Diana Saenger

Diana Saenger, entertainment editor of the East County Gazette, also reviews film and theater for San Diego Suburban newspapers, her Saenger Syndicate sites www.reviewexpress.com and www.classicmovieguide.com and others. A 2008 "Woman of the Year" for CA's 77th District, roving film historian and author of 3 books, she has interviewed more than 400 A-list celebrities and filmmakers.

 

Articles by Diana Saenger

 

Christy Beam Talks About MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN and Being the Subject of a Movie — Diana Saenger Interviews

Christy Beam.   Photo by Sunny Mays Photography

Christy Beam. Photo by Sunny Mays Photography

Miracles From Heaven, adapted by Randy Brown from the book by Christy Wilson Beam, became a movie with a surprising true story that has enthralled moviegoers all over the world. Domestic Total as of May,1, 2016 was $59,657,409. How does one explain the impossible was a question Beam faced when she decided to write her family story regarding their journey through faith, fear and pain of their daughter Annabel’s chronic illness? Beam set aside time to be interviewed about this experience. Read on…

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NOAH – Review by Diana Saenger

Stormy Truths and Untruths bowl over in a good epic production that intrigues most of the time, but sometimes results in a “whatttt?” Read more>>.

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SON OF GOD – Review by Diana Saenger

Presented in a candid and simple manner, Son of God begins with the birth of Jesus and covers his life’s trials, joys and tribulations as they are written in the Bible, including his death and rising from the tomb. The producers’ combined expertise in show business illustrates that they know how to create compelling and cinematic storytelling that is gritty, dramatic, powerful and inspirational. Read more>>

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STAND UP GUYS – Review by Diana Saenger

Funny, engaging and reminds us Hollywood rarely turns out actors like this anymore. Read more>>

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BIG MIRACLE – Review by Diana Saenger

BIG MIRACLE serves as an example of how big government often makes the wrong choices and can make better ones bylistening to the majority. Parents should be cautioned that one of the whales does die from an illness in the film. Still, the movie tells a great story about hope – one highlighting an actual event in history as well as interesting aspects of the Alaskan people. Read more>>

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Martha Marcy May Marlene – Review by Diana Saenger

The beginning of the psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene is compelling. Quiet serene scenes of an East Coast woodsy town speak volumes that something is not right in what viewers are about to discover. Any chills on the arms are soon dead on as we’re brought into the world of Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) as she plans a getaway from the cult where she’s been a captive. Elizabeth Olsen gives a wonderful performance here, but I had several probems with this film, especailly the nonending. If the audience isn’t allowed to write the beginning of a movie, why should we have to write the end? Read more>>

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Anonymous – Review by Diana Saenger

The mere idea that the work accredited to William Shakespeare is not really his own writing seems almost scandalous. But could it be true? That’s the premise behind Director Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, which due to too many flashbacks in John Orloff’s screenplay is confusing. However, the concept is intriguing and the great production value held my interest all the way through. Read more

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In Time – Review by Diana Saenger

With In Time, Niccol taps into one of the world’s biggest obsessions – remaining young. Full of action, adventure and the ever popular ticking clock, Niccol provokes an even more intriguing world in the future where no one ages past 25. That would be great if it wasn’t also a world where everything is run by hours and minutes, including how long someone might live. The rich can buy time from the bank, but the poor are left to barter or steal. Justin Timberlake fans will be surprised by his on-target performance here. Read more>>

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Review: “Moneyball” – Diana Saenger

Writers Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) have elevated this true story adapted from Michael Lewis’ 2003 book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game to a smart film which should be enjoyed by a wide audience. Read more>>

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Review: “Terri” – Diana Saenger

Terri may be a small movie, but it has a lot to say. You only have to pay attention to feel its message. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Cars 2″ – Diana Saenger reviews

It took real willpower to sit through this entire mess, and even my granddaughter (age 10) said, “That was a terrible movie, Grandma; I didn’t like it.” Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – ” Mr. Popper’s Penguins” – Diana Saenger reviews

Jim Carrey is actually enjoyable to watch in Mr. Popper’s Penguins as he goes through several character arcs. Children will adore this funny film and parents who must tag along will get some laughs out of it as well. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” – Susan Granger reviews

What happened to zany, delightful Jim Carrey who enchanted audiences as “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”? He’s paired with penguins now – and they steal the show.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Kung Fu Panda 2″ – Review by Diana Saenger

Okay, 3D is really starting to annoy me. It’s too bad so much work that went into the layers of this film’s beauty is muted by the object that’s intended to enhance it. However, like the story, the characters and that few films today – adult or children’s – expose a world of culture, history, danger, and the simple security of knowing who you are and how you got here. Kung Fu Panda 2 excels at this. It’s a great film for kids old and young, and I look forward to number three. Read more

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Water For Elephants” – Review by Diana Saenger

Christoph Waltz emerges as the standout performer in this film, Witherspoon embodies the sexuality and charms of 30s and 40s bombshells such as Virginia Mayo, Jean Harlow and Rita Hayworth. But no chemistry exists between her and Pattinson. The art decoration and cinematography are superb. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Conspirator” – Diana Saenger reviews

I would highly recommend this film, however, I think like me, most viewers will be appalled and ashamed of our country’s lack of fairness at the final outcome of The Conspirator. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Lincoln Lawyer” – Diana Saenger reviews

After those tired 2010 leftovers are about to leave our multiplexes and before summer hopefuls arrive, mid-March seems a good time to release a crime thriller. Although not a thriller in the vein of “Inception” or as pointless as “The Tourist,” “The Lincoln Lawyer” is a middle-of-the-road suspense offering with some good performances. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Country Strong” – Review by Diana Saenger

What’s good about Country Strong is Gwyneth Paltrow, Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester. Each one could have a sing-off and draw a crowd. Fortunately, the engaging cast in Country Strong helps us almost forget about Shana Feste’s disappointing script and irrational ending. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Black Swan” – Review by Diana Saenger

While billed as a psychological thriller, Black Swan comes across instead as a dark overindulgence by director Darren Aronofsky. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “127 Hours” – Review by Diana Saenger

A film that provided background about Ralston before his doomed day could have upped the caring /believably factor of “127 Hours.” That’s the movie I wish I’d seen. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Next Three Days” – Review by Diana Saenger

Terrific performances plus clever and suspenseful twists you never see coming make The Next Three Days very enjoyable. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Going The Distance” – Review by Diana Saenger

Whoever thought they could mix toilet-humor and endless vulgarity with romance has done a big injustice to these otherwise likeable lead stars. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Animal Kingdom” – Review by Diana Saenger

Move over Ma Barker; there’s a new mastermind crime mama in town. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Switch” – Review by Diana Saenger

I’m really on the fence about The Switch. I think there are two movies inside this romantic comedy. There’s one plot I dislike for being cliché, boring, ridiculous and helping to spur even more tabloid stories about poor Jennifer Aniston (thank you very much). But there’s also a tender story about a man who loves a woman so much he’ll wait years for her – and, after falling instantly in love with a little boy – will do anything to make the lad’s world complete. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – Gloria Stuart at 100, Toasted by AMPAS – Diana Saenger reports

Some of my greatest enjoyment comes from settling into my comfy chair and watching a classic Hollywood film. This past week that pleasure was vastly surpassed when I attended the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences 100th birthday celebration for Gloria Stuart.

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