What REALLY goes on in a job interview? Find out in the new revision of "Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed" (Warner Books) by Tony Medley, updated for the world of the Internet . Over 500,000 copies in print and the only book on the job interview written by an experienced interviewer, one who has conducted thousands of interviews. This is the truth, not the ivory tower speculations of those who write but have no actual experience. "One of the top five books every job seeker should read," says Hotjobs.com.
February 07 Thumbnails

by Tony Medley

The Painted Veil (8/10): This is a movie for sophisticated adults, a sensitively nuanced, long (2 hours), slow but meticulous, gritty story of adultery, maturation, and romance set in ‘20s China with spare but realistic dialogue by Ron Nyswaner. The third remake of the Somerset Maugham novel, this has sensational performances by Naomi Watts and Edward Norton (both of whom produced), Toby Jones and Diana Rigg. It is capped by exceptional cinematography of the beautiful Quangxi province in southern China. I wonder, however, how much I was influenced by Watts’ extraordinary beauty (she is in almost every scene). In English and Mandarin with subtitles.

Miss Potter (8/10): A charming biopic of manners of turn of the 20th Century London about author Beatrix Potter in which everyone, including stars Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, speak to each other, oh, so properly. Each calls the other “Miss” and “Mr.” even as they are falling in love. Beautiful cinematography and atmospheric sets add immeasurably to the enjoyment.

Alpha Dog (8/10):” Brilliant writer-director Nick Cassavettes goes from the soap opera of one of my all-time favorites, “The Notebook,” to murder in this compelling roman à clef (with lots of foul language). Based on the saga of Jesse James Hollywood who allegedly caused the killing of a 15-year-old brother of a delinquent drug client of Hollywood’s, this is highlighted by taut performances by Emile Hirsch in the Hollywood role and Ben Foster as the drug client. Despite a scene at the end of the movie with a distorted Sharon Stone that goes on and on, slamming the brakes on the film’s pace, knowing the inevitability of the outcome surprisingly adds to the tension.

Pan’s Labyrinth (7/10): This dark, 21st Century take on Alice’s Wonderland and Dorothy’s Oz is a graphically violent fairy tale set in 1944 Spain after Franco’s victory in a brutal Civil War. It’s about an 11-year-old girl, Ivana Baquero in a captivating performance, who escapes from her frightening life to a fantasy world.  With segues by writer-director Guillermo del Toro so smooth it’s not possible to tell the difference between real and fantasy, it’s not for children.

Freedom Writers (7/10): This well-written, -directed, and –acted movie is poignant and enjoyable if you view it as entertainment rather than fact. Its dubious credibility is diminished further by its deplorable misandristic attitude, lowlighted by its manipulative treatment of Hillary Swank’s husband as the bad guy when she, not he, is the one who emotionally abandons their marriage.

Catch and Release (3/10): A chick flick, but all the chicks are guys! Writer-Director Susannah Grant should stick to writing her chick flicks for female characters, which she did so well for In Her Shoes, because these male characters are just women who need shaves, and they don’t work as men. This is burdened by a lack of chemistry between lovers Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant (who needs a shave in every scene à la 1980s Miami Vice). In addition to his insincere movie-star smile, Olyphant has teeth so white sunglasses should be passed out to the audience.

Smokin’ Aces (3/10): If you like abundant grotesque violence, constant unrelenting profanity, a convoluted script, and a story too absurd to be called ludicrous, this “dark comedy” without humor is your cup of tea. Notwithstanding a good performance by Jeremy Piven, a bunch of not-ready-for-the-B-list actors have come together with writer-director Joe Carnahan to make this film in which hardly a minute passes without someone being blown away with a high-powered rifle or blood splatters all over everything or someone yelling the “F” word again and again and again.

Read full reviews at www.tonymedley.com.