Excerpt from Amazon: "Adam...was born in the bomb shelter of his paranoid inventor dad...who spirited his pregnant wife...underground when he thought the Communists dropped the bomb (actually, it was a plane crash). Armed with enough supplies to last 35 years, the parents bring up Adam in Leave It to Beaver style with nary any exposure to the outside world. When the supplies run out, and dad suffers a heart attack, [Adam] goes up to modern-day L.A. for some shopping and...culture shock." Very engaging with hardly any objectionable scenes except for the overall gaff of having the leading lady live with a gay man (there is absolutely no need of this to further the film—gratuitous and foolish). Surprisingly good. Warning: I saw an edited version with all foul language bleeped out.
Amazon.com Editorial Review:
This rousing musical, based on the stories of Shalom Aleichem, takes place in pre-revolutionary Russia and centers on the life of Tevye (Topol), a milkman who is trying to keep his family's traditions in place while marrying off his three older daughters. Yet, times are changing and the daughters want to make their own matches, breaking free of many of the constricting customs required of them by Judaism. In the background of these events, Russia is on the brink of revolution and Jews are feeling increasingly unwelcome in their villages. Tevye--who expresses his desire for sameness in the opening number, "Tradition"--is trying to keep everyone, and everything, together. The movie is strongly allegorical--Tevye represents the common man--but it does it dexterously, and the resulting film is a stunning work of art. The music is excellent (it won Oscars for the scoring and the sound), with plenty of familiar songs such as "Sunrise, Sunset" and "If I Were a Rich Man," which you'll be humming long after the movie is over. Isaac Stern's violin--he provides the music for the fiddler on the roof--is hauntingly beautiful. And despite the serious subject matter, the film is quite comedic in parts; it also well deserves the Oscar it won for cinematography. --Jenny Brown
The actor who portrays Joseph gives an understated performance and coupled with a fine supporting cast does a great job on one of the best biblical films to come out in quite a while. There are, of course, some scenes best left more to the imagination but they are few and far between.
Excerpt from Amazon: "Sometimes everything comes together in a movie and it becomes something so much greater than the sum of its parts that it can only be described as a miracle. That's the case with Tender Mercies, a quietly luminous character piece about an alcoholic, washed-up country singer named Mac Sledge...who hits bottom in a motel room one night and then slowly finds his way back into the land of the living with the help of the widow...and her young son." Great performances, quiet, laid-back pace, real-life redemption movie. Can't say enough about it.
Amazon.com Editorial Review:
Written, directed, and personally financed by Robert Duvall, The Apostle was the culmination of a 14-year effort on the part of its creator, who also stars as the dynamic, God-fearing Texas preacher Euliss "Sonny" Dewey. Vibrantly authentic with its use of real gospel preachers and extras carefully selected from parishes of the deep South, the film treats its complicated characters with the kind of compassion and moral complexity mainstream Hollywood wouldn't dare muster. This is especially true in the case of Sonny, who responds to his wife's infidelity with a crime of passion that sends him on a new and uncharted quest for redemption. Under the assumed identity of "The Apostle E.F.," he settles in a tiny Louisiana town to revive an old church, where he undergoes a transformation of spirit and purpose that enlivens his community. But will the law catch up to him? Does he deserve to be punished? Fueled by Duvall's powerhouse performance, The Apostle refuses to praise or condemn its fascinating central character, leaving the proper degree of forgiveness up to the viewer.