Down From the Shelf ~ Parenthood

The Facts:

Synopsis: The Buckman family is a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.

Stars: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Tom Hulce, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Dianne Wiest

Director: Ron Howard

Rated: PG-13

Running Length: 124 minutes

TMMM Score: (8/10)

Review:   23 years on, this film continues to entertain and surprise me with each viewing.  I think seeing this as a nine year old my understanding of some situations wasn’t fully there yet.  Moving into seeing it as a teenager and then a young adult and now veering toward true adulthood I find myself seeing this in a new light based on where I am with my life.  For a while I responded most to the Martin/Steenburgen family storyline, then it was the Moranis character was most interesting to me.  My appreciation of Weist’s role is the one constant and it’s no big shocker she was nominated for an Oscar (I can’t say she was totally robbed as I’ve not seen Brenda Fricker’s winning role in My Left Foot)  Howard directs this one with a light touch that has stood the test of all these years.  At this time, these were the types of movies that he had a strong voice with.  As the years pass he has moved on to more challenging works with darker themes but I have always responded to the 80’s and early 90’s Howard films.   

The large cast is in top form working with great material that was culled from the lives of its director, producers, and writers.  Giving it that personal touch elevates the movie to a more realistic tone that pays dividends to the viewer.  I have to give special mention to Helen Shaw who plays, simply, Grandma.  Her speech near the end not only sums up everything we’ve seen so far but provides Martin with the best punchline in the movie. 

I pop this one in at least once a year – with its recent release on Blu-Ray it’s nice to view it anew with its remastered video and audio.  Whether it’s your first viewing or 20th there is something here for all audiences.

The Silver Bullet ~ “Darling Companion” Trailer

Synopsis:  The story of a woman who loves her dog more than her husband. And then her husband loses the dog.

Release Date: April 20, 2012

Thoughts: It’s been nearly a decade since director Lawrence Kasdan has released a film and this will only be his 11th film released in the three decades he’s been making movies.  His early 80’s films are considered by some to be classics, if not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.  While Kasdan has assembled a top notch cast here, I can’t help but feel that the trailer doesn’t inspire anyone to see the film regardless of the pedigree (pun intended) of the actors involved.  His last few films have been critical and commerical flops so here’s hoping the movie is stronger than this trailer.