Kramer vs Kramer (1979)
One Line Description: The wife of a New York ad-man walks out on her husband and son and re-enters their life months later to fight for custody.
I hadn’t seen this movie in quite some time but I knew that it was an multi-Oscar winner. Dustin Hoffman is absolutely amazing and completely deserving of an Academy Award. Justin Henry was also amazing and deserving of his nomination as well. The story is sad but very good. The bonding between Hoffman and Henry early on is really good. A worthy Oscar winner. It’s always fun to watch movies like this 40 years later and see the clothes and cars and whatnot. Worth your while.
Valentines Day (2010)
One Line Description: A star-studded cast of Los Angeles couples enjoy the ups and downs of Valentine’s day in very different but interconnected ways.
This is a monster cast of recognizable faces. I count at least 10 people who have had leading roles in movies. The intertwined stories are good without it being over the top. I really enjoy movies where stories are all connected and it wasn’t forced. It was a good movie, but not a great movie. It wasn’t too sappy or over-the-top which was nice. If you are looking to watch a movie that your woman will enjoy, you could do much worse.
All the Presidents Men (1976)
One Line Description: Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein investigate and report on the Watergate scandal.
Another Oscar-winning Dustin Hoffman movie. Does a better job of telling Woodward and Bernstein’s story than that of the Watergate scandal. They don’t really talk that much about what and why, just about who. There is a great scene where Robert Redford is trying to find a guy but doesn’t know what city he lives in. So he is in a room with a hundred-some phone books opening each one and looking for the name. Of course in 2011 this would take 5 seconds to search for. Great movie about the investigating these guys did, but you are hoping to learn the story of Watergate it’s hard to follow in that regard.
Body of Lies (2008)
One Line Description: A CIA operative in the Middle East breaks rules and cuts corners to try and catch the head of a terrorist organization.
Subtract the amnesia angle and swap Matt Damon for Leonardo DiCaprio and this is pretty much The Bourne Identity. Leo is really good as a spy though. He really is one of my favorite actors. Russell Crowe’s role is that predominant but he does it well. The creative ways they come up with to force the terrorist leader out of hiding is clever. The love story seems like it was forced to make the story work but I guess it was necessary. I liked it and would give it another watch.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
One Line Description: An alcoholic divorcee moves to Las Vegas and moves in with a prostitute who has her own problems.
Nic Cage won an Oscar for this. It’s pretty funny when you consider what a punchline he has become. He does play an alcoholic about as well as you can. It’s easy to stumble around and talk funny but he really takes it to the next level. Elisabeth Shue was also nominated for Oscar as well as director and screenplay writer Mike Figgis. Shue was good but I guess I didn’t see the Oscar-worthiness. I know the story was based on a book1 but I guess I didn’t get what the lesson was. I watched it on IFC so there might have been some scenes cut, but I doubt it would have made a difference.
- Which of course I never read [↩]