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27 reviews in total 
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Party Girl (1995)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Clashing worlds, 1 October 2005

I loved this movie, and I am one of the older people who is not supposed to enjoy it, or so it seems. No, this movie is not deep -- who cares? These kinds of movies never are. But strangely, there is a message in it. It's that we each have the potential to be whatever we want to be.

Parker Posey is great in this movie. I've always thought that she bears some resemblance facially to Katharine Hepburn. So, it's great to see that both Hepburn and Posey made movies about librarians (Hepburn's is The Desk Set). All librarians, especially those with a sense of humor, should see Party Girl.

I gave this movie an 8. It is not by any means a great film by cinematic standards, although there are some nice shots in it. But it is incredibly charming and entertaining.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excellent film, 24 August 2005

This film is one of the classics of cinema history. It was not made to please modern audiences, so some people nowadays may think it is creaky or stilted. I found it to be absorbing throughout. Cherkassov has exactly the right presence to play Alexander Nevskyi, just as he did when he played Ivan Groznyi (Ivan the Terrible) several years later. The music was beautiful.

My one complaint was the poor soundtrack that was quite garbled. Although I only know a little Russian, it would have been nice to be able to pick out more words rather than having to rely almost 100% on the subtitles. I was watching this on an old videotape from the library, though. Perhaps by now a DVD version exists on which the sound has been enhanced. I would like to know whether the actors were using archaic Russian or even Old Church Slavonic when they were speaking. The subtitles were strangely worded, and it's hard for me to tell whether this was to reflect an older manner of speaking, or whether the subtitles were just somewhat poorly done.

Richard II (1978) (TV)
9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Memory did not deceive, 6 June 2004

I saw this on TV when it was originally broadcast back in 1978. All of these years I've remembered Derek Jacobi's performance. I just saw the DVD version, and he is just as brilliant as I remembered. There are nuances to the performance that I didn't notice when I first saw it at a lot younger age. Several of the BBC productions of Shakespeare plays were excellent; this is one of the very best.

I also enjoyed Charles Gray and Wendy Hiller as the Duke and Duchess of York. They are almost comic characters in some ways, yet not quite. Both actors do very well in their roles.

Shakespeare plays are so timeless that this doesn't seem dated at all. I'm very glad that I saw King Richard II again.

1 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Too long to be good, 6 June 2004

Red Skelton was the best reason to watch this film. I laughed at his antics several times. I was unfamiliar with Virginia O'Brien. Her deadpan delivery also made me laugh. The unfortunate thing is, I couldn't tell whether she intended to be funny, or whether that is the way she is all the time. Otherwise, the plot was stale, and the film was just much, much too long. It is less than two hours long, but felt more like three.

Several of the songs were really good, but there isn't enough plot to sustain my interest through most of the film. I'm giving this movie 6 stars, but that is generous, because generally I just really like very old movies.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Watchable, if somewhat stilted, 28 April 2004

Although I didn't dislike this film entirely, it was somewhat disappointing. I have not read the novel, but have read other novels by Edith Wharton. Her novels create a certain atmosphere of early 20th century high-society New York. It seemed that this film was trying to create that same atmosphere, but was not entirely successful. The costumes and sets looked accurate, but I was disappointed in both Gillian Anderson and Eric Stoltz. Anderson seemed stiff and not quite comfortable in the role... this surprised me because I had previously heard compliments on her performance in this film. Eric Stoltz seemed immature and a bit too soft for the part he was playing. However, some of the other actors were very good. Laura Linney was great as Lily Bart's friend-turned-enemy. I liked Dan Aykroyd's performance, too, and Anthony LaPaglia was particularly good as the somewhat kind, somewhat unsympathetic Mr. Rosedale.

Despite some reservations about the acting, I managed to enjoy this film, and tears came to my eyes at the end. It's not the most upbeat of films... but, from other comments on IMDb I see that it is faithful to the novel.

Lakeboat (2000)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not washed up, 28 April 2004

I think you probably have to be a huge David Mamet fan to really love this film. I'm not a huge fan, although I also don't hate his works. As for this film, I liked it but didn't love it. The entire film was a character study, and I thought was well done -- mostly. With this cast, I don't think it could go wrong. Robert Forster was fantastic. Some of the humor fell flat for me. Still, I thought it was worth seeing. My grandfather used to work in large ships on the Great Lakes. That's mostly why I rented this film. Although I suspect that his own experiences were not much like this film, it was interesting to me to think that some of them may have been a little bit similar.

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Before its time?, 9 March 2004

I recently saw this as part of an audience. The film was projected via a poor-quality print at the Alliance Francaise in Chicago. I liked some of the visual effects and shots, despite the quality of the copy we were viewing. There was one scene where I had to close my eyes, and was glad I did. In the rest of the audience there was some nervous laughter at first, and then several people said "Ewww!"

I can see why some consider it a classic. It was ahead of its time in the suspense and gore departments. However, I didn't think that overall it fit the definition of a classic. One of the qualities should be that it can sustain multiple viewings. I came away from the show never wanting to see the film again.

Strangely, I have just heard that a few nights ago there was a similar theme covered in a real-life setting on Dateline.

5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Impressionistic, surrealistic, 14 December 2003

Experiencing this film would have been a lot more relevant back in the late 1960s, when so many things were psychedelic and so many minds were altered by drugs. People thought that their visions had some sort of deep importance, but many of these people were not able to communicate the importance to others... That's what this film reminded me of. There are some really interesting shots and set scenes, but overall the meaning was inscrutable. Perhaps if I were familiar with the poet Sayat Nova the meaning of the film would have been clearer. I'm glad I saw the film because experiments are interesting, but overall the message was obscured, and so it will probably not stay in my mind for long.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pacing problems, 14 December 2003

I agree with a recent comment that the pacing was wrong in this film. It would have benefited from an epic length, more plot development, and less superficiality. It is a beautiful film, but empty. I did not care at all about the characters and their lives. It seemed to have no point. But, it doesn't seem like a waste of time to have watched it. I found myself picking up reading material while it was on, going out of the room without stopping the film, etc.

Duets (2000)
Mildly entertaining, 4 October 2003

I found this film mildly entertaining. Braugher was great, and the rest of the cast were enjoyable to watch. Being unfamiliar with the world of karaoke, I didn't realize that it was so popular. This is no great film, but it's not bad. It has fun, quirky characters, and I grew to care about some of them.

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