04th Mar2017

Life on the Line (DVD)

by timbaros

Travolta_Life-on-the-LineJohn Travolta stars as a lineman whose job it is everyday to risk his life while repairing electrical wires in the new film ‘Life on the Line.’.

‘Life on the Line’ follows a film formula that we’ve seen way too many times. The loss of both her parents shatters the life of a little girl and she is raised by the uncle who happens to do the same job as her father, a job that killed him. Travolta is her uncle Beau Ginner (what a name!). After her father gets electrocuted while repairing wires on a telephone line, and after her mother gets killed in a car crash on the way to the hospital – it is up to Beau to raise Bailey. Now older, Bailey (Kate Bosworth), still has to live with the fact that, like her father, Beau may never make it back home again due to the perils of his job. Throw in a subplot about a dodgy neighbor, a major storm on the horizon that could threaten Bailey’s life, and also how ridiculous Travolta looks with a beard and hair that is dyed black, and it’s a film that’s as unbelievable and anti-dramatic (and anti-climatic) as anything you’ve seen in quite a long time.

Travolta’s work tends to be very good (last year’s award winning ‘The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story’) or very very bad (2013’s ‘Killing Season’ and last year’s ‘I Am Wrath’). ‘Life on the Line’ doesn’t do him much justice. The plot is very predictable and the ending is ridiculous. ‘Life on the Line’ is having a digital and DVD release (and not theatrical) which always implies that the film was not good enough for theatrical distribution. Here is a link to the trailer so that you can decide for yourself if you want to watch it further (the trailer pretty much gives away much of the plot): https://youtu.be/L_5HrzU1S1E.

08th Mar2015

Still Alice – Film

by timbaros

Julianne Moore realistically and achingly plays a middle-aged woman who develops Alzheimer’s in the new film Still Alice.

Moore, in the best performance of her career (and having just won the Best Actress Oscar for this film) plays Alice Howland, a highly successful college lecturer with a loving husband John (Alec Baldwin) and three grown children – Lydia (Kirsten Stewart), Anna (Kate Bosworth), and the very handsome Tom (Hunter Parrish). Alice lives a comfortable and happy life in Brooklyn, that is until she starts forgetting things. One day in class, she struggles to find a word that she’s used many times. Then one day on a run at her university campus she gets lost and disoriented. Worried, she visits a neurologist who tests her on her memory, and she’s unable to repeat a name and street he had told her to remember at the beginning of the session. Soon enough, Alice is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. But it’s getting worse, and John and the rest of the family realize that it’s going to be hard and tragic to deal with her deteriorating condition. More memory lapses occur; at Christmas she forgets the ingredients to bread pudding, a dish she’s made at least one hundred times. And she reintroduces herself to her son’s girlfriend, minutes after just meeting her. Alice decides to record a video to herself, a video that gives instructions on where to find pills to kill herself if she can’t remember the answer to three personal questions. Meanwhile, she tries to get her daughter Lydia (visiting from Los Angeles where she had moved to pursue an acting career that’s going nowhere) to move back east to go back to school for a real career (and to be close to Alice). Unfortunately, Alice is still getting worse, no longer working, one day at her family’s beach house she can’t find the bathroom, and wets herself. It is up to John to pick her up and change her. Unfortunately, this is the reality of someone living with Alzheimers, and Still Alice perfectly and tragically captures this.

Moore is absolutely amazing. She gives a performance that is so real, so emotional, so tragic, and very raw. Moore spent time with Alzheimer’s patients to capture their every nuance, and she did. She is very deserving of the Oscar she has just won, her first after five nominations. She’s also picked up every Best Actress award given this year. Baldwin as her husband and Parrish as one of her sons are perfectly cast. Stewart, who is always broody and cold in most of her films, really shines through in this movie, being very supporting to her ailing mother. Directed and written by real life couple Richard Glazer and Wash Westmoreland, perhaps in response to Glazer’s battle with ALS, they have done an excellent job in providing a vehicle for Moore – it’s a perfect yet highly emotional film in every sense, and a must to watch just to see Moore’s performance.