December 11, 1995 |
Must be the season: On the heels of Sunday night's ABC movie, "Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story," about the soap star's struggle with infertility, comes NBC's "Mixed Blessings," about the quest for parenthood undertaken by three couples. While Hall's film was based on her own life, this is best-selling novelist's Danielle Steel's sudsy take on the subject--although Steel, a mom several times over, could be considered something of an expert.
May 9, 1994 |
The final 10 minutes or so of "Heart of a Child" deliver a measure of emotional catharsis that is hard to resist. But it's such a grueling chore getting to that point that the story's sure-fire conclusion is much flatter than it should be. The narrative idea behind this fact-based ordeal centers on two pregnant women (Ann Jillian and Michele Greene) who, through a controversial infant transplant operation, create one healthy baby out of two babies who would otherwise have died.
August 20, 2010 |
There's no shortage of dramatic sweep in the story of Li Cunxin. The peasants' child became an international ballet star, but not before his 1981 defection from China to the United States sparked a diplomatic showdown and front-page headlines. In "Mao's Last Dancer," the film adaptation of his autobiography, that story comes to life only in fits and starts. Director Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy") knows how to tug heartstrings but as he moves the inspirational material toward its tear-jerker finale, it's often hampered by awkward melodrama.
November 2, 2012 |
Is there anything Denzel Washington can't do? As an actor, he's tackled such diverse roles as a level-headed submarine officer, a homophobic lawyer, a crooked narcotics cop and a number of real-life figures, including Malcolm X and Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. Now in "Flight," the first live-action film directed by Robert Zemeckis in more than a decade, Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a substance-abusing airline pilot who pulls off a miraculous crash-landing but faces dire consequences for flying drunk.
April 4, 2007 |
Movies like "Benji" and "Lassie" with their uber-pooches have set a high standard for the heroic dog genre, so the makers of "Firehouse Dog" have taken a slightly different tack: Let the human actors take center stage. It's an odd concept by doggie family film standards, but if anybody is suited to try new tricks with an old genre, it's director Todd Holland, one of the guiding hands behind the hit TV series "Malcolm in the Middle."
May 24, 1998
MOVIES Sandra Bullock stars in "Hope Floats" as a mother (to Mae Whitman, at right), deserted by her husband, who heads home to live with her mother (Gena Rowlands) in a small Texas town. Further complications develop involving a childhood friend (Harry Connick Jr.). The film opens in general release Friday. MOVIES With "The Last Days of Disco," filmmaker Whit Stillman completes a trilogy of romantic comedies preceded by "Metropolitan" and "Barcelona."
January 8, 1996
I found David Cole's views on religious TV programming or the lack thereof quite interesting, and his assertions about the depredations of the religious right serving as a disincentive for TV producers are probably, but possibly not so unfortunately, correct ("It's Not the Networks That Shy Away From Religion," Calendar, Dec. 18). However, I must comment about his recollections of "St. Elsewhere." The series Mr. Cole watched must not have been the one I watched. I certainly never saw the Bruce Greenwood character before his conversion as a "caring" doctor who "discovered" Christianity in a way that seemed "perfectly normal."
January 7, 1989 |
You know you're in trouble almost from the beginning of "Twist of Fate" when two German conspirators in the plot to assassinate Hitler openly discuss the plan in a public bar. Why not try it through a megaphone? The two-part NBC drama airs at 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday on Channels 4, 36 and 39, squandering a good cast and botching an intriguing plot that merges a Nazi S.S. officer and a Jewish concentration camp survivor in a single character. In effect, Col.