Reviews written by registered user
|37 reviews in total|
Kumar Pallana is easy to like. He managed to steal most of the scenes in the early Wes Anderson comedies despite his small roles. His knife wielding servant in The Royal Tananbaums was brilliant. In The Terminal, proved he could flesh out larger roles. It was this admiration for Kumar Pallana that encouraged me to seek out Waiting Room, a short 10 minute film that gave him the chance to play the lead role. The plot of the film is simple: Kumar hurts his back and is forced to wait endlessly with a room of 'wacky' characters to see a doctor. Unfortunately, the 10 minute running time feels about 8 minutes too long. The writing is hackneyed. The characters are all tired old stereotypes. The situations are desperately unnatural. The jokes are lame. In particular, the one about Kumar's undone fly have been told on primary school playgrounds for at least 30 years. Kumar is the best thing in this film. However, even he is disappointing. I'd advise sticking with the Wes Anderson films if your jonesing for Kumar. I give Waiting Room a 2 out of 10.
A year or so ago, I was watching the TV news when a story was broadcast
about a zombie movie being filmed in my area. Since then I have paid
particular attention to this movie called 'Fido' as it finished
production and began playing at festivals. Two weeks ago Fido began
playing in my local theater. And, just yesterday, I read a newspaper
article which stated Fido is not attracting audiences in it's limited
release, with the exception of our local theater. In fact, here it is
outdrawing all other shows at The Paramount Theater, including 300. Of
course, this makes sense as many locals want to see their city on
screen or spot themselves roaming around in zombie make-up. And for any
other locals who haven't seen Fido yet but are considering it, I can
say there are many images on screen, from the school to city park to
the forbidden zone, that you will recognize. In fact, they make the
Okanagan Valley look beautiful. That's right beautiful scenery in a
zombie movie! However, Fido itself is a very good movie. Yes, despite
its flaws, it is better then most of the 20 other movies playing in my
local market. Fido is best described as an episode of Lassie in which
the collie has been replaced by a member of the undead. This is a
clever premise. And the movie even goes further by taking advantage of
the 1950's emphasize on conformity and playing up the cold-war paranoia
which led to McCarthyism. Furthermore, it builds on the notion that
zombies can be tamed or trained which George Romero first introduced in
Day Of The Dead.
K'Sun Ray plays a small town boy who's mother (Carrie-Ann Moss) longs for a zombie servant so she can be like all the other house wives on her block. However, his dad (Dylan Baker) is against the idea as he once had to kill his own 'zombie father'. Eventually, the family does acquire a zombie named 'Fido' (played by Billy Connolly), and adjusts to life with the undead. Billy Connolly was inspired casting. He is able to convey Fido's confusion, longing, hatred, and loyalty through only his eyes, lumbering body, and grunts. Connolly shows that he can play understated characters better than his outrageously comedic ones. This is his best role since Mrs. Brown.
Fido follows in the footsteps of other recent zomcoms such as Shawn Of The Dead and Zombie Honeymoon. Being someone who appreciates Bruce Campbell and Misty Mundae movies more than Eli Roth and Jigsaw ones, I prefer humor over gore in my horror. However, I understand the criticism of those horror fans who feel there is not enough 'undead carnage' in Fido. Yet, I am sure patient viewers will be rewarded by the films gentle humor.
The movie does break down in it's third act. It's as if the writers were so wrapped up in the cute premise of domesticated zombies in the 1950s, they forgot about the story arc. However, given my interest in horror comedies and my appreciation for seeing the neighborhood on screen, I rate Fido 9 out of 10.
This short animated film shows a great performer preparing to take to the stage in the last few minutes before the curtain rises. With the help of a mechanical arm, a feathered "Maestro" is groomed and exercises his voice. "The Maestro" was directed by The Hungarian film maker Géza M. Tóth and it competed in over 40 international animation competitions and gained a nomination for an Academy Award. The Maestro is well-animated slowly builds for its five minute run up to one fantastic joke. The animation is solid and the technique of having the camera circle three-hundred-sixty degrees around the characters helps build the suspense towards its funny finale. The sound is well dubbed and matches the tone of the images being presented. Overall, "The Maestro" is a short of great quality.
This is a mediocre episode of The Twilight Zone. The story is simple: A couple wins a trip to Las Vegas where the husband becomes a gambling addict. The biggest problem with "The Fever" is just how unlikeable and unsympathetic the characters are. Neither the acting nor the writing help the situation much; the husband is a know-it-all jerk while the wife is mousy and annoying. Without a character to identify with, the viewer cannot share the husbands experience with addiction or the wife's horror at watching her family's saving being gambled away. The gimmick in this episode is that the slot machine can say the husbands name, beckoning him to the machine. Overall, a forgettable episode that I awarded only a mark of 5.7.
What a wonderful episode! A British fighter pilot passes through a white cloud. When he comes out the other side he has time traveled 42 years into the future. There he discovers that the choices he made in the past have effected hundreds of lives. The fighter pilot must also deal with the culture shock of modern jet fighters and helicopters while trying to prove he is who he says he is. In the end, "The Last Flight" relates a strong message of how one's actions can have unintended effects on lives of people you might never meet. The one lapse in this episode is the action sequences which are somewhat far fetched. Overall a great episode I'll award a mark of 9.3. Certainly one of the best of the season.
One of the lesser episodes that played during The Twilight Zone's first season. Richard Conte plays a man who has not allowed himself to sleep because he fears his dreams will kill him. The show is utterly ridiculous. The idea of a reoccurring character appearing in a man's dreams with the intent of killing him does have potential. However, this episode does not make the potential killer believable. We need a plausible motive for the killer or at least a psychological issue that the victim might cause such a condition. Furthermore, the guy falls for his killers murderous tricks way to easily. Overall, this is an idea with great potential that was not realized. I voted 4.5.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Time Enough" is one of the classic episodes of The Twilight Zone. It is a definite must see. Burgess Meredith is wonderful as the mousy bank teller who only wants more time to read books. When he finds himself alone on the planet due to nuclear war, he finally finds the time for reading he has always longed for. No job, no wife, no distractions. Just he, Shaw, Shakespeare, and Shelly. Meredith is key to this episode. His portrayal of mousy Henry Bemis is sympathetic and memorable. We empathize with him as he trudges through his daily work, withstands his domineering wife, and finally walks through a nuclear waste ground. We also understand his joy when he is able to escape for a few minutes into a book. A wonderful episode I give 10 out of 10.
"The Lonely" tells the futuristic story of a man found guilty of murder. His sentence is to serve 50 years on a small asteroid alone. This episode starts with the convict looking forward to a supply ship arriving with provisions for him. This ship visits every 3 months and provide the convict with a brief break from the tedious boredom of his daily life. The captain of the supply ship feels sorry for the convict and believes his story of self-defense. We are told he often prolongs his stay on the asteroid to visit, play cards, and entertain this prisoner. But, on this visit, the captain leaves the convict with a present: a robot companion. The rest of the episode deals with the prisoners relationship with the robot. This is a well-written episode of "The Twilight Zone". We feel for the prisoner and understand his loneliness as well as the many emotions he feels after meeting the robot. This episode is well worth watching. It earns 9.3 out of 10.
"Escape Clause" features a hypochondriac making a deal with the devil. The man is guaranteed immortality at the price of his soul. This familiar tale is well told by Rod Serling and crew. Thomas Gomaz is a hoot as the devil. Despite some questionable special effects, especially involving a steaming sticky stamp, Gomaz delivers a memorable performance. David Wayne, as Mr. Bedeker the hypochondriac, delivers a grating performance. However, it suits his character. The problem with this episode is Mr. Bedeker's change of personality after his deal with the devil. It seems to take place to quickly and his spiral into recklessness does not mesh with the character we met at the start of the show. At times, Mr. Bedekers actions and monologues make you feel as if there should be a laugh track. As for the title of this episode, "Escape Clause", it refers to Mr. Bedeker's only way of breaking the deal he signs with the devil; an event he surely never envisioned would come true. A solid, but not wholy convincing outing for The Twilight Zone that is worthy of a 8.0 out of 10.
'Walking Distance' is another fine episode of "The Twilight Zone". This time a busy business executive, named Martin Sloan, decides to revisit his home town: Homewood. To his surprise, he finds that Homewood has been frozen in time for the past 25 years. He meets his father, mother, and even himself at age 11. However, Mr. Sloan discovers that even traveling through time "you can't go home again". The highlight of this episode is when the father tells Mr. Sloan that he doesn't belong in the past. This conversation feels rushed in a way. However, it still packs an emotional impact and contains the lesson of the episode. Perhaps this wonderful episode would have been better presented as a 1 hour special or 2 parter. Finally, the score for 'Walking Distance' by Bernard Herrmann would be used throughout the series and even the 1983 Twilight Zone movie. I give 'Walking Distance' a 9.6 for 10.
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