Reviews written by registered user
amateurcriticted

7 reviews in total 
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Another winner from Ethan and Joel Coen, 18 February 2001
8/10

Great aural and visual style, wonderful comedic performances by Mr. Clooney and Tim Blake Nelson in particular, and that unique Coen brother style add up to a most satisfying experience in the cinema.

Some critics have found the treatment of the South offensive, and it must be said that Bible salesmen have rarely been less sympathetically portrayed, but as long as you don't check your sense of humor at the door I'm mystified by how anyone could fail to appreciate and enjoy this film.

The music was tremendous and and I was grateful to be exposed to it. The "Soggy Bottom Boys" put the Backstreet Boys to shame! Should get "Best Supporting Performance by a Toad" as well.

8 -- Highly recommended.

My favorite movie of 2000 – a delightful and moving experience., 17 February 2001
9/10

My favorite movie of 2000 – a delightful and moving experience.

"You Can Count On Me" is a small but precious gem of a movie and one of only two films I returned to the cinema to see for a second time during the 2000 year.

Brilliantly written and directed by Mr. Lonergan, this little jewel features outstanding performances by Ms. Linney and Mr. Ruffalo in rarely explored territory -- a heartbreakingly real and very adult brother-sister relationship.

Intense but highly naturalistic, entertaining but thought provoking, comedic and dramatic in almost equal measure – what a refreshing delight this movie is! No special effects, no heroes -- just genuine human emotions and great intelligence spilling off the screen.

Depending upon what looks for in a movie, this is a nearly perfect film experience.

The Pledge (2001/I)
Worth seeing for the acting by Nicholson and Redgrave, 17 February 2001
7/10

An odd little movie with little bursts of cameo acting exploding like an inconsistent fireworks display around Nicholson's dark central performance.

Ms. Redgrave is spectacularly good in a tiny role but not all of Mr. Penn's family, friends and associates that populate this movie are quite as successful, and a few of the performances by some perhaps too familiar faces (Rourke, Stanton) are more distracting than effective.

The tone of the film is relentlessly downbeat and the ending is contrived and unsatisfying, but all in all it's an interesting chapter in the development of one of our very best actors wearing his director's hat.

One of the more tedious films of 2000, 28 December 2000
5/10

I had high hopes given the director and cast but I have to say this was one of the slowest moving American movies I've ever seen and I confess I had trouble staying awake during parts of it, something I never thought I'd write about a movie featuring Penelope Cruz.

I agree with the comment that the editing may be a factor in terms of a lack of drive or momentum, but the story was problematic as well as any significant plot or meaningful conflict was slow to emerge.

The performances were generally satisfactory although the actor playing the youngest of the three travelers was very good. It was fun to see Bruce Dern on screen again (and playing a good guy!). Nice of Billy Bob to give Laura's Dad a part.

There were a couple of memorable scenes but overall this was a big disappointment -- a "sleeper" in the literal sense.

Cast Away (2000)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A fascinating failure, less than the sum of its parts., 28 December 2000
6/10

If ever a movie was less than the sum of its parts, this is it.

This feels like three separate films within a movie, and as the trailer makes it clear that the Tom Hanks character gets off the island, I don't think I'm giving anything away to say that this trio consists of pre-Island, on-the-Island, and post-Island.

The first segment is the best, with Hanks giving a charming and relaxed performance as a Fedex employee on the job in Moscow and at home in the States with friends. The plane crash that ends this preface to the story is brilliantly done.

The middle segment is itself divided once again by a "Four Years Later" flash-forward where we see the formerly chubby and clean-shaven Mr. Hanks now svelte and hirsute, and with his island companion Mr. Wilson. There's a memorable scene in a cave that rivals Marathon Man in its depiction of the horrors of tooth pain and rudimentary dentistry.

But the final segment just doesn't pack the emotional wallop it's supposed to, and the casting of Helen Hunt, perhaps the most over-exposed, over-used, and over-rated of American actresses doesn't help.

Ironically, for a movie whose central theme is time, it is time itself that ultimately seems to defeat this film. That is, two hours is not sufficient (or wasn't with this approach, anyway) to do justice to the beginning, middle, and end of this particular story. As a result, the ending feels a little tacked-on.

All in all, a movie I'm glad I saw, but ultimately a disappointment given its pedigree.

A Storm in Summer (1970) (TV)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A beautiful TV movie, 24 December 2000
9/10

A wonderful TV movie about the friendship between an elderly Jewish man and a young African-American boy, set during the Vietnam war. Peter Ustinov and the child actor give excellent performances in an emotionally powerful story by Rod "Twilight Zone" Serling. Haven't seen the remake with Peter Falk in the Ustinov role, but I sure wish the original was available to buy or rent -- I'd love to see this movie again.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A gripping and ultimately heart-breaking political thriller, 23 December 2000
9/10

A brilliant movie about a man brainwashed and made to commit acts horrifying and tragic. Made the year before JFK was assassinated, the film resonates with the political paranoia of the McCarthy era but emerges as a timeless classic. The performances are outstanding with Angela Lansbury compelling and convincing as the mother of the Laurence Harvey character, in spite of being three years younger than Harvey. Certain scenes are unforgettable, including one involving Harvey's character's girlfriend and future father-in-law that made an indelible impact upon me when I was ten years old and first saw this movie on TV, and is no less powerful thirty years later.