Review of Cinema Stanzas by Betty Jo Tucker

Unlike her previous books, Betty Jo Tucker has written a quite unique volume on film criticism. It’s style already has its seal of approval by a legendary filmmaker no less than Henry Jaglom (Déjà Vu, Can She Bake A Cherry Pie?, New Year’s Day?).  Ms. Tucker presents with each film review an original poem of her own.
Taking two films as example. The first is Gone Girl, Ms. Tucker writes, “Did Hubby kill his lovely spouse/ and prove to be an evil louse? / No body found – just signs of strife/ and troubles in their married life.” You may have already seen the film, directed by David Fincher, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Ms. Tucker adds at the end of her review, “Gone Girl captivated me almost as much as Vertigo, my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie. And that’s high praise indeed.”
The second film, is Black Mass. Ms Tucker writes, “Murder and crime fill up the screen/ in Black Mass, which needs to be seen/ to grasp the fact that Depp is great/ as a bad man we love to hate.” She also writes in her review, “Black Mass moves along to slowly at the beginning, and I’m disappointed it didn’t cover what Bulger was up to during the 16 years he was “at large” before being captured. But the film did hold my interest for over two-hour running time.”
This review is why when I wrote about Ms. Tucker’s book Confessions Of A Movie Addict I compared her to Janet Maslin, the film critic for the New York Times or was it Pauline Kael? Ms. Tucker pour her heart into every review and for that she stands above many of those who have come before her.
This is truly to add to your collection if you love film, movies or poetry.

Chris Mansel

Book Review

Review for Cake: A Love Story

The first time I became aware of the book It Had To Be Us was when I was reviewing books and a copy was sent to me. I read it and found it to be a very special romance that just didn’t come along that often. I didn’t get to read many novels at this time but I remember thinking, “This would make a really good film.” And now years later, it is.

It Had To Be Us is a story of two people, Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence who divorce and come back together, twenty years later. But what happens in that space and time is a whole other movie. What this film deals with is the reconciliation. 


The Daily Art Source

The two see one another after years apart and discover they still have feelings for another. Directed by Misha Zubarev and V. Ulea, Cake: A Love Story delivers the essence of the novel without straying too far from the text. The two also collaborated on the screenplay which will have you rapt with attention until the end of the film. As well the acting of Richard Vernon as Harry and Debra Lord Cooke as Elizabeth.
Shot in a very seamless style the film ushers you immediately into a storyline that you just don’t see much anymore. This film would fit nicely alongside any Hepburn and Tracy film. It has that feel to it. It has that sentimentality but that is not to say that it doesn’t have a modern take. You might say the book demanded it.


Chris Mansel