The Commitments, a comedy filmed in Dublin, tells the story of working class youths that form a soul band. The leader, Jimmy, is fed up with the band scene in Ireland. So, he decides to form his own soul band but unlike the musicians he idolizes, his group is all white. Due to a clash of egos, all his work is for naught. The film has a great cast of Irish talent.
Check back next month for another review of a film set in Ireland.
Rumer has been compared to Karen Carpenter, and I understand why. Her voice is clear, strong, and soulful. She touches your emotional being and moves into your heart.
“Aretha,” “Come to Me High,” and “Take Me As I Am” are favorites, but all the songs provide a mellow, gentle, feel good experience for the listener.
Check out Seasons of the Soul by Rumer from the library today.
Also watch her recent performance at the White House.
Treme: The Complete First Season (2010)
This HBO series is about the human spirit responding to the greatest man-made disaster in American history: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans. Treme is a working class neighborhood of the city. The storylines focus on people trying to cling to their unique culture and trying to put their lives together again after the storm.
The music is amazing. It spans multiply genres. Every episode features at least five performances. The story lines are compelling. Topics range from political corruption, police clashes with the Mardi Gras Indians, public housing problems, bringing tourism back to the city and many more. Highly recommended for an intense experience.
“Treme is like Cajun food—it’s spicy, it’s weird and it’s good.” – NY Post
Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) R
The film is based upon the true story of an East Texas minor congressional representative who wielded enormous influence by being on two major foreign and covert ops committees in congress, Charlie Wilson. He learns of the plight of the Afghan people under Soviet rule and with the help of a maverick CIA agent tries to supply the Afghan resistance. Charlie and the cast of odd characters provide an interesting look at our government at work.
Starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Run Fatboy Run (2007) PG-13
This movie directed by David Schwimmer tells that tale of Dennis, the groom who got cold feet and left his pregnant girl friend at the altar five years before. Now Dennis is wanting her and their son back but has competition in the form of Whit, the American! Both the men enter the Marathon and after some dirty tricks on both sides, Libby sees a new side to Whit that she doesn’t care for. Dennis has help in his quest from his friends Gordon and Mr. Goshdashtidar and proves to be the man Libby always loved.
The Station Agent (2004) R
Finbar McBride’s passion is trains. When his best friend dies and wills to him a train station, Fin decides to move to it in Newfoundland, New Jersey. Fin is a dwarf and because of being stared at all his life, would like to live in seclusion. But Joe, his Cuban neighbor, sets up a hot dog stand next to his station and tries to promote a friendship to which Fin is reluctant to enter. He is almost run down by Olivia, a woman with deep emotional issues. But they see beyond his dwarfism, and try to forage a friendship with Fin. He finally realizes that he can be an independent man but be friends with people.
See what Roger Ebert said in his review. The film won a plethora of awards, including three at Sundance.
It’s Entertainment! by Celtic Thunder (2010)
Not the usual Irish group singing Irish songs – Celtic Thunder’s wonderful voices blend together to celebrate (“Hallelujah” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”) and individually to entertain (“Hello Again” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”). The most amazing harmonies will move you, please you, and have you thoroughly entertained.
The Snapper (1993) R
An Irish lass finds herself pregnant and will not name the father of her child. Sharon Curley is 20 years old, living at home and becomes the talk of the town. She decides to keep the baby — “the snapper” — and her family members each in their way decide to support her.
This film is part of the Barrytown trilogy by Roddy Doyle: The Commitments (1987), The Snapper (1990), and The Van (1991).
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009) G
Professor Wilson finds an abandoned dog at the train station one night. No one claims the dog and Wilson keeps him. In doing research, he finds the dog’s bred to be an Akita and names him Hatichko. Hachi, as if knowing this man saved his life, bonds with Wilson and accompanies him to and from the train station every day. One day the professor doesn’t return because he has passed away, but Hachi still waits for him at the station. For the next nine years, the dog’s loyalty never waivers in memory of his friend. He arrives in the morning and waits until late but the professor is not coming back. Based upon a true Japanese story of a loyal dog whose statue sits in the Shibuya train station, this is a beautiful tale of loyalty and kindness.
Starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen.
Ballet Shoes (2007) PG
Based on Noel Streatfeild’s novel of the same name, Ballet Shoes is the story of three orphaned girls adopted by a world traveler and raised by his niece in London in the 1930s. Pauline (Harry Potter’s Emma Watson) wants to be an actress, Petrova, an aviator and Posy, a ballerina. When the benefactor disappears, their money runs out. All have to struggle to meet their goals but survive emotionally and financially and support one another as a family unit. This is an enjoyable light tale of determination with a cast of odd lovable characters.