Tag: Bobby Carnnavale


Danny Collins

April 12th, 2015 — 8:24pm

****

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 1.22.57 PMDanny Collins – rm

This movie has a great premise. Danny Collins (Al Pacino) is an older successful star musician who has been living the life of rock and roll, drugs, and women for over four decades. His life however is changed around when his manager (Christopher Plummer) finds a letter, originally written to Collins when he was a young rising star, by his idol, John Lennon who had seen a newspaper interview with young Collins and wrote to him telling him to be true to himself and his music. There also was an invitation to call Lennon so they could talk and he provided his personal phone number. The letter never reached Collins. This was over 40 years ago. Lennon is gone now and Collins gave up on his own music many years ago and had been successfully singing and touring with other people’s music which makes him feel sick but very rich.

How often has a word of encouragement from a role model, celebrity, or a revered teacher put someone on the path to realize their true aspirations? So imagine how someone might feel if these words of encouragement from a hero came 40 years too late. In this case, receiving the belated letter from Lennon had a profound impact on Collins which set him on a journey which is the essence of this movie. The words and music of John Lennon are most of the musical score of this film and his spirit is infused into the story. Pacino is outstanding as Danny Collins as he seems to be turned inside out trying to redo his own persona. He makes us believe that beneath his self-centered rock and roll life, he really was a sensitive caring person. He finds his long lost son (Bobby Cannavale) who is married to a loving wife (Jennifer Garner) and who have a very cute hyperactive child which becomes the rest of the story. There was also an encounter with a new woman (Annette Bening) who is the hotel manager in New Jersey where Danny ends up trying to win over his son and his family. In addition to being a story of an attempt to have redemption, this is also a crisp comedy. It is extremely well-written and the banter between the characters evoked out loud laughter from our movie audience. This film directed by Dan Fogelson, will resonate with many and will be totally enjoyed by most. (2015)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy, Drama, Uncategorized

Blue Jasmine

August 4th, 2013 — 5:24pm

Blue Jasmine  *** Blue Jasmine rm –  This is another Woody Allen movie which is a study of two sisters. It is an in depth character analysis but yet we never really understand the origins of their personality development. Jasmine (Kate Blanchett) who gave up her last year of college to marry the man of her dreams . He is quite wealthy , seemingly devoted to her, gives her everything she could ever desire from clothes, beautiful home, vacations and even a son from another marriage who eventually goes to Harvard. Hal is a smooth and slick  as Alec Baldwin who actually plays him but is not who he seems to be (think a younger Bernie Madoff). Her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) is a San Francisco waitress, down to earth with two young children who is married to Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) when we meet her. They visit Hal and Jasmine in their luxurious New York City apartment and make the mistake of asking for advice from Hal on how to handle their $200,000 lottery bonanza. Circumstances that you can probably imagine reverse Jasmine’s good life and she now has to live with her sister in a cramped San Francisco apartment where we meet divorced Ginger’s now boyfriend Chili (Bobby Carnnavale). All these characters are very compelling and interesting including Al (Louis C.K.) who has a quick fling with Ginger The story shows the desperate, superficiality of Jasmine’s character and many of women who surrounded her and similarly although to a lesser degree presents her sister as eager, if not desperate  to latch on to a man. But if Allen is showing us a weak image of woman, there is not much to say for all the men in the story. They are lying, cheating, crying, groping or phony. However, Woody Allen who wrote and directed this movie gets your attention and holds it. The casting, as usual, is near perfect. The dialog draws you into the characters. He used flashbacks to effectively tell the story so you ultimately understand all the nuances. Allen as a writer gets away with using several coincidences to develop his story line such as characters just happen to witness some indiscretion in a busy city street or just happens to bump into somebody who says something that changes everything. Nevertheless, he gets great performances from the actors including what we think could be Oscar nods for Kate Blanchett and maybe Ginger Hawkins. Chalk this one up to ano   ther Woody Allen movie worth seeing. (2013)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

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