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saveespy

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22 reviews in total 
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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
OH, THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!!, 4 March 2003

This is quite possibly one of the worst films I have seen in the past five years. Acting-nonexistent. Story-bland and screamingly obvious.Dialogue-some of the most unintentionally hillarious I've ever heard. Example:"I could crush your neck I love you so much!"I was rolling around on the floor laughing my head off at that one.This film and "The Guru" prove once and for all why Heather Graham is like a coffee table-looks good but serves little to no purpose.

I want the two hours I spent watching this absolute disaster area of a film back.

Lynch's finest hour., 29 January 2002

Where to start? David Lynch has well and truly excelled himself with "Mullholland Dr.", a haunting, mind-bending, poetic masterpiece that is, dare I say it, better than "Blue Velvet" (which, until I saw this, was my all-time favourite film).While still very Lynch in its attitude and character, it shows him maturing and exploring facets of human emotion that his previous films have only explored superficially. "Mullholland Dr." sees him move into the rarest of cinematic fields, along with Bergman and Kubrick, in the way that he adresses and looks at the human condition, psychology and the question of identity. I've only seen this film once, but my head is still spinning from doing so; every so often, images or scenes from the film, particularly the "Caberet Silenzio" sequence, repeat in my mind and make me want to rush off and see the film again. I had a similar experience a few years ago with P.T. Anderson's "Magnolia". In the nicest way possible , it reminded me a great deal of both Bergman's "Persona" and Roeg/Cammel's "Performance" in relation to the question of identity and who we are as people.The film also serves as a vicious satire on Hollywood; this is obviously Lynch venting his frustrations at trying to protect his sense of personal vision in his work within the Hollywood 'system', the most obvious moment of which would be the 'coffee' sequence which, to me, was quite possibly a thinly veiled shot at Dino de Laurentis, and Lynch's treatment by the 'system' after "Dune". One of Lynch's strenghts as a writer/director has always been his ambiguity; he once said about "Eraserhead" that if six different people saw that film and had six different interpretations as to what it was about and trying to say, that he would have achieved his goal. "Mullholland Dr." feels very much like this notion amplified. To me, this film can be 'seen' and interpreted in so many different ways. Everything about this film (acting, cinematography, sound and, particularly, use of music) just fits together so beautifully. Like "Fight Club", the less you know about this film before you see it, the better; all you need as a viewer is an open mind. A truly inspiring film that can remind you of why you love movies and what writer/directors are capable of if they refuse to become lazy and actually push themselves in new and different directions.A truly compelling film that will not be forgotten easily. A career best for Mr Lynch. Bravo. Can't wait to see what the man does next.

Scarface (1983)
De Palma's, Stone's and Pacino's finest hour., 14 August 2001

I recently caught up with "Scarface" on DVD. The three main people involved in this film, I feel, have never come close in their subsequent careers to matching what they achieved here.

First of all, the script. Absolutely flawless. Stone has always been too didactic and preachy for my liking ("NBK", anyone?), but here he was spot on. What amazes me now looking at the film is the way that it comments of the attitude and mentality of greed and materialism that was very much part of the 1980's while the film was still of that time; no flippant irony like films of ttoday that look back on that period. This is probably one of the reasons why it failed at the box office; people of the time didn't want to see the truth of what they had created.

Secontly, De Palma. The film is very much in the style of an opera, a Greek tragedy if you will. De Palma has always had an arrogant, ballsy visual style. It was a perfect marriage in "Scarface" with its subject matter. Even a small sequence like the one where he is left alone in the bathroom watching his T.V.'s, the way the camera pulls back to reveal physical emptiness, says so much about Montana so beautifully that words feel completely unnecessary.

Finally, Pacino.Like Jack Nicholson he is at times in danger of becomming a self-parody and lazy as an actor. However, this couldn't be furthur from the truth in "Scarface". The fact that Tony Montana is such a repellent character and yet you, as a viewer, are totally rivetted to and compelled by him is a major achievement on Pacino's behalf. I'll never forget the scene where he's on the phone to Mani after Elvira's left him and he asks Mani that, if she calls, to tell her that he loves her. Just that brief dlas of humanity within the monster that he has become.

"Scarface" is a modern classic of cinema. If you haven't seen this film, do so as soon as possible. This stands along side "Once Upon A Time In America" and "Goodfellas" as a film that completely trandscends its genre limitations and has so much, much more to offer than mere vicsceral thrills. In other words, a brain behind the brawn.

13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Gritty and wonderful. A fantastic recent re-discovery., 13 May 2001

This film made a BIG impression on me when I was growing up. More than any other film, it captured the timelessness of the transition from being a boy to becomming a man and how you leave childish things behind. Funny, raucous and, at times, both disturbing and moving,this film has it all. If you've never seen "The Wanderers", please do yourself a favour- you won't regret it.

Devastating, 2 March 2001

"Requium for a Dream" cements Darren Aronofsky's place as one the truly great new directors of the new century, along with David Fincher and P.T. Anderson. This is a film that will shake and move you very, very deeply. In only his second film, Aranofsky illustrates his truly incredible command of the medium; this is the first film that, for me, managed to honestly and perfectly capture the psychology of a drug user via its images and sounds. The four main leads - Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Waynes and especially Ellen Burstyn- act with a sense of honesty and conviction that you very rarely see in cinema. Thier collective belief in the film and what it has to say is up there on the screen. Visually, this film is truly astonishing and proves that "Pi" was no fluke. Case in point: the split screen sequence with Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly ,post-sex, talking and saying how much they love each other. The way that the screen is split is a truly compelling and powerful foreshadow of the way that their relationship disintergrates once addiction takes hold. This is shown later in the film the way that Marion,hungry for a fix, flips the photo of her and Harry in happier times, to see the number of the dealer that will give her drugs in exchange for sex. It's a very quiet, but completely devastating moment in the film.Some of the film's most gut wrenching moments are its quietest, such as where the two old ladies are crying and hugging outside the hospital while the smow falls after they see Sara. Although he just about sets the screen on fire with the way that he visually depicts his story, Aranofsky's trump card in "Requium" is his use of music. Clint Mansell and The Kronos Quartet have perfectly married their vision musically to what Aransofsky depicts on screen. Best example: the very final sequence in which we see where the four main characters have ended up both physically and emotionally from where we first met them. The combination of aural and visual is one of the most perfect and completely heart breaking moments ever committed to film, particularly the very final shot with Sara and Harry telling each other that they love each other, imposed over Sara sleeping in her bed in the hospital. I left the theatre physically shaking both times I saw "Requium" It is a pity that no one under eighteen in Australia can see this film. It is one of the most important film about drugs and drug abuse ever committed to film. "Requium For A Dream" is the rarest of bests; a film about drugs that neither glamourises nor preaches. It is the first truly great film of the 21st century. If this film manages to make even one person change their mind about using hard drugs, than that is the greatest recommendation that "Requium For A Dream' could possibly receive.

Slater-san!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 18 December 2000

This movie ROCKS! I still remember the first time I saw it, a full house cinema on a Friday night. Phenommenal night! What "Dazed" shows are teenagers being teenagers. It could be any time, anywhere. Besides, it is still painfully funny. If you ever get the chance, play the "Dazed & Confused" drinking/smoking game. The rules are simple; match all cast members drink for drink and smoke for smoke. I think I passed out about three quarters of the way through when I did it. Another thing. Next time you see "Dazed", listen to some of the background dialogue. The film was right, you can't handle one hour drum solos on strong acid, man!

Check you later!!!! (In the immortal words of one Mr Slater)

Patchy and at times unfocussed, but not without its moments., 13 November 2000

The bad points about "Summer of Sam": too many plot strands. I understood that Spike Lee was trying to depict a city under seige, but by trying to cover so much, he lost his sense of focus as to what he was trying to say. If he had stuck to one or two plots, like the deteriorating friendship between John Leiguzamo's and Adiren Brody's characters, or the failing marriage with the killings in the background, this would have been a far more emotionally involving and affecting film. "Summer of Sam" is TOO LONG and is flabby and goes nowhere when it should be tight and focussed. Also, I had no problem with the violence of the film, but not depicting every single murder would have been infinitely more effective than the approach that was taken. Definite overkill to the point where graphically this approach began to lose its impact and point and simply became gratuitous and, quite frankly, boring. That said, "Summer of Sam" does possess quite a few qualities that redeem it. Namely, a killer visual style. Spike Lee is not simply a black filmaker, he is also a New York filmaker. Watching "Summer of Sam", I got the impression that Lee knows these streets right down to his bones. Check out the sequence which uses The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" as its soundtrack. I swear, I think I forgot to breathe for about ten minutes watching that. Gut wrenchingly powerful stuff which reminds you of Lee's talent. However, that sequence was nearly ruined by the fact that it went past the point where it should of; the main problem of the film in general, I felt, was that Lee quite simply didn't know when to yell "Cut!". On the other hand, there were some great performances in the film, particularly from Adrien Brody as Ritchie. In short, I would recommend "Summer of Sam", but it is an extremely frustrating experience.

Nashville (1975)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Thought provoking and timeless, 12 November 2000

I recently saw this film for the first time in over ten years for its 25th anniversary re-issue at the cinema. "Nashville" now was a completely different experience from what I remember, but not in a negative way. This is one of those rare films that can stick in your brain for days after you've seen it; you're still processing what the film expressed and adressed. This film is still so necessary and relevant. Definitely one of the reasons why I love cinema.

Inspired and deeply, deeply moving., 2 October 2000

Lars Von Trier is quite possibly one of the ballsiest and bravest film directors on the planet. I had pretty much written him off after "Europa" as all style and no heart. Then I saw "Breaking The Waves" nearly ten years later; a film which emotionally pretty much knocked me into the following week. That film is still my personal choice for the best film of the 1990's. I know, big call, but I'm making it. Which brings us to "Dancer in the Dark". I was lucky to see this on my final day in London about two weeks ago while I was on holiday. It doesn't start in Asutralia for another five months. "Dancer" proves that "Breaking The Waves" was no fluke. Like that film, "Dancer" encompasses so many themes and issues about what it is to be human that are forever compelling and timeless; namely, the way that music can be such an incredible force in one's life; the bond between parent and child and the issue of the death penalty. Some people have accused this film of being cliched; far from it. The film possessed a remarkably fresh and haunting perspective towards said issues. I said to a friend about "Breaking The Waves" that the film would have only have been half of what it was without the performances of Emily Watson and Stellan Skaarsgaard. So it is with "Dancer". Bjork was a truly inspired choice on Von Trier's behalf and it is a shame that she has said that she'll never act again. She was truly heartbreaking; absolutely shattering as Selma. The musical numbers in the film were totally in context. This story is very much from Selma's eyes and her point of view, so they are very much part of her character. The moment where she starts to sing "My Favourite Things" for the second time in the film, for me, totally crystallised what had gone before. It is, without a doubt, one of the most deeply moving moments I have seen in a movie for an incredibly long time. The supporting actors were very much up to the standard that Bjork set. I was particularly impressed with both Udo Kier and Peter Stomare being cast totally against type; Stomare in particular was a beautiful performance. His scenes with Selma were some of the best in the film. What can I say? This barely eclipses "Magnolia" as my personal choice for best film of the year. I cannot recommend this film highly enough if you want to see something that will make you think and totally pierce your heart.

11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
One of my all-time favourite films., 2 October 2000

This is a film that I always find myself coming back to every so often. Still, almost a decade since I first saw it, "Love and Human Remains" still has so much to say about men, women, relationships, sexuality and most compellingly in the film, how we as people relate to one another. Perfomances are absolutely incredible and totally convincing. Why I love this film so much is that it shows that, irrespective of one's own sexual orintation, we as people very much share the same experiences and that people shouldn't create 'walls' based on sexuality. We all experience this life. See this film.


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