6/24/2004 -- We offer a pair of DVD reviews focusing on two wonderful pieces of work: the tension-filled 70s classic, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and the gentle, humorous, The Station Agent. And in light of the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, we take a hard look at the “documentaries” of Michael Moore with, Easy Laughs, Easy Money.

6/14/2004 -- Two new DVD reviews have been posted. We take a look back at the 80s, gay-themed classic, Torch Song Trilogy, and the Oscar-nominated Tom Cruise/Edward Zwick epic, The Last Samurai.

6/10/2004 -- Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's official. You can now reach this wonderful site via www.tailslate.net. This address is just one of several new things you'll be seeing here. Stay tuned for more!

6/3/2004 -- Take a journey into the past. Thousands of years into the past, with the debut review by Kurt Davis of the prehistoric classic, Quest for Fire.

The Day After Tomorrow
New York Minute
The Saddest Music in the World
Mean Girls
13 Going On 30
The Station Agent
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
The Last Samurai
Torch Song Trilogy
Quest for Fire
Rebel Without A Crew
Making Movies
In the Blink of an Eye
The Film Director
Easy Laughs, Easy Money
Diary from the 48-Hour Film Project
Q&A; with Shola Lynch
Past and Present
Ray Harryhausen: An Animation Legend

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DVD Rating:
Movie Rating:
Calendar Girls
Star(s): Helen Mirren, Julie Waters, Linda Bassett, Annette Crosbie, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton
Director: Nigel Cole
Writer(s): Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi
Company: Buena Vista Pictures

Calendar Girls Image by Darisa Diaz

Call me crazy but I love movies about old people. They just seem more interesting, more mature. A person can only stand so many films agonizing about the confusion and reckless fecklessness of youth before reaching the breaking point. Perhaps, that’s why Calendar Girls drew me in with its witty group of English gals, a comedy billed as the female The Full Monty.

I was all set to be impressed by this true story of the members of a Women’s Institute of North Yorkshire. These women pooled their resourcefulness to bare it all for a nude calendar they hoped would raise money for the hospital where one member’s husband was dying of cancer. The true story is fun, sad and brave, everything that the film captures manages to capture only briefly in scenes that depict the real life experiences of the members.

Calendar Girls is at its height when all the fuss is over and the women finally come together to create a beautiful calendar. The calendar is beautiful and artistic. The actresses are stunning and humorous as they overcome their bashfulness to bare it all collectively. It is unfortunate that the height of the film lands right smack in the middle, leaving the rest unbearably dull.

I love British comedies like Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Full Monty and Bridget Jones’s Diary. I could spend hours naming some others. I had hoped to add Calendar Girls to the list. But it is almost too British in a sense. The slang and its inflections are almost wholly inaccessible to American audiences that don’t own a copy of The American-British British-American Dictionary. I found myself debating whether or not to watch the film with subtitles.

After the world is whipped into media frenzy over the calendars, Calendar Girls too quickly becomes more of a judgment about how 15 minutes of fame can go to your head than a lovely tale featuring middle-aged nudity. Helen Mirren and Julie Walters carry the film fantastically but their performances are easy to overlook when the film begins to spiral into sluggishness.

The is sweet and unexpectedly funny at times, but you have to endure the more unfunny times to get to them. The phrase of the day in Calendar Girls is “the last phase is the most glorious.” Unfortunately, the last phase of the film is anything but glorious. Only about 15 minutes of the film is glorious. This is disappointing, as the film runs 108 minutes long.

The featurettes are a mite more captivating than the film. Calendar Girls was obviously fun to work on behind-the-scenes. In “The Naked Truth,” the “girls” behind the real calendar offer insight into their story. Meanwhile, “Creating the Calendar” gives the actresses, production photographer and director the chance to offer theirs.

Darisa Diaz is a native New Yorker with an obsession for film who will watch anything (bad or good) for the sheer thrill of being entertained. She currently works as a freelancer writer and juggles various "admin" jobs to pay the bills. She has also labored long hours at CosmoGIRL! and Seventeen magazine.

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