WHEN THE WORLD WASN’T WATCHING, THEY CHANGED IT FOREVER. In 1980, wealthy and deeply conservative Houston socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) sets up a meeting between her old buddy, Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) and Zia-ul-Haq (Om Puri), the military ruler of Pakistan; Herring wants to see something done about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. … Continue reading Charlie Wilson’s War
AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, HIS JOURNEY BEGINS. We’ve all watched too many episodes of Survivor to have a realistic image of what it would be like to be stranded on a deserted island. This film, reuniting director Robert Zemeckis with his Forrest Gump star, takes a realistic look at a potentially romantic situation and reveals its horrors. … Continue reading Cast Away: Me, Myself & Wilson
JOURNEY BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION. Late on Christmas Eve, a boy who doesn’t believe in Santa anymore wakes up to see the Polar Express just outside his house; it’s headed for Santa’s home. The first film to be made entirely with performance capture animation, but results are so-so. The action sequences are lively and thrilling and the … Continue reading The Polar Express
SEE OUR FAMILY. AND FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURS. It only took a minute or two on the opening night of The Simpsons Movie before there was a technical problem in one of the theaters in Stockholm. The movie stopped and the lights went on. The crowds were getting very restless. Then the movie started again… … Continue reading The Simpsons Movie: No Reason for D’oh!
FOR EVERYONE WHO’S EVER BEEN DEEPLY IN LOVE OR DEEPLY IN DEBT. Walter and Anna (Tom Hanks, Shelley Long) buy a beautiful country estate, but when they start renovating it the dream turns into a nightmare. Here’s a special effects-laden update of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948). Chimneys collapse, staircases fall in pieces … Continue reading The Money Pit
LIFE IN THE BURBS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN! Since I’m currently on a vacation visiting my parents who live in the ‘burbs, and don’t really have all that much to do but go through a pile of old VHS movies while waiting for a promised heat wave, it felt highly appropriate to watch … Continue reading The ‘burbs: Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
THE GREATEST CRIMINAL MINDS OF ALL TIME HAVE FINALLY MET THEIR MATCH. Another lightweight comedy from the Coen brothers, this time a remake of the great 1955 Ealing classic, where a motley gang of criminals posing as musicians rented a room from a nice, old lady in order to prepare for a heist. There’s a … Continue reading The Ladykillers
LIFE IS WAITING. When his passport is revoked and the authorities forbid him from leaving the JFK airport, East European tourist Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) creates a life for himself in the terminal. It’s really a tragic story, but Steven Spielberg nevertheless comes up with a romantic comedy. It may be a bit too saccharine, … Continue reading The Terminal