Reviews written by registered user
|67 reviews in total|
Nope, didn't do it for me.
I read a number of reviews about character development, great director homages, etc. and just didn't see them. Yes, the town and the costumes were great, but a number of good actors are here (it has a great cast) and they just didn't get enough good material to work with. Also, too many character clichés - the pragmatic preacher, the sheriff bucking the overlord, the overlord's boneheaded son, the 'stranger' who is a reformed bad guy AFTER a bump on the head, the climax inside the alien spaceship - to make this more than two hours of mildly escapist entertainment. One reviewer wrote that this would have made a great STRAIGHT western, and I agree.
Despite the attractive scenery and outdoor photography, viewers are probably better off with the original material or other classics such as UNFORGIVEN, THE SEARCHERS or HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER. '3' out of '10.'
Frankly, this could have been a great movie. And, while I appreciate the
creative use of profanity, it went from a barely sketched opening plot to
unbelievable. The highlight of this film is the unrelenting profanity, and
that's about it. Although there are several very funny moments, it's hard
to highly rate a film that is basically variations of the word f*ck,
'midget' jokes, and crude sexual references. The scene where Bernie Mac
gulps down the stool softener while talking to John Ritter was funny,
Anyway, this is a 2 out of 10. It could have been much better without being sappy.
"American Beauty" is excessively praised as a great piece of American film,
when in reality it isn't even good enough to be a decent rip-off of better
films. Unfortunately, many viewers have fallen for it. ("Moonspinner55"
and "tubist38" have good reviews. Note that one person who initially
praised the film reviewed it again a year later and said, "What was I
thinking?") Mendes wastes some excellent actors in these meatball scenes
(for example, Spacey throwing the asparagus...who couldn't do that well?) A
lot of this film is some snappy one-liners or clever scenes strung together
with...nothing. Everything that happens is almost laughably predictable.
And the crucial scene, where an empty plastic bag blowing in the wind is
supposed to impart some deep meaning on the true nature of existence in the
phenomenal world? Right. Finally, I must comment on Annette Bening, who is
one of the better actresses working today being cast in the role of a
cartoon...what a waste.
This film is a "1," and should in fact have a turkey symbol next to it. "American Beauty" is the perfect symbol of the decline of the serious American film. "Ordinary People," "Out of the Blue," and "The Sweet Hereafter" are much better films.
This film owes a great debt to both of the films mentioned above. The
review by Brian Orndorf hits many of the main issues, and he's right when he
notes that viewers are left wondering, "Why wasn't this a better film?"
Anyway, it is beautifully shot, has an interesting premise, a startling conclusion, but not a lot else. Mostly, though, it has Joe Morton, one of America's best character actors. He is excellent here (as usual), and his work with John Sayles means he always brings something extra to all of his characters. (My favorite line of his was, "ALWAYS have a backup.") And there is one excellent scene, about 20 minutes before the conclusion, that makes for one of the best space shots ever.
Anyway, "coulda shoulda woulda" been better. A "4."
A moving, bittersweet film from David Lynch. Richard Farnsworth and Sissy
Spacek are terrific in this emotional comedy/drama that portrays the
situation I believe everyone faces later in life: How to deal with the
past, recent and distant, and how to make amends.
I can't say enough about Farnsworth in this role. His facial expressions and tone convey almost as much as his words, and he nicely balances the comedic and dramatic aspects of the narrative, particularly when he embarks on his trip. The scene where he has a beer with a new friend about his age is particularly moving, as the stories and memories they share have been in the news the past few years but never discussed in this fashion.
Of note also are the scenes near the film's conclusion, when he visits with some very kind people while waiting for repairs. Without going into detail, I found them to be an almost melancholy commentary on our society, as we realize that there aren't many neighborhoods or people who are like this anymore. The film's final scene is very well done, as the veteran actors "show their stuff."
All in, a memorable viewing experience that is recommended. An "8."
I can't believe I liked this on its original release. I found the film
quite dated (crack is the drug of choice), poorly written and edited, and
unfortunately poorly acted. Among my issues are: Ice-T as a guy named
Scotty Appleton? Why didn't Mario ever tie his tie? Is there one more
Mafia stereotype they could have included? Was an editor present, or did
they just open the shutter and shoot? And finally, Chris Rock gets the
award for worst cold turkey (later recidivist) performance ever (for a
character named "Pookie"). He was bad. Redemption is present, however, in
Wesley Snipes' performance (his career unfortunately seems to have followed
the Treat Williams model), the music, and the design and filming of the
A "3." See "Do the Right Thing" or "Boyz N the Hood" instead.
N.B. Judd Nelson's appearance here brings to mind one of the great questions of the 80s: "What the hell did Andrew Ridgely do in Wham?" Judd is in this film because...?
"Blood and Wine" is a very pleasant surprise. The reviews by "J-Crew" and
"Robert Ruplenas" are dead on. This film is well-acted, as Nicholson nicely
underplays his role here. All of the characters are complex and behave as
one might expect in real life (i.e. no one is truly good or, for the most
part, truly evil), the scenery is great (yes, including Jennifer Lopez), and
the tried and true cliches are kept at a minimum. There are a few issues
with the heist and the ultimate confrontation between the principals, but
overall this is the best work from Rafelson since "Mountains of the
A "7." Highly recommended...
Overblown, disconnected, confusing...at times even boring. Brosnan has "the
look" and, apparently, the backing to be the best Bond in quite a while.
Too bad there's nothing else to help him out. This film made little sense,
the acting was mailed in (although the lead villain, Renard, was much ado
about nothing), and the gadgets and chase/action scenes are almost lifeless.
Sadly, Brosnan does not come off well here, either. Frankly, what the
series needs is a return to fundamentals - strong plot, few gadgets,
BELIEVABLE women (Denise Richards is extremely attractive, but her
acting...UGH!), and a sense of the struggles (Bond's internal one and those
of the other central characters and their respective "organizations") that
Fleming wrote into the novels. I've seen every Bond film except the last
Roger Moore effort (I just couldn't take it anymore), and the producers need
to really think about where they're going. They've got a good Bond, cash,
technical advancements that are mind-boggling, plenty of girls if they need
them...this product should be MUCH better. Also, please can the comedy, and
put more dramatic punch into the plot.
I'd rate this a "1." Rent "From Russia With Love" or "Dr. No." They're cheaper and more enjoyable.
N.B. I generally enjoy Michael Apted films. This was a BIG disappointment from him.
This is a funny take-off on many subjects: conventions, TV, fans and fandom,
having a "career", and many others. The humor is pointed but not cruel, and
the major points of the film are wrapped around a TV episode of "Galaxy
Quest." Tim Allen seems much nicer than the original as the somewhat
clueless William Shatner character (apparently many of the original Star
Trek regulars intensely dislike ol' Captain Scene-Chewer), and Alan Rickman
and Sigourney Weaver get their licks in as the Nimoy/rest-of-the-lesser-cast
members struggling against the "Captain's" domineering, boorish success.
The film is notable in that it restricts gore and profanity enough so that a
broad audience can be included, although younger kids may not get all the
references. And, despite the many jokes at their expense, the fans who keep
this industry alive with letters and conventions and dollars get their
moment to shine. On another note, the most interesting character I saw was
the evil Sarris, who is in fact highly intelligent yet quite malefic,
seeking to destroy the nice aliens (who don't understand deceit or the
"historical documents" despite incredible technological advancement)simply
because they are...nice and simple and without artifice.
Anyway, it's fun and worth a couple of hours, even if only to see what level of SF fan you are. A "7."
Apparently a "direct to video" release, only those in absolute desperation
at the local Blockbuster will rent this (count me in this group). Expect
experience almost immediate regret (less than one minute after the credits
end). These is one redeeming scene in this film, and it lasts less than 2
minutes. The rest of the film incorporates every major action/loner/rogue
hero film cliche imaginable.
A definite "1." Avoid at all costs.
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