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Chelsea Walls (2001)
Ultra dull story about semi-interesting people
I'm generally patient with movies and will watch almost anything. My trick to get through dull stuff like this is watch 10-15 minutes at a time, take a break and come back to see if either my mood or the movie has "improved". Now I have sat down twice over a period of several months and tried to watch this thing, but gave up after about 45 minutes and fast-forwarded through it. Awesome cast, total disappointment.
Really stands the test of time!
Even after 60 years, the animation is still dazzling to watch! Love that pink elephant scene! But it's the story and songs that really get me. Can't get that "I be done seen about everything, till I seen an elephant fly" out of my head! My favorite song by far.
I do agree with one other comment that it is a bit dark, but it was made during a completely different era. I'm sure if it was made today, it would be more sanitized and more PC. But what I appreciate the most is the way the storytellers contrasted the absolute sweetness and gentleness of Dumbo with those who sought to exploit and humiliate him. Good down to earth rendition of good vs. not so good!
Daughter from Danang (2002)
Great study in collision of cultures
No director or screenwriter could have done a better job of portraying the very different ways Vietnam and the U.S. view family roles and responsibilities! (Plot spoilers ahead)
I really liked the slow way it evolved from being a heartfelt reunion to a family conference on how Heidi was to fit in with the rest of them. There was obviously a great deal of love and acceptance between Heidi and her family, but very real cultural differences put up a not insurmountable barrier between them.
Another comment chided Heidi for not be willing to help out her Vietnamese family by sending a mere $20 a month, but I believe Heidi did the right thing. Her Vietnamese relations were so poor and could have used so much assistance, that once that fountain opened it it would have been drained dry and Heidi had her own family to take care of and raise. It was very telling when her Vietnamese mother prayed that now her daughter could come and build a tomb for her own deceased mother. I did not see these people as being selfish or money-grubbing--that's just how they do things there. And maybe our society has gotten away from this type of familial aid because we have Social Security and welfare, but it is not Heidi's responsibility just because she is American and has money to pick up the slack.
I do hope she is able to go back with the her own daughters and husband and visit again. That door needs to be kept open.
The Center of the World (2001)
Tepid treatment on the politics of sex
Gee whiz, didn't realize I was setting out to watch a soft core porn movie! Could have been a very interesting story. Unfortunately, the main characters were devoid of emotional depth and lacked any interpersonal chemistry. In the end the story had nothing to do with love or even attraction, but just the power (and violence) that some people exert over each other.
Thought the ending was perfect given the superficiality of the characters. Gave this 2 out of 10.
Oh brother! Why are they talking each other to death?
I sure hope this little indy trend of these pretentious "conversation" movies dies relatively soon. They are tedious to watch, and probably should just be made into a "Books on Tape" thing to listen to in the car. Not that I'd listen to it.
I'm sorry but the people I know simply do not talk to each other like this. The two male leads kept referring to how they were each other's oldest friends, yet they did not act like friends. I tried watching a similar type movie, Two Girls and a Guy, but got just plain bored.
Great little gem
For its mere 90 minutes, this film packs a lot of punch. Intriguing, beguiling story ... excellent cinematography ... first rate sets ... solid, even direction ... all around good acting ... wonderfully ambiguous ending. Total treat!
Head On (1998)
Sharp, excellent story-telling
Truly a great little movie! The story moved at a good pace through-out and kept me very interested to see what would happen next. With so many movies these days, I keep checking the time because they are so terribly uneven and my interest is not held. Not with this one--very riveting and moving story. It did an excellent job of "showing" what our young protagonist (someone used the term anti-hero for him--I like that) was going through. Really liked the way the drug highs were portrayed. The voice overs were sparse--this film did not talk me to death or insult my intelligence by explaining everything. How very refreshing! Visually you went with Ari where he was going whether you liked it or not. I also really liked it because it was at times raw and visceral--life is like that sometimes for us, and for others like Ari, it's like that most of the time.
Hurray for the male frontal nudity! It's not only women that have beautiful bodies. Johnny only had a couple scenes, but he upstaged Ari in every one. What a remarkable character to throw into the mix! I would be friends with him in a heartbeat.
If you like movies about real people trying to figure out their place in the world, do yourself a favor and see this film.
A great big "Wow"
The first hour or so was intriguing and very creative, but a bit tedious to follow. Nice camera work to help us realize Charlie's mind was playing tricks on him. Interesting that the various urban tales were woven into the main story. By the time the movie reached its conclusion--it snowballed into a very powerful and mesmerizing story. Not so much of revenge as others have commented, but a tale of redemption.
Jesus' Son (1999)
Solid little gem! Well worth a watch!
I was totally disarmed by this wonderful movie! Most movies about drug addiction hit you over the head with the misery and destruction of the users. Yet this movie was about so much more--a whole host of characters marching to a different beat. This movie told it's tale in short snippets...I almost felt like I was eavesdropping or spying on the characters at various moments in their lives. Nice balance of lightheartedness and seriousness. Some truly great lines. When a nurse tells FH his girlfriend is comfortable now. He asks with total naivete: "Is she dead?"
I see that others here have problems with the title and the reference to Jesus. Not me. Aren't all of us (and esecially the world's "losers") just Christ figures waiting for redemption. It made me think of the line, the meek shall inherit the earth. The mystical touches, whether drug induced or not, were wonderful.
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Terrific little number
Wow...what a capitvating story! And one I have not seen yet in a movie. Breaking some new ground here with the story.
More than anything I got the sense the movie was floating or wafting by as the story slowly and evocatively unfolded. Left me with the same sense I got watching "Picnic at Hanging Rock." We see what is going on on the surface with the characters, and we get rare glimpses inside. But in the end you're left with just the mystery.
See this movie!