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I love this guy
I love Michael Ian Black. I've been watching him in various shows like "Stella" and "The Jim Gaffigan Show" for years. Recently read his book "You're Not Doing it Right" and laughed so hard, as well as some of his children's picture books like "A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea" (very cute). Will soon be reading his books "Navel Gazing" and "America, You Sexy Bitch." He is a true Gen X icon.
This special wasn't quite as funny, in my opinion, as his other one "Noted Expert." I laughed, yes, but when I watched "Noted Expert" I was literally crying from laughing so hard. But still, anything with MIB is worth watching. If you like humiliation humor (he mostly talks about humiliating *himself*) and don't mind a little crudeness and swearing, he's the guy for you.
I read Susan Cooper's five Dark is Rising books as a teenager and loved them. Extremely well-written, interesting, full of old British pagan myth that evokes Arthurian times. This movie is a desecration. In the books, Will had a happy family and all the kids got along, which apparently is just impossible in American movies. I got a creepy feeling when watching the beginning of the movie (that's all I could stand), seeing Will's apparently long-standing mutual hatred with his older brothers. In the books, the Stanton family was British. I would compare the warm vibe of his home life with the James Herriot books (All Creatures Great and Small, etc.) And Will was a much more compelling character than the one portrayed in the movie, 11 years old instead of 13, no love interest to muddy the waters. I read that Cooper tried to get the producers to change some aspects of the script, but I doubt they listened to her. She must have sold the rights to her books wholesale, with no ability for creative control. Why is it that the Brits can take British and American books like this and create amazing movies and TV shows (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, The Secret Garden), but if an American lays one finger on it, it turns immediately to crap? Americans just don't "get" the atmosphere and deeper layers of British books.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
I was hoping for more
I came to this movie from what is probably a unique viewpoint. I'm a reader of the thousands of online stories that depict homosexual love and sex in a well-written, tasteful and non-exploitive manner. (Yes, anything and everything flourishes on the Internet, it seems, even good writing by amateurs.) So my reaction to "Brokeback" was . . . it's kind of tame. I guess I should have expected that from the first major Hollywood movie to actually show gay sex. I'm REALLY glad the movie was made and that it's done so well, because homophobia still ruins lives and it's the stupidest thing in the world. I just hope it's the first of many that will explore this topic.
I really enjoyed this film. I'm a mild Metallica fan (I went to one of their concerts but never bought any albums), and this movie definitely caused me to become a lot more of a fan. It was totally fascinating in its depiction of the creative process, when it works and when it doesn't. It was so awesome to see these famous people depicted as normal human beings. I never would have guessed that Hetfield and Ulrich had such issues. They're both control freaks and they should just realize that and figure out a way to work together without butting heads. (Although by the end, they did kind of figure out a way.) Seeing the way they fought, I was surprised that the band has been together so long. Probably there were tensions building for a long time, which finally came out before the movie started because of some unnamed reason - maybe they were finally starting to grow up and realize that Metallica might not be the be-all and end-all for the last half of their lives.
Amazing to see how it was all breaking down, before Hetfield went into rehab. They've been such a successful band that I would have thought their creative process was locked-in and running smoothly. But they're just humans, like all of us. I thought their humility in letting this psychological stuff be shown in the movie made them seem like even better people. Yeah, I know Hetfield's and Ulrich's egos are big as houses, but they let the filmmakers show them at their worst, and that takes guts.
Commentors keep saying Kirk Hammett was shown to be a wimp in this movie. Quit being so f***ing macho! I thought he was totally cool. Not everyone is a control freak like Hetfield and Ulrich, and in comparison Hammett looked mild-mannered and agreeable. What's wrong with that? The band is lucky he wasn't another huge ego like the other 2 - THAT would have made things really difficult! Plus Hammett's a total babe.
Another commenter said that he/she would have liked to see them talk more about why they loved heavy metal, and I would have, too. I don't think they're self-aware enough for that though. They did get more self-aware about their feelings about *each other* during the course of the movie, but they didn't talk much about the creative process. The creativity the movie did show was fascinating. Heavy metal seems to be, at least for Metallica, an expression of deep psychological wounding, and for them to open up all those wounds (they definitely didn't heal everything in the therapy they got) and heal them might have been detrimental to their creative process, in the end. What would they have to rage about, if it all got cleaned up? Some others writing here have cynically suggested that the band was just trying to create another popular, lucrative product, but I don't agree. I saw them struggle mightily to create music that was gripping, intense, and an expression of their feelings. I see that as their passion.
Big Eden (2000)
How did this movie ever get made?
This movie was so boring. I'm as a gay-friendly as a straight person can be, but I just found this film so slow and pointless. I guess I'm just not a fan of this type of movie - a romantic comedy without the comedy, and not much romance either. No excitement, no spark, *nothing*. The main character was bland although fairly likable. The guy who turned into the other main character was so uncomfortable, he made *me* feel uncomfortable. I got to the point where if I had to see a look of disappointment on his face again, I was going to scream.
In addition, the movie was confusing. Someone else mentioned that the main character's crush wanted a Platonic relationship, and I didn't get that at all! I thought the crush wanted a romance with the main character, and I also thought the main character reacted stupidly to the crush's admission of this. Anyway, I"m done ranting now.
The Closer You Get (2000)
Nothing wrong with this formula
I loved this movie. I've seen all the little English and Irish movies mentioned in previous user comments, and liked them all. Yeah, movies like this stereotype Irish people, but in a sweet way. What's wrong with spending an hour and a half with stereotypes that you like? (and don't get me wrong - I like to see Americans stereotyped in sweet movies too). It was a very pleasant 90 minutes in my life. I liked all the characters but especially Kieran, who was good-looking (especially before his first appointment with Giovanni) and lovable in his oafishness.
And I'm not some kind of "idjit" - I'm a smart and cosmopolitan American who likes to kick back with some of "the old country," to get away from the hectic modern life. I don't see these people's lives as being bleak. After living all my life in shallow, depersonalized, over-commercialized, over-technologized suburban McCalifornia, I'd like to move somewhere like that. Nowhere I've lived would the postmistress care enough to withhold mail she thought wouldn't be good for you. I've never experienced an entire group of people not related to me knowing my private business. Yeah, I'm sure it would be intrusive and obnoxious, but what a nice change. It's all a matter of perspective.
(Edit in 2016): I needed to relax one night and watched this movie again. Still very charming, although it definitely was weird watching Professor Qu-Qu-Quirrell being cute!
I wanted a movie, and I didn't see one
Sheesh! I really don't understand the reception this movie has gotten. It was too long, and STILL it couldn't make me care about the characters. There were WAY too many LOUD fight scenes, and not enough plot and character development. So many peaceful scenes were cut short by abrupt cuts to obnoxiously noisy following scenes, that I got sick of noticing how many times it happened. How can a movie make you think about larger themes of good, evil and power when it doesn't give you *time* to think?
And how are you supposed to care about the death of a character when there's hardly anything in the script about him up to that point? How are you supposed to care about these different races when you know nothing about them? We learn a little bit about hobbits, but not enough. We learn hardly *anything*, zip, zero, about the race of men. Ditto elves. Why should we care about the romance of Arwen and Aragorn if we only get 1 tiny little scene about it? (It amazes me that people say this movie has romance). I cared somewhat about Frodo, but I got to the point where, if I saw him gazing at someone wide-eyed ONCE more I was going to stab myself through the head with my popcorn (this isn't as easy as it sounds).
The special effects were great, but special effects, action scenes and wide-eyed gazing do NOT make a movie!
The Emerald Forest (1985)
Great movie about a dying civilization
This is also one of my favorite movies, along with Dances with Wolves and Last of the Mohicans. It makes me sigh to think of the beautiful native civilization, where people live in harmony with nature. It really points out how messed up things are in our civilization. The native scenes are gorgeous, both in the scenery and in the relationships portrayed. Definitely a worthy film.
One of my favorite movies of all time
I loved this movie! Several reviewers called it "treacly" and "syrupy," but I thought it expressed some spiritual truths in a very sincere and non-sentimental way. (Sometimes I have to wonder about reviewers -- I think they're too intellectual sometimes.) This movie was about redemption and learning the error of your ways. I happen to also believe in reincarnation so I found it very profound.
Office Space (1999)
Really memorable film
I really liked how this film portrayed the corporate rat race. I thought the main character was really cool and quite sexy in a low-key way. The scene where he just sleeps all day instead of going in to work will stay with me for a long time, because it's so easy to relate to -- how often have you wanted to just stay in bed instead of dragging yourself up for another round of futility. I also liked the slow-motion sequences that other users here have commented on. They made corporate drones in business shirts and ties look macho. "King of the Hill" showed that Mike Judge can do more than Beavis 'n' Butthead, and this film solidifies that.