Reviews written by registered user
marchesa

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11 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A promise broken, 28 October 2008
5/10

This vehicle for Samuel L. Jackson begins with great promise. A role somewhat "out of fach" for Jackson, a gentle, caring, loving father, trying to bring up his children to behave and be respectful, etc. New neighbors present an interesting situation, fraught with difficulty. The movie hints that it may take some adventurous and creative steps with spinning out the story line. Indeed the social commentary hinted at, honest depiction of racism from various perspectives is begun. Then the film takes a sharp left turn, abandons character development completely, tosses unnecessary characters and scenes at us without really justifying them and quickly descends into a clichéd and violent run-of-the-mill pointless story. Sorry, but so much more could have been accomplished with this film and premise. It makes me wish for a remake already.

16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Heart wrenchingly beautiful, 6 February 2006
10/10

This film is simply fantastic! It is not often that I see a film and am so completely drawn in and overwhelmed by all of its aspects. Endless comments and praise about superb performances from Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are not exaggerated. Michelle Williams delivers a wonderful performance as the innocent bystander of the relationship between Ennis & Jack.

What is often overlooked is that the cinematography, scoring and visual impact of the film is stupendous, even overwhelming in places. All this combined with a brilliant adaptation of a simple, sad, but very short story makes one wonder at it all.

My only disappointment is that the film had such limited release early on (and probably still does!) and that the publicity machine of Hollywood found it endlessly necessary to remind of of the fact that the male stars are straight. It is a sad commentary: that the terrible prejudices depicted so powerfully in the film still exist today. This is not a sad tale of how things were oh, so long ago, but resonates strongly today as well. One can only hope that these brilliant performances and the wide acceptance the movie has achieved will help to break down that barrier of society.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Suspense from the master of kvetching, 6 February 2006
9/10

Woody Allen surprises me with this, his best work in years. In fact, it doesn't feel like Woody at all, which I daresay is great praise for the master film maker, proving he still has "it".

A masterful performance from Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays a truly less than likable character to say the least, yet captures the audience and draws one into his twisted life. Allen has masterfully directed and composed this film so that we share in the fun and also in the discomfort that comes when the tale of adultery begins to unfold. Subtle touches abound, hints that mislead you here and there a-plenty. Finally, the scoring of the film is brilliant, though other than opera buffs may not catch the clues. Setting mostly recorded songs and arias of the great tenor, Enrico Caruso, the lyrical content and the mood of the arias perfectly expand the mood of the film at the moment of action. skillfully returning to developing "verses" per se as the lyrics become even more appropriate is a very clever tool indeed. My best example is the recurring aria from "L'elisir d'Amor" (Una furtiva lagrima) sung almost painfully slowly by Caruso adds to the viewer's discomfort as the uncomfortable story develops.

All in all, highly recommended and a very pleasant surprise!

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Incredible television! TV as it should be, 4 February 2006
10/10

I remember watching this series when PBS first aired it in the US in the late 1970s, and I remember being fascinated by the story and the characters. Even at a young age I realized I was watching high caliber performances. I finally have gotten this series on DVD and been watching again. All of the raving review comments are on the mark. The collection of superior performances by so many fine actors in one series has probably not happened since - it surely did not happen before. One cannot credit Derek Jacobi enough for his brilliant yet subtle performance throughout. Yet he is constantly equaled by Sian Phillips (the best and most memorable Livia I have ever seen!). I could list the actors' names and go on and on about the high quality of their performances, but the best advice is to say: Buy or rent this and see it. More than once! Repeatwed viewings draw you deeper into the story and uncover more details with each viewing. Even the low budget BBC sets of the 70s are pleasant and appropriate. The production is superb and the directing is top notch. Though with a big budget this could have been staged as an epic production with lots of added scenery etc. (remember this was before CGI!), the closeness and theatre-feel sets actually make it more intimate and the viewer is brought right into the fray. Highest recommendations and accolades!

Hellboy (2004)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Better than expected, 12 April 2004
6/10

Well, having never heard of the Hellboy comics before seeing the previews for this movie, I thought -- "Hey, it might be fun to go and see." Luckily, a friend asked me to go with him to see it. I'm glad I did.

The performance from Ron Perlman is really very fine. Rupert Evans gives a fine turn as the young [handsome!] friend and new special agent. The story has good feet and is well-presented for the non-initiated. I felt the ending was a little weak, but then again my immediate reaction was "hmmmm...set up the sequel in case this makes money!!" The economics of Hollywood and a built in audience rule.

Visually the film is really on spot and we are given a properly gritty yet rich world to experience this adventure. There are good special effects, especially the fun with subways! The film kept me interested and made me care what was going to happen, which is no small feat! It is worth seeing and I recommend it. I might even see it again.

Better than the first two, 21 December 2003
10/10

Superlatives are poular in describing the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, both as literature and now as Peter Jackson's films. I've run out of them to describe The Return of the King movie. Incredible comes to mind. Jackson shows he is a master of pacing and drama and now spectacle. Certainly the most incredicble battle sequences I have seen on film. With some exception, Jackson is in my mind more true to the books in this film than the previous two. Deviations from the original are more acceptable here for some reason. The acting of the lead cast is increasingly improved, makign me wonder how Jackson managed to get this from his cast while filming all mixed up all at once...

Truly, this film is a masterpiece on its own; as a crowning cap of a tremendous trilogy of films, it is simply astounding. There is excitment and energy yet so much more emotion and character involvement here. I can't wait to see what Jackson has cut out to see just how in depth the movie began its life...I can picture what is not here.

Seabiscuit (2003)
A Classic Film and Story, 5 August 2003
9/10

I truly enjoyed seeing this film. Best described by something I overheard from someone near me walkinng out of the theatre: "I haven't seen a movie like that in a long time!" No computer graphics jumping around the screen, no monsters, no silly Hollywood-required-and-imposed love scene imposed upon the story. Based on the true story, the filmakers have taken great care to pay attention to multitudes of details to recreate scenes and races with complete accuracy--down to by how far ahead the winner in the races crossed the line. Well-acted and beautifully scored, the cinematography is at times breathtaking and intimate. A fascinating look into the story that so few of us knew. I had heard of Seabiscuit but never knew anything much about him. Now I'm sure I was born to love him! There are messages here for everyone -- about living a good life and being true. Not heavy handed but very well presented -- the "true story" feel interspersed with panning shots over still photographs with wonderful narration. See it!

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Not bad as "True Story" Movies go, 4 August 2003
6/10

This film is nicely filmed, though probably purposefully has the feel and look (and dialog) of a movie made in the 50s or 60s. Since the beginning and end are set in the 60s, I suspect that it was done on purpose. Scenes on the Indianapolis are fairly well done. The acting is a little stiff throughout, which is mostly due to a rather dry, stiff dialog and unimaginative script. They do manage to get the viewer steamed up at the Navy at the Court Marshall of Captain McVay. The film leaves a bit to be desired, but the saddest part of the tale is that the horror is true and teh abhorent behavior of the US Navy was unforgivable, even as of 1991. I have no idea whether the record or memory of McVay has been cleared since, but it certainly should be. The film makes a strong statement about the horrible costs of war.

Urbania (2000)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Gimmick and art make this film, 25 July 2000
7/10

It is unfortunate that a director feels the need to play the audience with gimmickry to make his point. I felt that the cleverness in toying with the "Urban Legends" (hence the nomer) is undermined by the application of device and gimmick to be sure to drive home his point. "Sure to be a hit with the art house/festival audience" must have been in this director's mind: The same effect could have been accomplished without toying with the viewer. It takes 1/3 of the film to discover that you care what is happening to these characters and find out that a finely acted and written film is unfolding before you. Flashbacks and imagination works well in places and a solid performance is turned n by Dan Futterman, although the whole characterization is not quite carried out as far as it could have been if the time were spent on this instead of gimmickry.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Good update of the Gay Buddy Theme, 25 July 2000
8/10

After its big splash at Sundance, this film has been screened at several Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals across the country prior to a wider release in the fall. We meet a group of friends in this movie that at once are likable and yet we are somewhat detached from them. A fine portrayal of friends, in general, and what the chemistry and interaction in a "clique" can be like. For the most part, this film leaves us happy, but wanting a little more. Just as the film touches on some serious topic, it takes a step back. I think the thought of selling this movie in Peoria affected some directorial decisions and its final editing.

Overall, a pleasant turn on the drear-filled morbid stories of this genre: there are no terrible psycho-scenes or breakdowns! We have all known people like these guys and in the end we feel at home with them. We approve or disapprove as we would with our own friends. It makes me want to know what happens to them in 5 years or so.


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