Saturday, December 31, 2005


Take Spielberg's masterful film style, add Tony Kuschner's prose, and you have a powerful film in Munich. Assassins are stalking, and killing the people responsible for the hostage taking, and deaths at the 1972 Olympics. There are consequenses for these actions, and the characters pay the price. Eric Bana and a strong supporting cast, give a riveting portrayal of post-Munich revenge. Notable are the characters potrayed by Daniel Craig and Geoffrey Rush. Consistent and deadly, they make this an emotional ride.

King Kong

The epic film lives in King Kong! Peter Jackson's dream is on screen for all to see!! The man has imagination, vision and technical expertise down to a science. A stellar cast, a classic story and amazing special effects make this cinema at it's best. The original film made it's way on to my "favorites" list in the summer of 2004, a simple story, well executed back in 1933. Though longer than it needs to be, Jackson does the story true with this version. Naomi Watts needs no dialogue to make the bond between Kong and Ann Darrow come alive. One of the most consistent modern actresses, Watts IS the film ... incredible performance!! Be ready for action (Brontosaurus stampede), heroes (Kong vs T-Rex and biplanes) and rivalry (Brody vs Kong, yikes!!) A wonderful film experience for me!!

Power of the Trailer

I enjoy movie trailers. They are like a keyhole look to new film. I was surprised at the trailers I saw today. The Davinci Code looks true to novel, MI3 looks exciting (huh?) and Miami Vice looks way cool!!! Color me surprised, here's looking to good film for 2006!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Viewing

New Year's weekend is my favorite movie weekend. Plenty of time, no commitments and lots of great film in theaters. I'll be seeing a monkey, a geisha, a squid, a whale,terrorisits and producers, but here are a few films I've already seen that I really enjoyed. Click the links to see what I thought!!

In theaters: Walk the Line, Good Night and Good Luck, Jarhead, Syriana, Pride and Predjudice,A History of Violence, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Rentals: Mad Hot Ballroom, Murderball, Cinderella Man, War of the Worlds, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Crash,Batman Begins, Mr& Mrs Smith

Have a wonderful weekend of film and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Gift of Film

I am very fortunate to have friends and family that acknowledge my film hobby. Along with gift cards to local cinema, for Christmas I received the box set of the Godfather films and the mini-series Angels in America. I am very grateful for the generosity and thoughtfulness. I also received a few books about film, one is a biography reference of film folk, great source material. I also received a film trivia game that has exposed my son in law's amazing film recall!!

Thanks to my generous gift givers for the many hours of film fun!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005


It's official, I think I have become a music documentary junkie!! I rented the DVD DiG! based on a recommendation in Premire magazine, and the fact that we had the film at the Newport Film Festival. This is a film about rock bands that have the talent, but struggle with the business. As I am not very creative, I am fascinated with any insight to the creative process. Music is one of those forms that lends itself to exposing that process. As with all art, there is the creation, then the selling. Can you make a living pursuing your art!?!? All the angst and drama involved in the process are portrayed in this film. It was a great film experience for me.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

2005 the Year in Celebrity

As 2005 comes to a close, we see a lot of reflections on the past year. With my scurrying around to get Christmas shopping done, and visiting with friends and family, I have not been to the movies in weeks. I still have a handful of films to see before I can make a "best of" list for 2005, so I thought I would reflect on the film folks I have met in 2005.

I attend the Tribeca Film Festival and Newport Flim Festival. This was the 4th year for both, and I have refined my techniques of attendance. At Tribeca I am an attendee, it is my vacation. I plant myself at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca for a week, makes it easy to walk to the films and activities. This year I had the pleasure of running into Snoop Dogg, Danny Green, Dylan McDermott, Sydney Lumet,Frank Pierson, Tim Robbins, Seymour Cassel and Bill Plympton. I also got a kick out of overhearing a bunch of LA film folk discuss the filming of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (they dropped a half-million dollar lens in the chocolate river!).

I volunteer at the Newport Film Festival. Working for the transportation folks, I was assigned to drive Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer the weekend of the festival. I also took Guest on a tour of Newport one afternoon, to see the sights and pick up a few souvenirs for his family. We talked boats, kids, fishing, history ... no film talk. Interesting man. I also met Michael McKean, Annette O'Toole and Nick Nolte, all were charming and friendly. Working at the transportation desk I get to meet a lot of the film people that attend with their films. Aside from the big Hollywood guns I met, my favorite was Jeff Mandel, one of the producers of the film Murderball. He was polite, friendly and happy to be there. He had a million questions, and when he asked me if he was my biggest pain that day, I told him , no, he was around number 4. For the rest of the week, when he would call me he would identify himself as #4 ...loved him!!! I also met the cast of Mad Hot Ballroom at a Gala for the film festival, took a turn on the dance floor with Rodney Lopez, which was a thrill!

So that was 2005 in celebrity for me. I find film people very interesting, and this year they did not disappoint. We'll see what 2006 holds!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Golden George

With the announcement of the Golden Globe nominees, award season is in full swing. All of the film nominees are so deserving. This was not a stellar year for film, but the best have risen to the top. I'll have trouble picking winners. With my film obsession, many people have told me I should be at the awards. My response has always been, "I only want to go if it's on the arm of a hot nominee". This would be my year! For many years, my movie crush has been George Clooney, he's nominated for 3 awards. So if George needs a date, I'm here by the phone, I can jump into a gown at any given moment. Congrats to all the nominees!!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

A DVD Island

I like The Island, a sci-fi thriller from this summer. The press was odd, and it received lukewarm reviews. It's out in DVD this week, and I think it's worth a look.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


The political thriller Syriana confirmed most of what I think of world economy and the power of the energy elements. Two oil companies are working a merge, and we see the underlying drama. The violence and manipulation is all ruled by the almighty dollar, none of this is very surprising. Human stories are interspersed, but it all comes back to money. An interesting film.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

As a child, I loved the Chronicles of Narnia. These were books I could read over and over. Four children accidentally discover a fantasy land, and adventure follows. When I was in college, I revisited Narnia when I had to read the books for a children's literature course, again I was enchanted. Now a film has been made of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia. It is a wonderful fantasy film for all ages (though the battle scenes may be a little intense for little ones). The writing is superb with some very clever dialog. The casting and acting fit well with the effects, which are impressive. Hard to tell where reality ends and fantasy begins. This is a timeless story that translates beautifully to the screen.


I find sports films inspiring, exciting and interesting. The documentary Murderball is a wonderful film. Elevating the visibility of paraplegic sports, specifically rugby, the film culminates at the 2004 Paralympics. This is a full contact, wheelchair version of rugby, that is exhilarating to watch, and carries all the drama, heart and politics of world class competition. The film made me laugh and cry. It's not only about the sport, but the life and heart of the athletes. This is a great film about coping, sports and love. The athletes are smart, funny, enthusiastic, honest, colorful and grounded. I truly loved this film ... well done!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cinderella Man in DVD and Theaters

I was surprised when the film Cinderella Man was released in June. A film of this quality is usually saved for the late December release, to get as much attention as possible for Oscar consideration. Then the celebrity factor kicked in. Russell Crowe, the star of the film, behaved badly in NYC on a PR tour. If you look beyond the gossip and bad behavior off camera, you will find a wonderful film. Well written, outstanding acting and beautifully shot. This is some of the best work I've seen out of Howard, Zellweger and Giamatti. I really hope more people see this film, out in DVD today. It is also being re-released to theaters in some areas. Well worth a look.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The fourth film installment of the Harry Potter franchise is the Goblet of Fire. This is, by far, the darkest, most serious of the Harry Potter films. Creepy and scary, it was very good, but I missed the fantasy and humor the previous 3 films provided. The actors still deliver, but the visual, to me, was not as dramatic as the past films.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Award Season Arrives

As the year winds down, film award nominations start to sprout like tulips in springtime!!! Nominees for the Gotham Awards and Independent Spirit Awards were announced this week. Independent film gets it's due, and it is a good source for recommendations of quality films. Click on the links, and check out some wonderful film at the theater or video store! Stay tuned!!