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strat-8

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56 reviews in total 
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Rob Roy (1995)
One of the BEST movies EVER made, 15 January 2012
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was given free tickets to see this movie on the day that the Oklahoma city bombing occurred. So I remember it well. What I saw was one of the richest and most impressive movies I have ever seen. Michael Caton-Jones deserves to go down as one of the BEST director's EVER for this masterpiece. The screenplay: MASTERFUL. It has EVERYTHING: Action, suspense, drama, romance. This movie is every bit as enjoyable as the Shawshank Redemption. It is a shame that some viewers will find the realism of this movie distasteful. Personally I find the realism EXTRA tasteful. A cartoon, this is NOT. YEAH! A hundred years from now this performance from Liam Neeson will be recognized as one of his finest.

2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
very bland American graffiti, 21 May 2008
5/10

I saw this DVD in an electronics store priced (new) at $20. I'd never heard of it and I'm fairly knowledgeable about movies. I like Paul Rudd especially after seeing him in Knocked Up which I LOVED. I also like Julie Bowen. I like finding quirky movies that are hidden gems so I decided to take a chance.

Ho - hum. After 40 minutes I say to myself, "ya know, any movie that takes 40 minutes to set up the back story, the exposition, really has taken too long.

Here's the whole plot: nothing happens.

This is one of those movies that seems to be nothing but an excuse to showcase a collection of odd-ball characters (i.e. Roger Corman) in cameo roles. That formula can work, as in It's a mad mad mad mad world. But in an 84 minute, made for TV movie, it doesn't cut it. BTW Bowen & Rudd are in one brief scene together making the DVD cover-art highly misleading. You can skip this one. Certainly don't pay $20 for it.

A film lover that made a difference, 4 August 2007
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's true. The question can be asked: Is it a film about an early cable TV mad genius impresario, or the station's impact on the film & cable industry, or simply an exposure and homage to the kind of films that brought the man and his Channel Z their well deserved success.

Of course it is all of the above and thank god for it.

Probably about as good a treatment of the subjects as you could ask for. Studios & "suits" are the bad guys. Film critics are almost as bad. But for those that love the art of film, like these people do, we can join in the celebration. I was never that impressed with the films of Sam Peckinpaw, but now I must take another look. Six hours of Das Boot? Now I know why.

It's also an instructional story of marketing. How to find a niche. How to defy conventional wisdom and find the "uncommon denominator" that brings success. Is there a market for this or that? There is always a market for things that are produced by people simply following their passion.

10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Well done, Ms. Houston, 21 July 2006
9/10

Yet another hidden gem. As a dealer in new and used movies, especially since I specialize in unusual, out-of-print, Indies, foreign, and other non-mainstream titles, I have the opportunity to discover many films in the hidden-gem category, like this one. Films get my attention when the demand is unusually high. This is no guarantee that the film is a good one, but if other factors are favorable, I may watch it. This one's a winner.

On my first viewing I thought it was a nice little film but nothing special. Mild thumbs up. I'm not sure why, but about a year later I decided to watch it again. I enjoyed it more the second time. Six months later I watched it a 3rd time and it seemed better yet. Today I watched it for the fourth time and I enjoyed every moment of it tremendously. The opening scene is just delicious, and hilarious. Even though I have a pretty good ear for the Irish idiom, I turned on the English subtitles and caught some bits of dialog that were not clear before.

If you are a film student, this a good one to study. It is extremely well crafted. Yes my dears, with no big stars and a small budget, you can make a fine film. The camera work is first class. Lighting is perfect. The colors pop out at you. No doubt Ms. Houston sought to bring her Ireland to life with all of it's vivid vitality, and she succeeded. She squeezed a lot into a small film. Humor, music, romance, pathos, and even a little suspense. Perfect editing. The film never lags. Perfect pacing. Perfect storytelling. Nothing is unnecessary and nothing is missing.

Yes, it is a bittersweet tale, but so is life. We have all been there. Agnes Browne and her brood are good souls, instantly likable. The beaming faces of those kids, ah, they'll steal your heart. That's what makes this movie a winner above all else. It's a movie with heart.

8 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Disappointed, 19 September 2005
1/10

I love Richard Linklater. He's a terrific filmmaker who's made some of my favorite films. I think Waking Life is absolutely brilliant. However, in my opinion, he's also made some duds. But that is the price of pushing the envelope and I don't want to discourage that. I too thought that Before Sunrise was a warm and wonderful film. I'm a huge Julie Delpy fan. I think the idea of having the actors from the original film contribute to the screenplay of the sequel is inspired. Bravo Richard, Bravo! I love that about you. What I didn't love was the result. Basically it didn't go anywhere. Flat beginning, middle and end. No magic. Maybe that is what it was trying to convey, the loss of magic, inability to recapture the magic. But why make a film about that? Why end the story of these two characters on a down note? You should have avoided the sequel and let us imagine a better future for them.

I wouldn't be writing this except that I was perusing the top 250 list and was shocked to find this on it. Now I accept the fact that the list contains goofy choices and omits some outstanding films. I'm used to that. But, WOW! Its just getting wackier.

Brazil (1985)
IMDb top 250: 197? Way too low!, 19 June 2005
10/10

I just finished watching Michael Radford's 1984 for the first time. Brilliant and faithful to the book. I also just acquired the Critieron 3 disk edition of Brazil. At the time of its release, I thought 3 disks was a bit overkill, but now I know better. I saw Brazil in the theater in 1985. Dragged to it by a weird friend with strange tastes. I was blown away. I staggered out of the theater. What makes a great movie? Compelling storytelling. Great actors, great script, and above all else, something that takes you to a world you've never been to or imagined before, a world that sucks you in and makes you a part of it. Truly one of the greatest movies ever made. Should be at least top 100 and possibly even top 10. OK, it may not be for everyone. But you can say that about any movie. If you don't like sci-fi (and shame on you if you don't, beside this is not really sci-fi, and hell, everybody liked Star Wars (except my mom, but we don't need to go into that. She doesn't like the Marx brothers, 'nuff said. But she did like Shrek, go figure)), anyway...

I identified strongly with the male protagonist, beset by subversive powers on all sides. And I fell passionately in love with female lead, Kim Greist. Beautiful, strong, sexy, smart, no-nonsense. I'd kill for a woman like that. Yeah, I could go for a little necrophilia. Damn straight.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Nice little crime-comedy gem!, 26 February 2005
10/10

After seeing this movie it dawned on me that I love this genre.

"Think bad Kevin Smith"? Oh man, is that ever way off base.

Think (other movies of this type that I love): Judas Kiss, Cold Blooded, Love & a .45

What an outstanding cast. Matt Dillon carries the movie, but Steve Zahn gives it zing. Great dialog, especially if you like Don Rickles and insult humor. Writer/director Mitch Rouse is very talented. He takes a predictable ending and dials it up to the max. Its like he's saying, "You want a predictable ending? I'LL give you a predictable ending! Or will I?" Can't wait for his next project. Didn't even recognize Christina Applegate.

I fully expected to find it had a rating of 7+. Hey, I voted for Nader, so what do I know.

16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Horror/Comedy hidden gem, 31 January 2005
8/10

You have to be in the right mood. It helps if you know what to expect. If you see this on cable, SNAG IT! Cameos by the Stiller clan are priceless. Good fun! Why does this have a rating of 5.1? No sense of humor! Why is this not on DVD? As a dealer of rare VHS (and DVD) the answer is standard. The copyright owner has gone out of business / has not had any licensing offers and is not prepared to reprint and market on their own. There are thousands of such titles which is why there is a flourishing industry of reprint labels like Alpha Video and many others. We make a good living finding and selling existing copies of movies like this. This is one of many titles that I had not heard of but the high demand for used VHS copies got my attention. I have discovered many enjoyable unknown gems this way.

5 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
western for those who don't like westerns, 21 December 2004
8/10

Hey brother,

Saw this on cable years ago and liked it so much I bought the tape which I sold in my first days of selling on Amazon.

Lightweightenjoyable western romp with an unusual plot. Bronson and Ireland do have great chemistry.

Picked up a copy today for $4 which I will sell for $40.

If you haven't seen it, I recommend.

Helps to be in a playful mood.

MonsterMedia

Blah, blah, blah, etc. Ten lines of text? Give me a break. Hired a new manager did we? Hire another one.

139 out of 209 people found the following review useful:
A Protest, 14 October 2004

It is a travesty that this film is not in the top 250. Something is very very wrong with rating system that says The Big Lebowski is a better film.

I can't add anything to what has already been said about A Man for All Seasons. Unquestionably one of the greatest films of all time, and stands the test of time. It will be revered as a great film 100 years from now. Will Lebowski? Doubt it. Winner of nearly every award it was nominated for. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, etc. One of the few movies that makes my whole being vibrate when I watch it. I am moved to tears in almost every scene because the scene is executed so perfectly.

Please IMDb, this must give you pause. Any system that does not put this film in the top 100 borders on insanity or uselessness.


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