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28 reviews in total 
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Excellent!!, 15 October 2001

What a mystery! This film has great scenes with great dialogue, from a great script by talented Joe Eszterhas. I really like his work on this film, Basic Instinct, Sliver and Jade. They are four very, very good thrillers. I don't understand why so many people don't like Joe Eszterhas. He is a very talented screenwriter. This film is truly suspenseful, and his script presents enough clues and evidence to tear your mind in a million directions, suspecting multiple people. The acting is very well-done, including Jeff Bridges' impressive breakdown scene when he is trying to explain to Glenn Close how he found his wife's body. All around a very well made mystery thriller with enough suspence to keep you riveted. I really hope Joe Eszterhas writes another one, even though I heard he's quit Hollywood. But we need you some more, Joe!

A truly suspenseful film, 16 September 2001

I went to see this because it didn't look bad. It turned out to be not only not bad, but very very good. It takes a lot to make me tense and bite my fingernails in suspense, and to the film's credit I did during this. Well-plotted and acted, and the direction deserves mention as well. Leelee Sobieski has a future. Has anyone else noticed how much she resembles Helen Hunt? I've heard other people mention this around Hollywood so I know it's not just me. Anyway, the film is a slick, taught thriller. If you're looking for something to make you chew your nails in suspense, this is a good one. I particularly liked the double-meaning of the title and the metaphor the house was - a glass, very unstable house that could shatter - literally and figuratively. Impressive.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Steamy, modern noir movie, 13 September 2001

Alot of people will tell you that film noir is dead. That they don't - nay, can't - make it anymore because films are made in color. Well, film noir still exists today. There are films that contain the elements of noir. Film noir isn't just defined by black & white, despite the fact that it means "dark film". Plenty of noir has been done in color: "Jade", also by "Basic" screenwriter Joe Ezsterhas; "Palmetto", a brilliant, horribly-underrated film that is to me THE definition of modern noir; and this film, "Basic Instinct". With this, it of course contains the femme fatale of Catherine Tremell, played like a sly snake expertly by Sharon Stone. Michael Douglas is the cop who gets in too far and ends up risking himself and his life for the woman he falls in love with, despite the fact that she's within all plausiblity guilty of the crimes he's investigating. But he already knows it. Come on! He has to. That's part of what excites him about Catherine - her daring. And she knows it, too. So one could say that "Basic Instinct" is a great example of subtlety between characters and showing how they feel each other out, like cat and mouse, waiting for the other to crack first. Instead the two take that energy and use it for great sex. The sex scenes in this film are wonderfully shot and very, very necessary. People say that all nudity is gratuitous. Alot of nudity is; but some isn't. Some nudity is used expertly. Here it is, as it is in "Jade". In "Jade" the nudity is undeniably a part of the film's plot and is needed to heighten the sense of panic felt by certain characters in the story. Here, in "Basic", it's used to create the intoxicating feel of falling absolutely in lust and desire over a predator, a spider, if you will, such as Catherine Tremell. "Basic Instinct" is a script that has been studied and talked about in film classes, and I have a copy of it and hope to discuss it in my future screenwriting classes I'll be taking. It's a great, clever, wicked script. And so is the film.

The Siege (1998)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Eerie premonition, 11 September 2001

I write this today, September 11, 2001, during the crisis of the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center, and the Pentagon. When I first heard of the attacks this morning I immediately remembered this film, which depicted horrifying terrorist attacks on New York City, and the equally horrifying sights of the Military being called in. While the film takes creative license, of course, it is still an eerie premonition of what was to come.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Chilling film that could be classified as horror, 28 August 2001

I rented this a long time ago and never finished it due to the fact that I had to go with some friends late at night and teepee. Not that it didn't draw me in. I really liked it but never finished it for some reason. Ever since then I've heard so many good things about it and remembered liking what I saw, so tonight I rented it. Whoa. The film is one of the creepiest and chilling films I've seen in a while. It could even be classified as horror. The menace of the lions wading through the thick, tall African grass, which are like shark-infested waters. They stalk the hundreds of people working on a bridge and pick them off one by one. Chilling. The scenes involving their massacres on people are seriously disturbing and jarring, and executed well by all filmmakers involved. I was emotionally involved through the whole thing, screaming at the tv or pulling at my hair. That's the sign of a really good film. Particularly one sequence involving Val Kilmer's wife visiting, which I won't divulge here for the sake of those of you curious but who have not yet seen the film. Nevertheless I was literally calling out to the tv. Movies that can draw you in like that and leave you breathless really leave a mark. This spooky, well executed film will stay with me for some time. Great script by William Goldman!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Delicious, charming film, 26 August 2001

I read most, not all, of the book around the time the film came out in theatres. Loving the book, I went to the movie. I never finished the book for whatever reason, but I'm gonna go back to it now. Because I love both the book and the film. While they're both different, they're both strong for what they contribute to this charming story. I had only seen the film once while in theatres, and didn't see it again until a few weeks ago. The night I watched this I happened to be in a fragile, emotional mood and the beautiful, emotional score composed by Alan Silvestri made me literally cry. The film eased my worries and depression somewhat and made me feel better. Now I own the film and am glad I do. The story between the two sisters as well as the aunts, the townspeople, and Gary Hallet is a warm and charming story, and looks kindly upon the craft of Wicca (Witchcraft). I will never completely stop being frustrated by the endless amount of ignorance that surrounds the subject of witchcraft. People assume it's evil and buy into the ignorance of those who claim it's evil while really knowing nothing themselves about the actual craft. If they actually opened a book on the subject they'd know it's an age-old religion (religion's actually a wrong word) that has been around since the time of the ice ages, and is ten times older than Christianity and is a beautiful SPIRITUALITY that worships the earth, the sun, the moon, the grass, the bark on a tree. It worships the power of the human being and the power of the animal. Funny how such a beautiful craft could get tangled up in bad media and be labeled as "evil". The main reason I love this film is for the scene between Sally and Gary in the greenhouse, when she says "There's no devil in the craft". Bingo. One of the books i have on Wicca lists the rules involved in representing Wicca. The number one rule is "Harm none." And the book goes on to explain that there is, literally, NO DEVIL in witchcraft. Witches do not even BELIEVE in a devil. Then she goes on to take out his badge and explain "It's just a star. Your talisman. It can't stop criminals in their tracks. It has power because you believe it does." The cross in christianity holds power because of the power placed upon it by its believers. A pentacle in wicca, which is a symbol of the earth and life, has power because wiccans place energy and power upon it. Just like eveything else in life that holds any power for anybody of any belief. And "Practical Magic" exlains that wonderfully. It's a delicious, charming, and yes, "magical" movie.

Simply awful, 25 August 2001

I tend to not label movies as simply awful. I try and look for some kind of quality or something that's worthy of, well, anything. However, this simple piece of trash is not worth your time, money or use of brain cells. It's much like Austin Powers 2: Spy that Shagged Me. Another movie that relies entirely on elementary, cheap potty jokes. "Jay and Bob" does all that, as well as fill in the abhorrent dialogue with "f&@!-f@^@!-FW*W*!" every chance they get. It got to the point where I couldn't even follow where a scene was going because I was busy being hit with every obsenity ten times in the space of five seconds. Come on, people, that's not quality film. That's trash. OK? And I'm shocked George Carlin lent his face to this, and even more so Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. Others had cameos from previous Smith films, but I noticed the great Linda Fiorentino did not, no doubt wanting nothing to do with this filth.The film was filled annoyingly with pop culture references and "oh, I get it, they're making fun of themselves" jokes. COme on, this doesn't make me laugh. You gotta come up with something a little more inventive and witty to make me even remotely laugh. Shannon Elizabeth dancing crazy in glasses and falling down does not make me laugh, because I'm not five years old. Ok? But it appears that's the level of humor the cast and crew share who made this absolutely, simple awful film. You know what's even more sad?? There are hundreds, no, thousands of scripts locked in volts with some intelligence that will never see the light of celluloid. And something like this gets made and sells out seats everywhere. Sad. Just plain SAD.

Mumford (1999)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
What a nice film, 20 August 2001

I watched this a while ago and recently was thinking about it again, so I decided to rent it once more. I remember it being a nice, even cute, film that was very enjoyable to spend an evening watching. And it was even more enjoyable the second time. Now I'm buying it. One of the big reasons this film stuck with me is the well-written script and its characters therein. They're very real, mainly because, well, they have problems. I like seeing that I'm not the only one with insecurities, fears, depression, etc. And I especially relate to the character played by Hope Davis. In another Lawrence Kasdan-directed film, "French Kiss", I identify with Meg Ryan's character. She's inhibited, afraid of flying (that's me!!), and generally afraid to be brave. That's one of the reasons I enjoy watching THAT film as well, because of the fact that I relate to its central character. Something like that is very therapeutic to me. And that's appropriate, after all, because the film Mumford is about therapy. Watching it is a very therapeutic experience. It depicts real-life characters with real problems, and they get help. But the film also gets humor and enjoyment out of its eccentric characters, having fun with it and being able to step back, look at it, and even laugh. A very nice film. One of my favorite scenes is between Loren Dean and Hope Davis on the baseball field, while they're stretching, and Mumford explains about having two conflicting thoughts in your head, and how that can tear bits of your brain tissue apart. To this, Hope replies: "Well, then my whole life's been one big rip." What a profound scene for her. I wish I could see more films like this, meaning I wish they made more. It's profound, moving, relatable, funny, and simply a nice film.

The Others (2001)
Simply the most stunning ghost film I have ever seen, 10 August 2001

I just got back from a sneak screening of this, and I have to say I am absolutely breathless. My heart was pounding in my ears toward the end, and that hasn't happened since "The Gift", coincidentally another ghost film. But "The Others" is riveting in the classic sense that absolutely no special effects were involved, except for a few papers in the air briefly, which worked. I sensed no studio intervention. The brilliant writer/director was able to make his film the way he wanted, which comes across clearly in the remarkable, original, and stunning way this film is written, shot, acted and directed. A truly terrifying ghost story. All of the details are there that make it perfect: the children are dependent for their lives on the curtains; they can't bear the sunlight or they die. The mother gets migraines easily at any loud noises; one of the houskeepers is a mute. Every day is thick with fog, shrouding the house in even more of a sense of forebodness and confusion. While I knew early on what the twist was, this is not to say that it was predictable at all, only that I have read plenty, and I do mean plenty, of ghost stories, so I pick up early on a lot of the time. But that doesn't change the fact that this film is sheer and utter brilliance. Perfect camera angles involving the ghosts, which I, of course, will NOT be revealing here. Dark figures walking through fog to dark, spiraling gates, with rotted trees next to graveyards, postmortem pictures of the dead in the house. Absolutely PERFECT. I tip my hat to the director, who was talented enough and lucky enough to make his film with practically zero intervention of any outside force. Do you realize how little that happens nowadays? But then again, I can almost be sure that everyone who read this spectacular script knew it had to be made the way it was. It just had to be. And it was. And I will watch this film and love it for the rest of my life. It was simply the most stunning ghost film I have ever seen.

Striking visual and philisophical feast, 27 July 2001

I just got back from a sneak showing of this film and it's still running through me. First of all the film moves so quickly and is edited so smoothly that the force of the ruling apes pulses through each frame. Thade, the fierce leader played by Tim Roth, intimidates the viewer and flies through the air to viciously end any who oppose him. I found myself recoiling everytime he took flight to horrify and kill a human. His is a villain I was truly afraid of, which is a first in a long while. The visual style of this film is uncanny, the colors and the tones of each scene and setting a complete feast for the eye. I could spend my life looking at this film and never tire of it. The sets and costumes are absolutely stunning and gorgeous - alot of it looks like it was designed by costume designer Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) and The Cell). Lisa Marie as Nova was hysterical. Miss Helena Bonham Carter is very pleasing to watch as always, and surprisingly Estella Warren, the blonde beauty, has very, very few lines and a very small part. An unnamed child who tags along has more lines than her. The film's pace is so brisk I thought by the first twenty minutes they were almost halfway through the movie, but then more and more happened and began to unfold. Some of the best discussions about religion, politics and slavery can be found in this film, making such a bold and correct statement about how though species may differ, their ideas that allow them to live due to belief in a higher power are all the same, on this planet or elsewhere. Religion is an invention of higher intelligence, though that's not to say that religion itself is intelligent - in fact it's rather illogical and nonsensical for a "higher" species such as ourselves. We consider our species so much "better" and "perfect" that we assume that if there is, in fact, a God, it made us in its likeness. If you think about it, we have never even entertained the notion that the higher power may in fact be something of a different species, if any at all. No, THAT'S absurd. (Roll of eyes). The action sequences were powerful and well directed, but that goes without saying, seeing as this IS a Tim Burton movie. I rather enjoyed that it wasn't Sleepy Hollow 2. Although that film is genius and Tim Burton's trademark, I'm glad he stretched his creative muscles and ventured into a different territory of filmmaking, at least in its style. Although his films carry a very similar theme - someone lost in a world of absurdity with very few but existing traces of sympathizers and saviors. Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes stands as its own film, and not a remake. It's powerful, philisophical, moving and fierce. It will leave its mark. In me it already has.

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