Mr. Holland’s Opus

Mr. Holland may not be making the impact he’d like after five months with his students, but what he holds back at school, he makes certain to deliver at home. Mr. Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) remarks solemnly about his wife’s Big News that having a baby is “like falling in love with John Coltrane all over again.” We instantly know what a perfect couple the two are because she seems not only to understand this statement but to be cheered up that it’s the only reason he looked so depressed when she told him to begin with.

We should get something straight before moving on: Mr. Holland never wanted to be a teacher. This guy had dreams. He had this symphony he’d been working on for, oh, what was it? Years, maybe. So, what do you do when the Big Time isn’t panning out for you and your students are all falling asleep with their eyes open at your lectures? You get a pep talk from your wife, Iris (Glenne Headly), and get serious.
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Boiling Point (3-4x juugatsu)

When I think of a film by Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, I think of machine gun fire. The machine gun fire I picture does not, however, come from a gun but from a bouquet of freshly cut birds of paradise.

That’s the sort of action film Kitano makes, though. He combines the minutiae of everyday life, its humor, and sudden bursts of intense violence into simple stories that often very attractively engulf that violence.

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2 Days in the Valley

Director John Herzfeld’s film is about old guys. It’s about guys who knew people in World War II. It’s about guys that respect women. It’s about honor…and other things.

Herzfeld, directing a script he also wrote, interweaves the lives of two cops, an Olympic hopeful, a cold-hearted killer, a to-die-for Swede, a down-on-his-luck pizza-smith, an over-the-hill filmmaker, and some others.

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