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High Fidelity (2000)
Should've brought my gun...I mean this should be fun!
Cusack is one of my favorite actors and he again struts his stuff in High Fidelity. His talent for developing a believable character is extraordinary; sometimes I think his characters reflect parts of him. Then again, parts of his character in High Fidelity could reflect on a lot of people.
Anyway, the character development in High Fidelity is fantastic, the dialogue is realistic and often funny, and the writing is unique and fresh.
But...the whole movie felt like some really bad sex. Foreplay for an hour and a half, and just when you think there might be a satisfying climax, it doesn't really come, and you leave smoking a bad cigarette.
I don't like being teased with a plot that doesn't really grow. Either make a movie with a plot or make a movie without one.
I know this movie and the characters are more or less realistic, but that doesn't mean I find the general public very interesting, and would want to continue viewing these anecdotes. Besides, one can only digest so many "Top 5" lists from someone who's terribly difficult to care about. Without a plot, I wouldn't have tried to care about him, and would've enjoyed his character more.
I think the director tried to hit every base in the world with this movie. For many, it does. For me, Frears tripped over second base gawking at his own talent.
Well done. Bravo
One of Jodie Foster's first roles, but she succeeds brilliantly despite a script with some corny verbatim. Very tomboyish but still gorgeous and her demeanor and acting ability far surpass her years. Niven is great fun playing several roles, all while trying to keep a straight face. Fight scene near end perhaps a bit overlong and typical, but maintains some humour. Average script is made up for with strong, tender performances in a children's movie (which probably only appeals to adults, now)which surprisingly is not emotionally manipulative. 7/10
Jingle All the Way (1996)
Worst Christmas Movie Ever
I thought this movie was going to mock Christmas materialism and be extremely funny, especially with the comical cast. But instead it ends up glorifying and justifying the whole idea!
For kids the movie might be entertaining, but the whole stalking bit with Hartman and Arnold's wife is stale and not entertaining for children one bit.
For adults, the movie has little to offer except a chuckle every now and then. Some earnesty, but mostly mean-spiritedness make this move insulting. If the plan is mocking a Christmas tradition, you don't do it by being mean to innocent people (and reindeer!); you do it through slapstick or through some other form. And besides, the ending contradicts the whole point of the movie, that people shouldn't be materialistic.
I saw this in a theater with my girlfriend, and both of us were so disturbed by the movie we couldn't even cuddle with each other!
Wretchedly horrible, but not the actors' faults (other than the fact they signed on to the script). This makes The Santa Clause (from a year before) seem like Miracle on 34th Street.
One of the worst movies I've ever seen.
Emmanuelle: First Contact (1994)
I just have to comment on this movie because I gave it a 4 rating, and in my opinion that's pretty high for a softporn smut movie. The actual plot is kind of hokey (who would expect otherwise) but Hafron is so incredibly funny, and he delivers everything in a cyborgish voice so it's easy for him. Whoever wrote the script had some wit definitely! I must have laughed out loud ten times, and that's not a reason anyone would pick up this movie. The only softporn movie I've seen which had any merit other than beautiful women (and believe me, Emmanuelle is drop dead gorgeous...just look at the cover!)
Any movie that can entertain me considering how poor the plot was and how bad the acting is, also considering the movie wasn't made to artistically entertain, so to speak, it gets at least a four in my book. I mean, who wouldn't watch this before Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot?
Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)
Has everything the book has except magic
An adaptation of one of the best children's books ever written, while a good production, does not capture the magic of the book. I should know. I have read this book three times, and I love it more each time.
The atmosphere present in the book is very well morphed onto the screen. Most of the characters are very believable, and Billy is pretty good himself too. The movie also follows the book almost to a tee. The only main difference is the chemistry between the two dogs. While the dogs seemed well trained in the movie, only the human imagination can actually create the love that emulates from both of these animals.
And of course, the book is always just a little bit better anyway. If you've read the book and wish to see the movie, it might be a little disappointing. If you've seen the movie and want to read the book, do so immediately! It'll have you in tears.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
Not bad considering...
Let me start out by saying that I am not religious or spiritual in any sense of either word. I have never believed in Christianity or any other religion for that matter. I am not a hate monger either, and I think religion in and of itself (which means excluding the lot that abuses it and those that embrace it like it should be) is a good thing. It just has never been a part of me.
But I love this movie. Without a doubt the best soundtrack to any film ever. I can sing along to almost any song and I still laugh at, "If you are the Christ, yes the Great Jesus Christ..." That guy was great. Well directed movie, creating suspense where there should be suspense, and tears where there should be tears. Ted Neely is absolutely phenomenal. I had the privilege of seeing him perform live about 5 years ago.
While probably not as well written, cast, or directed as some musicals like the Sound of Music, the actual "music" part of it leaves even Grease in the dust. I would recommend this movie to anyone, regardless of religious background.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I first saw this movie when I was 5, and I liked it pretty well. My parents even bought for me...and I don't think I've watched it since (other than clips). I cannot remember most of the jokes and dialogue in the movie, but I remember the big picture still. After all, the movie is still popular.
Let me start by saying that Spielberg entered in this movie some of the best aspects of filmaking and also some of the worst. The movie is magical, especially for a young child. The relationship between E.T. and the boy is indeed heartwarming, and the special effects are good enough to compete with Cameron. However, the disappointing aspects of this film overweighed the good in my mind. This movie was rated PG-13 in some European countries. Why? Spielberg lures kids in to watch this movie, only to tell them that parents are close-minded and completely out of touch with kids, while also encouraging children to defy their parents when they "know" all the answers. Now granted, Spielberg doesn't come right out and say it, but for very young kids, this atmosphere could be harmful.
Moreover, much of the movie is directed to people who fall in love with lots of cute things. I don't mind cute movies, but it is overdone in a movie which is meant to be a sci-fi movies for kids, and a serious drama for adults. There are also many contrivances and plot holes that I believe are only accepted because the director was Speilberg and because it was a "cool" sci-fi flick. However these do not affect my rating of the movie, as I also am willing to ignore some poor or formulaic writing when the rest of the movie is great.
It seems I am in the minority on this movie. Even AFI has it 25th best all time on their list. But even throwing away all my personal taste, the message sent in this movie would still detract me from rating it among the classics.
I give it a 4 (out of 10) for effort.
8 Seconds (1994)
Probably for rodeo fans only
While a touching story about the famous rodeo sensation Lane Frost, I have a hard time feeling sorry for him at the end. I simply have a hard time empathizing with a person who has to prove his manhood by torturing a poor animal. I was saddened a little by his death, but I almost cheered when the bull nearly castrated him! Simply paybacks is what I think.
There is a deeper story than that, however. If Luke Perry indeed represented Lane Frost pretty well, then I must admit Lane Frost wasn't that bad of a guy. I thought Perry did a pretty good job (despite my very low expectations) and the relationship between him and his love interest is pretty realistic from my standpoint. Not a great movie, but enjoyable if you're in the mood for a sad drama and have a little bit of country in you.
Although I must say that if you are a country fan and you don't feel like watching the movie or hate rodeo, the soundtrack is still pretty good as far as country movie soundtracks go. Not quite as good as the soundtrack for Maverick, but I thoroughly enjoy them both.
Dead Calm (1989)
Almost...but not quite
Gripping...suspenseful...realistic...until the last fifteen minutes. Probably the biggest contrast between the ending and the rest of the movie. William Shatner hero scenes in Star Trek are not as lame as the ending in Dead Calm. I swear the writers must've had a party to celebrate their wonderful script and got drunk right before they wrote the last part. Laugh out loud funny.
Definitely not a cliffhanger
As with most action movies, the plots are generally not Oscar-worthy, the acting is average or subpar, and the action itself is pretty unbelievable. However, if one enjoys the action genre, these movies can be very entertaining. But then there are movies like Cliffhanger, which stretch credibility so far (while pretending that it has some) that the movie suddenly becomes laughable. The strongest, well-bodied and athletic person in the world could not even accomplish 85% of the things Stallone seems to be able to achieve in this movie. Not only that, but sometimes the movie defies basic scientific theories (like Armageddon does). Even more unrealistic than True Lies, and with a much worse plot, this movie gets put near the bottom of the barrel, even among the action movies that I've seen. Stallone fans and action movie buffs may enjoy this movie, but I can't imagine anyone else feeling like their money and time was well spent.