kelly o'brien



Lack of grit, nuance handicaps feel-good football movie

Courtesy of "The Blind Side" (2009) tells the story of a hopeless and homeless black teenager fighting desperately to overcome obstacles correlated with race, poverty and his mother's drug addiction and it starts with a Sandra Bullock voice-over about football. If that isn't indicative of the movie's flaws, I don't know what is. There's nothing particularly bad about "The Blind Side" except that it could have been so much better.

In Richard Curtis'


Classic rock nostalgia, stacked cast buoys ‘Pirate Radio'

Courtesy of The speaker-busting dance montage that accompanies the opening credits of "Pirate Radio" (2009) is a rousing tribute to the joy and liberation that rock and roll music brought to a generation in the 1960s. That "Pirate Radio" can entertain an audience for a full two hours on the sheer force of that jubilance is a testament to the strength of the cast and the staying power of rock and roll. In this retooled version of the British film "The Boat That Rocked" (2009), a group of bohemian DJs pump round-the-clock rock music from the basement of a rusty tanker just off the northern shore of Great Britain in 1966.

(L-r) JAMES GANDOLFINI as Carol and MAX RECORDS as Max in Warner Bros. Pictures


‘Wild Things' reminds viewers of the power of imagination

If you had asked me for my opinion of Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are" (1963) before I saw the film adaptation that led the box office last weekend, I would have told you it was among my top three favorite children's books. Now, however, I'm pretty sure I need to reread the story again.


Gervais' acting and writing talents shine in ‘Lying'

A number of familiar obstacles stand between Mark Bellison (writer-director Ricky Gervais) and his beautiful date, Anna McDoogles, (Jennifer Garner) in the first scene of "The Invention of Lying" (2009). They include Mark's lack of financial assets, his soon-to-be lack of employment, his lack of any apparent talent that could remedy those situations and the obstacle that proves most difficult to overcome his chubby, snub-nosed exterior. It is, perhaps, in recognition of our own superficial tendencies that we are first introduced to Mark through a voice-over.

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