Jay O Sanders

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Opening Night of "Ode To Joy" - Arrivals

Jay O. Sanders and Maryann Plunkett - Opening Night of the play "Ode To Joy" at the Cherry Lane Theatre - Arrivals. - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 27th February 2014

2013 Drama Desk Awards

Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders - 2013 Drama Desk Awards held at Town Hall Arrivals - New York City, NY, United States - Sunday 19th May 2013

attending the benefit reading of 'A Thurber Carnival' to celebrate the opening of the Pearl Theatre, held at The Pearl Theatre

Jay O. Sanders, Jason Butler Harner, Annette O, Toole, Michael McKean, Jackie Hoffman and The Pearl Theatre - Jay O. Sanders, Jason Butler Harner, Annette O’Toole, Michael McKean and Jackie Hoffman Monday 1st October 2012 attending the benefit reading of 'A Thurber Carnival' to celebrate the opening of the Pearl Theatre, held at The Pearl Theatre

attending the benefit reading of 'A Thurber Carnival' to celebrate the opening of the Pearl Theatre, held at The Pearl Theatre

Elizabeth Marvel, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Jason Butler Harner, Annette O, Toole, Michael McKean, Jackie Hoffman and Dakin Matthews - Elizabeth Marvel, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Jason Butler Harner, Annette O’Toole, Michael McKean, Jackie Hoffman and Dakin Matthews Monday 1st October 2012 attending the benefit reading of 'A Thurber Carnival' to celebrate the opening of the Pearl Theatre, held at The Pearl Theatre

attending the benefit reading of 'A Thurber Carnival' to celebrate the opening of the Pearl Theatre, held at The Pearl Theatre

Jay O. Sanders, Maryann Plunkett and The Pearl Theatre - Jay O. Sanders and Maryann Plunkett Monday 1st October 2012 attending the benefit reading of 'A Thurber Carnival' to celebrate the opening of the Pearl Theatre, held at The Pearl Theatre

Edge Of Darkness Review


Weak
Based on the 1985 BBC TV series, also directed by Campbell, this dramatic thriller tries to pack so much into two hours that it ends up feeling thin and repetitive. But it's great to have Gibson back on screen.

Veteran Boston cop Thomas (Gibson) is trying to rebuild his relationship with his scientist daughter Emma (Novakovic) when she's viciously gunned down.

Everyone suspects Thomas was the real target, but his investigation leads him into a conspiracy involving her job with a monolithic defence contractor run by the shady Bennett (Huston). Then he meets government clean-up expert Jedburgh (Winstone) and starts to realise the extent of what's gong on. Can he blow the whistle before they rub him out too?

Continue reading: Edge Of Darkness Review

Half Nelson Review


Good
Dan Dunne never sleeps in the same place twice. No, he's not bedding some hottie every other night; he's home in his Brooklyn apartment. He might grab a few hours rolled up on his sheetless bed or a ratty couch, if he sleeps at all. In the opening sequence of Half Nelson, Dan (Ryan Gosling) sits dumbly at a coffee table, up all night from a coke binge, finally stirring to shut off his buzzing alarm clock. A new day is starting, with or without him. And he's scheduled to teach his middle-school history class, just like every other day.

At a time when social issues are usually discussed (or hollered about) at the far extremes, it's refreshing to see a film like Half Nelson that wallows in the gray areas. Gosling's Dunne is about as gray as it gets: He's a well-intentioned teacher, once eager to change the world, now stuck in a rut as a lonely, strung-out nobody. He gets jazzed imparting civil rights lessons to his mostly black class, but doesn't have enough pride in his own existence. In short, it's a role made for an actor like Gosling, who revels in character complexities as effectively as some of the greats. In Gosling's able hands, Dunn is likable, logical, perhaps even charming -- but would you want your kids taught by a crack addict?

Continue reading: Half Nelson Review

Music of the Heart Review


Good
The creator of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream is toying with our conscience again, only this time his weaponry isn't Freddy's claws or a murderous prank caller. Director Wes Craven's latest endeavor, Music of the Heart, switches gears to more virtuous human emotions in order to tell us the story of one woman's triumph and the revival of a downtrodden urban community. Oddly enough, this film is just as powerful as any of Craven's horror films and can evoke strong emotion and sentiment, if you let it.

Music of the Heart begins like any of the other "triumphant teacher" dramas we've all seen. Stand and Deliver and Dangerous Minds both crossed my mind as I sat through the first hour of Roberta Guaspari's (Meryl Streep) struggle to teach a handful of young urban kids how to play the violin. This part of the story is hackneyed and clichéd, and you've seen it before--if not in a previous movie than in some boring after-school special. But where other "triumphant teacher" dramas fail because they concentrate too much on the saintliness of the teacher, this movie succeeds in its captivation of Roberta Guaspari's character flaws, and her struggle as a single mother attempting to raise her two children in East Harlem. When the film expands beyond the existence of just "Roberta the teacher" and into the rest of her life, the film becomes genuinely enjoyable.

Continue reading: Music of the Heart Review

Tumbleweeds Review


Weak
Mother and daughter pack up from hillbilly land and head for California: Does it sound like we've been over this ground before?

The similarities between Tumbleweeds and Anywhere But Here (the corpse of which is not even cold) are astonishing. In Tumbleweeds, Mom Mary Jo (McTeer) is a put-upon single mother; daughter Ava (Brown) is brash and headstrong. The two drive to California, intent on "starting over," -- in the case of Tumbleweeds, an escape from physical abuse, or at least the threat of it. Anywhere But Here: same story, sans the abuse.

Continue reading: Tumbleweeds Review

For Richer or Poorer Review


Grim
Not quite as bad as you've heard, but bad nonetheless. For Richer or Poorer certainly scrapes the bottom of the comedy barrel for Amish humor, done better in Kingpin, without the schmaltz. The story of an estranged husband and wife on the run from the IRS is a throwaway, but this Witness-gone-awry has a few redeeming moments. Probably not one for the permanent collection, but it's better than most sitcoms.

Wrestling with Alligators Review


Terrible
Not to be confused with Swimming with Sharks.

Frankly, I saw this movie an hour ago and I've already forgotten the plot. Oh yeah, looking it up reveals that this was a movie about a runaway girl (Palladino), who in 1959 finds her life in tumult. Her roommate (Richardson) struggles with an unintended pregnancy. Landlady (Bloom, in a frightening return to the screen) is a faded and eccentric screen star. Audience struggles to maintain consciousness.

Continue reading: Wrestling with Alligators Review

Music of the Heart Review


Good
The creator of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream is toying with our conscience again, only this time his weaponry isn't Freddy's claws or a murderous prank caller. Director Wes Craven's latest endeavor, Music of the Heart, switches gears to more virtuous human emotions in order to tell us the story of one woman's triumph and the revival of a downtrodden urban community. Oddly enough, this film is just as powerful as any of Craven's horror films and can evoke strong emotion and sentiment, if you let it.

Music of the Heart begins like any of the other "triumphant teacher" dramas we've all seen. Stand and Deliver and Dangerous Minds both crossed my mind as I sat through the first hour of Roberta Guaspari's (Meryl Streep) struggle to teach a handful of young urban kids how to play the violin. This part of the story is hackneyed and clichéd, and you've seen it before--if not in a previous movie than in some boring after-school special. But where other "triumphant teacher" dramas fail because they concentrate too much on the saintliness of the teacher, this movie succeeds in its captivation of Roberta Guaspari's character flaws, and her struggle as a single mother attempting to raise her two children in East Harlem. When the film expands beyond the existence of just "Roberta the teacher" and into the rest of her life, the film becomes genuinely enjoyable.

Continue reading: Music of the Heart Review

Daylight Review


Grim
Pretty stupid Poseidon Adventure/Towering Inferno/Die Hard wannabe, with Sylvester Stallone (as disgraced paramedic) rescuing a ton of people from a collapsed, burning, air-limited tunnel. Oh dear! Some interesting set building (yep, looks like a tunnel) doesn't come close to making up for the cheeseball dialogue, action scenes, and attempts by Stallone at looking "serious."

Along Came A Spider Review


Grim
When you think "movie franchise," you think Harrison Ford or maybe Eddie Murphy... but Morgan Freeman? Yet, with the middling $60 million take of 1997's Kiss the Girls, the low-key, dependable actor returns as Dr. Alex Cross, in another try at a psycho thriller. Sadly, Freeman's the only point of interest in this one. Kiss the Girls was average at best -- Along Came A Spider should aspire to such heights.

Both films are based on James Patterson novels, where the good Doctor (detective, psychologist, author, hostage negotiator, model boat builder... good Lord) chases down some scary guy who's either a kidnapper, a murderer, or both. Here, our culprit is a teacher (Michael Wincott) at a D.C. prep school for kids that require Secret Service detail. He conducts his entire teaching career incognito, and then snatches the young daughter of a generic U.S. Congressman (Michael Moriarty).

Continue reading: Along Came A Spider Review

The Confession Review


OK
Strangish revenge/legal tangle movie, made for cable but above the usual fare you find there. Kingsley as a murderer is a bit, well, of a stretch.
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