside with friends and family on a video projector.  I also went back to the movie theater for when Disney did the re-release of the film in 3D for the 10th anniversary celebration.  
This film is awesome on all platforms.

Finding Nemo Interview on YouTube:

Click the link below at to see where you can stream or watch Finding Nemo (2003) online or on TV right now:

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Monday, January 25, 2016

The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Today in history!

Learning and understanding history is very important.  This is evident, not only, with good history, but with bad history too. Today's film of the day is the Last King of Scotland (2006), because on this day in history Idi Amin, became President of Uganda in 1971... Article for Idi Amin: Entry for the film: Article for the film:

Run Time:  123 mins
Genre:  Drama, Historical, Biopic
Format:  Widescreen Format, Color
Director:  Kevin MacDonald
Starring:  Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, Simon McBurney and David Oyelowo Article for Forest Whitaker: Article for James McAvoy: Article for Kerry Washington: Article for Director Kevin MacDonald:

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

This is the story about the ex-Ugandan President Idi Amin, who rose to power in the 1970s.  He is played brilliantly by Forest Whitaker.  James McAvoy plays a fictional character that becomes Amin’s private physician.  This is based on a 1998 novel, by the same name, written by Giles Foden.  McAvoy’s character was based on real associates of Amin, but was fictionalized to further the impact of this story as a biopic film.  Foden used information from different associates and research and this film is a combination of fiction and true history.  This is a normal story-telling device that is seen in many film-biopics. Article for the novel Last King of Scotland (1998) by Giles Foden:

McAvoy (Dr. Nicholas Garrigan), is a ladies man, who just graduated from medical school and for some odd reason he picks Uganda as the place where he wants to start his practice.  One day he is summoned to help Amin after a car accident.  Amin immediately takes a liking to Nicholas and asks him to be his private physician and advisor.  What Nicholas doesn’t foresee is a future where Amin goes nuts.  If you look back in history, Amin, amid all the media and chaos, was depicted as a madman.  Forest Whitaker explores this scenario quite well.  He shows you a lighter side of Amin, but also has the great acting-chops to show you Amin’s dark paranoid side.  Once the film really takes off, you begin to understand how weird Amin was and it is a good thing his reign came to an end. - Phil

Capturing Idi Amin' Documentary on YouTube:

I also want to bring in a comparison.  If you have seen Seth Rogan and James Franco’s The Interview (2014), before you have seen Last King of Scotland, or vice-verse, enjoy this comparison, because it only enhances the excellent work that McAvoy and Whitaker did in LKOS.  In The Interview James Franco’s character becomes best-buddies with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.  Of course all of this is fictional, as well as, a comedy and it has the ridiculous scenario of these two guys being good buddies, either through ignorance or craziness.  Well, as you watch Franco and Randall Park (President Kim), interact in this film think of McAvoy and Whitaker in a serious film, but the results are almost, dead-on, the same.  

Trailer for The Interview (2014) on YouTube:

It further enhances the craziness and paranoia of Amin’s character and shows, either through ignorance, stupidity or just bad luck that Dr. Nicholas got involved with this nut in the first place.  None of this is any more evident than at the very end, during the end credits, when Director Kevin Macdonald decides to flash up real footage of Idi Amin.  He shows us the real Idi Amin’s eyes and face and solidifies the truth on how really nuts this guy was.  It’s all in the eyes.  See this film. - Phil   

Click the link below at to see where you can stream or watch The Last King of Scotland (2006) online or on TV right now:

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Gold Rush (1925)

Today in History !!!!

The California Gold Rush of 1848 began today. Article for the California Gold Rush:

So, what would be the best way to celebrate this date?  Well, even though his Gold Rush took place in Alaska, it is still the most famous theatrical Gold Rush ever !!!! Article on the Klondike Gold Rush:

We give you the great Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush (1925).

Run Time:  95 mins
Genre:  Comedy
Format:  Standard 4:3 Format, Black & White, Silent
Director:  Charles Chaplin
Starring:  Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, Malcolm Waite and Georgia Hale Entry for the film: Article for the Film: Article on Charlie Chaplin: Article for Georgia Hale:

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

It’s all about the pioneers.  Charlie Chaplin had already been a seasoned veteran by the time he got to this film and it only was 1925.  His body of work had already filled up a decade before this (and that isn’t including any theater work he did before the films), and he was well on his way as a pioneer and a visionary.  None of this is more evident than in this film, because you see him accomplish acts and scenes that were repeated and copied by everyone who came after him.  The Gold Rush is probably his most famous film (or at least the most popular, mostly because of its wide release in cheap Home Video media over the last 30 years.  (It is considered Public Domain), and that is probably what Charlie would have wanted. - Phil

The complete film is available on YouTube, so enjoy:

Charlie gets involved with the Gold Rush of 1848 and as you might expect he runs into some bad guys and eventually gets involved with a love interest, all, during crazy snow storms and chaos in the Yukon.  He manages to deal with these pressures of slap-stick life by dealing with it like he always does.  Seeing him deliver some of the acrobatic stunts and dishing out the laughs is a treasure to see.  He does things that would never be attempted today, mostly because of sensitive actors and paranoid, over-insured production companies.  It makes you feel comfortable knowing that even though his safety was in jeopardy, the trade-off is, seeing a master-craftsman at work and as we find out he lives a long healthy life.  See the Gold Rush.  It is so important. - Phil  

Click the link below at to see where you can stream or watch The Gold Rush (1925) online or on TV right now:

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Naughty Nineties (1945)

This day in history !!!!

The first official bridge over the Mississippi River opened for business (it was a toll bridge), today in 1855. Article on the Mississippi River:

So, We commemorate this event with this classic Abbott & Costello film, THE NAUGHTY NINETIES (1945) ....

Run Time:  76 mins

Genre:  Comedy
Format:  Standard 4:3 Format, Black & White
Director:  Jean Yarbrough
Starring:  Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Alan Curtis, Rita Johnson, Henry Travers and Lois Collier Entry for the Film: Article for the film: Article for Abbott and Costello: Article for Alan Curtis: Article for Director Jean Yarbrough:

We couldn't find an official Trailer for this film, however I did stumble across a video with all the Abbott and Costello trailers on it.  The one for The Naughty Nineties (1945) is found at the 29:52 spot.

Bud and Lou take to the Mississippi River on a River Boat Gambling Ship.  What is important about this film is it is a collection of Bud and Lou's best routines that they really didn't do since their first film, One Night in the Tropics (1940).  It also is important to note that by the mid 1940s, Bud and Lou were the highest paid actors in all of Hollywood.  That is how big they got at the peak of their popularity.  This film has great skits, including their most famous one of all, "Who's on First".  That alone is good for the price of admission.  This film has a 7.5 on the IMDB, which is huge.  Enjoy this one.  

You will laugh your ass off !!!!  - Phil


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Friday, January 22, 2016

Bella (2006)

Today is Respect Life Day!!! 

One of the most beautiful films that celebrate life is none other than this flick, BELLA (2006) ....

Run Time:  91 mins
Genre:  Drama, Romance
Format:  Widescreen Format, Color
Director:  Alejandro Monteverde
Starring:  Eduardo Verástegui, Tammy Blanchard and Manny Perez Entry for the film: Article for the film: Article for Tammy Blanchard: Article for Eduardo Verástegui: Article for Manny Perez: Article for Director Alejandro Monteverde:

Trailer for the film on YouTube:

Out of all 366 films on our list, this one – the 2006 drama/romance BELLA – is the one I truly, truly, truly hope you take time to watch.  I'd also like to take this space to thank my Film366 partner, Phil, for being open-minded enough to post this and other Christian films. Let's face it, a high-production quality Christian film is a rare gem. When I told Phil I'd like to recommend a dozen or so Christian films throughout the year - not only was he totally cool with it, he helped me by building awesome blog entries like this one. Phil and I often joke that our friendship is a sitcom-in-the-making since we have drastically different views on politics and whatnot, yet our interests in film is what started and continues to fuel our friendship. So, the lesson in all this mushy writing is this: if the two of us can agree to build a blog and try to recommend a 366 movies in one year, maybe everybody else - especially our politicians - could learn to stop shouting at one another and start listening and, dare I say, cooperating. [end of soapbox speech] ~ Chris

Making of Bella The Movie with Alejandro Monteverde on YouTube:

This film has a very basic plot surrounding a woman coping with the idea of having a baby and her options on if she wants to keep the child.  Something every woman faces, probably every day, somewhere on Earth.  It is something we have seen a million times before.  It is a check back to reality, while we take a break from the Hollywood blockbusters.  What makes this film interesting is the Mexican-American/Puerto Rican viewpoint that Mexican director, Alejandro Monteverde, gives to us, admirably, throughout this New York City-scaped, early 21st century, People’s Choice (Toronto International Film Festival), Award Winner.  Monteverde’s use of foreshadowing, flashbacks and gritty film-making is what makes this film very important to see.  

Add in the excellent acting by the cast, most notably the main star, Tammy Blanchard (Nina), who struggles with her choices, but at the same time shines the brightest in this film, coupled with Eduardo Verástegui, who plays Luis, a man with his own internal demons, who ends up being a beacon, himself, for Nina.  Throw in Angélica Aragón and Jaime Tirelli, who play Luis’ Mexican Mother and Puerto Rican Father and you have a recipe for an excellent human-character story.  It is the pivotal intervention of Luis’ Mother and Father that really encapsulates the feelings and struggles that Nina’s life will take, along with Luis’ own demons, but the intervention clarifies everything.  This is an excellent film, albeit somewhat predictable, but after studying some of the film devices that Monteverde used in the film, that is not a negative at all.  It is a film with a message that isn't preachy, but it is constructive. See it !!! - Phil

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