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29 reviews in total 
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Dead Punkz (1999)
Watchable in the train wreck sense, 9 June 2014

The movie is listed as 1999 but is clearly from the 80s or at least contains all the worst of that era. So all the bad hair, hats, Cosby sweaters, parachute pants, etc. and all the bad synth music. One review said it came out in 1992.

The writing is consistently lame and the acting has some surprisingly bad line readings. Kind of seems like a film school project, although I guess that's being a bit unfair to film schools. The music choices are bizarre at times, they should be playing something like hip hop for the scene and instead they're playing some lame country blues or whatever. The fight scenes are fairly amateurish and laughable, and like dogs in a play-fight, it's very clear that no one was hurt.

The characters are almost universally unlikable and difficult to relate to. The central character has a very slight arc of redemption that is a bit unbelievable.

Most of the actors, playing thugs, would be better cast as wholesome members of a 1950s sock hop. If it has any redeeming qualities it would be in the bad B-movie kind of sense. Tribune Media Services has it listed as 2.5 of 4 stars, I think 2.5 out of 10 is more like it.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Decent movie, horrible subtitles, 13 June 2010

Nice mystery, good production values, good actors.

But the English subtitles are literally the worst I've ever seen in my life. The subtitles themselves are clear, I've seen movies with problems of readability, but here the problem is that they're only translating about half the dialogue. It just seems kind of random in any given conversation whether or not they translate certain lines or not, and in some cases, this is key dialogue they skip over. Anyone familiar with subtitling knows they leave small amounts out, but for purposes of clarity and readability. Here, like I said, it's random. Whoever was responsible for the subtitles should be fired, with extreme prejudice.

2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Trix Are For Kids, 10 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having seen (and enjoyed) the Harry Potter movies, and to a lesser extent, the overlong Lord of the Rings movies, I decided to join some friends for this bit of fantasy.

I do think it plays well as a kids movie, but as an adult, it's just a bit too slow-paced and cutesy for my taste. The characters were thin and underdeveloped and the action scenes tended to fall short for the most part, at least in comparison to other films in the genre. I'd recommend you check out Potter and his Goblet of Fire instead.

The ending, in my mind, unfairly rewards the youngsters. Thousands strived long and hard for this particular goal over the centuries and died trying, while the kids reap the rewards simply because they are fulfilling some arcane prophecy. The message seems to be, "no need to work long and hard, kids!"

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Well, the fourth act was good, 20 November 2005

I found this nearly unwatchable, indeed, I'm not sure I have paused a movie in Tivo so many times to go do other stuff. If you're a fan of cringe-inducing embarrassing moments this may well be a fantastic movie for you. If you're like me and find these kind of things not so much funny as sad or painful, probably not.

I watched it largely on the strength of Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates, two of my favorite actresses. Kathy is fine, but is not really a main character. Holly gets a lot of screen time and gets to play an interesting range.

If anything, what I'm calling the fourth act makes it all (possibly) worth the wait. It's an exciting, nasty turn, and for me it was the payoff for what would otherwise be unmemorable. The fifth act is a pretty standard wrap-up.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
So bad it's good, 13 April 2005

On a surface level, it has all the markings of a horrible movie - the dialog is often bad, the plot ridiculous, the music jumps wildly from one cheesy genre to another, and the editing is often poor. But this thing has a watch-ability to it that many other bad movies don't, even beyond the kitch factor, and the kitch factor is pretty close to perfect here. The movie does have a structure, and ramps up it's over-the-top quality to an unbelievable level by the end. More than decent time killer for a lazy afternoon, and this movie could be a good choice for the right group of friends to watch together and riff on. Hilarious.

17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Bizarre, 11 February 2005

I think if you are into the sixties kind of thing, as I am, you are obligated to waste about 80 minutes of your life watching this barely watchable trainwreck. The saving graces of this oddity include a surprisingly apt social commentary on sixties values along with a number of relatively well known actors caught in early (and embarrassing) footage. It's as if the producers of Laugh-In sat down and decided to write a full length film, covering all the high points (and more) of the issues between the flower children and the establishment, then put it in the hands of a couple of hippies and gave them about a $10,000 budget to complete it. Hardly a classic, but in its own way it does capture how truly strange that time was, the silliness, the over-idealism, and the uptightness of the establishment. Clearly not for everyone.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
good concept, poor effort, 14 November 2004

This was a great premise, with the idea of an existential detective agency providing a backdrop of intellectual fodder as well as plenty of opportunities for humor. Add a cast of theoretically good actors, and you should have a great film. Unfortunately, the effort falls well short of its potential. Frankly, I thought this film was awful - slow, with a few sparse laughs. The intellectual side of this movie was there, but just in passing, a few bits thrown out all too quickly amongst some rapid fire mutterings for the most part. The slapstick humor just wasn't really working for me, and judging by the audience reaction, it wasn't particularly working for a lot of people. You just can't fake this stuff. Hoffman has relatively little experience for this type of work, and this performance came off more like his Ishtar debacle than Tootsie. I think he plays much better as a character in a funny environment than as a funny character. Wahlberg came off surprisingly well, as did Naomi Watts, who mainly just looked beautiful.

Hero (2002)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Ah-ha, so-so, 27 August 2004

Yep, great look to the film, some great cinematography and use of color.

Great visual style. And there's some meaning there, and some love. So there are a lot of elements there, but ... ultimately it's just lightweight packaging used to enclose a bunch of fight scenes.

It just doesn't move.

It ain't no Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring, that's for sure.


8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly Boring, 15 August 2004

I have found Moore's previous films to be largely entertaining, particularly Bowling for Columbine, but was surprised (given the high acclaim) to end up virtually twiddling my thumbs, debating whether to just bolt towards the end of the movie. It started out well enough, but for me it trailed off substantially. I would have cut a good 20 minutes out of the film.

I will not be voting for Bush (just to let you know something about my politics). Watching BFC, I became interested (that's a good thing, right?) in looking up some gun-related topics and was surprised to learn that Moore was a bit disingenuous with some of his material. So before watching F911, I labored thru all of the "56 deceits" page available on the internet. It was informative to watch the film knowing what things were left out and the complete story behind some of the scenes.

Now, I will be the first to praise Moore for raising some valuable issues, and I would also let you know that many of these "deceits" are subjective or immaterial, but the bottom line is that there were a number of disturbing disconnects from reality in the movie. In all fairness, no one that I have seen on any side of politics has written a 100% truthful book, for example, generally because research of that depth and breadth is hard to come by, but Moore's intellectual dishonesty in some of this film is to me inexcusable.

I tried to think of it as just "entertainment," kind of a Daily Show via film, but in this case for me the entertainment was surprisingly lacking, and I find it disturbing that many will look on this as a documentary, as the gospel truth. I have to assume that the universal praise for this film has a lot more to do with belief systems than with film-making.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A contrary opinion, 19 April 2004

I like most of Quentin Tarantino's work, a lot. And this movie has a lot to recommend it, particularly interesting camerawork and photography. You don't see a whole lot done with overexposure and backlighting like you do in this film. The quirky, Mamet-esque at times, unusual dialogue is at times a bit much for me but I got it in the cartoony way in which I am sure it is intended. But I think some of the quirkiness of QT's films comes from Quentin himself, and this is a guy that is a bit too self involved for his own good much of the time (at least on the talk shows that I've seen). Ultimately, this movie suffers from that in some of the excrutiatingly slow, labored speech that is intended to be dramatic. Maybe this is in itself part of the cheese factor that this movie embodies, but between interesting bits, action, and comedy are vast boring wastelands of "Eyes Wide Shut" slow paced dialogues. Making so much of the dialogue in this pace simply isn't good art in my view, there is a whole palette that can be used.

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