Questionably odd documentary on the isolated cousins of late president John F. Kennedy. These ladies, mother Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and daughter Edith Ewing Beale, lived in an isolated home along the East Hampton, New York coastline (I actually thought it was along the coast in either North or South Caroline for some reason). There is infested with bugs, rodents, and cats, and do they care? No! Essentially, their nuts! There is no other way to describe these ladies, who seem to be engaged in a real love/hate relationship and treat everyone around very peculiarly. Disturbingly, it's like the relationship between my mother and my grandmother, although they are not that isolated or psychotic. I can sadly relate in a way. Brrrrrr...Mother Ewing died two years after the documentary was released, while daughter Ewing passed away in 2002. Both lived into their eighties despite this less than appealing life style.
Marlon Brando plays a soldier named Ace, who has originated from the southern USA that has been reassigned to working in Japan. One of his colleagues Kelly (Red Buttons) falls in love and weds a Japanese woman (Miyoshi Umeki), although this not to the liking of his superiors. Additionally, Ace's woman (Patricia Owens) from America comes and joins him, although he starts losing interest in her and begins to fall in love with another lady, a Japanese actress (Miiko Taka). Honestly speaking, when I saw that director Joshua Logan was the same director of the 1956 film "Picnic," I became concerned that this drama would be unspectacular, and sure enough it was. It has not aged well, it is not that interesting, and therefore, it does not work on today's standards. Brando's consistent southern accent is quite annoying and not effective, like previously in the 1951 hit "A Streetcar Named Desire." James Garner adds nothing to this movie. I was ready to say "Sayonara" after 25 minutes watching this overly long picture. What a big disappointment, considering it took home two supporting acting awards (Buttons and Umeki, the Kelly couple and they are not bad at all).
Feeble Chinese movie about a woman named Zhou Yu (Li Gong) who falls in love with a teacher (Tony Leung Kar-Fai) because of his insignificant poems (at least I thought they were). They become obsessed with one another and chase each other with the use of trains (trains are huge in China as indicated in the 2009 documentary "Last Train Home" which I recommend over this). However, the teacher is in love with another woman. I seriously love trains and watch them all the time here in Canada (also across the border in the United States), but I really don't like inefficiency, and pretty much, that is what this movie is. It's not interesting, dramatic, significant, and actors just don't look like they care. The only compensating value is the scenery and I suppose the constant site of trains which are used inefficiently throughout, but this movie does very little to interest the viewer.
Wonderful movie in which an army deserter Frafuso (Giancarlo Giannini) gets lost with another army deserter (Piero de Orio) and tells how became to such a state. Frafuso was disgusted with his sister (Elena Fiore) who becomes a stripper and states to her that she had essentially dishonoured his family. However, she upgrades in terms if dishonouring the family when she becomes a prostitute for her man (Mario Conti). Frafuso loathes this ideas and murders her man in the process, leading him to prosecution for murder and imprisonment, under a grossly, unpleasant looking drill sergeant (Shirley Stoller). This eventually puts him into the army and brings him to his state of desertion with the other man. It's a very compelling movie, in the way that it is told (going between present times and past times) and the thorough character study on Frafuso. It is pretty oppressive to women though and at times pretty ugly, but also, at times, surprisingly funny. Actor Fernando Rey does not a have substantial part, because the only I recall seeing him was near the end of the movie as a "nut" and as usual, he is good. Another fine film from Italy!
Very interesting story of man named Daniel Ellsberg, who uncovers what many consider too much information about the Vietnam War. While working for the Research and Development Corporation (RAND) in the US government, he discovers an extensively long document citing that the Congress had lied and misled the public about their role in Southeast Asia. When it was discovered that Ellsberg had found and exploited them for their poor conduct in Vietnam, they went a search to capture and prosecute him for his alleged betrayal of the government. I had already figured that the Vietnam War, under Lyndon B. Johnson or Richard Nixon or JFK, had been quite corrupt from the beginning, but this documentary essentially secures any hope for validity of the U.S. actions. Interestingly, he was also associated with Robert McNamara, who was the Secretary of Defense during the conflict and made his own superb documentary six years earlier. It's just sad, but highly well made.