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Tales from the Darkside: The Odds (1984)
The best episode from the first season
TFTD is a great show, but there are certainly a lot of duds. This episode, however, is hands down the best one from the first season. People have called it slow, which I find a little silly, considering the whole episode is barely 20 minutes long.
I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The ending has a twist, and I found it strangely satisfying, even though it's not what you would call a happy ending. Danny Aiello is masterful in his performance, and I've caught myself thinking about the episode several weeks later.
I have a complaint about IMDb. Why do you they insist that all reviews be at least 10 lines long? I'm commenting on a 22-minute episode. I think I conveyed everything I wanted to convey in 9 lines. This 10-line minimum is ridiculous. So I guess I'll devote the extra text to degrading the stupidity of IMDb.
stupid stupid stupid
This episode had potential. The basic premise of a woman living next door to an empty apartment (but a phone that constantly rings) is somewhat interesting. And when she explores the noise, there is genuine tension and fear. But stupid script writing ruins any promise the episode had.
First of all, the woman readily admits to seeing things that would send most of us running in the other direction (e.g. "It's funny that the door slammed shut even though there is no wind;" "This door has serious damage to it that wasn't here a minute ago;" "The door opened by itself, without me touching it;" etc.). Given these supernatural phenomena, plus the fact that a woman committed suicide in the room, wouldn't she take some precaution before entering it? Maybe she could investigate in the day time. Or maybe she could investigate the apartment with somebody else. Or maybe she could TURN ON THE LIGHTS!!! Also, while in the haunted apartment, she decides to make numerous phone calls to the operator and gets into an argument over who has the power to disconnect the phone, and then they begin discussing the details of the suicide. JUST UNPLUG THE PHONE! The phone company doesn't need to be involved. Walk up to the phone and unplug it. Case closed.
Finally, showing the phone scamper across the floor like it's alive was just comical. If the director wanted the woman to get strangled by the phone card, he could've done it in a way that didn't look cartoony. Brave Little Toaster anyone?
Letting Go of God (2008)
An unusually honest story of one's walk with/without God
My religious road is very similar to Ms. Sweeney's (minus the trips to India and South America), and I was delighted to hear someone echo my very thoughts on the Bible and the life of Jesus.
Ms. Sweeney's testimonial is direct, honest, and moving. She comes across as educated on the topics she is discussing, yet she explains everything in a very clear way. At no point does she sound preachy or pushy. She simply provides her story.
My only criticism is that it's a bit too long. I felt like the monologue could have been more poignant had she broken it up with other types of segments (e.g. interviews with her family members, showing us her childhood church, etc.). The one-woman show is effective, but it felt long (at 2 hr. and 20 min. I believe).
Either way, it's a stirring performance, and I would encourage everyone to watch it.
Brain Donors (1992)
Don't listen to the few negative reviews
There are about 45 positive reviews here for Brain Donors and about five negative ones. My advice is to completely ignore the negative reviews.
Here's what kills me. The few people who don't like this movie are never able to back up their negativity. They might say, "Oh, the movie was awful; it was so stupid; what's everyone talking about, this movie sucks," etc. etc. etc. But no one is able to back up anything they say. This is simply because there is nothing to criticize here. My only complaint about the movie is that it's too short. However, the number of jokes in Brain Donors surpasses the number of jokes in any other movie, regardless of length.
And for the record, it's silly to dislike this movie because it's not the Marx Brothers. The directors were paying homage to the Marx Brothers and created a movie in the tradition and style of a Marx-style film. But that doesn't mean that it's trying to BE a Marx brothers movie. If they were, don't you think they would have chosen three actors who somewhat resemble the Marx Brothers? Anybody who didn't like this movie needs to watch it again.
Seize the Day (1986)
I actually prefer Robin Williams in his more serious roles (e.g. Good Will Hunting, The Fisher King, The World According to Garp). These are my favorite Robin Williams movies. But Seize the Day, although well-acted, is one of the worst movies I've ever seen and certainly the worst Robin Williams movie (even worse than Death to Smoochy, Club Paradise, and Alladin on Ice).
Every good story is going to have its ups and downs. This movie, however, is one giant down. I don't need a feel-good Hollywood cheese-fest, but I've got to have something other than 90 minutes of complete and utter hopelessness. This movie reminds me of "Love Liza" (which is actually worse) because it seems that the only point of the movie is to see how far one person can fall. The answer? Who cares.
This movie is a stupid scare tactic
I watched this movie when I was in high school, and I watched it again at school today (ten years later). I'm working on my PhD in clinical psychology and the professor had some crazy notion that watching this stupid movie would be an insightful way to learn about kids. Wrong.
This movie's sole purpose is to freak out every parent in the country. Yes, these things happen, and yes, some kids are that messed up, but to parade every negative thing a kid could possibly do in a 24-hour period of time is just stupid and unrealistic. The director is probably sitting back and laughing that anyone took this movie seriously. ____ __________________ _________________________ __________________________ ___________
Citizen Kane (1941)
90% of the positive reviews written on this movie say the same three things: Citizen Kane is an amazing movie because (1) The cinematography was pure genius (2) It was way ahead of its time and (3) Orson Welles was only 25 when he created it.
I get tired of people saying that a certain movie was "ahead of its time." Usually that means the movie isn't as good anymore. Truly great movies don't lose their luster over time. I would argue that "It's a Wonderful Life" is every bit as good today as it was 60 years ago. Citizen Kane, on the other hand, has certainly lost something. Even people who love the movie usually concede that point.
Citizen Kane was certainly revolutionary and was an extremely important film in the sense that it inspired so many future directors and cinematographers. But when it comes right down to it, it's just not that interesting to watch. You shouldn't love a movie because of what it used to be. A truly great movie is timeless. And great cinematography does not make a great movie (see "The Thin Red Line", the 90s version).
I forgot it was a play
When I first rented this movie, I had no idea it was a play. So when I began watching it and saw the simple stage setup, I was convinced I wouldn't last more than 15 minutes. Three hours later I found myself mesmerized by an amazing movie. After the first couple scenes, I completely forgot I was watching a play. This movie is so dark, and so disturbing, yet so strangely satisfying. A truly unique movie. I'm finished with my review, but IMDb demands that I fill this with 10 lines of text. I don't know why they insist on wasting my time and yours. What else can I say? Let's see. Dogville is cool. Yay for Dogville. There. 10 lines.
Stupid stupid stupid (spoilers)
This movie was pretty good until the last scene when suddenly Al Pacino becomes God and Robert DeNiro becomes a bumbling stumbling crook. (spoilers) In the last scene Pacino inexplicably knows every move DeNiro makes. He knows the direction he runs, where he's going, where he's hiding, etc. And in the last scene, DeNiro comes out from his hiding place to find Pacino? WHY???!!! He could've stayed put, waited for Pacino to come to him, and then bang, Pacino's dead. Pacino was the one trying to find the bad guy. Why did DeNiro have to give up his hiding place? Stupid stupid stupid. And how did Pacino respond to a shadow, find DeNiro, and then aim a shotgun and shoot him before DeNiro could point a simple handgun and get one shot off? Stupid stupid stupid. It p****s me off when a movie wastes three hours of my time because the writers couldn't come up with a better ending. 3/10.
Father of the Bride (1991)
I used to like this movie
This movie annoys me.
The first half of the movie is Steve Martin rolling his eyes and complaining about the cost of the wedding...AND RIGHTLY SO! At $250 a head and 572 guests, the wedding ended up costing $143,000. This was 13 years ago! If Annie was an even half way decent daughter she would've said, "Gee that does sound kind of expensive. What can we do to get the cost under 100 grand?" But instead she pouts like a spoiled brat because her mean old dad is trying to ruin her life because he doesn't want to spend $143,000 on her precious wedding. And of course mom sees nothing wrong with spending the money. Absurd.
Parts of the movie are funny and charming, but the first half of this movie is too annoying.