Perry Lang

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Eight Men Out Review


Excellent
When the White Sox lost the 1919 World Series, baseball's first scandal was born. We've seen bigger and better rows since then, but the Black Sox of 1919, with star player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson front and center, might be the most timeless. Cusack steals the show as George Weaver, who protested his innocence all the way. But it's the stories (Sayles's best film) of how baseball mistreated its stars and how gangs ran just about everything in Chicago that make the movie worthwhile.

Sunshine State Review


Good

Another utterly captivating John Sayles ensemble piece with an incredible sense of a particular place and its personality, "Sunshine State" manifests the winds of change and uncertainty blowing mightily over a humble island township off the Florida panhandle that has been targeted for ravenous resort development.

Like "Lone Star," "Limbo" and other films from the iconic independent writer-director, this one transports you into the soul of its community through smaller pieces of the whole. Sayles paints a larger picture through the lives of individual denizens who are each struggling with a choice between the rich heritage of their fading pocket berg and the big money being offered by developers.

Some are rediscovering a spiritual connection to the town, like Angela Bassett, who plays a refugee from the island's black community, which made the place thrive in the 1940s before its culture began fading away with desegregation. She couldn't get away fast enough as a teenager -- although that might have been because she was pregnant and her parents were sending her away whether she liked it or not. She became an actress but never made it past infomercials. Now she has returned to visit her estranged mother (Mary Alice) for the first time with her handsome, affluent new husband (James McDaniel) on her arm.

Continue reading: Sunshine State Review

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Sunshine State Movie Review

Sunshine State Movie Review

Another utterly captivating John Sayles ensemble piece with an incredible sense of a particular place...

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