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The Life of David Gale (2003)
...that anyone could think this film is better than average.
This is one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time, especially considering the actors and director. Bad script, contrived dialogue and characters, etc. And the scene where Bitsey(or was it Ditzy) "figures it out" made me want to throw something at the TV. What a shame that this film is now on Spacey, Linney, Winslet and Parker's resumes.
Changing Lanes (2002)
A mediocre rental flick
The story is a good one, leaving the viewer with many aspects of how we live our lives to think about. But, I was very disappointed with the writing. The dialogue is terrible at times. Sometimes, just plain silly and unrealistic. Very little character development. In fact, I wondered how Academy Award winning screenwriter Affleck could have agreed to speak his lines. Maybe it was the editing. I'm not sure. But after about 20 minutes or so, I started wondering whether I should even finish watching it. I did, and I give it a 4.5 out of 10.
'Round Midnight (1986)
The Best Ever Non-Documentary Jazz Film
A vivid portrait of a Bud Powell/Lester young type who, like the vast majority of American jazz artists, receives more appreciation and love for his art overseas than here in the U.S. even though this is where Jazz was born.
It saddens me every time I watch it because jazz is still so under-appreciated in this country. And we can largely thank commercial radio for that.
The Gift (2000)
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
Having seen this film several times and never remembering the composer of the score, I decided to look it up at IMDb. While here, I decided to check out the various user reviews. And I was kind of surprised at the "love it or hate it" division.
I'm mainly surprised that anyone thought it was "typical" Hollywood pap or that it was slow moving, labored or simply so-so.
Maybe you just have to like Sam Raimi to enjoy this. I couldn't help but appreciate the fact the style and many elements were a lot like "Evil Dead 1 & 2", but more subtle and refined. Sam obviously made the most of the camera angles, scenery and lighting for specific reasons...the general "darkness" of the town versus the "light" surrounding Cate(the only one who could see the truth).
Maybe some didn't see a lot of the dark humor or appreciate the fine acting with non-stereotypical southern accents by all, especially Cate.
This is a film well worth repeated viewings.
Life as a House (2001)
Is it wonderful?
This film brought more tears to my eyes than any other film I've seen in recent years, which made me wonder whether the film was good. Was it manipulating my emotions or was it well written and touching me more deeply than many other films? Was it because of my current state in life or because Winkler really knows how to make a very good film?
Well, after much thought, I've convinced myself that this was not just a "disease of the week" film, but rather a film about the human condition...about relationships, desires, needs. It was very well written...so much so that I think some of the humor will slip past many viewers(which is a good thing...and a good reason for repeated viewings). The acting was splendid. The cinematography was great...and Mark Isham's music was on target, as usual. See this one on the big screen!