Friday, July 23, 2004

WCBE 90.5 FM (NPR): "It's Movie Time" - "The Bourne Supremacy," "Her Majesty," "I, Robot," "Catwoman

“It’s Movie Time”
"The Bourne Supremacy," “Her Majesty,”
“I, Robot,” “Catwoman”
Taped: 3:30 pm, July 21, 2004
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, July 23, 2004
Streaming live on the web at

"The Bourne Supremacy" bears the thriller formula in all its forms . . .

"Her Majesty" is an elegant tale set in wondrous New Zealand . . .

Will Smith is NOT the robot in "I, Robot" . . .

"Catwoman" is a scratching match between Halle Berry and Sharon Stone . . .


“It's Movie Time” in Mid-Ohio with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . . .


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe.

John ("The Bourne Supremacy")
Clay, “The Bourne Supremacy” is not a memorable thriller, and Jason Bourne not even a remote sub for James Bond. But it is an enjoyable chase through Berlin and Moscow and other world cities. The car race through Moscow is exceptional, ending with chilling similarity to the location of Princess Diana's death.

Matt Damon was never born to be Bourne or any cinematic CIA assassin we’ve ever seen, but his ordinary good looks and intelligent intensity make him worth watching as he outwits hordes of other agents and the usual battalions of bumbling police. As in “Bourne Identity,” he still is working on his memory, trying to settle a score with foreign operatives who have framed him.

Brian Cox is always worth watching, and Franka Potente, of “Run Lola Run," in a brief role brings back memories of how a winning cinematic race is really run.

“Memento” this film is not; fun it is.

Clay ("De-Lovely"/”Her Majesty")
John, encouraged by your gay and witty review of Irwin Winkler's delightful "De-Lovely," which was also much fun, I return the favor by recommending to you another whiff of nostalgia from those days of our youth.

Lovingly written and directed by Mark Gordon, “Her Majesty” is also a charming period piece that successfully evokes the spirit of time and place. Lushly set in the nineteen fifties in a small town on the verdant plains of New Zealand, “Her Majesty” tells the simple story of a young 13-year-old girl (Sally Andrews) whose pop star idol is not Elvis the King, but Elizabeth the Queen. Oh, if only she dreams, the Queen would grace their small town with a visit. Such is the stuff that innocent dreams were made of in those early nineteen fifties.

Add to the mix a bratty brother, who’s jealous of his father’s affection for his sister. An old native woman, whose shack has become an eyesore on the neighborhood. And a women’s garden club that would have been the envy of the Stepford wives, and you end up with the makings of a tender, wise and truly human movie.

John ("I, Robot")
“Truly human” is the tricky premise of "I, Robot,” based on Isaac Asimov’s story, which packs every robot cliché into a year 2035 morality tale.

More robotic than “I, Robot’s” robots is Will Smith’s Del Spooner, guess what, a wise-talking, rebellious cop (Has he played that role before?) who is the only one to intuit the danger of the robotic rumblings.

“Sunny” is the new generation robot, not as overtly ambitious as his forebears and more human because of his resignation to decommissioning while exploring human emotions. The rogue robots talk about dominating humans for their own good, just as neocons offer preemption and occupation rather than debate.

The film adds nothing new to the genre but athletic robots and robotic leads, yet it at least continues the intriguing topic of what it means to be human. The caveat is, as Albert Schweitzer said, that “the advance to fully developed inhumanity is only a question of time.”

Clay ("Catwoman")
John, “Catwoman” is more feline than human because Halle Berry doesn’t learn what it means to be fully human until she dies and comes back as a cat. A good kitty, bad kitty kind of a movie, not since Kim Novak bewitched us in “Bell, Book, and Candle” has a movie star so successfully hissed, snarled and archingly purred her way into our hearts.

A classic morality tale, Berry’s character, Patience Phillips, is an insecure commercial artist who works for a huge cosmetics firm headed by a boorish and brutal CEO (French actor Lambert Wilson) whose office staff, including Patience, trembles with fear whenever he enters the room.

Like Spider-man’s passive Peter Parker, Halle Berry’s Patience Phillips, is also desperately in need of a drastic personality change. And, of course, true to comic book form: “Shazam!”, she gets it. So, watch out Mr. nasty CEO, you’re in for a clawing. And watch out for your recently jilted wife (Sharon Stone) because she’s out for blood too. Meeoowww.

But turn down your hip-hop disco party music, John, because it's grading time.



"The Bourne Supremacy" earns a "B" because BOFFO car chases are in short supply . . .

"Her Majesty" is a “B” because it brings back the bucolic days of our youth . . .

"I, Robot" earns a "C" for its CLOYING COP . . .

"Catwoman" gets a “C” because the cat fights would have been better without the computer graphics . . .

Clay, assassins, robots, catbirds--I’m outta here to find true humans, like our fellow critics.

I'm outta here.

John, I don’t mean to be catty, but even you know that true critics don’t have human hearts. Hisssss. Hisssss.

I'm outta here too.

See you at the movies, folks.


The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is produced by Richelle Antczak in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus
106.7 FM in Newark, WYSO, etc. Reviews on the web, etc., etc.


Copyright 2004 by John DeSando and Clay Lowe