Top Ten Films of 2002

#10 Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes) Would have ended up higher if it weren’t for this rather stellar year in film.  A 1950s period piece extraordinaire that gently, and with Haynes’ indelible signature, tells the story of a mixed race couple that cuts across prejudice against any “out of the ordinary” romance. #9 25th Hour (Spike Lee) Plodding at times, but riveting all the same, Spike Lee’s post 9/11 tale of drug dealer Monty Brogan’s (Ed Norton) last day before incarceration.  Sustained tension highlights Lee’s love letter to the town, in need of redemption, that made him. #8 One Hour … Continue reading Top Ten Films of 2002

Hotel Rwanda (Terry George, 2004)

Director Terry George (In the Name of the Father, Reservation Road) tries to cram way too much content and detail into this account of such horrible events.  By doing so, and by plugging in way too many scenes with a not up for the task Sophie Okonedo (as Tatiana Rusesabagina), the enormity of the disaster is lost to melodrama.  And what a ridiculous turn by Nick Nolte – I didn’t buy that at all.  This is meant to be the Schindler’s List of the Rwandan genocide but it lacks both the technical and emotional achievement of Spielberg’s film.  Don Cheadle (Paul … Continue reading Hotel Rwanda (Terry George, 2004)

Entourage (2008 – 5.11, 5.12)

Familiarity breed’s contempt?  Not in the case of the seasons finale (s) of Season 5, Episode 11: Play’n with Fire and Episode 12: Return to Queens Blvd. Amazing how Wahlberg, Ellin, Levinson, and Weinstein, etal deliver in this series beyond what even The Sopranos did at the same point in their series history.  Play’n with Fire is as brilliant as anything ever done in this series with Stellan Skarsgård as the maniacal director Verner Vollstedt behind Vince’s lead comeback in the laughingly titled “Smoke Jumpers.”  5.11, which serves as the climactic episode, has opening pyrotechnic scenes that are observed by … Continue reading Entourage (2008 – 5.11, 5.12)