ON THE ROAD AGAIN: PHOENIX

It does not seem so long ago that Arizona’s capital city was a sleepy burg which was best known for being mentioned in the title of Glen Campbell’s gigantic 1967 hit, “By The Time I Get To Phoenix.” According to civic officials Phoenix is now the sixth largest city in the United States. Despite its rapid growth Phoenix still retains a small town charm. Traffic jams are still infrequent outside of rush hour on I-10 and there is little pollution to be found. You can still clearly see the various constellations in the sky at night with the naked eye.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: INDIANAPOLIS

Indianapolis is best known for its famous Memorial Day auto race, and arguably the world’s most famous, the Indy 500, and for being the butt of some good-natured monologue barbs from native son David Letterman. The fact is that Indianapolis is no longer the sleepy town of Letterman’s youth. Thanks to investment of millions of dollars into the city’s downtown there is plenty for a visitor to do here.

LADDER 49

The film pushes all the emotional buttons to tell an almost crackerjack tale of a young man’s journey from eager beaver new guy to seasoned veteran who has seen his best friend die on the job, his wife give birth to two children and become the typical fireman’s wife while holding back her fears about her husband’s dangerous career, and the time when mortality rears its ugly head and you are forced to decide how you plan to live out the rest of your life. When you’re a member of the Brotherhood of the Bravest, there is only one decision you make.

CINEDISNEY 2012 – III (TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2004)

Though the county fair vibe of TFF is fine for folks with children, browsers and downtown vendors, serious filmmakers may be given pause. Sans a distribution platform, or a science-themed script for the Sloan competition, it shouldn’t be a priority on the level of Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam, Berlin or Venice, which all, rightly or not, have established status as hothouses for new talent and new work by veteran directors. Unless the timing of TFF is reconsidered, it’s unlikely to join their ranks.

THE DREAMERS

Make no mistake, THE DREAMERS is better than a not bad film. Its pretty OK but still something of a disappointment. The film is supposedly set in Paris in the Spring of 1968 and begins with footage of the battle for the Cinematheque Francaise both original and recreated. Instead of staying in the streets the film retreats to the interior of a grand apartment where the three principals spend most of the following film. It reminds me of the film 1969 (1988) in which while the world around is exploding in crazy ways the principals can only watch from afar as they work out their own personal what used to be called hang-ups.

9TH ANNUAL HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The 9th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival opened with a presentation of Yurek Bogayevicz’ “Edges Of The Lord” with Haley Joel Osment and Willem Dafoe. Bogayevicz, an acclaimed theatre director who directs films only occasionally, is best known for “Anna.” The closing night film was the much-anticipated Tom Stoppard adaptation of Robert Harris’

TWIST OF FATE aka BEAUTIFUL STRANGER

The script for BEAUTIFUL STRANGER (TWIST OF FATE) is a derivative rehash of what was mildly popular as a second feature a few years before. In other words – a noir. The dialogue seems to be the type where one expects an actor to turn to the camera and remark ‘We’re all in a movie, aren’t we?’ The real potential star of the picture, Stanley Baker, is miscast and badly used as the heavy of the piece, the fifteen-year age difference between Rogers and him poorly covered up with grey streaks in his hair. Herbert Lom is a thief and a foreigner and crazy and doing none of them well. Jacques Bergerac was the nominal hero because he was the best looking etc. This was his film debut and was Ginger Rogers fourth husband at the time. Bosco, I believe, is the Italian word for wood and a piece of wood could have done a better acting job. I’m sure he must have had some other talents.