Movie of the Week: ‘Toni Erdmann’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week reaches across the pond to Germany and the Oscar-nominated “Toni Erdmann” (2016).  Who is Toni Erdmann?  Well, no character in the movie is officially named Toni Erdmann, but Winfried (Peter Simonischek) – a father desperately seeking attention from his daughter Ines (Sandra Huller) – actually creates an alter-ego with the said moniker. Really?  Yes, and AHFW not only thinks that Huller deserved the 2016 Best Actress Oscar, but director Maren Ade’s picture is one of the very best of the decade! Here’s our full review:…

AHFW’s Top 10 Tom Hanks Performances

On July 9, Tom Hanks turns 64 years young!  Happy Birthday, Mr. Hanks! Tom arrived on the small screen at 24 with “Bosom Buddies” (1980-1982), an ABC-TV light comedy where two guys (Hanks and Peter Scolari) dress up like women to live in an affordable apartment.  Think of “Some Like it Hot” (1959), and Donna Dixon plays the Marilyn Monroe-like character. Well, who could have predicted Hanks’ film trajectory.  Forty years later, he garnered two Best Actor Oscars and has starred in countless thought-provoking and blockbuster films.  He’s simply one…

Celebrate World Chocolate Day with a double feature

Hey, July 7 is World Chocolate Day!  There’s a World Chocolate Day?  Yes, for chocoholics all over the planet, this is your time.  If you have a couple hours or perhaps four, why not dine on chocolate while watching a movie or two.  AHFW suggests the Golden Globe-nominated “Like Water for Chocolate” (1992) and the five-time Oscar-nominated “Chocolat” (2000)! “Like Water for Chocolate” – Tita (Lumi Cavazos) is unlucky in love, primarily because she’s relegated to a life without it.  She, however, discovers that her emotions are placed into her…

Movie of the Week: ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953) – AHFW’s movie of the week travels back 67 years to celebrate Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell’s breezy romp “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, a film that offers a madcap platform for the ladies to showcase their comedic talents and sex appeal.  The plot follows a straight-forward, simple folly, but the picture works on all levels, and Monroe and Russell are at their very best. Lorelei (Monroe) and Dorothy (Russell) work as a lounge/club act, and on stage, they exclaim – through song – that they are two…

Celebrate Kurtwood Smith’s birthday with ‘Robocop’

Kurtwood Smith turns 77 on July 3!  Happy Birthday, Mr. Smith!  Now, his name may not ring a bell right away, but if someone mentioned Red from “That ‘70s Show” or Clarence Boddicker from the original “Robocop” (1987), it might set off a department store fire alarm, with everyone exiting safely, of course. Since AHFW is a movie site, July 3 is definitely a day to celebrate “Robocop”.  Director Paul Verhoeven’s masterful – also surreal – science fiction picture includes a great story, a multitude of violence, a flawed but…

A clip from Margot Robbie’s best performance

Margot Robbie turns 30 years young on July 2!  Happy Birthday, Ms. Robbie.  Margot has worked with big costars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, Domhnall Gleeson, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and more. She’s also played one of the biggest female comic book villains in movie history…twice, but our favorite Margot Robbie performance is her masterful turn as Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya” (2017). In this clip, a judge hands down a difficult sentence to Ms. Harding (Robbie), and when our critic saw “I, Tonya” at the 2017 Toronto International Film…

Make room for ‘Four Kids and It’

“Four Kids and It” – “Here’s the story…of a lovely lady…who was bringing up (two) very lovely girls.” Alice (Paula Patton) is a struggling single mom, and her primary source of distress emanates from her oldest daughter Samantha (Ashley Aufderheide).  She goes by Smash and is duly named because this tyrannical teenager is angrier than Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) after classmates infamously humiliated her at the prom.   Yea, Smash is that irate, although mass murder – rest assured – is a stretch and not included in this narrative. Still, her…

Free Summer Nights at the Drive-In: July and August 2020

AHFW misses catching movies on the big screen.  Sigh.  Well, Amazon and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society are here to help!  They are sponsoring “A Night at the Drive-In” in July and August 2020! Every two weeks (on Wednesday nights), drive-in theatres all over the country will feature a double feature, and the movies and concessions are free! Here are all the facts that you need: the schedule, the locations, getting tickets, and background on the project! Schedule: Wed. July 1: “Love & Basketball” (2000) and “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018)…

Movie of the Week: ‘In the Bedroom’

“In the Bedroom” (2001) – AHFW’s Movie of the Week is Todd Field’s remarkable directorial debut “In the Bedroom” starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Marisa Tomei, and Nick Stahl. Set in a New England small town, Matt and Ruth Fowler (Wilkinson, Spacek) live a happy life, and their son Frank (Stahl) is home for the summer after his college graduation.   Frank has big plans – which please his parents – but starts a relationship with an older woman Natalie (Tomei), and his future designs may lie with her, a single…

‘Irresistible’ successfully explores big, twisted political practices in Small Town, USA

“Irresistible” – “He’s a church-going Bernie Sanders with bone density.” – Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) Mr. Zimmer, a Democratic strategist, describes Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) of Deerlaken, Wisc. with the enthusiasm of an obsessed teenager yearning for a dance with the prom queen.  Jack, however, is no demure beauty.  He’s a farmer, a retired U.S. Marine Colonel, and a widower.  In other words, Gary sees this man as a perfect candidate, one who the Dems could use after Donald Trump’s 2016 famous – or infamous, depending upon your perspective –…