Luther

Luther begins with a tortured young man pleading with God for forgiveness. He enters a monastery, probably for the wrong reasons. But he studies and learns and knows heresy when he sees it.I liked this telling of Luther's life, especially because in its two-hour life span it brought in Luther's personality and character, the Catholic Church at that time - almost 500 years ago, and how the "princes" played into Luther's calling the truth as he saw it.This could be a valuable film for anyone … [Read more...]

Freaky Friday

This film about a mother and daughter who exchange bodies/identites for twenty-four hours was a lot of fun. It's always a good thing to walk in another person's shoes and see life from adifferent perspective, especially a loved one. Rather than a preachy family movie, it reinforced the idea and value of family. What a difference a day makes. … [Read more...]

S.W.A.T.

And the plot was about... studly LAPD characters doing the action thing. Even with a Latina as a token female lead, there was not enough there to impress me. I imagine there will be a sequel. Why? … [Read more...]

Bonhoeffer

This feature-length documentary is opening this weekend in Los Angeles, and I must say, I liked it very much. Bonhoeffer's story is fascinating on its own merits. This documentary adds photos, context, theology, history - and ecclesiolgy to his life (1906-1945) that ended when he was executed by the Nazi's for participating in the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler.His decision to take an active role (however quiet) in the conspiracy was rooted in his contemplation of the Sermon on the Mount. I … [Read more...]

Open Range

I wish someone could explain to me why this film did so well. I saw it on an August afternoon soon after it opened in suburban Sacramento and I was the youngest person in the theater (+50). Three people rode in sitting in wheel chairs and a couple walked with canes. There were only white people in a theater almost 3/4 full. They clapped at the end.Aside from the forced, deliberate cinematography and Annette Bening really playing her age, I was not impressed. Two old-ish guys fight off a … [Read more...]

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Robert Rodriguez' sequel to El Mariachi and Desperado is more of a witness to something than a story anyone can repeat. Johnny Depp is back in another 2003 film, loopy and dangerous, as a CIA operative trying to manipulate Mexican politics. "El" (Antonio Banderas) is out to avenge the murders of his wife and daughter who represent his country, Mexico. It's hard to believe that the creator of the family-friendly Spy Kids franchise could produce a trilogy so violent it repels as it … [Read more...]

Judging Amy

Fine drama, fine acting, fine story-lines... I am always surprised that the hour has gone by so quickly.Amy is now a criminal court judge in Hartford, CT. I did like her when she was on the bench in juvenile court, so we'll have to see how adult crime fares in her courtroom. Juvenile court was just as often about the crimes perpetrated against children as it was them doing wrong. Tyne Daly is a marvel. This is serious television done fine, just the right amount of serious issues, … [Read more...]

Alias

This is my must-see TV show of the week. I watch it for no other reason than it's totally engaging, unreal, and the plot keeps surprising me. And it has a female as the heroine in a television landscape that has precious few of those. I know it's "only" TV. Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) is this ... spy. Now she's in with the good guys (?) the CIA. It's impossible to explain the plot, so the best thing to do is go back to ABC on cable, maybe on New Years Day 2004, when they will do a … [Read more...]

Whale Rider

Whale Rider was the BEST film of the summer of 2003, the highlight, the blessing. If you were enchanted by "Island of the Blue Dolphin" as a kid, and "Gifts of the Sea" as an adult, then you'll want to experience this quiet contemplation of a young girl's life and her desire to belong to her Maori tribe and make a contribution. There is a deep longing in the film that if you let it, will move you and stay with you. Mythical and mystical. This movie was more than worth it. … [Read more...]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Everyone says the Academy won't give an Oscar to a Disney film. If that's the case, I will give Johnny Depp my own Candle Award (I just thought of that!) He is so loopy and fun in this movie - it has to be the most entertaining film of the summer. He owned this movie. Pirates had all the right ingredients - fantasy, history, reality, romance, quirk, adventure ... to name a few. And if you dig a little deeper you can even hit some social justice issues, like the rape of South America's gold that … [Read more...]


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