Daddy Day Care

This is not a great movie, but my 5-year old and 2-year old nephews kept chanting "Daddy Day Care! Daddy Day Care!" And they sat there and watched the film all the way through (my sister was so relieved because she had told them they were going to see Finding Nemo, and it was a week too early!!) As I have said before, the funniest thing was seeing a 3-year old talk Klingon with an adult. The thread about marketing sugar cereals to kids made an important media education point. … [Read more...]

Fighting Temptations

Fighting Temptations is a fun movie. Sure, the premise is thin, but it's about the rousing Gospel music and human goodness. You'd have to be a block of wood not to just sit back and enjoy. Not-so-subtle message about the whys, ways and means of the advertising industry, too. … [Read more...]

Secondhand Lions

Haley Joel Osmet is still acting like he was in A.I., but if you can look beyond that to the very original story and the eccentric personas of the characters that Robert Duvall and Michael Cane play, you'll have a good time. It's about having dreams and living them - or maybe not. The thing is to be so free on the inside that you can live your dreams. As usual, the trailers have most of the good parts in them, but if you like imagination, this is worth your time. There's a lot of love in … [Read more...]

Dirty Pretty Things

In a year filled with dark films, here's another with a difference. This one has to be a contender. It takes place in London. An illegal immigrant from Nigeria tends the front desk at night for a small hotel. The manager is involved in harvesting organs from the willing and the unwilling for profit. The Nigerian man lives illegally with a political refugee from Turkey. She has her own struggles. Just when human dignity seems to be completely lost, an unrequited love story  blooms, fulfilled … [Read more...]

Thirteen

A cautionary tale, written by a fifteen year-old kid. Amazing though dark and desperate. No one "likes" a film like this, but parents, if you are in a listening mode, listen. A "nice" girl goes bad when she hits middle school and mom doesn't have a clue about the kinds of questions she might ask and her kids don't come first. She (Holly Hunter) is not a bad person, just so clueless and without personal resources. She kind of floats through life and when she finally does get involved, we wonder … [Read more...]

Mystic River

Dark and despairing story about three friends in a Boston working class neighborhood. Their lives are changed forever when one of the boys is kidnapped while they are playing in the street. Thirty years later, the 19-year-old daughter of the Sean Penn character is murdered. The kidnapped boy, now married and barely able to work (Tim Robbins), and the other friend (Kevin Bacon, a state trooper detective), are thrown back together with devastating results. Not a lot of hope, though the filmmaking … [Read more...]

Under the Tuscan Sun

I loved it. I mean them.I went out and bought the book right after seeing the movie and though the film and book are not the same, almost all the plot points in the film are in the book. The author, Frances Mayes, calls the film just another "interpretation" of her book. If you've ever dreamed of living in Italy, getting in touch with the land, experiencing life as raw, new and old, read the book and see the movie. Hopeful, beautiful - you feel like you are there. I loved the way the Blessed … [Read more...]

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Quenten Tarantino returns with a two hour sequence of female revenge. When The Bride slays or seriously damages 88 assassins, the audience laughed. Tarantino has made spouting blood and cuts (amputations) a cliche'. It's all about the movie because there is no story. More linear than Pulp Fiction, I don't get the fascination with choreographed slashing as a proposed art form. It is smart (self-referent to the martial arts and such films; includes animation) but I was bored. Some women I met … [Read more...]

Intolerable Cruelty

George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are fine but the film lacks the loony humor of O Brother Where Art Thou? and the ironic tragedy of Fargo. However, note that the film is not cynical - it's a commentary on the contemporary cynicism about marriage. Ends satisfactorily. Kind of O'Henry-ish … [Read more...]

School of Rock

I loved School of Rock. Pro-kid, lots of heart. Amazing talent.It's easy to see how some parents might get nervous at the way parental authority is questioned, but I think this and other points that might make adults nervous are the very reasons why parents need to see this film - after all, their kids are seeing the film, or talking with kids who have. This way, you can have respectful conversations with your kids about what's important.    … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X