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Olympic Games Commence in London. Michael Phelps Doesn't Place in Event; Violence Continues in Syria; Droughts Effects Crops Across U.S.; Study Finds Antioxidants Reduce Cancer Risk; Finance Experts Advises on 401(k) Investments; Movie Critic Assesses Box Office Arrivals and British Opening Ceremonies
Aired July 28, 2012 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. You're in the CNN Newsroom where the news unfolds live this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Our top story, new evidence now surfacing in the Colorado movie theater massacre. The suspect, James Holmes, was being treated by a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado before the shooting that took 12 lives and injured dozens more. The psychiatrist who he was reportedly seeing has a chilling specialty, schizophrenia. Jim Spellman is following these latest developments from Colorado. Jim.
JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredricka. This all surfaced through a series of court motions. Last Monday, this notebook was delivered to the university. At that point, the police, the Aurora police and the D.A.'s office got involved and got this notebook. Then leaks apparently happened, and it was reported in the media that this notebook had arrived and that it contained writing about Holmes allegedly wanted to do some sort of violence.
So the defense for Holmes said there's a gag order. There shouldn't be anything out there. And this this is privileged material between a doctor and his patient. We want this. That's where it stands. That will be determined at a hearing on Monday.
Now, what this does tell us for sure is that he was seeking psychiatric care from this professor at the university and that he did write some sort of thing in this notebook. Beyond that, we're really not certain. We still don't know how long he was seeing the psychiatrist or why. We have no indication at all at that point that he was seeing her because he had any inclinations of doing violence or schizophrenia, even though that was an expertise of the doctor's. There's still a lot to learn really about what was in this notebook and why he was seeing the psychiatrist.
WHITFIELD: And do we even know that he was seeing him as a patient or if he was seeing him as a student because he did do some studies that involved the University of Colorado?
SPELLMAN: Yes, and it's noted in these court documents that she sees students for both reasons, but it did say in the court filings that he was seeing her as a patient.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jim Spellman, thanks so much for that update.
Meantime, three of the 12 Colorado shooting victims are being remembered in special services today. In Texas, powerful words during a service for Jessica Ghawi from her brother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORDAN GHAWI, BROTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM JESSICA GHAWI: I just want to leave you with two things. And one is, if this coward would have done this with this much hate, imagine what we can do with this much love. And the other thing is if you're putting your dreams on hold, you stop that right now. You chase those dreams. You don't know how long you have here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Nick Valencia joining me now. Three victims, three very different, poignant memorial services taking place today.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an overwhelming day for all of us that have covered this shooting, and particularly and especially for the families and victims of this horrendous attack. Three people honored today, their lives remembered. Jessica Ghawi being sort of the quintessential face of this shooting that happened just one week ago yesterday. Jessica, an aspiring sports broadcaster, chased her dreams, known to her friends as "Jesse Red," a huge fan of hockey.
We listened to her service in San Antonio, Texas and heard one of her colleagues and broadcasts telling an embarrassing story, how one of the first time she began to report she forgot to turn on the microphone. So just a wonderful smile there and one of the three people being honored today.
John Larimer also being honored today, 27 years old, followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and his father, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, described as a very charming man from Crystal Lake, Illinois. Had a visitation yesterday, but Larimer's family paying their respects. We spoke to his father, who was, as you can imagine, devastated by the news.
And Matt McQuinn is the last of the three being honored today. And McQuinn of course one of those heroes that dove in front of his girlfriend to stop the bowl let bullets shielding her from a fatal end, some would say. Bittersweet end for his family. His uncle described this as a heroic act, but very bittersweet for the people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERB SHAFFER, UNCLE OF MATT MCQUINN: A moment like that you can't think. All you can do is react. And for Matt to immediately react to protect the one that he loved showed us what great character he had and made us proud that he was a part of our family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: And there are lot of little funny stories coming out about the three that are remembered today. And one of the funniest, if you can have your tragedy high, this video of Jessica Ghawi falling and slipping on the ice. I think we have some of that tape. But Jessica Ghawi on ice trying to interview conduct an interview with a hockey player and couldn't keep her ball, wearing the wrong shoes. So some of the more uplifting moments of the funeral services. But as I mentioned, just an emotional day about for everybody and our thoughts and prayers are definitely with the victims.
WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Nick. Appreciate that.
VALENCIA: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: There's more. Tonight 8:00 eastern time, CNN's Don Lemon will be posting a special report "Madness at Midnight, The Search for Answers in Aurora."
Now to Syria. Opposition activists say at least 100 have been killed across the country. And the city of Aleppo is now a city under seize. Rebel activists say government forces led a nonstop shelling of the city this morning. Mohammed Jamjoom is in the CNN bureau in Abu Dhabi.
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After six days of fighting opposition activists said helicopter gunships were flying over the city, which is Syria's commercial hub. There were also reports that Syrian military reinforcements had arrived there and that tanks, security forces, and armored vehicles were roaming the streets.
By later in the day, anti-government demonstrations were also being reported in a city in Aleppo's suburbs. Meanwhile, there was renewed violence in the country's capital. Opposition activists reported explosions have rocked several of Damascus' neighborhoods and that regime and rebel forces had also battled there. One amateur video purports to show a helicopter as it fires on a residential neighborhood. In the video you can see the smoke rising from the shelling.
Shelling also was reported in Homs province in Syria. This amateur video purports to show some of the shelling as it was happening. You can hear what sounds like incoming missiles and the strikes after which you see smoke rising up.
The opposition local coordination committee of Syria says more than 16,000 people have been killed in the conflict in serial. Also this week, the U.N. secretary general said that almost 17,000 people have died since the beginning of the uprising in Syria.
Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
WHITFIELD: I also spoke with an activist in Aleppo, she talked about how people had been fleeing to areas that are safer from shelling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAMA, SYRIAN REBEL ACTIVIST: Yesterday and the day before yesterday, because the bombs starting from three to four days before and there are some maybe hoods in the city and some neighborhoods still more safe that be the other neighborhoods. These people, they have no place to go. Because some of them know that the situation is not safe. They came to Aleppo from one to two months before because they didn't go back to their homes, and now again to more safe neighborhoods.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: We'll keep you updated on the developments there out of Syria.
Meantime, on to London. No surprise that Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps would qualify for a final event, but it's how narrowly he was able to do that that just might surprise you. A live report from London, next.
WHITFIELD: Let the games and the drama begin. Today is the first full day of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and U.S. swimming legend Michael Phelps has already had a pretty close call. Our Pedro Pinto is live from London. So Phelps just barely qualifying for the 400 meter individual medley, but then you have to wonder, you know, is that a sign of what's to come, or might he have been reserving his energy since he's competing in so many things? What do you think?
PEDRO PINTO: I think Michael Phelps fans are hoping that it's the latter, that he was keeping some energy in the tank so to speak for all the races coming up over the next few days. Whatever the reason was, it was surprise to go see him struggle to qualify for the final. The last possible time he could have to make it in, just made it in by .007. Ryan Lochte is supposed to be his big rival, caught the third fastest time. And a Japanese teenager came out of nowhere to be the fastest one in the heat. So I'm really looking for the duel in the pool in 20 minutes times. And a lot of people in the States there will be stopping whatever they're doing to see who will be the fastest man in the water, at least today.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. And one has to wonder, you know, the opening ceremonies went pretty late into the evening for particularly the athletes who had to start the first full day of competition. He was being paraded around in the stadium. One has wonder if that makes an impact on the athlete.
PINTO: They have so many distractions here that it is very tough to stay focused. This is a man who has won 14 Olympic gold, so you'd think he knows what needs to be done. But when everybody wants your picture and autograph, maybe you lose a little bit of hunger. Maybe he'll prove all of us wrong and storm out of the blocks and beat a world record in the final. So you can never count Phelps out of anything.
WHITFIELD: You're right about that. Thanks so much. Keep us posted with that race taking place very shortly. Will you make to the and you can aquatic stadium behind you there?
PINTO: No, I'll be doing lives for all our networks.
WHITFIELD: It's almost like being there. Thanks so much.
WHITFIELD: First lady Michelle Obama is leading the White House delegation at the Olympics there, and she had a front row seat for Serena Williams victory at Wimbledon today. Mrs. Obama sat in the Williams family box for the match and was seen chatting with Williams sister Venus. The "Wall Street Journal" reports that Williams gave the first lady a thumbs-up to say hello from the court and then met with Mrs. Obama after the victory.
It has been 40 years since 11 Israeli Olympians were killed by terrorists in Munich. The victim's families and including President Obama urged the committee for a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies, but that didn't happen during last night's pageantry. The IOC did hold a moment of silence on Monday, a low key event held at the Olympic village, but not enough for the widow of the Israeli fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was murdered in that 1972 attack. She spoke with CNN this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANKIE SPITZER, WIDOW OF ANDRE SPITZER: We are of course very, very disappointed that again the IOC gave in to terror. Because they told us that all the Arab delegations, 46 of them, they had threaten a boycott if the 11 murdered Israelis would be remembered. We spoke to the president of the IOC just two days ago and explained to him, we gave him all kinds of options. We said you cannot stand in front of thousands of young athlete, you cannot just disregard it. And if you want to inspire a generation, which is the motto of your Olympics, tell them let us not forget what happened to Munich so that this will never ever happen again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Last night Bob Costas who is anchoring the Olympic coverage called out IOC for refusing the moment of silence and also paused for 12 seconds during the entrance of the Israeli athletes.
Mitt Romney spent several days there and was criticized for several missteps including comments about security issues at the games. Now on to Israel, Romney wants his overseas stops to boost his foreign policy credential, raise campaign cash, and, in the case of Israel, court the Jewish vote back in the U.S. Romney is scheduled to meet with Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, and then he goes back to Europe for a stop in Poland.
A new medical study shows a simple way that you may be able to reduce your chances of developing pancreatic cancer. We'll have details.
WHITFIELD: This week America lost a pioneer, astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space in 1983 when she blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger. She described to CNN what that moment was like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALLY RIDE, ASTRONAUT: I thought at that moment, wow, I get to do this. But then after I got back and the enormity of it hit me, I realized that I was making history, that I had made history. And that's made the whole thing very special for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Ride was 61 when she died this week of pancreatic cancer. Every year, in America about 45,000 people are diagnosed with it, and about 37,000 people die from it. But this week, a new study has some encouraging news about something simple that you might be able to do that could help reduce your chances of getting it. Joining me now to talk about this is Dr. Sujatha Reddy. She's a physician at Premiere Care for Women here in Atlanta. Good to see you.
DR. SUJATHA REDDY, PREMIERE CARE FOR WOMEN: You, too.
WHITFIELD: So this is a fast moving one. It's clear just by seeing those statistics. So what are the things -- how would you know whether you have it?
REDDY: Some of the symptoms that people have when they do have pancreatic cancer is nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and they may lose weight. And some people will actually develop jaundice where your skin turns a shade of yellow, and that's some of the symptoms.
But part of the problem with pancreatic cancer is by the time you have symptom, it's spread to close by organs making it difficult to remove or operate on these patients, and often people die within six months of diagnosis. And there's no simple blood test to diagnose pancreatic cancer. There's always research being conducted, but right now you have to have a scan and maybe a biopsy. But often we find it when it's too late.
WHITFIELD: So what's the new break through on this? How might it help people whether to prevent it or find early signs?
REDDY: There are risk factors. If you have a family history, smoker, overweight, that can increase your risk. But this new study looked at 23,000 people and followed them for over 10 years. And the people who ate a diet high in antioxidants were less likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
REDDY: Exactly, things like vitamin c, vitamin e, fruits, grains, tuna, some kinds of meats. But antioxidants can repair cell damage, and that's where all cancer starts from. So obviously here when the people ate a higher diet of antioxidants, they were less likely to die of pancreatic cancer.
WHITFIELD: So it's not something I'm just going to indulge on blueberries, but you have to work it in your diet on a regular basis.
REDDY: Correct. This is a lifestyle modification. You can't always change your genes. I had an uncle that passed away of this. But you can change your lifestyle. So a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables will decrease your risk for things like cancer. We also know antioxidants help with arthritis and even heart disease. So antioxidants are definitely something to incorporate in your diet on a regular basis.
WHITFIELD: We hear about antioxidants being so beneficial in so many different ways, and this is just one more application. All right, Dr. Sujatha Reddy, always good to see you. Thanks for helping us stay healthy.
REDDY: Take care.
WHITFIELD: Every Saturday at this time, we bring you information about medical breakthroughs or ways to improve your health and quality of life.
All right, the ongoing drought has been called a disaster of epidemic proportions, and it could raise food prices for years to come. We'll explain why and how.
WHITFIELD: A warning from the Red Cross. The supply of blood in the U.S. right now is at its lowest level in 15 years. Blood donations typically fall off in summer because of vacations, et cetera. But Red Cross officials say this summer's drop is worse than usually. They are warning if blood supplies get any lower, doctors may need to cancel elect difference surgeries.
Today we've learned that Jesse Jackson Jr. is being treated for depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Earlier this month Jackson's office quoted an unnamed doctor as saying the Congressman is expected to make a full recovery. He has not been on Capitol Hill since May.
The International Olympic Committee has booted an Albanian weight lifter from the 2012 games for doping. They're saying he has tested pots for a banned anabolic steroid.
Several medals won today, and that includes this guy from Kazakhstan taking the gold for men's cycling.
You may remember the story of an elderly school bus monitor taking shots from a group of middle school bullies. Well, the video sparked a lot of outrage after going viral. We're now happy to report that the woman, 68-year-old Karen Klein, is retiring. Klein says she isn't quitting because of what happened, but simply it is time to leave.
The country is still sweltering under extreme heat conditions. According to statistics released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, almost 64 percent of the country is experiencing moderate or worse drought conditions. The effect of the heat will soon take its toll on your wallets, as well. Emily Schmidt has details.
EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a rural corner of Maryland, it is the right place, the wrong time to live off the land.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been sunny too much this year.
SCHMIDT: Too much sun, too little rain for too long. Tommy Bowl's crops are the worst he's had in more than 40 years of farming.
Have you seen anything worse than that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard my father and them talk about 1948 or something like that.
SCHMIDT: His corn is dry, shriveled and hurting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's usually it's 42, 44 grains long, and this one's eight grains wrong.
SCHMIDT: The damage stretches across the country. The U.S. department of agriculture estimates two-thirds of all crops are now affected by at least moderate drought.
When did it start looking bad?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It started here about the third week of June.
SCHMIDT: Bowls has federal crop insurance, but at best he'll break even. So he won't hire the six extra workers he usually gets at harvest, and they won't be the only ones paying the price.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corn prices are fed all the way up to the supermarket.
SCHMIDT: USDA economist says the drought shouldn't cause historic levels of food inflation, but shoppers will see a price increase this year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We expect to see poultry prices go up 3.5 percent, to 4.5 percent, beef prices, pork prices probably two percent to three percent.
SCHMIDT: In 2013 higher prices are expected to add another $3 to $4 to a $100 grocery bill. That's two years impact from what Tommy Bowls is seeing today. He says if there's no rain in two weeks, his beans will be worthless, with the next crop one year away. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's in your blood. You like what do you and you can't wait to get up every morning and go do it, but it hurts right how. It hurts.
WHITFIELD: Emily joining me from a farmers market in Maryland. So what kind of impact are you seeing kind of trickling right there into the farmer's market?
SCHMIDT: Fredricka, the government says it will be probably 10 do 12 months before you'll see the full impact of what's happening. But here at the farmer's market today there are beginning to see the very first ripple effect. At the produce market they tell me it was hard to find green beans today. They'll have to get their shipment next week from all the way up in New York State because that's where they haven't had as much heat. They also had a problem getting spinach because that usually comes in from the Midwest. And people here are also concerned. They think about their prices for food going up four percent this year, another four percent next year, a hit people hadn't factored on.
WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Emily.
SCHMIDT: Meantime, if you have a 401(k) retirement fund, you could be paying thousands of dollars in fees and you may not even know about that. We'll show you how to find out what you're shelling out.
WHITFIELD: If you're one of the 50 million Americans participating in a 401(k) plan, you need to listen up. You may be paying out thousands of dollars in fees without knowing it. The average American couple spends about $150,000 over a working life time on 401(k) maintenance fees. A new law going into effect this month requires your fund manager to disclose their fees.
Personal finance expert Daria Dolan joining me to tell us what to look for on your next statement. Make this easy for us. I think this is really surprising that so much money can be spend on fees and you don't even know it.
DARIA DOLAN, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: Well, exactly. And in an AARP study, it showed 71 percent of people in 401(k)s didn't think they were charged anything. But this law will help shed light on it. But like most laws, it's not making it a whole lot easier for people like us.
Here's what you have to do. The fund managers are now going to be required only once a year, but at least once a year, to disclose the fees that are charged on and ongoing basis. But you'll be sent a list of al sent a list of all the funds. So you will have to isolate out the ones that you are invested in, and then you'll only see the percentage rate per $1,000 invested. So you have to know how much you've got invested and then do the math of that percentage rate against the amount of money you have in the plan to figure out whether you're paying too much or not enough -- never not enough.
WHITFIELD: And you do the math, but then what recourse do you have?
DOLAN: Unless you can get a whole group of co-employees to say go to the boss, whoever picked out the fund manager, to lobby for cheaper funds, what you're going to have to do is take a look at the other alternatives that are in there, see what their fee structure is. Maybe you can find a comparable fund. An index fund might have a cheaper fee which will give you the stock exposure, but you won't be paying quite as much.
WHITFIELD: So how do you calculate the percentage that is reasonable to pay in fees?
DOLAN: Nobody will manage your money for nothing, but you want to limit the liability and the hit to your bottom line as much as possible. The difference between a 30-year-old between a 0.5 percent annual fee versus a 1.5 percent fee is an enormous amount of money that would be taken away from that would-be 401(k) investor.
The best fund family that I've seen is the Vanguard family of funds. If you look it at a list of the fees that they charge, nothing is above a half a percent, no less a percent or more. So the best funds out there will charge under one percent. So you want to try to find plans within your fund that are under one percent. If they're not, then head to the benefits office and have a sit down, because your employer is in charge of how successful or not your choices are in your 401(k) perform.
WHITFIELD: All right, got to fight for every dollar earned, fight for every dollar to save, as well.
WHITFIELD: Never ending. All right, Daria Dolan, thanks so much.
And you can get personal financial and sign up for their newsletter at Dolanonyourmoney.com.
All right, London has a lot to offer sports enthusiasts even if you're not quite Olympic material. We'll jet set across the pond to get a peek at some of the top sporting spots that you might have access to.
WHITFIELD: London is the center of the universe right now for anybody who loves sports. After a pretty interesting opening ceremony, the Olympic Games are on. But the games aren't the only place in London to get your sports fix. Kate Maxwell of JetSetter.com is in London. So Kate, let's talk about London. Everybody, of course, knows about Wimbledon, but apparently even around the Wimbledon championship and the Olympics there's a way in which you can take it on.
KATE MAXWELL, JETSETTER.COM: Absolutely. Tennis originated in England. The men wore hats and ties to play. The men wore hats and ties to play. Just down the road there are artificial tennis courts that you can play on. There are ten grass tennis courts and you can play on those for about $10.
WHITFIELD: But you'll feel like you're at Wimbledon.
OK, let's talk about swimming now and these open air kind of bathing pools known as lidos?
MAXWELL: Exactly. Lidos originated in the '20s and '30s in England which coincided with the leisure age. There were 57 lidos in London, which is amazing considering the weather is pretty unpredictable. There are about 11 of them left. You can swim through three bathing pools, one mixed, one for men, one for women, and they're open year- round. When the sun is shining, there is not better great place than an outdoor pool to interact with other Londoners.
WHITFIELD: A nice way to cool down. Let's talk about horseback riding. Most of the equestrian events are old out, but let's start about some of the parts where just ordinary folks can get involved.
MAXWELL: You really can. Hyde Park in the center of London, you can horseback ride for about $100 for an hour. Close to Buckingham Palace you'll pass the Diana memorial, the pavilion and lake. And there's a horseback riding tour that takes in a pub. So the best of both worlds.
WHITFIELD: That sounds great. Maybe we should have worked that into our schedule. We have a schedule tee time.
MAXWELL: We still could.
WHITFIELD: That sounds like a date. Kate Maxwell, Jetsetter.com, thanks so much.
MAXWELL: Good to see you.
WHITFIELD: And you can find a lot more travel tips about the sporting life in London and lots of other cool destinations at Jetsetter.com/CNN.
Next, our movie critic Grae Drake will be I guess critically viewing a new movie, "The Watch." It's about four men who believe they have discovered an alien invasion.
WHITFIELD: A glitzy opening ceremony at the London Olympics put on by an Oscar winning filmmaker. Our movie reviewer Grae Drake will review the opening ceremonies coming up. But first, let's start with this week's new films. A group of guys form a faux neighborhood watch and discover an alien invasion in their town. And if you're looking to stay in this week, we'll tell you about a new DVD that you may want to check out, as well.
Grae, you watched the opening ceremony, but let's talk about some of the movies out this weekend including this interesting alien invasion.
GRAE DRAKE, MOVIE CRITIC: Absolutely. "The Watch" is about a team of guys led by ben stiller, he has a motley crew searching the neighborhood for a criminal, but what they end up finding is their own version of E.T. Instead of E.T. riding a bicycle and eating Reese's peanut butter cups, he's killing people, and it's terrifying. So this should have been the basis for a fantastic R rated comedy, but did you notice I should have said should have been.
WHITFIELD: Not so funny? Let's watch a little clip of it. I think we have it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your finger in there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This thing is awesome. This is a major find.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one touches it until we figure out what it is. The last thing we want to do is cause a disturbance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Come on, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller? Sure to be funny, entertaining.
DRAKE: This is your classic $2 bottle of wine movie. It ain't great, but it gets the job done.
DRAKE: Comparing it to recent R rated movies like Ted, that movie had unbelievable creativity behind it. And "The Watch" is tired, girl. I have had molar extractions that are funnier than this movie. I had to give this one a D. I think that this movie should definitely not be on people's list to spend the ton of money on. Wait until it's on video.
WHITFIELD: OK. Next on deck, what's it about?
DRAKE: "The Deep Blue Sea" is out on DVD this weekend. And that is a movie starring Rachel Weisz as a woman who is torn between her loveless marriage with her will husband and the guy that plays Loki in "The Avengers."
WHITFIELD: Let's watch it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was the one who wanted to wait for the divorce and you didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not blaming you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Looks pretty dramatic, very serious. DRAKE: Very much so. It's a lot of long linger glancing glances and heavy cigarette smoke hanging in the air while love is going terribly wrong for Rachel Weisz. And although this is not the most exciting movie of I've ever seen, there's something that kept me watching. There's something to like about this movie, but it's only for fans of romantic movies where it's should she or should she not kind of thing. So it's definitely the polar opposite from Vince Vaughn blowing up a barn.
WHITFIELD: What is your grade?
DRAKE: I gave it a b. It didn't really help in keeping me awake, but it was really beautiful, and Rachel Weisz is a great actress.
WHITFIELD: She really is. All right, thanks so much. And of course you can get all of Grae Drake's movie reviews at Fandango and Movies.com. But we're not done. No, no. Can't wait to find out what her grade is on the Olympic opening ceremony, reason being because it was the brainchild of famed movie director Danny Boyle. We're very familiar with his works of art. So did this show measure up?
WHITFIELD: An update from London now. It was a highly anticipated race, a nail biter of one. The 400 individual medley swim race between and pitting American rivals and good friends Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. In the end, a gold victory for Lochte, but a huge disappointment for Phelps coming in fourth. And, of course, we'll continue to update you on the big race that was to be just the first of many medals that Michael Phelps will be trying to reach there in London.
All right, the reviews are in on last night's Olympic ceremony. They are mixed on CNN.com. Some people are calling it brilliant, but many who commented were rather disappointed. One viewer writing this, "Cringe-inducing. Really, this makes some of you proud to be British? And then, "I felt like I was watching a bad halftime show at the Super Bowl."
Because the ceremony was produced by an Oscar-winning director, we're asking our film critic Grae Drake for her critique of all this. Danny Boyle known for "Slumdog Millionaire" and so many others. This was to be his big baby, his pride and joy. He's a Brit. But what do you think about what actually played out?
DRAKE: It started off on a high note because, much to my surprise, the queen of England has now participated in more extreme sports than I have.
DRAKE: What a great beginning to have the queen parachuting in, but everything that after that was more of a mixed bag. I agree with some of the comments that it starts off great, but then starts to get weird, like by the time there were Mary Poppins floating out of the sky and chasing away -- WHITFIELD: We did not just lose the signal? Let's try this again. Grae, there you are. Yea.
DRAKE: Well, you've got me back. That was an important note because I'll tell you what, Mary Poppins fighting Voldemort broke my brain. I didn't know if I was reading the book but instead I was seeing these women with umbrellas floating down and it was confusing. But this is what Danny Boyle does. He brings to life these fantastic movies that always have like a very definite tone. They're magical or very scary or intense. And he did that to some extent, but more on a cinematic level instead of a big scale level, which is how one billion people all over the world were watching it. So just like British sense of humor, Fredricka, it ain't for everybody.
WHITFIELD: It may have been a little creepy and scary for some of the kids in particular. I was encouraging my seven-year-old to watch and then we got to that part and I was like he should probably leave the room. He hung in there, though and he said he wasn't scared. But there were some kind of imaginary creepy scary under the bed kind of stuff, but, hey, it was theater, right?
DRAKE: It was theater. And I think Danny Boyle mostly succeeded. As a critic, I feel a responsibility to not only critique what we saw, but sort of what the intention was. And his intention was to seem to be to bring us a very cheeky, very British presentation of the opening ceremonies. And I think he absolutely achieved that.
However, he also presented us with weird huge babies. Sometimes it didn't make any sense.
WHITFIELD: Well, everything is big at the Olympic Games. What was your grade?
DRAKE: Well, much like the movies, I'm more than excited about giving this a grade. And I'll tell you what, because it wasn't for everybody but even if it was a screw-up, it was a decidedly British screw up, I give it a B. Cheerio.
WHITFIELD: I like that. Spot on. All right, appreciate that, Grae Drake, always good to see you. Enjoy the rest of the games.