Saturday, May 27, 2006

X-Men:The Last Stand

The latest installment in the X-Men franchise, X-Men:The Last Stand, is billed as the final film ...yeah right, is that why they left me hanging? I was feeling closure right up to the last scene, and if you stay through the credits, there's another teaser of a scene ..... yeesh!!! The story centers on the new-found cure for mutants and the political division of the population. The evil Mystique was my favorite, she is bad-ass!! The tongue-in-cheek comments are well sprinkled and not overly cheesy. Special effects abound, this is a fun summer action film!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Winter Passing

Dysfunctional families supply great characters for film. In Winter Passing a young woman returns home to a father she doesn't know, looking for letters from her famous Mother, to sell. In the process she finds friendship and herself, and goes from cynical to grounded. Zooey Deschanel is the heart of this film, and Will Ferrell gives us his first dramatic performance. Well worth a look.

Transamerica in DVD

Transamerica is released to DVD this week. Felicity Huffman gives a amazing performance as a transsexual man awaiting surgery. When he finds out he has a son, an interesting road trip ensues.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge is a nice start to the summer movie lineup. Cool animation and a clever premis makes this fun for the kids, and will hold the interest of the grown-ups that take them. Funny stuff for the younger set!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code has been heavily promoted over the past year. I was hoping for a good film....oh well. The beginning is slow and painful to watch, Ian McKellan's performance salvages the middle and the end lacks the drama that the final reveal deserves. I have always felt that it is very difficult to interpret a book to film, but the fantastical theories of Dan Brown, that made the book a popular page turner, sound ridiculous in this film. I will say that the cinematography and visual techniques used, as the characters explain theories, are excellent. Ron Howard knows how to craft a film, but the tempo, acting and writing are way off. Where there could have been suspense and wonder, we have predictability and tedium.

Kinky Boots

I love shoes, any movie that starts with the line "You can tell everything about a person by looking at their shoes" has my vote! To avoid financial ruin, a men's shoe factory, transforms to a boot factory for men that want to wear women's style boots. Belive it or not, this is based on a true story. This is a story of friendship, perseverance, acceptance and loyalty ..... kinky boots just happen to be the product. Chiwetel Ejiofor goes from playing the tough cop in The Inside Man, to drag queen in this film, I was enthralled with his performance.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Seeing Stars

It has been raining here in the northeast for over a week. Great weather for movie-going, but it starts to get claustrophobic. I looked outside last night and saw stars - it's been a while! I was in NYC for a week, where I saw stars in the streets, now I can see them in the sky again ... whew!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Producers on DVD

The latest version of The Producers is out in DVD!! Mel Brooks remade his own movie, with most of the original Broadway cast in tact. Fun stuff!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006


RV is a good old fashioned, family oriented comedy. Sight gags, slapstick and cute dialogue had a packed theater laughing out loud today. This was a fun film to watch!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


The ill fate of a New Year's Eve cruise on the Poseidon is a decent remake. Though the 1972 version, The Poseidon Adventure, is more dramatic and has better acting, the special effects and suspense in the new Poseidon are very good. Cheesy dialogue and a few annoying characters, made me thankful that this film is only 1 hour and 40 minutes, just about right for this story. Visual effects are pretty good and Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell supply the eye candy for me *sigh*!

Art School Confidential

Art school becomes the setting of a murder mystery in Art School Confidential. What starts out as a coming of age story, turns dark midway as a serial murder ends up the vehicle for the hero's life goals. This dark comedy is an interesting comment on creativity and the frustrations of those trying to make a living with their art.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Forget about Tom Cruise. See M:I:III for the rest of the cast, J.J. Abrams and the special effects. A cool story, awesome action sequences and great visuals kept this action film fan happy. I think this is the best installment in the MI franchise.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Tribeca Film Festival 2006

After an amazing week of film and film folks, I will say that the 5th Tribeca Film Festival was a great time for me. The best aspect of this event is the exposure to the amazing people who make the films. Not only do the Q&A sessions allow this film fan insight, but sitting in the audience is an experience also. From the music folks sitting behind us at The Night of the White Pants, to the guy who gave an animated blow by blow of the M:I:III premiere, to the kind gentleman who gave me a fancy cookie from a sponsor event, I love the exposure and the accessibility! A great vacation for me!!!!

The Groomsmen

The Groomsmen is a funny, touching story, told from the male perspective, of the days before a wedding. A young man and his friends explore their relationships and the meaning of life. Great performances from John Leguzamo and Jay Mohr really make this film. This is a strong cast and an interesting story. Ed Burns' Q&A explored his filmmaking experience and philosophy. Cool guy.

United 93

Everyone has their own 9/11 experience, United 93 will revive the emotions of them all. This film is an excellent treatment of the events, not only surrounding flight 93 and it's demise, but all of the elements surrounding that morning. The scenes are powerful and emotional. Too soon? I'm not sure that is the issue, so much as the fact that it was a disturbing event no matter how much time has gone by. Revisiting it is not easy.

The Architect

What do you do when your work becomes the home of gangs, hookers and drug dealers? This is the dilemma in The Architect. Adapted from a play, this story follows the parallel lives of a woman activist for the destruction and rebuild of the complex, and the architect, who acknowledges the problem but advocates that the buildings perform their function. An interesting look at the human element of urban living. Relationships are explored, and the young people trying to find their way provide high drama.

Tribeca Talks

In the midst of my film consumption at the Tribeca Film Festival I had the privilege of attending two discussion panels. One was about film distribution. The very talented Steven Soderbergh, along with producer Todd Wagner, and reps from Yahoo and MPAA conducted an interesting discussion on the future of how we will consume films. The discussion was smart, sometimes funny, and shed an optimistic light on the future of film.

On the eve of the M:I:III premiere, I had the pleasure of attending a quiet discussion with its director, J.J. Abrams. He discussed writing, creative process, life style, Tom Cruise, Alias, Lost and Felicity. He is a great story teller, and answered all questions at length. The only thing he would not discuss were plot details of Lost and the new Star Trek movie. He was polite and funny about it, and left us wanting more.

Brother's Shadow

In Brother's Shadow a man returns home to Brooklyn, as a condition of his parole, to find that his estranged family has changed dramatically. His twin brother is dead, his father hates him, his sister-in-law wants a new life and his nephew doesn't know he exists .... whew!!!! Talk about family drama!!! This is a good story of identity and redemption. The writers conducted the Q&A, giving insight to the plot and process.

Just Like the Son

Just Like the Son was a happy accident for me. I chose to see this film because the director was Morgan Freeman, and it sounded like a good story. When they introduced the director before the film, a young man took the microphone, and I realized I had suffered a case of mistaken identity, this filmmaker was Morgan J. Freeman!!! I then had the pleasure of watching his work unfold on the screen. A poignant road trip story, this film was well acted and written. I am glad that pseudo celebrity brought me to this film, and now I have met another talented Mr. Freeman!!

Lonely Hearts

The true story of two murdering con artists from the 40s, is the basis of Lonely Hearts. A dramatic story on its own, now add the star power of John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Salma Hayek, Jared Leto, Scott Caan and Laura Dern, and you've got one heck of a movie. The writer director, Todd Robinson, is the grandson of one of the detectives, played by Travolta, that chased and apprehended the pair. That personal note runs through the film. Violent and very graphic, this is a good piece of historical crime fiction. On my way home after the film, I stopped at a convenience store and happened on a man telling the story of the time Travolta gave him a ride in his plane....only in New York!!!

Night of the White Pants

How do you pick film for someone you've never met? For my first film of the Tribeca Film Festival, I was picking a film to see with my daughter L, her boyfriend and his mother, whom I had never met. With a list of 174 films I was a bit intimidated, but due to schedule and taste, I chose the Night of the White Pants. This story of a dysfunctional family gone amok, and events gone awry in one night, was funny and smart ... everyone enjoyed it! The Q&A involved the director, her producer and several members of the cast. The guy who did the music was sitting behind us, and was very entertaining to listen to. It was a great way to kick off my film festival week!