It is 1959 and Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman), fresh from his success with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, makes the circuit of New York’s rich and famous. He is a raucous raconteur, and entertains listeners in his effeminate style.   Uncertain of what his next project will be, in November he sees a newspaper story about the murder of a family of four in a remote Kansas town. Something tells him that this is the story that will define him as a writer. He calls his childhood fri … [Read more...]

History of Violence, A

          A History of Violence is based on a graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke. This is no obscure, film noir-ish high concept special F/X tale as we saw in Sin City. This film version of a graphic novel, while violently explicit, is philosophical. It explores the nature of violence in ordinary people, personified by those in hometown middle-America, leaving us with more questions than answers. It is also possible to view the film … [Read more...]


I wrote about MirrorMask in August since it was an entry in the main competition at the Locarno Insternational Film Festival. This a re-post with some added commentary:   MirrorMask, directed by Dave McKean, UK and USA, 2004(produced with Jim Henson Studios)   In Brighton, England, the daughter of parents who own a traveling circus, rebels about being part of it. When her mother gets sick and is hospitalized, her father must confront his growing financial difficulties that means the … [Read more...]


Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow)’s father, Robert (Anthony Hopkins) has just died. He was a brilliant professor of mathematics who in his early years did some incredible proofs that had an impact on mathematics and applied science. One of Robert’s doctoral students, Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal) goes through her father’s office the day before the funeral. He finds a notebook with what seems to be a new proof. Catherine thinks he only wants to publish it to become famous, something he denies.   Claire (Ho … [Read more...]


On the news this morning, Jeffrey Lyons, NBC/Channel 4’s critic here in Los Angeles almost seemed enthusiastic about Duma being released this week. He called it a good family film shot in exotic places (or words to that effect.) I would have to agree.   When I previewed the film several months ago, there were continuity gaps that I am sure must have been cleaned up by now. Having said this, Duma is a fine watch with one of my favorite actors, Campbell Scott playing the role of the father, P … [Read more...]

Dr. Phil, Tuesday, Sept 27 CBS 4:00pm

My sister Sarah will be on Dr. Phil this coming Tuesday about how her son, Gabriel, died playing "the choking game". I have not shared this tragedy with those who read the list before, but I hope you will tune in and watch this show. Dr. Phil said during the taping that almost 500 known cases of this kind of teen death happens each year in the USA - and probably many more. Please feel free to share this information with others and help prevent another tragedy. Blessings, Sr … [Read more...]

Greatest Game Ever Played, The

          In the late 1800’s a poor family on the British island of Jersey is evicted from their home to make way for the construction of a golf course for gentlemen. The son, Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane), grows up to be the only six-time winner of the British Open Gold tournament in history. Years later when he is visiting Boston he gives tips to young Francis Ouimet who is fascinated by g … [Read more...]

Lord of War

Yuri Orlav (Nicolas Cage) immigrated to Little Odessa in Brooklyn when he was a young boy in the early 1980’s. Besides his parents (played by Shake Tukhmanyan and  Jean-Pierre Nshanian) his little brother Vitaly (Jared Leto) came as well. Although the family was Catholic, it was easier to get out of the USSR if you were Jewish, so the family took on that identity and opened a kosher restaurant in Brighton Beach.   One day when Yuri was grown and doing nothing in particular, he entered a … [Read more...]

Unfinished Life, An

Einar Gilkyson (Robert Redford) lives on a broken down cattle ranch outside of a small town in a beautiful valley in Wyoming. He is about seventy years old, and cares for his friend of forty years, Mitch (Morgan Freeman), who lives in a cabin near the ranch house. Einar is edgy and crusty; Mitch is partially disabled and in pain. They argue with one another as old friends. Each day Einar milks the one remaining cow and visits his son Griff’s grave on the hillside. His wife left him when he s … [Read more...]

40 Year Old Virgin, The

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell, The Office, Bruce Almighty) works in the back room of an electronics store. He lives quietly at home, alone, collecting collectibles, playing video games, watching Survivor with his neighbors, and riding his bike to work.   One day the guys at the store invite him to a poker game. When the talk and bragging turns to chicks and babes, Andy tries to keep up but cannot because he has no experience. He’s a virgin. So four of the guys decide to help him get laid. M … [Read more...]