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Gilligan's Island was more entertaining. Really!
I don't understand the popularity of this show. The story writing is very bad. The characters are unbelievable. Every one is angry at everyone else. Everyone is suspicious of everyone else. Everyone lies. Everyone has secrets. It's just not realistic. Generally, people don't act like that. Yes, there are some people like that, but what is the probability that every person that boards a particular airplane is over the top paranoid? They gave each character some bad trait and then they amplify it to unbelievable proportions. That might be an interesting experiment for a two hour movie, but it gets tiresome after a while. The dialog writing is very bad. Sometimes it is not really dialog; it is two monologues. Sometimes it is just two people exchanging clichés; they sound like a team of TV sitcom writers are following them around the island and telling the what to say. Hardly anyone ever explains themselves and worse yet no one ever asks them to. They all act and talk like children. That was okay in "The Lord of the Flies" because they were children, but these people are adults. These people will all kill each other or self destruct by their own stupidity and then the show can end and that will be good. "The Tribe" was a better show. In "The Tribe" the characters were all unique and colorful, but with only a few exceptions, not over the top crazy. "The Tribe" characters were all children, but they acted more adult than the characters in "Lost".
Dom durakov (2002)
It's like a poem
I love this movie. The third time I watched it, it made me laugh and it made me cry. I know that a lot of people are not going to like this movie. It's like a poem.... you get it or you don't. People complain about the Bryan Adams segments. I thought they were too few and not long enough. They were Zhanna's dreams.... her escape. And after you feel Janna's frustration, unhappiness, and pain you welcome the relief and warm colors of the Bryan Adams escape from reality. The movie has some very surreal scenes. One of them is the scene where Zhanna is looking at her wedding pictures in her room while the Chechen sniper is shooting out her window. Yuliya Vysotskaya is wonderful as Zhanna. Her face is so child-like and expressive. She doesn't even need to speak; I can read her mind in her face. She's a really great actor. I love the scene where she discovers Ahmed in front of her in the lunch line. She says nothing, but her face changes several times, showing some strong emotions that you cannot understand unless you've seen the entire movie up to that point. Zhanna has some funny little quirks, like the way she steps over every doorway threshold. But I thought it odd that I didn't laugh or cry until the third viewing. The first time, I was just in awe. I was just wide eyed with amazement.
But by the third time I loved and understood the characters, especially Zhanna, and so I could feel the movie.
Tru Confessions (2002)
Clara Bryant is awesome
I just saw Tru Confessions again last night. Clara Bryant is so wonderful in this movie. She's happy, she's sad, she's funny, she's angry, she's cute, she's adorable, she's thoughtful, she's moody.
She has an amazing range as an actor.
My First Mister (2001)
Off to a great start...
The two lead characters/actors were great in this movie. I agree with most that the first half of the movie was great but after midway, it went down hill. However, I disagree that the illness of R was a cheap plot contrivance. That R had an illness that he kept a secret was important to the story. It explained why his wife left him (even she didn't know). It explained why he shunned people for years. It was also an important part of the story because he used the secret to betray J. Earlier she lost his trust by making the bizarre window display. We were made to think that R, being older and wiser, wouldn't do such a thing to her. But he made an even greater breach of trust by not telling her this secret, even though she had told him all of hers and they had earlier agreed to not keep secrets from each other. This is why she was so hurt. And it showed that R was just as likely to be flawed as J was. It demonstrated their similarity.
La cité des enfants perdus (1995)
This movie is visually surreal
I disagree with the person who commented that this movie is not
surreal. The movie is visually surreal in many places, but I offer
just one example. Whenever the surface of water appears in the
film, it has a quality that I've never seen in water. Somehow, it's
been excited so there are thousands of tiny wavelets all of
approximately the same size. (It reminds me of an odd painting
that I saw in the Getty museum in LA.) If you look at the surface of
the ocean or a lake, it's usually a continuum of wave sizes. Also
there doesn't appear to be any direction of motion in the waves as
there would be if they are being driving by the wind. Finally, the
surface of the water is highly reflective and yet the source of the
light reflected from the surface cannot be discerned--the scenes
are so dark. It is obvious that the director intended the water to
have this surreal appearance. The director is genius. It is the
attention to such small details that makes this film awesome.
Excellence is in the details.
Get a Clue (2002)
Trying to be Clueless
This is one of those Disney movies where they weren't really trying. Lindsay Lohan seems too sophisticated to be involved in a movie like this; so I wonder how it happened. There were so many convenient coincidences in the story that I began to suspect that Douglas Adams' improbability drive had been engaged. The real treat and surprise in this movie is Brenda Song as Jen. This girl has the most expressive face.
Two of a Kind (1998)
The Best of Mary-Kate & Ashley
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have done a lot of work mostly ranging from mediocre to bad. However, they are not entirely without acting talent. The evidence for this is in their short series "Two of a Kind". With good direction and writing, the these girls show much promise.
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
one of my favorite movies
I think this movie affected me more than any other I've ever seen. When it was over, I just sat through the credits wishing it had stopped after the `Next to Last Song.' Unfortunately, the `Next to Last Song' had been interrupted--not quite as Selma had planned it. It was 1 AM when it was over, but I couldn't go to sleep because I knew that I would just spend hours laying there thinking about it and then after falling asleep eventually, I feared it would give me nightmares. So I had to find something else to divert my thoughts and then went to sleep eventually at 4 AM.
I don't really know what this movie is about. It is not a musical. It is not an epic story. It's just something to be experienced--an emotional journey. Perhaps I like it because I like contrasts. Selma's real life and her musical fantasies were so different. They were obviously different on the surface, but there is more to it than that. There is a meta story here. In reality Selma is helpless--a victim with no control of her destiny. In the musicals she is god like. In the beginning of the very first song she waves her arms an points as an orchestra conductor to cue sounds and actions in the world surrounding her. She is in control. In the same song, she gives instruction to her friend, Kathy; in real life it is the reverse. In a later song, she touches Bill on the forehead and wakes him from the dead. In another song she calls people forth to catch her whenever she falls. She is god like in the songs.
The amazing thing about the songs is how they got me, the viewer, completely involved in the film. In the final scenes, when the prison guard coaxed Selma into the `107 Steps' song, I was thinking, `Yes, yes! Excellent idea! We need a song, now!' And then again before the `Next to Last Song' I was coaxing Selma in my thoughts, `Please, I need a song now!' That is exactly how my thoughts or rather feelings progressed through the movie--from you need, to we need, to I need. I was completely involved. I'm guessing that was the purpose of the film--to get the viewer completely and personally involved. It did that.
The movie made me cry, but not because I was happy or sad as is the case for other movies. It cried because it frightened me. And it didn't frighten me as horror movies do. Such movies are only fantasy so the fright doesn't really run very deep. This movie shows how frightening the injustice of reality can be and that fright goes into your very soul.
Some say that Selma isn't very bright. I would disagree. It's her optimism in the face of the impossible that makes her seem naive. But near the end of the film when the reality of prison has eroded her optimism, her reprimands and instructions given to Kathy, Jeff, and the lawyer, are clear evidence that she is rationale and still working to her careful plan.
Some might think I should qualify this review by stating that I'm a big fan of Bjork's music. But I don't think that makes me biased. The reason I like her music is the same reason that I was amazed by her acting. I like her music because she is so very expressive with her voice. The movie demonstrates that she is every bit as expressive in her acting as she is in her singing which shouldn't be surprising after all.
It is said that Bjork cannot act. But American movies viewers have come to believe that it is those characters that keep their cool during catastrophe that are good actors--those characters who remain stoic in the face of death. This in only a wish or a fantasy that Hollywood movie makers feed to viewers and the viewers come to expect. Would real people act that way? Bjork's intensely emotional portrayal of Selma was so realistic that it frightened me--right down to her nervous finger tapping in the final scene. That is probably how I would have behaved. It's not pretty. It's not how real movie heroes behave, but I think it is how many people would behave.
best film version I've seen
This is the best film version of the Lewis Carroll story that I've seen. Other versions usually employ comedians as actors and their performances are always way over-the-top. This version is really amusing because the dialogs are so deadpan serious. Sort of Pythonesque. I think that is how Lewis Carroll intended it to be done; that is how I read the books. I love the dialog between Alice (Kate Beckinsale) and the White Knight (Ian Holm). They are both so intense and sincere about discussing such very silly topics and that is what makes it so amusing. Kate's reactions to many of the inane things that happen is so subdued. It's perfect.
I liked it
I don't really like musicals. But I liked this movie. In fact, when I do watch musicals I usually fast forward through the songs. But in this movie, I thought the songs were the best part. Though the young actor who plays Annie sings very well, she doesn't have a mature and experienced singing voice, but that just made her performance more honest and innocent.
The Other Sister (1999)
This was overall a good movie. True there were a lot of things that made it imperfect, but the performance of Juliette Lewis makes me forget them all. She is fantastic in this movie. She emotes so much with her eyes and her face, it's amazing. My favorite moment was when she slipped at the wedding and said "wife" instead of "husband". When she realized her mistake her face was a study. I laughed, I cried. it was great.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Hollywood to excess
The main problem with this film is that it takes everything that Hollywood loves about itself and puts it into one movie. Hollywood's self obsession goes way over the top in this movie. If you think that American film is generally substandard, you really won't like this movie.
Lawn Dogs (1997)
A strangely wonderful story
The young Mischa Barton as Devon is fantastic in this movie. She seems like a young Sarah Polley and her part in this movie makes me think of Reese Witherspoon's Danni Trent in "The Man in the Moon". It may be that my opinion of this movie is biased by her performance, but I don't think so; this is a strange and wonderful movie. It reminds me much of "Edward Scissorhands" (a great movie) for two reasons. First for the way it portrays a surreal suburbia. Second, in that it is a modern day fairy tale. It may be a better fairy tale than "Edward Scissorhands" for the very reason that people sometimes criticize this movie. Wildly different things happen throughout the movie. It is as if someone made it up as they were telling it. But I suspect that is how most fairy tales originated, so for me it enhances the mood that makes fairy tales good. Others criticize the ending that seems to provide no real closure or resolution. But there is no good way to end a story with such an awkward relationship. Similar relationships in "The Man in the Moon" and "The Professional" had very painful conclusions. In Lawn Dogs there was some hope implied in the last words of Devon to Trent.
Reese Witherspoon is phenomenal!
Because of the violence and vulgarity, this is a hard movie to watch. On the surface, it looks like one of those movies I would hate. But Reese Witherspoon is just so amazing as an actor, that I really like this movie. Her character is so funny. Brittany Murphy's part was also a nice little surprise. Seeing her in "Freeway" makes me think her talent was wasted in "Clueless."
Sliding Doors (1998)
A pleasant surprise
I didn't expect this film to be so entertaining. It's a fantastic film. It reminded me very much of "Red" in the way that it explored possibilities and chance. There was another similarity. In "Red" the color red was an important element in many scenes and similarly in "Sliding Doors", doors that slide figured importantly in certain scenes. Strange.