Wednesday, July 06, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM "Fantastic Four," "Dark Water," "Brothers"

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

Reviews: “Fantastic Four,” “Dark Water,” “Brothers”
Taped: 3:30 pm, July 6, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, July 8, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:

"Fantastic Four” is by no means FANTASTIC . . . .

“Dark Water” is a horror film drenched in psychological terror . . .

“Brothers” will make you reconsider leaving your brother at home . . .


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 (“Fantastic Four”)
Clay, after solid appearances this year of Sin City and Batman, seeing comic book adaptation Fantastic Four is a fantastic letdown: The general idea is interesting but the execution is loud and repetitive, and the actors are disconnected from their mission.

Fantastic Four takes almost the whole film for the characters, who have been transformed into superheroes by a cosmic storm, come to terms with their new gifts, which include being a human torch, stretching your body like elastic, becoming invisible, and being a rock with its attendant strength.

It's all typically American filmmaking with the accent on stunning graphics and deemphasis on character and story depth. After the villain kills the doctor who tells him his body is changing, he says, "I think I'll get a second opinion." Our listeners will need one as well after I kill off this film at grading time.

Clay (“Dark Water”)
Well, John, even after you’ve seen the movie Dark Water you’ll still not be sure who or who has not been killed by the end of the film. A modern day horror story depending more upon the psychological state of its leading characters than its special effects, Dark Water is one of those rainy night films that oozes atmosphere and infuses its audiences with a sense of dread.

Starring Academy Award winning Jennifer Connelly as a distraught mom, and Ariel Gade as her dazed and confused five-year-old child, Dark Water captures the growing sense of despair that is slowly overtaking this abandoned mom and her vulnerable young daughter.

Grimy apartments, tawdry landlords, and sinister building attendants, are the common everyday stuff that transform this simple domestic tragedy into a ghastly ghost story of the most terrifying kind.

John (“Brothers”)
Clay, 9/11 changed everything, as they say, not just in longer lines at the airport but rather in the lives of those soldiers who return from that far battle to one at home, whose rules have also profoundly changed.

Susan Bier's Danish film, Brothers, has a brother return from Afghanistan after facing a terrible dilemma as a prisoner of choosing his own life over that of a friend. At home, because he was presumed dead, his ner-do-well brother has changed as well and formed an intimate relationship with his brother's wife.

Bier's brilliance shows there is no easy choice at home either, complicated by the soldier's guilt, which has changed for the worse the way he acts with his family. Don't think of this fascinating puzzle as just another screed on terrorism; think of it as an essay on the dizzying choices life throws at us with decisions not made as neatly or easily as in other movies.

Clay ("Brothers")
Well, John, you’re right, the movie Brothers is NOT about terrorism but it IS about the human consequences of that most odious of human endeavors: the waging of war. Taking a page from the story of Cain and Abel, as well as a page from the story of the prodigal son, the brothers in this film manage to somehow dramatically reverse their roles somewhere between the opening of the movie and its closing credits.

In the beginning Michael is the good son, good husband, and good father; and Jannik is the irresponsible younger brother who can’t seem to keep out of jail. But when Michael is called up to serve in Afghanistan, stay-at-home Jannik finally gets himself under control and decides to fill in for his missing brother.

What happens to Michael while a prisoner is devastating, but how it affects his behavior when he returns home is even more devastating for his whole family. It’s one of those costs of war that are rarely calculated in public.

But enough of fantastic heroes, leaky ceilings, and brothers at war, John, because it’s grading time.

Holy Leaking Heroes,Hooray!

“Fantastic Four” earns a “D” for DUMBING DOWN a fantastic comic book . . .

“Dark Water” gets a solid “B” because it's a well-made, well-acted film, but it's also a little BIT murky . . .

“Brothers” earns a “B” for BRINGING home a BAD BATTLE . . .

“Brothers” gets an “A” because Susan Bier’s films ALWAYS cut to the heart of relationships . . .

Clay, It scares me to think a cosmic storm could make YOU invisible, given your ALREADY highly-developed snooping abilities.

I’m outta here.

John, sometimes I feel invisible when I don’t quite know what you’re talking about, but maybe if I close my eyes you'll go away too.

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