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Little Children (2006)
It is my fault, in some ways. I read the book, was not wild about it, but was curious enough to see the movie, as I thought so much of In The Bedroom, todd field's previous film, also an adaptation, and a really good one. So much of the power of that movie was unspoken, the power of cinema harnessed to bring a book to life. This movie relies much more heavily on novelistic conventions, including an unnecessary narrator that never fails to pull one right out of the small reality the movie provides. Even though this is a simple tale of the suburbs, no one and nothing seemed recognizable to this viewer, raised himself in a similar suburb. Unless you are one of the main characters, you are a one dimensional sketch, identified more by wardrobe than by behavior. You're also probably a jerk. If you are a main character, you are an unpredictable volcano of action, set in violent motion by whatever provocation the writer/filmmaker has handy. Not one of which rings true as cause-effect. The unearned climax of the movie seems a desperate lunge for substance and closure but scores only as nauseating on the one hand, and to let you know you'll be getting up to go soon on the other. The beautiful composition and photography underscores how little there is to otherwise pay attention to. I was happy to see the actor Jackie Earle Haley again, and he gives it his all.
Tanner on Tanner (2004)
not very good, no?
I watched this last night on Sundance. Altman must be the most hit or miss director of note ever. This show, despite its "star power" is utterly non-compelling, and its political insights--which I as a proud liberal in no way disagree with--are shallow and clunky, and seem ripped from the headlines of USA Today, despite the fact it's coming out of the mouth of someone as esteemed as Mario Cuomo. The drama, as such, is not very dramatic, and the comedy is not funny. The only points of interest, really, are seeing how New Yorkers live their lives, and the loyalty of a cast and crew to reassemble a show that keeps insisting has some cult following from 1988. Sometimes it seems like Altman's sole contribution to cinema has been the art of having all your actors talk at once, the effect of which is one feels depressingly like they're a stranger at a wedding.
Mr. Saturday Night (1992)
do not see this movie. do not see this movie. within the movie everyone laughs at scenes that are painfully unfunny and you feel sorry for the actors for having to make themselves laugh at such weak weak jokes and then after feeling sorry for them for a while you start to hate them and wonder what motivates people to agree to do garbage like this if it isn't money because it should be money to be in something so corny and tired and schmaltzy schmaltzy schmaltzy the make up's the least of its problems though indeed production values are a small step up from porn film but how could it matter with something so dreadful the movie makes you feel bad for Jerry Lewis for having to be in this I don't generally feel sorry for Jerry Lewis but really felt this was a waste of his time, not to mention every single person except for Billy Crystal who deserves, I guess, to be in such junk if he insists on it.
A Mighty Wind (2003)
I guess these people are basically like a theatre company now, and of all their productions this one seemed kind of the measliest. The movie acts as though it's "above" jokes, but then it'll make a really broad, tacky joke about incontinence or someone with te last name "bohner" which sounds like--teehee! I liked watching them play instruments, and I felt like the Eugene Levy-Catherine O'Hara story had potential which it didn't really realize. These people have an interesting process for making movies, but that doesn't excuse the film's many faults, nor should they want it to. I saw this to be entertained and not merely a witness to some kind of creative history or something. Not very funny, not very touching, not all that "mighty." The women were better than the men, by and large.
Spring Forward (1999)
This movie I guess has its heart in the right place but it's not well written, and the actors enjoy acting in it too much. The performances are pretty self-conscious, but then the writing's so self-conscious. No scene is of any especial consequence, and some of them--the penultimate scene, for instance--are downright ridiculous, a frantic attempt at some last minute payoff. On the up side Ned Beatty has a lot of energy and seemed to do the role as best as it could be done. I guess it's my own fault for watching past the first scene, which loudly hints that the movie will be a road to nowhere. Even if it does have good intentions, it's pretty manipulative, and not even all that successfully.
quite poor storytelling
this was, for all its promise, a not very good movie. I can't remember the last time I've seen a movie where the characters basically just TELL you the plot. It was almost like a teenager had written it. A gun worshipping teenager, which the write/director no doubt was. There was very little observable behavior, just a lot of tough talk, not very well rendered, and a lot of one character describing another character. As a result, you don't really care about anyone. I can only tell you the name of one character, and that's because it's short and silly (Oak).The violence, what there is of it, is so off the charts that it doesn't seem real. The whole movie suffered from that, this gritty realism that was so gritty it lost all realism and you're left with a scene where a suspect is interrogated who has gonnoreah and no pants. You can kind of see the writer (Carnahan) patting himself on the back and laughing an the [totally pointless]hard core-ness of it all. Judging from his first 2 movies I get the feeling people are hoping he'll be the next Tarantino, especially the Reservoir Dogs period. He's far from that league, and I'm not even that huge a Tarantino fan. There's no wit, no empathy, it's all just insubstantial and a really self-conscious moviegoing experience. "I am watching a movie. Hey, there's Ray Liotta. This movie isn't very good. I wonder when it'll be over?" etc. I sense Hollywood is preparing to cram this guy down our throats. Great.
Are any of us happy we responded so enthusiastically to La Femme Nikita that we now have to sit through shiny garbage like The Fifth Element and the Professional? Wow, this movie's stupid. The movie begins attempting no nonsense-realism by choosing gritty, not picturesque parts of the city, as well as chucking in the pretty gratuitous murder of a child to make it that much more "edgy", and then the movie just becomes an orgy of gun-worship and impersonal murder, strung together by a silly, yet sickening plot, where this mass murderer's (Leon) really kind of cute and avuncular when babysitting this heavily made up 12 year old. Hey, he drinks milk! How bad could he be? And he refuses to shoot women and children! What a guy! I, being an adult male, he would happily kill given the business opportunity, but serves me right for not being a woman or child. In the course of the plot he teaches this alarmingly sophisticated neighbor girl how to be like him, how to kill strangers. Ahhh. The "lessons" he offers her, the tricks of his trade are chestnuts you'd never ever think of like, "relax. keep your eye on him." I would have thought panic and look away, so shows what I know! And not like I'm mister puritanical, but something quite pronouncedly creepy is at least SUPPOSED to be going on in this film, I have never seen a child quite so "advertised" which is an extremely sleazy thing to be half-heartedly suggesting in your half-baked movie about the lovable hitman and orphan annie who likes to sing "Like A Virgin" and dress up as Marilyn Monroe. Which reminds me--the abysmal humor that appears throughout the film, is that like a trademark with this guy? "The Fifth Element" had an equally annoying cute streak. Lastly, if you really watch Jean Reno, forgetting he's French and interesting looking, his performance is pretty rank amateur. He really looks even more lost than the lovable murdering dope he's supposed to be playing. They also refer to him in the film as Italian, which he's clearly French. Does the French director not know what French accents sound like? Gary Oldman is laughabale, at best, and that really is almost a compliment, or as close to one as this thing deserves.
One Hour Photo (2002)
This film's pretty beautifully shot, but did anyone notice it has pretty much no plot, and what teeny plot it does have has gaping holes in it? Not well written, and so sympathetic to Williams' quite sympathetic character that you almost don't know who you're rooting for. Apart from a kind of poignancy, I felt zip, certainly no fear. Lots of watch glancing in the theatre where I saw it.
The Château (2001)
worst film ever seen in theatre
Putrid. All improvised, all awful. So bottomlessly unfunny, I can't even tell you. The circumstances forced me to sit through it, but were I alone, I would have sprinted out after five minutes. So bad. So very bad. Stay away. How could you, o people who made the Chateau? Terrible. So bad.
Night Shift (1982)
If I Had Two Thumbs, They'd Both Be Up!
Michael Keaton certainly steals the show, but Henry Winkler's a darn good foil for Keaton's likeable, dippy dreamer. Screw A Beautiful Mind, this thing has twice the laughs. Kind of odd to think of shelley Long as a sex object, though, but by the end I WAS TOTALLY INTO IT. I'm kind of kidding. But not about how good this movie is. Rent it today! Or don't.