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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Four Part Article On Animation Starts Tomorrow

For the next four Wednesdays in October there will be a weekly installment of a four part article on animation. Make sure to bookmark the site and come back weekly for each installment.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman 1925-2008

Legendary actor and director Paul Newman passed away at the age of 83 on Friday, September 26th, 2008, after a long battle with cancer. He was surounded by family and friends.

He was born on January, 26th, 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Throughout his career he has been nominated for 9 Academy awards for his acting, including one win for his leading role in The Color of Money in 1986. He was nominated for Best Picture in 1969 for directing Rachel, Rachel, and has also won two honourary Academy awards.

He was most famous for his roles in Hud, Cool Hand Luke, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In his last acting role, he voiced Doc Hudson in Cars.

He is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur.

He will be missed by many. May he rest in peace.

-John C.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ghost Town

September 19th, 2008

Rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references.

David Koepp (dir.)

Ricky Gervais as Bertram Pincus D.D.S.

Téa Leoni as Gwen

Greg Kinnear as Frank Herlihy

Billy Campbell as Richard

Kristen Wiig as Surgeon

Aasif Mandvi as Dr. Prashar

Our reviews below:


Ghost Town Review By John C.

***1/2 (out of 4)

Ghost Town may not the funniest movie of the year, but it is one of the most likable. There are some big laughs in the first and second act, but by the third act it becomes surprisingly moving. It does not make up most of its comedy from sight gags, but most of the laughs come from the smart and witty dialogue of Ricky Gervais. A few scenes into the movie we see Gervais’ character Bertram Pincus, a dentist who, be it his patients or his colleagues, does not like people. When he goes for a routine colonoscopy, something terrible happens, he dies. But only for a few minutes. Now he is stuck with the ability to see ghosts, and they all want something. But the one that wants the most is the recently deceased Frank Herlihy, (Greg Kinnear) who asks him to break up the engagement of his widow Gwen, (Téa Leoni) to a humanitarian lawyer, who he does not think is good enough for her. All of the the actors get good lines, but the best ones come from Ricky Gervais, who is pretty much unknown outside of England, and Greg Kinnear, who achieved comic brilliance in Little Miss Sunshine, but also shines brightly in the upcoming drama Flash of Genius. Go see Ghost Town, and you will have a good time.


Ghost Town Review By Erin V.

***1/2 (out of 4)

In Ghost Town, Ricky Gervais plays Dr. Betram Pincus, a dentist, who after a brush with death, can now see ghosts. These aren’t scary ghosts, instead, they are best described as people that only he can see and hear. Delighted that someone can finally communicate with them, they turn to him to help them. They start to follow him around, although, at first, he believes that he is hallucinating. The ghosts are still here because they have some unfinished business to deal with, and he is the only one that can help them. The main ghost Frank, played by Greg Kinnear, is one ghost in particular that won’t leave him alone, since his widow Gwen, played by Téa Leoni, is going to marry a ‘bad man’, and he needs Dr. Pincus to intervene. Unfortunately, Dr. Pincus is no good with people, (or ghosts for that matter).

What follows plays out nicely, as the whole story is very well written and acted. Although not all that complicated a story, it is funny to watch, and very entertaining. The comic timing worked very well, and towards the end of the movie, I found myself enjoying it even more than expected. From the opening scene to the movie’s conclusion, the story plays out perfectly. Thoroughly enjoyable, and unlike some other movies that I have seen, there are not really any parts that I would have preferred to see done differently. An entertaining romance-comedy that actually really works. This being said, Ghost Town is definitely worth seeing.


Ghost Town Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of 4)

Ghost Town is a funny movie about a self-centered dentist named Dr. Bertram Pincus, who, during a routine medical procedure, is accidentally over sedated, and briefly dies and comes back to life. When he wakes up, he realizes he has a new, (but unwanted), ability, that is, to be able to see and hear ghosts! Pretty soon, he meets a ghost named Frank, who is jealous of his widow Gwen’s new boyfriend, Richard, so he gets Dr. Pincus to hook up with her. Dr. Pincus meets Gwen, an Egyptologist, by pointing out the dental problems in a museum mummy. He starts to question Frank’s motives when he meets Gwen’s boyfriend, a human rights lawyer for Amnesty International. Dr. Pincus’ relationship with Gwen and his encounters with Frank and the other ghosts, cause Dr. Pincus to slowly begin to look beyond himself, and care for others.

This movie is funny, clever, and heartwarming. Despite some adult language, this movie does not rely on gross out gags to be funny. Instead, it relies on good lines, and good comedic timing to make you laugh. This movie is nothing but fun.


Ghost Town Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

Ghost Town is a thoroughly enjoyable romantic-comedy. What made it so enjoyable for me was the smartly written dialogue and the impeccable comic timing of actors Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear. The main character, dentist Bertram Pincus, (Ricky Gervais), has a brief death experience that would lead most characters to take stock of their lives and change how the deal with others. But Dr. Pincus continues to be self-absorbed, abrupt and rude to all who come in contact with him, including the ghosts who come to him for help in getting a message out to those they’ve left behind. It is through Dr. Pincus’ reluctantly helping ghost Frank Herlihy, (Greg Kinnear), try to break up the engagement of Frank’s wife to a human rights lawyer, that Bertram Pincus starts to change. As unlikable as Bertram Pincus is, there is something about this jerk that you want to like and root for him to find happiness. The encounters with the various ghosts, including Frank, are funny without going over the top with slapstick or cheap laughs. The movie also has it’s tender side when Dr. Pincus finally decides to help the various ghosts complete their unfinished business and move on to the next world.

Overall, I laughed and I cried, and left the theater with a smile on my face. I really can’t find any faults with this movie other than a caution about some language for younger viewers. This would make a good date movie. Go see this one.


Ghost Town Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, ghosts have always been popular, from tragedies like Macbeth to comedies like Topper and even soaps, where veteran actors in semi-retirement can reprise their roles beyond the grave to spook wayward offspring (e.g. Y.& R.)

In Ghost Town, the dentist Dr. Pincus (Ricky Gervais) has a near-death experience leaving him with the ability to see dead people–the ghosts of those who died with unfinished business. They soon mob him with requests to fix on earth whatever is keeping them from their final rest. Unfortunately, he is as misanthropic as Scrooge and wants nothing to do with them. A phantom adulterer (Greg Kinnear) forever stuck in the tuxedo he had on when the bus ran over him, promises to shield Pincus from the other spirits if his widow (Téa Leoni) can be prevented from marrying a lawyer that does not meet his approval. Despite his obnoxious personality, Pincus gradually endears himself to the widow, coached by the ghost in scenes reminiscent of Play it Again Sam. It doesn’t hurt that as a dentist he can provide valuable insight into the lives and probable causes of death of the Egyptian mummies that she is studying. With a few twists along the way the film moves at a leisurely pace toward a satisfactory ending.

Though not a masterpiece, Ghost Town is a charming comedy, with fine acting by the three principals and a good supporting cast of minor characters.


Consensus: Enjoyable romatic-comedy with likable characters. Ghost Town is a charming, fun movie. ***1/2 (out of 4)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Brief Review of The New At The Movies

By John C.

A new season of At The Movies is underway, this time around without Richard Roeper. If it did not share the name of the previous show, it would have nothing in common. It has new music, a new set, and two new hosts, Ben Lyons of E! Entertainment and Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies. There is also a new feature called the Critics Roundup where they are joined via satelite with three other critics, and it usually just turns into a shouting match, even though they never stop smiling. As far as TV entertainment shows go, this is one of the better ones. But, compared to Ebert & Roeper, I just have to say Skip It.

You can watch their reviews, and take a trip back in time all the way to 1985, with The Balconey Archive online at:


Friday, September 12, 2008

This Month’s Overlooked Film

Chosen by: John C.


Release Date July 11th 2003 (Limited)

Rated PG for brief sexuality

Michael Polish (dir.)

James Woods as Walter O'Brien

Mark Polish as Willis O'Brien

Nick Nolte as Father Harlan

Duel Farnes as Irwin

Daryl Hannah as Flower Hercules

Anthony Edwards as Happy


Northfork Review By John C.

**** (out of 4)

It has been said that to actually understand the Polish brothers Northfork, you would have to read a book about it. Well, I have. It’s called The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking, and is not as much a how-to guide, as it is their diary of writing and filming their third movie Northfork. It is both visually stunning and wonderfully shot, the landscapes of Montana are simply beautiful, and almost seem as if they are right off a postcard. The story of a town that will soon be flooded by a hydro-electric dam is haunting, and brings in a deeper message about life and ultimately, death. It has proven to be hard to track down, but is worth the trouble.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Feature To Be Launched This Friday

Starting this Friday One Movie, Five Views will be profiling an overlooked or underrated film once a month. These will be short profiles and reviews of films that were either overlooked by reviewers or the public, but are definitely worth seeing.

Your goal is to try to see this film before the next months special feature is listed.

Keep an eye on the website for the first installment tomorrow.