Movie Review: The Ultimate Gift (2007)

Inspirational antidote to loud, violent fare (8/10)

Ultimate_GiftJason Stevens: Do you have
Emily: No Jason. I’m looking at the stars.
Jason Stevens: You know, I set this whole thing up because I thought you wanted to go horse back riding, not your mom?
Emily: Get real. Horses are smelly and sweaty.
Jason Stevens: So what’s your dream, if you could dream of anything?
Emily: My dream. My dream was a perfect day and I’m just finishing it. My dream is to be with people I love, that love each other and that love me.

I know, I know, it sounds a little corny and saccharin.  That’s what I used to think about the 1970s television series The Waltons, before I actually tuned in one night and became absolutely captivated by the adventures of John Boy, Mary Ellen, and the rest of that poor West Virginia mountain family in the Depression era.  It’s fitting to contrast cinematic dramas such as these with what I decried in so much modern fare with my previous review of Dark Knight.[1]  So many movies, especially in theaters appealing to the young, are full of so much special-effects clatter they leave no room for human beings and a story worth telling. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Walmart Syndrome

WalmartFriend or foe of citizen empowerment?

Here’s a conundrum (a puzzle with no easy solution) for you:

What’s wrong with a mass-merchandising giant bulldozing one of its dollar-days aircraft hangars and 1/2-square-mile runways into the countrysides of the world?  With Walmart you “always get the lowest price. Always.” Continue reading