Reviews written by registered user
grendel-37

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30 reviews in total 
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8 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Towards A Better Way, 6 February 2011
2/10

You people amaze me.

Because someone films a woman getting bludgeoned to death with a hammer in unflinching detail (as Boll has done in a recent film) does not mean he's making some eloquent statement on violence, or shows atrocity in Darfur, does not mean he cares anything about Darfur, or is a humanitarian, particularly if the film is nothing more than a showcase for horrible actions, with no real moral compass.

It's an exploitation film people. He's using a serious topic to feed a ravenous, hungry, gore obsessed film audience, their shock and awe. He's giving you your 'horror' movie.

Are the profits to this movie going to a NP working in the region such as Okfam? Did it spur you to donate money? Is there a plea to call your congress person.

It's all but a snuff film, it is true pornography. Violence only for violence's sake. And you praise him for it? And then incite others to see it, as if you're leading some humanitarian charge? Be honest.

Just a little while, with yourself... be honest You are titillated.

If you really want a film about the civil wars ravaging Central Africa, one of the best is DARESALAM by Issa Serge Coelo, filmed in 2000, it's a masterful film, that gives a surprising amount of depth to the fighting, specifically in Chad, but its truths resonate throughout the continent.

And beyond.

However perhaps all you want to see is the money shots. Perhaps all you want to see is people suffer and die.

You sad hypocrites.

He's feeding your need, for gore. Don't make anything more of it than that. You want to know the situation in Darfur, there are lots of non-profits out there that will inform you, and could put your money to better use, than you renting or buying a DVD filled with just people's suffering. Than faces of death.

Our fictions have to spur us toward some higher calling, some higher ideals, something not unlike hope, Because if our fictions don't make that leap toward hope, towards a better way, our facts never will.

If all our fictions can offer us, is to profit in the horror of our facts, than we become conspirators in those acts. Confused, gibbering applauders of the deeds.

You want do something about Darfur. Join Oxfam, or your NP of choice, and give. But don't praise an exploitation movie and director, and think you've done anything... but sully your soul.

Phenomena (1985)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
There are at least 2 Dario Argento's, this film is not done by the talented one, 23 August 2010
3/10

Let me say this. I'm a fan of early 70s Argento. I think he's in his first half dozen or so movies, one of the most exciting and stylish directors of his generation. His DEEP RED I consider a great film, a masterpiece, that the planned remake (helmed by Argento) will only insult.

Dario post 70s, into the 80s and beyond is a very different director. While credited with assisting on the story on various films, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST comes to mind, Dario was always a poor screenwriter, and even worse at dialog.

PHENOMENA is Dario Argento at his absolute most incompetent. The film is garbage, it's one of the stupidest written films... ever, just an outlandish, lacking all common sense script, with stilted,stagnant, insipid dialog, and acting that is just as poor and wooden, the soundtrack is garbage, and the direction, from someone normally as stylish as Argento,is insipid and pedestrian. It really is a god-awful movie, so bad, outlandish, absurd and poorly acted that it is laughable in all the wrong ways.

The ending had me laughing in derision. It is utter garbage. Well not complete garbage, the film does have one shining light, the young Jennifer Conelly who is, even at that young age, obviously the stuff of stars, she is so good and magnetic, that it only shows by comparison how truly crappy everything around her is.

How she survived making a film with the lunatic that was Dario in the 80s, or how her parents allowed her to do this turkey... baffles. Though without a doubt it put her name on the map.

As an Argento fan, it's sad to see a film like this from him.

Anyone who gives this train-wreck more than a 6 (and that's easily double what it deserves), needs to go back to grading class. If Dario has a movie worse than this... I don't want to see it. F--.

Triangle (2009)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Triangle: The Other Side of this Angle, 19 August 2010
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've gotten out of the habit of posting my reviews on IMDb, but I'm going to make an exception in this case, for the simple fact I wish someone had warned me off this movie. Based on the monumental praise for this film, I almost purchased it sight unseen.

That would have been a mistake.

Why? The film is well photographed, starts off interestingly, but unfortunately tries to stretch a 40 minute start trek/twilight zone/ground hog day premise, done very poorly, to fit two hours.

It becomes almost from the first, agonizingly predictable. And doesn't try and do anything but show that predictability. It sets up early this idea of a paradox, and spends the rest of the movie not going beyond what quickly becomes a very boring infinity loop.

Luckily I managed, rather than buy this film, to rent it for $2.50.

And even at $2.50, I paid too much. And worse than the money is the 2 hours wasted on this film.

If you think this film is a great mystery, or a masterpiece, or thrilling, or most laughable of all smart and original, then I would say to you, you are very young, and you have seen very little.

The best description of this... exercise of a film.. is it's a 40 minute star trek time paradox episode,mated with a poorly done slasher film, stretched with agonizingly repetitive scenes to squander 2 hours, without really advancing the plot anymore than the first 40 minutes. ((if you just got deja vu, from that paragraph, that's basically all the movie does for its entire length) It may be genre-defying to someone alien to such concepts, but I found it tired. And the lead actresses performance, annoying to the extreme. And her actions brain-dead and moronic. Even before we get to the ship, I'm sick of her doe eyed halting infuriating manner. I mean throughout the entire movie I really get sick of her and her face. I mean real dislike first because of her inaction (inability to speak) then for her stupid actions.

Try something different to break the loop, like maybe jumping off the ship, or shooting yourself (now that may have made me happy for a second. Her character grated on me that much). But no that would require an actual plot, and more than the 40 minutes of redundancy that make up this "film".

But on the positive, it was well shot, the cinematographer the only bit of gold, among all this tin. And it could have been an interesting premise, that a real writer may have made something of, rather than this... waste. The movie effectively ends in the first half hour, and nothing that follows is either original or interesting.

I wanted it badly to get interesting, to get intelligent, but it just doesn't. I can't even work up the interest to say anything more about this film.

For far better movies try just about anything. For a MUCH MUCH MUCH better movie dealing with triangles I recommend the low budget gem THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. And for a far more intriguing thriller, that is actually smart and brilliantly directed and has some boat action, try the brilliant Ibanez Serrador film, WHO CAN KILL A CHILD.

So Triangle gets a huge Not Worth Renting vote from me. F-.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Wait! I thought the white people in the film were the n**gers?, 6 May 2009
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wait! I thought the white people in the film were the ones they were defining as the n**gers? I thought it was a brilliant examination of how the labelers, ultimately define themselves by trying to define others. Look at how the camera pans the crowd and picks out faces, and those faces are caught looking particularly Neanderthal like, very similar to Lang's ability to capture the lunacy of the mob, in films such as FURY. I mean that crowd, pale of hair and eye, becomes the very definition of n**gers. Really wacky, surreal stuff.

And then the 2nd half kicks it into overdrive. It's like Woody Allen, meets other filmmakers I don't like. :) Right? Really good flick with dancing white n**gers. And man that musical in the middle with George Bush! Man that was the snizzle! And then that amazing portion, where they revealed General Lee, was a black man in white face! AWW SNAP!!! Give a whole new meaning to the term brother vs brother. They don't make em like this anymore. :) Except for the Fox channel. :).

24 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
Beware the inexplicable good reviews THE Movie is not even worth a rental, 4 July 2008
1/10

I've gotten out of the habit of posting on IMDb, for the simple fact there is no moderation here.

IMDb is increasingly padded with suspect reviews, and is not a reliable measure of whether a movie is good or bad.

THE STRANGERS is case in point.

It beggars all description, that anyone, with any integrity or sense of taste could equate this film to "HALLOWEEN" or "THE SHINING" or could call it a good movie much less the "greatest" horror movie in the last decade, or a "masterpiece", even accounting for varying standards of taste--- that's just a glaring and hateful lie.

You can not, be a human being with a functional brain, paid to have sat through this movie, and think you have seen a good movie.

It is not in the realm of possibility.

So how do I account for the positive reviews: morons and padded reviews.

And IMDb can easily address the padded reviews... a series of inexplicably similar reviews in close proximity from the same range of addresses, should be thrown out.

If IMDb can't be bothered to police their own site, then my general opinion is screw em. But I wanted other people to not fall for the hype, and most of the dissenting reviews are from people who have posted no other reviews. And I know for myself, I put no stock in one review comments, whether good or bad.

Me having some reviews under my belt, I thought it fell to me, to help give people a real review of this film.

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm pretty easy on movies. Heck look at my INDIANA JONES AND THE CRYSTAL SKULL review (http://heroictimes.wordpress.com), I like the film while everyone else wants to lynch it up.

So when I tell you THE STRANGERS is one of the few movies I actually walked out on, you'll understand that it has to be pretty bad. If you go by IMDb… the reviews would lead you to believe this film was the 2nd coming of SEVEN, when nothing could be further from the truth.

The film is just tired and clichéd and annoying. With the characters doing every annoying clichéd thing people do in stupid movies. Don't believe your girlfriend when she tells you someone has been in the house— leave her alone while you go on some harebrained scheme— and it's supposedly based on a true story, but I'm sure the stupidity is all the filmmakers.

I'm sitting in the theater watching Liv Tyler scurry around on the grass, with her butt sticking up and her lips all full and sexy (grrrowwl), and acting terrified, and as much as I welcome any chance to see Liv Tyler's ass in the air... she's too good an actress for this lame piece of garbage.

I'm sitting in the theater and I'm bored, and I'm thinking life is too short to spend another second watching this lame piece of offal. I just don't care about it, or how it ended, they live, they die, they move to Mars… just didn't care.

I just think the film insulted my intelligence with these lame, cliché ridden characters. Particularly the boyfriend annoyed the heck out of me, I didn't care if they lived or died, and just so he would stop annoying me I was leaning strongly toward die, in his case. All in all, a waste of $12 (matinee showing+parking).

That 2000+ people on IMDb rate this film by first time director Bryan Bertino, highly enough to get 7+ stars, fills me, like Bush getting elected twice. with dubiousness and more than a twinge of loathing. God we're raising stupid people, that think banality is brilliance.

This film is not even worth a rental.

It's worth noting a lot of the praise reviews are one time posters, which is usually a film's PR people, trying to drum up support by posting multiple reviews. So as a rule I discount any review by someone, who has no other reviews to their credit.

That said I urge you to check out JM Kiff's review, cause he summarizes exactly my issues with the flick, and with the "praise" for it.

14 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Are you all on Crack?!!, 26 October 2006
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Masterpiece" "Brilliant" "Greatest"?!? IMDb exaggerators do it again. So I had to post my review to hopefully save others from being led astray.

Drumroll please....

THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS- After much hype I got the chance to see Pupi Avati's THE HOUSE WITH WINDOWS THAT LAUGH, the new Euroshock uncut DVD, and put simply the film doesn't live up to the hype.

The movie isn't bad, just rather overlong, and not very engaging. Or more precisely it does engage, it builds some moments of real atmosphere, and tension, but seemingly fails to follow through on the atmosphere.

The ending is equal parts interesting and ridiculous. And I found the protagonist more infuriating and stupid than anything else.

(possible spoiler)

Yes leave your girlfriend alone in a house of killers after she begs you to take her away. He's a scumbag.

(end of spoiler alert. see that wasn't that bad)

A movie almost immediately dismissible. Worth a look if its on, but not worth making any effort to find. save your money. C-.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant style in service of bankrupt Substance, 9 October 2006
2/10

Surprisingly well directed, well filmed. Camera work, performances, sound track are impressive.

But its content/subject matter for all intents and purposes makes us accomplices in the crimes. Glorifies the serial killers and the killing. Watching people being abused and killed, just is not how I want to spend 2 hours.

I'm a hopeless romantic, I believe in heroes riding in to defend the defenseless. And that's most definitely not what this movie is about.

Not my cup of tea.

One of the few movies I had no interest in finishing. Pass.

One of the best bad movies I've ever seen! Amazing!, 6 October 2006
7/10

Onk Bak II starts off the first 15 minutes as if it's really going to offer a strong cohesive story, at least a credible one, something lacking from the first. But that quickly goes out the window once they hit Australia. I don't know whose brilliant idea it was to have people who can't speak English attempt to, but it made scenes laughable that shouldn't have been.

And beyond the poor performances; the story and editing, from transsexual gang-lords to throwing elephants, resembled nothing so much as a mental patients wet dream.

All that said, all those glaring faults I've mentioned weighed, they are absolutely overshadowed by 6 or 7 absolutely riveting action sequences!!! Beyond the first Ong Bak itself, you have to go back to Fist of Legend to find action sequences this riveting!!! I was blown away! Absolutely Amazing.

Some were of course better than others, the last fight with the wrestlers I found arguably the weakest of the bunch. But all earned your time and attention! As soon as the flick was over, I started it again to watch some of the fight scenes. And arguably the fights were more stagy than the first film, as some have commented, but I found them on a whole to be far more beautiful and better filmed fights.

And I have to say, my complaints about the editing to the side, there is some brilliant direction/camera work in this film.

I'm not familiar with the director, but this is amazing, amazing camera work. Particularly I believe fight #3, in the club, which appears to be one unbroken tracking shot from the bottom of the club to the top! ABSOLUTELY JAW DROPPING!!!!!

So by no means is this film going to win any merit for story, or editing, or even lucidity, but for simple adrenalin inducing scenes... you'll find few its equal. Bad story or not, the film is indisputably essential action viewing.

Story gets a D-,Action gets an A+, so that averages out to a C+. And yes it is superior to the first movie. Recommended.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Overrated and Unpleasant and worst of all rather Boring, 1 October 2006
3/10

Not my cup of tea.

Miike seems to have a cult following of desensitized, budding little sociopaths that hyena bark themselves silly anytime he shows people crapping on camera or a killer vagina.

Miike seems to be a director for a generation raised on Fear Factor, for a generation raised on the idea that the suffering and humiliation of others and themselves, the defilement of themselves, makes for good entertainment.

He's a director for a soulless generation that thinks SIN CITY or BORN NATURAL KILLERS or SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE are great moves.

I don't quite fall in that category, so I can only review his films... as films. Based on an archaic morality, based on an absurd idea, that a movie at its worst... should be unpleasant to lead us to some worthy conclusion, not be unpleasant for its own sake.

In Fudoh, it's all sensationalism.

But sensationalism devoid of a story or characters you care the least amount about, sensationalism devoid of any real center or real sense of concern for the people who dance on the screen in front of you... sensationalism for its own sake is pornography in the real sense of that word.

I've got no problem with adults being adults, with sex, or naked people, I'm no type of prude, (heck I'm a huge fan of films from CASABLANCA to DEVIL AND MRS. JONES to John Woo's THE KILLERS) but I have a problem with films that dehumanize us, and desensitize us, that have no joy in them, that feed are baser serial-killer want-to-be instincts without any thought to our higher ones.

And Fudoh (and Dead Alive, a movie that I found even more of a waste of film) is such a movie. About young gangsters and vengeance ostensibly. But its really just a loose excuse to string together a string of shock and gore.

I bought Fudoh (I can buy for the price of renting usually)based on reviews posted here, and promptly sold Fudoh.

Not my cup of tea.

28 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Here in THE RED CIRCLE... Melville goes it alone, 23 June 2005
5/10

First let me say I'm a fan of Melville. His compositions of a frame, his use of silence, his held shots, but THE RED CIRCLE is not one of Melville's better films.

Melville was always a minimalist, he was never a director who had much to say, 60% of his films were always... silence. So a 100 minute movie for Melville, was really only 40 mins of movie with 60 mins of style. His best movies, Le Doulous and Le Samourai, stay right around this 100 minute mark, coming in at 108 and 105 minutes respectfully. And at that length, they take Melville's minimalism and style as far as it can go, without slumping into tedium or filler.

At a 140 minutes Red Circle, falls headlong into tedium and filler. It is Melville's emptiest movie, with his customary 40 mins of story now horrifically stretched into two hours and 20 minutes. There's a lot to like in pieces about this movie; the train break, the trunk scene, but they are few and far between.

Two nearly identical long scenes of the inspector feeding his cats, the laughably ineffective hallucination scene, and the robbery itself, unlike his earlier works... are flawed uses of silences. Melville, perhaps believing his own hype, takes it too far, they are tedious, tedious scenes.

He tries to outdo Asphalt Jungle and Rififi and he fails miserably. And even edited down substantially the movie would still fail, because the 40mins of story that Le Doulos and Samourai had... were brilliant, RED CIRCLE is not. While Melville did the script for all three of these films, the first two were sourced from acclaimed novels of the time.

Here in RED CIRCLE Melville goes it alone, making up his own story, and it shows, in a confused and muddled film that ends as poorly and as unconvincingly as any film in recent memory.

All in all, not Melville's finest hour. So have to side here with Bluesdoctor, Bornjaded, Mike, and Steve and give this one a fail.

** out of ****.


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