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One of the best music-related documentaries I've ever seen
From start to finish this is really a tour de force with great cinematography, great sound editing and great interviews from those who knew Arthur Russell. I've seen so many music documentaries that have been underwhelming; Wild Combination was a breath of fresh air. Although I do not love all of Arthur Russell's music, this is certainly a documentary worth watching, profiling a fascinating person's life story. Hearing the perspectives of both his parents along with colleagues who respected and admired him (i.e. Allen Ginsburg, Phil Glass) is extremely compelling. I can't imagine not wanting to hear more of his music after experiencing this film.
I have a dream
that one day, someone will make a stupid, film-noir style, historical drama, with the pace of a snail on sedatives, that will slowly build for three and a half hours and then culminate in a paragraph-long explanation of historical events that say absolutely nothing. I feel so violated right now. I wish the zodiac killer had taken out David Fincher. Just because I am required by IMDb to make this comment longer, I must add that the acting was atrocious, and I feel ashamed for not having identified how bad this film was going to be in the first scene, when I thought it was strange that something that had been hailed as such a masterpiece would have had acting that was so unconvincing. let me be remiss by not complaining about the exposition, development and everything else that was wrong. screw Hollywood. thanks
Open Range (2003)
Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-Boring!!!! All the way through. Don't get me wrong, I love Westerns, and Rob Duvall is incredible as an actor, but there is no way that this over-long garbagio deserves to be classified anywhere near to good. Whoever created the film score has succeeded in pioneering a new method of aurally torturing my inner conscience. Whenever I hear this music, I want to kill myself...not out of depression, but solely for the reason that I need to end the intense agony that this miminalist b.s. puts me through. You wanna hear good Western-movie music? I've got a whole of letters for you...E.N.N.I.O. M.O.R.R.I.C.O.N.E. Try those out for a change, you Hollywood-douche-bags, or at least try something similar. Not to say that that all Western stuff needs to sound like Morricone, but if I hear these dead sounding nothing-strings again in the theater, my body will lose control of its natural functions and I'll urinate myself. Please...for the love of God! But then, there's the rest of the movie. Total Crapola. Bad dialogue, horrifically bad plot, bad structure, bad movie poster, bad promotional campaign, bad acting all packaged for the adult American audience to deem as high art. Just because a movie is long and dramatic and because it references other movies, does not in any way make it good. Dances with Wolves was alright, I don't enjoy seeing Kevin Costner's buttcheeks, but I guess girls need to get some sometimes too. I got my copy at McDonald's 15 some odd years ago, and have enjoyed it. I've never wanted the main characters in a film to get axed more than I did watching this. The only way to make this one better is if you reduced the whole thing to 30 seconds, you could easily summarize the plot in that time, but then it would be overpriced. I don't want to go on about this anymore, but I'm glad you read this review. Don't see this movie. Go rent something good, like the Magnificent Seven or something.
King Kong (2005)
Nice try Universal
How the hell can you promote a movie saying that it's predicted to beat all box office records, before it even comes out. Peter Jackson directing King Kong? Who the hell would think this is a good idea, I mean really.... First of all, King Kong, with the exception of the original movie, sucks. All of the remakes suck, why would the jack black one be any better? Secondly, CGI sucks. I'm sick of it. Everyone knows its lame, why must it persist. CGI keeps people like me out of the theaters waiting for the day when I can tell the difference between the monsters in the 5th element and the dinosaurs in Kong, and when Yoda loses his kung fu abilities. Back the hell off the American public, Universal. You can take your Kong Burgers and shove 'em. Everyone else, go back to Narnia.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Another failure to communicate?
*SPOILERS* This was a tremendous movie, except for the LAST SCENE! What's with that corny montage? What Drag says is fine, but to have a montage of Luke smiling? There's no other montage in the damn movie! What's it supposed to be, Drag remembering all the times Luke smiled?! That doesn't even make any sense. I guess this was just a case of bad editing.
Roy Lichtenstein (1991)
Lichtenstein in a nutshell
The documentary is a very interesting and informative survey of Lichtenstein's work, structured around interviews of various art critics along with continuous commentary by Lichtenstein himself. Lichtenstein analyzes several of his most famous pieces and explains his artistic processes and development in detail. There is also fascinating footage of Lichtenstein working in his studio. Refreshingly, Chris Hunt does a good job in presenting the material in a very unbiased, objective way. The film appears to be part of a series of documentaries for a British TV channel.
Attack of the Crap
Although I'm not a Star Wars fanatic (I certainly don't read the books or anything), I love the old Star Wars movies. In fact, when I was littler, The Empire Strikes Back was my favorite film. Now that I'm older, I respect them for what they are: incredibly creative, exciting and touching films. I have yet to see Episode 1. My friend recommended Episode 2 to me, telling me that it was better than its predecessor, but warning me "don't see it if you expect anything more than a Star Wars movie." Maybe I just have a nostalgic love for the first trilogy, but I would never think that they were anywhere near as poor, in any way, as this new garbage. I can't think of a high budget movie that I've seen that has such bad directing, bad acting, bad casting, bad special effects (or lack thereof), bad music, bad dialogue and bad plot, as ATTACK OF THE CLONES (bad title too). The reviewers on this site giving this movie positive reviews must all be brainwashed. Maybe they're all just excited that it's better than Episode One, which I can only assume must be the worst movie ever made, considering this one definitely belongs in the bottom 100.
Let's begin with the directing. WHAT THE HELL DID GEORGE LUKAS TELL HIS ACTORS? My only guess that the conversations went something like this... LUKAS: Hey Sam, sit in that chair and say your line. S.JACKSON: How do you want me to deliver it? LUKAS: Don't worry about that. It doesn't really matter. All the animated creatures don't really show any emotion anyway. In general, you should just say your line like you're reading it. Oh, but if you're supposed to be angry or upset, just screw up your face a little bit.
S.JACKSON: Okay. I guess...
I can't begin to describe how boring the non-action sequences are in this film. The actors aren't interacting at all. It's astounding.
Furthermore, talk about a classic example of bad acting, Ewan McGregor spends the entire movie doing a really bad impression of the actor who played Obi Wan in the original series...uuuugh, yuck. Whoever cast this movie needs to get their head examined. I've always learned that one of the prime objectives in film, especially a drama, like this one, is to suspend the audience's disbelief (perhaps George Lukas was striving to suspend belief with this one). How could anyone accept Samuel L. Jackson, one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, as "Mace Windu" and Jimmy Smits, another instantly recognizable household name, as Senator "Bail Organa". My God, Lukas could have at least picked actors who haven't reached idol status yet, but no, he had to make his budget LARGER. The majority of people who liked this casting probably just liked seeing Sam Jackson meditating next to a poorly animated Yoda (SHAFT AND YODA TOGETHER IN THE SAME ROOM, MEDITATING LIKE BUDDHISTS! AWESOME!).
The digital special effects were disappointing and not convincing. I prefer people in elaborate costumes to the digitally animated, and amazingly generic looking, critters that Lukas used here. You've seen 'em in the fifth element, in the trailer for men in black II (before the film started) and here they are again, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Go figure. Furthermore, juxtaposing digitally composed fantasy settings/landscapes(as ridiculous as they are on their own), with a real, easily recognizable, famous swiss tourist attraction was appalling.
The music as a whole sounded like a parody of the original score (in other words, it was fitting). The dialogue was laughably atrocious. Probably my favorite line *POSSIBLE SPOILER* was when Anakin (or little Ann(ie?,y?,e??) as the Senator calls him) tells the senator, "I didn't just kill the men...but the WOMEN...and the CHILDREN TOO!" "Ooh am I a bad guy. I'm such an evil dude that I use cliches to describe my horrible deeds." *NO MORE SPOILERS* The plot is so delightfully convoluted that thousands of viewers at home will be able to watch this movie in less than half it's running time when it comes out on VHS. They can all simply fast-forward to the action sequences and not miss anything important in the film. In fact they might as well fast-forward through the whole thing, given that the ending credits are by far the movie's finest sequence.
I'm getting tired of writing, so I'll just say that there are so many problems with this movie that this review hasn't even nearly given it justice. PLEASE, DON'T DISMISS THIS REVIEW JUST BECAUSE IT'S NEGATIVE. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE YET, PLEASE, WAIT TILL COMES OUT ON VIDEO. AT LEAST THEN YOU CAN GET THE PLEASURE OF TAKING THE TAPE OUT OF THE MACHINE AND SMASHING IT TO BITS IN FRUSTRATION.
Le locataire (1976)
As Polanski films go, this one ain't that great. Although The Tenant has a very original plot and Polanski did a great job acting in it, the movie is just simply not at par with some of Polanski's best for many reasons. After the first twenty minutes of the movie, it is easy to predict that Trelkovsky will eventually take on the identity of madame schule and try to kill himself, and given that the viewer knows that the movie ends in about an hour and a half, the viewer can also easily predict when Trelkovsky's going to jump. So what happens between the time the viewer figures out the ending and the actual end of the movie? Nothing much...at least, nothing so terribly fascinating that it makes the movie feel worthwhile to watch. Although there is dark humor in the movie, instead of coming across as something particularly creative and ingenious, the humor seems like sort of a cop out; perhaps it was hard to make the film frightening, so instead it was turned into a dark comedy. Yet, the humor in The Tenant was not particularly funny to me because it all seemed a bit cliched (except for the second to last scene). The voiceovers are terrible in the movie as well, and the score, although pleasantly pretty with plenty of nice clarinet obligatos, seemed as a whole, inappropriate. The Tenant isn't a terrible movie, it just doesn't hold a candle to some of Polanski's other films.
Batman & Robin (1997)
It seemed like quite a feat to produce a Batman movie that could top Batman Forever, but Schumacher and the gang did it with much aplomb. A visual and emotional tour-de-force, Batman and Robin is easily the finest comic-genre film ever created. Clooney proves himself the best Batman by far by giving a surprisingly realistic performance. He seems to have captured the Bruce Wayne demeanor, cultivated it, packaged it and shipped it out to the comic-book-loving American audience so that we can all relish and treasure it. He is a very gifted man, as he proved to us in ER, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and From Dusk Till Dawn, and as he proves once again here in this film. Thurman is genuinely creepy (and oh so undeniably seductive and sexy!) as Poison Ivy. She brings life to an otherwise mundane role. The seductive dance she performs in a gorilla costume stands as my favorite part of the movie. Never before had I been so attracted to a gorilla!! Chris O'Donnell puts an interesting psychological tone to the movie playing Robin as a complex and enigmatic character. In the movie, unlike the comic, Robin is insecure, yet confident, mature, yet adolescent, and attractive, yet togged in garish garb. Holistically, O'Donnell's Robin is a walking paradox. In this movie, Robin is so uncannily complex that it brings to mind the question: "could Kafka or Faulkner have done a better job than Akiva Goldsman and Joel Schumacher?" Perhaps not. And, lest we forget, Arnold's Schwartzenegger's performance in this masterpiece was nothing less than spellbinding. As Nobel prize laureate and two-time Olympic decathloner Victor Freeze, Schwartzenegger finally proves that he can really act. Not only is Schwartzenegger uproariously funny and convincingly terrifying, he plays Mr. Freeze as an obviously ingenious, yet tortured man. We, as an audience, can commiserate with Freeze easily; he is a very strong-willed person, yet he must live his life with obvious physical handicaps (the necessity for cold) and the desperate need for love. Breathtaking Arnold, breathtaking. Aside from the acting, the movie has an undeniably engaging plot, and what an ingenious script! This, in a sense, is a Hitchcockian mystery, a classic cult teenage angst film, a heart-wrenching drama, an edge-of-your seat action-suspense film, and a subtly brilliant comedy all rolled into one! Who would expect such an interesting and eclectic mix of styles and genres to be a Batman movie?! More importantly, who would expect a Batman movie to be so captivating, to have such frightening villains and likeable heroes and to be so downright funny! Hahahahahaha! Oh God, I wish more movies like this would come out of Hollywood!!
Scanners III: The Takeover (1991)
a testament to the power of Tibetan Buddhism
Let me start out by saying that this is a wonderful film. When I rented this movie initially I thought that it was going to be one of those low budget action films with awful special effects, terrible dialogue, terrible plot and gratuitous nudity (like the highlander movies). I was dead wrong.
Scanners III is a wonderfully cerebral film, chock full of allusions and references to American folklore, popular science fiction novels of the past century (i.e. 1984 and just about everything by Michael Chricton), Huey Lewis and The News song lyrics (I've got a brand new drug) and the religion and philosophy of the Algonquin Indians. What an analytical treat!!
As the iconography in this film suggests, American culture is dominated by the media, the pharmecutical companies, and cheap dares we do to impress girls on Saturday nights. We are soulless zombies, only acting on impulses that have been passed down to us by our parents. If we only used our heads (as Alex Monet does in this film (monet is an obvious reference to the french impressionistic artist...there are many more delicious reference-goodies in this gem!)), we could overcome the social and mental chains that are hindering us from developing as a society.
The film is beckoning us to cast away homburg hats and black suits of the nineteen forties for more casual clothing, eschew hot concentual sex with busty mental-hospital nurses for passionate lovemaking with loved ones, to send christianity and all of western society to the junkyard and take up Tibetan Buddhism, the only religion that has the capability to give one enough strength to overcome one's weaknesses. In no way is this film just another sequel to David Cronenberg's far inferior film Scanners. This is a treatise on how to live life successfully. I urge you to watch it immediately.