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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Old Favorites and a job for Joss Whedon

By AmyLawrence

May 29th, 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 the season finale of Six Feet Under, a bit about Nip/Tuck and, as always, stuff on some L & O's


It’s a bittersweet time of year for TV lovers. Yes, the networks are releasing their fall schedules and we get to see which of our faves “on the bubble” of cancellation get a reprieve. Fox is giving us another season of Arrested Development and Tru Calling, for better and worse. And we get two more years of Scrubs!

In the Season Finale of Six Feet Under, Ruth meets George’s daughter Maggie, a lovely woman who Ruth adores. George has daydreams of a friend from the 1950’s, and, our death may come from an elevator incident.

Nip/Tuck’s eighth episode this season is named for “Agatha Ripp,” a prostitute who may have stigmata. A nun comes in for an eyelift. And, a woman who’s child is born with a tail wants an exorcism, but her husband just wants the tail removed. Also, Liz may be having trouble with her pregnancy.

Law and Order: Criminal Intent is filming season four’s “Eosphoros,” in which April is caught between her Atheist grandmother and born again father. April is often lost in the shuffle, and stages her own kidnapping for attention, but it goes terribly awry.

There’s a new crime boss on One Life to Live. Jaime Padilla takes over the family business after the death of the former leader.

Why do I always want to say Law and Order: SUV instead of Law and Order: SVU? Anyway, in “Outcry,” Tandi is a high school kid at a summer program on a college campus. She goes missing and is found bound and probably raped in an empty dorm room. But, she may have staged the whole thing to cover up going to a drunken college ROTC party instead of doing her homework.

I’ve never watched the show, but I *love* reading about Strong Medicine. In episode six of this season, Caroline has a rare fatal disease, but her sense of humor keeps her going until the end. Her sister doesn’t appreciate all the jokes until Caroline is gone. Lori has five breast surgeries because she wants the girls to look perfect. When the surgeon refuses to do any more work, Lori retaliates--with a scalpel of her own.

The fourth episode of Showtime’s new series Huff is called “Flashpants.” That’s all you really need to know.

Family Guy is back, and sound-alike actors for Mel Gibson, Jim Cavaziel, Matt LeBlanc (“How you doin’?”) and Dick Cheney, for what sounds like the craziest “The Passion of the Christ” spoof yet.

Laura Harris gets a love interest in Showtime’s Dead Like Me. He’s a reality show producer with a dark and violent side.

And, have we marveled that the WB is bringing back not only “Lost in Space” with Doug Petrie’s and John Woo’s Robinsons: Lost in Space but Dark Shadows as well? Dark Shadows has a pretty classy pedigree for the WB, being produced by John Wells and P.J. Hogan among others, but raise your hand if you think this is the perfect project for Joss Whedon. It’s campy and vampy and Joss’s flair for dialogue would be just the thing to bring this show into the 21st Century. Joss my love, I’m very happy about the “Serenity” movie, but I need you in my house every week so if not this, then find a TV project, please.