Reviews written by registered user
Laight

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39 reviews in total 
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2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
The Horror is Coming from Inside the Head!!!!!, 1 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you like your basic screams and bad dreams horror movies, you won't like The Babadook. This is not Freddy or Jason or anything like it. The people who don't appreciate this movie don't understand what it's about. The horror isn't the monster. The horror lurks in the terrible possibilities of all our lives. None of us are potentially immune. One sickness, one accident, one mental breakdown, and any of us can face what is the true terror of life.

In this case, Amelia, the mother, loses her husband to a car crash on the way to the hospital to give birth to her son. That horrible moment changes a happy family into a tragic one, and years later Amelia is still repressed, lonely, and sexually forlorn. Her son, now in school, is horribly socialized as his mother can't even throw him a birthday party as it's also the day the husband died. They live together with only an elderly next door neighbor as a support system. (There's a sister, but she is a classic Australian bitch -- the only comic relief in the movie.) When a children's book shows up in the house, it lets loose a series of terrifying events -- but not in the normal sense of hatchet murders and bloody screams. Instead, we witness a complete mental breakdown on Amelia's part. So the horror isn't the monster. It's the mental anguish of the family's reaction to it.

Yes, the movie goes overboard sometimes, and yes, a fluffy little dog gets brutally killed, and yes, sometimes Amelia's acting is perhaps a tad Grand Guignol. But all in all it's a staggering descent into madness triggered by the relationship between a child whose birth caused the death of a husband and a woman who can't cope.

Oddly, the ending is quite happy: If the movie is a metaphor, Amelia finally musters the strength to finally face the reality that her husband is dead and her life is now her own, and she tame the monsters within her. If the monster is real, she has found a way to tame it as well.

All in all, this is a different kind of horror. It's about the horror within all of us. And that's truly a scary thing.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Let Miss Marple Pass, 17 November 2014
2/10

The Miss Marple mysteries are uneven at best although some of them are outstanding -- the same is true for all of Christie's work. You can't write 100 great books but Christie still managed to write at least a dozen classics, which is pretty amazing. Then there were the bad books she tossed out, and Endless Night was one of them. And, it's not even a Marple mystery. Whoever is behind this series simply ran out of ideas and pasted together the worst of Christie with a sad effort to bring Marple back to life. It's just terrible. Even the actors don't seem to care--the leading actress seems bored by her role and her American accent is dreadful. Tom Hughes is wildly handsome but his role is supposed to be of a charming man, not a sullen model for Burberry. And poor Julia McKenzie looks as if she can't wait for the series to end. And, sad to say, that's true for the rest of us.

Enough!!!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Touching, poignant, intelligent somewhat flat film, 12 October 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What a strange film. Here you have what should have been everything that makes a movie work: talented actors, an intelligent director, and a fascinating, true story. But the pieces don't add up. The problem is that the script fails to live up to the rest of the components. Sometimes a simple story can be extraordinarily powerful, but here it is, well, too simple. A man, Lomax, was tortured in the war. His marriage falls apart (and there's a very empty back story about that--the man meets his wife on a train and falls in love in first sight-- something the movie portrays poorly because we never learn anything about Patti, the wife-- nothing at all). We never learn if Lomax was miserable before the marriage. In fact, there is no back story except the war.

There the plot is even more simple: Lomax was tortured, he ends up finding his torturer, and he forgives his torturer.

That's the movie. No real insight into character, no insight into anything other than the powerful message that war is, indeed, excruciatingly horrible for everyone involved. The film contains some amazing scenes and both actors who play Lomax do an excellent job, as does the Japanese torturer. But you are left with nothing more than what every other war movie leaves you with. When you consider all the

great war flicks that have been made, from The Bridge Over the River Kwai to The Great Escape, this one just doesn't stand up to them.

One odd note: Lomax shows no physical signs of being brutally tortured and whipped for years. When he is finally released from his tiny cage, he springs out of his cage looking happy and refreshed, with his pretty hair in perfect order. His glasses, which have been through torture as well, look as though he just bought them. As an adult later in life, when we see his naked torso, there are no scars. These Japanese torturers must have supplied some wonderful healing ointments after each torture session. Perhaps some nice Reiki as well.

The bottom line: If you want a good rainy afternoon movie that will leave you crying a little, and thankful you never went to war (if you're lucky enough for that to be true), you could do worse. But don't bring great expectations with you.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Awful doesn't begin to describe this movie, 21 September 2014
1/10

Every once in a while Hollywood churns out a movie where you can just imagine the meetings that went beforehand. Here's a book that many people love, someone said. Let's make a film! We won't bother to add acting (the presence of Harrison Ford will assure that). We won't bother to hire someone who can direct. We won't bother with characterization, we don't deal with dialog, we don't even need a script! We have a book and we have special effects! What can possibly go wrong? The answer: Ender's Game. One of the worst science fiction movies in memory. Do yourself a favor. Watch 2001: A Space Odyssey again. Watch a Star Wars Movie. Watch ET. Watch anything but this sad piece of wasted money.

26 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
B movie in an age of C movies makes it an A movie, 14 September 2014
9/10

If this movie had been made back in mid-century when Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Donen and Billy Wilder were at their peak, it probably wouldn't get much attention. But given we're in an age where Transformers XVI is a possibility, a movie like this--taut, suspenseful, well-acted, well- written, is kind of a marvel. It doesn't promise a lot: there are no special effects, the plot twists aren't terribly surprising; in fact, nothing in the movie really surprises. But it's all so seamlessly put together, so pleasingly directed, and shot with such loving attention to the scenery, Two Faces is a real delight. Don't come with great expectations--come simply for the pure entertainment of what a movie can be when everything in it works well. (Also, it's based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, so you know that if nothing else, there will be sophistication and wit.)

Borgman (2013)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Nice try. No cigar., 14 September 2014
4/10

Few writers and directors try to stretch the limits of what a movie can do. Here you have a really interesting concept, which is to satirize upper middle class life in the West by juxtaposing it with a surreal group of characters and a ridiculous plot. The problem is that the movie takes itself and its message so seriously that the end effect is simply boredom. There is not a shred of humor or self-awareness or even fun in the movie--it's like a Bunuel movie made by a serious group of teenagers. Such a shame, because it starts off so promising. It's almost impossible to watch till the end, despite the occasional, wonderful visuals, such as the bodies in the water.

Coherence (2013)
7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Pretty amazing, 23 August 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It seems as if all the interesting ideas coming out of Hollywood are either on TV or they're low- budget efforts. This particular movie, made on a very limited budget with no special effects and no big name stars, is a case in point. It's original, fresh, interesting, and those of us who've seen it can discuss it for a long time because unlike most big budget dreck, there's no absolute interpretation to the storyline. As all the reviews point out, the movie is about what happens when a comet passes over earth and somehow creates alternate realities that befuddle eight people at a dinner party. These eight people become the only eight people in their new, multiple realities, and they slowly realize there may be an infinite number of them. The movie slowly builds to a finale that could either mean that the one woman who decides to change to a better reality has either successfully done it, or not -- there are many ways to view the ending - - in fact, you could say there are an infinite number of realities at the end. All in all, a totally enjoyable, well acted small film. (And the bit about Nicholas Brendon's character explaining to one of his friend's friends that he looks familiar because he was an actor on Roswell is mystifyingly satisfying.)

Prometheus (2012/I)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Please Read This Before Watching the Movie, 1 June 2014
1/10

I was going to review this movie after having seen it last night -- but then I saw that scores of other people have already reviewed it, saying basically the same things I was going to say. Prometheus may have more plot holes than any other movie in history. Whoever wrote the script didn't seem to care about characters, action, continuity, structure, or anything else that makes a movie work. If you're interested, read the other reviews, all with spoilers, that point out these dozens and dozens of mistakes. But otherwise my advice is: Don't watch this movie!!... or you will waste two hours of your life and then spend the next day thinking about the ridiculousness you have just seen... as I am doing now... I want my two hours back!!!!

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
What a cold mess, 9 October 2012
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The original Upstairs Downstairs was a wonderful program. The new one is such a flat failure. In fact it's almost eerie how flat it is. The idea seems to be that if you dress people up in costumes and put them in England during a war, you don't need to do those little things that concern other series, such as commission a good script, hire good actors, attach a director who can direct to the project, etc. This program has all the energy of a bowl of after dinner mints. Furthermore, to base an episode on killing a pet is almost insanely stupid--and yet that's what the people behind this show thought would make a great debut for the second season. All in all, just a terrible, terrible disappointment.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Remarkably poor, 17 July 2012
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Perhaps because so many good English mysteries come to America, we're used to seeing some terrific stories with great acting, directing, and story lines. This is a rather strangely bad piece of work. Roy Marsden plays Inspector Dalgliesh as a somewhat nasty and whiny man; the rest of the characters are all extremely unpleasant, and the one good person in the story ends up making a completely inexplicable decision at the end of the interminably long show (the other police sidekick is a terrible actress who seems to only be able to squint and wheeze at the camera). The writing is very poor quality, with constant speeches explaining what characters are doing or what they should be doing, and the direction is bafflingly amateurish. All in all, given that the people involved, including PD James, are for the most part talented professionals who have done far better work, this seems as though it were put together in a few weeks and then thrown onto television. Just not up to the standards of a Foyle, a Morse, a Lynley, etc.


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