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TheOtherFool

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381 reviews in total 
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The Bat (1959)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Captivating story, strong women and a brilliant Price, 2 September 2005
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's a likability about The Bat, an extravagant story about a serial killer after a million dollar, which I don't see in many movies any more. The acting is top notch (with Price as standout), the women in it are not hollow screamers but brave and self-dependent strong characters, and the story flies all over the place, which just makes it more interesting.

(Spoilers) In one of the first scenes a doctor and the bank-director, who just stole a million dollar, think of a scheme how to keep that money and get away with it. Murder is on their mind, and they talk about it freely and without hesitation. It's a great scene, which sums up the dark mood of the story, without ever getting really scary. (Spoilers) I won't give away any more, like who The Bat (who doesn't resemble a bat at all, but who cares) is, as I think you should see this movie for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

The Bat. Great story, great acting, great movie. 8/10.

5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Important in general, bit of a bore for me, 30 June 2005
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Coming from a country with some of the most liberal euthanasia laws (which I support) in the world, there's a huge mind-gap to be made into Catholic Spain to truly understand the controversy this movie surrounds, and the political sensitivity of the subject in it. It really takes time and effort to, to put it popular, get what 'all the fuss is about'.

Fortysomething Ramon is clinged to his bed ever since a horrible accident in his late teens. The only thing he can do is move his head, talk and, most importantly, think. He's being nursed all these years by his sister-in-law, who lives with him, her husband, their father and her son.

The story begins when Ramon hires a lawyer for his wish to die, Julia, who herself is suffering from a deadly decease. Herself, pro euthanasia activist Gene and a local woman who falls in love with him (Rosa), change his life in ways he never could have imagined. But his wish to die stands, and Ramon wants it done in a legal way to protect those who will help him do it.

Instead of what it might sound like, Mar Adentro isn't a 'legal' movie, in which Ramon has his all-defining day in court. Although such a Hollywood film wouldn't work on this issue (it's too serious a matter for that), I sometimes during the movie wished the makers would have gone more 'into the controversy' (if you know what I mean), instead of focusing solely on Ramon. The fact that for long moments in the movie, nothing really 'happens' (oh boy this must sound horrible), makes you lose focus. Another problem for me is that we never really 'get' the other characters of the movie, they're just 'there' to get the story around Ramon right.

Mar Adentro at times is a touching film, and undoubtedly an important movie in Spain and other countries, but my thoughts were wandering more than once during this picture. Without wanting to deny the importance of this issue, a little bit of extra pace might have served this movie well. 5/10.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A film which doesn't work, not on any level, 4 June 2005
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there's one thing we've learned from the endless amount of rom-com movies, it's that the ending can be predicted from minute number one. Whether it's a gross-out rom-com (such as Say It Isn't So), a silly one (let's say, The Bubble Boy) or an award-winning masterpiece like Amelie; it pretty much comes down to 'it doesn't look like it in the beginning but they're gonna end up together in the end'.

And that's quite alright. A murderer gets caught in the end of a thriller, the underdogs win in a sports flick and the monster gets killed in a horror movie. Well, until the sequel anyway. It's just the nature of these movies, and even a main reason to go and watch them in the first place.

With 'Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!', things are no different. We have the well-known 'guy who is in love with girl', the 'girl who is unaware of that' and the 'outsider who takes an interest in girl, and vice versa'. Which makes up for the 'actions guy 1 has to make to get girl back', which pretty much is the entire movie.

It's a formula, but that's OK. But you do have to play out this formula pretty good to make the romantic part really work. 'Amelie' did so, for many reasons, but mainly because we want her to be happy. We want her to get the guy. We feel for her, we kinda feel we are her, and life should be as good as possible for her.

I am aware that 'Tad Hamilton!' is a more light-hearted movie than Amelie, but I stand by my point that we should care for what happens to it's main characters. When that inevitable kiss comes, we want to cheer, and feel satisfied. To get that romantic feeling though, you need a couple of things. Things 'Tad Hamilton!' doesn't have.

Which brings me to my main issue as why this movie doesn't work. Let's review our story and it's three main characters. First there's Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel) himself. He's a rich and handsome movie star who, for PR reasons, dates cute Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth), who won that date on a lottery. Then there's Pete (Topher Grace), longtime buddy and co-worker of Rosalee and secretly in love with her. But Pete gets serious competition from Tad when the latter finds out Rosalee truly is a wonderful and beautiful young woman.

It's the ambiguent Tad that provides the first problem. In some movies, 'the other guy' is just plain evil and into the girl for all the wrong reasons. In other movies, that other guy isn't so much evil and truly interested in the girl, but willing to give her up when he finds out his girl loves another guy. I called Tad ambiguent because he is none of the above: at first he's a cocky, drinking and smoking womanizing actor, but somehow he's shifting towards a regular guy really interested in Rosalee. We never really get why, and it looks like Tad doesn't get it either. His actions are never really clear, his reasoning never really explained.

Then there's Rosalee. In the other movies I named, there was always 'something' between the girl and the 'original guy'. In The Bubble Boy, Chloe loves the Bubble Boy but is unable (for apparent reasons) to really connect with him. The same as in Say It Isn't So, where the two main characters even end up together, but are separated (for a good reason). In 'Tad Hamilton!', however, there doesn't seem to be any affection from Rosey towards Pete, they're co-workers, friends even, but little else, and Rosey doesn't seem to mind that. So why would she want to give up an attractive and rich actor, who's willing to change his life for her, for this guy who she's been friends with?

Pete's role in the whole makes a lot more sense, as he's clearly in love with Rosey from minute one. Main problem with this part is the acting by Grace, who seems to be trying to mix a little bit of Stiller with a tad Perry, but never really gets it right. From an acting point of view, the biggest letdown of the movie.

So, thus for the romantic part: it just ain't working for me. What should be a saver then is the comedy. With 'Along Came Polly, this is what made me not totally slam the movie (although it was a waste after all), with some funny extra's doing the work. But if 'Polly' had Baldwin, Azaria, Brown and Hoffman to get the job done, and the 'Bubble Boy' (sorry to keep referring to it, I just saw it a couple of days ago) had Pappy and Pippy and a group of freak shows, 'Tad Hamilton' has literally nothing to go on.

Gary Cole, hilarious in Office Space and Dodgeball is only on screen for a minute or so, the best joke with the two agents is that they share the same name and the bar lady is only worthy to mention for her tattoos. The biggest upset for me though is the Cathy role (Ginnefer Goodwin), who supposed to be best friends with both Rosalee and Pete but contributes absolutely nothing to the film except some weird looks towards Pete and a cry out for sex towards Tad. And that's that.

All in all, 'Win a Date with Tad Hamilton' is a huge disappointed. I wasn't expecting Oscar material, I wasn't expecting a brilliant movie. I was expecting, however, some laughs and a satisfied feeling after watching it. All I got is cramp in my fingers from this review and a feeling I wasted valuable hours on a movie that isn't worth a minute from anybody's time.

2/10.

Snowfever (2004)
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Costa in the snow. That sucks, I know., 28 May 2005
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Basically 'Costa' in the snow (Johan Nijenhuis was one of the producers of this flick), so the story goes like this: 'Ugly duck falls for the wrong guy and overlooks the really nice one until the end.' The 'ugly duck' as I named it, actually is Hanna Verboom. As we see in her trivia, she is the Winner of Dutch Audience Elite Model Look 2003. If a girl with her looks and sweet character as shown in the movie can't get 'a guy to look at her', something's wrong with the guys at her school, that's for sure.

She and some of her 'friends' take a skiing trip to the Alps, in which they encounter with womanizer Ryan, his sweet brother Erik and some Tiroler idiots. You can tell which way this is going from minute one.

So, yet another weak Dutch attempt on making a teen-movie, it has only one good (action)scene, in which the brothers (well, their stunt doubles anyway) are boarding together with 'Charlie Big Potato' coming out of the speakers. Love that song, hate this movie.

2/10.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A failed attempt, 1 March 2005
3/10

Hollywood spoofing itself? I'd want to see that! But surely not in the way 'Burn Hollywood Burn' does it.

The story resolves about a missing, big budget, big stars picture of which the director (Monty Python's Eric Idle) wasn't satisfied, so he took the only copy and ran off. This much to the dislike of the producers, as one can imagine.

The movie tells the story documentary-like, which becomes incredibly annoying after 20 minutes or so. The characters are overdone (and not in a 'fun' way) and although the original thought of the movie is a cool one, Burn Hollywood Burn fails miserably, as it's boring, unfocused, annoying and messy.

3/10.

24 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
'And Deep Throat to you all'..., 27 February 2005
4/10

... that ending left me laughing endlessly, but as a movie, 'Deep Throat' is rather disappointing.

Apparently, this movie was needed in the America in the 70's, so it became something of a 'thing to see', just as we in the Netherlands had the incredible hit 'Blue Movie' (1971).

But when looked upon some 30 years later, one can see 'Deep Throat' is a rather weak attempt to put some sort of story (which involves a woman with her clitoris in her mouth, and the problems (and opportunities) that arise from that) into a porn flick. Rather silly if you'd ask me.

The buzz this movie gets (and it will heighten considering the recent documentary Inside Deep Throat, and a planned re-release of the movie), it certainly does not deserve from the quality of the film. Great songs though! 4/10.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Didn't make any sense, 21 February 2005
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I absolutely adore the 'Toxic Avenger' series, but this weak offering by the Troma people didn't make any sense, and it had me yawning all the time.

A leaking nuclear plant (and the growing weed next to it) makes the youngsters of Tromaville High go nuts, which causes them to join a gang, have sex, explode, and whatever. Also there's some sort of monster breeding in the high school... my God, this movie's a mess.

The actors pretty much stopped their efforts after this one and they should. The (intended) overacting started to get on my nerves in about 5 minutes...

Disappointing. 2/10.

Fine. But please let this journey stop now., 10 February 2005
5/10

The 'Blade' series haven't quite made it to the heights of 'Spiderman' or the 'X-men', but at least Trinity has some fun to offer, au contraire to the abysmal 'Blade II', which followed the enjoyable if nothing special original 'Blade'.

Snipes as 'Blade' is being set up by the vampires and their friends, so now he's chased by the police as well. Good thing he gets some assistance from Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel) and Hannibal King (really, who makes up these names?) (Ryan Reynolds) who offer a contribution in the babe-and-fun factor.

There's still a lot lacking of Blade: Trinity, as the end fight is rather boring and overlong, and it has a really bad 'bad guy' to fight, but the extra's make it an OK ride.

5/10.

Closer (2004/I)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Striking performances, but little to enjoy, 10 February 2005
5/10

'Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf', Nichols' classic debut on the big screen is one of the few movies I *haven't* seen yet of that brilliant list we call the IMDb top 250, but after watching 'Closer', the director latest film, you won't see me rushing to the nearest videostore to get it. And here's why.

'Closer', which adapts the play of Patrick Marber, is about 4 people and their ever-changing (or are they) relationships to one another. In the beginning of the movie, we meet Alice (Natalie Portman), a young and mysterious New Yorker, who bumps into (in a way) Dan (Jude Law), a journalist-later-turned writer.

After that first scene, which was quite impressive, Nichols plays a little trick. In the following scene we meet Anna (Julia Roberts), who's taking photo's of Dan to print on his book. At first I thought it was the next day, or even a flashback, but it turns out the story progressed a couple of months, to the point where Alice and Dan live together. In this scene, Dan falls for the more matured Anna, who finds him fascinating as well. And the misery starts.

The fourth player in this drama is Larry (Clive Owen), a doctor who, partly accidental partly 'weird Dan scheme', meets up with Anna. The two get along, and a scene (which, in 'Closer', is a year) later are living together. But Anna can't quite forget Dan. Nor can he forget her.

That's basically the plot line there for 'Closer'. In a movie like this, as in any adapted play, the acting comes first. Of the four performances, Portman's portrayal of Alice is by far the best. She's as innocent as sexy and as much a girl as she is a woman. She can play one scene in which she's a fragile, young girl, while the next moment she's stripping and saying quite nasty things to Larry.

As for Julia Roberts: she once again proves she's not much of an actress. She has chosen some wise projects over the years (Notting Hill and Erin Brockovich in particular), otherwise she would have been long forgotten. Her portrayal as Anna is boring and annoying, by far she's the least shining of them all.

As for the men: Clive Owen beats Jude Law on points. Both actors get their job done, but Law's 'puppy faced mean guy' routine starts to irritate in the second half of the movie, while Owen's performance is sharp and well-delivered, in quite a difficult role.

So, why didn't Closer do much for me then? Well, for one, I was surprised in how little depth the characters (other than Alice) had throughout the film. The characters seem to be lacking emotions, and wander around like machines. They looked made up, not so much real or confronting. Furthermore, I couldn't relate to any of the characters, I didn't feel anything for them. It was almost like the more misery they had, the more I enjoyed myself.

As a whole, 'Closer' has some good performances, and Owen and particularly Portman are allowed to actually win their Academy Awards, but as for story or character development, there is no way I could give 'Closer' the familiar two thumbs up.

5/10.

Species (1995)
5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
90's Commando, 29 January 2005
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It seems that every ten years a movie is being put out which I can fully enjoy over and over again, despite it's silliness. And it seems the TV executives know exactly what those movies are, as both 'Commando' (with the Governator and Alyssa Milano) as well as 'Species' finds it's way to the small screen in the Netherlands a couple of times every year.

'Species' is nonsense played out great. A secret governmental group, led by Kingsley, is mixing human DNA with a code they received from outer space (why is not clear), creating 'Sil', a young woman (Natasha Henstridge) who has a serious appetite for eating and mating. When she escapes the lab she was in, a group of experts set out to hunt and eventually kill her.

Great over the top performances by Kingsley, Madsen and in particular Whitaker, who's whispering incoherently to the camera while wearing some sort of silly hat. Meanwhile, Henstridge is a nice surprise as a first-timer, and not that bad for the eye either.

When the team finally faces battle with 'Sil' (in an underground oil cave?) all logic is thrown overboard, but what remains is a fun movie. I'm sure I'll catch it again in 6 months or so...

6/10.


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