Station Agent

The Station Agent is my new favorite movie of the year, just replacing Whale Rider that came out today on DVD. Wonderful themes of community, kindness, compassion - and just being quiet. Fin is a dwarf who inherits an old train station "house" in rural New Jersey. He cannot rid himself of the kindness of strangers. This is a celebration of the human family. I went to an art house in Santa Monica and it was about 1/3 full. Amost everyone stayed as the credits rolled, and the folks I saw came out … [Read more...]

Singing Detective

The Singing Detective is the poor man's version of A Beautiful Mind. Whereas A Beautiful Mind was based on the true story of John Forbes Nsh, Jr. who suffered from paranoia and schizophrenia, Robert Downey, Jr. plays a fictional (from what I can tell) paranoid /schizophrenic writer who hallucinates into song because he witnessed his mother and her lovers' sexual misbehavior as a child. Fine acting but a really weird movie. Mel Gibson's most unusual and creative role yet as … [Read more...]

Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders - I liked it. Good acting from Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen. If someone says that the refugees are exploited or the audience's emotions are being unduly engaged, don't listen. I'd give this film a chance. It covers global humanitarian disasters from 1984 to 1995 or so through the experiences of aid workers and an American woman who at first has a bleeding heart, but who then makes good on it. People who live in comfort need to see the effects of the US not banning land mines. And … [Read more...]

In the Cut

In the Cut proves that Meg Ryan can act in other roles besides cute ones. However, I'd really need to interview Jane Campion before I would dare to hedge a bet on what this was about. Try a female version of The Bad Lieutenant. This is not pretty, not nice and someone put curry in the apple pie. OK, Blue Velvet also comes to mind. Life under the under belly. Maybe its time to take a look at Jane Campion's women. It's about a lighthouse without any light except the revleation of a truth - … [Read more...]

Runaway Jury

The Runaway Jury, based closely on a John Grisham novel, is complex and it sure got my attention. It's about the gun lobby as much as it is about amoral - and moral - lawyers. Sobering, moving, probably confusing at times, but I felt like I got my money's worth. This is not the run of the mill courtroom drama.   … [Read more...]

Veronica Guerin

I am writing this entry in "red" and "bold" because in the amazing film, Veronica Guerin, her little car is red and she is so bold in her search for truth about the drug kings of Ireland in the mid-1990's and her efforts, mostly post-mortem, to have the laws protecting unaccountable income confiscated. Her death caused a change in the Irish Constitution.Cate Blanchett "is" Veronica, and this brief film, only 98 minutes, has such power that it makes you want to do everything you can to support … [Read more...]

Without a Trace

I've actually had some negative reactions to my positive response to this fine show... because it's about serious crime. But as a friend of mine said, there's a Good Shepherd quality to these FBI agents who seek out the lost. They are flawed, yes, but compassionate to others. A couple of weeks ago there was an episode with Hector Elizondo who played a priest who disappeared...he needed a liver transplant and time was running out. Try to catch this one on re-runs. He gives absolution to Jack … [Read more...]

Everwood

One of the Sisters in my community says that Everwood is a WB show created for adolescents but that the audience is parents and middle-aged people like me. That may be, but I love the pace, the story, the sullen kid who plays the piano like a master (I think he really does). There's not even too much whining (Dawson's Creek...) The issues seem real and the dialogue is not so starched and hip as the Creek was. Maybe this is a show parents can invite their young teens to watch with them? Some … [Read more...]

Tarzan

I think Edgar Rice Burroughs is turning over in his grave. This brought-up-to-date version of Tarzan made me cringe. Tarzan is going to be a vigilante for the NYPD? Jane is a female cop? Maybe it will grow into something, but the pilot was painful. I salute all the efforts to make watchable, even creative television, but either the Nielsons are broke or the shows are just not so great. (I have been watching the ratings for the new shows - where have all the couch potatoes gone? Or the rest … [Read more...]

Gilmore Girls

I really do like this show but it will remain to be seen where it will go this year now that Rory is off to college. Women write better scripts than the men and these guys (characters) all drink too much caffeine, the situation is postcard perfect, but it's nice to see a prime time program with young women who don't jump into a sexual relationship every chance they get (not so mama). This is really adolescent fare, and somewhat uneven. But I still watch it. This is nowhere near Dawson's Creek, … [Read more...]


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