December 31st, 2006

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

RIP James Brown

Artist: James Brown
Song: It'S A Man'S Man'S Man'S World
Album: Funky Goodtime
[" Funky Goodtime " CD]

This is a man's world, this is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

You see, man made the cars to take us over the road
Man made the trains to carry heavy loads
Man made electric light to take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark

This is a man's, a man's, a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

Man thinks about a little baby girls and a baby boys
Man makes then happy 'cause man makes them toys
And after man has made everything, everything he can
You know that man makes money to buy from other man

This is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

He's lost in the wilderness
He's lost in bitterness
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"The Good German" is not that good...

Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney are movie fans and that is apparent with "The Good German." Yet as we learn from the motion picture business, sometimes the love is not enough.

"The Good German" is not successful because it is confusing.
First off the title is confused with Robert De Niro's flick, "The Good Shepard." This "Good German" is filmed in glorious black & white, but contains modern day motivations and language. Soderbergh can not decide whether it is a World War II romance or a film noir vehicle without expressionistic artistry. The last scene echoes "Casablanca" and some Stanley Kramer drama from the late fifties and early sixties, without a coherent theme.

The only certain thing that can be said about "The Good German" is that it is a time passer.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"Night at the Museum" is a good film for your inner nerd

"Night at the Museum" was the Christmas box office champion.

It was another typical Ben Stiller formula feature enhanced by special effects. Yet there was a heart to this story about a divorced Dad who tries to hold down a steady job for the emotional well being of his son.

Having secured a job as a night watchman of the Museum of Natural History in New York City, Ben Stiller's character s mentored by three retiring watchmen, Bill Cobbs, Mickey Rooney and Dick Van Dyke. The three not so wise men forget to Ben Stiller that the exhibits come alive at night. After obtaining the life wisdom from Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Ben Stiller spends three night redeeming his image to his son and wooing a pretty docent (Carla Cugino).

"Night at the Museum" works as lightweight entertainment and stick around for the end credits in which one learns the fate of the film's true antagonists.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

RiH: Saddam Hussein

So Saddam Hussein is gone, with a death that is as messy as his life.

In 1979, the world was going to Hell. President Carter proved to be an impotent president and Iran held American Hostages for 444 days. Iraq went to war with Iran.

It is weird to think that for approximately eight years, I used to think as Iraq as a potential allay in the world, the old dictum that "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." I remember how upset we were on the Florida State campus in 1982 when Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear power plant, another sign that Armageddon was near.

Hussein had a history of aggression, just ask the people of Kuwait.
One forgotten story on the eve of Black Monday in 1987, was Iraq "accidentally" bombing an American oil rig. Hussein would tweak the United Nations and would violate 11 resolutions. It would take the United States military to depose of this cruel dictator in a few weeks in 2003.

Given chaotic current events in Iraq, Saddam Hussien's death by hanging has turned into mere blip on the mainstream American media radar. The focus of hatred has shifted from this cruel man to the American military.

Hopefully the seeds of healing in Iraq will begin in 2007 with a new congress and a dead terrorist dictator. Perhaps daily prayers for the brave men and women who are in harm's way would be the perfect New Year's Resolution for 2007.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"We Are Marshall" deserves a championship

It is a shame that "Rocky Balboa" and "We Are Marshall" opened the same week. Both sports movies are life affirming that address the subject of grief. "We Are Marshall" is a factual depiction of a small college town in West Virginia that suffers the tragedy of a plane crash. "We Are Marshall" looks at survivor's guilt and post traumatic stress.

It takes an outsider like Coach Jack Lengyl (Matthew McConaughey) to help heal the town. It also takes the commitment of grieving father like Coach Red Dawson (Matthew Fox) to pass the torch of tradition. Last, but not least - there is President Donald Dedmon (2006's most reliable actor - David Strahairn) an academic who does not understand the game of football, but understands the importance the sport has for the community.

When I took a Dale Carnegie Course 16 years ago, I remember a woman who outlived her son. She brought the room to tears as she said, "It is so important to have a hobby to survive." Both "Rocky Balboa" and "We Are Marshall" shows the cathartic value of losing oneself to a task.

"We Are Marshall" opens with a shock and then finds a way to make ticket buyers appreciate the finer things in life. A director whose previous credits include bubble gum movies like "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," McG proves he has the sensitivity to direct a film like "We Are Marshall."
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Gross 2006

While box office receipts are up, 2006 has been an
ugly year with the motion picture industry. According to Box Office Mojo, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" was the champion at $423 million dollars, second place was "Cars" at $244 million.

Director Brett Ratner had been raked through the coals because most mainstream critics do not seem
to like him, but Ratner produced the biggest box office comic book adaptation of 2006, "X Men the Last Stand." This Marvel Comics adaptation came in third place with a gorss of $234 million. "Superman returns" grossed $200 million.

Manufactured controversies helped sell a lot of tickets for the opening weekend of movies, but
did little to sustain box office momentum. "The Da Vinci Code" best represents this phenomenon grossing $217 million.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Coming Attractions for 2007

In what should be an epic box office battle, Peter Parker, Captain Jack Sparrow and Harry Potter duel for Box Office supremacy this summer with "Spider-Man 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean at the World's End," and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," respectively. Other comic book marvels include "Ghost Rider" and "The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer."

Other contenders to the Box Office crown could be the double feature of "Grindhouse," a double feature from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez. Q & R plan to take sleazy exploitation movies and turn them into high art.

Bruce Willis reprises John McClane for "Live Free or Die Hard," aka "Die Hard Part 4."

"Shreck the Third" features ogre and child.

On a classier note, David Hunt and her wife, Patricia Heaton – have produced "Amazing Grace" for Waldenmedia. This is the biography of William Wilberforce, a man who abolished slavery in Merry Old England and wrote a hit tune.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Class Act mentions

In 1999, when I started writing for "The Observer", my goal was to inform readers about movies. Even when I did not like the movie, I've done my best not to offend the sensibilities of people, in contrast to some mainstream film critics who think that young girls who get photographed without underwear is legitimate news story.

Bad behavior still hogs the headlines,
yet I've decided to go in reverse direction this year and acknowledge some Class Acts that I have met or communicated with in this crazy business in 2006. These are purely subjective experiences and many of these people probably do not remember me. These names are being revealed in alphabetical order;

Karen Allen, actress

Benji the Dog

Dyan Cannon

Tommy Davidson, comic and producer

The entire staff of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Mary Haron

Dennis Hopper

Ernie Hudson

Harley Jane Kozak

Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders
Cora , Adriana and TD the Mascot,
who supported the Broward Public Libraries Books'n'Bears

Bobby Moresco

Cindy Morgan

Noelle Neil

John O’Hurley

Michelle Phillips

Susan Seiderman, Director of "The Boynton Beach Club"
Florence Seiderman, Susan's cowriter and Mom

In reviewing this list,
I realized that I have been in contact with some really nice people in 2006 anno domini.

Given the nice people I have met since 1999,
I see now that I have to write up a Class Act Hall of Fame,
stay tuned come Oscar time!
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Films in Review 2006

Happy New Year and thank you for reading, I really do appreciate your interest in my website.

In the closing hours of 2006, I've reflected on the movies that I have seen this year. The list of honorable mentions is much bigger than usual, some of the titles were released in 2005, but were not seen in South Florida until this year.

The best films of 2006 are in reverse alphabetical order;

"World Trade Center"

"United 93"

"Rocky Balboa"

"A Prairie Home Companion"

"The Notorious Bette Page"

"Little Miss Sunshine"

"Happy Feet"

"Flags of our Fathers"

"Casino Royale"


Honorable Mentions for

"X Men 3 The Last Stand"
"We are Marshall"
"Superman Returns"
"Snakes on a Plane"
"Son of Man"
"The Pursuit of Happyness"
"Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest"
"Mrs. Henderson presents..."
"The Devil Wore Prada"
"The Departed"
"The Boynton Beach Club"

Once again, GRAZIA!!!!