The sequel is so derivative: Oliver Stone making sequel to WALL STREET


Wall Street

The rumor is confirmed by the New York Times today, via The Hollywood Reporter. Oliver Stone is making sequel to his prophetic 1987 film “Wall Street”. Although we don’t seemed to have learned much from that film, maybe this time it will mean more. See Francis X. Clines’ brief column: The sequel is so derivative. (Clines notes that “good box” office sounds profitable, too.)

Mickey Rourke thanks God and Catholic faith for ‘second chance’

Mickey Rourke

(Mickey Rourke) ‘When you fall people push you down even more. The world is full of materialism and envy. When you are famous and you fall, people don’t want you to come back. It is almost impossible to come back. It’s hard enough the first time, but the second time it’s like you don’t even exist …God gave me a second chance.’

 An interesting article posted on Catholic Online on august 26: Mickey Rourke thanks God and Catholic faith for ‘second chance’

Movie Reviews Food, Inc., My Sister’s Keeper, Harry Potter & Half-Blood Prince, etc.


My reviews for St. Anthony Messenger, September 2009 are online now.

After the road trip my sister and I took these last couple of days from Half Moon Bay to Marin County, CA, organic takes on a whole new “feel”. In case you haven’t been to Marin County lately, it’s one big celebration of organic edibles. The film Food, Inc. will make you evaluate the source of everything you put into your mouth, and the consequences of not questioning and speaking up about corn-fed and syrup-ed processed and genetically manipulated food and what it means for people. The health care reform debate in the US has to start with food: corn and sugar. How different is the relationship of corn and sugar in all our processed food (and supposedly hot off the hoof meats)  and nicotine and cigarettes? If we are addicted to sugar, from cane or corn, any health care reform that does not start with food reform, is going to be severely challenged. Then let’s talk about the relationship between processed fast food and urban geography, education, employment, and health/health care. PBS ran a highly informative series on this topic earlier this year. Check out for information.

Obama to join faith-based national teleconference on health care reform | National Catholic Reporter

Obama to join faith-based national teleconference on health care reform | National Catholic Reporter

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I don’t usually post about non-media issues, but health care reform IS a media issue. You can join in this conference via video streaming. Check out the website.

HUMANITAS Prize Announces 2009 Finalists; 35th Annual event to be held September 17, 2009



The finalists for 2009 HUMANITAS Prize were announced today by John Wells, HUMANITAS Prize President.  A total of $95,000 in prize money will be handed out at the annual luncheon on September 17th in the Crystal Ballroom at The Beverly Hills Hotel.  Since 1974, HUMANITAS has honored feature film and television writers whose work explores the human condition in a way which ultimately affirms the dignity of the human person and reveals our common humanity.


“The work of these gifted writers is truly inspiring” said John Wells, “It is not always easy to ‘sell’ the notion of richly drawn characters and complex stories that explore the human condition in a meaningful way, so it is our great pleasure to recognize writers who embrace that challenge and prevail.”


“HUMANITAS honors writers who tell great stories that lift us up as a community,” said Executive Director Cathleen Young. “It is a lonely job and a difficult job and we want to shine a light on these brilliant writers who make it look easy when it is far from easy.” 


“For over three decades, HUMANITAS has honored worthy writers who tell stories that make us think and feel and learn,” said Chairman of the Board Frank Desiderio. “In this era of reality television, our mission is more important than ever.” 


The 2009 HUMANITAS Prize finalists are:


Feature Film Category ($10,000)



Dustin Lance Black: MILK

Gina Prince Bythewood: THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES 

John Patrick Shanley: DOUBT

Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon: WALL-E Screenplay

Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter: WALL-E Original Story



 90 Minute Category ($10,000)


Dustin Lance Black: PEDRO 


Lieutenant Colonel Michael R. Strobl and Ross Katz: TAKING CHANCE





60 Minute Category ($10,000)


David Hoselton: HOUSE “Unfaithful” 

Jason Katims: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: “Tomorrow Blues”

David Zabel: ER: “Heal Thyself”  



30 Minute Category ($10,000)

Aleem Batra: SCRUBS: “My Last Words”


Robert Carlock: 30 ROCK: “Believe In the Stars”

John Frink: THE SIMPSONS: “All About Lisa”

Jamie Rhonheimer: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: “Happily Ever After”


Sundance Feature Film Category ($10,000)

Cherien Dabis: AMREEKA





Children’s Live Action Category ($10,000)


Andy Gordon: TRUE JACKSON, VP: “Pilot”

Dan Kopelman: TRUE JACKSON, VP: “The Rival”

Arika Lisanne Mittman: SOUTH OF NOWHERE: “Spencer’s 18th Birthday”



Children’s Animation Category ($10,000)


No Award Given For 2009



The David & Lynn Angell Fellowship in Comedy Writing ($10,000)

 Scott Rutherford: VENICE BEACH, G.E.D. “Pilot”


The HUMANITAS Student Drama Fellowship ($10,000)

 Joey Falco: FORTUNATE SONS: “Pilot – Some Things Never Change”



The HUMANITAS Prize money will be awarded at a luncheon on September 17th in the Crystal Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is located at 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.


Over the past three decades, more than $2.9 million in prize money has been awarded. HUMANITAS Prize winners have included numerous films and television shows that have changed the landscape of entertainment by exploring the complexities of the human experience and shedding light on the positive values of life. They include: Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl), Richard LaGravenese (Freedom Writers); Hanif Kureishi (Venus); Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco (Crash); Peter Morgan (Longford); Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl); Keir Pearson & Terry George (Hotel Rwanda); Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Lackawanna Blues); Michael Kang (The Motel); John Wells (The West Wing); Tony Kushner (Angels in America); Antwone Fisher (Antwone Fisher); Niki Caro (Whale Rider); David E. Kelley (The Practice); Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues); Alan Alda (M*A*S*H); Horton Foote (William Faulkner’s OLD MAN); Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List); Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking); Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting); Aaron Sorkin (Sports Night, The West Wing), and Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me).


For more information, please visit the website at

humanitas 3

District 9: Sci-fi action flick is really good


This low-budget sci-fi thriller is one of the best films of the year. Review to follow. Thought-provoking study of humanity and what it means to be human. I found theological themes as well. Good entertainment value.

Bandslam & Ponyo open this weekend


I like Bandslam: see my review at Eye on Entertainment August 2009 St. Anthony Messenger. It’s entertaining and a big vote for the arts in the curriculum.



Then there’s Ponyo click here and scroll down to CAPSULES. I saw it at the Venice International Film Festival last year; this is a longer review: Ponyo click here and scroll down. The TV ads make Ponyo look like a linear tale; it is not according to the English subtitles we saw at the Venice Film Festival. Now that the film is dubbed, the American editors may have been able to weave a narrative together. It’s a beautifully animated film so if it is thin on story, do we really care?

15 Memorable Movies that inspired me (and so did the books)


When I saw my friend’s Rae’s list on Facebook it made me think of some older films that I really enjoyed or found inspiring (and the books – all except “I know where I am going” – if there is a book I haven’t read this one.)

1. Rebecca
2. Jamaica Inn
3. All this and Heaven Too
4. To Sir, With Love
5. The Song of Bernadette
6. Northwest Passage
7. I Know Where I’m Going (Wendy Hiller and Petula Clark!)
8. The Scarlet Pimpernel
9. The Glass Virgin
10. Dr. Zhivago
11. The Trouble with Angels
12. Lilies of the Field
13. Cry, the Beloved Country
14. Mrs. Mike
15. The Left Hand of God (William E. Barrett)

to sir with love

Song of Bernadette Movie Facts

Zero Gravity, where God was waiting | National Catholic Reporter

Zero Gravity, where God was waiting | National Catholic Reporter

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Forbes on Film & Footlights

Forbes banner


My friend and colleague Harry Forbes has launched a new blog:

Forbes on Film & Footlights

Harry is a wonderful film critic, and I am glad to see him reviewing the stage, The Great White Way (and other venues), as well.  Be sure to add Harry’s blog to your RSS feed (he sometimes gets to the movies before I do!)

Harry has a wonderful background (this resume is from the “about” section of his blog):

“Harry Forbes has most recently reviewed film, TV, and theater for the Catholic News Service, while head of the national Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting. He has written about theater for Back Stage, Time Out New York, and The Manhattan Spirit, for which he was the principal theater critic for several years. He reviewed theater on television for The Christopher Paul Denis Show.

“He has had an extensive career in broadcasting, including running PBS’s New York press office. He has also held public relations positions at the New York flagship stations of CBS and NBC, as well as Thirteen/WNET.

“He is a member of the Drama Desk, the Outer Critics Circle, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA), the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), and the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC).” Harry Forbes





Welcome to the Blogosphere, Harry Forbes!