by April 16, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,119 0

Mary Burgan, Borderstan Movie Fan, borderstan.comFrom Mary Burgan

From the popular success of The King’s Speech, it seems that everyone wants to see a feel-good movie in these days of wrath and doom. It’s not that we members of the Borderstan community are threatened with government shutdowns, although we are. It’s more that the threat of shutdown arises from a radical distrust of how institutions work.

That distrust arises from our current experience of failure everywhere — in the environment, in culture, and especially in the relationships among generations. The old have money enough to begin to die on. The young are largely mute about the anxieties they suffer either from over-protective parents or from parents who don’t care at all. And those in the middle, that bridge generation between the two, worry about their responsibilities on either side.

That’s why Win Win (the American movie, not the Dutch Win/Win on view this weekend at the DC Filmfest) attracts a large and happy-to-be-there audience. It is about an ordinary man beset with the problems of supporting a family in contemporary America. He is essentially a good man, trying to run a small law practice, pay the health insurance, and do as well as he can for his clients — who seem mainly to be the elderly who have been left behind. He also coaches high school wrestling on the side.


by April 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm 6,772 1 Comment

Borderstan Movie Fan movie reviews Mary Burganby Mary Burgan

Mary the Borderstan Movie Fan’s column on movies runs every two weeks. She is a retired professor of English and association executive. Mary’s previous reviews are listed at the end of this post.

I simply haven’t had time to go to a lot of movies recently. But I have seen two interesting movies in the past couple of weeks, an I’ll report on them. Both were visually adventurous, and both were interesting, though I would recommend only one as a must-see movie.

The first of the films was Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I hesitated to commit to seeing this film because I’m not a fan of the always morbid Burton, and I have grown tired of the simpering Johnny Depp cavorting around as a pirate. I can only stomach that beautiful specimen of tragic male ego in small doses, and the previews showing him in a red wig, gap teeth, and glaring eyes outlined in red were not inviting.

Well, Depp was better than I expected, and so was the film. There are other brighter and wittier Alice films, though I haven’t had time to review them for this blog entry. And I would recommend reviewing Lewis Carroll’s two children’s books–Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass–before seeing the Burton version, which blends the one with the other. Actually, it lifts characters and occasionally names and phrases, but this “based on” is based like a balloon with a mile-long string. (more…)

by September 16, 2009 at 5:00 am 2,595 8 Comments

We welcome a new weekly contributor to Borderstan. Mary Burgan is the Borderstan Movie Fan and she will offer up her “totally subjective advice” about what movies you should rent. Burgan is a retired association executive and professor of English. She and her husband live in Borderstan.mattyillini

By Mary Burgan

Stumped at Blockbuster? At the end of your queue on Netflix? Not sure which classics to watch on cable?

As a movie reviewer for Borderstan, I’ll make some totally subjective suggestions for you about movies that are not playing in the theater–classics and movies that have already left the theaters.

You can find plenty of reviews of new releases, so you don’t need help there. Not that I don’t have opinions, but I wanted to offer something a little different to Borderstan readers. (more…)


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