Brad Mirman

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Joshua (2001) Review


Good
Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two structures to get their message across: 1) Outsider comes to a sleepy town and wakes it up with his message of love and compassion or ability to perform miracles. Or 2) Armageddon arrives, the saved ascend to heaven, and the poor saps left on earth suffer through hell.

Fortunately Joshua is the former, and it's probably the most mainstream release to ever make it to theaters. With stars Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham, and Stacy Edwards, this is a classy production. Not only is the acting credible and the production values high (they even trek to Rome for the finale), but the story isn't all bad either. It's actually pretty simple: A man named Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) wanders into the sleepy town of Auburn one evening, rents a barn to live in, and promptly starts rebuilding the recently-burned-down Baptist church, unbidden by its parishioners. Meanwhile, the local Catholics take an interest in the cryptic man, employing him to carve a wooden statue.

Continue reading: Joshua (2001) Review

Shadows In The Sun Review


OK
It's one of the oldest tricks in the movies: If you've got a tired story, hide it under some gorgeous scenery by setting the film in an exotic locale. Tahiti, Paris, Niagara Falls. In this case, it's the most cliched of exotic locales: Tuscany. Why, entire films have been made about the joys of Tuscany (Under the Tuscan Sun, anyone?), with only the slightest of nods toward anything resembling a plot.

Shadows in the Sun isn't as bad as that monstrosity, though it's clear why this film merited a direct-to-DVD release. The whole thing's been done before, a lot: Slick, ambitious book editor (there's such a thing?) is tasked with luring a recluse into writing another manuscript. Naturally he falls in love with the daughter of the crusty writer. Joshua Jackson is the editor, Harvey Keitel is ingeniously cast as the writer, and Claire Forlani is the love interest. And there you have it. Of course our editor will learn a thing or two about life ("Take it easy, bro!") and the editor will exorcise his copious demons.

Continue reading: Shadows In The Sun Review

The Confessor Review


Weak
I take no price in having sat through the entirety of The Confessor, but Stephen Rea's third billing convinced me that it might be worth my trouble. (Molly Parker isn't bad either, and even headliner Christian Slater has done some solid work -- just none of it in recent years.)

This film by aspiring assistant director/producer Lewin Webb is straight out of episodic TV. Think your lesser episode of, oh, Law & Order. A priest (Von Flores) is discovered red-handed with one of his flock, dead and covered with blood. The priest says he was just giving him the last rites, and that he knows what happened, but he can't divulge this due to confession's rules of confidentiality. Immediately on the case is Daniel Clemens (Slater), who's better known for his fundraising abilities and PR schmoozing. What he uncovers is a sort-of half-baked counterculture of gay Catholics (of which Flores may or may not have been a member)... and a murder plot that has absolutely nothing to do with any of that.

Continue reading: The Confessor Review

Joshua Review


Good
Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two structures to get their message across: 1) Outsider comes to a sleepy town and wakes it up with his message of love and compassion or ability to perform miracles. Or 2) Armageddon arrives, the saved ascend to heaven, and the poor saps left on earth suffer through hell.

Fortunately Joshua is the former, and it's probably the most mainstream release to ever make it to theaters. With stars Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham, and Stacy Edwards, this is a classy production. Not only is the acting credible and the production values high (they even trek to Rome for the finale), but the story isn't all bad either. It's actually pretty simple: A man named Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) wanders into the sleepy town of Auburn one evening, rents a barn to live in, and promptly starts rebuilding the recently-burned-down Baptist church, unbidden by its parishioners. Meanwhile, the local Catholics take an interest in the cryptic man, employing him to carve a wooden statue.

Continue reading: Joshua Review

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Brad Mirman Movies

Joshua (2001) Movie Review

Joshua (2001) Movie Review

Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two...

Shadows in the Sun Movie Review

Shadows in the Sun Movie Review

It's one of the oldest tricks in the movies: If you've got a tired story,...

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Joshua Movie Review

Joshua Movie Review

Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two...

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