Reviews written by registered user
|17 reviews in total|
This movie truly frightened me. What was so interesting about it, though, was that the true horror of the movie (disregarding the ending, which I simply could not watch the first time) is totally understated, yet there the whole time. The horror comes with the audience knowing what's happening, what really is going on with the neighbors and with Rosemary's demise, and not being able to do a thing about it. In its own way, this movie is incredibly tense and nerve-racking. It's the ultimate last word in "I have a bad feeling about this" movies. Roman Polanski is great at creating that underlying horror -- I can't even THINK about the opening and closing music without a shiver. The music in general was effective, and the direction, especially the "dream" sequence, was dark and very Polanski-esque. The acting was good, understated, exactly what the movie called for. So much scarier than any of the teen "horror" movies out lately.
What can I say? I can see why this movie was recommended to me after I admitted that 'Silence of the Lambs' was one of my favorite movies. "Seven" features an interesting premise (an intelligent serial killer chooses his victims according to the seven deadly sins) and some pretty cool, very dark plot twists. However, in my mind there is no comparison between "Seven" and "Silence," and most of this judgment comes from the acting ability (or lack thereof) displayed. Kevin Spacey is the only worthy actor in the bunch, and his performance is great. Though I've seen Morgan Freeman in better roles -- he doesn't do much here. Gwyneth was fine, but nothing special -- she was better in "Shakespeare in Love." And finally, at the risk of being attacked, I would just like to say that Brad Pitt does not have much acting ability, and it is painfully obvious here. His forced whining and yelling *almost* spoiled the last scene for me. I say *almost* because I find the entire last part of the movie (the part with Kevin Spacey, incidentally) very well-written and worth seeing. Spacey's character, "John Doe," is extremely creepy and his lines are well-written and even funny at times. He is everyone's worst nightmare vision of a serial killer -- insane and dangerous, yet rational and calculating. Spacey's voice is exactly right for the part -- it gave me chills. Other than the last scene (the car, the desert), the movie is gruesome, often too dark, and badly acted. The concept is a good one, however, and it is done justice. Check out the way the "pride" victim is set up -- it's genius. If you're a fan of Kevin Spacey, you won't be dissatisfied by the end of the movie. He's basically why I saw it. Caution, though : Brad needs SERIOUS acting lessons. Or maybe he's had too many -- everything he does here seems forced
I saw Instinct last night. Basically I went for the acting, which I'd heard was great, but from critics' reactions I was expecting an essentially bad movie. I was surprised. The movie WAS formulaic and overly sentimental: a true and unabashed Hollywood studio movie, in other words. However, the acting and occasional brilliance of the dialogue came very close to making up for this. Anthony Hopkins gives a wonderful performance (when has he not?) as Ethan Powell; his brutality is at times very frightening. Check out his last brutal scene with Cuba Gooding Jr.--it's worth seeing a couple times. I found the gorilla scenes overly sentimental, but beautiful to watch, visually. Cuba Gooding, Jr. also turns in a good performance, as does Donald Sutherland. In essence, yes, you could wait to see this movie on video. The acting is great and the movie does provoke some themes that are worth thinking about--and yes, I did notice some rip-offs from other movies, but 'Instinct' eventually manages to stand on its own.
This is the most entertaining movie I've seen in a long time. Notice I
"most entertaining," not "best." It is a bit too long (the senators
over the table really get boring after a while) and a couple of the battle
scenes are a bit drawn-out, but the acting is uniformly good, even great
some scenes, and the dialogue is almost always witty and keeps your
attention. Antonio Banderas is made for his role as the successor to
he is witty, looks the part and handles the action scenes well. Catherine
Zeta-Jones is great as well, especially in her scenes with Antonio. She
looks the part (who would've guessed she's Welsh?) and her fencing scene
with 'Zorro' is thoroughly enjoyable. As is the scene in the confession
booth (hilarious; see the 'memorable quotes' section). Anthony Hopkins is
not the actor who would immediately come to mind for the part of Zorro
(anyone else notice that he keeps getting distinctly non-British roles?
Hitler, Picasso, Nixon, Zorro . . . anyway) but, as usual, he is great and
subtly steals every scene he's in. My favorite scenes in the entire movie
would have to be the sequences in which he trains Antonio (trivia note:
one scene Hopkins *actually* snaps the wicks off several lighted candles.
He had fun with the whip, apparently). The soundtrack is wonderful and
really adds to the action. The villains are well-acted and thoroughly
hate-worthy. All in all, the movie is thrilling and frequently beautiful,
visually. Some battle scenes are too long, but others are great. The dancing scenes are also well-done. Very entertaining -- the critics were mostly too hard on this movie.
Hurlyburly left me confused. The writing was at times genius and at times mind-numbingly boring. Certain scenes were blatantly overwritten (anyone else get tired of the 'blah blah blah's?)--the movie is basically about a lot of drug-saturated men in an apartment (most of the film takes place there; occasionally they go driving or to the supermarket) talking about their relationships (or lack thereof) with various women, some of whom show up at various times, and trading philosophical views on life. Of course, these are philosophies spewed by people who are almost always on cocaine or 'weed.' The direction of the movie is quite inventive, lots of camera angles are very artistic and worth seeing. The acting is also quite good, especially by Kevin Spacey in the sort of sarcastic, deadpan role that he does so well. Sean Penn got on my nerves after a while, but I admit he did play the role well. The final scene between him and Mickey (Kevin Spacey) is pure genius and worth watching a couple times. Meg Ryan is also noteworthy as a druggie stripper (not exactly You've Got Mail). Overall, the movie is too long, and the dialogue can get VERY tiring. Oh, and Anna Paquin cannot act. Fans of Sean Penn or Kevin Spacey will most likely enjoy their scenes. Otherwise, take it or leave it.
Warren Beatty is to be commended. He wrote a very funny script (which I think was probably partly an expression of his personal politics) and acted out a well-developed, frequently moving character. Many people have found his 'rapping' annoying. On the contrary, I found those scenes very funny (complete with his girl groupies) and the scenes at the rap club are pretty hilarious. The direction isn't particularly noteworthy, but it does the job. The script is the real achievement here. It's full of sarcasm, satirical political truths, and some very funny one-liners to boot ("Well, I'm not sure you can get AIDS by burning your house down, but I see your point."). The acting is uniformly good, though Beatty really shines. Halle Berry is also very good as Nina, and their relationship, in spite of the noteworthy age difference, is quite sweet and believable (unlike, say, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in 'Entrapment'; now that was just sad). The ending of the movie is a bit confusing and profound, but personally I can't really think of a better one. See it.
If this is a thriller, then perhaps I need some more caffeine. This is a poorly acted movie, with too many explosions and chases trying to up the nonexistent excitement. Who would've thought Mick Jagger could act? Answer: no one, not after seeing this movie. Ditto Emilio Estevez, but at least he was trying. Rene Russo never made much of an impression on me, and Anthony Hopkins simply wasn't given much to do. Too contrived to be entertaining, if you ask me.
I'm not a 'Dracula' purist, I don't really know the way the story is *supposed* to be told, but my guess is that 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' would not satisfy those people who do care about such things. I think that Francis Ford Coppola has probably left his golden years (The Godfather, etc) behind forever -- he directs this movie as though it were some sort of an MTV music video. My two main acting (or perhaps casting) gripes are probably with Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman. Keanu is his usual deadpan self -- it was to be expected, but I would've liked to see a bit more depth brought to the role. And Oldman as the Count -- what can I say, he just didn't develop that sense of combined elegance and dread I associate with the character. Winona Ryder surprised me by being quite fitting in the role of Mina -- also her 'possession' scene is quite well done and probably the creepiest scene in the movie. Anthony Hopkins is great and over-the-top at the same time, but I think it's what Van Helsing's character requires. He is dramatic and funny at the same time, and is always a joy to watch ("An autopsy? Oh no, nothing like that, I just want to cut off her head and take out her heart."). His scene with Jonathan and Mina at the dinner table is quite funny as well. The movie is frequently beautiful to watch, visually, but Coppola directs as if his audience has a very short attention span. This got on my nerves after a while. It is, however, a very entertaining movie, which is all I really expected it to be.
Ok, I have inadvertently seen this movie twice, and while it's definitely not a great film, it is thoroughly entertaining. More so the first time, though. The second time through I was just waiting for Darth Maul to show up. Ok, the disappointing stuff first: the script was simplistic, and therefore the acting was moderate. There were some great or at least very good actors in this movie (Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ewan MacGregor, etc.) but here they just weren't given much to do. I understand the argument that these are meant to be archetypal characters and all, but it nevertheless got on my nerves. And Jake Lloyd has got to go. He got very annoying over time. Did we really need all those "Yippee!!"s? Also, I predictably hated Jar Jar and, for that matter, did not like the Gunguns much at all. Also, George Lucas' direction style seems to be gradually moving toward a very young audience with very short attention spans. That said, here's what I did like: Darth Maul (hey, I have a thing for villains, what can I say?)--the dueling scene was in my opinion the best scene in the entire movie, and to quote EW magazine, DM made Vader look like Mary Poppins. Also the computer graphics were obviously amazing--Naboo is absolutely beautiful. I liked the battle droids and the "futuristic hedgehog" rolling droids (Forgive me, I don't know the proper names) All in all, I am not a Star Wars junkie as some of my friends are, and I am therefore not a purist as far as these movies go. I enjoy the first trilogy, but I don't find those movies to be terribly good either. Therefore, I went into Phantom Menace expecting not a great film, but pure, sometimes mindless entertainment as has been the tradition in Star Wars. If you go in with this expectation you won't be disappointed. Two final thoughts: Phantom Menace was sorely lacking the charismatic character Harrison Ford previously provided, and I would've liked it a whole lot more if they hadn't killed off the two best characters.
I would have to say about this movie that the individual characters and the performances of the actors who played them are better than the movie as a whole. Anthony Hopkins is plays his part to absolute perfection as Stevens the butler. He brings both humor (check out the hilarious scene in which he attempts to explain the "facts of nature" to Hugh Grant's character) and practicality to the role. That role in itself is an excellent character study. The emotions that Stevens shows or does not show at various points of the film are fascinating to watch. I must say that I sympathized with Miss Kenton's character (Emma Thompson, also wonderful and perfect for the part), and I'm sure people identify with her and her frustration with Stevens as well. The film's score got on my nerves at times, but as is the Merchant Ivory tradition (see Surviving Picasso, Howard's End) is a beautiful character study and exercise in restraint.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |