Lotta’s Video Spotlights are unreviewed (due to lack of time) but they have been seen and are highly recommended. Rent them today! For Lotta’s Potty list, please scroll way down.
Meet Joe Black: This is a mesmerizingly beautiful film with exquisitely sparkling performances, especially by Anthony Hopkins (who easily should have won the Oscar for his multi-faceted performance), Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani. They have a wonderful supporting cast as well. Here, Pitt plays the Grim Reaper, so named Joe Black, come to take the life of communications tycoon William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins). In the process, “Joe Black” falls in love with Parrish’s daughter Susan (Forlani) and learns many of life’s lessons including love and honor. For once, the filmmakers took the time needed to allow the actors a chance to express their emotions to the fullest. And that’s a rarity, indeed. On the downside, if you’re unwilling to take the time, yourself, to watch the movie for these wonderful acting moments, then, just like some critics you’ll find the film ponderous. I loved it!
Shakespeare in Love: A young Will Shakespeare has trouble penning his latest masterpiece and is sorely in need of a muse. That person comes in the shape of Gwyneth Paltrow whose beauty and innocence lead him to write the sublime romantic tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet”. This is a brilliantly written and performed romantic comedy starring Joseph Fiennes as Shakespeare. Dame Judy Dench plays the forthright Queen with extraordinary style and Geoffrey Rush is absolutely brilliant as the hapless producer trying to get Shakespeare to hurry up and write before his creditors come after him for good!
Ever After: This is a wonderful and imaginative reworking of the Cinderella fairy tale. Drew Barrymore is quite lovely as the put-upon stepsister and her prince is just charming. Drew as Danielle, the pathetic one, has not been this engaging since her childhood stint in E.T. and Dougray Scott, as the handsome Prince Henry, is quite wonderful himself.
Waking Ned Devine: Lottery mania sets in on a British Isle for a hilarious ensemble piece that will keep you laughing a very long time. With Ian Bannen and David Kelly, two old fogies, who are terrific.
Little Voice: British story about a very shy young woman who gains her voice and self respect as she sings for her dead father’s memory. Magical with Jane Horracks, Brenda Blethyn, Michael Caine in brilliant performances.
Gods And Monsters: Story of James Whale, the man who directed the original “Frankenstein” and his gay lifestyle. Ian McKellan and Brendan Fraser are top-notch.
Saving Private Ryan: Steven Spielberg’s WWII drama is worth seeing for a realistic portrayal of the horrors of war. Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and a great supporting cast.
Bulworth: Warren Beatty’s brilliant political satire gem is a scream.
LOTTA’S VIDEO POTTY LIST: comprised of un-reviewed but previously seen (or in some cases, partially seen) films that are such dreck, that Lotta had to put them under the garbage pail because she had more important things to do, like tease her hair. Don’t rent them!
Beloved: This is Oprah Winfrey’s convoluted period-piece debacle with Danny Glover. I walked out on it after about an hour and half, knowing I’d have another hour and a half of torture ahead of me. I would have walked out sooner but I was watching it at the Director’s Guild Theater with a whole bunch of other professional people and frankly I was embarrassed. Of course, as I reached the exit door, I noticed three other people following me out!
Lesser Prophets: John Turturro stars as a wacked-out loser who gets involved with bookies in this film that has nothing going for it.
Knock Off: This Jean Claude Van Damme film is like a poor quality foreign film with a lot of bad actors. What happened, Jean-Claude?
Psycho-the remake: It wasn’t bad enough that some guys felt they needed to remake the brilliant Alfred Hitchcock film but they also had to put Anne Heche in it – the worst screen actor I’ve seen in many years. She was okay in Volcano but here she shows just how many acting classes she’s taken – ZIP!