March 20th, 2006

amazon

Eight movies I would stand in line to see on the big screen.

(from If Hollywood Were Really Brave)

The Crescent's Edge

This thinly fictionalized version of Salman Rushdie's life on the run stars Ben Kingsley as a beleaguered leftist intellectual forced to question his own multiculturalist assumptions as he evades fanatical mujahedeen who seek to kill him for having defamed the Prophet.

A Nightmare South of Market

Ray Liotta stars as an idealistic young doctor determined to halt the spread of AIDS who crusades against the promiscuity and needle-drug abuse endemic in San Francisco's gay bathhouse scene. Don't miss Gary Oldman's cameo as a homosexual Scoutmaster.

The Thin Green Line

Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson star in a gritty war film celebrating U.S. special forces in Afghanistan, the men who took down the barbaric Taliban regime. Audiences at Cannes and Sundance were deeply shocked by its sympathetic portrayal of the modern American military.

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

This faithful adaptation of Robert Heinlein's 1966 SF classic, starring Nicholas Cage as Manuel Garcia O'Kelly Davis and Mira Sorvino as Wyoming Knott, challenges viewers to imagine a libertarian future. Gripping SFX of meteoroid bombardment contrast with searching questions about the legitimacy of government as the Lunar nation struggles to be born. (Rumor has it that Paul Verhoeven was at one point forcibly ejected from the set of this film.)

Never Again

In this sprawling family epic, three generations of Israelis fight to preserve the Middle East's only democracy from implacable and bloodthirsty enemies on every side. An ensemble cast of unknowns struggles with war, terrorism, and tragedy in a film that unflinchingly affirms Jewish identity and doesn't fear to confront Nazi and Pan-Arabist atrocities.

A Tree Grows In Harlem

Morgan Freeman and Halle Berry star as a father/daughter team of neighborhood activists who decide blaming Whitey isn't enough and challenge ghetto blacks to take responsibility for solving their own problems. Villains (and victims of this film's wicked satirical edge) include recognizable takes on Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan, but the enemy the two must struggle hardest to defeat is the government bureaucracy set up to "help" their people.

Unintended Conseqences

Roy Scheider stars as a dedicated sport shooter who vows to seek justice after his daughter is killed during a no-knock BATF/DEA raid on their home. This searing expose of contemporary American law-enforcement abuses takes on both the madness of the "War on Drugs" and the random but brutal persecution of civilian gun owners.

The Venona Diaries

Eric Bana stars as an Iraq-veteran-turned-academic who discovers that the shadowy networks of influence set up by the KGB during the Cold War are not only still active on U.S. college campuses but solidifying an alliance with Islamic terrorists. Heart-pounding action ensues as Bana races to head off the act of mass murder that will seal the Marxist/Islamist alliance in blood.