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Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Artistically Spewing the bile of Hell
This film had the amazing power to affect me far greater (or worse) than any other film I have ever seen. The outright nausea each character experiences through the course of their descents into self-degradation are accurately portrayed, hauntingly realistic and yet more surreal than the wildest, darkest dreams.
Requiem is a disturbing commentary on the lies that human beings tell themselves over and over until the wires all burn out and there is nowhere else to go except to the place one fears the most, which in this case would be the realization of free will, choice, and consequences.
This is the story of a few slightly interesting people that sink like rocks to the bottom of the apocalyptic stew. If you are looking for something enlightening or meaningful, you won't find it here. On the other hand, if you need to experience such deep places in pain and torment, addiction and insanity, you couldn't get any better than Requiem for a Dream.
Daikyojû Gappa (1967)
So bad it's, well, bad!
Being a casual obsessive in regard to giant monster movies, I caught this on Sho Extreme one lonely night while the wife was out shopping for a christmas tree.
Not to bore you with the details, but here is a fine example of movie-making gone awry. Giant, black big birds attacking Tokyo might be fun after a few drinks (with friends who understand your obsession), but if you're in the mood for something which is not of the lowest-common-denominator variety, I suggest you pick up something else. This is worse than the King Kong vs. Godzilla movie, folks. But it is safe for the kiddies.
Gappa is a concept only some fat-cat, anti-artistic producer could have devised. Ka-ching went the box office register when this movie came out, but it offers no creative merit whatsoever. Imagine what YOU could have done with half of the budget. Doesn't it irritate you?
It's a BADDD movie. Plus it's in MONO, and the dubbing is terrible. Watch at your own risk, and have a heckling party with this one.
Lunch is supposed to stay down!
Yes, I was entertained by this film, and I almost cried when 'scotty' told his story about the suicidal fan. But aside from that, this film is a rather nauseating and very real portrayal, shining a certain light upon the obsessed and deranged attentions of the fandom fringe.
Trekkies is more of an anthropological study on the impact of television than anything else, which is the main reason it disturbs me. I admit to being a 60's Telefantasy enthusiast, but I would never dream of sporting a Bentley and changing my name to Steed. What seems to be lacking in the average celebrity fan is a sense of individual importance, and this film shows the results of that particular mental deficiency in the form of copier clerks who insist you call them captain, dentists who urge their assistants to don Starfleet uniforms, and dozens of other examples I have all but forgotten at this point.
It is a good, sinister poke and may cause a few bouts of laughter, but Trekkies is not a treasure-trove of importance. The fact that it was released to theaters should tell you something about its true intentions.
Augmented Human Interest
I'm not usually inspired to review your average hollywood fare, but I was moved by this film. Not only did it portray dramatic tension between one who is experiencing 'supernatural' awareness and their hokey, small-town friends, but Phenomenon also gains rank by being one of the first few films with a completely 'open mind.' I attribute its existence to the film Powder, which came out a few years ago, and I am honestly looking forward to more innovative dramas in a similar vein.
It will probably not become a classic, but it deserves to be seen in its time. Perhaps the honesty of this film will inspire other, greater filmmakers with more influence to change their ways and provide more thinking elements in their films.
Watch it with a loved one on a Saturday night.
A good alternative to show those boyfriends who are caught up in their own male-ness. Try this before plopping in Gone with the Wind. It may bridge the gap.
A Brief History of Time (1991)
Stunning, moving, and ultimately unique
I was one of the few locals who had the opportunity to watch this on the big screen. The film was pulled 3 days after its release, but I happened by chance to be visiting the strip mall where the theater was located on its last day. I feel very lucky, although I wonder how a film of this nature ever made it to the big screen in the first place.
I don't recall having heard of Hawking before this film, mainly because I was fresh out of high school and carefree at the time. However, I am now well versed in many of his theories, and althought I disagree with many of his opinions, I still find him to be one of the most amazing individuals of our time. Simply, his willpower is enough to put us all to shame, and his cosmic imagination is unfathomable.
A Brief History of Time should be required viewing for anyone with any interests outside of mundane popular culture. I also recommend it if you are a writer, a thinker, or an admirer of cosmology. Anyone can enjoy this film, and I hope that you enjoy it as much has I have. We need more films like this at the theaters! Please?
A powerful film
I have seen this film 3 times in its pan/scan format, having no access to laserdisc or unconventional film houses. Being a moderate fan of Philip Glass, I was utterly glued to this film each time. It reflects the power and majesty of our planet, revealing its beauty and reflecting the horrors and numbness of our devolution upon its surface. It depicts the vastness of nature and the vast loneliness of a humanity which struggles to cope with cities and buildings.
This film should be watched by all with an eye for beauty, nature and truth. I have never before seen a more honest film, and I am greatly looking forward to the proposed war documentary of the same vein.
Wild at Heart (1990)
Loved it, hated it, loved it
This is the film I showed an old girlfriend to PROVE that I could sit through a 'romantic' film. Now that I've actually seen it alone, I can safely say that Lynch works wonderfully well with the Barry Gifford story, conjuring each page onto the screen with near-perfect vividness. It's a film better watched alone, without the tedium of temporary love gnawing at the air beside you.
Having read the book, and the sequel anthology, "Sailor's Holiday," I have a certain affinity to this film. Others may not, possibly due to their view of what a 'David Lynch' film should be, or perhaps, like my girlfriend, they set themselves up for something entirely different before the opening credits began to roll. I for one hold no reservations about his artistry. I disliked Lost Highway and wasn't too impressed with his short films, but all of them add something interesting and unique to the world. And Wild at Heart is VERY interesting, if not a little unique.
Definitely not for everyone, but highly recommended for those who can cast aside a few inhibitions and expectations. Wild at Heart is not in my top 10, but it's beyond and above the vast majority of Hollywood productions.
A word of warning: if you are a smoker, be glad that you didn't see it at the theater and do not watch it in a non-smoking environment.
Foo gwai lit che (1986)
Silly, campy, amazing stunts, just bizarre
This film would sit comfortably next to A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum, The Great Train Robbery, every other Jackie Chan/Sammo flick, and then some. It's not as funny as it could be (the dubbed version, that is), but aside from that I have no complaints.
There is no time to develop character traits (aside from a few cliches), but this is a slapstick so that shouldn't really be expected. If you are familiar with the slapstick-martial arts genre, or if you simply love bizarre, zany movies, then I recommend it. If you're looking for a substantial plot with lots of characterization, find something else to curl up on the couch to.
It is exactly what it proclaims to be, a madcap Kung Fu western. But I doubt if you'll ever see a man jump without safety mats from a 4-story building (on fire, I might add) in any other film. Wow.
Yong zhe wu ju (1981)
Clever, funny and off the wall
This film begins so similarly to Young Master that I almost felt I was rewatching it. However, to my surprise, it matched and surpassed the classic Jackie Chan movie by miles. The Dragon/Lion fight scene is worth the admission price alone, and it only gets better after that. The comedy is almost Martin/Lewis, and the fighting is amazingly choreographed. Anything less would be your standard Kung Fu fare.
flawed but satisfying
Violence. Revenge. Typical action-vigilante plot. All white people are racist b***ards except for those pretty, young, troubled girls. So why did I enjoy this film so much?
Because of the soundtrack. And Sam Jackson. That's it. I'll probably never watch it again, but for one viewing it was very satisfying. Shaft fans will appreciate the nod, but it's all very uninspiring in the end.
Watch it after Scary Movie, and you'll think this is the greatest film ever made (especially if you can insert the Wayans' faces on the bodies of all the baddies).