Category Archives: FB Recommendation

FB Recommendation: The Station Agent (2003)

It’s funny how people see me and treat me, since I’m really just a simple, boring person.

— Finbar McBride

It has been a long time since I have given an FB Recommendation to a film. This time around I offer actor Tom McCarthy’s debut movie, The Station Agent. When this movie was released in 2003, there was considerable buzz surrounding the film. It was nominated for numerous awards including the Independent Spirit Awards and Screen Actor Guild Awards. Too bad that the Oscars didn’t recognize this gem of a movie.

An introverted dwarf, Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage) inherits a train depot in Newfoundland, New Jersey when a business partner suddenly dies from a heart attack. Finbar is perfectly content with this lonely existence when he meets Joe (Bobby Cannavale) who sells Cuban food out of his father’s truck. Joe is an annoyance for Finbar who doesn’t want anything to do with him.

Walking down a windy road one day, Finbar is almost run over by Olivia (Patricia Clarkson). Olivia tries to apologize to Finbar, but like with Joe, he doesn’t want to have any contact with her. These three souls come together in an organic way and learn what make each other tick.

The longer Finbar stays in Newfoundland, the more his world expands with him befriending the pregnant librarian Emily (Michelle Williams) or a chubby black girl, Cleo (Raven Goodwin).

This movie is much understated. It’s not trying to jam social issues down your throat. It’s not trying to overtly indie with it’s look or story. A quiet movie has nuanced performances from all of the actors involved.

Rating: ****1/2

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FB Recommendation: “The Bank Job” (2008)

bank_job

Alright, let’s make some money!

— Kevin Swain

This movie flew way under the radar that it was barely a blip when hearing some moderately positive about The Bank Job after it was released in early 2008. I wanted to check out this movie. I’m glad I did, because it is a fantastic thrill ride.

It recounts the true story about bank robbery in 1971 when a car dealer, Terry (Jason Statham) that owes money from a sleazy smut peddler, Lew Vogel (David Suchet) is recruited by his friend, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) to help rob a bank, Lloyds Bank United, that was upgrading their security system, which would leave them vulnerable.

Terry recruits his best friends, Dave and Kevin (Daniel Mays, Stephen Campbell Moore) to help him carry out the heist with the help of Guy Singer (James Faulkner), Bambas (Alki David) and Eddie (Michael Jibson) as a lookout.

The group doesn’t know that Martine is a secret informant for the government with Tim (Michael Lintern) as her liaison. The real reason for the robbery is to recover some incriminating photographs of Princess Margaret (Louise Chambers), and other top officials in compromising positions by shady character named Michael X (Peter de Jersey).

They think that everything will go according to plan, but everything that would go wrong, does to their benefit. It made them think that they were real professional bank robbers instead of a bunch of amateurs. After they pull of the bank heist, the shit hits the fan. Interpol, MI-5, corrupt cops and villains are after the group for various reasons.

This intense movie had me on the edge my seat at every twist and turn. The movie is not perfect. I had a problem about what happened to some of the characters at the end of the movie that were forgotten.

Some of the names of the real people were changed to protect them from any exposure. How could this movie be “based on a true story” when the people’s names have been changed, and possibly the situations for dramatic effects?

Judgment: An awesome, slick action movie that should be seen.

Rating: ****1/2

FB Recommendation: “Lagaan” (2001)

lagaan

Let me remind you all of one thing: this is not a game we are playing for fun and entertainment – this is a fight we must win.

— Bhuvan

I first heard of Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India when it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for India. I saw the movie a year or two afterward. This is a 3 1/2 hour long movie that a variable poo-poo platter of genres. It mixes musical sequences with cricket matches, romance and drama.

This Ashutosh Gowariker vehicle deals with a bunch of villagers that are upset with the new taxes or lagaans. It takes place in the late 19th century where the British Empire ruled India. The villagers decide to oppose the new taxes. There is a makeshift leader named Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) that leads the rebellion.

The fate of the villagers is decided with a game of cricket. The problem is that Bhuvan has never played cricket in his life. He has a crash course in order to try to defeat the seasoned cricket players lead by Capt. Russell (Paul Blackthrone). Russell tries everything in his power to make sure that the villagers do not win the cricket game.

Besides, the lead guy Aamir Khan is easy of the eyes.

Judgment: Film buffs should enjoy this movie.

Rating: ****

FB Recommendation: “Sense And Sensibility” (1995)

sense_and_sensibility

Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?

— Marianne

This was one of my favorite movies from 1995, Sense and Sensibility. Flipping through the channels, this movies popped up on the screen. Had to watch it.

Being transported back to 19th century England where the Dashwood family is dealing with the death of their patriarch, John (Tom Wilkinson). They are left destitute after the first Mrs. Dashwood acquires all of his assets.

Trying to find their way in society, they try to marry distinguished men to help their family survive. The mother (Gemma Jones) wants the best for her family. There is the older sister, Elinor (Emma Thompson) that is in love with Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant), but he is already engaged.

Marianne (Kate Winslet) falls for a handsome gentleman, John Willoughby (Greg Wise) who does not reciprocate her feelings.

There are mix of love, heartbreak, duty and romance in this Ang Lee directed film.

Judgment: I love this costume English dramas. Go watch this film.

Rating: ****1/2

FB Recommendation: “Shattered Glass (2003)”

shattered_glass

Are you mad at me?

— Stephen Glass

It has been a long time since a FB Recommnedation was written. Having a busy weekend with Dtv switch, preparing for a family vactation and celebrating my baby brother’s birthday, I haven’t watched any movies.

I would like to suggest writer/director Billy Ray’s debut film, Shattered Glass; starring Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsagaard, and Hank Azaria.

Based on a 1998 Vanity Fair article by H.G. Bissinger, this movie recounts the true life story of Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) that is caught fabricated numerous articles during his time at the New Republic. He is found out by two journalists from a rival web magazine.

Released in 2003, it generated some buzz from Sarsagaard’s performance as the editor of the New Republic that is betrayed by Stephen Glass fabricated articles that he thought were fact.

Judgment: If you want to see a solid movie about journalism, rent this movie.

Rating: ****

FB Recommendation: “Little Dorrit”

littledorrit_miniseries“Little Dorrit” is based on the classic Charles Dicken’s novel.

This is a miniseries that played on the BBC in 2008.

There are 14 parts to this.

It is currently playing on PBS right now.

One of the installments played last night.

You can catch up with the installments by going to pbs.org to watch it.

The cast includes Claire Foy, Matthew Macfayden, Eddie Marsan, Andy Serkis and Harriet Walter.

FB Recommendation: Lantana (2001)

lantana

For Christ’s sake, I don’t have a weak heart. All right? This is not an affair. It’s a one-night stand that happened twice.

— Leon Zat

I was going to review Kingdom of Heaven yesterday, but I was bored to tears with the film. I decided not to waste my time lambasting it. I thought that I would recommend a movie that I caught a glimpse of Saturday afternoon on IFC, Lantana.

It has been a long time since I saw this Ray Lawrence second directorial effort. This is adapted by Andrew Bovell’s own play, “Speaking In Tongues.” It was renamed “lantana” for a couple of reasons that I will not spoil here.

It’s about the intertwining relationships between all of the main characters. It’s toxicity. The way it corrodes peoples souls.

The movie opens with Detective Leon Zat (Anthony LaPaglia) is in the throes of lovemaking with Jane O’May (Rachael Blake) in a hotel room. The thing is that they are both married.

Leon’s wife, Sonja (Kerry Armstrong) suspects that he is cheating, but she does not confront him. She seeks the advice of Dr. Valerie Somers (Barbara Hershey).

Valerie also suspects her husband, John (Geoffrey Rush) of cheating on her.

The central mystery of the movie is, who was the woman’s body that was discovered at the beginning of the movie? What were the circumstances that lead to her demise?

All of this is revealed is slight plot twists that leads the characters to their revelations.

Judgment: An enthralling character piece that deserves to be looked at.

Rating: ****

FB Recommendation: In The Bedroom (2001)


On the CW last night, they showed a movie that I loved when it was released back in 2001, In The Bedroom. This movie is vastly underrated as a great film. It was nominated for five Oscars. Deservedly so.

I thought that it was strange that the movie was nominated for Best Picture, but Todd Field was not nominated for directing. The Academy put Ridley Scott and David Lynch in his place. I don’t get that logic.

The movie is about the Fowler family who lives are irrevocably affected a tragic event in their Maine town. Matt Fowler (Tom Wilkinson) is a doctor and Ruth (Sissy Spacek) is a choir director. They are concerned by their college age only child, Frank (Nick Stahl) is having a affair with an older married woman, Natalie Stout (Marisa Tomei).

Their quiet life is rocked to the core when Natalie’s estranged husband, Richard (William Mapother) kills Frank during a fight. The tragedy truly begins when Richard does not go to jail for his crime. This leaves the Fowlers through a path of anger, grief, betrayal and revenge.

A fantastic movie that people should see.

My rating: ****1/2 stars.

FB Recommendation: 21 Grams (2003)


I know I haven’t posted in a couple of days. I have seen some shitty movies that I dare not write about, because of their mediocrity. I heard on a blog that I frequent that 21 Grams is being shown now on Hulu. I was happy. I have the film at home.

This was a vastly under appreciated movie when it came out in 2003. It only got two Oscar nominations for Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro. It deserved alot more than that. The script by Arriaga should have gotten a nom.

The movie is about three broken people that intersect. Naomi Watts plays Cristina, a former drug addicted mother that recently suffers a loss when his entire family is killed in a traffic accident by Jack Jordan (Benicio del Toro).

Toro is an ex-con that has found Christianity, and is trying to find some redemption for his past deeds. Eddie Marsan plays Reverned John, his mentor that is tried of him being a loose cannon. When Jack comes back home to his wife, Marianne (Melissa Leo), they try to cover up the crime.

The last piece of the puzzle is Paul Rivers (Sean Penn), a mathamatician that is in the middle heart failure when he recieves a heart from Cristina’s late husband, Michael (Danny Huston). He goes to seek out the family of the man that gave him life. He watches over Cristina that is regressing back to drugs. He falls in love with her.

Tragic consequences happen in course of this movie. Check this movie out. I couldn’t stress that enough.

My rating: ****1/2 stars.

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