Reviews written by registered user
|22 reviews in total|
For the intelligent and reflective movie-goer, there is much to appreciate
about this film. To begin with, the opening narration, although fantastic,
is just about the best opening line to any story out there. It immediately
draws one into the world of these weird, wonderful people. And that
fantastic aspect is maintained throughout the film, like a fairy tale that
provides a surprise around every corner. It is a pleasure to be taken into
this kind of world for the 100+ minutes of the film.
I strongly disagree with the comments, which the IMDb is currently (as of March 13/04) displaying as being "representative," which states:
"If you hold dear the innocence of children, respect God and those who serve Him, and hold dear what is beautiful in a spiritual sense, you will probably dislike this film."
That's one seriously narrow-minded opinion the IMDb people have selected as being representative. There was a time when the IMDb was more discriminating in what they allowed through to the site. That they allowed *this* posting through *and* chose it to represent the average response to the film is bad a sign; the ship is sailing but there's nobody at the wheel. Reading those comments, one could easily conclude that there are a great deal of sadly unimaginative people out there who just don't get this film.
It isn't surprising that someone with the kind of insular view of the world as expressed in those "representative" comments wouldn't enjoy this film. I never thought of it this way, but I suppose "Antonia's Line" is not for the polite, ultra-conservative, easily-offendable religious folks out there who, it seems, are more apt to feel threatened by fantastic stories like this than to appreciate them for what they are. "Antonia's Line" is the kind of story that give us permission to *imagine* how things might be if they were just slightly eschew. This film is not a picture of the real world, but, like a good fairy tale, provides one an opportunity to reflect on a variety of human conditions and experiences that everyone in some way can relate to.
In this regard, "Antonia's Line" is a wonderfully rich and rewarding film, and a beautifully well-told story.
It should not be dismissed so easily. (And the IMDb ought to get their act together.)
I thoroughly enjoyed "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" for what it is and plan to see it
again before it leaves my local theatre, and I'm looking forward to `Vol.
2.' It's a shallow movie with nothing underneath the surface, but the
surface is so lovingly made--I just ate it up. It was a fun ride. A good ole
fashion revenge flick. Uma Thurman going out to get everybody, and she gets
'em good. And that's it.
Criticizing the movie according a to more complex criteria than that seems foolish.
Which seems to be the case for most of the negative criticisms I've read about the movie. James Berardinelli's review of the movie, for instance, is a perfect illustration of a movie critic taking himself, as a movie critic, too seriously, and the movie, as a `film,' much too seriously--and judging the movie all wrong. (http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/master.html)
For example, the protagonist in a revenge flick is defined more by their ability to kick *ss than their ability to carry on witty conversation. As entertaining as it might be to listen to two gangsters discuss the deeper meaning of a foot massage, that kind of extended dialogue would most likely slow down the kinetic energy of the all cool kung-fu that's going on in `Kill Bill.'
So the movie doesn't have a lot of memorable dialogue. So what? `Kill Bill' isn't `Pulp Fiction,' nor do I think it is meant to be. It is a wonderfully crafted kung-fu, Samurai, kill-em-all and kill-em-good, revenge flick.
When I hear criticisms like `it was too bloody and too violent,' it reminds of something I inadvertently heard Kathy-Lee Gifford say about `Pulp Fiction' one day while I was flicking as fast as I could through the channels: `Did it really need to be so violent?'
That's like asking, `Does a musical really need to have so much singing?' Yeah, it does. It's called `The Sound of MUSIC.' What did you expect?
Quentin Tarantino's latest movie is called `KILL Bill.' Kinda tells you what you're in for, don't you think?
If you don't like gory and violent revenge flicks, you won't like the movie. That's it. Don't go. But for what it is, it is extremely well made, stunning and amazing at times, and--I hate this phrase--but a pure cinematic delight. It's like Homer Simpson discovering triple-chocolate ice cream. Kung-fu revenge flicks don't get any better than this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Identity" is a gimmick movie disguised as a whodunit. It isn't even a scary movie. It's an intellectual puzzle at best and really not that engaging. I knew what was going on almost immediately. The first time I stopped to think, "Why are they showing us this scene that seems to have nothing to do with the rest of the movie?," I realized there was only one thing that could explain what was happening: none of it was real, it was all being made up in someone's mind. I sat there for half the movie waiting for that to be revealed, and then when it was revealed, the movie kept going to a conclusion that was silly. Despite the strong cast, never once during the movie did I care about what was going to happen. Watch a movie like the "Sixth Sense" instead and feel the tension, feel how you don't want to look at what's going to happen next. Now that's tension. Nothing like that happens here. People get killed and it's about as shocking as watching a character in a video game get killed. And when the secret of what's really going on is revealed, I think many people will feel cheated.
I just finished watching "The Grey Zone," and I don't recommend
Just because it's about the Holocaust doesn't make it a noble movie worth watching. To make a movie about this kind of historical event, you have to do it right or not at all, and this movie doesn't exactly do it right. "The Grey Zone" does seem to be a competent telling of this story (if they got all their facts straight), but it's almost an embarrassment too.
The first mistake--and it's a big one--is having all the "good guys" speak with pure 100% American accents, and all the bad, evil Nazi commanders speak with German accents.
I had no idea there were so many Californian Jews in Auschwitz in 1944. I thought they were mainly Hungarian and Polish. Oh, well...
So anyway, it's the little details like this (and there are plenty of them) that kind of give it away, kind of blows their cover--you know what mean? Two minutes into it, I feel like I'm watching a bunch of actors walking around in Nazi outfits trying to look tough. Some scenes are almost comical--and I really don't think that's the effect you want to go for in a movie like this.
Although this is a story worth telling, certain aspects of this particular presentation of it seem to undermine the profundity the historical facts. And that's something I wouldn't want to risk doing. So I can't recommend "The Grey Zone."
Do some research. Learn about what actually happened and be moved by the facts, the reality. That's what history is all about.
History teachers might be tempted to play this kind of movie for their students. But I think they'd be better off just reading the book.
Near the end of the 1995 documentary, "Anne Frank: Remembered," there's a
two-second clip of Anne Frank--1943, '44, something like that, six months or
so before she and her family went into hiding. A wedding was being filmed by
someone with an early home movie camera. After taking some shots of the
bride and groom in the street, the camera pans up to get a shot of some
spectators looking down from the balcony of their apartment at the wedding
party below. There is a young girl leaning over the railing of the balcony;
we barely get a glimpse of her. She quickly turns her head and goes back
into the apartment. They slow the film down and play it back. And it's Anne
Frank. Motion picture footage of Anne Frank. The real
That was the most powerful and emotionally profound moment I've experienced watching a film. I totally lost it when they showed that two-second clip of Anne Frank. It cut me half. There was no denying that what I had just seen in the previous 100 minutes of the documentary was real. It hit me so hard I couldn't talk about it for weeks afterwards. And I can still get choked up trying to talk about.
"Rabbit-Proof Fence" has a moment like that. For me, not as powerful as that moment of seeing Anne Frank, but for some people it will be. And if for nothing else but that moment, that possibility, I have to recommend this film. Deeply moving.
Entertaining and enlightening.
There's one good laugh in this movie: the scene where Woody falls. He falls and CRASHES. I rewound it and watched it about fives times and laughed until I cried every time. And it happens in the background of the scene. So if you're not paying attention to the background you'll miss it. The rest of the movie is completely forgettable. I can't recommend the movie, but for the one really good laugh, I'll give it a 6 out 10 instead or a 4 or 5, if that means anything. Rent "Decontructing Harry" instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
This was the first time in a long time I was completely hooked (99% hooked) into everything a movie was about. I must have been in the right mood for it, and I'm glad I was, because I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, right to the very end.
When the girl was trying to give the dog some water, and the dog barked, I jumped.
When the guy was watching the video tape of the kid's birthday party, saying, "Hey, little kids, get out of the way," I was saying it with him, because I wanted to see what was on the tape. I was reaching over my seat trying to get a closer look to make sure I didn't miss anything, scanning through those bushes trying to figure out what the hell they were looking at. And then when I saw that flash of the alien on the video, I flipped. Totally creeped me out.
The sound of the aliens on the roof creeped me out. ALL the sounds the movie creeped me out.
When Mel Gibson cut the alien's fingers off in the pantry, I was ready to hide behind my pillow (if I had a pillow)--but I couldn't look away. The tension gradually built up for me as the movie progressed, and there was a point where the tension was so high I almost wanted to leave the theatre. The movie worked on me big time.
The news broadcasts made it too much like "War of the Worlds," but by that time I was too involved with everything to cast off my disbelief. Even the flashbacks of Mel Gibson's wife getting killed worked for me.
At no point was I saying, "Okay, this is stupid" (like I did a thousand times over in "Minority Report"). I went along with all of it, the EXPERIENCE of it all. I don't think I've ever felt more tension watching a movie. By the time I got to the end, I still felt tense; I kept looking around every corner, because I knew something was going to come out of the shadows, but I didn't know what. That's what really kept me involved with the whole thing, not knowing what I was going to see next or what was going to happen.
At the end, when I saw the reflection of the alien in the tv screen, I thought I was going to have a stroke; I wanted to run. And then when I saw the alien holding the kid in his arms, I was in horror. It didn't seem lame, or silly or B-movieish or any of that. I was totally there, in the room with them, frozen, staring at that creepy-looking alien. Totally horrified.
By this time, I didn't care how it ended; I just wanted it to end because the tension was too much to take.
The "faith" message of the movie, I could take it or leave it. There really wasn't much to it, but I didn't care. I walked out of that movie feeling like I had shared in the experience of the characters, that I was there feeling it all with them. The faith message was weak, but how creeped out and terrified they were by the whole experience, I was with them, taking it all in at FACE VALUE by the time I got to the end. That's why the alien at the end horrified me, because to me it wasn't a guy in a rubber suit. That F*%&*ing thing was real. I wanted to get the hell out of there. I didn't want to try communicating in sign language or say, "I come in peace." That was one mean motherf*&^%!ing looking alien, and I didn't want to stick around and make friends. I wanted to grab that kid and run like hell. But the alien was holding the kid--couldn't run. That moment of unbearable indecision was stretched out forever, and, again, I was there. The tension was too much to take.
And like said, I didn't care what happened after that. I just wanted the tension to end. Could have ended with a song and dance number and that would have been okay with me. I just needed relief.
Except for the faith message, the EXPERIENCE of the movie worked 100% on me. I can't remember the last time this happened to me in a movie. Maybe this makes me a sucker, that I could be completely engrossed by such a contrived film, but all films are contrived; enjoying them is partially a matter of suspending your disbelief. And I guess I was primed to do just that. Must have been in the right mood. And I'm glad, because it was the most satisfying experience I've had at the movies in the past couple years.
I remember people talking about how "The Blair Witch Project" totally horrified them--and how I thought it was a waste of time. That's because right from the beginning I didn't believe any of it. I knew it was fake and didn't feel at all involved with it. For some people, "Signs" will be the same--if they don't believe what's going on right from the start, the rest of the movie will probably seem silly. This time for me, however, it was different, and I'm glad, even if it does mean I'm just another sucker. It was SO COOL to look at the alien and react to it as if it were real, to believe it. That was the best.
Arguments over whether or not "God" sent the aliens are secondary, if not irrelevant, to the visceral experience of the film.
"Minority Report" isn't a bad movie, but that doesn't make it a
certainly not the instant-classic four-star science fiction film most
reviewers are making it out to be.
It seems that films which receive the highest praise these days do so by default. If 95% of the movies out there are crap, does that make the other 5% worthy of high praise? NO. But I suppose if I was a professional film critic watching crappy movies all year long and then came across a passable science fiction film like "Minority Report," I'd probably get all excited too and say, "Hey, this one isn't too bad! What the hell--it's a classic!" That's the only explanation I have for the critical praise this film has received. Just add it to the list of highly-praised films from the past five or six years that have been graded on a curve.
"Minority Report" isn't a bad science fiction film. Although there are some huge flaws in its logic, the main concepts it introduces certainly give you something to think about, which is what good SF is supposed to do. However, Spielberg's attempt to compensate for the film's lack of emotional pull by tacking on a happily-ever-after ending might cancel out the introspective aspects of the story for some people; I don't mind happy endings, but this ending was a bit too much.
The film gives you other things to chew on besides the SF concepts: action sequences, special effects, neat little gadgets, a few startling moments, a bit of humour, a bit of mystery, and Tom Cruise's chiselled and well-photographed face if you're into that. It has a little bit of everything to satisfy most people.
Overall, though, "Minority Report" is a science fiction film, the kind that gives you something cool to look at and a few things to think about while you're being distracted by the action. But that's it. It's a passable science fiction film, nothing too spectacular or too profound, nothing to get too excited about.
If you haven't already seen it in the theatres, save yourself some money and wait for the video.
And I repeat: Just because it isn't a bad movie, doesn't make it a masterpiece.
I first saw this film on CBC television several years ago while flicking
through the channels late at night. Some films work better at night when
you can't get to sleep. All of sudden they suck you in and keep you awake
so that you're thankful you were losing your mind with insomnia in the
place. Other great late night discoveries: "Down by Law" and "Red
Check 'em out. Anyhow...
"White Room" is a magical film, a magic which begins with the opening narration which imbues the story with a certain fairytale quality, and a feeling that there's a moral to the story, a purpose; just hang in there and watch it unfold. The whole story is pure fantasy, and perhaps that's what makes the film's imperfections tolerable. Imperfections such as: Sheila McCarthy--the wrong actress for the role; Maurice Godin--when he says, "I love you," it just doesn't work; and what the hell's the deal with that pirate outfit he's wearing during half the movie?
Watching the film unfold, though--that's where the magic lies. With the well-placed voice-over narration, I think there could have been even less dialogue. There are essentially only two characters in the film, but the fairytale quality of the film (thanks to the narration) might be considered the third character, because it's that dreamlike feeling that keeps the story alive, makes it feel more personal and potent, just like a dream, even though you know it isn't real.
That's what I loved about the film. I was living in it while I was watching it. And the place it brought me to was unlike anything I've experienced in a film before. Definitely a unique film.
I watched it several times on video for a few years after I first saw it, and it was a rewarding experience every time. Recently, though, I watched it again, and its imperfections began to stand out a little more, and it wasn't as magical--but it's still a special movie, singular, unique, different from most films out there, and well worth looking out for. Especially if you have an appreciation for late night magic.
One of three films I've seen in the past tens year or so which I consider a masterpiece. I don't want to ruin it by commenting any more than that. The other two films on my list, though, happen to be "Seven" (aka "Se7en"), directed by David Fincher, with Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and and Kevin Spacey; and "Henry Fool," directed by Hal Hartley. How's that for a movie review?
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