Match Point

Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), a retired pro tennis player tired of the game, is hired at an exclusive tennis club in London to give lessons to its wealthy members. He practices with Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode) and they become friendly. Chris says he loves opera, and Tom promptly invites him to the theater to see "La Traviata" - a tragedy - and to sit in his family’s box. There Chris meets Tom’s Sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer) and she is immediately attracted.   When Chris visits the fam … [Read more...]

Matador, The

-Spoiler-   Pierce Brosnan plays Julian Noble (sic), an aging, lonely, somewhat narcissistic assassin who is fast losing his edge. He doesn’t off politicos, but sticks to the corporate types. On assignment to Mexico City he meets Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), a corporate type from Denver who is trying to rebuild his life after the death of his little son a few years before. Danny walks into the hotel bar after his partner leaves for Denver after the business meeting; Danny is to wait to hear … [Read more...]

Fields of Mudan

A young Chinese girl named Mudan (Nicole Nishimoto) dreams of going to America with her mother. Her fantasies take her to a beautiful field and she is running with her mother toward a large farm house is the distance. She imagines the U.S. flag as a beacon of hope.    Then her sleep is interrupted by the bouncing of the truck in which she is riding. It stops and the door opens. The dim light shows the child to be about eight or nine. She carries a picture she has drawn of her with her … [Read more...]

Nanny McPhee

Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) is a widower with seven children somewhere in late 18th century England. By trade he is an undertaker who needs financial help from his wife’s great aunt Matilda (Angela Lansbury) to keep up the household. To continue receiving this support Matilda tells him he must marry within a month.The children, led by the eldest, Simon (Thomas Sangster) are hellions. To get their father’s attention they torment every nanny he hires. They have just got rid of the 16th or 17th when … [Read more...]

End of the Spear and Beyond the Gates of Splendor

In the 1950’s five young Christian men decided to go to Ecuador as missionaries. By 1956, all five were there with their wives. One, Nate Saint (Chad Allen), had an older sister, Rachel (Sarah Kathryn Bakker), who had helped raise him, and was already working there as a missionary.   In 1948 the Shell Oil Company had begun to drill for oil on the land of the Waodani, an indigenous tribe different from all others. They were so fierce that the company withdrew. A few years before that, i … [Read more...]

Glory Road

Get ready for an amazing film about the 1960’s, when race and basketball kissed, and a new era in American athletics began.    Most of this review is based on the interviews at the press junket for the film last Sunday here in Los Angeles. First seeing this really good film and then attending an awesome afternoon of interviews really made for a memorable few days. The cast, filmmakers, and writers are serious about their work, their art – and about the stories they choose to be par … [Read more...]

Last Holiday

Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) lives, works, and worships in New Orleans (pre-Katrina). Her job at a large department store in the cookware department gives her a bird’s eye view to the floor below where Sean Matthews (LL Cool J) sells things like barbeque units and backyard furniture. She’s sweet on him but doesn’t tell a soul. At home she watches cooking shows, eats like a bird, and keeps a scrap book of all the places she wants to visit to try the local cuisine. Her young neighbor sneaks a peak … [Read more...]

What I’m Watching on TV

January, 2006   As you know, I am a media literacy education specialist and the film/TV columnist for St. Anthony Messenger (www.americancatholic.org).   To me it is very important to be tuned in to the shows a significant number of people are watching. Sometimes I review shows because they are new; at other times, because they are significant; and at other times because I just like them.   My favorite ads right now: California Cows are happy so they make good cheese (well, you … [Read more...]

Book of Daniel (TV)

Friday's, NBC, 9/8pm   Aidan Quinn plays Father Daniel Webster, an Episcopalian priest, pastor of a New England parish who is partial to Vicodin, husband to Judith (Susannah Thompson) who is rather unhinged, father to Peter (Christian Campbell) who is gay and out of the closet but who does not want to lead the parade, Adam (Ivan Owen), of Chinese ancestry that the Webster’s adopted and who is very horny, and Grace (Alison Pill; wonderful in Pieces of April) who was just busted and bailed o … [Read more...]

My Favorite Films of 2005

Not counting all the films I saw at the Locarno Film Festival, I saw 80 new releases this year – out of the top 250 films that will gross a million or more domestically. If you check the weekly VARIETY for the third week of January, you can see the entire list of highest grossing films.   Here’s my "Sweet Sixteen" list of favorites in alphabetical order; they are all reviewed in this blog:   Batman Begins Capote Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ Constant Garde … [Read more...]


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