The Movies Journalists Like

The November 10 release of Morning Glory is fast approaching.

I have my doubts because the trailer and posters just seem too good to be true. I am a sucker for any movie that has to do with journalism, thanks to my days as a collegiate journalist.

In honor of this movie, which will undoubtedly find a way into my cynical-onetime-journalist’s heart, I’ve compiled a list of the movies all about journalism that journalists like.

Continue reading “The Movies Journalists Like”

Review: Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow

George Clooney’s second directorial attempt is a must see. Eloqeuntly filmed in black and white, Good Night, and Good Luck is the story of broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and his historical fight with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950’s Red Scare.

David Strathairn stars as the legendary Murrow in a performance that is sure to win him an Academy Award nomination. He makes the chain-smoking Murrow seem fallible, noble, funny, and huiman, while making you forget that Murrow is a legend.

The film also stars Clooney as Fred Friendly, producer and Murrow’s main confidant. Robert Downey Jr. plays Joe Wershba, a reporter who must hide his marriage to a fellow staffer (played by Patrica Clarkson), and Frank Langella (as Bill Paley, CBS network boss).

Good Night, and Good Luck opens at a 1958 banquet, honoring Murrow for his landmark broadcasting career. Murrow’s acceptance speech frames Clooney’s masterpiece.

Then came Edward R. Murrow, who believed that if television must be used for anything, it must be used to educate people and benefit society. Along with Friendly, he decides to use his CBS news show See it Now to challenge McCarthy. In the process, he loses his sponsers and almost his job. But the risk, pays off as the collapse of McCarthy’s power soon follows.

Clooney’s film is indeed a work of art, that excites, intrigues, and terrifies you all at once. Most of all, Good Night, and Good Luck makes journalistic integrity look appealing and frankly, sexy. Overall, the movie is funny, inspiring, and well worth theater ticket prices.

As Murrow once said, “We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason.” With that, good night and good luck.

The Weekend Box Office

This weekend’s box office was essentially blah. Sure, Wallace and Gromit (grossing a whopping $16 million) bumped Flightplan off its two-week throne and that Cameron Diaz movie (In Her Shoes) came in third (with $10 million) but this weekend’s box office belonged to only one film. George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck.

In limited release, the top per-screen average belonged to the critically praised Good Night, and Good Luck, George Clooney‘s movie about CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow battles with Communist-baiting Senator Joe McCarthy. The PG black-and-white Warner Independent release, which stars David Strathairn in the title role with support from Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr,, Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels, racked up $421,446 at just 11 sites to average a headline-making $38,313.

In otherwords, this little independent movie made quite a lot of money meaning that everyone should see it. (Personally, I’d rather see George Clooney in this movie than see him fat and un-George Clooney-esque as he will be in Syriana)

I’m going this weekend, I think. I have a very busy movie theater schedule to tackle… so many movies to see and so little time to do so. Three days is not enough time to go to three different movies, at three different theaters in three different towns.

The 10 Movies I Plan on Seeing This Fall

Here’s the list I came up with….

10. ElizabethtownThe latest from Cameron Crowe, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Bloom plays not only an American but a character set in the modern world. (I don’t really care if this a bad movie, because I could stare at Orlando Bloom forever.)

9. Brokeback MountainSome of you may have already heard of this, as it is being called the “gay cowboy” movie. But it is much more than that. It is a touching story about two men who deeply care for each other as they try to hide from themselves in lives that are accepted as normal. Directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Heath Ledger gives an oscar-worthy performance.

8. Jarhead A movie about the first Persian Gulf War, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. It follows Swoff, a marine sniper, (Gyllenhaal) from boot camp to active duty as the film questions the meaning of war. Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty). And maybe Sarsgaard will finally get that oscar nomination he’s deserved for so long.

7. Capote – Read my preview here.

6. Match PointThe annual Woody Allen film (actually the second of this year) but for a change this one is supposed to be good. (Like in the good old days of Annie Hall and Manhatten , I hope). Only this one has no Woody and no New York. It is set in London and mixes tennis and sexual intrigue. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathon Rhys-Meyers.

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – just because it is Harry Potter.

4. King Kong The remake, I mean, the updating of the original. Could be good, may be bad. But it will definitely dominate the seasons box office.

3. Good Night and Good LuckThis film premiered Friday, Septmeber 22 at the New York Film Festival to huge amounts of critical acclaim. George Clooney directs and costars as CBS producer Fred Friendly, in the tale of broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow (played by David Strathairn). Its all about 1954 and Murrow’s battle against Sen. Joe McCarthy. Shot in black and white and a triumph for Clooney.

2. Walk the LineThe biopic about legendary singer Johnny Cash, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Already generating Oscar buzz and neing hailed as better-then Ray. I’ll probably see this when it comes out because my dad LOVES Johnny Cash (How a boy from the Bronx favorite singer is Johnny Cash I’ll never understand)

1. MunichThe Speilberg directed true-story about the 1972 Munich olympics when Palestinian terrorists captured and killed Israeli athletes. This is about Israel’s hunt to for the terrorists. Its in the running for Best Picture, this is if Speilberg can finish by it’s release date. (The last I checked it’s still shooting, but I could be wrong about that).

The other films I’m looking foward to include: The Producers (loved the broadway musical), Rent, All the King’s Men, (another remake starring Sean Penn) Memoirs of a Geisha, Transamerica (starring Felicity Huffman), The New World, Syriana, North Country…. plus many others that will pop out of no where.

Fall 2005 is definitely shaping out to be one of the best movie seasons in a long time.