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A breath of fresh air!
There are people who do not like watching movies with subtitles. DVD is a great format, you can turn the subtitles off... Beware though, as with Crouching Tiger, I strongly suggest that rather than listen to the dubbed English version, which lacks the evocative feel and delivery of the films native tongue (if you hate subtitles that much), you should, I suggest, learn the language!
Amelie is the perfect antidote for the Hollywood formulafest. A film that concentrates on lifes simplest pleasures, such as popping the bubbles in bubblewrap, or skimming stones. It evokes our childhood pleasures and wraps them around the viewer, simplifying the conventional worries we have in our adult lives. Amelie's position in imdb top 250 films had intrigued me for ages, and now I have finally seen it, I agree that it thoroughly deserves its place. The film intertwines with itself, in an intelligent sophisticated manner, and is delivered to the audience with such effortless simplicity, that you become completely immersed in Neverland!
Amelie is a gem of a movie, and solid proof that France is at the forefront of imagination and storytelling, within the cinematic world!
A Mother's Justice (1991)
Insomniac's guide to TV
I could not sleep, and Channel 5 UK decided to screen this film last night... It is a film about a serial rapist that the police could not catch, so the mother of one of the victims decides to catch him herself. The issue is a serious one. I think that Warren Thurlow may actually be a real person, and the film certainly had the feel of a true story type drama. The rapes themselves, and the horror of the experience are not shown in any graphic detail, which although a sensitive handling of a very emotive issue, has the downside of failing to really involve the viewer in the story. In this respect, "The Accused" is the best film to date of the genre. I would have liked to have seen more emphasis placed on the police and their shortcomings in failing to apprehend the suspect. The story is told instead, around the perspective of the victim's family, and the lack of information they have about what the police are actually doing is translated quite well. I would like to have seen more on people's motives and the underlying psychology, from the rapist through the family and the victims, but this is a documentary of facts, not of the issues themselves. For that reason, I feel that it does not have enough of an impact to classify it as anything more than another film on late night TV. It should not be instantly forgettable, but it is.
Miss Congeniality (2000)
Miss Texas rules
A good concept, a light hearted script, superb character portrayal by Sandra Bullock adds up to a great little film.
What I like most about this film, is the character Sandra plays. Someone I can identify with:- messy, single, free-spirited/rebellious, with her heart in the right place.
The story is original. Undercover FBI agents rarely appear in the cinema at a Miss America contest, as a contestant.... it must rank up there with Point Break for best undercover jobs thought up in Hollywood!!!
Aside from that the film conforms to the standard hollywood format, and is predictable in the usual way. Negative comments posted on the board will be from people who object to this lack of originality. They are missing the point. This is a delightful story, and its beauty lies in the WAY the story is told, not the story itself. You just have to hear Sandra's snorting laugh to see my point!
Overall, great fun, but Miss Texas should have won! (Mary Jo Wright, we look forward to more films with you in the lead role!!!)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Find out why they ditched Kirsty Swanson or Sarah M Gellar
Joss had to have a past. This was it. Kirsty Swanson plays her part well enough, but she simply goes from being an annoying type extra from "Clueless" into an annoying Slayer...
The TV series is without question one of the best shows out there. When you consider what a mess was made of Highlander, and even Timecop on the TV series, side, Joss has progressed from an imaginative director hamstrung by a pathetic cast (even Donald Sutherland & Rutger Hauer struggle here) to someone who is making stars of the characters in his series.
Only the Superman series has managed to come close to building young actors careers. Stargate SG1 is pretty good too...
If you are planning on watching a prequel to a well loved tv series, stick with Superman and Stargate though...
Buffy, I remember avoiding in the video store well before they made the tv series. It was on TV last night here in the UK, and the only satisfaction it gave me, was how accurate my instincts were, before I had the benefit of utilising this forum to select good films...
One to avoid. Joss needs to remake this (ala Sam Raimi) now he has more money, and put Sarah Michelle Gellar in place as the young slayer, before moving school....
Two Ninas (1999)
First off, a big thank you to all the people who have voted for and/or reviewed this film.
I wanted to buy a film I had not seen on DVD. I went to my local HMV and selected a long list of titles I knew little or nothing about. Two Nina's had the most impressive voting breakdown, as of today, noone voted below 4, and the curve of votes is highest at 10, exponentially down to 4.
So I went and bought it. I watched it, I loved it. The only member of cast that was familiar was the lead actor, whom I saw in Office Space, which I enjoyed.
Two Ninas is a romantic comedy. One of the best you will come across. Guy meets two girls falls for both and the film, together with some smart scripting and simple direction, completely involves you in the characters involved the pathos and vitality of the situation.
Personally I think he made the wrong choice. Choose the girl with the similar interests and full of pent up frustration, or choose the girl with the common attitude of not being 100% sure what she wants from the relationship, and is helping it to its natural conclusion...
I think in a burgeoning relationship, both sides should not try to force the issue.
The point is the film creates these kind of talking points, and a film that does that is a film worth seeing again, and again....
I gave it a nine out of ten. It lost the one point because I wanted to see more. A follow up called two Ninas two??? Works for me!!!
Above average entertainment
These slasher pics are past their sell by date, but this one is good fun.
The valentine cards themselves are witty, and well thought out.
The film has one Peach of a line... "He's no Angel...." when he in fact IS Angel!!! Watching Buffy reruns will never be the same!
The cast is a sizzling display of young talent, but the story does not give them enough real depth. Denise Richards on the DVD extras seemed to think the girls on set bonded well together and this would give the feeling that you empathised with their characters. Sorry but NO!
The direction is very good, managing to show very little actual gore, and relying on your imaginations implied threat. Much can be said also for the similar manner in which Miss Richards and Heigel do not remove their clothes...:-(
Essentially, the main directorial plus, lies within the "borrowing" of various other ideas from previous slasher flicks. Psycho's shower scene is tributed, along with Halloween's "masking".
Murdering someone hiding in a bodybag though is a pretty original one as far as I know!!!
Light viewing, not very scary but a few good jump moments. If it was a choice between The Hole and this though, choose The Hole. Slasher movies have had their day, and this is just another slasher. A very good slasher, but nothing groundbreaking!!!
The Hole (2001)
Slasher flicks surpassed!!!
Forget slasher flicks, they are so 90's.
This is how a horror film should be made. Thora Birch's expression at the end of the film is awesome, sending chills up and down your spine. I hope that she has a reprisal of this character at a later date....
The only film I have seen that bears any resemblance to this, is Fatal Attraction. This is MUCH better! In Fatal Attraction, you could not help but feel that the guy deserved his come uppance for his behaviour. In the Hole, you will witness the capability of a young woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Imaginative and believable, this film explores controlling manipulative behaviour at its most grotesque.
Essentially this film does not rely on special effects or exotic locations. The acting is of the highest calibre, the plot is sensational, and the direction is impeccable.
A must see!
Lose your illusions
This could have been a very powerful film. It is NOT!
The principle of Hopkins role as someone who has lived with Gorillas, and has now decided that society/civilisation is wasteful and in need of change, is a theme which should have been, and needs to be portrayed with considerably more conviction. In addition, the plight of mental patients was touched on, but this has nothing like the conviction shown for the need for change, as illustrated in One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.
The acting from Gooding and Hopkins, is as you would expect, superb, and the films main strength revolves around their interaction.
The story itself is bland and unbelievable, Hopkins seems to develop the strength and agility of a young gorilla, despite being an old and frail man. After two years living in the jungle without any supplies/tools, and a year in an African prison, there is no way that this is correct.
I guess I need to lose more illusions, in order to treat this film as anything other than a way to while away a couple of hours....
RIP Stanley Kubrick, you are sorely missed!
In space noone can hear you scream?
It is particularly worth watching, in the light of Alien's tagline. Screamers then already has value, for any Science Fiction buff's collection.
The fact that it is based on a Philip K Dick novel gives it a worthwhile pedigree, because Philip is one of the most respected science fiction authors since Asimov.
Not having read the book, I am not in a position to advise as to how well the transposition to the silver screen has been performed, but it is unlikely to satisfy ardent Dick fans.
Essentially, Peter Weller is the leader of a group of Striking miners, who are at war with a government that wants them to mine energy efficient ore, but highly radioactive... The only reason that they have not been defeated, is that the alliance against the government has provided them with a defence weapon, called a screamer. A screamer is like a landmine, underground, but designed to recognize life and move through the soil in order to locate their target, which they do not explode, but rather slice apart. The miners have bracelets that electronically tell the screamers that they are not targets. Where this becomes classic science fiction material, is that the screamers are designed to utilise material of their victims to reproduce themselves and they have the capacity to upgrade, their own design.
Peter Weller acts his role with assured ability, of one of the most underestimated actors of our generation. The story builds well, leaving you to only guess at how the story will unravel, and the credit must go to Dick for this, but the direction does not fail to keep the page turning suspense element.
Once you start watching you become more and more engrossed. It is low budget science fiction, but the effects are simple and effective, and the money has been spent very wisely. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and if you are reading this because its up on your cable guide for the night, do yourself a favour and watch it, especially if you are a science fiction fan.
Point Break (1991)
A perfect movie
Not much else to say really, but here are the high points....
Possibly the best foot chase sequence ever filmed, with Keanu (Johnny Utah) chasing down Patrick Swayze, down alleyways through gardens, a french window, having a dog thrown at him... Ms Bigelow's direction of this sequence is stunning.
John C McGinley throwing his toys out of the pram over Pappas and Utah's lack of progress, asking what they have acheived, and Utah explaining that he cut his first tube...
Surfing and skydiving sequences, that are just beautifully choreographed, colour and texture par excellence.
Nixon (the rubber faced bank robbing surfer) explaining to the bank as he leaves "I'm not a crook"...
The kid who tells Keanu that its never to late to start surfing... "But I'm 25".. "Like I said, its never too late!"
If the film has a fault, it is the end sequence, that sees Patrick Swayze's character who abhors violence and lives life to surf, actually breaking his own rules, resulting in his entire group of surf buddies being wiped out in shootouts at the bank and the airport...The film did not need to kill them all off, but undoubtedly Hollywood pressure for the crescendo guns blazing type ending swayed the decision... Even so, this is done in a not entirely unbelievable manner, and beats hands down the action movies of its genre.
Without Tarantino, Ms Bigelow might have had the best action flick of the 90's with Point Break. It is worth bearing in mind that before this film, Keanu Reeves was only really a Ted "Theodore" Logan as one half of Bill and Ted. This film undoubtedly was a major factor in turning him into an action hero, and opening doors to even more diverse roles.
Its a source!