Reviews written by registered user
|11 reviews in total|
"If These Walls Could Talk" is one of the most powerful films I've ever seen in my life. It is divided into 3 segments: 1) 1950s - Demi Moore plays a woman who must either face becoming the town tramp or getting an abortion; 2) 1970s - Sissy Spacek is a woman forced to choose between losing her lifelong dream or terminating her pregnancy; and 3) 1990s - Anne Heche must come to terms with her own choices amidst a world of hate. All 3 parts are brilliant, each very special in its own way. Demi Moore gives a terrific performance in her role. Sissy Spacek is equally impressive. However, the greatest deal of my praise must go to the '90s portion. Anne Heche is absolutely incredible. Cher also appears as the abortion doctor, as well as directs this part. The ending is so shocking and disturbing that it will leave every viewer breathless. That being said, this film is not for the light of heart. But if you are seeking a well-made movie with a shining cast, "If These Walls Could Talk" is for you.
SHALLOW HAL (2001) **** (out of ****) The Farrelly Brothers have been known for making offensive films full of gross-out sight gags and filthy humor. But my perception of the filmmaking duo has been forever altered with the release of "Shallow Hal," the sweetest and most endearing picture of the year. Meet Hal Larson (Jack Black). He's an average Joe with less-than-average looks, yet he believes himself to be God's gift to the female race. Taking a step back, Hal's father, while dying, gave nine-year-old Hal the advice that all life is about is sleeping with gorgeous women. So Hal, along with his best friend Mauricio (Jason Alexander), prowls about the nightclub circuit in search of sexy ladies. However, a freak accident leaves Hal trapped in an elevator for several hours with self-help guru Tony Robbins (playing himself). Robbins proceeds to place a sort of spell on Hal so that he can only see the inner beauty of people. Later, Hal meets the kindhearted Rosemary Shanahan (Gwyneth Paltrow), a Peace Corps worker currently volunteering at a local hospital. Hal is enamored with her, for he sees a stunningly beautiful woman. However, everyone else only sees Rosemary's obesity. Soon, Hal finds himself head over heels in love with Rosemary. But when the spell upon Hal is broken, he must decide whether or not he still loves Rosemary, despite appearances. The Farrelly Brothers have finally struck gold with this gem of a film. Granted, there are a few seemingly obligatory fat jokes scattered throughout, this being the Brothers' trademark. However, what these two men have crafted is one of the most beautiful and touching films in a long time. How many films nowadays actually have a message to teach? "Shallow Hal" teaches an obvious and amazing message of not being concerned with external appearances; it's what's on the inside that counts. The film has got an overwhelming sweetness and an underlying yet sublime sadness to it. It makes everyone in the audience think twice about their own shallowness. The two leading performances are outstanding. The ever-brilliant Gwyneth Paltrow delivers one of the year's best performances as the 300-pound Rosemary. She brings a quality to her character that is exuberant yet wistful. Paltrow's emotional range is superb, and the character becomes not someone we feel sorry for, but someone we applaud. Jack Black is wonderful as the title character. Funny, believable, and ultimately moving, Black's performance is top-notch. "Shallow Hal" is a small film with a big message, and the Farrelly Brothers orchestrate it to perfection. After leaving the theater, it took me a while to get my emotions under control. This film is a heartwarming experience that should be shared by all and missed by none. Backed up by the terrific performances, "Shallow Hal" turns out to be one of 2001's best films.
"S Club 7 in L.A." is one of my favorite shows. It's corny, but a whole lot of fun. There's always a lesson to be learned too, and the cast is good. I like how Linda Blair pops up as their landlady. She is funny, and the S Clubbers are very talented. Bottom line: An amusing show for everyone to enjoy.
"Godzilla 2000" is easily the worst movie of 2000, easily the worst movie of the last decade, and easily the worst movie of the century. I don't know why it was ever made. It's a waste of money, a waste of film, and a waste of time. The special effects are the pits. Okay, so I know "Godzilla" flicks are supposed to be cheesy, but come on! This is really pushing it. Lame, lame, lame. The worst film I've ever seen in my entire adolescent life. Wretched and beyond.
It's way too bad that "Snoops" was cancelled. I loved this show soooo incredibly much!! Gina Gershon was absolutely fabulous, and the scripts were campy and fun. Another brilliant show from David E. Kelley, but it didn't survive sadly.
There's not much to be said about the horror genre. Okay, so it was fun in
the '70s and '80s, but then it died down (thank God!). But then along came
"Scream," which totally revolutionized the entire genre. And then along
came the various sequels as well as several copycats, as was the case back
then. "Valentine" is the latest.
Hey, remember that kid that everyone was mean to and ignored back in school?
Yeah, we all know the type. Anyway, in this film, we are introduced to a
group of young, buxom women who also knew the type. They consist of Paige
(Denise Richards), Kate (Marley Shelton), Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw), and
Lily (Jessica Cauffiel). They all seem to lead very happy lives, enjoying
their sexual, predatory vixen skills to the fullest. But when their mutual
friend, Shelley (Katherine Heigl), is brutally murdered, the girls all begin
to receive menacing valentines from a mysterious killer who walks around in
a Cupid mask.
Now, as the girls begin to get picked off one by one, they,along with Kate's
on-again-off-again beau, Adam (David Boreanaz), must unmask the murderer
before it's too late.
Based on Tom Savage's non-slasher novel of the same title, "Valentine" is
definitely a true slasher at heart. The film has good intentions, and the
premise is quite original, but it just makes one mistake after another.
Starting with the all too obvious "kill-a-celebrity-right-in-the-beginning" scenario, "Valentine" has trouble gaining any redeeming qualities. The sequence of events is so shamefully predictable that it's hard to imagine what poor Mr. Savage must be thinking ("Who would do such an awful thing to my book?!"). The characters in the film are so flat and detestable that we really just wish every single one of them would die so that we could leave the theater already.
The acting is standard horror fare. Denise Richards once again shows us her amazing and wide-range acting talents: Those two large things attached to the front side of her body that we like to call "breasts." David Boreanaz gives a fair performance, but definitely shouldn't give up his day job on the WB's "Angel." Newcomer Marley Shelton can't do much with her underwritten role, and she comes off as extremely annoying and whiny for the most part. The rest of the acting is close to pitiful. Jamie Blanks's direction is unquestionably a few steps down from 1998's superior horror film, "Urban Legend." "Valentine" is most certainly a pretty bad film. Though fun and actually, sort of, kind of, somewhat scary, it never goes where it might have been able to go with its clever premise. This one's destined to escape our memories in the not-too-distant future.
"Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" is perhaps the most-anticipated
sequel of the year. After the moderately successful Urban Legends: Final
Cut, which was somewhat of a disappointment, I was expecting a lot out of
"Blair Witch 2." However, I found a tad less than I was looking
This film treats the original Blair Witch, which was a revolutionary
motion picture, as though it was actually just a film (which it was). It
features a new slew of Hollywood unknowns as well as a standard style of
Book of Shadows follows five young Blair Witch fans' journey in search
of the truth. They consist of Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan), a student director
with a history of mental illness; Kim (Kim Director), a young woman into the
Goth style of life; Erica (Erica Leerhsen), a Wiccan who is seeking the
Blair Witch as her mentor; Stephen (Stephen Barker Turner), a young skeptic
along for the ride; and Tristen (Tristen Skylar), Stephen's pregnant
girlfriend with an eerie connection to the phenomenon.
The five people hike into the woods where "The Blair Witch Project" was
filmed. From there, they fall into a drunken and stoned haze. They wake up
the next morning only to realize that they have no recollection of the past
five hours. Now, they must discover the truth of what happened to them, and
if, in fact, the Blair Witch is behind it.
Original in its own way but nowhere near the greatness of the first,
"Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" is a ninety-minute excursion away from
real life and into a world of fantasy and fright.
There is no denying that the original was much, much scarier, but this
one does have its moments. These `moments' are found in mostly bizarre and
disturbing imagery, famous to films penned by Dick Beebe. The prime of
example of Beebe's brilliant imagery is 1999's horror remake, "House on
Haunted Hill." But "Blair Witch 2"'s imagery is definitely not as
unsettling as it was in "House on Haunted Hill." But never mind
comparisons. "Book of Shadows" has lots of plot twists, and the storyline
is constantly inventive and keeps us in suspense, and for that, it earns
Though already lambasted for trying too hard, I think the film tries
its best and does a fine job on a whole.
The acting is decent, as well as Joe Berlinger's clever and graceful
"Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" certainly cannot hold a candle to the
original's brilliance. On the other hand, it is entertaining and could
actually be considered a laudable sequel.
I can safely say that David Cronenberg's "Crash" is one of the most unique
motion picture experiences I've had in a long time. Now that's not saying
that I particularly liked the film. Half way through the film, I starting
asking myself, "What exactly IS this film about?" My original answer was
"sex and car crashes."
But by the time the film had reached its conclusion, I realized that "Crash" is a lot more than that. It's 25% bizarre, 25% disturbing, 50% erotic, and 100% ingenious.
I've concluded that there is no REAL plot to the film. The characters just go around and have sex. But, at a second glance, I realized that "Crash" is not simply about people with strange sexual fetishes, but it's a psychosexual journey into the minds of these people.
Everything that Cronenberg shows us is completely relevant to the characters. And while the expression of his creativity is done in a blatantly pornographic style, the truth of the matter is that there is absolutely nothing pornographic about the picture. Aside from the numerous explicit sex scenes, it's a profound and concise psychological drama. The sex scenes are merely the vehicle in which Cronenberg gets his point across.
And what is the point of a film that has no point to begin with? Exactly. There is no point. All that "Crash" does is take us into a deep world of sexual disturbance at the hands of numerous sexually disturbed characters.
James Spader, Holly Hunter, and Elias Koteas all give performances that are hard to describe. It's like watching actors in a silent film, but still feeling that deep prophetic wisdom that seems to be emanating from them. Though there is nothing wise about their characters' choices or dialogue, just the way they carry themselves provides the film with a self-assured aura that is neither pretentious nor ostentatious.
Throughout everything, Cronenberg's film manages to become a mesmeric masterpiece of unexpected profoundness and dramatic brilliance. "Crash" has nothing to do with anything, and it most certainly is not a likeable film. I respect the film for its courage and deep understanding of the human sexual psyche, but this one is seriously not for the average viewer. It's a powerful and brutally honest film that never ceases to shock, but at the same time seems to be an empty vat of nothingness. But for those seeking an original, brave, and ultimately hypnotic picture, "Crash" is the one for you.
Mandy Moore's show on MTV is an entertaining and annoyingly sweet talk show. She and her friends talk about anything and everything on this earth, and find time to play videos (including Mandy's) on every episode. Not a bad show, but not overly promising.
Diane Keaton's latest directorial endeavor is a superb one. "Hanging Up" was based on the book by Delia Ephron, who co-wrote the script with her sister Nora. This film stars three magnificent actresses: Meg Ryan, director Diane Keaton, and Lisa Kudrow. It also stars Walter Matthau in a terrific role as the dying father. "Hanging Up" perfectly combines the elements of comedy and drama, interweaving both throughout the entire film. It's funny, touching, and true. It's a film almost everyone can relate to in one way or another. There are so many underlying themes that it is easy to connect with one of them. That's why this film is so enjoyable for almost anybody who watches it. Overall, "Hanging Up" is a brilliant film. I give it 9 out of 10.
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