At the Movies with Don & Joyce Fowler

Posted 1/5/22



LICORICE PIZZA* * * ½(Coming of Age Movie)

While I didn’t see any licorice pizza in this quirky coming of age movie, set in California’s …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

At the Movies with Don & Joyce Fowler




* * * ½
(Coming of Age Movie)

While I didn’t see any licorice pizza in this quirky coming of age movie, set in California’s San Fernando Valley in 1973, there were plenty of water beds and pinball machines.

The wandering story centers on 15 year-old Gary, a part time actor and struggling entrepreneur who dabbles in public relations, starts a waterbed company and opens a pinball parlor while holding an up and down platonic relationship with 25 year old Alana.

The story meanders from one vignette to another, as the two struggle with their relationship, becoming involved in a number of schemes that involve unscrupulous people and awkward situations.

The movie is over two hours long, but never seems to have a central theme or even know where it is going before its abrupt ending.

The Avon audience seemed to enjoy the antics of Gary, who is quite the hustler, getting in and out of situations, sometimes with the help of Alana and a bunch of young kids who always seem to be tagging along.

While not a big fan of the genre, I did find this one different enough to hold my attention and enjoy a few laughs. Joyce sat this one out.



* * * ½
(Comedy crime, drama)

This Swedish limited series will hold your interest with its comedic take on a person who tries to rob a bank, is chased by two inept local cops, and takes seven people hostage in an apartment.

The episodes are all under a half hour so it is easy to binge watch.

There are a few twists in the story which reveals secrets about the hostages through a series of flashbacks which all add to the fun of trying to find out who the masked hostage-taker is.

The father and son cops become personally involved with the hostages after they are released, but get little or wrong information from them’

Why were they all at the open house for the apartment rental?

What is their connection to each other?

Was one of them actually the bandit?

Nothing heavy here, just a lot of fun trying to figure everyone out and enjoying the characters.

* * *
(Dark, psychological Drama)

Olivia Coleman gives an impressive performance as Leda, a middle-aged divorcee with two grown daughters who takes a beach holiday for some reflection time.

Her privacy is invaded by an irritating large family whom she inadvertently becomes involved with and by the hotel caretaker (An aging Ed Harris) who interrupts her desire to be left alone.

The family includes an out-of-control young girl who reminds Leda of her younger days and her difficulties in raising two young girls. Much of this is shown in flashbacks.

Coleman is terrific as Leda, a woman with many regrets, struggling with her past and having difficulties dealing  with her present. Her behavior is erratic, and she does something that isn’t very nice, but you still care for her and sympathize with her.

Maggie Gyllenhaal has taken the story from a novel that deals differently with an ending that is very ambiguous.

I am not a fan of endings that leave you hanging, so I was disappointed.

Three Ocean-related Documentaries

We have already praised “My Octopus Friend”, a charming doc about a scuba diver who befriends an octopus and follows him through many adventures.

“Puff, Wonders of the Reef” the latest documentary is a must for younger children and their parents.

Scuba divers with great up-close cameras follow a puffer fish from the environs of the Great Barrier Reef as it grows from a tiny fish, traveling outside the reef and returning. The documentary focuses on marine life that is too small for most of us to see, but modern cameras make it possible to enjoy this other world.

“Chasing Coral” is a documentary about climate change and what it is doing to our coral reefs and ocean ecosystem.

The movie is very disturbing, showing the death of the oceans and their creatures, but leaving you with hope that education of our young people can change all that.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here