Reviews written by registered user
|248 reviews in total|
It's a simple thing, really: Robert Rodriguez can do no wrong.
He has his aesthetic down *tight*, and he can deliver every time. Yeah, it's got all the drive-in trash elements in tow: It's so over-the-top, it soars like an eagle. The most amazing thing is how his storytelling style seems to inspire the acting talent: They all give it everything they've got, imbuing every line, every move with transcendent camp. The whole picture glows, red-hot, with that spirit.
As is usual for these flicks, the effects are great, the music is simultaneously thrilling and yet full of subtle artistry, the plot may reek of drive-in conventionality, but still dependably drives the flick decisively forward.
Check it out.
After all these years, finally got around to watching it. Lovely to see
Carradine as a young guy, having seen him in Kill Bill I/II. Haven't
seen _Kung Fu_ (yet).
I was struck by the great, great script. The writing makes the characters both human and mythic, at every level, from storyline motivation to the poetry of utterance under the sway of passions, both conventional and visionary.
The film put me under its spell of biographical story arc, and held me. That's rare and beautiful.
The only production false notes were fleeting instances of the fight choreography failing to convince. Besides that, writing to direction to acting feels "of-a-piece" and seamless. Add to this the set work and costuming and you are absolutely immersed in a great story.
One other disappointment: According to an IMDb "goofs" note, it seems the screenwriter pulled a punch re Guthrie's relationship with the station manager over content: In reality, the rift was apparently not over support for the migrant workers, but over support for the nascent "workers' paradise" in the Soviet Union. I think they should've hewed to history on that one. Maybe it would've put some folks off, but it would also have given the lefties something to really chew on, vs. this sterilized portrait. I'm left-leaning myself, and love the tempering that bits of real history like this impart. The screenwriter/producers should have "nutted up" and eaten this one.
Anyway, check it out.
Liked it. I've always enjoyed Reitman's crackling expressionism, and
was surprised to see something a little more like straight-up drama in
Young Adult. It seems folks don't care for it as much as his earlier
work (not cracking 7.0 in the IMDb ratings), but I'm giving it an 8.
Everything about it is balanced and effective: You get under the skins
of the characters, and stay there. Some of the dramatic dialog is
The big question is: Does the script succeed in getting you to see Mavis's way forward? I, for one, saw myself in Mavis--and I'll try to use her example to help tease myself a little more forward.
Check it out.
Wow. I'm normally a bit hypersensitive to "make-work" programs for
talented thespians, and "Drunk History" could sorta be described that
But it somehow comes off like a genuine labor of love. And, for that, I can forgive a lot of things.
And, speaking of things needing forgiveness, what else may need to be forgiven in these productions of "Drunk History"?
Not much, if'n you asks me! The production is excellent; the adaptation of the drunken interviews to screen action is ingenious. Skilled folks are brought to the task of polishing up the final product. The sound and camera work are fine. The selection of lively targets of inebriation and exhortation to hold forth lovingly (if a bit sloppily) on fascinating bits of history seems inspired.
I've seen 6 of the produced episodes, and they're all winners. There are typically 3 segments per episode, which is impressive; this represents a lot of hard work! Maybe not every segment scintillates, in my mind, but each show has at least 3 or 4 "wow" moments, which make the shows well, well worth watching, in my book.
Check it out. If you're a history buff, you might find yourself secretly wishing Derek Waters would come a-knockin' on your door, with camera crew in tow, offering *you* an opportunity to dip our toes in yet-another limpid pool of "Drunk History"!
It's great. It's what people have always wanted from crime drama; it's
about pride, desperation, decision, obsession, escalation, and the toll
on relationship--including relationship with one's self--that ensues.
The writing is great. On rare, rare occasions there might be a shadow of a false note; either an "off" usage, or a foray into character exploration that seems a little ill-considered. But even these add genuine color to the product. Think of them as a blue tinge to a very pure artistic product.
The production values are great, and all personnel deliver, from top to bottom. As I write they're rolling out the final half of season 5; just saw episode 10, and it utterly rips your heart out.
Breaking Bad will go down as classic television; amongst the best ever.
Loved it! So glad to see that some beautiful, relative "unknowns" can
get together and create something... beautiful.
But... You're here for some kind of "heads up", as in: Is it worth renting/going to the local art house? I think so. It has absolutely fascinating character development and dialog. And, by the end, a sort of story arc emerges.
There's a wonderful motif being explored. The characters seem to float in a sort of alternate universe peopled by associates that simply let them be who they are; and that includes indulgent bosses/colleagues. I found that to be a spooky and engaging touch.
For me, the flick had just the right mix of straight-up tableside dialog and well-done flashbacks and flashes of inspired media wrangling; the freewheeling montage/fleeting segment work when Joey talks about his demi-fling.
Creating a satisfying ending to a movie is hard, and this one ends very, very well.
Rent it, keep an open mind, listen and watch attentively, enjoy it!
I hope it gets green-lit for development, then I hope they follow the
vision through to a truly thought-provoking product with a mind-jarring
I've seen other feints in this direction: Dorman Grammit's superman fantasies in Frank Stack's "Dr. Feelgood" comics; and The Battlin' American in a Lloyd Llewelyn comic by Dan Clowes. And, of course, Watchmen.
For every 1000 pop culture theorists who can deconstruct the superhero genre at the drop of a hat, there may only be one who can write a scenario and screenplay that teases something truly exciting and accessible therefrom.
And it does need doing; the symbol is rife with implications, up to and including coercive fiat as the trump card of superpower nations.
I'm taking my chances, and calling it the dawning of America's
cinematic Thelonius Monk.
The thing that typifies Monk is a discernible sense of his esthetic; you think you're listening to a path less traveled; then suddenly you realize: It's the blues! And so it is with Carruth, IMHO. You think it's something new--perhaps an explosive still-life of a weird narrative space--but then you realize: It's a story.
I'm very hopeful that, as time goes by, we discover that we have a new great creative force who graces us with burgeoning creative riches. Time will tell.
The most important thing to know about this series: It started great
and ended better. It's the best TV writing ever. When series have a
history of trailing off into mediocrity, this is a miracle.
It tells a story, dallies with cosmic themes, explores moral space with the incisiveness of Tarantino; half the episodes are mini-'Pulp Fiction's, and the rest are very, very good.
Add to this the beautiful musical selections and occasional forays into high art (timely themes sensitively addressed; extended dream sequences; campy A-list cameos; Wm S. Burroughs; etc.), and you've got an experience well worth the time spent.
I decided to watch the series after the recent passing of Gandolfini. I'm not glad he died, but I'm sure glad I had an excuse to check in with The Sopranos.
I'm really conflicted. I'll Be There has a lot to recommend it: It has
some great writing, not half bad story management, good direction and
performances, fun musical numbers that feel real, yet tight. And it
But a few aspects of the final product threaten to "down" it. One has to do with the fact that the story is what I call "operatic", by which I mean that the story can be told in 50 words or less, and the success or failure of the flick comes down to whether it dealt effectively with that limitation. And there are times when one has to wonder. Also, there are moments where the ball on character development seems to be fumbled; folks say and do things, here and there, that seem to muddle their characters a bit.
But I can still recommend it. I notice that a lot of the folks here are fans of Ms. Church. I'm a fan of Ferguson, and this is my first encounter with Church. She was the weakest acting professional of the lot, and she was pretty darned good: I say this to emphasize the wicked good acting that infests the flick pretty much from beginning to end. At times I felt that there were individual scenes that were so good, they alone made me glad I watched the flick. An early scene in the pub with a knot of Kerr fans resolving their (initially) conflicted feelings about him was mindblowingly good!
I'd love to give the flick a higher rating, as I give high ratings to films that move me, which this one did... But I have to demur and back off a little: There were too many fleeting moments of balls getting dropped, and that seriously impacts the overall effect of a film.
Glad it was made: Good flick: Go watch it!
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