I haven't talked about movies on my blog in more than a month, so I'd better do some catching up.
John Adams (mini-series): Five stars. This was a wonderful show about the birth and early years of the USA as a nation. Three DVDs, maybe a total of 8 hours or so. The acting was superb throughout. Lots of good historical data, and for as much as I could tell as I looked at my encyclopedia software and around the 'Net, it was pretty accurate too. Don't miss this one.
The Great Debaters : Four stars. Denzel Washington is as terrific as he always is in this period piece (the 50's) about the first African American debate team to debate at Harvard. Harvard was fictional, but the story is based on fact. Not always an easy movie to watch because of the topic of racial discrimination and the type of crimes that went along with it. But I do recommend it.
Love in the Time of Cholera : Two stars. What a waste of time was this period piece. SPOILER ALERT: In the 1800's, a poor young man falls madly in love with a girl whose father won't let them marry. She marries another pretty decent guy, a doctor, instead. But the first young man swears he will be true to her forever, then starts sleeping with anything in skirts and keeps track of them in a journal. Fifty years later, he has topped 600 conquests when the doctor dies and he can tell his beloved that he has waited for her. Yeah, sounds like love to me … NOT. Skip this one.
Silk : Three stars. Another period piece (19th century again) about a silk merchant who travels to Japan for silk worms. He is married to the lovely Keira Knightley, but he falls under the spell of a beautiful Geisha. The twist at the end was both tragic and tender. The ending reminded me a little of Atonement, another Keira Knightley movie. This isn't a great film but it's quite good.
The Bucket List: Four stars. This movie boasts a couple of fine actors (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) who play two men who have cancer. They meet in the hospital and decide to do a list of things before they kick the bucket, and in the process, they are both changed. You'll smile and you might cry, too. I did both.
Rails & Ties : Three stars. Kevin Bacon is a train engineer whose train strikes the car of a woman who parked on the tracks to commit suicide. The woman's son sees it all. The engineer's and the boy's lives become entwined because of it, and each helps the other heal from much more than just the collision. This movie plods along a bit, but I'm glad I saw it.
So there you have it. Over all, Netflix has delivered me some decent films this summer. Of course, right now my movie time has been taken up by the Olympics. Did you see Michael Phelps' 1/100th of a second win last night? Amazing!