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The Babysitters (2007)
Worth a rainy afternoon...
Just saw this film at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). The director was there and participated in the Q&A. The film was entertaining, I'll give it that much, however the major problems stem from it just doesn't feel like the film-making team really knew what kind of film they wanted to make. The tone is muddled and therefore you're never really sure how to feel about most of the situations. The sex scenes are probably the most interesting of the film, and mostly because that's really the only time where we really see the characters and what they're going through. Cynthia Nixon and John Leguzamo play a married couple, and although they're both cast well and play the parts well I find it very hard to believe them as a couple at all. I think that the writing and portrayal of their characters is fine, it just doesn't fit. The director/writer seems to prefer going after internal conflict rather than external, the main problem is that in the end we never really get a sense of how this whole story has affected everyone. We're left on a very vague not that I think hurts the film more than helps it. That and it kinda/sorta felt like a newer take on 'Pizza Boy' with Patrick Dempsy (and from a marketing point MILFS are way more interesting than... oh my... FILFs?)
Inspiring to Young Filmmakers
It's inspiring in the way that when you see something like this you can't help but smile to yourself thinking, if something THIS bad gets made then I might just have a future.
I pride myself in trying to see some good in every film I watch, however this is easily one of the worst films I've ever seen. The acting is wooden and two-dimensional at best. The characters are all stereotypes. The plot feels recycled, predictable, and unmotivated. There's no point to any of this. It's shot like it's a student film with no real motivation or idea as to what they want to evoke as far as emotions go in their cinematography.
This film made no attempt to make me FEEL anything, not happy or sad, not even frightened or anxious. THAT is what the point of cinema is, to experience something. And to quote one of the characters, "This wasn't an experience."
A bowl full of not-quite rotten cherries.
I saw "Spree" as part of a private screening for an awards show and it was one of the short films that had stood out for me.
It shows that the young writer/director possess' a talent that can shine behind that of the short film format. Strong perfromances from an amateur cast and they worked well with what they had to work with. Not bad. Not quite ripe, but far from rotten.
The Green Mile (1999)
The Gospel According to Steven King and Frank Darabont...
First off I must say that this was, hands down, an amazing film - there can be no argument about that. Beautifully acted, directed and written, now all of that aside can this movie be seen as anything other than a re-telling of the New Testament set in a prison??? John Coffey, first off let's look at the man's initial's for starters, excluding the fact that Paul (Tom Hanks) tells us that he's God's mircale worker, it looks pretty obvious as to the real identity of who Michael Duncan was playing :). Next we have the apostle, aka prison gaurds, with Paul playing the role of Peter, who denies John Coffey the chance at freedom three times - and his punishment is to watch everyone die. (which I found to be the high point of the film). Our beloved mouse-killer Percy is Judas, and Wild Bill and the french guy that owned Mr. Jingles were the two criminals that died with Jesus on the mountain - one of who asks for forgiveness, the other who doubts him. Now as for Mr. Jingle - is he perhaps God himself? Who knows.... This movie is hands down the #1 film of the year so far, still waiting for "Man on the Moon" to open - Hanks was stellar but not Oscar worthy - defintly up to par with "Shawshank" it not only meets Darabont's previous attempt, but destroys it.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
What was anyone thinking? Is garbage the new excellence peak?
What is everyone thinking that praises this movie as an outstanding masterpiece? This was not some great movie about the GREAT Americans, weither Stone meant it to be or not I'll tell you what this movie was about. This movie was about some trigger-happy war loving kid who wanted nothing more than to defend his country, without even looking into it he goes to 'see some action' and then, after he gets paralized and realizes that his life doesn't mean anything he starts to get mad. But who does he get mad at? Not himself. He gets mad because people 'lied' to him... the answers were there if he would have looked for them. Instead he's wheeling around for the whole movie feeling sorry for himself and expecting someone to give him a helping hand when it's his own fault. No one MADE him go to war. No one MADE him take that second bullet. And instead of getting on with his life and accepting that HE made a mistake he expects people to feel sorry for himself. His friend offers him a legit job and he pretty much spits it in his face. And where does this climax [that takes WAY too long] end up? With him going out to make a speech that we never hear. This movie is a far cry from being anything close to outstanding, and unless Stone was going for what I've said in this review than he failed miserably much like some of his other pictures.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Movies at there best!
I walked out of this movie not knowing what to think, a few of my friends were quessy from the stedicam work and my mind played for a question of wiether or not I had enjoyed this film. It wasn't until this afternoon that I had an answer, I didn't like this film. I LOVED IT. There was so much to it - we saw it as a bad-camp video [you know what they are like] and we saw the characters as just that - real people as opposed to actors following a carefully monitered script. We saw real emotions and all of the people involved in the production need to be commended greatly. Not only is this the best horror/suspence film of our time it measures up as one of THEE best films in general. All of the horror that this movie had to offer was the build-up and your after-thoughts. The conclusion is perfect - see this movie as soon as you can. It is amazing. We should be seeing the name Blair Witch at the Oscars this year.
American Pie (1999)
A joyride of emotions and hormones.
This was not the amazing comedy that it boasted to be. It was very funny and had the lewd humor to it that was expected from it's previews but it had more depth to it. An actual crafted plot. What really saved the movie for me was that at the end the boys realized that sex wasn't all as important as they were making it out to be and called the pact off - then all went and had sex anyway. I really liked the mini lesson on how you can never really prepare - it should just happen. The montage at the end was beautifully crafted. This is a funny date-movie. There are some pretty gross sections in the movies - but you'll see them coming, it's just waiting for them to happen is what it is all about. Eugene Levy was excellent in this as the Dad who wants to tell his son and seem cool at the same time. Although highly unrealistic at times the film showed some the morals that all movies about students should - I'm not going to say what they are - you'll have to find them for yourself.
Not what I expected - IT WAS GOOD!!!
I was kinda forced into seeing this movie, and I've watched the odd episode of South Park so I knew that there would be the regular d**k and fart jokes that went along with that kind of humour. But the whole time before the movie I couldn't stop thinking - how the hell are they gonna fill an hour and a half without getting boring and stupid - well, to my surprise they did it. I was very impressed the way they handled a plot and their characters. Although the language was very profane [but then again what do you expect from a South Park movie], they knew that to impress the audience they had to cover some new offensive ground and boy did they ever do it - I believe that Mr. Garrison walked away with the best line referring to women and his fear of them due to PMS. The movie clearly made fun of it's self with their cleaverly made "Terrance and Phillip" those crazy canucks. I am Canadian and so was the audience I was in and they loved it - there was some huge Canadain mocking but we're strong enough not to worry ABOOT it. [inside joke]. The whole movie was a comedic attack on the parents that boycott the television series from their children, anyone who doesn't see this is definitly blind. All in all it was definitly a worth seeing movie. It was rude, tasteless, racist and offensive - everything an episode of South Park should be.
The General's Daughter (1999)
A different type of military cover-up movie
This was a very interesting movie with some amazing actors fueling it. I went to this movie expecting it to be another bad movie about military cover-ups, and while it was about that - it wasn't a bad movie - I actually really enjoyed it. James Woods, who I normally despise had the coolest character in the whole film - while John Travolta's was also very interesting, and he was good as usual [thank you again Tarantino for having the brains to bring him BACK!!!]. Madeline Stowe was also really good but I've seen her play that character before... many, many times. The plot was not overly complicated and easy to follow - signs of good pacing from a decent director, it was an excellent tale of revenge - I enjoyed it - and if you normally don't like these types of movies - then ignore what you consider these types - because it isn't - it's on it's own class.
Good laughs but not enough new ones
Here it is - flat out. The movie was really funny, I won't deny that. But if it is stuck up beside its original it pales by comparison. The opening scene was annoyingly corny. I think this movie was also corny, the other one wasn't - this one was definitely full or corn. Also I was overly annoyed by the use and talk of other movies - too too many references, let's find a plot somewhere. The two new bad guys: Mini-Me and Fat Bastard were outstanding. They added a lot to the film's comedy. The movie ended in a definite set-up up for a third film - I really do not want them to do a third film. Some of the really really really funny jokes from the first one were made overdone this time - the key rule to a sequel is breaking new ground. There was no ground broken here. The Sshh becoming Zip-it was the best carryover joke, and the best new joke was finding other words for the male genitalia. Go see the movie - it's a nice laugh, try not to expect to much because that will ruin it for you - just see it as a comedy. And if anyone from NEW LINE is here please promise me this... if you promise to continue the series - do it well, not just for money and empty laughs... do it for new grounds and good laughs.