May 2021



Chocolat (2000)

chocolatDIRECTOR: Lasse Hallstrom

CAST: Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugh O’Conor, Peter Stormare, John Wood, Leslie Caron, Victoire Thivisol


Chocolat is a fluffy dessert rather than a full banquet of cinematic depth, but if it stays on the side of being a trifle insubstantial, it’s still a delightful confection that whips light humor, a dash of romance, and food porn into a cute, safe little feel good movie that goes down as pleasantly and as easily as a cup of hot chocolate. Continue reading

The Sixth Day (2000)

6th day 2DIRECTOR: Roger Spottiswoode

CAST: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Goldwyn, Robert Duvall, Michael Rooker, Michael Rapaport, Wendy Crewson, Sarah Wynter, Terry Crews, Rodney Rowland


The Sixth Day is a prime example of how an intriguing sci-fi premise can be squandered in the service of a generic action flick.  There is fertile ground for all kinds of ethical dilemmas and fascinating scenarios here, but the team assembled is not up to the task of bringing them to the screen.  And even for Arnold Schwarzenegger fans who only care about seeing the big guy kick some ass and take some names, The Sixth Day is lackluster.  Schwarzenegger has previously starred in a couple great sci-fi action thrillers–1984’s The Terminator and 1991’s Terminator 2–but he doesn’t continue that success here. Continue reading

X-Men (2000)

DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer


Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Ray Park, Rebecca Romijn, Tyler Mane


Since the X-Men comic book series was first introduced in the 1960s, it has been one of Marvel Comics’ most consistently popular titles. It had already been an animated television series, and it was inevitable that it would be made into a feature film sooner or later. Now that it has been done, its loyal fans are probably a little divided over it. Some will appreciate writer-director Bryan Singer’s faithfulness to the source material and his serious effort to transfer it from page to screen as intact as possible. But with any large following, it is impossible to please everyone, with the most minor alterations leaving some outraged. Continue reading

The Patriot (2000)

patriotDIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich

CAST: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Joely Richardson, Tcheky Karyo, Chris Cooper, Tom Wilkinson, Lisa Brenner, Rene Auberjonois, Adam Baldwin, Gregory Smith


With The Patriot, one gets the feeling screenwriter Robert Rodat was trying to do for the American Revolution what he previously did for WWII with Saving Private Ryan.  To an extent, he deserves credit, as The Patriot is, oddly enough, virtually the only big-budget Hollywood film portraying the Revolutionary War.  Alas, the man in the director’s chair here is not Steven Spielberg, but Roland Emmerich, he who leaves no cliche unused.  The Patriot is a marked improvement over its immediate predecessor on Emmerich’s filmography, 1998’s Godzilla bastardization, but features too many “a film by Roland Emmerich” hallmarks to be the true great war epic it clearly fancies itself. Continue reading

Shaft (2000)

DIRECTOR: John Singleton


Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Christian Bale, Jeffrey Wright, Toni Collette, Richard Roundtree, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Dan Hedaya, Busta Rhymes, Daniel von Bargen, Pat Hingle, Josef Sommer, Philip Bosco, Mekhi Phifer


Shaft originally hit the screens in 1971, at the height of the ‘Blaxploitation’ era, with Richard Roundtree starring as ‘the black private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks’. Almost thirty years later, John Shaft made a return to the screen- sort of. Continue reading

Where the Heart Is (2000)

DIRECTOR: Matt Williams

CAST: Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing, James Frain, Dylan Bruno, Keith David, Joan Cusack, Sally Field


Based on the novel by Billie Letts, Where the Heart Is is as unabashed a “chick flick” as they come, but while at times a little too contrived and saccharine, it manages to be a pleasant and enjoyable “feel good” experience almost in spite of its own narrative contortions. Viewers of both genders should walk away with a smile on their face, even if they admit it grudgingly.

Continue reading

Return to Me (2000)

It Pod to Be You: Episode 17 - Return to Me — Talk Film Society

DIRECTOR: Bonnie Hunt

CAST: David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Carroll O’Connor, Bonnie Hunt, James Belushi, David Alan Grier, Robert Loggia, Joely Richardson


Return to Me, from writer/director/co-star Bonnie Hunt, is an unabashedly old-fashioned romantic comedy-drama that might be a little too tame and sugary-sweet for cynics or viewers seeking something more “edgy” but will be a welcome counter-programming for viewers seeking something refreshingly warm and gentle and unabashedly “feel good”. It’s the kind of movie one could almost imagine (apart from some minor raunchy elements) being made in the 1950s starring the likes of Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart, but for those who appreciate kinder, gentler romantic comedy-dramas, it’s an enjoyable and pleasant morsel that goes down gently and easily, suffused with an almost impossible-to-dislike warmth and a dash of quirky but subdued comedy.

Continue reading