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11 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A hilariously touching movie., 9 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wasn't really that interested in seeing this film when it first came out. I was 14 years old and not really that bothered about watching Jack Nicholson insult people and romance Helen Hunt. That was my immature and deluded opinion about this film ten years ago. Now I'm a big fan of Jack and I first watched this film three years ago. I have to say, I loved it! What I loved about this film is that it wasn't like all the other romantic comedies you watch. Boy meets girl, they like each other, they pretend not to, they go with other people, mishaps occur, and then finally they realise they're made for each other, and you see them kissing and hugging with the romantic city backdrop. This was different. That's why it's my favourite.

Nicholson deservedly won the Oscar for his role as Melvin Udall, a writer of female romantic fiction who happens to suffer from OCD. In the extreme sense. I didn't think that in watching a film about someone with this undeniably serious complaint that I could find it so hilarious in places! The way in which he insults people wherever he goes and is obsessed with being clean and not standing too close to people just cracked me up! Helen Hunt (again a well-deserved Oscar for her-and being in the same year as Kate Winslet for Titanic, that was a tough choice for me) was wonderful as Carol Connelly, a waitress in the restaurant Melvin eats breakfast at, who is used to the way Melvin treats people and more than holds her own against him.

Despite the 26-year-age difference, Nicholson and Hunt make an explosive pairing, the chemistry sizzled, and she proved she was more than a match for Nicholson in this film. The way in which her body language and dialogue conveyed that she both despised and felt compassion for this man was excellently conveyed by Hunt. I wasn't too surprised that romance blossomed for them despite everything, although many people may think it's too hard to believe for Carol to fall for Melvin, I was actually really pleased they got together, and the speech Melvin gives to Carol at the end had me moved to tears.

Greg Kinnear is fantastic as the gay neighbour Simon. His little-boy-lost face when he realises he has been conned by burglars, and also when he realises his little dog prefers Melvin to him is brilliant-and I have to rewind that scene in which he says, 'You don't like ANYTHING, Mr. Udall.' and then turns and flounces back to his apartment in a completely feminine way. It cracks me up. Lots of little, subtle moments that make this movie special.

I truly believe that Nicholson and Hunt were made for these roles, the film just would not have worked with two other actors. 'As Good As it Gets' is quite possibly the best romantic comedy since Sleepless in Seattle, and I give it eight out of ten.

Carrie (1976)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A masterpiece of teen horror!, 6 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's the same in most schools. Girl or boy gets bullied for being different. Shy, strange, unusual, etc. Stephen King wrote a book about such a situation and they turned it into one of the best horror films in recent history.

'Carrie' is one of my favourite films, for many reasons. It's funny, it's sharp, it's scary, and it's tragic, all at the same time. Sissy Spacek gives a stunning performance as the tortured and bullied Carrie White, living with her religious fanatic mother and suffering the trauma of her first period at seventeen years of age. What should be an exciting time for her is one of misery and bitterness because her own mother didn't think to tell her about the female cycle-and when to her horror she finally began it in the school locker rooms, she was subjected to laughter and humiliation from the other girls, who resorted to throwing tampons and sanitary towels at her. However, actions can have consequences, and I've never enjoyed watching a film so much before. I read the book before I saw the film, and I wasn't disappointed. Brian De Palma was faithful to King's story, and cast wonderful actors to play these important parts, and they were all important to the plot, whether big or small. That's what was so wonderful about 'Carrie'.

Spacek fully deserved her Oscar nomination for this performance. She was 27 years old when she played a 17 year old Carrie, and she pulled off the lost and alone little girl to perfection, and completely surpassed herself when Carrie finally snapped at the end. Her pairing with Piper Laurie as Margaret White was dynamic, one of the most interesting screen matches ever, and the two actresses conveyed the volatile mother-daughter relationship perfectly. Carrie didn't understand why her mother thought that everything, including periods, dating and sex was a sin, and thought that maybe by mixing with the other students properly, she could fit in and be treated like everyone else. Even when she realised the extent of her powers, all she wanted to do was not have to use them and be like other people. Her need for normal life and her craving for her mother's affection was heartrending, poignant and brilliantly conveyed by Spacek.

I loved Amy Irving's performance as the remorseful Sue, one of the popular girls who feels so sorry for Carrie and guilty for the locker room incident that she asks her own boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom. Of course, anyone who has seen this movie will know that things don't go quite according to plan at the prom, thanks to the evil plotting of biggest school bully and glamour princess Chris Hargenson (a great performance from Nancy Allen) and her deadbeat boyfriend Billy (hilariously played by John Travolta). I don't want to completely give away the ending if you haven't seen this movie but I can tell you it's shocking, dramatic and incredibly moving.

Naturally, compared to horror films made nowadays Carrie is extremely dated and didn't have the same kind of effects they can use now, but the effects that were used in this film (including the sound effects) were terrifying and realistic, and made you realise that anyone with those kind of powers can be capable of anything when driven to the edge. Fantastic script, wonderful acting, brilliant direction. 'Carrie' is a ten out of ten.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
'Out by sixteen or dead in this scene. But together forever.' The best teen horror film since Carrie., 27 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I only heard about the Ginger Snaps movies last year, so I went out and bought the first film and watched it. I have to say I was impressed. It's not often you watch a horror film that is as intelligent, witty and stylish as this one.

Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) and Brigette (Emily Perkins) are sisters, outcasts and soulmates. They are obsessed with death and hate their boring existence in Bailey Downs. They even have a special pact to die with each other and be 'together forever.' Then Ginger gets bitten by a werewolf and things begin to change.

I found it interesting in this film that at the time Ginger was bitten by the werewolf she was experiencing her very first period at Age 16. She's obviously a late developer and also very uninterested in understanding her menstrual cycle. She mocks her mother's enthusiasm and sees her first period as a 'curse'.

One other thing I have to point out is Emily Perkins' performance in this film. She simply has to react to what happens to Ginger and Perkins did a wonderful job-she was playing the sidekick as such but in turn came into her own and ended up taking centre stage for a lot of the film, teaming up with loner older guy Sam and desperately trying to find a cure for her changing sister. Brigette's only problem is that Ginger seems to enjoy the fact she's quickly becoming a wolf-killing people, feeding off them, becoming sexually aggressive with men (and also turning them into werewolves), and Brigette doesn't know how to stop her because no one else knows Ginger's secret. People are getting hurt or killed and Brigette is desperately trying to put a stop to Ginger's killing spree. Perkins is amazing. Brigette comes across as painfully shy and living in her older sister's shadow but of course when Ginger starts to lose control it is up to Brigette to help her-before it's too late.

Isabelle and Perkins are wonderful together-they put you right there in the action and you see them as sisters-both hating the world and wanting to escape it, together. The werewolf bite tears them apart (so to speak) and they are no longer as close as they once were because Ginger is clearly hurt that Brigette won't embrace the curse and join her. When she finally does it is both tragic and heart-rending-making you realise that Brigette never really saw any other alternative because, in reality, Ginger is all she had in the world.

This film is a dark comedy with brilliant performances all round, particularly from Mimi Rogers as the concerned yet somewhat drippy mother. Fantastic special effects and werewolf make up which make Ginger's eventual full transformation into wolf so much fun to watch.

Ginger Snaps is a definite one to watch. Nine out of Ten.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A wonderful piece of cinema-full marks to Peter Jackson!, 23 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I actually first watched this movie about eight years ago. I was and still am a big fan of Kate Winslet and as this was her very first film and she was only nineteen when it was made, I was interested in seeing how she started her film career. So I watched the film-and ended up watching one of the best, most moving, and most hauntingly fantastic films I've seen. To be honest I was very shocked to find that it was based on true events. It made me sad (but not completely surprised, given the events of today) to think that something like this actually happened, committing by teenage girls besides anything.

Kate Winslet was amazing in her debut, as was Melanie Lynskey. Their interaction and chemistry on-screen was brilliant, portraying the schoolgirls Pauline (Yvonne, Charles, Gina) and Juliet (Deborrah) as being young girls who find they are 'soulmates' though from totally different classes. Juliet is British-the daughter of a successful, rich doctor and an attractive marriage counsellor, but there's a downside to her situation. She has the money and the house and the material things but she does not have the thing she craves-her parents' love. She is the typical spoilt little rich girl, abandoned by her parents regularly, left to fend for herself and in turn becoming rather rebellious. She clearly sees Pauline as her freedom, as someone she can relate to and have fun with. Pauline, bored with her dull, monotonous life and possessive mother, also sees Juliet as a freedom and the two friends soon become inseparable.

I have never enjoyed watching the events of a film unfold so much-it was unpredictable, it was scary in places (the clay figures of Borovnia and the violent son of Charles and Deborrah, Diello, slaying everybody stick in the mind) and it was also poignant. I didn't feel sympathy for the girls, it was difficult to, but the film left me wondering how on earth they could have gotten so desperate as to commit such a vile act against another person. There was something very different about the two girls-they had a strange psychic connection-they truly believed that this 'Fourth World' existed and that they would join their favourite film stars in a place beyond Heaven. As the film progresses and you realise just how deep into their own little fantasy world they are, you begin to also wonder about their clearly disintegrating mental state-something in which their parents mistakenly believe is simply homosexuality. While the girls do experience sex together, what they have together is something far more sinister and far more powerful-something both sets of parents realise too late.

'Heavenly Creatures' isn't like other films, in my opinion. It isn't an epic, and it probably hasn't even been seen by wide audiences. It's an independent, possibly low-budget offering by the fantastic Peter Jackson. Lord of the Rings it definitely isn't. But it offers the viewer something else. Anyone who hasn't seen this movie needs to sit down and watch it. It's not one to be ignored.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Something different in a rom-com! Loved it!, 20 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

PLEASE NOTE, THIS COMMENT CONTAINS SPOILERS I think we can establish from most of my posts that I am biased, as I am a huge fan of Jack Nicholson, but let's put that aside for now and I'll comment on how much I truly loved this film. It was so different from other rom-coms I've seen in that it wasn't about two young people falling in love, but two older people who think they're past their prime but find love with each other anyway.

Jack is playing himself in this (love it!) as Harry, an ageing casinos with an eye for the younger ladies. Cue much of his eyebrow action, husky voice and killer smile. Diane Keaton is the unimpressed, sarcastic mother of his latest younger girlfriend-and right from the word go the chemistry is sizzling! What I liked about the film is how the relationship between Erica and Harry went from extreme dislike, to disdain, to confusion, sex, and finally true love. You could completely identify with Erica in that she's divorced, has one grown-up daughter and spends her days (and nights) sitting at home writing successful plays but not really doing much else except maybe spending time with her sister. When Harry comes on the scene, once over her initial disgust at a 63-year-old man dating her 29-year-old daughter, she begins to become interested in him, and that's where the fun begins.

There are so many hilariously funny moments in this movie, moments where I can truly say I've laughed out loud-particularly the 'I was looking for the bathroom!' 'BACK HERE?!' moment. The interaction between Harry and Erica (and the brilliant acting of Nicholson and Keaton) is both touching and funny throughout the whole movie, and the sexual tension between them is what keeps the film the fabulous film it is. Keanu Reeves makes a great addition as the doctor besotted with Erica.

What I loved most about it was the fact I identified so much with Erica. She was in love with this man who just couldn't be in a relationship with her and she was so devastated she spent her days in floods of tears. (the crying scenes were my favourite scenes in the film, I was crying myself with laughter!) but also I was thinking, 'We've all been there.' The magic of this film is its unpredictability. Things happen in which you think that Harry and Erica may not get together, and you end up wondering whether Harry will end up alone. Will he finally accept that he just can't be that picky anymore and go for the woman who he truly wants in his heart but is too proud to admit it? Wonderful film. I was a bit dewy-eyed when the credits rolled.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
One of the most heart-rending movies ever made, 16 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*PLEASE NOTE, THIS COMMENT CONTAINS SPOILERS* I first watched Terms two years ago, and I have to admit that I only bought the DVD because of Jack Nicholson. I am a huge fan of his and wanted to see what his performance was like. As always, it was outstanding, and I loved his chemistry with Shirley MacLaine, but I felt I should express how much I loved both MacLaine and Debra Winger in their roles as mother and daughter Aurora and Emma Greenway.

From the start of the movie it is clear that Aurora has a smothering love for Emma. She's lost her husband and Emma is the only thing she has left. Aurora isn't an unattractive woman (she actually has a string of admirers) but she seems uninterested in men and simply enjoys spending her time criticising her daughter and telling her what to do and what not to do. She disapproved of Emma marrying a man she considered an idiot and as a result boycotted her own daughter's wedding. What I thought was brilliant about that, however, is that even though she did something so spiteful and heartless to her only child, it still didn't make you hate her. MacLaine made Aurora Greenway a character that kept you glued to the screen, eager to see what she would do or say next.

The focal point of the film is, of course, Aurora and Emma's relationship. You can tell that Emma loves her mother, but that she also has a disdain for her and in that respect becomes rebellious, marrying the man her mother hates, leaving her hometown and having children with him. I think that maybe Aurora always assumed that she had a power over Emma and when this proves not to be the case, she in turn lets her daughter know how hurt she is but also somewhat respects her for having her independence. It certainly doesn't stop her calling her for hours each day! On watching this movie, I was touched at how it was able to combine family issues, happiness, sadness, love and tragedy all in one. Aurora feels alone once Emma leaves home and longs for companionship, even though she tries not to let it show. Her affair with the next door neighbour, astronaut Garrett Breedlove (Nicholson) is one of the funniest things in the film, and both Jack and Shirley do wonderful jobs conveying their tumultuous affair, and Aurora's realisation that she may feel stronger for Garrett than she realised.

Terms does the job of really making you think about family values, and what is important-friends and family. When Emma suspects Flap is cheating on her and decides to retaliate by seeing another man herself (played brilliantly by Jon Lithgow), she looks to her mother for advice, but of course, Aurora is just as messed up as her daughter is! I thought Debra Winger did a fantastic job as Emma, she was able to play serious and comical equally-and you never really knew what was going to happen next. It goes to prove how wonderful Shirley MacLaine is by making you sympathise and understand a woman who is clearly an obsessive and self-righteous mother but undoubtedly adores her daughter, which is expressed when she realises she is going to lose her. Shirley MacLaine totally deserved the Oscar she was given.

Anyone who hasn't seen this brilliant film, see it. It's funny, it's sad, it's moving. It's top-notch entertainment.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
How is it possible to dislike this movie?, 1 December 2006

I would just like to say firstly that I absolutely adored this movie. How can you not enjoy a film that's comedy, tragedy and thriller all rolled into one? Not to mention the added bonus of having the fantastic Jack Nicholson in a starring role. (the naval uniform doesn't look bad on him either) Randy Quaid is the young man heading for prison and Jack and Otis Young are the two naval officers responsible for taking him to jail. But they want to give him a good time first-therein lies the fun.

In places this film seemed a little bit bleak, but I think that was intended, because here is this boy, not much more than a child, realising he's probably ruined his life by a stupid mistake and you can almost feel his despair in his more darker moments. I thought Quaid did an excellent job of conveying Meadows' emotions and fears, daunted at the prospect of a lengthy stretch in prison.

Nicholson is perfect in the role of Buddusky. He's a typical sailor, drinks too much, swears too much and screws around too much. But despite his violent and coarse bravado you can see that he really does feel for Meadows and that's what makes his character so likable. While Mule (Otis Young) takes a lot longer to get accustomed to Meadows, Buddusky seems to take to him right away.

There's so much humour mixed in with the slightly harrowing plot line here, and you can't help but laugh at scenes, and parts of dialogue in the movie (most of the things Buddusky says, or his conversations with Mule about Meadows). Carol Kane has an excellent cameo and the overall direction was remarkable. Why is it that so many films from the 70s, particularly with Jack in them, seem to be overlooked, particularly this one? This is a film that I think everybody should watch, not just because it makes you think about life in a different way, and how valuable it is, particularly when you're on the verge of losing years of it, but for the main reason this film is a total gem. It makes you laugh. A lot.

See it!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of the most interesting films I've ever watched!, 28 November 2006

I have to say one thing for this film. It's one of the most underrated of the 70s, and i am bitterly disappointed that Jack, simply because he is such a terrific actor, didn't win an Oscar for this performance.

Bobby Dupea is one of the most complex characters i have ever watched. Throughout the whole film I felt as though I did not have a clue what was going on inside his head and also that i completely understood him, both at the same time. You get the impression of him being uncaring and bitter, especially towards his girlfriend, but when he returns to his family you see a different side of him, he seems more in touch with his emotions and while he is moody he is also affectionate, if not teasing, towards his brother and fiercely protective of his sister.

Watching the film you feel as though you are taking this emotional journey with Robert, finding out about his current life, his former life with his family, and why he ran from that in the first place. Why does he feel such contempt for Rayette? All she wants is for him to love her but all Bobby can do is put her down and revile her taste in Country music.

It's a deep and moving film with some extremely funny moments, the chicken salad sandwich scene to name but a few, and Helena Kalinotes gives an underrated and marvellous performance as Palm Apodaka. Karen Black portrayed the naive and emotional Rayette to perfection, and Susan Anspach was brilliant as the conservative Catherine, a real contrast to Bobby's free spirit.

I just adored this film, I really did. It's small but undeniably complex and thanks to the impeccable direction by Bob Rafelson you can't help but be engrossed from beginning to end. A world-class movie.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
This movie is a hidden gem!, 21 November 2006

What can I say about this film? I may not have given it 10 out of 10 but it is definitely one of Jack's better films. It is so different to anything else he has done before, in my opinion, that some people may not know how to respond but all in all they should watch it anyway, because, more than anything else, it's impressionable and very, very interesting.

The character of David Staeblar (Jack Nicholson) comes across as your average, slightly middle-class male, seeming settled in his usual daily routine of life and living comfortably with his grandfather. When he meets up with his ambitious older brother, he seems somewhat disdainful of his pathetic dreams of success in Atlantic City. You never quite understand whether David is dismissing these pipe dreams because he doesn't believe they can happen or because he is slightly jealous of his brother.

The film, above all, highlights the relationship between four people, and how they react to each other. The two brothers and the two women. Between the brothers you can sense there is a love there but there is also an underlying current of bitterness and regret, almost as though they were never that close in childhood.

Sally (Ellen Burstyn) is clearly in love with Jason but she is also terrified that his 'upcoming success' will leave her out in the cold and, despite coming across as independent and feisty, you can see she is desperately trying to cling on to a stability she craves with him. She wants people to think she's okay but really she craves security. There is anguish and real suppressed emotion there. She was considered beautiful in her day but her looks are fading and she's not getting any younger. She's constantly reminded of that when she looks at her stepdaughter Jessie. I think Ellen Burstyn played this role beautifully and truly think she deserved to win an Oscar.

Both the direction and screenplay on this movie were impeccable, and I would strongly suggest to anyone who hasn't seen this film that they rent it or buy it because it is definitely not one to be missed.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Jack's well-deserved Oscar-winning role is top drawer in my book!, 17 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is it any wonder that this film won Jack Nicholson his first Oscar? What a performance, I couldn't rave about it enough.

The main thing I loved about this movie was how it was actually filmed in a mental institution, with actual mental patients. I thought this really reflected on the actors' performances, and gave it that extra element of realism.

Nicholson's McMurphy is quite possibly one of the most interesting characters I've ever watched in a film. He has wit, charisma and no doubt charm but you can also sense real emotion there. He's not afraid to speak his mind and you can almost sense his desperation to be liked by his fellow patients. He's somewhat a force of nature and he likes to think he's being influential to the others.

Louise Fletcher was a fantastic contrast to Jack, playing the disdainful Miss Ratched effortlessly. You could really sense the hostility between her and Nicholson. Nurse Ratched has been respected and feared in the hospital for a long while-that is obvious-and when McMurphy comes into the ward and disrupts her regime it knocks her off balance and causes her to resent him. However, she doesn't outwardly show her hatred of him through words, she shows it through her actions. What I admired about Fletcher's performance was how she always managed to sustain that cool, icy exterior throughout, and it made you never really know what she was thinking. Then her Nurse Ratched would do, or say something, or have a reaction to something that completely shocks you. It truly says something about Fletcher's acting ability when she makes you hate this woman so much for the way in which she treats the patients (and the scary thing is, she thinks she's doing them good) and yet still want to understand her motivation and why she does what she does. The horrific way in which she taunts Billy after she finds him with Candy is devastating, and you can't take your eyes off the screen. Nicholson's reactions to her quiet taunts and his expression towards Billy, a mixture of confusion and pity, makes one of the best scenes of the film.

One of the key elements of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' is that it is supposed to imply that McMurphy represents freedom in the inmates' eyes. They may not be committed to the ward, most of them, but they still feel like they cannot escape this dull, dreary routine of group discussions and card games. McMurphy brings life into the ward, he makes the patients see that they're not crazy, that they do belong in the outside world, that they're just like everybody else outside on the street. The scene in which Nicholson tries to reach out to the inmates and explain this to them brings tears to the eyes and makes you laugh at the same time-very rare in a movie, but in turn makes powerful drama.

There are so many moments, and so many quotes, I love in this movie, particularly the whole World Series sequence. There's just so much energy in the character of McMurphy, you can't help but be transfixed. The only drawback being after I watched the film I found it hard to shut off from some of the more emotional scenes, however, I still find it one of the most effective and touching films I have seen.

The fantastic Milos Forman, Michael Douglas and of course Nicholson and Fletcher well deserved their Oscars. Best Picture of 1975? I would say so!

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