Film Forum

Episode Recap

Episode 4


Films Reviewed: Ladder 49 and The Forgotten

Commentary: The works of John Travolta

Featurette: Behind the scenes of Ladder 49

Regarding Ladder 49:

Matt: A firehouse movie that was awfully subdued and solemn.  Not that there was anything wrong with that at all.  Joaquin Phoenix and John Travlota are very convincing as firemen in Baltimore, but Jacinda Barrett was really weak as the fireman's wife.  Still, the pyrotechnic scenes are really worth seeing, and the story is nice to boot.  Three stars.

Aron: I liked all the performances in this film.  What really grabbed me were the fire sequences- how believable those were done and how the actors reacted to them.  These were not heroes; they were ordinary men and women doing a job.  And that goes a long way in making its point, unlike hitting you over the head with it.  Three stars.

Average Rating: *** (out of ****)

Regarding The Forgotten:

Aron: Julianne Moore delivers a smashing performance as a woman whose child is "erased" from the memories of her loved ones and neighbors.  In some ways, it recalls an non-linear retelling of The Book of Job (Matt: "Really?!") with some of the best visual effects to come around in a long time.  Definitely a creepy way to spend an evening.  Three stars.

Matt: Well, Julianne Moore was good, but the story, which involves forgotten children and some government conspiracy, really needed some work done.  I can't put my finger on why, exactly, this didn't work for me, but the crowd I saw it with were really into it.  The film does have three jump scenes that could give some heart attacks.  Two stars.

Average Rating: **1/2 (out of ****)

Commentary: "Up your nose with a rubber hose!"  Aron and Matt took a look at the thirty year career of John Travolta, discussing some of his highs ("They call it a Royale with Cheese"), his lows ("Stupid Humans!") and the films that put him on the map ("Watch the hair!").  From talking babies to face transplanted terrorists, he has done almost everything.

Featurette: Behind the scenes (and the fires) of Ladder 49, featuring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta.  This really is a film that deserves to find success at the box office.