Wednesday, November 29, 2006

John Tucker Must Die

For a high school teen flick John Tucker Must Die is not bad. The story is basic, girls seeking revenge on boys. Though the boy is not as easy to manipulate as they would like. A decent, light comedy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Superman, Supergeeks and Superbugs in DVD

Superman Returns was a big hit this summer, and is now on DVD! The man of steel is back and better than ever. The visuals are great! Another visual treat is The Ant Bully. A young man is shrunk to ant size and all priorities change. Also out in DVD this week is Clerks II, a laugh out loud sequel, Kevin Smith is raunchy and racy as ever!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


The film Bobby is a romantic look at a night that went from jubilant to horrific with a gunshot. The target was Bobby Kennedy, the year 1968. Many side stories show the lives and dreams of people that formed the US in the late 60's. The country was at war in Vietnam, and in a lot of ways, here at home. In this film, the depictions of drug use, celebrity worship, immigration, racism, feminism and war, all give the tone of the times. The celebrity parade is a little distracting, but the performances are outstanding. This is an interesting piece, though the editing could have been tighter, the film was about 15 minutes too long. Another historical depiction where people stayed in their seats during the credits to watch the accompanying photo montage.

Happy Feet

I usually like animated film, I usually like dance, I usually like penguins, why could I not like Happy Feet?!!? I feel bad. A little penguin finds he does not have a voice to find his "heart song", (which is implied, is essential to mating), but he can tap dance! Huh?!? On top of that, he searches for the "aliens" (humans), who are depleting the fish supply. The animation was fine, but the story and inuendo did not do it for me. I can even go with a conservationist theme, but the theater was full of screaming kids! That's who comes to see animated film, a lot of studios seem to forget this lately, this film is almost 2 hours long. Seemed the older kids (5-10) were happy with the animation, music and dancing, but the little ones (2-4, who were many) were literally screaming to leave (several did)! I can appreciate all the talent attached to this film, I just wish it were more fun and to the point.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Fountain

Not only is The Fountain a beautiful film, it also has emotional depth. Hugh Jackman gives a performance that touches the heart. This film challenges us to see what a visual of the emotional psyche might look like. I think this was a study of grief and love. A very brave film.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Casino Royale

Daniel Craig is very effective as the latest actor to play Ian Flemming's James Bond, in Casino Royale. This prequal, establishes the story behind his attaining 00 status. Terrorist financing is the target of Bond's first mission. The enemy needs to be thwarted, and the vehicle is high stakes poker at Casino Royale. The story is easy to follow, a straightforward script works well. The chase scenes are thrilling, people in the theater gasped more than once! Bond even becomes vulnerable at one point, only to come back more badass than ever when he is double-crossed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

For Your Consideration

In the summer of 2005, I was promoted to celebrity driver at the Newport Film Festival. My assignment was to drive Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer to all of their commitments. Being a big fan of both men, I was thrilled! They were charming, polite and funny and I was in heaven in the presence of these talented gentlemen. In the course of the day, they discussed a film they were going to make in the fall. That film was For Your Consideration. I saw this film Saturday and loved it. Now remember, I'm very biased. The subject of the film is Hollywood and film making, and I have met 3 of the principles in the cast, the writer and the director. For me, there were many inside jokes that made me laugh. The film is a fun, silly romp through the nonsense that is Hollywood. Specifically, the emotional roller coaster of award buzz and actual results. No aspect of the industry is safe from the satire that has become an art form for these film makers. Guest has assembled a veteran cast from his past films, with some wonderful additions. A fun film for the holiday season!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sloths, Sleuths and Slobs in DVD

All kinds of films in DVD this week! Ice Age:The Meltdown is the latest road trip adventure of prehistoric friends. Scoop has Scarlett Johansson playing straight man to Woody Allen, and pretty well too. You, Me and Dupree could have been so much more, a lame comedy that was OK. An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary from Al Gore about global warming.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Music, marriage and mystery in DVD

Out in DVD this week, we have The Groomsmen. I saw this film at the Tribeca Film Festival. In the latest from Edward Burns, we peek into the male psyche, days before his wedding. A macho look at relationships and love.

Leonard Cohen:I'm Your Man is a great documentary about the poetry of the man, and his life's work.

DVD could be the best way to watch The Da Vinci Code. Long and drawn out, the fast forward button will be your best friend!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hard Candy

Hard Candy is an intense thriller that takes on a difficult subject. A young girl engages an older man on line, they meet. The pedophile goes from predator to victim at the hands of a 14 year old. Ellen Paige and Patrick Wilson are outstanding in this very graphic psychological thriller.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers

Although Flags of Our Fathers was released 3 weeks ago, I have not had a chance to see it. It seems appropriate, that the day I could get to the theater for this film is Veteran's Day. Told in flashback form, this is the story of the men who fought at Iwo Jima in WW II, and were immortalized in a photo that inspired a nation. The film is gritty, realistic, heartfelt and political. An interesting thing happened at the end of the film. Not only did the audience applaud, but everyone stayed to watch the photo montage of the actual soldiers that ran through the credits. Even people who had started to leave the theater, stopped when they realized what we were watching. It was a moving experience for me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction

A week ago I was invited, by my sister-in law J, to see Stranger Than Fiction. With my niece H and her friend K, we joined a packed theater for a wonderful film.

Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, who starts hearing a voice that is narrating his life. Turns out, he is hearing a writer as she is working on her latest novel. Problem is, she alwayd kills off the main character. The fantasy takes over and we are carried into Harold's quest for survival. This is a smart film with interesting characters and a witty script. We all enjoyed the film, and I hope people will give Ferrell's second shot at a serious dramatic role a look. I really enjoyed this film.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Cars and Words in DVD

Out in DVD this week.....

The documentary Wordplay is an exciting ... yes, I said exciting ..... look at the New York Times crossword puzzle. There are celebrities, strategies and a competition. A wonderful film.

Cars is the latest animated film from Pixar. A cute ride (hehe) with an ambitious race car, who is humbled and learns a lesson. Lots of cute parallels with the real world through the cars. The tractors are my favorite.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors is based on the memoir of Augusten Burroughs. His mother suffered from mental illness, his father was an alcoholic. His mother left him in the care of her therapist, whose family had it's own struggles. Though the circumstances seem desperate, there is joy and optimism from Augusten. The sound track keeps us in the time period and the mood. This is a compelling story with colorful characters.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Four parallel stories come together in Babel. Each bad decision is made with the best of intentions, and the worst results. A woman is shot on vacation in Morocco and the incident is connected to families in Mexico and Japan as well. This story is multi-layered and the acting is superb. I thought about this film for a long time after I saw it.


Borat is laugh-for-84-minutes funny. Borat is a fictional TV reporter, from Kazakhstan, who comes the US and A to report on American culture. All of the people he meets believe he is the character. He starts out seeming innocent and naive, and then becomes totally inappropriate. This style is the brilliance of the comedy of Sasha Baron Cohen. Racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, some stuff just plain gross. We laugh when we know we shouldn't. Directed by Larry Charles (Curb your Enthusiasm), this film is well made, and a very creative comedy!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Why I Like High School Musical

The Disney offering of High School Musical is a solid film. It offers the classic story of teenagers striving to find themselves, despite peer pressure. It combines hi-tech (cell phones an laptops are characters) with lo-tech (notes in the locker). Catchy tunes and great dance numbers bring the musical home. The love story is a bit sappy, but aren't they all ....? A wholesome story with heart, that was fun to watch!