Reviews written by registered user
arnis12

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23 reviews in total 
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Bad Habits (2007)
5 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
miserable, 11 September 2010
3/10

Alejandro Iñårritu seems to have a bit of influence over Mexican cinema the last few years which is a shame since he's only made one great film, Amores Perros. For every brilliant young director like Fernando Eimbcke and his masterful, Temporada de Patos, which gives us a wonderful cinematic experience, and a unique perspective of Mexico, we get a dozen directors following Iñårritu and trying to outdo his "cinema of the unpleasant". It's all here, no color, the use of cold blues and greens, ridiculous use of telephoto lenses which scream art! You know your in trouble when the over stylized cinematography has bullied the thin story out of the way. And what little story is here, focuses on the unpleasantness of the human condition, see Iñårritu's 21 Grams or Babel. Highly recommended if you're a sadist. But if you want a pleasant cinematic perspective of Mexico, rent Temporada de Patos or heck, even Zurdo.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
piece of crap, 15 April 2008
1/10

Piece of crap, really. I thought I was getting the definitive account of The Smiths, but as the film began, I began to get a bad feeling right away with the bad morph-dissolve edits in the intro. If there's any band where there's little interest in "the other two", this is it. Most Smiths fans want to see, and hear Morrissey/Marr. (Sorry Andy, and Mike) But Morrissey /Marr aren't in this film. There's no archival footage, no interviews, no concert footage. The photos they do show are the ones we've seen before, and perhaps the biggest crime of all, NO SMITHS MUSIC! Probably because the filmmakers couldn't obtain the rights, among many other things. For a die hard SMITH fan, you could probably get all the info you want on the band from YouTube. It's got all the videos, old live performances, and interviews, making this documentary pointless and a time waster.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Bad Audio ruins movie with potential, 15 July 2007
3/10

Unwatchable for one reason; Terrible audio. I had to turn it off midway through for this reason. When two people are in a room speaking, and you can only hear one person clearly, but not the other, that's bad. I respect the "independent spirit" and all, but when you can't buy a couple of cheap microphones at Radioshack, you're doing your craft a disservice. That's not being an independent filmmaker with a low budget, that's just being a cheap ass filmmaker. It's a shame because the camera-work was interesting and the actors look like they put up their ends of the bargain. Being able to hear a good quality film is just as important as fancy camera work.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Excellent beginning, but perplexing ending, 17 April 2007

I'm not sure what to think of this film. The first 80 minutes or so of the film were perfect and haunting, kind of like a Mexican take on GEORGE WASHINGTON. The film shows a sleepy Mexican village that seems to be decaying and a group of boys that decide to take revenge on a popular school girl. I have to say that the film lost me with the KITTEN'S SCREAM towards the end. Those who see the film will know what I'm talking about, and I got to hear it in full blown surround sound which was not pleasant. It is here that the film takes a turn towards the dark side and it seems that the filmmaker seems to be exploring the themes of the Evil that underlies this small town, similar to what David Lynch did in Blue Velvet. However I was a bit perplexed. Is there something more going on here. The film begins with a mythic image of a father and son discovering an ancient statue of a corn God stuck in the mud and then throwing it into a deep swamp. There seems to be issues of race and class as well. The girl who is victimized is light skinned and the boy who is mistreated and taken advantage of, clearly has Indian features. I was hoping someone would be able to clarify some of the difficult questions this film raises. I also felt that the director let the sound designer get out of control. The first half of the film was perfect and naturalistic, but the sound design became more abstract and disturbing, something which I felt worked counter to the subtle work the cinematographer and the wonderful work the actors were achieving.

Boricua (2004)
9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Humboldt Park Represents, 17 October 2004
7/10

This is a strong first feature from Marisol Torres depicting several Latino characters during a summer in Chicago's Humboldt Park. The performances are strong particularly the character of Willy as played by Ramses Jimenez. At times reminiscent of DO THE RIGHT THING, the films flaws at times lay with the director chewing off more than she can chew. Some of the characters are fascinating, such as the leech Latino Real estate agent who hustles his own people out of their neighborhoods, but one wishes that these and other characters like the pot smoking college student who falls for a thug, were more fleshed out. Being from Chicago, I thought the film was visually lacking as well. I wanted to see MORE of Humboldt Park and its awesome parks and boulevards, but the film only opens up visually during the parade sequences. Overall, a promising debut for its directors and talented actors and a TRUE CHICAGO film which understands its neighborhoods, unlike the typical Hollywood crap which uses the city for it's Sears Tower backdrop and shoots the rest in Toronto.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Great idea, terrible execution, 28 August 2003

There was an interesting idea for a film and a great film could have come out of it. It involves a young woman who has fled the violence in Bosnia with her gangster brother to find paradise in Chicago. Once here, they are both disappointed and soon the thuggish brother convinces his sister to prostitute for him to earn a living. There was potential for great tragedy here, and after I saw the film, there were news reports of such slave-prostitution rings involving Eastern European girls run by the mob, being uncovered here and and in New York, so it was a timely subject. However, the director doesn't trust that he has a great story. He resorts to typical shootouts and violence which would be more at home in an Andrew Davis Chicago action picture. Also the film is stylized to a riddiculous MTV/Miami Vice degree, and the horrible soap opera music at every minute of the running time doesn't help. The director seems torn between making a serious 70's style drama like Taxi Driver, and typical action-exploitation pictures. Few directors can pull this off successfully (Walter Hill comes to mind) There's also a romance between Lana and a Chinese American that goes nowhere and could have easily been left on the cutting room floor. It's a shame because the leads hold up their ends and are terrific, particularly the actor who played the brother. He has a bright future in acting.

8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
masterpiece, 5 August 2002
10/10

A masterpiece with one of the greatest film soundtracks of all time.

It's what Speilberg's 1941 could have been. There's only one

director qualified to tackle 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE and

Kusturica is that man. Sign him up, give him 100 million dollars,

and step out of his way, he is worthy.

Notorious (1946)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
don't make them like this anymore, 11 July 2002
10/10

Is this film relevent to today's times? Nope. Are the plot twists and

acting realistic? Give me a break. Is this Hitchock's best film?

Probably not, I'd put Psycho, Vertigo, and Rear Window ahead of it.

What it is though, is a perfect example of the type of film that they

just don't make anymore. The photography is luscious and the

setting(Brazil, without the Brazalians) achieves the feeling of

dreams through the use of fake sets and rear projection and yet

it's completely hypnotic and mesmerizing. I was born in the

seventies and this is the best example of nostalgia for something I

never knew that I can think of . And then there's Grant and

Bergman, possibly the most gorgeous couple in the history of film,

could you imagine what theyre kids what have looked like?,

despite some of Grant's character's subtle misogyny, no doubt

Hitch and Hecht were responsible for that. How gorgeous is

Bergman? A shot of Bergman speaking, while a lock of hair

continues to get stuck in her mouth as she tries to speak, would

have been annoying and distracting had it been any other actress,

but with Bergman it becomes incredibly erotic and fetishistic. Man,

this film makes one wish they lived in the 40's , wore cool suits,

lived in amazing set-like apartments, smoked packs of cigarettes,

drank too much, and looked like Grant and Bergman.

The Pledge (2001/I)
Jack's back!, 29 June 2002
10/10

This film is an all out masterpiece which unfortunately very few

people saw upon it's release. It's also frustrating to see the

Academy throw Academy awards to actors for work that they don't

deserve(Pacino for his Scent of a woman, Nicholson for As Good

as it gets) and not even bother to nominate them when they are

worthy. In my opinion I felt it was a given that he would win the

oscar for this film but he wasn't even nominated! Of course, the

film is dark and disturbing and is reminisent of the great films of

the 70's which might be the reason that Hollywood pussied out. The most stunning surprise is Sean Penn's directing. I've never

seen his other directed films, but I assumed that they would be

pedestrian like every other actor who has tried to direct, but no. On

first viewing, I felt that he was showing off too much with the

camera and editing, but on second viewing, after you get the

stunning ending, you realize that the earlier scenes that were

show-offy weren't, in fact, and fit in perfectly into the psyche of the

character. I can't say enough about this brilliant film, and it was

exciting to see why Jack Nicholson is considered a great actor in

the first place since he seems to phone in most of his

performances nowadays.

Spider-Man (2002)
don't believe the hype, 20 June 2002
3/10

Don't believe the hype. This film may have been considered

awesome had it been released 15-20 years ago, but it wasn't,

and much of the film looks like by -the-numbers after having seen

the Superman films, Batman films, and other similiar fare such as

the Rocketeer. It' s one cliche after another, starting with the

terrible score by Danny Elfman which sounds like a reject from the

orginal Batman movie. Aren't there other composers besides John

Williams and Danny Elfman who can bring some originality to

superhero movies and summer blockbusters? Also, we get the

typical montages of a hero discovering his powers and nabbing

crooks in the middle of a jewel heist, yawn. The big set piece of

the film takes place in the middle of New York during a parade

which looks like a setpiece lifted from the original Batman, and the

climatic battle is also yawn inducing. How much did this movie

cost? Why are the two rivals having a climactic battle in an

abandoned warehouse!? Not everthing is bad. Tobey Mcguire

does a fine job as Peter Parker, too bad the excellent Willem

Dafoe wasn't written a more interesting part. Some of the digital

effects are cool, and it was ingenious to have the web shoot out of

Peter's wrist, but overall I expected more from Sam Raimi. I was

expecting some of the warped, cartoonish nuttiness and

excitement he bought to the Evil Dead films or Darkman, however,

he shoots this film downright conservatively. The film has a bland,

uninteresting look that every polished, by the numbers, major

Hollywood film has. Maybe they'll get it right on the second one.


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