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Bottom line, this is a vision of David Lynch and Mark Frost, if you don't like it, watch something else. Whether or not you gave 18 hours of your life to go on a journey to see if everything is going to either make sense or work out in the end is on your heads and not David Lynch or Mark Frost. If you are a die hard fan who will hope a future movie, book or series will answer all the open ended questions, or you are a fan that has lost sleep or is no longer a fan, that's on you. All in all, you did not watch a series made for you but a series (story) made by two Artist who wanted to tell their story....period. However, we live in a post "Breaking Bad" world that requires TV shows and films to have a structured story that ties everything together in the end with a proper resolution. The exact opposite of what the fans witnessed at the end of Twin Peaks. Bottom line, if you want a narrative that has your proper beginning, middle and end with a climax, resolution and and overall message to the stories theme and plot, you can find this in most of the movies and shows that Hollywood produces. Lynch's fans pride themselves on enjoying an avant-garde mix of visuals and sounds that are not only entertaining but somewhat spiritual on the way they are showcased. To many, this has not been the case after the series finale. Most will question why Lynch introduced so many characters that were pointless to the overall story, why he left the audience with so many unanswered questions and why we the audience was witnessed to a circus of long winded scenes that either gave you a head ache or prolonged scenes to the point that you kept questioning Lynch's motive? Like George Lucas making a mistake with Episode 1-3, Lynch had no real collaboration with others but had full creative control with his vision. With that said, this is the final result. In a nutshell, I use the Monica Bellucci scene to rap up Season 3 as a whole. Lynch filmed a single scene in France and wrote a scene specifically for Monica Bellucci (who played herself) for the soul purpose of going to France and getting to work with Monica Bellucci. This is a perfect example of the Ego corrupting all. Lynch did not have to waste time and resources to fly a crew out to France or the cast a specific Actress in order to make the scene work. Lynch could have saved money and time by casting another actress and filmed this small scene on location to save time and energy. This is what 99% of most Directors would have been told to do and would have complied. However, Lynch's vision required this. As a fan of Twin Peaks, you need to answer the question on your own whether you decide to take it or leave it.
Duke Mitchell spent most of his life in nightclubs. As a Singer and an Actor, Duke struggled to showcase his talent. Throughout the movie, it's hard to decipher between Duke Mitchell and the character Paul for whom he portrays. Both men are victims of the life they chose. Each is fighting to survive and are living on the run. Duke would die from lung cancer at the age of 55. Its hard not to remind yourself while watching the movie as Duke smokes countless amounts of cigarettes. Duke's character deals with being a prisoner, having a burden and feeling cheated. He is angry and manipulates many of his close friends. Wanted to be loved, the only real woman in his life is distant and a minor character. The so called "leader of the band" or head gang member, Duke always tries to stay in charge and be one step ahead of everyone else. You could say that Duke lived like this for most of his life. The ending is very powerful as well as unexpected. You need to ask yourself if Duke is running away or running after something. The ending show's his true fear and that he has been running his entire life. He is angry and America, his friends, and even his Faith. For the low budget / grind house picture that it is, Gone with the Pope meant much more to Duke Mitchell then you think. Having accomplished what it did not set out to do, the movie showcases timeless images of Los Angeles and Las Vegas from the 1970's. The wardrobe alone makes this movie worth watching. For an entertaining movie, any grind house fan will not be disappointed. Then again, for a deep hidden message, Duke's final message to the audience is one that many might not be able to witness.
Not one of Rohmer's best works, Rendezvous in Paris lacks the passion, the seduction as well as the lust that is found in most of his films. Set in 3 Acts, the story has a mixture of pre-Seinfeld coincidences that interlock the three stories together. Since the connections are not profound or at least comical, the audience is doomed to lose interest in not only the story line but also the characters involved. Most of the characters on screen are only present for around twenty minutes, this does not give the audience enough time to connect or care about the circumstances that they are involved in. The only saving grace the movie has is its moral (or lack of one) involving glimpses of relationships and the need, or want or fear of adultery. In Act 1, we witness when adultery goes wrong. Act 2, the fear of getting caught, and finally we see the need and interest in committing adultery. Other than that, the story lacks much of what is needed for a successful movie. Which includes, filming permits. A great drinking game while watching this movie is to drink every time you see someone in the background look at the camera. This was not only obvious throughout the story, it reminded you that you were watching a movie.
Heaven's Gate is an epic vision by Filmmaker Michael Cimino. Whether you like it or not, it's Cimino's story that he wanted to tell. The end result was a box office cancer with several finished versions that bankrupted a studio and ruined the career of many in the entertainment industry. However, we are left with a movie that Cimino continues to have critics pan and praise with its countless highs and lows. Here are my 7 ways that could have saved Heaven's Gate from what is utterly became. 1. Stopping Cimino throughout the production. The Studio had several opportunities to save money and time by not allowing Cimino to go over budget several times and going over schedule multiple times. The excessive demand in production value and countless spending could have been halted if not minimized if you reigned Cimino in on multiple occasions. Filmed mostly in Montana, scenes were also shot at Oxford. However, filming in Newport, Rhode Island for less than a 5 minute scenes could have been completely scrapped. This also would have saved money and time for the sake of the Director's vision. Whether the final product would have been drastically different, the Studio would not have faced as such a giant disaster. 2. More back story. The movie is an epic drag when it comes to the subject matter and its overall plot. Giving a narration, subtitles for the non speaking English characters along with more backstory about the immigrants could have given this beautiful film a more "understandable" story to help the audience from hating it. The confusion the audience strives is that the long-winded sequences lack the direction of story. 3. Scrapping your minor characters. If the goal is to produce and epic five hour movie, then you need to keep your characters. However, if you wanted a better story without losing site of the main story you would need to cut back on the side stories from actors like John Hurt, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis, Richard Masur and Mickey Rourke. This would have helped cut the final length of the movie and improved the central story line. 4. More romance. The story does lack a connection between the three main characters: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken and Isabelle Huppert. Several critics have complained that the love interest between this romantic triangle could have greatly been bettered. 5. Edits, edits and more edits. Heaven's Gate has moments of pure beauty and epic scenes. How it is edited into a movie creates a long melodramatic story that baffles and goes nowhere. Although Heaven's Gate did have several final edited versions, the idea of a total re- edit, from its opening credits, to including flashbacks and rearranging scenes by manipulating the time sequence could have helped with the pacing of the movie. 6. Make Heaven's Gate into a 2 part movie if not a Trilogy. If the Studio made their single box office bomb into a 3 part epic, they had the chance of recouping their investment and keeping Cimino's vision of a 5 1/2 hour story. Along with option #5, editing the movie into 3 parts would have given the audience more time to digest the story and the vision that Cimino wanted to tell.
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At first I complained about the abundance of establishing shots of the town. Not only does every scene open and end with an exterior shot of the town but throughout most of the scenes, we are witness to cut- away shots of the town. Why? As the movie starts to build, we start to understand that the pace of the movie along with the style of directing start to make sense. The movie is slow for a reason. Along with the acting, the pace builds up momentum as we start to learn about the plot. Later, as the story slowly unfolds, we learn more about the main character and the family dynamics that tell its own story. Manchester by the Sea is not a Hollywood movie. More like a Cassavetes movie, it does not begin or end. Instead, we start the story in the middle and abruptly conclude without a resolution. With that said, the movie successfully tells a story that the movie industry and most audiences don't appreciate. Therefore, Manchester by the Sea is a marvel of something you don't see everyday, even though it tells a somewhat simple story. Its the simplicity of many of the scenes that gives Manchester by the Sea its unique quality of a movie. The rawness of the simple characters in this simple town makes the movie real and interesting. If you like special effects with explosions, this is not the movie for you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Summer of 8 appears to be a modern day Summer of 42 with the backdrop of a modern day Eden being the beach side world of youth and endless possibility. Most "Coming of Age" dramas include the subject matter of saying goodbye, losing ones virginity or letting go of the past in order to grow up. While Summer of 42 captures the age of innocence along with the struggle of entering adulthood, Summer of 8 falls short far from anything serious let alone entertaining. For starters, the movie cast 8 actors in their late 20's to portray a group of 18 year old recent high school graduates. Not only are most of the characters hard to keep track since all are attractive and look very similar. None of them represent a broad picture of today's youth. All are from well-to-do families since all are well dressed, well spoken and hardly have any real problems since the only issue is being young and having doubts about tomorrow. Although the premise offers a universal issue facing every generation, the cast and overall story fail to attract a large audience that would really care about any of them. The phony love scene is not only absent from the audience view but unrealistic and basically just as empty as the plot of the story. At the end of this 85 minute very slow story, the audience is left cheated, knowing that the only reason they gave this movie a chance was because of the movie's poster. The image of girls dressed in bikinis caught their eye. The limited eye candy along with 85 pages of endless dialogue and monologues makes Summer of 8 want to be taken serious but is nothing more than an empty drama.
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If you don't care about plot and only want to see eye candy, the Erotic Diary of Misty Mundae is just what you are looking for. Compared to most junk you find out there in the library of soft core porn, this little treat cuts to what the audience came to see. Forget about a real story or even a script, this visually driven story is more of a music video with re-edited scenes shown over and over again. Now don't be angry if you think this isn't a movie and that you've been robbed. Far from it, instead of having to bare corny dialogue or a story line that nobody cares about, the audience is given a treat of great visual stimulus. Nothing more and nothing less but the real reason why you would want to watch any movie with the word "Erotic" in it. Misty Mundae stars at the height of her potential. Her innocent sexy appeal is the main attraction. A true fan will no be disappointed. Misty shows us her "O" face over hundred times. Her multiple collages of sexy sex scenes and titillating montages reminds the audience why we are fans of hers. Her famous "tie" striptease is the icing of this soft-core cake.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember watching this for the first time on the Disney Channel when I was a 5 year old in 1983. What I recall watching was a 2 hour drama about a Boy that had magically powers that could make a Baseball player hit home-runs. Now, 33 years later I see Tiger Town for what it is, a 76 minute movie that deals with death, doubt, fear and the hope of believing in something that others don't. Watching as an Adult, Tiger Town does have its limitations as a movie, but also has several powerful moments which a Child would not notice or appreciate. The Father, Buddy, is obviously depressed and dying. Unable to find employment, unwanted to a degree, he can only shelter his Son from the large crowds and the rawness that Detroit was and still is. Moments shared at the Italian restaurant are very similar to the restaurant scene in the Bicycle Thieves as the relationship between Father and Son. The scene is very simple but beautiful. With the death of his Dad, the movie shows how lost and scared Alex is among the mob of the city. The large crowds at the ball game suffocates the audience as he tries to get to his seat. You feel how alone and sad he is without his Dad. The character of Billy Young is not just an old baseball player but a surrogate Father to Alex. The times he spent with his Dad at the ballgame is reflected in the hope Alex has for Billy. The ending cries a moment similar from the movie 400 Blows where Alex is left alone (in the end) at the empty ball park. The movie ends with Alex now able to start his own life. The prophecy that "Buddy" left for Alex has been for-filled. He can now believe in something else. Hopefully himself! Tiger Town showcases the bleak reality of life, Aka Detroit. We see the meanness in the streets and the characters. The city is imperfect. Alex is also imperfect. The home they live in, the school he attends. Nothing is perfect. Alex is bullied at school, looked down upon and ridiculed by many in the movie. Finding out his Father died by finding a room full of strangers in his house. Having strangers look down at him as he enters the ball park only adds to the truth that Alex is unwanted and alone. Nobody will give him 50 cents to ride the bus. Alex sits among people at lunch but doesn't interact. Alex needs to believe in Billy but more importantly, the struggle for him to believe in himself is the overall climax of the movie. Many of the scenes where Alex has doubt, we hear the same sad music play in the background. It is the same song that is playing when Billy Young runs toward home plate to score the winning run. It is these moments of doubt that you truly need to believe in yourself. That is the overall message of the movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The concept of doing a movie about Christ's 40 days in the Desert is very intriguing. The idea of His trials and tribulations being tempted by Satan and battling his destiny as the Savior of the world would fascinate any Christian audience. The character of Jesus the Man and not Jesus the Son of God is present. The audience is not witnessed to any miracles or sermons. Instead, we see Jesus the young Rabbi and Carpenter and instead of making grand speeches, we see a soft spoken Man trying to be a family psychologist as he tries to help a family He meets while in the Desert. This is very different from your average movie about Jesus Christ. As he tries to deal with being the Son of God he comes across a Father and Son that have troubles of their own. Jesus tries to help in more ways than one and this takes up about 80% of the movie. The movie has many odd moments including a few times when Satan messes with Jesus throughout the Desert. Although this is an interesting concept and I enjoyed the originality of the movie, I feel it falls short. The movie should have been all about the Desert and how it impacted Jesus. We really don't see a difference in Jesus or any character development by the end of the movie. The relationship between Jesus and Satan was also weird. They go from being Enemies, which is obvious, to almost sympathetic friends. Their relationship could have used some more time to focus on. Finally, my biggest gripe with the movie is the ending. I felt the last ten minutes should have been cut entirely. We witness the Crucifixion and the Burial, but not the Resurrection. This decision by the Director, along with having the modern day scene at the very end, is up for debate. Why he decided to include this needs to be questioned and defended. My only opinion on showcasing this is whether or not it is needed for the story line. After all, this is about Jesus in the Desert, nothing else. I felt the ending took away from the plot of what Jesus was doing for those 40 days and why it is important to the overall Character. I feel the movie failed to show us that. Granted we can make parallels between Jesus and God and the Father and Son characters. Still, from what transpires between the characters, is anything learned from their decisions? Overall, Jesus becomes more and more a side character as the Family takes center stage. If the theme of loyalty is the overall message from the movie, the question remains, is it obvious?
I am reviewing the Day the Clown Cried after watching the recently
aired German documentary that premiered in 2016. About thirty minutes
of footage has been available to the pubic online. Although over an
hour of the movie has still never been seen, or premiered to an
audience, millions of interested fans remain eager to witness. Along
with countless articles and interviews on the subject, a believe a
review is justified. With that said, this review is focused on the many
"hats" that Jerry Lewis wore in the making of The Day the Clown Cried.
More than 40 years later, the reason behind him not making the entire
movie public is more clear.
As the Producer, Jerry had to work with other financial people in order to make this movie happen. With multiple speculations along with recent interviews, it has been confirmed that Jerry had an uphill battle in order to make the movie happen. This alone can ruin a movie, let alone guarantee it to flop. In several scenes we see wonderful production value. Costumes, locations, props are historically accurate. In others, we see a lack of this. Some of the scenes lack substance due to lack of budget. Filmed in Sweden, you could tell that they did the best with what they had to work with. Many of the Actors work well while others are do not. This is a perfect example of some of the children in the prison scenes. Many are well cast while others appear like obvious local extras.
As Director, Jerry had successfully directed may Paramount comedies throughout the 1960's. His quality as a Director would have made him a well seasoned professional for the 1972 production. However, although the premise of the movie is about a Clown, The Day the Clown Cried is far from a typical Jerry Lewis comedy. Having been able to direct himself many times before was never a problem. Yet for a drama, this may have added to the pressure of producing a better performance for a drama.
As an Artist, one's pride can get the best of oneself. Whether you are from France or not, there is evidence to conclude that Jerry Lewis is a comedic genius. For decades, Jerry Lewis has made people laugh. As a professional, Jerry Lewis has pushed himself to get the very best from his performance and budget. Speculations have convinced fans that Lewis was taking drugs (pain killers) during the production of the Day the Clown Cried due to a physical ailment. I believe this made his performance both good and bad. In many scenes of the movie, we see this. Some scenes are emotionally driven with a real dramatic overtone of acting. I believe the emotional pressure of the film can been seen on Lewis's face during his performance. At times, you can see his character overwhelmed and losing hope. These moments are overpowering. Other scenes lack this quality for the same reason. Some scenes are quickly shot and are void of the same quality as before. This falls on the shoulders of the Director.
Finally, and most importantly, as a Jew, Jerry Lewis is quoted in the documentary about what that means to him and to what he was aiming to do with the movie's overall message. This Hat alone can overwhelm anyone making a movie involving the Holocaust. Steven Spielberg refused to take any payment for his work on Schindler's List because he felt it would have been blood money. The fear of a negative audience reaction to the movie is one thing to handle. It is something completely different if you are excommunicated and labeled for benefiting from the murder of millions. Jerry Lewis had the fear of not only ruining himself professionally but personally as well.
Each of these roles that Jerry Lewis held in the making of The Day the Clown Cried effected his decision to not release the movie. I believe it was a collection of these duties that made himself hesitant to be judged. With what is available to view, the movie has great merit along with great doubt. The fear of this movie being a disaster for 1972 is well defended. Then again, the idea of this movie being a masterpiece and one of Jerry Lewis's best, is also a realistic possibility.
The vision that Jerry Lewis wanted and got I feel were two different products. His Identity during the production and forty years later plays evident to just that.
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