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List of "I" Movies
I Capture the Castle (2003) R drama
This literate British drama, taking place in the early 20th Century, is about an impoverished and eccentric family who lives in an old castle. The father is a successful novelist, but he's had writer's block for 12 years. One of the daughters is a thoughtful girl (and the film's narrorator) and the other is flirtaceous and aims to marry for money. This is an engaging film with thoughtful (though idealistic) thoughts about the nature of love. Starring: Romola Garai, Rose Byrne, Henry Thomas, Mark Blucas, Bill Nighy, Tara Fitzgerald, Sinead Cusack, Henry Cavill. Directed by: Tim Fywell.
I Care A Lot (2020) R thriller
A conwoman (Rosamund Pike) makes a good living convincing judges to release wealthy elderly people into her guardianship so that she can slowly suck them dry. Her latest target is Jennifer Peterson (Diane Wiest) who seems harmless. She has no apparent family or friends. But it turns out there's a ruthless ex-mob boss (Peter Dinklage) who calls her mother. This film starts with promise--it is a genuinely spooky experience watching a perfectly healthy elderly woman being whisked away into a prison-like nursing home against her will. But it unfortunately devolves into tedious action-adventure fare. Even worse, I found it impossible to root for anyone since none of its characters are, even in the slightest bit, moral. Starring: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza Gonzalez, Dianne Wiest, Chris Messina, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Macon Blair, Alicia Witt, Damian Young. Directed by: J Blakeson.
I Heart Huckabees (2004) R comedy
Apart from the few (but brilliant) moments of outright hilarity, the humor in this film is a little too distant for its own good. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining film that tracks the exploits of a confused young tree-hugger (Jason Schwartzman) and his attempt to figure out the meaning of life with the help of "existential detectives" Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin. It's crazy enough to be fun. Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Isabelle Huppert, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Watts, Angela Grillo, Ashley A. Fondrevay, Matthew Muzio, Julie Ann Johnson, Jerry Schumacher. Directed by: David O. Russell.
I, Robot (2004) PG-13 action
Will Smithís return to good popcorn fare, sees him facing a bunch of evil robots who are out to take over the world (but heís the only person who realizes this, of course). The script isnít very fascinating; it is the special effects, the action sequences and the charm of the lead that makes this fun to watch and even exciting. Isaac Asimov deserved much more than a popcorn movie, though. Starring: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Alan Tudyk, James Cromwell, Bruce Greenwood, Adrian Ricard, Chi McBride, Jerry Wasserman, Fiona Hogan. Directed by: Alex Proyas.
I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now? (1975) PG comedy
A farce so derelict that there's hardly anything worthwhile to be gleaned from it, including even so-bad-it's-good accolades. With that said, weirdly, the core premise of this is actually pretty hilarious. Too bad the scriptwriters had no idea what to do with it. A ne'er-do-well Jordan (Bob Dishy) is given the unfortunate news that his super-wealthy wife Clarice (Joanna Barnes) intends to divorce him. He also finds himself in hot water with his father-in-law for embezzling $250,000 from the company. However, he is allowed to pay it back. Realizing that not being able to repay the funds could mean prison time, he comes up with a scheme to murder his wife so that he can collect the $1 million insurance money from her death. He decides to hire out a hit man (pretty much the first person he sees not covered in cobwebs) and pays him $25,000 to do the deed. But then he realizes later that a murder renders the insurance policy invalid, so he tries to track down that hit man. Turns out he subcontracted the deed to another hit man for $20,000, who subcontracted someone else, et cetera, et cetera. As much as I enjoyed the idea, the acting is so dopey and certain details so puzzling that I was left scratching my head more than I was laughing. It's mainly seems to be the delivery that's off. For instance, a man at a Chinese restaurant who is dressed as a Mexican. Jordan asks why, and he replies because he is Mexican. Jordan also fakes being a master pianist by hiring a dwarf to play a toy piano behind a bush. Although I did chuckle at something Jordan's psychiatrist mused: That he supposed it was psychologically healthier to kill somebody else than it would be to kill yourself. Dishy is probably a fine comic actor, but here he comes off like Richard Simmons except far more up-tight. Starring: Bob Dishy, Joanna Barnes, Bill Dana, Severn Darden, Harvey Jason, Marjorie Bennett, Jay Robinson, Vito Scotti. Directed by: Steven Hillard Stern.
Ice Age (2002) PG comedy
This computer animated film might compare poorly with more sophisticated Pixar films that seem so effortlessly to incorporate satire and irony on top of truly delightful slapstick. But there are few other cartoon characters out there like Scrat -- a nonverbal little prehistoric squirrel that tries so earnestly but fails spectacularly to collect acorns -- that can tear through my adult-onset cynicism and make me laugh like a Preschooler. But he's only really a side character and has barely anything to do with the main plot driver of the film. Which is set, as you might surmise, in an ice age. The three central characters are a wooly mammoth, a ground sloth, and a saber-toothed tiger who find themselves on an unlikely quest to return a human infant to its tribe. Cartoons about mismatched creatures going on cross country adventures is hardly anything unique, but what I enjoy about this particular film, scene-for-scene, are these characters' big, contrasting personalities. The mammoth, named Manny, is sardonic but dependable (voiced perfectly by Ray Romano), the ground sloth goofy but with a heart of gold (voiced by Denis Leary, whose mouth always seems overflowing with saliva), and then there's the sly and untrustworthy tiger (voiced stoically by John Leguizmo). This is a nice film debut by the Blue Sky animation house. Like its rivals Pixar and Dreamworks, they're also proving to have a knack at making children's films that can also appeal to the parents. Voices of: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Viznjic, Jack Black, Tara Strong, Cedric the Entertainer, Stephen Root, Diedrich Bader, Alan Tudyk. Directed by: Carlos Saldanha.
The Ice Storm (1997) R drama
This is a so-so drama about depressed adult couples who are borderline irresponsible with their early-teen children (all of whom seem to be in the middle of a sexual awakening). It's a well-done film with a good cast and script. It's thought provoking though not nearly as profound as the filmmakers were going for. Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Toby Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Henry Czerny, Jamey Sheridan, Katie Holmes. Directed by: Ang Lee.
Igby Goes Down (2002) R drama
This Catcher in the Rye clone is pretty good as it follows the exploits of teenaged cynic Igby (played to perfection by Kieran Culkin). The movie is engaging and very well written if parts are too disturbing. I really dug the dialogue. Starring: Kieran Culkin, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, Claire Danes, Ryan Phillippe, Bill Pullman, Amanda Peet, Jared Harris, Rory Culkin, Kathleen Gati, Cassidy Ladden. Directed by: Burr Steers.
The Illusionist (2006) PG-13 drama
This is one of those films in which the cinematography and musical score greatly outshine the actors and script even though they're good in their own right. This is a hauntingly beautiful film about a poor 19th century magician (Ed Norton) who wins the heart of a wealthy aristocrat (Jessica Biel). Unfortunately, she's engaged to a rather evil prince (Rufus Sewell). When she turns up dead, apparently killed by the prince, the magician's act gets creepier and creepier... It's easy to prematurely figure out the twist ending, but this film is worth a look for the aesthetics. Starring: Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan. Directed by: Neil Burger.
I'm All Right, Jack (1959) NR comedy
This British satire is kind of funny, but the joke wears considerably thin after the first 30 minutes. A wealthy graduate (Ian Carmichael) wants to work for a living even though he doesn't have to. He lands a job operating a forklift, but he becomes target of the union leader (Peter Sellers) for being too efficient. The satire still has some bite though it has aged. Starring: Ian Carmichael, Peter Sellers, Terry-Thomas, Richard Attenborough, Dennis Price, Margaret Rutherford. Directed by: John Boulting.
I'm No Angel (1933) NR comedy
Mae West's naughty sass is legendary, and her script is full of so many chuckles that I hurt myself laughing--particularly during a courtroom scene where she acts as her own prosecutor and interviews several of the men she'd been flirty with. Which seems to be virtually every man she ever talks to. The storyline takes a backseat to the one-liners, but nominally this film is about a circus performer (West) who is a singer but forced to also take a job as a lion tamer so that she doesn't get implicated in an attempted murder case. Starring: Mae West, Cary Grant, Gregory Ratoff, Edward Arnold, Ralf Harolde, Kent Taylor, Gertrude Michael, Russell Hopton. Directed by: Wesley Ruggles.
Images (1972) R drama
This is one of Robert Altman's more overlooked films and it probably shouldn't be. It's an utterly spine-tingling film about a crazed woman (Susannah York) who has a difficult time telling what's real and what's just in her mind. The fact that it's difficult to know what's going on in the film and it still manages to me mesmerizing is an example of Altman's greatness as a director. Starring: Susannah York, Rene Auberjonis, Marcel Bozzuffi, Hugh Millais, Cathryn Harrison, John Morley. Directed by: Robert Altman.
Imposter (2002) PG-13 sci-fi
Gary Sinise stars as a weapons designer who is mistaken for a bomb-bearing robot on a mission to kill the chancellor. Spence actually escapes the grip of the authorities, led by Lt. Hathaway (Vincent D'Onofrio) and spends his time on the run trying to prove that he is, indeed, Spence Olham. He also befriends a poor man (Tony Shalhoub) and learns a thing or two about the different social classes. He tries desperately to arrange a meeting with his wife (Madeline Stowe). This picture, overall, seems to have an over-reliance on action, but it still manages to be tedious during most of the middle of the film. Nevertheless, the conclusion is actually very good indeed! Sinise turns in a rather lackluster performance, unfortunately, and DíOnofrio is just hideous. This is a movie only for science fiction devotees only. Don't go out of your way to see this. Starring: Gary Sinise, Madeleine Stowe, Vincent DíOnofrio, Tony Shalhoub, Mekhi Phifer, Tim Guinee, Lindsay Crouse, Elizabeth Pena. Directed by: Gary Fleder.
The Imposter (2012) R documentary
A documentary for the true-crime crowd. This tells the story of a French confidence trickster, Frederic Bourdin, who managed to convince a Texas family that he was their long-lost son. Even though their son had blond hair and blue eyes, and he has black hair and brown eyes. Not only that, but their son would have been a high-school aged teenager, and Bourdin was in his early '20s -- complete with the four o'clock shadow and everything. And yet there he was, going to high school, playing the part of this family's missing child. This film is standard as far as tone and style goes for a non-theatrical documentary. However, the documentarians did a thorough job interviewing nearly everyone involved -- the victims, government agents, and Bourdin himself (who's since recanted but still seems awfully smug about it). Really, a fascinating story that held my attention quite well and even left a few titillating, dangling threads to keep my mind churning about this afterwards. Directed by: Bart Layton.
Impromptu (1990) PG-13 comedy
This is a fantastic period film about the rocky romantic relationship between spirited author George Sand (Judy Davis) and frail composer Frederic Chopin (Hugh Grant). The jealous wife of Franz Lizst (Bernadette Peters) does all she can to keep the two apart. The story should please fans of literate films and the acting is excellent. Grant made a shockingly perfect Chopin. Starring: Judy Davis, Hugh Grant, Mandy Pantinkin, Bernadette Peters, Julian Sands, Emma Thompson, Ralph Brown, Georges Corraface, Anton Rodgers. Directed by: James Lapine.
In Cold Blood (1967) R drama
Holcomb is a small Kansas town where people don't lock their homes at night. It is an unlikely place for a brutal multiple homicide. The victims are the Clutters, a family of four. The murderer is Perry Smith (Robert Blake), an ex-con. His accomplice is Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson), the mastermind. They travel to this house where they think they'll find a large cache of money hidden in a wall safe. Turns out they have faulty information--tragic murders and no payout. This film is the mother of true crime cinema. Not only does it provide gruesome details of the murders and details of the investigation and manhunt without sensationalizing it, but it also dares to probe into the psychology of the murderer. And my inclination is this bold, hyper-realistic film hits the nail on the head. It gets into the murderer's troubled past, how he's been a victim is entire life, without discounting that his own inhuman acts are unforgivable. This film, and the book it's based on by Truman Capote, is oft criticized for taking a sympathetic stance towards the murderers. But I see that as a feature, not a bug: even the worst of the worst among us are fundamentally human. This is a gripping, powerful, thoughtful film with stark, black-and-white cinematography that captures the characters' complex, heart-wrenching emotions perfectly. The realism of this film even going so far as to be filmed at the actual house the events took place. Starring: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe, Paul Stewart, Gerald O'Loughlin, Jeff Corey, John Gallaudet, James Flavin, Charles McGraw. Directed by: Richard Brooks.
In Good Company (2004) PG-13 comedy/drama
This is a phenomenally excellent film from American Pie director Paul Weitz about a magazineís advertising head (Dennis Quaid) who is ousted from his position from a man half his age (Topher Grace). Not only is this new boss flakey and obnoxious, he hasnít a clue what heís doing. (Heís also a total emotional wreck.) Itís a wonderfully endearing film chock-full of multi-dimensional characters and genuine moments. This is something for the DVD shelf. Starring: Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johansson, Marg Halgenberger, David Paymer, Clark Gregg, Philip Baker Hall, Selma Blair, Frankie Faison. Directed by: Paul Weitz.
In Her Shoes (2005) PG-13 drama
This is an engaging drama starring Cameron Diaz as an utterly irresponsible woman who manages to piss off her sister (Toni Collette), and goes looking for her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) whom neither of them knew existed. Brilliant three-dimensional characters keep this film intriguing even though the 129 minute running length would seem a bit excessive. It's light, humorous and thoroughly enjoyable. Starring: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MaclIne, Mark Feuerstein, Jerry Adler, Brooke Smith, Richard Burgi, Ken Howard, Francine Beers, Normal Lloyd. Directed by: Curtis Hanson.
The In-Laws (1979) PG comedy
If the jokes in this amusing hit-or-miss comedy weren't primarily misses, we might have a comedy classic on our hands. It has a potentially funny plot about two future in-laws, Peter Falk an ex-CIA agent and Alan Arkin a mild-mannered dentist. Falk is on an assignment that he apparently created himself and he tricks skeptical Arkin into going to Central America with him. However, Arkin doesn't like this trip at all because people are shooting at him. Falk is good in his role, but Arkin is rather stale. Starring: Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Richard Libertini, Nancy Dussault, Penny Peyser, Arlene Golonka, Ed Begley Jr., Michael Lembeck, Carmine Caridi, Sammy Smith. Directed by: Arthur Hiller.
In the Army Now (1994) PG comedy
Pauly Shoreís energetic demeanor is the only true attraction to this comedy, which actually works more or less. When Shore is fired at his job, he joins the army hopefully to raise enough money to open an electronics store. Signing up for water purification specialization, Shore figures that he will never have to go to war. Unfortunately for him, war erupts in the Chad desert. Shore produces plenty of goofy but genuine chuckles in this slight but entertaining comedy. Starring: Pauley Shore, Andy Dick, Lori Petty, David Alan Grier, Esai Morales, Lynn Whitfield, Art La Fleur, Fabiana Udenio, Barry Nolan, Tom Villard. Directed by: Daniel Petrie, Jr.
In the Company of Men (1997) R drama
Excellent and sometimes shocking dialogue headlines this comedy about a pair of buddies (Aaron Eckhart and Matt Malloy) working for the same company who play a prank on a hearing-impaired coworker (Stacy Edwards) by dating her, winning her affection, and then maliciously dumping her. Unfortunately for them, this plan wasnít executed without them getting hurt as well. The C-list actors were a bit of a drawback, but this was nevertheless a very well done and moving film. Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy, Stacy Edwards, Mark Rector, Emily Cline, Jason Dixie. Directed by: Neil LaBute.
In the Line of Fire (1993) R thriller
An absolutely gripping thriller starring Clint Eastwood as an aged secret service agent, haunted by his past (having failed to thwart the plans John F. Kennedyís assassin). An angry man (John Malkovich) who is bent on assassinating the president, contacts him wanting to keep Eastwood involved, as if he were keeping a game of chess alive. This is a very entertaining film with good performances all around (even by actors who arenít always that good Ö such as John Malkovich and Dylan McDermott). Petersen is one of the finest directors around. Starring: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole, Fred Dalton Thompson, John Mahoney, Jim Curley, Sally Hughes, Clyde Kusatsu, Steve Hytner, Tobin Bell, Patrika Darbo. Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen.
In This Our Life (1942) NR drama
A perfectly serviceable drama adapted from a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Ellen Glasgow. Asa Timberlake (Frank Craven) is a businessman who had been elbowed out of his company by his crusty brother-in-law William (Charles Coburn). The separation was relatively non-acrimonious, at least as far as the rather weak-willed Asa is concerned. The real drama happens when Asa's daughter Stanley (Bette Davis) runs off with the husband of her sister, Roy (Olivia de Havilland), for a romantic fling. (That's right -- Asa gave his two daughters male names.) The family can hardly fathom such a scandal, but Stanley has a way of using her charms to get what she wants. But will that last forever? This film features an unusual subplot for the time by having a black character, Parry Clay (Ernest Anderson), gearing up to go to law school when his ambitions are halted after being falsely accused of a crime. The film contains some frank dialogue about how the justice system is starkly different for blacks than it is for whites. This is a movie that of course benefits from performances from two of the finest actresses of their day. The script is fine but not as crisp as I might have hoped. It's particularly rocky at the beginning, but it does pick up some nice steam midway. I wouldn't call this a must-see classic, but I'm sure classic film aficionados will find a lot to like.
Starring: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent, Dennis Morgan, Frank Craven, Billie Burke, Charles Coburn, Ernest Anderson, Hattie McDaniel. Directed by: John Huston.
The Incident at Loch Ness (2004) PG-13 comedy
This is a funny mockumentary about a film crew making a documentary about the mystique of the Loch Ness monster. The filmís producer (Zak Penn) manages to recruit legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog for the directorís chair, but creative differences leaves the pair constantly at each otherís throat. This smart film isnít for everybody, but Herzogís faithful shouldnít skip his surprisingly convincing attempt at mocking himself. Starring: Werner Herzog, Zak Penn, Kitana Baker, Gabriel Beristain, Russell Williams, David Davidson, Michael Karnow, Robert OíMeara, Steven Gardner, John Bailey, Jeff Goldblum, Lena Herzog, Crispin Glover, Ricky Jay. Directed by: Zak Penn.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) PG-13 comedy
The humor is on the dumb side of things, but I find the jokes land far more often than they don't. Steve Carrell is Burt Wonderstone, a corny Las Vegas magician suffering from a declining audience and an act that hasn't changed in 10 years. Blinded by his ego (even to an absurd extend), he doesn't see his own decline. His partner-in-magic is Anton (Steve Buscemi), the brains behind the operation, whose talent far exceed his ego. They recruit a new female assistant (Olivia Wilde) who has passion for magic and longs to express it. But they are all soon out of work thanks in part to a new trendy class of stunt magician, embodied here by Steve Gray (Jim Carrey). His stunts and tricks, oftentimes gruesomely hilarious. Many comedies like this are played only for goofy, unfocused laughs, but here I appreciate there is real thought put into the characters--beyond just tailor making them the cast. I find it genuinely heartwarming to see Wonderstone rediscover his passion for the art of magic-making. Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Jim Carrey, Jay Mohr, Michael Herbig, Zachary Gordon, Brad Garrett, Gillian Jacobs, David Copperfield. Directed by: Zak Penn.
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) NR sci-fi
The final scene of this film is quite unusual for Hollywood in the '50s--it's poetic and existential. But I won't discuss the ending beyond that. To know the title of this film is to know what it's about. A man and his wife are out sailing when they encounter a strange mist. Months later, he notices that his clothes are starting to fit him loose, and he isn't towering over his wife the way he used to. He knows there is something wrong, but everyone tells him it's nothing. But it just keeps happening--day by day, he is getting smaller and smaller. He finds himself stuck in a medical anomaly to which there is no cure. Pretty soon he is so small that his pussycat becomes a mortal enemy, and going from one end of his house to the other becomes something out of a storybook adventure. Technical aspects of this film must've bedazzled in its day. Even today, certain scenes and sets continue to be impressive. What never ages, however, is the excitement of watching this poor man fight through it valiantly, even though he knows he's in a losing battle. Starring: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton, William Schallert, Billy Curtis. Directed by: Jack Arnold.
The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) PG sci-fi/comedy
A lethal combination of everyday household chemicals (i.e. laundry detergent, pipe cleaner, etc.) causes housewife Lily Tomlin to gradually shrink to bacterial size. Of course being slightly smaller, simple household chores will inevitably become more difficult. This comedic version of The Incredible Shrinking Man is humorous, but it eventually runs out of steam. Tomlinís great, though. Starring: Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty, Henry Gibson, Elizabeth Wilson, Mark Blankfield, Maria Smith, Pamela Bellwood, John Glover. Directed by: Joel Schumaker.
The Incredibles (2004) PG comedy
Another incredibly funny addition to the Pixar series of animated features. Here, we follow a family of superheroes who are forced to remain undercover Ö and then something really bad happens forcing them to reassume their old guises (and their children using their powers for the first time, practically). It's funny, exciting, and the CGI scenes are awesome! Voices of: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Wallace Shawn, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Brad Bird, Elizabeth Pena, John Ratzenberger. Directed by: Brad Bird.
Independence Day (1996) PG-13 thriller
Completely exciting and suspenseful edge-of-your-seat science fiction picture with an all-star cast and excellent special effects. Huge mobs of aliens (with Windows-compatible computer systems) come to earth in city-sized ships. Do they come in peace? Or do they want to rip the planet to pieces? That question is answered quickly after they demolish the world's largest cities in one blow. This is an exciting film thatíll surely have you on the edge of your seat despite the ridiculousness of it. Starring: Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Brent Spiner, James Rebhorn, Vivicia A. Fox, James Duval, Harry Connick Jr., Harvey Fierstein. Directed by: Ronald Emmerich.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) PG adventure
Indiana Jones strikes again, and this time he's in India to rescue some enslaved children. Much like its superior predecessor, Raiders of the Lost Ark, this is full of nonstop action, excitement and intrigue. Harrison Ford, still excellent in his role, never fails to catch your eye, but the supporting cast is weak. Nevertheless, this flick is so fun that it earns its place along with the others. Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Dan Aykroyd. Directed by: Steven Speilberg.
Indiscreet (1958) NR romantic comedy
Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman make the sort of couple I only wish I could catch a glimpse of in real life--somehow, somewhere. They are charming, classy, and have remarkable chemistry. Cary Grant is a respected economist and Ingrid Bergman is a stage actress. There's an instant spark in their first meeting, and they arrange a date. But there's a catch: He's married but separated and can't get a divorce. What puts this film a notch above the average romantic comedy is a spicy plot development that happens midway through that completely upends the relationship. Wildly entertaining. Also worth mentioning is the lush musical score by Richard Bennett. Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Cecil Parker, Phyllis Calvert, David Kossoff, Megs Jenkins, Oliver Johnston, Michael Anthony. Directed by: Stanley Donen.
Inherit the Wind (1960) NR drama
A terrifically engrossing courtroom drama loosely based on the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial. The film begins as small-town high school science teacher Bertram Cates (Dick York) is arrested during a lecture on Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. It quickly becomes a national media sensation -- religious hegemony pitted against free speech. It also becomes a regional sensation with hoards of vocal locals taking to the streets, concerned about scientific theories corrupting the youth. The atmosphere of the courtroom itself also risks becoming sensationalized, the presiding judge Merle Coffey (Harry Morgan) fighting with newspaper photographers to refrain from taking pictures and the crowd in the peanut gallery from cheering like they're at a sporting event. The reason to watch this film is the impassioned performances from the two leads, Spencer Tracy and Frederick March. March is prosecutor Matthew Brady, a prominent national politician and religious zealot who hopes his participation will whip up the evangelical vote. Tracy is defense attorney Henry Drummond, a controversial agnostic, arguing on behalf of the First Amendment. Adding to the intrigue is defendant Cates' fiance is Rachel (Donna Anderson), daughter of the town's firebrand preacher, whose sermons sometimes gets even a little too much for Brady. This is a fascinating film with a great script and features surely one of the greatest lawyerly takedowns of cinematic history. Starring: Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Harry Morgan, Claude Akins, Elliott Reid, Paul Hartman. Directed by: Stanley Kramer.
Innerspace (1987) PG sci-fi/comedy
Dennis Quaid stars as a washed-up airplane pilot who is crazy enough to be miniaturized (shrunk to a cellular size) and be injected into a rabbit to conduct a scientific experiment. However, things don't go as planned. Right after Quaid is shrunk, rival scientists break in the laboratory to steal it, but they weren't quick enough! The head scientist makes a run for it carrying the syringe with Quaid and injects it into Martin Short, who is perfectly cast as a neurotic grocery store cashier. There, Quaid taps into Short's hearing and sight and together they must get him to his original size before he runs out of air. This film is delightful from start to finish and probably contains Short's greatest screen performance. Starring: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Vernon Wells, Robert Picardo, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, Henry Gibson, Orson Bean, Kevin Hooks, Kathleen Freeman, Dick Miller, Kevin Tobey. Directed by: Joe Dante.
Inside Man (2006) R thriller
Spike Lee takes a break from controversial stuff and directs this entertaining mainstream thriller. A bank robber (Clive Owen) takes over a bank and takes everyone inside of it hostage. Denzel Washington plays a detective who is assigned to negotiate with the robber. However, he quickly suspects that there's more to this bank robbery than appears on the surface. Meanwhile, the bank's owner (Christopher Plummer) is worried that the robbers might be after something incredibly valuable in his safety deposit box, so he commissions a specialist (Jodie Foster) to get it back for him. This is a slick, smooth thriller that is entertaining above all. The whole racism sub-plot (that I suppose was added by Spike Lee, because he is Spike Lee) should have been abandoned. Starring: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor. Directed by: Spike Lee.
The Interiors (1978) PG drama
Woody Allen, better known for his comedies, also took a bit of time to do a few Igmar Bergman inspired dramas as well. This was his follow-up to Annie Hall, and this is a very downbeat tale about a family that is emotionally affected by a painful divorce. Allen proves here that he is also good at dramas, although no one would ever think he's better at them. The characters are involving and the story is gripping. Starring: Kristin Griffith, Mary Beth Hurt, Richard Jordon, Diane Keaton, E.G. Marshall, Geraldine Page, Maurine Stapleton, Roger Morden, Sam Waterston. Directed by: Woody Allen.
Into the Night (1985) R action
This is a silly movie that stars Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer who spends the whole movie running away from bad guys who are after some emeralds. The action sequences are a bore. The only aspect that keeps it interesting are the cameos (many of which are directors that only film buffs will recognize), but that's no reason to make a movie! This is disappointing considering the cast involved. Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Farnsworth, Irene Papas, Kathryn Harrold, Paul Mazursky, Ruger Vadim, Dan Aykroyd, David Bowie, Stacey Pickren, David Cronenberg. Directed by: John Landis.
Invasion USA (1985) R action
A small gang of crag-faced communists led by Russki baddie Mikhail (Richard Lynch) plan to invade the entirety of America. But before they can do that, they have to take out what they believe to be their only obstacle: ex-CIA agent Matt Hunter (Chuck Norris). Hunter lives in the Florida Everglades in a funky little shack with his pet armadillo. In his spare time, he putters around the swamps in his pontoon boat and rassles alligators. Hunter gets word that Mikhail is back in town, but he's not coming out of retirement, no way, no how. That is, until the communists come around his place to blow it up with a bazooka. Unbeknownst to them, Hunter jumps out the back window seconds before the explosion. Believing Hunter out of the way, the communists go about their nefarious deeds, which is to pick a random street corner in Christmas-decorated suburbia and blow up each house one by one. Then it's off to bomb a shopping mall. Hunter tries to stop them, smashing his trusty truck into the mall where he's met with half a dozen guys with infinite ammo giving him a bullet bath. But they can't hit the broadside of a barn, freeing Hunter to saunter around to effortlessly pick them off one by one. While this is a braindead action movie even by Norris' standards, it's fun to watch on a basic level. It just lacks a compelling narrative to connect together all these nutty scenes of gratuitous violence. Starring: Chuck Norris, Richard Lynch, Melissa Prophet, Alexander Zale, Alex Colon, Eddie Jones, Jon DeVries, James O'Sulluva, Billy Drago. Directed by: Joseph Zito.
Invincible (2006) PG drama
Mark Wahlberg stars as Vince Papale, a 30-year-old Philadelphia Eagles fan who is one of hundreds who answer a public try-out for the losing team. Unexpectedly, he lands a trial spot on the team (the only one) much to the dismay of his spoiled teammates. He must not only struggle to remain in top physical condition, but endure peer abuse. This is undoubtedly in the top-tier of underdog sports movies. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Conway, Michael Rispoli, Kirk Acevedo, Dov Davidoff. Directed by: Ericson Core.
Irma La Douce (1963) NR comedy
Billy Wilder directs this rather odd comedy about a cop who falls in love with a prostitute. The plot sunk, but Lemmon is appealing as the good-natured cop. This film doesn't seem to mean anything and is fairly preposterous, but with good direction, acting and scenery, the film is not completely wasted. Itís a bit of a disappointing effort from Wilder to say the least. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi, Herschel Bernardi, Joan Shawlee, Hope Holiday. Directed by: Billy Wilder.
Irreconcilable Differences (1984) PG comedy/drama
Drew Barrymore stars as a girl who is about to divorce her two Hollywood-famous parents. Is she being overly hasty? That's what you're lead to believe in this sweet comedy/drama about two bickering parents who seem to be doing with their kid as they please. The acting is terrific, and so is nearly everything else. In the end, the film is rather heartwarming. It also features Sharon Stone in her movie debut. Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Shelley Long, Drew Barrymore, Sam Wanamaker, Aaron Garfield, Sharon Stone. Directed by: Charles Shyer.
The Island (2005) PG-13 sci-fi
This sci-fi thriller is heavily flawed but fun. Ewan McGregor stars as a man living in a highly organized, underground futuristic society. Pretty soon, however, he begins to suspect that there is more to his society that meets the eye. A nice set design and well done action sequences keeps this enjoyable as well as the fine screen presences of McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ethan Phillips, Brian Stepanek, Noa Tishby, Siobhan Flynn. Directed by: Michael Bay.
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1997) PG-13 fantasy
This is an awful and drably version of H.G. Wells' novel. A man is tricked into coming to a strange island where odd DNA tests are being done on animals to make them more human-like. These animals begin to revolt causing considerable damage. This stinker of a movie wastes Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer talent, and the money they spent on those expensive costumes. The story is turned into an incredibly creepy horror tale that is incredibly tedious to watch. See the 1933 version, Island of the Lost Souls instead. Starring: Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, Marco Hofschneider, Temuera Morrison, Ron Perlman. Directed by: John Frankenheimer.
It Could Happen to You (1994) PG romantic comedy
A cop (Nicolas Cage) promises to spit the winnings of a just-purchased lottery ticket with a waitress (Bridget Fonda) because he doesn't have enough money to leave her a tip. However, what they didn't expect is that the ticket would actually win! Much to the dismay of his wife, the cop actually spits the money with the waitress causing some interesting consequences. The film starts off well but loses its appeal toward the end. Starring: Bridget Fonda, Nicolas Cage, Rosie Perez, Red Buttons, Isaac Hayes, Seymour Cassel, Stanley Tucci, J.E. Freeman, Richard Jenkins, Ann Dowd, Wendell Pierce. Directed by:
It Happened One Night (1934) NR romantic comedy
A comedy that's purely fun starring Claudette Colbert as a runaway daughter of a millionaire and Clark Gable as a newspaper reporter following her around hoping for a breaking news story. The stars do an excellent job with their roles. Among Frank Capraís most predominant classics, and gets a few good laughs. Strange as it seems, this was considered racy at the time! Starring: Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Roscoe Karns, Henry Wadsworth, Claire McDowell, Walter Connolly, Alan Hale, Arthur Hoyt, Blanche Frederici, James Thomas, Wallis Clark. Directed by: Frank Capra.
The Italian Job (2003) PG-13 action
This classy heist movie stars Mark Wahlberg as a skilled thief who, along with his partners-in-crime, are wronged by one of his eviler former colleagues (Edward Norton). So, they enact a revenge plot to steal all of his gold. This is a surefire audience-pleaser with slick action sequences and special effects. The script is kept punchy with a few fine bits of humor. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Seth Green, Jason Stratham, Mos Def, Franky G., Donald Sutherland. Directed by: F. Gary Gray.
Itís a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) NR comedy
An enjoyable if somewhat overlong star-studded extravaganza; the actors are outrageous and sometimes downright hilarious! An outlaw, trying to out-drive the cops on a mountainous road, flies off a curve and plummets off a cliff. A group of about a dozen people who witness this accident, runs down the hill to see if there is anything they can do to help. It's too late for the outlaw, but he mutters something about a big stash of money under a big 'W'. Thus starts the wacky race for this hidden treasure! Ethel Merman gives whatís among the greatest screen comedic performances of all time as the loud-mouthed mother-in-law. Itís very fun. Starring: Spencer Tracy, Edie Adams, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Dorothy Provine, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters, Peter Falk, Jimmy Durante, Terry-Thomas, William Demarest, Carl Reiner, Paul Ford, Jerry Lewis, Don Knotts, Jack Benny. Directed by: Stanley Kramer.
Itís a Wonderful Life (1946) NR fantasy/comedy
James Stewart plays a man, residing in the small town of Bedford Falls. Feeling that he was cheated out of the wild, adventurous life that he dreamed of in his childhood, he is depressed and contemplates suicide. Fortunately, a guardian angel is sent down to try to persuade him otherwise. Stewart is shown what his life would have been like had he not been born. An inspirational, indisputable family classic that everybody should see more than once. Starring: James Stewart, Frank Albertson, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, Beulah Bondi, Henry Travers, Argentina Brunetti, Gloria Grahame, Carol Coomes, Carol Coomes, William Edmunds. Directed by: Frank Capra.
Ivanhoe (1952) NR adventure
This film adaptation of the classic novel by Sir Walter Scott does a pretty good job retelling the story, but all the wonderful advances that the film industry made in special effects and costuming since this film makes the battle scenes (apart from the jousting episodes) seem shoddy in retrospect. Besides that, the film was well made, itís in Ďglorious color,í and the acting is wonderful. Starring: Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Emlyn Williams, Robert Douglas, Finlay Currie, Felix Aylmer, Frances de Wolff, Norman Woodland, Sebasian Cabot. Directed by: Richard Thorpe.
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