FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Norman Jewison |||
Norman Jewison

Yes, he directed “Moonstruck” and two unforgettable musicals, but Jewison is also responsible for a trilogy of films focusing on racial-injustice, a whacky Cold War comedy and a signature film of Steve McQueen’s showing that he is one of the most versatile directors since Robert Wise.

This blueprint for good investigation dramas tells the story of a black Philadelphia detective investigating a murder in Mississippi who matches wits with a redneck sheriff. Groundbreaking for it’s time, this Oscar winning film is still relevant today and offers a gripping mystery with terrific dramatic performances by a complete cast of fully realized characters.

This is an amazingly funny and entertaining irreverent "Cold War" comedy about a Russian submarine stranded outside an isolated New England town, which throws the locals into a panic. Jewison does a delightful job of utilizing his all-star cast to their fullest, deftly mixing Capra-esq characters with Mel Brooks’s type situations (and vise-versa).

A bored millionaire (Steve McQueen in his prime) masterminds a flawless bank job as Faye Dunaway (an insurance investigator out to get him) identifies him as the mastermind and falls in love along the way. This is the original and the best, with all the arch stylized movie techniques of the ‘60s (including split-screen and fuzzy shallow focus) and the most erotic chess game ever captured on screen.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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Jimmy Kimmel Seeks Ballroom-Dancing Tranvestite!

By AmyLawrence

April 30th, 2003

Casting calls and news items in the film and TV community come in each day here to FilmJerk.com. Amy Lawrence catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks, and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve. Today's call includes notices on "The West Wing," "The Wire, "The Dead Zone" and more!


The Bold and the Beautiful: Twin toddlers and a 5-year-old boy are the newest members of this cast.

Carnivale: Episode 108 has an evil carnival barker stealing away Lobster Boy. Brother Justin is locked up in a mental ward. I am still looking forward to this one. A lot.

Dead Like Me: George (Ellen Muth) has her first affair in the afterlife with a living schizophrenic whose disease allows him to see her. Remember, this is Showtime, there will be afterlife sex!

The Dead Zone: Johnny sees a storm but the locals don’t believe him. Beautiful Toni the meteorologist eventually sees the light-ning.

House Rules: A new show on TBS will have married couples remodeling a house over three months. At the end, America will choose which couple did the best job and they will win their home.

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy is seeking a ballroom dancing transvestite! And, beautiful girls with special talents like sword swallowing and baton twirling!

Lab Rats: Sci Fi Channel continues to court lawsuits with this new show where contestants participate in outrageous science experiments and product tests.

Law and Order: Criminal Intent: An epileptic woman is passing off her illness as clairvoyance and a wealthy woman is so convinced that she wants to gain that power at any cost. Santeria is invoked. I thought this show was classy?

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: In the episode “Tragedy,” David is living the dream, engaged to his rich boss’s daughter. But when his pregnant girlfriend appears, and then disappears, who disappeared her?

Monk: Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man sees Monk investigating the death of the world’s oldest man.

One Life to Live: Wesley is Asa’s new proper British butler (Paul!) and Nigel is not happy about having a butler rival.

Peacemakers: USA is filming this detective show set in 1882. Star Katie is a reporter who works with Marshal Jared Stone and some Pinkerton detectives. Pinkerton is really fun to say.

Reno 911: Comedy Central is spoofing Cops with this improv sketch comedy show.

She Spies: Still filming and adding a new character. Mr. Cross is a James Bond type pulled from the field. He loves his girls, but is always one step ahead of them. And his name is...Charlie.

Strong Medicine: In episode 404 of this Lifetime show, a chef finds out she has leprosy, which ruins her career. I applaud this storyline for at least being original. I mean, when was the last time you heard about lepers!

The West Wing: Episode 22 will bring Judge Sharon Day, an African-American Judge and the Treasury Secretary. Another episode will show young Zoey at 4.

The Wire: Brother Mouzon is an educated black Muslim, never far from his holy books. He never uses street slang, even when he’s killing people. Brother’s a hitman.