This deserving film is the story of a young gang leader in contemporary Soweto, South Africa. Based on a 1983 novel by screenwriter and director Athol Fugard, it is told anew to a post-apartheid country and world in a gritty and captivating style by South African filmmaker Gavin Hood. Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) and his posse are ruthless thieves and killers: Butcher (Zenzo Ngqobe), an amoral killer with no impulse control, Aap, (Kenneth Nkosi) Tostsi’s friend since their homeless childhood, a … [Read more...]

Joyeux Noel

                            The Incarnation and War         For the second year in a row, a Christmas-themed film will be released nine months early, or three months late, depending on how you look at it. In 2005 it was the charming family film Millions and on March 3 the French Academy Award - nominated film Joyeux Noël … [Read more...]

Oscar Hopes 2006

These are my hopes for the Academy Awards on Sunday: Best Actor - Phillip Seymour Hoffman Best Supporting Actor - Paul Giamatti Best Actress - Reese Witherspoon: Walk the Line Best Supporting Actress - Rachel Weisz: Constant Gardener Best Animated Feature: Corpse Bride Best Cinematography: The New World Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha Best Direction: Crash Best Documentary Feature: March of the Penguins Best Foreign Language Film: Between Tsotsi (seeing it tonight) and Joyeux Noel … [Read more...]

Celebration of Gospel: BET’s 6th

If you are a fan of Gospel, or not, tune into BET's 6th Celebration of Gospel on February 23rd (BET is a cable station). Here is the web link: http://www.bet.com/Music/RingTones/BET+Stirs+Up+the+Soul+at+6th+Celebration+of+Gospel+in+Los+Angeles.htm?wbc_purpose=Basic I was invited to be at the taping by one of the show's producers, and it rocked! Stevie Wonder sings three songs (one a duet), and the show is hosted by Steve Harvey. Now let me tell you something about Steve Harvey: he's … [Read more...]

Curious George

Ted, (voice of Will Ferrell), is a curator at a museum in New York City and he really tries to get the students as excited about the museum as he is. The teacher, Maggie (voice of Drew Barrymore), is sweet on Ted but he doesn’t really get it. The museum is in financial trouble and the director’s son, BloomsburyJr. (voice of David Cross), wants to level it and make it a parking lot.   The director, an aging and kindly man who was once an adventurer, Mr. Bloomsbury (voice of Dick Van Dyke), r … [Read more...]

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...]