Peter Fraser


  • When viewing a bit of summer fun like Pirates of the Caribbean, one ought to avoid the trap of over thinking, as it may lead to a muddle. What can you really say about a film that is designed, in part at least, to promote a theme park ride? Or for that matter, how do […]

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  • Seabiscuit

    This We All Once Believed: Seabiscuit When we see families in Gary Ross’ nostalgic Seabiscuit, the parents care about one another, the children seem happy, and conflicts revolve around the cosmic tragedies – death, disability, financial loss. The main narrative line of the story follows four individuals stripped of the security and love of their […]

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  • The Imaginarium of Dr. Gilliam

    Watching Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassium is a bit like a date in the Museum of Modern Art without a guide book or headset. Just when you think you have a grasp on the intention behind one canvas, your companion pulls you toward another, then another, and another, until all whirl together like faces in […]

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  • The Christmas Bunny

    Becoming Real in The Christmas Bunny  Having just watched Tom Seidman’s The Christmas Bunny (2010) for the first time, my thoughts have drifted back to the vignettes that filled the screens for those of us born before the early 1960s. The Christmas Bunny is a throwback to the television age when each episode of Gunsmoke or Bonanza told a human story about surviving with […]

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  • The Counterfeiters

    There is an awful predictability to films dealing with the Holocaust, but Stefan Ruzowitsky’s The Counterfeiters (2007) manages to mute those elements and deliver a very human story that transcends place and convention, somewhat akin to The Book Thief (2013) or Life Is Beautiful (1997). The Counterfeiters is the tale of a man’s journey through cynical pragmatism to an affirmation of life and […]

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  • The Accountant 

    The Accountant as Hero Here we offer a toast to the good, old-fashioned B-film. The day has been long and you want to relax and watch something that simply entertains, that takes your hand and teases you into a world where the women are all beautiful and the men know how to handle a bad guy. […]

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  • A Glimpse into the Other Camp: Sergey Mokritski‘s: Battle of Sevastopol In the new Cold War that partisan American propagandists have been fomenting the past few years, Russia and Vladimir Putin have taken on an unreality in the popular consciousness akin to the Empire and Darth Vader. The media has morphed them into the opposition […]

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  • My film students first told me about it. Miramax will be coming out in October with a remake of the great Japanese film Shall We Dance (1996). Worse yet, it will star Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, and Stanley Tucci in the role of the beloved character, Mr. Aoki. When the students told me, I was tempted […]

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  • Nearly all good films build around engaging stories with memorable characters. Thus, Hollywood and Independent filmmakers have often turned to novels for raw material. With a novel, you at least know that you start with something that works. But, the novel is just a starting place – for as certainly as a great novel like A […]

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  • Two film scripts sit on my desk. One is from a writer and director in Colorado, a script that Regent University just optioned and will begin to shoot this May on a two-million-dollar budget. The other shows promise but needs a major revision before any producer will consider it seriously. That makes this second effort, […]

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