Reviews written by registered user
jeff-201

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23 reviews in total 
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Red Beard (1965)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Human rights, 28 March 2007
8/10

I have been carefully watching Kurosawa's films for years, particularly his samurai work. Mifune's presence on the screen is undeniable. He commands respect and attention, with every turn of his chin or move of an elbow. I watch Kurosawa's movies with a sense of the sublime, as well as a sense of disbelief. How does he do it?

This is a film about human life and the importance of empathy. This film, better than so many which make the same attempt, communicates the need for human understanding and care for the unfortunate. By exploiting the arrogance and ignorance of the self-centered doctor, Kurosawa finally explains to the thickest of us, in beautiful scenes with heart-wrenching acting, why we should care about others. Akahige should be mandatory viewing for all. An important story about tragedy, poverty, and the dis empowered that, in the hands of this director, is never sappy, cheesy, or self-indulgent.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
rocks, 12 November 2003
10/10

I have reservations about awarding such a violent, brutal, obviously offensive, irresponsible production a 10/10. I thought I'd seen enough women viciously beaten and/or raped in popular film over the last few decades, but I guess I was wrong. And, oh yes, the women are violent themselves... I suppose that's some sort of excuse.

However, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is one of the most entertaining films I have ever seen. It incorporates everything proven enjoyable by film history. It is Natural Born Killers meets The Empire Strikes Back meets Crouching Tiger meets Enter The Dragon meets The Crow meets a lot of other shiny recent movies that take the concept of "aesthetic" pleasure to a whole new level.

Everybody rocked. Everything rocks.

nothing new, 6 August 2003
7/10

Full points for style. A beautiful film. Huge losses in the originality and scripting departments. The dialogue is frequently insulting, and the acting is stale and predictable. For some reason, we accept that "no emotions" means acting like you're slightly irritated and full of rage. I would love to see a science fiction film where lack of emotion is displayed as a well thought out stoicism: a completely foreign disposition.

Equilibrium is an awesome view, but convention is the mighty director here.

8 Mile (2002)
The Eminem Show, 6 August 2003
8/10

Wow, who knew that Eminem was so darn great? He's a hero, a fighter, a lover, a talent, a prodigy, is envied and adored by his neighbourhood, and is just about the coolest guy around... Gee. He's practically a messiah.

It takes some kind of ego to make a film like this. Eminem's "based on a true story" autobiography is written like a band's promotional bio, and comes off as terrific propaganda. The guy makes himself out to be the greatest common-man's hero since Atticus, and tops it off by giving himself Herculean qualities of strength, reserve, smarts, and let's not forget he's the greatest rapper ever... Oh yeh, and everyone around him is useless and just wants to be near him or loving him. My hero... (sigh...)

Anyway, if you can get past the ego-polishing, 8 Mile is a good bit of entertainment. The movie gives a great view of the struggles of underground artists, particularly musicians just waiting for their "break." I like the message too, and despite all the negative imagery and events, the true moral of the film will sink in with kids: work hard, keep at it, and you just might succeed.

Yi Yi (2000)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
everything... something., 31 July 2001
8/10

What do I mean by everything... something? It's an assessment of the feeling I have after seeing this film. I'm overwhelmed, I'm touched, I'm a little bit amazed... but I'm not sure what caused all this. More or less, Yi Yi is the story of a nuclear family and each member's individual experiences. The film follows each character over a short period of life (perhaps a few months, one year?) as the most significant moments of human life occur. In other words, a first love, wedding, funeral, birth, murder, reminiscence, recapitulation, and all the rest of it... There's something for everyone to relate to, whether you like it or not. Perhaps that's what touched me so much about the film. I don't think I've ever seen something that so delicately and meticulously examined the extreme experiences that members of different age groups and gender have in human society. And it's cute, and sometimes ironic, and well, everything. Comparisons to more popular films might include Magnolia, for example, or The Ice Storm. But the style, while not altogether original, also caught my eye. Yang never gets too close to his characters - we are kept at a distance. The viewer is purposefully detached from any sort of voyeuristic tinge. In other words, while the big Hollywood directors zoom in for their big moment-Oscar winning-Meryl Streep-running tears-extreme-close-up, Yang prefers to film such moments through glass, in reflection, in long shot, making visible only the character's back or profile, in the dark, etc. I really liked this movie. It is long, so prepare to be patient. But if you let yourself get involved, you will only want to see more when the film reaches its conclusion.

unyielding masochistic experience, 11 February 2001
10/10

I got mad at this film. No, really - it hurt me.

The performances are gripping; the musical interjections are wonderfully surreal. Dancer In The Dark explores human pain (notably: economics, disease, and naivete) by placing a selfless, generous, innocent at the mercy of a cruel existence. The Dogme95 folks are relentless in their ability to assault you with images and concepts.

This film is a psychological masterpiece: the lead character must distance herself from existence through adolescent daydreams and a sincere love for music; and you must distance yourself while watching it because of the immense suffering on screen, en route, and in you.

Any criticism of Bjork is misguided: her childlike joy and pretty smile (not to mention her pure, gutsy, haunting singing voice) make this film what it is. No other actress could have BEEN this.

I think this is art. It expresses, it affects, it destroys. I don't know what else to say. Only problem is, I don't imagine ever being able to see it again...

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Jealous, 6 November 1999
6/10

One of Griffith's early Biograph films about a king who becomes enraged upon seeing his lover with another in her room. Clever, and mostly interesting for its historical value, this short film is quite entertaining and should not be passed over if you a get a chance to see it.

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
anemic, 14 October 1999
6/10

Well, it's only four or five minutes, so if you can see it do so. Any fan of Duchamp or anyone interested in the experimental films made during the Dada movement in the 1920s would find this fascinating. Others will find it pointless. Non-sensical French phrases are placed on a spinning wheel and inter-cut with neat spiral visual effects. The epitome of Dada and Duchamp's only experience with directing film (to my knowledge.)

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Wow., 2 August 1999
8/10

I honestly don't know what to say about this film. So why am I writing, you ask? Because this film is possibly the best one I have seen in years. It is confusing, jaded, jarring, thrilling, and mystifying. The acting is superb, the production even better. Even an experienced film student walks away from The Blair Witch Project unsure of the true nature of the images on the screen. The barrier between fiction and non-fiction is truly tampered and disguised. And after much debate with many skeptics and cynics and filmmakers, I can only say that the only conclusion we have reached is that if it is crafted fiction - it is a supreme example of how a filmmaker can control sight and sound. And, of course, if it is non-fiction...

See it. It charmed and scared me.

16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Adolescent delight., 23 April 1999
9/10

Just prior to the explosion of American teen films in the 1980s that followed American Graffiti (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Risky Business, The Outsiders, Revenge of the Nerds, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Stand By Me, Sixteen Candles, Teen Wolf, The Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing and My American Cousin just to name a few), Gothar made this Hungarian film about a group of teens living in Budapest. The film traces their lives over the course of over ten years, focusing on two brothers in a family torn apart by politics. The institutions represented by the school and revolutionaries frame the protagonists' plot, but do not interfere. The result is a delightful and intriguing tale of a young man dealing with all the problems of adolescence: women, friends, popularity, sex, alcohol and cigarettes - combined with the ever-present influence of American culture. The film is beautifully photographed and there are some innovative uses of the camera and colour. All the tricks are here: slow-motion, wide angle, different colour; but they do not cloud the film and they are certainly not kitschy. Gothar creates an atmosphere filled with confused and mature teens (more like the dramatic Dead Poets Society rather than the other films mentioned above) that will keep you involved and interested in the characters' lives.

Highly recommended.


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