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2 on a scale of 10
One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Incredibly bad. Let's see if I have this straight.
1) Not funny, so just in case I missed the joke, there was NO joke.
2) The "music" SUCKED!!! Give me Chicago or Fiddler on the Roof or Little Shop of Horrors or Music and Lyrics or a thousand others. This is the worst excuse for music I've ever heard in a movie by a country mile.
3) Almost no likable characters. We can't even like the stars. Even if we did originally, we find out we shouldn't have.
4) Dark, dark, dark, dark, dark.
5) Heavy English accent. Maybe with subtitles, I could have given this a 3, but a 2.00001 is a little more like it.
6) Ridiculously over the top gruesome bloody OJ Simpsonish throat slashings. And, not once or twice - many, many, many times. BORRRRINNGG!!
7) Oh, yum. Mommy, can I have one of those human meat sandwiches with roaches crawling all over them?
The fact that the masses seem to like this unGODLY piece of Tim Burton crap no longer shocks me. You can never go wrong underestimating the intelligence of the average movie goer!
P.S. Did I say the "music" SUCKED?? Cause, just in case I forgot... the "music" SUCKED!
El laberinto del fauno (2006)
6 on a scale of 10
I simply can't see what all the fuss is about regarding this movie. There have been hundreds of more violent movies. There have been dozens of more magical movies. There have been tens of better war movies.
What's more, there was very little, if any, character development. We were sympathetic to the child, but pretty much couldn't care less about any of the other participants. All of them were disposable.
I don't like subtitles, but I can live with them and decided not to penalize the movie for them. But, given the choice, it's a no-brainer.
The biggest problem with the movie is simple. It's the ketchup and ice cream analogy. Both are good, but they suck together. Here is a war movie with a child who lives in a fantasy world - presumably in order to escape her terrible surroundings. The fantasy was fairly interesting. The war was fairly interesting. Putting both together in the same movie is ketchup and ice cream. It is irrelevant to me that the reason the fantasy even exists is because of the war. The fact is, they don't mesh well in a movie. But, I will admit, that's just my opinion. Someone else may find the exist together just fine.
5 out of 10
Best picture of the year??? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! It looked like a cross between an angry Spike Lee movie, Falling Down - the angry Michael Douglass on a bias barrage, and a souped up version of NYPD Blue in the gritty city.
First of all, there was NOTHING believable about any of it. Nothing, nada. You cannot tell me a single scene, nor a single story line that had even a hint of believability to it. Every single character in the movie was played WAYYYY over the top. In every case, they would have been obliterated in real-life society LONG before they got to appear in this movie.
Oh, and snow in LA. A mother of dead son spurning her other son. A cop going back into a burning car to save a woman that he knows could "finger" him. And, on and on and on and on and on and on and on. Endless................
The number of coincidences to allow all of them to end up interacting with each other is just plain ludicrous! What are we... 4th graders? Please!!!!!!!!
What also bugged me to no end was the UNBELIEVABLE number of things that happened to all these people in the space of 24 hours. Not only was in completely impossible, but the number of times that it was PAINFULLY impossible ... are too many to count.
If I want to see a movie about racism, I can watch Spike Lee or Falling Down. Either would be a more than worthy substitute for this GROSSLY OVERRATED movie! I give it a 5 out of 10 because except for all that, it wasn't that bad.
Shattered Glass (2003)
9 on a scale of 10
I really liked this movie. We have all seen hundreds of times when journalists go to their editors about a story. Sometimes it seems like half the movies have one of those scenes. Afterall, breaking news is sensational and the more sensation in a movie, the better it is - right? Of course, that was the premise for Shattered Glass. It is the story about a reporter (Stephen Glass) who completely and totally fabricated his stories - mostly for the New Republic. On the one hand, it is a sad commentary on journalism. On the other hand, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. I have little doubt that editors all across the US immediately became a little more diligent in their cross checking of facts.
What makes the movie so special are the performances. Hayden Christensen is brilliant as Glass. He does a great job of appearing completely calm about his web of deceit - even after the lies begin to unravel. At some point, there are so many that any one of us would crawl into a corner in shame, but yet he keeps coming up with more lies to try to cover the old ones - right up to the end.
I thought this was not only a good movie because it deals with a subject that surely must go on a lot, but is rarely brought to light - but also because it is a true story. The reputations of many people who had responsibility for his stories were damaged. The credibility of the magazines involved was undercut. And, journalism, in general, received a major black eye.
Riveting and interesting. Hard to imagine anyone not liking it.
The Hunt for Red October (1990)
8 on a scale of 10
I like political thrillers and this is one of the better ones. I almost gave it a 9, but just couldn't quite pull the trigger. The movie has an interesting concept - a brand new state of the art Russian sub suddenly goes missing on its way to the US. The US discovers this and has to decide if it is heading to the US to start a war or if the commanders of the sub are attempting to defect.
Most submarine movies are good because they can't devote a movie to special effects or scenery or much of anything except the intensity of the confined environment. We feel attached to that tension because we know that the sub is deep under the sea and everyone's lives could be negatively affected at any moment. The best sub movie of all time, in my opinion, was Das Boot.
I like Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. As hypothetical antagonists, they only appear together very briefly at the end of the movie. But, both did a good job. Lots of testosterone in this movie. In fact, even the typical female window dressing was absent.
Interesting story, good acting, political thriller. That's a combination that, as long as it doesn't get screwed up, is worth at least an 8. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything magical or special beyond that to make it a great movie - just a good one.
The Interpreter (2005)
7 on a scale of 10
Nicole Kidman is truly one of the great actresses of our era. I rarely find fault with her performances. Even in this movie she was fine. So was Sean Penn - who is also a great actor. However, with respect to how they played off each other, I thought it was weak. The movie is clearly supposed to be heading toward a bond between the two (we presume emotional), but the chemistry between them is about a 3 on the believability meter.
Having said that, the movie is interesting to watch - especially with the unique backdrop of the United Nations. Lots of suspense. An occasional tense moment. Overall, not too bad a time. But, then I am biased because I like political thrillers much more than the average movie. If not for that, it certainly would not rate above a 6.
The film was WAY too long! It was 2 hours and 8 minutes, but it seemed like it was AT LEAST 2 1/2 hours. This is a common problem with movies nowadays. They could have easily cut out 20 minutes and it would have been much better.
Additionally, there were quite a few implausible elements to the plot - especially near the end - and the plot, itself, was rather muddled at times. I certainly won't remember it for long.
8 on a scale of 10
This was close to a 7 vs an 8, but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. And, the single reason why was because it was a new idea.
Like any action movie, there are parts of it that are implausible and probably ridiculous. However, as this movie was predicated upon the good guy being an expert at misdirection, smoke and mirrors and pretend, it was relatively easy to accept many seemingly absurd events. My typical objection is when someone that is a middle manager by day gets in trouble and suddenly figures out how to wire a nuclear bomb. At least as an FX expert, you assume he can do just about anything with special effects.
Consequently, the action was good, the story was fine and the acting was adequate. Personally, I felt that the acting job by Brian Dennehey was exceptionally good and I felt he stole the show.
I would have liked to have seen a little tighter ending. I have NO idea how Brown knew where to go at the end of the movie. I felt that he was making major assumptions when he attacked the guy in the park - how did he know there weren't more of them? I can't imagine he would have hid in the boat store rather than nearby. And, so forth. But, that is par for the action course.
All in all, not bad. Certainly well worth the time on HBO.
The Last Supper (1995)
7 on a scale of 10
I do not believe this movie was designed to make any political statements. All the characters and their views are far too shallow for that. I think the goal was one thing and one thing only - the moral of the story. And, to interpret the moral of the story, you have to understand the ending. I think there are several plausible interpretations.
The most obvious is that they got what they deserved. They committed murder and they deserved to pay for it. That's nice and clean and follows the format for a million other movies.
Another option is that they became the very thing they had grown to hate - that being the intolerance of others.
A third option is that they had their chance to kill Hitler, but they were unable to see Hitler in front of their eyes. The point being that the Hitlers of the world survive to commit crimes because people fail to see their evil until it is too late - as it was for them.
A fourth option is that all the extremists in the movie die except for the one person who walks the political fence. The point being that the only way to succeed (or even to have a meaningful message) is to manipulate the audience.
A fifth option is that they weren't "murdered" at all. He couldn't have known the wine was poison. He simply didn't want to take any chances. The point being that if you play with fire, you will get burned. And, in his case, the more perceptive and inquisitive you are, the better your odds of survival.
As to the movie as a whole, it was very average. The acting was generally weak to non existent. However, Ron Perlman was excellent as the lone survivor. A few of the worm feeders were relatively good too. But, ironically (and perhaps not coincidentally) the 5 primary actors sucked. They really did. I honestly wonder if they didn't cast a bunch of weak actors in those roles JUST SO they would show how pathetic their killing rationale was as a balance to the pathetic political rationale of their victims.
8 on a scale of 10
I enjoyed watching this movie. Of course, I like all the actors - not the least of which are Beatty and Benning.
Possible Spoilers: I have a few criticisms. 1) It was too long. It could definitely have been shorter and better. 2) I couldn't identify with why Benning's character went ballistic as often as she did. There was so little provocation when she did and yet, other times, there was so much more reason she should have, but she didn't. That was a glaring inconsistency. 3) I thought the lack of better "hands on" oversight by the mob was not believable. There is simply no way on earth a $1M investment would have ended up costing $6M without every penny being justified. The fact that she made off with $2M is beyond belief. Also, why on earth would they have let her live (if not before), then AFTER they took care of Beatty's character. They would have tortured her to get the money back. 4) How did Beatty get out of the murder wrap?? As I recall, one minute he is in jail with no bail and the next minute he is out prancing around. I may have missed something, but if I did it is the movie's fault because it was too nebulous.
Despite those objections, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I think the main positive of the movie was that this was a true story about a flamboyant, charismatic, dreamer. And, not just any dreamer, but the person whose SINGLE, unilateral, dream eventually became one of the greatest American success stories of all time. He paid the ultimate price for his dream, but his dream ultimately came true - in fact to a much greater degree than he even imagined.
Typical gangster movie in some ways - not up to the level of the Godfather or Goodfellas or others, but stylish and enjoyable to watch.
Body Heat (1981)
10 on a scale of 10
This movie was brilliant in almost every way possible. After seeing it the fourth time, I finally bumped it from a nine to a ten. The chemistry between Hurt and Turner was sensational. The story was very clever. The twist was surprising.
If you want a suspense thriller where you think you know what is going on, but don't know as much as you thought, this is it.
I had seen it before a couple times, but I hadn't seen it in years. Rarely does a movie interest me as much the second or third time around, but this one did. I started thinking about how the writer was leading us along with little bits of information and how the characters were seeing the same. I know Kasden got the the idea from Double Indemnity, but he did a great job with it. The writing was excellent and I don't compliment the writing very often.
The pacing was precisely what you would expect from a 1940's style movie as this was. The dim lighting, the lack of cool air in the summer, the sound track - especially the sax - all just right.
I can't imagine anyone not liking this movie unless it was just too hot!