Pamela Gray

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Conviction Review


Good
An extremely strong true story is told with emotion and skill, but never really rises above the level of a decent TV movie. This is perhaps due to unambitious writing, which never quite gives us an engaging point of view.

After a tough childhood in rural Massachusetts, Betty Anne Waters (Swank) has always been very close to her hot-headed brother Kenny (Rockwell). So when he's arrested for a vicious murder, she refuses to believe that he's guilty. After all of the appeals fail, she enrols in law school as a mature student and, with the help of fellow lawyer Abra (Driver) and evidence expert Barry (Gallagher), seeks to challenge Kenny's conviction with new DNA evidence. But this isn't nearly as simple as it sounds.

Continue reading: Conviction Review

The Los Angeles Premiere Of 'Conviction' At AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater

Pamela Gray and Samuel Goldwyn Tuesday 5th October 2010 The Los Angeles Premiere of 'Conviction' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater Beverly Hills, California

Pamela Gray and Samuel Goldwyn
Pamela Gray and Samuel Goldwyn

The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Conviction' Premiere Arrival At The Elgin Theatre

Pamela Gray - Betty Ann Waters and Pamela Gray Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Conviction' premiere arrival at the Elgin theatre Saturday 11th September 2010

Pamela Gray
Pamela Gray

Michael Clayton Review


Extraordinary
Slowly but surely, George Clooney is venerating different decades from Hollywood's storied past. His Ocean's larks with Steven Soderbergh are throwbacks to the swinging '60s. He resurrected the paranoia of 1950s McCarthyism in his directorial effort Good Night, and Good Luck, then recreated a sinister, post-World War II film noir in The Good German (also with Soderbergh). Confessions of a Dangerous Mind paid goofy tribute to '70s small-screen icon Chuck Barris. Later this year, Clooney will crib comedic styles from Cary Grant's 1940s romper-stompers for the romantic farce Leatherheads.

And then there is Michael Clayton, a gripping and complicated thriller with hush-hush undertones that would fit comfortably alongside similar films from the 1970s -- think of Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation or Alan J. Pakula The Parallax View, because Clayton writer-director Tony Gilroy certainly had pictures of this fabric in mind.

Continue reading: Michael Clayton 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

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

A Fish In The Bathtub Review


Weak
Mildly funny but mostly flat, this Jerry Stiller-Anne Meara collaboration (a real life married couple) has the pair splitting up and trying to reconcile. He's difficult, she's intolerant. Their kids get caught in the middle. Just not that humorous, even though there really is a fish in the bathtub.

Continue reading: A Fish In The Bathtub Review

A Walk On The Moon Review


Grim
Six producers for this? Let me just say that there's nothing more stomach-turning than the idea of Viggo Mortensen getting naked for the camera, but boy does his ass play a huge role in this movie. Diane Lane, as a repressed suburbanite summering in the Catskills on the eve of the 1969 moon landing, gets naked plenty, too. But the moon landing is a horrible poor metaphor for infidelity and the hackneyed "sexual awakenings" themes laid out here. For die-hard fans only.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Review


Terrible
In the middle of the lousy Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Patrick Swayze makes an appearance as a hotel dance instructor. At first, I laughed like mad over this kitschy connection: Swayze! This was tremendous. Were more Dirty Dancing alumni going to appear? Was Cynthia Rhodes going to pop up as a chorus girl? Jennifer Grey as a lifeguard?

However, as a still agile Swayze danced with the new movie's star, Romola Garai, it dawned on me: The new movie needed Swayze, or rather his hunky heir. Part of what made the original Dirty Dancing so appealing was Swayze's presence. Physically, you couldn't take your eyes off him, and he had a cool, aloof sex appeal that set up good girl Grey to fall madly in love with him. And Grey did a masterful job falling for his charms, slowly and assuredly.

Continue reading: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Review

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