Thursday, May 19, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM: "The Ballad of Jack and Rose," Mindhunters," "Crash"

It’s Movie Time
Co-hosts: John DeSando & Clay Lowe
Producer/Director: Richelle Antczak, WCBE 90.5 FM

Reviews: “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” “Mindhunters,” “Crash”
Taped: 11:00 am, May 11, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, May 13, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:

"The Ballad of Jack and Rose” is “Woodstock” post-mortem . . .

"Mindhunters” is a mindless thriller . . .

“Crash” is the sound of cultures clashing on the streets of L.A. . . .


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


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe.

John (“The Ballad of Jack and Rose”)
Clay, My pick for male Oscar winner so far this year is Daniel Day-Lewis as an eccentric father of a precocious girl in The Ballad of Jack and Rose.

I don’t think the bard suggested incest on the menu for Prospero and Miranda in his Tempest, but in THIS ballad dad and daughter alone on a remote peninsula off the East coast are not fighting just real estate developers and dad’s lovers, they are dealing with incestuous feelings so subtly relayed that even our Christian president might not be offended.

Shades of Adam and Eve.

Not quite that naive.

I am a critic with five beautiful daughters in the healthiest of relationships, but that a man alone with a bright, loving, free-spirited girl COULD go to the dark side is the genius of this parable about the difficulties of living outside societal norms, which sometimes fortunately restrict baser instincts.

Day-Lewis’s conflicted protagonist is a marvelous piece of acting, the best of his career, and the most interesting this year.

Clay (“The Ballad of Jack and Rose”)
Great acting, John? Come on, you gave Charlize Theron your Best Actress vote when she got fat in order to play a serial killer. Now, you’ve cast your vote for Daniel Day Lewis for getting skinny in order to play a dying father. I’m confused.

No matter. Daniel Day Lewis’s performance in The Ballad of Jack and Rose IS what everyone seems to be talking about [after they’ve seen this picture.] And that’s too bad, because in a movie like this one, they should be talking about all of the actors. Especially actress Camilla Belle, who plays Jack’s beatific daughter Rose, who is as equally convincing as an innocent saint as she is as an angry sinner.

In The Ballad of Jack and Rose, writer-director Rebecca Miller has composed a coda for her own father’s sweet-sad screenplay about loners and losers. You know, the one he called The Misfits.

John (“Mindhunters”)
You want MISFITS! I’ll give you MISFITS!

We ARE the misfits.

Second-tier director Renny Harlin’s (Cutthroat Island) Mindhunters about F.B.I. profiler trainees stuck on an island with a serial killer is as predictable as any Die Hard movie (Harlin directed Die Hard II), as bloody as any Friday the 13 th , and as dumb as any Miss Congeniality.

The whodunit aspect of Mindhunters is the weakest because of the inordinate time it takes to explain who the killer is and why (The trainees are knocked off one at a time with military precision in a weak nod to Agatha Christy’s And Then There Were None).

Give me Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter: Now there are new agent and serial killer worth scrutiny. Their imitators will roam eternity hunting minds they never had in plots we always knew. The 106 minutes with this mindless horror-thriller is a cost T.S. Eliot did not envision when he described “free passage to the phantoms of the mind.”

Clay (“Crash”)
Well folks, the phantoms that inhabit the minds of the characters in Paul Haggis’s “Crash,” are the phantoms that generate the qualities of fear and suspicion. And no character expresses their frustration more convincingly than Sandra Bullock’s Jean, who in an emotionally shattering moment, breaks down and desperately confesses: “I can’t take this anymore. It seems that I’m always angry.”

“Crash,” is yet another ensemble drama by the writer of ‘Million Dollar Baby” and is set this time along the busy streets of L.A., as well as within its quieter neighborhoods. There is a good cop/bad cop duo. There is an ambitious D.A. and his society wife. There is a middle-class black couple that ends up being brutalized by police. There is an ill-tempered shopkeeper, an Iranian, who trusts no one, and so on.

The message of “Crash” is blatantly unsubtle but utterly convincing: today’s urban culture is driven by fear, and sooner or later, we all take our turns at playing both victimizers and victims.

But enough of nurtured naturists, mindhunting madman, and victimized victims, John, because it’s grading time.


“The Ballad of Jack and Rose” earns an "A" for its ATYPICAL ACTING . . .

“The Ballad of Jack and Rose” gets a “B” because Daniel Day Lewis is good, but Camilla Belle is even BETTER . . .

“Mindhunters” earns a “C” because your mind COULDN'T CONCEIVE how CONTRIVED a film like this COULD be . . .

“Crash” gets a “B” because it’s a BROADSIDE BLAST at those who use fear to manipulate culture . . .

Clay, I met a black Miss Ohio at a party in the Hollywood Hills a year ago. She was lovelier than Halle Berry, and we had much to discuss.

Now see how universal MY race relations are? No "Crash" here!

I’m outta here.

John, you’ll get no cash for burying your trash in public. And never forget that pride always precedes a fall, even if you’re a Catholic and an Italian-American.

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.


© 2005 John DeSando and Clay Lowe