Films Reviewed: Sideways and Finding Neverland
Commentary: The pending purchase of Hollywood Video by Blockbuster Video
Featurette: The wines of Sideways
Matt: Surprisingly good performances out of Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti make this trip into California Wine Country a good film. Real human being are on screen here, but like Alexander Payne's other films (Election, About Schmidt), it seems to take its time to make its point. Still worth seeing. Three stars
Aron: The performances are really good in this. Not to be left out are Sandra Oh (the director's wife) and Virginia Madsen as a wine grower and grad school student, respectively. Payne and his writing partner, Jim Taylor, really do bring out the best of everybody. And all that wine looked good. Three stars.
Average Rating: *** (out of ****)
Regarding Finding Neverland:
Aron: True movie magic at work! Johnny Depp may finally get that Oscar, but he's going to have stiff competition from Jamie Foxx. But this story about the creation of Peter Pan features some wonderful, imaginative special effects and fine performances from Depp, Kate Winslet and Julie Christie. A great children's film for grown ups. Four stars!
Matt: I have to concur with Aron on this one. Depp is really in his element as J. M. Barrie. The four actors playing the inspiration for Peter Pan, The Lost Boys and the Darling children match their adult co-stars (and, in some cases, outshine them) in every scene. Plus, the painted imagination really works to the film's advantage. Four stars, too!
Average Rating: **** (out of ****)
Commentary: The Dallas-Fort Worth newspaper reported that Blockbuster Video is in negotiations to purchase its main "brick and mortar" rival, Hollywood. Aron and Matt discussed the possible ramifications if such a merger were to happen. Competition from online vendors such as Netflix has driven a source of revenue from these stores (namely, late fees) out. And while the consumer can still patron several independent stores in the area, it may not be best if these two companies merge.