Thursday, October 28, 2004

WCBE 90.5 FM (NPR): "Ray," "Ju-Ho: The Grudge," "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism"

IT'S MOVIE TIME with John DeSando & Clay Lowe
Producer/Director: Richelle Antczak, WCBE

Reviews: “Ray,” “Ju-Ho: The Grudge,” “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism”
Taped: 4:00 pm, October 27, 2004
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, October 29, 2004
Streaming live on the web at

The Script:

“Ray” features the music of Ray Charles, as well as a great performance by Jamie Foxx . . .

"Ju-On: The Grudge" is Asian horror flick lite by American heavy standards . . .

“Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” is now out on DVD, just in time for the elections . . .


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


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe.

John (“Ray”)
”De-Lovely” was de lovely biopic of the year for me until I saw “Ray.” Much as I love Cole Porter’s tunes, the genial crossover melodies of Ray Charles could not have been better integrated into a biography than Director Taylor Hackford does along with Charles’ collaboration.

“Ray’s” scenes in recording studios and nightclubs help satisfy my yearning to learn how artists create their works. The flashback scenes to a childhood tragedy, an attempt to explain his drug addiction, are irritating and, gratuitous, if you think about how the film could have cut down from its formidable 153 minutes.

Jamie Foxx will be nominated for his role as Ray Charles. Most actors could imitate Charles’ ticks and jerks, but Foxx breathes Charles’ dreams and demons and projects them, his addiction to womanizing represented as well as heroin.

No need to worry that no man could parrot Charles voice, for Foxx lip-synchs perfectly.

Clay (“Ray”)
John, and I parrot your OPINION. Foxx’s performance is truly inspired. But unfortunately the only person in the movie who is able to get inside the head of Ray Charles, is the actor who plays him. No one else, including those who loved him most, could ever figure him out.

He thrilled everyone with his soul singing ballads; just as he amazed everyone, when he blended the sounds of gospel in with the sounds of Rhythm and Blues. But where all of his music kept coming from, nobody, including the audience, ever seems to know. Perhaps it was his endless love for women that kept driving his creative muse. Or, perhaps, it was his guilt over the death of his brother that caused him to continually create. The filmmaker never lets us know.

What we do know, however, is that his addiction to drugs caused him to self-destruct. And what we do know is, that the women addicted to his love, closed their eyes to his crimes.

But cheer up, folks, after listening to great music for over two hours, the filmmakers aren’t about to send you home haunted by an unhappy ending.

John (“Ju-On: The Grudge”)
The haunted house is a motif replayed successfully every year at this time, but in film it is not always so. I am happy to report “Ju-On: The Grudge,” the third of four Asian films by the same director, Takeshi Shimizu, on the same house, is worth seeing this Halloween week. The films all held up so well the director was invited by director Sam Rami to make an English version called “The Grudge,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and now in theaters.

In "Ju-On" Director Shimizu creates an atmosphere of fear and foreboding with a minimum of “Elm-Street” gore as he episodically presents incidents involving people either directly or peripherally related to the unassuming urban house. The niceties of our three-act dramas pale next to the fears this director creates with just sound and shadow and no Western structure.

The murders of a mother and child are the linchpin of the recurring horror in this house. It pays to know the provenance if you buy again, Dr.

Clay (“Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism”)
Sounds and shadows, John, I’ll give you sounds and shadows.

The documentary “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” is “Gottcha” journalism at its very best. Sounds and shadows, smoke and mirrors, rapid cutting, ironic juxtapositions (sometimes funny, sometimes cruel) are all a part of a filmmaker or broadcaster’s big bag of tricks. And the director of “Outfoxed,” documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald, is up to the task of taking on the minions of broadcasters who answer to the beck and call of Rupert Murdoch, the Aussie owner of Fox Network News.

If you’re a blue state American you’ll love watching the Fox Network anchors as they respond to their top down memo-of-the-day by endlessly repeating the phrase: “Kerry flip-flops,” “Kerry flip-flops,” and on and on and on. Seeing nearly a dozen of their newscasters, coast to coast, all mimicking the ordered phrase, in edited montage. is worth the rental.

We do learn from this documentary, all news sources are biased, and probably most of us already knew that network news has a more liberal bias than Fox. But rarely do other news directors take top down orders the way Greenwald shows they do on Fox TV. “Fair and Balanced”? It’s all a part of the smoke.

But enough of this smokin’ and gloatin’, it’s grading time.



"Ray" is an "A" cause "THAT'S ALRIGHT" . . .

“Ray” gets an “A” for the ACTING that’s ALL rock ‘n roll . . .

"Ju-On" earns a "B" for BURYING the BLOOD in a BOLD statement for understatement . . .

“Outfoxed” gets a “B” because it works BEST for those who already know that Fox is not BALANCED and fair . . .

Clay, The blind Ray Charles could tell if a woman were beautiful by holding her wrist. Is your partial deafness YOUR success secret?

John, I have to move in more closely to hear what they SAY, but you have to move in more closely to hear what they SIGH.

I’m outta here.

See you at the movies, folks, and don’t forget to vote.


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.


Copyright 2004 by John DeSando & Clay Lowe