Reviews written by registered user
|16 reviews in total|
I was a late comer to "Cellular", drawn in by Chris Evans and the anticipation for "The Fantastic Four". I had absolutely no expectations and was pleased that Evans continues to build on the charisma and star power that "Not Another Teen Movie" suggested he has. Though there are some silly plot turns (spolier alert), such as Randy's (Evans) ability to navigate any vehicle with the skill of a stunt driver, the movie does have a couple of unexpected twists. The dialog is ridiculous, but the tension is tangible. It's a fun ride. Too bad about the comatose performance by Kim Basinger (I think she thought she was being subtle), who is styled too glamorously for a science teacher mom married to a marine biologist. And the end scene with her and Evans was filled with uncomfortable sexual tension. I expected them to start making out. She played it way too sexy. Felicity Huffman would have been a more realistic and capable choice. And speaking of Huffman, it's always a joy to see her husband, William H. Macy, on screen. He breathes life into every scene he graces. And Macy steals the thunder from Evans, so it was a smart move to keep them from sharing too much screen time together. Evans certainly has star power, but it is too soon to tell if he can become a quality actor, as his scenes with Macy make clear. Still, he is the type of guy you want to cheer for. I have the feeling that he is going to become quite popular as a result of "The FantasticFour."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
The main aspect of "Cold Mountain" that resonates with me is
Jude Law's haunting performance. For most of the film, Law is
required to act with just his face and he conveys much complex
emotion and turmoil within his eyes. I was again reminded of what
a truly splendid actor Mr. Law is. It's so easy to get caught up in his
equally splendid beauty and forget that he is certainly one of the
top five best young actors of today. The only problem is that there
is absolutely ZERO chemistry between Law and Nicole Kidman,
which makes the film's central love story fall flat on it's face.
Kidman is fine--she's pretty much on auto pilot, which, even for
her, is far more compelling than most of her contemporaries. But,
it's impossible to believe her agony and struggle over the man she
loves, when you aren't convinced she actually loves him. Plus,
she's too old for the role. Natalie Portman would have made a
more believable virginal daughter of a minister (in fact, Portman
contributes a compelling cameo). Law is on the borderline of
being too old as well, but he can pass for a man in his
late-twenties. Also, to nit pick--how could starving, unwashed
people from the 1860's have such perfect white teeth? Every time
Law smiles through his bearded dirty visage and flashed those
pearly whites, I just thought of modern dentistry. At least knock the
color down a shade or two. In the cameo department (which
comes close to a "Love Boat" episode), Phillip Seymour Hoffman
is exquisite--deserves an Oscar nod as usual; Zellweger
continues to proves herself and steals every scene from Kidman;
and, once you get use to the bad wig, Charlie Hunnam is
surprisingly up for his deliciously evil role. This boy may have
some range. The cinematography is gorgeous and the art
direction is spot on. Overall, the film is enjoyable and offers some
great performances. But it is the miscasting of Kidman that keeps
the film from truly soaring. I say this as a huge fan of Ms. Kidman's
work, who I think deserved the Oscar for Moulin Rouge, and a nod
for "Too Die For."
It's all about Johnny Depp. One of the very few summer blockbuster performances that warrants serious Oscar consideration. Like Edward Scissorhands, Depp was born to play Jack Sparrow. Amazing art direction, sets, costumes, props and special effects. Good score too. This film should nab a few nominations in those areas as well. Definitely worth the price of admission.
I was very excited to see this TV film that employs the talents of Jeremy Northam and Sean Hayes. What a let down! The story is told in such a connect the dots TV movie sort of way that I felt like I had seen it before. Jeremy Northam has a hammy good time playing Dean Martin. And while I never believe that he IS Dean Martin, Northam does create a character that is interesting to watch for about 45 minutes. Hayes, unfortunately, shows that, while a gifted physical comedian, does not have the chops to create a complex dramatic characterization. And, although his courage to tackle this part must be acknowledged, some of his recreations of Lewis routines are painful to watch. His need to prove to us that he is more than Jack McFarland is so clear here and he doesn't look to be having an once of fun. While watching this movie, I kept thinking about the worried conversations that must have been going on in the editing room. Best to steer clear of this one.
The main reason to see Frida is for the great art direction; some really fresh stuff happening in that arena. Expect Ocars nods for sets, art direction and costumes. Salma Hayek has two or three great moments, but for most of the film my impression was, "Look how excited Salma is to be playing Frida." Unlike Angela Bassett in "What's Love Got to Do With It" and Jessica Lange in "Frances" Hayek never crosses that line in which she becomes Frida. Geoffrey Rush is memorable, while Ashley Judd struggles with her accent (why was she cast in this film?). The script is weak and the dialogue almost embarrassing at times. Ms. Hayek is incredibly beautiful, sexy and charismatic, but is unable to portray the complexities of the main character. She has spent so much time cultivating her celebrity and it shows here. She seems to be thinking more about what she is going to wear to the Academy Awards than channeling the daily pain brought on by Frida's wrecked body. However, "Frida" is not a total waste of money and I imagine far superior to the version Madonna would have produced, but it is not a great piece of cinema. The film did make me want to learn more about Frida's life though. In that sense, it's a success.
Okay, I went to see "Abandon" because I like Katie Holmes and Charlie
Hunnam. I was not expecting "Citizen Kane" but was quite disturbed by this
story. Essentially, the film is about a young woman whose father abandons
(get it) her as a child. She proceeds to kill any male who breaks up with
her. Was this production funded by the Christian Coalition? What kind of
50's propaganda crap is this; a woman needs the approval of a man so
desperately that she has to kill them if they break up with her? Katie's
Holmes character has used her brains (800 math SAT and 3.94 GPA) and
strength (leaving small town poverty by getting scholarship) to get into a
leading school and land a job at a prestigious firm right out of college,
yet she can't live without a man? Essentially the message is that single
parent households produce serial killers and no matter what a woman
on her own merit, she cannot function without a "man". Her best female
friend is a drunken slut and her best male friend who is in love with her
comes across as a wimp who won't fight other men (read:gay, sissy, queer).
Of course she doesn't want him because he's not a "real man" even though
has had science papers published at 12 years old. The women in the film
jealous of her; her best female friend even makes a pass at the guy Katie
I have lost respect for all involved.
Paul Newman and Jude Law give memorable performances in "Perdition." Hanks
is fine, but he seems like, well--Tom Hanks. I don't believe he is a bad
at all. I've read about the moral ambiguity and subtle nuances he brings to
this character. I didn't see any of that.
The film is fine. Great cinematography and a good score. The ending is a little surprising. I thought we were going to get something sappy like in "Minority Report", but that is not the case. The only thing I wish is that there was a little less blood. Isn't anyone in Hollywood familiar with Hitchcock? Also, "Chinatown" is a classic film with violence and murder, but a whole lot less gore.
Newman deserves to win an Oscar for this performance. He hasn't gotten older, just better. Law certainly deserves a nomination.
The biggest disappointment about this film is that it could have been a masterpiece. I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say the story should have ended sooner than it did. Other than that, and one or two hokey lines in the beginning, it was sheer perfection. Osment was amazing and deserves an Oscar nomination. He's about the greatest child actor since Jodie Foster. Jude Law was terrific and has a good shot at a nomination as well. Definitely worth seeing. I plan to see it again.
Why don't people do research when creating projects like this? It opened
referring to Ms. Shields as "Christa Brooke Shields." Other inaccuracies
continued throughout the show, such as getting her age wrong on various
projects, like "Wanda Nevada." Perhaps they don't know about IMDB. The
interview footage with Shields is nice. (And am I the only one who noticed
the errie physical likeness between Teri Shields and Gena
The piece was spun to weed out Brooke's tough years ("Brenda Starr", "Backstreet Dreams", etc.) It seemed to jump from her 1987 Princeton graduation to her career-changing guest-spot on "Friends" in 1996. The fact that the industry had written her off and she pushed forward through bad material and public mockery to reclaim her stardom while actually developing into a good actress ("What Makes A Family", "The Weekend", "Black and White") shows why she is an exceptional woman and someone who has been greatly underestimated as a talent. It's hard to understand why her recent independent film work is such a revelation when "The Diamond Trap" is removed from the discussion of her film history. The piece felt like a PR spin to convince people that she has been considered a good actress her entire life. A good 10 minutes was spent discussing her performance in "Pretty Baby". I would rather have heard about what she pulled from herself to push forward as an actress, when she could have easily lived off product endorsements for the rest of her life and how she was able convince people to hire her along side Martin Sheen, Parker Posey, Gena Rowlands and Robert Downey Jr. She is now poised to be the first child star since Jodie Foster to become a real actress. That is quite an accomplishment that was never acknowledged. Also, her six to seven-year relationship with Andre Agassi got about 30 seconds of air-time.
I think a great disservice to Shields' inner steel and growth was done.
I've never understood the critical slam this film has received. Then I saw
the widescreen dvd version and understood; everyone has been watching it in
pan and scan! The film is a visual poem. So much of the story telling is
done through visual information. The impact of this is lost when the
cinematography is altered. Remember that Nestor Almendros received an
Academy Award nomination for his work on this film. The film has resonated
with global audiences for so long for this very reason. I suggest people
watch the dvd commentary with Randal Kleiser and Brooke Shields to get a
better understanding of why this film is still such a popular one.
People attack the acting, but these are children left alone with no one to guide them into adult sophistication. Their interaction and reactions to situations are very consistent with this scenario. Yes, the birth scene is a little rushed, but do we really need to see the umbilical cord? Not all films need to be about gritty reality, ala "Taxi Driver." No one asks to see the bloody guts of the smashed witch in "The Wizard of Oz."
It is a beautiful, romantic film that speaks to millions of people. It seems that only the most skeptical cynics cannot embrace this film.
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