Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Way Back

The story of prisons of the Soviet gulag and the prisoners within them. A few escape and walk south to get out of Russia. They walk through Tibet, China (gobi desert), the Himalayas into India. These are not all nice, falsely accused political prisoners. But over their 4000 mile walk, they learn to trust each other. The story is fascinating (similar to Unbroken) in how much abuse a body and mind can endure. And it is fascinating how different characters interpret loyalty, to each other and to place.
4 stars (out of 5)

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Peter O'Toole is a famous stage and film actor at the end of his career (he gets roles laying in hospital beds). When he is introduced to (takes under his wing) the niece of a colleague, his world is changed. We have a lot of the typical "you're old - I'm young" miscommunication and misunderstanding. But O'Toole is also bright enough to recognize that he doesn't get it, but can enjoy the ride anyway. Made me laugh a couple times...
3 stars (out of 5)

Friday, October 17, 2014


In the 80's, the conservative party of Margaret Thatcher was in a bitter dispute with the labor unions of the coal miners. Mining communities were hit hard by an extended strike and were not getting good press. Into this frying pan, a group of young men and women in London created an organization called Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. They adopted one particular small community, raised  money in London, traveled to the community to offer their solidarity. Clearly the miners prejudice was a roadblock to accepting the help. In the end, everything works out (of course, this is a movie). This was over the top and exaggerated the differences between the two groups for effect. And we wrapped up those differences in short order. So while this is clearly not a documentary, it is a puffy feel good piece that is based on the true story. And perhaps the most inspirational part is the end, when we find that the miners union later went on to support gay rights.
4 stars (out of 5)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Sword with No Name

In rural Korea a local guy decides that it is up to him to protect the queen. He trains himself and basically stalks her to insure that no harm can come to her. Obvious conflicts arise with the official guard, until he is hired. Then he needs to work his way into her personal guard. Along the way, he falls in love and ... lost interest... not a compelling story and mediocre martial arts scenes.
1 star (out of 5)