Reviews written by registered user
|31 reviews in total|
Pointless, plot-less, slow, meandering, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, way too long, devoid of any redeeming value. This is the worst movie I've seen since Mulholland Drive--maybe since Eraserhead. Joaquin Phoenix is even homelier than in previous movies and way too old to play the part of a sailor leaving the service after WWII. His acting is wooden and stylized, like he has an acting coach pulling his strings in every scene. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who is one of my favorite actors, is wasted on this train wreck of a movie. All the actors go through the motions of delivering their lines, obviously having no clue what emotion to put into them, because they are as confused as the audience about what the heck is going on. The writer/director shows obvious contempt for the audience by larding the movie with gratuitous disgusting scenes. How they managed to bamboozle the public into shelling out $32M at the box office is beyond understanding. All those critics who recommended this stinker should never be trusted again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was convinced Atlas Shrugged could not be put on film, but this movie
proved me wrong. It has a contemporary look and feel, while retaining
the Art Deco elegance of Rand's novel. The acting is superb,
particularly Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart and Grant Bowler as Hank
Rearden. Bowler manages to cram more meaning into a half-cocked eyebrow
than most actors in a dozen lines of dialogue, and Shilling captures
the sleek, cold elegance of Dagny, while giving just a hint of the
passion simmering beneath the surface. Indeed, all the performances are
This is a beautiful movie to watch, with sets, locations and costumes that are both gorgeous and convincing. The run of the John Galt Line is thrilling, and when it crossed the bridge made of Rearden Metal, I wanted to stand up and cheer.
Director Paul Johansson (who also plays John Galt) obviously knew exactly what he wanted to put on the screen, and manged to do it. He is faithful to Rand's story, and in particular to the philosophical message that is at the heart of the work, while maintaining the excitement of the plot.
During her lifetime, Rand did not allow the novel to be made into a film, perhaps for fear that the movie would not be faithful to the book. It's too bad that she didn't live to see this movie because, I believe, she would be surprised and pleased by how well it captures the essence of her work. This is clearly a labor of love that will help make Rand's ideas accessible to many who have not yet read her work. And it's exciting and rewarding for those of us who have been Rand fans for many years. Can't wait for Parts 2 and 3.
There's nothing here--don't waste your time seeing this. The movie
tries hard to be artsy and gropes for some meaning, but succeeds only
in being slow and dull. The characters are unattractive, the story line
is largely non-existent and the film meanders for 114 minutes but seems
much longer. To the extent it tries to be a horror flick, it fails as
well as it's not the least bit scary.
If you want to see something good in the theater, go see Doubt, Slumdog Millionaire or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. On the other hand, if you liked Eraserhead or Liquid Sky, you may think this piece of drivel is swell.
Frank Langella delivers a stunning performance. For those of us who
remember Richard Nixon as President, he comes to life on the screen.
The face, the stoop, the mannerisms--they're all there. This is not an
actor playing a role; it is as if Nixon himself is on screen. And it's
not a wholly unsympathetic portrayal. Nixon does not come off as a
monster or as deranged, more as someone to be pitied than despised.
The other performances, including Michael Sheen's, are very solid, but Langella has done something truly extraordinary by removing the impression of an actor playing a part. I'll be very surprised if he doesn't earn an Oscar nomination, or even and Oscar as best actor for this performance. Langella has certainly come a long ways from his excellent performance in the underrated 1970 Mel Brooks film, The Twelve Chairs.
Forst/Nixon as a whole is riveting. Given that it's a fairly simple story with a known ending, this is quite an achievement. You don't have to be a Watergate junkie to enjoy this film; even a passing familiarity with those momentous events in our history is sufficient. Not a moment of the 122-minute running time is wasted--or dull.
I'm not a fan of Julie Taymor (I hated Titus) so I was a bit leery about going to see this movie. Still, as a Beatles fan, I decided I should see it on the big screen. I went with my 19-year-old son, and we both enjoyed it very much. The film is a visual and auditory feast--sort of like a long music video--yet connected by a linear plot and sub-plots. For those of us who came of age during the 'Nam era, this brought back some vivid memories. But it's the music--a continuous parade of Beatles hits--that is the real treat. Somehow the plot, the (sometimes surrealistic) imagery and the music blend together for a sensual tour de force. Don't miss this movie while it's still playing in theaters; it just won't be the same on a small screen.
There is nothing profound or interesting about this movie. It is choppy and confusing, and seems like it drags on forever. It has long series of plot holes instead of a plot. The two main characters are neither interesting nor likable. The main premise (which leads to the great "denouement" at the end) is not only obvious, it's ridiculous. The movie says nothing about ambition or the quest for perfection or any of the other deep stuff people pretend to see in it. It's about a couple of guys so consumed by mutual hatred and envy that they can't seem to get a life of their own. This movie makes The Illusionist seem plausible and coherent by comparison. A waste of talent, especially Michael Caine's.
This giant turkey flew in late for Thanxgiving, but it managed to waste three precious hours out of my life anyway. Interminable and self-indulgent director's shots, action that defies even the most determined effort at suspending disbelief, terrible acting (especially by Jack Black, who should never, ever be given more than a cameo role), a muddled plot that moved like molasses in winter and huge CGI effects that look very much like CGI effects--all of these make this a movie to be endured, not enjoyed. The ape alone was good, but his relationship with the Naomi Watts character is hardly any more understandable than in past King Kong movies. No doubt we have to believe that Kong sees her as beautiful and delicate, just as we do--which means that he must see himself as brutish and ugly. That is a problem that plagues all Kong movies but I had hoped that this one would somehow solve it, but not a chance. This is not a director that's interested in plot or character, or even in making the movie intelligible to viewers. This is self-indulgent directing of the worst kind.
I wasn't planning to write a review, but after reading all the gushing
comments by others, I feel an obligation to do so. I've never heard of
Firefly and walked in having no idea what to expect--except that the
movie had gotten so much hype. I was severely disappointed. It's not
the worst movie ever made--or even the worst sci fi movie, but the
movie is weak in just about every way that counts. There is nothing new
about the plot or the action--small band of rebels fighting evil
empire. Where have we heard that one before? The largely unknown (to
me) actors were just not very good or very subtle; the roles they
played were cardboard cutouts; the action meandered over an
interminable 119 minutes, though it seemed much longer. (And yes, I had
was able to get a soda refill AND a bathroom break--without losing much
continuity.) The special effects were pretty good, especially in the
beginning, but if I see another movie where fleets of spaceships slam
into each other while battling in close quarters, I'll surely scream.
And then there were the really cheesy and wholly inexplicable items,
such as, why does one of the characters traipse around in a spaceship
wearing a new evening dress in almost every scene (and how did she
manage to get all those dresses on board anyway)? And, why does the
captain speak lines that sound like they come from a combination of GI
Joe and Max Headroom?
But the worst part is the really poor payoff, after having to endure what is essentially a soap opera for almost two hours. The big secret they're chasing down--the big, BIG truth that will bring down the government, turns out to be sort of silly. Would anybody really care 15 years later? I sort of doubt it.
Anyway, I can't say I hated the movie--at least I didn't fall asleep. But don't be fooled by the hype. This is an utterly forgettable movie, and you can easily wait to catch it on a long flight or on DVD. Or miss it altogether.
There is very little new in this movie--or much of anything at all.
There is hardly a plot; the action, such as it is, plods along at a
snail's pace. The acting is fine, but none of the actors display any
emotional range. The father is always subdued; Andrei is always
bushy-tailed; and I wanted to slap Ivan around hard for his constant
belly-aching and the sour faces he kept putting. Had I been the father,
I'd have been tempted to drown him in the lake with my own hands.
The nice scenery and pretty good photography just don't carry this film. There's no there there. When you're done, you want to punch someone for the two hours out of your life you lost.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought this movie would never end. The plot is a thinly disguised
disinformation piece about how westerners, and particularly large drug
companies, are taking advantage of Africans out of greed. No
anti-western and anti-business cliché is omitted, and they are trotted
out in a monotonously predictable fashion. Though the movie takes
for-e-ver to plod through its torpid paces, there is no mystery here
about how it will come out, or why. There are no plot twists, no
startling denouements, nothing even mildly surprising. Endless camera
shots--closeup and wide angle--of African poverty is supposed to give
this movie higher meaning, but that motif has been done so much more
effectively--and realistically--in other movies, like Hotel Rwanda,
where the suffering is palpable. Here it is just a vehicle for carrying
the movie's anti-western message.
The love story between Fiennes and Weisz is barely believable. Fiennes plods his way through another romance with all the spark of a Basset Hound, while Weisz plays the overwrought uber-vixen. These two people have nothing in common, as becomes pretty clearly early in the movie. Fortunately, she gets bumped off early but, unfortunately, insists on reappearing in flashbacks.
The ending is pathetic and pointless. Surely a smart guy like the Fiennes character is supposed to be can find a better way of publicizing the story than going to the middle of nowhere to get butchered--like maybe faxing the secret letter to the London Times. These kind of plot-holes--or more accurately plod-holes--are typical for the movie as a whole which has builds one implausibility on top of another. Like why would a savvy politician Luke Pellegrin *write* a letter like that? And why would Woodrow leave Tessa with the letter and trust her to lock it up, if it was that critical to his career?
The film's only redeeming feature is the gorgeous photography of scenery and wildlife, but that's been done before too, and need not be endured in a film that is so poorly constructed and hits you over the head with propaganda in almost every scene. The sad truth is that there is exploitation of Africa documented in this movie, and it consists of the people who use the scenery and poverty of Africa to make this sorry excuse of a movie--for their own fame and profit.
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