Reviews written by registered user
|16 reviews in total|
Fans of NYC 70s rock, post-Beatles-Lennon, and music from 65-80 in
general may well enjoy a good hour of rock nostalgia. As one would
expect, there is a plethora of fantastic rock shots and
behind-the-scenes bits here and there.
Alas, there comes a point where it starts retreading the same ground and all we hear is a bunch of non-photographers rehash what they think photography means. It feels endless. It should have all been outtakes, but no, it seems someone felt a need to pad this out past the 90 minute mark when they should have been satisfied at 60. They could have even stretched to 70 if the stopped there, but it kept going. Even the photos get recycled so that we see the /same/ picture of LedZep, and the /same/ picture of The Who and on and on.
Still, that first hour was quite enjoyable. New York Dolls, Blondie, fun.
This film needed some combination of the following : a separate
director that was NOT starring in the film, sympathetic characters,
multi-dimensional characters, less overacting, a bigger budget, more
people involved in the creation, and/or FILM source with good image
quality. Any of the listed items could be overcome in different
circumstances, but here they are all piled on.
I appreciate that the main character was meant to be someone who acts out his own life in overblown, dramatic excess. I appreciate that this character is intentionally not a likable person. Such things are valid and interesting choices to try, but they are challenges that require a LOT of feedback and careful planning to make a film that works. That seemed absent.
Instead, what we have here is a piece which leaves the impression that the actor (and director), Alan Cumming, does not know how to tone it down.
We only see one side of each character, and none seem to progress or change in any meaningful way. And no, changing address or circumstance does not count -- the characters never seem to learn anything.
All the audience gets is nasty people who never get better as they do things we can not care much about, and doing them in a somewhat absurdist way. Yes, there are some amusing scenarios, but all the negatives overwhelm occasional positives.
There are a few other bits of footage of the band, but this is the only
rentable film known to exist. Anyone have home movies with synched
sound? ... If so, want to make some money? (well, don't look at me,
others have deeper pockets).
Yes, there is footage of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable with VU, but the sound isn't from *that* performance. More accurate is the footage of the band tying up Moe. Like this film (VU & Nico), you actually hear the band members speaking and such in the tie-up-Moe film, but they aren't playing instruments, and there's no Nico.
Therefore, fans simply MUST see this film is all its wandering, unfocused glory. Lay back and let the noise wash you away.
While I love this film, I understand why others might not. The most
compelling points are all delivered via amazing visual imagery. Even
better, there are often multiple meanings interwoven into each
sequence. If a viewer is just following the dialog, they miss too much
content to care about the action.
Without giving away any of the story, let me give a example. After seeing the film with a friend, I was deeply moved by the anguish of a particular scene, and while raving about how it conveyed such strong emotion for such a feminine issue, my friend commented that he hadn't even noticed what the scene was about.
So, okay, maybe the film is too inaccessible to ever be a big draw, but if you are willing to read between the lines, and can enjoy watching double-entendres in motion, then you owe it to yourself to give this a try.
If you enjoy hearing a full orchestra perform classical music, this is
the film for you. The film will probably lag for most other people.
This documentary is structured into three parts. The viewer is introduced to several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and lets them talk about how they define music, and what they love about it. Many of their stories are engaging and interesting. Seeing their passion for both classical and other genres can hold one's attention for at least half the film (but mentioning any of the neat tidbits would spoil it for those who haven't yet seen it).
The real highlights are all musical. There is no 'soundtrack' except performances recorded with the filming. The director wisely allows those pieces to continue as the visuals cut to interviews and such, but there is zero use of prerecorded music. Additionally, the camera work favors the musicians fingers over their faces when they play, allowing other musicians to better appreciate their technique.
Sadly, this viewer found that -- though the first half was very interesting -- by about halfway through the film none of the dialog was memorable. Perhaps if the beginning wasn't as strong, the ending interviews wouldn't seem to peter out. Still, the music was solid through and through.
I enjoyed this film by itself, but kept thinking that I'd love to take
kids to it, too. Everyone with a child (son or daughter) aged about 10
or above should put up with the sprinkling of profanity and see this
film with their progeny. The film reveals a set of REAL women with
opinions, personalities, good sides and ... well, not-so-nice sides. It
goes without saying that the women are physically impressive in their
prime. Beyond that, they maintain their fighting spirit in their
While it was not a major flaw, the primary failing in this documentary is its lack of form. Early on, the film reveals that it will culminate with a reunion of female wrestlers, there is no particular flow of events in the days leading up to the reunion. It felt a bit haphazard. Still, this can be expected from any film that lets its content be told by interviews with a group of individual subjects -- and there were definite strives taken to introduce various aspects/people with interviews that gave viewers some background before cutting to a segment that would have left the audience confused.
This is a film that can spark much post-viewing conversation, and leaves you feeling somewhat amazed that its participants found such a unique niche for themselves in a time when women were 'supposed' to be dainty and refined. What a wonderful contrast!
This was a thoroughly engrossing film. Superb acting, believable
characters, and a story that holds your interest. That said, you could
dismiss the story as just another slice-of-life piece because it does
boil down to a simple tale of two old friends getting together for a
visit. Still, we care about what happens to everyone involved.
For this viewer, the major failing is that I wanted to see more of everyone's stories. I felt the film finished one story at exactly the right moment with the final scene, but I wanted to hear more about the other stories. I wouldn't have minded more of the well-ended tale, either, but I could accept that any more would require another full movie.
So many have commented that I'll keep this short.
Don't bother renting the short version that played in American multiplexes. Half the plot and even more of the character development was ripped out for the U.S. version. Sure, the pacing is a little but slower, but that's a good thing because we end up with characters that have more believable motivation.
Those who like this and are open to arty films should check out "Le Dernier Combat" -- which is another film by Besson that stars Reno. That one tells a completely compelling story with NO dialog.
Again, while I'd only give the U.S. version a 4, the French version is at LEAST an 8.
It looks like 'The Interview' may finally be getting some distribution in
the States. Do not waste time reading plot outlines. The less you know
about what happens in the story the better. Every movie in the U.S.
aficionado should do their utmost to see this if it comes to their town.
Do not wait for this to show up on video. When considering the cinematography, the movie should translate reasonably well to the small screen, but, as it happens with many suspense movies, it is likely to lose impact if it can't command the viewers undivided attention. In less adept hands, a movie like this (which spends the bulk of the movie in one room) can be tiring, but the use of old noir style of dark lighting with dramatic shadows and angles gives visual interest and a definite mood. If you like the noir style of filming, this salute to the genre will be a treat.
As well as having great camera work, the acting, casting, script, and every other detail that comes to mind is above par. I'd bet even Hitchcock would have been proud to have made this.
The Ad and the Ego examines how advertising once appealed to the rational
mind, but now targets the subconscious. This high energy documentary
quickly explains that before the 20th century, advertising almost
explained why you should want a product in logical terms (such as to cure
your bunions or make tasks like washing clothes easier). Next, it launches
into the bulk of its mission: examining what has happened since the advent
of psychology lead to ads that appealed to less tangible and more base
desires -- desires for a perfect life, a perfect body, fun times,
and a sense of well being.
Rather than a typical talking head affair, there is a nonstop flurry of activity and noise which is interjected by disassemblies of how the media pervades the American experience and what is lost because of it. The film bombards the viewer with hundreds of quick-cut segments of advertising that are set to the music of the notorious band, negativland. If you are fond of negativland, this is a MUST SEE. Obviously, the band was picked for the soundtrack because they, too, concern themselves with the content of our media, and its tendency to push for a culture of unchallenged, bland consumerism.
But where the band tends towards humor, the movie is about the researchers' investigation. The combination of traditional research and negativlands' over-the-top style makes for a very engaging exploration of how American behaviors are subconsciously guided by corporate concerns. Some people may find the movie's style too hectic and/or scattered, but the post-MTV generations will certainly be equipped to watch this enjoyable critique.
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