Danny Deckchair (2003) ****

When Danny ( an Australian cement truck driver ) goes through some relationship problems and is bored home alone, he has the idea to tie several helium balloons to a chair and see if he can fly. His impulsive act takes him into the sky and changes everybody’s life. This romantic comedy is a sweet feel good movie that’s worth a look. We thoroughly enjoyed it and give it 4 stars. Danny Deckchair – 2003 – English – PG13 [ Netflix – Walmart ] PS: I don’t recommend watching the online trailer, as it is like a 1 minute synopsis of the entire movie (duh!).

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In America [****] 2003

In America, one of last year’s best, is Jim Sheridan’s mostly true tale of immigrating from Ireland to New York in the 1980s. A family mourning the loss of their youngest child, comes to America for a new start in the hopelessness of Hell’s Kitchen. Through their eyes and the eyes of their two daughters we see the miracle of the land of opportunity. Don’t miss this movie. In America – 2003 – English – PG13 [ Netflix – Walmart ] Nominated for 3 Academy Awards

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Calendar girls [****] 2003

We laughed, we cried, it warmed our hearts, this tale of Yorkshire ladies baring it all for charity. What started as a fundraising effort in a small community in Northern England, mushroomed into a major motion picture that earned the organization nearly a million dollars for cancer research. A real “feel good” flick. Calendar Girls – 2003 – English – PG13 [ Netflix – Walmart ] Bonus includes footage of the real life calendar girl stars

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Monsieur Ibrahim [****] 2004

A teenage Jewish boy, abandoned by his mother, grows up in 1960s Paris in an apartment with his emotionally unavailable father. He has to raise himself and learns that love isn’t bound by religion, genetics or morals. It’s about being wanted and having someone in your life to care about. The neighborhood “Arab” grocer teaches him to see the world with different eyes and both are the better for it. A story that warmed our hearts and worth a look. Cast: Omar SharifMonsieur Ibrahim – 2004 – French – R [ Netflix – Walmart ] Nominee 2004 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film And Others

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The Last Days [****]

The Last Days, produced by Steven Spielberg, is a documentary in which 5 Jewish holocaust survivors tell of their tragic experiences during WWII. It is part of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation ‘s aim to interview as many survivors as possible and educate the world. Some of the images are quite graphic, but I think this documentary is a must see for every adult, so that history can’t be rewritten. The Last Days – 1998 – English – Not Rated – [ Netflix – Walmart ] 1998 Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary

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Touching the Void [*****] 2004

It’s human nature to underestimate the danger we face in our day to day lives and how fragile our hold on life is, until it’s challenged. We had never heard of the saga of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, who in 1985 aspired to be the first to reach the summit of this “ridge of some difficulty“, the 21,000 ft Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Little did they know how deep they would have to go to survive. Touching the void is a powerful and emotional documentary. This movie is a solid recommendation. It was so good we bought the book. Touching the Void – 2004 – English – R [ Netflix – Walmart ]Joe Simpson’s Homepage

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Zus & Zo [***] 2002

When their gay brother announces his wedding and the sale of the family hotel in Portugal he’s about to inherit; his three sisters are determined to stop that from happening. Will they work out the issues between them and how far will they go? Zus & Zo – which could be translated as “this & that”, “such & so” or “sisters & such” – is a romantic comedy & drama about, marriage, relationships, love and sexuality. Flemish/Dutch being my native language, I certainly had an advantage to catch all it’s details. At times it can be a little hard to follow. We give it a 3+. Zus & Zo – Foreign – Dutch (Eng sub.) – Not Rated [ Netflix ] Best Foreign Film Academy Award Nominee

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House Of Sand And Fog [****] 2003

A depressed single woman’s house is foreclosed by mistake and sold at auction to an immigrant family. Neither are aware of how their lives are about to change as the story unravels to it’s final conclusion. A very good movie: 4+ The twists and turns will keep you guessing beyond the final moment. Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley … directed by Vadim PerelmanHouse Of Sand And Fog – Drama – Widescreen – English – R [ Netflix – Walmart ]

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The Cuckoo [*****] 2002

One of our favorite movies. Circumstances bring a Cuckoo (Finnish sniper), a Russian soldier and a Lappi girl together in rural Finland near the end of World War II. The cuckoo is a very charming movie about three people with different languages, backgrounds, cultures and agendas. Highly recommended. Starring: Anni-Christina Juuso, Ville Haapasalo … directed by Aleksandr RogozhkinThe Cuckoo – World – Russian, Suomi – Subtitles – PG13 [ Netflix – Walmart ]

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Behind The Sun [****] 2002

Brazil 1910. Two families continue a feud over a piece of dry land between their farms. Generations carry over the circle of violence. Now it’s Tonio’s turn to vengeance his brother’s death. Will he live? Will the family survive? Behind the Sun – 2001 – Portuguese – PG13 – [ Netflix – Walmart ] Golden Globe Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film A very compelling film about loyalty, honor, love and desire to break the circle of families locked in circles like oxen on a mill wheel.

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