Diana Scarwid

Diana Scarwid

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Dream Boy Review


Good
With this evocative drama, filmmaker Bolton (Eban and Charley) tackles deep-seated prejudice in the American South. It's somewhat overwrought dramatically, and the themes are a little vague, but it's strikingly well shot and acted.

Nathan (Bender) is a new kid in a rural town, living with his deeply religious parents (Scarwid and Ryan). He catches the eye of his neighbour Roy (Roeg), a classmate who helps him adjust to his new school, and while doing homework together they discover a mutual attraction, which they of course have to keep hidden in such a church-going community. And there are other issues in Nathan's life, including parental abuse and bullying from two of Roy's friends (Wayne and Beckman).

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Inside Moves Review


Bad
Director Richard Donner became a name by making big, action-packed blockbusters like Superman and the Lethal Weapon quartet. So watching Inside Moves, his 1980 character study about outcasts who find salvation in a watering hole, is mesmerizing for all the wrong reasons. It's like watching Michael Jordan missing a curveball by a country mile, Garth Brooks rocking out as Chris Gaines, or George W. Bush handling foreign policy.

The lead outcast here is Roary (John Savage), who attempts to end his life by jumping from a 10-story window. Through dumb luck he survives, but emerges months later from the hospital with a crippled leg and a broken spirit. Desperate for something to do, he heads over to the local bar, Max's, which looks like the kind of place that serves nothing but procrastination and broken dreams.

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Mommie Dearest Review


Very Good
Horror's got nothing on Faye Dunaway's harrowing portrayal of Joan Crawford -- a woman who will not be remembered as the Oscar-winning star of Mildred Pierce and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but more likely as the subject of Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography based on a tell-all "novel" penned by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina.

While it's justly criticized for trivializing child abuse, Mommie Dearest paints a unique picture of the kind of criminal behavior movie stars and other celebrities are allowed to get away with. (O.J. anyone?) The horrific picture of consistant, repeated abuse and down-right craziness is enough to make you think your family is downright normal. Of course, my mother always alluded to "wire hangers" when I was growing up... wonder what that means.

Continue reading: Mommie Dearest Review

The Neon Bible Review


Weak
To date, the only film adaptation of any work by celebrated author John Kennedy Toole is this, The Neon Bible, a book Toole wrote at the age of 16 and which he dismissed as unpublishable. (They published it anyway two decades after his death.) It is, by most accounts, a not-very-good book, and it's a far from good movie. The story concerns a young southern boy reminiscing about his life, his strange/abusive family, and religion, while riding on a train. Between lingering shots out the window, our young hero dreams of revival tents and creepy neighbors, all seen through the lens of one of cinema's most overrated directors, Terence Davies. Like so many of his films, Neon is full of gorgeous photography and minimal substance.

What Lies Beneath Review


Extraordinary
So far, this summer's supposed blockbusters could have used a free course on filmmaking from Robert Zemeckis.

Lesson number one: Take time to acclimate the audience to the characters. Unlike The Perfect Storm, What Lies Beneath completely absorbs the main character's personalities into the dramatic mix- frailties and all, through an intense look into their psyche, practically forcing the audience to become emotionally attached. This is not an original concept in cinema, but after watching Clooney and Wahlberg jump on that fishing boat and mournfully pronounce their goodbyes as if they already knew the ominous storm was on its way, you can't help but root for the ship to capsize.

Continue reading: What Lies Beneath Review

Mommie Dearest Review


Very Good
Horror's got nothing on Faye Dunaway's harrowing portrayal of Joan Crawford -- a woman who will not be remembered as the Oscar-winning star of Mildred Pierce and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but more likely as the subject of Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography based on a tell-all "novel" penned by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina.

While it's justly criticized for trivializing child abuse, Mommie Dearest paints a unique picture of the kind of criminal behavior movie stars and other celebrities are allowed to get away with. (O.J. anyone?) The horrific picture of consistant, repeated abuse and down-right craziness is enough to make you think your family is downright normal. Of course, my mother always alluded to "wire hangers" when I was growing up... wonder what that means.

Continue reading: Mommie Dearest Review

What Lies Beneath Review


Weak

Robert Zemeckis' self-indulgent direction hangs like an albatross around the celluloid neck of "What Lies Beneath," a soft-peddled yuppie horror flick that could have been -- with some fine tuning -- a sharp and genuinely scary thriller.

Forty minutes longer than necessary and featuring a cry-scream-and-run climax so drawn out that every ounce of tension evaporates from the screen half an hour before the credits roll, it's a frustrating movie to watch because of all the wasted potential.

Anything but a standard teens-in-peril slasher movie, "What Lies Beneath" stars Michelle Pfeiffer as a New England mom with empty nest syndrome after packing her daughter off to college in the opening scenes. Now alone in the house a lot, she becomes a busy body, spying on the new next door neighbors and witnessing what she thinks is a murder.

Continue reading: What Lies Beneath Review

A Guy Thing Review


Weak

Jason Lee is usually the funniest guy in any Kevin Smith movie (Banky in "Chasing Amy," Azrael in "Dogma"). Julia Stiles has had fine comedic timing ever since her big splash in "10 Things I Hate About You." But they couldn't be more mismatched as romantic leads in "A Guy Thing."

A cold-feet comedy of accumulative misunderstandings about a groom-to-be who wakes up with a blonde in his bed the morning after his bachelor party -- and assumes the worst -- the movie spends most of its time mining very familiar territory. Lee hides the girl's forgotten panties, discovers she's his fiancée's cousin, and has generic nightmare run-ins with his future in-law and Stiles' ex-boyfriend.

Most of its jokes come from the compounding lies that make it hard to sympathize with the hero, and the moment you meet each one-trait character, you can see his or her entire story arc mapped out in front of you. Example: Stifled Lee, who's going to veer from his buttoned-up, conservative bride-to-be (Selma Blair) and fall in love with wild-child Stiles, has a buttoned-up, conservative brother (Thomas Lennon) who is secretly in love with Blair. Hmmm...I can't imagine where that's going.

Continue reading: A Guy Thing Review

Diana Scarwid

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Diana Scarwid Movies

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What Lies Beneath Movie Review

What Lies Beneath Movie Review

So far, this summer's supposed blockbusters could have used a free course on filmmaking from...

What Lies Beneath Movie Review

What Lies Beneath Movie Review

Robert Zemeckis' self-indulgent direction hangs like an albatross around the celluloid neck of "What Lies...

A Guy Thing Movie Review

A Guy Thing Movie Review

Jason Lee is usually the funniest guy in any Kevin Smith movie (Banky in "Chasing...

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