Archive for May, 2007

Getting Old, Part 1

May 31, 2007

I never thought I would be one of those people writing this sort of thing. I mean this is the sort of stuff Dave Berry or Erma Bombeck would write about—the stuff my mother or my grandparents would read. But I guess the fact that I know who Dave Berry and Erma Bombeck are is proof of something I’ve been wrestling with for a minute or two: I am getting old. (more…)

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MR. BROOKS

May 29, 2007

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I don’t want to be the sort of person known as a gossip, and I’ve never been one to spread rumors without being relatively sure what I’m saying is true. This is why I don’t have any problem telling all of you about something a friend of mine once told me about Kevin Costner. This friend—who shall be referred to as Bootsy—worked on the Costner film The Postman. According to Bootsy, who was not prone to lies or exaggeration, Costner spent thousands and thousands of dollars on weed, and was stoned during a good portion of the production. This tale, as unbelievable as it may be to some people, goes a long way to explain many of the decisions Costner has made throughout his career, and offers insight as to why, though not intentionally funny, The Postman remains one of the most brilliant comedies of all time. (more…)

The Murder of Fred Hampton

May 28, 2007

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 Very few of the films in my personal video collection were more difficult to get my hands on, or more important to me than The Murder of Fred Hampton. It took years of looking and a lot of money to get the VHS copy of producer Mike Gray’s powerful documentary, and honestly it was one of those films I never expected to see on DVD. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Facets was releasing The Murder of Fred Hampton, an important film that offers tremendous insight into one of the most charismatic leaders of the Civil Rights movement, and his brutal murder at the hands of the Chicago police department. (more…)

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; Roots 30th Anniversary Edition

May 28, 2007

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Dee Brown’s emotionally charged historical document Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is the sort of book that looks great on any shelf—bringing with it a sense of enlightenment and knowledge many people are sadly lacking. And that’s if you don’t even bother to read the book. But if you do read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, you will be exposed to such a profound glimpse at the history of this country, one so vastly differing than what is taught in schools, that you will never see things the same way again. Sadly, the same can’t really be said about the made-for-HBO film that serves as a very loose adaptation of Brown’s book. (more…)

28 Weeks Later

May 11, 2007

28-weeks-2.jpg With the news that there was going to be a sequel to 28 Days Later came the inevitable dread of “how bad are they going to screw this one up?” The success of Danny Boyle’s 2002 film was a mixed blessing. One of the better horror films to come along in many years, 28 Days Later delivered nearly everything diehard fans of fright flicks could hope for. But it wasn’t exactly an open-ended film that left itself screaming for a sequel, at least not artistically. Financially is another thing altogether. Which is why the notion of a sequel was reason for a bit of concern. (more…)