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The Vikings (1958)
Hollywood at its best. A great script by Calder Willingham, and fabulous production values.
I am leaving this review in place. Interestingly, i've never seen the movie, nor did I write the review. Someone hacked my account and wrote another review under my name as well of a Sidney Lumet film as well. Weird. But this is a good review, I think. Without having seen the movie.
Alexander Knox, not Frank Thring plays the reptilian King Aialla, Frank Thring has the role of Father Godwin. Once again, Kirk chews the scenery, Tonys Bronx honk sounds a bit out of place, and Ernest Borgnine steals the entire film. What a great actor he is.Douglas had his hand in the production of this film, and personally chose the talented and steady Richard Fleischer as director. Today, this blockbuster historical epic, seems a bit formulaic and somewhat melodramatic, but there's no denying its entertainment value, its visual appeal and a most arresting musical score. This is a film I screen when I want to take me back to when I was 16, and my ability to suspend my disbelief was a bit easier. Some Jordan Almonds and a Pepsi also help.Hail Ragnar! Hail Einar! And Hail the Hollywood of the past.
The Pawnbroker (1964)
A character actor tour-deforce.
A Sidney Lumet masterpiece. Perfectly rendered Quincy Jones musical score, and a gritty, haunting tale of loss and redemption. Outstanding performances from esteemed actors Brock Peters, Raymond St.Jaques, and Juano Hernendez. Perhaps, one of Rod Steigers most contained and perfectly wrought characterizations. The bleakness of his performance, and the tension that builds as life crumbles his fragile barricades, is almost unbearable in it's sustained intensity. Everything comes together in this film. Cinematography, music, seamless acting and a powerful storyline, that leaves Sol Nazermans epiphany like an arrow through the heart.
In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007)
Indie with a vengeance
I really wanted to like this movie a lot ... and I applaud every one involved simply for getting it made and clearly working very hard to make it a good movie.
There were some very funny bits and I sat through the whole movie (i have no qualms about walking out of a theater). I warmed to the two main characters as the movie progressed.
The music had a very Tom Waits kind of feel to match the black and white photography. A little too funky overall.
But there were some bits that were so irritating - the scene on the subway after the argument, the scenes with the friend and his soon-to-be-fiancé, the marriage proposal itself, the shoe shots, the ending ... that they kind of tainted the whole film experience for me.
At least they weren't hipsters ... i guess that's a plus. I hate to knock the movie ... I am sure the next one by the writer/director will be a lot better. It's not a bad movie, per se ... maybe they were just trying a little too hard.
Blonde Ambition (2007)
so bad it's good
This is a truly awful movie, but wonderful at the same time. It's like Tokyo Drift ... although not quite as stupid as that masterpiece. Blonde Ambition is not a mean, ugly film like Showgirls, which they have tried to rebrand as a cult classic. Rather, it is a piece of bubblegum ... and a monument of sugary stupidity rarely achieved in cinema ... therefore bubblegum you can savor long after the flavor is gone. Watching Jessica Simpson mug like an idiot, trying to do slapstick, possibly the worst I've ever seen, is a joy beyond words. Andy Dick is a dick. I guess Luke Wilson has some talent, but this script is so bad it's kind of fun to watch the what-the-****-am-i-doing-in-this-t*rd looks fall across his face as he tries to deliver the awful lines. Highly recommended.
Awful, Manipulative, False, Dishonest Ending (SPOILER)
I know we all hate bogus "Hollywood" happy endings, but this movie had the opposite: a contrived and very ugly and dark ending.
Those of you who do not think so probably do not have children. But the scene in the hospital where Andy tells his father that he was sorry and Charles tells him it's okay and touches his head - that was plausible and real, and extremely moving and suddenly gave all the horror that had proceeded much weight ... the sorrow and pain that actually can happen in a person's life. As implausible as the rest of the movie was, carried by the great acting, his forgiving there, for the moment, was an amazing turn, and brought tears to my eyes.
However, to have him then so calculatedly and coldly (putting the monitors on his own chest, etc.) KILL his own son conveyed an anger and a hatred which would have, in real life, masked all grief. And up to that time, he had been simply grief-stricken.
It would be nearly impossible for a man to kill his own son, no matter what he did. I know it could happen, but the forgiving, no matter how painful, was much more real.
So the ending was a lie, calculated to shock. It diminished everything, including the audience. I saw it in Berkeley, with an older sophisticated audience, and I don't think people liked it. I kept apologizing to my friends for suggesting the movie. They both agreed the ending was gratuitous and false.
Avoid this movie forever. I don't care how good the acting is.
(Added June 28, 2008): I see that only 13 out of 28 people have found my comment of use. I guess the production company has a bunch of paid trolls to come and down-rate honest comments from non-shill movie viewers. I have found over time that my distaste for this abomination has grown. Not only that, I was reading Andy Warhol's Diaries the other day and he made a crack about Lumet back in the eighties ... Andy could always see through no- talent bullshit (at least I agree with him nearly 100% of the time).
I repeat my original comment: this movie is one of the most dishonest pieces of cr*p ever released. How the people praising this movie can overlook the fact the the father drives right in front of the Ethan Hawke character in the parking lot in front of the jewelry store and Hawke doesn't notice it is beyond me: they are demonstrating the kind of intelligence Hollywood relies upon when creating movies with plot holes/contradictions you could drive a truck through: in other words, total stupidity. And that is just the beginning of this travesty.
Kleine Teun (1998)
A good movie full of wry humor (at first)
I've never seen a movie from the Netherlands before ... most Scandinavian movies I've seen have been dark, depressing, full of existential angst ... this movie is quite fun, kind of weird ... extremely well-acted (even with sub-titles) ... a very pleasant surprise.
Actually, I wrote the preceding before the movie turned really dark ... depressing ... full of existential angst ...
they are all the same ... still worth watching though ...
i think they should do an American remake with kevin federline as the man, rosie o'donnell as his wife, and courtney love as the tutor/love interest. is that enough lines?
The New Age (1994)
One of my favorite movies
Gee ... I started to type in One of and the computer filled in the rest, so obviously ... i've named some other movie here on the IMDb one of my favorites ... oh well ... room for more than one.
This movie, The New Age, is one of those great black comedies that sort of fell through the cracks on release ... and for some odd reason has not yet been released on DVD, which is a shame.
I just rented it tonight and dragged my VHS player out so I could watch it. It's been awhile since I've seen it ... just some great lines and scenes ... a walk through southern California new age spiritualism and materialism ...
A very intelligent script ... great acting and casting ...
Hollywood Buddha (2003)
Fun movie - odd memoirish smart self-mocking in a weird way
I saw this when it came out a couple years ago at the Laemle Sunset theater ... there weren't many people in the audience. I fully enjoyed the movie, as did my meta-new-age-self- proclaimed-psychic female companion, as did everyone in attendance.
It's partially a story of Mr. Calande's attempt to sell a weird movie he had already made and could not let go of ... and he's in the middle of building a house ... and runs out of money ... rents a Buddha's head for $2000 a month and his luck changes ... floating around Hollywood ...
As we left the theater that evening, Mr. Calande was standing in the back. We stopped and talked for a moment. He was very charming, and clearly intelligent. My friend was swooning for him.
I'd love to see the movie again. I hope it comes out on DVD.
A stupid premise turns moronic and then sinks completely
The only reason I'm giving this a 3 is because the bad guy was so good ... Cassel.
Jennifer Aniston is not sexy, could not be sexy, never will be sexy & just doesn't have what it takes to be the nasty seductress con she is supposed to be in this movie. She is the eternal somewhat cute nice girl next door, i'm afraid.
Everything about this movie is contrived and rings false the day after watching (at my girlfriend's, who rented it). I am thinking a lot of cocaine might have been consumed during story meetings.
Someone else mentioned how good the music was - I found it way too intrusive and calling attention to itself. Great movie music does not do that.
I was enjoying the movie up to the point where the co-worker is killed in the cab, and then the sparkling clean hooker shows up, followed by some really dumb cops ... this movie had just jumped the shark.
As far as the high ratings here ... these must be planted by professional PR people, the writing is too clear, the spelling too good to have been posted by some couch potato with the brains of a turnip - the only possible type of viewer who could rate this waste of time highly.
Gun Shy (2000)
director should be shot
I was half-enjoying this movie on cable TV until we got to the scene where Liam (who is apparently a chronic farter in the movie) is getting some kind of enema action from Sandra Bullock ... she has some squeeze-bulb action going on ... and the music playing is "It's a Man's World" by James Brown ... this is an abomination. It is blasphemy. It is a crime.
What unbelievable bad taste. Imagine that, coming out of Hollywood.
i don't have much more to say, but I guess IMDb doesn't allow short, succinct posts. so blah blah blah watched the Cockettes documentary today, found a great andy warhol superstar website, played with new kitties, cooked dinner ... this should fill it out enough ...
and I hope the children of the man responsible for putting James Brown in a Sandra Bullock enema scene live in interesting times.