Gordon & Barbara in Paris

Gordon & Barbara in Paris
Here's Looking at YOU

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Unfinished SongDirected and written by Paul Andrew Williams/ Starring Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston/rated PG-13/ 93 min

Bifocal Review Written by Ageless1der Barbara Rich and The Other Guy

(B) I just felt like this film was a copycat combination of QUARTET and AMORE. It didn’t have the exuberant spirit of QUARTET, which I so admired, because of the impending death of one of the characters. AMORE’s depressing story of the declining health of an elderly couple mirrored the decline of a terminal patient (played by Redgrave) in this film. No need for a spoiler alert, here. Redgrave is terminal from scene one. I would like to have seen a little more humor, like those moments in QUARTET, but there just weren’t enough. In spite of these great performances, I came away disappointed. Although, I must admit the ending was quite emotional and provoked a teary response from many in the audience, including myself. It was fairly predicable, but not enough to ruin some of my favorite scenes, which come near the end. I won’t tell you what these are, because they might actually be spoilers.  I can’t give this one more than two binoculars. If you loved Amore and Quartet, and don’t want to watch them again, then wait for this one to come to video.

(OG) Touted as film by the same people who made QUARTET last year, this has similar themes and actors, but let’s face it…this is NO Quartet. First of all, one of the things I loved about Quartet was that nobody died. It was refreshing to have a movie about elderly people doing interesting things, falling in love and living life without resorting to the obvious and inevitable. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike this movie, but I did notice the similarities and for me, this was not a favorable marketing point. One of the important themes is that “there is never enough time.” That is not lost on me, but I don’t think you need to be old to get the message (or even send it). On the other hand, the acting was excellent, and I have to admit that I did get a little teary-eyed a few times in the places where (I’m assuming) the writer-director had intended for my tear ducts to be stimulated. Naturally, properly placed music with sappy lyrics always gets an emotional response from any human who has not had his frontal lobe removed. So far, mine is still in tact. I get this one two binoculars out of four.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Heat

THE HEAT--Directed by Paul Feig/ Starring Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demián Bichir, Michael McDonald/written by Katie Dippold/117 min/rated R

Bifocal Reviews written by Ageless1der, Barbara Rich & The Other Guy

(B) This movie is the female Odd Couple with guns. Ms. straight-laced, professional FBI agent (played by Sandra Bullock), and Ms. Boston mean-streets, toilet-mouth cop-savant (Melissa McCarthy), don’t start out on the right foot, but eventually (after many awkward and daring situations) learn to respect and like each other. Parts of this film were a little over the top for me. By that I mean, I enjoy funny, but I don’t like silly. The writer was right on with much of the clever dialog, but there were too many F-bombs. Still, I think it was overall very funny, but this film could very easily have had a wider audience if it were not for all the profanity. I give it two and a half binoculars.

(OG) As for the “wider audience” comment above, I have to add that I think it’s a shame that an opportunity to portray women in traditionally male roles, to a younger female audience was wasted here. For the sake of unnecessary language, catering to the lowest common denominator, this film has an R rating. That effectively cuts out the most impressionable (and largest) female-viewing audience. There isn’t really much blood—even though a few people are shot through the forehead, they don’t bleed much—and there is no nudity, so a PG-13 rating would have been easy, except for the cursing. On the “too much blood” issue, there is a funny tracheotomy scene, that has plenty of it, but I won’t ruin it for you by giving any details here. I know there are those who think that is how cops talk (admittedly, I have a few curse words in my last novel about cops) but Angie Dickenson, Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless and all of Charlie’s Angels managed to survive on primetime TV in essentially the same role without resorting to this cliché.  Other than that, I have no real complaints. This movie is not great, but not horrible. If you like Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock (and a bunch of other actors you’ve seen before), then you’ll live through this two hours laughing a few times and probably not falling asleep. I give it a very lean two binoculars.