by D.W. Lundberg

Thursday, December 23, 2010


A short one this week, as we're currently gearing up for a busy Christmas weekend here at the Lundberg household. Anyway, what better way to update this blog than with a Christmas quiz? We all have our traditions this time of year - food we eat, people we see, movies we watch to help ring in the season. Can you match the titles of these holiday-themed favorites to their poster pieces below? No cheating now. That wouldn't be very festive...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Knight And Day stars Cameron Diaz as a single, solitary Boston gal who falls for a charming stranger on a return flight from Wichita, Kansas. They meet when she bumps into him at the airport – twice, literally. On the plane, they strike up some sparkling conversation. Later, she emerges from the lavatory to find he's killed every passenger on board, including the pilots (actually, he explains, he shot the first pilot who in his death throes turned and shot the other one). He crashes the plane in a cornfield, and the two of them emerge unharmed from the wreckage. Still, she's curiously unfazed – if anything, the fact that this man may in fact be a serial killer only makes him more mysterious... and more attractive. (He did not, after all, try to kill her.) Also, it helps that he's played by Tom Cruise.

You remember Tom Cruise. He used to be kind of a big deal. It was that big, toothy grin of his, the cocky assuredness that made him a star. Audiences ate it up – men, women, it didn't matter. Top Gun. Days Of Thunder. A Few Good Men. The Firm. Mission: Impossible. Jerry Maguire. All $100-million-plus grossers in U.S. box office revenue alone. By 2009, his films totaled over $6.5 billion worldwide. Clearly, the guy could do no wrong. In 1997, Empire magazine even voted him one of the five top movie stars of all time.

Friday, December 10, 2010





Break-ups. Kisses and make-ups. Loves lost and love found. Such are the dilemmas of the Romantic film, which asks us swoon at the insatiable appetites of the human heart. Romance took many forms this decade, from the tragic (Atonement, In The Mood For Love), to the quirky (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Bridget Jones' Diary), to the truly original (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind). More than any other genre, though, Romantic films feel as if they're built entirely out of age-old clichés, with plots so routine (boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy comes to his senses and gets girl back) their endings are never in doubt. But then that's the appeal, isn't it? Because it's not so much the destination that makes all the difference, but the bumps and bruises we earn along the way.

The Top Five:

5. Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003)

Richard Curtis, best known for scripting Notting Hill and Four Weddings And A Funeral, makes his directorial debut with this frothy, multi-character concoction, set in London during the five weeks prior to Christmas. Some of Curtis' first-time flourishes do grate on the nerves, with so many stars – including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley, among others – headlining so many separate plot threads that not everything's bound to stick. The devil, of course, is in the details – how, for instance, the character situations tend to mirror each other (the English horndog who fantasizes about American girls, the American who's settled in England for personal reasons but has no time for relationships... that sort of thing), or its unwavering belief that love does indeed conquer all. And if the climax lays on the sentiment a little thick, well, that's love for you, actually.