John Constantine is a Vertigo/DC comic book hero who came into being in 1985. He is a supreme "mage", or magician, part scoundrel, part good guy.   In Constantine the movie (2005) Keanu Reeves plays a kind of anti-hero, a Catholic named John Constantine (note the initials JC), who as a young man committed suicide but hell didn't want him. He is still roaming the earth, seeking redemption. He has a wry sense of humor and a really bad smoking habit; in fact it's killing him again. … [Read more...]

Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie is the story about a lonely little girl and the stray dog she adopts, their adventures, and especially the friends they make, over one long summer.    Opal (AnnaSophia Robb) rescues Winn-Dixie from the dog pound (she names him on the spot at the supermarket where he is joyfully wreaking havoc), takes him home to her preacher father (Jeff Daniels) who only reluctantly agrees to keep the orphan Winn-Dixie until the owner can be found. The preacher is a sad man whose … [Read more...]

Hide and Seek

After Dr. David Callaway (Robert DeNiro) discovers his wife’s (Amy Irving) body in the bathtub, with her wrists slashed, he decides that he must move outside of New York for the sake of his daughter, Emily (Dakota Fanning). She has been in therapy for several weeks after her mother’s death, and her doctor, Katherine (Famke Jansenn) a former student of David’s, doesn’t think it’s a good thing to do. But they go anyway.   David and Emily move an hour north into a huge house on t … [Read more...]

The Work and the Glory

The Steed family moves from Vermont to Palmyra, New York in the late 1820’s. Once there, they settle on some land outside of town and start to clear it for farming. The two older sons, Nathan (Alexander Carroll) and Joshua (Eric Johnson) are attracted to Lydia (Tiffany Dupont) the daughter of a shop owner. The work is difficult and Mr. Steed (Sam Hennings) hires the two Smith brothers, Joseph (Jonathan Scarfe of ABC’s 2004 telefilm Judas) and Matthew (Colin Ford), to help.   Before long, th … [Read more...]

Coach Carter

In 1999, sports store owner Ken Carter, played by Samuel L. Jackson, took over as basketball coach at Richmond High School in California. He led the team with strength, taught the young men discipline with dignity and made them champions. But the team had to sign contracts to attend class, sit in the front of the class and keep up their GPA’s. When they failed to keep their end of the bargain, Carter cancelled games and locked the gym. Not once, but until the school board called off the lock o … [Read more...]

Meet the Fockers

  When Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) says, “I'm going to be Pamela Martha Focker! Yes, I know how that sounds!” it pretty much says it all about this sequel to the money-making machine, the 2000 Meet the Parents.   By now just about everyone who wanted to has seen this film starring Robert DeNero, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand and Blythe Danner, has done so. Pam and Greg (Stiller) accompany his parents, the Focker’s (DeNero and Danner), to Florida in an armored deluxe mobile ho … [Read more...]

In Good Company

Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid) is a 51-year old family man and ad executive for a national sports magazine. He is enjoying his success when a huge multinational media corporation buys the magazine and he is replaced by an upwardly mobile and successful executive from the cell phone division of the corporation, 26-year old, Carter Duryea (Topher Grace). Though Dan is not “let go” (the euphemism the corporation used instead of the offensive word “fired”), he is dismayed by the changes and wants to leav … [Read more...]

Are We There Yet?

When sports memorabilia seller Nick Persons (Ice Cube) spots the lovely divorcee Suzanne (Nia Long) standing outside the party store where she works in downtown Portland, OR, he is smitten. He has just picked up his new late-model Lincoln SUV and is feeling good indeed. But he finds out from his colleague Marty (Jay Mohr) that she has two kids and loses interest. But on the way home, Suzanne’s car breaks down and Nick stops to help her. This leads to Nick bringing Suzanne to and from work as her … [Read more...]

Golden Globes 2005: Who I think will win (and who I want to win)

Golden Globes 2005: Who I think will win (see below for the list of those I would like to see win) Best Motion Picture Drama Million Dollar Baby Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Sideways Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Jamie Foxx, Ray  Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Annette Bening, Being Julia Best Supporting Actor … [Read more...]

HOTEL RWANDA: Most Significant Film of 2004

Hotel Rwanda is certainly the most significant film of 2004. I want to single it out for its witness to courage and the power of one person and his family, to step forward and do what needs to be done to save the lives of others - sharing the same risk of death. Don Cheadle's performance as hotel mamager Paul Rusesabaginais is Oscar worthy, and it would not surprise me if Sophie Okonedo as his wife Tatiana gets a nomination as well. When the world refused to help and looked the other way, Paul … [Read more...]