Reviews written by registered user
gavin6942

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

Page 1 of 330:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]
3298 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Jewish Comedy, 15 April 2014
6/10

Surveys the history of Jewish comedy...

Is there such a thing as Jewish comedy, or a Jewish-style comedy? For me, if I were to describe it, my first thought would be Woody Allen, who was not even mentioned on here. His delivery and obsession with psychoanalysis is, to me, the cornerstone of modern Jewish humor. (Add on Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David for a trifecta.) There is some attempt to connect the topic to immigrant culture -- they mention how Italians and Irish (the other two big immigrant groups of the time) had their own humor. Oppression breeds humor, perhaps, while assimilation kills it. There is probably some truth in that humor comes from pain, and Jews have known pain like few other groups of the last century.

Many of the bits on here are odd interviews, including "Super Dave", who I would not have suspected as self-identifying as a Jewish comic. There is nothing about his act that screams "Jewish" to me, but maybe I am ignorant to what it really means.

One person (I missed their name) argued that 20th century comedy history is the same as Jewish comedy history. Obviously, there are exceptions like George Carlin and Steve Martin, but the number of prominent Jewish comedians and comedy writers is overwhelming... it is difficult to discuss ethnicity without the risk of making what could be racist comments, but indeed, there may be such a thing as Jewish comedy... although whether or not this documentary found it, I am not so sure.

Deserves a Second Viewing..., 15 April 2014
6/10

A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?

The film has received mixed reviews and even negative reviews, due largely in part to the challenging chronology. Not everything is in sequence or easy to follow, and the humor is offbeat. This does not make it a bad film, but a misunderstood film. A second viewing may improve the outlook from people.

One high profile said the only saving grace was the acting of Paul Giamatti. That is just disrespectful. Giamatti is great, of course, but it is not like the others were not top-notch. Even Doug Jones, whose part is rather brief, shines in the film.

A Great But Little Known Life, 15 April 2014
7/10

A fictionalized account in four segments of the life of Japan's celebrated twentieth-century author Yukio Mishima. Three of the segments parallel events in Mishima's life with his novels.

This is a great film. I confess I really never heard of Yukio Mishima, and probably never read a single thing he wrote. But here he is brought to life and tells a story larger than life itself. Is it completely historically accurate? You know, probably not. But the details are not so much important here as the art itself.

What is perhaps most strange is who brought this tale to life: Paul Schrader. Brilliant, artistic, but not the first name you would expect when it comes to Japanese history and literature...

Ground Breaking, 15 April 2014
9/10

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the moon.

This film is a must-see for anyone who loves film. Decent special effects, hand coloring, and a fun story. And this was 1902, before film really took off. Was this the first great movie? Probably yes.

Although I had seen it before, I recently had the pleasure of seeing it at the Patio Theater in Chicago with a live organ playing the soundtrack. With silent films, there is nothing better than a live organ -- it beats anything your stereo can pump out while watching a DVD.

No hand-colored prints of A Trip to the Moon were known to survive until 1993, when one was given to the Filmoteca de Catalunya by an anonymous donor as part of a collection of two hundred silent films. This was an unbelievable discovery, allowing long-time admirers to witness the film again for the first time.

In 2002 it became the first work designated as a UNESCO World Heritage film, and rightly so. This is a world treasure, not simply a French treasure (though they have every right to pay tribute to Georges Méliès).

What The Heck?, 15 April 2014
5/10

A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

I am still new to the world of Godzilla, but this film is something a little bit strange. I had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen at the Patio Theater in Chicago, but even in its full glory I was more than a little bit confused.

Some of this film's unusual aesthetic an probably be attributed to its English version mutilating the Japanese original, with the use of UN reporters. Unnecessary. But no one can explain how the King Kong costume is so terrible. Yes, we all know it is a guy in a suit... but this suit is awful.

Another Look at Marilyn Monroe, 15 April 2014
7/10

Four 1950s icons meet in the same hotel room and two of them discover more in common between them than they ever anticipated.

Strangely enough, Gary Busey was top billed but had a relatively small part compared to the other three. I am surprised the top bill did not go to the iconic Tony Curtis, who actually knew Monroe in real life (making his interaction with Theresa Russell all the more interesting).

Although there are four 1950s icons, the focus is really on Monroe, with such moments as her explaining relativity. She is the timeless "dumb blonde", but here we are asked to think of her as a whole person and not just the stereotype she played in the movies. (Her personality is again explored in "My Week With Marilyn", where she is seen as a tragic figure.)

Amazing Cult Film, 15 April 2014
7/10

Adventurer/surgeon/rock musician Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) and his band of men, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, take on evil alien invaders from the 8th dimension.

What an incredible cast, with John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Goldblum and Weller himself, just to name a few. Thirty years later, this film is still a marvel to behold -- and while it may not be perfect, it is strange enough to make up for its shortcomings.

I have only see the theatrical print (in a theater, no less), but now I want the comic books, the director's cut and so much more. I want the sequel (which, of course, is completely unlikely).

The Start of the Modern Horror Film, 15 April 2014
8/10

A group of people hide from bloodthirsty ghouls in a farmhouse.

As everyone in the horror community knows, this is the grand daddy of them all -- the start of the modern horror film, the first in a long line of zombie films (even if they are never called zombies here). And the introduction of George Romero, one of the all-time greatest masters of horror.

I am not clear how the popularity of the film grew. Actress Kyra Schon says she was not asked to attend a horror convention until 1988 -- twenty years after the film's release -- and was even teased by her classmates. And the social commentary of having a black man as a leader was never intentional, though contributed to its significance later on.

I have wondered if perhaps its falling into public domain was its greatest asset. While it may have not helped the bank accounts of those involved, it did allow the widespread use of the film, and it has been referenced in other films countless times. Has this further pushed the film into public consciousness?

Terrible, But Could Be Worse, 15 April 2014
3/10

A nomad mercenary (Robert Ginty) on a high-tech motorcycle helps bring about the downfall of the evil Orwellian government, the Omega.

It seems popular to give this film a 1 or 2, and I can certainly understand why. As a "Mad Max" ripoff, it is not a very good one. And even the director claims he was hired on without a script or anything for source material besides a poster.

But there is some fun here, and I think with a few changes this might be a decent film. Maybe. Maybe not. But, first and foremost, the motorcycle computer is obnoxious. Remove or modify that and you already have an improvement... Perhaps a remake could actually make this a lovable cult film?

Spotlight on Jack Cardiff, 15 April 2014
7/10

An examination of the great advances in cinematography achieved by Jack Cardiff.

I must confess I had not known the name of Jack Cardiff before seeing "Black Narcissus". But his career spanned the development of cinema, from silent film, through early experiments in Technicolor to filmmaking in the 21st century. He was best known for his influential color cinematography for directors such as Powell and Pressburger (with "Black Narcissus"), to Huston and Hitchcock. In 2000 he was awarded an OBE and in 2001 he was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his contribution to the cinema, which was long overdue.

Today, the definitive look at Cardiff's work is the 2010 documentary "Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff", but if someone is interested in his career and wants to cram in only 30 minutes, "Painting With Light" is nothing to sneeze at. Plenty of anecdotes from Cardiff himself, as well as notable folks like Martin Scorsese.


Page 1 of 330:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]