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Coolhand Jones

Coolhand Jones
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
January 26
Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26
LDR Entertainment
I was born in a log cabin in Walla Walla, Wash. I won the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee at age 10, and the World Series of Poker at 15. After inventing Pizza Rolls, I tried my luck in the Internet boom of the '90s. Sadly, there was no real need for on-demand futon upholstery. After going bankrupt, I successfully graduated from Marquette University with a degree in journalism. I have held positions as a chimney sweep, international man of mystery, Elvis impersonator, and original gangsta. In my spare time, I enjoy full-scale re-enactments of the War of 1812; collecting potato chips that resemble 20th century magicians; distilling vinegar; interstate racing - Cannonball Run style; spelunking in the caves of Borneo, and taunting the Swiss. I also believe it's entirely possible that I’m the sole heir to the Jim Morrison estate. I vehemently deny rumors linking him to It-Girl Pia Zadora and I am looking forward to my impending eating disorder that will couple my obnoxiously, overbearing fame - which will be immediately followed by my “E! True Hollywood Story.” I also like bunny rabbits.


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JULY 11, 2010 2:53PM

250 Movies of the 2000s – 226) Finding Neverland

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Editor’s Note: We’re counting down the best films of the 2000s decade from 250 all the way to 1. A new film will be added every few days for your reading pleasure. Please be sure to check this blog for other entries. Thanks – MGMT 

2004 – Directed by Marc Forster; Written by: David Magee; Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell, Dustin Hoffman, Kelly MacDonald, and Freddy Highmore 

Full disclosure here: I happen to think that “Peter Pan” is simply the best story ever told, and my favorite place on Earth is the Pan statute in London’s Hyde Park across from J.M. Barrie’s old house. If you’ve seen today’s film, you know where I’m going with this. 

Depp stars as the real-life author at the turn of the twentieth century. After a play of Barrie’s flops dreadfully, he is need of some inspiration. He doesn’t have to look far, right next door lives a house full of children and their widowed mother. Over a course of month’s Barrie becomes somewhat of a foster parent to the children, spending long days in Hyde Park playing imaginative games. Over time, these games turn to stories, and Barrie creates one of the most indelible characters of all time in Peter Pan, the boy who doesn’t want to grow up. 

The drama comes from three sources – the meddling high society that can’t explain away Barrie’s infatuation with the family, a growing sickness in the mother that can’t be avoided, and Barrie’s own wife who becomes increasingly more jealous of Barrie’s “misspent” time. Through his wild imagination, we begin to see what the true inspiration behind the original play is. Forster directs the film with a sense of wonder and magic (because Barrie did the same with his story), at one point, these lines become so blurred the viewer isn’t really sure what is real and what is imagined. But then again, I suppose that’s the point. 

Depp gives perhaps his most restrained and nuanced performance of his career (a role for which he was nominated for), and the Academy also saw fit to give the movie a Best Picture nomination as well. Not quite a family film, not quite a biopic – “Finding Neverland” is the rarest of things, a unique vision peppered generously with a bit of magic, too. 

The film doesn’t necessarily advance the medium by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s time well spent and a good way to learn more about Barrie and a boy named Pan. Check it out! 

Overall grade: B+ 

Movie #225 tease: inebriated fisticuffs & infatuation 

227) American Gangster

228) Slumdog Millionaire

229) Crash

230) Bad Santa

231) Apocalypto

232) The Wackness

233) Talk to Me

234) Changeling

235) Inside Man

236) Hot Rod

237) Miami Vice

238) Pirate Radio

239) School of Rock

240) Little Miss Sunshine

241) X-Men

242) Red Eye

243) The Good Girl

244) Wet Hot American Summer

245) Bandits

246) My Blueberry Nights

247) Severance

248) Spanglish

249) The Italian Job

250) Laurel Canyon  

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