Movie: Take The Lead



Released in 2006 and Rated PG-13

Antonio Banderas stars as Pierre Dulaine. A real-world dancer and dance instructor who’s early works with children was fictionalized in this film.

I suggest this movie because of the good story, good acting with some drama and comedy. I gave it 4 stars.

The story of a dance instructor who gets involved with an inner city school and volunteers his time to teach the high school kids ballroom dancing. He isn’t taken seriously by the teachers or the students until one day he tries something different by bringing in a professional dancer from his dance studio to encourage the students. It works but they do not care for the typical ballroom dance music so they tweak it to a blend of modern sounds while keeping the original rhythm which is something more their style with the approval of Dulaine. When the classes start going really well, one teacher who doesn’t like the dancing tries to stop it.

A parent/teacher conference is held to consider stopping the dance lessons. One argument is the students should use the time for studying and homework. Dulaine’s point of view won me over as well as the parents so the dance lessons continue. Dulaine’s rebuttal was the benefits of the students physically interacting with one another and showing respect. Teaching young men to earn their partner’s trust to lead them. Quote “The man proposes the step. It is the woman’s choice to accept by following. Now, to follow takes as much strength as to lead.”

Dulaine’s teaching advances to the point of a ballroom dance competition and he encourages his students to compete. It makes for a good ending of the movie.

Antonio Banderas may have starred in this movie but there were many others who made this film memorable. Ramos played by Dante Basco was really good and had me searching his other film credits.


Movie: Bottle Shock


Released in 2008 and rated PG13

I liked this movie so much I am wanting to see it again. Loosely based on actual events about a 1976 wine tasting event in Paris, France. America’s wineries and the wine they produced were apparently not respected in the rest of the world. Wine expert, Steven Spurrier, (played by Allan Rickman) wanted to bring California wine to the tasting. He travels to California and the local wineries eagerly want to participate. He does have concerns about the plane ride back home because of possible…bottle shock.

The term “bottle shock” describes wines that temporarily suffer from muted or disjointed flavors. There are two ways that bottle shock occurs: either right after bottling, or when wines (especially fragile older wines) are shaken in travel such as on a plane crossing the Atlantic Ocean for a wine tasting event in Paris.

Bill Pullman plays Jim Barrett, the owner of the Chateau Montelena winery with his brother Bo Barrett played by Chris Pine. bottleshock-3

Rachel Taylor adds to the story depth with some romance and Freddy Rodriguez is the proprietor of Stags Leap wine.

I enjoyed the film a lot without caring that it wasn’t 100% accurate. I did like the fact that California earned some respect for their wines. This film was light-hearted and easy to follow. It’s the type of film that easily draws you in. You get the impression that all the wineries in California are financially suffering until the wine tasting. The scenary is beautiful and makes me want to try the wines that won.

220px-Montelena_Label_1999 stags-leap-winery-cabernet-sauvignon-napa-valley-usa-10383902





Incredibles 2

14 years since original Disney story


My kids were 4 years old and just a few months old when the original came out and they loved it. Yesterday we saw the sequel.

My boys loved it and gave it 4.5 Stars out of 5. I gave it 4 stars. Without giving away the movie I’ll just say that a part of the plot was to make super heroes NOT illegal. Currently they are and in hiding.

This time the movie is more dialogue driven and less action. The first movie had something going on a lot and more humor. Not so much in this one. It really lacked in humor. I feel my sons loved it purely based on they missed the characters. A reunion of childhood memories.  I could have waited for the rental and saved a lot of money but would have missed out on some valuable family time.

I’d recommend…save your money for another film this summer and buy this one on DVD for the kids when it is released.