Thursday, November 25, 2004

WCBE 90.5 FM: "Being Julia," "The Incredibles," "Bush's Brain"

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

Reviews: “Being Julia,” “The Incredibles,” “Bush’s Brain’”
Taped: 4:00 pm, November 17, 2004
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, November 19, 2004
Streaming live on the web at

The Script:

“Being Julia” is of special interest to Brit loving thespians . . .

"The Incredibles" is the year's best animation. . .

“Bush’s Brain” is black and white because there’s nothing gray that matters . . .


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 (“Being Julia”)

I failed at acting because I thought all I had to do was act like myself. Decades of watching “Method” actors have shown me the necessary conjunction between one’s life experiences and those of the character. Annette Bening’s middle-aged Julia Lambert, in “Being Julia,” is an early twentieth-century London stage star who can act well enough but dangerously carries her acting into her personal life.

Sounds like someone I know.

John (Continues)
Listen to a ghost of Julia’s past, Jimmy Langton (Michael Gambon), coach her to winning performances on stage and in the bedroom. Jimmy tells her, "Your only reality is the theater," and about bedding a young man half her age, "If that doesn't improve your performance, then nothing will."

Julia's getting revenge by using her craft is the ultimate act of stage terrorism and a coda not to be missed this year in a film too much like “All About Eve” to be ignored.

And by the way, don’t miss Bening’s performance because she will be nominated for an Oscar.

Clay (“Being Julia”)
John, Brit lover that you are, you won’t know on the night of the Oscars, whether to root for Bening’s stage star in “Being Julia” or Im-el-da Staunton’s ill-fated “Vera Drake.” My guess is you’ll go for Staunton, and once again, poor Ms. Bening will go home all alone empty handed.

My advice? If you’re ever in London and happen to see her perform in a play, best stay off the stage, because she’ll eat you alive, along with the rest of the scenery.

And “eat you alive” is what she does to the rest of the cast in “Being Julia.” Ever charming, always witty, and sometimes even a little bit naughty, Bening turns in a bravura performance.

[A performance that should be taken to heart by, of all people, Reese Witherspoon, who never did quite fully fathom the conniving nature of Becky Sharp. Bening could have played her better.]

She may have been born in Kansas, folks, but you’ll find her quite at home on stage as the grand dame of London’s theatrical royal family.

John (“The Incredibles”)
Talk about “family values,” and no, I have not turned neocon. “The Incredibles” is a superior Pixar Studios adventure about a family of superheroes that stays together by doing what they do best, making life miserable for bad guys.

Writer/director Brad Bird has wittily woven “ The Incredibles” with attacks on modernist notions about socializing children into underachieving to reach a silly equilibrium.

Along the way is the torment of a middle-aged, overweight Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr endangering his marriage by moonlighting his heroics after the family had agreed to retire from the business, and Mrs. Parr (formerly “Plastigirl”) sighing at her ample derriere.

Andre Maurois in “The Art of Living” expressed well the “Incredibles’ ” subtext about uniformity: “The leveling influence of mediocrity and the denial of the supreme importance of the mind’s development account for many revolts against family life.”

Clay (“Bush’s Brain”)
Well, John, the mind of Karl Rove is far from mediocre, but in the realm of ethics his actions have been called, by some, downright revolting. At least that’s the conclusion you might come to after watching “Bush’s Brain,” one of a host of Bush-bashing documentaries that have come out recently on DVD.

Based on a book by the same name, “Bush’s Brain,” features interviews with the journalists, who wrote the book, as well as interviews with many of those who feel they were victims of Karl Rove’s dirty political tricks. But the movie’s most explosive charge seems to imply that Rove might have urged the president to go war simply to increase his political power. Now there’s a mind blowing tought.
But enough of would-be Machivelli’s and would-be dark Princes, John, it’s grading time.



John (“Being Julia”)
“Being Julia” . . .

Clay (“Being Julia”)
“Being Julia” gets an “A” because for Julia “ALL the world’s a stage,” and that’s ALL that matters. . .

John (“The Incredibles”)
"The Incredibles" earns an "A" because ADULTS need ADJUSTING AS well . .
Clay (“The Incredibles”)
“The Incredibles” gets a “B” because animation for both kids and adults is getting BORING . . . I’m getti

And “Bush’s Brain” gets a “C” because it also plays on the politics of fear, sneer, and innuendo, even though the facts are CHILLING . . .

Do you think Bush's brain could be taught to ACT the part of a president without being wired to Karl Rove's brain?

I’m outta here.

John, whether or not Bush’s brain is wired to Rove is up for debate, but chances are they’ll continue to bug you . . .

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 and 106.7 FM in Newark.


Copyright 2004 by John DeSando & Clay Lowe