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Dance of the Vampires (1967)
Polanski Yes! Comedy No!
OK I just watched this movie with my girlfriend.
First of all I must say that I utterly respect Roman Polanski. I know of the dark cloud that has follwed him. All of his movies, I have enjoyed. I respect and enjoy the darkness that his films evoke.
When I bought this DVD I had never heard of it. I was so excited about finding a Polanski film I had never seen, and to top it off it was about vampires.
After starting the movie, I had to turn on the English subtitles because it was hard to understand.
Summary: Great Cinematography, Great Score, Funny Moments, I love Polanski but please stay away from comedy.
Excellent insights into elderly care and its lonely world.
I have been a big fan of Garland Yee's work for many years now and to see his ideas and subtle themes come to the screen was something that has been long over due.
The simple story of a bingo game was used as a canvas to paint subtler themes and true emotional states of our seniors. While the main character seems, at moments, like he is frustrated with dealing with these confused and confusing old people, we can also see much deeper and see how much more frustrated the seniors are.
It really is a shame how we put our family members away in these homes, and then just leave them there. "Out of sight, and out of mind" Games likes bingo are probably the highlights of their days. How sad is that. I think anyone who is reading this and has family in a nursing home should go see them soon.
Back to the film, it was one of the best short films I have seen in awhile. Through it's documentary style approach it offered a very real slice of nursing home life.
I have heard that there are plans to make a feature and all I can say is that I am sure it would be a refreshing film when compared to all the soulless and mindless films that are being churned out today. It is not about selling a product, it is not a product, it is has something to offer and nothing to sell.
I just hope that someday I can work with Garland Yee and collaborate on some movie ideas. He has always had insight into the pop culture vien that is movies. However, as soothsayer of new trends, he also sees beyond the triviality of pop culture and really has something to say. He is a poet and scholar of all things filmic.
It is about time for things to change. We are on the brink of a boring cultural plateau, both in music and film, and it is time we look to people like Garland Yee for guidance back into a more meaningful world.
Not even worth writing a comment on... but oh well:
This film is an obnoxious exercise in Hollywood filmmaking. The first scene is the key to the movie. While it seems promising, with wit and special effects, you are left with little more than empty promises. This scene seems as if Travolta is trying to cash in on Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994) with his fast talking and movie references, but like the rest of the movie the focus is put on Travolta's coolness, and not on the protagonist, Hugh Jackman. The film would have much more enjoyable if the film focused more on Hugh Jackman, who has authentic charisma, definite promise and unlimited potential. Also, as much as many members of the male audience may have enjoyed seeing Halle Berry topless, the scene was completely unmotivated and completely unnecessary.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Star Packed Heist Film, predictable yes but fun
Making a movie like this is tricky. It is jam packed with stars which may or may not work for it. However, this element usually appeases the simple minds of the general audience. Many will be happy salivating over the stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts. For the rest, a problem arises. It is not hard to figure out what is going to happen in this movie. My logic says that this big budget film can't afford to end any but one way. So making this movie it is important to make the journey more interesting than the destination, since we know where it will go. The trick is to make getting there as clever and fun as possible. Sure, there is a mild feeling of suspense and a few mild twists. This half of the equation barely squeaks by. As for the fun factor, the movie is enjoyable. It is a nice ride, but not a white knuckled ride. George Clooney's smile and charisma seems to always make a worth watching (Three Kings, Out of Site, O Brother, Where Art Thou). Brad Pitt has definite star power, personality and edge (Fight Club, 12 Monkeys, and the underrated Kalifornia) that works for most of his films with a few exceptions (Meet Joe Black, The Mexican, Seven Years in Tibet). Don Cheadle, I love Don Cheadle. His name is so fun to say, Don Cheadle. Aside from hearing his name, he always has a presence whether it be in Traffic, Boogey Nights or Ocean's 11. Matt Damon. What can I say about Matt Damon? but he is consistently good (Good Will Hunting, Dogma, Rounders). I have yet to see him in a bad flick. Julia Roberts is Julia Roberts. You either hate her or love her. She does bring a very human feeling to all the movies she is in (Mystic Pizza, My Best Friends Wedding, Erin Brockovich). Together these stars do make the movie and save it from its obvious ending and somewhat simple twists.
Black Knight (2001)
I am sure if you like Martin Lawrence you will probably like this movie. Personally, I don't think it is really that funny. It feels like a Disney Saturday Morning Special. Sure there are few parts that are funny and a few parts that are mildly heart warming. Aside from some language and some sexual content, the only person that I think could possibly enjoy this movie is a little kid. Perhaps, I am not giving the little tykes enough credit, they may have enough savvy to think the movie is boring like I did.
Shallow Hal (2001)
It does have heart but not laughs.
After watching one free movie we decided to go see 'Shallow Hal.' This kind of movie falls into the category of movies I wouldn't pay for. Lucky, for us we managed to get free tickets. Being somewhat of a fan of the Farrelly Brothers I decided to take my 300 pound girlfriend to go see it. No just kidding, she is only 250 lbs. We both liked the movie but I kept having the feeling that it really wasn't funny. It seems like the Farrelly Brothers played it really safe with this one. It was a movie with tons of opportunities for laughs, but it seems that too many laughs would have been at the expense of the "larger" population. This however, created a movie with a little more depth which gave the movie its heart. Unfortunately, this depth can be comparative to the "shallow" end of a pool. I must say that I do enjoy the Farrelly Brothers, and I think Jack Black is an up and coming actor. He was awesome in 'High Fidelity' and I didn't see 'Saving Silverman' but I am sure he did well for what he had to work with. I really hope that he doesn't get type casted as a funny fat guy because I think he has lot more depth and potential than that. As for the Farrelly Brothers, I still think they have talent but their movies seem hit or miss. "Something about Mary" = Hit "Shallow Hal" = Miss.
The Corruptor (1999)
An ineffective attempt at creating a good crime drama movie.
It seemed like the director was going for a certain effect in his choice of music and editing. Most of the time his techniques seem to fall short of working. Also the story was uninteresting and just added to feeling of indifference that overwhelmed me while watching this movie. It wasn't up until the last 20 minutes did the movie become worth watching. A comparable movie is "Jade", however, "The Corruptor" was not as disturbing. In essence, it was just an exercise in bad filmmaking. Chow Yun Fat and "Marky Mark" weren't bad at all it was just that were both stuck in a bad movie.