Tag: Rob Reiner


LBJ

October 26th, 2017 — 3:30am

*****

LBJ

If you are of a certain age or a student of history and can remember Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. this movie should grab you, fascinate you and hold your attention. Johnson (magnificently played by Woody Harrelson) was a seven term United States senator from Texas who was for many years, majority leader of the U.S. Senate and was chosen by JFK to be his vice presidential candidate. He rode to victory with Kennedy in 1960. Rob Reiner, who directed this movie with the use of very realistic flashbacks, builds up the tension leading to those fateful days in Dallas in 1963 when Johnson assumed the presidency.

Much to the surprise of his former southern Democratic colleagues in the Senate, Johnson did not support their views on segregation and discrimination. This movie written by Joey Hartstone deals mainly with how LBJ pushed through JFK’s cutting-edge Civil Rights Legislation.

Harrelson is fantastic in capturing the essence of LBJ, his mannerisms, facial expressions, and speech inflections. Along with the script by Joey Hartstone and direction by Rob Reiner, in our opinion, this is one of the best pictures of the year. There also are some very fine performances by Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lady Bird, Richard Jenkins as Senator Richard Russell and Michael Stahl-David who plays Bobby Kennedy.

Much of Johnson’s presidential legacy is often tainted by his failure to end the Vietnam War which this movie did not focus on. However, the realistic depiction of Johnson’s domestic accomplishments which not only included civil rights legislation but also welfare reform and Medicare and Medicaid is often forgotten. This movie gives him the well deserved accolades and appreciation for his contribution to our country. Likewise we believe this film should receive great accolades for being a very well done and engrossing cinematic accomplishment. (2017)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, Politics

The Magic of Belle isle

July 6th, 2012 — 6:50am

****

The Magic of Belle Isle –sp  Rob Reiner has brought a bit of magic to this story by Guy Thomas. There is this older curmudgeon alcoholic  (Morgan Freeman) who used to be a western novelist but doesn’t write anymore since his wife died 6 years ago. His nephew drops him off at a vacation cabin for the summer on this lovely island.  Next door is this woman (Virginia Madsen) and her three kids. You probably can guess most of the remaining outline of the plot of the story and you wouldn’t be too far off. Yes, at times it seems contrived but you won’t mind at all, as you get a feel for the characters and really like each one of them. What comes across is a real sense of how people can care for each other. Age, race, disability don’t matter. The ability of a person to see what isn’t there and imagine what could be is an important part of the story. The dialogue is wonderful from all the characters but especially the expression and wisdom coming from the 9 1/2 year old Finnegan (Emma Fuhrmann) are perfect. The story will touch you and it is definitely worth experiencing for any adult. We also can’t imagine a better film to bring along a pre-adolescent girl. (2012)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Family / Kids, Romance

Ghosts of Mississippi

January 16th, 2010 — 1:56am

Ghosts of Mississippi* * * *
Ghosts of Mississippi
– nf – Michael stumbled on this movie on HBO which is available on Netflix. Initially I thought it was another Law & Order or Cold Case TV program. I may have seen before but am very glad I came across it. This 1996 stunning movie directed by Rob Reiner is the story of the persistence of a Jackson Mississippi Assistant District Attorney, played by Alec Baldwin, to retry white supremacist Bryon De La Beckwith played by James Woods who received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of this despicable man who assassinated civil rights activist Medgar Evers in 1963. Whoopie Goldberg plays Myrlie Evers the widow who never gave up her quest to see justice served for this crime and actually was a consultant for this film. The cast also included James Nelson, William Macy and Virginia Madsen. The film was made two years after the front-page courtroom drama, which rectified the failure of two previous trials 30 years previously. It is a reminder of the racism, which existed in the south, at that time and how there are persistent remnants of it. But it also showed how there was change in an evolving south and in our justice system. The American Film Institute in 2008 chose the courtroom scene to be included in its all time list of best courtroom movie scenes. The entire film should be mandatory viewing for new law graduates and probably even for all high school students. The movie certainly touched my emotions. (1996)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Crime, Drama

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