Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Author(s): Evan (N/A)

Director: John Carney
Written By: Matt Greenhalgh

Anthony Raneri – himself
Patrick Wilson - Jack O’Shea
James Franco – John “Beatz” Holohan
Alaistair Foley - Nick Ghanbarian
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Samantha

Tagline: “An angel got his wings and we'll hold our heads up, Knowing that he’s fine.”

Synopsis: Bayside was on tour. Their second album had just been incredibly well received, and all four of the band members felt hope for the first time in what felt like forever. Could anything possibly go wrong? On October 31st, 2005 Bayside’s van hit a patch of ice and flipped over. Anthony tried to open his eyes, but he couldn’t. All he saw was shattered glass spread out across the moonlit road. He then passed out to the sound of a single drum, rolling. When he opened his eyes he was in a hospital. A women came in. He didn’t recognize her. She sat down and took his bandaged hand. She told him that John had died, and that Nick had severely injured his back. She may have said she was sorry but Anthony didn’t hear. The next few days went by as if somebody was holding down the fast forward button. Before he knew it, Anthony was standing in front of a crowd of reporters. He spoke what he felt:

“The worst day of my life is over. It lasted 72 hours, but it's over. I know now that everyday for the rest of my life will be a piece of cake to wake up to, I'm just glad that I get to wake up to them. This week and the rest of my life are not going to be a mourning of a lost life, but a celebration of a wonderful one. He will live forever in all of our hearts and in the music he created so passionately.”

Anthony announced that him and Jack would continue their planned tour, for their fans, but would be playing an all-acoustic set. Both of them only sang and played guitars. On November 16th Anthony and Jack flew down to St.Petersberg Florida, to join up with their tour. They played every night as they traveled west, coping with their grief, and feeding off the support of their fans.

Nick lay in his bed at the hospital and thought about that fateful night. His girlfriend Samantha came to visit him every day and often brought letters from Anthony and Jack, who were on the road, touring. They spoke about how much life the fans had, and about all the love they showed. Nick felt happy for the first time in weeks, and this made Samantha feel a little more hope in his survival. Samantha had almost been in the accident, but had stayed behind in LA for a job interview. She could hardly believe she was still alive, that she had escaped death or injury so easily. She didn’t think it was right. Why did she deserve to live and John didn’t?

Anthony began to write songs about John, and about life, and how life could suddenly be taken away from the most deserving of people. Anthony and John were best friends. He still had waves of sadness when he realized he would never physically see him again. All any of them ever wanted to do was play music and make their band into something that people would know and love. That hasn't changed and they won’t let it. You can’t change a thing with empty hearts. And Beatz wouldn't have had it any other way.

What the Press Would Say:

In his second feature, John Carney, the director of “Once”, dives right into the world of grief in this beautiful musical about the tragic Bayside van accident of 2005. With members of the actual band playing themselves, and James Franco respectfully fitting the mold for the terribly lost John Holohan, “Acoustic” has changed into something far more than a movie about loss. It has changed into a movie about life. Anthony Raneri plays the bands lead singer and rhythm guitarist. In his first film, and at his first bat at acting, Mr.Raneri knocks it out of the park. Because of the pain he went through, nobody could play the role the way he could. Showing raw emotion and true willpower, Mr. Raneri gives “Acoustic” a powerful emotional center. The screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh is brilliant in every way. It gives each character multiple feelings so that even minor characters are more than filler. Maggie Gyllenhaal also gives a great performance as the truly faithful girlfriend of Nick. She pulls at you heartstrings while she is onscreen, making music with her acting that is just as touching as the beautiful songs that exist throughout the film. Shot using a mix of camcorder and professional grade cameras, this film looks as spectacular as it sounds and feels. Shades of blues mixing in with the hopeful golds and yellows of the United States’ southwest fit the film perfectly. James Franco is also inspirational in his rather small role of the lost drummer, John. Patrick Wilson, who has singing experience, as he was nominated for a Tony award for Oklahoma, gives a spectacular performance. Playing one of the two main characters, Mr. Wilson gives a surprisingly withdrawn performance as the quiet, and less outwardly emotional companion. This film is a rare gem that is beautiful in its grit, showing life on the road… the road of life, that is.

Best Picture
Best Director – John Carney
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Actor - Anthony Raneri
Best Supporting Actress – Maggie Gyllenhaal
Best Supporting Actor – Patrick Wilson
Best Supporting Actor – James Franco
Best Supporting Actor – Alaistair Foley

AU H20

Author(s): Chris K. (AZ)

Directed by Peter Berg
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Produced by Miramax

Main Cast

Ed Harris as Barry Goldwater
Chris Cooper as Ronald Reagan
Vincent D’Onofrio as Karl Hess
Joshua Molina as John Grenier
John Goodman as Dean Burch
Laurence Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall
Tommy Lee Jones as President Lyndon B. Johnson

Tagline: “We were a nation divided and his film is just that”


First Chapter- Convention part 1
Outrageous applause, Overwhelming jeers, Fear, Wonder, Racist, Revolutionist, and the new Republican nominee for President of the United States Barry Goldwater, a senator from Arizona champion of the conservatives. Karl Hess an activist who has been compared to communists, John Grenier a lawyer who is a rising star in the republican party, and Dean Burch Goldwater’s Arizonan on the staff have all joined together to bring a speech that will join together the Conservative base. This task is daunting because so many want Goldwater to win but at the same time a loss would be a victory. As things begin to unfold for them Ronald Reagan comes to them on screen as they begin to finish. His speech is so persuasive that even at the beginning they have to revamp the speech. As sweat pounds upon paper and pens fly across them you can see their growing anxiety. They only have twenty minutes to finish up a speech that will outshine Reagan’s and create a perception of their candidate that will appeal to all voters if a victory is going to be considered in November

Second Chapter- November 3
Election Day has arrived and in Arizona Barry Goldwater is waiting in line with voters ready to vote. As he speaks to the voters they get to witness first hand the reason he got this far. Early polling has him winning the deeply conservative south and this is welcomed with raucous applause but then the rest of the nation seems to be trending towards President Johnson instead of Senator Goldwater. As the he along with his staff console each other it is announced that Arizona voted for Barry and this lightens up the mood that has taken over all of them. With the major loss that he has been dealt as all candidates do he concedes and congratulates Johnson on his victory. Goldwater gives his thanks to all his supporters than leaves the national stage. When he gets off stage the last thing he says is to Ronald Reagan which he says to him “Go get ‘em”

Third Chapter- Intimidation and Mud Slinging
Many wonder the reasons why Barry Goldwater lost in that election it could go to many reasons. The First could have been when Thurgood Marshall met with Barry Goldwater after the vote for the Civil Rights Act which Goldwater voted against. As they talked about their opinions the anger Marshall had when he went in lessened as Goldwater’s argument for his vote made sense. He approved the overall effect of this piece of legislation it restricted personal freedoms on citizens. After he held a press conference where he portrayed the message that Goldwater wasn’t a racist the NAACP could not support him. The Second problem was the infamous video’s Johnson issued which were controversial and created Mud Slinging but never used this effectively as he did. The last was the “treatment” used by President Johnson used on people to pressure them into supporting his plans. In this case its Johnson versus Goldwater and it begins and ends with Johnson constantly attacking but never letting Goldwater have a thing to say. It showed how Goldwater was courteous and listened and Johnson as an attack dog usually assumed for the vice-presidency.

Fourth Chapter- Convention part 2
The speech is almost finished as lines are thrown in and they get to Mr. Goldwater who is optimistic after reading it. As they walk out Reagan walks by and you can see the praise Goldwater receives while they were shaking hands. As he starts his speech people in the audience are reacting with boo’s and applause. By the end it’s seemingly the roof will blow of its top. As he is shaking hands with the audience Dean Burch, Karl Hess, and John Grenier all approve that they have a shot come November if everything goes the way it should.

What the Press would say:

AU H2O is a film that relives the year of 1964 with the presidential election. It ended sadly for Barry Goldwater but created a new world and changed our political races forever. This film uses a cast of classic actors and lesser known character actors. IT starts and ends with two performances throughout the film. Ed Harris uses his acting credits (Pollock) to the fullest extent and made this biopic a great piece of work and has that believability some films have with portrayals of real people. He never lets up as it goes along and critics are in love with this performance and an Academy Award is not out of his eyes. The second performance is by Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah) which emulates President Lyndon B. Johnson perfectly and does it with style. Making a role that is only in thirty minutes he comes out and shows us why we remember him so clearly. The next two parts were instrumental to the films success. The writing of Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men) uses less humor and more style than he has ever done. An Oscar has never been so deserving of him with his adaptation of Goldwater’s biography and keeps the realism films seem to lose in that transition. The final aspect is the direction by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) who creates that realism that biopic’s sometimes miss and he does it with style. He creates a set that allows these great actors flexibility but controls them from over doing it. This film shows the realism of this campaign through it’s hopeful beginnings to it’s destructive end and allows the reader a visual spectacle that will keep Goldwater’s image alive within people who are distant with that period of time that so defined us all in different ways.

He championed a brand of rugged individualism, and he never hesitated to speak his mind. He could be both colorful and profane, and he often said things he later wished he hadn't. "Barry, you speak too quick and too loud," former president Dwight D. Eisenhower once told him, and Mr. Goldwater acknowledged that Eisenhower was right, but it made a colorful personality that lives with us today reunited with this film so come Oscar time it should receive recognition in the following categories.


Best Picture
Best Director- Peter Berg
Best Actor- Ed Harris
Best Supporting Actor- Tommy Lee Jones
Best Adapted Screenplay- Aaron Sorkin

Break Before Bend

Author(s): D.W. Dillon (NV)
Break Before Bend

Directed by Philip Kaufman
Written by Kevin Jarre
Cinematography by Ken Kelsch
Edited by Freeman A. Davies
Music by Ry Cooder
Produced by Walter Hill

Principal Cast:

Jake Gyllenhaal as Darren Burke
Sarah Polley as Eloise Burke
Vincent D'Onofrio as Dr. Samuel Stefano
Esai Morales as Livan Castro
Tabu as Sanjana Raj

Tagline: "The truth can hurt."

Synopsis: They knew his troubled past. They knew his calm and collective demeanor was a mask that hid his nationalistic soul. For the CIA, Darren Burke (Gyllenhaal) was the perfect recruit. Under the tutelage of Dr. Samuel Stefano (D'Onofrio), he would learn the art of interrogation and much, much more. Dr. Stefano, a Vietnam veteran, was the victim of "water boarding" by his captors during the war; stripped nude and tied down, while gallons of dirty water splashed his face, followed by single slow drops of water blasting his forehead for hours causing excruciating discomfort both mentally and physically. Dr. Stefano knew the world of torture better than anyone else. Now a master interrogator, he was ahead of his time. Developing a new form of interrogation where he would manipulate the mind. By placing an electrode inside the brain, he could control whether the suspect would feel pain, pleasure, anger or fear. The program was terminated citing possible brain damage. When 9/11 hit, the gloves came off and Dr. Stefano had free reign. Through more research he would be able to manipulate the brain into telling only the truth.

Darren Burke had entered a world over his head. He had steered clear of Dr. Stefano's experimental methods. That is until his latest suspect, notorious Cuban drug dealer Livan Castro (Morales), who had withstood the grueling "Forced Standing" technique; enduring 12 hours in shackles that stood him upright with no room to bend, lay, or kneel to pray. The memory haunts Burke's dreams, hearing the screams in his nightmares of that arachnophobic drug dealer left in shackles, only now surrounded by tarantulas, at the suggestion and behest of Dr. Stefano. Angry and ashamed with himself, Burke no longer looked his wife or children in the eyes. He had changed and it was showing. His failed attempt at suicide, physically punishing his children with a belt, along with his rough sexual behavior in the bedroom frightened his wife, Eloise (Polley), to the point of tears and confusion. When Dr. Stefano asked Darren to perform his latest brain manipulation method on the wife of a suspected terrorist, Sanjana Raj (Tabu), he finds himself at wits end with his mentor. Her desperate plea for freedom would change his mind in the end. After the death of Sanjana Raj, under interrogation at the hands of Dr. Stefano, Darren Burke now knew what he had to do. His whistle-blowing will place a target on his back. The government will use all means necessary to keep him quiet, from damaging his credibility, to assigning Dr. Stefano a project to "change" Burke's mind. A battle of wits to the tolerance of pain will test not only Darren, but his mentor as well. They would attack each other’s past painful memories, from Dr. Stefano's Vietnam experience to Darren's painful memory of being kidnapped and molested as a child. The truth is horror, and the truth will be heard at the cost of someone's life.

What the Press Will Say? The movie opens with a monotone narration by Jake Gyllenhaal, describing the numerous forms of interrogation through torture, done throughout the history of man, accompanied by gruesome re-enactments, "...British soldiers in the 18th century loved the idea of "Pitchcapping"; pouring hot tar into a cone-shaped paper "cap", which was forced onto a bound suspect's head and then allowed to cool and cruelly torn off. In World War II, “Denailing” was the method of choice, only the captors liked to soak the fingers or toes first, causing even more pain...the Viet-Kong felt the need to castrate U.S. soldiers, while both sides found water boarding an effective way to gather intelligence."

His unhinged voice sounds like Vincent Price narrating a Stephen King novel for a Books-on-Tape. It's an introduction with such impact that perfectly shapes what is to come; disturbing, but horrifically intriguing. The horror he speaks of comes in the form of one man. Dr. Samuel Stefano, played by rogue actor Vincent D'Onofrio whose personal touches to each character's personality introduce a somewhat controlled chaotic figure. He's a master at the art of "information gathering" which his predecessor, Darren Burke (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes to define it more as "experimental torture". Stefano revels more in his experiments working, with complete disregard for the suspect. D'onofrio moves with precision but yet his actions are unpredictable as in the scene where he carefully removes a shorted-out electrode that has been placed in the brain of a suspect only turn up the voltage in complete frustration, causing severe brain damage.

"Break Before Bend" is a triumph in the cloak and dagger world of our government. It's plot driven by moral codes, patriotic duty, and psychology. Philip Kaufman, best known for his classic remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", the Oscar winning "The Right Stuff" and the up-coming HBO Ernest Hemingway biopic, is no stranger to unnerving scenes that will forever haunt you, but his direction and use of coverage is truly masterful-finding every which way to shoot the best scene.

The film reaches it's budding conflict when the sorrowful wife of a suspected terrorist is murdered under interrogation, prompting our hero to take a life-altering risk. With his family frightened and his emotions reaching it's peak, words were never more true as when Burke shouts that he'd rather " hunted by the mafia than by his own government...". A glimpse of the cat and mouse-psychological thrill ride we are set endure for the final act.

Many of the scenes are stark and confined, but Kaufman dares you to feel uncomfortable and feel for the suspects. Whether they are innocent or guilty, he craftily manipulates the viewer into vesting into the actual core of the film's theme of morality. Through every loss of life there is a life changed, and writer Kevin Jarre (Tombstone) embodies in word and structure every inch of that philosophy with his dialogue. We are the peanut gallery of medical students observing a veteran brain surgeon at work. We should all watch intently and take note.

Best Picture
Best Director - Philip Kaufman
Best Actor - Jake Gyllenhaal
Best Supporting Actor - Vincent D'Onofrio
Best Supporting Actress - Tabu
Best Supporting Actress - Sarah Polley
Best Original Screenplay - Kevin Jarre


Author(s): JG (NY)

Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Dick Wolf
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith

Main Cast:

Kevin Zegers as Adam Rosenstein
Matthew Fox as Jacob Weiss
Jeremy Piven as Richard Oliver
Meryl Streep as Hannah Rosenstein
James Lafferty as Michael Darwell

Tagline: His real challenge was off the mat.


Adam Rosenstein is one of the few Jewish teenagers living in his 1950's all-American southern town. He attended elementary and middle school in the state's only Jewish school with just 30 other students. When Adam was in 6th grade, a new gym teacher, Jacob Weiss, was hired and introduced him to the sport of wrestling. Rosenstein was never really into sports because Jewish kids were never allowed to enter any of the state's sports leagues or competitions. However, he became attracted to wrestling after learning that it was not a common sport and that it could help make him stronger to fight off bullies who criticized him for being Jewish. For the next few years, Adam trained and practiced wrestling with a few of his classmates. He stayed with it through his early high school years and eventually turned into an excellent wrestler. However, just before his senior year of high school, his school was shut down and he reluctantly gave up wrestling. He attended one of the local public schools for his senior year and was ridiculed for his beliefs by many of the other students. Even though he knew that Jews were not allowed to participate in school sports, he tried out for the school's wrestling team anyway. The coach, Richard Oliver, was so impressed with Rosenstein that he let him join the team anyway. That year, Adam worked his absolute hardest to remain a member of the team and to give it his all. He became the team's star player and carried his team to the state finals. However, when the opposing team discovered that Adam was Jewish, controversy arose and they demanded that he should not be allowed to participate. This led to an outburst of prejudice and hatred amongst many of the state's citizens and became a huge issue in the way high school sports were conducted in this state.

What the press would say:

In order for a film to have a great impact on the audience, it needs to be real, relatable, interesting, and inspiring. And that is exactly what "Challenge" is. It's a film about trying new things, never giving up, and always believing in yourself. Adam Rosenstein, the film's main character, struggles with each of these issues during his teenage years as a Jewish wrestler living in a Christian state. From the minute the movie begins, the audience is able to see the depth and intensity Kevin Zegers gives to his character, Rosenstein, with his two eyes alone. Right away, one can see his overwhelming amount of determination and how he is really devoting himself to be the best that he can be. As the film moves from Rosenstein as a boy learning a new sport, to a teenager challenging himself and the state in which he lives, one can see how Zegers evolves into the outstanding actor that he truly is. He really poured his soul into this role and deserves to be recognized.

Adam Rosenstein's main influences in the sport of wrestling are his middle school gym teacher (played by Matthew Fox) and his high school coach (played by Jeremy Piven). Fox's character, Jacob Weiss, serves as one of Rosenstein's father figures who stays by Adam's side throughout everything, acting as a both a mentor and a friend. Fox wonderfully portrays Weiss' sincerity and strength. Piven greatly transforms into a believable wrestling coach who just wants the best for his team and for everything to be fair.

As for the rest of the cast, Meryl Streep once again delivers playing Mrs. Rosenstein, a typical Jewish mother who deeply cares about her son. James Lafferty is also solid in a minor role as one of Rosenstein's wrestling teammates.

The final piece that completes the film is Ron Howard. Howard truly captivates the feel of Rosenstein's character throughout the film and does an excellent job of portraying life in this small southern town. Howard made sure to be up close for the intense wrestling scenes in order to make the viewers feel like they are watching it from the stands. He brilliantly balances the film and he too should be recognized for his efforts.

Although "Challenge" may seem like a typical sport movie, it really is not. It offers something different, with unique plot twists and an ending so unexpected that it will have everybody talking!

For Your Consideration:

Best Picture
Best Director: Ron Howard
Best Actor: Kevin Zegers
Best Supporting Actor: Matthew Fox
Best Supporting Actress: Meryl Streep
Best Original Screenplay: Dick Wolf

Dear Mickey, Love Melinda

Author(s): Bryce (CA)
Dear Micky, Love Melinda

Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Robert Rodat
Produced by: Cathy Konrad, James Mangold, and Mark Gordon

Principal Cast

Milo Ventimiglia as Micky Donald
Kelly Macdonald as Melinda Eckhard
William Hurt as Colonel James Trout
Michael Shannon as Alex Cooper
Adrian Pasdar as Hans Diederick
Kevin J. O'Connor as Albrecht Friedrich

Tagline: "A letter that was too late, A chance that is too futile, and A journey that may be too hopeless"

Synopsis: This letter was sent on February 14, 1939

"Dear Melinda,
I am sorry to be writing almost two years after we had met. I hope you remember me, we met in New York, remember? I really enjoyed the night we spent with each other, that is why I feel I owe you some sort of explanation for taking this long to write to you. I never told you this, but before I met you I lived a very bad life. The things I had done were terrible. To be truthful, that day when we first met I was planning to kill myself. But then I saw you. The clumsy foreign girl. I don't know what it was about you, but that day you single handedly gave me the confidence I needed to get my life together. It's because of you that I have achieved great wealth, and have fixed my relationships with my family. I want to see you again. Maybe you can come back to New York. I would be willing to pay for you and your family. By the way, how is your family? I remember you had to leave because there was trouble in your home country. Anyway, I hope you get this letter and you give my offer some thought. It would make me very happy to see you again.
Love, Micky"

Micky's letter was received three months later. Melinda's letter was written shortly after and sent shortly after. However, her letter didn't get to Micky until April 14, 1942.

"Dear Micky,
How could I ever forget the boy I met in New York, who had such crazy ambitions. Looks like they weren't so crazy after all. I'm glad to hear about your success. I would of loved to be around you more than I had gotten the chance to, but tensions with the Germans in my country is becoming dangerous. It's a miracle that I even received your letter. For the last two years my family have been able to stay alive because of my father's wealth. The Germans are greedy people, but this actually helped us stay alive. However wealth is no longer a factor anymore, and me and my family must go into hiding. I am deeply sorry to say that this will be my last letter to you until everything is safe again. That night we spent together was the most fun I ever had. I still wear the bracelet you gave to me every single day. I will try my best to stay out of harms way. I guess I will be the one with the crazy ambitions, but I have faith we will meet again in the future. Love Melinda"

Three years.....Three years ago Melinda had received Micky's letter, and now Micky has finally received her letter. He drops to the floor, dropping the letter that is three years too late. He never got to tell her how he really felt about her. He never got to tell her that his love for her grew ever since they met each other. He never got to tell her that she has been on his mind every single day since they met. He never got to show her the engagement ring he had bought.

Is Melinda even still alive? A question that plagued Micky's every thought. A question Micky was not going to let stay in his mind. Getting help from his father's old comrade, Colonial James Trout, he was able to venture off to her hometown that had been occupied by the Nazi Regime, in hopes of finding Melinda...or at least finding out what happened to her. Once he arrived Colonial Trout assigned Private Alex Cooper to aid him in his search, and gave them the aid of a German captive by the name of Albrecht Friedrich to navigate the group.

Meanwhile, as Micky and his crew come closer to finding the answer they seek, the story of what happened during the last three years of Melinda's life is revealed. Melinda and her family were brought to concentration camps, were most of her family were killed. Melinda was struggling to stay alive. If it wasn't for her beauty, and her "talents" in bed, she would of been dead by now. The soldier Melinda feared the most was Hans Diederick, who became known as the devil incarnate around the captives in the concentration camps. However, as time went by Hans began to be infatuated with Melinda. His killings slowly stopped, and Hans' superiors started taking notice, wondering if his priorities had changed. To make matters worse, Melinda's talents were soon becoming obsolete as the new batches of female captives were brought in. Luckily for Melinda, Hans had literally fallen in love with the mesmerizing Melinda. Even though his love was mysterious, he made it his life duty to make sure Melinda was kept alive.

Micky arrives in what appears to be an abandoned concentration camp. It looked as if a riot had happened, and was followed by a fire big enough to burn almost everything. But what made this concentration camp interesting, was what was found in the sleeping quarters of the camp. It was the bracelet that Micky gave to Melinda, and blood was on it. However, what made Micky excited about seeing the bracelet with spots of blood, was the fact that the blood was recent. According to Alex, the blood was only a few hours old. Could Melinda still be alive? Or will Micky find a truth that he doesn't want to believe? "Dear Micky, Love Melinda" is the story about how far one will go just to say I love you.

What The Press Would Say

I first saw "Dear Micky, Love Melinda" at the Cannes film festival months ago. After seeing it again my thoughts have remained the same. The movie is intriguing, interesting, passionate, and griping. Boasting a pitch perfect pace, the film never has a stale or dull moment. The movie is a journey that promises to test the limits of a man and woman's courage, love, compassion, determination, durability, and ego. A journey that will be just as unpredictable to the audience as to it's characters.

The structure of the movie was brilliantly planned by the movie's talented screenwriter and the movie's talented director James Mangold, who has been increasingly showing his mastery of direction. The movie starts off like "Sunset Blvd" and "Casino", right dab in the middle/end of the movie, where Micky first enters the abandoned concentration camp. Then it flashes back to the night when Micky and Melinda first met, and follows a straight timeline until Micky and his crew begin their journey. Once that happens, the story is embedded with flashbacks of what Melinda had to go through, and the movie stays like that until it's climatic ending. It's the filmmaking that help makes what may seem like an unoriginal idea, into a invigorating and interesting movie.

All the performances in the movie are solid, and everyone pulls off the appropriate accents that their character should have. Milo Ventimiglia's character is so blinded by hopes and dreams, and the feeling that he owes something to Melinda, that it almost becomes tragic to even look at him. The performance is both hauntingly tragic and sincerely touching at the same time. Kelly Macdonald's performance is also amazing. Her scenes in the flashbacks of the concentration camps are very powerful. Seeing the pain that she goes through as she witnesses each of her family members brutally killed is just horrifying. She also becomes the "slut" of the camp, sleeping with various Nazi soldiers in order to stay alive. I think the filmmakers wanted to show the purity leaving Melinda every time she commits a sexual act, and I think Macdonald was able to successfully show this. It seems as if the beauty that was so mesmerizing to everyone diminishes every time she has sex or is raped. Adrian Pasdar performance as the ruthless Nazi general was also a noteworthy performance. His performance falls short of what Ralph Fiennes achieved in "Shiendler's List" but it's still a great performance. His character becomes infected with the same love ideals that Melinda and Micky has, and as a result his ruthless ways are replaced with empathy. Seeing the coldness in Pasdar's eyes and soul turn into warmth and compassion is an amazing transformation that Pasdar was fully able to accomplish. This will be Pasdar's breakthrough role.

The movie is a lot more than what has been said. It's one of those movies you definitely have to see yourself, and not take anyone else's word except for yours. "Dear Micky, Love Melinda" will be ranked up there as one of the best of this year, a gem that no one should miss.

Best Picture
Best Director- James Mangold
Best Actor- Milo Ventimiglia
Best Actress- Kelly Macdonald
Best Supporting Actor- Adrian Pasdar
Best supporting Actor- Michael Shannon
Best supporting Actor- Kevin J. O'Connor
Best Original Screenplay- Robert Rodat

Death of a Salesman

Author(s): AJ (TN)
Death of a Salesman

Directed by Sidney Lumet
written by Kelly Masterson

Main Cast

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Charlie Fogler
Julianne Moore as Harriet Fogler
Paul Dano as Arthur Fox
Jim Caviezel as Toby Fox
Mark Wahlberg as Long Island Mike
Heather Graham as Natalie Cage
Ethan Hawke as The Guy

Tagline: N/A

Synopsis: 11:59 p.m. - Charlie Fogler walks up to his car and gets in. He locks the doors and prepares to put the key in the ignition when he feels a gun barrel put to his head........

7:30 a.m - Charlie Fogler is an independently wealthy salesman of electronics. He is unhappily married to his wife, Harriet. He goes off to work, believing this will be a normal day, just like any other. He gently leans towards his wife before he departs...

8:30 a.m. - Harriet Fogler's husband has been at work for an hour, so it is time for her weekly affair with Arthur, a college student whom she met online. She believes she is falling in love with him, but her husband stands in her way.....

11:30 a.m. - Arthur Fox visits his brother's place looking for help. Arthur tells his brother that they have it set. They can have all the money they will ever need as long as they kill this salesman so Arthur can marry his wife. Toby, Arthur's brother, says he will take care of it.

1:00 p.m. - Toby Fox only knows one dangerous guy. His drug dealer, Long Island Mike. So Toby stops over there. He asks Long Island Mike how much it would cost, and who they could have do it. Mike says his girlfriend knows a guy......

5:15 p.m. - Long Island Mike drives over to his girlfriends house to find out about the guy. When he gets there, she is doing lines of coke on the bathroom floor. She is completely messed up, but he doesnt care. He tells to get a hold of the guy, or he is cutting her off........

8:30 p.m. - Natalie Cage, still messed up on cocaine, calls up the guy. She tells him to meet her at the Teddy Bear Park. When she meets up with the guy she tells him the name of who he is supposed to find.......Charlie Fogler.

11:58 p.m. - The Guy sits in the backseat of a car he just broke into, holding a silenced Desert Eagle. He ducks down when he sees a salesman walking towards the car.....
11:59 p.m. - Charlie Fogler feels the cold steel pressed against his neck, waiting for the end. 12:00 a.m. - The Guy walks out of the car, putting the unused gun back into his coat.........

What the press would say:

Sidney Lumet's new masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, is an intricate web of lies, betrayal, and violence following and investigating all the characters involved in the death of an innocent man. By the time we get to the end, all the characters except for a few are so detatched from a person they help kill, that this is as much a social commentary on violence, as it is a moving, and dramatic character-fueled story. Lumet, who's latest collaboration with Before the Devil Knows You're Dead screenwriter Kelly Masterson, is a true american classic, taking only its name from the classic play. It creates a totally new and original story, and keeps you glued to the screen as each new character is introduced. The cast does an incredible job during the whole of the film, each having their own story that is only connected because of a singular goal. starting off the cast is Philip Seymour Hoffman. This Oscar Winner gives a surprisingly soft performance as the title salesman, unknowingly betrayed by his wife, played by Julianne Moore, in an incredibly sexy and seductive role. She wants to leave him for a younger paramour, played with bravura from Paul Dano, in one of his most mature roles. Her idea is to kill her husband, and have her young man take care of it. He accuires the help of his coke head of an older brother, played terrifically by Jim Caviezel. He enlists the help of his drug dealer, probably the best performance in the film, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg. Now Wahlberg was nominated for an Oscar for playing a cop, but he is twice as good as the other side of the law. His fast mouth, added to his constant violence make him a fearful, and yet comical character. He contacts his girlfriend, the heartbreaking Heather Graham. And finally she contacts "the Guy", a mysterious and thoughtful Ethan Hawke. "The Guy" is supposed finally take care of the salesman, but has an epiphany about killing someone he doesnt even know, taking the life from an innocent man. He cant do it, and thus walks away. Lumet casts and directs terrifically, Masterson's script is fierce and moving, and the ensemble is one of the best in years. The must see movie of the year!


Best Picture
Best Director
Best Supporting Actor - Mark Wahlberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jim Caviezel
Best Supporting Actress - Julianne Moore, Heather Graham
Best Original Screenplay

The House on Mango Street

Author(s): Connor Campbell (TX)
The House on Mango Street

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Written by Sandra Cisneros and Alfonso Cuaron
Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki
Score by Yann Tiersen

Ivana Baquero- Ezperanza Cordero
Tony Plana- Papa
Judy Reyes- Mama
Raquel Castro- Nenny
Selena Gomez- Rachel
Victoria Justice- Lucy

TAGLINE: “You live there?”


“We didn’t always live on Mango Street… I knew then I needed to have a house. A real house. One I could point to. But this isn’t it. The house on Mango Street isn’t it.”

Esperanza and her family never stayed in the same place long, often shifting between Mexico and Chicago. She was 15 and her little sister Nenny was 13 when they moved to Mango Street, quite possibly the worst neighborhood in Chicago. It was the first time they had ever lived in a house rather than an apartment, but it still wasn’t anything to be proud of. During the short time they spent in the house on Mango Street, Esperanza began to develop into a young woman. She dreamt of going to college and becoming a writer, but her father would discourage it because she learned that Mexican culture, like the Chinese, likes to keep their women weak. She understood this fully. She didn’t honestly think that a little Mexican girl in 1966 from Mango Street would ever go to college. Nobody on this street would.

The other residents of Mango Street were much like her family, people who drift in and out of America. There were her best friends, Rachel and Lucy. Sally, who would marry at the age of 16 to a man who might have been 3 times as old as her. Marin, who was quite simply a whore. Alicia, who saw invisible mice and Elinita who told fortunes. Mango street would change Esperanza. She was tortured by her development into a woman that she was in no way ready for. She was even sexually assaulted at a carnival. But mostly Mango Street showed her the life that she wanted to avoid at all costs. She didn’t want to become her grand-mother; tricked into marriage and left to stare out the window watching her life go by. She would leave Mango Street. She would go to college. She would show everyone that she could do whatever she wanted.

“I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much. I write it down and Mango says goodbye sometimes. She does not hold me with both arms. She sets me free. One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever. One day I will go away."

Awards Campaign:

The House on Mango Street, the newest film by Alfonso Cuaron delves into 1960’s Mexican-American culture. We witness the growth of young Esperanza who fights her pre-destined future. Through a series of short, seemingly independent stories we witness the maturing of Esperanza. Alfonso Cuaron captures the essence of ethnic Chicago brilliantly by using shades of red, orange and brown, a very brassy and latin score and letting us see what Esperanza sees as apposed to just seeing Esperanza. Sandra Cisneros who wrote the series of vignettes that the film is based on writes an equally poignant script. Those who have read the book might find a film adaptation impossible but Cisneros and Cuaron’s script proves otherwise.

Ivana Baquero is the highlight of the film as Esperanza, the aspiring writer who longs to be someone else. Baquero, who made a name for herself in 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth, shines in the lead role. She shows us innocence and childishness in the beginning which morphs into maturity and wisdom almost effortlessly. Baquero gives the best performance of the year in the best film of the year. This brilliant coming of age film is a must-see for everyone. ****/****

Best Picture
Best Director- Alfonso Cuaron
Best Actress- Ivana Baquero
Best Adapted Screenplay- Sandra Cisneros and Alfonso Cuaron