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35 out of 88 people found the following review useful:
Where to begin? (Mildly spoilerish), 19 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Seriously: Where to begin on all the problems with this movie? Doesn't matter. Let's start with the fact that you get to see God. No mortals get to see God! Not even the prophets and the disciples, with the exception of Moses. But Moses only saw him from behind, in one of the most beautiful stories in the entire bible. What's more, why is God a matte painting of a galaxy with a flash light blinking behind it with every syllable of his white male 30-year old voice? It's even stupider than Celcil B. Demille's flame throwing spiral in "The Ten Commandments".

Then there's the characters. George Bailey, no matter how well acted, is the most annoying person I have ever had the displeasure of watching. His screaming and voice are enough to make anyone jump for the earplugs. His stupidity isn't all that sympathetic either. Mary isn't well-developed, and as for Mr. Potter? Since when do brilliant Christmas stories have more cartoonish villains than Dr. Doom or "Silence of the Lamb"'s Buffalo Bill?

Then there are a lot of fundamentally disturbing messages in the film. I do grant that, though obvious, the message that every person does something in their life is worth hearing, even though it was spectacularly over done here. (I've always wondered about the brother. There must have been ten other kids around when he started drowning. Why didn't any of them save him? And why didn't anyone marry the girl, dooming her to the worst fate possible of Old maid?). First, there is no doubt that Christianity is fundamentally real. There's no need for faith, because God exists as a galaxy, and he'll send down an angel if you're a good little boy. Also, suburbia is the best thing ever. There is nothing worse than a living urban city with, oh my god, Negroes. Capitalism is evil. It is more important to be nice to a bunch of people in some tiny town than to go out and do something in the world. Dumb people are more honest than educated ones. It is horrifyingly unthinkable to be annoyed by one Christmas carol played over and over and over. Comedic relief doesn't have to be funny. Two hour films don't have to have anything interesting.

There are other things too. The writing just isn't that good. None of the stories are relevant to the plot, and even the timing is heavily off, all of the good stuff thrown into a few minutes at the very end.

Face it. As heartwarming as this film is, it's not that good.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
If I ever get home, I'm never leaving Texas again., 9 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Minor spoilers

First I must say how rare and charming it is to find a movie with such basic messages in it: nuclear war will inevitably destroy all of civilization, and women are for making babies. It is absolutely incredible how well formulated the plot is to hit in these two points, as with a golden hammer. Essentially, everything about this movie annoyed me. The casual sexism, the character whose sole trait was coming from Texas, the mysterious choice of dying Mars orange, and of course the flawed science of it all. Then the martian woman screaming as if she had just noticed that she was blind? What was that? However, I will give it credit. The fifties did spit out some sillier things. But not much...