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136 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Songs Without Words" (OP.53 .1)--Mendelssohn
"I respect consistency". Author Monte Wildhorn (Morgan Freeman) says it best, if I were to refer it toward the apt direction of Rob Reiner, in this melodic and poetic spin on this movie.

Rob Reiner weaves a story throughout a story, while Freeman and Virginia Madsen (Charlotte O'Neil) dance triumphantly within it's web. The movie is candidly real, hopelessly...
Published on July 10, 2012 by Sheryl Fechter

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too self-aware
The writer tried too hard. The language was pretentious for story line. The leading lady and leading man were not a believable couple. The recipe for a good movie is there, but the pieces did not come together.
Published 10 months ago by M. McKenzie


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136 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Songs Without Words" (OP.53 .1)--Mendelssohn, July 10, 2012
By 
Sheryl Fechter (Northern Illinois, United States) - See all my reviews
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"I respect consistency". Author Monte Wildhorn (Morgan Freeman) says it best, if I were to refer it toward the apt direction of Rob Reiner, in this melodic and poetic spin on this movie.

Rob Reiner weaves a story throughout a story, while Freeman and Virginia Madsen (Charlotte O'Neil) dance triumphantly within it's web. The movie is candidly real, hopelessly romantic, and overwhelmingly personal. I laughed out loud and was just as moved to tears all through.

Just a simple plot, with a burnt-out, disgruntled author (alcohol swilling and unflinchingly sarcastic) and a struggling mother (positive and beautiful although lonely) next door. In this setting there is nothing new. There is, although, so much depth to the main characters, the people of the town riddled throughout and in Wildhorn's life.

It is in this that makes this particular movie so worth your time; The ride from point A to point B.

What first may appear to be predictable may not end in the way it will seem at the outset. This is a movie of the heart; one that has the power to tug tightly on the emotions of those who are prone to love these types of films.

Monte possesses the most foul attitude because of life's mis dealt cards that he's holding. As he moves into a new town for the summer, he begins to meet people (usually on his terms) and slowly begins to see people for how they really are. He may be in a deep grip of emotional pain in the beginning of the movie, although so are so many others in their own lives.

Charlotte, living next to Monte, begins a guarded then easy friendship with him. Her three daughters are interacting, with a first uncomfortable Monte, soon after as the author side of him begins to appeal to all of them in different ways.

The dialogue in this interactive movie is stellar, quick-witted and lovely. Reiner uses visual stills that are able to pull as much emotion as any compelling conversation. Of this, I so enjoyed the careful framing of faces and objects as basic as Monte's typewriter.

I found also that the music in the movie is as inspiring as any of the delightful characters. Of definite noting is the Soundtrack, with a featured solo piano by Marc Shaiman. The high standard of the music is worth the while to listen to through the end credits.

This is storytelling at it's pinnacle. You will laugh, cry, ebb and flow through this piece of cinematic Magic.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Magic is the Film Itself, October 29, 2012
It is difficult to add to all the superlatives about this film. Great story. The kids in the film are wonderful, particularly the middle daughter. This film is about creativity and inspiration, but it is also about the way human beings depend upon each other for that magic we call a good life, a life worth living. This is one of those little gems, like Field of Dreams, that makes film-making itself appear to be magic.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie! I Love it!, June 22, 2012
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Just watched this movie, I thought it was wonderful! Very refreshing content and character. Love Morgan Freeman as an actor and Rob Reiner as a Director!
Plan to watch again before rental expires, definately a must for the collection.
A must see movie!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my new favorite movie, October 31, 2012
By 
NetZooms "harvestsong" (Spring Mount, Pa United States) - See all my reviews
I had never heard of this movie, but I rented it because of Morgan Freeman acting in it. This movie made me laugh, cry, and was a great treat. This is my new favorite movie. I love how the lives intertwine and the healing winds through everyones life in a touching and believable way. It was charming, and even when it took predictable turns they were unpredictable and clever. I would definitely watch it again.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, November 2, 2012
I highly recommend this movie. For all of us, at times in life, things seem so beak, so sad, we ask ourselves why bother to go on? This movie shows the power of friendship and how important being connected to others while going through these "difficult" times. Friendship is the gift to help us grow and work through adversity to build happiness and contentment. Morgan Freeman and the cast do such a wonderful job in showing the healing power of friendship. This is a great movie, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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76 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morgan Freeman's still got it, July 10, 2012
This review is from: Magic of Belle Isle (DVD)
MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE (Dir. Rob Reiner, 2012, 110 minutes) is a nice, quiet family film that is also a Morgan Freeman extravaganza (comparatively speaking). I just loved it, but it may not be to everyone's liking in this hyperkinetic, wire-fu-violence-driven cinema atmosphere.

Freeman plays grumpy, washed-up alcoholic Western writer Monte Wildhorn (great imagination with the character's name, but don't let that put you off). He decides to summer-sit a house at a location I understand is Greenwood Lake, NY - but is called Belle Island Village according to the town limit's sign. This confused me since they are clearly not on an island but at the lakeshore (someone refers to the lake), with some weird rocklike forested island (clearly CGI) off the coast, an island also called Belle Isle (or Belle Island, take your pick).

By the way, Mr. Helper, "belle île" is the correct term for "beautiful island" in French. Some cultures spell it "ille" and my great-great grandmother, who was Belgian, might have said "île jolie". So I do suppose "belle isle" is the acceptable Anglicization; I was certainly not questioning that nor does my review even address that.

Another helping hand informs me: 'As Monty and Henry ride into town, a sign is seen which says "Welcome to Belle Isle".' That is very good to know, I was certain I'd seen the sign in the movie but could not recall what it said. So ... welcome to Belle Isle VILLAGE, everyone! Because that is exactly what that sign says, even though the denizens call it Belle Isle.

Anyway, Wildhorn has long since abandoned writing and devotes himself to guzzling booze. That is, until a fine lady and her three young daughters enter his life and cheer him right up, the end. I have to say it is a miracle and a marvel to see Freeman giving such a performance with his sadly acquired handicaps - and elements of his wheelchair-bound character reflect that loudly here.

There is no swearing, no ugliness of situation and no awkward stupidity in the storyline. I see all that as major in this day and age. One bit of language is "Jesus H. Christ" which is so hilariously surprising I hit the ceiling laughing when I heard the lines. Fred Willard as a local eccentric certainly spices the thing nicely.

Virginia Madsen hands in a worthy performance as the divorced mother of three girls, and the girls themselves are charming (with the exception of the unfortunate Madeline Carroll as Willoe Tree; Carroll is always cast as a nasty little teen witch and incidentally is some sort of cousin of my wife's).

Saying which, my wife caught a gander at some of this film and sourly asked me what was so special about it. Well, I have reviewed it, it has a happy ending in spite of the wacky characters, and is fully a Morgan Freeman movie. If that doesn't tell you what is special about it, then you are a lost cause indeed.

Perhaps in that instance you'd prefer a zombie-killing video game instead.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nearly the perfect movie, October 27, 2012
This movie is a heartwarming tale of an alcoholic loner who finds redemption through his interactions with a lady going through a divorce and her three children. It takes place in a sleepy small town on a lake withe the magical Belle Isle sitting a stone throw towards the middle of the lake.

Contrary to the reviews who complain that the movie is flat or predictable, this movie is simply a hidden gem. It doesn't have the flash or pizzazz seen in most movies today. I don't find it to be a detriment as some reviewers will claim. It is simply a way to lose yourself in a charming story for a little under two hours. Another reviewer claims it lacks for witty lines and clever repartee. Personally I don't know anyone that talks like that and if a movie is full of it then I turn away from it. As for predictability virtually every movie or TV show is burdened by it. Most older viewers have seen so many shows that it would be hard for someone to come up with something totally original.

If you're looking for a pleasant story that allows you to become lost in as if you were reading a cherished novel then this movie is for you. Otherwise you might want to seek out a Michael Bay or Quentin Tarantino movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One In Several Thousand Movies Reaches This Peak, November 21, 2012
Have been watching movies for half a century, have nearly 3,000 in my collection, plus decades of watching movies before internet. As perfect as that one song was in "Purple Rain" all those years ago, as Prince pleaded, "...'cause I want You!" has finally been trumped. "Magic of Belle Isle" is the single best movie of my lifetime. Can hardly believe a movie could be good every single scene. I love Amazon Prime - best $89 investment of a lifetime, lol. Thank you for a wonderful movie I'd share with anyone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Touching, Unique, and will make you laugh and cry (in a great way!), October 29, 2012
This movie touched my heart, mind, and soul on all levels. The humanity it showed was beautifully written and acted. Morgan Freeman is amazing in it. It's one of those movies that, like experiences in life,it moves you and you want to stay in this place with them. I haven't been so touched by a movie in a long time. In other words, I highly recommend watching. This is my first time writing a review on here, but I really had to and still have tears on my face from the beauty of this film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "sit taller in the saddle", January 5, 2013
By 
2012PG: Every once in a great while we meet someone who makes us want to "sit taller in the saddle". If you're one of those people you'll enjoy this story of an old writer who's lost his reason for living then finds it in the dream of another (won't spoil the story) while searching for it in the bottom of a bottle. It's a cold heart that can't find warmth in a story about real people with real feelings. Redemption of self can take many forms the favorite of which may be to "never stop looking for what's not there". I hope you enjoy this beautifully written and wonderfully played gem as much as I did. MFJLabs 4x
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The Magic of Belle Isle [Blu-ray]
The Magic of Belle Isle [Blu-ray] by Rob Reiner (Blu-ray - 2012)
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