Comments welcome on movies I haven't seen

I just discovered the WE channel! Yeah, yeah, it stands or “Women’s Entertainment” but this isn’t the stereotypical sob story/women in peril type channel that most men cringe at. Ok, so there’s the occasional fashion and romance type shows, but the movies…not bad! Perhaps they are slanted toward women, but I think a lot of men would enjoy several of these films too.

I just finished watching Dreaming of Joseph Lees with the wonderful Samantha Morton. I’ve liked Samantha since she was in Band Of Gold back in 1995, and I’d heard of Lees but hadn’t seen it. I have a Tivo Wishlist set for Samantha Morton and it recorded this movie for me. I just watched it, and realized halfway through that there weren’t any commercials! Well, cool! It wasn’t OAR, but I could deal.

After the movie I thought, wow, what is this channel that showed it. I started looking at WE’s upcoming listings, and am quite amazed. There are lots of “name” movies played, such as Broadcast News, Breakfast At Tiffanys, Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady, Places In The Heart, and Mystic Pizza, but they also seem to play smaller movies that got very little attention and distribution. Several I’ve either never heard of, or have heard of but never have seen, though I wanted to.
Few of these movies would make a Greatest Movies Ever Made list, but I appreciate the chance to see them anyway.

Upcoming movies I’ve seen include:

Romeo and Juliet - Franco Zeffirelli. Olivia Hussey. Leonard Whiting. Words can not express how much I love this movie, so I won’t even try. Some of the movies shown on WE are letterbox, but this one isn’t listed as such. I own the letterbox LD and DVD though, so I wouldn’t watch it on WE.

Flirting (1991) - This is a very good movie. It stars Noah Taylor and Thandie Newton, and a very young Nicole Kidman. Noah and Thandie are young lovers at school.

Some Girls (1988) - It’s a quirky and delightful film starring Patrick Dempsey and Jennifer Connelly. Dempsey is a college student who goes to visit girlfriend Connelly at her home in Quebec, and meets her strange but quite wonderful family (including two sisters who tease the hell out of him). I haven’t seen this for years (well, since it first came out) and I’m looking forward to it. It was originally rated R and I’m not sure if WE edits their films. It’s directed by Michael Hoffman, who also directed the very funny Restless Natives, Soapdish, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Yanks (1979) - Ok, this may be a soppy girly guilty pleasure, but I ADORE this movie. I saw it in the theater when it first came out, and became a Lisa Eichhorn fan for life. Yanks is set in WWII England, when Americans are massing for D-Day. Richard Gere plays a polite, sweet, kind GI from Arizona who falls in love with Lisa, a shy shopgirl. There are other character arcs, but it’s Lisa and Richard that pulled me into the movie, and I really cared about them. This isn’t on DVD, so I’ll be glad to see it again.

Raggedy Man (1981) - A small, sweet, quiet, sometimes intense, beautiful looking movie directed by Jack Fisk, starring his wife Sissy Spacek. Fisk was Art Director for films like Badlands and Days of Heaven, and he uses his talent to make his wife and this movie look absolutely gorgeous. When she’s in the frame you can feel the love pouring through the camera. Also stars Eric Roberts (at his sweetest), Sam Shepard (unrecognizable), William Sanderson, Tracey Walter (both at their creepiest) and a very young Henry Thomas (he did this before ET). Set in a small Texas town during WWII (I have this thing for homefront-type WWII movies), it’s about a young divorced mother of two boys who becomes the object of affection for a sailor passing through (Roberts), and the object of obsession for two creepy brothers (Walters, Sanderson). If nothing else, it’s worth watching to see Sissy dancing around with a broom, singing along with “Rum and Coca-Cola” playing on the radio.

Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) - A funny and original coming-of-age tale starring Natasha Lyonne, Alan Arkin and Marisa Tomei. This is another R movie. I wonder if it will be cut.

Dance With A Stranger (1984) - Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm. Richardson as Ruth Ellis, who killed her lover and was the last woman to be hanged in England.

Under The Lighthouse Dancing (1997) - Isn’t that a great title? A tiny, lovely, bittersweet Australian movie about love and friendship with the luminous Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper). Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive) is in it too.

Mermaids (1990) - Funny trifle with Cher as a whacko mama, Bob Hoskins as her amused, befuddled and lovestruck boyfriend, and Winona Ryder as the confused daughter who wants to be a Catholic nun (um, the family’s Jewish). Christina Ricci makes her debut as the youngest daughter. This is a very charming movie.

The Crossing (1990) - Russell Crowe’s 2nd feature film, and the first where he gets top billing. Crowe plays Johnny, a shy kid in love with Meg, the former girlfriend of his best friend Sam, who left her in the small Australian town when he went off to the big city. Meg is played by Crowe’s childhood and current girlfriend Danielle Spencer, and you can see the chemisty they have. She’s very beautiful and a good actress too. Johnny begins to crack up when Sam returns and he fears he’ll lose Meg.

Summer Lovers (1982) - This is a horrible movie, but is worth watching just for the breathtakingly spectacular Greek scenery and Valerie Quennessen.

The Trip To Bountiful (1985) - Geraldine Page won an Oscar as a woman who wants to go see the home she grew up in before she dies.

**Hilary and Jackie **- Emily Watson as brilliant cellist Jacqueline du Pré, and Rachel Griffiths as her talented sister Hilary du Pré.

Wuthering Heights (1980) - Timothy Dalton and Anna Calder-Marshall. Not the classic that the Olivier/Oberon version is, but I like it.

Upcoming movies I haven’t seen yet (any comments would be welcome):

Truly Madly Deeply (1991) - One of those movies people keep telling me I should see, but I keep missing it. Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson, written and directed by Anthony Minghella.

Leaving Normal (1992) - Billed as a quirky “female buddy movie,” it stars Christine Lahti, Meg Tilly and Patrika Darbo (my best friend’s cousin). I’ve always wanted to see this but hadn’t gotten around to it. Directed by Ed Zwick (Special Bulletin, About Last Night, Glory, and Legends of the Fall ).

Talk of Angels (1998) - Stars Polly Walker, Vincent Perez, Frances McDormand, Penelope Cruz. Set in the 1930’s, it’s about a young Irish woman who moves to Spain to be a governess.

Molly (1999) - Stars Elisabeth Shue and Aaron Eckhart. Directed by John Duigan, who directed The Year My Voice Broke (prequel to Flirting), Flirting, Sirens, and Lawn Dogs.

Paperback Romance (1994) - Also known as Lucky Break. An Australian comedy starring husband and wife team Anthony LaPaglia and Gia Carides. I’ll watch them anytime.

Paperback Hero (1998) - One of Hugh Jackman’s Australian films, about a tough truck driver who writes romance novels. Sounds cute.

Lover’s Prayer (2000) - According to IMDB, also known as All
Forgotten. Stars Kirsten Dunst, set in 1800’s Russia(!). Reviews on IMDB are mixed, but it sounds worth one look.

Amost You (1984) - Brooke Adams, Griffin Dunne, and a very young Dana Delaney.

The Serpent’s Kiss (1997) - Ewan McGregor, Greta Scacchi, Pete Postlethwaite and Richard E. Grant. People on IMBD hate it, but with that cast, I might give it a try. At least it will look great. It’s the only directing effort by cinematographer Philippe Rousselot (The Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory, Henry & June, A River Runs Through It, Interview With A Vampire, Mary Reilly, The Taylor of Panama, among many others).

A Merry War (1997) - Also known as Comstock and Rosemary and Keep the Aspidistra Flying (I guess they couldn’t make up their minds. Richard E. Grant and Helena Bonham Carter.

The Misadventures of Margaret (1998) - Parker Posey.

China Moon (1991) - Ed Harris and Madeleine Stowe in a noir-ish thriller. One of Benicio Del Toro’s first films.

No Looking Back (1998) - Written and directed by Edward Burns, starring Lauren Holly.

The Sterile Cuckoo (1969) - Liza Minnelli gives me a bad case of the heebie jeebies, but I’ve only ever seen her in Arthur, and I might watch this one since I just looked up the movie and found out that it was Alan J. Pakula’s first film.

This Is The Sea (1998) - I’m looking forward to this one, just because it’s a Samantha Morton film I haven’t seen. She plays an Irish protestant girl who falls in love with a young catholic boy (Ross McDade). Also stars Richard Harris, Gabriel Byrne, and John Lynch.

The Proposition (1998) - Never heard of it, but nice cast: Robert Loggia, Kenneth Branagh, Madeleine Stowe, William Hurt, Blythe Danner, Neil Patrick Harris. Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, who has a very cool name.

Turtle Diary (1985) - I tried to watch this once and just wasn’t in the mood. It’s always been on my “Try Again Sometime” list though. Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley.

Dead Letter Office (1998) - This will be a must see for me! I just looked it up and it stars Miranda Otto, who will play Eowyn in the next two Lord of the Rings films. Her dad, Barry Otto, who stars in of one of my all-time favorites, Bliss (1985), is in it too.

The Magic Bubble (1992) - Also known as Unbecoming Age. The IMDB summary: “A middle-aged woman frees herself from the spirit-crushing influence of her husband by refusing to remember what her age is. Her husband works long hours as an advertising executive and neglects his family while asking her “what do you do all day long?” What she does is work hard keeping the family together. An intelligent family film.” A young George Clooney is in it.

Wedding Bell Blues (1996) - Girls looking for husbands in Las Vegas. Sounds truly wretched, but has Illeana Douglas, Paulina Porizkova, John Corbett and Carla Gugino in it.

In Search Of Gregory (1969) - Seems to be an English movie filmed in Italy, with Julie Christie, Michael Sarrazin and John Hurt. There’s no synopsis on IMDB. This came after Far From The Madding Crowd and before McCabe & Mrs Miller in Christie’s filmography.

Deeply (2000) - Wow, another unknown Kirsten Dunst movie! She did 5 movies in 2000. Only one, Bring It On, got any attention. Check out this synopsis: “A mythic memory play in the vein of The Wicker Man, Deeply is the story of a traumatized teenager, Claire McKay (Julia Brendler), who is brought to the Island of her ancestors in the hopes of she will recover from the sudden death of her first love. Claire encounters an eccentric writer, Celia (Lynn Redgrave), who tells her the story of another grief-stricken teenager, Silly (Kirsten Dunst), and the curse which has haunted the Island since the days of the Vikings. As Celia recounts the story of Silly and her great loss, a story that is yet without an ending, Claire relives her own trauma and undergoes a catharsis which sets her spirit free, healed of the grief and horror. As Celia said, a good story does indeed have the power the heal. But the ending to Celia’s story has still to be written…”

Heavy (1995) - From an IMDB review: “This film is beautifully shot, and full of emotion. It is a character study. Very little action, of even the most basic kind. But you are drawn into the film, if you have even the slightest compassion, by the sheer loneliness and alienation of the characters.” Pruitt Taylor Vince, Shelley Winters, Liv Tyler, Debbie Harry .

Best Laid Plans (1999) - Hmmm, Alessandro Nivola and Reese Witherspoon in a noir-ish caper film. Sounds good to me. I tried not to read the reviews, but a skim told me enough to know I wanted to see it.

The Dutchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976) - Goldie Hawn, George Segal. Comedy western.

Oy, I’m out of steam. This looks like an all-out advertisment for this channel, but I just want to know what movies to see, and pass along info for those who are interested too.