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PCR # 348  (Vol. 7, No. 47)  This edition is for the week of November 20--26, 2006.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Four stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

Return of the Godfather: Herschell Gordon Lewis  by ED Tucker
"Bobby"  by Mike Smith
Horrorfest Report....Jack Palance Remembered....Robert Altman is Gone....Happy Thanksgiving  by Andy Lalino
A True Master....Now I Guess We'll Never Know....Kosmo, Kosmo....PS....'Tis The Season To Give....Happy Turkey Day.... My Favorite Films, Part 47: "The Wizard of Oz"  by Mike Smith
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The Weinstein Company     
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Joshua Jackson, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy and Sharon Stone
Directed by: Emilio Estevez
Rated: R
Running Time: 2 hours 12 mins

There are several moments in history that people identify with. My parents generation can tell you where they were when the heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Or, later in their lives, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. My son and his friends will always be able to tell you where they were on 9/11. As for me, I can tell you exactly where I was when Robert Kennedy was shot. Asleep. But when news of the shooting broke, my mother woke me up and had me sit up with her, watching the events unfold on television.

June 4, 1968. At the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, the morning begins with a rush. Aside from the usual celebrities, June brides and world travelers, the hotel is scheduled to host this evening the hoped for victory party for Robert F. Kennedy in the California Democratic Primary. Kennedy has said that if he doesn't win the state he will withdraw from the presidential race. The hotel general manager (Macy) is concerned because the kitchen manager (Christian Slater) will not let the kitchen staff off to vote. In another part of the hotel, his wife (Stone) is putting the finishing touches on a soon to be bride's (Lindsay Lohan) hair. In another part of the hotel, her fiance' (Elijah Wood) is worried because they are only getting married to keep him from being sent to Vietnam. Back in the kitchen, Jose' (Freddy Rodriguez) is upset because he has to work a double shift and he has tickets to the Dodger's game that night. Up in her suite, Virginia Fallon (Demi Moore), the night's scheduled entertainment, is arguing with her husband (Emilio Estevez). Down the hall, another couple (Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt) are off to do some shoe shopping.

These are only nine of the twenty two characters whose stories flow seamlessly across the screen. Writer/director Estevez (yes, the kid from "The Breakfast Club," Martin Sheen's son, Charlie's brother) has chosen not to focus on the tragic events of that June night but rather on the lives that were effected by it. And he has assembled a cast to die for. Besides those already mentioned, add Harry Belafonte, Anthony Hopkins, Shia LaBeouf, Heather Graham, Ashton Kutcher and Nick Cannon to the mix and you have probably the best group of actors in one film since, coincidentally, Oliver Stone's "JFK." Estevez takes a long look at a pivotal time in this country's history. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr had been assassinated only two months before and Robert Kennedy was chosen, by blacks and whites alike, to be his successor, in that he would be the leader to bring the races together. In fact, many supporters begin their discussions with the line, 'Now that Dr. King is gone...," as if it is only natural that Kennedy lead in his absence.

Estevez has wisely let news footage of Kennedy represent RFK. No actor could ever project the hope and ideals that Robert Kennedy exuded when he was in a crowd. However, by concentrating on those touched by those hopes and ideals, we are able to see the effect his words had on his supporters. As his brother, Edward, said at his funeral, Robert Kennedy truly was a man who "saw wrong and tried to right it....saw suffering and tried to heal it....saw war and tried to stop it."

Robert Kennedy won the California Primary that night. History will show that he was shot moments after claiming victory, gunned down while walking through the kitchen of the Ambassador. However, with "Bobby," his message continues almost 40 years later.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Bobby"  Four stars

This week's movie review of "Bobby" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2006, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.