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smatysia

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767 reviews in total 
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The Intern (2015/I)
Light entertainment. Nothing more, 23 July 2016
7/10

This is a decent film if one does not have unrealistic expectations for it. It is, more than anything light entertainment. Nothing more. Acting from the leads was good, and, well, it should be, from Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. Sets, costumes, photography all fine. No problems with the direction. Some previous commentators have taken issue with the various "messages" of the film. I thought it was just modern Hollywood fare, leaning left, of course, but not outrageously so. The criticism of Anders Holm's casting seems valid, as he was irritating, and makes one wonder what Jules ever saw in him. I liked Christina Scherer as the harried assistant. A small shout-out to Annie Funke and Wallis Currie-Wood in tiny roles.

Emma (1996)
I'd say that this is worth watching, 10 July 2016
7/10

I have read some of Austen's work, but not "Emma" so I cannot comment on the faithfulness of the adaptation. I am a bit of a sucker for a nice costume drama, though. I thought that this one was nice. Nice sets and costumes, and scenic locations. Austen's novels were noted for being about not really very much, soap operas of the upper classes, thought not the nobility. This at a time of tremendous upheaval in England, near the culmination of the Napoleonic Wars. A bit of a diversion, I suppose. No one in the film seems to work, so I guess you could call them the idle rich. I liked Gwyneth Paltrow's performance, and was totally charmed by Toni Collette's. Polly Walker looked very nice, in a small and stoic role. I'd say that this is worth watching.

Jumanji (1995)
Probably worth checking out, even today, 25 June 2016
6/10

There is a lot to like in this movie. The concept was intriguing. Robin Williams plays a basic Robin Williams character, i.e. a man-child. I never would have recognized Kirsten Dunst or Laura Bell Bradley as children without the cast list, but they both performed well. David Alan Grier did befuddlement just as well back then as he does now. Bebe Neuwirth and Bonnie Hunt did nicely, and looked very nice as well. The pace got a bit frenetic for me, though I understand that this was deliberate. The CGI animals looked fine in the distance but up close, not so much. I know we are spoiled by the unlimited effects in films today, but some of these, like the lion, looked terrible. I saw in the credits that they had Industrial Light & Magic, so I doubt it could have been done any better at the time. And some of the things in the ending did not seem to totally follow from the body of the film. It's probably worth checking out though, even today.

Fled (1996)
Mildly entertaining movie, 9 June 2016
5/10

This was a mildly entertaining movie. Laurence Fishburne was in his prime as a taciturn action figure. Stephen Baldwin was adequate, quite an accomplishment for any of the Baldwin brothers not named Alec. Salma Hayek was awfully gorgeous back then, and one can see why she has had quite a career since then. And kudos to Brittney Powell in a small role. We have to mention Will Patton as well, in a role badly underutilized. There were decent production values, unobtrusive direction, nice photography of the Atlanta area. But overall, this film missed the mark, largely due to an uninspired script. Can't recommend it, but it isn't terrible either

Georgia (1995)
Started off with a certain amount of promise, 30 May 2016
5/10

This film started off with a certain amount of promise. Interesting cast, good production values, et cetera. Mare Winningham was good, as her Oscar nomination testifies to. Jennifer Jason Leigh was good, also, but in an intensely dislikeable way. Not her fault, it was written that way. Ms. Winningham showed off her pipes as well as her acting chops, but Ms. Leigh was playing a singer with basically no ear, who's ambition to sing was all to emulate her sister. I have no idea if Ms. Leigh can sing or not, but if so, it must have been tough to play a character who could not, but tried to (in public!) constantly.

But the character's struggle with addiction made my mind wander. It has been done to death, and the arc is always the same. Eventually the movie bored me, the cardinal sin of cinema.

Needed more exposure to the poetry, 26 March 2016
3/10

I knew very little about Rimbaud and Verlaine. I looked them up cursorily after hearing a reference to them in a Bob Dylan song. So I knew then that they were homosexual French poets. I think that Dylan's mention had more to do with tempestuousness in relationships than gayness. This film had nice production values, good photography, pretty good acting performances, nice period costumes, etc. I was unfamiliar with the cast, aside from DiCaprio. The film seemed to focus on Verlaine's and Rimabaud's outrageous and unacceptable behavior. I wonder if it could have been better if there had been more exposure to the poetry, because one gets little sense of their talent. Perhaps it doesn't translate well into English. But the huge turnoff was the gay kissing and sex scenes. Way too icky for a normal person.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Every single character is intensely unlikeable, 11 March 2016
5/10

Not a lot to say about this one. I had taped it from cable some years ago, probably because it had Lara Flynn Boyle in it. I suppose it was a direct-to-video release. It does not seem to have been seen widely, with only 3 comments and 280 ratings. It is very professionally done, with nice sets and costumes, good photography, and unobtrusive direction. It also sports a good cast, with good performances by Miss Boyle, Frank Whaley, and John Spencer. Honorable mention to Anna Levine and Cynthia Watros. But every single character was intensely unlikeable. That's not necessarily a fatal flaw for a movie, but it turned out that way in this one. The cast and crew could not overcome the script.

Very disappointing, 17 February 2016
5/10

Very disappointing. I expected much more from a film that brings this much star power. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with it. Robert Redford was the usual Robert Redford, which is good. Lots of very good actors in supporting roles, like Stockard Channing, Kate Nelligan, Joe Mantegna, Miguel Sandoval, and Noble Willingham. Michelle Pfeiffer just never rang true in her role. And I am a big fan of hers, and think that she is a phenomenal actress. I just never could believe in her in this one. I suppose that the writing must be at fault somehow, although I cannot say exactly how, But by the middle of the film I found it boring.

Trainwreck (2015)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
More romance than comedy, 8 February 2016
4/10

This seems to have been sold as a straight comedy, rather than the genre it truly fits in, the romantic comedy. I suppose I should have seen it coming, but did not due to the television advertisements. Nothing wrong with rom-coms. But this one really wasn't very good. With all of the comedic talent assembled, it was much heavier on the romance side. It had a few chuckles, and some pathos toward the end, but it really did not resonate with me. Amy Schumer and Bill Hader were just okay. The celebrity cameos were okay, if gimmicky. By far the best performance was by Brie Larson. If I am not mistaken, I saw her in something recently, I think "21 Jump Street" playing a teenager, (very well) and just three years later, playing a part near her own age, (27 according to IMDb). Quite a transformation. Anyway kudos to her.

Much more a tragedy than a comedy, 27 January 2016
7/10

Jack Nicholson in his early heyday. Four years after Easy Rider, and two years before One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He carries the film, as intended. Otis Young was good here, as well as a young Randy Quaid. Interesting casting as Quaid towers over Nicholson and film composition usually frowned on that. Nice turn put in by Carol Kane in a small part. Pretty good photography of the wintry Northeast, and unobtrusive direction. Apparently this movie was packaged as a comedy at one time, but I found nothing funny about it. Seems like every aspect of the tale was basically tragic. Pretty decent film, overall. A lot of profanity, which was sort of the style in the early Seventies.


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