Friday, November 04, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM: "Capote," "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio," "Shopgirl," "Jarhead"

WCBE#241-FINAL-2 (with John & Clay outta here lines)
It's Movie Time
Co-hosts, writers & producers: John DeSando & Clay Lowe
For WCBE 90.5 FM

Reviews: “Capote,” “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio,” “Shopgirl,” “Jarhead”
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, November 4, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The script:

"Capote” is a cold-blooded look at an infamous writer and slaughter . .

"The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” was a fifties housewife with a lovable drunk for a husband . . .

“Shopgirl” is worth every admission dollar you spend for her . . .

“Jarhead” is more like Red Badge of Courage than it is Apocalypse Now . . .


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 ("Capote")
Yes, Philip Seymour Hoffman is Oscar-worthy in Capote. No, you never learn how Truman Capote actually wrote, but you do see how he researches, aided by a 94% retentive memory that frees him up to look at his subjects with piercing eyes.

The subjects of Truman Capote’s non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood, are the murderers of rural Kansas’s four Clutter family members. The film offers the possibility that Capote did not do enough to stay the executions because he needed to finish his novel, a feat he couldn’t do without their deaths

Hoffman understands and “inhabits” his character, a very modern method acting achievement. His imitation of Capote’s eccentric mannerisms and high voice is close to perfect, evoking an effete, flamboyant Southerner.

Hamlet says, “For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak/ With most miraculous organ.” Hoffman is miraculous.

Clay ("The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio")
Well, folks, Hoffman may be miraculous as Truman Capote, but Julianne Moore’s far, far too soft spoken to play Evelyn Ryan the real life fifties working-class wife from Defiance, Ohio. You know, the one who had ten kids, a drunken husband, and the life-saving ability to write prize winning jingles. [Oh wheel of fortune, don’t pass her by.]

Poor Julianne, three years ago she played the wife of a closet gay husband in Todd Haynes “Far From Heaven” and now she finds herself married to a heterosexual husband (Woody Harrelson), who loves his bottle more than he does her. Sure, she gets all of her appliances free in “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” but the movie would have been much more interesting if she could have harnessed her energy levels to those of her tougher, more colorful co-star Laura Dern.

But then Laura Dern does tacky better than Julianne Moore.

John ("Shopgirl")
I can see where we’re headed today: Dern has never been LESS tacky.

Oh, well. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film that treats adult romance with the respect it deserves. The young woman in Shopgirl is Claire Dane’s Mirabelle Buttersfield, recently emigrating from Vermont and falling in love with Steve Martin’s much older Roy Butler, a wealthy ex computer operative with unlimited funds to give Mirabelle presents and nobly steer away from commitment.

And she also gives in to Jason Schwartzman’s young Jeremy Kraft, an unkempt amplifier salesman palming himself off as a “stenciling” artist. The polar opposite males are a soft struggle for Mirabelle’s emerging womanhood.

Danes is the perfect actress, Martin the perfect Truman Capote writer/ narrator for a look at the new New York---Los Angeles.

Shopgirl is a short story telling a little tale about souls in search of love and finding a form of it that carries laughter, disappointment, and transformation in its shopping bag. It’s much better than an afternoon at the mall.

Clay ("Jarhead")
Well, John, spending a day at the mall would be a whole lot better than than having to spend six months in the military in either Kuwait or Iraq, especially if those two countries were at war. Which of course they were in “Jarhead,” Sam Mendes' most recent movie that tells the story of a company of marines who enlisted, drilled, and bonded, then had to sit around and wait for the fighting to begin in the war now known as Operation Desert Storm.

More in the tradition of Terrence Malick’s Thin Red Line than Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, “Jarhead” almost exclusively focuses in on the men doing the waiting. And as they do we’re given an insider's look at their dreams, their fears, their strengths, their weaknesses; and for some, their fatal flaws. So if you’re looking for lots of rock em sock em action “Jarhead” may not be the film for you. Just as Operation Desert Storm was not the war that the men depicted in this movie had hoped to have fought in.

Characterized by first rate acting, sensitive writing, and glorious photography, “Jarhead” is nothing more or less than a more passive prologue to the fiery inferno now called the War in Iraq.

Credit Mendes and his cast for having given us a quieter look about how it feels before going into battle.

But enough of squeaky-voiced poets, suffering housewives, over-the-hill boyfriends, and impending desert storms, John, because it’s grading time . . .

Holy Hussein Hooray!

“Capote” earns a "B" because that author is anything but BORING . . .

"The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” gets a “C” because it’s CHARACTERS are more eccentric than they need to be . . .


“Shopgirl” earns an "A" for its lyrical ATTITUDE toward romance. . .


"Jarhead” gets an “A” because ALL warriors must learn to live and learn to die . . .

Clay, Call me a “maggot” for thinking you’re a “Jarhead” for thinking that’s a good movie. After listening to you, I need a good shopgirl. I’m definitely outta here.

When in doubt, one and all, just head on down to your favorite mall. Shopgirls are good, John, but good movies are harder to come by.

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