Friday, September 16, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM "Proof," "Lord of War" (Guest: Lori Pearson)

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

Substitute for Clay Lowe:

Lori Pearson of and

Reviews: "Proof," "Lord of War"
Taped: 1:30 pm, September 14, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, September 16, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:


"Proof" is PROOF that stage dramas can convert successfully to the screen . . .

"Lord of War" suggests who the real warlords are.


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


I'm John DeSando


And I'm Lori Pearson of substituting for vacationing Clay Lowe.

Thanks so much for having me on today, John. I'm delighted to be here and to be able to share the kids-in-mind rating for a couple of films opening in the next 2 weeks.

Kids-in-mind ratings are the leading alternative to the standard MPAA ratings of PG-13, R, etc. They provide three numerical ratings, from zero to 10 for Sex, Violence and Profanity, as well as detailed descriptions of a movie's potentially objectionable content and a list of discussion topics. These evaluations have become a useful tool for parents and other concerned viewers who need the information to decide, based on their own culture, values, political perspective, religious affiliation, and so on, whether a movie is OK for them and their children, before buying their tickets.

John ("Proof")
Lori, my evaluation tool for Proof is that it won Tony and Pulitzer awards [so I approached the film version with reverence and skepticism, given the stage production had a single set and the film uses several locations, as films are wont to do .]

I am here to report the play is well-adapted to film, with an Oscar-worthy performance by Gwyneth Paltrow.

The themes of parental influence, truth and doubt, trust, and appearance and reality are nicely woven into a deceptively lean script, where Paltrow muses about her intellectual and emotional inheritance from her math genius dad, whose funeral is imminent.

[At the same time a question of plagiarism bedevils everyone.]

But mostly this is a story of a family and the deep ties between a father and his daughter.

[Her debt to him genetically and academically, is palpable; his influence on her, even in his dementia and finally his death, is always present.

So, Lori, what’s the position on Proof ?]

Lori ("Proof’)
As you mentioned John, "Proof" brings up many interesting issues worthy of discussion including the power of parent/child relationships, and the influence parents can have over their children. But also, the fear of mental illness, as depicted here by Gwyneth Paltrow's character, who's being almost crippled by it after she watches her father's condition deteriorate. And, the people around her seem to assume that she has indeed inherited her father's tendency toward mental instability.

As far as specific categories of potential concern, the violence here consists mostly of anger and frustration, exhibited by several of the characters in several scenes. One should also be aware of the death of a parent and its effects on surviving children. In terms of sex, there is one sex scene between a man and a woman involving little nudity. The profanity is moderate.

John ("Lord of War")
No moderation for Nicholas Cage’s Yuri Orlav in Lord of War; he is the embodiment of the situationally ethical arms dealer who justifies his profession with specious arguments

[such as supplying arms to countries for their "defense."]

"I am a necessary evil" is the closest Yuri comes to recognizing his corruption.

[Today many politicians and business people are faced with the same dilemma of wishing an end to the conflict in Iraq but hoping it continues for pragmatic reasons such as profit (as always, Halliburton comes to mind )].

When the closing credits remind us that the US and Russia are among the top arms dealers in the world, the allegorical subtext rises like fat to the surface.

Too late to make it a great action film; too didactic to make it great art. Shaw’s Major Barbara it is not.

"Evil prevails," says Yuri Olav. Hawthorne has the same insight in "Young Goodman Brown": "Evil is the nature of Mankind."

Lori ("Lord of War")
Lord of War too is a serious issue story about illegal weapons trafficking: we see one man acting in a government capacity who seems to rationalize his involvement in gun running by choosing sides. Another man, his competitor, would sell to anyone, with few pangs of conscience.

There's the issue of greed and power: we see one man who could not get enough wealth and uses its power to get whatever he wants. The other man is initially seduced by glitz and glamour but quickly succumbs to self-destructive behavior in an attempt to expunge guilt.

The violence is very intense and realistic, and it includes violent acts being committed on children. There are several sex sequences, most implying sex rather than showing it. And there are many scenes showing excessive drug use and abuse and, the profanity content is high.

But enough of sex, corporate crime, and math-eating parents, John, because it's grading time.

Holy Halliburton Hooray!

"Proof" earns a "B" because being BORN to a genius is no guarantee of sanity . . .

"Proof’s” sex/violence/profanity ratings are 4, 3 and 5

"Lord of War" earns a "B" because some BOYS and BUSINESSES just LOVE their guns . . . .

"Lord of War" garners svp ratings of 6, 8 and 10

Lori, thanks for coming by. You are PROOF that there can be LIFE when I’m CLAYLOWELESS.

I hope you’ll return soon . . . .

I'm outta here.


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