Which Child Stars Who Went On To Adult Stardom Are Your Favourites?

Tags

,

It’s often said that child stars can go either way. They either go onto adult stardom or go down the route of self-destruction. Sometimes it can be a mix of the two, yet many can make it to adulthood notice successfully. But which of them that went on to adult stardom is your favourite? There are many to name, so here’s so examples that I would choose.

 

 

 

 

The Poseidon Adventure

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Film Title

The Poseidon Adventure

Director

Ronald Neame

Starring

  • Gene Hackman as Reverend Frank Scott
  • Ernest Borgnine as Mike Rogo
  • Red Buttons as James
  • Stella Stevens as Linda Rogo
  • Shelley Winters as Belle Rosen
  • Jack Albertson as Manny Rosen
  • Roddy McDowall as Acres
  • Eric Shea as Robin Shelby
  • Pamela Sue Martin as Susan Shelby
  • Carol Lynley as Nonnie
  • Leslie Nielsen as The Captain

A memorable example of the 70’s disaster movie, The Poseidon Adventure retains its suspense and danger with an all-star cast as the survivors of an overturned ocean liner   attempt to reach safety.

The S.S. Poseidon is a large ship that is making its way from New York to Athens, on what is believed to be its final voyage. The Captain of the ship is concerned about the fact that it’s carrying to heavy a load and knows that if anything where to go wrong while at sea, the ship would turn into a disaster. The new owners however don’t want to hear this and through blackmail forces the ship onward, heading towards a damaging fate. We are then introduced to the principal characters of the piece. Impassioned but unorthodox Reverend Frank Scott is being sent to a different parish for his views, which are mainly that he believes actions are how best to serve God, as opposed to prayer. Growling Detective Mike Rogo and his younger wife Linda, who he rescued from a life of prostitution. Lonely bachelor James Martin, who needs someone to take care of and fill the void of solitude. Middle aged Jewish and long married couple Belle and Manny Rosen, who are travelling to see their young Grandson for the first time. The observant waiter Acres who frequents the resident dining room. Teenager Susan Shelby and her younger, inquisitive brother Robin are travelling back to see their parents. And rounding out things is vulnerable lounge singer Nonnie. The spirit of New Year is in full swing for everyone, in an ironic twist of fate, disaster will soon be at hand. Just as everyone is welcoming in the New Year, a massive tidal wave strikes the ship causing it to capsize. With the Captain and main crew dead, panic sets in as the ship is now upside down. Scott has the right idea and persuades the aforementioned main characters to follow him to what he hopes is safety. Others stay behind believing they will be rescued in time, but Scott is not one to sit around and takes it upon himself to be leader of this band that agree to follow him. The mismatched group of survivors, lead by firebrand Reverend Scott, must now navigate their way through a labyrinth of hazardous corridors, flooded compartments and dangerous events if they are to have any hope of making it out of there alive.

Ronald Neame is in the director’s chair and his flair for drama is evident by how he gets some emotional chapters in among the action, with the characters you sympathise with more than others. Neame is the director and a very astute choice, but the biggest vision comes from the ambitious Irwin Allen, who became something of a pioneering producer with the cycle of well designed obstacle course that is as unpredictable as it is dangerous. The sets, specifically considering that everything is turned on its head, are crafted with immense skill and passion. And if you’re talking about set pieces that stuck in the memory, The Poseidon Adventure is fit to bursting. The first is when the tidal wave hits, which definitely sets the ball rolling and is followed by the survivors using a large Christmas tree on the first step to hopeful safety. Another memorable set piece is when the group must swim for a long period of time through a multitude of chambers to reach the next destination, which involves each holding their breath for longer than expected. There is genuine tension here and seeing when Scott becomes stuck and tenacious(despite her advancing years) swims to rescue him is pretty exhilarating to watch. While some of it creaks in the beginning, the main thing you go into movies like this for is the effects and excitement of it all. And while yes some of the characters aren’t that interesting, there are some parts and various characters that give off a real poignancy. There are some lulls in the action and the opening is a little slow, but once that wave hits, it’s a thrill a minute spectacle. With the production design, the direction of and the grandeur vision of producer Irwin Allen, The Poseidon Adventure definitely delivers on its title in terms of what it presents and the often tense but always engaging struggle for survival from the ragtag group. And as it isn’t an overly CGI fest, because that kind of technology wasn’t even around much at the time, the dangers and perils of the journey are rendered with a bit more grit than the average disaster epic. You can feel the arduous task that lies ahead of them as they attempted to reach the bottom of the hip, which is now ironically the top. Visual effects like explosions and if course the destructive tidal wave are used, but it’s the way that they are employed that ensure it doesn’t feel fake or patchy in the long run. Instead, full on adventure and excitement are the name of the game here and the effects that are used seamlessly give life to the perilous fight for survival. John Williams, one of my favourite film composers, gives a stirring sweep to the adventure at hand, while also pausing for some very moving moments.

A pretty talented ensemble cast play the remaining survivors of the disaster, with many game for the adventure and drama. Heading the cast is the ever excellent Gene Hackman as the passionate Reverend Scott; all unorthodox and unbridled determination and sense of leadership once the tragedy occurs. His ideas are dangerous but necessary as a man of action, as he figures out getting out alive is not going to be a piece of cake. Yet at the same time, Hackman imbues Scott with a potent care for the other survivors and how he really does think with faith, they can pull through instead of sitting around to die. It’s safe to say Hackman gives it his all as a religious man with different ideas, who keeps pushing on for the sake of others, even when faced with a seemingly impossible task. Ernest Borgnine is on typically imposing and bull-dog like form as the oppositional police detective, with a sense of authority that he feels threatened by Scott. A bruised sense of optimism comes courtesy of the delightful Red Buttons, who somehow tries to make the best of this dire situations with his sympathetic care. Stella Stevens has a lot of brassy and brash behaviour on show, playing the former good time girl making her way in a new lifestyle. Shelley Winters nicely plays the older Belle, whose gutsy gumption, sense of humour in crisis and selfless personality are balanced beautifully. The part requires Winters to show off considerable endurance, especially during the famous swimming rescue scene, a challenge the veteran actress rises to admirably as well as emotionally. Jack Albertson plays classily off Winters as her husband; there’s a simplicity and quiet certainty shared between them that is very special and sensitively handled. Roddy McDowall lends his talents to the proceedings well, while young Eric Shea is clearly having fun as the little boy whose interest in ships comes to be invaluable in the situations everyone is caught up in. The only two flaws in the cast are Pamela Sue Martin and Carol Lynley, who both come off as irritatingly whiny in the long run. There is a good cameo from Leslie Nielsen as the ill-fated captain of the vessel.

Thrilling and exciting, and not forgetting huge in terms of sheer spectacle, The Poseidon Adventure is the go to movie for an exhilarating example of a disaster flick that helped kick-start the boom in the genre.

Party of Five Season 3

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

We return to the dramas of the Salinger family in Party of Five Season 3 . With more strife and issues at play than ever before, Season 3 is probably the best season so far, due to the astonishing maturity and how it isn’t afraid to grapple with weighty and dark subject matter. Be aware, spoilers may follow in this review.

Bailey(Scott Wolf) has graduated high school and is heading to college nearby. The thing is he’s feeling lousy and worthless as his best friend Will is leaving for a better college. Also present are the latent feelings of being inadequate over opportunities he’s had to sacrifice, like using his money to pay for tuition to save the restaurant at the end of Season 2 and having to settle for a college closer to home. He moves into a dorm and meets free-spirited Callie(Alexondra Lee), who he impulsively sleeps with and deals with his own shortcomings. After dutiful girlfriend Sarah(Jennifer Love Hewitt) learns of this and saddened by is increasingly erratic behaviour, she breaks up with him. All of this spills into a dependence on alcohol that amounts to dangerous levels. Charlie(Matthew Fox) and Kirsten(Paula Devicq) are finally making another go of things and it looks pretty rosy for once. That is halted when it is revealed that Kirsten has manic depression which started after the botched wedding several months back. It comes to the surface when her dissertation reveals that she copied work from somewhere else, resulting in her losing her prized job and PhD that she worked hard for. She starts to slip worryingly into the wraps of depression and out of control as an unprepared Charlie flounders. Eventually, Kirsten’s parents arrive and after a tug of war with Charlie, she is taken away psychiatric help. This leaves Charlie deeply saddened and lost, though he finds some companionship in a social worker called Grace. Still it’s Kirsten that Charlie wants most of all. Julia’s(Neve Campbell) love life and future are in doubt, with Griffin(Jeremy London) bailing again(before returning late in the game with a more positive and driven attitude). With high school soon to be over, Julia reconsiders going to college and living up to the label of always by the bookish one in favour of something different. The only thing is she doesn’t know what to do, after being so well so for so long academically. Claudia(Lacey Chabert) begins to feel left out of things and as the family is at loggerheads, she tries to bring them back together( for the sake of youngest brother Owen who as a toddler needs looking after) even though it shouldn’t be her responsibility. All of these events combine and threaten to tear the once close family completely apart.

As I’ve covered in the past when discussing Party of Five, it is a show that works on the emotions well. Yet it doesn’t feel contrived or overly manipulative because of the clarity of writing and content. Season 3 is no exception, albeit that is traverses darker territory than before. The Kirsten depression story line is honest and heart wrenching to watch as she slips into darkness and is eventually taken away for help, which devastates Charlie. It’s sad because Charlie wants to deal with it himself but is clearly out of his depth, despite the fact that he wants to help. If you don’t shed tears when Kirsten is taken away for treatment, you clearly need to examine yourself.

And big praise should be extended to the dealing with of Bailey’s drinking arc; which gradually begins to unravel, as opposed to all at once. The fact that time is taken to establish the slope that Bailey goes down through one drink here and a knock that influences a binge there, is exemplary and believable in how it tackles the insidious effects of alcoholism. A massive wallop and clout comes through in Season 3, with Bailey’s story the most dramatically and challenging one. Take for example ‘The Intervention’, which for my money is the standout episode of not just this season, but so far the show. the family, along with Sarah and Grace, confront Bailey and attempt to make him realise his destructiveness and drink problem. A real gut punch is present as everything comes spilling out with the strained family trying to save one of their own, but who may be beyond the point of rescuing. Things don’t go as you think they might in this heartbreaking episode that feels like a stage play, through the enclosed setting that scarcely leaves the house and the sheer intensity of the piece. Trust me, this episode will emotionally exhaust you with how deeply it pierces and how it doesn’t take the easy way out. And what follows as Bailey endangers Sarah makes for equally soulful and shattering viewing.

All in all, Season 3 darkest and most mature season so far. It starts slightly slow and some of the sub plots don’t quite add much at first, but gets into the groove of things quickly and with a sensitivity that’s been its chief asset. it still retains some of the earnest humour it has always had, but Season 3 is by far the most emotionally and bleak series so far and all the better for that. By the far the biggest theme that permeates from Season 3 is change. Whether it be Bailey’s spiral to Charlie’s growing backbone and Claudia’s reluctant maturity, transformation and challenging growth are the name of the game. Heck, even slacker Griffin returns and adopts a more positive and hopeful attitude than his usual

Scott Wolf delivers his most impressive performance so far as Bailey, who goes from the fun yet mainly responsible sibling to pathetic and angry drunk in devastating fashion. He honestly conveys the descent and feeling of being worthless that Bailey feels, as he’s always been the one to help but never really thought of himself. The boiling frustration reaches a maximum when his drinking spins out of control and Wolf’s tragic and heartbreaking performance only adds to the dramatic intensity. Matthew Fox turns in a sympathetic portrayal if Charlie, who is finally getting to be responsible after so long being anything but. Fox finds a genuine care in Charlie, that despite his stubbornness and less than ideal sense of support in the past, is still very apparent as he fights to keep the family in one piece. Neve Campbell hits the effective beats of capricious and mixed up emotions excellently, showing Julia as wanting to change and feel some form of release. After being the studious sibling for a long, she wants to let her hair down and live in the moment. Lacey Chabert as Claudia grows up quicker and assume some control, albeit of the reluctant kind that any young kid shouldn’t have to deal with. It’s something that weighs heavy on Claudia and Lacey Chabert is heartbreaking and strikingly precocious in how she presents the unwanted responsibility that Claudia must take on to preserve her family. And damn if she isn’t emotionally convincing when the drama hits. Appearing largely in the first half of the season and making a big emotional impact is Paula Devicq playing the depressed Kirsten. Trust me when I say she inhabits that crippling impact of the condition with moving clarity and pain, that it doesn’t even feel like she’s acting sometimes. Genuine decency and a capacity for forgiveness can be difficult to portray without becoming parody, but Jennifer Love Hewitt beautifully finds a convincing way to do it as supportive Sarah. Even though Bailey hurts her, she still wants to help him as she knows there is good underneath his drunken state. Alexondra Lee successfully appears as the free-living Callie, who isn’t as uninhibited as she makes out and grows weary of Bailey’s drinking. Jeremy London finally gets to be a bit more than scowling and handsome, finding a desire within Griffin to finally make something of life and not just be a lay about.

A dark and dramatic third season, Party of Five is at the top of its game with powerful acting and genuine heft. This allows it to be the best season so far.

What are Your Favourites Movies Set in a Warm Climate?

Tags

With the weather where I am roasting, I decided to ask about movies set in hot and humid times and places. Warmth and sunshine can be used for any number of genres for many reasons. It can signify romances, anger and even a bit of summer fun. So which movies set in heated places and times stand out to you? Believe me, there are a lot to take notice of.

Why Movies are So Important to Me

Tags

Movies are something I can’t imagine living without. They are so ingrained in me that they are almost lifeblood. OK, so that may be a bit of hyperbole, but still movies are special to me and always will be. This post is a very personal one for me to write because of how significant cinema is to me.

I can’t tell you when it was, but moving images have fascinated me for so long. There is a sort of magic to film that is difficult to articulate. It’s an immersive experience that can’t be rivaled and one that never gets old. Since I knew of cinema, my heart was pierced by its arrow into what is a fully fledged love.

There are many people I have to thank for their cinematic input in my life.

The first are my parents. My dad’s taste usually revolves around crime thrillers and true gangster movies( which was eye-opening as a kid when I’d sneakily catch moments I was too young for.) My mum has probably the most varied taste; she’s the only person I know who adores quaint period pieces and then in the next breath often brutal and psychological horror. I mean, it was my mother who introduced me to the Alien movies. These disparate tastes with both of my folks continues to impress and guide me in my cinematic adventures, even if their picks are varied to say the least. Id rather have my parents have unusual taste in movies than not, and if it weren’t for them, some of my love for cinema might not have formulated into what it is now. My younger brother too deserves a shout out for his science fiction and fantasy based preferences which had me knowing most of the dialogue from Star Wars and Jurassic Park as a kid.

Then there is my late Grandpa, who opened my eyes to the possibilities of cinema. He taught me the valuable lesson that newer movies aren’t always the best, and often the older a film is, the more excellent and influential it can be. He introduced me to many classics, he was a big lover of the sweeping Hollywood epic and old horror movies. I owe him a lot and though he is no longer with us, his influence on me is still potent. He was a truly amazing Grandpa.

Now onto my college teacher Mr. Albert. As a student of film, he had a vast knowledge of it and what he gave me was even more love for the cinematic arts than ever. He always got me to broaden my horizons and search out underrated movies, while teaching me the importance of behind the scenes work. His motto was looking outside the box is the key.

And finally, all of you wonderful bloggers out there continue to influence my movie watching. I couldn’t have asked for better people to follow me and make such cool recommendations on movies. Your support is a beautiful thing.

A so concludes my love letter to cinema.

 

Posts You Should Check Out Part 6

Tags

It has been ages since my last one of these, but I’m back to spread the love once more.

The fantastic Steven wrote a sterling review of Wonder Woman that has me stoked for the movie.

Meg began a very spooky and atmospheric tale entitled The Neighbor, which will give you chills.

I hope to do more of these posts now that I’m back in the groove of things

Matilda

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Film Title

Matilda

Director

Danny DeVito

Starring

  • Mara Wilson as Matilda Wormwood
  • Danny DeVito as Harry Wormwood
  • Rhea Perlman as Zinnia Wormwood
  • Embeth Davidtz as Miss Honey
  • Pam Ferris as Miss Trunchbull

A glorious fantasy of a young girl discovering her talent for turning the tables on the unfair grown-ups in life, Matilda gets the right amount of dark humour and inspiring fun of kids taking control that Roald Dahl had in his book. This review will most likely be biased as I adored this movie growing up, but that’s why it’s perfect to review.

Matilda Wormwood somewhat stands out from her unappreciative and neglectful parents. Being a very bright girl with knowledge far beyond her tender six years, she craves learning and understanding. Unfortunately, she is cursed by a family of barbarians who don’t care about her; crooked father Harry, shallow mother Zinnia and utterly bratty brother Michael. They are addicted to television and their own selfishness to not notice the precocious daughter they have, leaving her to find company in books and knowledge from around the age of two. Out of anything, Matilda definitely wants to go to school. Yet upon finally attending school, she realises the unfairness of those older doesn’t just end at home. The principal Miss Trunchbull, is a monstrous bully who brutally keeps children in check with force, abuse and terror. Thankfully for bright Matilda, she meets the inspiring and lovely teacher Miss Honey, who understands her and treats her fairly unlike every other adult Matilda has encountered thus far. With Miss Honey in her corner and becoming something of a surrogate mother, Matilda blossoms. Yet Miss Trunchbull is having none of her spirited nature and takes it upon herself to especially humiliate Matilda. But lately, the wise and precocious girl has discovered that she possesses certain supernatural abilities that come into practice when she’s belittled or challenged by nasty adults. Soon, she finds a way to harness these powers to turn the tables on Trunchbull and her parents once and for all.

Danny DeVito utilities a sprightly and darkly mesmerising touch to the film, having a wide range of unusual angles place us in the position of children. Everything is rendered intimidating and strange by DeVito, which ties in with the story as it reaches magic levels of Matilda finally standing up for herself. this fun for kids to see a young person growing and getting her own back on those that have mistreated her and equally as entertaining for grown-ups to observe the gleefully dark and not sugar-coated content, which is faithful to the spirited imagination of Roald Dahl. While it deals with the feeling from children that adults don’t understand or respect them, Matilda fantastically exaggerates this(in keeping with the twisted fable from Dahl) which is satisfying and fits into a story of self-worth and having the power to manage some control and decision. I mean who wouldn’t want to get revenge on a bullying headmistress whose hobbies include throwing children over the garden fence for wearing pigtails, forcing them to gorge on an impossible cake or locking them in a nail filled cupboard known as The Chokey?. It’s the very oddball essence of Matilda that makes it such a good film; it often goes in different directions than you’d think for a film aimed at children and is very mature in passages. Matilda has humour, some frightening moments(make that all that involve the harridan of Trunchbull) and heart, best envisaged by the sparky and gifted protagonist whose powers lead to amusing and revenge filled mischief of the best kind. As I previously referenced, I had a big love if this movie as a kid. Visiting it as someone older, it still retained the kooky charm which I fondly remembered. A spirited score is just the ticket for the madcap content of Matilda, with unpredictable rhythms and puckish movements.

Mara Wilson is sublime as the special title character, whose vast intellect and power cause her to emerge as a likable lead and mature presence. Despite her tentative years, Wilson beautifully gets across Matilda’s love of learning, the wanting for someone understand her and her helpful and plucky personality that comes into play in nice fashion. I really can’t think of another person except Mara Wilson playing the role of Matilda so well and with such spirit. Danny DeVito also stars as Matilda’s low life father, with oily charm and rat like sneakiness. Complimenting him is his real life wife Rhea Perlman who is fabulously trashy as the bingo obsessed mother. Embeth Davidtz successfully makes Miss Honey a beacon of hope, yet never slips into overly saintly, due to a feeling of buried strength and having experienced the hardships of life. Yet the best performance in Matilda is the one given by Pam Ferris as the nasty Trunchbull. Ferris sinks her teeth into the part and brings it to furious and villainous life; making for a terrifying antagonist that everyone would fear if they were in her presence. There is a gleeful horror to Miss Trunchbull that Ferris plays to perfectly, ensuring that you really hate this woman and hope she gets some form of poetic justice at the hands of Matilda and her growing magical powers.

A fun and enjoyable not afraid to be dark and unusual, Matilda is a magical movie about how we can all be special and find a power within ourselves in life.

Which Movies Would You Highly Suggest I Watch?

Tags

,

The main reason after my love of movies for this blog has to be the consistent support of all of those who follow me. You’ve all played your part in making me believe in myself and my ability. So as I respect the opinions you all have, I wanted to ask you a question. And that question is what movies would you recommend highly to me? Which movies must I simply watch as they are truly something special? As I’m always open to expanding my horizons, I look forward to your suggestions on the celluloid that simply must be watched. And once more, thanks for every ounce of care and helpfulness you have provided to my site.

An Announcement For You All

Tags

I wanted to inform everyone that due to the nice weather and prior plans, from Tuesday to Monday, my blogging may be limited. If I can get on my blog, I will. I just have other things to do that I’ve had planned for a while, primarily with family and friends. Never fear, I will return and will continue to review, especially Party of Five which I’ve fallen behind on. Hope everyone understands this. Thanks for being so cool and I promise to return for all of you.