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dr_salter

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19 reviews in total 
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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
surprisingly good Australian comedy!!, 25 October 2010
8/10

I was pleasantly surprised by this Aussie comedy when I saw it on a plane flying home to Sydney. There is a continuous tingle of surprises coming up in every scene & all the actors deliver that special warmth that comes from good movie direction and consistent acting. There is a wonderful sense of reality in the plot that shows a man who is finally able to understand how to grow up and face the fact that if he leaves his family home & his dinky-die mates he will be OK.

Sure, he may need to work hard to keep the new found girlfriend's touchy-feely relationship & hit upon true love with his special girl but in the end he finds it is worth the hard yards. The part played by small person Peter Dinklage (from "Death at a Funeral"-UK & USA versions) is particularly delightful & adds a certain touch of sparkle to the whole movie. Try & see it if you can.

Luna Papa (1999)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
lends new meaning to having a cow of a day!, 9 July 2007
9/10

I loved this movie from the minute I saw the scene where a bull drops out of a local delivery plane & plummets to earth killing two main characters. YUP the bull did the job and then swam to shore unharmed! But I am too far ahead of myself...

This movie has a wonderfully painterly quality that is brought about by the surrealistic cinematic effects that the director, Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov brings with his use of bright colours and washes of Technicolor. The female lead, Chulpan Khamatova, is perfect as the seventeen years old aspiring actress who loves Shakespeare and wants to become a film star. She lives in a small village in Uzbekistan with her mentally damaged brother and her loving father. The girl meets an entrepreneur ( plane pilot) and has sex with him after he makes her believe that he is a friend of Tom Cruise. The next thing she knows, she is pregnant, desperate and on a quest to restore the family honor by finding the cowardly jerk who seduced her. Father, and daughter (Mamlakat) supported by the decidedly "different" brother (wonderfully played by Moritz Bleibtrau--Manny in 'Run Lola Run') begin a wildly fantastic trip through the landscapes of Uzbekistan in which tradition and superstition clash with the chaos of a materialistic world. The wonderful script makes the film's sometimes slapstick and giddy narrative into something grander -- a meditation on maternity as a form of inspired madness.

One scene is great genius... The local delivery plane with a bull and a cow in the holding bay swoops sideways to get a closer look at Mamlakat's wedding taking place on a barge in the middle of the the lake, and just as the plane swoops, the bull falls out of the side door of the plane & plummets down to land SPLAT on the bride's new husband-to-be & her father- killing them both dead- and leaving her pregnant and a sinner. Chulpan Khamatova is perfect as Mamlakat, the perplexed mother to be, confronting miracles, wonders, joy, death and the unexpected as she searches for her child's father. Try & find this DVD or haunt the late night channels like I do.

Dogville (2003)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Misguided dull acting from Kidman, 24 January 2007
3/10

Kidman plays a gangster's (James Caan's) daughter, who is surrounded by criminals and so wants to escape the vicious side of life and live in peace and quiet in the country. But once she's gained 'refugee status' in Dogville by working hard each day for the townspeople, Grace is soon being taken advantage of by the poor country folks, who slowly become a replacement for the criminals.

Grace's problem (and she gains a few dilemmas over the weeks) is that she does not set her boundaries or demand justice. Even refugees have rights. Her voice is very well modulated and the girl never raises her voice, except once when she yells at Vera's young son stating that she will not physically spank the boy (and then she does hit him!). Bad move Grace. This bad action is supposed to show the townspeople that Grace is immoral and not trustworthy and so this automatically opens her up for further exploitation and degradation, which includes being used for sexual relief by all the men in town. (Thankgoodness the women are not lesbians.)

So, now we see who's trustworthy, truthful... and what's immoral. But Grace just lies back and takes it! WHY? I feel she should get a bit angry but doesn't seem to show any reactions till the end.

Actually, I dreaded watching Dogville because I do not feel that Nichole Kidman has any right to be accredited as a leading actress, in the category of Liv Ulman.

In Dogville, Kidman is a pale insipid disappointment and so was James Caan as her gangster Daddy. They are obviously only worried about showing their good side to the cameras (Kidman's wispy hair was a worry!) and they were not able to bring out the truth needed to portray the underlying faults in the characters.

The script was ably supported by the other lesser known actors and even the great actress Lauren Bacall looked scruffy for the part.

This movie was supposed to be a representation of a stage play on screen so what's with the user comments about "where's the scenery?" For goodness sakes- grow up people!

Dogville should be watched as a film about justice, trust, trustworthiness, assertiveness, conscience and faith in humanity, which is what you see in any Shakespeare production so maybe HEY!... Dogville's script is up there with the best? And it's good because IT MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT HOW WE ATTAIN A Truly MORAL SOCIETY GUYS.

I reckon they should make Dogville again without Kidman and Caan and see what happens. It'll open your eyes and your hearts for sure.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Sweets to the sweet, 26 December 2006
7/10

Over all this movie (Finding Neverland) is able to plod along slowly and carefully tell the main story of the Life of JM Barrie with all the ins and outs of how he developed the idea for the Peter Pan story.

I found this movie (and the music) slow and too saccharine and thought it lacked some sort of vigor that I have come to expect from Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet's movies.

Altho I really loved Kate Winslet's acting in this movie but I felt she was held back by the director and the script. Depp's acting was rather stilted and reserved for the whole film also. But I guess that was the director's choice- to give a stilted portrayal of the way snobby middle-class people were in Scotland (and all over) in those days. Now Scotish football fans are loud & vocal about their sport. So at least some things have changed.

Overall, the children were wonderful but I found the boy Peter (Freddie Highmore) was dull and uninspiring and I found close-ups of his eyes that looked like pudgy blobs disquietingly flaccid. The other boys were lively but not seen enough of.

In real-life, (as in the movie too) the Kate Winslet character (Sylvia) gets sick and Barrie (1860-1937) puts his hand up for the Guardianship of the Davies children. Later in life, Michael drowned at 21. The boy Peter grew up but he committed suicide in 1960. Barrie wrote the wonderful plays 'Quality Street' and 'The Admirable Crichton', which were great successes.

This movie was much better than the JM Barrie story with Robin Williams (Hook 1991) which was over done and too long. The way this film showed the 'fantasy' scenes of Tinkerbell and the Pirate Gang were done SO well that I hope they decide to make a full length movie in this style and really bring Barrie's dreams to life.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
2 great TV series by Annie Griffin!, 3 December 2006

Hey! I have been sitting watching the TV series "The Book Group" (2002) & thinking how much I love their sarcasm & wit.

And now I have found that Annie Griffin directed an earlier series "Coming Soon" (1999) and 'The Book Group' (2002-3). Both series have that same brew of almost reality, where life is acted out through the comedic antics of the winners & losers within the screenplay.

The tone of truly delightful, witty sarcasm and creamy cutting wit is the thing that I unwittingly connected with in both series, and it is the characters in 'Coming Soon' (1999) & The Book Group's characters' continuous unveiling of how they try to remain true to themselves, & FAIL GLORIOUSLY that brings out what I love about the two series.

Gradually, we begin to get an idea of what is behind the characters' closed doors and understand that there could be a tenuous connection to what most people consider 'normal' but within these people there are many shades and depth of how we all try to connect with reality, maybe miss the mark, then struggle, but move onwards & upwards.

You know I did not know till I checked IMDb! that "The Book Group' was connected to my old favourite series "Coming Soon". AND here it is! Sorry about all the exclamation marks !!! but I am SO elated to find Annie Griffin's gooey, blueberry coated finger in both wonderfully told tales of Scottish (Glasgow) extremist, eccentric behaviours.

"The Book Group" brings us the great work of Derek Riddell as Rab: taciturn tracksuit wearer, who reveals little about himself, has stubble, and literally loves footballers. The wonderful James Lance (from TV's 'Absolute Power') as Barney Glendenning- pretentious, opinionated post-graduate student with blonde highlights & drug problem. Karen Kilgariff as Jean Pettengill Claire's awful, overbearing older sister, who arrives in Glasgow wanting to share Claire's exciting lifestyle and Rory McCann as the wheelchair bound Kenny.

James Lance also plays Lachlan Glendenning- pretentious, bearded, bespectacled brother of Barney, who claims to be an installation artist. Their lives are wonderfully wacky and I recommend you all try to find them on DVD & see how great both series really are.

Coming Soon (1999) (TV)
2 Great TV series by Annie Griffin!, 3 December 2006
10/10

Hey! I have been sitting watching the TV series "The Book Group" (2002) & thinking how much I love their sarcasm & wit.

And now I have found that both "Coming Soon" (1999) and 'The Book Group' have the same wonderful director (Annie Griffin) and also have that same brew of almost reality, where life is acted out through the comedic antics of the winners & losers within the screenplay.

The tone of truly delightful, witty sarcasm and creamy cutting wit is the thing that I unwittingly connected with in both series, and it is the characters in COMING SOON & The Book Group's characters' continuous unveiling of how they try to remain true to themselves, & FAIL GLORIOUSLY that brings out what I love about the two series.

Gradually, we begin to get an idea of what is behind the characters' closed doors and understand that there could be a tenuous connection to what most people consider 'normal' but within these people there are many shades and depth of how we all try to connect with reality, maybe miss the mark, then struggle, but move onwards & upwards.

You know I bless IMDb's wonderful interconnectedness because I did not know till I checked IMDb! that "The Book Group' was connected to my old favourite series "Coming Soon". AND here it is! Sorry about all the exclamation marks !!! but I am SO elated to find Annie Griffin's gooey, blueberry coated finger in both wonderfully told tales of Scottish (Glasgow) extremist, eccentric behaviours.

"Coming Soon" brings us the great work of Omid Djalili as Amir Hassan (seen also in Black Books & as a slave trader in the Gladiator). Annie Griffin plays the befuddled character Julia Roth, and Rory McCann plays Fergus (also the wheelchair bound Kenny in 'Book Group'). Their life is wonderfully wacky and I recommend you all try to find them on DVD & see how great both series really are.

Loved the high % of swearing but some bits smelled..., 13 June 2005
7/10

I wanted to like this movie cause I'm a Clerks fan and I love the grungy get-down-n-dirty swearing of Jay. But a few things are annoying... maybe cause Jay doesn't smoke enough dope and he seems too clear headed- and since the boys are the main 'men' here... it's as if Silent & Jay are trying too hard to make the plot have a real druggie dimension until it gets lost in its own reflection. Which is a pity... cause I wanted to like this movie- but nup!

And this was one of those flix where perfection isn't necessary- there are lots of continuity gaffs that make the movie funny too -like when the four girls run out of the diamond exchange before they could have got those ugly high-heel shoes on, but they get into their car wearing shoes again- but this all added to my enjoyment.

The main problem for me was the way Silent Bob twisted his face- so he's frowning or shrugging his shoulders in time to what Jay says- which becomes totally naff. The thing about Silent Bob is that he has the potential to be really funny if he does nothing. Still, one good thing was Bob's affair with the orangutan- it was very sweet- truly touching and believable.

Sometimes the action gets a bit bogged down in all the stars who pop in and out of scenes- but I liked the Scooby Doo/ Josie & the Pussycat psychedelia in the van with Justice, Sissy, Missy & Chrissy. SO what went awry? Maybe they tried too hard to be funny? Not sure- but I won't watch it again- even to see that cute orangutan tonguing Bob.

6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
I'm one-eyed about One-eyed Jimmy, 12 June 2005
9/10

The long list of alternate style actors in this film- makes it the good film it is. Those non-Hollywoodized fuzzballs like Steve Buscimi's 'Ed Hoyt', John Turturro's 'Disco Bean' and Samuel L. Jackson's 'Coln. Ron' make it a simply honest film. The director Sam H. Kass bends these wacky celluloid characters just enough till the are almost real life. Of course it's the laughable situations around their searching for Jimmy Hoyt that makes it even more enjoyable.

The narrative begins with a small film crew walking around filming people in a neighborhood with Michael Badalucco's 'Joe Head'- guiding the crew. Mrs Hoyt, the overly protective mom and the sister Holly (Anne Meara), are worried about alcoholic Jimmy being away for a few days. The stony-faced father in a bathrobe, Harold (Patrick McNamara), sits in the lounge- saying nothing- but his silence is understandable cause along the way- we're told he gets (not quite visible) uncontrollable erections and is depressed... So, they improvise and work around him. Going off filming, hanging out and arguing around each other- so we are always finding out interesting tidbits about these strange collection of characters.

Also a plus for me, it was good to see all the Turturro family is there... bro Nicholas T. as 'Junior', sister Aida T. as 'Madame Esther', mom Katherine T. as the 'Ticket Seller #2'... and they are all superb... fitting in with the rest of the dysfunctional weirdos to make this- a comedy not to be missed.

Danton (1983)
23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Let the good films roll- vive Wojciech & Depardieu!, 19 April 2005

I have read the pro & con reviews and wonder too about the cold disparaging comments of Manicheus? Why not let your students watch a movie and choose for themselves? I felt this was a well presented, well acted and well scripted film that told the story about a confusing time in history. It was a time when Britain was sending its criminals to begin a colony in Australia and the Enlightenment had reached its height.

The French Revolution was a pivotal time in Europe's history and I realized that as the film unfolded, I was learning about the emotions and its inner workings of these great names- Danton and Robespierre. Robespierre was as desperate and dedicated to the Republic as any Fascist was to Franco's bloody vision for Spain.

Robespierre's character showed his dedication to his ideals while being torn by moral considerations of stopping Danton by sending him and his friends to the guillotine... and it was this sense of being treated like I was intelligent that held my attention.

I have often wondered about the French Revolution and the vying of the factions, and the violence of the guillotine... but the Hollywood versions make it a mindless bloodbath while Wojciech & Depardieu have brought some humanity and reasoning to the whole period. I am only grateful that I could see it on the big screen at a free showing at my local Art Gallery in Sydney, Australia.

Oscar (1991)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
gangsters, cute chicks, comedy & good acting- Yay!, 17 March 2005
9/10

For once in this light-hearted comedy when Sly Stallone plays a gangster ('Snaps' Provalone), he really shows that he can act in comedy, and do it well!

Marisa Tomei as Provalone's beautiful (slightly spoiled) daughter is fantastic too- & her beautiful face and comedic good timing actually helps us see why George (in Seinfeld) Costanza fell soo much in love with her.

Ornella Muti (Mrs Provalone) shows us a concerned mother and loving wife and is capable of being a strong foil to Stallone - so she has Snaps Provalone behaving like a proper dad to his family.

Tim Curry is a gem as the elocution teacher, who tries to teach Provalone correct English grammar by explaining verbs & oxymorons- so that when Snaps gets mad he says to his off- sider Connie- 'you are an ox & a moron'.

They all work well together & the end product is a light happy story of gangsters who want to look respectable but still have to make lotsa money.

All the smaller character parts fit together smoothly so the plot moves along effortlessly. The main plot from a play by Claude Magnier (a writer of French farces) evolves wonderfully to show the mix-up of the satchel bags that have either jewelery or the maid's underwear.

All this is juxtaposed with the police bungling and raiding the Provalone's house to grab the bag of jewels & ending up with the undies- this is very funny & shows evidence of the tight directing from John Landis.

I love this movie & watch it on rainy days when the family want to be cheered-up and have a good laugh.


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