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|35 reviews in total|
Nothing else to report on this one except the absolutely infuriating scene where Andy has a gorgeous, truly gorgeous, naked woman on skates waiting for him, and he rambles on for minutes ........... literally minutes, with some weak uncharacteristic Uncle Andy monologue reminiscent of a Pinter sketch, not at all worth his season 2 salt, and nor would he waste such time when free sex was about. The writers have lost it. Uncle Andy........ ............ ........ .................. ........... ............. ..... .........NAIL HER! I have to type more lines for this to be posted, reminiscent of that speech. Oh gorgeous naked woman, I shall not ravage you, no indeed, I shall instead ramble on because I am required to fill ten lines, and minutes of bad television. Bah! Rule 1: nail her.
Upstream Color is a painfully obvious, decidedly slow biblical story of Adam and Eve coupling with a 21st century sprinkling of parallel universe mechanics tossed in for nifty flavor. It reminds me somewhat of Steambath, which meets Tree of Life, all with innumerable multiple existences for forced gee whiz factor. The film essentially equates humans with swine, a not unappreciated nod to our lack of satiation in our daily existence. The creator, who seems to torture nearly all of the multiple incarnations of our two hapless and mostly miserable starring human beings, takes on the role of hog farmer. We get it, thank you... Plot does not exist, instead we are forced to gape at the endless inane realities which our daily lives might inhabit if only some pretty actors mumbled through it. You want this film to be good, to overstep the bounds of other agnostic efforts. The bummer is, it all sucks, we all are pigs (imagine!), life is just a carousel of fleeting moments of joy surrounded by the truly random humdrum of stage management by a God who could not give a pigs ass about us all. This film is a student project funded to life, but is just plain dull.
"You're alone, you can't get away.... is it us?" This is actually a well done remake of a not so good film. This version has excellent futuristic biscuits, pseudo Blade Runner claustrophobia, and an excellently played pair in Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale. Their faux-marriage works tidily, although if you didn't know the story from Dick, you might find that her reversal is hasty and without wicked conviction. So the story is already knows: Quaid is, or is he not, a highly trained killer agent who has had his memory wiped, only to be sparked by a computer implanted vacation firm called Rekall. How he would be let near such a potentially subversive catalyst is beyond the story, and yes, he goes in for a memory vacation, just like Arnold did. The remainder of the story follows the same path, but better, and Beckinsale is truly an ass kicker. Still, Quaid follows the storybook path laid out in 1990, although with finer CGI effects and decidedly better action sequences. Yet, one waits for Quaid to awake from what we are led to believe is the Rekall spy fantasy, and you know what? He never does. It plays expectantly into the twist of the story, which is that perhaps he has never left his mind trip headset. Is the iconic end, the common factory worker Quaid winds up lost in a purchased fantasy forever, a good end? Well, that is the whole damn story, but it is an exciting journey to get to the matrix for what it is worth. Enjoy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I rented this film because it was Spielberg. My three bucks has
garnered me the worst of his films, bar none. A veritable platoon of
first rate actors star in this war film-cum soap equine soap opera, and
it seems that the lot slink through this bloated mass of derivative
Essentially, it is about an earnest boy whose old man pays a small fortune in a bidding war with his landlord for a feisty horse, who promises his father that he will not regret losing the farm due to this rampantly impulsive auction bid. Set the stage for the Little Engine That Whinnied. It basically digresses from there. Lad whispers the horse into plowing the stony, worthless field, thus saving the family plot (we guess, there is no resolution), and half the village seems to turn out to witness the inevitable plowing victory. Robbed of the brief but satisfying victory, the film instead marches forth into WWI, and our horse, reminiscent of Bill the pony in The Lord of the Rings (as if he understood), gets hauled off into service, although somehow paid for by the captain who will mount him. For the same auction sum, no less. Honestly, afterword, it drags on as the "miracle horse" charms absolutely everyone who comes into contact with him, is captured by Germans, who perform traitorous acts in order to keep him from the front line/food line/plow line. Of course, when Joey, I think his name is Joey, leads the plow dragging cannons which kill his English kin, he is heroic and driven, but horse face closeups show what might be his regret. Then, blah blah blah, our English lad is opposite the German front lines which house the horse, is maimed, the horse escapes in a Costneresque suicide sprint to the other side, and after a ridiculous moment of armistice, is reunited with his boy. Who needs this? It sucks. Truly the worst film from this legendary director.
I am a fan boy. The LOTR films are my favorite film collections of all time, including The Godfather. That said, while watching The Hobbit today on opening day, I realized how drastically important the score is to these films. Chiming back to the LOTR, the score truly drew the viewer into the heart of the film. It was the third leg of the joy and success of it, the other two being cinematography and script/acting. Now I am not complaining that this is not a copy of the Fellowship of the Ring, nor was that was I was hoping to see. The Hobbit, on the other hand, is a rather cold rendition, a rote calling in of story and plot, brutally hindered by a musical score which serves to do nothing but act as background. Howard Shore may have been under orders, or a defiant desire to create a brand new piece with little relation to LOTR musically. This musical departure was like a knife in the dark, or a shot from left field. Imagine seeing Jaws without the essential soundtrack, or Close Encounters, or Star Wars for that matter. Granted, it is a sadly focused complaint to only bitch about the score, but I'M SERIOUS, it derailed the love for The Hobbit. There were normal Jackson-esque liberties with the story, such as a completely different circumstance of Bilbo actually finding the ring (I assumed this might support Gandalf's suspicions of finding the ring in the next two films, but Jackson did lay it out in the Fellowship backstory quite clearly...) The Dwarfs are excellent, beautifully cast, and less slapstick than the book lends to. In fact, The Hobbit is much darker than the book, although there are moments of absurdity and even stooge camp. It's fun, but it is largely dialed in, dark, and seems like the first leg in an action trio instead of the first film you want to grow to love the characters and story with. Perhaps the director change from Del Toro to Jackson actually resulted into a dialed in film. There isn't much heart, but there are great action scenes. The best big bad guy of the past 20 years, the Great Goblin (Barry Humphries), is my new favorite. His quivering jowl is impossible to look away from, except his eye and expression steal the movie. We are left at a convenient spot for film 2. Jackson is going to have to work some major magic wonder in the second film to make up for the rather mundane first. The next two films, in total package, need to be better. Sorry, Pete.
Short and sweet, Park Avenue is an excellent documentary about the class warfare in existence in the US. It succinctly blends figures with interviews into a fabric of one hour of eye popping financial realities for the uninitiated. The vast sums of money at work from a tiny fraction of our nation, but imbued with enormous wealth, control the strings of democracy. This one hour piece puts it together into one very powerful, useful, and important message, culminating with the fruits of market deregulation which nearly brought down the entire nation: the Great Recession and crash of 2008. Watch it. I would challenge the conservative to view this objectively and come away with the same laissez faire attitudes toward our nation.
Film Geek is an excellent fantasy for any guy who has stood at the sink and squeezed one out. You know you have.... I did just the other night. That said, what the hell is wrong with a well made nerd done good story? Nothing, if it is spot on, and Film Geek is. Of course it is improbable, yet it is such a genuine sad sack coming of reckoning film, you have to like it. The absolute geek manner of Scotty, at times he even causes you to roll your eyes, whose genuine nature draws in the nerd viewer due to the purely over the top dumpkopftnedness (new word), is wonderfully earnest. He fumbles, he is quite simply retarded, he knows no boundaries. Still, this allows all of us to rest humorously in the viewing security that we ourselves, surely, didn't do so blatantly badly with women, or even the most basic social situations. In that way, we all fall in love with Scotty, which is part of the whole directive. Awkward nerds rejoice, we can still find a hopeful and victorious way out. Why not love this film? I did.
Jeremy Sisto and Elizabeth Hurley very earnestly work hard to make this shockingly bad film decent, but they simply can't. It is a maudlin mess of poorly written and directed dreck from Duncan Roy. Plot summary already attached to this film's IMDb posting, I will dispense with much of the redundant plot summary, but when Hurley barks out of the shack door to drifter Sisto's character "Hey, can you mend a fey-ance?" (it is turn of the century Indiana after all, so expect heavy accents), I knew this thing was heading down state in a durn hurry. Perhaps five minutes later, gentleman callers are arranged by mail to come see the impossibly beautiful Hurley to arrange marriage. With heavy brows does our fence fixer Sisto disapprove of Hurley's mail order suitors, referred to as her brother. Do we even need to delve into the budding melodrama of this period piece? Wait! O dreaded gimmicks, worse than a triptych, first person narrative, or chapter supertitles, we are fed a steaming dish of a film within a film. My word, I don't think this kind of thing has ever been done before! Oh wait, well, you know. The only interesting things about Method are Hurley's beauty, Sisto's effort, and the infamous off screen battles between the insane director Duncan Roy and Liz Hurley. The final product, though, stinks to high heaven.
Growing up in the 70's and early 80's, Benny Hill delivered nearly as much joy as the other (rightfully) more famous British comedy show Monty Python, but to compare the two is terribly unfair. Hill was a tour de force of one: a relentless vaudevillian master of slapstick in an age when the genre had already fallen by the wayside. His skill owes to ensemble hasty vaudeville comedic theater of the depression era onward, to the Three Stooges, to Victor Borge, perhaps especially to Borge. Hill blesses his audience with seemingly off the cuff witty musical comedies, almost like it is an early comedic rap. Political satire runs rampant through his shows, at times flying from his wry mouth so quickly that I suspect even normally randy BBC censors missed half of it. And women? Well, he eternally treated young women as objects to be both desired and ridiculed, just like bald old men. Is it politically correct? Blessedly not, nor would a show like his fly through the gauntlet of pursed lipped disapproval which kills shows today. Even Married With Children would fly like a lead zeppelin in the 21st century. A little ass and tit grabbing, followed by a slap of outrage, often times on an innocent balding old man, is what audiences today could use. Benny Hill delivers a variety style of show which will likely never again see production. It is crass, it is boob-centric, it is often worse than cheesy, all of which makes it a television gem. I love this show, and I love Benny Hill, no matter how hated he may have been...
M'kay, where to begin? I should begin by stating that I have never read
the books. I am told, by my extremely reliable and well read sister in
law that the books are quite riveting, and I do want to read them. So
then, on to the film... I have seen worse. Waterworld comes to mind, as
does the music video for the 1986 Bears Super Bowl Champions, The Super
Bowl Shuffle (not technically a film). The casting in Hunger Games was
excellent, so there is that, and Jennifer Lawrence has an ethereal
quality which is really quite lovely.
That I have not read the books is quite likely a blessing, because I can only imagine that fans of the novel would fling their own poo at the screen in outrage over this painful puke of a film. I will dispense with character development, because there is NONE, but suffice it to say that what passes as character development passes swiftly and seemingly without consequence, although I learned to my chagrin that this is part 1 of 3 anticipated films, so who knows, perhaps part 2 will be "Hunger for Character Motivation and Emotion Games". One can only hope, or not.
Everyone already seems to know the premise of this film: it is an amalgam of Running Man, Lord of the Flies, Logan's Run, and The 5th Element. In fact, the worst part of this dreck is the preponderance of foppish dandies in heavy handed 5th Element outfits and hair styles, who make up the population of what I assume was the rich and succored 13th colony in this post-apocalyptic world. The remaining 12 colonies, who participated in an uprising 75 years prior, are now being continually punished for being bad years ago by being forced to send one male and one female teen to cut each others throats in a battle to the death called The Hunger Games. The reward, perhaps, is that the colonies are all not systematically annihilated, partly in thanks for sending their best and brightest in this random drawing. Oh, did I mention that Shirley Jackson's The Lottery also plays a prominent inspiration? One credibility problem is that not one single character, or actor really, in the poorest and hungriest of colonies (number 12) looks remotely hungry. Granted, they are not as robust as I am, but as poverty and hunger are the driving influence in these people's existence, hunger and desperation should at least seem evident in them. Instead, we are given a cursory flashback of a loaf of bread being tossed to our lead teen Katniss, flung in the mud and rain, instead of to the hogs which were supposed to receive said dinner. She seems grateful, but it is hard to tell, perhaps she is just an angry teen. Point is: folks are hungry, but we can't devote any more time, screen effort, or find realistically starved acting actors to portray that state of being.
Part 2: Katniss is flung into the games themselves. She captures the wealthy dandies just by being herself. HERSELF.. imagine. "But I'm not good at making friends or talking to people...". "honey, just be yourself". Yawn. Actually, she kind of captures the crowd in part by the unmotivated aid of a drunken Woody Harrelson, who basically instructs her of the ways of TV's Survivor (oh, did I mention this is similar to Survivor as well? Except they don't kill each other in that television show, and they should). His advice: make people like you by giving them what they want: wide eyed honest hotness, young love, and shooting arrows up the wazoos of the aristocracy, figuratively speaking of course. BOOM, they love her! She gets an 11 out of 10. On to the actual battle royale, or the Running Man. Improbably alliances are formed, among the most bloodthirsty pig head crowd as well, who would kill each other in their sleep given the slightest chance, yet his gang lasts until nearly the end of the games. Wrong, the head GI Joe-Aryan boy would have quietly slit the throats of his alliance competitors in sleep and taken their stuff, but whatever, I guess we have a film to run here. Eventually, through little directly violent death, in fact the famed violence of the book is nowhere to be found in this film at all, the bad guys get it, and our victor(s) are handed the trophy of life, but only after one last flipping of the bird at the system (the freakin system, man!) by attempting to exit the game in an unexpected and unsportsmanlike manner. We are left with the clear expectation of episode 2 (boooo!), when Donald Sutherland, the President, raises an eyebrow (episode 2!), scowls, and sticks his ass to the camera and marches back upstairs to his tall tower. I. Just. Can't. Wait. Thhhbbbbpththhht.
OK, it wasn't an epic fail, like Job Bob Jones, or whatever that Disney flop is named right now, and there were a few genuine moments of excitement and tension, but three exciting scenes does not a quarter billion dollar film make. Between those sort of decent moments (which held whispers of First Blood and even Avatar) was a giant tedious mess. Also, the Truman Show-inspired all controlling and hovering Big Brother/show producer/God aspect was distracting and unfair to the premise of the games to begin with. Yes, it was like a Death Race 2000-esque television show for the sweaty gambling masses, complete with betting odds, but I actually turned on my phone to see what time it was and thus how much longer this thing had to continue on. Blurg. I'm sure a much better adaptation could have been made.
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