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Mad Men: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (2007)
That weird, orchestral music toward the end
I have watched this series from start (this episode) till the end of season 5. I'm waiting with bated breath to watch season 6. But starting the series again for like the third time, and just having seen this first episode again, I'm going to claim said episode as my favorite, at least so far. Being the episode that introduced SO many important characters to the show, this just crackled. Loved everyone, even Peter Campbell. But, right around 45 minites in, with the episode timing in at 47 minites +, there's this orchestral music that starts to play, that is not only beautiful, but seems to go on and on in violin, "swirls" if you will. Those sounds totally got me, if the episode I just witnessed wasn't enough already. So far, my favorite episode!
I was a little puzzled by this movie initially; I had no problem understanding what was going on, but it took me a good 20-30 minutes to really grasp it. Grasp the comedy, that is. The humor here, in this documentary-style picture, is subtle to some, apparently non-existent to some reviewers, but ended up to me to be laugh-out-loud funny. I know it sounds weird to say "I love Jewish people," or "...Italian people," but most of the humor here involves stereotypical humor of both, and I just loved it. But please don't misunderstand me: I have loved many Jewish and Italian folks in my life, and I loved said humor in a genuinely warm-hearted way. Anyway, I rented this film, mailed it back yesterday, but the more I think about it and talk to people about it, the more I wish I still had it and could show it to certain friends and relatives. Not that it was perfect (see my rating). The scene with the 3 girls who attempted to sing "Angel in the Morning" was pretty hard to sit through, and the members of the "band" continuously putting down Jazz music irritated me. But all in all, I'm going now to a website where I can purchase this hilarious film!
The Thing (2011)
This is NOT yet another remake OR re-telling of the classic story!
Why are so many reviewers here so ignorant? This is not yet another remake, this is, well, sort of a prequel to John Carpenter's classic 1982 remake of The Thing From Another World, from 1951. Anyone who's seen Carpenter's remake more than once must remember that, early in that film, two of the characters go to a Norwegian camp by helicopter, and witness some horrific things that had already happened to those people. And that was it. This film, the makers of which had enormous respect for Carpenter's version and didn't want to insult it in any way, decided to let us see just what the hell happened to those Norwegians before the two characters from Carpenter's version got there. That, in a nutshell, is what this movie is. I admit that I initially had a problem with the title of this; couldn't they have come up with a better title? Calling it The Thing suggests that this is indeed a remake of Carpenter's film. But it's not, I assure you. I mean, about the best title I could come up with was The Thing Before The Thing. But that's no good. Anyway, anyone who loves the Carpenter version should see this, for sure.
The Three Stooges (2012)
The Time is Just Right for this Remake
I'm pushing 60. I've been a fan of the original Three Stooges for almost my whole life. Got all the DVDs. Read most of the books. In all that time, I have seen many imitators of all 6 Stooge-members, including Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, Joe Besser and Curly Joe deRita. In these guys (Hayes, Sasso & Diamondapoulos), I've never seen anyone come nearly as close to the original Larry Curly & Moe. And that includes the three actors who portrayed the boys in the 2000 TV-movie bio-pic. But it isn't just that. It's the Writing and Directing of the Farrelly brothers here that really does the trick. The funniest things the original comedy trio did were the rapid-fire slapping, poking and punching, set to hilariously beautiful sound-effects. That is all presented here, perhaps even more often than in the original short films of the '30s & '40s. The time is just right for all this. This is another nostalgia trip for baby-boomers like me and so many others today. Presented in the form of one continuous 90-minute story divided into three 30-minute "short films," even the pace is perfect. I was a little leary of the brothers' apparent "need" to include Jersey Shore cast-members into the film, but that decision turned out okay. Loved this hilarious, fast-paced comedy film. ***1/2 out of ****
Wal-Mart: A cancer growth on the body of America: Boycott!!
Greenwald does it again! Not unlike his excellent "Outfoxed," about the corruption and absolute "B.S." of cable's Fox News Channel, he here exposes one of the worst corporations in our beloved country, and he does it with clever humor, and with poignant, real-life filmic stories of members of families of honest, good community businesses in the rural areas of America. I believe that the guy who started Wal-Mart was probably a pretty nice person, and owned an original store and a few chain stores. I don't think that that guy would have approved of the shady and downright barbaric practices utilized by his company today. I really don't. Everyone should see this film, and everyone should boycott Wal-Mart. If that doesn't happen, they will just go on profiting, and our country will be wayyy worse off for it.
And I Thought Episodes of M*A*S*H Were Multi-Storied!
My favorite TV series of all time is M*A*S*H. The main reason for that is that it is the only series ever to be mostly anti-war. Also, of course, is that it was excellently done in every way, you know, writing, directing, acting, etc. One of my favorite things about that series is that most of the best episodes are multi-storied. That is, two or three significant plots going on all at once! And, in a half-hour show! So many episodes of M*A*S*H are like watching little classic films. Then came Oz, about 14 years after M*A*S*H ended. Yeah, it started out as a summer replacement show. Yeah, there are only 8 episodes per season. Yeah, the show is dead meat now, but I'm convinced it will last forever as a cult classic! Forget about M*A*S*H, when it comes to episodes being multi-storied. This hour-long drama series, most episodes of which run about 55 minutes--without commercials--seems to have about 10 stories going in any given episode. And yes, I would agree with most of the other IMDb commentators here, that the main cast is great. My personal favorite is Dean Winters. Yeah, I know he stole much of his dialog style from Clint Eastwood, but I think he is the most compelling actor on the show. I just got Season 5 on DVD. Only one more DVD release, and my life will be complete. OZ RULES!!!
An absolutely fascinating documentary on an equally fascinating man. Writer. Whatever. What really got me going, in film's beginning, were readings from his early novels. I have never read one of his books, nor paid much attention to most of his controversial bleatings to the public. But hearing some passages from some of his novels, O my god. This man could write! This man was Kerouac and Steinbeck and Stephen King, put together! I love what I heard. I only wish I had the time to actually read his early books, and the money to buy them. The only flaw of this movie, for me, was that he got political toward the end, and his differ with mine. Oh well, unlike some people, I can't hate him for that, I just can't. He's done too much great stuff! See this. *** out of four.
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Unbelievably Bad, for Carrey AND the Farrellys!
This film, like so many other Farrelly brothers films, just doesn't work. There must be a thousand attempts at humor here. About 50 of them succeed. Sure, there are some great laughs, especially in the first several minutes, when Tony Cox (a black midget) steals Carrey's wife away, and Carrey's too stupid later to realize why he has 3 black sons! In fact, all the short scenes with the 3 black sons are hilarious beyond belief! Maybe, in some weird way, that is why most of the rest of this falls flat. And yes, that totally includes the "cow" sequence that all other critics said was so funny. Yikes, for me this movie totally tanked, except for what I mentioned above. The humor, for the most part, just falls flat for me. Oh! I forgot to describe the plot, or story! Yeah? Who gives a damn? **
Direct Order (2003)
Disappointing, but still a must-see.
A film that sounded much better than it turned out to be. This film is about many of the military folks who fought in the Gulf war of the early '90s, and how each of them was given a direct order to take an anthrax vaccine. Now, these people are all messed up physically, and some even mentally. It's a bizarre, scary and even sad story that happens to be true, and of course was never even reported on the televised, or print media, owned by Wall Street. But how this amateur filmmaker was able to talk actor Michael Douglas into reading copy in some studio closet for several minutes is beyond me. This film's main problem is that it isn't the least bit imaginative or clever in its execution. Sure, the subject is fascinating, even frightening. But this guy (Miller) makes it a snore! Better luck next time.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
One of the 2 Greatest films EVER MADE
Yep, right up there with critical darling Citizen Kane, A Clockwork Orange may look dated in some spots, but is too brilliant in every department to be taken off the Brilliant Films list. Master director Stanley Kubrick is at his height of creativity here, both in terms of visual style and storytelling. The original source material is a great novel, and though someone else's version might've looked different, and therefore looked more like what is described in the book, the story is otherwise quite faithful here. The film has everything: Action, comedy, sex, violence, prison drama, and Beethoven. What more could a person ask for? Though Kubrick directed other classic films, like The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Paths of Glory, this is undoubtedly his finest hour. A Clockwork Orange is one of the most original films in existence. Like it or not, you'll never forget it... **** out of ****