Tag Archives: Dustin Hoffman

Rain Man (1988) Film Review

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Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is a yuppie who is running some kind of a scam involving importing luxury cars or something (no idea – it was complex and had to be completed within a certain amount of time which caused Charlie much stress throughout) when his estranged father passes away. Expecting to inherit his father’s fortune, Charlie is left with a beautiful old car and little else. In tracing where the remaining money is going, Charlie discovers that he has an older brother who has been living in assisted care for decades. Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) is autistic and requires set routine. Charlie takes Raymond from the facility, thinking he can blackmail the lawyers into giving him money. But the road trip across the country ends up being more than just a physical journey.

This is really a great film. It’s a little obvious at times, but that’s fine. Hoffman is great as Raymond, and while at times, I felt that Charlie was making choices that weren’t really fitting with his personality, it all allowed both of the characters to grow. It is dated, but in a good way. I just really liked it.

Rain Man won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Lead Role (Dustin Hoffman), Best Director (Barry Levinson) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Score.

 

 

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Sleepers (1996) Film Review

Sleepers

Hell’s Kitchen, 1960s. Four boys, best of friends, hang out, are altar boys together until they play a prank that results in them being sent to juvenile detention. Inside, they are abused horrifically by four of the guards. Fourteen years after they are released, two have become notorious gang leaders and killers, one is a journalist and the other is an assistant DA. A series of events lead to them attempting to get some justice.

At the end of the film, there are statements from several places stating that the several official channels deny the events of the film, but the author of the book it is based on claims that, with changed names and dates, the entire story is factual. Even if this series of events is not true, it is not that much of a stretch of the imagination that such abuse would happen. I think it is an excellent though very tough film; one hell of a cast doing top performances.

Sleepers was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Score

 

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Little Fockers (2010) Film Review

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The ensemble is back; first, it was meet her parents, then meet his. Now, there are kids and they are having a birthday party, but things go astray. And crazy astray.

I was on board for the first two. Yes, there were a few things that I needed to suspend my belief for, but I went with it. But for this? They lost me totally. From the moment Jessica Alba arrived as a drug representative and stepped in for a bottom-related procedure in the hospital, it lost me. Not even a fist fight between Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller across a series of kids equipment was worth it.

 

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Meet the Fockers (2004) Film Review

meet-the-fockers

Now that peace has been made between Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his soon-to-be-wife Pam’s (Teri Polo) parents Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner), they must meet his family. They are far from ‘normal’ – sex therapist Rozalin (Barbra Streisand) and house-husband Bernie (Dustin Hoffman). Of course, it is a whole weekend that they must have to get the maximum ridiculousness of the situation.

It is totally silly, much like the first. And while it is a similar creature to the first, it is different. Not better, really, and not worse as such. Actually, probably a bit worse. But adding Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand was just a nice addition. If it’s on telly and you can bear slapstick, go for it. I wouldn’t race to hire it, but I also wouldn’t switch channels.

 

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Kramer vs Kramer (1979) Film Review

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Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) walked out of her life, away from her husband, Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and son Billy (Justin Henry). Suddenly, Ted and Billy are thrown into a world here they must do everything themselves and it is hard. Eventually, though, they get the hang of it and things are going well. And then Joanna turns up again and wants to take Billy back and they end up in court.

This was such an important film of its time. Divorce was certainly not a new thing, but was on the increase, and then there was women’s liberation, women wanting to do things for themselves (silly women) and how do people deal with this new world? I think that if another Kramer vs Kramer would be absolutely and totally different were it made now. I think the relationship breakdown could be similar, but I like to think that most men are a bit more involved with their children than Ted was before Joanna left and that workplaces are not able to be as blatant about putting work before family. Most importantly, I think the legal system has progressed. Or perhaps I live in my own little world of things being right.

Kramer vs Kramer won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Dustin Hoffman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Meryl Streep), Best Director (Robert Benton) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Robert Benton) and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Justin Henry), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jane Alexander), Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.

 

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Finding Neverland (2004) Film Review

Finding Neverland

Sir James Matthew Barrie (Johnny Depp) is a playwrite who is no longer wowing the crowds with his work. Then he meets Sylvia Llwewlyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her four lovely boys including young Peter (Freddie Highmore). Sylvia’s husband has passed away and, despite the misgivings of her mother, Mrs Emma du Maurier (Julie Christie) and his wife Mary Ansell Barrie (Radha Mitchell), she and her boys spend increasing amounts of time with James. As he plays make-believe with the kids, he is inspired and creates Peter Pan.

I cannot believe I have taken so long to see this film. It was wonderful – the fantasy sequences are so much fun, the story itself is moving, and I cried and cried and cried. How fabulous.

Finding Neverland won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Johnny Depp), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (David Magee), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Costume Design.

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Stranger Than Fiction (2006) Film Review

Stranger than fiction

Harold Crick(Will Ferrell) is an ordinary guy. He works for Internal Revenue and has an ordered and repetitive existence until two things happen; he meets the beautiful baker Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and he starts to hear a female voice narrating his every move. He doesn’t believe he is crazy, but cannot imagine that he is the creation of author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) or what this could possibly mean for his future.

This is such a beautiful film. The concept is so clever and it is executed to make a wonderful and fabulous film that everyone should see over and over again.

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