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The Da Vinci Code:

I caught the 11:40 pm last showing of the "Da Vinci Code" last night, and there were still long lines a testament to the interest in the film. I was happy to see the box office support, the rejection of lukewarm reviews at Cannes, and the rejection of the organized boycott by the church. The viewing public has come a long way since "The Last Temptation of Christ - Criterion Collection (1988)" which the church groups drove from the theaters.

Director Ron Howard did a creditable job of directing, the movie is long, 149 minutes and felt like a director cut, but held my attention. “Tom Hanks”, as Robert Landon has a solid steady restrained performance. “Audrey Tautou”, as Sophie Neveu is also a solid performer and a pleasure to watch.

“Sir Ian McKellen”, as Sir Teabing is lighting in a bottle. He gives a multi layered performance that's a joy to experience. Sir Leigh Teabing: "We are in the middle of a war. One that has been going on forever to protect a secret so powerful that if revealed it would devastate the very foundations of mankind."

“Paul Bettany”, as Silas was deliciously driven and disturbing. On screen he appears as a deeply troubled man child driven by the need for forgiveness and approval. I would have loved to have seen more of the childhood development Silas, Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon but that would take a miniseries.

The film was shot on location in France and the United Kingdom; the Louvre allowed use of their famous museum.

This is a controversial film, entertaining and thought provoking. I recommend seeing it and highly recommend reading the book.

Bostonboy, review

The Phantom of the Opera:

I’m seldom excited by what happens to an award wining Broadway Show, that is reworked and released for film. I saw the stage production of “The Phantom of the Opera” with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, and I was completely taken by the show. What can I say, I love Michael Crawford, he was absolutely charming in “Hello, Dolly”. Crawford and Brightman were well match in Phantom. The production was grand and the performances electric. I was not expecting much from the movie version with Gerard Butler, as The Phantom, Emmy Rossum, as Christine, and Patrick Wilson, as Raoul; but I was delightfully surprised. From the very opening of the film, the moving from black and white to color, established a gothic style that Gordon Craig could only dream about.

The Phantom of the Opera is a gothic, mix media, symphonic, musical master piece. Under Joel Schumacher direction, and John Mathieson cinematography, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s and Joel Schumacher screen play comes alive. It becomes a living breathing thing that allows you to walk through the minds of the characters and breathe the essences of its creators. There were subtleties in the acting and singing that were not possible in a stage production. The entire cast and crew has to be proud of what they have done here. I recommend this film to all students of film and to any one who loves excellence in cinema. Phantom of the Opera (2005)

Bostonboy, review

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Return of the King, Visually stunning without a doubt, one would expect this for the last installment of Tolkien Lord of the Rings. The acting, the direction of Peter Jackson, sound track, and the visual, all came together in magical perfection. This is a fine example of great cinema. A must see on the big screen and a must own. Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King DVD, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King [Soundtrack]

Bostonboy, review

Mystic River:

This is a very dark film and dwells in shades of gray. I have to agree that this is the best film directed by Clint Eastwood since “The Unforgiven”. Eastwood has that unique ability to find excellent scripts and topics, which fit his temperament and style, and with dedication and honesty brings them to the screen. I had the privilege of working with him on “Bird (1988)” and observed first hand his respect for the material, and the sense of teamwork and family he brings to the set for his actors and crew. The cast of Mystic River is excellent. Sean Penn's work is outstanding in this, but at times I got the feeling he was channeling Al Pacino. Kevin Bacon puts in a solid understated performance. Tom Guiry the child star has grown up and handles the part of Brendan Harris very well, with sensitivity and strength.

Mystic River - Special 3-Disc Edition (2003)

Bostonboy, review

Lost in Translation:

Bill Murray surprised me with an excellent performance. The cast is well balanced with Scarlett Johansson and Giovanni Ribisi. The film is basically atmospherically driven and a nice ride for the audience.

Lost In Translation

Bostonboy, review


I finally cut loose a block of time and went to see Chicago; unfortunately I went to one of the local small screen theaters, and the sound and spectacle were at a loss. I will definitely see it again at one of the lager theaters. Fosse’s Chicago was still intoxicating; Rob Marshall did a masterful job of directing and the cinematography by Dion Beebe, James Chressanthis was excellent. “Renée Zellweger” as Roxie Hart was a pleasure to view as was “Catherine Zeta-Jones” as Velma Kelly. “John C. Reilly” performance was reminisce of Zero Mostel and a real joy. “Queen Latifah” put in a solid performance as Matron 'Mama' Morton, and was visually stunning; buxom is the word of the day. She embodied the look of the twenties.

For me the only weak link was “Richard Gere” as William 'Billy' Flynn. You can’t really fault Gere’s acting he does what he does well, but he is not dancer and just a passable singer. I found myself wondering why they couldn’t find someone that could move like Ben Vereen, Frank Langella, and have the voice and heat of Antonio Banderas. Silly me I still pine for the talent of Fred Astire and Gene Kelly. But Chicago is a must see, if you love or like Fosse’s work don’t miss Chicago.

Okay, Okay, I went back and saw it on a large screen I'm sold, it's a great film. I even like Richard Gere.


Bostonboy, review

Ice Age:

Ice Age, is just plan fun. The trailers were stunning and I thought I had seen the best of the movie in the previews. Wrong! It’s fast moving and loaded with gags and excellent imagery. The chronicles is a running gag in which Scrat, a frantic little prehistoric being that's half-squirrel and half-rat, misadventures trying to bury an acorn in the ice fields. Wile E. Coyote eat your heart out this does have the feel of Road Runner on ice. A classic well done full-length animated feature.

Ice Age (2002)

Bostonboy, review

Standing in the Shadows of Motown:

A generous documentary that spotlights the anonymous hit makers behind the giants of Motown.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Paul Justman's joyful documentary look at the Funk Brothers, the dozen or so session musicians who played the instruments on nearly every Motown song, the drummer Steve Jordan makes what seems, on its face, like an outrageous assertion about the music that emerged from the ''Hitsville, U.S.A.'' factory from 1959 to 1971. ''You could have had Deputy Dawg singing on some of this stuff and had a hit,'' he says. ''Because the tracks were just so incredible. They were musical entities unto themselves.''

Well, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and Diana Ross were no Deputy Dawgs. LOL

This documentary is entertaining and informative. No one will look at Motown the same again. Director Paul Justman has described "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," the moving and heartfelt documentary about the overlooked heart of the Motown Sound -- the session men who played the music -- as "a race against time." Greatness dedication and hard work should be recognized and honored.

Hats off to the Funk Brothers and all session musicians.
Standing in the Shadows of Motown [soundtrack]

Bostonboy, review

A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich:

A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich, is a gripping drama centered on Benjie played by Larry B. Scott. Benjie is a sensitive alienated black youth battling drugs and fighting to keep his family together. It stars, Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Larry B. Scott, Helen Martin and Glynn Turman. I worked on this production. It was a memorable and enlightening experience being in daily close contact with this talented cast and crew. Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson have strength on film that is undeniable, and are well supported by the talents of Helen Martin and Glynn Truman. I was pleasantly surprised is the strength and talent of the young Larry B. Scott; I had not seen his work until then. This film is worth adding to your collection on the bases of the cast alone.

A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich (1977)

Alice Childress's book - A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich

Bostonboy, review

Europa, Europa:

This sensitive and dramatic film by Polish director Agnieszka Holland, is based on the true story of Solomon Perel a young German Jew that survived the Holocaust by wit, luck and inner strength. This is a very controversial film with no stereotypes; filmed and acted with beauty, depth and excellence. This is one film that is a valued addition to any serious film library. Europa Europa, based on an autobiography by Solomon Perel.

Bostonboy, review




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