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TV
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Alan Alda Alec Baldwin Kate Beckinsale Cate Blanchett Frances Conroy Willem Dafoe Stanley DeSantis Leonardo DiCaprio Kelli Garner Edward Herrmann Ian Holm Danny Huston Jude Law John C. Reilly Matt Ross Adam Scott Brent Spiner Gwen Stefani Kenneth Welsh
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 2004   Rated: PG-13
Duration: 170
Summary: An epic biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920's to the mid-1940's.
Running Time: 170 min.

Format: DVD MOVIE



Director: Scott Kalvert
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio Lorraine Bracco Marilyn Sokol James Madio Patrick McGaw Mark Wahlberg Roy Cooper Bruno Kirby Jimmy Papiris Nick Gaetani Alexander Chaplin Ben Jorgensen Josh Mostel Juliette Lewis Michael Imperioli Akiko Ashley Ernie Hudson Manny Alfaro Cynthia Daniel Brittany Daniel
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 1995   Rated: R
Duration: 102
Summary: The pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jim Carroll, the poet and musician who spent much of his adolescence addicted to heroin and shooting hoops with fellow Catholic high school kids. As a biography, the film doesn't amount to more than the sum of its gritty scenes of smack use, violence, perversions (poor Bruno Kirby plays a lecherous coach who comes on to young Jim), and the usual scream-and-puke dramas that go along with a cold-turkey session. Director Scott Kalvert doesn't seem to realize that most people don't know who Carroll is and therefore can't possibly understand why they should care about his gutterball youth. DiCaprio, having nowhere to go with his performance but maintain Carroll's tailspin, is boring and redundant. Some kind of allusion to the literary and rock & roll life that follows the mess we're watching might have been helpful. --Tom Keogh


Director: Martin Scorsese, ,
Starring: Bob Dylan Martin Scorsese
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 2005   Rated: NR
Duration: 208
Summary: It's virtually impossible to approach No Direction Home without a cluster of fixed ideas. Who doesn't have their own private Dylan? The true excellence of Martin Scorsese's achievement lies in how his documentary shakes us free of our comfortable assumptions. In the process, it plays out on several levels at once, each taking shape as an unfailingly fascinating narrative. There is, of course, the central story of an individual genius staking out his artistic identity. But along with this Bildungsroman come other threads and contexts: most notably, the role of popular culture in postwar America, art's self-reliance versus its social responsibilities, and fans' complicity with the publicity machine in sustaining myths. All of these threads reinforce each other, together weaving the film's intricate texture.

Scorsese's 200-plus-minute focus on Dylan's earliest years allows for a portrayal of unprecedented depth, with multiple angles: a rich composite photo is the result. The main narrative has an epic quality: it moves from Dylan growing up in cold-war Minnesota through Greenwich Village coffeehouses and the Newport Folk Festival, climaxing in the controversial 1966 U.K. tour that crowned a period of unbridled and explosive creativity. In his transition from Robert Allen Zimmerman to Bob Dylan, we observe him concocting his impossible-to-describe, unique combination of the topical with the archaic, like an ancient oracle. Scorsese was able to access previously unseen footage from the Dylan archives, including performances, press conferences, and recording sessions. He also uses interviews with Dylan's friends, ex-friends, and fellow artists, and, intriguingly, with the notoriously reclusive Dylan himself (who looks back to provide glosses on the early years), fusing what could have turned into a tiresome series of digressions and tangents into a powerful whole as enlightening, eccentric, contradictory, and ultimately irreducible as its subject.

Some of the deeply personal bits remain unrevealed, but Dylan's preternatural self-assurance acquires a slightly self-deprecating, even comic edge via some of his reflective comments. Alongside the arrogance, we see touching moments of the young artist's reverence for Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash. Joan Baez, in a poignant confessional mood, comes off well, and the late Allen Ginsberg is so seraphically charming he almost steals the show a few times. A crucial throughline is Dylan's hunger for recognition and ability to shape perceptions so that would be singled out as not just another dime-a-dozen folk singer. It's illuminating--particularly for those familiar with the artist's latter-day aloofness on stage--to see his reactions to audience booing in the wake of his "betrayal" in this fuller context. No Direction Home also makes clear--in a way that wasn't possible in D.A. Pennebaker's iconic Don't Look Back--how Dylan's ability to manipulate his persona always, at its core, protects the urge for expression: Dylan's ultimate mandate, as an artist, is never to be pinned down. As Scorsese masterfully shows, the myth around Dylan only grows bigger the more we discover about him. --Thomas May
DVD features: This two-disc set of Scorsese's full two-part documentary includes treats such as Dylan working on a song at his hotel during the UK tour as well as performing several songs as in concert or on TV.
More for the Dylanologist















No Direction Home: The Soundtrack

Chronicles: Volume One (paperback edition)

Bob Dylan Scrapbook

Don't Look Back

The Bob Dylan Bootleg Series

The Last Waltz



Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Russell Crowe Renée Zellweger Paul Giamatti Craig Bierko Paddy Considine Bruce McGill David Huband Connor Price Ariel Waller Patrick Louis Rosemarie DeWitt Linda Kash Nicholas Campbell Gene Pyrz Chuck Shamata Ron Canada Alicia Johnston Troy Amos-Ross Mark Simmons Art Binkowski
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 2005   Rated: PG-13
Duration: 145
Summary: Academy Award winners Russell Crowe and Ren e Zellweger star in this triumphant, powerfully inspiring true story. In a time when America needed a champion, an unlikely hero would arise, proving how hard a man would fight to win a second chance for his family and himself. Suddenly thrust into the national spotlight, boxer Jim Braddock would defy the odds against him and stun the world with one of the greatest comebacks in history. Driven by love for his family, he willed an impossible dream to come true.

BONUS MATERIALS :
Feature Commentary with Director Ron Howard
Feature Commentary with Writer Akiva Goldsman
Feature Commentary with Writer Cliff Hollingsworth
Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Ron Howard
The Fight Card: Casting Cinderella Man
The Man, The Movie, The Legend: A Filmmaking Journey
For the Record: A History in Boxing
Ringside Seats
Jim Braddock: The Friends & Family Behind the Legend
Kodak Cinderella Man Gallery
DVD-ROM Features


System Requirements:
Running Time 145 Min

Format: DVD MOVIE



Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Johnny Depp Dustin Hoffman
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 2004   Rated: PG
Duration: 101
Summary: Sweetness that doesn't turn saccharine is hard to find these days; Finding Neverland hits the mark. Much credit is due to the actors: Johnny Depp applies his genius for sly whimsy in his portrayal of playwright J. M. Barrie, who finds inspiration for his greatest creation from four lively boys, the sons of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet, who miraculously fuses romantic yearning with common sense). Though the friendship threatens his already dwindling marriage, Barrie spends endless hours with the boys, pretending to be pirates or Indians--and gradually the elements of Peter Pan take shape in his mind. The relationship between Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family sparks both an imagined world and a quiet rebellion against the stuffy forces of respectability, given physical form by Barrie's resentful wife (Radha Mitchell, High Art) and Sylvia's mother (Julie Christie, McCabe and Mrs. Miller). This gentle silliness could have turned to treacle, but Depp and Winslet--along with newcomer Freddie Highmore as one of the boys--keep their feet on the earth while their eyes gaze into their dreams. Also featuring a comically crusty turn from Dustin Hoffman (who appeared in another Peter Pan-themed movie, Hook) as a long-suffering theater producer. --Bret Fetzer


Director: Peter Wintonick
Starring: William F. Buckley Noam Chomsky Kelvin Flook Edward S. Herman Peter Jennings Bill Moyers Tom Wolfe
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 1993   Rated: NR
Duration: 167
Summary: Peter Wintonick and Mark Achbar made this penetrating documentary about the career and views of linguist and media critic Noam Chomsky. While the man is the subject of the movie, the filmmakers wisely and carefully choose not to make Chomsky more important than his insights into the way print and electronic journalism tacitly and often willingly further the agendas of the powerful. We learn a lot about Chomsky's formative experiences as a child, student, academic, activist, and politician (he has campaigned for office), but we learn just as much about the media institutions that deny him access today, from ABC to PBS. The centerpiece of the film, arguably, is a long examination into the history of the New York Times' coverage of Indonesia's atrocity-ridden occupation of East Timor, reportage that (as Chomsky shows us) was absolutely in lock step with the government's unwillingness to criticize an ally. --Tom Keogh


Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Frank Adonis Bernie Allen Floyd Anderson (II) Rita Bennett (III) Joseph Bono James V. Christy Nicholas Colasanto Robert De Niro Don Dunphy Lori Anne Flax Mario Gallo Bill Hanrahan Gene LeBell Cathy Moriarty Joe Pesci Theresa Saldana Charles Scorsese Frank Topham Frank Vincent
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 1980   Rated: R
Duration: 129
Summary: Martin Scorsese's brutal black-and-white biography of self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta was chosen as the best film of the 1980s in a major critics' poll at the end of the decade, and it's a knockout piece of filmmaking. Robert De Niro plays LaMotta (famously putting on 50 pounds for the later scenes), a man tormented by demons he doesn't understand and prone to uncontrollably violent temper tantrums and fits of irrational jealousy. He marries a striking young blond (Cathy Moriarty), his sexual ideal, and then terrorizes her with never-ending accusations of infidelity. Jake is as frightening as he is pathetic, unable to control or comprehend the baser instincts that periodically, and without warning, turn him into the rampaging beast of the title. But as Roman Catholic Scorsese sees it, he works off his sins in the boxing ring, where his greatest athletic talent is his ability to withstand punishment. The fight scenes are astounding; they're like barbaric ritual dance numbers. Images smash into one another--a flashbulb, a spray of sweat, a fist, a geyser of blood--until you feel dazed from the pummeling. Nominated for a handful of Academy Awards (including best picture and director), Raging Bull won only two, for De Niro and for editor Thelma Schoonmacher. --Jim Emerson


Director: James Mangold
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix Reese Witherspoon Ginnifer Goodwin Robert Patrick Dallas Roberts Dan John Miller Larry Bagby Shelby Lynne Tyler Hilton Waylon Payne Shooter Jennings Sandra Ellis Lafferty Dan Beene Clay Steakley Johnathan Rice Johnny Holiday (III) Ridge Canipe Lucas Till Carly Nahon McGhee Monteith
Genre: Biography
Theatrical: 2005   Rated: PG-13
Duration: 135
Summary: A solid and entertaining biopic, Walk the Line works less as a movie than an actors' showcase for its stars. Joaquin Phoenix's total immersion into the skin of singer Johnny Cash is startling--watching it, you can't believe this is the same guy who whined about being "vexed" in Gladiator. As he evolves from a farm boy to gospel croonin' plunker to the Man in Black, Phoenix disappears into Cash's deep baritone, his way of slinging the guitar onto his back, and his hunched-up style of strumming. But it's more than just picking up mannerisms: Phoenix also sings as Johnny Cash, and it's quite impressive.
The story of how Johnny Cash became Johnny Cash traces from his childhood under a distant father (Robert Patrick) to his early attempts at a music career, during which he married his girlfriend Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin). During a tour with the likes of Elvis (Tyler Hilton) and Jerry Lee Lewis (Waylon Malloy Payne), he encounters singer June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), and his love for her--and her rejection of him through the years--spurs him into drugs, drinking, and depression. As with most movies based on real-life singers, as his popularity grows, the women come a-flockin', and the childhood demons surface. Witherspoon, who matches Phoenix drawl for drawl, plays June both as a sassy spitfire whose charm breaks your heart, and as a sympathetic friend who tries to help Cash get over--well, her. The love story is what endures, but the movie comes most alive during its musical numbers, and even if you're not a country fan, it may just get you to run out and buy a Johnny Cash album.--Ellen A. Kim