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


With Pink Slips for Series Now Arriving, It's In with the New!

By AmyLawrence

November 6th, 2003

Casting calls and news items in the TV community come in each day here to Amy Lawrence catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks, and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve. Today we've got a possible "Dark Shadows" remake, a new Jonathon Katz animated project, teens who think about "Doing It," and stuff on shows we know like "Las Vegas," "Enterprise," "The Shield" and more.

10-8: In “Wild Bunch”, the guys must scare a 15-year-old banger straight.

All My Children: Anita Santos’ ex-husband Bobby Warner returns to Pine Valley.

Angel: The untitled episode 11, written by Steve S. DeKnight and directed by Jefferson Kibbee, seems to focuses on a woman named Dana, a mental patient who has been institutionalized from the age of 10 following a traumatic experience. This character, which is listed as a major guest role, is having violent outbursts and Angel brings in a creepy pyschic to find out what her deal is.

Bold and the Beautiful: Ken and Thomas are new teens for the soap.

Brand X: This new show for FX is billed as Consumer Reports meets "Jackass." And it has bikini girls who get pelted with water balloons.

CSI: A hung jury ends up in worse states when a juror ends up dead. A jealous woman turns up to report a murder--that happened three years previously. Let’s all sigh with relief that there are no plushies in “The Giving Tree”.

Deadwood: HBO is re-shooting some scenes from the pilot. Not a good sign.

Doing It: ABC is casting this pilot, based on the British novel by Melvin Burgess. It’s about a group of 16 year old kids who think about doing it a lot. It’s a kiddie "Coupling."

Empire: ABC is jumping on the gladiator bandwagon with this mini-series. After Julius is murdered, loyal servant and ex-gladiator Tyrannus must protect Octavius Caeser from the same fate.

Enterprise: The crew meets up with an Andorian vessel in episode 65, “Proving Ground."

Everybody Loves Raymond: Debra gets a job a Frank’s Lodge, and those old men just love her.

Fat Show: I am not making this up, but only typing it in exactly as I see it. This pilot for VH1 is “a hilarious weekly show that is…the "Man Show" meets the "Daily Show." Never putting down fat people, but embracing/celebrating the fatter side of life and making viewers aware that fat is here to stay.”

Hope and Faith: Hope has to attend anger management classes after she freaks out at her kid’s basketball game.

JAG: It’s a "JAG" Christmas when a jazz singer going to entertain the troops hooks up with Commander Turner, and Harm works to gain custody of Mattie Grace Johnson.

Karen Sisco: Josie Boyle is an 11-year-old street urchin and “No One’s Girl." Why won't ABC give this series a full-season order?

King of Queens: They are re-casting Kirby and Major, Deacon’s sons.

Las Vegas: Episode 10 has Mike gambling again to help out a friend from college who is in with a loan shark. Also, the magician’s wife really disappears during their act, and the Swizzle Stick convention turns ugly when President Bush’s swizzle stick gets stolen.

Law and Order: In “Ill-Conceived," a sweatshop owner whose employees are mostly immigrants, has a surrogate mother business on the side. When one of the mother has second thoughts, she dies trying to end her pregnancy and exposes the business.

Law and Order Criminal Intent: It’s a very special all-geek episode when a software exec kills a gamer and the only folks who can help are other gamers and hackers. It’s titled “F.P.S.," which I don’t even understand. (Editor's note: we have been notified by SpoilerSlayer that the episode title refers to "frames per second," a common term in first-person shooter video games like "Doom," "Quake," or "Halo.")

Law and Order Special Victims Unit: In “Shaken," a baby is brain damaged but by whom? The mom, or one of the nannies?

Line of Fire: Todd investigates a senator’s involvement in a lynching, and Bambi tries to hire Roy to kill a man in “Strange Fruit." In “Born to Run," Paige and Amiel search for a coyote who is holding for ransom the immigrants he is smuggling to the states, making their families pay extra for their return.

Lyon’s Den: This may never be filmed, since the show’s future is uncertain, but in “Endgame," a university president is accused of violating an ethics clause when she meets with her fugitive brother. They were casting this one as of Monday.

A Minute with Sam Hooper: Sam must try and get a pie recipe from a dying woman in this waste of Norm McDonald’s time.

Monk: "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," but only undercover.

Navy NCIS: A terrorist charms everyone until new evidence proves he’s a killer in “Minimum Security.”

One Tree Hill: Stella is a new kid on the block. She’s a foster child with an artistic streak who stands up to Petra.

The Shield: Shane investigates a brutal gay-bashing case. Tommy’s family is murdered and Vic and Julien “Posse Up” to find the killers.

Tru Calling:In “Reunion”, Tru’s high school “Heather” is still stirring up trouble.

Untitled Katz/Snyder Pilot: Jonathan Katz and Tom Snyder are working on a pilot about a family who has to deal with “Uncle Ira” (Katz) moving in with them. Did I mention that this is animated?

Untitled Vampire Project: John Wells is working on this pilot, that may be a new version of “Dark Shadows.” Biggest clues: Welles' co-executive producer is Dan Curtis, a producer and director on both the original 1960s show and its 1990s revival, and The lead vamp is named "Barnabas," a seductive, dangerous, complex, athletic, flawed, timeless and handsome man who will lead us into another world. Fox has originally ordered a pilot in 2002 that went nowhere-- is a "Dark Shadows" revitalization on the way?

Wanda at Large: The holiday episode centers on a tabloid talk show whose guests are a modern verson of the holy family.

Without a Trace: Jason Horton is a husband and soon to be dad. When he disappears affair with his boss Alan is exposed in “Coming Home."