Friday, July 22, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM: "Hustle & Flow," "Bad News Bears," "Donkey Skin"

It's Movie Time
Co-hosts: John DeSando & Clay Lowe
Co-producers: John DeSando, Clay Lowe for WCBE 90.5 FM

Reviews: “Hustle & Flow,” “Bad News Bears,” ”Donkey Skin”
Taped: 2:00 pm, July 20, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, July 22, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:

Hustle and Flow takes the wraps off rappers . . .

"Bad News Bears” shifts the scene from pimps to shrimps . . . .

And “Donkey Skin” is a primer on why little girls should NOT marry their fathers . . .


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 (“Hustle and Flow”)
Cut to the current Hustle and Flow, a story of a rapper (Terence Dashon Howard) who was once a pimp and carries that past into his songs, such as Whoop that Trick, which is as misogynistic as 8 Mile is NOT; and It’s hard out Here for a Pimp, in which a HO sings backup for the rapper’s declaration about the difficulties of managing the ladies.

This story seems less stylized, less sanitized than 8 mile, closer to the raw violence and sex that plague rappers but ironically provide them with the material that makes them richer than Gates. The world of pimps and rappers is not without charm and energy, qualities in abundance in this enjoyable although cliched film.

No doubt about it, this has been the summer remakes and cinematic cliches.

John (“Bad News Bears”)
No one would ever call me a prude, but the cursing kids in the new Bad News Bears are offensive, their stereotyping is uncreative, and the now fully–developed persona of Billy Bob Thornton as a beer-swilling, foul-mouthed, womanizing scamp can be employed anytime a coach is needed, be it for Friday night football or little league baseball.

This updated version of the 1976 The Bad News Bears with Walter Matthau is not a complete loss: Thornton’s coach Buttermaker exemplifies some honorable truisms such as winning is neither swift nor easy and the game is won in the head not the hands. And rarely has a film evidenced so successfully the strategy of reverse psychology.

But I still can’t get over the kids’ gratuitous epithets and off-beat director Richard Linklater’s choice of this vehicle at this time in his career, which has reached the ether with the Before Sunrise/Sunset series.

Clay ("Bad News Bears")
Well folks, one more cliche: WHY”S a nice guy like Richard Linklater making movies like this? Answer: he’s trying to raise money for his next low-key, off-beat film. At least that’s my hope.

Unfortunately Billy Bob Thornton’s beer guzzling, cigar chomping coach and his young team’s fascination with words that have to do with all things anal, cease to be funny almost as soon as the movie begins. And it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to see that Thornton’s attempt to milk his Big Bad Santa persona is going to cause a disaster we’ll be forced to watch as it happens.

Sammi Kraft as Amanda, his abandoned ball playing daughter, adds a much needed human dimension to the film, as does the performance of Kelly Leak as Jeff, the bad boy, bad bear who joins the team just because of Amanda. But the rest of the cast’s fumbling, bumbling efforts on the field, evoke few laughs from the audience and even fewer moments of lasting affection.,


But, folks, if relief from Hollywood’s re-run season is what you’re looking for, check out Jaques Demy’s French classic Donkey Skin that runs tonight and Saturday night at the Mershon.

Based on the fairy tale originally told by Charles Perreault, Donkey Skin, is a story about a happy king, his beautiful queen, and their ever so lovely daughter (played by Catherine Denueve). However, when the queen dies, the young daughter decides she wants to marry her father,
much to the dismay of the guardians of decency, as well as her equally enchanting, Fairy Godmother.

A musical fable for all seasons, Donkey Skin, is a wanderful change of pace for movie lovers who take their pleasures in delights more subtle and simple.

But enough bad pimps, badder bears, and the skins of dead donkeys, John, because it’s grading time.


Hustle and Flow earns a B because BAD BOYS and girls CAN make music . . .

"Bad News Bears" earns a C for CALLOW CURSING . . .

"Bad News Bears" gets a “C” because . . .

And “Donkey Skin” gets a “B” because it’s BETTER than what Hollywood has to offer this week . . .

With the rampant swearing in both films, I am confident our program manager will allow me to say "I'm getting the hell outta here."

John, we could all use a little less hell, especially our program manager. 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 written and produced by John DeSando and Clay Lowe in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus and 106.7 FM in Newark.


© 2005 John DeSando and Clay Lowe