Reviews written by registered user

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21 reviews in total 
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7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Takes a while to settle in, but good overall, 10 May 2013

This telling of The Great Gastsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is, overall, a solid outing.

I wondered if it would be as the story began, however. The first part of the movie comes off a little cartoonish and over the top. Yes, I know Gatsby's parties in and of themselves were over the top, but this portrayal of it bordered on caricature several times. There may have been a little too much pushing the wildness of the scene without letting the scene tell its own story. Yes, caricature is the best word to describe how it was done.

Eventually, however, the movie settles nicely into the story, and the caricature is left behind.

From a literary point of view, I think much of Fitzgerald's poetic descriptiveness and sarcastic humor are missing. The movie doesn't have the same beauty as the straight words of Fitzgerald, but, once again, it slowly emerges over the course of the film. By the end, it is there... beautifully.

Now, for the seemingly controversial use of modern music in a period piece. As soundtrack and music that frames scenes, the modern music worked well. It was not distracting and served well for setting the mood. When music was part of the actual scene, however (a band playing a party, for example), the modern music was distracting. To see trumpets, trombones, and a drum set at a 20s party while hearing hip-hop is a big disconnect. But, this is confined to the early parts where I felt everything was a bit cartoonish anyway.

Some points of the original novel are left out, but in terms of making a movie, they were not missed. Overall, it stuck to the book well.

If you are like me, you'll sit through the first part of the movie thinking, "Uh oh, they really goofed this one up." But after a while, you'll see the beauty and true story emerge and be pretty happy with it by the end.

10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
What the ?, 23 April 2010

My ten year old daughter and I just keep looking at each other in disbelief throughout this whole movie. The plot is awful, hard to follow, thrown together, and a big pile of crap, really. Attempts at humor are thrown in, random, and unfunny. This movie is BAD, and not in a good way. The animation is fairly decent, but as this kind of technology becomes more readily available for low budget producers, more junk of this kind will continue to be put out. It all seemed forced. They forced to get a plot line, they forced to get some humor, and they forced to create an emotional story that would draw the viewer in. I have to tell ya, they fail on every count.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Very poor Bing Crosby movie, 2 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This seemed to be an attempt at bringing the classic Bing Crosby movie into the future. And by the future, I mean the 1960s. This is a mid-50s movie, but much of it really felt like it was in the 60s. The styles, the art direction, the camera shots, were, for this movie, ahead of their time. But for a Bing Crosby buddy movie, it failed. First, it was overly sexualized with sexual overtones and currents throughout the whole film. Secondly, many of the songs and dance numbers felt tacked-on to the plot (which started to wear thin quickly). The dialog and humor were sub-par, and the ending felt tacked on as well. The last thirty minutes seemed to be a rush to an ending that really failed once you got there. I think Bing gave it his all, and he never faltered. But trying to shove a classic Bing buddy film into this mold leaves you with a weird and tiresome movie.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Best picture?, 19 January 2009

OK, here's the short of it... this movie is full of corny dialogue, over the top acting, and a threadbare script.

There are moments that intended to be very dramatic but simply come off humorous because of the over the top acting and poorly written lines. I couldn't help laughing at moments that were meant to be very serious. The bright spot in this movie is the circus. Seeing the circus in its heyday was certainly a treat.

There are moments that come through as good. But then it nosedives right back into B-movie territory. I was tempted to stop watching it several times.

I certainly don't know how it won best picture, however. It must have been a slow year!

Horror Business (2005) (V)
2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Lacks a central vision, 1 June 2006

First, there is a lot of potential here. Through this doc, we encounter some of the most interesting people... i.e. indie horror film makers. The problem with this film is that it never settles down and really explores the people it features. We may have been better off just seeing a couple of the filmmakers and getting more in depth with them. I would have liked to learn more about a couple of these guys, but the film just doesn't take us there.

Then, there is no central theme to the movie. Yes, the theme is the making of horror movies, but there is no one, clear idea or focus that pulls us from beginning to end. You are never watching this and wondering "what's gonna happen" or "what's gonna become of this person." That is what good documentaries do. They pull you through to the end of the story. Here, there is not much of a story. It is more of a hodgepodge of ideas. And I think there are areas, such as stock footage, etc. that were needlessly put in. I know how this can be as a filmmaker. It probably comes from the fact that Mr. Garetano did every aspect of production. It is hard to be objective when you write, direct, produce, and edit. Believe me, I know.

With all that said, I applaud Mr. Garetano for his effort and passion in getting this project done. Remember, every project is a stepping stone and learning point on the way to something better. Keep plugging away!

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
This one is bad... and not in the good sense, 22 February 2006

I went into this expecting something similar to Jack Frost, the killer snowman movie. While Jack Frost was obviously a low-budget slasher flick, it was very funny. The humor was the point. In this flick, I'm quite confused as to what the point is. The story is terrible, and major plot points are plodded through just because something had to be explained.

The Gingerdead Man character lacks any humor, and the few attempts come up short. In addition, almost the entire movie takes place inside a small bakery. How much hiding, running, and action can play out here without anyone getting away? This movie had lots of potential. The premise was great, but it needed more development and better writing.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great animation, bit flimsy on story, 5 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a great work of stop motion animation from the early days of its perfection. Even though it had been around a long time, it seemed to take on new life in movies such as this one. The monster in the movie is stunning. And its much better than most of the costumed actors of the time. It is believable and helps in the suspension of disbelief. Where the movie is lacking, however, is in the story. The story is straight forward, and we don't get any of the "man meddling where he shouldn't" preachiness of its contemporaries. I actually kind of like that overall theme. This one does not offer it, and it seems to be tacked on in the last line of the movie. Like the director said, "Oh yeah, what does it all mean?" But besides having a thin plot, it is still an entertaining movie.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
One of the best but overlooked movies, 30 October 2005

This hit theaters, and then was gone in a puff. This movie is great in its telling of a story that is absolutely plausible in real life. There is conflict and the tale of a man facing three major life changes... all at once. Jack Nicholson plays the main character masterfully. At times, he is so pathetic, you can't help but laugh. But you also feel for him too. It is one character I think most people can feel close to.

The movie has a great and emotional ending. The thread throughout the movie is magnificent and powerful.

One of the best ever!

Highly recommend. (Especially if you are of retirement age).

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Visually stunning, but unfortunately overlooked., 30 October 2005

First, this movie is visually one of the most gorgeous movies I have seen in a long time. The fact that it was made in 1979 does not date it all. The scenes are beautifully executed, and the color schemes are magnificent. To see the count's pale head against a pure backdrop of black was stunning.

Early in the movie, however, I felt that some the landscape scenes went on a bit too long.

If you have seen the 1922 original, you feel very familiar with this one. Many shots were set up almost exactly the same, but the technology to capture them was far greater in 1979.

I loved this movie. I'm a horror buff, but not a vampire expert. Out of all the vampire movies I am familiar with, this would have to be my favorite.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Revenge is a dish..., 20 September 2005

This movie was a landmark in the kinds of things movie makers could get away with. Yes, it stretched the boundaries and paved the way for scenes in later movies, but it is not necessarily a masterpiece. Unfortunately, it suffered quite a bit from the era it was made in... the early 70's. This is seen in the often poor and strange soundtrack and the really horrible audio (although those problems are still often problems today).

What this movie does very, very well is create suspense throughout. There are moments of relief, but they are few and far between. The suspense in this film is masterful.

The comic relief provided by the sheriff and his deputy are often cartoonish and dumb, but fortunately, they are not seen much.

This is probably not a movie I will watch again... just because there's better things I want to do with my time and more movies I would rather see... but I do appreciate the suspense this film brought me and the way it opened the doors for other films to come.

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