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Welcome to Mooseport (2004)
Enjoyable Time Filler
I found this movie to be an hour and a half well spent mainly because of the cast. Gene Hackman is a legend, Ray Romano has a harmless, goofy personality and I've always liked Maura Tierney. They are perfect in their portrayal of people in a small town where local politics brings out their best & worst personality traits.
The movie itself is fairly innocuous and had me thinking of 'Groundhog Day' the way Mooseport's citizens were portrayed. This point is not a detraction, on the contrary, I have been disappointed more in recent times at the cinema by movies with a much bigger reputation.
This is a film that would be good for guys who need to make up with their partners for a previous misdemeanor, with a night in front of the box.
Not As Good As I Thought/Hoped It Would Be
I watched 'City By The Sea' Saturday Night for A$2.95 on DVD and 'Identity' the next day in a Cinema for A$13.00. I had the assumption that the latter would easily be better value for money despite the price. I was wrong. 'Identity' started off as a good movie but deteriorated 1/2 - 2/3 of the way through because of a much described twist that left me (and many other viewers I believe) not caring what happened to the characters. I really had thought this movie would be better than it turned out to be. My expectations I fear were too high. 6/10
A Murder of Crows (1998)
Predictable but Enjoyable
Despite the whipping this movie gets by many other reviewers, I found it to be one of the more interesting films I have seen in recent times. The plot was interesting, the locations very appealing (for someone who lives in Australia) and the acting although a little stereotypical, acceptable.
I thought Cuba Gooding Jr. & Tom Berenger made the most of their roles and the conclusion of the movie was satisfying. And the most important factor? There was narration, which allowed me, a typical male movie viewer understand what was happening without having to ask my wife every five minutes.
Solid B Grade fare.
Moderately Distracting TV Movie
Appropriately screened at 1.30am on a Sunday morning, this movie held my attention but definitely wasn't a screen classic. Starring Marg Helgenberger of present CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) fame, the movie involves the investigation into a random murder/assault/child kidnapping of an apparently normal family. Helgenberger's character whilst seeking clues to the motive behind the crime and the whereabouts of the missing child is also being haunted by a similar tragedy herself. The films strengths were in it's start and middle sections. The ending was a bit disappointing unfortunately. Interestingly enough this movie also co-stars Gary Dourdan, one of her fellow partners in CSI and there is a minor character called Grissom in 'Keys' who William Peterson plays with the same surname in CSI.
Stays with you after viewing
This movie had me thinking well after viewing it. I had never heard of 'Caught' until I stumbled on it on late night free to air TV last week. Watched about an hour of it and found it very hard to drag myself off to bed (had to work next day), so I video taped the remainder.
The excellence of this movie can not be understated. Outstanding acting by all which is evident by the fact I liked greatly or disliked intensely the relatively small cast. It is also a realistic slice I think of a battling small business in a big city.
Crux of the story is an outwardly happy married couple who own a fish store, take in a down to earth homeless young man, Nick. From a hearty meal at their home, Nick ingratiates himself with both Joe & Betty and ends up staying with them in their only childs (Danny, a Hollywood hopeful) room. Nick works with Joe at the fish store and gradually becomes like the son taking over the family business.
Everything goes fine until a number of linked incidents take place. Firstly there is a possibility of Joe & Betty getting out of their day to day existence when a developer is interested in their shops location for a sizeable amount of money. Next is the gradual interest of Nick and Betty in each other which ultimately leads to a torrid affair. Finally there is the return of the prodigal son Danny with his wife and young child.
From here, the movie will glue you to your seat. So sit back and take it all in (I have no intention of stating 'enjoy').
If you get a chance to see this underrated movie, invest the time required to view it.
I saw Intensity under the impression it was a feature movie on TV. Knowing now it was a mini series it makes sense why it went for over three hours. I wonder instead whether the version I saw was edited to any extent? Anyway, I thought this 'movie' to be exciting and suspenseful. The two leads were well cast particularly John C. McGinley who was menacing. Basically it is a story of a deranged killer on the loose and by circumstance a young lady with a traumatic past is caught in his web. Instead of escaping when she has the chance, she puts her life on the line when confronted with the fact that there may be someone else with innocence at risk. I haven't read Dean Koontz's novel so I wonder how it compares to this movie. I have read many others and think he is a marvellous author. Needless to say there are surprises along the way. All in all a worthwhile night in.
By the Sword (1991)
Talented Actors Rise To The Occasion
I thought this movie was very good for several reasons. The first was that the plot was woven very well around a sport that does not receive much attention, fencing. I know very little about fencing but this was a good introduction. It is almost an artform, and the aura of the training school added another dimension. Having novices being taught fencing allowed the viewer to pick up on the basics.
Secondly was the casting. Eric Roberts in my opinion is one of the best actors going around and pairing him up with F. Murray Abraham, you really can't go wrong acting wise. The supporting cast was merely there to add to the plot and to help develop some atmosphere.
Without giving too much away, this is a movie about revenge that chips away at the start through flashbacks but builds to an inevitable but pulsing showdown. Eric Roberts plays the part of an egotistical past fencing champion and present training supremo. F Murray Abraham is a man with a hidden past, linked to fencing that you feel must come out sooner or later.
The action scenes involving fencing were admirable and while people take acting for granted, for both the afore mentioned actors to handle foils as they did would indicate they had some previous understanding of the sport.
I don't think I am giving too much away by saying F. Murray Abrahams character Max, in addition to attempting to break in as a fencing instructor is also taking cautious steps in trying to establish relationship ties after being incarcerated for a very long period.
All in all a very pleasing time filler, that also exhibited the hustle and bustle of the city it was filmed in, despite most of the action taking place inside the training school for aspiring fencers.
The Lottery (1996)
Surprising made for TV movie
Considering I had not even heard of 'The Lottery' prior to seeing it on Pay TV, this was a pleasant surprise (although perhaps the word 'pleasant' shouldn't be used in this context). Part of it's success is the casting of Dan Cortese as the lead, Jason. I first saw Dan Cortese as "Hunky Tony" in "The Stall"-Episode 73 on "Seinfeld" and whilst humourous in that situation, he adapted well for this movie. Keri Russell ("Felicity") was also a bonus. The plot was an inventive one, with the title of the film becoming all to clear as the movie develops. Although not a slash em up type horror movie, the suspense builds with Jason seeming to be caught in some type of time-culture warp. There is one particular scene which is extremely difficult to watch, without blood necessarily being spilt. Overall, I enjoyed this movie, particularly as I had no preconceptions on its content.