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pmdawn

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72 reviews in total 
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Leave (2011)
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Stay., 3 March 2013
9/10

Just as a sign of how much this film moved me, this is my first review on IMDb after 3 years of not having much to add or say about countless other movies.

As other reviewers have written, it's tough to talk about "Leave" without spoiling it.

The best I can do is recommend you read the synopsis, perhaps watch the trailer and make up your own mind. Don't fall for the abysmal ratings on IMDb. You can leave and dismiss it as I almost did or stay and be surprised. Do what you want.

You have a choice. One minute into the film and I wasn't sure if this was for me. I chose to let go and enjoy the trip. Turns out this was just what I needed.

I'd describe it as a slow paced psychological thriller. It's a short movie and it's perfect as it is.

I can say I've watched this twice in a row and I'm still thinking about it. I cannot recommend this enough.

21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Light hearted, spiritual drama with a few comedic elements, 28 August 2010
5/10

I found the above description on this movie's board on IMDb, and it's better than anything I could come up with.

This is relevant because anyone expecting a typical Rob Schneider movie (The Hot Chick, Deuce Bigalow, Big Stan) will be very disappointed, or worse, depressed.

Rob Schneider plays Paul, a depressed alcoholic car salesman who tries to kill himself after being dumped by his lady. 3 shamen and a girl from Colombia find him, claiming he's the chosen one who will save their mountain. Paul then faces a series of situations at work and in life which help him make an important decision.

I certainly didn't expect a movie like this, as it is very bittersweet, and potentially a career-destroying move. But it has its heart in the right place, it feels honest, and I believe it must be commended for that.

Unfortunately, I can't say it's very good movie. "The Chosen One" looks cheap and feels very disjointed, with special effects that look like the ones found in Discovery Channel's documentaries from ten years ago. The pacing is weird, everything seems a little bit "off" and "direct-to-dvd".

The few comic moments are mostly black humor, and almost all of them are in Steve Buscemi's scenes. He's a top notch actor, and his superior quality clearly shows here when he elevates the whole movie to a whole new degree.

But I did like it, amazingly, and can certainly recommend it to people who need a little more light in their lives.

Just don't watch this thinking it's a comedy.

16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Instant Fun, 9 April 2010
8/10

After watching "Adrift In Tokyo", I couldn't wait to check out other works from director Satoshi Miki. So, hoping for the best, and intrigued by the one review I had read, I decided to risk this. I was not disappointed.

"Instant Swamp"'s masterful hyperactive opening lets you know right away that this is not your regular quirky movie. However it's a bit of a red herring, at least in the beginning, as it takes some time to get used to the not-that-fast pace and the characters' mannerisms. But once I was in, I was hooked.

This is full of surprises, and I was glad to see a movie that wasn't either too predictable nor too weird. It's hilarious too, some times very subtly, but still packed with gags. I can't say enough good things about the acting, specially Morio Kazama (Light Bulb) and Kumiko Asô (Haname), who carries this movie and really makes it work.

As in "Tenten", half the fun here is in experiencing the events unfold, in a sort of free-form mode. The plot is about Haname, a (very) lively young woman. Among many other things, her mother goes into a coma and Haname wants to find out about her toys which she threw into an allegedly "cursed" swamp. Doesn't help much, right? Don't worry though... one thing I can guarantee is that there isn't a single depressing or boring moment in this film.

This isn't for everyone, that's for sure. Those with low tolerance to people constantly screaming in Japanese, fantastic/ridiculous events and somewhat aimless humor will be quick to dismiss this one. But if you like Miki's style or you're a fan of over-the-top quirkiness and fun, chances are you'll be satisfied.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Could've been a masterpiece, but it's still hilarious, 16 January 2010
8/10

I'm one of those who really likes Gervais type of humor, but I understand those who hate it. Different tastes, and that's okay.

If you're like me, be sure to check out this one. It's hilarious, really, and probably his best movie yet. I liked Ghost Town though.

This has parallels with "Liar Liar", which was a disappointment to me, and the "Life Of Brian", probably my favorite movie ever. That's kinda how I feel about "Invention Of Lying".

Ricky chooses a great concept, inserts hilariousness and surrealism, some drama, but gives in, rather sadly, to Hollywood conventions and sappy romance, specially in the second half. This mix doesn't work at all here, in my opinion. There are other problems, like some jokes which are repeated ad nauseam once the movie goes out of steam, and the casting of Jennifer Garner, which doesn't work for me.

It's all good though, and I still recommend this if you want to laugh and maybe think a little about life.

8/10

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Wild Animals, 16 January 2010
9/10

You could say I'm a big Wes Anderson fan, with the exception of "Rushmore" (which I plan to rewatch now). But I confess I wasn't very excited about "Mr Fox". Perhaps because it was marketed as a kids movie (which it is, if you're a kid), and an animated film which took a lot of time, I didn't think Anderson was exactly the right person for the job. Silly me.

I will spare you the details of the plot which you'll find in other reviews. But I found myself mesmerized by this film. The voice actors are superb. George Clooney was simply perfect as Mr Fox. And the animation... Wow.

There are so many little fun details in this, that I was laughing to myself replaying them in my head after watching the movie.

Worth watching? Cuss yeah! 9/10

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The Problem With Violence, 30 March 2009
6/10

Call me a superstitious wuss, but at my age I'm usually more sensitive to what I do with my body and life, be it food, bad influences, or violence.

"Once you've seen it, you can't unsee it" - and that makes me avoid movies with gruesome violence, or news about barbaric murderers or any kind of 'depraved' act, that shall taint me soul forever. There are numerous exceptions, I love South Park. I wish I hadn't seen Irreversible, but now that is... irreversible.

I wasn't always like that. I used to be a horror fan. But then, some things happened in my life that made me understand exactly where Foster's character was coming from.

An older, but still cute Jodie Foster, walking with her boyfriend (Sayid from LOST) and their lovely dog, encounters some really coward thugs in Central Park at night. Barbarism ensues. Next thing, Erica is in a Coma.

Anyone who's been through a traumatic experience like that can relate to Erica Baine, I think. Terence Howard does a good job here, as a good cop, but it's Foster who makes the movie.

I noticed many elements from Neil Jordan, which are very subtle with some clever camera trickery, and many throwbacks to movies Foster was in - Taxi Driver, Accused and a few others.

The racist/feminist cries this movie gets are not really valid, but the point of the matter is that the filmmakers just didn't care about these often so important 'details'. So, it's racist, but it's anti-racist. It's feminist, but actually no, it's not. Fine by me, I just completely suspend my disbelief, since this is more of a character study anyway. I'll just ignore (or laugh at) the exaggerated stereotypes.

This is a dark movie, really, and the topics here - violence, gun control, vigilantism - are really divisive, BUT very worthy of some healthy discussion.

Worth watching, except for those with serious problems in their lives right now.

6/10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Harmless Fun, 30 March 2009
6/10

When Charlie was on SNL he 'apologized' for Men at Work. That and some reviews led me to think this was a disaster of a bad movie.

For me, it was a very fun way to pass the time. This is not laugh-out-loud funny, but the (few, subtle, stupid, recycled) jokes in this movie do work. Some smart movie references here, too.

If you like Charlie Sheen and/or Emilio Estevez (the movie's writer and director), check this one out.

BTW, the actor brothers are clearly having fun, and one performance in particular, by the main 'villain', John Getz, manages to be somber, and yet hilariously campy. Some of the actors can't hide their laughter very well, and it shows. Well, at least we know that production was harmonious.

Forget plot. Forget logic. Accept it as it is.

And as it is, I think it is a fun, harmless, refreshing comedy.

6/10

The Ten (2007)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Not even close to a Ten, 14 February 2009
6/10

This is a bit like Kentucky Fried Movie, only about stories loosely connected to the Ten Commandments, complete with intermissions by guest star Paul Rudd. It's a bit SNL-ish, too.

The movie uses the same actors and characters in an interesting way, intertwining their stories. There are a LOT of pop culture references here, and I bet Juno would love this movie. Unfortunately some of the best jokes are kinda 'buried' within the stories.

While this is not a bad movie, it's not as funny as it could have been. Some jokes just don't hit the mark, and some are kinda unnecessarily offensive.

However, most of the 'episodes', or sketches, have something memorable and really funny in retrospect, in some weird way. It's a great film for drinking games or for those who like hilarious one-liners.

The greatest thing about "The Ten" are the subtleties. These are the things that made movies like Airplane! and Naked Gun so funny. In the case of The Ten, there's not as much humour or laugh-out-loud moments, but the subtle jokes and set-ups, which require some attention from the viewer, make this movie worth watching for those who like comedies.

"The Ten" has very little to do with religion, and a lot to do with sex. There is no 'christian agenda' at all as some claim. It's a silly comedy with some great moments, and it works as a good, quick escape from reality.

6/10

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not that bad, 25 December 2008
5/10

There seems to be a boycott going on against this movie (and the 'spoof movie' series), as the rating indicates. Granted, those movies have an old, tired formula, and they're all very similar, so I really don't know why people who don't like these kind of movies insist on watching them.

Silly jokes, vulgarity, impersonations - that's what this movie is about. It's a mindless comedy that tries to cram up as much pop-culture as they can make fun of. The plot can probably be summarized in one line. You don't really have to pay attention to this movie, and as such, I was entertained.

There were several laugh-out-loud moments here, but unfortunately this movie (like all others in this vein) suffers from over-repetition of jokes, some go on for too long and some that are not really funny.

While "Disaster Movie" isn't a comedic masterpiece, it's not nearly as bad a film as people make it out to be. I'd say it's okay. So if you don't like silliness, stay away. I had some fun, and that's what I was expecting.

Blindness (2008)
243 out of 336 people found the following review useful:
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind, 25 December 2008
7/10

It's very easy to understand why people hate this movie.

Blindness is directed by acclaimed film-maker Fernando Meirelles, with a story based on a novel by award-winning writer Jose Saramago. It stars Julianne Moore and Gael Garcia Bernal. What could go wrong?

Well, this is one the most depressing movies I've seen in recent years.

Don't be fooled, the genre of this movie is Horror, albeit done in an ultra-realistic way, much like the Brazilian movie wave of the 70/80's - gritty, violent, dirty, and ultimately hopeless.

However it's not a horror movie in the common sense. It's not scary because it has ugly monsters. It's not frightening because there is a lot of gore and blood. What freaks me (and others) out over this movie, is that it tells a story that could happen, and actually, is happening. If one can't see that, then one is as blind as the characters in the film.

The movie is technically brilliant, with great acting and top-notch effects. The story takes place in a non-specific city, but some of it was clearly filmed in São Paulo. The movie poses the question, "what if suddenly everyone in the world became blind"? This is a practical question as much as a metaphorical one.

I don't think this movie can be "enjoyed". The violence is suggested rather than seen (which IMHO makes it scarier). It can, however, be appreciated, as its shocking nature is nothing more than a wake-up call for humanity.

Having said that, Meirelles took a huge risk (the novel was considered to be un-filmable) with this film, and the result was a lynch-mob reaction from both critics and audiences. I wonder how this will impact Meirelles' future works.

I will dare to suggest that, if this had been filmed in Spanish or Portuguese, it might have been hailed as a cult movie. As it is, it's too alienating for audiences that are used to happy endings and fake-violence, or people who watch movies solely to pass the time.

This one is for 'hardcore' movie fans - don't watch it if you're depressed or sad. And it offers the viewers very little in the way of comfort. However, it's so well-executed and disturbing, that you can't help but agree that their goal was reached. Unfortunately, the marketing and the names involved with 'Blindness' misled many viewers who otherwise would never dream of watching this.

It's not a perfect film by any means, though. The music (specially in one crucial scene) just feels out of place sometimes. And If you can't picture yourself as a blind person, some things may not make a lot of sense, too. There is a scene however in which one of the characters sings a very popular song in a slightly different way - one you are not likely to forget anytime soon.

Approach with caution, and preferrably, alone. You don't want to lose any friends or potential dates. But I also think that to miss out on this movie is like losing a chance to watch one of the most thought-provoking films of this year.

7/10


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