Osso Bucco

Independent film – 2008.

Jelly Dinotto is a gangster but he isn’t happy about it. After a foul up by Jelly he is told by the godfather to travel with his cousin, Nick. Jelly smells a trap for his demise and requests that he and Nick go to his favorite restaurant so he can have his last meal – the Osso Bucco. While at the restaurant a brewing snowstorm has approached and they are further thwarted by two under cover cops destined to bring them to justice. While snow bound the occupants get a little restless. A cute comedy of sorts.

Soul Kitchen

A story about a down ‘n out diner called Soul Kitchen (2009). Zinos, a German-Greek chef is the owner of the diner and he decides to hire a more established chef to boost his restaurant. What unfolds is beyond his dream to turn the failing diner into a place where Bon Appetit is the phrase of choice. Ah, but enters (from stage left) brother Illias to foil Zinos’ dream however the bond between the two brothers is strong and Zinos manages to overcome some steep hurdles with the help of ex-girlfriend, Nadine. This story starts off really slow but does pick up and then I was hooked. I enjoyed the music score too, almost made me want to get up and dance. The feet were tappin’ though. This isn’t a movie that will knock your socks off or to write home about but it is a cute, zany romantic comedy sure to bring a smile to your face. The characters really complemented each other.

A Rash Of Bad Movies

I came across a rash of bad movies for about a month and instead of reviewing them weekly I thought I would be kind and put them all in one post to save you the agony. The following movies are rated under 2 popcorn boxes (if it’s under the 2 popcorn boxes rating it isn’t worth watching in my opinion) for the following reasons or combination of reasons: the movies had no real story line, acting was horrible, they were boring, I had trouble figuring out the plot, there was no plot or I fell asleep.

A Pain in the Ass: A 2008 French comedy where nothing here was funny. The concept was funny but the movie was not. A hit man gets thwarted by a suicidal man every time he attempts to carry out his assignment. The only thing funny here was that I watched this for 40 minutes. 1 popcorn box, no butter, no boxes of anything else – unless you’re really hungry.

Italian For Beginners: Danish (2000) and the only thing I can say is it was boring. I only watched 10 minutes and I couldn’t take it anymore. Can I give less than a 1/2 popcorn box?

Kitchen Stories: This Norwegian (2004) film based off an earlier (1950’s) documentary about comradeship and camaraderie starts off really slow and it doesn’t get much better. An observer sits in a large chair (Lily Tomlin style) in the corner of the kitchen of the person being observed. I can only say – boring and not much dialog. 1/2 popcorn box.

In Therapy: A 2009 Brazilian film about a middle-aged wife and mother telling all on the therapist’s couch. Mulling over her decisions about her life starts out sort of dull and doesn’t stop there as it ended dull. I can’t believe I watched the entire movie. 1 popcorn box.

Home: French (2008). Living on the side of an unused highway, life is pretty good until one day the highway is resurrected, life for the family changes forever. It’s kind of a zany movie with the antics of the dysfunctional family. Soon, the family becomes obsessed with blocking the traffic noise so this movie never really took off. 1 popcorn box.

The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu: Romanian (2006). Billed as an ailing man waiting for his illness to finally take him over he is apparently shuffled from hospital to hospital waiting for the inevitable.  I can’t tell you more than this as I could only get through the first eight minutes, yah it was that bad. Zero popcorn boxes, refer to my last statement – it was that bad.

Don’t waste your time with these movies at all unless you’re compelled out of curiosity. And if I come across more I’ll save them for a future post and group the bad ones together again.

Recien Cazado

Foreign romance – Spanish (2009).

A bachelor in every sense of the word, is warned about his frivolous lifestyle by his family, who are obviously worried about him. One morning, Sebastian (the bachelor) wakes up from a night out with a gorgeous woman, Alexa and flips when he finds out they’re husband and wife. He immediately tries to convince Alexa he isn’t the right guy for her. Here’s the predictable part -Sebbie falls for Alexa, but there’s an evil twist at the end, a prank if you will, but you know I can’t reveal that here don’t you?

As It Is In Heaven

Foreign drama – Swedish.

Michael Nyqvist of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo… trilogy portrays Daniel Dareus, a famous conductor with a penchant for bringing out the best in his orchestra’s musical talent. But when a medical condition cuts his professional career short he ends up in the small town he grew up in. Battling some of his childhood menaces he ends up leading the local church choir. In his ability to bring out the best in others to harmonize he realizes he is capable of loving others. His dream of harmony in others comes true when the choir has entered in a singing competition in Austria.

Every once in a while you come across an exceptional movie and this is one of them. Add in a box of Goobers, a box of Dots, a box of Jujubes, a box of Sno-Caps, a box of Juicy Fruits, a box of Junior Mints, a box of Milk Duds, a box of Raisinets, and a box of Good & Plenty, yup the whole shebang! Even add butter to the popcorn if you wish.


Romantic movie – recommended by one of our readers.

On his quest to find the ancient cup of St. John on the Greek Island of Patmos, Eric, becomes smitten with Katerina, a local restaurant and tavern owner. Torn between being the recipient of fame and fortune if he finds the cup, Eric makes a choice about his future and decides to give it all up. Or does he?

If you’re a romantic, then this is a must see movie. It comes complete with music, dance, and gorgeous scenery. You won’t be disappointed! 4 popcorn boxes, a box of Junior Mints, a box of Jujubes, a box of Juicy Fruits, and a box of Goobers. Butter the popcorn if you dare.


Foreign film – French.

This cute film stars Audrey Tautou (one of the best actresses ever) where chance is the name of the game. Paths cross again and again as several individuals are tempted by fate and are on a course to find their true soul mate. If you believe in horoscopes, love at first sight and you’re an adventurous romantic then this film is for you. A really good movie for a rainy Saturday afternoon. 3 popcorn boxes and a box of Jujubes.

The Yellow Handkerchief

Indie drama.

After being released from prison, jailbird Brett is on a journey back home to see if his wife still wants him after all these years. On the way he gets attached to a young couple battling their own relationship. Brett helps without helping yet getting them to see their relationship in a different aspect. William Hurt puts in a remarkable performance. 4 popcorn boxes.

Change of Plans

French comedy.

A cute movie about relationships where some are good, some not so good, some mend-able, some not. A few twists and turns and it takes awhile to figure out what is really going on – okay, so I’m slow. Starting out as a simple dinner party, the group interacts socially and romantically and no matter how dysfunctional they are they surely are comedic in a chaotic simplistic manner. Fabulous music though and the characters are lovable. 3 popcorn boxes.


Play The Game

Indie Comedy

A grandson provides his grandfather, who is residing in a retirement community, with some tips on how to “play the game” to get women interested in him without letting them know he’s interested in them. The tips seem to work quite well as Grandpa’s sexual escapades renew his interest in being happy again. However, the same tips don’t seem to be working with David, the grandson while he attempts to woo Julie. All along you know how it’s going to end with “boy gets girl” or is it? A surprise twist at the end. Andy Griffith plays a stellar part as the grandfather. 3 1/2 popcorn boxes.