Reviews

9 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Disturbing, depressing, irritating.
23 August 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers below.

American Beauty is one of the most depressing, yet pointless movies I've ever seen. It's well made (acting, directing, cinematography), but the story and the dialog is over-simplified, highly unrealistic, stereotipical and preachy.

Perhaps because I too am not an American, but of European background, I couldn't for the life of me identify with any of the characters. Spoilt and vacant is the only way I can describe them. And yes, this is somewhat the point of the movie, or is it? What is it's point? That life the way we (or Americans) are taught to strive for (nice house, job, car, child) is so meaningless, empty and rotten, that we'll either go insane or want to be dead?

"There's nothing worse than being ordinary" repeated over and over throughout. As if being one of the 98% of the population who are normal, average, "ordinary" people is like having a disgusting disease. Unless you have some sort of talent or individuality (which of course, none of these characters do) you're destined to remain "ordinary", but there's nothing wrong with that.

It tries to be realistic, but ends up being the opposite, yes it's portraying suburban life, but the way these characters carry themsleves is incredibly cliched and anything but realistic. First, let's take Ricky Fitts. There's no way that a boy who'd been locked up in a mental institution for 18 months (which is unrealistic again, because they don't just take anyone with a behavioral problem, you have to have a legitimate mental illness -which he didn't) and with such a ruthless, cold, dominating father would grow up so stable and confident. In reality he would be at least shy, withdrawn and introverted. And as for him being a drug dealer? Now that's stretching it too far. Addict is more like it.

It's also very irresponsible in that it's unnecessarily misleading. Jane: "I wish someone would just put him out of his misery" Ricky: "would you like me to kill him for you?" we know they're not serious, but they talk about it as if it was no big deal, as if there were no consequences. And Ricky being such a suave drug dealer, would he be so stupid as to risk getting 20 years to life if he got caught dealing? And again, at the end when 'Colonel' Frank kills Lester, why? just because he embarassed himself in front of Lester? So? Is that reason enough to kill? In real life, no. But in movies, yes. Perhaps this is why American kids are so trigger and drug happy, because on TV/in movies, they're shown that it's cool, there's nothing wrong with it (murder) and that there are no consequences.

That's why American Beauty and movies like it disgust me. It's trying too hard to be cool, and ends up being foolish propaganda. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I seriously dislike this movie.
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X-Men (2000)
Watch it with an open mind and you won't be disappointed
20 July 2000
X-men the movie is fantabulous! I urge those hard-core fans of the comics to watch this movie with an open mind and understand that it would be impossible to bring the comic to the movie screen without some changes being made. Having said this, the makers of this movie stayed as close to the comics as they possibly could. It payed off, X-men is one of the best and most enjoyable movies of the year.

When I first heard they were going to make this movie, I thought "what a flop this is going to be, haven't they learned anything after such awful comic-book adaptations as the batman sequels and the flash, etc?". But I was wrong. X-men is different.

The producer/director took such care, and the actors (especially Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin and Hugh Jackman) played their characters with such respect and dignity that the end result is quite satisfying and rewarding, not at all campy, cheesy or just plain stupid (note to the Batman movie franchise: learn form the X-men).

I can't say enough about the casting. The pairing of McKellen and Stewart was an excellent move, and wow what about Hugh Jackman! I've heard about hime before, but am totally amazed by his acting capabilities.

I have a couple of gripes though. The movie is too short! And Halle Berry wasn't that good.

well that's all, I give it 9 out of 10.
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Philadelphia (1993)
Unforgettable
16 July 2000
I can't believe this got only 7.3 stars. Philadelphia is a very deep, moving and sometimes funny movie. It makes you think about life and where some people's priorities lie. Denzel Washington is superb as the homophobic lawyer who eventually takes up Andrew Beckett's case out of simpathy and his love of the law. Did Denzel get an oscar for this? I'm not sure but he sure deserves one.

Made in 1993, it does seem a little dated now, society today being more accepting of gays/lesbians and more understanding about AIDS (I don't think Andy would be fired, although I can still imagine that lawyer being just as repulsed by his homosexuality) but nevertheless it's very effective and takes the viewer on an emotional ride.

Comments were made about the surprisingly accepting and supportive family that Andrew has. I for one think this is a great touch since too often in movies they give us this cliche of the poor little gay boy kicked out of home by an overly cruel father. In Philadelphia it's the opposite and I thought this was quite original. The fact is that a loving close-knit family is still a loving close-knit family even when a son is gay/has AIDS, there's nothing unbelievable about that.

The only flaw I could find is the lack of background and detail concerning many of the characters, especially Andrew and Miguel, but also the defending lawyers.

I tip my hat to Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington for choosing to be in this movie, these were somewhat risky and controversial (at the time) roles, and they acted and portrayed the characters beautifully.

I don't like court room dramas (I find them boring) but I love Philadelphia because it offers so much more and is so well executed. It's a movie with soul and it oozes quality. I give it 10 out of 10.
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Punky Brewster (1984–1988)
Cute 80s fluff
24 June 2000
I only "discovered" this series last year, when it had a brief run on early morning TV (very early indeed). I like Punky a lot. She reminds me of me. I was just like her, growing up in the eighties, being a cute little tomboy, etc. In fact this show is the quintessential eighties TV show and that's why I love it. Punky Brewster is a much better sitcom than the majority of the trash that was around in the 80s. I give it 8 out of 10.
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The Brady Bunch (1969–1974)
Moronic, yet brilliant
24 June 2000
I looooooolve The Brady Bunch! Say what you will about them, they still rule! On a personal note, I'm in love with Mike Brady. I want to be miraculously transported into one of the earlier episodes (when Mike's hair is still straight) and steal him away from Carol. Not only are they THE most perfect family, but Mr. Brady is the perfect father, husband, man. He's charming and can solve a difficult and complicated problem by saying a just a few words to the kids. He never gets mad, and even though they live in the seventies, he doesn't have one sexist bone is his body. He's simply wonderful. Even though Greg is closest to my age, I want to marry his father. The Brady Bunch rules, and Mike Brady is da man!
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Forrest Gump (1994)
It did deserve the oscar
3 June 2000
A lot of people put Forrest Gump down saying among other things, that it is mediocre, didn't deserve the oscars, and is totally overrated. Well well well, I thinks these people are just jealous that such a nice-natured, clean and harmless movie won over Pulp Fiction, the epitomy of a cool film wanna-be.

Overrated? C'mon it got much less hype than almost every movie released these days. At least Forrest Gump had content and depth as opposed to Pulp Fiction which didn't even have a point.

Forrest Gump is an excellent movie. You can tell that a lot of work has gone into it, and everything about it is great, the acting, the script, the directing and cinematography, it's all excellent and above all, it's a great story!

Rent/buy this video if you want to see a proper movie, instead of such B-grade tripe as Pulp Fiction.
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It's Good!
26 May 2000
I do not agree with any of the critics on this page. Mr. Holland's Opus is a brilliant movie. It's intelligent, interesting and inspiring. You shouldn't tear it apart and analyse every minute detail about its musical accuracy. This is just a movie, but a very good one at that. Someone here by the nickname of "spleen" was the most wrong though: "The entire movie is just a re-statement of the old chestnut about music being an expression of emotion. Well, that's NOT what music is. Music is an intellectual art." That's total crap. Perhaps "spleen" learnt to play music for the wrong reasons (i.e. to show off, seem smarter/more inetellectual than others), you sir/ma'm, may have leart to play the classics but have not one musical fibre in your body, otherwise you wouldn't be so misguided. Any real musicians/songwriters know that music IS BORN out of EMOTION. Music is an expression of what comes from the deepest place within a person's heart and soul, and these internal emotions is what puts the pen to paper. If you were to write a song that is not inspired by emotion, you'd have a lifeless ditty most often used for something like breakfast cereal commercials on TV. If you want real music you can't even start without emotion. To say that music is intellectual art, and nothing else is totally wrong. Anybody who has the talent can play and write music, it has nothing to do with intellect, or social class/status as "spleen" seem to apply.

But enough about that and let's get back to the movie. Contrary to some of the other comments, I have found the acting to be of very high quality from all the actors, especially Richard Dreyfuss, who should have gotten an oscar for this performance. The script is well crafted, the story itself is very involving, and moving.

The only flaw I found in the whole movie is at the end where we finally get to hear Mr. Holland's opus. Well, it certainly disappoints and if Mr. Holland really existed, his opus would be much much better than what we're presented with here, but again we're dealing with a movie here, movie makers don't really know/care about how to compose a really great song, they probably hired a budget composer to come up with the bit, which is a shame really as it adds a dent to this otherwise realistic, well thought-out movie.

Overall Mr. Holland's Opus is a great movie. I'd recommend it to anyone. It is somewhat long, but considering the story and how it depicts 30 years in someone's life, the length is justified indeed (and at no point does it ever get boring).

Mr. Holland's Opus is the perfect movie to watch on a rainy night, tucked in bed all nice and cosy. 9 out of 10 stars.
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Bowfinger (1999)
Pathetic
8 April 2000
Everyone was hyping this movie when it came out, how it was 'hilarious', roll on the floor funny. So I went to see it but ended up leaving bitterly disappointed. Everything in Bowfinger is bad. Bad acting, bad plot, bad script, and cringe-inducingly bad directing.

The whole film has a very pathetic, amature feel to it. It's a contrived, unfunny, predictable, boring mess. Even the usually brilliant Steve Martin is awful in this and Heather Graham proves once again, that she can't act. (As if her 'performance' in Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me wasn't bad enough).

Bowfinger is a forgettable, embarrassing, unfortunate mistake in the history of filmmaking. Nothing can save it. Not even Eddie Murphy. Don't waste your money, time or effort on this.

Woeful.

-1,000,000 out of 5 stars.
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Excellent Fun
1 April 2000
I was seventeen the first time I came across this movie a few years ago. First I didn't like it, much for the same reason people have labeled this movie traumatising and sadistic for kids. I agree to a point. Had I been ten years younger I would've been really frightened by this movie, especially by the tunnel scene. And yes, it is somewhat dark. After seeing it a couple more times however, I came to like it more and more, and now it's one of my favorite movies. Why? Because it 'hits the spot' in every way a children's movie should.

It's about a poor little boy who gets to live out the dream of every kid in the world. There's a choco-river, humor, music, fun props, candy, enough to make even an adult's imagination run wild. WWACF is an enjoyable escape from reality, and is actually very well made. Adults can also pick out the brilliant humor imbedded in the dialog.

Apart from a few unnecessary songs and questionable scenes, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory is a great classic. Highly recommended for everyone, except sensitive little kids.
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