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Devotchka

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50 reviews in total 
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11 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Not perfect, but not terrible either., 17 April 2007
8/10

This is not a comedy. It's actually a rather complicated movie. If you're interested in seeing Molly Shannon make goofy faces, you probably should skip it. As it is, she does a rather admirable job of portraying someone who is finally finding herself.

Molly Shannon, as Peggy, finds out about the way animals are treated in the food industry and decides to go vegan. Like many new converts, however, she is overzealous and confused. Frankly, she does some really horrible things in her quest to find peace with her new beliefs. This made me rather uncomfortable. As a vegan, I was concerned: Director Mike White is known for making characters who are less-than-perfect, but what if viewers don't realize that? What if they think we're supposed to admire this woman? We aren't, obviously. The director is mostly vegan himself, and it's clear that he is aware of a lot of the struggles one goes through as a whole new world opens up. Peggy, who I ASSUME we're supposed to realize is already a little off-balance, responds by going a little psychotic.

But by the end of the film, she is finally finding peace with herself. It's a pleasant and inspiring ending and somewhat redeems the awful things she's done...not quite enough, in my opinion, if only for a viewing public who may already be confused about what it means to be vegan.

Would I recommend this movie? Yes, if you think you can go in and appreciate it on its merits without being biased as to whether veganism is right or wrong. That isn't the point of the thing--it's a coming-of-age movie about a middle-aged woman. Like I said earlier, it's basically a movie about finding oneself.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Um, different., 26 May 2006
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really did enjoy this movie, but anybody who says that it's way different from the first two isn't kidding. First off, it's much, much darker--too dark for my taste. There aren't any genuine spoilers in my review here, but I do allude to a few things...so the warning's there.

Many people seemed way too out of character--not just as compared to the comic books, but as compared to the first two films. Since when was Magneto such a total jerk? (Anyone who's seen the movie already knows exactly what I'm talking about. Poor Mystique.) Sure, he's the villain, but he's not supposed to be evil. He of all people would know that you shouldn't automatically hate someone for his/her religious beliefs or race or even whether or not he/she's a mutant. He took the mutant superiority thing way too far in this film in several ways, and became sort of blindly stupid about a lot of things. Oh, and Wolverine sobbing? Yeah right.

The Phoenix was pretty well done, though the explanation of how she became who she was a little far-fetched. (And that brings us to another guy who's out-of-character--Professor Xavier wouldn't do that, would he?) X3 is definitely a thrilling movie with amazing fight scenes, but it had very little in the way of character and plot development. (And what it did do in that area fell in the realm of either the bizarre or the cliché.) Usually I'm not one to say this sort of thing, but this movie should have been a lot longer. Either that or it should have been edited much differently. There are way too many unresolved issues and way too many questions.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Absurd and entertaining., 6 May 2006
7/10

Fights of Nations is an absurd and entertaining little film in five parts. It appears to attempt to demonstrate that though people in every country fight, they all come together happily in the United States. The parts are as follows: "Mexico and Spain", "Our Hebrew Friends", "Hoot Mon! A Scottish Combat", "Sunny Africa, Eighth Avenue New York", "Sons of the Ould Sod", and finally, "America, Land of the Free". The actors in each of the first four scenes engage in little spats which don't necessarily end peacefully, but in the fifth, people from different countries and backgrounds all join together with Uncle Sam. Fights of Nations comes off as vaguely xenophobic and insulting to other countries and cultures, which is probably to be expected considering the era in which it was made and the content it's tackling.

Pleasant little film, 6 May 2006
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the Border States is a short Griffith movie with all the standard melodrama typical of the era in which it was filmed. Enjoyable particularly for its portrayal of the human side of war. Father leaves to fight for the Union and while he is away, his younger daughter meets a Confederate soldier who begs for water. Though reluctant to help him, she moves aside and allows him access to her water bucket, then protects him from Union soldiers as he hides in the well. Her father, meanwhile, injured on a dangerous mission, stumbles home with the Confederate army chasing him. His daughters drag him inside and hide him in the bedroom. An enemy soldier bursts in, and lo and behold, it's the very man the youngest daughter helped earlier. She bravely reminds him of this fact and so he hides her father from the other Confederate soldiers that rush in a few moments later. In the Border States has nothing really unexpected to offer, but it's enjoyable particularly for film and history buffs.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Charming and fun, 23 April 2005
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

--CONTAINS SPOILER-- Rooster Cogburn is, as my summary says, a charming and fun movie. Katharine Hepburn is magic as always, and though I don't know much about John Wayne, I thought he did a good job here. They both play stubborn, spirited characters--the sort Hepburn does best, I think!--thrown together by circumstance and forced to cooperate in order to survive.

Though the ending is perhaps a little unsatisfying, I'm glad at least that they didn't choose the typical, hackneyed "the main male character and the main female character finally begin to understand one another after fighting for the whole damn movie and fall in love" option that so many films seem to feel obligated to end with. (Maybe they do, but Rooster Cogburn leaves that to your imagination, and that's what counts.)

Sin City (2005)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Stylistically amazing, but too gross., 14 April 2005
7/10

And confusing, but I suppose that's my fault because I'm not familiar with the books...er, graphic novels. Sin City would have been a lot better without the gore, but might just be worth seeing if you're a film buff interested in something a little different. (That's really who I'm directing this review at, by the way, not those of you who base your opinions of movies on how many people get blown up in them--because I'm just going to assume you'll like Sin City!)

Great cinematography overall and it will almost definitely win some awards for editing, I think. The style of the thing is really neat and incredibly creative. Don't miss Elijah Wood, proving that adorable child actors can successfully become creepy-as-hell adult actors, and Devon Aoki as the coolest character in the whole movie.

But to put it bluntly, I would have been disgusted and bored if not for the STYLE of the film. It doesn't have that much going for it otherwise.

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
An unsung classic!, 4 April 2005

Remember WENN was an unusual show and a very good one. I became a fan of it while still in the midst of high school. By the time I graduated from university, it was not only long gone but had left a considerably more pathetic AMC in its wake. (Not to say that AMC never shows anything worthwhile anymore--it's just become a situation of "few and far between"!) If only they'd release Remember WENN on DVD or VHS--I'd be an instant buyer.

I'd recommend Remember WENN to any fan of old time radio and/or witty television, but I'm not sure where it's even available for viewing anymore.

If AMC ever decides to show reruns, I suggest you take advantage of the opportunity and watch them!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Stupid, stupid, stupid., 21 February 2005
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't think anybody expected this to be a good movie, but it was so boring that it didn't even qualify as campy or entertaining. I usually don't find action movies very interesting anyway (and I really dislike de Bont) but I genuinely enjoyed Speed (the original) despite its faults. It just worked. In this sequel, de Bont basically took the EXACT SAME PLOT and moved it to a boat. C'mon. In Speed 2, the lovely but dull Bullock trembles and stutters and screams, "Are you crazy? Are you insane?" fifty times before leaping in to help save the cruise ship. Her boyfriend, Patric, is the absolute most boring and unemotional actor I've ever seen, and that includes Keanu Reeves. (Whom, by the way, I gained a good deal of respect for after learning that he'd declined the idiotic role in Speed 2!)

This movie would have been a lot better--though I guess it would have been over faster--if the people involved were intelligent enough to get off a boat once in a while. There's an oil tanker involved in the film, and the cruise ship approaches it for about half an hour while the people on the oil tanker panic and run around in circles despite being maybe 100 feet from land. Jump off the boat, you morons. Even the people on the cruise ship spend the movie acting as if they're sailing across hot lava or something. De Bont throws in some bit about how they'll get sucked into the propellers if they jump into the water, but there are plenty of opportunities to do so. The ship stops, the ship slows down, etc.

When it smashes through a resort town, crushing condos, the people there are leaping out of the way at the last second--what the hell? How did they all somehow manage to not notice this cruise liner bearing down on them at 5 knots (which is slightly less than 6 mph?) I gave this 2 stars instead of one because it was on a boat, and I like boats. Otherwise, I'd have rather watched Family Guy's predictions for Speed 3. A glacier moving at the horrifying speed of 2 inches a year? I'm there!

Rent-a-Kid (1995) (TV)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Bland but otherwise harmless., 21 February 2005
6/10

This wasn't a particularly good movie, but it wasn't awful either. Incredibly and sometimes charmingly predictable--like a Leave It to Beaver episode--Rent-a-Kid is neither very interesting nor particularly memorable, but it's pretty harmless. It's typical made-for-TV fare, really, devoid of well-developed characters or relationships, and in the end everybody is a good guy. But it doesn't insult one's intelligence and the kids are fairly cute--unlike the typical obnoxious, irritatingly precocious brats that usually plague this sort of movie. Rent-a-Kid makes for entertainment only if you're really bored, but at least you won't feel worse about the world after having watched it.

Crossroads (2002/I)
37 out of 53 people found the following review useful:
Great horrible movie!, 29 January 2005
3/10

I love Crossroads because it's so terrible. Definitely one of the best "worst movies" I've ever seen, it tells the story of how Britney Spears looks like a fashion model and acts like an angel while still managing to be the most unpopular girl at school. Sob, sob! Incredibly awful and idiotic drama coupled with sickeningly sweet romance make this one a not-to-be-missed...if you're the sort to love MST3K, that is. Sure, Britney can't act too well, but she can sing, and this movie is actually a LOT better than Glitter, Mariah Carey's similarly-themed vehicle. (And by "better", I mean "less boring and self-indulgent.") It's been two years since I saw Crossroads and I still remember it vividly. It's a cult classic--moronic, worthless, contrived, and hilariously awful.


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