Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 TOP TEN

In alphabetical order

Since his unsuccessful attempt at becoming President of the United States in 2000, former Vice-President Al Gore has been on a mission to tell the world what we already know, that global warming is something real and we must deal with it. His presentation is slick using the most modern visual aids so we can see for ourselves the problem as it exists. Gores’ easy approach is not so much of a lecture but just being with someone who has become something of an expert on this subject. The one thing that seems out of place are the political highlights of his career that don’t really belong here.

Apart from being way too long (almost 2½ hours) this is a movie with a lot going for it: excellent performances throughout, a good story line, fast-paced action and great cinematography. It also looks and sounds very realistic to the point those of us who are somewhat squeamish have to look away during some of the scenes.

Police drama
This is one gritty, tough-guy movie with language and violence to match. For fear of giving away too much of the plot, I'll say little except it can get a bit confusing so pay attention to what’s going on, especially at the beginning. In addition to the crisp editing (which makes the 2 hours fly by) there are excellent performances by several of the actors. Nicholson for one is at the top of his game. This part was made for him.

With rapid-fire dialog and terrific acting (especially Streep’s portrayal of the cold and reserved boss barking out unreasonable demands) coupled with crisp editing and a good story line, this is a very enjoyable comedy about the fashion industry.

Idi Amin was such a complex man prone to fits of anger one minute then becoming the most charming person in the room. His moods changed so rapidly it is a wonder anybody can portray him. But Forest Whitaker gives one of the most riveting performances seen in years. The supporting cast does an excellent job too. Based on historical fact, it is inevitable that some of the awful things that took place during Amin’s reign come to light. Several scenes make for unpleasant viewing but if you can handle it, this is one terrific movie.

W. Somerset Maugham's epic love story has been beautifully adapted to film with great attention to making it look and feel authentic. The acting is top notch, done with feeling that mirrors life resulting in real, believable characters. The story is well-paced allowing time for character development and provides more than a few opportunities to linger on many beautiful images, not only of the countryside but also of the actors themselves. Some of the shots are nothing less than spectacular.

This fact-based story of three Muslim Brits (the so-called “Tipton Three”) and their buddy Monir mixes documentary footage with "dramatisations" of real events that took place in 2001. What started out to be a simple trip back to their homeland wound up being a tortuous adventure for them all. Not always easy to watch, this insight to the brutal treatment any adversary is subjected to by his captors is both riveting and revealing.

A wonderful character study not only of the Queen but of her advisors as well. There are really good performances by most of the cast. There is no way of knowing exactly what transpired during private conversations between the principals but the dialogue rings true and that’s what matters.

Based on a true story
Obviously this is not a film for everyone. Some will find it too painful to see a film about a tragic event the morning of September 11, 2001 that resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 people and has changed all our lives.
Those who chose to see it will be rewarded with a superbly crafted movie that shows the behind-the-scenes activities that transpired that day. Capturing the mistakes people make when under stress, like stumbling over their words or talking too rapidly to be easily understood enhances the feeling of “being there”.

Based on a true story
Heard in the lobby:
“I was transfixed, not wanting to take my eyes off the screen for a moment”
I think these comments represent the majority of those who chose to see this movie about the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.


Warning: this movie is not for everyone!
Don’t consider for a moment inviting your mother (or anyone else of the polite-gentile persuasion) to see this one with you. Nor should you make it your first-date-movie because that could well be your last.
Please note that Borat’s racist, sexist remarks, his frequent use of profanity, the anti-Semitic scenes, the demeaning comments about gays and Muslims could be offensive to many. Others will find themselves laughing at the sheer foolishness of it all.

Set in a small New England town the movie has uniformly believable acting and some really great performances. It has an unhurried pace about it which allows time for character development. It’s also a bit of emotional roller coaster but overall, it’s one terrific movie. Please note that it well deserves the R rating for strong sexuality and nudity, language and some disturbing content.

True wartime story
Terrific acting makes you forget you’re not watching the real thing. Half the film takes place in the office of the interrogator, and you might think it a big bore, but the cross-examination in fact is riveting stuff.

With so many women in the film (and hardly any men) you have to pay attention to the many characters and their relationship to one another. But it is worth the effort to see the fine performances and range of emotions by several. Part murder mystery, part comedy it is an entertaining show. However, it is too long, by about half an hour, as several tangents lead nowhere and only serve to drag it out a bit.


Children’s movie
It’s really not fair judging a children’s story from an adult’s perspective so I wish there was some way to give this movie two ratings. Children will love it because it has all the requisite elements of a “good” movie: cute animals, simple story, rude body noises, smart-talking animals with an attitude and a nice ending. Adults on the other hand might not find these enough to give it more than a “ho-hum” rating.

The story is about two unscrupulous people who collaborate to produce a really awful Broadway play. The result is a really awful movie. Only loyal fans of the old-fashioned musical theatre will like it, provided they are not offended by the glorification of Hitler, they do not take offence with the ruthless stereotypical portrayal of homosexuals or are unfazed by the irreverent depiction of little old ladies with walkers and who get a kick out of crude off-colour sexist jokes.
Not meeting any of these criteria, I did not.



Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch.
Balmoral Castle is the Queen's private Scottish summer estate used during August and September.
10 Downing Street is the central London residence and office of the British Prime Minister.

Helen Mirren: HM Queen Elizabeth II, reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth
Michael Sheen: recently elected British Prime Minister Tony Blair
Helen McCory: his wife Cherie
James Cromwell: the Queen’s consort Philip, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
Sylvia Syms: HM The Queen Mother
Alex Jennings: the Queen’s eldest son and heir apparent Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales
Roger Allam: the Queen's private secretary Robin Janvrin

A wonderful character study not only of the Queen but of her advisors as well. There are really good performances by four or five of the cast and even though some of them may not look exactly like the person they portray, they have the mannerisms and tics down pat.
There is no way of knowing exactly what transpired during private conversations between the principals. But the dialogue rings true and that’s what matters.

for brief strong language (although to my mind the rating hardly seems warranted given the fact there is but a single instance of so-called “strong language”)

I was so mesmerised watching the film I spent very little time eating my popcorn and came out of the theatre with the bag three-quarters full. That’s never happened before.

Friday, December 29, 2006



Jennifer Hudson: Effie White, lead singer of the group called “The Dreamettes”
Beyoncé Knowles: backup singer Deena Jones, (“the pretty one”)
Anika Noni Rose: the other backup singer Lorrell Robinson
Jamie Foxx: Detroit car salesman, wannabe-manager, Curtis Taylor Jr.
Eddie Murphy: famous “soul” singer James "Thunder" Early
Danny Glover: his long-time manager Marty
Keith Robinson: C.C. White, Effie’s brother and songwriter

From the onset, it seems to be a semiautobiographical movie based on the career of Diana Ross and the Supremes. But then about halfway through, Effie belts out a song that advances the story by way of the lyrics rather than narrative dialog and it becomes clear this is a musical. But this in no way detracts from the story about the struggles and hardship encountered in this line of business.

The production values throughout are first rate: the cinematography, costumes, sets, singing and dancing. And the acting is solid. Overall it’s very entertaining although a tad too long at two hours and 10 minutes.

for language, some sexuality and drug content.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Children’s movie

Dominic Scott Kay: Wilbur, the runt of the litter
Kevin Anderson: Maine farmer Mr. Arable
Dakota Fanning: his daughter Fern
Gary Basaraba: her uncle Homer Zukcerman
John Cleese: leader of the sheep Samuel
Kathy Bates and Reba McEntire: Bitsy and Betsy the cows
Robert Redford: Ike the horse
Oprah Winfrey and Cedric the Entertainer: Gussy and Golly the geese
Steve Buscemi: Templeton the rat
Julia Roberts: Charlotte the spider
André Benjamin and Thomas Haden Church: a pair of crows
Beau Bridges: the town doctor

It’s really not fair judging a children’s story from an adult’s perspective so I wish there was some way to give this movie two ratings.

Children will love it because it has all the requisite elements of a “good” movie: cute animals, simple story, rude body noises, smart-talking animals with an attitude and a nice ending.

Adults on the other hand might not find these enough to give it more than a “ho-hum” rating. Sorry kids.


E. B. White (July 1899 – October 1985) was a leading American author. He wrote a number of essays as well as three children’s books including this one and two others, Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan.

Saturday, December 23, 2006



Tensions between Washington and Havana had increased steadily since the Cuban Revolution of 1959. The Americans felt that the expropriation of U.S. assets on the island and Cuba's increasing ties with the Soviet Union could not be tolerated. Consequently in March 1960 the Eisenhower administration agreed to a recommendation from the CIA to equip and drill Cuban exiles for action against the new Castro government. On the morning of April 17, 1961, three flights of Douglas B-26 bombers displaying Cuban Fuerza Aerea Revolucionaria markings bombed and strafed several Cuban airfields. These air strikes were expected to effectively eliminate the Cuban air force, ensuring complete air superiority over the island prior to the actual landing at the Bay of Pigs later that day. The air attack failed because Castro had moved his airplanes out of harm's way. It soon became clear that Castro had prior knowledge of the invasion.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was concerned about American intelligence deficiencies at the onset of World War II. On the suggestion of Canadian spymaster William Stephenson, the senior representative of British intelligence in the Western Hemisphere, Roosevelt directed Stephenson's friend William J. Donovan to draft a plan for an intelligence service. Consequently the Office of Strategic Services was established in June 1942 to collect and analyse strategic information required by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assigned to other agencies. During the War, the OSS supplied policy makers with facts and estimates of enemy operations with many of its operatives working out of London, England.

Matt Damon: U.S. intelligence Officer Edward Wilson
John Turturro: Wilson’s right-hand man Ray Brocco
Alec Baldwin: F.B.I. agent Sam Murach
William Hurt: agency head Philip Allen
Michael Gambon: Dr. Fredericks, a Yale University literature professor
Tammy Blanchard: hearing-impaired student Laura
Angelina Jolie: Clover, sister to one of Edward’s classmates
Robert De Niro: American intelligence service recruiter General Sullivan
Billy Crudup: British intelligence Officer Arch Cummings
Oleg Stefan: Ulysses, Russian KGB chief Stas Siyanko
Eddie Redmayn: young Edward Jr.
John Sessions: Mironov, a Russian wanting asylum, code-named Valentin

Not only is the movie very long (almost 3 hours), it is complex, convoluted and confusing with all kinds of twists and turns (so typical of government sponsored espionage activities).

Furthermore it has a lot of flashbacks as it spans some forty years and has a cast of thousands (well not really but it seems like it with a new face showing up just about every second scene).

But it also looks good and the low-key acting throughout is top-notch.

So at the risk of giving away the plot, here are several things to keep in mind:
 Edward is the first to note that “there is a stranger in the house”
 Ulysses says “the cold is his weakness”
 Edward’s gift to his son is a glass watch case with a ship inside it
 the passport Edward finds in the book has Valentin's photo but another name
 Philip Allen has a weakness for chocolates

for some violence, sexuality and language.

Never did figure out to whom the title refers to.


Sports drama, based on a true story

Anthony Mackie: Nate Ruffin, Captain of the Thundering Herd football team
David Strathairn: Marshall University President Donald Dedmon
Ian McShane: Paul Geffen, prominent citizen and MU Board member
Matthew McConaughey: the new Head Coach Jack Lengyel
Matthew Fox: Assistant Coach Red Dawson
Kate Mara: Annie, a waitress in a local diner

Where have all the Film Editors gone? Seems virtually every movie nowadays has to be at least two hours long. Most, if not all, need not be so lengthy. Such is the case for this one.

Having said that, this is a good story about dealing with tragedy but with a twist in that not everyone is in agreement regarding what action should be taken. Football fans will enjoy the on-field activity and we can all relate to coping with setbacks.

for emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Drama based on a true story

Rubik's Cube is a mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by a Hungarian professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. Originally called the Magic Cube by its inventor, it was renamed Rubik's Cube when it made its international debut at the Toy Fairs of London, Paris, Nuremberg and New York in January/February, 1980. When the puzzle is solved, each side of the Cube is a solid colour. It is said to be the world's best-selling toy, with some 300,000,000 sold worldwide.

Will Smith: Chris Gardner, self-employed salesman of portable bone density scanners
Thandie Newton: his wife Linda
Jaden Smith: their 5-year-old son Christopher
Brian Howe: Jay Twistle, the head of the internship program at a stock brokerage firm
James Karen: one of the company executives Martin Frohm

Stories about people who struggle and make it are worthwhile subjects. But to drag it out for almost two hours takes away a lot of the sympathy one has for the person who’s doing the struggling. And then to sit through such a meagre “pay-off” only adds insult to injury. If it were not for the soaring full orchestra score most of us would have missed it.

One more thing: you really have to question the claim the film is based on a true story when it seems there is such blatant liberty taken with the truth in more than a few instances. For example,
 Chris having a down-and-out-hippie watch over his scanner
 what transpired when Chris set off to the meeting with his first real big potential client
 and what happened when they finally met
 spotting one of his “missing” scanners in a city of what, one million people?

for some language.

Chris approachs the door to his son’s day care carrying one of the scanners in his left hand. When the scene shifts to the interior, he’s now holding it in his right.

I think San Franciso needs more cabs:
Chris and Jay share a ride in cab number 248; later when Mr. Frohm gets out a cab and asks Chris to lend him $5, once more it’s cab number 248.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


In Spanish with English subtitles

Penélope Cruz: Raimunda, cleaning lady at the Madrid airport
Lola Dueñas: her younger sister Sole, a hairdresser
Yohana Cobo: Raimunda’s teenage daughter, Paula
Blanca Portillo: family friend and neighbour Agustina
Antonio de la Torre: Raimunda’s husband Paco
Chus Lampreave: Raimunda and Sole’s elderly Aunt Paula who lives in La Mancha
Carmen Maura: their mother Irene
María Isabel Díaz: Raimunda’s friend Regina, a prostitute

With so many women in the film (and hardly any men) you have to pay attention to the many characters and their relationship to one another. But it is worth the effort to see the fine performances and range of emotions by several.

Part murder mystery, part comedy, it is an entertaining show. However, it is too long, by about half an hour, as several tangents lead nowhere and only serve to drag it out a bit.

some sexual content and language.

Volver: a Spanish verb meaning to turn, to return, to go back.
Mojito (pronounced mo-hee-tow): a rum cocktail served with mint and lime juice

Wednesday, December 20, 2006



Alan Rickman: Alex Hughes, a Brit driving across Canada
Emily Hampshire: Vivienne Freeman, a 20-something-year-old hitchhiker
Sigourney Weaver: her mother Linda
James Allodi: Clyde, the local Chief of Police
Carrie-Anne Moss: Linda’s neighbour Maggie

Excellent performances by the principals and an unusual story line make this a compelling movie to see. Some levity has been injected into what is essentially an emotional insight to the various characters.

One other thing: it would have had greater impact if trimmed a bit as it runs almost two hours.

for language and some sensuality.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Romantic comedy

Kate Winslet: Iris, wedding columnist for the Daily Telegraph
Rufus Sewell: Jasper, one of her colleagues
Cameron Diaz: Amanda, movie-trailer editor
Edward Burns: her boyfriend Ethan
Jude Law: Iris' brother Graham
Jack Black: Hollywood composer Miles
Eli Wallach: Hollywood writing legend Arthur Abbott

Romantic comedies are supposed to be about love and have something to laugh at. This one has very little of either. You have to sit through 30 minutes of bland dialog before there is the first hint of anything remotely funny. And even then we still haven’t seen the romantic part of the equation yet.

Unlike most movies of this sort, there are few, if any, clever lines and nothing charming or even worth remembering. In fact, the dialog just drags on and on and for the most part sounds entirely unreal. People simply do not talk that way to each other. And all this chatter makes the film far too long at 2½ hours.

And one more thing: the casting is all wrong. Jack Black is good at what he does, but leading man he ain’t!

for sexual content and some strong language.

When Iris and Arthur are walking up towards his house, it is evident from the strong shadows in the background that it’s around noon. However when they enter his house a few minutes later, the long shadows show it to be late afternoon.



The outbreak of war, corruption and mismanagement in the diamond sector is one of the main reasons why Sierra Leone became the poorest country in the world. With the breakdown of all state structures, complemented by the effective suppression of all civilian opposition, wide corridors of Sierra Leonean society were opened up to the trafficking of arms and ammunitions. Drugs also eroded national/regional security and facilitated crime within the country, precipitating illegal trade with both Liberia and Guinea.

The Revolutionary United Frontier (RUF) was a rebel army that fought a failed ten-year insurrection in Sierra Leona starting in 1991. The RUF was rather unusual in that it had no true ideology outside of discontent and opposition to the current Sierra Leone government. When it began, it put forward the slogan, "No More Slaves, No More Masters. Power and Wealth to the People." While its goal was clearly to overthrow the government of Sierra Leone, the RUF gave little indication of what sort of government would replace it.

In fact these so-called freedom-fighting rebel forces were nothing but bloodthirsty sociopaths who storm into village after village, executing the women and the weaker, smaller men, sending the stronger men to slave work camps and "recruiting" boys of 12 to join the revolution.

For years the white diamond was considered the world's most beautiful diamond, until the discovery of the Argyle mine in Australia which heralded the arrival of the “Argyle pink diamond”. Pink diamonds are also found in India, Brazil and Africa and are characteristically light in colour. Pink diamonds with no secondary colouring are the rarest and most expensive of all pink diamonds.

Djimon Hounsou: Solomon Vandy, a fisherman in the Mende tribe
Kagiso Kuypers: his son Dia
Leonardo DiCaprio: "soldier of fortune" Danny Archer
Jennifer Connelly: American journalist Maddy Brown
Arnold Vosloo: South African army Colonel Coetzee

Apart from being way too long (almost 2½ hours) this is a movie with a lot going for it: excellent performances throughout, a good story line, fast-paced action and great cinematography.

It also looks and sounds very realistic to the point those of us who are somewhat squeamish have to look away during some of the scenes.

for strong violence and language.

Thursday, December 7, 2006


Romantic Comedy

Russell Crowe: Max Skinner, a London investment banker
Albert Finney: his uncle Henry
Freddie Highmore: the young Max
Didier Bourdon: wine-maker of the estate, Monsieur Duflot
Isabelle Candlier: his wife, the housekeeper
Marion Cotillard: Fanny, owner of a local café
Abbie Cornish: Christie, a wine connoisseur from Napa Valley

Even though it is not the most original movie ever, it is still a nice diversion. It’s got a lot to like: fine acting, funny moments and great cinematography set in Provence, that lovely area in the south of France.

for language and some sexual content.



Catherine O’Hara: Marilyn Hack, an over-the-hill former movie star
Harry Shearer: her costar Victor
Parker Posey: their daughter
Brian Chubb: their son
and others I suppose

Promoted as a satire, it is not witty, nor clever nor sacastic. It is dull, boring and a waste of money, both yours and theirs.

According to the ads, “the film is about a group of actors playing in a movie entitled “Home for Purim,” about a rural New York family embracing their Jewish heritage.” Trouble is we have to sit and watch this ridiculous movie within a movie, and it is painful. I lasted just half an hour then walked out.

for sexual references and brief language.

While the son and daughter are being interviewed, they both have coffee cups in their hands. At one point, the son crosses his arms and has nothing in his hands. In the following scene, he once more is holding the coffee cup.

Never before have I seen so many flubs that did not get corrected. For example at one point Marilyn says “I can’t see why he would do that, er, why he would not do that”. This must be one really small budget film if they cannot afford to do a retake when someone messes up like that.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006



Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from the tree B. sacra and is used as an incense as well as in perfumes.

Myrrh is a red-brown resinous material, the dried sap of the tree Commiphora myrrha. It is a constituent of perfumes and incense and was highly prized in ancient times. It was often worth more than its weight in gold and priced at five times as much as frankincense. Today myrrh is used in liniments and in healing salves that may be applied to abrasions and other minor skin ailments.

Many different theories of the meaning and symbolism of the gifts from the three Magi have been advanced, since while gold is fairly obviously explained, frankincense, and particularly myrrh, are much more obscure.

The theories generally break down into two groups:
 That they are all ordinary gifts for a king - myrrh being commonly used as an anointing oil, frankincense as a perfume, and gold as a valuable commodity.
 That they are prophetic - gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense as a symbol of divine authority, and myrrh as a symbol of death.

Ciaran Hinds: Herod, the pro-Roman king of a small Jewish state
Keisha Castle-Hughes: teenager Mary
Hiam Abbass: her mother Anna
Shaun Toub: her father Joaquim
Oscar Issac: Joseph, a carpenter
Alexander Siddig: the Archangel Gabriel
Shohreh Agdashloo: Mary’s cousin Elizabeth living in Judae
Stanley Townsend: Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah, a priest

This is a simple straightforward telling of a well-known story without the usual theatrics and over-the-top Hollywood special effects. The performances are all low-key and devoid of extreme emotion, very much like in real-life.

Great attention to detail has been given to the costumes, the settings and even the tools used so everything looks real and not fake like we see so often.

for some violent content.

Friday, December 1, 2006


Drama, true story

One of the first steps in the process of electing the President of the United States is a series of elections held in each state. These so-called “primaries” provide the different U.S. political parties the opportunity to chose one candidate for the Presidency.
The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles was the campaign headquarters on June 4, 1968 for Bobby Kennedy, the New York Senator, who was running against Eugene McCarthy trying to win the California Democratic primary. The winner would be facing off against the Republican candidate, Richard Nixon, in the up coming November election.

Freddy Rodriguez: Ambassador Hotel bus boy José
Christian Slater: his boss Timmons, the Food and Beverage Manager
Laurence Fishburne: Edward, hotel sous-chef
Jacob Vargas: José’s friend and fellow kitchen employee Miguel
William H. Macy: the Hotel Manager Paul Ebbers
Anthony Hopkins: John Casey, retired doorman *
Lindsay Lohan: Diane, a teenage bride-to-be
Elijah Wood: William, the groom-to-be
Harry Belafonte: Nelson, John’s chess-playing friend *
Sharon Stone: Miriam, the hotel’s hair stylist and manacurist
Heather Graham: hotel switchboard operator Angela
Demi Moore: Virginia Fallon, lounge singer
Emilio Estevez: Tim, her husband/manager
Brian Geraghty: Jimmy, a Kennedy campaign worker *
Ashton Kutcher: a hippie drug dealer
Martin Sheen: Jack Stevens, well-to-do Kennedy supporter *
Helen Hunt: his wife Samantha *

This is one ambitious undertaking, in fact, too ambitious. By chronically the lives of some two dozen people who were at the Ambassador Hotel the day Bobby Kennedy died, we lose sight of what the whole thing is all about.

I presume the many sub-plots are supposed to be a reflection of the times, to put the killing in perspective. And several stories do just that. But others seem to have no place in the movie (marked with an * above) other than to add a few more well-known names to the list of actors. These extraneous bits only serve to complicate matters and extend the length of the movie to two hours.

With such a huge cast it is not surprising the acting is uneven but Kutcher’s effort (or should I say lack of effort?) is by far the worst.

for language, drug content and one scene of violence.

Kennedy’s Campaign Manager lights up a cigarette but in the next scene from over his shoulder it is apparent it has gone out. When the camera shifts to a shot directly in front of him you can see the smoke curling up from the unlit cigarette.


Kate Winslet: stay-at-home mom Sarah Pierce
Sadie Goldstein: her young daughter Lucy
Patrick Wilson: stay-at-home dad Brad Adamson
Ty Simpkins: his young son Aaron
Jennifer Connelly: Brad's wife Kathy, a PBS producer
Gregg Edelman: Sarah's husband Richard, a self-described “branding expert”
Noah Emmerich: Brad’s friend, ex-cop Larry Hedges
Jackie Earle Haley: Ronnie McGorvey, a convicted pedophile
Phyllis Somerville: his mother May

Directed by Todd Field, this movie has many of the same characteristics as in his first film, In the Bedroom:
 A slice of American suburbia set in a small New England town (in this case, East Wyndham, Massachusetts)
 The acting is uniformly believable with some really great performances
 There’s an unhurried pace about it which allows time for character development

It’s also a bit of emotional roller coaster but overall, it’s one terrific movie.

for strong sexuality and nudity, language and some disturbing content.

The voiceover is a nice touch. Sometimes helpful, other times humourous.

Special mention must be made of the Sound Engineering: too often background noises are intentionally suppressed but by including them there is a greater sense of reality, which enriches the experience.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006



Déjà Vu
Etymology: French, adjective, literally, already seen.
“The illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time, a feeling that one has seen or heard something before.”

Denzel Washington: ATF agent Doug Carlin
Val Kilmer: F.B.I. Agent Andrew Pryzwarra
Paula Patton: a young woman Claire Kuchever
Adam Goldberg: Dr. Alexander Denny, leader of the investigation
Jim Caviezel: Carroll Oerstadt

An entertaining movie that moves along at a good clip but a little too long at 2 hours and 8 minutes. All performances are first-rate and the action scenes well executed.

for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images and some sensuality.


Animated cartoon

Hugh Jackman: Roddy St. James, a pet mouse
Shane Richie: Sid, a sewer rat
Kate Winslet: Rita, owner/operator of a small boat
Ian McKellan: villainous Boss Toad
Andy Serkis: his right-hand “man” Spike
Bill Nighy: Spike’s partner in crime Whitey
Jena Reno: Le Frog, the Boss’ cousin

Although there are the pre-requisite bodily function gags and shots to the crotch, there are no cute loveable creatures in this slightly different slant on the London “underworld”. Instead we get a smartly styled story about the importance of friends along with some clever British wit aimed at the adults in the audience.

Despite the sewer setting there is nothing gross.

for crude humor and some language.

Before going away on vacation, the little girl dumps out a huge pile of food for Roddy. In the following scene he leaves the cage but the food is no longer to be seen.