Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Film does not do play justice
David Mamet's "Oleanna" is one of our great modern plays. Although Mamet's writing style is not for everyone, it cannot be denied that the material is very thought-provoking and relevant to modern issues concerning both the higher education system and male-female relations. However, "Oleanna" is a play. It was written as a play, and despite being of the "realism" genre, it does not belong on film. It could of worked though, if Mamet (who serves as director) had been able to accept this and just make it a filmed play--but alas, he did not. He tried to make it a "movie" by adding unnecessary scenes, and having the characters walk all over the place while talking, when in fact they're just supposed to be in the same room the entire time. Sadly, Mamet's directorial choices greatly lessened the impact of his wonderful script, and what could have been a very interesting film ended up falling flat.
It's an excellent play. Please don't judge it by the movie version!
Love Actually (2003)
Really beautiful actually
I normally hate this kind of movie. Life is tough, and love is very complicated, and any good romance movie (i.e. "When Harry Met Sally..") knows this. "Love Actually," on the other hand, going with the spirit of the Christmas season (during which the film takes place), places sentimentality over realism and over-simplifies romance to what could have been the point of nausea. But somehow, the movie works. It somehow made me turn my cynicism off and buy into its many implausible moments, and ultimately really touched me. "Love Actually" is, in fact, one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen. Not since "American Beauty" have I been so affected by a film. And the funny thing is, this movie could have been terrible, because of the reasons I mentioned before. But somehow, through a combination of great writing (which also includes many laughs), solid directing, excellent acting, and well, who knows, it works. Beautiful stuff--filmmaking at its most affective.
Very disappointing. I thought it would be clips of famous Doyle Carte singers (John Reed, etc.), but instead it's a bunch of modern D.C. players who seem to have nothing better to do. Especially disappointing is the esteemed Peter Pratt, who seems to put very little effort into his performance--he bears only a casual relationship with rhythm, and does not act at all. Pass this video up.
Double whammy: bad AND boring
Upon concluding my viewing of "Trance," or "The Eternal," or whatever the producers are calling this film, I wondered to myself, "Out of all of the bad movies I could have seen, couldn't I have at least seen one that was entertaining?" Even if a film is not well made in terms of acting, directing, writing, or what have you, it can at least be fun, and therefore worthwhile. But not only is this film bad in artistic value, it's incredibly boring. For a plot of such thinness, it moves awfully slowly, with little dramatic tension. At the very least, in a low-brow attempt at entertainment, the deaths of the characters could have been cool and/or gory, but the creators of this dreck failed in that department as well.
What does this movie have going for it? Pretty much nothing, unless you get entertainment out of watching Christopher Walken, who is capable of being brilliant, put so little effort into his acting that he falls into self-parody mode (WHY did he decide to do this film anyway?).
I give this film 3/10, because, God help us, there actually have been worse movies made before.
Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical (2001)
What a disaster
I had the pleasure of seeing Robert Cuccioli in the original Broadway production of "Jekyll and Hyde." It was a thrilling and dynamic performance of great caliber, and it contributed to making the show a sizeable hit. However, soon after his departure the producers kept on plugging various has-been stars into the role. One was Jack Wagner, who I also saw, who was terrible, but far worse was David Hasseloff, whose amateurish performance is forever recorded on this video for his embarrassment. He's so bad in so many ways, he almost manages to turn this musical thriller into a musical comedy.
Those who are fans of the show itself might enjoy having the recording for sentimental purposes, but I imagine anyone who has good taste in theater will be quite disappointed by the lead performance.
Go back to "Bay Watch," David.
I know if it's cliched if I say "X-Cellent" but...
I was counting the days of release to this movie. Studying at Oxford for the summer, I wasn't able to catch the excitement back home. But finally, on August 16th I caught it. WOW.
Now, this movie ain't perfect (but then again what is). Fans seemed to have it pegged to be this year's "Lost World" or "Phantom Menace" (although I think the latter was a let down yet fun to watch). But truly, Bryan Singer and company did a bang-up job of not only capturing the essence of classic and beloved characters but also brought something new to the screen. Not only did it dodge common comic book cheese, they also steered clear of terminal seriosity (yes, I know that's not a word). Cut and cheek but never close to anything RESEMBLING Superman III.
The movie's only flaws lie in, actually, the plot. Magneto's scheme to turn world leaders into mutants may play out better on film than on paper, it's still rather cheeesy. The movie's primary flaw, however, is it's length. I wanted more! (Is that really a flaw though). Of course, they're fixing that with the DVD and the barrage of sequels we're sure to see. Bring on X-Men 2!!!
So, in conclusion. Best movie of the year (sorry Gladiator), and it gets a 9.2 (out of 10). ALL HAIL BRYAN SINGER!
American Beauty (1999)
A film that demands to be seen
This cinematic commentary on America's value system will leave a lasting impression. Both poignant and darkly comic, the plot concerns Lester Burnham, a middle aged suburbanite who, tired of living up to America's standards of "beauty," readjusts his values, with striking effects on his neighbors. Although the film is not without its flaws (some of the characters are overly-stereotypical), it is not to be missed. Winner of five Oscars, including Best Picture.
One of the most brilliant plays ever written
Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd...The strangest, most off-putting, but most wonderful Broadway musical. It is chilling, funny, and moving all at once through Sondheim's most memorable and incredible score and sharp performances. George Hearn is incomparable in the title role, bringing a strong voice and dead on (no pun intended) impersonation of the legendary demon barber, while Angela Lansbury provides the comic relief as she cheerfully grinds up his victims into meat pies. If you just allow yourself to enjoy it, "Sweeney Todd" is a real treat.