Reviews written by registered user
|56 reviews in total|
I enjoyed this movie. Laughed, and yes, nearly cried. Wonderful to see
the existential hero of a great film, "The Station Agent", playing
Simon Bar Sinister to the hilt. Good acting. Human actors stood up well
against the dog actors, who are known to upstage humans mercilessly.
Also, one notable cat actor. Adequately plotted script, with hilarious
dialogue. This movie is about a dog--a special dog. As if beagles
weren't special enough without genetic enhancement, this beagle (voiced
by Jason Lee with absolute sincerity, wit and insouciance) is burdened
with super-hero gifts and responsibilities. Jim Belushi is the good
dad, playing it straight and steady amidst general mayhem. Also nice
examples of sensitive community police-work in this movie.
Probably the most memorable thing for me this viewing (oh yeah, I'm going to see it again!!) is the special puff-of-smoke pattern, true to the original cartoon, that Underdog generates when he accelerates into full flight after hovering in the sky.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wonder what my late Pop would have said about this movie. He joined
the Border Patrol in 1940. I wonder if he could've sat through it.
Probably not, but he would have loved some of the scenes. He would have
loved the Mexican villages, the desert, Barry Pepper's parade-rest
stance in the background during a law-officer scene. I personally
detest the new Border Patrol hats. I guess they're practical. Ditto
Chiming patrol car doors. Musical cell phones. The crunch of zucchini after casual sex. A small herd of goats. The indignities inflicted on beef cattle. Guns. Mops. Twilight. The mule. The motor coach. Rattle snakes and fire ants. The cafe and the cantina. These are parts of the complete universe of director Tommy Lee Jones. He knits his film story with a Kurosawa-like care.
I know Jones is proud of his own spoken Spanish and his sound track. He should also be proud of his work with Barry Pepper. Pepper's character Mike Norton comes out of Cincinnati with 21st Century American plastic values, still a kid, and kind of a mean kid at that. Is the secret to changing chickenshit to gold included in this story? Yes it is. Exposure to earth, sun, pain, kindness--being able to accept all these things.
On the DVD commentary, Jones says, "The tears aren't real--" Why does he deny the power of his own film like that? But, my Pop would understand--you can make a song or story so very beautiful, and then never let on that it's absolutely real, that you felt and knew those tender and unspeakably holy things. But, dude, that's how the change comes and why we don't all quit even before our short time on Earth is over.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mughal-e-Azam may represent history both of India and of film but, as in any good tale, the tensions within and between the characters surprised me by being fresh and immediate. The sheer visual beauty was worth the full-price theatre ticket at a special showing in Richmond. I was a little skeptical beforehand about the colorization--but this is done lovingly as an art in itself and fully supportive of the cinematographic effects of the original filming. Completely enjoyed it! Also a source of pleasure: the traditional figures come to life, and the actors are committed to their characters with depth of sincerity that insures integrity of the story. Now--questions that came out of the theatre with me regarding justice: was it "might makes right"? Was there another justice than this tyrannic "scale" of the Emperor's? Does the Emperor reward the Sculptor to acknowledge a higher Cause, the "Emperor of Emperors"? Is his fatal role the reason the Sculptor (creator of true images) has no name? It was he who brought Amarkali into the court with a prophesy of what would come of it. While the Sculptor seems to be an arm of Fate, so the courtesan Bahar (deliciously played by Nigar Sultana) also administers Fate as she manipulates actions and outcomes. What will her reward be? Is there any other Justice than the Emperor's? Is her self-seeking malice considered so inevitable that Fate does not touch her, in turn? If my answers lie in further reading into these histories, so be it . . . In the meantime, the scenes of the movie play out in my mind as I wonder about fate, justice, and--of course--human love. After the movie, in the theatre lobby, a young woman spotted a mouse skittering from the auditorium across the lobby into a closet. I believe it was Sri Ganesha's vehicle.
Pardon the military reference. Maybe i just longed for the sense of a firm guiding hand--a plan of action--in this movie with all its charming and fascinating and sad and frightening disparate parts. I went to see it ONLY because i follow the career of Matthew Modine; he does not disappoint. Kate Hudson turned out to be pretty good, too. I am willing to agree now that she is an actress in her own right. The other blonde American suffered from over-scripting. The Americans suffered in general from--well, we do tend to be oblivious. AAH, but the French! I'm glad i saw Leslie Caron, who provided some depth, some veracity. In the end, the weird tribute to "The Red Balloon" was so irritating i almost forgot how much i had enjoyed the many segments and characters. Bebe Neuwirth was another tasteful decoration (for the film is truly decorative); it was good to see a quintessential Englishman in the plot (who looked just like Stephen Fry). And the Eiffel Tower receives its due as a photogenic structure--thanks for that, my dears.
The fixed and penetrating gaze of the posturing-while-frequently-motionless Mr. McManus was too too much much. I kept watching because I really wanted to find out what happened to Pablo Bryant's character, about whom I cared tremendously, but not enough to rank the movie as better than awful. I will look for Mr. Bryant's work elsewhere.
This movie is dynamite. From the hot pink floral titles might you not guess you are going to get pinched, licked, clawed, jumped, embraced and maybe even concussed. You will be sung to--ah! worth three returns to the theatre for the musical numbers alone. Couture. ah! Plot? aha! It becomes clear at last, but not until every individual character has been played to the full--against and with the others. This is drama of emotion, highly entertaining, extravagant. I am not kidding. But not fare, perhaps, for the faint of heart.
I rented WS in order to compare Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance in this with her performance in Kansas City. Both are period pieces, and in both i sensed her willingness to submerge a modern self into the demands of the historic period. This is frightening to behold--Albert Finney is rock-hard, with glimpses of natural paternal sentiment that only make his determined hardness the more monstrous. So, his daughter is his victim--a victim of culture, a victim of circumstance--a victim of miscommunications, a victim of her lover, of her aunt? It's all a little hard to bear, except that, as the motif of endurance emerges, the formation of a protective shell over the passions of the young is, finally, a relief. I don't know if there is enough popcorn and chocolate/caramel/you-name-it to make sitting through this story actually enjoyable. Beautifully dressed and accompanied by exquisite score, it's a tragedy with a conclusion of unillumined defeat. Although Katherine, Leigh's role, keeps for herself, privately, the apparent pleasure of the memory of passion. Is this James's modern leaning? Anyway, I rated it high, because as a window into history it's at least fascinating.
I rented WS in order to compare Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance in this
with her performance in Kansas City. Both are period pieces, and in both i
sensed her willingness to submerge a modern self into the demands of the
historic period. This is frightening to behold--Albert Finney, her widowed
father, is rock-hard, with glimpses of natural paternal sentiment that only
make his determined hardness the more monstrous. So, his daughter Katherine
is his victim--a victim of culture, a victim of circumstance--a victim of
miscommunications, a victim of her lover, of her aunt? It's all a little
hard to bear, except that, as the motif of endurance emerges, the formation
of a protective shell over the passions of the young is, finally, a relief.
I don't know if there is enough popcorn and chocolate/caramel/you-name-it to make sitting through this story actually enjoyable. Beautifully dressed and accompanied by exquisite score, it's a tragedy with a conclusion of unillumined defeat. Although Katherine, Leigh's role, keeps for herself, privately, the apparent pleasure of the memory of passion. Is this James's modern leaning? Anyway, I rated it high, because as a window into history it's at least fascinating.
Entering a skeptic, a Spidy lover like billions of others from long time
past, asking "How will they do it?"
First, they will make sure it has a clear MARVEL imprimatur.
Then, they will segue from past comix films with an enrapturing
not-unfamiliar-type film score that takes you from the printed page into the
wild universes of your imagination.
Then, they will create web-swinging on the big screen--but you get into that
gently, and i have to say the red and blue spider is a totally cool
arachnid, its bite didn't look THAT bad--hey reality is just a sticky hair's
breadth from the world of major fantasy mayhem.
Can't say it all at once, it's too overpowering. But will note that Willem
Dafoe lit up like i didn't think he could. And Toby McG. shot off bolts of
personal energy like i didn't think he could.
All the actors were their comix people, and it's a magical ensemble that
deserves mega-credit for their work.
Editors get credit, too. The film kind. (Jonah Jameson is hot, by the way.
A real beast.)
So . . . while i'm not going back to the theatre on a daily basis, i will go
back soon for another look-see.
This is a mystery on more than one level. It's also an exercise in discernment. From a cinematic standpoint, the look is very refined, with frame after frame to die for. The characters are carefully drawn, more consistent than one is accustomed to. They aren't asked to drop character in order to deliver a standard plot resolution. The strength of this film is mind-boggling, and it deserves careful attention, as well as more than one viewing.
|Page 1 of 6:||     |