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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C.J. Gets a New Man on West Wing

By AmyLawrence

January 13th, 2004

Casting calls and news items in the 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, read news on some more new pilots, stuff on all three editions of "Law & Order" and "Queer as Folk."


Century City: In “Haunting,” a women sees her dead husband, but it’s really a virtual clone he made as an experiment. It’s up to the law to decide if this Data is a real person or not. Also, a man’s mother makes an embarrassing website about her son and he sues.

Crash Course: This pilot for Fox is about the Fleming family, still recovering from the death of Mr. Fleming. Reese is teaching at Columbia, but comes home to be the man of the family and take care of his younger siblings. The series takes place on a small college campus in California.

CSI: Miami: A man is killed in a home “Invasion” but Horatio thinks more is going on than meets the eye.

Grid: This mini-series about counter-terrorism will air on TNT and is set to star Dylan McDermott and Julianna Margulies.

Hack: Olshankly does a favor for Liz by helping a woman find the child her husband took away from her in episode 37.

Hawaii Blue: Danny is the hotshot cop and John is his new partner, just as cocky as Danny. Linh is a beat cop who both men want. This pilot is for NBC.

Home and Hardware: Andrea works for Restoration Hardware and is having an affair with her boss. Her ne’er-do-well brother shows up and changes her life, for the better. Also a pilot for NBC.

JAG: A pilot may have crashed his plane in a suicide attempt and it’s up to Harm to figure it out.

Judging Amy: PLUSHIE ALERT! Episode 15 is called “Werewolves of Hartford” and there will be Blue Bunnies and Babs the Badgers galore. If none of this means anything to you, just google “plushie”.

Las Vegas: Episode 15 is “A Good Day to Die 2." A movie is being filmed at the Montecito and the lead actor dies performing a stunt. Sam must go to war as another casino is stealing her whales.

Law and Order: A veteran whose son is killed in Afghanistan kills a war protester in “Veteran’s Day."

Law and Order: Criminal Intent: Hmmm, "Talented Mr. Ripley" anyone? “Eric” steals a friends identity, pretends to be gay, sells HIV tainted blood and kills to protect himself in “Mis Labeled."

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: An agoraphobic keeps her kids home with her and, basically, they all go nuts in “Home."

My Wife and Kids: In “Illegal Smile,” Michael gets Botox and it freezes his face into a creepy smile, right when he’s trying to talk his way out of a traffic ticket.

Navy NCIS: “My Other Left Foot” is found in a dumpster and is traced back to Marine Thomas Dorn, who died two years before.

NYPD Blue: Episode 14 centers around a gang killing. Rival gang members are brought in for questioning, but the killing was done by a landlord who didn’t want trouble in his building.

Queer as Folk: New character Drew Boyd is a closeted football player.

Venice Beach: This pilot is “unscripted and improvised.” It centers around Ben, a model and veterinary student; his girlfriend, a decorator; Frank, a rich stock broker; Tomas, another male model; Lara, a professional kick boxer and clothing buyer and lots of other rich, beautiful, sexy characters that I’m already sick of.

West Wing: We flash back to Leo’s time in Vietnam in “An Khe” as his old army buddies are in Washington working on a military contract for an aerospace corporation. New recurring character Ben is C.J.’s ex, now back in her life.