To bring peace between the two leading kingdoms in 1920s Arabia, Sultan Amar (Strong) allows Emir Nesib (Banderas) to raise his two sons. Younger son Auda (Rahim) grows up as a bookworm with a soft spot for Nesib's daughter Leyla (Pinto), which comes in handy when they are asked to marry to link the two kingdoms. But their fragile treaty is strained when Texans arrive and start to to drill for oil: Nesib rather likes the money, but Amar sees this as a violation of their treaty.
Continue reading: Black Gold Review
Whether this was Spielberg's most desperate attempt to win an Oscar (didn't work: The Color Purple received a whopping 11 Oscar nominations and won precisely zero) or a genuine kinship with the black women of the 1910s we'll never really know. But Purple is a solid enough film, though it lacks true inspiration and gets a little wandering and lost after an hour of running time (and you've still got 1 1/2 more to go!).
Continue reading: The Color Purple Review
The Max in question is Max Rothman (John Cusack), an amalgam of various art dealers and teachers who mentors the young Corporal Hitler (Noah Taylor) in the ways of art. Max himself is an artist too (an early performance artist, it seems, based on a bizarre skit seemingly inspired by Pink Floyd: The Wall) and sees potential in the young Adolf, urging him on while watching him grow more political as forces turn him in the direction he ultimately took. Their relationship is complicated by the fact that Max is a Jew (not to mention a one-armed cripple), the hatred of which becomes the centerpiece of Hitler's ideology.
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Earlier this year, Saving Private Ryan was so disturbing; I had to leave the theater. This is coming from someone who watches gory, bloody action movies all the time. Ryan used the most graphic violence in any movie I've ever seen to be powerful. The Siege is effective in a more intelligent way. Denzel Washington stars as FBI agent Anthony Hubbard, who seems to be affected the most by all these bombings that have been happening in New York. Soon the Arab bombings keep coming, with a body count bigger every time, the only thing left to do is send the military in, headed by General Devereaux (Bruce Willis). All Arabs are held in stadiums, innocent people are tortured, even though they don't know anything. After a while, you start to wonder. What if it were black people being treated this way? Whites? Jews?
Continue reading: The Siege Review