Film Forum

Episode Recap

Episode 2; Fall 2005

October 18, 2005

Films Reviewed: North Country and Good Night, And Good Luck

Commentary: Sequels we'd rather see than Rocky VI

Featurette: Behind the scenes of Little Manhattan

Regarding North Country:

Matt: This film boasts outstanding performances from Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek and Richard Jenkins.  However, the film also has a (necessary) unpleasant streak about sexual harassment that seems to be displayed by the same horrific acts for almost the entire two hour, ten minute running time.  Plus, Woody Harrelson and the actor playing Theron's son went to the same overacting school.  I can only recommend this as a matinee and if you know what you are getting yourself into.  Two and a half stars.

Aron: The film's unpleasantness was, indeed, necessary.  It was the best way for director Niki Caro to show the horrendous acts that these women suffered at the hands of their male "contemporaries" in a North Minnesota iron mine in the early 90s.  I agree with Matt on all the performances (especially Richard Jenkins playing a Chris Cooper role) and we'll most likely see some of these actors announced as Oscar nominations.  I thought it was better than Matt, so I'll give it three and a half stars.

Average Rating: *** (out of ****)

Regarding Good Night, And Good Luck:

Aron: What a fantastic film!  David Strathairn gives his finest performance yet as celebrated newsman Edward R. Murrow's taking on Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.  The film's message resonates even stronger today than it did 50 years ago.  Other excellent performance are given by Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Ray Wise and Frank Langella.  And the film is made in black and white, which makes it all the better.  Four stars!!

Matt: Now this is a film for the ages!  Come to think of it, this film is a reminder about the real power of the press and a fine slice into a brief period of Edward R. Murrow's life.  I am also relieved that George Clooney spent some time refining his directing skills after Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and found his own voice with this film.  History teachers, be prepared to assign your students this film when covering the Red Scare in your classes.  Four stars!!

Average Rating: **** (out of ****)

Commentary: The entertainment industry was abuzz with the news that Sylvester Stallone would resurrect his most famous creation, Rocky Balboa, for yet another film.  Aron and Matt greeted this news with sequels for films we'd rather see (such as Buckaroo Banzai and Remo Williams) and ones we don't need (such as Police Academy and Jaws).  Only time will tell if Hollywood listens to us.

Featurette: Behind the scenes of Little Manhattan