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What's at the Movies
March 2005
by Carolyn McFaul

Agree or disagree, Carolyn would love to hear what you think. Click on the link to E-mail your thoughts to Movies@ClevelandWomen.com

Note - You can click on any of the book covers and links to get more information or to buy the VHS Video, DVD or Soundtrack to the movies from Amazon.Com



Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood's emotional overwhelming drama is a deceptively modest movie about a scrappy young woman boxer (Hillary Swank) and her gruff, no-nonsense trainer (Eastwood). It starts out slow but gradually takes on the big themes: life, death, family, love, faith and redemption and what we owe to people who become our family.

Morgan Freeman co-stars and narrates the film. They all do an excellent job. It deserved the Oscar and what ever other awards are out there.

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132 minutes
Rated PG13
Carolyn's Rating - A+
Critic's rating - A+

The Wedding Date

It's like Pretty Woman with a different twist. A woman (Debra Messing) hires a male escort (Dermot Mulraney) for a family wedding to take place in Britain. The plot twists and turns take it above the usual romantic comedy. I enjoyed this movie. I left the show elated!

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88 min.
Rated PG13
Carolyn's Rating - B+
Critic's Rating - B


Sideways

Alexander Payne's film is a true comedy of despair. It's a buddy picture that is as melancholy as it is funny. Paul Gianatti and Thomas Hayden Church play the buddies. This is a movie with a lot of the "F" word.

The first hour was boring to me - it drove me nuts! It was all about the California wine country and them tasting and sampling bottles and giving their expert opinions. I did laugh at different parts. There are naked scenes too- so if this shocks you, don't go.

They talk an awful lot in this movie. I couldn't believe this was up for an Oscar, but maybe I am really old fashioned.

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124 minutes
Rated R
Carolyn's Rating - C+
Critic's Rating - A-


Hide & Seek

A darkly playful suspense thriller that respects its audience and scares it. Ten-year-old Dakota Fanning matches heavy weight Robert De Niro nuance for nuance.

I can't say too much about this movie - it wasn't up to my expectations. It's like a B horror flick.

101 minutes
Rated R
Carolyn's Rating - B-
Critic's Rating - B



The Aviator

Martin Scorsese's enormously entertaining "Citizen Kane" treatment of Howard Hughes' early years in Hollywood is as sleek and glamorous as the picture made in Golden Age when Hughes (an excellent really terrific Leonardo DiCaprio) was romancing Katherine Hepburn (an equally excellent Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner and breaking speed records as a pilot.

I really enjoyed this picture even though it was long. I remembered all of the stories about Howard Hughes and his movie "The Outlaw" with Jane Russell. No matter how deep Mr. Hughes got into trouble he came out smelling like a rose.

I liked all his answers to the investigating committee on where the 69 Boeing jets were. He wasn't the only one out there that did not fill a contract to the government! I recommend you see this one.


169 minutes
Rated PG13
Carolyn's Rating - A
Critic's Rating - A



Beyond the Sea

Kevin Spacey's labor of love tribute to Bobby Darin ends up as a tribute to himself as he plays a part that he's too old for! He runs about in a yellow suit and tries to persuade Sandra Dee to his way of thinking and he sings endless nightclub standards.

Although the critic's nix this one, I truly enjoyed it and especially the music. Spacey did an excellent job of Darin - even if he was older. At times he looked just like him and Spacey made him appear as a very loving, down-to-earth person.

It's worth seeing just for the memories. To die at 38 years old is hard to overcome for the family and I think he will always be remembered because he was so talented.


120 minutes
Rated PG13
Carolyn's Rating - B
Critic's Rating - D


Finding Neverland

Johnny Depp does an excellent job in the role of writer James M. Barrie in director Marc Foster's look at Barrie's friendship with a widow (Kate Winslet) and her four boys who inspire him to write the famous "Peter Pan".

It is very sad in parts. Julie Christie plays a good part. Barrie seems to care more about how the widow feels then his own wife - although she is self-centered too. The scenery and the acting were excellent.


101 minutes
Rated PG13
Carolyn's Rating - A
Critic's Rating - A-


In Good Company

Everyone is at the top of his or her game in Paul Weitz's comedy about a magazine boss (Dennis Quaid) and the young man (Topher Grace) who comes into be his new boss even though he is only 26 years old. Also, he is dating Quaid's daughter (Scarlett Johansson).

The plot takes a couple of neat turns and neither man turns out to be what he first appears. Weitz, who wrote the quick-written script, gives each person in his cast room to shine, even the minor supporting actors. And shine they do!

Enjoyable and filled with laughs. Go see this one.

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109 minutes
Rated PG13
Carolyn's Rating - A
Critic's Rating - A-



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Carolyn McFaul
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