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Penn & Teller: Fool Us (2010)
Excellent show! Bring it to the US!
I love P&T, and this show is incredible. The show features up-and-coming illusionists who perform in front of the studio audience as well as P&T, and P&T attempt to figure out how the illusion was done. Some of the acts are absolutely incredible, and the production quality of the show is outstanding. Good camera work, not a lot of filler, etc.
My only regret is that it's not available in the US. You can't even WATCH it on ITV's website if you're in the US - bummer! You can, however, watch some clips on Youtube, just enough to give you a real desire to be able to see the show in its entirety. It appears that it is still being produced(?) in July 2011. Maybe Mr. Davey will be approached to produce an American version of the show - I sure hope so!
Couldn't stop laughing
Barbershop is the "Amos 'n Andy" of the new century - I laughed so much and so hard that my face hurts this morning! (I especially liked the old barber's comments about Jesse Jackson - how true!) I can hardly wait for the DVD to come out (although if they change or delete one word of that dialog, I'll refuse to buy one).
The Grifters (1990)
An original, for a change!
It's sad that it's so unusual to see a movie that's original, and that doesn't have to rely on special effects to hold an audience. THE GRIFTERS was original, well-written and superbly acted. I was very uncomfortable several times when it looked like John Cusack was going to be seduced by his mother, and there were a couple of rather grisly scenes that disturbed me, but I liked the film enough to see it on three separate occasions (I seldom see a film more than once).
I ordinarily don't like John Cusack (he's a whiner - I just want to slap him!) - but was impressed with his interpretation of his character in this film.
The film may be a bit too shocking for some, but it's well worth a rental.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Sappy... but enjoyable
Predictable and sappy, Remember the Titans is memorable not for the story, which has been done, overdone and done again, but for the performances of some of the actors. Hayden Panettiere (the young daughter of the white coach) was incredible -- I find it difficult to believe that she's really that good at her age, so I have to attribute a lot of her performance to the director, Boaz Yakin. I'm ashamed that I don't know the name of the other performer who was absolutely outstanding -- the fat kid who finally got to go to college -- he did a super job. Denzel Washington also did a very good job with a part that was pretty much a cliche. In fact, my wife (who's in the business) mentioned that 'there is really something wrong' because Washington didn't win an Oscar for his performance. I think it's not because Mr. Washington is black, but because it's difficult to give an actor a major award for acting in such a sappy little movie. I was most disappointed in Will Patton, who I think is a very good actor (if you like his work, you must see The Paint Job!) At times it seemed to me that Mr. Patton was almost embarrassed by the dialog he had to utter, and his performance wasn't up to his previous appearances.
The movie is just one cliche after another: a combination of racial (racist whites/noble blacks), regional (dumb, unethical Southerners) and sports (the team with the most heart always wins) stereotypes, and it gets very tiresome. The movie is said to be "BASED on a true story," but it's obvious that the writer took some pretty large liberties with the truth. Sort of like Titanic being "based on true events"; yes the boat did sink, but...
But all in all, it was an enjoyable movie -- not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination -- but a nice, enjoyable little movie nonetheless, with some uncommonly good acting from a couple of people.
Dr. T & the Women (2000)
Outrageous - wouldn't have missed it!
Like a lot of Robert Altman's films, Dr. T & the Women is shocking, outrageous, sometimes hilarious and sometimes very sad. You may not like what he says but you have to admit that he says it very, very well. His parody of Dallas women is right on, and that makes a lot of the women here pretty angry, but after all, it's just a movie, and no one's going to be telling your kids that they have to see it in school.
The premise (events surrounding a busy gynecologist) is fresh, and my prediction is that there will be a "Dr T" television sitcom within three years. After all, I still remember when Altman's M.A.S.H. was pretty outrageous!
The Big Hit (1998)
What is it?
Is it a farce? A blood-n-guts gangster flick? A romance? A comedy? An action film? That's the problem: The Hit doesn't seem to know what it wants to be, and as a result isn't much of anything. Even Christina Applegate (God, she's a fox!) can't save this one.
This film wins my pick for the absolutely worst movie of the decade. If Mike Myers ever comes to Waxahachie, Texas, I'll personally find him and take my $6 ticket price out of his hide. And now we're going to have a sequel???!!! Just kill me!
The Newton Boys (1998)
Linklater is a genius
How Richard Linklater made this film on such a small budget is a miracle in itself; the casting was inspired; but the inclusion of the clips of the real Newtons was pure genius. I read Richard's script a year or so before the film went into production, and I felt that this movie simply had to be made... I was right. With a little advertising money from the distributor, the film could (and SHOULD) have been a blockbuster. This is the film that defines the Texas film industry, and as a Texan, I'm proud of Linklater's effort.
One of the funniest series I've ever watched. Sure wish Nick would bring back re-runs.
City of Angels (1998)
How much of the "watch the dark angels sitting on a sign high in the air doing absolutely nothing" can one take? I just don't get it. The idea that an angel could fall in love so easily is not only absurd, but it offends even MY theology (and that's pretty hard to do!) I feel like the studio should send me my $3.50 rental back.