"Hello, Stranger" is the opening salvo in a modern war of the sexes pitting four adults against each other like romantic assassins. Set in chilly London, "Closer" offers irony with its title but the truth with that first line. Director Mike Nichols shoots his artistic arrows at a bull's eye once again, as he did with the trenchant social satires "Carnal Knowledge," "The Graduate," and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."
It's cold above the Arctic Circle, even if you work for a robust, often maligned caregiver. Director Robert Zamekis ("Cast Away) and Tom Hanks ("Cast Away") join forces again to make an animation based on the illustrated Chris Van Allsburg children's book about a seven-year old boy who questions Santa's existence and travels by magical train to Toyland for the ocular proof.
Another entertaining attempt to make genius accessible to us all.
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
In 1903 London it is hard to believe any artist besides Oscar Wilde could have energized the West End more than J.M. Barrie with his immortal "Peter Pan." "Finding Neverland" attempts to tell how Barrie (Johnny Depp) was inspired through his relationship with widower Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her four fatherless boys.
"De-Lovely" earlier this year was the lovely biopic of the year for me until I saw "Ray." Much as I love the tunes of Cole Porter, the genial crossover songs of Ray Charles could not have been better integrated into a biography than Director Taylor Hackford ("Proof of Life") does along with Charles' collaboration.
For those of us who endure the suffocating zeal of Ohio State football fans or hear about the football obsession of small-town Massillon, Ohio, "Friday Night Lights" is more of the same. Odessa, Texas, has little else but high school football given the poor economic times of 1988 and the barren world of remote Texas. But it's a true story filled with a game that defines the future of its players and the town, for whom there is little else.