Love Actually

Love Actually looked very inviting to me in the previews. After spending 2 1/2 hours watching Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World I was looking for some light Christmas refreshment. Alas, what could have been a montage of about eight love stories turned out to be a hodge-podge of tales that intertwined (more or less) and made this, to me, a less than appealing Christmas film. The one part that made me give this a thumbs down was the soft porn actors falling in love as they went … [Read more...]

Matrix Revolutions

This final installment in the Wachowski Brothers amazing trilogy about humanity vs the machines (that's way over simplifying it) is excellent. For those who find the Creed in The Matrix, look for the revelation to reach its zenith in The Matrix Revolutions. If you are a fan, I believe this will meet your expectations, especially if you are into transcendence. … [Read more...]

Joan of Arcadia

Joan of Arcadia is the surprise hit of the sason - or is it a surprise? Barbara Hall (Judging Amy) has created a metaphysical space - Arcadia - for us to drop in and visit every week as God visits the teenager Joan. God has many faces - young, old, all races, cultures and occupations - and invites her (sometimes with a little more conviction) to do something that ends up helping someone or inspiring them. The show is thoughtful and I think the acting is excellent. Joe Mantegna as the … [Read more...]

CSI – Las Vegas, Miami, Navy

Why is it audiences like to watch close ups of body innards?When CSI (Vegas) first came on, I watch it religiously (?!). Then came Miami. I like David Caruso but I still feel cheated because they stole Emily Procter from The West Wing. Anyway. Now Mark Harmon runs the Navy CSI. Different spins on the same theme: experts use forensics to solve very serious crimes. One thing I like about all of these is the cultural diversity of the casts, but all of them are headed by Middle Aged White … [Read more...]

Life with Bonnie

I don't get to watch this show every week, but when I do, it always has some great laughs. There was a recent episode with the Smothers Brothers in it and it was so funny. Sure they sang that same old Spanish song that they turn into German. We older folks have heard it so many times, but in the show they played two brothers who run a construction company who used to have their own show but now "they don't want to talk about it." Older, yes, and funny as ever. Bonnie plays a … [Read more...]

Station Agent

The Station Agent is my new favorite movie of the year, just replacing Whale Rider that came out today on DVD. Wonderful themes of community, kindness, compassion - and just being quiet. Fin is a dwarf who inherits an old train station "house" in rural New Jersey. He cannot rid himself of the kindness of strangers. This is a celebration of the human family. I went to an art house in Santa Monica and it was about 1/3 full. Amost everyone stayed as the credits rolled, and the folks I saw came out … [Read more...]

Singing Detective

The Singing Detective is the poor man's version of A Beautiful Mind. Whereas A Beautiful Mind was based on the true story of John Forbes Nsh, Jr. who suffered from paranoia and schizophrenia, Robert Downey, Jr. plays a fictional (from what I can tell) paranoid /schizophrenic writer who hallucinates into song because he witnessed his mother and her lovers' sexual misbehavior as a child. Fine acting but a really weird movie. Mel Gibson's most unusual and creative role yet as … [Read more...]

Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders - I liked it. Good acting from Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen. If someone says that the refugees are exploited or the audience's emotions are being unduly engaged, don't listen. I'd give this film a chance. It covers global humanitarian disasters from 1984 to 1995 or so through the experiences of aid workers and an American woman who at first has a bleeding heart, but who then makes good on it. People who live in comfort need to see the effects of the US not banning land mines. And … [Read more...]

In the Cut

In the Cut proves that Meg Ryan can act in other roles besides cute ones. However, I'd really need to interview Jane Campion before I would dare to hedge a bet on what this was about. Try a female version of The Bad Lieutenant. This is not pretty, not nice and someone put curry in the apple pie. OK, Blue Velvet also comes to mind. Life under the under belly. Maybe its time to take a look at Jane Campion's women. It's about a lighthouse without any light except the revleation of a truth - … [Read more...]

Runaway Jury

The Runaway Jury, based closely on a John Grisham novel, is complex and it sure got my attention. It's about the gun lobby as much as it is about amoral - and moral - lawyers. Sobering, moving, probably confusing at times, but I felt like I got my money's worth. This is not the run of the mill courtroom drama.   … [Read more...]