Reviews written by registered user
Charles-31

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72 reviews in total 
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Mayday (2005) (TV)
6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Sad excuse for a movie..., 2 October 2005
2/10

This is the usual TV movie fluff obviously tossed together to cash in on a few of those old conspiracy ideas floating around forever about airlines, the military, and evil corporations. What really astounded me, though, is the director: T. J. Scott. If you look at his credits, he's clearly a TV director, but his credits include some really powerful stuff. He directed some of the best episodes of Andromeda and La Femme Nikita. He directed what are really the best of the best of Xena including the Callisto episodes. Surely, he knows better than this nonsense. He not only agreed to direct this slop, but also involved in the writing of it.

A sure sign of a bad adaptation of a novel: Nowhere in the credits do you see mention of Nelson DeMille or Thomas Block, the authors of the book this film is based on. Clearly, they asked that their names be removed from the resulting disaster.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Director's commentary far better than the film, 3 January 2005
3/10

This is a film that fails dismally by itself, but is redeemed by a truly great DVD special feature.

I truly love experimental movies and imports and this clearly falls into that category. But, the film is not at all well done. It's dull in many places and too often reduces to sex for the sake of prurient interested. The plot, or lack of plot, rambles about and is very confusing. Some of the symbolism is so obscure you won't know it until you listen to the director's commentary. You have trouble identifying with any of the characters because they are so unrealistic.

But, it is in the area of the DVD director's commentary that this film shines brightly. Just out of curiosity, I turned it on after watching the film and was surprised how much I learned about the film, the directing process, the actors, and the director's life. Interestingly enough, the commentary is far better than the actual film. Though the film is meant to be somewhat autobiographical, the real facts of Asia's life are far more interesting and make much more sense, though they be somewhat strange to those of us looking from the outside. So many commentaries tend to be just some trivia about the shoot. This one tells lots of great stories about the people and process. You'll learn so much about stolen shots and when the sex is real and when it's not. I wish more commentaries went out on a limb to tell of truth about what is going on in the creative process as she has done here.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Poor substitute for the real thing, 14 December 2004
5/10

One scene sums up the entire problem with this film. Near the end, Rush is portraying Sellers in "Being There", an excellent and often overlooked film.

If you've seen Being There, the parts reenacted in this film demonstrate the clear difference between the genius that was Peter Sellers and the poor performance of Geoffrey Rush in this film. Sellers was smooth and fit the role perfectly. Chauncey Gardiner was a very difficult role to play and Sellers fit is perfectly. Rush looks awful, jittering around and not at all bringing the character to life. They made Rush look like Sellers, but he hasn't the acting chops to hold up in this role.

Am I the only one getting tired of "flawed genius" films? Do we really need to trash the memory of every great actor?

20 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Isn't it Ironic, 31 January 2004
1/10

I thought it rather ironic that the morning after watching Bowling for Columbine I received a call from the NRA. The call was a lobbying call trying to drum up opposition to Senate bill 1807, which the caller claimed was sponsored by John McCain and Hillary Clinton and would ban all gun shows. Of course, both of these statements are a lie. The irony here is that I got to hear both the anti-gun and pro-gun lobbies lie through their teeth in a single 24 hour period.

This movie is so loaded with falsehoods that it can never be taken seriously. I don't care what Michael Moores politics are, but if he can't make an argument without splicing speeches out of order and out of context, inventing statistics, lying about timelines, stating myths as fact, or any of the other stupidities in this film, he obviously has no argument to make and that puts him on the same level with the NRAs, Ann Coulters, and Rush Limbaughs of the world.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Good simulation of newscast?, 5 May 2003
3/10

I'll not add to the bad comments about this movie, the movie speaks badly for itself quite enough. But, I was surprised to see some people comment on how realistic the newscast was. I think they should switch back and forth between this movie and CNN. The difference is astounding. Even the stupid commercial break gimmick is wrong; how many commercials did we see on the first day of the Iraq war? All of the news people look and sound like bad actors, not journalists.

"Taken" (2002)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
How many cliches can you fit?, 5 January 2003
5/10

I avoided watching Taken. I'm an avid SciFi fan and watch the SciFi network quite a bit. If you watched SciFi any in the month preceding Taken, you noticed something: an onslaught of Taken advertising on a Biblical scale! By the final week or so, you got two (2) Taken ads in every commercial break. I was so sick and tired of it that I just could not watch Taken when it came on. And, if you didn't watch Taken, you didn't watch SciFi. They removed all non-Taken programming from the schedule and ran the series many, many times.

But, I'm a SF fan and the lure of anything new in SF just got to me, so I slipped into a few of the early episodes. Well, I have to tell you, there's nothing you can do to make the 50's interesting. But, there were occasional moments of interest. When the marathon showing came on I watched much of the series (sorry, but who has 20 hours to spare?) I was not impressed.

Okay, I know what they wanted to do. They took all of the silly alien abduction stories and area 51 and all that nonsense and used that as a basis for the story. Given that, the show started as a cliche, but on purpose, which can be quite fun. However, they then proceeded to toss in every other stupid, overdone cliche they could think of. Vast Government Conspiracy#5, Alien Baby#2, there's an entire catalog. They created exciting scenes that meant nothing. Mary saw the horrible future? What horrible future? She never explained anything. Or, are they fishing for a series here? Plot holes abounded, and the end was standard Star Child plot #1. Is it coincidence that Encore has been running V quite a bit lately?

Boring, overly long, and cliche. Clearly not worth the advertising bombardment.

The Dish (2000)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Why not tell the real story?, 2 January 2003

I'm waiting for the big movie: `Apollo 11', (with Tom Hanks, of course) about Bob `Skyman' William's historic landing on the moon. It's full of thrills and chills as they battle meteor storms and a Russian plot to destroy the craft on the ground which is averted at the last minute by a commando operation led by. Oh, come on, you say. They would never do something as stupid as rewriting the history of the Apollo moon landings, even changing the names, right? Actually, Hollywood has a habit of rewriting history all of the time. This movie is a good example of this (for the most egregious and ridiculous example, see Memphis Belle, which only resembles reality in the name of the aircraft). In `The Dish', all of the names are changed, the personnel are different, the structure of the project is different, and `exciting crisis' are added. So, you don't get to know what part of history is correct (the high winds) and what part is bogus (the power failure). You miss the idea of what part Parkes actually played and the technical achievement it took. You get the idea that this was some small operation that got `invited' to help, missing the huge infrastructure they had to build to support the operation. You don't see the incredible skill of the operators, some of whom did not get to see the very landing they were helping relay the video from because they had complex jobs to do. Truly fascinating stories, such as the inadvertent destruction of the scan converter and its rebuild using scavenged parts, are omitted in favor of things like the project director's `dead wife' plotline (also fiction; in reality, she was the one with the picnic baskets). This is a fun movie to watch, but imagine how much more significant it could have been if it had chosen to tell the real story.

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Why, oh why?, 13 December 2002
3/10

This movie is best summarized by a conversation early in the movie between the Rob Lowe character and his wife. He's just told her that the ship is being taken over by terrorists, that the captain has been shot in the head, and that they have to get off the ship. She responds with a monologue about how she just wants a little excitement in her life and he should let her have it. From there it goes downhill.

Oh, and the props department really should have done some more work to make the statue that's so important in this film look like something more than paper mache.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Nice idea crashes into cliche mountain..., 9 December 2002
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This started out as an interesting movie idea. Charlize Theron plays Sara, your standard eccentric stalker type out to save the world (and apparently independently wealthy). Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a computer hacker pretending to be an advertising executive named Nelson. It was not one of his better roles. Anyway, Nelson meets Sara, Sara proceeds to play the lovable stalker and Nelson falls in love. The fascinating theme they could have played with was the idea of a woman who has this habit of inviting a man into her life for one month, to help them and then to move on. Had that been the theme of the movie this could have been an interesting character study.

But, they instead proceed to move into the greatest movie cliche of them all: (spoilers here, so watch out) she's dying of a non-disfiguring disease. Actually, I figured it out pretty quickly, so I'm sure you will as well. From there the coincidences, cliches, and plot holes begin to pile up so high you can't see the screen anymore.

This is a remake of a previous version in 1968. Never heard of it, you say? Neither had I. So, why remake it?

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Needed more attention to detail., 24 September 2002
5/10

This movie is a true story of a real airliner accident where a miscalculation causes the plane to run out of fuel during a flight. I found the cockpit scenes to be fascinating, but there were some really stupid mistakes that distracted from the film enough to annoy me. The most ridiculous of these was the behavior of the crew then the plane finally comes to a stop on the ground. Instead of immediately proceeding with the evacuation of the plane, they all just sit there, supposedly thanking their maker for surviving. Then, they open the front and rear exits and proceed to all exit from the rear of the plane. Not one person exits from the front, even though the slide is in place and the drop much less than in the back. Even the cockpit crew feels some need to work their way through the smoke to the back of the plane to exit. Why?

I was also annoyed with the endless boring background stories and thoughts. They actually have voiceovers at one point of what the passengers are thinking. It was very dull and filled a lot of time.

Time was a particular problem in this film. It really could have been a good hour story. The real action takes place in the last 35 miles of the flight, which does not take very long at over 200 knots. Instead, we had one fifteen minute period when they only went five miles. Then, in a matter of seconds, they jumped 10 miles. I think this would have been more powerful had they told the ending of the flight in real time.

The cockpit suspense was really good and I enjoyed it. The endless pouring over manuals and trying different thinks made the story more real. Had they been a bit more realistic about time and dropped the side stories, this could have been a really good TV movie (but not a "real" movie). I give it 5/10.


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