Archive for March, 2005

From Awesome Movies To Sardonic TV Anime´ Makes A Big Splash

March 31, 2005

Anime

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“Yes”

March 31, 2005

“Yes” is an artsy-fartsy British film (with Joan Allen) about a couple whose marriage is over. Lots of strange camera work and editing. Be advised that the dialogue/monologue is poetic. Plot is all over the place, acting is self-conscious, and you get a Hollywood ending. You’d be wise to say ‘No’ to ‘Yes’.

GRADE = “C”

Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway

March 29, 2005

Since there’s a Kelly Clarkson contest going on right now, let’s talk about her cd “Breakaway”. Who has it? What do you think of it? I think that it is so amazing! I like a lot better than her first cd “Thankful”, because you get to see who Kelly is a lot more. Her lyrics and her voice are just so beautiful. That’s my opinion, what does everyone else think?

TVonDVD: The Lone Gunmen – Weird Heroes Who Were Ahead of Their Time

March 29, 2005

There are three main reasons a quality TV series gets cancelled by the end of its first season: it

Melinda & Melinda

March 28, 2005

Two writers are told the story of Melinda and asked if it has the makings of a comedy or a drama. Each writer then tells the tale of Melinda — one tells Melinda’s story as a light hearted comedy, the other tells a dark and tragic story. The movie then bounces back and forth between happy Melinda and tragic Melinda stories, so you get two movies in one. Great cast, great story, and you don’t have to big a huge Woody Allen fan to appreciate this movie. Grade: B.

Conquest of America: Prelude to A Superpower

March 28, 2005

By the time you finish watching the four-episode, two-night History Channel documentary special,

“Upside of Anger”

March 26, 2005

“Upside of Anger” is a dramedy about a woman with four daughters (teens and 20) who finds herself alone and unhappy. With a cleanup on the language, this soap opera could be an average made-for-tv movie. The talented cast muddles through the choppy scenes.

NOTE : Not scheduled to open for a while.

GRADE = “C”

Watchmen

March 26, 2005

If I were an English teacher, I would teach this book. As the next-best choice, I got it for my daughter for Xmas. When she suggested it at the Science-Fiction Club at school and the (teacher) moderator balked, I called & praised it most highly and GUESS WHAT, the group is reading it! I wish I were able to afford to buy copies for all the kids.
Besides being a very cool story, I find the graphic novel format lends itself to economical storytelling, and this is one of my favorite quotes – “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint Exupery. Who wants to read a 700 page book full of extraneous description (for some reason I’m thinking of Stephen King’s “It” here) when the story can fit like a jewel in the palm of your hand?
The other thing that makes Watchmen teach-worthy is that there are two of the finest examples of prose-poetry I’ve ever read. There’s Jon’s thermodynamic miracle speech on Mars, which is a dispassionate love sonnet (yeah, oxymoron) and the completely fierce despair of the birth of Rorschach.
Oh, and I don’t like poetry. I like these examples,though.
READ THIS BOOK.
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I can’t believe there are no other comic book posts. I’m off to try to find out if I am the oldest anime fan in America, too.

“”Guess Who”” We Talk With? “”Guess Who”” Director Kevin Rodney Sullivan!

March 25, 2005

We had a last minute chance to interview, Director Kevin Rodney Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan got his start by being an actor, and appeared in “”More American Graffiti,”” “”Star Trek: The Wraith of Kahn.”” He is also the man who directed the breakout hits “”How Stella Got Her Groove Back,”” and the recent hit Barbara Shop. The fun loving and down to earth Sullivan was in town attending a special screening of his latest flick the Sony Pictures film “”Guess Who”” which stars Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher. It is almost a lock that his latest is going to score huge at the box office.

We had a pretty wide ranging interview and roundtable session with the director. Here’s part one of the interview which contains the questions that I asked. Next week we’ll post part two which is everyone else’s questions, plus a few more. What can I say, I dominated the discussion – and I feel just sick about it.EMIt’s been 38 years since the original version of this film with Sidney Poitier. How did you approach this film knowing that on the one hand America has changed a lot, but on the other, it hasn’t?KRSAt first I was pretty scared to do it. [laughing] I thought Sidney’s movie was hallowed ground. It was a movie that really inspired me when I was young. The script was brought to me. Right after Barbershop was Number One, it was one of the few scripts that was sent to me. I thought the subject matter hasn’t been dealt with very much. And felt that Bernie and Ashton had a unique chemistry that would work really well on screen. After meeting with them, I decided that I wanted to do this. I also really like the idea of Percy Jones [the Bernie Mac character] – I really like that name, it’s a strong black man’s name, being a really amazing father. Here is a man who raised his daughters to have such strong characters that they would bring home a man no matter what color they were. I thought that was a great statement to be made about African American fathers and African American families.EMIt has been said in the last few weeks by Will Smith (who says things overseas that he would never say in America) that it is still taboo to show interracial relationships, especially black men and white women on screen, do you think it’s gotten better or that it’s just easier and more acceptable to show a white guy and black woman? <b.KRS Without question. [laughs] I think it is a hot button issue that is still a very scary issue in Hollywood and they are about the bottom line. They don’t think they can sell movies that feature an interracial couple. The “”Pelican Brief”” is an interesting example, in the book the Denzel and Julia Roberts characters were lovers, in the movie they are friends. [someone made a comment about off-set rumors of a Julia and Denzel romance and everyone in the room bust a gut laughing]. I don’t know nothing about that! [laughs]. I definitely feel that it’s one of the things that Hollywood is afraid to do. I was really impressed with Sony. They gave me the ball and supported me in every way possible. I was really surprised to see that.EMDo you think it was easier because it is being done in a comedy fashion and that the film focuses on the two male leads that make it a little more palpable to the studio?KRSI chose comedy for this movie because of the talent of my two stars. That’s what they do best. We were really interested in making a movie accessible. I do think that comedy crosses all lines and opens people up emotionally to new ideas. It is designed to make you really, really laugh before it starts to talk about the issues. A high point in the film comes with a comedic moment, followed by when Theresa tells her father “”I’m scared daddy. I’m out here, the way people look at us is scary to me. I need you to tell me that it’s ok.”” The way to get inside the topical aspects was to make sure the comedy got to a fever pitch first. So comedy serves the movie on a couple of levels – 1) We make mass entertainment. That’s my job, to give you your money’s worth when you come to the theater. [Interrupt, especially at $10 a pop!] [laughs] The movie, the popcorn, the parking, Popcorn is crazy expensive. By the time you are done you’ve spent $100! You want something for your money, and I hopefully will give it to you. I wanted to use the comedic genius of my stars, writing, and good story telling to get at this hot button issue.[pagebreak]EMWhat do you think of the comparisons between this and “”Meet The Parents.””KRS“”Meet The Parents”” is it’s own thing. The audience is really interested in the dynamic of when folks first meet their in-laws. That’s just a human story. Movies spend a lot of time giving a tough time to in-laws. But it doesn’t match the real life terror of when you actually meet your person’s family. When you are in love, you spend a lot of time in your own little world, it’s private, in the case of Theresa and Simon they are living in Manhatten having a good time, going to clubs, etc. When they start to think that they can make a go of this, they realize that “”I don’t know your people, and you don’t know my people.”” Then you have to meet the crazy cousins and all the baggage that comes with it. I think “”Meet The Parents”” did a nice job with that, but I don’t think my movie is trying to be their film, and “”Meet The Parents”” wasn’t the first one to do it either. Hollywood is driven by the familiar and the safe. The market place demands that they make movies that connect to audiences. I don’t get to decide that, my job is to bring my own particular point of view and what I know. It’s kind of the gig, and it’s a good gig. EMIt was refreshing to see a strong middle class black family that wasn’t in the ghetto, or have a kid involved with the law. I really liked seeing that.KRSThat was one of the reasons I was attracted to it. It was the powerful image of fatherhood that really made me want to do this. Without one word, you know that he’s done a fine job raising his daughters. Just like in the original film where Spencer Tracy taught his daughter not to see color, in this one Percy taught his daughter the same thing. [laughs] Of course when they come to the door it’s a whole other bag of beans. I have a 13 year old daughter, so I’m not at the point where she is bringing dudes home [laughs] thank god, I know it’s just around the corner, I figure if I did this movie I could work out my issues before we get there. Every man secretly feels that when their daughter brings a man home he’s going to look like him. I’m trying to make films that are universally interesting that focuses on the human dynamic. I’m not interested in the politics, I’m not a politician. I’m just a film director. I’m not trying to preach or teach, just trying to tell a story.EMWhat are you doing next?KRS[laughs] Sleep. I’ve been working non-stop for the last two and a half years, I did two movies and a television pilot, I am tired.

“Millions”

March 25, 2005

“Millions” is a British fantasy about a boy, his older brother, and their father, adjusting to the death of the mother/wife. They move from an established neighborhood to a new development and lots of money appear. Many humorous scenes in this leisurely-paced film. If you enjoyed “Billy Elliot” , you should enjoy this.

GRADE = “B+”