Reviews written by registered user
|30 reviews in total|
This is by no stretch of the imagination a good movie. It is incredibly
low-budget, and that leaves the OK(ish) acting badly exposed. That
said, I thoroughly loved it!
To enjoy this movie you really have to be able to overlook the low budget. The "effects" are bad. Really bad. The alien dimension is an exact replica of Earth. The sets could come straight from a spaghetti western (perhaps they did). The "monsters" are people in mild fancy dress. The fight scenes are amateurish, and made more "exciting" by running the film faster. A three year old child could spot it without even trying. However, if you can accept the shortfalls for what they are the result of an extremely low budget and an overreaching ambition and allow yourself to ride with the tide, you will enjoy this film.
The saving graces come in the form of a fun script and Kay Lenz.
The script is not magnificently written, but the dialogue is fun and counterpoints many amusing incidents in the storyline. I won't highlight any incidents as I want this post to remain spoiler-free. However, if you relax into this movie and roll with it you will discover them for yourself when you find yourself laughing out loud and you will perhaps be surprised that you are laughing with the movie, not at it.
Kay Lenz is also fun. If you like your heroines good looking and feminine but sparky, you will love her character. Having a female lead character in a film who looks like this, and is possessed of intelligence and verve, will always add a certain frisson for many male viewers.
I always find that one of the marks of a movie that has been particularly enjoyable is that at the ending I am surprised that so much time has passed whilst I was watching. This film met that criterion. It is refreshing to find this in a low-budget movie after sitting through some Hollywood blockbuster or other wondering how much longer it will be before the interminable film ends.
If you want to watch a fun bubblegum movie, and you are willing and able to overlook a budget so low that it hits you in the face thirty times per minute of running time, take a look at this film. You will have fun.
This is a well conceived romantic comedy. It is well written and the
acting by all characters is good. In short, a perfect romcom.
The story, of course, is not original at its core. No romantic comedy can be. They necessarily feature the same basal story - boy meets girl, they fall in love, obstacles to the relationship occur, the obstacles are overcome and boy and girl live happily ever after (or at least until the credits stop rolling ). If this isn't to your taste you probably won't like this movie or any other romantic comedy. However, most other people will enjoy the film.
A Good Year is a charming movie. Whilst the main character undergoes a familiar journey of enlightenment (from a total focus on his career to a focus on his life) the movie successfully infuses originality and verve to the tale. The various twists and turns to the story are fun and unpredictable, adding to the viewer's enjoyment.
The characters are likable and one comes to care about them all. Provence looks beautiful, and the vineyard setting is charming. The movie provides a luscious feast for both the eyes and the mind, and the humour is well judged amusing, but never veering into the realm of farce.
Should you watch this film? For most people I would answer with a resounding yes, but there are certainly some who will not enjoy the movie. Each to his own.
Anyone who dislikes romantic comedies in general will probably not enjoy this film. I therefore suggest that anyone who falls within this group should consider other movies for their pleasure.
There are also some who will find themselves unable to enjoy the film on political grounds. This is, perhaps, a surprising comment with regard to a completely apolitical film, but it is nevertheless true. There are those who will find fault on the basis that the film is supposedly politically incorrect. Personally I find it hard to sympathise with their viewpoint, but if you are a dedicated politically correct liberal you may well be able to find offence in what is a very inoffensive movie.
However, I suggest that no one else should allow themselves to be guided by negative reviews (including some here on IMDb.com) from those who are politically motivated. Whilst I am sure that we all rest easier in our beds knowing that these individuals are ever-vigilant to the transgressions of politically correct shibboleths (or possibly not) please don't be misled by their zeal. There is nothing in this movie that will cause offence to any normal person.
If you are considering watching this film I therefore suggest that you should disregard the reviews of politically motivated reviewers. Look for the tell-tale comments through which they reveal themselves. Comments such as those which laud the performance of the actress who plays Gemma (the one non-white major character) as wonderful whilst criticising all other actors, or comments which criticise the supposed stereotyping of French or American people. I can assure you that no normal French or American person (or anyone else for that matter) will be offended by anything in this movie, and whilst Gemma's portrayal was certainly highly enjoyable, it was definitely not the sole highpoint of the movie. All of the character portrayals were good.
Summary Highly recommended.
I have been aware of the movie Deep Throat since I was a kid, but have
only recently seen it. My interest was piqued by the documentary film
Inside Deep Throat, which I saw listed in the television schedule.
Recalling the movie, I watched the documentary out of curiosity, then
downloaded Deep Throat to view the source of all that attention in the
I was interested to read the text that appears at the opening of the film. This refers to Sigmund Freud's theories with regard to the four mental stages of an individual, the last two being oral and genital. The text goes on to state that Deep Throat is a film portraying one young woman's transition from the oral to the genital psychological state. Yes, of course it is! Having watched Inside Deep Throat I realised that this was a sop to the legal authorities; porn was outlawed, but "educational" movies about sex were allowed. Thus all commercial porn films prior to Deep Throat had featured an overdubbed voice providing the "educational" content for the sex scenes. The Deep Throat producers were the first to abandon the overdubbed educational voice (or so Inside Deep Throat stated), and the opening text for Deep Throat was obviously their version of the "educational" fig leaf.
The movie itself was something of a surprise. The nature and extent of the sexual content was much greater than I had expected. Inside Deep Throat had stated that the film was the first proper commercial porn movie, so I had expected it to be a lot tamer than it was. In actuality it contained everything a current (non-fetish) porn movie would have, including graphic close-ups, anal sex and double penetration. Moreover, the graphic sex is on screen within perhaps 90 seconds of the opening credits, and remains on screen for most of the runtime. I would guess that sex is on screen for at least 80% of the movie's length.
Another surprise was that this is a short film about 61 minutes in the uncut version. That seems very short for a film which had such a large cultural impact.
One might suspect that Deep Throat is an example of quality over quantity - but this is certainly not a quality film. Every aspect is cheap and of low quality script, acting, camera-work, cinematography. It is also very obvious that all expenses were spared when making the movie.
This complete absence of anything resembling quality was another surprise. Inside Deep Throat had commented on the supposedly superior quality and production values of Deep Throat when compared to other porn films, particularly those made today. But this just isn't true. What you see on screen is an exact reflection of the reality of this movie a film thrown together for very little money by people with very little talent.
That being said, Deep Throat is still an enjoyable movie. I could never claim that it is a good movie, but it is enjoyable at its own level a silly film which provides an hour of fun entertainment. In fact it is rather redolent of many of the jokey low-rent soft-core porn movies made in the 1970s but with added hardcore sex. The script, though of low quality, is amusing - and sometimes very funny. This is true throughout, from the opening lines to the last. Largely because of this approach the film leaves the impression of being innocent fun, which some might find incongruous in light of the it's sexual content.
Linda Lovelace is OK in the lead role, but could never be accused of possessing a talent for acting. However, she is very good at the party trick which is the subject of the film, and when she performs this act she is never less than entertaining to watch. This being said, her general oral sex technique is not of the first-rank, lacking romance or tenderness. (I suspect that this is a consequence of being on-camera.) Nor is she a particularly good looking woman. However, she is sufficiently attractive for the purposes of the film. That is true for all of the women in this movie.
So should you watch this film? Well, obviously not if graphic sexual scenes offend you. But for everyone else I would say yes, it is well worth watching. Consider it a fun, silly comedy that happens to feature a lot of no-holds-barred sex and you will enjoy it. Just make sure that you don't watch Deep Throat in the expectation of viewing a masterpiece. If you do you will be sorely disappointed.
Try to catch the documentary Inside Deep Throat as well it will add to your enjoyment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It seems that most (possible all) reviewers are unaware of the
political background to the making of this film.
This movie was made in anticipation of the 2005 G8 summit, hosted in the UK. It was broadcast shortly before the summit. Gordon Brown, then the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (in other words the finance minister/secretary) made a big noise in the months leading up to the summit about increasing aid to poorer countries, cancelling debt etc. He wanted to save the World, and to be seen doing it.
No doubt his aims were in part genuine he's a big government, high tax, high government spending, "social justice" type of politician. However, his crusade was also a part of his campaign to make himself appear to be big, important and popular - in pursuit of his ambition to become UK Prime Minister. (In June 2007 he achieved his ambition.) The BBC as an institution are generally inclined towards the same big government, high spending approach as Gordon Brown, and this is reflected in their programming. During the run-up to the summit they ran a series of programmes deliberately designed to create and bolster popular support for Gordon Brown's position and the "Make Poverty History" campaign. This film was one of those programmes.
The BBC were open about the film's motivation in their original press release announcing the production. However, they were not as open to the public at the time the film was broadcast. No mention was made at that time of the political content. The movie was promoted entirely as a love story starring Bill Nighy (who was then enjoying the greatest degree of popularity and success that he has experienced during his career).
In other words the BBC set out to entice viewers to watch a politically motivated morality play whilst pretending that it was nothing more than a love story.
The film was written by Richard Curtis, a member of the Make Poverty History campaign. A quote from the BBC press release announcing the film makes things clear; "The Girl in the Cafe is a passionate plea to everyman - wrapped in a love story, a comedy and a unique drama." The full press release can be found on the BBC's website.
The political storyline deliberately mirrors reality. The fictional UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, like the real one, is seeking to save the World and in exactly the same manner. Other G8 countries are selfishly unwilling, but the girl in the story (Gina) magically metamorphoses from quiet, reserved and (apparently) entirely apolitical into an impassioned and eloquent champion of beliefs which are identical to those of the real "Make Poverty History" campaign.
What we have with this film is a story which begins as a romance between two reserved and lonely people, and then veers unsubtly into the promotion of a particular political viewpoint. It is only fair that people should be aware of this before they decide to watch a production that is promoted as a mere romance.
The film itself is OK up to the point at which the politics take over. I can't really rate it as more than OK; it is very flat and pretty grey.
Once the political messages start flying I guess the viewer's enjoyment will depend on their own political standpoint. If they are in the "something should be done" camp, or find themselves in that camp after watching this movie, they will rate the film highly. However, if they hold differing viewpoints, or regard the film's political points as shallow and simplistic, I very much doubt that they will enjoy the production. Without the political content the film is terribly weak because the political content is the main story.
The storyline deliberately leaves the political issues unresolved, although it hints at a positive outcome (as seen from the political perspective of the writer). The point that the film seeks to promote is clear when the film's broadcast date is placed in its chronological context; if sufficient pressure in the form of public opinion is brought to bear upon the politicians a positive outcome (again, from the writer's political standpoint) can be achieved at the real 2005 G8 summit. The writer is telling the viewer "It's up to you. Do something about it now."
This being said, the story does contain certain dark overtones. Gina ruins the lead character's career by making her suspiciously capable political stand. Can their meeting really have been coincidental? After all, she breaks up with Bill Nighy's character at the end of the film. Perhaps she used him for her political purposes and then, her aims achieved, dropped him as he was of no further political use to her? Bill Nighy's character suspects as much, in his diffident way, but she points out that it was he who spoke to her first in the café. But did she place herself in a position where he would be likely to do so? And if he hadn't spoken to her first, would she have then been the one to initiate contact?
In a normal film my conclusion would be that Nighy's character was used by the girl for political purposes. But this isn't a normal film, so it is interesting that the writer should choose to address this possibility. Perhaps his aim was to eliminate all possible suspicions concerning Gina's motivations in viewer's minds by the inclusion of the "You spoke to me first" scene. However, if this was his aim, he failed at least for this viewer.
The unresolved questions at the end of the film add a little interest, but not enough. Not nearly enough for me to recommend this movie to potential viewers.
This is very much not the sort of movie for which John Wayne is known.
He plays a diplomat, a man who gets things done through words and
persuasion rather than physical action. The film moves with a quiet
realism through its superficially unexciting story.
For the open-minded, the patient and the thoughtful, this movie is a rich depiction of an intriguing part of history.
There are two intertwining stories. The big story is of internalised, isolationist Japan and externalised, expansionist America clashing when their interests conflict. The small, human, story is of an outsider barbarian (Wayne) and a civilised Geisha's initial hostility and dislike turning to mutual respect and love. The human story is a reflection of the greater story of the two nations.
The movie is very well done and all actors play their roles well. The two lead roles are performed to perfection. John Wayne is excellent as Townsend Harris, striking exactly the right blend of force and negotiation in his dealings with the Japanese. Eiko Ando is likewise excellent as the Geisha of the title, charming and delightful. The interaction between her character and John Wayne's is particularly well portrayed. This is exactly how these two individuals (as they are depicted in the film) would have behaved.
The script is very well written. It lacks all pomposity. and is a realistic depiction of the manner in which the depicted events may have occurred. The characters are real people, not self-consciously "great" figures from history. Furthermore, the clash of cultures and interests is portrayed with great skill and subtlety. Indeed, the clash of a traditionalist, and traditionally powerful, isolationist Japan and a rising, newly powerful nation from across the ocean is summarised very well in one exchange between John Wayne and the local Japanese baron. Wayne complains that shipwrecked sailors are beheaded if they land in Japan, and that passing ships cannot even put into port for water. The Baron responds that Japan just wants to be left alone. Wayne's character replies that Japan is at an increasingly important crossroads of international shipping, and that if things continue as before the nation will be regarded as nothing more than a band of brigands infesting an important roadway. A very real summary of the way in which the two countries each saw themselves as being in the right, and saw the other as being in the wrong. The resultant clash between two self-righteous peoples with conflicting interests has its reflections throughout history, a continuing theme that echoes into the present and on into the future.
Cinematography and the depiction of mid-nineteenth century Japan, before the accelerated growth towards industrialisation that was to follow later in the century, is excellent. A visual treat, and an enlightening insight into Japan's ancient civilisation.
I highly recommend anyone, whether a John Wayne fan or not, to watch this film if you get the chance. Just be aware that it isn't an action film. It is a representation of an interesting place and time in history, and a slow-boiling love story which (much to their surprise) comes to dominate the personal lives of the two main characters. Watch this film on its merits, without preconceptions, allow yourself to be immersed in its story, and you will thoroughly enjoy it.
All in all, an excellent film.
I really don't remember too many details about this show, other than
that it seemed to always be on after the real TV programmes had ended,
and that it was pretty downbeat.
James Whale was one of those sardonic, cynical and unfunny type of "humorous" presenters. It was very much his personal show and was the worse for it. I watched short segments of the shows quite often but could seldom endure more than twenty minutes or so. Frankly, I found it depressing.
The only details that I can really remember were guest Cleo Rocas nearly falling out of her dress (James Whale's reaction was gentlemanly) and a great stripper act involving a witch theme, flaming torches and fire breathing. OK, I guess you can see where my mind was... hey, I was young!
I am very surprised to find that the show ran until 1995. Admittedly it did seem to have a run that lasted interminably, but 1995? Perhaps it survived on some ITV networks longer than others.
One thing that doesn't surprise me is the lack of attention this show has received here; as I write this there has only been one other comment, and no action at all on the message board. Such lack of interest is an accurate reflection of the programme. It was just late-night filler TV, cheap and definitely not cheerful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before seeing the first Matrix movie I didn't expect to like it. I was
dead wrong I loved that film. I therefore looked forward to the next
two. I was wrong again I hated them both. Each is execrable, but
"Revolutions" is the worst.
In fact, "hate" is the wrong word to use for this movie. Rather, I was bored. Revolutions is dull, unimaginative and impenetrable. I know, there are people out there who see impenetrable as deep and meaningful. In this case it's not. It is shallow and meaningless.
Revolutions has three distinct parts. In the first third not much happens, and what does happen is of no import. Most of the audience will have been lost by the end of this portion of the film disinterest will have caused their minds to drift. As the movie proceeds some may think that this inattention was the reason they didn't understand the film that they were at fault, not the movie. This is a mistake; Revolutions really is as dull and meaningless as it appears.
The second third of the movie is a seemingly unending, desperately repetitive shoot-'em-up. There are lots of special effects, but they are used to no actual effect. Moreover, the effects aren't really very special. The entire battle scene uses the old trick of low lighting and shadow to imply great effects without actually showing them. It doesn't work. All we see are duplications of the same few (very few) basic machines an obvious economy.
Moreover, some of the machine designs are just stupid. For example - why create a giant metal walking extension of a man, a walking waldo fighting machine, and then leave the operator totally exposed to well, anything, really. These war machines couldn't beat a stone-age tribe. "Look, here comes one of those stupid machines again. Let's just hide behind this rock/tree/hillock until it's close, then throw a spear/axe/knife/rock at the driver, kill him and take his machine for our own." As for emotional involvement with the characters in the battle forget it. They are, without exception, poorly drawn, shallow caricatures. If they die nobody in the audience is going to care the characters aren't real people, just pale, humourless shadows.
Another lowlight of this central third of the movie (an entire third of the movie used up on this drivel!) is the acting. Poor throughout the film, the "acting" of the characters in the "battle third" is truly ridiculous. The General is the worst culprit, closely followed by the Council members, then well, everyone else, really. It's almost as if the actors had no idea what the movie was about and - ah, yes, of course
WARNING - SPOILERS ARE PRESENT FROM THIS POINT ON
Then there is the film's ending, its "climax". Spectacular it isn't. No explanations are provided, no great revelations occur.
What we have is Trinity taking forever to die from injuries that quite clearly would have killed her almost immediately. Never mind, we get to hear her spout something about love again and again and again while Neo (on a desperately urgent mission to save Mankind's last hope for a future) takes his ease and waits for her to finish her pointless homilies.
After the woman finally dies Neo cuts a deal with the machines to eliminate Agent Smith in return for "peace". There is a bit of a fight, some meaningless wordplay, then Agent Smith attempts to absorb Neo. Neo becomes a duplicate Smith, the original Smith acts confused and the other duplicate Smiths go pop, followed by the original. The Neo Smith becomes Neo again, but dies probably. He's carted away in a manner that suggests some kind of Messiah figure. The machines stop attacking the city and that's that.
Much thought has gone into this film's ending by those seeking a deeper meaning. My own interpretation is that Neo "knew" the Matrix to be a fantasy to a degree and with an absence of doubt that others could not achieve whilst interacting within the Matrix. This knowledge gave him the power to manipulate the fantasy. It also grounded him to reality (the "Source"), and when the program Smith attempted to absorb his enemy he became "grounded" to reality through Neo. Programs are just lines of code in the real world; so Smith's existence as a coherent being could not continue.
However, deep thought into the "meaning" of the ending is wasted. This was a very poor, unsatisfactory finale. In fact, the entire movie was dire. It was both dull and dull-witted. It is obvious that the writers used up all their good ideas on the first movie. That film was excellent imaginative, innovative and understandable. It was complete in itself. But it was also very successful, and successful films must have cash-in sequels. So "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" came to be.
Unfortunately, there really wasn't much left to tell after the first film and certainly not enough for TWO films. Neo had been left in a position to wrap things up in the first movie, but that was a tale that would take only a short time to tell and would be uninteresting in the telling. So the writers chose to go all mystical and spiritual, seeking to imply depth and content where there was actually nothing, whilst providing a great big shoot-up to fill time and amuse adolescents and video game fans. It isn't enough. Not even close.
I would suggest that anyone who has not yet seen this movie should ignore the praise of those who imbue it with a depth and meaning that it just doesn't have. This is a bad film, pure and simple.
I saw this show a while back on re-runs and enjoyed it. It's one of
those gentle comedic dramas that come along now and then, strong on
characterisation and dialogue. It was amusing, involving and a nice
When I saw it I didn't know it had only lasted two seasons, but wasn't surprised; it really didn't have mass appeal. Not full-on enough for a 1980's audience - and even less so for today's viewers. Still, for anyone who can appreciate its strengths it has great appeal.
The only real flaw was the inclusion of the homosexual character. Very PC, but not an enhancement to the show. Still, this is a small criticism; this was a very enjoyable production, and John Ritter was great in the lead role.
When the show's run ended I missed it.
Rating - 8/10
This has the look, feel and dialogue of a cheap made-for-video
"thriller". It's bad.
Everything about this movie is poor. The acting is wooden and the script is worse. Even the score is low-rent. It's just cheap. It looks and sounds as though they had about $2.50 to spend, and they blew that on paying the local delivery boy to write the script.
Honestly, this looks like one of those "erotic thrillers" that are churned out by the dozen - the ones designed to appeal to those who really want to watch full-on porn, but can't admit it to themselves, so they watch soft-porn "thrillers" instead. This movie won't even satisfy that undemanding crowd, though - there isn't nearly enough nudity and sex.
There really is very little to say about this production that is positive. The only saving grace is that the twists at the end of the tale are interesting. It's just a pity that the whole enterprise is so poor, and the build-up to the climax equally so, that the impact of the ending is mostly lost.
If this film had been done properly - with a decent-sized cast, more locations, a well-written script, good direction and production - it could have been good. As it stands, it is just a waste of time.
The people posting positive comments must have an agenda. I don't know what that might be - perhaps they are John Lithgow fans, or they fancy the female lead, or maybe they just enjoy the idea of wasting other people's time by recommending rubbish. Whatever, I suggest that everyone reading this should look elsewhere for entertainment; you won't find it here.
I have given this movie three stars, and if anything that is too high. It only rates that much because of the ending - but I suspect that most people will have lost interest long before they reach that point.
Definitely a movie to avoid.
Rating - 3/10
This is a very fine show. It portrays rural England in the 1950's, and
is very well realised. It is a comedic drama rather than a realistic
depiction of life, and is quietly humorous and highly entertaining.The
characters are not without their foibles and faults, but none are
evil-spirited or unpleasant (with the single exception of a new
character introduced into the very last episode of the final series)
and all rub along with each other in a fashion familiar to us all in
our own lives.
Although Born and Bred's emphasis is on entertainment, the show is not without its share of sadness and upset, which only adds to the realism and the viewer's enjoyment.
It is unfortunate that the two actors who portrayed the main male characters chose to leave the show, but their presence was missed only for a short while. The strength of the writing and characters was such that the show was able to continue as strongly as ever.
I highly recommend Born and Bred, although I think it only fair to mention that the show was obviously cancelled rather unexpectedly and against the wishes of the writer. The final episode doesn't therefore end at a natural point. This is in marked contrast to the BBC's announcement that "The series has reached a natural conclusion". This is nonsense.
The series was as good as ever. The potential for the further development of the characters and story was enormous. Yet the show was cancelled. Why? The show's writer may later be obliged to say otherwise. However, the last episode was quite clearly written in the knowledge that the BBC were likely to cancel, but in hope of achieving another series. Thus we had the potential romantic liaisons reaching semi-fruition in consideration of the viewers, but also the implementation of an entirely new storyline with the arrival of a new vicar and the framing of one of the main characters. The episode ended on two separate but related cliff-hangers, the story lines to be followed in the next series if it had materialised.
We all know (or should know by now) that programmes such as this do not meet with the approval of the chattering classes those who consider themselves to be the moral leaders of our society. Their sensibilities are offended by the depiction of happy "traditional" family life in a peaceful and contented England, devoid of non-White people and without the "blessings" of diversity. In the last series we did, of course, have the "pleasure" of the introduction into the show of homosexuality, a mother who gave birth as a young teenager, a sexually promiscuous leading female character (none of these being met with anything but sympathy and acceptance by the other characters) and generally increased sexual content. But this was not enough to save the show. Even with these developments, a series set in 1950's rural England just couldn't adequately reflect the values of those who seek to constrain the actions, speech and thoughts of the "proles".
Born and Bred just might return in light of viewers' objections, but this is extremely unlikely. More probably, the BBC will disregard all objections and wait for the fuss to die down. Most viewers won't even be aware that the series has been cancelled, and although those who are aware will be disappointed, they will soon let it pass. After all, it's only a television show.
So what does the future hold? Well, we will see ever fewer programmes such as Born and Bred. They portray an England very different to that which our self-appointed liberal elite want us to become. Dramas must reflect their morality, their sense of what must be. So we will see an unending succession of standardised tripe. These programmes will be filled with graphic sexual scenes, profanity and multi-racial casts. They will portray (in a positive light) single parenthood, feminist themes, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, the "joys" of mass immigration and "diversity", happy racial integration and miscegenation. The proles must be properly programmed, after all.
How I look forward to it. After all, we don't have enough such programmes at the moment, do we?
Rating - 8/10
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