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Domestic Disturbance (2001)
Vince, Stevie, babies! The bar fight would've been more interesting.
This type of big budget studio pap is exactly what one expects from the likes of Sir Travolta but the fact that it included the more "indie-credible"(pun intended) talents of Vaughn and Buscemi (who were apparently slashed in a Wilmington, NC barfight/redneck deathmatch during the shoot) managed to suck the money right out of my wallet despite my reservations. The movie, like most typical tinsletown offerings, resembles a beautifully wrapped Christmas gift that's nothing more than an empty box. Mr Travolta plays the worlds cleanest oldfashioned yachtmaker who's torn when his ex wife takes their "troubled" son and re marries with the mysterious handsome businessman:, Vaughn(they never really say what type of business he's involved in but it's really, really important because he got the city award after only two years!!). The tone changes when, after a surprise visit, it becomes apparent that Vaughn's dark past isn't as far behind him as he thought.....blah, blah, blah. Enough with this drivel. It's not nearly as interesting as it sounds. This film couldn't have been more freakin' vanilla flavored if they used Cathy Lee Gifford. What you end up with here are enough credibility gaps to drive a gas tanker through, the typical WGA inspired two dimensional characters, and all in and all an experience that begs the question after one and a half hours of tedium ( i laughed at every inappropriate place in the finale-just to p*** off the sheep who were enjoying this garbage): Wouldn't this film have done better if it was made for LIFETIME NETWORK FOR WOMEN or better yet, PAX?(of course that's only if you take out that one "edgy" F bomb from Vincie) If you want edgy go check out the new Barbet Schroeder film about Medellin hustlers and lets all help this cinematic spoor to die a quick, natural death.
The Mummy Returns (2001)
How can a movie this bad be such a hit?
Oh my god! What a dreadfully horrible waste of everyone's time, money and effort(cast, crew, AND AUDIENCE) this was. The CGI fx were overused ad nauseum and most of the matte shots looked about as real as those seen in TV's "Land of the Lost". I personally think it was secretly filmed ENTIRELY in the Valley. I enjoyed "Raiders of the Lost Ark" DESPITE it's superficial characters and serialized plotline because it was a well made film, unlike "The Mummy Returns". Mr. Sommers should stick with scriptwriting or whatever he was doing before the studio put him in charge of this overambitious two hour plus torture session to save himself from further embarrassing himself and his family anymore than he already has. I also would like to express my sincerest wish that this film ends "The Mummy" series because "The Scorpion King" is obviously going in a different Schwarzeneggeresque direction and can't really be called a sequel to this tripe. Anyone who thought this was a great film should be embarrassed for their cinematic banality.
Any real horror fans will find it boring.
I so eagerly anticipated watching this pseudo snuff, what a letdown! I first heard about the films (the series) from a kid I worked with in a bar several years back and I just couldn't wait to get my greasy little sausages on 'em. Of course the mind conjures up images far beyond any reality and this was my biggest problem after finally viewing this "schocking" installment. To any real spatter aficionado this film is nothing. It's reminiscent of Herschel Gordon Lewis shot on video with even less plot that his celluloid epics. The director attempts some very low budget stylization but it's just repetitive and blatantly predictable.
My Degeneration (1990)
Anti Bourgeoisie Comedy -short on budget, big on ambition.
My Degeneration: the movie-overall,I loved it but I have one beef which I'll get out of the way right off the bat. This film features several scenes of a band playing live music(for the sake of the scene but not really live of course). In this film as in many others where the director has no musical talent the films are nearly ruined for me because their isn't the slightest concern payed towards any technical aspects involved so it ends up looking HOKEY!!! I just wanted to get that off my chest, whew, I feel better already. Now then...This happened to be the third film I've seen by Mortisugu and it turns out to be my favorite (the Elvis film was pretty cool but the print I watched was virtually indecipherable through most of it's brief running time-was there really footage of the real corpse of E on the bathroom floor in that movie?) Getting back to my opinion of "My Degeneration"... The story here concerns the meteoric rise to success of an all girl garage band after they sell out and become commercial spokesmodels for the beef industry. That's right, the beef industry. Using pixieish punks to push "what's for dinner tonight",.. what a potentially hilarious concept! In the end the story develops rather predictably into the "too much, too soon, big stars' crashing-to-earth" scenario. While overall it's pretty trippy in many parts (i.e. talking, severed pig and cow heads), the production value is just good enough to retain sufficient interest throughout. If you like eighties hardcore music and/or underground/psychadelic cinema this one's for you.
Two Hands (1999)
The funniest slapstick gag ever seen in a film.
Heath Ledger and Bryan Johnson team up in this Aussie crime story/black comedy. The story is well written with some interesting characters and unexpected plot twists including the aforementioned slapstick gag which takes place during a bank robbery- the scene had me laughing for about ten minutes, literally. Ledger does a decent job as a nice guy who happens to have a latent criminal streak which circumstances keep turning him towards. Johnson, as the leader of a low rent heist crew offering work to the desperate protagonist, plays a great white trash Aussie scumbag. This one's worth watching on cable if you enjoy the genre.
Above average straight to cable crime flick.
While this film is far from great it's a lot better than 90 percent of the pap wanna-be producers are pimping to get the "Pulp Fiction" market (i.e. ANY of the dozen or so films Michael Madsen's made in the last few years). My one major criticism with it was the casting of an Irish actor who needed about 10 more years of acting lessons and dialogue coaching. It really does take more than a handsome face to pull of a major role even in a small film like this. The scenes this guy were in were frustratingly bad and it hurt the film immensely. The only other criticism I had was with Lucy Liu's cheesy generic Asian accent. Her meth lab chemist-in-bondage part didn't require her to be a real immigrant(she would've been better with her natural patois),although I have to say she looked sooooooo good in that little camo tank top and short shorts that I didn't mind it that much. The rest of the cast do a decent job with their characters and there are some funny moments throughout.
Final Destination (2000)
How can anyone rave about this garbage?
What a surprise! More studio pap for the teen/mtv market. This movie was really dreadful. There was so much wrong with this movie that I'd like to start by mentioning the only positive aspect I got from "Final Destination". That small consolation was the unintentional hilarity in both the Coroner's speech scene and the "Naked Gun"-esque death scene of the female chaperone. Other than these accidental humorous moments the film was utterly forgettable unless you're a fan of horrible dialogue. Don't even waste your FREE blockbuster rental on this caca, instead try "Idle Hands" which is actually a decent horror/comedy starring the same lead, Sawa.
Morris is the man.
I really enjoy the films of Errol Morris. His quirky, Lynchian style of storytelling is quite entertaining plus he's a director who truly understands how important music is as a companion to the images of film. The soundtracks to his films are just as interesting as the shot and lighting effects themselves. In fact, only Carter Burwells orchestrations stir emotions as fully. The sad story here was truly a movie waiting to happen and one wonders how much the destitute Leuchter was paid for his cooperation(a la Streetwise). I only came away from the film with one question: I grasped the symbolism in the shot but WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT GIANT BIRDCAGE THING HE WAS SITTING IN FOR THE EARLY AND ENDING SHOTS?
Xing xing wang (1977)
A dark day for Hong Kong cinema.
The one positive thing about this movie is that it should silence all the silly anthropologists and archaeologists who claim that early man was smaller in stature than modern hominids. Myself and several like-minded colleagues have always known that we are descendents of 100 foot tall hairy apelike giants....I knew it all along.... This film is a horrible attempt at cashing in on the huge success of the "King Kong" remake(a lousy film in it's own right) by rewriting the story with sinocentric roots and incorporating the famous remains into a new king kong. The effects in the film are primitve, the plot is a near total lift of the american film's, and the acting is quite smelly. I'm not sure what it is about this film, but despite it's campiness I found no pleasure in it whatsoever. I can't include this on my must see bad movie list.
A truly memorable horror movie.
This film is a real treasure in modern horror! This was one of the first good american horror films to come out in a while, a real first class effort. The creators went to the limits of their budget to make this dark story work. The period settings are flawless in their interpretation of early suburban banality. The horror is understated but reveals itself just at the precise moments. The child who plays the emotionally assaulted protagonist is amazing. His speech at school during show and tell is one of my favorite horror scenes of all time and there isn't a single monster or drop of blood in it. This film should be on everyone's "to see" list.