Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Bruce Willis plays a retired CIA agent (Retired, Extremely Dangerous) who suddenly has people trying to kill him. Seems like a perfect character and plot for Bruce. But instead of the usual wisecracking Willis we know and love, we get the laid back, soft spoken, boring Bruce. He also has a very improbable relationship with his character’s love interest, Mary-Louise Parker. The acting talents of Morgan Freeman, John Malkkovich and Helen Mirren are also mostly wasted. All in all, a disappointment.
Sons of Anarchy- Season Two:
The Son’s story arc continues. The feud between old and new leadership intensifies to new levels as the MC runs into numerous conflicts and seems to be losing its direction and cohesion This is that rare kind of TV series that is hopelessly addictive. You’re always ready to click on the next episode to see what happens. Now I have to patiently wait for Season Three to be released.
The Tillman Story:
Finally, the truth about the Pat Tillman assassination is presented to the public. A disturbing look at the US Military’s deceptions and stonewalling as well as the inexcusable use of Tillman’s death as a war propaganda tool.
An American contractor in Iraq is kidnapped and buried alive in a box under ground. The entire movie is filmed within this box with the only sources of light being a cigarette lighter, light stick, flashlight, and light from a cell phone display. A unique, masterfully executed film that manages to keep you engrossed with the character’s predicament despite the entire 90 minute movie taking place in a box!
American Experience- We Shall Remain:
This multi-episode PBS production looks at the 300 year history of native Americans in what would become the US. Includes narration with historical reenactments and numerous interviews with historians and native Americans of various tribes. Three centuries of white oppression, murder and theft are well documented. The timeline ends with a comprehensive look at the American Indian Movement’s take over of Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1973.
Last of the Mississippi Jukes:
Lots of good, live blues performances accompany this filmmaker’s look at the important history of the fast disappearing local juke joints in the south. One in particular that was still in business when this film was made is examined in Jackson, MS.
An historical drama about the capture and interrogation of Adolph Eichmann, Hitler’s key man in executing the “final solution” of Jewish genocide. Eichmann was extremely crafty during his reign of terror to assure no documented evidence existed to prove his guilt.
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour- Season 3:
The Brother’s hair is a little longer and their program choices more daring for the show’s final season during 1968-69. The collection includes the “sermonette” by comedian David Steinberg that got the Brothers fired by CBS. Other worthy performances include The Doors, George Carlin, David Frye, Jackie Mason, Ray Charles, and Ike and Tina Turner, The final disc includes a special about comedian Pat Paulsen’s various runs for the presidency, particularly his initial effort in 1968.
Robert Duval is my favorite actor. I’d watch him on screen for an hour doing nothing more than sawing a board as I know he would find some way to make it interesting. Here he plays a hermit with a dark secret who decides to hold his funeral before he dies to confess his past sins. Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek ably assist in this well written, charming independent movie based on a true story.
A huge, dangerous alien life form has taken root in Mexico and is only being contained by constant US military action. Sounds entertaining enough. Except the monsters take a back seat to a slowly, developing love relationship between a young man and woman. Ugh.
This Spanish language semi-documentary follows a father and his young son as they explore a tropical paradise along the southeast coast of Mexico. They experience the simple life of fishing and living off their catch while developing that strong, unique bond that can only be created between father and son.
Back From Hell- A Tribute to Sam Kinison:
This hour long tribute to the late comedian is chock full of great performance clips of a very unique comedy trailblazer. Includes interviews from many of his contemporaries. If you miss Sam or weren’t around to witness his intelligent outrageousness, you won’t want to miss this one.
Shake Hands With the Devil- The Journey of Roméo Dallaire:
This documentary follows Canadian Gen. Fallaire’s return to Rwanda, tens years after he led a failed UN mission to prevent the genocide that ultimately occurred. Fallier explains in disturbing detail the futility of his mission as well as the lack of support and indifference from the UN and the “international community.”
Released in 1989, this feature tells the story of El Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero, a moderate priest who was radicalized by the repetitive slaughter of his priests and congregation by government right wing death squads in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. His eloquent and courageous defense of human rights ultimately cost him is life.
Based on a true story, the film revolves around a black girl born to white parents due to a genetic anomaly. This takes place in South Africa during the apartheid era, so you can imagine the complications and conflicts that arise. A great story about family love and personal identity, as well as the perverse restrictions and legal categorizations imposed by government.