Archive for August, 2002

21 Grams

With its fractured, non-linear storylines, gripping, complex performances, and strong direction, "21 Grams" emerges as one of the best films of the year. While "21 Grams" has nothing to do with drugs, the intoxicating blend of cinema verite and personal drama will leave you numb. Read the rest of this entry »

Cinderella II: Dreams Come True

The movie explores Cinderella’s “happily ever after” life as a princess in 3 stories, with help from the Fairy Godmother. First, Cinderella’s awkward first days at the palace, when she tried so hard to fit in that she forgot to be herself. Second, how Jaq felt so left out that he wished to be a human Read the rest of this entry »

Showtime

LAPD Detective Sergeant Mitch Preston cares only about doing his job and nailing crooks. LAPD Patrol Officer Trey Sellars joined the force as a day job until his acting career took off. During an undercover drug buy Mitch was working that Trey botched by calling in for backup and drawing media attention, Mitch’s partner is shot with a very exotic 12-gauge automatic weapon; Mitch then shoots the video camera out of the hands of a reporter filming the action when the cameraman refused to shut it down Read the rest of this entry »

Auto Focus DVD

Since everything in Hollywood is based on perception, most celebrities are forced to keep their private lives private. It may have been easier back in Hollywood’s golden age, when gossip queens Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper were controlled by their publishers. With the expansion of cable and the Internet, keeping a secret has become impossible. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Count On Me DVD

In the sideshow that is her life, single mom Sammy Prescott has become a master juggler. She’s so busy juggling the men in her life that until recently she has had little time for self reflection. Sammy is so afraid that if she drops one ball her whole life will come crashing down. Read the rest of this entry »

War of the Worlds

Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds is mind-numbing and jaw-dropping, but not in a good way. It’s a two-hour chase through a maze of technical gee whiz and spoon-fed maudlin about the luckiest family on the face of the Earth, or at least what’s left after those nasty Tri-Pod driving, blood-sucking aliens get done with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Cars

Movie trailers can be deceiving. Sometimes they give away too much. Occasionally, like Gap ads, you have no idea what they’re selling. Then there are bad previews that make you scratch your head and wonder what all the fuss is about. Pixar makes great movies. Unfortunately, they don’t make very good previews. Read the rest of this entry »

Traffic

Twenty-five years after Vietnam, America is still at war. This time the enemy is drugs, or more appropriately, the people who make, dispense and use them. If we are to believe everything we see and read, the war is being lost. Read the rest of this entry »

Showtime

“Showtime,” a buddy comedy, is directed by Tom Dey, whose freshman outing was “Shanghai Noon,” a buddy comedy starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. The film is co-written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who not only wrote “Shanghai Noon,” but the cop buddy comedy “Lethal Weapon 4.” Read the rest of this entry »

Radio

Despite good intentions, “Radio” suffers from a weak signal. That signal is the too-good-to-be- true screenplay by Mike Rich (“Finding Forrester”) which takes the true story of a mentally challenged black man nicknamed “Radio” and turns his life into a moderately engaging television movie of the week. Read the rest of this entry »

Short Cinema Journal 1:1

For years, those of us outside the film festival circuit have been deprived of the fascinating and experimental little films that have landed their makers big studio contracts. We get to hear all of the hoopla and read what gems they are, but with the exception of eclectic cable stations like “Sundance” and “Independent Film Channel,” they have been inaccessible to the majority of us. Read the rest of this entry »

Spy Game DVD

So mind-numbingly banal, “Spy Game” is an insult to anyone who has to suffer through it. One bad choice piled on top of another, “Spy Game” quickly collapses under the weight of a ludicrous screenplay, flat acting and uninspired direction. Read the rest of this entry »

Cube

If you don’t like cube steak, then you’re going to hate the first five minutes of “Cube.” Hold on to your seats (and lunch) as a man wakes up in a strange cubicle, with exits on all four walls. He doesn’t know how he got there, but he does know if he’s going to survive, he’s going to have to find a way out. Read the rest of this entry »

Crush

Andie McDowell is charming as an American headmistress at a British school, whose romance with a former student hammers a wedge between her best friends. McDowell shines as Kate, who gets together every week with her best friends (Anna Chancellor, Imelda Staunton) for a little smoke, a little drink, and a little gossip. Okay, a lot of all three. Read the rest of this entry »

Nurse Betty DVD

“Nurse Betty” is just the prescription for anyone looking for a genuinely funny off-beat comedy.

Filled with delightful, eccentric characters and swift, sharp dialogue, this romantic comedy comes as an unexpected Valentine from director Neil LaBute. Read the rest of this entry »