Author: Mrs. Mahan

Secret Life of Bees (2008)

“Why wasn’t there a Miss August for me when I needed one like Lily at the same age?”, I wondered while watching “Secret Life of Bees”.  Growing up without a mother is certainly difficult enough, but to live every day with the knowledge that you’re responsible for her death?  I can’t imagine living with the intense guilt Dakota Fanning portrays as Lily.  I had my own challenges struggling with a disability in the 70s and 80s, but Lily and Rosalee (Jennifer Hudson) have to overcome racism and hatred in the 1960’s South at the risk of their lives. And that hatred is evident in Lily’s father, T.Ray Owens (Paul Bettany), the owner of a peach orchard in South Carolina.  He shows no real concern for his daughter’s welfare and she knows he doesn’t love her.  Eeven though she begs him to tell her about her mother, T.Ray has nothing good to say, except to make fun of her. During a fit of anger, T.Ray tells Lily her mother abandoned her and ran off with her nephew.Lily decides this revelation about her mother couldn’t possibly be true.  No mother would abandon her child in such away.  Nor is it possible for a child to be so completely unloved by both parents.  So, Lily packs a bag and helps Rosalee escape from the hospital, where she is being treated for injuries received...

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Swing Vote (2008)

“Swing Vote” is a funny, yet inspiring movie with an all-star cast including Kevin Costner, Paula Patton (Mirrors), Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci and Madeline Carroll (Resident Evil: Extinction) as Molly Johnson.  Set in a small town in New Mexico, “Swing Vote” is loaded with cameos by several media and entertainment figure including Bill Maher, Larry King, Willie Nelson and Richard Petty.  If nothing else, you’ll get a full day’s dosage of celebrities and a lot of laughs with a few tears thrown in. Young Molly Johnson spends her days taking care of her father who has given up and simply drifts through life.  Yet, Molly still tries to make Bud a better person and on Election Day, she insists Bud show up at the polling place and vote after work.  Unfortunately, Bud loses his job, heads to the local bar and spends the rest of the day getting drunk then passing out in the cab of his truck.  Knowing Bud has disappointed her again, Molly takes matters into her own hands. The result of her actions put Bud in the position of being the “swing vote” for the entire nation – one vote will decide who will be the next President of the United States.  Despite his confusion, Bud goes along with the charade enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame for awhile.  But, Molly becomes more and...

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All the Pretty Horses (2000)

Lose yourself in a western this week, as HBO OnDemand features “All the Pretty Horses” starring Matt Damon, Henry Thomas and Penelope Cruz struggling to make sense of their lives in post World War II Texas and Mexico.  John Grady Cole (Damon) and Lacey Rawlins (Thomas) set off on horseback to look for work on a ranch in Mexico after John’s grandfather passes away and his estranged mother sells the ranch where he grew up.  On the way, the boys meet Jimmy Blevins (Lucas Black) who promises to be more trouble than expected.  During a thunderstorm, Blevins loses his horse, only to find it at a nearby ranch and proceeds to steal it back, and while he escapes, John and Lacey lose track of him.  Soon afterwards, they begin working at a ranch owned by Hector de la Rocha (Reuben Blades).   John challenges himself to break sixteen horses in four days and after his success, Rocha promotes him to work with his horses.  John falls in love with Rocha’s daughter, Alejandra (Cruz), but their love affair ends when she returns to Mexico City.  The next day, Mexican police arrest John and Lacey and they begin a surreal nightmare in the Mexican justice system. As the story unfolds, John and Lacey become increasingly isolated from the people around them because of their status as “gringos”.  Director Billy Bob Thornton uses...

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Fingerprints (2006)

Winner of the 2006 New York City Horror Film Festival Best Feature Award, the horror movie “Fingerprints” had the right amount of “spooky” combined with “slasher” to keep me interested and on the edge of my seat wondering, “whodunit?” without completing grossing me out.  The main characters are portrayed by recognizable “B-list” actors including Leah Pipes (“Sorority Row”) as Melanie, the troubled girl with a past, Kristin Cavallari (“Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County”) as Crystal, Melanie’s blonde, cheerleader sister, and Andrew Lawrence (Brotherly Love) as Mitch the town bad boy.  Lou Diamond Phillips, Geoffrey Lewis and Sally Kirkland have supporting roles. Melanie used to do drugs with her boyfriend, Shawn.  One day, Shawn convinced her to try heroin and the results weren’t pretty.  She lived. He didn’t.  While Melanie was in rehab, her father was transferred to Emerald to work on a turnpike project, so the family moved away..  As Crystal drives Melanie to their new home, she tells Melanie the town’s history and how the train depot is rumored to be haunted after a school bus was hit by a train in 1957 and several children killed in the wreck.  According to legend, the ghosts of the dead children will push a car parked in neutral on the railroad tracks out of danger and leave behind fingerprints.  But what the girls don’t know is the accident in 1957 didn’t...

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