Ida (2014)

Film Title

Ida

Director

Pawel Pawlikowski

Cast

Agata Kulesza
Agata Trzebuchowska
Dawid Ogrodnik
Jerzy Trela
Adam Szyszkowski

I thought that I had already watched the two best movies of the year in Birdman and Boyhood, but after watching this beautiful and haunting film, Iím not so sure. Ida was set in the drab and joyless country of Poland, around 1962, at the height of the Cold War. Ida was a young woman […]

The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)

Film Title

The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992

Director

Brian Henson

Cast

Michael Cain as Scrooge
Kermit as Bob Cratchit
Ms. Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit
Gonzo as Charles Dickens
Statler & Waldorf as The Marleys

Anyone who has been reading Ruthless Reviews faithfully knows that I have already reviewed a half-dozen versions of this Christmas classic. The Muppets animation hybrid is the most underwhelming of the lot of remakes of the Dickens novel that I have reviewed. The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992) takes a slightly different approach to the Carol, […]

Santa Claus (1959)

Film Title

Santa Claus (1959)

Synopsis

Santa from outer space does battle with Satan while children toil as slaves in Santa’s sweatshop.

Director

Some Mexican Hombre

Cast

Hundreds and hundreds of forced labor kids.

  To wind up the Christmas reviews of 2014, I have Santa Claus (1959) as I must review something that is truly horrible, even more horrible than the Christmas season itself, which is well upon us. I probably don’t even have to watch this horror show to review it, in fact, I don’t even have […]

A Christmas Carol (1951)

Film Title

A Christmas Carol (1951)

Synopsis

Ebenezer Scrooge is a money lender who does not celebrate Christmas. Scrooge reflects on his life and behavior, experiences redemption, emerges a believer in Christmas and a generous and changed man. 



Cast

Alastair Sim
Kathleen Harrison
Mervyn Johns
Hermione Baddeley
Michael Hordern
George Cole

A Christmas Carol (1951) There are over a dozen renditions of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, or Scrooge, and I have reviewed several of them here at Ruthless. There is one omission, A Christmas Carol (1951)and this particular edition may very well be the best of the best, when all things are considered. At […]

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

Film Title

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Director

Chuck Jones & Ben Washum

Cast

Boris Karloff
Thurl Ravenscroft

The original How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a charming little short animation that was written by Dr. Seuss and narrated by the late great Boris Karloff. The absolutely fabulous Grinch Song is not sung by Boris Karloff, but actually credited to Thurl Ravenscroft of Tony the Tiger Frosted Flakes, (theyíre GREAT!!) fame. You cannot […]

A Charlie Brown Christmas Special (1965)

Film Title

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Synopsis

Charlie Brown kills the Baby Jesus

Director

Bill Melendez

Cast

Voices of people who are probably now dead

A Charlie Brown Christmas Special (1965) Virtually everyone is familiar with the comic strip Peanuts created by the late Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000), as well as the ancient animated Christmas TV special. The main character is Charlie Brown, who lives in a bizarro world, where the landscape is bleak and snow-packed during the winter season. […]

Sexy Beast

Film Title

Sexy Beast

Synopsis

Don Logan pays a visit to a retired professional criminal.

Director

Jonathan Glazer

Cast

Ben Kingsley
Ray Winstone
Ian McShane
Amanda Redman

  “I am just going to have to turn this opportunity down.” “No, you’re just gonna have to turn this opportunity yes!” sociopath (noun) A person who is completely unable or unwilling to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. Don Logan The movie begins innocuously enough, with retired gangster and safe cracker […]

Birdman -or- The unexpected virtue of ignorance

Film Title

Birdman



Cast

Michael Keaton
Emma Stone
Edward Norton
Naomi Watts
Zach Galifianakis
Amy Ryan
Lindsay Duncan

Birdman -or- The unexpected virtue of ignorance Have your bladder empty and your popcorn handy before you plop your butt in your theater seat for this one. You also will need to buckle up, as you are immediately thrust inside the labyrinth of a dark theater where the ride is relentless. Don’t plan on relaxing […]

THE ABCs OF OBESITY IN AMERICA

More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Also, not surprisingly, the medical cost of this obesity is staggering, as much as 147 Billion dollars a year. I recently visited the magnificent Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and was surprised to see that the Aquarium contained hundreds and hundreds of whales. Unfortunately, […]

The Drop

Film Title

The Drop

Synopsis

A dive bar in Brooklyn is a drop for money laundering for the Mob. †A rescued puppy complicates things.

Director

Michael R. Roskam

Cast

Tom Hardy
Noomi Rapace
James Gandolfini
Matthias Schoenaerts
John Ortiz
Michael Aronov


The Drop†is a tight and intriguing movie starring the late, great James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy. It is not surprising that it is one†of the best movies of 2014. †The movie is based on a short story about an animal rescue, but it’s essence was really about the sparsely-revealed forces that drive Bob, the quiet […]