Get Rich or Die Tryin’

The only reason I decided to see this film is because it was directed by Jim Sheridan, a director I greatly admire (In America, My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father). I also admire MTV movies – for the most part. The themes seem to want to dig in and raise up the characters from the worlds that are stifling them. At the end of the day, however, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ disappoints. Unlike Sheridan’s other films, or even the MTV films I have seen, no one gets lifted up very much.   But the … [Read more...]

Pride and Prejudice

A wonderful two hour and seven minute version of Jane Austin’s classic novel of the plight of landed gentry women in reduced circumstances is in theaters now – and it is worth the price of the ticket.   I think everyone knows the story by now; it’s a matter of highlighting why this version of a young woman and young man, who take an immediate dislike to each other when they meet, harbor a secret interest in one another, and then end up married (depending on which film or television version y … [Read more...]


Based on Puccini's 1896 opera La Boheme (which was directed by Toscanini), Rent is the film version of the award-winning Broadway rock opera. It covers about a year in the life of a group of friends living a bohemian life in Manhattan's Lower East Side and trying to make it as actors, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, and in one case, a teacher.   As the title indicates, the friends have to find a way to pay the rent to a former friend, Benny, (Taye Diggs) who went into business with the … [Read more...]

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

After students and faculty attend the Quidditch World Cup (at an amazing special f/x stadium at some other location), the Triwizard Tournament comes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Students from two other wizardry schools arrive at Hogwarts to compete, though only three names will be chosen from the Goblet of Fire.    Harry (Daniel Radcliff), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Gint) are not old enough to put their names in for the draw (they must be 17). However, … [Read more...]

Weather Man, The

David Spritz (Nicholas Cage) is the depressed 40-ish Chicago television weatherman in search of his soul in this peculiar film that seems like it might be a comedy, but in reality is a serious enough drama. David is divorced from his wife Noreen (Hope Davis) and has two troubled children, Mike (Nicholas Hoult) who is being seduced by his court-appointed counselor, and the over-weight Shelly (Gemmenne de la Pena) who seems bored with life. David's father, Robert (Michael Caine), is concerned for … [Read more...]

Left Behind: World at War

Scripture, rapture and Apocalypse: 'Left Behind: World at War'As one year ends and another begins in the church's liturgical cycle, the Scripture readings remind us that Christ has died, he has risen, and he will come again in glory, at a time we do not know, to judge the living and the dead. This apocalyptic theme often appears in both literature and cinema. On the weekend of Oct. 22, "Left Behind: World at War" opened in 3,200 Protestant churches around the country with a … [Read more...]

Yours, Mine, and Ours

        Coast Guard Admiral Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid), a widower with eight kids, is in the process of moving his family to New London, CT. His new assignment is to head up the Coast Guard Academy. An old friend sets him up with a blind date and at the restaurant he meets an old high school flame, Helen (Renee Russo). Soon after they meet at their high school reunion and old sparks are rekindled.         Helen … [Read more...]

Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Although the film will not be released until December 9th, here is a feature article I wrote for St. Anthony Messenger on background for the film, the life of C.S. Lewis and issues that the filmmakers had to face, such as fidelity to the text, the ratings, Christian representation and educational dimensons. I saw the film this past week and my review will appear here on December 8th. … [Read more...]

Walk the Line

The men at Folsom Prison are clapping their hands and stomping their feet in anticipation of Johnny Cash's (Joaquin Phoenix) highly anticipated performance. But Johnny is in one of the workshops, touching the blade of a saw, remembering.                                              … [Read more...]

Millions – for Christmas

In case you didn't know, MILLIONS was released on DVD on November 1. If you are looking for a wonderful Christmas film with human and spiritual values, this is a movie you'll want to own and watch during the Christmas season. Here is my review from March 2005 when the film was released: Tuesday, March 8, 20051:54:00 PM PST    … [Read more...]