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El Gringo (2012)
Stay away from this film
The main problem with El Gringo is that the lead actor can't act and has absolutely no charisma. The other problem is that there is almost no story. The hero of this movie is running around or shooting most of the time so I really miss a script.
Christian Slater has also seen much better days. He's a good actor but hasn't much to do here so he gives us a Jack-Nicholson-for-the-poor performance.
The story reminds me of a mixture between El Mariachi and Desperado but without the coolness and the sense of humor that Robert Rodriguez films had.
Stay away from this film!
About a Boy (2002)
Stay away from this film and better read the book!
I really loved the book "About a Boy" from Nick Hornby. Its a wonderful story about a selfish man who makes friendship with a young boy because he dates his mother. The young boy reminds him much of himself, so he helps him to make the best out of his life and at the end the selfish man becomes a caring person.
There also was a subplot in the book about a Nirvana fan named Ellie who became the boys best friend. The book was funny, smart and heartwarming and I couldn't wait to see the film. What a disappointment!
They turned this great book into a really bad and boring movie! Only 20 percent from the story of the book is used in this film. It's really strange because Nick Hornby himself wrote the script.
You cannot blame it on the actors: Hugh Grant gives a fine performance, even when you read the book Grant comes in your mind. But the film has no drive, no humor, nothing. Just boring.
Stay away from this boring film and better read the book.
Better watch the French original version
"Chloe" is a just bad remake from the french film "Nathalie" (2003) which starred Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart and Gérard Depardieu in the leading roles.
Director Atom Egoyan just added some senseless drama stuff into his version. If you compare both versions, this remake can only lose.
Amanda Seyfried is a real sweetie and I liked her even in "Lovelace" but here she is just miscast: While Emmanuelle Béart in the original version was gorgeous and really convincing as prostitute, Seyfried looks more like a lost little girl. Not one single moment you will think she is a prostitute.
Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson both did a great job but had no chance against the bad script. But Moore has one fantastic moment in the scene when she confesses her husband that she feels that she lost her youth and beauty while he gets more attractive with every gray hair and thinks he doesn't like her anymore. A very sensitive and wonderful moment that lets you forget the rest of the film.
Seyfrieds character Chloe is just a lost girl who is at first looking for friendship and then for love but at the end Moores character Catherine rejects her in both ways.
Better watch the French original version "Nathalie" which is much more enjoyable.
Life with Roger (1996)
I loved this show
I really loved this show when it was aired. Unfortunately it lasted only for one season.
Mike O' Malley is Roger, a homeless guy who tries to commit suicide. He gets saved by Maurice Godin's character Jason who invites him to live with him. From now on Jason's life will never be the same.
The chemistry between the actors work great and both, O' Malley and Godin gave fine comedy performances. Another great performance comes from Hallie Todd, who plays Jason's crazy sister.
There are so many bad comedy shows on TV who run for years but this one, which was really funny and entertaining was canceled after one season.
If you expect some stupid and primitive horror slasher with lots of blood and gore than stay away from this movie. This is pure cinema art.
The cinematography is just beautiful and so is lead actress Anna Skellern. The rest of the actors are okay. It plays with the Greek mythology about Odysseus and the Sirens. Their songs drive everyone insane.
The story here is about a young couple, Ken and Rachel who went on a yacht trip with their best friend Marco. To make the story a little bit more complicated Rachel once was Marco's girlfriend, so there is lots of jealousy between the two men. One day a stranger comes on their ship. He bleeds out of his ears and dies.
So they enter the island to bury him. Here they meet the mysterious Silka and from now on nothing is like it was before. The boundaries between fiction and reality become indistinct and we see them all lost in a surreal fantasy.
What is real and what is fiction? Like Marco said in a scene: It's like an LSD trip. Silka turns out to be a Siren. When she starts singing everyone gets insane. I won't spoil the ending here but as I said: it's mystery not horror, more in the style of the Spanish cult movie "Amer" and films like "The Ring".
I like especially the surreal scenes in this movie and the brilliant cinematography. Pure art cinema!
Road to Revenge (1993)
Do the "Shimmy Ride"
There are good films and there are bad films and there are films like Get Even", a film just made for the ego of one-time writer, producer, soundtrack composer, lead actor and director John De Hart.
The man fights, shoots, sings, meditates, makes love to a very beautiful woman (the lovely Pamela Bryant), tells bad jokes and all with the same impression on his face. The funniest scene is when he enters a stage that looks more like a recording studio and sings a country song called "Shimmy Ride", looking like he's not feeling very comfortable with this situation and not always hitting the right notes. The audience is poorly edited into this scene and I am sure if this clip would be uploaded on youtube it could become a huge hit.
The only good performance comes from William Smith who plays an evil cop here who later becomes an evil judge who is also a satanic priest wow! So much evil in one man but Smith is really impressing in his scenes.
Another B-movie legend in "Get Even" is Wings Hauser, who probably gave the worst performance of his whole career in here.
Harts fight scenes look just ridiculous and they are poorly edited. He would have needed a fighting choreographer for that scenes. Especially when he fights against William Smith at the end of the film this scene is just laughable. Smith, then 60 when this was made but looking much younger, is taller, stronger and tougher than Hart. Hart doesn't even hit him but he wins the fight. Of course, because he is the writer, producer, soundtrack composer, lead actor and director of this.
"Get Even" is also shot on bad video and the editing isn't good, too but it is a film so bad that it's funny. If you liked "Bride of the Monster" or "Plan 9 from Outer Space" you will love this one. Come on and do the "Shimmy Ride"!
Fly Away (2011)
A very sensitive film that you will not forget
This is such a wonderful film that you will never forget in your life. It's not "Rainman", no big studio film to entertain masses. "Fly away" digs so much deeper into reality. It will touch you so deep inside.
The story of Jeanne and her autistic daughter Mandy. It's almost impossible for the mother to manager her life because she always has to take care of her daughter. Even a love romance with the new neighbor looks impossible and so does work when she loses a deal because Mandy deleted some files on her laptop. Jeanne visits a school for autistic kids and has to make the hardest decision in her life: to let Mandy go to live her life and to start living her own life.
There are so many intense scenes between mother and daughter. Even when they go out eating pizza and just having fun people look at Mandy without any understanding and tell her mother if she can't handle her she shouldn't go out with her. One of the most beautiful scenes in this film is when Jeanne already has an car accident because of Mandy's behavior during the drive. Jeanne stops the car and starts crying. Then Mandy sings for her "Ladybird", the song Jeanne always sang to her daughter when she woke up in the middle of the night crying and then she also tells her to breath in and breath out like her mother always did to her.
Ashley Richards gives an impressive performance as Mandy. She is so deep in her role that you just realize in the "Making of" that she is not really autistic. Beth Broderick plays Jeanne very sensitive and heart-touching. She is a great actress and this is one of her best parts ever. Both play their roles without makeup and give up all vanity. Beth is such a beauty she even looks great without makeup.
In the "Making of" everyone talks about their motivation about this project and so we hear that director/writer Janet Grillo has an autistic son and that Beth Broderick's sister works with autistic persons so that is why this film is so impressive.
The awful truth about Independent Filmmaking
The documentary "Diary of a Michigan Migrant Filmmaker" shows how director Donald G. Jackson, legendary for his cult movies "Rollerblade", "Hell comes to Frogtown" or "The Rollerblade Seven" tries to shoot his new film.
He drives on the set with his lead actor, Ed Wood regular Conrad Brooks but they are the only ones on the set. The other actors didn't even show up or gave him a call they couldn't make it. I don't need to mention that he gets upset and frustrated about it.
But not only the cast makes troubles also some crew members. And this is the real truth about Independent Filmmaking. Actors show up for a day on the set and they never come back again without any reason or they do not even show up on the set.
Finally here cast and crew members are on the set and Jackson can start with the shooting of his new film. But there are still some obstacles to pass by.
At the end of this documentary Jackson states that he will never ever shoot a movie again, he will only make documentaries. Sadly, Donald G. Jackson, who's work has inspired so many young filmmakers, passed away in October 2003 and this was really the last film he made.
Don Stroud and Greg Cummings at their very best
"Cartel" would be just a simple low budget action flick with Miles O'Keefe as boring hero Taylor but what makes this film really worth to watch are the heavy's.
Don Stroud gives an impressing performance as King, the evil mobster. Stroud, a legendary film veteran, knows exactly how to give life into a character and not to make it look stereo-type. His presence shines throughout the whole film even if he is not in a scene.
And then there is Gregory Scott-Cummings as Rivera, the left hand of King. He too gives an outstanding and really unforgettable performance as villain. Those two actors make this film really worth to watch.
William Smith's appearance as prison guard Mason is much too short and he is really underused here. Wished he had more screen time.
"Cartel" is good entertainment with some action and two great villains who make this film really worth to watch.
Bad Actress (2011)
The wonderful Beth Broderick (who would forget her as the clever, smart and sexy Aunt Zelda in "Sabrina the Teenage Witch") plays Alyssa, a TV stars who's best times are over long ago. She now does commercials for her husband's air condition company.
After the accident of their daughter, Alyssa's husband (a fine performance by Chris Mulkey) tries to find his inner peace in Buddhism. Alyssa sees no other way than to kill her husband. He will not be the only one. The body count rises and so does Alyssa's career.
I just loved the weird sense of humor in this film (which director Robert Lee King also used in Psycho Beach Party) and the funny inside jokes.
Beth Broderick's performance as washed up TV star is really outstanding. She is not only a great actress, she also looks great in this film. She has two gorgeous funny nude scenes in "Bad Actress". Her beautiful face, pretty legs and that perfect body makes every 20-year old girl fade away.
If you liked the funny "Psycho Beach Party" (which is from the same director) and "Slap her she's French" (where he wrote the script) and you are a fan of Beth Broderick than this is the right film for you. Highly recommended!