Less than meets the eye

I chose them from among the most praised, the most famous, the most awarded, and the works of great directors, or mere fakes, including perhaps a few turkeys that are memorable for the wrong reasons... No doubt, lots of intellectuals will wholeheartedly continue poring over these titles and find all kinds of meaning. I found most of them pretentious nonsense, even though I'm not at all blind to the obvious qualities of many turkeys. I agree with Godard when he says that it's rather difficult to find a 100% abominable movie. Bad movies, although tough to watch, still have something to offer when it comes to teaching the viewer about filmmaking: some storytelling detail, some nice acting, some fancy photography, or some tuneful soundtrack. So why is this cinephile discouraging others from seeing particular movies? Because any list, whether positive or negative, is an event pertaining to so-called Vanity Fair. ;-) If you want me to put a nicer spin, it's a badge of pride. The only way to push past ego is to give the others something worthwhile, and kicking a film that has hardly ever been kicked is spite. Of course this list gives only a paragraph per selection, so there’s no in-depth examination of why (in the lister's humble opinion) a film failed. Anyway, this is not at all about choosing the WORST movies, which would be impossible and impracticable.
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Red Beard (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In 19th century Japan, a rough tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern. (185 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Kurosawa was a great artist and Toshiro Mifune a geat performer, but, either together or seperatly, anything they did was superior to this extremely long, and gelid Akahige. After half an hour of the tale of the socially-engaged doctor, I was thoroughly missing the comic strips of Rex Morgan, MD. It's 3-hour long, folks! Stick to House, MD or any other medical series. ” - jgcorrea
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The life of Jesus Christ. (225 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
“ since 1905, since Zecca & Nongent's Passion du Christ, movie artistry had not been thus ill-crucified. And it was precisely George Stevens, one of the best story tellers, who got the dubious honor of perpetrating such counterfeit feat, filled with stars in roles that make no sense. Not enough? The movie pathetically ignores the Gospels. For instance, Apostle John was the brother of Apostle James, not of Matthews, as the film shows. In this instance Hollywood really missed its homework. So, the best Lives of Christ are still in my opinion DeMille's King of Kings, Pasolini's Gospel and Duvivier's Golgotha. Mel Gibson's version was at least daigned, though graphically & mistakenly exacerbated. ” - jgcorrea
Freaks (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance. (64 mins.)
Director: Tod Browning
“ Paul Andrews was one of the few reviewers who dared denounce 'the King's clothes', as I see it:
"Freaks is set in a travelling circus which has a sideshow attraction of freaks consisting of joined Siamese twins, legless men, pinheads, bearded ladies & midgets including Hans (Harry Earles) who is in love with trapeze artist Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova) but since she is 'normal' there is little hope of the relationship Hans wants ever coming to fruition. Cleopatra becomes involved with circus strong man Hercules (Henry Victor), when they learn that Hans has inherited a fortune Cleopatra & Hercules devise a plan where she will marry Hans & slowly poison him to death whereby they will be left with his money. Sounds simple, right? Well, the other freaks discover their plans & take a horrific revenge...

Produced & directed by one of the pioneers of horror Tod Browning this film has a pretty big reputation which when watched today it probably doesn't live up to. The script by Al Boasberg, Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon & Edgar Allen Woolf all of whom were uncredited was based on the short story 'Spurs' by Tod Robbins & one has to say what ended up on screen isn't what the makers intended, after a disastrous test screening MGM cut the film from 90 minutes to a mere 64 including totally altering the ending & you can't tell me cutting 25 minutes out didn't affect it. Anyway, what's done is done & what we are left with is a reasonable crime thriller, I'd struggle to call it an out-and-out horror except from the final few minutes & is basically a simple plot about killing someone off for a large inheritance & that's all there is to the film really. The big talking point is obviously the use of real freaks although I personally wasn't bothered by the notion, sure they look weird but that's not their fault is it? At a meagre 64 minutes in length I actually still found it a little slow & dull, not that much happens to be honest. The film preaches that the freaks featured are good people who just want to live normal lives but then turns this moral message on it's head & contradict itself by have them turn incredibly evil & vindictive at the end. Speaking of the ending it is also different depending on the version you watch, I saw the print TCM (Turner Classic Movies cable TV channel) play which has a happy ending tacked onto the end so that in itself may change the entire feel of the film compared to the version you might see which doesn't have that ending.

Director Browning does OK but Freaks sure does look dated, there's no music & the sound is very tinny & sometimes hard to make out what character's are saying particularly the high pitched Hans. There's nothing scary until the end & even then were talking a few minutes. The freaks themselves aren't disturbing at all, there's one guy without arms or legs though who has the amazing party trick ability to light a cigarette on his own & he resembles a fat Caterpillar with a human head! During the opening credits there's a long piece of text which makes several points some of which I don't necessarily agree with. Apparently Premier magazine voted Freaks as one of 'The 25 Most Dangerous Movies' whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

According to the IMDb Freaks had an 'estimated' budget of $310,607 which seems a very specific number to just be an 'estimate'. The film is as well made as one can expect from a film of such vintage, it's OK but nothing special. The acting isn't great either, once again it's OK but most of the cast are very stiff. The two midgets Hans & Frieda were actually brother & sister in real life.

Freaks is regarded as an absolute classic by some, fine I have no problem with that because quite frankly I'm not the one who has to see it again. Didn't do much for me at all I'm afraid." Thank you, Paul Andrews. King Browning is now conspicuously naked. ” - jgcorrea
Entranced Earth (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Eldorado, a fictitious country in Latin America, is sparkling with the internal struggle for political power... (111 mins.)
Director: Glauber Rocha
“ Moviewise, "Terra em Transe" was already dated in 1967, with an abstruse, delirious and preposterous screenplay. Not surprisingly, however, it is quite update in 2011 ,regarding current and chronic lack of ethics and amoral behavior of Latin American politicians.
Glauber Rocha was as interesting personality, not a mook at all (meaning neither reactionary nor on KGB payroll) but I'm afraid he was not the genius his family and a number of self-called enthusiasts like to think he was. Yes, he was grandiose and iconoclastic, but could he ever properly express his inner self? This movie does touch themes like revolution, mass manipulation and coups d'état, but its political engagement was merely a fashion issue. ” - jgcorrea
Chelsea Girls (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Lacking a formal narrative, Warhol's art house classic follows various residents of the Chelsea Hotel in 1966 New York City, presented in a split screen with a single audio track in conjunction with one side of screen. (210 mins.)
“ Jason Olshefsky from NY said it all:
"You know when you let your mind drift--especially when under the influence of drugs or alcohol--and you think up some idea that sounds like it would be great? A typical non-genius would consider an idea like that later and think, "well, this sounded like a good idea then but it's just stupid now?" Thankfully, Warhol said to himself, "no, I'm a genius and therefore that was a good idea." And what was this brilliant idea? Film a bunch of drug users and couples in various rooms of a hotel then project two films at a time side-by-side, shifting the audio to switch focus. You also get:
- randomly twitchy camera work
- quasi-purposeful film speed changes
- having the camera's point-of-interest fail to follow the viewer's desires
- racking the zoom
- sluggish response to bad focus after changing camera positions
- over- and under-exposure"
Doesn't all this sound amazing, fresh, cool, cute and from a genius at work? ” - jgcorrea
Andrei Rublev (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer. (205 mins.)
“ The only Tarkovskys I endorse are Solyaris and Stalker. His other ventures are but pseudo-moral tales of supposed spiritual depth. Furthermore, fans of this movie overlook the disgusting fact that Tarkovsky committed horrible, ghastly crimes in order to attain his "righteous vision". He lit a cow on fire. He threw a horse down a flight of stairs. He had that horse speared to death. These were not special effects. These were genuine acts of depravity. Is it possible to applaud such moviemaker for his moralism? If you are a true Byzantine Art lover, save yourself the ordeal and skip this flick. ” - jgcorrea
The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life inside a farm in Italy at the beginning of the century. Many poor country families live there... (186 mins.)
Director: Ermanno Olmi
“ "This movie has little to no plot, minimal character development (i.e. I didn't feel for any of the characters) and the title had nothing to do with the first 150 minutes! I'm an Italian Christian whose grandparents' stories about the old country are far better told than this movie. I know that in 1900 Italy there wasn't much to do but this movie doesn't capture enough to make it interesting. Overall too mundane." (author: celtic33 from lowell, ma) ” - jgcorrea
Sacrifice (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return. (149 mins.)
“ When people talk about pretentious and boring films that sophisticated people fawn over, this is the best example I can think of! This horrible film IS pretentious, boring and just about as much fun as eating broken glass. No,...wait,...I think I'd rather eat broken glass than watch this film again. if films must be depressing and bizarre there should be some reason for subjecting the viewer to this. The movie delights in long and emotionally disconnected camera work. Some may see this as artistic, but I just see it as dull and lifeless. Then, when it is combined with interminably long and self-exploratory monologues, it is a recipe for total boredom. The characters rarely interact--they talk at each other or just talk into space. And the surrealistic elements of the film may seem sophisticated to some, but to me they are a giant headache. For a similar effect, read several books by Albert Camus, a couple of existential philosophers and then rap yourself in the head with a mallet.
(kudos to 'planktonrules' of Bradenton, Florida) ” - jgcorrea
Thelma & Louise (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird. (130 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ 'Terminal Madness' of <http://www.cinema-crazed.com> wrote: "Why are men the heroes and women the prostitutes, murderers, and hookers? They asked, well, this is just as guilty of such treason with such neo-feminist malarkey posing as a thriller. Here, the men are depicted as low-lives, perverts, rapists, abusers, boozers, murderers, robbers, and wussies while the women are heroes! Puh-lease. Thelma and Louise is an unrealistic melodramatic waste of time. They kill a man for unjustifiably and sadistically, rob a store for no reason, and taunt others, while we're supposed to root for them? Give me a break. In a modern age of feminists who want to depict women as heroes and men as simpering morons, this just takes the cake as a real waste of time. It's just ridiculous. Had this film even been remotely feminist as it aimed to, in the end they'd have taken their medicine with all their might instead of romanticizing suicide. What a waste!" ” - jgcorrea
A Song of Love (1954 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication. (26 mins.)
Director: Jean Genet
“ Years before Derek Jarman endeavored to glorify through film the gaiety of St. Sebastian, Wittgenstein and Caravaggio, Jean Genet had already joined the gallery of western mythic personalities engaged on behalf of homossexual identity.
Also years ago Jean-Paul Sartre, in his book 'Saint Genet,' proposed homossexuality as the very 'mirror' against which the western world should look at itself: 'Homo art' was the derivative and reverse Saint-Sartrian world that generated a new conception of heterossexuality: after all, how could a hetero world exist without the assumption of a homo world?
So much for St. Sartre's logics. I do love Caravaggio, Aeschyllus, Virgina Woolf, Oscar Wilde etc. not because they were gays.
For the same reason I loathe Genet's Chant d'Amour.
and so much for gay-sympahtizing scholars who insist in re-reading history, literature, art and cinema by way of a 'pervading' homo presence. ” - jgcorrea
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets. (127 mins.)
Director: Baz Luhrmann
“ I totally agree with apteryx-1 from New Zealand: this is a dumbed-down `La Traviata' meeting a dumbed-down `Gold Diggers of 1933'.
There are no survivors.
No use trying to see it as a satire of Hollywood movies, puerile stories papered over with million-dollar production values.
It's just a puerile story papered over with million-dollar production values. You can't call it a triumph of style over substance because there is hardly style and no triumph here. It is just an unsuccessful assault by style on substance. Bits of it - namely, the lovely song Nature Boy - would have made a good videoclip. ” - jgcorrea
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Female-born Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska. (118 mins.)
Director: Kimberly Peirce
“ the producers were dishonest in dramatizing this true story, however honest in portraying gender panic.
Hilary Swank is fine, but her character Brandon is only a sort of martyr - a Tragic Transgendered Art-House Hero - and nothing more. We see him\her shunned, brutalized, ultimately suffering for the sins of 'gender fascists' everywhere. the story itself is very sad and moving, but it would only be meaningful as a piece of filmed journalism, which only the documentary genre provides. As fiction, this is boring and preposterous. ” - jgcorrea
“ It's based on Heinrich Böll's novel "Billiards At Half Past Eight," not that if you'd read the novel that'll help you, because whatever plot there is in the film is at best elided, and at most ignored. Straub is disdainful, if not contemptuous of "enjoyment" in narrative, he takes 'Brechtian' audience alienation techniques to such an extreme that he very well entirely alienates the audience, or looks for an audience of extraterrestials. For less than an hour we watch verbose conversations, difficult to follow. The scenes don't seem to follow any kind of order. I, for one, didn't understand a thing. Compositions resembling Puritan stocks, locking the un-actors in a Carl Dreyer hammergrip; wooden-faced line-readers, resembling Krupp Armaments executives and their wives, cannonading through dullish, classroom-style monologues; uber-Teutonic pauses for a stagy sip of coffee or stilted stare in the middle distance--staying awake through Straub's brush-clearing torment resembles (as an Internaut argued) the feeling of Hermann Goering falling on your head. ” - jgcorrea
Man with a Movie Camera (1929 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention. (68 mins.)
Director: Dziga Vertov
“ Take my word for it, jtdunlop from Melbourne, Australia is absolutely right as he wrote: "This film was utterly pointless garbage. It didn't anticipate Koyaanisqatsi or whatever, it anticipated pointless garbage. [Dziga Vertov was] the moron who gratuitously filmed this absolute tripe. This film didn't invent the jump cut, it invented a reason for the jump cut to wish it had never ever been anticipated. Don't be a darling of the critics -- the critics to be honest don't know crap. These 65 minutes seem like 600000005 minutes of sheer boredom. ” - jgcorrea
Crash (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife. (100 mins.)
“ It should have been called "Trash," said commentator ChelseaGirl98. She was truly amazed that anyone could like this film. (and she, like myself, likes David Cronenberg and J.G. Ballard): "it has absolutely no point, the connection the film tries to make between car crashes and sexual passion is total BS (and if you've ever been in one, as I have, I'm sure you'll agree it ain't sexy), and it has no redeeming features whatsoever. It was tedious, disgusting, shallow...it's one of those films that act like they have some grand message to impart, but in reality are empty." ” - jgcorrea
Two for the Road (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A couple in the south of France non-sequentially spin down the highways of infidelity in their troubled ten-year marriage. (111 mins.)
Director: Stanley Donen
“ Even adorable Audrey Hepburn and extraordinary Albert Finney can't save this picture from a terminal case of the cutes. This off-again, on-again, back and forth in time romance is cursed by one of Henry Mancini's worst elevator-music scores (constantly there when you least want it to be) always reminding us that despite an occasional display of the nasties these two mismatched humans really do love each other. Just jumps around from past to present to future, and really never explains much.The flashback & forward technique and the hodge-podge filming of the story was annoying. ” - jgcorrea
The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A drama reveals the great writer's inauspicious early years as an orphan raised by conniving relatives. (98 mins.)
Director: Mark Donskoy
“ deng43 from United States commented on the lack of propaganda; that caught my eye, too, because this is a Soviet film about Czarist Russia. Soviet cinema was surprisingly even-handed on this one. The only overtly political comment was when the police arrived at the house asking after a former boarder who was known to be against the czar. this does bring up an interesting point though, for the characters in the family are admittedly and obviously guilty of assaults, torture, murder and arson, but the only time the police appear is when seeking the anti-czarist boarder. it would appear that in this time just about anything went on and none were responsible for their acts, unless it was failing to feed oneself when the punishment was beggary. Very little in the way of human sympathy existed. A mean time, therefore. There isn't that much of a plot per se, just vignettes of Gorki's growing up, [anyway] it is fascinating to see a time like this preserved. The USSR in 1938 was actually materially very close to the czarist time it represented. The final shot seems the very essence of a Soviet statement: the child marches off, leaving his friends behind cheering him on, into a vast flat nothingness - mother Russia unending. He is confidence personified. If I may sound facetious, In the long run, history has proved Trotsky right: Stalinism was not a viable historically stable system! ” - jgcorrea
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity. (83 mins.)
Director: John McNaughton
“ Having watched this through, I was sickened. Regretfully curiosity got the better of me and I watched this perverse, cruel, ghastly, revolting film which stays with you for all the worst reasons. There is hardly anything good to say about it. I'm quite a hardened horror fan, but this is too much for me. The only message seems to be "sociopath is beautiful." Therefore I dread to think what sort of audience it is aimed for, not one in a civilised society, that is for sure. ” - jgcorrea
In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end. (109 mins.)
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
“ theconservativeliberal (nwatts@gmail.com) from Sydney, Australia felt compelled to write a comment in response to the stupid amount of "this is not porn it is beautiful art, if you don't like it you're just prudish" comments which Oshima's movie inspired throughout the world: "This is not beautiful," he wrote, "it is not art. It looked cheap and nasty. It looked as if it had the production values of an amateur porn session, lit by whatever broken desk lamps found in your average erotic dungeon. The fake snow looked like fake snow. The kids throwing snow at the old man's exposed privates made me want to punch the director for trying to make the rest of the movie anything but a comedy. To top its woeful aesthetics off, the absolute drivel that came out of these character's mouths was nauseating. Every single time they'd have sex, which would be 85% of the film, the woman would say the same banal, generic "you inside me is beyond words" without fail.
There are some movies that are so bad that they become entertaining. This was not entertaining. It was mind-numbingly boring. If you thought this was any good, I recommend you to re-evaluate your life because something is very wrong." ” - jgcorrea
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture. (116 mins.)
“ final words from Matthew Jordan of Houston, TX:
"Four fascists in WWII Italy abduct 16 youths and subject them to dehumanizing rape, humiliation and torture. Many viewers think that this movie is powerful and everyone should see it because it gives you access to true feelings of disgust and guilt about man's inhumanity to man, especially during times of anarchistic, despotic, or fascist rule.
If you need this movie to understand how terrible the crimes visited on people by the fascists, Nazi and otherwise, during WWII were, then Pasolini's only success is that he has demonstrated just how sick and desensitized our global society has become.
Stark brutality has its value as a tool for demonstrating the full force of certain horrible events. This tool was used effectively in other WWII films around the same subject, "Schindler's List" comes to mind. The problem with this film is that this tool has to be accompanied by real emotion and demonstration of the effect of that brutality. The only emotion (other than pure physical pain) demonstrated by the adolescents in this movie is during one scene where a young abductee cries at being reminded of the death of her mother. Aside from that, the victims walk through this movie like zombies as various disgusting acts are perpetrated upon them. There is no emotion, and frankly, the movie is an extremely boring series of repetitive acts of violence and humiliation that are reputedly designed to demonstrate the horror of unchecked power. The truth is, this is a dull expose on the acts of several bored, wealthy, powerful members of society who can no longer find stimulation in the banal trappings of every day life, just like the book it is based on. The truth is, this movie has NOTHING to do with the horrors of fascism, it just happens that Pasolini chose a setting he knew well. There is no reason that this same exact movie could not be shot in a palace in the Middle East, a castle in Austria, a Villa in Latin America or a mansion in the USA and be just as realistic. It is nothing more than a dull comment on the depravity of the rich and bored. Don't be drawn in by the mystery and the hushed tones that people use when they speak of this so-called "Masterpiece". And don't be fooled by this banal piece of Anti-Intellectual trash." ” - jgcorrea
Swept Away (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A trip into the Mediterranean sea becomes a trip into the discovery of how society's frameworks of the rich and poor are delicate and temporary. (116 mins.)
“ I had read J.M. Barrie's play "The Admiral Crichton," so I could see wherefrom writer/director Lina Wertmuller got her 'inspiration.' Clearly this feminist fable was a re-working of that earlier story, though, unlike Lina Wertmüller's secular-humanist/communist leanings, the Victorian play was preachy and even religious. And of course, as far as talent is concerned, the Scottish writer beat Ms Wertmuller in a landslide victory. ” - jgcorrea
Nostalgia (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The Russian poet Andrei Gorchakov, accompanied by guide and translator Eugenia, is traveling through... (125 mins.)
“ Brian from Maine commented:
Are people too in love with Tarkvosky to recognize this is a bad movie? Bad storytelling? It "invents" nothing. The acting is misdirected. Great actors who have nothing interesting to say and walk around just speaking words. Tarkovsky's "sculpting in time" theory has not been closely followed for good reason: it makes for tedious, dull, and repetitive movies. His movies won't last. [if it weren't for Solyaris, may I add] ” - jgcorrea
Private Vices, Public Pleasures (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Rudolf is a good-natured pan-sexual golden boy, who cavorts on his rural estate with a host of beautiful... (104 mins.)
Director: Miklós Jancsó
“ L. Denis Brown (from Saskatchewan, Canada) summarized very well this movie's historical background: "The death of Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress in 1889, was a fundamental link in the chain of events which led to the start of the war of 1914-18, and subsequently to the development of World War II. At the time, these deaths were officially attributed by the Hapsburg government to a suicide pact which followed their recognition that the couple would never be able to marry; but right from the start many commentators (both nationally and internationally) suggested that foul play was a more probable explanation. The full story was exceedingly complex and had more twists than most detective novels, but there can be no doubt that the Hapsburg authorities attempted to conceal many of these facts, adding fuel to speculations that the Emperor himself may have been involved in some sort of plot designed to end Rudolf's illicit liaison with his mistress, Baroness Maria Vetsera."
The story line followed in this film suggests that Rudolf was attempting to force Franz Joseph to abdicate by gaining the support of the Austrian society of the time for a more liberal social order; and that Franz Joseph either planned or condoned the assassination of the couple in order to avoid their licentious activities continuing to embarrass the Imperial Court.
I believe it is utterly unlikely that Franz-Joseph would ever contemplate the assassination of his son, the heir to the Hapsburg throne, however acutely he had been embarrassed by his behaviour.
Let's go back to Mr. Brown: "After more than six centuries of continuous rule by the same family, the Hapsburg dynasty was almost unique; and throughout Franz Joseph's long life devotion to the continuation of this dynasty had been the major driving force for most of his activities. He had little respect for his brother's son, through whom the succession would pass, and it is recorded that he never once spoke to the great nephew who was his eventual successor during the remaining 27 years of his rule. He must have been aware that his death would constitute a major crisis which the empire itself might not survive; and it is hard to believe that, whatever the provocation, he would deliberately have done anything to create such a crisis. There are at least two other more credible explanations for the assassination of Crown Prince Rudolf. Over the centuries the Hapsburg empire had expanded, more by marriage than by conquest, until it incorporated a vast array of diverse ethnic groups which became difficult to hold together after the Napoleonic wars released their tide of libertarianism and nationalism. One revolt in Hungary was suppressed, but the Empress persuaded her husband to make a very conciliatory settlement with the Hungarians in 1867 which effectively created what became known as the joint Austro-Hungarian Empire. Rudolf was also strongly supportive of Hungarian aspirations, and this antagonised many members of the Imperial old school. Some of them may well have decided to take steps to ensure that Rudolf would never succeed Franz-Joseph as Emperor. An alternative explanation for his death is supported by near deathbed testimony from Countess Zita, the wife of Emperor Karl, Franz Joseph's eventual successor who inherited the imperial throne in 1916, following the assassination of his uncle in Sarajevo in 1914 and the death of the old Emperor during the resulting world war. Empress Zita lived to the age of almost 90, dying in 1989 fourteen years after this film was produced. Before her death she recorded accounts of Hapsburg family conversations which suggested that Rudolf's death followed an approach from French authorities seeking to gain his support for an attempt to persuade Franz Joseph to abdicate so that Rudolph could introduce a more liberal regime which internationally would support the French rather than Germany. Rudolf had indignantly rejected this proposition and reported it to his father. His assassination at Meyerling followed - presumably by French agents or their Austrian sympathisers. Her account was largely ignored at the time it was first published, but three years after her death it was supported by late autopsies of the bodies of the two victims which showed that, contrary to the official accounts, Baroness Vetsera had not been shot but had been battered to death, and that Rudolf had fired six shots from his revolver before he died."
We are now never likely to know what actually happened; but if you, like myself, do not believe Franz Joseph was directly responsible for the death of his son, you'll agree that this is cinematic revisionism at its most revolting and slandering.
Usually described as an 'erotic work dressed up in the trappings of a historical drama,' this film portrays events that nevertheless had a major influence on the lives of nearly everybody.
I definitely cannot endorse the 'message' that the old order (i.e. monarchy, democracy, pre-communism) will eventually have to yield to the pressures created by younger generations and help to impose socialism.
It is a dreadful film which shows the Prince Rudolf just as a libertine, a sort of caricature.
The historical Crown Prince appears to have been a well travelled, cultivated individual with remarkably progressive views who was highly regarded by whoever had nothing to do with him.
This is certainly a strong contestant for the worst film ever made. Misleading deceptive propaganda at its worst. ” - jgcorrea
Killed the Family and Went to the Movies (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
There are many concurrent plots in this film. The main one being the one in which a desperate guy kills... (78 mins.)
Director: Júlio Bressane
“ A man in his 30s, living with his parents in a middle-class apartment in Rio, coldly stabs them to death for no apparent reason. Then he goes to a cinema and watches "As Amantes" ("Women in Love"), a film about two girls who spend a weekend at the countryside and fall in love with each other.
Other parallel narratives "invading" the film include a man being tortured by the police and flashbacks of the girls, leading to a foreseeable tragic conclusion.
Julio Bressane shot this indie in just 12 days and his 'style' was already (admittedly) recognizable: unconventional, fragmented, full of longueurs, much improvised, experimental minded, abrupt editing, hand-held shots, high impact vs "nothing happens" scenes, home-movie-like cinematography etc.
"Matou a Família..." was enough to establish him as an underground overfake. Through mockery, amateurism and pedestrian symbolism, he had a go at the "carnavalization" of culture. But, as it often happens with Kitsch, "Matou a Família..." is boring, pretentious and silly.
Yet it recently ranked as a landmark at an issue of the Venice Festival, which screened it. I really don't care for such 'metalinguistic' approaches, 'iconoclast spirits,' 'pop flavors' and nonsensical sense of humor. Watch it if you're into bad-taste Kitsch or lesbianism. Don't watch it if you're allergic to fake experimentalism, or simply to any Brazilian nuts. ” - jgcorrea
Themroc (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Made without proper language, just gibberish and grunts, this is an absurdist comedy about a man who rejects every facet of normal bourgeois life and turns his apartment into a virtual cave. (110 mins.)
Director: Claude Faraldo
“ Themroc is would-be avant-garde contenting itself with recycling the most dated clichés of post May 68 era: down with the bosses power to the people, kill (and eat) the cops, this is a brand new life, opportunity knocks, make love not war, we are the good guys, the others are the villains, please get out of the new road if you can't lend a hand, and so on. Spitting on the cops was so à la mode that Themroc could not be wrong as it spoke to the 'intellectual' post-68 elite : humble people are actually demeaned in his film. How to attract people's attention? With a formless product, filmed haphazardly with a "surrealistic " touch. People who like this -and they seem to be quite a lot- should remember John Lennon's phrase: "Avant-garde?Isn't it the French word for c...?"
(with thanks to dbdumonteil for his enlightening comment) ” - jgcorrea
The Trespasser (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two businessmen hire a hitman to kill their third partner and are then blackmailed by the hitman as he takes over their company. (97 mins.)
Director: Beto Brant
“ dreadful and pointless, wrote rickyr83 from Maryland:
looking at the film festival awards it won, I thought I'd made a good choice. Boy, did I turn out to be wrong. This film is an unorganized, dysfunctional, fruitless mess. The story of two men hiring a hit-man to take out their partner and then that hit-man turning around and forcing himself into their business could've been played in a comedic way, or it could've been played in a threatening and frightening way. Instead, the movie tries a little of both and succeeds at neither. At times the movie presents the title character as someone who we should fear, other times he's seen as a joke, heckling the construction company's workers and bringing rappers into the office. ” - jgcorrea
Kalifornia (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself. (117 mins.)
Director: Dominic Sena
“ Believe It Or Not:
The Montréal World Film Festival awarded its FIPRESCI Prize for 'Best Artistic Contribution' to the director of this movie.
Not enough? Again, Believe It Or Not:
The Thessaloniki Film Festival awarded a Best Screenplay prize to the very same crap. ” - jgcorrea
Sea of Roses (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Woman runs away having the company of her daughter, the ultimate brat, in a journey full of bizarre events. (99 mins.)
Director: Ana Carolina
“ The São Paulo Association of Art Critics awarded no less than 5 (five) Trophies to this pseudo-surrealist bizarreness. Allow me to quote one of my favourite poets, : 'I'm losing my taste for everything, including even my taste for finding everything tasteless.' The bad news is: Paulistan critics lost their taste for anything remotely associated with 'art;' The good news is: now they can find anything, including crap, tasteful! ” - jgcorrea
Metti, una sera a cena (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A liberal-thinking author watches his wife as she attempts to seduce his best friend at a dinner party. (125 mins.)
“ this is a genuine testimony of one of those typical moods inherent to the 'gay' 1960's:
there's newly 'conquered' sexual freedom, group sex, mockery upon bourgeoisie values, attack on both the institution of marriage and the conception of the couple, and so forth. For five characters in search not of an author but of sexual romps, the only solution seems to be the triangled threesome, the brand 'new' form of social institution that ought to substitute for the more regular, academic married couple.
The film sucks throughout its Jurassic style based on primary colours, heavy make-ups and aged travellings. The characters, just like Sade's characters, for example, come from a cardboard box. The subtended message is clear: long live sarchasm, acidness, and sado-masochism! down with the hypocritical middle classes! by the way, as far as I know, Mr Paroni Griffi was a fake in Milanese theatre as well. His version of John Ford's 'Tis a pity she's a whore' wasn't so bad, but lacked a brilliant score by Ennio Morricone (actually the odd man out herein). ” - jgcorrea
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
Small town band hits it big, but they must battle a nefarious plot in the music industry. (113 mins.)
Director: Michael Schultz
“ Hokey, corny & horrible. This movie made 'Magical Mystery Tour' look like... magical. It's one freak show after another. Just when you think it's bad, George Burns gets up and sings "Fixing a Hole". A better use of this movie would be as a public service to keep kids off of drugs. The sets are unexceedingly cheesy. ” - jgcorrea
Lilies of the Field (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert. (94 mins.)
Director: Ralph Nelson
“ reviewer Vishal Agrawal from Mumbai did not exaggerate at all:
"The best part of the film is that its just 91 minutes long and the worst part is that it is still very long. Characters are not convincing, story is almost nil and message is very hazy. Mother Superior looks more of a mime artist as she keep making faces throughout the film. Sydney Poitier is good as always and sings 'Amen' perfectly. Rest of the film mostly drags. Lots of things are unexplained like why Poitier wanted to build the chapel alone and most of all why did he stop back. It's very unconvincing. Comedy also is very childish. Once he start building the church nothing really happens. " ” - jgcorrea
“ In English it was entitled PRETTY BUT WICKED. Overall, this is a melodramatic soap opera where most female characters are raped and/or become prostitutes, and all the male characters are rapists or sleazes of one sort or another.
Although based on Nelson Rodrigues, Brazil's #1 playwright, it had been rather interesting on stage, but the film is none but improvised, mediocre and unpleasant taedium vitae. ” - jgcorrea
A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Three horse-racing lovers turn to robbery to appease their gambling appetites. Max is the nice, easygoing... (87 mins.)
Director: Henry Levin
“ Mickey Rooney's career was sputtering when he made this movie. Here, teamed with Tom Ewell, they play a pair of sad sacks who rob a couple of banks to finance a racing stable. Rooney tries to act with his usual high energy level, but Ewell plays things at his usual slow pace, and the result is annoying. Mickey Shaughnessey plays his usual Runyonesque role, but, unfortunately, screenwriter Sydney Boehm did not write a Runyonesque vehicle. Nothing quite works in this movie, alas. (by boblipton of NY) ” - jgcorrea
Funny Games (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two violent young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement. (108 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ Ok, I got it. But making this movie was an act of sadism directed at an audience no more deserving of its suffering than the victims in the thriller itself. Herr Haeneke is lucky because I only hired this DVD after I had seen the rest of his oeuvre, which does include very interesting titles. ” - jgcorrea
Irreversible (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. (97 mins.)
Director: Gaspar Noé
“ As someone else put it, "another stinking piece of crap for the artsy-fartsy crowd to worship." What indeed makes these Frenchmen & Argentinians so enraged? :-( ” - jgcorrea
The Round-Up (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established... (90 mins.)
Director: Miklós Jancsó
“ As usual, director Jancso's personal symbols and stylistic obsessions include: the use of nudity to signify humiliation, the totally impersonal depiction of cruelty and violence, the menacing images of empty spaces, and slogans. Plenty of slogans. He was just a pseudo-artist in the service of Zhdanovism and socialist realism. ” - jgcorrea
A Night Full of Rain (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Candice Bergen and Giancarlo Giannini star as two people from very different worlds who fall in love in A Night Full of Rain... (104 mins.)
“ A review of a young couple's life, in flashbacks, from the beginning in Italy to San Francisco and back, in love, in denial, in the struggle to come to terms with life itself. Wertmuller made a slow study on how brutality and violence can be saved by... love, of all things. Her style of direction is both archaic and narcoleptic. ” - jgcorrea
Gerry (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A friendship between two young men is tested when they go for a hike in a desert and forget to bring any water or food with them. (103 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
“ Enigmatic? Or just plain awful? It's unbelievably over-hyped, and incredibly self-indulgent. Painful to watch. The ultimate message is, most people are shallow. Well, I already knew that. Nothing more than an Andy Warhol vanity trip for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. ” - jgcorrea
The Guardsman (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A Vienna based acting couple make magic when they perform together on stage. Unknown to the theater... (82 mins.)
Director: Sidney Franklin
“ Thank goodness this was the only fictional talkie the Lunt family made together, since America got dumbed down enough as it was. A husband suspects his wife is thinking about being unfaithful in the future (mostly because she is playing a sad tune by Chopin on their piano, which seems to demand a better explanation than any exposition offered in this yawner). Apparently by the time this movie was made, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne had been married so long that there was little "chemistry" left between them, at least when it came to playing people who were or ever had been in love with each other. ” - jgcorrea
Intimidade (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  
(105 mins.)
“ the Association of Art Critics in São Paulo awarded its Best Screenplay Prize to this movie. Simply unbelievable. ” - jgcorrea
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (122 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
“ Very cheap shot at the American foreign policy. The author does not understand what kind of dangerous world we live in. This sense of domestic safety and prosperity is misleading. The film did not say anything new and has not shown any revelations. However, I am not so disappointed in Mr. Moore's work as I am disappointed in decision of the Cannes Festival to award it with the highest prize. Shame, shame on the festival that has been once an example for real cinematographic art! ” - jgcorrea
Almost Famous (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour. (122 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
“ Almost Famous is actually Almost Nothing. What's the big deal? Clumsiness and manipulation. "Mom, you just don't understand. rock and roll is poetry!", and the rest if this sugary sentimental flop left me in a depressed funk from cliche overdose. A horrible film that shows the worst of rock. I was shocked by the poor acting and the horrible message it gave. It gives the worst picture of a rock band and honors drugs as being cool. It surely brings a 'wrong' message. ” - jgcorrea
Notes on the Circus (1966 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
The short film is a montage of sped up video clips of The Ringling Brothers Circus in action set to a musical track... (12 mins.)
Director: Jonas Mekas
“ It's like watching a home movie shot by a kid pumped full of Red Bulls and Crack. I not only tolerate, but actually enjoy and even venerate some avant garde films. Just not this one. That's because it's downright painful to watch and I detect no hint of artistry or greatness about it. It does NOT look like a documentary or even a home movie. Director Mekas deliberately chose to move the camera about VERY rapidly and in a jerky manner -- making the film impossible to watch on any level. It was, to me, like torture -- and very hard on my eyes. Unfortunately, if you turn on TV-Globo, for instance, these days, you'll be in for a similar treat. ” - jgcorrea
Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Roswitha is working to carry out illegal abortions, to support her husband and two children. The police discovers her and the husband is arrested. Roswitha gets involved in social work and politics. (91 mins.)
Director: Alexander Kluge
“ That hyper-redundant of movies: a left-wing comedy closely involved with the bias of political and social activism. A young housewife and mother works as a part-time abortionist; her cynical complacency gives way to 'social engagement' when she's forced out of her job and starts waging a one-woman war against authorities, bosses, and the family at large. The director's methods supposedly recall both the best Brecht and the worst Godard; a kinda wry humor keeps the plot in immediacy without tempering its perspective. It isn't hard to think of other films that are as dishonest, irrelevant and, of course, disillusioned as this. But I must pass perforce. ” - jgcorrea
Turkish Delight (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Sort of a cross between "Love Story" and an earthy Rembrandt painting, this movie stars Rutger Hauer as a gifted Dutch sculptor who has a stormy... (108 mins.)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
“ It's only bearable for sociology students as a testimonial of Dutch pop culture in the 1970s and as a relic of the heyday of so-called sexual revolution. I suppose that other seventy-year olds can also be able to relate to this film with 'fond' reminiscence, but I find it just debilitating and annoying. It's empty, hollow and just as cold and cynical as nearly all of Verhoeven's works. When the sentimental climax arrives and Olga is diagnosed with cancer and subsequently dies, I actually did not care at all. Really an awful movie. ” - jgcorrea
Immortal Love (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
(103 mins.)
“ A film with nothing but unstable relationships. Seriously... It drags out too much. Maybe not non-photogenic to look at, but plot-wise much of it is only heavy family-tension plus constant bickering by married couple, concluding in a last-minute sigh-centered forgiveness. I've no idea about the significance of the title "Immortal Love." Boyfriend and crippled guy come back from war. The latter rapes girlfriend, they have baby, they're forced to get married. Bastard child grows up problematic for family, second child is kinda totalitarian and gets in trouble with government. Third daughter marries boyfriend's son. That's roughly it. ” - jgcorrea
Os Canibais (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A drama following stories of characters from the Portuguese High Society. (90 mins.)
“ This is a perfect example of what a feature shouldn't be. As well as most of Senhor Oliveira's works, truth be told! One can hide behind prizes in Venice or Cannes (after all the man is older than us, so festival juries must know better), but, in terms of directing he's nil, and has always been. One can't even say what's most unpleasant. This one is plainly dull, with fake voices, a stupid plot, and yet... mind you, it's actually a filmed opera! ” - jgcorrea
Der Leone Have Sept Cabeças (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A Latin-American insurgent and a black leader join forces to free an African nation. But they'll have to face a German mercenary aided by an American agent and a Portuguese advisor, all working for a mysterious woman. (103 mins.)
Director: Glauber Rocha
“ Theatrical tableaux, sometimes containing strong images, strung together with a most mediocre sense of time flow. It sometimes reminds one of the pseudo-didactic films by Godard, but even Hans Lucas used to come up with some technical level in his most irresponsible, recondite efforts. I was just horribly bored and reassured myself that the overvalued Brazilian director always had little sense of how to effectively shape his materials. Certainly no masterpiece. ” - jgcorrea
The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach as presented by his wife, Anna. (94 mins.)
“ Much of the speaking parts are letters written by Bach to various patrons complaining about the amount and speed of his payment. Anna Magdalena's diary, mostly about the death of children and sundry other family matters, is an iota more engaging. The music is disconcerting: 17th century sized chapel orchestras and choirs producing 20th century concert hall sound. The overall production sub-quality reminded me of an ESDI-like junior slide show. ” - jgcorrea
Bulworth (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture. (108 mins.)
Director: Warren Beatty
“ The storyline is as obvious as unbelievable. Do we really have to put up with such a prolonged assault of foul language? Enough is enough - I just can't be entertained by listening to this Scorsese-type of stuff. Please, serious filmmakers, do tone down your language. I know the cult street language is crude, but not everyone wants it, even in the name of realism. Bul-worthless is plainly, totally reprehensible. It's one of the most contemptible movies I have ever seen, the product of an overblown ego, one which belongs to Mr. Beatty. ” - jgcorrea
The Tree of Life (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings. (139 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ Sitting through this movie is like being forced to listen to a seemingly endless ecumenical sermon, made more politically correct by giving a nodding acceptance to evolution. Even if we leave Mr. Malick's pietistic beliefs aside, the reality he presents simply makes no sense historically or sociologically. "Tree of Life" is ostentatious, pretentious and incredibly dull. It consists of short scenes -- one after another -- which don't seem to have anything to do with each other. Also, practically no dialogue. Near the end there's a scene of a horde of people walking -- for no apparent reason -- slowly into the ocean. An expression of empty boredom? ” - jgcorrea
Tout va bien (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Godard examines the structure of movies, relationships and revolutions through the life of a couple in Paris. (95 mins.)
“ You might get angry at Godard's pretension and arrogance in this appallingly unsubtle piece of left wing propaganda. In a film, a director may hope both to entertain and to positively promote certain politics or ideologies in an engaging manner. Tout va Bien does neither. ” - jgcorrea
Serial Mom (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A sweet mother takes a little too much at heart for the defense of her family. (95 mins.)
Director: John Waters
“ Uncreative, absurd plot, poorly shot, ridiculous acting and, above all, tremendously unfunny. It's kinda torture to watch. Anyone with an I.Q. above 8 can understand the supposed satire John Waters is trying to produce, but it simply doesn't work. Watching it was not a complete waste of time because it did keep me away from any other Waters movies. ” - jgcorrea
Rose Hobart (1936 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Footage selected from 'East of Borneo' and other films is arranged and edited so as to highlight actress Rose Hobart. (19 mins.)
“ Although I must confess my taste for avant-garde in general and although I hate panning titles that have been selected by the U.S. National Film Registry, I got zilch from this and couldn't wait for its short longueur to end. What did Joseph Cornell do merit any praise? None of the images were his. He re-edited portions of the film East of Borneo (1931), destroying any semblance of story. He projected it through blue-tinted glass. And he selected some samba music as background, again not his (though it's the best feature). The result is a mishmash of meaningless images unconnected to itself or to the music. As bad as East of Borneo may have been, I'll rather watch it than sit through this thing again. ” - jgcorrea
How I Won the War (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
An inept British WWII commander leads his troops to a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe. (109 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ Simply, absolutely one of the most boring and self-important films ever made. In 1967, director Lester made no secret of his conviction that he'd staged the greatest antiwar statement since 1930's All Quiet on the Western Front. In reality, it's one of the worst films of any kind since 1895. Here's his antiwar strategy. Take a few British soldiers against Nazism and show them as a bunch of fools, cowards and lunatics. Show that their mission - building a cricket-pitch on enemy territory - is absurd. Show Beatle Lennon's idiotic minor character bloodily killed. That's it. Doesn't it make you hate War? Doesn't it prove that G.I.s are suckers? Doesn't it make you want to protest Vietnam, Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Syria? There are more laughs in any Beetle Bailey strip than in this turkey, which I was unable to watch entirely at Cine Paissandu 47 years ago. (I walked out.) It's unfunny in every way. ” - jgcorrea
Lonesome Cowboys (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Five lonesome cowboys get all hot & bothered at home en the range after confronting Ramona Alvarez and her nurse. (109 mins.)
Director: Andy Warhol
“ This flick is utterly worthless and there's a reason why no one would distribute it and there are so few copies of it everywhere. As I visited L.A., I'd heard of it and expected something artistic and/or unique. It's absolutely devoid of artistry, and, as far as uniqueness is concerned, stands out as one of the worst things one has ever seen. Just plain sloppy on every level of filmmaking: camera work, editing, sound editing, acting, cinematography, in short any aspect is a low point in here. The plot is utter crap, with simply lewd explicit homosexual overtures. Warhol does not even attempt to portray sexuality (homo or hetero) as anything more than indiscriminate slut-dome. And, of course it's not even erotic. ” - jgcorrea
A Safe Place (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A strange young woman lives in a fantasy world where she can never grow up. (94 mins.)
Director: Henry Jaglom
“ If you have a taste for Fellini, Antonioni and Godard will you feel right at home with A Safe Place? Well, no. Mr. Jaglom is not in their company, with his pretentious mess from start to finish. I don't mind his considering himself enlightened and sensitive, but I'm not buying his type of cinema. It makes me want to throw up, not because I'm formally reactionary, I actually favor experimentalism. However, I must commend any filmmaker who does it with his own funds (not bad to be wealthy) and - mind you - his entire oeuvre is based on his love life... ” - jgcorrea
Hot Fuzz (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Exceptional London cop Nicholas Angel is involuntarily transferred to a quaint English village and paired with a witless new partner. While on the beat, Nicholas suspects a sinister conspiracy is afoot with the residents. (116 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
“ Why is this silliness parade so highly rated by fans? If you're into camp, it's for you. If you favor wit, it's most definitely NOT for you. If you liked Porky's, Animal House or any one of their clones, you'll love it. There are a few clever puns and word twists, but the ending is most predictable. Rather a "dud" than a "bomb". ” - jgcorrea
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living. (99 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
“ I'm always nonplussed when these filmic tortures seem to be every buff's favorites. Not once did I laugh, or even crack a smile, besides getting irate by the nonsensical plot. ” - jgcorrea
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling. (126 mins.)
Director: Walter Salles
“ When it comes to revolutionary characters... Boy, do they get good treatment in Hollyweird & the liberal left! Any anti-Democracy sentiment is alive and well! Shall we bring back the failed guerrilla and glorify them, sparking interest on those amazing, intriguing individuals? Whenever I discuss Guevarism with younger folk these days, I'm amazed at how factually ignorant they are, when it comes to the history of anything - except of course soccer, schools of samba, funk and TV novelas. They support every 'argument' with cliches, slogans, and regurgitated information that can't stand up at all to well-informed fact, or to (that liberal nightmare!) logic. So, what to get from this biopic? What ideas molded Che on his trip? Where did he learn to kill and torture? The movie doesn't explain it at all. ” - jgcorrea
The Fifth Estate (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A dramatic thriller based on real events that reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century's most fiercely debated organization. (128 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
“ Be prepared for a completely fictional account. It promised to be meaningful expose on what WikiLeaks really mean. We were lied to. Assange and every other character are empty shells. We're deliberately kept from ever seeing any emotional depth. Relentless aberrations of ego dominate the plot, which cuts between litigation over the WikiLeak money and Assange's own rise to power. If you enjoy vicarious ego trips with no emotional gratification, this is it. ” - jgcorrea
On demande un assassin (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
(90 mins.)
Director: Ernest Neubach
“ An heir of an indebted family decides to end his life and calls for it a professional killer, who agrees to remove him within 48 hours. However the next day, money, luck and love him smile again. So a vicious hide and seek between the murderer and his victim starts. Supposedly the comedy intended cynicism and scathing, but the result was pitiful to say the least. ” - jgcorrea
Zorra Total (1999 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.7/10 X  
“ Plummeting humor is a bottomless pit for me. This Brazilian tele-series is an example of how low jokes may fall over ten-plus years. Comedy is a delicate art, which can only survive by relying on fun, creativeness and imagination. It “is a serious business, a serious business with only one purpose -- to make people laugh.” (W. C. Fields) ” - jgcorrea
Two If by Sea (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Frank O'Brien, a petty thief, and his 7-year-long girlfriend Roz want to put an end to their unsteady lifestyle and just do that _last_ job... (96 mins.)
Director: Bill Bennett
“ Lame, utterly stupid jokes used in the most idiotic instances: first-grade dialog with a Kindergarten plot. Who the hell wrote this crap? Even Bullock looks like hell. Putrid! ” - jgcorrea
Madame Rosa (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle; she's a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor... (105 mins.)
Director: Moshé Mizrahi
“ The main character is Momo, an Arab kid who helps an old Jewish lady, Madame Rosa, former prostitute and Auschwitz survivor, to end up her life with dignity. Through the eyes of Momo, this rather self-piteous, unfunny melodrama evokes a life in which morbid humor tries to be the standard line of defense against despair, but I'd hardly agree with its awarded Oscar as Best Foreign Film. ” - jgcorrea
The Great Beauty (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. (141 mins.)
“ Smart, chic, nice photography, stunning sets, and utter boredom... What's the story here? Gambardella, 65, realizes he no longer has time to do things he doesn't want to do. Well, most of us like a story in a film - even in a documentary - and it should help if the plot included someone you could empathize with, even if you didn't like him or her. If you want views of Rome, why not see a travelogue? Why so many accolades have been heaped on this film is far beyond my simple moviegoing fad. It's a bit like the Emperor's new clothes. Everybody knows there is something lacking, but nobody wants to say it because it's all so grandiose. ” - jgcorrea
Biutiful (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move. (148 mins.)
“ Having liked "Babel," I expected more, based on the critical praises and reviews. Unfortunately, it never feels like it's going anywhere. Bardem is a fine actor, but the script is dull, and the pacing languid. Nothing good happens, and everybody's life is depressing. As a documentary, it might have been excusable. As entertainment, it's an overlong slog trying for some metaphysical moments the emotional clout it never achieves. Not an awful film, but a great disappointment. ” - jgcorrea
The Adventurers (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
The wealthy playboy son of an assassinated South American diplomat discovers that his father was really... (171 mins.)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
“ A real treat... for masochists. "Dax," the son of a counter-revolutionary from a fictional South American country, beds loose women, rich women, elderly women, and so on. All done in the name of keeping his homeland free from tyranny. Every lurid cliché in Harold Robbins is assembled for this trash: murder, rape, assassination, lesbianism, miscarriage, adultery. ” - jgcorrea
A Patch of Blue (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A blind, uneducated white girl is befriended by a black man, who becomes determined to help her escape her impoverished and abusive home life. (105 mins.)
Director: Guy Green
“ Some message about tolerance and blind people sum up a strange film that for me never came together. Three family members (Shelly Winters, Wallace Ford and Elizabeth Hartman) live in some unrecognizable town; there is no sense of place; are they in a big city or a suburb? There seems to be a deli and a lot of pedestrians crossing the streets. Add goody-goody Gordon Ralfe (Sidney Poitier) and you have another unbelievable character out of kinda Victorian Dickensian novel. ” - jgcorrea
A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema. (155 mins.)
Director: John Cassavetes
“ Overly long, unpleasant and tedious. Issues such as what insanity is, when people are so mentally unstable that they should be institutionalized, who should have the authority to commit someone against her will, can be the basis for a great movie, but I found the histrionics on display here annoying and over two and a half hours exhausting. On reflection, I don't think the wife's behavior was so extreme as to have her institutionalized. If she was edging onto insanity, then it was the husband who was driving her there. Furthermore, three young kids under the age of ten living with such screwed-up parents might be having serious problems of their own. ” - jgcorrea