For twenty years, Law And Order was a staple of the television schedule. With that success, the creative team decided to try a spin-off. That spin-off is Law And Order SVU (1999-Present).
While the original SVU was focused on a variety of crimes, this spin-off focuses solely on sexually related crimes. The current cast includes Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza and Peter Scanavino.
I have been a fan of this show since the beginning. Like it’s predecessor, the show deals in the grey areas of life and fighting crime, especially when it comes to the cases that the characters deal with. I also very much appreciate the strong women on show, Lt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Detective Rollins (Kelli Giddish).
I absolutely recommend it.
Babysitting from the outside looking in, appears to be simple. But it is not so simple, especially when the baby one is baby sitting will not stop crying.
In the 1986 movie, Labyrinth, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is not happy about being forced to babysit her baby brother. When the baby is unable to stop crying, she makes a wish to the Goblin King, Jareth (the late David Bowie) to take away her brother, her wish is granted. Sarah quickly regrets her decision and asks Jareth to return her brother. But Jareth refuses and Sarah has until midnight to rescue her brother. If she does not, he will become a goblin. Teaming up with fantastical creatures, can Sarah rescue her brother?
What makes this movie stand out for me is not just the fact that it is Jim Henson film, but that David Bowie, as both an actor and a musician has a unique take on his role. If he was just an actor and not a musician, the role would have come across differently on-screen. I also appreciate that the female lead is not the typical female lead who follows the typical narrative.
I recommend it.
When a writer mines for ideas, sometimes the best ideas come from their childhood.
The 1987 movie, Radio Days, is based on the childhood memories of writer/director Woody Allen. Growing up in Rockaway Beach, NY during World War II, Joe (played by Seth Green as a child and voiced over by Woody Allen as an adult) associates the various aspects of his life with the radio programs of the era. Told through the memories of the adult Joe, the film is a love letter to not just childhood, but also a time when radio was the medium that the world relied on for news and entertainment.
The best films are timeless because there is a universal quality to them. Despite the physical location and the time period that the film is set in, anyone from anywhere will find an aspect of the film that they can relate to. This movie is universal because it is about childhood, family and the memories we have long after we have become adults.
I recommend it.
For millions of immigrants, Ellis Island was more than the gateway to America. It represented the opportunities and freedoms that did not exist in their previous homelands.
In the 2006 movie, Golden Door, Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) is a poor farmer from Sicily whose wife has died. Together with his surviving family, they hope to emigrate to America. On the ship bound for Ellis Island, he meets Lucy Reed (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who hopes to enter the US as a Mrs. and not a Miss. They agree to marry. But when they get to Ellis Island, both Lucy and Salvatore are in for a rude awakening. Before they can leave the island and truly become Americans, they have to pass a series of examinations and hope that the customs officials are satisfied with the results.
Like many Americans, my immigrant great-grandparents were part of the millions who passed through Ellis Island. What I appreciate about this film is not just the entertaining narrative, but it sheds on the lengths that many went through so they could truly call themselves Americans.
I recommend it.
The two most important days in a man’s life is the day his daughter is born and the day he walks her up the aisle.
In the 1991 movie, Father Of The Bride, George Banks (Steve Martin) has just found out that his daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) is getting married. His reaction is not unexpected, but what is unexpected is the cost of the wedding.
A reboot of the 1950 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy, what I like about this movie is that George is an every man. He wants his daughter to be happy, but at the same time, he cannot wrap his head around the fact that his little girl is no longer a little girl. And of course, with comedy done as only Steve Martin can, it is one funny movie.
I recommend it.
History can be an interesting subject for a fictional television drama. But for it to be done right, the characters must appeal to a modern audience and the narrative has to be more than dry facts coming out of a boring college history textbook.
Between 2012 and 2013, the BBC original drama Copper aired on Sunday nights. Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom-Weston Jones) is an Irish immigrants who walks the streets of The Five Points in New York City during The Civil War. While working the beat of the dangerous Five Points, Detective Corcoran, known as Corky, does not limit himself to his neighborhood. His travels around the city include trips to the uptown residences of wealthy playboy Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid), society wife Elizabeth Haverford (Anastasia Griffith) and to the home of African-American Doctor Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh).
I was a fan of this show. I enjoyed the subtle history lesson with the compelling narrative and 3D characters. The problem is that BBC America did not feel the same and cancelled the show after the 2nd season.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Love is a subject that has been the topic of an endless number of stories. So is the lack of love.
In the 2003 Intolerable Cruelty, Miles (George Clooney) had made a name for himself as a cynical Beverly Hills divorce lawyer. His latest client is Marylin (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who is eager to divorce her cheating husband. After proving that her husband has cheated on her, Marylin expects to receive a fat divorce settlement. Instead, she gets nothing and quickly re-marries. But there is still the issue of the attraction to Miles, who is also fighting his attraction to Marylin.
Sometimes a movie suffers when they have a great cast, but the narrative is not all there. That is unfortunately the case with Intolerable Cruelty.
It tries to replicate the sophisticated romantic comedies of the past (i.e. Bringing Up Baby), but it misses the mark.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
For every success in Hollywood, there is an attempt to replicate that success.
In 1995, the movie Clueless, based on Jane Austen’s Emma hit the big screen. The film was a resounding success.
A year later, the television series Clueless hit the small screen. Airing for three years, Rachel Blanchard stepped into the role of Cher, taking over for Alicia Silverstone. The narrative of the television series continued in the same direction of the movie with many of the same characters that film audiences loved in 1995.
As I recall, the television series was merely ok. While it attempted to replicate the magic of the film, something was lost along the way. I can’t put my finger on it, but it felt like a second-hand replacement.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Our families and our siblings, especially can either be our best friends or our worst enemies.
In the short-lived series, Brotherly Love (1995-1997), the Lawrence Brothers, Joey, Matthew and Andrew played the Roman Brothers. Their father has recently passed away and the eldest brother Joe has returned home initially to just collect his inheritance. The reunion with his stepmother, Claire (Melinda Culea) and younger half brothers Matt and Andy is not exactly lovey dovey. Seeing that he is needed, Joe agrees to return home to have a hand in raising his brothers and keep the family business going.
To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about this show. As I look back on this show, it just feels like another mediocre 1990’s sitcom that was given a shot and like many sitcoms, just did not last.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
It’s no secret that women are shamed into the idea that the only way to be complete and happy is to be a certain size.
In the 2006 film Phat Girlz, Jazmin (Mo’Nique) is convinced that the only way she can find a man is to be thin. Then she meets Dr. Tunde Jonathan (Jimmy Jean-Louis), who appreciates her curves. But will Jazmin appreciate her curves and allow Dr. Tunde to love her has she is?
I like and appreciate this movie on two levels: The first is that we need more women of color fully fleshed out on-screen. The second is that the heroine is not a size 2 and is dealing with the pressure to fit into that unattainable ideal.
I recommend it.