Tag Archives: Dylan Baker

Thirteen Days

YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE HOW CLOSE WE CAME.  In October 1962, White House advisor Kenneth O’Donnell (Kevin Costner) becomes a witness to how President John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) challenges a Soviet decision to put missiles in Cuba capable of delivering a nuclear strike on the U.S. The ultimate screen portrait of the Cuban missile crisis … Continue reading Thirteen Days

Confirmation

IT ONLY TAKES ONE VOICE TO CHANGE HISTORY. In 1991, President Bush nominates Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) for the Supreme Court, but a law professor (Kerry Washington) steps forward, claiming that Thomas sexually harassed her. The Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy is an epic he said-she said story where we still don’t know which one of … Continue reading Confirmation

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

PACK IN THE LAUGHTER! After a business trip to New York City, Neal Page (Steve Martin) is trying to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving, but frequently gets stuck with a very loud co-traveler (John Candy)… Director John Hughes is back on the roads after National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) for a comedy … Continue reading Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Selma: Battle on a Bridge

ONE DREAM CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. When Ava DuVernay was hired to direct this movie, which would become an explosive breakthrough for her after a few independent films, she focused on Martin Luther King’s speeches. She didn’t have the right to use them in Selma because the King estate had licensed the copyright to DreamWorks … Continue reading Selma: Battle on a Bridge

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

IT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL. After getting kicked out of a prestigious news job in NYC, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is offered to join the world’s first 24-hour news channel, and gets the old gang back together. Getting this sequel off the ground took its sweet time, and once again it seems impossible to … Continue reading Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Road to Perdition: In Capone’s Shadow

PRAY FOR MICHAEL SULLIVAN.  There’s a deleted scene in this film where John Rooney (Paul Newman), a local Illinois mob boss, meets with the legendary Al Capone and his closest associate, Frank Nitti (Stanley Tucci). Capone is played by Anthony LaPaglia, a very capable actor. In the end, though, director Sam Mendes decided to leave … Continue reading Road to Perdition: In Capone’s Shadow

Secretariat

THE IMPOSSIBLE TRUE STORY. In the late 1960s, Colorado housewife Penny Chenery Tweedy (Diane Lane) takes over her ailing father’s (Scott Glenn) thoroughbred racing operation in Virginia even though it’s a huge gamble. Another well-made Disney movie about a real-life success story from the world of sports (not unlike Miracle (2004)) that has good performances, … Continue reading Secretariat

Damages: Power and Personal Ruin

  When Glenn Kessler, his younger brother Todd and Daniel Zelman got together to create a new legal show, their idea was not to follow the same path as Law & Order or David E. Kelley. There would be no lengthy courtroom showdowns, or any Boston Legal-type comedy stunts. In fact, Damages was serious business … Continue reading Damages: Power and Personal Ruin

Chicago 10

SPEAK YOUR PEACE.   This is undeniably an original way to tell the story of the Chicago Eight and their lawyers. Director Brett Morgen’s partially animated documentary portrays the chaos surrounding the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago where police and protesters clashed violently in Grant Park, but it also dramatizes the subsequent trial against some … Continue reading Chicago 10

Revolutionary Road

Director Sam Mendes returned to American Beauty (1999) territory with this compelling adaptation of Richard Yates’s landmark novel that addressed a crisis in marriage at a time when it was not quite socially acceptable to talk about what might go on behind the façade of idyllic 1950s suburbia. Mendes brought his wife Kate Winslet along for the … Continue reading Revolutionary Road

Celebrity

A NEW COMEDY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET FAMOUS… OR STAY FAMOUS. After separating, travel journalist Lee Simon (Kenneth Branagh) and his wife (Judy Davis) enter the singles scene, but Lee in particular learns the pitfalls of trying to find happiness. Director Woody Allen satirizes all the absurd aspects of fame, but offers … Continue reading Celebrity

Hide and Seek

COME OUT, COME OUT, WHATEVER YOU ARE. After the death of his wife, New York City psychologist David Callaway (Robert De Niro) moves to the countryside with his daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning)… but the girl gets an “imaginary” friend who may have sinister motives. A chiller that starts promisingly, but pretty soon loses its way. … Continue reading Hide and Seek