NEW YORK – Amelie, John Q, James Coburn and Pinero in the DVD glare of the Foxlight.
It was my favorite movie of the year last year and I haven't changed my mind. Now that it's on DVD I can give it away as a gift to people who missed Amelie. It got robbed at the Oscars: I thought it was a lock for Best Foreign Film. I admit that post Sept. 11 I wanted something cheerful, but I still think this deserves more recognition. Just don't write to me for a free one.
Next, Denzel Washington deserved his Oscar for Training Day. But they might have taken it away for the hammy and manipulative John Q. Denzel takes a hospital hostage when his HMO says his kid can't get an organ transplant. Maybe the DVD has a literal "hot button" that pops up every time a new social issue is exploited. But I doubt it.
Would James Coburn have made a better James Bond than Sean Connery? Probably not. But here's his audition: two tongue-in-cheek time capsules from the 1960s called Our Man Flint and In Like Flint. This is where even Mike Myers admits Austin Powers got his mojo from. Great fun.
Finally, want to see what's essentially become a Benjamin Bratt home movie? This is Pinero and I think it's wildly overrated. It's also obviously made for about a dollar and quarter, and is really more suited to a one man show way off Broadway. But it does introduce us to the woman who took Julia Roberts' place. Talisa Soto is now Mrs. Bratt. So the love scenes in this film are probably pretty authentic. This would make a nice wedding gift for Julia and her new husband if you haven't gotten them anything yet.