Jessie Nelson’s custody-battle drama “”I Am Sam”” solicits a range of emotions, some genuine and some genuinely fake. Nelson’s intentions are evident, though the methods by which she achieves them can often be considered pious and manipulative. The result is a flawed gem that will have you wiping your eyes one minute and rolling them the next.
At the beginning of the film, we’re introduced to Sam (Sean Penn), a mentally challenged Starbucks employee (I know, they all seem mentally challenged at times) whose imprudent relationship with a homeless woman results an unwanted pregnancy. The woman gives birth to a girl, who Sam names Lucy after the Beatles’ trippy ode, “”Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,”” but the mother runs, choosing freedom over responsibility to either the father or the child.Luckily for Sam, as well as for Lucy, the man comes with a built-in support system. His friends – a close knit group who share Sam’s mental limitations – lend helping hands, as does Sam’s agoraphobic neighbor, Annie (Dianne Wiest). Lucy (Dakota Fanning) matures, though we see that when she begins to pass her father mentally, she holds herself back for fear of disrupting the simplified life they’ve established. Instead of reading her class assignments, Lucy prefers to have her father read “”Green Eggs and Ham”” for the umpteenth time. It’s not the story that’s comforting, but rather the practice of her father reading it that works like a security blanket Lucy’s not ready to shed.However, officials from Lucy’s school realize what’s happening, so they intervene. Sam’s ability to raise a child is questioned, with no legitimate answers given. And when a social worker (Loretta Devine) conveniently crashes Lucy’s surprise party just in time to see Sam scuffle with a belligerent father, the courts step in and take Lucy away. Sam’s search for proper legal council leads him to the offices of attorney Rita Harrison (the ageless Michelle Pfeiffer), or “”Lovely Rita, Meter Maid,”” as Sam repeatedly sings when in her presence. An emotionally vacuous lawyer, Rita wouldn’t help Sam if he were Christ incarnate on his way to Pilate’s courtroom. However, peer pressure inexplicably prompts Rita to accept Sam’s case pro bono, and the two set out to win, not because it will reunite the father with his daughter, but simply because Rita hates to lose. “”Sam””‘s problems begin and end with Pfeiffer’s character, an unfortunate mesh of stereotypical dilemmas established simply so they can be ironed out by her coincidental interactions with a mentally retarded character. What, Sam’s uphill battle to reclaim his daughter wasn’t dramatic enough that the filmmakers needed to mix in the salvation of a shrill, soulless defense lawyer as well? Through no fault of Pfeiffer, who tries hard with what she’s given, Rita’s conversion lacks empathy. What’s worse, Sam’s healing power seems to stretch over Rita’s son, as well, who hates his mother throughout the film, but shuttles their disagreements and welcomes her back by the end of the film. Too tidy, shameless, and completely unnecessary given the emotional weight of the film’s prime storyline. Which returns us to Sam and Lucy, the true focal point of the film and a showcase of immense talent and emotional chemistry. Penn’s towering performance as Sam bolsters the film’s highs. Some actors who play retarded capture the illness, while some merely capture Dustin Hoffman’s performance in “”Rain Man.”” Penn manages both, latching on to a catch phrase (“”That’s a wonderful choice,”” he tells his Starbucks customers), while honing in on the innocence Sam displays when faced with adult problems. On top of that, Penn’s connection with Fanning is palpable. Their shared scenes are gut-wrenching, their forged bond sincere. “”Sam”” raises intriguing moral questions that bear discussion. Should mentally retarded people be prevented from raising children? While “”Sam”” wraps up a little to easily for my tastes, it does carry a commendable message of familial love. If only it utilized something a little more consequential than Beatles lyrics and song titles to express it. dissertation examples
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Final Grade: B-Sean O’Connell
Congratulations You Win Tickets to the Washington, DC Advanced Screening of “”National Lampoon’s Van Wilder””.WHAT:Advanced Screening of “”National Lampoon’s Van Wilder””WHERE: Cineplex Odeon Wisconsin Ave, 4000 Wisconsin, AveWHEN:Monday, February 4, 2002TIME:7:30 PMNote – This film opens March 22, 2002, so you will be the first in the nation to see this movie. Please make sure you return to EclipseMagazine.com (http://eclipsemagazine.com) and tell us what you think.—————————————————Please print this pass off by clicking the little Print Icon at the bottom of the Related Links block on the right. This pass is good for you and ONE guest only. Please arrive EARLY! Daydream Productions, Inc., will not be held responsible for overbooking of the theater.Have fun, and be sure to join the “”Slackers”” forum tomorrow and tell us what you thought.
Bruce Willis has a unique power. For reasons unbeknownst to the common man, this fine actor – who truly has matured with age – manages to star in what’s slowly becoming known as “”reference point”” films. And whether intentional or not, these selections are cementing Willis’ place in the annals of cinematic history.
In 1988, Willis starred as resourceful NYC cop John McClane in “”Die Hard,”” and for a decade after, no action film could even be pitched in Hollywood without using the descriptive phrase, “”Die Hard on a …”” If you said “”bus,”” you had “”Speed.”” If you said “”train,”” you had “”Under Seige 2.”” And if you dared to say
CONTEST CLOSED Come and hang with the EM gang, and meet the hosts of the new EMTV show. You can also be the first to see Fox Searchlight Pictures, “”Kissing Jessica Stein””. The screening will be held in Washington, DC Thursday, February 7, 2002, at our super secret location. The movie opens in mid March, so you will be among the first in the country to see it.To qualify to win simply read the synopsis below and follow the instructions.
KISSING JESSICA STEIN is a laugh-out-loud comedy with a fresh take on sex and the single girl. When we first meet Jessica – a sensitive but neurotic New York journalist – she is at the end of her emotional rope. Her brother’s engaged, her best friend’s pregnant, her mother’s on her case, she hasn’t had a decent date in a year, and if that weren’t enough…she’s got insomnia. After a dating spree from hell, she happens upon an intriguing personal ad, with one drawback – it’s in the ‘women seeking women’ section. On a whim, she answers it and meets funky downtown hipster Helen Cooper. To Jessica’s surprise, they click instantly. Their evening of banter and heated debate culminates in a kiss that confounds and intrigues even the reluctant Jessica. With conventional gender roles absent, the two women proceed to muddle through an earnest, but hilarious courtship, making up the rules as they go along. KISSING JESSICA STEIN is a modern romantic comedy that breaks all the rules — it blurs the lines between friendship and romantic love, and finds the funny, surprising and ultimately poignant overlap between the two. Based on their off-off-Broadway play “”Lipschtick,”” KISSING JESSICA STEIN was written by co-stars Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt, who play Helen and Jessica respectively. It was directed by veteran theater helmer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld. Starring: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, Scott Cohen, Jackie Hoffman, Tovah Feldshuh Directed by: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld Produced by: Eden Wurmfeld, Brad Zions Written by: Heather Juergensen, Jennifer Westfeldt Distributor: Fox Searchlight CONTEST RULESFor this special contest all you need to do to win is Click Here To watch the trailer Click Here To register and receive our weekly newsletter, CLICK HERE
Composer Bill Brown has just posted music tracks from his score for the upcoming CineTel Films action-adventure film “”Scorcher””, directed by James Seale, starring Mark Dacascos, ‘Lord Of The Rings’ John Rhys-Davies and Rutger Hauer. http://billbrownmusic.com/scorcher.htm
Bill is currently working on music for a new film project and also the soundtrack for the upcoming release of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon expansion “”Desert Siege””. Ghost Recon has been awarded the prestigious ‘2001 Game of the Year’ Award from IGN http://pc.ign.com/news/41045.html and many of Bill’s other titles have received awards. Get the scoop here: http://billbrownmusic.com/news.htmWe would appreciate a link to http://billbrownmusic.com/ on your links pageBanners for linking are located here if you need one for the link: http://billbrownmusic.com/banners.htm including a “”Scorcher”” theme button.Some of Bill’s other composing credits include films such as “”ALI””, directed by Michael Mann, Oliver Stone’s “”Any Given Sunday””, and interactive media including the full Tom Clancy Rainbow Six series, Michael Crichton’s “”Timeline””, Clive Barker’s Undying and more: http://billbrownmusic.com/credits.htmps: If you plan to post a review of the film or soundtrack, or have other reviews posted that mention Bill’s music on your site, I would appreciate it if you would let me know the URL/address so that we might include a link to the review on Bill’s site. For an example, see http://billbrownmusic.com/reviews.htmRegards,Susan – email@example.com://billbrownmusic.comCompleted your form on web: If you wish to be included to receive Bill Brown’s future News emails, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Add_my_email_to_the_Bill_Brown_News_List in the subject line and your email address (if other than your sending email) in the body. If you no longer wish to receive Bill’s occasional news items, please reply to email@example.com or click mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and type REMOVE in the subject line and copy the web page address of your form to be removed at the top in the body of the email. Composer Bill Brown – Director of Music for Soundelux DMG. http://billbrownmusic.com/contact.htm
Simply defined, “”Collateral Damage”” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a firefighter who swears vengeance on the Colombian terrorist who inadvertently kills the hero
Buffy writer/director Doug Petrie exclusively revealed to Zentertainment that he is working on the screenplay for the upcoming superhero film Fantastic Four.
Following previous aborted screenplays from Sam Hamm (Monkeybone/Batman) and Michael France (Goldeneye/Cliffhanger), Petrie landed the job after meeting director Peyton Reed (Bring It On) through mutual friend Christophe Beck – composer of Buffy’s incidental scores for several years. Fantastic Four is due to reach cinemas some time in 2003
Here’s a piece of Ewan Mcgregor’s recent inverview with Empire Online.And what about the other, oft-mentioned project, Attack of the Clones? ‘Star Wars 2 is looking really, really good,’ he enthused. ‘I saw a lot of my stuff while we were doing the looping and it looks really full-on. The title’s not a good title but there we are. He keeps that completely to himself George. No one ever knows what it’s going to be called and then one day it’s just announced and he doesn’t let anybody know.
When I initially heard about it I was doing a press line up in America and somebody went, ‘What do you think of Attack of The Clones’ and I said ‘I didn’t see it.’ So they said ‘No, what do you think of that?’ And they hadn’t even fucking told me, you know? So I said ‘I think it sounds terrible, because it does sound like a sort of 40s