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Barry Lyndon-3

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16 reviews in total 
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Even Kubrick never pushed these limits, 8 March 2003
8/10

This film was like a bad acid trip. Disturbing, dark, surreal, sad and altogether shocking. You can't prepare yourself for what you are about to see. I have seen dark movies and this dares past all the rest. There isn't much of a story, it's a slice of life, a really bad day in the life of these characters, but it's the way the filmmakers and actors tell you this story that's amazing.

Forget the comparisons to "Memento" -- yes it's a story told in reverse, but the comparisons end there.

Monica Bellucci may be one of the bravest actresses working today. If you thought "A Clockwork Orange", "The Accused" or "Boys Don't Cry" depicted sexual assault against women in a disturbing fashion... this film goes past that. And then some.

DO NOT SEE THIS FILM if you are the least bit sensitive. Where I saw it in Los Angeles the theatre put up a sign saying "the 1st 20 minutes may be disturbing to some viewers" -- It should have read the first "hour" could be.

This is a very cryptic comment, but... it's that kind of movie.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Truly great... Until the end, 9 December 2002
6/10

"Adaptation" was a beautiful, moving film that goes awry in the last 20 minutes.

I know that Jonze and Kaufman like to shock audiences, but the way in which they decided to conclude this film was disappointing.

Please see the film. It's wonderfully crafted and the performances are exceptional. Take special note of Cage's performance. Streep proved magnificent in an understated way. Chris Cooper is one of the finest actors working today.

But, on a whole, the third act destroys this film. The irony is that the third act becomes everything that Charlie Kaufman despises about the movies.

The Ring (2002)
Only because of Naomi, 10 November 2002
6/10

I gave "The Ring" a "6" and it's only that high because of its star Naomi Watts. I felt there was a good story there, but it never got realized. Verbinski did the best with the material, but I've seen the Japanese version (which is much better) and something just got lost in the translation.

But Watts shines in her first starring role. She commands the screen and your attention.

Signs (2002)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Is America Insane?, 26 August 2002
1/10

This was the epitome of Hollywood run amuck. This was a very boring, very pretentious film. I can not understand why American audiences are going to this film in droves. This could have been a $1 million low-budget film. In fact, minus the huge salaries of Gibson, Night and the rest of the Above-the-line talent, it looks like that's all they spent.

I felt watching this film that Night has started to believe his own hype that he's the next Speilberg. This is not the same craftsman that made the wonderful "6th Sense." It felt like he made decisions because he could, rather than what was best for the film. Example: why bother bringing in the best VFX Producer in Hollywood (Erik Brevig) to design and supervise the alien when you never get to see the alien for more than seconds at a time? The same affect could have been done better and cheaper with a Stan Winston or Rik Baker monster creation.

This is a tremendously disappointing effort. I'm more disappointed in America for watching this crap than the filmmakers for making it.

Good Foundation, Poor Execution, 24 August 2002
5/10

While raves should flood in about Robin Williams, the film as a whole suffers from slow pacing, a mediocre script and, ironically, Williams himself.

Mark Romanek seemed to go out of his way, to the film's discredit, to shatter his MTV video past. There's nothing fast or flashy about this picture. Not that I wanted "flash", but the rate at which this story unfolds is tediously slow and detrimental to the plot. I enjoy films that take their time, but... be interesting at the same time.

The script seemed to lack the courage to go where it should have gone. This WAS NOT the dark, disturbing film it's advertised to be. Or maybe I've seen one too many Darren Aronofsky films. There was a huge, very slow build up to what I felt was an extremely flat climax. And while the ending makes sense, I would've preferred if the filmmakers took it to a colder, darker ending.

The character of "Sy the Photo Guy" was to be a wallflower. Someone who blends into the background of society. And even though Williams does a great job, he is anything but a wallflower - he's a complete distraction. He's Robin Williams! He's a big star. It's impossible to ever lose Williams in the background of anything. Every frame of film that went by, I just kept thinking, "That's Robin Williams." Not "Sy the Photo guy."

I think the film would have been better served with someone like William H. Macy, Philip Seymore Hoffman or Steve Buscemi as Sy.

Williams was good, but it's the case of "good performance, wrong casting choice."

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Better Than you'd Think, 14 September 2001
8/10

Despite every cell of rational, intelligent thought in my brain, I found myself renting JOSIE & THE PUSSCATS. I don't know why. Maybe it's the dynamic duo of Tara Reid & Rachel Leigh Cooke - who knows? But, to my surprise, this was a very enjoyable and, even more surprising, a smart film.

I think that's what ironically did this film in. It was too smart for its own good. It lampooned its intended audience. The "kids" that it was marketed to probably didn't like being portrayed as mindless zombies who'll buy anything that some boy band says to.

Alan Cumming is hilarious. Rachel Leigh Cooke shows she's funny and can do more than just pout on screen. Tara Reid nails the role of Veronica (the dumb, blond of the group), but I don't think the audience knew that she was trying to copy the comic book/ cartoon Veronica. Most of this generation probably didn't even know that there was a cartoon about this group of girl rockers.

The writer/ director team made a good film. It was visually exciting, fun and smart. Only problem, they did not take into account their audience. Which is why, in the end, no one came out to see this film.

Which is a shame.

Predictable, Boring & Not Scary, 3 September 2001
3/10

I wanted to like this film. I think Justin Long and Gina Philips have bright careers. But, sadly, this film was very bland and not worth their time and talents.

This film adhered to every gimic, stereotype, and cliche of a teen horror film. And even though they tried to poke fun at themselves for doing it -- it failed miserably.

There are too many things wrong with this film to list. Wholes in the plot, some questionable acting. Example: a monster that's been on the prowl for decades, has killed over 600 people, and only now does everyone in the area find out about him?! Why?! Because if you don't, there's no movie.

And, if you're going to make a horror film - the 50's are over - straight monster movies don't work. You need to come up with some twists and surprises to shock the audience.

Save your money, rent TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, or NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD if you want to be scared.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
An Insult to STAR WARS Fans, 4 March 2001
1/10

This was nothing more than greed and ego run amuck. George Lucas' contribution to cinema is secure in history, but this film (and most likely the next two) will definitely taint a once flawless image. I knew once I saw the re-issues of the first three films that Episode One would be terrible. Lucas, I don't know, maybe's it's living up their in the thin air of Skywalker Ranch, but has lost all sense of reality.

Lucas was a victim of his own creation. He's done so much to push the boundaries of technology with computers that in this film it bit him on the ass. In STAR WARS (1977) this is supposed to be the future to Episode One (1999), so, how's it possible all the technology (weapons, computers, spaceships, etc.) are all more advanced than in the past? There's no way around that one. Secondly, if the First "death Star" was destroyed by a lone pilot flying into the middle and blowing it up, why would the future Empire construct its new Death Star to be destroyed the exact same way? And then again for RETURN OF THE JEDI?

Lucas is gone. Light's on and nobody's home. And I haven't even mentioned Jar Jar.

Lucas has done many, many excellent things for film, but what's past does not appear to be prologue.

Traffic (2000)
Overrated, 28 February 2001
3/10

I applaud every effort this film tried to make, but, I believe, it failed on every account. This is a story that's supposed to show that drugs are a major problem in our society and that we are losing the war on drugs. Then why, may I ask, is there a happy ending? The daughter's in rehab - she'll be fine, Benicio Del Toro gets his baseball field perfect ending, and the cops plant a new bug at the drug dealer's home (even though earlier they said they check their home and offices for bugs once a day). To show that we are losing this war, there should have been casualties of this war. Yes, I know a cop dies, but he was a minor character.

Secondly, I love how the Steven shoots and edits most of his films, but I found his efforts to try to seperate the three major locations using high to low contrast looks to be fruitless. If the war on drugs is everywhere - why make all the locations look different? Show the unity of the problem.

And I found the "look" of Mexico - the grainy, high contrast, "ugly" look - to be rather insulting.

Finally, the casting of Catherine Zeta-Jones was wrong. I can't believe that a pregnant woman who's husband is a drug dealer would 1) not know for however many years what her husband's job was and then 2) turn so drastically in such a period of time. Was her desire to have her children brought up rich with dirty money really more important to her than putting her unborn baby's life at risk while she traveled to Mexico to make the drug deal? Maybe this could happen, but the filmmakers failed to make believers out of me.

0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Need you really have to comment on this one?, 28 February 2001
10/10

Simply put, I don't like anyone who doesn't like this movie. This film has perhaps the greatest climax of any film ever. It's so rewarding. I'm in the minority that hates the fact that NBC bought the rites and now only airs the film twice during the holidays instead of having every channel air it every hour on the hour like before. I was the kind of guy that would watch it fifty times and still not be bored.


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