Donna's Cool Movies

Donna's Cool Movies

Movie and Book Reviews ... Scroll down for more ....

Aug 28, 2004

Acting The First Six Lessons - Book Review 

Book Review - Acting: The First Six Lessons. (Theatre Arts Book) by R. Boleslavsky, Richard Boleslavski

Great Book for the Acting Student

I recently took a scene study class, and the teacher used this book as our reading material for the course. This is a great book to get if you want to find out what it takes to be a serious actor. The book teaches the basic foundations of acting, for example Concentration and Characterization and more.

It is told in a story type format with the Teacher meeting "The Creature" and her aunt and other people in her life. The characters in the book talk about the fundementals of what it takes to act. Because it is told in this format, the ideas in the book are very easy to follow.

I did find that the Teacher refering to his student as "The Creature" was somewhat demeaning. But then you have to consider how long ago this book was written and the time period it was written in. This was probably typical of the period. Even though the actual book was written so long ago, it is a classic for the acting student. And the techniques and methods the Teacher speaks about are things even modern day actors must learn.

If you are interested in the Craft of Acting, this is definately a book you should read.

Richard Boleslavski - on Ebay
Richard Boleslavsky - on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/28/2004 11:27:00 AM

We Don't Live Here Anymore - Movie Review 

Movie Review We Don't Live Here Anymore

Serious Drama about Married Life

We Don't Live Here Anymore is a serious drama about 2 married couples who are friends. They each end up cheating on the other.
Its an interesting story about what happens when marriage gets rough and people look outside their marriage for the answers.

The acting performances are wonderful in this movie. Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, and Naomi Watts are all outstanding.
Also, the direction is great. Just the way the scenes are filmed adds so much to the movie.

The film is very serious and intense, and deals with the topic in a very adult manner.

Mark Ruffalo- on Ebay
Laura Dern - on Ebay
Naomi Watts - on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/28/2004 11:26:00 AM

Aug 25, 2004

The Manchurian Candidate - Dramatic and Powerful 

Movie Review - The Manchurian Candidate

Dramatic and Powerful

he Manchurian Candidate had me on the edge of my seat through out the entire movie. During one of the scenes I actually jumped and my candy fell on the floor. That how intense the movie was.

Just watching the scenes where the military are brainwashing the soldiers - is so frightening and scary. When I left the movie, I was saying to myself "Now that was scary". Just the Sci-fi elements added to the brainwashing techniques were amazing.

Meryl Streep gives an outstanding performance as the over-bearing political mother who will do anything to get her son elected to office. But I think at Oscar time Liev Schreiber will be on everyone's list. He certainley does an excellant job portraying the brainwashed political candidate. Denzel is also great as the military man who is the one that figures out the truth of what is going on.

One of the best and most suspenseful movies of the Summer.

Denzel Washington - on Ebay

Meryl Streep - on Ebay

Liev Schreiber - on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/25/2004 09:45:00 PM

The Village - Scary and Different 

Movie Review - The Village

Scary and Different

I think alot of people thought The Village was going to be a horror movie with scary monsters. The trailers are somewhat misleading. I don't want to give the story away, but it really is more of a psycological thriller with twists and turns that have to deal with the villagers in the movie.

I found it very interesting and very depressing at the same time. But the twist at the end did catch me by surprise, I couldn't tell it was coming.
So once I got over the fact that this wasn't your typical horror movie.. I could sit back and enjoy the plot twists.

Joaquin Phoenix - on Ebay

Adrien Brody - on Ebay

William Hurt - on Ebay

Sigourney Weaver - on Ebay

M. Night Shyamalan - on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/25/2004 09:38:00 PM

Conversations in the Wings by Roy Harris  

Book Review - Conversations in the Wings by Roy Harris

Interesting Interviews with Actors

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was great to hear the Actors tell their stories about acting in plays and film. The book is done in a Q&A conversational format. My favorite interviews with Stockard Channing, Charles Durning, Victor Garber, Madeline Kahn and Cynthia Nixon. It was very informative to hear about their experiences.

Stockard Channing - on Ebay

Charles Durning - on Ebay

Madeline Kahn - on Ebay

Cynthia Nixon- on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/25/2004 09:36:00 PM

Movie Review - Little Black Book 

Movie Review - Little Black Book

Really Cute Movie ! I loved it !

Brittany Murphy plays a young women beginning her career in television. She works with Holly Hunter at the tv studio. While coming up with ideas for the talk show they work for, one of the ideas are Boyfriends Little Black Books. Brittany's character then proceeds to investigate her boyfriend.

This really is a fun movie. Brittany Murphy is great in her role as the young career women just starting out. Holly Hunter is great as the ruthless employee willing to do anything no matter how unethical to get the story. And Kathy Bates is perfect in her role as the tv talk show host.

All in all, a really fun movie. Perfect for date night, or a matinee with friends. I really enjoyed it.

Brittany Murphy - Ebay
Holly Hunter - Ebay
Kathy Bates - Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/25/2004 01:46:00 PM

Movie Review - I, Robot 

Movie Review - I, Robot

Will Smith Does It Again

I Robot is a very entertaining Science Fiction movie. The special effects are great, especially the car chase scenes. I loved the scenes where the Robot starts showing his emotion and how human he is becoming. The movie really keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Will Smith is the perfect Sci-Fi Movie star. He is such an entertaining actor, and is great in this movie.

Will Smith - on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/25/2004 01:45:00 PM

Aug 24, 2004

The Notebook - Romantic and Touching 

The Notebook Double-Sided Poster

Movie Review - The Notebook

Wonderful, Romantic and Touching

This has to be the most emotionally beautiful movie of the year.
James Garner and Gena Rowlands are outstanding as the romatic leads in their elderly years dealing with the wife's senile dementia. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are perfect playing the romantic couple in their younger years, as they first meet and are torn apart.
I went through nearly an entire travel-sized package of tissues during this movie. I just cried and cried. It is wonderfully romantic and touching. Just the story of Garner's character dealing with his wife's illness is moving enough. But then add in the story of their life together, and it is brilliant.
Everything in this movie is high quality - the acting, direction and script. I would give it ten stars if the rating here went that high. A definate "must see".

Nicholas Sparks - Collectibles on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/24/2004 01:44:00 PM

Pennies from Heaven - Great Steve Martin Flick 

Movie & DVD Review - Pennies From Heaven DVD - Steve Martin

Good Steve Martin Movie

I really enjoyed Steve Martin's "Pennies From Heaven". It is a sad story line. But the songs and dance numbers keep the film moving. Steve Martin is great as the traveling salesman who is having a hard time getting his life together.
Bernadette Peters is fantastic as a women he meets and seduces. It was interesting seeing the choices her character makes. And I think Bernadette Peters did a good job here as an actress.
Also, outstanding was Christopher Walken's performance. Its amazing watching him dance.
The film is very interesting. And it is interesting watching Steven Martin perform in this dramatic role.

Steve Martin - Ebay

Christopher Walken- Ebay

Bernadette Peters- Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/24/2004 01:43:00 PM

The Mailroom - Interesting Stories 

Book Review - The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up (New Millennium Audio) by David Rensin, Dan Cashman

Wild Amazing Real Stories of working for the Agents

I listened to the book on tape of The Mailrooom. Different mailroom employees from different Hollywood & New York Agencies give their stories of what it was like to work in the Mailroom and learn to be an Agent. The book starts with some of the older Agents who began way back when Agencies were first formed. Interesting stories about the stars of the 1950s all the way up to present times.
I really liked the stories of the pranks some of the mailroom employees would play on eachother. And some of the horror stories when they made mistakes on the job are really amazing.
The Mailroom is an interesting and amusing book about the inner workings of the Entertainment Business. The stories of how the mailroom employees make it to the top to become Agents are a real lesson in how the industry works.

Hollywood Memorabilia on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/24/2004 01:41:00 PM

Kate Remembered - Wonderful Biography 

Book Review - Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg

Great Stories About A Great Star

Kate Remembered is not a traditional biography. It is told from the author's point of view about his friendship with the aging star. I personally found Scott Berg's unconventional format very refreshing. So many times I have read a biography only to find them filled with dates and boring details. I enjoyed the way Scott Berg brought Hepburn's biography to life. It was interesting to hear his first hand account of how he watched the last phases of Kate's life unfold, as she told him stories of her early life. Instead of reading just another cold biography, we were treated to glipses of Hepburn as a real person, with a real friend who was able to tell her story.
If you love to read biographies, this is one of the best ones out there. A great story about one of our greatest stars.
Katherine Hepburn - Memorabilia on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/24/2004 01:39:00 PM

Spiderman - Best Movie of the Summer 

Spiderman - Spiderman - Part 2, Wall Edge  ( Poster )

Movie Review - Spiderman

Best Movie of the Summer

Spiderman 2 is the best movie this summer.The special effects are amazing. Tobey Maguire is fantastic as Spiderman. Kirsten Dunst is great as his romantic interest. The director really shows you how great Spiderman is, but when he goes back to being Peter Parker his whole life becomes a mess.
In addition to the special effects and romance in the movie, there are also may comedic scenes. Very funny scenes showing you how helpless Peter is. The comedy that is inter-woven into Spiderman makes the movie even more enjoyable.

See it for the Special Effects, the Romance, the Comedy - or all three... its a great summer movie !
DVD Released November 30, 2004

Spiderman - Collectibles on Ebay
Tobey McGuire - Ebay
Kirsten Dunst - Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8/24/2004 01:38:00 PM


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