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The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Star Wars on LSD
The first Matrix was full of lively characters, action, and enough plot to keep it moving. That's what The Matrix is all about.
Reloaded goes all Star Wars on us. Commanders and space cruisers and rebel forces, and oh yeah, dance parties. It completely lacks what made the first movie so great. It was a lot less fun, the whole first half was like watching C-SPAN, and the endless jargon inflated dialogue about choices and dreams and fate....oh my does it ever end?
I don't mind a further explanation into the life that surrounds the Matrix but don't make the whole movie about that. There's nothing wrong with paying a little attention to explanation. But Build on what gave The Matrix its good name. Reloaded goes completely away from that. I only hope that Revolutions doesn't take itself so seriously.
Everyone is crucifying the "cliffhanger" ending. I say the ending doesn't make a bit of difference if the movie that precedes it is good. 2.5 out of 4.
Scotland, Pa. (2001)
Original, hysterical, refreshing, awesome!
Oh hear all ye Shakesperians...the McBeth's art alive and well....and living in the small white trash town of Scotland, PA in 1975.
Every 3-4 years, a fresh and original film, that stands out from all the rest, is made. And not since Rushmore, w/Bill Murray, has a film with this much character and originality caught my attention so.
It won't get much attention because of its "Independent" status, but take a trip to the one theater it'll be playing at near you and check it out. It's such a nice change from the Academy Award-ridden, hollywood-poisoned movie industry with great characters, a great screenplay, a wonderful soundtrack, and an old concept (Macbeth) directed to perfection in modern times.
If this film were big budgeted, it would be cleaning house at the Academy Awards...don't argue with me, just see it and accept it.
Kept me from the water for many years!
Jaws, like The Godfather, spawned many copycat movies after it. It is unfortunate that The "Jaws" series only contains one good film, the original. I think that they should sell the original by itself and sell the rest of the half-assed Jaws films by themselves. Jaws is certainly one of the most incredible films of all time.
There are few movies that have chemistry of this magnitude. I can't imagine anyone else in the roles played by Scheider, Shaw and Dreyfuss. I think my favorite aspect of the movie was how it resembled Moby Dick in the modern era. You have your politicians worried about the town's economy, the young zealot from the oceanographic institute with all of his high tech gear, and mixed in with the new, you've got Captain Quint: an good old-fashioned fisherman whose got more trophies on his wall than Teddy Roosevelt.
This film has never gotten boring.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Highly Entertaining minus Marky Mark
This movie serves its purpose, assuming you go in with the attitude that it's the Apes against the humans. Tim Burton's imagination makes the new Planet of the Apes a wonder to watch and look at. As with every Tim Burton film, there are certain things that aren't necessary...I could have taken or left the ending.
But there is plenty to like about this film, more likeable than not. The only major flaw with the film was casting Mark Wahlberg...and thank the almighty, that he doesn't have enough screen presence for us to even pay attention to what he's saying. I found myself sort of skipping over Wahlberg's part and paying more attention to the real stars of the movie...those damned dirty apes. Rick Baker will win an Oscar for his makeup...(you've done your job if the actors are unrecognizable). General Thade is a villain we can all love to hate and Tim Roth should be proud of the job he did in bringing this character to life. I was convinced of his genuine evil. Helena Bonham Carter and Michael Clarke Duncan were almost equally as convincing and I hope to see all 3 of them back in the next movie.
Tim Burton has gained my respect. He surprised me with Sleepy Hollow and has me back on his good list with Planet of the Apes. His storytelling abilities have improved and he's toned down the "unbelievable silliness" factor (IE Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Any of the Pee Wee movies). Instead of going nuts with how bizarre the characters can be, he redirects his talents into making you FEAR the Apes...as in Sleepy Hollow, you FEAR the Headless Horseman. So much that you're fascinated with how evil these villains are.
There's no need to talk about the genius of Danny Elfman's musical talents. He's been doing it for years and if anyone knows how to make even an average movie come to life, it is Elfman.
Kudos to Burton....a well done film, minus Marky Mark. He'll get it right next time.
The Tic Code (1999)
Hits home like no movie I've ever seen
You've got to admire a director who can take real life and keep it real on the big screen, and at the same time produce a wonderful, funny and touching film.
With The Tic Code, Gary Winick has done just that. This will be the most realistic movie about Tourette's Syndrome you will ever see. It totally hit home as I was constantly reminded of my childhood. Other kids laughing and making fun, and me feeling alienated because of my supposed abnormality. This movie does a great job in displaying people's ignorance about the subject. Those who have simply seen the episode of L.A. Law which featured a witness with severe Tourette's, don't know the story. If you see this movie, you'll be all the wiser, and you'll be treated to a great film at the same time.
This movie gets 4 stars.
See this movie on DVD, not VHS!
I can appreciate REAL movies like this one. It had good acting, good symbolism and cinematography, and a good message. But I can't help but believe that this film was meant for the big screen (and possibly for DVD). I rented it on VHS..yes I'm a traditional one...and I had some trouble following it. I did pay attention and I listened as closely as possible (but still had trouble hearing the movie), and determined that I needed to see this movie on the big screen.
And yes, I thought this 2 hour and 27 minute piece of work was an INCREDIBLY AVERAGE MOVIE. I don't know what Hollywood or critics see in Steven Soderbergh. Erin Brockovich was another average to below average movie. It was too long and really didn't drive its message home. I've seen plenty of movies whose sole purpose was to drive a message home. I though Traffic did a good job of that but as an entire movie bringing all of its elements together, it really didn't cut it.
American Psycho (2000)
A great psychological thriller which doesn't lose the audience!
This movie is what's known as an "Intelligent" horror film.
Anyone expecting a Friday the 13th, or a Scream If You Know What I Taught Mrs. Tingle Last Summer, I'm sorry but you may be disappointed.
This is no doubt a horror movie, but it is more a period piece about 80's pretentiousness more than anything. IE, not being hungry at all but needing to have a reservation somewhere, or striving to have the slickest looking business card.
On another front, this movie is what the utterly dreadful FIGHT CLUB tried to be. And that is, the story of a society drone who, despite his good living, is so damn fed up with the everyday routine, that his compulsive behavior and his decreasing patience level lead him to the point of insanity, which then leads to homicidal activity. All of the events which make up this scenario in American Psycho, unfold in an intriguing way which makes those who are enjoying the film, want more.
Now, this movie is also one of those very weird ones. But weird in a good way, unlike Fight Club which lost me about half way through. But AP succeeds because the story sticks to the title of the movie, and unlike many psychological thrillers, it never loses the audience.
The Perfect Storm (2000)
As close as a movie can get to "Worth The Price of Admission"
Hear ye, Hear ye! The Perfect Storm has landed. This film, directed by Wolfgang Peterson, who is slowly becoming one of my favorite directors (thanks to In the Line of Fire and Air Force One), has now got the market cornered on big action blockbusters. Anyone who proceeds to watch this film hoping to see top notch acting....please don't go to see it. It was a wonderful film which doesn't need to be criticized in that way and should be left alone.
People who said that there was no human interest in this film should have their head examined. OK, I will give you that Diane Lane over acted just a tad, and she was kind of annoying, but the movie minimized her appearance, so the fact that she was one of the weaker parts of the movie is cancelled out. I liked every single member of the crew on the Andrea Gail. Even Sully who at first was a real jerk. The key to a movie like this is that you must create likeable characters that the audience can root for to beat the storm. Peterson did that. Even though George Clooney was a bit like himself (which isn't usually good), he was casted beautifully as Captain Billy Tyne. The movie was exhausting, and emotionally involving and in my book, the movie has succeeded if that's the way you feel after watching it.
For what this movie was intended to do, and the level at which it accomplished its goal......I give The Perfect Storm....4 stars.
One of the funnier SNL "Skit" Movies
Question: Why would you watch this movie for any other reason than to get a brainless laugh?
Answer: I don't know! All of the would-be critics out there must learn to avoid movies like this because OF COURSE THEY WON'T LIKE IT! My advice to you would-be critics: Leave movies like this alone. It wasn't made to win an academy award and it wasn't made to make any sense. This is one of the funniest SNL skit movies I've ever seen because it made no sense, because it was stupid, and because of Molly Shannon. This movies was 20 times better than the pathetic "Night at the Roxbury." I found myself laughing a lot through "Superstar" which I was surprised at. The movie ended right before it became tired, and I must say that I was impressed by the storywriters because it is often hard to come up with an 80 minute movie from a 5 minute skit. "Wayne's World" probably did the best job when it came to coming up with material but Superstar did an admirable job.
Molly Shannon did a rather good job in bringing Mary Katherine Gallagher to the movie screen and the supporting characters were subtle and devious in their roles.
Overall this movie is completely ridiculous and unintelligent. But I enjoyed it because the movie knew that and ran with it. And as a bonus, it sufficed in entertaining. Would-be critics be damned.
Road Trip (2000)
Bare Bones Entertainment
There is nothing at all redeeming about this film. Overall, this movie was entertaining and contained some truly hilarious moments. But the one thing it was missing (and in a film like this who really cares), was backbone. American Pie had backbone and that is what made it a better film than Road Trip. But Road Trip was strictly created to entertain and make you laugh, and that it does for the most part. It has no real story behind it and it's rather inconsistent, but it's a lot of fun, and also, it's a summer movie. This isn't Academy Awards time and if you're looking for a fun brainless movie...Road Trip is the answer.