Sunshine State

The latest from director John Sayles (Limbo, Lone Star, Matewan, Passion Fish) is set in the small town of Plantation Island, FL. This drama tells the story of an island besieged by country club resort developers. Included in the story are a woman (Angela Bassett) returning home after a long absence, and another woman (Edie Falco) who is forced to sell the restaurant and motel she inherited. Rated PG-13


A quick glance – heck, a comprehensive study – at director Tom Shadyac’s body of work would not prepare you for “Dragonfly,” a humorless though not entirely suspense-free drama about an atheist wrestling with the notion that his deceased wife may be contacting him from the great beyond. In fact, Shadyac’s prior work skewers more toward the vulgar (“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”), the excessive (“The Nutty Professor”) and the downright schmaltzy (“Patch Adams”).

“Dragonfly,” on the other hand, tilts toward the metaphysical as it tackles tough topics like reincarnation, mourning, and the existence of an afterlife. Such are the issues that consume Dr. Joe Darrow (Kevin Costner) after his wife, Emily (Susanna Thompson), is killed in a bus crash while volunteering in Venezuela. An oncology doctor who worked closely with children, Emily made Joe promise he’d tend to her young patients if ever she were to pass on. And Joe keeps his word, but several peculiar occurrences convince the skeptical doctor that Emily is trying to reach him through the ailing children’s near-death experiences. Eventually, Joe evens suspects that Emily isn’t dead at all but still alive, possibly in a coma, somewhere in Venezuela“Dragonfly” relies on too many conveniences to further Joe’s investigations. However, these calculating devices are dropped like hot rocks once the film allows Emily to contact Joe directly – which occurs in yet another startling scene.Shadyac repeatedly mishandles the film’s gripping premise, attempting to stretch a supernatural twist across a two-hour feature. Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson’s screenplay alternates from marginally predictable to mildly engrossing, and there’s more than enough foreshadowing here to gag a rhino. Still, when the action starts to grind to a shuffle, “Dragonfly” manages to work in a genuine jolt or creepy aside that gets the heart pumping.Ultimately, “Dragonfly” succeeds in spite of itself, and why not? If “Crossing Over” host John Edward has taught us anything, its that people will go to great lengths for the chance to speak to a deceased lover one last time. And for once, I’d have to agree with him.Grade: C+THE EXTRASAfter a mandatory “Scorpion King” trailer (huh?), Universal finally allows you to settle in to their comprehensive “Dragonfly” DVD. The supplements are standard, but nicely produced and informative for fans of the film.Shadyac sits for a screen-specific audio commentary here, and it’s very entertaining and packed with tidbits. Shadyac’s a lively fellow, and he’s extremely honest about his film (for better and for worse).His enthusiasm carries over to the behind-the-scenes “Spotlight on Location” feature. Actors, filmmakers and assorted production people speak up during interviews, though very little exposition reveals facts about the actual piece. Go back to the commentary for that, as there’s very little here. Same goes with the deleted scenes. Most revolve around Costner’s bizarre dreams, though few surpass what we get to see in the final film.The most interesting featurette is author Betty Eadie’s recount of her own near-death experience. It’s chilling, and compliments this material perfectly. The remainder of the disc fills up with production notes, cast and crew biographies, and promos for new (and old) Universal DVD releases. Tidy, but none too thrilling.Grade: B-OVERALL EXPERIENCE: C+Director Tom Shadyac’s enthusiasm and honesty for his flawed film nearly saves “Dragonfly” from eternal damnation. If you liked the film (and some did), the DVD is a nice transfer. Not a bad pick up.By Sean O’ConnellJuly 30, 2002


Regardless of what the ads suggest, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” has little to do with crop circles. Instead, the film’s really about immeasurable loss, mass paranoia, challenges to faith and good old-fashioned extraterrestrials.

The crop circles merely point the way to Graham Hess (Mel Gibson), a former pastor and widowed father of two who lost his conviction the night he lost his wife. One morning, Hess discovers elaborate patterns carved into his corn stalks, crop circles that represent the beginning of a global invasion.UFOs start appearing in the skies and rail-thin creatures roam our streets. The visitors’ intent, whether hostile or merely inquisitive, is unclear. But Graham’s not taking any chances, deathly afraid of losing another member of his already reduced clan.The talented Shyamalan wears his influences on his sleeve, from composer James Newton Howard’s Hitchcockian score to the absorbing “Close Encounters” by way of “Amazing Stories” screenplay. The isolated farmhouse setting conjures pangs of claustrophobia mixed with the creature comforts of home. Pace and camera placement help Shyamalan manifest palpable tension from the likeliest locales (a shadowy corn field) as well as some dubious ones (a sun-drenched kitchen).Gibson, meanwhile, continues to mature into challenging paternal roles, drawing on his experience as a father of seven to create lasting portrayals on screen. As he slowly unravels, the film’s tension winds even tighter. Graham falls back on faith to rationalize what’s happening around him. Of course, the answers elude him.Speaking of, the perfect ending still eludes our director, who failed to properly wrap up the spectacular “Unbreakable” and stumbles towards a logical resolution here. The threads are tied, albeit unconvincingly. Fortunately, the primary special effect at work here remains your vivid imagination, and you’re in luck if you remember to bring it along.Grade: BBy Sean O’ConnellJuly 31, 2002

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat

Martin Lawrence hates critics. Ten minutes into his new comedy concert film, he tears into critics for years of negative press. He’s going to like us even less after my review.

Lawrence dubs his effort “Runteldat,” though “Night of a Dozen Laughs” works better since 12 is the amount of vulgar jokes that flourish over two grueling hours. He’s preachy. He’s screechy. He’s everything but funny, tossing dated lines about Osama bin Laden and the Menendez brothers to a rabid crowd. Yes, it’s hard for a routine recorded months ago to stay timely, but the bulk of Lawrence’s act revolves around picked-over topics like marriage, childbirth and parenting – all dispensed by a divorced comic with a laundry list of drug abuse and weapons charges.“Runteldat” concludes with Lawrence addressing the recent tabloid fodder, from his drug-induced jaunt through an L.A. intersection with a gun to his hospital stint for exhaustion. Strangely enough, this is the driest moment in the film, when Lawrence stops cracking wise and lays it on the line for his fans. “No one is immune to the trials and tribulations of life,” Lawrence reiterates. “That’s just life.” Perhaps. It’s just hard to believe that a “life” like this can sound so dull.Grade: DBy Sean O’ConnellJuly 31, 2002

For anyone interested in overseas ratings

For anyone who’s interested in how other parts of the world rated the movies… (these are not my preferences)

BOX-office takings for the most popular movies in Australia in the first half of 2002:

1. Star Wars: Attack of The Clones $32,495,000
2. Spider-Man $25,645,000
3. Ocean’s Eleven $21,959,000
4. Ice Age $20,092,000
5. A Beautiful Mind $19,446,000
6. Panic Room $10,524,000
7. Black Hawk Down $10,487,000
8. Shallow Hal $9,168,000
9. Gosford Park $7,857,000
10. Scooby Doo $7,469,000
11. Rabbit Proof Fence $7,246,000
12. We Were Soldiers $7,198,000
13. The Scorpion King $6,621,000
14. Ali $6,604,000
15. Spy Game $6,112,000
16. Minority Report $6,056,000
17. Kate and Leopold $5,946,000
18. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius $5,473,000
19. Serendipity $5,231,000
20. Not Another Teen Movie $5,025,000

Top 100 US Screen Romances

There was a thread a while back with regards to romance movies…tho’ I’m not a big fan of them, this caught my eye and actually seems to be a better list than the last, not necessarily in the order I would’ve placed them and no, I haven’t seen all of them either …

Top 100 romantic movies

THE American Film Institute’s list of top 100 US screen romances.

1. Casablanca 1942
2. Gone With the Wind 1939
3. West Side Story 1961
4. Roman Holiday 1953
5. An Affair to Remember 1957
6. The Way We Were 1973
7. Doctor Zhivago 1965
8. It’s a Wonderful Life 1946
9. Love Story 1970
10. City Lights 1931
11. Annie Hall 1977
12. My Fair Lady 1964
13. Out of Africa 1985
14. The African Queen 1951
15. Wuthering Heights 1939
16. Singin’ in the Rain 1952
17. Moonstruck 1987
18. Vertigo 1958
19. Ghost 1990
20. From Here to Eternity 1953
21. Pretty Woman 1990
22. On Golden Pond 1981
23. Now, Voyager 1942
24. King Kong 1933
25. When Harry Met Sally 1989
26. The Lady Eve 1941
27. The Sound of Music 1965
28. The Shop Around the Corner 1940
29. An Officer and a Gentleman 1982
30. Swing Time 1936
31. The King and I 1956
32. Dark Victory 1939
33. Camille 1937
34. Beauty and the Beast 1991
35. Gigi 1958
36. Random Harvest 1942
37. Titanic 1997
38. It Happened One Night 1934
39. An American in Paris 1951
40. Ninotchka 1939
41. Funny Girl 1968
42. Anna Karenina 1935
43. A Star Is Born 1954
44. The Philadelphia Story 1940
45. Sleepless in Seattle 1993
46. To Catch a Thief 1955
47. Splendour in the Grass 1961
48. Last Tango in Paris 1972
49. The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946
50. Shakespeare in Love 1998
51. Bringing Up Baby 1938
52. The Graduate 1967
53. A Place in the Sun 1951
54. Sabrina 1954
55. Reds 1981
56. The English Patient 1996
57. Two for the Road 1967
58. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 1967
59. Picnic 1955
60. To Have and Have Not 1944
61. Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961
62. The Apartment 1960
63. Sunrise 1927
64. Marty 1955
65. Bonnie and Clyde 1967
66. Manhattan 1979
67. A Streetcar Named Desire 1951
68. What’s Up, Doc? 1972
69. Harold and Maude 1971
70. Sense and Sensibility 1995
71. Way Down East 1920
72. Roxanne 1987
73. The Ghost and Mrs Muir 1947
74. Woman of the Year 1942
75. The American President 1995
76. The Quiet Man 1952
77. The Awful Truth 1937
78. Coming Home 1978
79. Jezebel 1939
80. The Sheik 1921
81. The Goodbye Girl 1977
82. Witness 1985
83. Morocco 1930
84. Double Indemnity 1944
85. Love Is a Many-Splendoured Thing 1955
86. Notorious 1946
87. The Unbearable Lightness of Being 1988
88. The Princess Bride 1987
89. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1966
90. The Bridges of Madison County 1995
91. Working Girl 1988
92. Porgy and Bess 1959
93. Dirty Dancing 1987
94. Body Heat 1981
95. Lady and the Tramp 1955
96. Barefoot in the Park 1967
97. Grease 1978
98. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939
99. Pillow Talk 1959
100. Jerry Maguire 1996

most memorable lines from tv

what are some of the most memorable lines from a tv show that you can think of?

some of mine are:
captain, i’m breaking up
he’s dead, jim
live long and prosper
original star trek

star trek, next generation

bam bam bam bam bam!!!
the flintstones

jane, stop this crazy thing!!
the jetsons

i’ll think of more…

new time machine

film gets a little better on second viewing, still prefer the first…

dvd package has one deleted scene, (and a long one at that) commentary from the director, producer and visual effects supervisor

documentaries on creating the morlocks and creating the time machine and an animated sequence featuring simon wells’ original storyboards
set to music…

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