Daily Archives: February 1, 2002


The undisputed king of the cornball concept, Kevin Costner has an uncanny aptitude for gravitating toward the dopiest projects in sight, but this time he’s outdone himself. A Chicago doctor in charge of emergency services, he’s been traumatized by the loss of his saintly wife, who’s died on a medical mission to Venezuela; convinced that she’s trying to speak to him through various near-death patients, he awaits the confirmation of his mystic theories that only bad movies can bring. The clunky script is by David Seltzer, Brandon Camp, and Mike Thompson, and someone at Universal must have decided the ideal director for such a delicate topic was Tom Shadyac, best known for the inimitable fart jokes of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Eddie Murphy’s The Nutty Professor. The secondary cast includes such talented hands as Linda Hunt and Kathy Bates, who labor admirably but can’t save the patient. 103 min. (JR) Read more

The End Of The Affair

Superior in many respects to the higher-profile Neil Jordan remake, this 1955 adaptation of what I’d call Graham Greene’s best novel costars Van Johnson and Deborah Kerr as doomed lovers during the London blitz. Edward Dmytryk directed; with John Mills and Peter Cushing. 105 min. (JR) Read more

Diamond Men

In old-fashioned industry terms, this 2001 indie feature qualifies as a sleepera low-budget effort that’s much better than it has any right to be. Writer-director Daniel M. Cohen, a former Pennsylvania diamond salesman whose father and grandfather worked in the same trade, tells the quiet but absorbing tale of a middle-aged salesman (Robert Forster at his best) who’s forced to retire after a heart attack but trains a rookie (Donnie Wahlberg) to take on his clients before he leaves. The second part concentrates on the rookie’s protracted efforts to find a prostitute for the older man, and though this stretch has a few rough spots, the whole thing is resolved in a fairly satisfying (if unexpected) manner. This may not have gotten much publicity, but it’s a lot more engaging than most movies that have; Forster alone makes it unforgettable. 100 min. (JR) Read more