Author: Charleen


Re-live the Flashdance phenomenon of the 80’s!  The dancing and music is as good as it was 30 years ago.  Once you’ve finished watching this box office hit, enjoy the five featurettes and watch the actors, director and producer re-encounter the experience 30 years ago.   Sadly, we don’t get to see Jennifer Beals and Cynthia Rhodes as they are today.  Flashdance paved the way for another musical great in the 80’s, Dirty Dancing, and it’s here we get to see a whole lot more of Cynthia Rhodes’ incredible dance moves. My son drew my name in the Secret Santa and his gift to me was this dvd.  As Christmas draws near, why not give this special edition to your loved one.  Even if you weren’t around in the 80’s, you’ll find your feet tapping to the sound of the Academy Award winning “What a Feeling”.  Merry Christmas...

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The lead roles are played by Ed Westwick (Jonny) and someone I’ve never seen before, Felicity Jones (Kim).  Both leads were delightful in this romantic comedy which I think is best described as “cute”. Kim is an ex skateborder champion who quit after her mom’s death.  She lives with her dad, taking on the role as parent rather than daughter.  The job offer as a chalet girl in Austria, away from her father, will change her life as she knows it.  It’s while cooking and cleaning for a wealthy family who holiday in Austria that she learns to snow board, a sport “same same but different” to skateboarding.   The family she ‘waits on’ is mom and dad played by Brooke Shields and Bill Nighy but it’s their son Jonny who grabs Kim’s attention.    The fun really begins when Kim and fellow-chalet girl, Georgie (Tamsin Egerton) hit it off.  It’s at the ski resort and on the slopes that Kim sheds her responsibilities and starts to live again as she should.  The scenic views are breathtaking, the script is great with some really funny moments, the cast is endearing and overall a ‘feel good’ movie. This delightful, light-hearted comedy is sure to leave a smile on your...

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Country Strong by Charleen

Do you love country music?  Then this is one not to be missed!  And even if you don’t but enjoy a good romance with good music to boot, then grab this movie! The story is based on a ficticious country singer super star, Kelly Canter, beautifully portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.  Her manager husband, James, played by Tim McGraw, sticks by her through thick and thin, faithfully by her side during her rise to fame and her fall from stardom.    It is while in rehab that Ms Canter meets the bright eyed, wide smile of Beau (Garett Hedlund) who is also a musician doing gigs in pubs in Nashville.  It is evident early on in the story that these two share more together than the love of country music. We are introduced to the beauty pageant-turned-country singer Chiles (Leighton Meester) while she auditions as the opening act for Ms Canter.  After severe stage fright, it is Beau who comes to her rescue as we watch them perform a duet, “Friends in Low Places”. These four characters are brought together as Beau and Chiles become Ms Canter’s opening act and join her on tour. True romance is seen when Beau and Chiles become romantically involved. All four characters are likeable in their own right.  Paltrow embraces her character as the disturbed country singer and makes it believable.  She does all her own singing, enjoyable numbers such as ‘Country Strong’ and ‘Going Home’.  I marvelled at...

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Blue Valentine by Charleen

This has been the most highly anticipated movie of the year for me!  Must say, I was a little disappointed.  It wasn’t the acting that left me disillusioned but rather the story line. Blue Valentine stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as husband and wife.  This is a raw rendition of how two people love and then fall out of love.  It is frightfully real and one can lose sight of the fact that it’s a move because love simply doesn’t happen like ‘this’ in the movies.  I wonder if that’s why I was left thwarted?  After Gosling’s performance in The Notebook, expectations of this love story were exceptionally high. The story focuses on these two main characters and it shifts from past to present.  Neither of these beautiful stars are the glamorzones we see on the red carpet. They both appear rather unkempt and rugged looking, which added further to the authenticity of this story. One has to admire Gosling’s character for sticking by Williams through an attempted abortion then pregnancy.  Whilst there are certain character admirations, for the most part, Gosling’s character is unlikeable and rather irritating. Their acting skills are of the highest quality.  I felt every emotion portrayed!  The scene in the ‘future room’ where Gosling is trying to re-kindle their love is powerful. One feels enormous pity for him as we watch his wife clench her fists whilst he makes...

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DEAR JOHN (2010)

Probably the most compelling love story since The Notebook.  Channing Tatum (John) and Amanda Seyfried ( Savannah) make an undeniably flawless couple on-screen. Superbly directed by Lasse Hallstrom, this movie showcases a wholesome kind of love.   John is a soldier on leave and meets Savannah while ‘rescuing’ her handbag.  It takes two weeks for them to fall hopelessly in love.  They are two very diffe rent people – John, as Savannah puts it, “used to be tough” but now lives a quiet life with his autistic father (Richard Jenkins) while he’s at home.  Savannah, as John puts it, “might be too good of a person”.  But together they fit!  A string of letters flow between the two of them whilst they are apart for a year.  It is through their letter writing that they share their deepest thoughts and their love, despite the distance between them, flourishes.  911 happens when John is to return home and this changes everything.  He is a soldier by heart and makes the decision to spend a weekend at home and then return to the army.  How can Savannah question his decision when she herself said that “the saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all”.  Ironically, John receives the ‘Dear John’ letter two months after his return to the army…  What we...

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