Thursday, March 30, 2006


I don't comment on television often here, but after seeing the first couple of episodes of the Sopranos I need to say, WOW!! This series is rich in characters, emotion and events. The acting and writing are outstanding, I can't wait to see what happens next!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Derailed is a decent thriller - con film. A man meets a young woman on a train and their trist turns ugly. Blackmail, murder and a good double cross make an interesting story. The acting is OK, I was disappointed considering the star power and talent. The film is sorely miscast, but still worth a look.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Geisha and Gorilla in DVD

First I need to say how much I enjoyed both King Kong and Memoirs of a Geisha. Then I need to say that the only negative I have about both, is that they were too long. When this happens to me in a film I start to edit in my head, and think of where to take things out without compromising the story. In this case, when you start to shave minutes, it does not hurt the film at all. I think if you fast-forward through all the scenes with chases, fights and snow you can cut at least 15-20 minutes (if not more), and still enjoy these films. Long live the fast forward button ... enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Solid DVD Releases

In the serious film department, there are two excellent DVD releases today. Capote, which chronicles the year Truman Capote spends writing In Cold Blood, is one. The other, is a story of family angst, The Squid and the Whale. Well written, well acted, well worth seeing.

On the lighter side, we have Chicken Little. A cute animated version of our buddy Chicken Little, with a modern twist! Then there's Dreamer, a family film of trial and perseverance that I really enjoyed.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Neil Young : Heart of Gold

Gee, who was that person grinning like a fool in the dark this afternoon? Oh, that was me, totally enjoying the concert documentary Neil Young : Heart of Gold! Thanks to an interview I read by Benjamin Wagner , I saw this film with my friend D this afternoon. What a pleasure! Jonathan Demme created a beautiful film that captured the work, music and friendships of Neil Young. I got goosebumps as the curtain went up at the Ryman Theater in Nashville for this special event. You can see and feel the camaraderie and love on the stage. The talent assembled there was impressive! The music Young wrote for Prairie Wind, touches on real life themes. Aging of parents, the empty nest and beautiful love songs, that I think must have been written to his wife. I got a little choked up during Here for You, the "empty nester" song. The cinematography, lighting and staging were great, and the way the songs flowed into each other, gave a very special sense of intimacy. This was a concert film I thoroughly enjoyed!!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is a story of revenge and social awareness that really got my attention. The film takes place in 2020 London, and the world has changed. V has been abused by the system, and has a plan for his revenge. To tell too much of the story would be unfair, this film needs to be experienced. The blood and words fly, as the plot unfolds. The writing is tight, and the performances make this film a strong statement about standing up for rights and beliefs, and that government is not always right. But is revenge the answer ...... ?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Good Night, and Good Film ... in DVD

Two wonderful films from 2005 arrive in DVD this week.

Good Night, and Good Luck is George Clooney's tribiute to Edward R. Murrow. Shot in black and white, this was one of my favorite films from 2005.

A History of Violence is a great thriller with a twist. Graphic and violent, another film on my favorites list.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Libertine

In The Libertine, Johnny Depp plays the Earl of Rochester in England in the late 1600's. An interesting period piece, Depp's character is a poet who is passionate and selfish, and meets an early end from venereal disease. The dirty, gritty, debauched side of England is portrayed well in this film. The story is OK, but the biggest reason to see this film is for the performances. Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich, Richard Coyle and Rosamond Pike are outstanding.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Eight Below

Eight sled dogs touched my heart in the film Eight Below. A team of dogs must be left behind in Antarctica due to an accident and weather, they spend 175 days alone in the wilderness. This film is based on a true story, and bounces back and forth from the dogs' plight, to the humans trying to get back to them. I was fascinated with the dogs, a few of the scenes are very intense (little ones may need to be prepared). This film is a good adventure story and strong on themes of loyalty, friendship and survival.

Wizards, Wonder and War in DVD

Harry Potter and the kids are growing up in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Dark and scary, this will be a popular rental.

Howl's Moving Castle delivers another wizard's story, this one's animated.

One of the films released this week about humans is Prime. A romantic comedy that deals with a couple's romance, a patient /therapist relationship and a family relationship. I enjoyed this film.

Another VERY human story is Jarhead. Men are deployed to war, and boredom is the enemy.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Recap 2006

The Academy Awards this year began and ended on a high for me!! I love a dark horse winner. Though most of the winners were predictable, the first and last made the night for me. First, George Clooney won his gold statue for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Syriana, last Crash won for best picture. I seriously thought Nicholson was screwing with us!!! I picked 12 out of 24 winners, half seems to be my norm. I love the award, I love the process. This year the films made us think, and the performances all were worthy.

Moments from the awards:

Eight gowns ended up on my "best list". I think my favorite was Dolly Parton, pretty in pink, and Salma Hyak in royal blue. Looked like Clooney may have bought a new tux.

Best entrance, Jennifer Lopez, the gown was lovely as she walked, and Samuel L. Jackson took the stage in style, that walk should be packaged!!

Best jewelry goes to Amy Adams, loved those earrings!

Hottest couple: Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

My girl Meryl looked lovely, she and Lily Tomlin were very funny introducing Robert Altman.

A camera caught Dianna Ossana sneaking a drink after her best screenplay win.

Favorite commercial: those silly monkeys, they crack me up!!!!

The bow ties for the Oscar statues from the Wallace & Gromit folks were pretty cute.

On to the 2006 film season!!!!!