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You've Got Mail (1998)
Terrible...yet still kind of charming
This movie is so cliché, melodramatic, and cheesy. The characters are so terribly one dimensional. Also, they are not at all steeped in reality. Joe Fox is supposed to be some cutthroat businessman, yet you never see even an inkling of that in Hanks' performance. Meg Ryan is over the top cutesy to the point of inducing nausea. This is a business savvy New Yorker? She seems to barely have the wherewithal to tie her shoes let alone own a store. The supporting characters are weak and completely waste the talents of Parker Posey, Greg Kinnear and Steve Zahn (all awesome actors). Even Dave Chapelle sucked, but to be fair he had nothing to work with and had no real character at all. What a waste!
Perhaps it is the on screen charisma of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks that made me watch this inanity to the end.
It's bizarre to me that Meg Ryan was nominated for a Golden Globe for this. Her acting strength lies in When a Man Loves and Woman.
Anyway, this movie makes for a decent rainy Sunday. I wouldn't pay $$ to stream or rent this. But if it's free - go for it.
Started out interesting, then sucked balls
I started watching the first season after reading how horrible this show was on other websites. I was pleasantly surprised and watched the entire first season. The show was quirky and I liked how Lena Dunham dared the audience to deal with her nude body that didn't fit conventional Hollywood norms.
Then came the second season which was total garbage. The characters were gross and the writing was unbelievably bad. Tina Fey wrote a terrific show for 7 seasons; Lena Dunham couldn't even make it for 2. Not a witty line in a whole season. How is that possible? Anyway, I look forward to this show ending. I gave it a shot but it just crashed and burned.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
THIS is what a movie should be
Movie based on a true story, incredibly hot and talented actors and actresses playing the leads, great screenplay, great acting and incredibly awesome directing. This is what a movie should be. Scorsese delivers a phenomenally directed film with incredible acting. This movie was over 3 hours long and I wasn't ready for the movie to end. I usually check my watch during long movies...but I didn't during this one.
Seriously, Leo needs to win the Oscar. It may not be this year but it needs to be soon. The guy is incredible. I also very much liked Margot Robbie. WOW. What a performance. Anyway, see this numerous times. i will surely go see it again. Highly entertaining.
American Hustle (2013)
Highly entertaining though not perfect
Pros: Tremendous acting, wonderfully directed scenes, great music, awesome costumes. In particular, Christian Bale and Amy Adams give superlative performances. J Law's scene in the restaurant where she says she doesn't like change was some amazing acting. Renner was solid. I really liked the fact that this film didn't have nonstop action and rather focused on character development. Every character in this movie was interesting and very well developed.
Cons: Dragged a bit at over 2 hours, payoff in the end was weak. The improvised dialogue was bad at times. Plot kind of convoluted.
I won't see it again but I really did enjoy seeing it once. I liked this film MUCH better than Silver Lining's Playbook.
28 Days (2000)
Could have been better
I saw this movie on a lazy Saturday morning. I like Sandra Bullock, and the subject matter sounded interesting. I thought maybe I'd see Sandra in a meaty dramatic role - an alcoholic hits rock bottom and rebuilds her life.
Instead what I saw was worse than a Lifetime movie of the week about alcoholism and rehab. The potentially powerful storyline just lacked scenes or dialogue that carried any gravity. It seemed as though the beginning of the movie where Sandra's Gwen was a thoughtless, disgusting alcoholic with no consideration for others was supposed to be some kind of slapstick humor. Oh look, what a goofball! She stole a car, drove drunk, and crashed into a house. Whoopsie!
Rehab was a mish mash of clichéd characters and stereotypical behavior. A couple of things I did appreciate during the rehab scenes were (1) Sandra's performance regarding the physical withdrawal from substances, (2) the scenes when Sandra flashes back to her childhood and her mother's alcoholism, and (3) the touching, well acted scene between Gwen and her sister Lily at rehab. Other than that, the other patients at rehab were caricatures of typical addicts and were so silly it was offensive at times.
Sandra gives a nice performance. Steve Buscemi is always great and he gives some gravity to his brief role. Other than that, it's not that good and I can't recommend it.
When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
A powerful film
I've always appreciated this film for its honest look at how insidious alcoholism is and how it devastates those around the addict. I watched it again on a lazy Saturday afternoon and, despite its flaws, its an excellent film and a great look at how alcoholism is a family disease.
Meg Ryan's Alice is an alcoholic in a comfortable though unhealthy marriage with Andy Garcia's Michael, an enabler and rescuer. Alice hits rock bottom and heads off to detox. The family struggles while she is away, but still struggles when Alice gets back and fights to stay clean and sober. This is one of the greatest strengths of the film. Becoming sober is not the hard part. Staying sober is. Learning to live life sober is incredibly challenging.
Meg Ryan gives a masterful performance in this. However, on re-viewing, I really appreciated the nuances of Andy Garcia's performance. Michael clearly finds meaning in helping and fixing all the problems around him. However, when Alice is sober and he finds he doesn't need to rescue her anymore, he is lost, angry, disappointed, and hurt. His speech at the Al Anon meeting when he admits that he feels pain seeing his wife doing so well without his help is powerful.
The child actresses are great, particularly Tina Majorino. I wish they would have delved a bit more into how mom's alcoholism affected the kids. Also, Michael's speech at the very end is cringeworthy, sugarcoating what is otherwise an honest and very real portrayal of addiction and recovery.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Maybe I am missing something?
I really wanted to LOVE this movie, as I rarely get out to watch movies so I am very selective about the ones I will go watch. I love both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and the reviews have been so overwhelmingly positive I was sure I couldn't lose!
To me, this film is a typical clichéd rom com with some mental illness and character twists thrown in. Boy meets girl, boy and girl pretend to just be friends for a while, boy and girl get thrown into a situation where they have intense prolonged contact, boy and girl fall in love and end up together. YAWN. THIS is what is getting so much hype?
I found Bradley Cooper to be magnetic and intense. Great work. I have enjoyed him since his small role in Wedding Crashers and thought he was just superb in Limitless. He is the best part of this movie. The guy is super talented!
I really was not that impressed with the other performances despite the fact I thought I should be. To be fair, no one stunk it up or ruined the movie. But I thought anyone could have played the other roles. I like Jennifer Lawrence but I didn't think she was that great in this. I thought the parents were played well but again, I didn't think De Niro was that special in this.
I'm not really sure I'd recommend this. I'd probably either wait for DVD or even cable. It's OK.
The novel Thinner is one of my all time favorites by Stephen King. This movie is awful in every way. It stays faithful to the book in terms of the story, but it is completely trashed by a ghastly cast and horrible direction. The acting is beyond bad. Robert John Burke is a clown. The wife and daughter (no names) are plastic and completely fake. The only famous face is Joe Mantegna, but by the time he appeared in the movie I had lost interest.
The makeup work is laughable. The fat suit and fat face are so poorly applied that I thought I could see the makeup lines on Burke's face. He never looks thin enough for you to believe that his life and health are in danger which is what created a lot of tension in the book.
I think I can honestly say this is the worst Stephen King adaptation I have seen. There is not one redeeming quality about it. If you enjoyed the book, stay away. If you hated the book, stay away. Just stay away from it. There will be a much better B movie on a different channel that you can waste your lazy weekend on.
The Karate Kid (1984)
The Best Around
No, this movie is NOT the best around, but I dare anyone who grew up with this movie to not watch it when it comes on TV. The Karate Kid is about as formulaic as a movie can get, but it works well and even after seeing the final fight scene about 30+ times in the past I find myself on the edge of my seat every time it's on. I also weep.
The reason this movie works so well is terrific acting and the tender relationship between Daniel and Mr Miyagi. The dialogue is also excellent with lots of iconic quotes peppered throughout. This is one of the absolute classic films from the 80s and endures today. BANSAI!!!!
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
I saw this after watching Argo as I became interested in Affleck's work as a director. This movie is pretty well done, so I give Affleck kudos for good direction. Obviously Ryan is amazing. Much of the acting is very good. I was not very impressed with Casey Affleck or Michele Monaghan who basically play the two leads. There are stronger actors out there than these two that could have conveyed much more heart to two complicated characters.
The "meh" in my title largely stems from such an implausible plot!! We have a little blond girl whose abduction is major local news for weeks. We are to expect that she has a chance to live in anonymity with an older couple without anyone noticing that suddenly they have a child and she looks an awful lot like that girl from the news? Sorry, I cannot suspend my disbelief to that extent. I understand that was true to the novel, but it was a bit hard for me to swallow.
The ending is great. I know people are really mixed on it, but I just thought it was so powerful. I probably would recommend this film. It's entertaining and well acted.