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Another alien being (or is he?) comes to Earth and teaches us how to ne more human.
Not that funny, and leaves way to many loose ends...like a bad X-Files episode.
Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges both lavish considerable talent on their performances, but can't save a bad script.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
the Dude as Christ figure?
Now I am not one of those who like to read too much meaning into everything, and no bible thumper either, but I couldn't help noticing the following similarities between the Dude and JC:
- the obvious physical similarities..hair, beard, sandals and loose-fitting plain clothing
- the simple and impoverished lifestyle
- both are 'baptised' early in the significant part of their histories.
- both have visionary dreams.
- both turn the other cheek (this is the Dude's most noticable trait..no matter who beats on him or what indignities he suffers, he never offers anyone the slightest threat or violent reaction).
- both have close associates who tend to take things a bit too far.
- both are called to self-sacrifice in the promise of reward from the "big guy", who ultimately let's them down and proves to be less than he appeared.
- both are importuned and tempted by a whore, to whose feet they pay homage.
And finally, what about the Sam Elliot line at the end, about the Dude out there 'layin' back fer all us sinners' ?
I wouldn't want this to distract from the simple of enjoyment of yet another Coen Bros masterpiece of dark comedy, but I can't help wondering if this is just my imagination or if the brothers actually did this on purpose.
If so, they tipped us another little clue by throwing in an almost demonic character named Jesus...not pronounced Hey-soos either :)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Amazing performances and brilliant direction...a scary, scary film because it is all too believable.
De Niro's incoherent longing and fumbling, paranoic attempts to connect with the human race in the twisted nightmare of New York night streets is groundbreaking, milestone film-making.
Paved the way for Stone, Tarentino et al, though no one has ever matched it.
Only one thing bothers me...those headaches...did they just go away, or did they get worse?
Natural Born Killers (1994)
whatever else you may feel, the Cohen songs are perfect
I'm not going to argue for the brilliance of this movie...I thought it was one of the best I have seen, but I can also understand why some people hated it.
I will say, though, that the three songs from fellow-Canadian Leonard Cohen fit perfectly with Stone's dark vision...he's 'seen the future, brother, it is murder.'
Here is a movie that is utterly without redeeming qualities.
I was a Belushi fan, but I never shared the opinion that Woodward's book was a hatchet job...on the contrary, I though it was a pretty good piece of journalism.
This movie, however, is not at all faithful to the book. There is a bunch of "ghost of Christmas past" kind of stuff with the ghost of Belushi riding through his past with a Latino cab driver who identifies himself as Belushi's 'guardian angel'...where did this come from?
It's certainly not in the book.
Everyone involved seems embarrassed to be part of this mess, and so they should!
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give "Wired" a MINUS 20...utter and complete garbage...the final insult to a great performer.
Cats & Dogs (2001)
It's a dog alright
I almost wish I had seen this in the theater because it would have given me the opportunity to do something I have never done before...walk out after 15 minutes and demand my money back!
I haven't got the words to describe how unutterably bad this movie is. Obviously I am not expecting high art from a movie like this, but I have occasionally been pleasantly surprised, even delighted, by 'kids movies'. Shrek comes to mind, as does Chicken Run.
Even the Dr Doolittle movies are worth the price of the rental, but not this turkey.
I'm not going to list it's faults in detail...that would take more time than I already wasted watching the first part of the movie.
All this movie did for me was leave me wondering how they could lavish this much talent and money on something so utterly without redeeming qualities. The writers particularly should have been tarred and feathered, not paid, for their efforts on this one.
I give 'Cats and Dogs' minus 5 out of 5.
The West Wing (1999)
special episode was amazing television
The special episode which pre-empted the season opener was among the best television I have seen...a brilliant piece of writing that cut to the heart of the issues arising from the Sept 11th tragedy without being even the tiniest bit exploitative.
This is the only show, the only writer, and the only cast in network TV that could have pulled this off.
There may be no answers to address what happened Sept 11th, but this show sure asked all the right questions.
Next Door (1994)
This ranks right up there among the four or five WORST movies I've ever seen.
How they talked good people like Quaid, Woods and Capshaw into this appalling script I cannot imagine.
If it was supposed to be a 'dark comedy' there should have been even one good laugh in there somewhere.
On the other hand, if it was supposed to be a psychological drama, some effort might have been made to have even one character behave in ways we might see as remotely believable.
For me, the worst thing about this stinker was the fact that the story line (nice couple is cursed with neighbors from hell) is banal....most of us have had neighbors from hell, and, as Peewee Herman once said "I don't need to watch it Dottie, I LIVED it".
Galaxy Quest (1999)
The 'Three Amigos" in outer space
Based upon essentially the same premise as the Steve Martin/Chevy Chase/Martin Short spoof of 50's Hollywood and the oat-burners, this one takes on television Sci-Fi, but , as with "Three Amigos" the satire is affectionate, the performances are hilarious and ultimately it's a very fun movie.
Sigourney Weaver is great, as always, and look also for wonderful, quirky performances from Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub (late of the sadly short lived TV sitcom "Stark Raving Mad") and Enrico Colontoni (Elliot from "Just Shoot Me"). Tim Allan is, well Tim Allan, but it would take more than one merely adequate performance to spoil this little romp.
Not rocket science, but a good laugh and even the special effects are pretty good, considering that they are not really the point.
Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997)
This is the way the Grimms meant fairy tales to be told.
Like the fairy-tales told by the evil librarian in Stephen Kings novella "The Library Policeman", this is not a tale for sending the children to dreamland! Violent, dark and gripping, this version of the story lays bare human cruelty, frailty and heroism like a good fairy-tale should.
You've never seen Sigourney Weaver like this before...seductive, beautiful and utterly evil. The setting, costumes and general ambiance of the piece are rich and totally believable...a visually striking movie with a beginning that will grab you and a powerful ending.
Beautiful to look at and compelling from start to finish.