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Even Money, Heroes Season 1, and more...Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 9:52 AM
Every week I head to the local Movie Gallery and check out the latest releases. The following is a plot synopsis of each DVD.
Following in the tradition of such interweaving ensemble dramas as MAGNOLIA, CRASH, and TRAFFIC, EVEN MONEY features an all-star cast set in the world of addiction--to money, power, love, and gambling. Kim Basinger stars as Carolyn, a married woman having trouble writing her second book. Although she tells her husband, Tom (a compassionate Ray Liotta), that she is working in a nearby cafe, she is actually spending all her time--and the family money--gambling in a casino, where she is befriended by Walter (Danny DeVito, one of the film's producers), a lowlife magician who wants to recapture his old glory. Walter is desperate for the help of a local crime lord, the mysterious Ivan, but Ivan's right-hand man, the malicious Victor (Tim Roth), merely toys with Walter while coming down hard on Clyde (Forest Whitaker), a plumber who owes Victor a lot of dough. Victor is threatening to kill Clyde unless his brother, Darius (Nick Cannon), a college basketball star, starts shaving points in critical games. Meanwhile, Augie (Jay Mohr) and Murph (Grant Sullivan) are getting into the loan shark business themselves, not quite understanding how dangerous it can be. Looking over all of this is Detective Brunner (Kelsey Grammer), a grizzled old cop reminiscent of Captain Quinlan in Orson Welles's TOUCH OF EVIL. Written by first-time screenwriter Robert Tannen and directed by Mark Rydell (ON GOLDEN POND, THE COWBOYS), EVEN MONEY is a complex drama with a fine cast, with Rydell bringing all the stories together in a wild finale.
AWAY FROM HER
Canadian actress Sarah Polley makes an impressive directorial debut with AWAY FROM HER, a film adapted from the Alice Munro story "The Bear Came Over The Mountain." The plot concerns the way in which the 50-year marriage of Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona (Julie Christie) deteriorates with the progression of Fiona's Alzheimer's disease. Rich scenery, intimate cinematography, and familiar songs like Neil Young's "Helpless" create a private world of two people enviably in love. Fiona and Grant have carved out a piece of the world for themselves, and have lived together happily in their later years until Fiona's memory started to wane. The harmony in their lives is lost when Fiona decides she's reached the point of no return and enters a retirement home in order to take the burden off Grant, though he can think of nothing worse than being away from her. After dropping Fiona off, Grant is forced to not visit for 30 days, which, as he fears, ends up feeling much longer in the mind of a person who is losing her memory.
AWAY FROM HER features stunning performances from its leads as well as from Michael Murphy as Aubrey (a patient Fiona forms a close bond with), Olympia Dukakis as Aubrey's wife, and Kristen Thomson as a nurse at the facility. Instead of treating old age as the winding down of life, this film portrays it as a potentially rich, enjoyable period. Grant and Fiona never yearn for the days of their youth, but rather for the later years when their intimacy had reached a higher peak. While so many films portray older characters in a one-dimensional way, Polley's film portrays its characters as multifaceted people filled with wisdom and true beauty, thanks to their age and not in spite of it.
Heroes Season One
They thought they were like everyone else...until they woke with incredible abilities. The TV show starts out with random people from around the world experiencing 'wierd' events, such as feeling like they are flying, regeneration, painting the future, and more. The characters are soon trying to figure out there powers as well as deal with the issues that come with having them. The show is very well written and completely character driven. This show has drawn comparisons to the X-men because of the same idea that humans are evolving/mutating into more powerful beings. That comparison stops there as they both take that primary idea in different directions. I enjoyed watching the show and for those who have not caught an episode on TV, the new Complete Season One set of Heroes is a great introduction to the series complete with bonus features.
That's it for this week. Check all of them out at Movie Gallery in McCook, as well as many other new releases from this week.
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Cody Dame is the CEO and owner of three local McCook Businesses, Game On, Spotlight Studios and Divine Productions. He also manages to work for the McCook Daily Gazette.
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