Volume 75, Number 29 | December 7 - 13, 2005

Koch On Film

By Ed Koch

“Walk the Line” (-)

Believe me, notwithstanding that this movie about the life of Johnny Cash has received great acclaim, it is a bomb and a waste of your time.

Cash, who died in 2003, lived a life very similar to that of Ray Charles as depicted in the film, “Ray.” Both southern men experienced great trauma as youngsters. Ray lost his eyesight, and Johnny lost his older brother in an accident for which he blamed himself and for which his father never forgave him. Also, though the two men were enormously successful musicians, they both had relationships with numerous women and serious addictions to drugs and alcohol.

Jamie Foxx received an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles. You can be sure that Joaquin Phoenix will not be receiving any awards for his role as Cash. While Foxx lip-synched the music, Phoenix actually sings in the film, but his voice is not as good as mine when I’m singing in top form in the shower nor is it at all reminiscent of Cash’s voice. Reese Witherspoon, who plays Cash’s wife June, steals the picture with her fine acting, but stealing this picture is stealing the glitter rather than the gold. Stay away.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (-)

I drank from the goblet and was bored and felt nauseated. Yes, I know that the Harry Potter books and movies have made billions, and I am going against the popular mood of critics and audiences, but I often walk to the beat of a different drummer.

Anyone who takes a child six to ten years of age to see this movie is making a big mistake. It contains a murder and a number of frightening scenes to which children should not be subject. Since I have not read the book on which the film is based, I must admit that I did not understand all that took place. Two mysteries to me at the end were a flying swan carriage and a great sailing ship. If you know, please tell me their significance and which of the characters were on them.

In view of my negative feelings about this film, it would be foolish to mention all the actors and their roles. I will say that one of the characters looked a lot like Imogene Coca which reminded me of the Sid Caesar television show. Now that was a program that provided chapters of extraordinary entertainment.

I have only seen one other film in this series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” which I also reviewed negatively. I don’t intend to see another one.

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