Reviews written by registered user

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267 reviews in total 
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only someone in the grips of a theory, 5 January 2016

anarchists try to build a school based on the idea of no structure, no rules, and democratic involvement. only someone who has spent no time at all around human beings or children would fail to guess how it ends. kids are introduced to democracy without any understanding of the tacit underlying rules which make democracy marginally effective. nothing that can remotely be called education takes place. just hundreds of potential lawsuits as children's safety is repeatedly and brazenly endangered. forget trying to get kids to learn and memorize basic facts about the world. math, geography, spelling, reading, writing, history, music, all take a back seat to pie in the sky social and child development theories. someone should hand the staff of the school a copy of heinlein's Starship Troopers and direct them to the chapter on history and moral philosophy.

as for the movie it's self it's ninety minutes of watching and waiting for the other shoe to drop. a veritable comedy of human folly when reality takes a back seat to ideology.

an ambivalence on it's subjects, 31 October 2015

the subject matter of this "documentary" appears at a glance to be the once and no longer popular game of pinball. it's history, it's demise, et cetera. look again and it's true subject matter becomes the idiosyncratic nature of those who inhabit the closed world of pinball. the filmmakers seem to have an ambivalence regarding these odd people which borders on schizophrenia. at once they are shown endearingly and then again the camera almost begs to linger on their weirdness, to leer and almost mock. much like it's sister film "King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" the filmmaker seems like an outsider who perhaps enjoys the hobby while sneering at those for whom the hobby is the whole of their life. As a film it's motto might as well be Sartre's "hell is other people" When not spending time deciding between loathing and tender approval of it's subjects a dry and basic history of pinball plays out. more emphasis on this could have gone a long way. as it happens i love the game so to see the game as almost an afterthought in the film is disappointing. so be it. take what you can get.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
i AM smiling, 5 February 2012

Black Dynamite may very well be the funniest movie of first decade of the twentieth century. Upon my first viewing i had to keep pausing and back tracking because i would be laughing so hard i'd miss minutes of the movie at a time. Micheal Jai White writes, directs, and stars in this gem of a movie. If there's any justice in the world this will become a classic right up there with Airplane! It takes the same premise as I'm Gonna Git You Sucker (a great movie in it's own right) and tops it out a notch. Nearly everything in this movie flawlessly spoofs the blaxploitation of the seventies, with Dolemite as it's taking off point. The convoluted "plot", the over the top bad-assery of the lead character and a return of our old friend Arsenio Hall. Watch this movie, recommend it to others.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
drugs, 5 February 2012

Gaspar Noe has made an excellent movie, nearly flawless. If you're the type of person not scared off by the prospect of a two and a half hour psychedelic meditative treatise exploring death and the afterlife then you will probably think this movie is perfect. My only qualm is the actress who did an excellent job but i believe could have been cast better. This may also qualify as the best LSD movie to watch ever. Half the movie seems to be like some buddhist black light poster come to life. The movie's vision of the afterlife makes it seem heart wrenching. What really could possibly be lonelier than wandering among the living but unable to interact with them?

Such a shame that such a great film is so unknown. On the other hand if you're a fan of Vin Diesel movie you should probably stay away.

6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
even 70 minutes isn't short enough., 5 February 2012

in some movies brevity is the movie's saving grace. a film that would be terrible at 100 minutes is quite tolerable at 87 minutes. at a mere seventy minutes Thankskilling is brief but not quite mercifully so. The movie begins to recycle it's own out-of-date pop culture jokes somewhere along the thirty minute mark. This should tell you where it stands at 70. The acting is amateurish to the point of annoyance. The plot stupid and poorly thought out. The special effects are bad, but not bad in a good way. Those hoping for an Eli Roth style Thankgiving will be sorely let down. Generally a movie like this would throw in generous heaps of female nudity to make up for it's utterly slipshod nature. not so here. The silly horror Jack Frost does this same thing a million times better. Don't bother.

10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
one s**t eating scene is a shock, a million is a statistic, 5 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this is what passes for art? this is what passes for shocking? for something to be shocking requires one of a few horrific act surrounded on all sides by relative normalcy. wall to wall sodomy and s**t eating ceases to be offensive the way it might in a john waters film and instead makes it tedious. REALLY TEDIOUS. if the goal of this movie is to shock, why not simply offer a real life snuff film of a rape or murder? the film maker seems to want to heap gratuity upon gratuity for it's own sake, so why not go all the way? the underlying philosophy seems to be spite of the fact that most people have some sort of morals or artistic sensibility. the film maker is only bluffing at the notion that we shouldn't have these or that it is us for being hypocrites. congratulate yourself you made rape, sodomy, and coprophagous as boring as any other movie cliché.

if the goal of the movie is artistic or metaphorical, i call bluff on that too. the actors had to perfect an unrealism in order to spout off most of it's absurdest script. "it's a metaphor for fascist Italy..." shut up. you could have set this movie on the moons of Jupiter and it's allege metaphors would have been no further stretched as far as credulity. the fact that something like this is allowed the Criterion treatment is a sad state of affairs for the guardians of high culture. that they value this, whilst they scoff at far better films betrays their monolithic bias against American films no matter what. don't waste two hours of your life on this. pornographic film at least has redeeming qualities. the same cannot be said of this.

Dry Season (2006)
1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
editing please, 15 June 2009

perhaps the stereotypes of Americans being impatient with storytelling and in need of action is true. i found myself perpetually bored by this film. this in and of itself would not be such a bad thing, lots of film bore me. but this one actually has some decent storytelling to it. the problem comes from a lack of willingness to edit down the film, to move things along. too many shots of characters sitting around looking as if they are waiting to be filmed or photographed, glances caught at some distant nothing. mock modeling sessions for calvin klein ads. shots that consist of little more than a character walking across the frame. some tighter editing would have brought this same story in at around 45 to 50 minutes and would have lost nothing but fillers and time killers.

11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
interesting yet annoying, 15 June 2009

this is a great documentary which is handicapped by the overwhelming assholery of the lead runner. socially conscious and well filmed in parts of the world that most Americans know little to nothing about, the movie only drags when the lead runner is either having a tantrum or acting in a manner befitting Machiavelli. the sight of the Sahara desert seems the only locale big enough to move comfortably about with his over inflated ego unencumbered. a scene late in the movie has the organizer trying to explain that he has to leave and the run has gone over schedule, that he has prior engagements, yet the lead runner and central character seems to act like a juvenile in exaggerating the whole thing to some kind of horrible betrayal. then very late in the movie he convinces the other two runners that he can't run, only walk and that they should stay behind and rest and catch up to him as he walks. then completely disregarding what he has told them he runs anyways forcing them to play catch up. the whole thing comes off as manipulative, the egotistical actions of some inner psycho drama. this pecker doesn't deserve the hot wife who occasionally pops up in the movie, he seems like on of those preternaturally obsessed characters from the Hostel movies.

when the prima donna isn't engaging in his drama queen antics there's moments of great beauty and informative analysis. one observation notes of a nomadic people on the Niger border for whom freedom of travel is so central to their life that they refer to houses as "tombs of the living". of course that's easy to say for people who have probably never been much of anywhere else in the world but their familiar grounds.

6 out of 10

19 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
propaganda, 19 April 2008

there's been a disturbing trend over the last 15 years to call films which are quite obviously propaganda and label them as documentary. at the center of this trend is Micheal moore, but both sides of every political issue seem gleefully willing to commit the same mistake in taxonomy. part of it stems from the fact that the word "propaganda" itself has been so indelibly married to nazism and soviet socialism that in any context it seems to connote inherent falsehood. while this is not necessarily the case it does seem to be the vast public perception of the issue. so instead of admitting to watching propaganda we get documentaries which are chock full of bias opinions specifically chosen to fulfill preconceived notions. when it comes to the issue of global warming on one side you have the propaganda of al gore and on the other side you have this little bit of propaganda. now personally i'm more inclined to believe the point of view that this movie states, the problem is that spotting some of the logical shortcomings is not that difficult of a task. add to that the kind of "i'm a victim" mentality brought on by people skeptical of anthropogenic global warming and you get to wonder if when they say their being persecuted whether it's just hyperbole or whether they really have no historical perspective of what constitutes persecution.

6 out of 10, as much as i want to agree with the subject matter, the obvious biases and numerous rational shortcomings are too much to ignore and do a great disservice to the message.

Beerfest (2006)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
konig ludwig, 19 April 2008

i went into beerfest with very low expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. while obviously not on the same level of comic genius as Evil dead 2, Airplane, or Dazed and Confused, Beerfest does make it's self into a watchable and decently funny film, with a merciful amount of female nudity thrown in just to keep your attention. What really would have pushed the movie into real cult territory would have been some sort of reference to thee great beer drinking comedy Strange Brew. a cameo by Rick Moranis or dave Thomas or both as member of canada's drinking team would have been proper homage. (and you can't tell me either actor is too busy, when's the last time you seen either of them). on it's own beer fest is pitched less at gross out humor and more along the lines of an extended Saturday night live skit.

i give it a high 7 out of 10.

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