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edley

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7 reviews in total 
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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
It takes a great star to carry a spectacle this empty. If only, 15 February 2012
2/10

Musically this is not all terrible. Arrangements are in a spare, energetic dance club style (I'm sure there's a name for it, but I wouldn't know) well-suited for giant venues. It's better than many of these (occasionally awful) songs deserve, and only "Toxic" (a terrific single) is diminished by this treatment.

To break up the potential monotony there's a dull wraparound story that will have the viewer wishing for some monotony.

The stage show surrounds Britney with excellent dancers, which has the unfortunate effect of making Brit look like a well-rehearsed non-dancer going through the motions but not really caring what she's doing. Brit and dancers act out little vignettes during the music, Brit emerging from a disco speaker, sitting on a cute motorcycle, in a cute car, and so forth.

Brit does a duet with a videotape of will.i.am where he says he's the (going from memory) "big fat bass" and Brit says she's the tweeter. Is this metaphorical? If it helps.

No musicians are depicted, and the only pretense of this being a live musical performance is the head-worn wireless microphone. I'm told at least one song was sung live at each concert — if any such performance was captured here, it was re-dubbed later because Britney's lip-syncing is unconvincing throughout the show.

Almost any healthy young woman given a month or two of rehearsal could do about as well. Whatever favorable associations the viewer may have regarding Britney will need to be summoned because she comes off entirely blank in this performance. It's as if no audience showed up, but her tyrannical father made her do the show anyway, and she didn't know it was being recorded.

Aside from liking a couple of her songs, I have few preconceptions watching this, and found her uninteresting as a singer, performer, sex object or campy failure. It's hard to ignore this because she's the focus of the show, making the flashy spectacle seem especially empty.

If you need a comparison, Kylie Minogue — whose music is as occasionally interesting to me as Ms. Spears' — pulls all this off quite well in the two videos I've seen by her, "KylieX2008" and "Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour". Her shows have the same lip-synced minimal pretense of live music, with tons of dancing and flashy staging and costuming and sensational if meaningless imagery, yet the exuberant Minogue is totally on top of it, where Spears looks drained and lost.

Unfaithful (2002)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
nicely made. I enjoyed it more than I should have, 30 January 2010
7/10

First 2/3 starring Diane Lane in Women-targeted softcore. Last 1/3 starring Richard Gere as Cuckold the Schmuck.

Saw this on TV, so I missed out on the hot, hot Adrian Lyne sex scenes, but Lane and Marinez are easy on the eyes. Mood-setting cinematography; Lyne chooses dark wood sets, shot to look deep.

Little else in the story is deep, or insightful, but it's efficiently told, leaning perhaps heavily on the harried housewife Calgon-take-me-away setup, and obvious mostly-erotic symbols (wind, drunkenness, "Today I'll wear black"); but nothing bangingly wrong, and cliché ending is avoided. Morally understated -- no one is portrayed as a villain -- so interpret how you will.

Perhaps I'm in a good mood, but I gave it a 7, high for this sort of thing.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
good only for Jesus camp, 22 December 2008
2/10

Written and acted by sincere amateurs, produced by some exploitation monger, this is dull and hard to watch.

Not the worst movie ever, but at least schlock like _Plan 9 From Outer Space_ usually had a real actor or two. I'd recommend _A Thief In The Night_ only to hardcore ironists and hardcore Dispensationalists. I'm neither.

Don't believe me? Watch it for free (albeit sourced from poor VHS) here: http://www.archive.org/details/Thief-In-The-Night

Relevant links added mostly to reach IMDb's 10-line minimum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/3199/thief-in-the-night-se-a/

6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
recommended to disaffected Bible-belt teens, but that's about it, 18 August 2006
4/10

I watched DVD 1 only. The program proper may have 10 minutes of good information; otherwise it's snotty putdowns of religious people. It's as if director Brian Flemming only recently discovered both atheism and sarcasm, and feels with these tools he can easily bludgeon his opposition.

Also, Flemming wanders extensively into his own personal issues, and they take over the movie. It never gets back on topic.

Religious people are prone to discount skeptics when their objections to religion are obviously rooted in abusive upbringings. Arguments from such victimized people seem irrational, and therefore unconvincing.

Anti-religious people will want more data. We don't need to be told that religious people are nutty, any more than American Jews need to be told how annoying Christmas music gets by mid-December.

In the best scene, the Superintendent of Fleming's childhood Christian school rather insightfully confronts the director on his motivations. That seems like the most honest part of the movie, and it was too short.

If Fleming were a bit more self-aware, he might have a good story in him about his own (past & current) relationship to Christianity, and the abusive institutions that indoctrinated him in his youth.

And perhaps he could lend his "Christ never walked the earth" material to a more serious documentarian. I'm not studying the writings of Saul/Paul to find out how air-tight this all is, but a quick browse of Wikipedia suggests most of these arguments are discredited.

The bonus interviews are pretty good, tho they don't bolster Fleming's thesis much. Sam Harris is a good spokesperson for the anti-religious POV, and he doesn't go light on those other, non-Christian religions. Harris also has some good (and easily Google'd) interviews on Salon.com , Amazon.com , and Samharris.org .

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
first half delightful; second half long, 21 July 2006
7/10

First half of this movie -- our lead character is not comfortable with the boy gender role his father wants him to fit -- was as tight, inventive and funny as anything I've seen this year. Way better than I expected.

This raised my expectations too much for the second half (which for all I know might've been only 20 minutes but seemed like an hour). Around the "Jerusalem" scene I noticed the movie had stopped being funny, and the film-making style had changed to something more conventional. It was like a different writer and director had taken over. I didn't mind it getting serious, but I don't think it was saying much, especially considering we've all seen Coming Out Movies before.

Overall, still worth seeing. The growing-up scenes are brill, by turns imaginative, daring & poignant. This coulda been a "10".

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
liked it when I was a kid, 9 January 2005
8/10

I never saw the rest of the Afterschool Specials. They weren't animated and looked really boring. However, "The Last Of The Curlews" was really special for me at the time.

I remember crying at the ending. Can't remember much else honestly, and since I haven't seen it since I was 9, I don't know if there was anything in it I'd like as a cynical now-adult (probably not). And it doesn't seem to have been included in the "Afterschool Specials" DVD compilations.

The art was much prettier than the Hanna-Barbera norm. I can't remember how "limited" the animation was.

You'd never see something like this on TV today. The pace is too slow, it doesn't hawk an action figure, and the ecological message would probably set off a letter writing campaign by some conservative group.

Recommended for kids.

Audition (1999)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
sweet and really erotic, 2 November 2001
9/10

No one has yet mentioned how sexy this film is. Not that I get off on this sort of thing in my own personal life, but the sense of intimacy at the end has a really sweet contrast to the division early in the flick. The male and female gender roles are defined in a way that suggests they could never have had real intimacy no matter how honestly, or for how many years, they might have yearned for it, or could have worked at it.

My perspective might be skewed by my own fears of intimacy, but I left this film feeling really happy while others felt a need to make really banal conversation about serial killers.

The female character may be a bit monstered, but she's sympathetic, pretty well developed, and ultimately reasonable considering what she's given to work with. I felt a lot of sympathy for her.

The dream/hallucination sequence was frustrating for me (these usually are) until I decided out the imagery was her imagination and not his. I came up with that after the movie was over.

More than half of the audience walked out during the ending. In the end it was my group (of 5) and at most 5 others.

Probably a good date movie.