September 7, 2013, - 9:20 pm

Wknd Box Office: Still Mine, The Grandmaster, The Lifeguard, Afternoon Delight

By Debbie Schlussel

I did not have time to finish my movie reviews before the start of the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah, so they are up later. Sorry for that. Among the new selections at movie theaters, this weekend, there’s one great choice, and the rest are a waste of time. I did not see “Riddick,” as the screening conflicted with Rosh HaShanah.

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* “Still Mine“: This is a fabulous movie, one of the best I’ve seen all year. James Cromwell–a far lefty actor–ironically plays a man fighting big government in this Canadian-government-funded movie based on a true story. And along with it, there is also a love story. Cromwell portrays Craig Morrison, an 80-something farmer in New Brunswick, whose wife, Irene (Genevieve Bujold), is beginning to experience dementia.






Morrison, a berry farmer, is down on his luck because of ever-encroaching regulations. His just-picked strawberry crop cannot be sold because the companies that buy them now insist that they be transported in the few-minutes drive from his field to market in an expensive refrigerated truck. The Morrisons’ two-story farmhouse does not have central heating, and with his wife’s illness, he seeks to build a smaller home for the two of them on his farmland.

Morrison cannot afford to pay someone else to build it, but he is skilled in building and begins building the home himself. Despite his old age, Morrison is exhilarated and energized with the task, despite the naysaying of his grown children. But, soon, the local zoning and planning authorities encroach on his plans, demanding that he spend lots of money on costly building “plans,” “stamped” wood and a myriad of unnecessary regulations. (Perhaps he should have chosen to build in Detroit, where nothing happens to you if you do not get required permits or build according to regulations.)

The movie shows us how this elderly man not only fights back against big government sticking its nose in his life but also his fight to keep his ailing wife at home where he knows his love will comfort her, rather than in a nursing home.

This movie is mostly playing in arthouse movie theaters. If you cannot catch it there, wait for it to come out on DVD or Netflix.

An uplifting movie, indeed.

FOUR REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Grandmaster [Yi Dai Zong Shi]“: As a fan of martial arts and martial arts movies, I found this incredibly disappointing. There was too much foo and not enough Kung Fu. Plus, it had an extremely ridiculous feminist theme to it. The movie, in Chinese with English subtitles, is supposed to be the story of Ip Man, the Kung Fu master who taught Bruce Lee. And, while some of the movie is that story, it is really a mishmash of stories about different martial arts masters in Chine from the early 20th Century through the 1950s.

And the movie shows us that a woman, who is the daughter of a famous Kung Fu master, is really better than all of them, but she is relegated to the sidelines because she’s a woman. Toward the end of the movie, she fights, beats, and kills a major martial arts master. That’s simply not believable, though the movie insists it is based on the true stories of these Kung Fu masters.

I found the movie to be way too long, very boring, and very thin on plot and story. Had I missed this, my life would not have been affected. I felt like I wasted 130 minutes and ten bucks on this (I did not attend the free critics’ screening). Don’t repeat my mistake.

ONE BETTY FRIEDAN
bettyfriedan

Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Lifeguard“: What an incredible waste of time! A sullen, aimless 29-year-old Associated Press reporter (Kristen Bell) is bored and unhappy with her life in New York, so she returns home to live with her parents and become a lifeguard, like she did as a teen in high school. While most of the rest of her high school friends have grown up, she hasn’t. And she embarks on a sexual relationship with an underaged high school teen male. Nothing happens to her, though. The end. And the point of this was . . . ? Other than transferring my ten bucks to the bank account of left-wing actress Kristen Bell, apparently nothing.

Skip this.

FOUR MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Afternoon Delight“: This movie was horrifying, disgusting, and incredibly anti-Semitic (from self-hating Jews). Homely actress Kathryn Hahn plays a Jewish yuppie housewife, who is unhappy with her and her husband’s sex life. So, they go to a strip club where they get lap dances from a young stripper. She then feels sorry for the stripper and invites the stripper–who admits she is a prostitute–to live at her house. She also accompanies the stripper to her, um, “appointments” with prostitution customers and is in the room while the prostitute has sex. The stripper has sex with one of Hahn’s friends’ husbands, and that is the last straw.

And they needed a movie about this . . . why? Apparently to make fun of religious Jews. The mother characters in the movie are Jews at a Jewish preschool, and they constantly make fun of one of the other mothers who is a religious Jew and keeps kosher. She is, of course, the nerdy, backward, uptight, ugly, weird-looking one. And they are so cool because they do not keep kosher, go to strip clubs, and have hookers living in their homes.

Ugh.

Would they make a movie like this about Muslims? Hell, no.

Skip at all cost.

FOUR MARXES PLUS FOUR OBAMAS PLUS FOUR BIN LADENS
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Watch the trailer . . .

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17 Responses

Apart from “Still Mine”, the other films seem to be pure garbage.

Worry01 on September 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

This is off-topic, but today is Tzom Gedaliya and I wish all the religious Jews, on this website, who are fasting, an easy one.

Miranda Rose Smith on September 8, 2013 at 3:01 am

Not surprised that ‘Still Mine’ is a Canadian movie, rather than something from Hollywood

Infidel on September 8, 2013 at 5:22 am

Dear Debby,
Love you movie reviews and the way you criticize them is very funny especially the little icons you leave at the end. Have a great holiday season.

Bonnie Loranger on September 8, 2013 at 10:12 am

Spot on Debbie, the Grandmaster was weeeeeak. Not enough fighting, special effects were garbage and fake and the movie felt like a boring love story. Ive seen the movies called “Ip Man” and I thought those movies were done better.

Big D on September 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

Great reviews, DS!

“Still Mine” sounds lovely AND I could tell as I read your review how it would be “art house”. As I have said for years I may hate the peeps who go to such fare but I do prefer the movies to Hollywood bilge. I wonder if James Cromwell questioned his Libtard ways while filming the movie? From DS’ review I could tell he really must have loved the script (even thou’ he’s a Lib…hypocrisy and Libs go together like PB&J…). I don’t follow many famous peeps on my Twitters but most are reliably Liberals. That’s the way it goes and it’s always disappointing.

I have no idea who Kathryn Hahn is but I wanna see from DS’ description. Have no idea what that film is suppose to be about other than reflecting the sad state of human behaviour in 2013. Strippers and whores are not so fascinating anymore since everyday skanks have stolen their lifestyles. Throw a rock and you’ll hit one. No thanks.

And that Kristen Bell movie further illustrates the sad reflection of people in 2013. She’s very unintentionally funny. A baby-mama to a dopey dork (in real life) who you can just look at and tell he’s not into marrying any of the skanks he shacks up with. She had to propose to HIM (even after all this time…their baby is prolly shaving by now…) after some silly gay “marriage” pronouncement. Very pathetic. Jesus will be here again before that fool gets married to a guy who just isn’t into commitment but puts babies in his bims. Thank goodness there are things to laugh at as the society rots. We gotta get something positive out of this mess.

Skunky on September 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I agree with DS on Kathyrn Hahn! I hope Richard Gere (who I never thought was “hot”…) and Sarah Jessica Parker never have a baby. For goodness sake, we already got Kathryn Hahn!!

But how did she ever get Babs Streisand’s schnozz? Hmmmmm….

Skunky on September 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

“While most of the rest of her high school friends have grown up, she hasn’t.” (DS about Kristen Bell’s character in The Lifeguard)

Funny . . . that seems to sum up most of the Hollywood leftists (that is, they have all indicators of never having grown up – i.e. Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, and down the list). And presumably Ms. Bell herself, given how left-wing she is.

ConcernedPatriot on September 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm

your critic on The GrandMaster suckS

lyanna on September 9, 2013 at 1:46 am

the average man could always beat the snot out of the average woman… or women who are above average in strength. kung fu masters or not, the same biological rule applies.

back in the day, i was a competitive tennis player; not a pro but played amatuer tennis tournaments and on men’s travel teams. i’m a naturally muscular guy and was considered a “big hitter” with devastating ground strokes and i typically hit two first serves, when my game was on. i was in peak physical condition for my entire tennis career. my point: there was a woman at one club who was a “teaching pro” who for some reason was quite vocal about MY tennis style of exploiting my natural size and musculature for a power game. i didn’t even know this broad, who was a skilled tennis player/teacher, but was some short, hobbit-like woman who always had a cigarette in her hand when she wasn’t down on the court. one day, after hitting a couple hours with a pal of mine, we were sitting courtside and this woman had been watching us. she decided to give me some free, unsolicited coaching tips, which were along the theme of, “you hit too hard”. i tried being polite and told her i hit too hard because i could. she was so furious (it was obvious at that point she was a man-hating misandrist) she challenged me to a pro set (an 8 game match). i accepted her challenge and after two games, where she didn’t have the quickness or stamina to get to most of my serves or ground strokes, she claimed she wasn’t feeling well and abruptly left the court, so winded it looked like she was going to vomit.

men are designed by the creator of the universe to be physically superior to women.

kirche on September 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

Afternoon delight is just another example of the degenerating society making deviant behavior normal and like the nike slogan says, “just do it”. Does anyone wonder why our divorce rate is so high? Not to mention the out of marriage birth rates. Yeah, lets enhance our lives and just screw around more with strangers. That’s solid advice, good thing they made a great great movie about how to improve ones life. Just sad how things have gotten. Thanks, holly weird, for your help.
At least one decent movie came out for a change with “Still Mine”.

samurai on September 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

Kristen Bell is a worthwhile attraction when she’s making an appearance on the late night Craig Ferguson show. She’s quite funny and appealing. But I find she’s only a competent actress and usually in B-grade films.

Andrew on September 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Re: The Grandmaster and the comment that Ip Man, or Yip Man, was Bruce Lee’s teacher, that appears to be an exaggeration and twist of facts.

Bruce Lee might have met Ip or Yip Man, for Bruce Lee does appear in a photograph standing aside and slightly behind a seated Yip Man, but it is doubtful that Bruce Lee, or Lee Siu Luhng (The Cantonese pronounciation which means Lee Little Dragon), who was actually a US Citizens, born the year of the Dragon in San Francisco, CA, USA, in 1940 while Bruce’s father, a professional actor in a travelling Chinese Opera company, was touring,

Bruce looked up to his personal hero, William Cheung, one of the Kwoon’s senior students. (Kwoon – the term for a Chinese Martial Arts studio, similar to the term “Dojo” for a Japanese Karate, Jiu Jitsu, and Judo studio, or Do Jang, the term for a Korean Martial Arts studio – Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Moo doo Kwan, etc.)

Historically, it appears, the senior students actually taught the classes, not the aged Ip, or Yip Man, the “Grandmaster” of Wing Chun Gung Fu (Gung was the term Bruce used, the Cantonese pronounciation, while others used the term “Kung Fu” for martial arts, like Siu Lum Pai, Five Animal System, Preying Mantis, and so forth). Bruce admired William Cheung. It seems that Bruce was motivated to become a better martial artist than William Cheung and this was an influence which pushed Bruce to train and research like a fanatic.

He worked on theories of attack, rhythm, angles of attack, weight distribution, center line theory, an influence of Wing Chung Gun Fu in which the body has a center line which is always protected. If a punch goes out, the other hand protects the center line, when the punch returns, it returns along the center line, and so forth, and so on.

Bruce experimented with nutrition, electrical impulse or electro-muscular stimulation before it was so popular that it became used more frequently in physical therapy sessions and chiropractors’ offices, exercise physiology, etc. It was not merely his martial arts skills and techniques that influenced the world of martial arts, and boxing, etc,. but his radical, fanatical training and nutrition pursuits which also affected training, etc.

Chuck Norris commented that he and Bruce Lee would occasionally spend time together training, exchanging ideas, and so forth. I remember back in the mid to late 1960s Bruce would comment that it makes no sense to kick above the waist, for it leaves one off balance and vulnerable. Other martial artists also think that lifting the leg above the opponent’s waist is dangerous, leaving one supported by only one leg, and vulnerable to being set off balance, and vulnerable to attack. Wing Chung Gung Fu teachers a set of kicks which are different from standard Japanese Karate, such as front snap kicks, side snap kicks, round house kicks, and hook kicks, and the kicking techniques of Korean striking martial arts, or “Tae Kyun,” employed in Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Hapkido, Moo Doo Kwan, and so forth, which includes round house, hook, front kick, spinning wheel kick, spinning round house kick, and a variety of leaping and leaping with spinning kick combinations.

In Wing Chun Gun Fu a practitioner might employ a trapping hand technique while blocking the opponent’s leg with a short side-kick type movement of the foot against the opponent’s forward lower leg, followed by a flurry of quick punches, executed with the elbows downward, rather than horizontal, and the fist with the thumb upward toward the ceiling or sky, rather than the thumb inward toward the center of the body, the back of the hand facinig upward, in a horizontal manner, as in karate, tang soo do, etc., and even as employed in the jab by many boxers.

This method enables the practioner to launch multiple punches in a very short time. A similar position of the hands is employed in Ishin Ryu martial art, with the thumb more upward, and perhaps a bit tilted inward at a slight diagonal. The practioner can fire more punches in less time, but one must be careful not to strike with the knucke of the small finger to the outside of the hand, as this is weak and can damage that part of the hand.

Nevertheless, Bruce pursued excellence, spurred on by various motivators, such as an experience with Wong Jack Man, a San Francisco area Kung Fu celebrity. One story claims that Wong Jack Man visited Lee’s San Francisco area Kwoon out of friendly respect and Lee became rude and a fight ensued, with Wong defeating Lee. The opposite story from Lee’s acquaintances, including his wife, claims that Wong was sent by the Chinese community who did not wish Lee to be teaching Low Quai, or Bak Quai, outsiders and white people, the “Secrets” of Chinese Martial Arts.

Bruce refused to cooperate and Wong attacked him, Bruce defended himself and, according to Lee’s side of the story, and that of his associates and his wife, Wong began to run from Lee’s attack. Lee claimed that he was beating his hands against the back of Wong Jack Man’s head, and that Lee was becoming more breathless as the fight continued.

According to Lee’s associates’ side of the story Lee won the fight. According to Lee he realized that his trainingi methods and his martial arts techniques were not efficient and effective enough, so he pursued even deeper, more intense methods and training techniques.

He did engage in phenomenal training methods, training even while standing, reading a book, watching television, whatever. He’d be throwing punches, kicks, and so on, stretching, performing push ups, finger tip push ups, index finger and thumb on one hand push ups, thumb only push ups, and so on. He had a training method in which he’s hold the bars overehead on the side of the weight bench which holds the bar bell in place, and lift all but his shoulders horizontally. That means his body from the back of his shoulders town to his toes, was horizontal, with only the back of his shoulders for support, as he held the position by gripping the bars supporting the bar bell. This takes tremendous conditioning and strength throughout the body. It is the reverse of “The Locust” position from Yoga, in which the underside of the chiln and upper chest and shoulders are on the floor and everything else is in the air, this position held for an extended period of time, while performing a pranayama, or breathing method. It requires great strength and gradual, extended practice to attain this position properly. Of course the beginner’s version is possible, but the advanced method clearly demonstrates a great deal of skill and strength, and is great for strength and contitioning, especially for the back and legs.

So, perhaps Bruce did spend a small amount of time with Ip or Yip Man, but it was the senior, advanced students, like Bruce’s “Big Brother” at the Kwoon, William Cheung, who taught Bruce Lee Wing Chun Gung Fu.

An antidotal story: It is said that Brue Lee would pull a stunt at the school. He would arrive early for class and stand at the entranceway to the Kwoon. As students arrived he would tell them that class was cancelled that day. This would allow Bruce to remain at the Kwoon as the only student, thus have all the attention of one on one instruction from the senior student-teacher.

William on September 12, 2013 at 5:40 am

I failed to complete the portion regarding Bruce Lee’s belief in keeping kicks below the waist for efficiency and safety. Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee did associate a few times and exchanged ideas and training techniques. Chuck explained to Bruce that, if there were an opening, even at a higher level on the opponent’s body, one should take advantage of it.

It does appear that Bruce adapaated, at least in movies, for he did perfect kicks, including inside and outside crescent kicks, round house, reverse or spinning wheel kicks, spinning side kicks, hook kicks, front kicks, shin kicks, and so forth.

Bruce’s Lung, or Hop-side kick, generated a great deal of velocity and power, and enabled him, and whoever perfects it, to move a greater distance in less time with more velocity and power than a standard side kick.

Bruce believed in placing his stronger striking hand foward, so he led with his right, rather than his left. He would watch movies on film of Mohammad Ali through a screen at home. He would place a mirror in the room and watch the film through the mirror, reversing Ali’s forward, left hand, to appear as his right hand through the mirror.

Bruce employed a version of the Ali Shuffle a bit in the movie “Return of the Dragon,” which featured US Karate champions Bob Wall and Chuck Norris, and Korean Hapkido Master Hwang In Shik. The movie was released overseas as “Way of the Dragon.”

Bruce Lee was reknowned for taking techniques he leared from accomplished martial artists, such as his friend, Fillipino Dan Insoanto, expert with nunchaku, kali, and escrima stick fighting, and other techniques, and perfecting them. Dan claimed that two weeks after Lee learned nunchaku technique from him, Lee performed it better than Dan himself.

We can see Lee perform excellent kail and escrima technique in the film Enter the Dragon, as well as an impressive Nunchaku display. Jackie Chan appeared in the movie twice, once as an attacker in the underground cave fight scene. He came up behinid Bruce Lee and grabbed Lee around the neck. Lee reversed the technique on him. In the nunchaku scene Chan was among the victims who got whacked by Lee, although I am not certain if that footage remained in the film.

Nevertheless, Lee was a talented, skilled athlete and martial artists who celebrity fighters, such as Sugar Ray Leonard and others, appreciated and borrowed from.

William on September 12, 2013 at 6:28 am

what I know is when I visited a temple in Foshan(considered a Mekkah to kungfu fervants) where there is a separate memorial hall of HuangFeiHong and Ipman in adjacent building , it has a picture of Bruce Lee practicing kungfu in WIngChun school of Ipman in Hkg….but I also know that BL apparently did not attend the funeral of IpMan, that has agitated WingChun school followers in Hkg.

lyanna on September 16, 2013 at 5:47 am

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