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black is beautiful
Even Elisha Cook Jr. couldn't save this from being a bad joke. So why the 10? Diversity!! The same reason it should have won at least 15 Oscars. If film is an art form it should be treated as such, judged as such, and honored as such. Justice and equal opportunity should be part and parcel of America and so should the movie industry. The battle starts at the front door and should be taken all the way to the Academy Awards. So as Blacula would say, "Right on, brother". Now back to the actual movie. The nightclub scenes were by far the highlight. A black audience dancing to a white band is a touch of irony that is sheer pleasure to watch. The acting was inspired, although by what is hard to tell. The LA cops pretty much stole the show with their emotionless performances and it was hard to take you eyes off them when they were on screen. However the most outstanding aspect of all was the make-up. Downright scary, it gave me nightmares for a week. Well. at least bad dreams. A must see (to believe).
The Cycle Savages (1969)
a rare treat
Worth watching if only for the rape scene, this movie redefines the notion of a "B Movie". The score, special effects, script (both story line and dialogue)and acting are mind numbing. Anyone seeking to gain some insight into the biker culture (i.e. Hell's Angels) of the 60s-70s should not just watch but study this film for all it's worth. There's plenty of action, erotica, romance, and suspense enough to keep even the most jaded noir film buff on the very edge of his/her seat. Not for the kiddies but any popcorn loving idiot over the age of 12 will treasure this entertainment experience of a lifetime for many years to come. I gave it a 10 but can understand why it's rated 5 overall: most people just didn't get it, let alone appreciate it.
The Good Shepherd (2006)
Anyone reading the comments who has not seen this film must feel awe struck by the opposite extremes of reaction created by those reacting to having apparently viewed the same film. From this: "The more I think about this movie, the more interesting it becomes...I may see it again". To someone comparing the viewing experience to a torture method appropriate to a North Korean POW camp (got to love that imagery). I find the rather emotional, even somewhat distraught negative reactions fascinating and a little scary. This forum allows for a truly democratic form of movie criticism, which is fine...as is the democratic rating system. And when a potential movie goer or renter decides how to spend their time and money, this can be helpful or hurtful in making choices. Who are the critics? Just folks who like the idea...like me for instance. Should we follow their advise? Not necessarily!!!
The Norseman (1978)
Let's take into account, first of all, the casting. Start with David Deacon Jones as a Black Viking. Add Freddy Biletnikoff at wide rece...oops, a white Viking. Mix in Chuck Pierce, Jr., coincidentally the son of the guy who is credited as the producer, director and writer. It than goes steadily downhill to a strange mix of pro., semi-pro, and amateur "actors" that amounts to the most motley excuse for a cast that could possibly be assembled. The musical score is out of wack,the dialogue absurd, the costumes seem straight out of a junior high class play and the story makes no sense. Add it all up and the sum of the parts equals a mess so bad that even an aficianado of bad movies (me) could not find any enjoyment in suffering through the silly proceedings. I dare any normal human being over the age of 8 to watch this from beginning to end.
if you're in the "right" mood
Off the wall,in bad taste, politically in-correct...all these things and much more can be used to describe Borat. While it won't appeal to everyone, there is no denying the creativity, audacity, and near anarchic zaniness of Cohen's latest film. Maybe "comic genius" is a bit of an exaggeration, however there is no question that this is a great and very original talent. A must see...even if not totally enjoyed,any semi-serious film buff will find his/her time and money well spent.The fact that Cohen is not himself an American adds a nice touch to the "outsider's" look at U.S. culture and society. Besides the rather extreme and outlandish humor, it is the choices of who and what to meet in America that make this a film that has more than entertainment value. It does, believe it or not, provide plenty of food for thought. That adds up to a much higher than average night at the movies.
The Aristocrats (2005)
joke? what joke?
This is an experience, more than a film. It is an exploration of performance that in using 100 "joke" tellers becomes a living work-shop on the topic of entertainment. The vehicle for this is not really a joke at all but a "shaggy dog" story. The content and the length of the story add to the impact of what passes for a punch-line. All in all, a fascinating, funny, thought-provoking, and enlightening film that can be even better when seen a second or third time. Unlike the "joke" itself, the best part comes at the end. The credits are truly a fitting end to what has come before and left this viewer wanting more from the creators of this true original.
The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968)
good scenery...if you like beaver shots
As the title implies, this film is about mini-skirts. It is also about under-wear that is revealed by the afore-mentioned mini-skirts. There is a story, and some acting, props, etc., so perhaps the total package might qualify as a "movie". Now as far as my review, you notice that I gave it a 9 while many others are in the 2 to 4 range. This is due to high marks for honesty or better yet integrity. These guys and gals set out to film young women with short enough skirts so that a young male audience could get a glimpse of their under-pants. Since they accomplished their goal, they deserve a 9. Anything less would be un-fair. But than again, so was the rumor circulating around Van Nuys in late 1968 that a scene in this movie involved one of the females revealing she had forgotten to include panties in her costume.
B-movie?...is there such thing as a "C"?
There are some high-lights here that merit special mention...in no particular order. 1. The professor's hair-do 2. A shower scene of somewhat less than erotic 50's style 3. poison pills deposited in the diving equipment 4. foreign agent Wanda...who she works for we'll never know 5. row-boats that can remain in place on the open sea, with no anchor necessary. Even for 1956, this is an amazing effort. Maybe it was more of a home-movie than a real, studio job. In any case, the morals are presented very clearly and that's what makes it worth my 9 rating. So...beware of mad scientists, spies from un-named evil countries, and monsters in general. But, kids, it's okay to smoke!! P.S. This film seems to have been made before "special effects". There are effects...just not so special.
is comment 536 worth anything?
As an ex-American living in Israel for the past 34 years, I would like to add my personal perspective to Munich. By my standards, it's a good film in that it is not only well made technically, but very thought provoking and engaging on an emotional level. I was not bothered by the fact that it took many liberties with historical fact, since it makes no claim to be a documentary. However, two major flaws caused me a certain level of discomfort. Why portray the Israel Mossad team as mostly non-Israel and extremely amateurish? Since this was so obviously and extremely far fetched, was there a some artistic point and if so what? Secondly and far more disturbing, why was revenge or punishment of the terrorists the only and constant driving motivation given for Israel's response,when the known and obvious factor of self-defense in an on-going war for survival was and still is the operative element in trying to prevent more terror from those who have declared their intentions openly and publicly. When all is said and done, there really are two sides to every conflict. This film may have somehow,and maybe even admirably, attempted to be somewhat even-handed. Maybe that's why others could find more to like in it than either an Israeli or a Palestinean. We, who are still embroiled daily in this on-going, tragic, and complicated conflict need much more than a decent piece of entertainment to help us struggle toward a just and viable solution. So...good movie,yes...but impossible for those who are here, living the reality to really appreciate and find much value in.
The War of the Worlds (1953)
why call the 50's the 50's?
After seeing this movie and thinking about it as much as possible, I've reached 2 conclusions. 1. After the square dance scene near the beginning, the film goes steadily down-hill in every which way. 2. The ending provides a message for the ages...while the rabble are looting and rioting,the serious Christians pray for a miracle, and get one...in the form of Martian destroying bacteria. It reminded me a little of the biblical Christian epics where Victor Mature and the faithful are going out into the Coliseum to be eaten by lions, or killed by gladiators. Not the results, but the mood and the aspect of religiousity. So to sum up...special effects don't make a movie. And Hollywood has/had no equal when it comes to taking good original material and turning it in to melodramatic, formulactic pap.