Brock Peters

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To Kill A Mockingbird Review


Excellent
Smack dab in the middle of the Civil Rights Era came a pile of films that preached recognition of racial equality. Two of the favorites repeatedly viewed to this day are Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and To Kill a Mockingbird.

These films effectively argue for multi-ethnicity from different vantage points. The former is a daughter asking her parents to accept her black fiancé. The latter defends an obviously innocent African-American charged with raping a young white girl. Both feel more like plays than big screen cinema, with their tiny handful of locations, lack of visual effects, and explicitly heavy-handed dialogue. Though society has changed since their release, and "statement films" now rally for more current political causes, the strength of the issues relayed in these classics doesn't lose its appeal.

Continue reading: To Kill A Mockingbird Review

The Pawnbroker Review


Excellent
Sidney Lumet's direction is not the highlight of The Pawnbroker -- it can be heavy-handed and self-conscious at times -- but Rod Steiger's searing portrayal of a freed Holocaust victim trying to make a living as a pawnbroker in Harlem is unforgettable. Steiger's Method acting is dead-on, offering up a character so wracked by the past that he's barely functional in the present: So he places the love of money over all else in his life. Lumet's use of awkward flashbacks to the concentration camps, actually hinders the storytelling rather than help it.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Review


Very Good
The rule of thumb with Star Trek movies continues to be: even-numbered good, odd-numbered bad. The first Star Trek movie was a sub-Kubrickian snore. The third and fifth were marred by gratuitous action and sentimentality, respectively. On the other hand, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was an entertaining swashbuckler highlighted by good performances, Kirstie Alley's debut and James Horner's score. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a cute riff on the 20th century environmental crisis.

Paramount eventually noticed the pattern. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the sixth mission of the starship Enterprise, was largely the work of director/screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, who wrote Khan, and executive producer Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock, of course), director of Star Trek IV. The sixth movie generally reflects Meyer's and Nimoy's concern for integrity.

Continue reading: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Review

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