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act123

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11 reviews in total 
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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Thanks for the best show on TV., 9 December 2007
10/10

I never heard of Wonder Showzen until the other night, when I randomly found it on the shelf at the local rental place. A quick glance at its description on the back of the cover sold me instantly. What I didn't expect was how funny it was. Sickly funny. I've never seen a show so blatantly and brilliantly awful. It's anarchy at its finest, packaged neatly in a vintage Sesame Street vibe that only kids born between 1969-1979 can really understand. Watching this brought back memories of watching The Electric Company and Sesame Street through the mind of someone mentally ill tripping on acid. LOVE IT. I don't think anyone could top the genius of Wonder Showzen. In a way I'm glad there were only 2 seasons of it, because it would have been a shame to see it go downhill and lose its sense of vitriol and vim. Highlights include "Beat Kids!" and educational films with kid commentary (saying gems like "DADDY!" when a slaughtered pig appears on screen) and Muppet-ish puppets in pornographic situations - it's everything a cynical adult secretly thinks about kids' TV, but manifested with unabashed glee. GET IT.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
ADD on the Big Screen., 21 November 2007
2/10

I really wanted to like The Pillow Book. Intriguing story, interesting character outlines, Ewan Macgregor in the utterly glorious altogether. Unfortunately, I hated every minute of it. Greenaway got so enamoured with presenting the movie uniquely, and not to the film's benefit. I won't even get into Vivian Wu's abysmal acting.

You get distracted from the story with 4 billion teeny windows and calligraphy that rolls on the bottom of the screen displaying the lyrics of the music that's playing. It seems he lost sight of presenting the actual story and developing the plot, and got entangled with foo-foo embellishments that have nothing to do with anything. It's a bit like presenting a John Singer Sargeant portrait in a chintzy Hallmark frame that says "GRANDMA LOVES ME!" in big sparkly letters.

This movie seems to be a casualty of the director auteur's ego instead of what it could have been - disturbingly and horrifyingly beautiful. In another director's hands (Jeunet? Coppola?), it could have been a masterpiece. In Greenaway's hands, it's best relegated to fine arts classes that also take themselves too seriously.

Wonderful Film!, 26 June 2007
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I read a biography about Beatrix Potter as a kid, and always thought she seemed like an interesting person. I was really excited to see they had made a biopic about Potter, although I admit I was initially kind of iffy about Renee Zellweger playing her. Happily, she did an exceptional job in the role, I think maybe it's her best role. Ewan Macgregor and Emily Watts are also sublime and believable in their roles. I really got caught up in the story. Its subtle and charming animation, its beautiful cinematography, and the gorgeous costuming all add to its appeal. It's not a chick flick, in my opinion. It's actually an interesting glimpse into the life of someone who didn't belong in Edwardian society, and how she handled herself despite her limitations. Don't let the packaging and trailers fool you. This is not a happy go lucky romance. It's actually quite heartbreaking, and sadly probably all too common a story for people who lived before proper nutrition and penicillin.

Something weird that I noticed about the packaging - on the cover and the actual DVD, Ewan Macgregor does not have a moustache, when his character sports one throughout in the actual movie. Who made that idiot decision? Also, why did the trailers purport this movie to be a romance when it's so much more than that?

The only thing missing from this film is Beatrix Potter's career as an actual scientist. It would have been nice to include the fact that she was more than just a bunny lover.

Aside from all that, I highly recommend this film. It's lovely and sweet and emotional without being cloying. That's a rare combination.

6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Ridiculous and Pathetic!, 14 June 2007
8/10

This is the kind of show that would fascinate me if I were more into psychology. It's sort of a combination of a bad 80s cheerleader horror movie, Jenna Jameson flicks, and "Lord of the Flies." These 'reality' shows on VH1 are such a hoot, the way they are filmed and edited is pure genius. Mo'Nique is so funny as the "principal" of Charm School...her incredulous looks, her "stern" comebacks, that evil chuckle. Her cronies, the lady from Ebony and the pageant guy...they're so nasty to these deserving hoochies, and it cracks me up. But the LADIES...oh, the ladies. These women are ruthless, cunning, and completely clueless. It simultaneously amuses and saddens me that there are women out there like them: completely unaware of how to handle themselves in a social situation; relying solely on unflattering Lycra; having complete lack of manners or grace. That's the point of the show, of course. Whether it's all staged or not, I don't care, because it's one of the funniest things on TV.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Bring me more reefers!!!, 14 June 2007
10/10

I'd heard about this legendary propaganda movie for years, but only recently got a chance to actually see it. And boy, was it worth the wait! It's that magical combination of bad acting, lousy scriptwriting, and pure absurdity. The allegations they throw about marijuana are so wrong it's comical...and watching the people go "mad" on weed is pure, hilarious farce. Great movie to watch on a boring night. The colourized version is even funnier, because they cleverly made the marijuana smoke crazy shades like hot pink and neon green. I haven't laughed so hard during a movie in a long time. Go get it, by the time the movie's over you'll be wanting to try the stuff!

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
brilliant work., 26 March 2007
10/10

When I was a kid, I remembered getting 2 picture books from the grocery store called "Return to Oz," with photos from the movie. These books stayed with me for over 20 years...but I had forgotten over time what the name of the movie was with Mombi and the hall of heads and Jack Pumpkinhead. Elements would come back to me from time to time...the character in "Nightmare Before Christmas," for instance...the TMBG song "Hall of Heads." I could never find this movie in the stores, and when I asked people about it they had no idea what I meant. Last night I found the movie at the store, finally, and watched it...not knowing what to expect. It was a Disney movie, was it going to suck? The cover looked dopey. Oh well, why not? I was completely blown away. Not only was it dark and frankly horrifying in some scenes, it was beautifully done. Fairuza Balk was amazing as Dorothy...and convincingly 19th century. Jean Marsh was really frightening as Mombi. The entire story revolved around loss after victory as well as recovery. Although the special effects are a bit dated, I find them as charming as the goth-y way this story got presented. I am glad I rediscovered this treasure of a movie. Get it now!

Just Desserts (2004) (TV)
16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
cute., 8 October 2006
7/10

Sometimes, you're up late at night flipping through the stations, bored out of your mind, and wanting some light and fluffy romantic comedy that doesn't make you feel bipolar. And this movie fit that exact billing. Sure, the plot was ripped right out of the 1930s....the writing as schmaltzy as the Hallmark Greeting Card company's legendary poetry, and the one- dimensional characters were played by a cast plucked straight from Central Casting - but it was CUTE, and exactly what I needed last night.

Lauren Holly and Costas Mandylor have great chemistry together - I liked it on "Picket Fences," and I'm happy to say they still have it over 10 year later. Costas Mandylor, at 41, is still possibly one of the handsomest men to grace the screens since ol' Rudy Valentino kicked the bucket 80 years ago. RRROWRR! Bonus points for casting that funny man who used to be on the roller skates on that show about the cartoon lady. I always thought he was something straight out of a Hepburn-Grant comedy. BRAVO!

Some people will probably say this was the corniest piece of cinema ever made, and I would probably have to agree - but come on! It's on the Hallmark Channel. What were you expecting? Just sit back, relax, eat some sesame sticks, and watch a sweet little movie with two cute people and down a bottle of Zinfandel. Trust me, you'll love and accept the schmaltz a whole lot more, and then you can go to sleep dreaming about Costas Mandylor swimming in a sea of tempered chocolate feeding you petit fours with minty fresh chocolate icing. YUMMO! (PS. Now I have a hankering for petit fours. THANKS A LOT, HALLMARK!)

I really wish the evil girl had been cast with Rachel Ray, and maybe that dishy food nerd Alton Brown as the announcer instead of the creepy dude with the Van Dyk beard. Shudder!

That would have made my night. But hey, check out "Just Desserts."

Not bad..., 16 August 2006
7/10

I really loved Meryl Streep in this, she was a perfect Miranda Priestley. I think I would have enjoyed the movie better had I seen it before reading the book. The movie stands fine alone as a comedy (in the "9-5" category of revenge movies), but I got more pleasure out of the book because of the more developed secondary characters. Lily was more interesting; the boyfriend a little more fleshed out. The movie didn't really have time to go into that. It was more of a slapstick comedy where the book was a little more cunning. I found it interesting that the character development in the movie was actually focused on Miranda instead. Not a terrible idea, but then it made it impossible for the movie to end the satisfying way the book ended. Anne Hathaway and Stanley Tucci were wonderful in this movie...I think Anne Hathaway is underrated as an actress, she's very believable and natural, Stanley Tucci's character is really sympathetic in this film. Overall, the movie wasn't bad, but I wish it had retained some of the exasperation of the novel.

36 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
room for one more, honey....., 13 February 2006

This is the most terrifying Twilight Zone episode that I have ever seen. It gave me terrible nightmares and has made me terrified of ticking clocks ever since I first saw it, at 16 years old. It is the chilling tale of a woman suffering from exhaustion, who has a recurring dream in the hospital of needing a nurse and ending up going down the lift to the morgue, where the nurse pops her head out of the door and says calmly, "Room for one more, honey." Everyone the girl knows brushes off this dream as a symptom of her exhaustion, but it persists and gets stronger. The purpose of this dream comes to light at the end of the episode. It is a horrible realisation. Arlene Martel is wonderful as the frightening morgue nurse: she has this cold, exotic look that chills you to your very bones. It is easy to see why she was chosen for the role of the morgue nurse. The woman who plays the sick girl has the most horrifying scream I've ever heard. It is an episode you will never, ever forget. Trust me.

5 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
GAG!, 4 October 2002

"An Awfully Big Adventure" must imply that the cover has been misdirected to the "comedy" aisle. It's *not* a comedy!!!! It's only a rather unpleasant movie, overall. The casting's good. There's Alan Rickman (oh that voice); Hugh Grant at his slimiest (the only characters he's decent at doing), and lo and behold! Could it be? Gasp! Edward Petherbridge! (who played Lord Peter Wimsey in the 1980s). And you have a very pretty little poppet played by a lovely redheaded girl, who does a fine acting job. It's not the acting that's awful. It's the script and directing, which is an awfully big TRAVESTY. WHAT were you people thinking?

Directing. Good lord. You have Alan Rickman sporting woolly jumpers, framed in a lot of Tom Cruise Hair Shots astride a motorbike. He's supposed to be the hardened and pained jilted lover, who happens to also be a great Captain Hook. The only reasoning behind the whole Captain Hook presence is that Alan Rickman's voice scares the bejeezus out of everyone. Otherwise, what's the point? You are supposed to have some pity for poor Stella, who is completely blind to the fact that Hugh Grant's character is obviously as fey as Freddie Mercury AND he's a heartless jerk, to boot. And Edward Petherbridge in his least-interesting role EVER, as he apparently earns his paycheque from this movie prancing around in a toga talking to himself, and then breaking his leg and screaming "YOU BLOODY WOMAN!" Oh the melodrama. The main characters are good, and Peter Firth's done a nice job being the jilted lover of Hugh Grant. But WHY was the alcoholic starlet even there? She served no purpose whatsoever except to give Edward Petherbridge a reason to prance around in a toga talking to himself, and to insert the obligatory "I'm an alcoholic so I'm going to throw tantrums...and blunt objects" scene to spice things up a bit.

The story itself is a bit of a shocker, but i was prepared for that. I barely batted an eye with the Lolita scenes and gay undertones. Blah, blah, blah. No, I think the most horrifying scene of all in this movie was seeing Edward Petherbridge WEARING MAX FACTOR. That, my friends, is an image that will stay with me the rest of my lucid days.

So it all comes down to this: perhaps THESE are the reasons why "An Awfully Big Adventure" was marketed as a LIGHTHEARTED COMEDY! The script is 'awfully' dreadful, and it's rather like watching an inverted Oedipus Rex. Lighthearted comedy? Well, let me put it this way, darlings: "An Awfully Big Adventure" is as hilarious as "Dancer In the Dark" is a screwball romance.

Either Miramax's video-release people either have a brilliant sense of ironic humour, or they 'awfully' dig Sophocles in that silly way. Also ironic that "Liverpool" looks suspiciously like Dublin. Hmmm. Anyway, this movie REAKED!


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