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First we had numbers, then we had colours, now we are featuring movies with name places in the title. Oh there are SO many to choose from--- in fact I almost considered doing a post just on 'M's'. Some are classics that hardly need pointing out, yet I will-well, because that's what I do. Others are a little more obscure but all are worth a look.

Casablanca--- previously featured in its own post, it bares mentioning again. This is one of my all time faves- it's right up there with Ben Hur (did you follow my recommendation and go see it's re-release on the big screen?). To my mind, this is one of the world's most perfect movies- love, honour, self sacrifice-all set against the backdrop of WW 2. Best writer, best director and best picture for 1942. You won't believe the famous lines that came out of this movie. Bogart, Claude Rains, and Ingrid Bergman at their very best. And don't forget Conrad Veidt.

In Bruges--- this should be a controversial one- love it or hate it, but I doubt you will be ambivalent towards it. This is just really hard to pigeonhole into any specific genre. But it you like bizarre and unexpected this is the movie for you. A close second in the bizarre and unexpected category would be the Coen's brothers Fargo. Except having said that, if you are a fan of the Coen brothers, you know to expect the unexpected.

Philadelphia-with Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks in one of his back-to-back Oscar winning roles. This is an award worthy performance -also a sad and occassionaly difficult movie to watch. Not to be confused with its' polar opposite 'The Philadelphia Story'. With Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart (Oscar winner for Best actor) and Cary Grant--- from 1940. Light-hearted and easy to watch.

L A Confidential- from 1997 with Kim Bassinger, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, Guy Pearce. This is the film that really brought Russell Crowe to North American audience's attention. Dark, brooding, moody, excellent plot- very 'film noir'.

Munich- I've seen this Spielberg offering twice and I am still not sure what I think of it. Depending on your age you may be unaware of the back story. The 'Munich Massacre' is the name for the real events that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September. By the end of the ordeal, the kidnappers had killed eleven of the athletes and coaches and a West German policeman. Five of the eight members of Black September were killed by police officers during a failed rescue attempt. The three surviving kidnappers were captured, but later released by West Germany following the hijacking by Black September of a Lufthansa airliner. That part is true. This movie is the story of the aftermath of these events, and the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day. Being as it was a highly secret black op it remains for the viewer to determine the degree of reality. But that is the case with most movies based on 'true events'.

With the exception of Philadelphia Story, all these recommendations are dramatic offerings. So for something a little lighter in the location department try Brigadoon and An American in Paris---all you dance fans should enjoy these charmers with Gene Kelly dancing his feet off, wonderful music and lyrics by Lerner and Lowe, and Vincent Minelli's excellent directing.

(Nice map huh!)

Red and Purple, Black and Green

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Mel recommended many excellent titles in two earlier posts which you can find under the tagline numbers colours and letters on the left. She observed how many films there were with numbers in the titles, and when I started this one I was struck with the same thought---gobs of movies with colours in the titles. Here in no particular order are colour movies, all which I've seen and enjoyed.

The Color Purple---Spielberg brings you Woopie and Oprah in the story based on Alice Walkers popular novel. Bit of trivia here- although nominated for 11 Academy Awards, it won--- zero! This ties with a movie called The Turning Point, that people are hard pressed to remember. I actually like them both.

Black Swan- this movie which had 2011's Best Actress winner will not be everybodies cup of tea. Melodramatic, on times bordering on incomprehensible, it is still worth seeing just for Natalie Portman's stunning performance. Yes- she did her own dancing.

Reds- this is Warren Beatty's 1981 story of a radical American journalist who becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia. This is long folks---194 minutes. Not to be confused with the far inferior Helen Mirren/Bruce Willis spy offering called Red-although John Malcovich's performance almost makes it worthwhile-nobody does nutjob as well as John.

Solyent Green---from 1972, futuristic dystopia with Charlton Heston.

Green Mile---from the fertile mind of Stephen King, this is one of his stories that translates very well from book to the big screen. A really good performance by Tom Hanks, and lots of other recognizable faces, even if you can't get all the names. Can you spot the actor who played Ned Pepper in the True Grit remake? This guy is a real chameleon and a talented actor.

The Purple Rose of Cairo- ignore his sordid personal life and just pay tribute to the film maker, and there is no denying that Woody Allen makes some really good movies. This is a charming offering from 1985 starring Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniels.

The Scarlet and the Black- the Vatican, the Nazi's, Christopher Plummer and Gregory Peck.

The Red Shoes---A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. A must see.

It isn't easy being green- Kermit the frog of course, and the irrepressible Muppets---several Movies and the series 1, 2 and 3. Anybody who was anybody used to line up to get on this weekly show.

by Moe

Take out the 'Teens

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Only some of these films are about teens or for teens, but the recurrence of "adult trapped in teen's body" themed movies--intentional or otherwise--is curious.

Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, Oceans Thirteen: these rat-pack revisits offer comic capers and George Clooney

Twelve Monkeys A serious role for Bruce Willis in a future dystopia/conspiracy movie that stands the test of time

Twelve Angry Men Henry Fonda stars in a classic courtroom drama focused on the jurors' debate

Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses: sells itself, really. Must be based on the Hans Christian Anderson Tale. Don't make me watch it.

Twelve days of Christmas Eve Similar in concept to Bill Murray's Groundhog day. A businessman has limited time to redeem himself.

Twelfth Night - We have five versions of Shakespeare's comedy, with a young women trapped in a young man's disguise:

  1. Starring Alec Guiness and Joan Plowright
  2. BBC version with Felicity Kendall (Rosemary and Thyme, Good Neighbours)
  3. CBC's Stratford version
  4. Kenneth Branagh's version
  5. Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley star

Thursday the 12th This ITV two-part miniseries looks promising. According to Allmovie, the murder mystery is told Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa) style through flashbacks.

13 going on 30 Jennifer Garner stars in this what happens if you suddenly become a young person trapped in an older person's body

Thirteen Days: Remember the Cuban Missile crisis? Check out this thriller that follows the decision-making in the oval office at that time.

Thirteen at Dinner: Fans of Agatha Christie on film may debate, but I always enjoyed Peter Ustinov as Poirot in this mystery co-starring Faye Dunaway. Teens take note: also contains '70s sartorial excellence.

The 14 Wonders of the World I thought there were only 7! I stand corrected.

The 15 Streets Even the most hard hearted find Catherine Cookson's books worthy of a look. This adaptation features the requisite love story in the face of class differences.

Sixteen Candles Molly Ringwald stars in this enduring high school graduation saga.

16 blocks: Bruce Willis strikes again, this time as a police officer trying to escort a witness (Mos Def) to court

17 Again Zac Efron and Matthew Perry star in this hit movie in which the former goes back to high school with his adult mind still intact.

Eighteen A young mind finds himself homeless and his life becomes intertwined with his grandfather's World War II memoirs.

18 Kids and Counting=Reality show featuring a Mormon couple and their children and community

K-19 The Widowmaker: Liam Neeson and Harrison Ford in this nuclear submarine disaster movie.

19 Spectular Tropical Island Sunsets: It makes me so happy that such a title exists. Relax after watching all the identity/time shifting films listed above. I could have added this to the desert island classics review category, but you wouldn't need a sunsets dvd on a desert island...would you?

Ten to One You'll Enjoy Some of These

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The number (!) of number-themed reviews is vast. What to include: Only titles whose first words are numbers? How many 0000s are permitted? How about fractions? For now, let's look at 10 and under from CPL's dvd collection. It's by no means a complete list, so feel free to recommend others from our collection in your comments.

No, I can't explain the uncanny reappearances of Heath Ledger, Sandra Bullock and Faye Dunaway:


One Week: There was buzz a year or so ago at the film festivals around this 2008 feature starring Joshua Jackson (Dawson's Creek) in which a young man travels across Canada.

One Hour Photo: Robin Williams stars as a creepy photo-finisher who stalks a family after seeing their snaps.

Two (sorry, no Part Twos in this section)

Two if by Sea If you like Sandra Bullock, have a look. A criminal couple decides to take a holiday.Check out Two Weeks Notice: Again with Sandra Bullock

If you like classics try Shakepeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona or Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities in two versions (1989) and (1980). See the Dickens' review a few posts back for the links.

Three: The magic number, apparently...look at all the titles...

Three Little Words (1950) starring Fred Astair and Red Skelton. So you think you can dance?

Three Musketeers: We have six versions, including Three Musketeers, Four Musketeers, starring Michael York and Faye Dunaway, 1966 with Jeremy Brett, Disney's, 1939 with Don Ameche, 1921 with Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland's.

Three Days of the Condor Starring Faye Dunaway and Robert Redford. Father of all the "everyone is out to get secret agent so and so" films.

3 Women: on order. Fans of Robert Altman's films will be happy to see this in the collection. Starring Sissy Spacek.

Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada: Root 'em Shoot'em starring Tommy Lee Jones. While you're at it, watch 3:10 to Yuma, reviewed in an earlier Best Westerns blog post.

Three Valley Gap: Anyone's who's driven from Calgary to Vancouver on the Trans-Canada knows this wacky gold panning stop in the road. This documentary is part of the Wings over Canada series which gives a bush pilot's view of the area.

The Three Stooges collection: needs no review


Four Feathers Heath Ledger stars in this remake of a 1939 historical drama set during the war in the Sudan.

Four Weddings and a Funeral: The film that launched Hugh Grant's career. A story of friends, love, and loss, it had the quality of an independent film but was still widely accessible and remains a hit.


Hawaii Five-O is now available on dvd in glorious technicolour. Just in time for the tv remake, surf's up! "Book 'em Danno."

We now have The Fifth Element starring supermodel Mila Jovovich. This is a fun sci-fi action/conspiracy movie. Not for kids but lovers of space movies and non-lovers of space movies will both enjoy. Quirky cameo roles abound.


The winner here is the tv series Six Feet Under, which looks at the lives of a family of undertakers after the patriarch dies. Comic and poignant and not too grisly.

We also have Six Degrees of Separation, starring Will Smith in one of his first dramatic roles with Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland. A couple's marriage disintegrates as Channing's character explores motherhood and class divisions.


In Se7en Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star as detectives tracking a violent and manipulative serial killer. Very disturbing and graphic.

Seven Samurai is the clear winner here. See the desert island classic review of Akira Kurasawa's masterwork.


Eight 1/2: Fellini's classic semi-autobiographical film

8 Mile: Eminem's classic semi-autobiographical film

Jon and Kate plus Eight, the tv series... In case you missed the spectacle the first time around.


Check out award winning animated film 9. Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape of rubble and mechanical parts, small burlap creatures fight to defend themselves and discover who their destiny. Fans of Tim Burton's films will recognize his visual influence. The dvd also includes the original short film version whose economy and plot development we liked even more than the feature's.

District 9

A very unique film: social critique by way of science fiction. District Nine places aliens in the refugee camps in Johannesburg... and yes, the "monsters are us"


You may remember the ads but was it ever in the theatres? Anyone? A musical based on Fellini's 8 1/2, watch it for the incredible costumes and all-star cast including Penelope Kruz, Kate Hudson, Daniel Day Lewis and "it" girl Marion Cotillard.


The Ten Commandments: See Charlton Heston part the Red Sea in glorious Technicolor. It never gets old.

Number Ten: a serial look inside Britain's powerhouse on Downing Street

Ten Canoes This Australian film features Aboriginal brothers in a comic adventure based on a traditional fable.

Ten things I hate about you: Heath Ledger stars in a romantic comedy.