The Silver Bullet ~ The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

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Synopsis: Two hopeful new arrivals at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful quickly learn that there is only a single room left to rent.

Release Date: March 6, 2015

Thoughts: A surprise hit that built dynamic staying power thanks to good word of mouth when released in early summer of 2012, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a pleasant bit of fluff that benefited greatly from its starry cast of over the hill talent. In an interesting move, a sequel has been constructed that reunites the cast, writer, and director of the original in hopes that audiences will want to check-in again. I wasn’t knocked out by the first film but in all honesty by the time I saw it the hype machine was in full swing so I’m chalking my middle of the road feelings toward it up to overly lofty expectations. Based on the trailer for the sequel, it’s more of the same in store but when you have a cast featuring Judi Dench (Skyfall), Maggie Smith (Quartet), Richard Gere (American Gigolo), and Bill Nighy (About Time) I have little reservation about making a, uh, reservation.

Mid-Day Mini ~ Pretty Woman

The Facts:

Synopsis: A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love.

Stars: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Jason Alexander, Laura San Giacomo, Ralph Bellamy

Director: Garry Marshall

Rated: R

Running Length: 119 minutes

TMMM Score: (8/10)

Review:  Though Julia Roberts had already turned out memorable performances in Mystic Pizza and earned an Oscar nomination for Steel Magnolias, it would be Pretty Woman that sealed the deal and made her a bonafide movie star.  Even more surprising was that this glossy fairy tale about a hooker with a heart of gold was one of the biggest hits of the year and earned Roberts an Oscar nomination as Best Actress.  That thousand-watt smile was put to good use opposite the squinty eyed Richard Gere and the two made a great pair. (This magic was not present in a later collaboration, Runaway Bride).   Watching the movie now, I’m still impressed with how well it sidesteps its adult themes for an admittedly cleaned-up version of Los Angeles and its seedier parts.  Originally intended as a much darker film, director Garry Marshall knew that there was a shiny Cinderella story hidden underneath the grime so he relies heavily on his stars.  Marshall has always been a rather pedestrian director and that’s true here…but his casting is impeccable from Roberts all the way down to the bum that closes the movie.

The Silver Bullet ~ Movie 43

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Synopsis: An ensemble comedy intertwining different tales.

Release Date:  January 25, 2013

Thoughts: Here’s a film I’ve been hearing about for a while now thanks to a word of mouth publicity campaign.  Though it reminds me a lot of the uneven semi-classic Kentucky Fried Movie, this particular entry sold me on the cast list alone.  You have Oscar nominated/winning females (Naomi Watts, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry) side by side with men that run the gamut from A-List (Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere) to has beens (sorry fellow MN Seann William Scott).  Many famous faces/names also wrote and directed the shorts so here’s hoping that the good stuff is great and the bad stuff is short.  I’ve laughed at this trailer (and its Not Safe For Work red band trailer here) and do anticipate liking this when it’s released later in January.