Month: August 2007

Love Field

Interracial romance is always difficult to depict in film. There is a danger of being preachy and sanctimonious, talking down to the audience, instead of enlightening it.  Love Field is a film that tries mightly to teach viewers about how racism is bad and that love knows no color. The triteness with which this film deals with race relations makes Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner look like Do the Right Thing. It’s unfortunate that Love Field isn’t a good film, because not only is its subject matter interesting and important, it does feature a lovely performance by its star, Michelle Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer, in an Oscar-nominated role,  stars as Lurene Hallett, a Dallas hairdresser obsessed with the Kennedys. She appeares in the film in Marilyn Monroe-Jackie Kennedy drag, with a huge bouffant and pillbox hats. Pfeiffer is all 1960’s beautician with frosted lipstick and tarantala false eyelashes. When President Kennedy is assassinated, she jumps on a Greyhound, despite her husband’s protests, so that she can pay her respects. Lurene is a gold-hearted ditz, naive to an extreme, she prattles endlessly to a little Black girl named Jonell (Stephanie McFadden) who is traveling with her father, Paul Cater (Dennis Haysbert 24). The bus crashes, and so does the film. Screenwriter Don Roos, decides that Love Field won’t just be a Civil Rights drama, but a crime caper, and Lurene gets Paul...

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Waiting to Exhale

Terry McMillan’s blockbuster novel Waiting to Exhale struck a nerve with its female audience, who related to the four characters and their trials with men.  The book is compulsively filmable, which is why the film is so successful. The need for a film like this cannot be understimated – how many other major studio releases feature an all-Black female cast? Featuring pop singer Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard) and Oscar nominee Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do with It) the film was a big boxoffice hit at the time — not a classic film, by any stretch, it does highlight a woefully underrepresented demographic and criminally ignored characters. The story is similar to First Wives Club, in that the women find a bond together in their misery about men. Unlike Wives, the women in Exhale are treated pretty badly. Angela Bassett stars as Bernadine “Bernie” Harris, the dutiful wife of buppie John Harris, Sr (Michael Beach). Despite giving him a home, a family and supporting him through his career, she still loses her cad of a husband to co-worker (adding insult to injury, the other woman’s White). Not only is he leaving her, but Michael is also trying to stiff her financially, insisting they sell her home. Whitney Houston is Savannah Jackson, a successful television producer who moves to Phoenix and reunites with her best friend, Bernie. Like Bernie,...

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The Whole Nine Yards

This is a movie in which a lot of big names like Matthew Perry, Bruce Willis, and Amanda Peat come together to make an akwardly halerious film. A hitman with no fear and a nervous dentist this film comes together to make an enjoyable film that is witty and...

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Death at a Funeral

There’s something vaguely morbid about making a comedy set at exclusively at a funeral. There’s something even more disturbing about the cultured mannerisms of the mostly British cast as they fumble around a corpse. Death at a Funeral is an odd comedy, not necessarily a funny one, but any film that can find a way to put Peter Dinklage in a toga is alright with me. I guess I’ve got Frank Oz to thank for that. He owes me(and the world) after The Stepford Wives. Last I checked, most funerals shouldn’t be all that complicated. Poor Mark just wants to have a honorable, quiet service for his dearly departed dad. Robert, his slimy, selfish, conceited, and highly successful novelist brother is flying into town to give the eulogy. Mark’s wife, Jane, is up his arse to pay the downpayment on a new flat. Mark’s cousin, Martha, is bringing her new fiance, Simon. Mark’s friends are a motley crew of inepts, one is a sweaty, anxious mess. The other a horndog obsessed with a one night stand he had with Martha months previous. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a mysterious little person, played to greasy brilliance by The Station Agent’s Peter Dinklage, skulking around the funeral looking like he has a bomb to drop. Oh, and if all that wasn’t bad enough, there’s some missing ectasy pills masquerading...

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Perfect Stranger

“Perfect Stranger” a Perfect Success? Grade: B-       Besides her trademark hourglass figure spilling out of tight, beautiful clothing and getting a fellow co-star to “make her feel good”, Halle Berry’’s performance in Perfect Stranger is hardly her most memorable.        Rowena “Ro” Price (Halle Berry) is an investigative reporter angry with the publishing world for caring more about protecting the big boys than delving into the secrets that constitute good news. So she quits, only to be presented with the story of a career as a crime hits close to home, involving the murder of her childhood friend and an advertising bigwig, Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis). Helped along the way by her computer savvy/lovestruck best friend, Miles Hailey (Giovanni Ribisi), Ro tries to uncover Hill’s secrets and involvement in the murder by taking on a couple of personas as the new temp at Hill’s office and an online hookup. Little does she know, she’s not the only one keeping up false appearances. In the quest for truth, they all find out that someone they thought they knew well can turn out to be a “perfect stranger”.       Berry might be the big name draw of the film but Ribisi stole the show, acting wise. Through facial expression nuances, manner of speech, etc. Ribisi made his character believable. With Berry’s “Ro”, it FELT like you were watching a movie, like there was acting involved. You wouldn’t expect such novice...

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