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Inglourious Basterds (2009)
OK, there's a great joke. One joke, but a great one.
Some Nazis get killed.
Some film gets played.
The SS guy has a great time (He's the lead, I don't know why the trailer makes it look like Brad is.) Lots of riffs on classic shots, and possibly lots of in-jokes in the non-subtitled background dialogue.
Myers is gold.
But to be honest, during the long two and a half hours. Twice I thought "you could lose a reel here and not miss anything".
These reels are 20 minutes long.
Probably about right.
A void. Avoid!
If only 0 was an option for voting. I see a lot of movies and this is for sure the worst in the last 18 months. Do you pick on the unfocused direction, hokey committee writing , ugly cinematography or crap acting? So many choices. A night school course on how to use a scope lense without squeezing and stretching peoples' faces would have been handy. But let's look to the positive- what did this flick teach us? Africa ROCKS!!! Every time something needs to happen big rock blares out for no good reason, the Africans don't even seem to notice it- then again- Africans don't notice people (SPOILER)kicking the entire back out of a pick up truck, leaping onto a train from camels in the middle of the desert etc etc. To be honest McConnaughey and Cruz are always light weight, they're not stars, the action based on a Clive Cussler book is the star. Sadly this star was strangled, sodomized and left to bleed to death in a Nigerian back alley. One look at how the writers credits are arranged on the title card warns of direness to come. Surprises are few and far between, at one stage i leaned over to my movie buddy and said "if this prick uses the damn ironclad ship buried in the desert to shoot down a helicopter I'll scream" He did, I did. Actually this isn't worth continuing, just don't.
Minority Report (2002)
No spoilers, but questions on gaping plot holes...
Philip K Dick stories make great films. Blade Runner and Total
Recall are standouts in recent science fiction flicks and Minority
Report is a complete exception. Good Lord in heaven above- how
did they get it so wrong?
Having Jan De Bont as producer didn't help ( can anyone watch
Twister a second time? Let alone- ugh let's not go there...)
The plot as such- future crime, these mutant pre-cogs have
visions of murders about to be committed, Tom and co have to run
around stopping them at the last second- great idea.
Add a ton of pointless arty grain look, trashy blue-green grading,
overblown lighting, appalling sfx with the tell-tale blurry out of focus
of a job shoddily done, rip off Fifth Element and how many other
flicks and ram the whole thing into an overlong chaotic mess.
Such hopes I had! Kaminski behind the camera, Spielberg ready
to make up for the dogs' breakfast that was A.I., Scott Frank at the
typewriter, the Cruisester, Max Von Sydow- how could you go
Too long, too slow, too showy, too damn obvious ( you don't have
to be a pre-cog to work out who the surprise bad guy is on his first
appearance) and too long.
Please cut 20 or 30 minutes!!! Please!!! You could start with the
repeated explanations of what's happening ( in the 3rd act!!!),
which is repeated 10 minutes later for all the people who are
asleep in the audience. If you're explaining what it's about twice in
the last half hour you have a bigger problem than anything I've
mentioned and you should be recutting not releasing.
But enough of the petty stuff- some good news. There are two
good scenes (Peter Stormare as druggy doctor making no sense
is hilarious) and a handful of good jumps ( girlfriend threw
popcorn everywhere by reflex action- a good sign, but more due to
sound editing) and a lovely scene in a greenhouse.
Colin Farrell is great and shines, Kathryn Morris; so good in
Deterrence and The Contender, is wasted here as the estranged
wife. Is this her reward for being so underutilised in A.I.?
Methinks not. Tim Blake Nelson, Lois Smith, yes, some lovely
stuff. But here's what you want- PLOT HOLES!!!
If the future is so hi-tech that freeway scanners can find your iris in
a car, why don't they shut off Tom's security clearance to pre-cog
central once he's on the run? and once he's caught- they still don't
do it. P.S. Do they have safety glass in the future? apparently not...
The people mentioned have given me some of my favourite
moments ever in films ( even Jan did nice camera once upon a
time) But this entire film blows like a runny nose.
Next time Hollywood stops and holds its' breath while La
Spielberg decides what he will deign to do next, don't.
Just don't. Mr S, come out of your castle and mix with some real
people, maybe then you'll get back to making films we can realte
1/10 (for Peter Stormare and Caroline Lagerfelt)
Positive, no spoilers.
That irascible Aussie is back again. Bryan Brown, king of Laconia, plays Parker, an Australian businessman based out of London, practising his French with a German whore. He's having a great time, until he gets kidnapped, held for eleven days, then released, all apparently appropo nothing. Bryan Brown of course, is having none of this and sets out to find out what happened. A good solid mystery/thriller with a good helping of obsessive detective work.
The opening alone is great- watch it in the middle of a couple of westerns.
When Strangers Appear (2001)
Not his best work at all. (no spoilers)
When Strangers Appear- not much happens. You want them to disappear, and fast. But they don't. They just keep reappearing. And you just get sleepier and sleepier. And still very little is happening. Very slowly. I have a theory; the director suffers from "Kevin Smith syndrome"; that is- his first film would appear to be his best, because the following films just get worse. To check this theory watch "The Ugly" and then "Heaven", then this. Of course I'm not recommending any of these films to anyone...
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
The first masterpiece of the Twenty-First century.
What else can you say? Baz and co. have changed the way we view movies. If Moulin Rouge had been released last December, we would have had a real Best Picture. Start thinking about the 2001 Oscars- these kids will feature heavily.
Q: what colour is the sky?
WHY? Why bother, the storie's not even very good, sure it starts
great and all, but boy does it bog down and die several times or
what? I honestly thought it was a close to 3 hour film, but it wasn't
even two. It just seemed like three. Great cast espec. Cliff Curtis
and Paul Reubens. Aging Rachel and Ray did NOT work at all. In
it's favour though, I did think it brave of them to hire Dana Carvey
with a mop on his head for the final scenes.
Road Movie (1974)
Quick review, no spoilers
Two independent truckies( Bostwick and Drivas) pick up an emotionally battered prostitute(Baff) en route to Chicago. Her presence forces them to change their plans drastically.
Gritty seventies flick has all the hallmarks of the era that make it so great when compared to today's franchised McMovies; excellent performances, gritty characterisation and overall gritty downbeat feel. I found this film to be constantly engaging and intriguing with it's meandering plot taking the viewer on a journey not dissimilar to the film's protaganists. ROAD MOVIE is in a micro genre all by itself and is a fascinating glimpse into the darkside of the truckies' world. The perfs by all three leads are excellent,with Regina Baff a standout as the unstable and unpredictable hooker with a heart of molten lead. The script is solid and the characterisations are full of ambiguity and subtlety. How refreshing to see a flick where the characters aren't cliched cutouts. Cinematography is gritty and portrays the ever changing American landscape as a post apocalyptic wasteland. At times I felt as if I were watching a low key science fiction movie. ROAD MOVIE is an excellent antidote to anyone burnt out by the soulless franchised marketing -driven fx reels that pass for cinema in the current climate.
The Perfect Storm (2000)
Thrill to George Clooney getting wet!!!
Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio looks like Skeletor in "He-Man". Diane Lane has forgotten how to act. None of the boys have anything to do except have water thrown on them. I hope they're not selling this on the effects- they are terrible- almost as bad as the overblown score. The script is dross. The first half-hour is nothing, we have Jaws ripoffs for the next, then it's frantic cutting between bad cgi and a stupid sub-plot until the end. This is not from the Wolfgang Peterson who gave us Das Boot and In The Line of Fire, this is from the Wolfy that gave us Air Force One. Surely the worst movie of the year so far, and it's been a pretty bad year... Avoid unless you have an aversion to good storytelling. Repeat Avoid.
The Green Mile (1999)
Not a film, more a t.v. mini-series
The tagline should read "From the director of the overly-long shawshank redemption, the incredibly long green mile. When the old man character says "Sometimes the green mile seems so long" he got a huge laugh from our audience. 190 minutes!!! OVER THREE HOURS to tell a ninety minute story- even revealing that the big black guy is big took what seemed to to be two minutes. Thank the Lord it didn't get a nom for best editing, it needed well over an hour cut right out of it. Does Frank Darabont own eastman kodak? Or do people just give him far too much film stock for free? Frank writing, directing and producing, allowed him to commit cinematic diarroehea yet again. There are some laughs, a great ensemble of the guards, but not a FILMIC moment in the whole thing. It is a play!!!! Not a movie, but it's framed for television, not one attempt at using the cinematic canvas was attempted or even considered. The Green Mile is not a film. It is a two part mini-series stealing good theatrical release money from real movies. Avoid.