Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

hard-target-2

Hard Target (1993) was one of the more critically well-received Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. It is directed by the great talent out of Hong Kong, John Woo.

Also featured is Wilford Brimley sporting an absurd accent.

I consider this a solid action film, especially if you are in the mood to see one.

If you are in the mood for something more high brow, I suggest an old classic an one of my all-time favorites: Double Indemnity (1944). 

via imdb.com:

A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

straight-time-Dustin-Hoffman-Wallpaper

Straight Time (1978) stars Dustin Hoffman as a career criminal. Seeing a younger Hoffman in one of his grittier roles makes it worthwhile, on top of how well the story flows in this crime/drama.

It is also worth a viewing since it is directed by the highly underrated Ulu Grosbard.

via imdb.com:

After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules. He soon finds himself back in jail at the hands of a power-hungry parole officer. When he is released again, he assaults the parole officer, steals his car, and returns to a life of crime.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

teresa wright & dana andrews - the best years of our lives 1946

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) is an excellent film portraying the lives of three World War II veterans who return home to find out their lives and people around them have become incredibly different.

Compared to Vietnam and the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts, WWII is widely seen as the “good war.” Regardless of your take on that, this film is unique in how it shows the fallout and post-traumatic stress seen even from that war.

In addition, the film is worth seeing due to the lead Fredric March’s performance as the memorable Al Stephenson.

This one swept up at the Oscars back in 1946, back when they meant something more.

Watch it.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

James Gandolfini in The Drop

The Drop (2014) is the late-James Gandolfini’s final film.

At times, he does remind us of Tony Soprano, with his trademark facial expressions and hand gestures. But clearly his character here, as “Cousin Marv,” is a much different type of criminal, ultimately a sheep compared to the lion that Tony was. Still, Gandolfini’s talent shines through, with his ability to steal scene after scene in full display.

I saw it earlier today, and highly recommend that you see it. Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, John Ortiz, and Matthias Schoenaerts also turn in memorable performances in this gritty drama with excellent character development.

via imdb

Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

calvary

I saw Calvary (2014) in a theater last weekend.

The independent Irish film has basically the same cast and crew as The Guard (2011), one of my favorite films of the past five years.

The great Brendan Gleeson leads the charge again, this time as a well-meaning priest caught up in a drama-filled small village by the sea.

Overall, the film hits the right notes of weaving the serious parts of the storyline with Irish wit. I highly recommend it.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

MV5BMTYyNDkwODc0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDY2NTM5._V1_SX214_AL_

Avalon (1990) is another very good Barry Levinson-directed film set in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. This one hits the right notes in terms of blending a family-centered melodrama with some comedy and romance.

Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins, Armin Mueller-Stahl, a young Elijah Wood, and Kevin Pollack highlight the solid cast.

From imdb:

A Polish-Jewish family arrives in the US at the beginning of the century and they and their children try to build themselves a better future in the promised land.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

hard-target-2

Hard Target (1993) was one of the more critically well-received Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. It is directed by the great talent out of Hong Kong, John Woo.

Also featured is Wilford Brimley sporting an absurd accent.

I consider this a solid action film, especially if you are in the mood to see one.

If you are in the mood for something more high brow, I suggest an old classic an one of my all-time favorites: Double Indemnity (1944). 

via imdb.com:

A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

straight-time-Dustin-Hoffman-Wallpaper

Straight Time (1978) stars Dustin Hoffman as a career criminal. Seeing a younger Hoffman in one of his grittier roles makes it worthwhile, on top of how well the story flows in this crime/drama.

It is also worth a viewing since it is directed by the highly underrated Ulu Grosbard.

via imdb.com:

After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules. He soon finds himself back in jail at the hands of a power-hungry parole officer. When he is released again, he assaults the parole officer, steals his car, and returns to a life of crime.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

teresa wright & dana andrews - the best years of our lives 1946

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) is an excellent film portraying the lives of three World War II veterans who return home to find out their lives and people around them have become incredibly different.

Compared to Vietnam and the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts, WWII is widely seen as the “good war.” Regardless of your take on that, this film is unique in how it shows the fallout and post-traumatic stress seen even from that war.

In addition, the film is worth seeing due to the lead Fredric March’s performance as the memorable Al Stephenson.

This one swept up at the Oscars back in 1946, back when they meant something more.

Watch it.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

James Gandolfini in The Drop

The Drop (2014) is the late-James Gandolfini’s final film.

At times, he does remind us of Tony Soprano, with his trademark facial expressions and hand gestures. But clearly his character here, as “Cousin Marv,” is a much different type of criminal, ultimately a sheep compared to the lion that Tony was. Still, Gandolfini’s talent shines through, with his ability to steal scene after scene in full display.

I saw it earlier today, and highly recommend that you see it. Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, John Ortiz, and Matthias Schoenaerts also turn in memorable performances in this gritty drama with excellent character development.

via imdb

Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

calvary

I saw Calvary (2014) in a theater last weekend.

The independent Irish film has basically the same cast and crew as The Guard (2011), one of my favorite films of the past five years.

The great Brendan Gleeson leads the charge again, this time as a well-meaning priest caught up in a drama-filled small village by the sea.

Overall, the film hits the right notes of weaving the serious parts of the storyline with Irish wit. I highly recommend it.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

MV5BMTYyNDkwODc0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDY2NTM5._V1_SX214_AL_

Avalon (1990) is another very good Barry Levinson-directed film set in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. This one hits the right notes in terms of blending a family-centered melodrama with some comedy and romance.

Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins, Armin Mueller-Stahl, a young Elijah Wood, and Kevin Pollack highlight the solid cast.

From imdb:

A Polish-Jewish family arrives in the US at the beginning of the century and they and their children try to build themselves a better future in the promised land.

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