REVIEW: MY ONE AND ONLY

 

Starring

Renée Zellweger (What/If)
Logan Lerman (The Three Musketeers)
Kevin Bacon (Cop Car)
Mark Rendall (30 Days of Night)
Chris Noth (Lovelace)
Molly Quinn (Castle)
Nick Stahl (Sin City)
Steven Weber (2 Broke Girls)
Eric McCormack (Will & Grace)
Robin Weigert (Deadwood)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Phoebe Strole (Glow)
Maury Ginsberg (Jessica Jones)

Renée Zellweger and Steven Weber in My One and Only (2009)In New York City in 1953, Anne Deveraux lives with her bandleader husband Danny, their 15-year-old son George, and Anne’s somewhat older effeminate son Robbie. After catching Danny in yet another affair, Anne leaves him and takes the children with her.Renée Zellweger and Chris Noth in My One and Only (2009)Anne embarks on a road trip across the United States, in search of a husband to fund a new life for her and her boys. George serves as the chauffeur. They first travel to Boston and Pittsburgh. Anne has a string of disastrous attempts at relationship. After finding that a former suitor now deems her too old to be of interest she becomes desperate and dispirited and chats up a man in a bar who turns out to be an undercover house detective. He takes her for a prostitute and charges her with solicitation.Renée Zellweger, Logan Lerman, and Mark Rendall in My One and Only (2009)Meanwhile, George meets with his father who comes into town on a tour. George asks him to take him back to New York but Danny turns him down because he is often on the road for his work. George concludes that Danny does not love him. George also learns that Danny had sent money several times, but Anne resolutely returned it each time.Renée Zellweger in My One and Only (2009)Running low on funds, Anne tries her luck in St. Louis where her sister lives. The sisters have a very strained relationship but Anne tries to make the best of it and takes a job at a paint store and becomes engaged to the owner. It turns out, however, he is mentally ill and already married. Anne is paid off by the man’s family for her trouble. As Anne readies to get on the road again, this time for Los Angeles, George informs her that he is staying with Anne’s sister, whom he’d already cleared it with. Anne and George argue bitterly and Anne, resigned, accepts his decision and leaves with Robbie, who now serves as the chauffeur.Renée Zellweger and Logan Lerman in My One and Only (2009)Near Albuquerque, mother and son get robbed by a couple they picked up for gas money. Robbie phones George to tell him what happened. In discussing it with Anne’s sister and her husband, George discovers Anne had left money with them for his board and care. He takes the remaining money and meets Anne and Robbie at a Greyhound bus station somewhere in the Southwest. The three arrive in Los Angeles and settle into a shabby apartment. Anne comes home one day to find Danny waiting for her. He asks if she still loves him and says he wants her and the boys to come back to New York. She replies, “I don’t know if I love you but I do know I don’t need you.” Danny then departs extending an open invitation to return if she changes her mind.Anne forges ahead and the family gets work as extras in a movie. Anne catches the eye of the movie producer and manages to get Robbie slated to try for a starring role. George thinks maybe his mother was right all along and everything will turn out fine. But that evening Anne gets a call and learns Danny has died of a heart attack. George flies back to New York to attend Danny’s funeral and gets Anne’s blessing to stay there and attend his former prep school on scholarship. Soon, however, he realizes he belongs with his family and returns to Los Angeles unannounced. George finds Robbie having difficulty with a scene in a movie. As he helps Robbie recite his lines, George is discovered as a talented actor. Robbie gives up acting and goes to work in costuming. In epilogue, George reveals that he is a contracted Hollywood actor and has changed his last name to “Hamilton,” which was his father’s real last name. He realizes that Anne, Robbie and he didn’t need anyone to take care of them, that they could take care of themselves and that they were going to be just fine.While maybe not the best film made itt certainly is better than most . No car chases, explosions, killings, drugs or sex nor foul language. No wonder it was a flop at the box office. Tis a pity as this is an exceptionally dramady. Good performances from the entire cast, down to the tiniest bits. Rene Zellweger was at the top of her game here. A Very authentic look of the film which makes it even better. An extra scene here and there would have helped with what was going on part of the time. A couple of scenes seem to jump as if there was something missing. The only unreal thing is the taxi driving up to the sound stage at the end. That couldn’t happen in real life. It’s a shame this didn’t have a broader release as no one saw it.

REVIEW: WHAT/IF – SEASON 1

Renée Zellweger, Jane Levy, and Blake Jenner in What/If (2019)

 

Main Cast

Renée Zellweger (Appaloosa)
Jane Levy (Don’t Breathe)
Blake Jenner (Cousin Sarah)
Daniella Pineda (The Originals)Renée Zellweger in What/If (2019)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Dave Annable (666 Park Avenue)
Louis Herthum (Westworld)
Allie MacDonald (Cardinal)
David Barrera (Generation Kill)
Juan Castano (Sharknado 2)
Samantha Marie Ware (Glee)
Keith Powers (Famous In Love)
Gabriel Mann (Revenge)
Julian Sands (Smallville)
Kristen Hager (Wanted)
Brenda Bakke (Under Siege 2)

Renée Zellweger and Gabriel Mann in What/If (2019)It’s tricky to explain Renée Zellweger’s new Netflix show What/If to somebody who hasn’t seen it, because it’s an exercise in diametrically opposed contradictions. It’s a sexy thriller, even though it’s about as sexy as slow-transit constipation. Its unique selling point is that it follows the consequences of actions, even though that also describes every single story ever told by anyone in the entire history of humankind. It’s a television series, even though its title is punctuated like a sub-tier early noughties boyband.Jane Levy and Juan Castano in What/If (2019)What I can say with confidence is that What/If is trash. The pilot episode was directed by the man who directed Sharon Stone’s 1993 boobathon Sliver, who appears to have been preserved in amber ever since the moment that film wrapped. The characters, the dialogue, the sets and costumes and music are all firmly in mid-90s, low-budget erotic thriller territory, and there’s barely a concession to modernity to be found anywhere. It’s confusing, too; the second scene takes place a year after the first scene, but the third scene takes place three days before the second scene. What’s more, almost all of the episode’s establishing shots take place during a thunderstorm for some genuinely unfathomable reason.Renée Zellweger in What/If (2019)One of the lead characters runs a struggling molecular sequencing company, despite being so aggressively stupid that it’s a wonder she ever figured out cutlery. The profession is an afterthought – clearly, nobody from the writer down cares a jot about the nuts and bolts of molecular sequencing – but it adds a vaguely futuristic sheen to the series, giving it shades of a Hallmark Channel Black Mirror reboot.Renée Zellweger in What/If (2019)Taken on the surface, What/If looks like a grand error; like another Cloverfield Paradox sold off to Netflix in a fire sale because its studio couldn’t believe what a clunker it was. But that’s the weird thing about What/If. I think – and I might be wrong, because this is pure conjecture – that its trashiness might actually be sort of deliberate.The best case for this argument lies with Zellweger’s character, a sexually voracious billionaire puppetmaster taken to wandering around her sprawling apartment late at night pontificating about the nature of destiny versus free will into a 2010-model dictaphone. Read that sentence back. That has to be deliberate, right? No sensible person, with the possible exception of EL James, would ever create a character this preposterous on purpose, surely. And I haven’t even mentioned her primary hobby yet. It’s doing archery in her kitchen. Of course it is.And Zellweger relishes every second of it. It’s a huge, camp, scenery-licking wink of a performance that channels every broad rich bitch trope you care to imagine. She’s the sort of person who writes “AT ANY COST” in block capitals on a piece of paper before we smash-cut to a day when her new book At Any Cost has become an epoch-defining bestseller. She’s the sort of person who keeps her keys in an enormous plexiglass cube in the middle of the room. She’s the sort of person who, when her butler sniffs that one of kitchen arrows has hit the target “left of centre”, smirks: “Three words no one has ever used to describe me”.
In What/If, Zellweger’s character meets a barman and invites him home. He declines, and so she escalates her offer. For one night with him, she offers to pay his wife (the molecular sequencer) $80m to rescue her ailing molecular sequencing business. It’s a plot, as the sequencer states in a rare moment of self-awareness, that’s been “ripped out of a bad 90s movie”. But it doesn’t end there, because it starts to look as if Zellweger chose the barman deliberately in order to ignite a bizarre Rube Goldberg sequence of events. Which is silly, right? The whole plot is so gaudy that it has to be tongue in cheek. But the thing is, Zellweger is the exception here. The rest of the characters, and all the subplots, are tedious and witless and played absolutely straight. Had What/If been The Renée Zellweger Show, it would have been fantastic. As it stands, she’s the only thing saving the series from terminal mediocrity.whatif_102_unit_00954rcSo, yes, What/If is tricky to explain. It isn’t the best show you’ll ever see. It isn’t even the worst best show. It might be the best worst show, but then again it also might be the worst worst show. Honestly, I’m stumped.

 

 

 

REVIEW: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION

CAST

Renee Zellweger (Jerry Maguire)
Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar)
Robert Jacks (Slacker)
Tonie Perensky (Varsity Blues)
Joe Stevens (True Grit)
Marilyn Burns (Helter Skelter)

In 1995, four teenagers—Jenny, Heather, Barry, and Sean—are celebrating during their senior prom. Heather finds Barry, her boyfriend, making out with another girl and attempts to drive away in his car alongside Jenny and Sean. After Barry eventually gains access into the car, Heather scolds him angrily. The four are forced to take a detour off the freeway, and Heather makes a wrong turn, driving them into a remote area. Distracted after thinking she sees someone standing in the woods, Heather crashes into another driver, who passes out in the ensuing confusion. The four decide that Sean look after the driver, while the others look for help. Heather, Barry, and Jenny discover a rural real estate office occupied by Darla, an insurance agent, who calls up her boyfriend Vilmer, a tow truck driver, to help them. Meanwhile, Heather and Barry are separated from Jenny.MV5BY2NlMWI2YWEtMWU0NS00NWU3LTg4YzgtNGJjZWMzYzI2NDQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_Vilmer eventually arrives at the scene of the crash, where he snaps the driver’s neck and chases Sean in his pickup, eventually running him over. Meanwhile, Heather and Barry come across a dilapidated farmhouse. Barry goes to the front and is confronted by W.E., Vilmer’s brother. While waiting on the porch, Heather is captured by Leatherface, who stuffs her inside a meat locker. Meanwhile, W.E. lets Barry into the house, but Barry then discovers human remains in the bathroom and is killed by Leatherface with a sledgehammer. Leatherface then removes Heather from the meat locker and hangs her on a meathook afterwards.Jenny returns to the crash site and meets Vilmer, who shows her the bodies of Sean and the driver, and then chases her in his truck, but she escapes into the woods. She is then attacked by Leatherface, wielding a chainsaw; after a long chase, Jenny retreats back to Darla’s office, begging for help. However, W.E., now revealed to be Darla’s accomplice, arrives and subdues Jenny, and they take her to the family home. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, Jenny falls unconscious and awakens at a dinner table with the family, during which Vilmer has a mental breakdown and beats W.E. over the head with a hammer, knocking him unconscious. They are joined by a mysterious suited man named Rothman, a member of a secret organization responsible for many of the world’s major events and for hiring the family in a conspiracy to show their victims “the true meaning of horror”. Rothman criticizes the family for botching their mission with Jenny, before leaving. In response, a furious Vilmer crushes Heather’s skull, killing her.Jenny tries to escape, but is held down by Vilmer as Leatherface prepares to kill her. However, she manages to dislocate Vilmer’s knee and escapes. Fleeing to the main road, Jenny is helped by an elderly couple, but their RV is turned over by Vilmer and Leatherface, forcing Jenny to again flee. Eventually, an airplane operated by one of Rothman’s colleagues swoops over head and grazes Vilmer’s skull with its blade, killing him. A black limousine appears, and Jenny enters it only to discover Rothman inside. Rothman tells Jenny that her experience was supposed to be spiritual, but that it went awry and that Vilmer had to be stopped. She is dropped off at a hospital, where police question her.MV5BZjlmOTQ2NjgtMmNhMy00OTY5LWE3MDAtYmMxZmUwOWI5NWVhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_The first thing one notices about this film is that it stars Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, and if you’re fans of theirs, that’s definitely reason enough to check this out. Made in 1994, this is one of their earlier films. This disturbed little flick is a fun ride of a horror film. Okay, it’s not as scary as the others, but it’s decent entertainment.

REVIEW: APPALOOSA

CAST

Ed Harris (Westworld)
Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Renée Zellweger (Jerry Maguire)
Jeremy Irons (Justice League)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Adam Nelson (The Abyss)
Timothy Spall (Harry Potter)
Ariadna Gil (Talk of Angels)
James Gammon (Urban Cowboy)
Tom Bower (Out of The Furnace)
Rex Linn (Young Sheldon)

Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, and Viggo Mortensen in Appaloosa (2008)In 1882, the small town of Appaloosa, New Mexico, is being terrorized by local rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons), who killed the town’s marshal, Jack Bell, and two deputies when they came to Bragg’s ranch to arrest two men. The town hires lawman and peacekeeper Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) to protect and regain control of the town. The pair agrees on one condition: that the town follow Cole’s law and essentially cede control to him. The lawmen begin by confronting four of Bragg’s men who are causing a disturbance in the saloon. Three men refuse to allow themselves to be arrested, forcing Cole and Hitch to kill them. The fourth man surrenders and leaves the saloon. Bragg has a meeting with Cole and Hitch, initiating a standoff.Viggo Mortensen in Appaloosa (2008)Hitch sees a woman, Allie French (Renée Zellweger), who just came to the town and immediately takes an interest in her. He follows her to the diner where Cole is having a breakfast. They make acquaintance with her and observing Cole and Allie are getting together well, Hitch keeps his silence. Soon, Cole and Allie begin a romantic relationship and buy a house together. However, Allie attempts to seduce Hitch when they are alone but Hitch refuses her advances out of his loyalty to Cole.Ed Harris in Appaloosa (2008)When one of Bragg’s men tells Cole and Hitch that he will testify against Bragg on the triple murder case, they arrest Bragg and keep him locked up until the trial in spite of the attempts of Bragg’s gang to free him. The trial finds him guilty and sentences him to death. Cole, Hitch and several deputies transport Bragg via train to the prison where he was to be hanged but when they stop for refueling over a bridge, hired guns Ring and Mackie Shelton (Lance Henriksen and Adam Nelson), old acquaintances of Cole, appear with Allie at gunpoint, forcing Cole to release Bragg to them.Ed Harris and Jeremy Irons in Appaloosa (2008)Cole and Hitch catch up with the outlaws and see Allie and Ring Shelton frolicking naked together in a stream. When the outlaws are attacked by Chiricahua Apache, Cole and Hitch force the Indians away. Hitch tells Cole that Allie’s promiscuity is the result of her insecurity and she really likes Cole. They then turn Bragg over to the sheriff of Beauville; unbeknownst to Cole, the sheriff is a cousin of the Shelton brothers. Knowing that Cole is determined to bring Bragg to the gallows, the Sheltons and the sheriff free Bragg and engage Cole and Hitch in a gunfight. Cole and Hitch are wounded but manage to kill Ring, Mackie and the sheriff. Bragg escapes on horseback and Cole and Hitch return to Appaloosa with Allie.Renée Zellweger and Ed Harris in Appaloosa (2008)After some time, Bragg is granted a full pardon by President Chester Arthur (whom he previously claimed to have known) and returns to Appaloosa in an attempt to publicly reform himself. He buys the hotel and ingratiates himself with the locals. Privately he brags before Cole and Hitch to infuriate them over their failure to hang him. Cole tells Hitch that he still wants to be with Allie, despite her fickleness. Hitch decides to leave the town to make some money and resigns as deputy. Later he discovers that Allie is having a relationship with Bragg and challenges Bragg to a duel. Cole attempts to stop him, but Hitch remains steadfast and asks Cole to permit the gunfight to occur. Hitch manages to fire first just before Bragg fires but Bragg’s shot misses, and Hitch hits Bragg in the throat, killing him. Hitch leaves town, seeing that Allie and Cole are together; his parting thoughts express his hope that Cole can find happiness with Allie and for him, he gladly walks into uncertainty in hope of finding adventure and fortune.Renée Zellweger, Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, and Viggo Mortensen in Appaloosa (2008)Appaloosa is a subtle film, both in story and as a technical production. Beal’s score is unobtrusive, while Semler’s photography manages to deliver that old fashioned feel that Harris was after (the low lighting for the interiors is particularly on the money) . Harris’ direction is smooth and unhurried in pace, with the odd inspired bit thrown in for good measure (check out the up-tilt camera work during a train on a bridge sequence). While the production design can’t be faulted. All that and you got the likes of Henriksen and Timothy Spall in the support cast too. A lovely film that is as tight as the friendship at its core.

REVIEW: SHARK TALE

CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Robert De Niro (Joy)
Renee Zellweger (Jerry Maguire)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Angelina Jolie (Salt)
Michael Imperioli (Goodfellas)
Vincent Pastore (Revolver)
Peter Falk (The Princess Bride)
Lenny Venito (The Neighbours)
Saverio Guerra (Buffy: TVS)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)

In Reef City, an underachieving bluestreak cleaner wrasse named Oscar fantasizes about being rich and famous while making his way to work as a tongue scrubber at the local Whale Wash, a job in which he is following in his father’s footsteps. Soon after arriving he is called to the office of his boss, a pufferfish named Sykes, to discuss the fact that he owes “five thousand clams” and has to pay it back by the next day. After explaining this to his angelfish best friend Angie, she offers him a chance to pay back the money by pawning a pink pearl that was a gift from her grandmother. Oscar brings the money to the race track to meet Sykes, but becomes distracted by his dreams of grandeur. Upon hearing that the race is rigged, he places it all on a long-shot bet by the name of “Lucky Day”. Such a million dollar bet is noticed nearby by a beautiful lionfish named Lola, who flagrantly seduces an excited Oscar, but Oscar is disappointed when she leaves upon learning that he is a whale washer. Sykes is furious that Oscar bet the money but nonetheless agrees to see how the race turns out. Moments before their betted “horse” crosses the finish line, he trips and falls on the line.Meanwhile, on another side of the ocean in the wreck of the R.M.S Titanic, a family of criminally-inclined great white sharks has a problem with one of their sons, Lenny, who is a vegetarian and refuses to act the part of a killer, wishing not to have to live up to those expectations. His crime lord father, Don Edward Lino, orders Lenny’s more savage older brother Frankie to tutor Lenny in the family business. After the two sharks depart their father, Frankie sees Oscar being electrocuted by Sykes’ two jellyfish enforcers Ernie and Bernie and sends Lenny off to attack. The jellyfish spot Lenny and flee, leaving Oscar alone with him. Instead of attacking Oscar, Lenny frees him, upsetting Frankie who becomes annoyed and charges at Oscar. However, Frankie is killed when an anchor falls on him. Lenny flees, overcome with grief and guilt. As no other witnesses were present and Oscar was seen near the body, everyone comes to believe that he killed Frankie, an opportunity that Oscar decides to exploit for fame.Oscar returns to the city with a new title of the Sharkslayer. Sykes becomes his manager, Lola becomes his girlfriend, and Oscar moves to the “top of the reef” to live in luxury. At the same time, after Frankie’s funeral, Don Lino has everyone out looking for Lenny. When several sharks get close to Oscar’s neighborhood, Oscar’s neighbors expect him to drive them away so he goes and runs into Lenny. Since he does not wish to return home, Lenny forces Oscar to let him stay with him since he is aware of Oscar’s lie. Soon, Angie finds out about the lie as well and threatens to tell everyone. Oscar and Lenny convince her to keep quiet, though she is heartbroken by Oscar’s dishonesty. Oscar’s situation is not helped by the shallowed Lola, who indicates to him that her interest in him extends only as far as he remains famous. With Don Lino planning revenge, Oscar and Lenny stage an event in which Lenny pretends to terrorize the town and Oscar must defeat him throwing him into the depths of the ocean. Though this further cements Oscar as the Sharkslayer, it greatly angers Don Lino. Oscar leaves Lola for Angie after Angie reveals that she had feelings for Oscar even before he became famous, but this leaves the rebuffed Lola determined to get revengeOscar buys some Valentine’s Day gifts for Angie, but before he can present them to her, he finds that Don Lino has kidnapped Angie to force a sit-down. Lenny comes along now disguised as a dolphin named Sebastian. They arrive at the meeting to find Lola next to Don Lino, while Angie is tied up and gagged and presented to Don Lino on a plate who prepares to eat her if Oscar does not comply. Lenny grabs Angie into his mouth, but later regurgitates her. When Don Lino realizes that “Sebastian” is really Lenny, he chases Oscar through the reef. Oscar heads for the Whale Wash and ends up trapping both sharks. He is given an ovation by the other fish, but Oscar confesses that he is not a “Sharkslayer” and reveals the truth behind Frankie’s death. He then tells Don Lino that everyone likes Lenny for who he is and strongly urges him not to prejudge people before he knows them properly and make the mistakes he made in prejudging his wealth. Realizing that Oscar is right, Don Lino apologizes to Lenny and reconciles with him while making peace with Oscar, stating that he and his gang bear him no ill will. Oscar forsakes all the wealth he has acquired, makes peace with the sharks, becomes co-manager of the Whale Wash (now frequented by sharks, killer whales, and swordfish), and starts dating Angie and enjoys a happy, honest life. During the credits, Lola tries to find Oscar to make amends, but all she finds is a hermit crab named Crazy Joe, one of Oscar’s friends.Although this is a cartoon movie, it suggests it is for children, however, it is most definatly for all ages. I really enjoyed the humour of this film. Will Smith & Robert De Niro as the main characters was an excellent choice for voice overs for their respective characters. Great Film.

REVIEW: COLD MOUNTAIN

 

CAST

Nicole Kidman (Bewitched)
Renee Zellweger (Jerry Maguire)
Jude Law (Spy)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Eileen Atkins (Robin Hood)
Brendan Gleeson (Troy)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job)
Ray Winstone (Snow White and The Huntsman)
Kathy Baker (Edward Scissorhands)
James Gammon (The Iron Giant)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim)
Jena Malone (Sucker Punch)
Lucas Black (Fast & Furious 7)
Taryn Manning (The Breed)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins)
Richard Brake (Hannibal Rising)
Philip Seymour (The Ides of March
Philip Seymour (The Ides of March)
James Rebhorn (Big Lake)

 

MV5BZjZlMzRlOGQtMzViMS00NDk4LWFmOWUtZDRiZWZjYWE3Y2ZhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTYxNzc0NjU@._V1_When North Carolina secedes from the Union on May 20, 1861, the young men of a rural, provincial, North Carolina backwater known only as Cold Mountain hurry to enlist in the Confederate military. Among them is W.P. Inman (Jude Law), a carpenter who has fallen in love with Ada (Nicole Kidman), a minister´s daughter, and finds their whirlwind courtship interrupted by the American Civil War.

Cold Mountain 550Three years later, Inman finds himself in the trenches of Petersburg, Virginia, during the Battle of the Crater. Union soldiers tunneling beneath Confederate fortifications detonate over 300 kegs of gunpowder, in a futile attempt to undermine the position prior to their assault. As the ill-fated attack begins, Oakley (Lucas Black) an old acquaintance of Inman’s from Cold Mountain, is impaled on a bayonet and mortally wounded. Inman rescues him from the fighting and takes him to a field hospital. Later that day Oakley dies in the hospital, with Inman and Stobrod Thewes (Brendan Gleeson) beside him. The next night, Inman, along with his Cherokee friend Swimmer (Jay Tavare), are sent to flush out surviving Union troops trapped behind their lines. During the raid, a burst of friendly fire kills Swimmer and seriously injures Inman. As Inman lies in the hospital near death, he has a letter from Ada read to him in which she pleads with him to stop fighting, stop marching, and come back to her. Inman recovers, and—with the war drawing ever closer to an inevitable Confederate defeat—decides to go home to Cold Mountain.

On his journey he meets the corrupt preacher Reverend Veasey (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is about to drown his pregnant slave lover. Inman stops Veasey, and leaves him tied up to face the town’s justice. Exiled from his parish, Veasey later rejoins Inman on his journey. They help a young man named Junior (Giovanni Ribisi) butcher his cow, and join him and his family for dinner. Junior leaves the house after the feast, the women in Junior’s family seduce Veasey, and Junior’s wife, Lila, tries to seduce Inman. Junior returns home with the Confederate Home Guard, and both Inman and Veasey are arrested and led away with other deserters. During a subsequent skirmish with Union cavalry, Veasey is killed and Inman left for dead. An elderly hermit living in the woods (Eileen Atkins) finds him and nurses him back to health.
Cold Mountain
Inman later meets a grieving young widow named Sara (Natalie Portman), who is raising her infant child Ethan alone; he stays the night at her cabin. The next morning, a party of Union foragers arrive demanding food. Sara orders Inman away for his protection, but he hides only a few feet away from the house. The leader, Nym (Richard Brake), and his lieutenant harass Sara, steal her livestock, and leave Ethan in the cold, though the third soldier (Cillian Murphy) attempts to keep the baby warm. Nym tries to rape Sara but both he and the lieutenant are killed by Inman. Inman forces the kind forager to surrender and lets him go, but as the latter flees, an enraged Sara fatally shoots him. In parallel with Inman’s adventures, the film follows Ada’s wartime experiences. Ada is a city gentlewoman who only recently moved to the rural farm named Black Cove. She met Inman on her first day at Cold Mountain and had a brief, chaste romance with him the night before he left for the army. Shortly after Inman leaves, Ada’s father (Donald Sutherland) dies, leaving her alone on the farm with no money, food, or livelihood, and with little prospect for help, as the young, able-bodied men are off at war.
nicole-kidman-cold-mountain-qa-1Ada is completely inept at working the farm, having been raised as a southern lady. She manages to survive thanks to the kindness of her neighbors, one of whom eventually sends Ruby Thewes (Renée Zellweger) to her. Ruby is a young woman who has lived a hard-scrabble life and is very adept at the tasks needed to run the farm. Ruby lives at the farm with Ada, and together they take the farm from a state of disaster to working order. Meanwhile, Ada writes constant letters to Inman in hopes of meeting him again and renewing their romance. The two women form a close friendship and become each other’s confidantes. They also are friends with the Swangers (James Gammon and Kathy Baker), who live down the road from Ada’s farm Black Cove. It is at the Swangers’ well that Ada “sees” a vision of Inman coming back to her in the snow, surrounded by crows.
During the war, Ada and Ruby, and other members of their community, have several tense encounters with men of the Home Guard. This branch of the Home Guard is led by Captain Teague (Ray Winstone), whose grandfather once owned much of Cold Mountain. He and his deputies hunt deserters, partially with the goal of Teague’s seizing their land. Teague also lusts after Ada. Although the purpose of the Home Guard was to protect the South and its citizen population from the North, they have become violent vigilantes who hunt and often kill deserters from the Confederate Army, and terrorize citizens who they believe are housing or helping the deserters. This includes the Swangers’ sons, who, by torturing their mother, they coax out of hiding and kill. Esco Swanger—the family patriarch—is also killed protecting his sons.

Ruby’s estranged father Stobrod, a Confederate deserter and a violin player, arrives, reconciles with her, and convinces her to make a coat for his intellectually challenged banjo player Pangle (Ethan Suplee). Ruby finds herself drawn to mandolin player Georgia (Jack White). While camping, Stobrod, Pangle, and Georgia are cornered by the Home Guardsmen led by Teague. Pangle unintentionally reveals the band as the deserters Teague is seeking. Georgia is hidden a few feet away and witnesses the shooting of Pangle and Stobrod. He escapes to Black Cove Farm and informs Ruby and Ada, who rush to the campsite to find Pangle dead and Stobrod badly injured. Ada helps Ruby remove a bullet from Strobrod’s back, and they decide to take shelter in some cabins in the woods to avoid Teague and his men.
At this point the two story lines come together. Inman, half-dead from starvation, finally reaches Cold Mountain and is almost killed by Ada before she recognizes him. They later consummate their love and spend the night together.  The Home Guardsmen, however, soon find them, having captured and tortured Georgia to learn that the women are harboring deserters. In the ensuing gunfight Inman ambushes and kills Teague and most of his band, but Teague’s violent young lieutenant Bosie (Charlie Hunnam), escapes up the mountain. Cornering him near the top, Inman urges him to surrender peacefully, but Bosie draws, forcing him to fire; both men are mortally wounded. Ada goes after Inman, and finds him just as she saw him in her vision at the well… coming back to her in the snow surrounded by crows. He dies in her arms. The film ends several years later with Ada, Ruby and their families celebrating Easter. Ruby has married Georgia, and the two have a young daughter and an infant child. It is also revealed that Ada’s night with Inman has produced a child, Grace Inman.MV5BMTQwNTE5MjE4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDc2ODAxNw@@._V1_A very intense and sometimes moving movie experience with a brutal battle sequence, and indeed many further violent incidents both at Cold Mountain itself and indeed on ‘Inman’s’ journey. The film harbours many fine performances from it’s star-studded cast-list. Well worth a re-visit or indeed a first viewing.

REVIEW: JERRY MAGUIRE

 

CAST

Tom Cruise (Top Gun)
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Boat Trip)
Renee Zellweger (Cinderella Man)
Kelly Preston (Twins)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Jay Mohr (Small Soldiers)
Bonnie Hunt (Cars)
Regina King (The Big Bang Theory)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Stuart Little)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Drake Bell (Superhero Movie)
Eric Stoltz (Caprica)
Reagan Gomez-Preston (The Cleveland Show)
Lucy Liu (Charlies Angels)
Justina Vail (Kiss The Girls)
Ivana Milicevic (Vanilla Sky)
Emily Procter (CSI: Miami)
Beau Bridges (Stargate: Atlantis)
Toby Huss (Rescue Dawn)

l_2ecb2b84-4a72-41b0-9c2e-83a750ad9684The title character is played by Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible), a sports agent in a high-powered firm who continues to support and advocate for his client, sometimes at all physical costs to the athlete. In a moment of revelation, he thinks that the firm can do better, be more human, as it were, and one night writes and publishes a manifesto of sorts that illustrates how to do this. Of course, the firm’s main motivation is to be profitable and not nice, so he is unceremoniously dumped, and he is unable to retain his clients either, except for one, a middle-of-the-pack football player named Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr., A Few Good Men).

penelopeHe also has Dorothy (Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain), a secretary who read Jerry’s memo, enjoyed it and leaves the firm with him. From there, each of the male characters seem to have separate revelations from their work; Rod’s willingness to take a hit or two quietly elevates his status within the NFL, and Jerry’s personal adaptation into a relationship, where he had previously feared commitment, but was almost addicted to companionship that was far from serious.MV5BMTI5OTAxODAyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzI0MTkyNA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1266,1000_AL_Jerry Maguire is still watchable after so many years, along with the charm and wit that Crowe has been known for delivering for over two decades now.