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The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The WORST Bond film I have ever seen... and I've seen License to Kill...
Oh boy, where oh where to begin? First off... the she-assassin in the opening sequence... she was awesome, then she died. She took her terrible secret to the grave. I think she's the only one that knew why anyone would want to be in such a horrible, horrible movie, and now she's dead. Secondly, Christmas Jones. Denise Richards is beautiful, she was great in Drop Dead Gorgeous, but in TWINE, she proves that you do need to actually act to be a Bond girl, a decent one that you don't yell at in the middle of the auditorium wishing she would get blown up... You can't just show up on the set, say "I'm a Bond Girl! Do my make up and now tell me how far you want me to bend over in my tubetop and short-shorts!!! Oh yeah, do I have any lines today?" A good Bond girl is, well... not Christmas Jones. I don't know if it was the character of Christmas or the acting of Denise which sucked. I doubt it's only her dialogue that blows. Third, the dialogue/witty puns/stupid, stupid jokes. There were too many to get into... I thought the innuendos in Bond movies were supposed to be intelligent, obscure... not blatantly obvious and focused on like a US spy satelite focuses on Mararet Thatcher naked on a cold day. They were too obvious, is what I am trying to say... just look at the memorable quotes for this movie and you'll get a sense of what I am talking about... FOURTH... A WASTE OF ANOTHER FABULOUS VILLAIN AND ACTOR... Robert Carlyle plays Renard, and as the trailer gets us all excited about... he's got a bullet lodged in the part of the brain which, as we learned from The Waterboy, is responsible for our aggressive behavior, and at the same time, Renard can't feel anything. Now, after watching the trailer, one would expect to see an incredible fight between Bond and Renard, with Bond repeatedly like, stabbing, shooting, punching, crotch-kicking, something... but, we get nothing. Renard gets some glass stuck in his hand and doesn't realize it...wow. NEAT. I could drink a bunch of vodka and do the same damn thing. This aspect was one of the most disappointing, almost embarrasing... I have never been so upset. Now, the only saving grace in the movie, beside John Cleese and the farewell to Q, is Sophie Marceau... she's attractive... Yay. There's at least fifty or so attractive women in the world. AT LEAST. Why her? Oh, she's French. At least she's not Canadian. Don't see this one. Rent Goldeneye, or, my personal favorite, Octopussy.
I have never before spent so much time analyzing, discussing, or viewing a film...
And it is a FILM. It is no ordinary movie. As a fan of Boogie Nights, I couldn't wait for Magnolia. Although its running time has made at least 20 people leave the auditorium, I have stayed for every single second. The mood and stories and characters keep building and building and building, and when it finally comes down, I feel this immense sense of relief and wonder at how PT Anderson was able to come up with something so clever and intertwining and wonderous, and was able to pull it off. This "movie" is not for everyone. It is thinking-hat required. I have also never been so excited to look up Bible verses before. The cast, as you have probably read, is superb. I have never been so impressed. This film has "restored my faith in the filmmaking industry. To see these actors, crew, and the writer/director/genius at work is inspiring." These people obviously love their craft, and one of my friends even said that the cast was "touched by the hands of God..." to which I whole-heartedly agree. He also has said, ""This film not only teaches film makers how to make films, but it teaches movie watchers how to watch movies!" to which I again whole-heartedly agree a thousand times over. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is absolutely outstanding as the only character who is "normal." His performance has made me smile and shake my fist in the air the three times I've seen Magnolia since it opened. Tom Cruise is also spectacular. As with every single last character, every line he utters is important to his character and what it means for the rest of the stories. Another outstanding performance/character is the part of police officer Jim Kurring, played by John C. Reilly. His character is just so perfect and JUST SOOOOO PERFECT that it makes me smile every time he is on screen. Add to all of this one incredible soundtrack, and you have something that will go down in film history as legend and probably one of the most underappreciated, misunderstood, and definitely underseen films of all time.
The soundtrack, oh, the soundtrack. When listening to the songs, I can picture each exact moment as if I was watching the movie all over again, and it brings unexplainable feeling. Aimee Mann's songs, especially, are a perfect fit to a perfect story and mood. This film is not for everyone, but, if you want to see glorious filmmaking, acting, writing, and characters in action, I HIGHLY suggest you see Magnolia.
Man on the Moon (1999)
Jim Carrey IS Andy Kaufman, from voice to eyes to insane genius
Being somewhat unknowledgeable of Kaufman's hijinks, I was surprised through most of the movie at what he pulled. Jim Carrey is absolutely brilliant, and he fits everything together so incredibly well. This was one of the best movies of the year, and I will be devastated if Jim Carrey does not get nominated for best actor. Danny DeVito is also incredible, as is the rest of the cast. I left the theater feeling an immense respect for Kaufman, Carrey, and the joy of laughter.
A little slower, but a little deeper than Smith's previous three films...
I was raised Catholic, and I was not offended. If you stay through the entire film, you will understand why Kevin Smith calls this film a redemption story, rather than a gripe fest. If anything, Dogma makes you think about your own faith, and whether you are living your faith as you should. It is a little slower than Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy, but it has to be. The dialogue is well written, but not always delivered very well. However, the conversations between the characters really make you think about your own faith and what you would do in their situation. It's got some funny parts, but it is essentially a thought provoking look at what it means to have faith and being true to it. That's about it.
Der Lauf der Dinge (1987)
Pull up something that will mess with your mind... other than this movie...
You could just sit there and mezmerize at the incredible physics and chemistry at work here... it's entrancing. I loved it. There are lapses in times that allow certain chemical reactions to take place, but other than that, the entire 31 minutes or what have you is non-stop tricks and gimmicks that will have you looking at the world in quite a different way. I LOVED IT.
The Iron Giant (1999)
It's not your typical cartoon, but it's not Heavy Metal either...
I thought it was great. There was actually a lot of adult humor mixed into the story, which was a nice touch. I liked it a lot, actually. The animation was great, and the Giant himself was incredible to watch. The animators did a great job of making him appear absolutely enormous, but not threatening.
American Beauty (1999)
In all my life, which I admit is somewhat short, I've never been touched so deeply.
I like to think I know a lot about movies, being an aspiring screenwriter myself, I tend to look deeper than an average movie-goer. This movie requires you to "look closer" than any movie I have ever seen. I am of the "MTV" generation, and the only other movie that affected me in this way was The Truman Show. Kevin Spacey is ABSOLUTELY incredible. I really can't say anything more. The choir chick from American Pie is incredible. The guy that played Ricky was incredible. EVERYONE in this movie was incredible. It's incredibly cliched, but this movie was more of a poem than a movie. I was completely flabbergasted when I saw it the first showing of opening day here in Spokane. My life was literally changed after seeing this movie. I've never had such a great respect for my life and everything about this screwed up, beautiful life on this rock we call Earth.
I laughed myself soiled... even better than I had hoped!
I was able to see a special screening of this wonderful comedy about a month ago... I am a huge fan of Eddie Murphy and an even bigger fan of Steve Martin, especially as a writer. Essentially, everyone involved in the film was incredible and had their own special moments. Heather Graham is incredibly sexy, without even saying a word or dressing provocatively. Martin is just plain awesome. Murphy pulls off yet another double/multiple role project. The gags are hysterical, the premise and situations increasingly funny, and the acting and writing remarkable. I loved it.