Watch Oscar-winner ‘The Cove’ on Marine Mammal Rescue Day

Hey, Happy Marine Mammal Rescue Day!   Since we are big Ric O’Barry fans, April 27 is an important day. If animal rescue is your thing, or if you are in the mood for a heart-stopping and heartbreaking documentary, then “The Cove” (2009) is a must-see.   Winning the 2010 Best Documentary Oscar, director Louie Psihoyos’ film follows Ric O’Barry – the former “Flipper” trainer – as he travels to Taijii, Japan to chronicle and hopefully stop a brutal, seasonal dolphin slaughter. Psihoyos’ film feels like an espionage movie, as O’Barry and…

Lionsgate hosts a free online ‘Dirty Dancing’ screening on April 24

For millions of movie fans, August 1987 was the time of their lives!  “Dirty Dancing” opened, and the story of dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and his young partner Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey) took the country by storm, and record sales soared through the roof too. Well, it’s not 1987 anymore, but Lionsgate found a time machine and will take us back! On Friday at 9pm EST / 6pm PST, Lionsgate hosts a free “Dirty Dancing screening on its Lionsgate Movies YouTube page! Just click this link, and that’s…

‘All the Wild Horses’ wins by a comfortable margin

“All the Wild Horses” – The Kentucky Derby began in 1875, and this 1.25-mile race is dubbed the most exciting two minutes in sports. On the other side of the world, Mongolia hosts an altogether different event.  The Mongol Derby is one thousand kilometers long and runs across the country’s prairies.  The contest takes eight days to complete and is known as the longest and toughest horse race in the world. If the Run for the Roses is an ultra-brisk sprint, then the Mongol Derby is a marathon of the…

‘The Booksellers’ is a celluloid page-turner

“The Booksellers” – According to a 2019 Pew Research Center study, 73 percent of U.S. adults have started at least one book in the past year, but this is down from a 2005 Gallup News Service poll, in which 83 percent did. Why the drop?  Well, one can point to several factors:  longer work hours, shorter attention spans, social media’s rise, instant gratification needs, home streaming services, and the Joe Exotic documentary series.  Actually, Netflix released “Tiger King” in 2020, a year after the 2019 findings, so we can’t blame…

‘Selah and The Spades’ doesn’t deal a winning hand

“Selah and The Spades” – Selah Summers (Lovie Simone) is cool.  She’s a top student at Haldwell, a prestigious boarding school in the Philadelphia suburbs.  She’s a cheerleader too, but not the peppy, do-gooder, always-sunny type, because Selah has fought on the front lines at home and at Haldwell.  These days, her mother quietly pushes this talented kid to pursue perfection, at least with her grades, but voices aren’t upturned between mother and teen.  They don’t have to reach ugly, combative heights in 2020, because – off-screen – enough verbal…

Just Because Wednesday, Movies at Home: ‘The Remains of the Day’

Happy Birthday, Emma Thompson!  Yes, Emma turns 61 on April 15, and to celebrate her day, let’s look back at our favorite Ms. Thompson role in one of our favorite movies…”The Remains of the Day” (1993).  Now, Thompson won a screenplay Oscar for “Sense and Sensibility” (1995) and garnered the Best Actress top prize for “Howard’s End” (1992), but she perfectly plays the sensible but curious and kind housekeeper Miss Kenton in director James Ivory’s masterful work. During the 1930s, Miss Kenton and head butler Mr. Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) run…

Celebrate World Table Tennis Day with ‘Top Spin’ on Amazon Prime

Many of us (or is it all of us?) are sequestered at home these days, so dreams of sold out sports arenas and stadiums are just distant memories at the moment.  Well, not too distant.  Anyway, April 6 is World Table Tennis Day, and although all the big tournaments are probably postponed, we could play ping pong in the comfort of our homes, right? Well, in celebration of World Table Tennis Day, why not catch the 2014 documentary “Top Spin”!   Directors Sara Newens and Mina T. Son follow three American…

Oscar-nominated ‘Corpus Christi’ spins an inspirational tale and a tense countdown

“Corpus Christi” – “No seminary accepts convicts like you.” – Father Tomasz (Lukasz Simlat) “Doesn’t matter where you’re coming from.  All that matters is where you are going.” – Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) Daniel (Bielenia) doesn’t wish to think about his previous travels. This slight, young Polish man – with glittery sapphire eyes and an impish crewcut – has crashed into life’s dead ends and incessantly circled in nowhere cul-de-sacs.  He actually resembles an Eastern Bloc version of Scottish hooligan Renton (Ewan McGregor) from “Trainspotting” (1996), but sans any mates to…

Just Because Wednesday, Movies at Home: The “Fifty Shades” series

Just Because Wednesday features our favorite films, and this Wednesday is no exception.  Well, a little exception, because we aren’t highlighting one movie, but an entire series! The “Fifty Shades” series – “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015), “Fifty Shades Darker” (2017) and “Fifty Shades Freed” (2018) – is the very best film adaptation in Hollywood history!  Yes, please step aside “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962), “The Godfather” (1972), the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and “The Shining” (1980).  Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson have perfectly brought billionaire playboy Christian Grey…

Movies at Home: Celebrate National Doctors’ Day with ‘Doc Hollywood’

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day, but these days, doctors, nurses, other health practitioners and staff don’t need their own 24-hour celebration.  They deserve their own year.  These supermen and superwomen are confronting the challenge of their lives (and ours) during these worldwide, dystopian months. Well, here’s some movie-medicine to take your mind off COVID-19 for 104 minutes.  “Doc Hollywood” (1991) is a light, romantic comedy, where a bout of bad luck might turn into a packet full of grins and a bucket of horseshoes. Dr. Ben Stone (Michael J.…