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latherzap

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60 reviews in total 
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Code 46 (2003)
13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Ideas alone can't carry a movie., 19 March 2005
4/10

Code 46 is one of those scifi movies where the government controls who you are allowed to love, and in fact will punish you if you try to procreate with the wrong person. The haves and the have-nots live in completely separate territories, the powers that be can remove your memories, etc. We've seen this stuff before, but that's OK- no movie is 100% original. This kind of premise is always fun to contemplate. Unfortunately, just imagining such a future is more interesting than actually watching Code 46. The characters are boring and rarely say anything interesting. Maybe that's commentary on a dehumanized future, but it's still dull to watch. It's sloooow.

At times the imagery is nice, but usually (coupled with its "evocative" soundtrack) just looks like a glorified perfume commercial. Code 46 also sometimes uses the kind of television camera-work that I find annoying. You know, two characters talk as the camera artlessly "floats" on one side. Two seconds later it's floating on the other side of them in a vain attempt to keep your attention.

My friends liked this movie. If they tried to get me to watch it again, I probably would not do so unless they agreed to pay me $50.

Whatever, 15 March 2005
3/10

I'm as passionate as the next guy about "bad movies". And so I hate to be a grouch about Chopping Mall, but it really is not very entertaining at all. It's more DULL than bad. Stupid script, but the dialogue isn't dumb enough to be entertaining. The acting isn't bad enough, either.The characters all blend together. By all means CM is NOT good, but it merely exists in that boring middleground- there's just nothing memorable (good or bad) about this movie, except for the title and the concept.

On a positive note, if any viewers thought Karrie Emerson was cute, you really should find a copy of Evils of the Night. She's in that movie as well, and IMHO Evils of the Night is far more amusing than chopping mall.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
"It's time for the organ transplant. You're the donor and I'm the recipient.", 13 March 2005
1/10

A must-see for bad movie buffs. Fun stuff. A killer drives around in a gold hearse, wearing camouflage and a motorcycle helmet, killing people with a powerful nail gun. Bad acting and bad script (the most important elements of a crummy flick) are here in abundance.

After the massacre has begun, there's a scene in a small shop where the old lady clerk says "Remember when you could go outside without having to worry about the mosquitoes or the killers?". Classic. There's a scene of a couple making out in a car, while the radio plays a song (sung by the director?) called Foosball. The dj talks a moment, and then plays Foosball AGAIN. Watch for the scene near the beginning, of the couple in bed. It looks like a less explicit outtake from a porno. "But you said we could play doctor all day, today!" the girl complains. Then, topless, she walks to a large mirror to comb her hair. The camera then shamelessly zooms in on her breasts in the mirror reflection! Hilarious!

The director, Terry Lofton, recently released a DVD of this movie. At least one scene (a couple in a forest)is slightly extended. Oddly enough, my DVD does not contain any end credits, but they are on my old VHS.

I'd say the movie sucks, but that's what makes it so entertaining. I would much rather watch this than Lord of the Rings or Star Wars movies. If you're into this kinda stuff, and you can't find NGM at your video store, I highly recommend you search for it online.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Intensity, 12 March 2005
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first saw this movie years ago when I was 15. I didn't scare easy but LHOTL really had me on edge. And I don't think any other movie ever made me jump up in the air, as this one did in one jolting scene.

As you probably know, two teenage girls are kidnapped and tortured in the woods by a group of ex-cons. The parents of one of the girls soon take their revenge. Most of the acting seems very natural. And the inexperienced camera-work gives much of the film a cheap documentary appearance, making the events all the more real. There is some odd comic relief with two bumbling cops. Fans, myself included, often find this annoying. But I must say that when I saw it as a kid the cop scenes were a welcome break, allowing me to relax a bit.

David Hess as Krug is amazing. Weasel is sleaze on two legs, and who can forget Sadie? Especially bizarre for some viewers is that the killers actually have some affection for each other. They're not simple fairy tale monsters.

The scene of Mari walking into the lake is heartbreaking. They destroyed her will to live. And notice the killers are not jumping up and down in victory. They are not all that ashamed, but neither are they proud. They are empty. Some serial killers have commented that the actual murders generally did not provide the "high" they were hoping for.

I actually enjoy most of the music in the movie, and especially find the opening track haunting. And there actually is some comedy to be found in parts. Notice Krug popping the little boy's balloon near the beginning. Evil personified!

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Depends on what you're looking for, 7 March 2005
5/10

Viewers who have a passion for drag racing will probably get more out of this than the average person. Myself, I've never sat through the whole thing in one sitting. It's a pretty generic story about good guy and bad guy drag racers competing. The corporate sponsors of the cars only care about money, etc. I even thought the soundtrack (sounding like a Seger/Springsteen combo) was pretty lame. In fact, I was actually a little bummed to hear Cronenberg say on the audio commentary that he really enjoyed the music! Yeah, I know, I'm being a little picky there.

On the bright side, John Saxon is fun to watch. And if you're a die-hard Cronenberg fan I would recommend checking out the double-disc edition so you can watch his early films Stereo and Crimes of the Future.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"I'm preparing the THORazine...", 5 March 2005
1/10

I really can't add anything to what the others on this board have already said. I just wanted to show my support and say that this is one of those bad movies which is genuinely amusing. The average movie buff may have trouble, but any seasoned bad movie lover should be able to find the humor.

It's shot on video. With bad acting, bad script, bad spelling (two typos appear in the opening message) and some bad fashion (our hero begins the movie wearing a light blue shirt with a pink tie). It even has some really generic rock songs apparently performed by the two lead actors. Oh, and the lead guy really does look unusual. Kind of like a cross between Sting and Malcolm McDowell.

Ladder 49 (2004)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Won't see it again, 13 January 2005
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It certainly is not a terrible movie, but I thought it was very unremarkable. I'm not too familiar with Phoenix's acting. Perhaps he does better in other movies? I don't know, but here he seemed very stiff and uninteresting.

It was occasionally engaging, with a few nice action scenes. But the movie just did not stimulate me.

What were my highlights? I thought it was very novel to show all the rats coming down the stairs near the beginning, and Phoenix was forced to squash them as he went up the stairs with the hose. It tickled me to discover that I was psychic when a fight broke out in a bar scene. A newsmedia helicopter circled a burning building at one point. It was realistic that the info the news man fed us was so typically uninformative and cliché that I could not stifle my giggles. I found it amusing how the last 5 minutes resembled a sappy music video. That was about it for me.

Crazy Love (1987)
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful Beautiful, 12 January 2005
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the few movies that has the power to bring a tear to my eye. We see the life of Harry, as a young boy, as an acne-scarred teen, and as a lost soul thirtysomething. As a child, he has a naive enthusiasm for romance. But his socially awkward self and repulsive appearance lead to a lifetime of rejections. Until the end when he finally finds somebody who accepts him. Repulsive and unacceptable as his last acts may be, they are not a violation so much as they are his desperately grasping for somebody, anybody, to love.

For me the movie is simultaneously depressing and uplifting. I will never forget the "invisible man" strategy he employs to get a girl to give him one dance. Or the painful scene of him as a young boy on the carnival ride with a girl, paralyzed with fear and unable to make any advances.

Anyway, SEE this movie. It was released on DVD last year, and should not be too hard to find. Order yourself a copy if you don't see it at your local stores.

Alexander (2004)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Ouch, 4 January 2005
4/10

I don't care if some of the accents were off. I don't care if Jolie may have been too young for her role. I don't even care whether or not Stone is 100% faithful to history. But you must hold my interest. Even a terrible Ed Wood type movie can be interesting in its badness. But Alexander is not even memorable in that category. And, no, homosexuality does not bother me. Sorry to disappoint you- I realize that screeching about people's prejudices can sometimes be a nice way to indirectly pat yourself on the back. But I'm afraid you won't have that opportunity, here.

Cheesy dialogue. The "controversial" sexuality basically consisted of Leto and Farrell surreptitiously glancing at one another. The sexuality was not explored at all. Overblown battle scenes which drag on forever. The battles feel like you're just watching hundreds of random people riding horses and slashing at one another, with no great sense of who's winning or what progress is being made. To me the fight scenes are no more elevated than a big budget American Gladiators, with a hokey bird flying overhead. Battle. Rousing speech to build troops' morale. Battle. Wash, rinse, repeat cycle. Haven't we seen this stuff before? The scenes felt stapled together. Reading a Cliffs Notes synopsis of Alexander's story would have given me more emotional impact than this movie.

Now and then characters manage to spit out something mildly interesting. Alexander at one point angrily and humbly asks about the conquered people "And what makes us better than them?". Another reviewer here seemed impressed that Alexander at one point asks "am I divine, or weak?". Hmmm.Hardly profound. On second thought maybe there wasn't any good dialogue. I can appreciate that a lot of time and money and hard work was put into this movie, but it just didn't do it for me. If you want a decent Oliver Stone movie, I think you should check out Talk Radio instead.

And I've noticed a few pompous folks from other countries snorting that Alexander is too smart for Americans. I'll be the first to agree that most American movies are terrible. But when taking a multiple choice test, even a fool will sometimes pick the right answer. And I think that's just what the American public did in this case. This movie will NOT be remembered.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Odd combination of good and bad, 15 September 2004
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS: A man runs around killing people with a drill.

More specifically, a struggling painter is slowly falling apart. He lives with two women and they are all behind on their rent. A loud band moves in above the painter, making it more difficult to focus on his work. Then his girl leaves him and his painting is rejected and he begins to drill people more frequently.

The good: some of the dialogue feels quite natural and the movie is sometimes artsy in a good way.

The bad- Some dialogue is ridiculous. I especially liked it when the DK approaches a drunken middle-ager in the dead of night, revving his drill. "Hey, you a fix-it man?", he asks with no sign of alarm. DK revs it again, waving it at him. "Watch it. You got problems?" he asks in a gently concerned voice that a parent would use with their child.

Also, Baybi Day's acting is often (unintentionally, I believe) quite funny. Very strange. And the crappy new wave punk band that jams in the apartment above is amusing. The film spends a surprising amount of time forgetting the main characters, dwelling on the lame music group. This was likely done to help pad out the movie's running time.

And don't forget to check out director Abel Ferrara's audio commentary on the DVD. That alone is entertaining.

Ultimately, I don't think Driller Killer is a "good" movie, but it entertained me and made me laugh. That's more than I can say for most Hollywood comedies.


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