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thehumanduvet

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123 reviews in total 
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Commando (1985)
Wooden but spectacular, 16 April 2002
6/10

Classic dumb Arnie actioner here, with all manner of awards due to the cast for managing to keep straight faces throughout. Arnie is a retired superman dragged back into fighting and army stuff for some reason or other, he picks up some nice lady who randomly starts firing bazookas all over the shop, goes and kills a few thousand baddies, rescues the princess, kills the evil honchos and heads home to live happily ever after. But who cares, this is about one man who never misses and never gets hit by the million bullets sprayed at him by hordes of baddy machine guns (maybe they sell defective ones to evil-looking people), sloggin his way through an awesome number of enemies, while slurring out one-liners of incredible wit and sophistication. Well, one-liners. Like watching an expert play a console shoot-em-up, big dumb fun.

3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Gritty, somewhat dated class tale, 16 April 2002
7/10

A tough-talking kitchen sinker about a low-bred northerner with aspirations above his station, this is grim-up-north stuff about the working classes and how they shouldn't try to marry the bosses daughter. Very angry.

Lone Star (1996)
Mellow, scorching small town saga, 16 April 2002
8/10

A beautifully told tale of jealousy, power, corruption, cruelty and family, this little gem piles in heaps of characters and masses of backstory, betraying its literary origins in its complexity but losing nothing for it. The intricacy of the tale is wonderfully well-worked, allowing the alert viewer to follow the story without assuming stupidity and flagging every hinted-at event or emotion for the hard of thinking. The heat surrounding our Texan characters is reflected in the heat of their passions, as a town sheriff investigates his local hero father's possible involvement in the death of a previous, corrupt lawman, portrayed with vigorous meanness by the great Kris Kristofferson. A proud moment for all involved, this is powerful, intelligent filmmaking, portraying real people, situations and emotions with great skill. Definitive modern-day western viewing.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Classic, nearly unbeatable comic masterpiece, 16 April 2002
9/10

This will always be a personal favourite, right from those trendy sixties credits it just grabs me every time, there's just so much joy pouring out of every moment, especially the Wilder-Mostel thing, two top geniuses doing their stuff to full effect. Some of it has obviously dated a bit poorly, but it still has more than enough magic to captivate and inspire, an everlasting pleasure. The moment when Blum realises he can do whatever he wants and starts running around the fountain is to me one of the most beautiful and uplifting moments in cinema, and every second of Zero's performance is inspired brilliance. Dreamy.

Wild Side (1995)
19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Brutal, mental, maybe brilliant thriller, 16 April 2002
8/10

Intriguing, eye-opening thriller this, featuring an outrageous, insane and over-the-top performance from Christopher Walken even compared to his usual crazed output. Essentially a romance between the two leading ladies, Walken is the central figure and catalyst of all events as his loopy as hell gangster feller messes around with some women, is picked on by some dodgy coppers, and generally acts like a total loon. Joan Chen and Anne Heche are good as, respectively, his longtime girl and partner in crime, and his newest conquest and hobby, both putting in subtly sensual and remarkably sympathetic performances, and Steven Bauer is impressive (in the first role I've really noticed him in since Scarface) as the totally twisted, corrupt undercover cop on Walken's back, but this is really all Walken's show, as he chomps at the scenery with massive gusto. The atmosphere is dark and warm and a little steamy, there's plenty of expensive looking whisky about the place and people leading lives on the edge of sanity; the tragic Cammell's last film is a dark, intense, often inspired and occasionally hilarious gaze into the wilder side of sexuality and empowerment. Definitely one to watch with an open mind.

Horribly hilarious adolescence movie, 16 April 2002
8/10

This is a brilliantly twisted black comedy featuring some of the most touching performances from child actors ever - the two central kids are quite amazingly good in their roles. Solondz deftly plays around with the hearts of his audience, creating moments of quite awful sadness, awkward mirth and occasional joy when something goes right for our unfortunate heroine, slipping from one to another with great skill and verve. As we follow the girl through her cruel adolescent world, we marvel at the pain of youth and the joy a little kindness can bring. All the film needs is more of a punchline ending to make it a 10/10 movie - and all this from a pretty inexperienced director. Can't wait to see Happiness now.

10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Shame Kline isn't French, 16 April 2002
7/10

This is a pretty decent romcom featuring a typically off-kilter performance from everymouse Meg Ryan, and another lovable rogue from Kline, with some nice little set-ups and lots of fun gags. The only quibble I would have with the piece is that with the great wealth of wonderful French talent available, Hollywood would only accept one of its own putting on a fairly decent but occasionally ropey comedy French accent in the lead. Not that the target audience would worry though, as this is easy-watching no-brain romcom fun done well.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fluffy politico-romcom, 16 April 2002
7/10

A pretty lightweight bit of romcom, but enjoyable nevertheless, centred on the premise that if you're the president, no-one's ever going to believe it's really you on the other end of the phone line. OK, maybe there's a bit more to it than that, but this is a romcom with the emphasis more on the romance than the comedy, it's a nice little love-story with the odd bit of social commentary thrown gently in, an undemanding, well made bit of fluff.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Formulaic comedy western, 16 April 2002
6/10

Basically a standard western story with a few gags thrown in, this is alright if you're a fan of either star but doesn't really do much, Hogan is just a slightly pathetic version of his Crocodile Dundee persona, an outlaw who never quite makes it to the big time fame he's always longed for, while Gooding does another soppy turn as a mute who communicates by gurning and simpering. But it's fairly easy on the mind if you've got a couple of hours to kill.

36 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
Near-divine Capra spin, 16 April 2002
9/10

The Coens do Capra, with their inimitable style and wit. More specifically, this is the innocent hick in the corrupt big city thing of Mr. Smith, Mr Deeds and Meet John Doe, complete with Tim Robbins as a suitably lanky substitute for Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper, and a wonderful fast-talking tomboy journo turn from Jennifer Jason Leigh. Paul Newman is similarly fantastic as the evil corporate bigwig, and the tale of a patsy turning the tables on his manipulators through his own naivety and innocence is perfectly packed with inspired moments, wonderfully fantastic set design, nutty dialogue, great music and that streak of brilliant lunacy running through all of the Coens' magical oeuvre. Makes my "top ten of the decade" for sure, this beauty can only mature and grow in stature over time.


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