JACK GOES CONFIDENTIAL: My Three Picks for President’s Weekend

  First – and citywide – the action-thriller Unknown starring Hollywood’s "new Harrison Ford," Liam Neeson.

Here, he plays American botanist scientist Dr. Martin Harris who, with his wife (played by January Jones), are flying to Berlin to address an international biotech conference at the swank Hotel Adlon.

But when he accidentially leaves his briefcase at Tegel airport, he hails a cab to take him back to the arrival hall to find his lost luggage. Oops,then there’s an accident! The cab ends up in the Spree river leaving Neeson hospitalized in a coma.

When he eventually returns to the hotel his wife doesn’t recognize him. Making matters worse, there’s a new Dr. Martin Harris alongside the Mrs.!

What’s going on here? Amnesia? Paranoia? Identity theft?

And why is he being hunted by a mysterious assassin?

To say that he’s really pissed off would be putting it mildly as Neeson now plunges head-long into this deadly mystery while questioning his sanity and identity. All the while, leaving us wondering who really IS Dr. Martin Harris?

After ongoing action and confrontations in the snowy city and plenty of zigging and zagging throughout Berlin, there’s quite a twist ending to all of this that I didn’t see coming.

Nicely rounding out the international cast are Diane Kruger, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz and Frank Langella.

Unknown – raising 3 out of 5 intriguing fingers.


My other two picks open as limited engagements and may add additional theatres in coming weeks.

The first stars Ed Helms as a naive small-town Wisconsin insurance agent heading to Cedar Rapids for a regional insurance convention in hopes of winning the prestigious Two Diamonds award for his boss’s agency.

That’s where hotshot agent John C. Riley takes him under his wing and shows him how the big boys play.

Very entertaining and much more to it than you may think!

Add the fine supporting performances of Anne Heche, Mike O’Malley, Stephen Root and Sigourney Weaver and you’ve got yourself a very entertaining 1-1/2 hours at the movies.

3-1/2 fingers for Cedar Rapids


The third is Barney’s Version, for which Paul Giamatti recently won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in the comedy category.

He plays a schlocky TV producer who, during his wedding reception with his second wife, meets the girl of his dreams and promptly pursues her.

There’s boozing, womanizing and everything in between. And, he always has his father to count on, played by Dustin Hoffman.

As one acquaintance tells Barney: "You screwed over everyone you ever knew or cared for."

This film takes us through decades of Barney’s doing and undoings with…

Nope. Not going to tell you.

Hint: It produced a touch of moisture in my left eye.

Barney’s Version co-stars Rosamund Pike and Minnie Driver. A new 4-finger, limited engagement this weekend in Kansas City.


JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES–Friday mornings on KMBZ / KUDL / and KXTR.
And anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 113.

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4 Responses to JACK GOES CONFIDENTIAL: My Three Picks for President’s Weekend

  1. bschloz says:

    Andy Bernard
    Is a funny guy…might have to catch Cedar Rapids this weekend.

    Anybody watching Shamless on cable?…..Bill Macy is killing it. Great TV

  2. Tracy Thomas says:

    here’s to my hometown, Cedar Rapids!
    Thanks, Jack–you save us all alot of time by previewing all these. Otherwise, I guess we’d stay home on President’s Weekend and read histories of Abe Lincoln.

    Now one mini-rant, courtesy of my cousin Eric back there in Cedar Rapids. The film was not shot there. Bummer. Guess the Iowa Film Commission might lose its funding for blowing that one, huh.

    And with your comment about another film bringing a tear to your left eye, I guess that’s your confession to being a closet leftie, eh? If not, I know a great ophthamologist…

    Question: is this Sat. the one where our hometown film boy, Paul Rudd, hosts Saturday Night Live, with the featured musician being Paul McCartney?! How great is that? Can you contact Rudd for any rehearsal stories?? I had a private lunch at a picnic table with Paul McCartney in the Hamptons two summers ago–he sang to me twice, and hugged me when I stood to leave. A perfectly lovely man.

  3. gene says:

    I live up north and really want to see ‘Cedar Rapids’ . Why is it only playing in Johnson County theatres. What do these film folks always screw us?

  4. Tracy Thomas says:

    My bad. The Paul/Paul SNL was a re-run last night.
    But still fun.

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