Reviews written by registered user
Venarde

9 reviews in total 
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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Just astonishing, 21 January 2005
10/10

A frank story of homosexual love and tragedy made 85 years ago, featuring such amazing things as a same-sex dance hall and a drag ball as background to dramatic scenes. It still packs a wallop, thanks to its purpose as an impassioned plea for justice and a wonderful central performance by the Conrad Veidt. Kino has just released this reconstructed version of about 50 minutes, based in large part on a print discovered in Moscow, with intertitles and a few stills telling the rest. It's a an effective drama and a fascinating history lesson. A good bit is still missing, but the most amazing things turn up, so maybe more of Anders als die Andern will as well. To have this much is wonderful.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Exquisite near-masterpiece, 19 June 2004
10/10

A totally winning character study in which each of the three main characters has major troubles with trust and friendship. The stature of Fin, brilliantly played by Peter Dinklage, is the most obvious obstacle to "normality," but Patricia Clarkson's Olivia and Bobby Cannavale's Joe have their own less obvious limitations. Dinklage is astonishing and Clarkson and Cannavale are marvelous -- such emotionally raw and at the same time very funny performances are a total joy to watch. Three major supporting actors also do a great job. The movie doesn't know quite how to end, but that's a minor matter given the riches that come before the credits rolls. A unique gem.

Trick (1999)
Cheerful light romantic comedy, 20 February 2000

Two young New Yorkers, each somewhat awkward in his own way, get to know in other over an evening that does not go as planned. Don't expect anything profound or moving. However, the two central performances are very appealing and Tori Spelling makes fun of her own annoying persona by singing campily and wigging out in a very funny scene in an all-night diner. Only the scene in the club goes on too long; an overall gentle sweetness, about middle-aged and physically ordinary gay men as well as young beauties, pervades. "What kind of a girl do you think I am?"

11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Sweet, appealing, low-key coming-of-age movie, 19 August 1999
8/10

An old story: boy leaves stifling place he grew up and goes to the big city. In "Fun Down There" the boy is gay, but more curious than tortured, and his innate gentleness (and exoticism: he appears to be the only person in New York City who knows anything about dairy farming) quickly attracts new friends and lovers. Although self-conscious in its fixed-camera style and long shots of urban landscape, the movie succeeds in entertaining primarily through its nuanced portrait of Buddy, the playful post-adolescent country mouse from upstate New York. Some of the acting here is not good enough to sustain the very long takes, but co-writer Michael Waite as Buddy manages to develop the viewer's sympathy for a character who is, in the end, fairly ordinary. That very ordinariness was quite a statement about a young gay person in 1988, and it is still too unusual in American films. How refreshing to see a character who in the context of his world is more unusual for knowing about milking cows than for being attracted to people of the same sex. The movie is also notable for the portrayal of Buddy's parents (played by Waite's parents) who are not ignorant bigots, but lovin g if confused and provincial. Stick with the final credits for the father's comment on his son's new life in New York. Despite some amateurish aspects, the humor and sweetness of script and characterizations more than sustain this film for its brief running time.

13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Tol'able movie and much more, 5 March 1999
10/10

Prepared to find this silent feature mawkish and slow, I got a pleasant surprise. This story of a boy's coming-of-age in rural America before the age of the automobile is somewhat sentimental and melodramatic, but never gratingly so. (And I can't sit through the 1934 "Little Women.") Richard Barthelmess is simply superb as the hero, capturing the changing moods, the giddy grandeur, silliness, and seriousness of the adolescent male. It's superb silent acting: his face goes from boyish to mature as the scenes demand. Also excellent is Ernest Torrence as the chief villain, who plays his outlaw not as just mean or greedy but genuinely creepy: he revels in the suffering of other creatures. Thus the movie suggests interesting things about the nature of criminality. It looks great, too: shot on location, beautifully composed, and with effective use of tinted film stock.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Tol'able movie and much more, 5 March 1999
10/10

Prepared to find this silent feature mawkish and slow, I got a pleasant surprise. This story of a boy's coming-of-age in rural America before the age of the automobile is somewhat sentimental and melodramatic, but never gratingly so. (And I can't sit through the 1934 "Little Women.") Richard Barthelmess is simply superb as the hero, capturing the changing moods, the giddy grandeur, silliness, and seriousness of the adolescent male. It's superb silent acting: his face goes from boyish to mature as the scenes demand. Also excellent is Ernest Torrence as the chief villain, who plays his outlaw not as just mean or greedy but genuinely creepy: he revels in the suffering of other creatures. Thus the movie suggests interesting things about the nature of criminality. It looks great, too: shot on location, beautifully composed, and with effective use of tinted film stock.

Sheer joy from start to finish, 5 March 1999
10/10

The experts can argue over which is Hitchcock's greatest movie. This one is hard to beat for sheer enjoyment, with several classic sequences, the usual perfectly inflected performance from Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint's icy seductress, and a truly great Bernard Hermann score. On the whole, about as much fun as the movies have to offer, as long as you don't stop to think how the hero manages to nearly get himself killed with the help of every modern mode of transport there is....

Warm, funny, touching, 5 March 1999
10/10

Even a crabby person might get his heart warmed by this story of two teenage boys whose friendship turns into love. The world of a housing project, good and bad alike, is ably portrayed, with a couple of interesting subplots. Mostly sunny in outlook, the movie does not hesitate to show ugliness, either. The Mama Cass songs help a lot, and the acting is uniformly excellent. The ending may not be realistic, but it is satisfying and hopeful.

26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Still exciting and entertaining, 24 February 1999
9/10

OK, so the story is corny, and some of the performances (dialogue coached by James Whale!) are early sound acting at its worst. This is nonetheless a very watchable movie, even its hoariest plot devices (all about friends and enemies and duty and how betrayal is sometimes the greatest expression of devotion, creeeeeeeeeak) excused by breathtaking aerial footage and a truly memorable sequence in the middle involving a German dirigible over London. Some German dialogue adds realism, although that sign in occupied France that reads "Munitions Depot" is not too authentic. The portrayal of women, including a very young Jean Harlow, makes the late 20th-century viewer squirm; it's also unfortunate that that German general looks so much like Pee Wee Herman. Watch it anyway for the flying and the extremely effective two-color and three-color sequences. "Top Gun" doesn't look nearly as good and will not age this beautifully.