Reviews written by registered user
|29 reviews in total|
"Bad" was one of the most offensive, hilarious and brilliantly written films I saw in the 70's. Carroll Baker puts forth an incredibly bland, sarcastic performance as a housewife with a clan of hit women on the side (hey, a woman's gotta pay the bills). My only misgiving about the film was Perry King never made a very good Joe Dallesandro, and I got the feeling while I was watching it Warhol and Johnson were doing everything they could to replicate him. The saddest thing about this film is that after waiting for years for it to show up on DVD, it's finally been presented in such poor, dismal quality that it's almost not worth watching. Why would a company called CheezyFlicks release this, and release it in such poor shape? This needs a better release, as well as a remaster, so it can really be appreciated. What they've done to this classic film is a real shame.
I've been waiting to see this film for some time, and was finally just able to see it on VOD. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment, especially considering Paul Schrader directed it. The combination of he and Bret Easton Ellis is not a good one. The film is yet another saga of bored Hollywood individuals looking for meaning in life - pretty much the common theme of BEE's novels - and indulging in sex, mind games and jealousy while attempting to hold on to their flailing, angst-filled existences. Mr. Schrader drives the point home further by occasionally interspersing shots of dilapidated, closed movie theaters to show us how the "old Hollywood" has decayed. "The Canyons" attempts very hard to shock, but unfortunately, we've seen it all before, as Hollywood has been making these caricatures of itself since the 70's and 80's. Lindsay Lohan is surprisingly effective in her role most of the time, and carries a lot of the film. James Deen, who I was not familiar with as I'm not that into porn, also does a believable job (and illustrates WHY he's had a career in porn during his full frontal shot). There's also a refreshing twist during a four-way sex scene. But I was left wondering at the end of the film - and it ends very awkwardly - what was the point, and how could anyone invest much empathy in these characters? I understand "The Canyons" opens today in Los Angeles and New York, as well as being simultaneously offered on television and Itunes via pay-per-view. I would be very surprised if this gets any further than those two major cities; it's just not engrossing or original enough to draw in much of an audience.
Hard to believe Brian dePalma has sunk this low. The film is boring, dreadfully scripted, and looks like a long perfume commercial. Real people just don't dress and look like this; DePalma seemed to be heading toward this stylized, air-brushed look when he made "Dressed to Kill," and it's gotten progressively worse with each film, except "The Untouchables." "Passion's" script starts out to be about two female executives vying for the same account, and then goes off in five different directions. He toys with gratuitous lesbianism in some segments, which might have been bold and sexy in the 70's and 80's, but now just comes off looking dated and embarrassing. The film's 100 minutes could easily have been pared down to 20 and it would have been more interesting and less ponderous. A real disappointment.
I've never been a fan of Alan Cumming, but this film has turned me around. He gives a great performance in this, and it's confounding to me why this never got a broader release. Yes, there are some flaws in the way the 70's are portrayed, and some of the characterizations are a little trite; but I thought overall the film was poignant and made its statement very effectively. Like other reviewers have mentioned, the ending was not at all what I thought it would be and took me by surprise. What stays with me after seeing the film are the brief clips of Cummings singing, in particular, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore," in which he almost sounded like someone wounded. I will be buying this DVD, as I really feel like the film wasn't given much of a chance at the box office to gain the wider audience it deserved.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like another reviewer here, I'm also perplexed why people have given
this such negative reviews. As a kid my parents took me with them to
see "Funny Girl" and even at that young age I was impressed by Barbra
Streisand; however, as her career progressed I became less enamored of
her and found most of her performances to be mechanical and pretty
narcissistic. When she directed herself, camera angles always seemed to
be engineered to show only one side of her face, and she really didn't
seem to be able to concentrate fully enough to be able to do any
serious acting (as an example, her crying scene in "The Way We Were"
always embarrassed me, it seemed so forced and artificial).
"The Guilt Trip" is a small, enjoyable comedy that wasn't meant to be side-splittingly funny. The refreshing thing, though, is that Sreisand carries the film, and she's relaxed, confident, totally unself-conscious, and a very good actress. There's a quick shot at the end of the film where she looks as though she's about to become tearful, and it seemed totally authentic and I actually found myself choking up for a second. Somehow the last few years seem to have made her into a very different person, and her the character she created came across to me as a very likable individual. Sure, parts of the script reminded me of a t.v. sitcom, but they weren't excruciatingly bad (I'd like to have seen more of an explanation as to why the mother became so disappointed upon learning why her son had arranged the final trip to San Francisco; it didn't make total sense to me.) I'm disappointed this film didn't last longer than it did when it was released; it deserved a better run.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a middle-aged man, I found this to be one of the most ridiculous films I've seen in some time. It's basically two hours of one dimensional portrayals of men by women complaining of being seen as one-dimensional by men. One fairly long scene in one of the characters' living room in which they all state their opinions of men flabbergasted me; why would any self-respecting man WANT any of these whining, narcissistic victims in the first place? Performances aside (except for Angela Bassett, who was totally wasted by never changing her angry expression throughout the whole film), the effort is pretty badly written, and the constant message of "those bad, bad males" starts to become tiring after awhile. I didn't find these women "strong..." I found them very entitled and, as another reviewer put it, self-absorbed. I don't think there was one male character in the film who was portrayed sympathetically or in a three-dimensional manner. It's interesting to me that when films like this come out portraying women in the same way, there's quite a brouhaha; when the tables get turned, it's "groundbreaking."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a gay man who's been in a relationship in the past with a drug user, I found this to be one of the most compelling and original films I've seen in a long time. The reviewer who stated he's "never even met anyone who's done crack" and accuses it of being "stereotypical" is either living in a small town somewhere or doesn't get out very much; meth and coke use are rampant in the gay community in San Francisco and other big cities, and this film very accurately portrays the disappointments and the gradual loss of self-esteem someone involved with a user goes through in hoping they'll recover. I don't watch a lot of "gay" films because I feel a lot of them are trivial, but this delved into territory I've not seen anyone brave enough to explore before, similar to "Shame." It's not always an easy film to watch, but it's raw and it's real. It will be interesting to see what kind of box office it gets or if it ends up falling between the cracks because it'll be marketed as just another "gay film." This is a universal story, it just happens to be portrayed here as happening between two men... I hope the film gets a fair release and people get a chance to see it.
The older I get, the more I see Bertolucci's vision in "Last Tango in Paris" in a different way. The film is pretty tame by 2012 standards, and now that all the smoke has died down it's aged beautifully. When it came out in 1972, films were changing; reality was being presented on the screen rather than the Hollywood fantasy world that had precluded the rating system, and "Last Tango's" X rating shocked a lot of people. The interesting thing is that it has always seemed to me to be one of the most romantic films ever made, and Jeanne's innocence and idealism is what wins out in the end over Brando's jaded, cynical personality. Ironically, the film seems to be saying that in the end it favors the romantic view of life, and the music and Vittorio Storraro's beautiful colors seem to lend to that even more so. This picture, along with "The Conformist," were to me Bertolucci's finest films, and I've never seen anything else he's ever made that's equaled these two masterpieces. The performances are spellbinding, and the way it merges its two themes and the personalities of the two almost opposite characters is brilliant. As the years have gone by, this has become much more than just a motion picture; it also makes a statement about how films transformed and matured in the 1970's, but still had the ability to portray beauty despite being more graphic.
This is a very engaging, well-researched documentary that details a great many additions to the Tate/LaBianca murders that were never made public. Mr. Dorsey is a likable, enthusiastic host throughout the film, who clearly has an obsession with Hollywood trivia. Despite his legal troubles, I've always considered Roman Polanski to be one of the world's best and original directors, and the film gave me a little more depth into his life and what he must have gone through during this horrific period. The doc appears to be shot on video, and I'd never heard of it until now; am curious if Mr. Dorsey managed to make a profit off of it, as it looks as though he put a great deal of work into its production. It's chilling at times and a little on the black/ghoulish side, but a bit like driving by a car wreck... you want to, but you can't look away. Manson and his followers were clearly very sick individuals who created a great deal of destruction besides just the Tate/LaBianca killings; this is an excellent documentary that explains that in a lot more detail.
Like most of the other user reviews listed here, I felt that "Shame" was one of the best movies I've seen this year. Fassbender gives an incredible performance (and he was just as good in "Hungry," which I feel didn't get enough attention in the U.S.). My one complaint about the film is that I felt the script copped out a little bit... both the main character and his sister had some major issues with intimacy, and alluded to a pretty difficult upbringing several times in the film; but it was only hinted at in a very vague manner. I wanted to know why this man was so seriously alienated from everyone around him, as well as what had caused his sister's emotional problems. As a result, I was left feeling that the characters were drawn kind of one-dimensionally, rather than fleshed out. Living in San Francisco, as in most big cities, I can tell you that I've met many people who think and act similarly to Fassbender's character and have never been able to understand why commitment is so terrifying to them; it would have been great if "Shame" had put a few pieces of that puzzle together, rather than giving me the opportunity to just observe it all over again and wonder why.
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