Some favorites from Amazon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Doc Hollywood with Michael J. Fox

Rating: 10 arthritic fingers up!

Both Gert and I loved Doc Hollywood, but, then again, we're big Michael J. Fox fans!

Doc Hollywood starts off with a cross country trip to Hollywood, California for a young doctor, Dr. Benjamin Stone, played by Michael J. Fox. In his impatience (and arrogance) to avoid traffic, he ends up taking country roads in the race to his new plastic surgery job in LA. Along the way, he swerves to avoid some cows in the road and takes out a white picket fence in the small town of Grady. And the fun begins.

Sentenced to perform community service and awaiting parts for his fancy sports car, Dr. Stone works in the only hospital alongside the ambulance driver, a woman named 'Lou.' I won't divulge much more of the story but it involves love and a pig - not necessarily in that order and there is no bestiality involved!

Doc Hollywood is well deserved of its 10 arthritic fingers up and is great for any viewing audience.

If you liked Doc Hollywood, you might enjoy:


Monday, January 10, 2011

Big - Tom Hanks

10 arthritic fingers up!

The movie "Big" was the best of the bunch of good movies for senior citizens we've reviewed as of this point. Tom Hanks plays Josh, an 11 year old who awakens one day in his bunk bed at home but has been transformed overnight into a 20-something year old man's body after making a wish at a carnival (I knew there was a reason I've always been scared of those creepy fortune teller machines at traveling carnivals). He takes off in disbelief to try and find the carnival machine which has been packed up and ostensibly shipped off to terrorize another young boy somewhere.

He returns home but his mother understandably freaks out when he appears as a full grown man in the living room and chases him off.

Josh's friend who was with him at the carnival is the only person he can turn to who can possibly understand his situation and offer any solace. So he  heads off to find little Billy and eventually convinces him that he really is Josh.

Through many trials and tribulations, John gets a job and is wildly successful working for a toy developer. The requisite love affair (almost) starts when a woman falls in love with the child inside - little does she know he really is an 11 year old inside.

Our favorite scene in the movie "Big" by far was, of course, the piano scene when John sees his boss at a toy store and the two do a duet on the big piano mat. This scene is a classic in every sense of the word. And, Tom Hanks, the consummate actor that he is, has once again become a BIG winner by taking on this movie.

Mom and I both loved the movie "Big" and recommend it to any senior citizen (and their caregiver friends!).

If you like the movie BIG, you'll love:


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Father's Little Dividend - Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor

Rating: 6 arthritic fingers up - would have been higher if the sound quality was better and Gert didn't like Billie Burke's voice - it was 'squeaky.'

This movie is the sequel to The Father of the Bride (which we didn't see as it's not on Netflix....drats). But, Father's Little Dividend was fun anyway. The main character, Stanley Banks (played by Spencer Tracy), has finally gotten over his daughter's (played by a young and very beautiful Elizabeth Taylor) elaborate wedding the previous year and is settling in, dreaming of his retirement when he gets a little surprise; she's pregnant and he's going to be a Grandpa. He's feeling old and not at all happy but that's not it....

Stanley's wife, Ellie, however, is over the moon with the news of the baby and wants to be a hands on Grandma! She gets uber involved in the situation and offers to have younger happy couple move in with she and Stanley while their house is being built. Remodeling and other havoc ensues throughout the rest of the movie.

We did notice a problem with the quality of this movie produced in 1951. As with most old movies, the sound quality is not superb and mom had a hard time hearing some of the dialogue, even with the TV volume up to the max. So, if your elderly friend is hard of hearing, this one might be a little hard. (Note: other places in the movie were SO LOUD they scared us to death!). Well, not quite to death...thankfully.

But, alas, Mom couldn't stand Billie Burke's voice so we ditched the movie after just 20 minutes or so.

Steve Martin and Diane Keaton recreate the rolls of the elder Banks couple in the recreated Father of the Bride series which are also very funny. These newer movies might be a better bet for the elderly with hearing problems.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A League Of Their Own - Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell

Rating: Ten arthritic fingers up.

A League Of Their Own contains a terrific all star cast which brings this movie to life. Loosely based on a true life story, A League Of Their Own follows one of the very first all-women's softball leagues which was created when all of the men went to war in the 1940's. Complete with all the elements of a great feel-good movie (including a sister rivalry and the obligatory husband returning from war scene), A League of their Own is a very heartwarming tale.

Tom Hands plays a has-been baseball player who is basically forced to coach and build a cohesive team of baseball players from a group of women who, although maybe not quite talented, have heart. Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O'Donnell all give very enchanting, fun performances.

One of the best parts of the movie for mom and me was the famous Tom Hank's uttering the incredulous 'There's no crying in baseball!' Funny moment.

We think that any senior citizen would enjoy A League Of Their Own.

Of interesting note is that the actual softball teams were The Rockford Peaches and The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Many of the original players from The All-American Girls Professional Baseball Leauge appear in the last scene of the movie when they're reunited at the Baseball Hall of Fame and take their rightful places in history.

If you like A League of Their Own, you might like the below items:

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner - hint, it's Sidney Portier

Rating: 5 arthritic fingers up.

Well, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner was a hit with my Mom but a bit slow for me. It's a talk of an interracial couple when interracial wasn't cool - the movie was produced in 1967.

The action really focuses more on the parents of the woman half of the interracial couple (played by Katharine Houghton - her first role in movies) and Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were hot even back in the day!

The movie was ok, but I'm just not sure it was fast enough to hold the fleeting attention span of the elderly (or me...). One thing is certain though: Sidney Portier sure was a good looking dude and even Gert thought so.

If you did happen to like this movie, you might also want to view:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Yentl - Barbra Streisand

Rating: 8 arthritic fingers up (would have been 9 but the accents may be tough for some elderly people to follow)

Barbra Streisand is terrific as she plays Yentl, a young Jewish girl who only wants to study the Talmud (Jewish law) forbidden for study by women. Yentl is a beautiful movie which, although a bit slow in the very beginning, did manage to keep my Mom's attention through all 132 minutes.  Boyfriend John said it was like the 'Sound of Music for Jews' and went to read a book. Gert and I loved it.

Although the story is poignant as it traces the young girl through her journey to learn the torah, impersonating a boy in her travels and falling in love (with a man) along the way, my Mom thought the accents of the yiddish men and women were tough to follow at first. When I mentioned to her that they were the same yiddish accents I remembered from my Bubie and Zadie (her Mom and Dad), she agreed and then was fine with them.

This love story unfolds to music sung by Barbra herself. The songs are beautiful, as is the cinetography and story line.

If you like Yentl and/or Barbra Streisand, you might like: