Simple Reviews by Kim

Quick and simple reviews about anything from the newsest episode of a TV show to the classic movie no one ever watches anymore. Anything I encounter and view I will write a small review about and share it with you here.

Last night I went to my first ever film festival. I will be honest when I say I didn't know what to expect because I've heard from so many people different stories about festivals such as Sundance and South by Southwest but I didn't know what this festival would be like. I was really impressed. Granted this was the first night and there is much more to see and do but I loved it. Film makers and lovers alike all joining together to share the things they are passionate about. It was my heaven.

That Evening Sun was the first movie of the festival and I was so excited to see it. Back in August I had a chance meeting with Tony Reynolds who was an Associate Producer and had a role in the movie. He had told me about the movie back then but I didn't know when I would be able to see it. Thanks to Cucalorus that happened last night. For those who haven't heard of the movie That Evening Sun is based off of the short story "I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down" by William Gay, who thanks to SoGoPro has become one of my favorite authors. The movie follows the journey of an 80 year old man named Abner Meecham as he leaves the nursing home he was placed in and returns to his home and farm land. Upon his return home learns that his son has rented the farm and house with the intention to sell it to a tenant farmer Lonzo Choat who on the surface is nothing more than a drunk abuser who will never get his life together enough to run the farm.

The battle that follows between Abner and Lonzo is intense and sometimes humorous with the trading of one liners that could have poured out of my grandfathers mouth. Abners only friendships come from his neighbor Thurl Chessor, Lonzo's daughter Pamela Choat and a faithful companion Nibbler. The characters in this movie popped of the screen with such an authenticity that I felt like I new all of these characters and they were hanging around my family tree and in my memories from home.

Hal Holbrook, Ray McKinnon, Mia Wasikowska, Carrie Preston, Dixie Carter, Barry Corbin, Barlow Jacobs, and Tony Reynolds all did an amazing job in this movie. I'm really shocked that the movie hasn't been picked up for distribution yet but I'm sure it is just a matter of time.

Seeing this movie only made me more excited to see the rest of the movies I have tickets for this weekend and to see Provinces of Night, William Gays novel that was made into a movie starring such greats as Kris Kristofferson, Val Kilmer, Hillary Duff, Dwight Yoakam, Hilaire Burton and Barry Corbin. If it is anything like That Evening Sun I'm sure it will blow my mind away.

Walking into the theater tonight I had no idea what to expect from Calvin Marshall. I expected the typical sports movie about the underdog who overcomes everything to win the big game and get the girl. In a way part of that is true but the typical sports movie it is not. Calvin Marshall could actually be about anything that a person is passionate about.

This humerus and poignant movie follows underdog Calvin (Alex Frost) as he takes his living and breathing passion for baseball and tries out for his junior college baseball team. Dedicated he is but skilled he is not. He forces Coach Little (Steve Zahn) into a sticky situation of allowing him to be on the team with his lack of skills. Coach Little is a former minor league player who spends most of his time at the local bar and bringing women back to the baseball field. He is still dealing with his own feelings of losing his dream when he is forced to make Calvin do the same. Calvin's passion for sports travels off of the field as well with his broadcasting of sports for the school which leads him to the women's volleyball team and Tori Jensen (Michelle Lombardo) the love of his life. Tori is the star of the team whose skills on the court are effortless and what Calvin dreams of for himself. Tori turned down countless scholarship offers to much bigger schools to stay closer to her family while Calvin is barely a member of the baseball team.

Alex Frost plays Calvin as nerdy and geeky as I've ever seen a baseball player. He has his awkward moments and I felt like at any point he could have joined the A/V club and fit right in but he had the swagger of a baseball player. Steve Zahn gave a career performance in this movie. Coach Little is a complex character who on the surface is a failed, alcoholic baseball wash up but has so much more going on underneath the surface. Zahn brings a humor to the character while maintaining a seriousness never before seen by him.  Michelle Lombardo is the complete package for the role of Tori. The obvious athleticism is matched by the sensitivity and caring she shows for Calvin and her sick mother. Jeremy Sumpter as Caselli is the dumb jock who has all of the skill and none of the brains provides a few laughs including a very funny physical comedy scene. Jane Adams and Andrew Wilson provide laughs and guidance for Calvin as his aunt and "uncle." Diedrich Bader as Fred Deerfield is the classic underachiever and oblivious city league softball player and little league coach has a way of making even the smallest accomplishment seem huge. Abraham Benrubi as Coach Dewey is the backbone of the baseball team and the only one ready to stand up and kick Marshall off the team.

Calvin Marshall is about facing the dilemma of changing your life when you realize you can not reach your dreams. It is a must see for any movie fan let alone baseball fan because it is the story not usually told.

This post is not as much of a review as it is a throwback. After several references by friends and families I have spent a good majority of the evening watching clips of opening sequences of classic TV shows that I grew up watching. I found several that I remember well and wish I had on DVD or would rerun on any network and some that I had forgotten about. They don't make TV like that anymore and I truly wish they did.

These are just a few that I loved then and still do. Do some research of your own remember your childhood.

It's official One Tree Hill is back for season 7 on the CW. The little show that could has made it to an amazing 7th season and I couldn't be happier for everyone involved. Now anyone who has watched the show or kept up with any of the blogs you know that two of the original cast members did not return this season and it was a lose that will be felt by all of the long time viewers. But in my humble opinion the lose of these two talented actors will not make or break the show. After viewing the first episode I am again in awe of the ability of Mark Schwan to take something that would have forced other shows off the air and making it into a whole new product for us to experience.

Yes Lucas and Peyton are gone. This is not the first time a major character has left a show that was still on the air. It's not the first time a character has left One Tree Hill. There is still so much else that can be explored and experienced with the remaining cast and I think that this first episode just barely broke the surface on what is to come. They are gone, everyone else is not and if you were truly a fan you would support that and if you have never seen the show it is the perfect time to start watching because it is like a new show with a viewable back story.

Season 7 opens on a Tree Hill 14 months into the future from where we left them. Dan is still alive, Haley is recording in the studio, Nathan is still playing basketball, and Brooke and Julian are still happy in love. As the episode unfolds we are introduced to Clay, Nathan's sports agent and Quinn, Haley's sister. The gang all gathers at the Scott's for Jamie's 7th birthday party. Brooke is sad because Julian is off in New Zealand for an 8 moth movie shoot. Haley is surprised by the arrival of Quinn, who has a very sweet and funny moment with Jamie. Mouth asks Skills to move out of the apartment, Millicent is running Clothes over Bros in New York, and Nathan is trying his hand at acting for a TV commercial. Life has changed in Tree Hill and is about to get even more interesting.

I will admit that I am going into this season a little more aware of certain things and an odd awareness for things I would have never paid attention to before. Not to mention a little bit of prior knowledge of some story lines from spending time extraing. So the opening of this season was met with mixed emotions. I was thoroughly surprised by the episode and generally enjoyed all of it. The opening with Everly's Quicksand was amazing and the story lines have progressed but keeping a classic One Tree Hill feel to them. I really enjoyed the scene with Millicent at the Clothes Over Bros office that was reminiscent of season 5's opening scene with Brooke. The interactions with Mouth and Skills had me laughing out loud, Brooke threw in a "That's what she said" joke, and Jamie was as always cute as could be.

Mark and the crew have yet again pushed ahead into another should be wonderful season of a show that I have loved for 7 years now. It's a move forward that will be met with criticism, skepticism, and some not so nice words. But as an artist, a writer, and a person who has always wanted to share stories like they are sharing I applaud them on taking a show that we know and love and for the second time in it's history pushing forward, reinventing the wheel and daring others to do the same with their shows. No other show has survived going from high school to college so they jumped college all together. No other show has survived a change of networks, time slot changes and had so many things stacked against it only to be one of the biggest social community shows out there today. One Tree Hill will be on the air for at least a 7th season and I plan on tuning in to every episode. Will you?

I'm introducing a new ranking system. Instead of stars I'll be ranking with $. It'll be on a scale of 5, obviously where 5 is excellent and 1 is poor.


Tonight thanks to modern technology, a newly renewed subscription to Netflix and their instant feature I had the pleasure of watching "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" tonight. Released in 1975 this Martin Scorsese directed film is a classic. This film won Ellen Burstyn an Oscar for obvious reasons because her performance was exceptional from beginning to end. This movie was the basis for the long running TV show Alice.

Alice is an unhappily married mother stuck in New Mexico. Equipped with a smart mouth and a need to please her husband. He's an emotionally absent short tempered man. Don dies in a car accident on the job delivering Coca-Cola. She decides to take her 11 year old son Tommy on the road back to Monetery, CA to return to being a singer. They stop first in Phoenix, AZ where she finds work as a singer in a bar and meets Ben. Ben seems like the perfect guy until she meets Rita his wife who he abuses. After a run in with Ben, Alice and Tommy flee the area and head to Tuscon, AZ. In Tuscon she leaves her life as a singer to be a waitress at Mel's Diner. This is where she meets David, a local farmer who makes her think different about where her life is headed.

This all-star cast had me hooked the whole way through. I can't resist a young Kris Kristofferson and his performance was as good as his looks are. Diane Ladd, Valerie Curtin, and Vic Tayback are some of the best diner employees I have seen on a screen. The mouth on Flo is something to be recconded with, Mel is the cook/owner I would definitely work for if I was around back then, and Vera is the most lovable person in the room. A young Jodie Foster as Audrey is excellent opposite Alfred Lutter's Tommy, who I would have slapped if he were my son and talked to me the way he does. Harvey Keitel's Ben is sweet and scary all rolled up in one. His intensity is unmatched by most modern actors, the only one close to his performance is Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. 

I loved this movie. I have never seen the TV show Alice but I now want to check it out and see what that version has to offer. There's no Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson or Diane Ladd but I'm sure that Linda Lavin, Polly Holliday do an wonderful job. 

Martin Scorsese's directing had some qualities that I really liked, the long sweeping shots in to a scene, the way he framed the scenes for intensity and the way he used what technology he had to make a film that still resinates visually today.

The music was also an element that I enjoyed. The scene when they first leave New Mexico and are in the car has a musical backing that I would still love to have for a driving scene today. Dolly Parton's original "I Will Always Love You" is the best version in my eyes and it was a nice surprise to hear it here. 

I highly recommend this movie to everyone. It's a classic on any standard.

Welcome to my brand new blog. I have been watching a lot of TV shows and movies lately to get ideas and to take notes about, not to mention it's season premiere time again I love watching where shows take their new seasons. I have thought about writing reviews for my own personal enjoyment and to record my thoughts and feelings about the things I see so I can go back and use them later. So here they are. This blog will be reviews of anything I see, TV shows, movies, music videos, online vids, webisodes, etc. Anything that I watch that interests me or anyone else who suggests them. I have even set up a brand new e-mail account for this reviewing hobby If you have any comments about a review I post or would like to suggest something for me to check out and review just drop me a line there and I'll be more than happy to help out. All that being said on with my first reviews.

I just finished watching the season premiere episode of Vampire Diaries a day late. I'm a little behind on my season premieres this year. In fact I saw 90210, Melrose Place and Vampire Diaries today. But I'm blogging Vampire Diaries. I was generally impressed with the episode as a whole but there were feelings I couldn't shake while watching it.

1) It felt like they were trying too hard to be like Twilight/True Blood without being like Twilight/True Blood. That probably doesn't make any sense but here is why, they music I swear could have been in Twilight, the photography was similar in many instances to both of them, they had a girl who can see the future where True Blood has a girl who can hear peoples thoughts and we all know about the Twilight super powers. I was a show about Vampires trying to take ideas that had already been placed in our heads by other sources and reslam them with a different set of story lines. Now I'm not knocking it because I know that when something works you should stick with it but I went into the show hoping for something with a new edge or angle like I saw with True Blood.

2) I know that the mist and the crow were part of Damon's whole thing but really were they entirely necessary. They just seemed forced and like they were trying really hard to build the suspense when there were so many other things they could be using.

3) I was impressed overall with the show and I will be watching episodes in the future but I'm not sold on the stories or the content yet. I don't know but I feel I can tell in the first 15 minutes of a show if I'm gonna like it and nothing grabbed me in the beginning. With every show that I have seriously followed I have been immediately drawn in when I first started watching. Maybe the next episode or some time soon I'll get that feeling but it was lacking as I watched this episode.

Ok now that I have shared my thoughts on Vampire Diaries moving on to the season premiere of 90210. Yet again I was generally pleased with the episode and maybe I missed too many episodes at the end of last season but I was totally lost by the story lines. I swear I watched the season finale and knew what the cliffhangers were but I don't remember when Silver joined the group again. That whole friendship just threw me off in the beginning. From then on I was just back tracking in my head and not paying attention to what was on the screen. I did like the new title sequence they have this year and the updated theme music. I am reinvested in the season and can't wait to see where they take some of these story lines especially where they take the new guy because I'm not so sure if I like him yet.

One last quick review. Loved Melrose Place. I have only seen a few of the original show episodes but I loved the characters and the mystery they built in the first episode. Very Desperate Housewives in the death within the first 10 minutes.

More reviews of new episodes to come.