Smoking Aces – Quirky, gritty, and Jeremy Piven does a lovely job as a coked-out Vegas performer. A couple of nice plot twists near the end too.
Ghost Rider – suck-ass. Bad scriptwriting and Eva Mendes bothers me horribly, probably because she’s always wearing a push-up bra and has no discernable acting ability. Peter Fonda as Beelezbub is a fantastic nod to “easy rider” and Sam Elliot is just one of my all-time faves. Donal Logue does well with his tiny supporting role, mostly because everything he does comes across with a sardonic flair. The biggest highlight is a shot of Nick Cage without a shirt, although I fear men will start devloping eat disorders if the male bods all go the way of Nick and McConaughey.
The Astronaut Farmer – Character-driven tale with Billy Bob Thorton and Virginia Madsen. Bruce Willis even shows up in a couple of scenes. Again, not Oscar material but warm and inspirational. A pleasant surprise.
This Film is Not Yet Rated – Finally, an expose of the MPAA’s ratings boards. Highly illuminating and entertaining. I would recommend this for anyone who is a fan of films, independent filmmakers, and artists in general. Remind yourself that the “cream” no longer rises to the top.
Gridiron Gang – This remake is adequately done, and should persuade folks to find the original story. After reading books or watching films like this, I’m always struck by how these “out of the box” ideas have never been accepted by the mainstream education, mental health, or social service communities. My guess is that it’s not a lack of will, but a great lack of financial resources. Every year budgets for these sectors are being cut (while we can still find the resources to send to iraq) so our own population is circles the drain while some silver spoon baby’s ego is being fed.
Six Feet Under – HBO series, I think, currently being re-run on Bravo. I would suggest picking it up on DVD only because I’m certain Bravo is sanitizing episodes (much in the same way TBS is killing the charm of “Sex and the City”). The first half of the third season is rough, writing and plot-wise, but thankfully it picks up beautifully, which carries into the start of the fourth season (my current position). Fabulously flawed characters and spectacular writing.