November 19 - 25, 2004 • Vol. 24 - No. 47

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Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
—But Our Little Bridget Always has a Reason
to Live on the Edge

by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

The sequel to the 2001 $71.5 million (domestically) and $208.5 million (overseas) grossing blockbuster hit that has been long awaited is finally here. Ladies, Bridget is the British gal you just can't help but love and identify with, in one way or another. The original film about an insecure girl enduring daily embarrassing and humiliating situations ended as a happily ever after fairytale with her surprise knight in shining armor.

The 2004 sequel takes place six weeks after the original ends. It seems that no matter what our little Bridget, played again by Renée Zellweger (Chicago and Cold Mountain) does, whether it is skydiving into a pigpen, sliding off a skylight, arriving late to a formal affair slathered in blusher, or falling off a ski lift, it doesn't seem to make her adorable beau and successful lawyer Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth (Love, Actually and What a Girl Wants), fall out of love with our little darling. However, this time our self-loathing, insecure, cigarette smoking, over-eating, plump, and opinionated Bridget is facing conflicts of class divisions with her honey. This is what finally does break them up, along with her passive aggressive behavior and jealousy. Just when Bridget is at her lowest point and totally depressed, she is once again faced with the flirtatious, irresistible cad and old flame Daniel Cleaver, played by the dashing Hugh Grant (Knotting Hill and About a Boy). Bridget, a TV journalist, is forced to go on assignment to Thailand with Daniel, which is where the story gets off on a different pattern than the original. With his devilish charms, Cleaver once again adds to the confusion of our little damsel in distress. Fortunately, she is reminded, dead on, of Daniel's true colors before she once again falls into his web. After finishing their assignment, when Bridget is about to board the airplane for London, she innocently gets busted for drug possession. (Something her girlfriend unknowingly gave her to put into her suitcase). She is thrown into a filthy prison full of female hookers and junkies. Poor little lassie…That's all we can reveal for now. Go have fun and see if Bridget finally has a happily ever after.

The Blonde: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was like the original Bridget Jones meets “I Love Lucy.” The most amazing thing about this film, in my opinion, is how Renée gains weight and loses it and gains it again and loses it to make her character of the film real. I don't think I would do that. In fact, I KNOW I wouldn't! That is SUCH a risk for a woman. I admire her for that commitment. I also think she captures a very authentic cockney accent. I must tell you readers that I could NOT WAIT for this film. I was so excited to see it, as I loved the first Bridget Jones film with a passion. I loved the character so much because all of us women feel or go through what Bridget did, in some way. After all, everyone has insecurities of some sort or fashion. Even though I did enjoy this film and found myself smiling during most of it, I don't think that it achieved all of the genius, luster and creativity that the original displayed.

The Maven: Many movie critics are claiming that this sequel doesn't have the punch that the first movie did. Well, I never saw the first one, so I am in the unique position of giving a completely unbiased opinion. The main character is adorable, forthright, and insecure as most of us are. My only criticism is that Bridget /Renee could have used a tad more makeup. I find it hard to believe that a British News Reporter (minor one at that) would not indulge in some face powder and lip gloss.

The Blonde: My, my, my with a statement such as that, you are missing the whole point of this character. That is who she is, plain yet adorable and lovable.

The Maven: I understand she was supposed to be frumpy, but even frumpy chicks use some embellishments.

The Blonde: Well, you oughta know!! MEOW, MEOW!!! Moving on, I am not so sure her friends were really friends at all. They egged her on to unnecessary jealousy and one betrayed her unforgivably.

The Maven: I agree! At least I would have brought you toothpaste, EVEN AFTER THE FRUMPY REMARK!  I've always enjoyed Colin Firth, but I was a bit disappointed that he had so little to do. Unfortunately, writing nice guys with a personality is a talent few screenwriters seem able to do.

The Blonde: I don't agree…Hey, what about Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle? Can I state that I simply adore Hugh Grant?! He is sexy, charming, a great actor, has a great sense of humor, and is the total package. I also think that Renée is an amazing, versatile, believable actress. She has the uncanny rare talent and ability to do drama, comedy, and musicals. She is a star.

The Maven: I rate this film a C- for mildly amusing comedy, not because any of the actors were bad, just some weak writing and directing.

The Blonde: Again, I disagree! Maybe because I love the Bridget character so much. I hope we all find a man that “loves us just the way we are,” as Bridget does. By the way, I can't wait to go buy the soundtrack to this film. Great music! Although the first Bridget was obviously better, I still had a wonderful ride watching this one. I highly recommend it. Ladies, go out to lunch with a group of friends and then go see this film for a delightful afternoon of fun. I rate Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason a B. For munchies, EAT, EAT AND EAT while you're hanging out with Bridget Jones.

 After the Sunset—Sadly, Some Sunsets and
Some Movies Aren’t What they are Cracked Up to Be

After the Sunset opens with an outrageously impossible heist, a would-be final caper for two brilliant, professional, (not to mention gorgeous) jewel thieves. Max Burdett, played by Pierce Brosnan (James Bond and Laws of Attraction) and his accomplice and lover Lola Cirillo, portrayed by Salma Hayek (Frida and Fools Rush In) have now successfully stolen two of the three Napoleon diamonds which are among the most valuable and rare gems on Earth. (Why bother with anything less?) Despite the fact that the diamonds are being protected by an army of cops and guards along with FBI agent Stan Lloyd, played by Woody Harrelson (“Cheers” and People Versus Larry Flint), they get away with the crime. (Did you doubt it for a second?) Lloyd has been on Burdett's trail for seven years. He’s obsessed and more than anxious to bring him to justice. Our clever master criminals, who were fortunate enough to escape death, become enticed into an early retirement. They disappear and abandon their lives of crime to take up residence on a paradise, idyllic island in the Bahamas.

For the next six months or so, our love-birds live the good-ole life and enjoy themselves off their ill-gotten fortune. Unfortunately for Lola, walking the beach, lobster dinners, snorkeling, relaxing and watching one too many sunsets can make any man bored to tears, no less our handsome hunk of a thief. Let us not forget the fact that all the pressure put upon him by Lola to get married would send any devout bachelor back to crime! (Can ya blame her, look at the guy?!) Max begins to feel like a prisoner and is eager to pull one more score.(stealing that is). As luck would have it, Max hears that a cruise ship will be displaying the third Napoleon Diamond and it is headed his way. (What a coincidence?)
The plot thickens when our plotting FBI agent Lloyd brings a Paradise Island police detective named Sophie, played by Naomi Harris, along for the ride to hopefully catch the dynamic duo red-handed. Use your most NON-VIVID imagination to guess the ending!

The Blonde: After the Sunset was like “Remington Steele” meets James Bond meets Laws of Attraction, meets The Big Bounce meets The Thomas Crown Affair all meets up with The Pink Panther. I ask you, Maven, does anyone need a diamond that big” I mean honestly. I do declare it was even too big for me. Well maybe not me, I could manage, but for the normal person.

The Maven: Well, at least you realize you're NOT normal! As for the film, all I can say is if you love the Caribbean, amazing female bodies, outlandish heists and characters with very little substance, go see this film.

The Blonde: What are you talking about? If Brosnan's body had any more substance, I couldn't have handled it!

The Maven: His character, you blonde!


The Maven: Speaking of bodies, Salma's body is perfect. Not one flaw could be seen! Believe me, I looked!

The Blonde: Well, you know we both have the same trainer…

The Maven: Well, it's obvious he spends more time on her!


The Maven: Pierce was a little scruffy but still as handsome as ever. If you're wondering why I am only mentioning the stars’ looks, it's because that was what stood out the most about this movie. Although the two actors did have sexual chemistry, it totally paled in comparison to the chemistry you saw with Renee Russo and Pierce in The Thomas Crown Affair.

The Blonde: Well, you haven't seen chemistry until you've seen Pierce with me, honey…  I must say, even at times when the movie dragged a bit, it was a pleasure just looking at these two MORE THAN BEAUTIFUL people.  Well to be perfectly honest, it was much more of a pleasure looking at Pierce than “HER”…  Ya know, Salma… It's funny how you seem to root for the bad guy even more when he's so handsome! I am really not much of a Woody fan, so it's hard to even talk too much about him either way.

The Maven: Woody Harrelson's character had the most definition. I understood the WHY of his craziness. I even laughed with him.

The Blonde:  Speaking of Jane Fonda… She is making her comeback debut this coming May in the film Monster in Laws with J-Lo… Can't wait!

The Maven: How do you get Jane Fonda from Woody Harrelson? Never mind. The story was weak. I still don't know what makes Brosnan's Max tick? I think he liked to steal diamonds, but I'm not really sure that was his motivation.

The Blonde: Who cares… My only motivation for even seeing this film in the first place was Brosnan's looks.

The Maven: I suggest you go rent the movie Rough Cut with Burt Reynolds or The Thomas Crown Affair if you want to enjoy heist movies. However, if you like Caribbean views and Selma's magnificent body, go ahead and catch After the Sunset before the sunsets at a discount. I rate it a C-.

The Blonde: Or if you want to see Brosnan's magnificent body!!  I think this story was done so many times before and better.  I rate it a C- - and suggest a ton of your favorite candy to keep you from falling asleep. Gotta run, have a date with my trainer.

20th Anniversary of the Israel Film Festival
Celebrates Dynamic Israeli Cinema

Israel Film Festival Founder and Executive Director Meir Fenigstein recently announced the lineup of over 28 new feature films, documentaries, and TV dramas to be screened during the Festival in Miami, which runs December 1-9, 2004 at the Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema, 163rd Street, North Miami Beach. Recognized for showcasing the best of Israeli cinema, the Festival continues to build on its reputation with new feature films and provocative television dramas, as well as intriguing documentaries and films exhibiting Israel’s cultural, religious, and political diversity. Festival guests include directors, producers, and stars who will discuss their work and conduct Q&A sessions after their film screenings.

“We are delighted that Miami will once again host the Israel Film Festival,” said Fenigstein.  “The Festival offers American audiences a broader view of Israel beyond the harsh news headlines, and a unique opportunity to experience Israel’s rich cultural and social diversity through the eyes of the country’s finest filmmakers. We are extremely pleased with the caliber and diversity of the work included in this year’s program—there is truly something for everyone, including drama, comedy, suspense, love stories, and documentaries.”

Opening Gala and Screening
The Festival opens with the award-winning smash hit Turn Left at the End of the World, which has broken all box office records in Israel since its release only four months ago. Directed by the renowned Avi Nesher, recipient of the 2004 IFF Cinematic Award, the film takes place in a tiny Israeli village in the late sixties, where two immigrant families—one from Morocco and the other from India—are forced to live together as neighbors and build a sense of identity. Meanwhile, the teenage daughters of both families become friends, and their youth and desire for freedom help them overcome prejudices.
Opening Night Gala festivities include an awards ceremony, which will be followed by a reception with the honorees, Israeli filmmakers, stars, and other dignitaries. Special appearances include: Liraz Charhi, star of the film Turn Left at the End of the World; Tamar Levi Elder, star of the film Henry’s Dream; and Dudi Bergman, Director of The Ringworm Children. 

Festival Highlights
Selections this year include the U.S. premiere of the award-winning, closing night film, Nina’s Tragedies, which won Best Film and Best Screenplay at the 2003 Jerusalem International Film Festival, 11 Israeli Film Academy Prizes (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay), and is the first Israeli film to be accepted to the Sundance Film Festival (2004). Written and directed by Savi Gabizon, Nina’s Tragedies is told through the eyes of a sensitive teenage boy who moves in with his beautiful Aunt Nina after the death of her husband, and shows the unpredictable intrigues of adults as they stumble through excruciating loss, mind-blowing sex, bizarre coincidence, mortal illness, and even birth. A rare film, it achieves a lusciously paradoxical “happy-sad” state. 

Another highlight of this year’s festival is Walk on Water, an edgy, stylized, highly entertaining film by one of Israel’s top directors, Eytan Fox. Walk on Water is the story of a rigid, homophobic Israeli intelligence agent who has a crisis of consciousness after he befriends the frank, sensitive, gay grandson of the ex-Nazi officer he is assigned to track down. The film has received numerous awards, such as the Official Selection of the Toronto International Film Festival 2004, and the opening film for the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival 2004. Other films featured include: One Small Step (directed by Shahar Segal), No Longer 17 (Isaac Zepel Yeshurun), Life is Life (Michael Bat-Adam), Columbian Love (Shay Kanot), and Henry’s Dream (Eitan Green). 

Other documentaries include: Channels of Rage (directed by Anat Halachmi and winner of the 2004 IFF Audience Choice Award in New York and Los Angeles), Good Vibes (Avner Benaim), My 100 Children (Amalia Margolin and Oshra Schwartz), Columbia: The Tragic Loss (Naftaly Gliksberg), Oriental (Avi Nesher), The Ringworm Children (David Belhassen and Asher Hemias), and Do They Catch Children Too? (Hedva Galili-Smolinksy). Television dramas featured include: Café Tales (directed by Amit Leor), Insight (directed by Eyal Halfon, Awarded Best Israeli Film in Los Angeles and New York), Hallelujah (Daniel Syrkin), Valley of Dreams (Omri Givon), A Silence of the Sirens (Ori Inbar), Purim (Lavi Ben Gal), Pretty Yardena (Yuval Granot), Roots of Rage (Danny Raisfeld), and Jerusalem Brew (Jacob Goldwasser and Nir Bergman).

About the Israel Film Festival
Presented by the IsraFest Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the mission of the Israel Film Festival is to promote Israeli culture, teach tolerance, and provide an intercultural exchange through the powerful medium of film. Since its inception by Founder and Executive Director Meir Fenigstein in 1984, the Festival has presented more than 600 films and 300 filmmakers and stars to more than 550,000 American filmgoers, making the Festival the largest showcase of Israeli films in the United States. The 20th anniversary of the festival kicked off amid rave reviews in Los Angeles in April and continued to sell-out crowds in New York. Currently the festival is in Chicago, with Miami being its final stop.
The Festival expands the audience for Israeli films by highlighting Israel’s cinematic talent and increases the opportunities for distribution of Israeli films in the United States. The Festival also brings together American and Israeli film professionals, promotes Israel as a film location, and facilitates co-productions. 

Ticket Information
All screenings take place at the Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema, 3701 NE 163rd Street (Intracoastal Mall), North Miami Beach. General Admission Ticket Prices: Adults $9. All matinee performances (before 6pm, weekdays) $7. Seniors, students, and children $7 all performances. Opening Night Gala: $50. Festival Pass: $36, good for five films. 

Advance tickets are on sale at the Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema box office, 305-949-0064. For tickets by credit card, special group rates, or more information, please call Israfest at 1-877-966-5566. For a complete schedule of films or to purchase tickets online, please visit
 1. Netta Garti and Liraz Charhi in Turn Left at the End of the World, directed by Avi Nesher

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