Reviews written by registered user
rearkell

9 reviews in total 
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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing walk in the woods, 5 September 2015
5/10

Being a big fan of Bill Bryson, this movie just doesn't live up to the book. First off, both Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are miscast. They are too old for the parts, Redford being 79 years old in real life and Nolte 74. In the book, Bill Bryson and his friend Katz are in their 40's.

With that given, Redford gives a wooden performance, typical of many of his more recent movies. This again is a casting mistake, as Redford does not have that self-deprecating humor that Bryson is known for. This is not Redford's fault - it is simply the typical miscasting that has become common in Hollywood these days, as the studio's use big names as a drawing card even though the actor may not be appropriate for the part. Nolte, on the other hand, stands out with an excellent and witty, performance - no miscasting here other than the age issue. I would say that this is one of Nolte's best performances in the last few years.

Other actors in the movie generally do quite well. The best was Kristen Schaal, of "Last Man on Earth" fame. Also, very good were Emma Thompson as Catherine Bryson, and Mary Steenburger in a small part as Jeannie.

The movie's run time is a relatively short 104 minutes. There wasn't really much meat on the bone when you look at the movie as a whole. A few more scenes to spice it up might have been good.

Lastly, the cinematography was quite good, but here again a few more nice shots wouldn't have hurt. A little stronger soundtrack would have been good also. The scene with bears was wrong, as there are no grizzlies in the eastern U.S. that I'm aware of - only smaller, but still intimidating, black bears.

Overall, despite the good aspects, I am disappointed that Hollywood wrecked what could have been a great film adaptation by miscasting the two leads, especially Redford.

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
I just don't buy it., 14 November 2014
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm guessing that a lot of the people who went to this movie - and wrote reviews - are science fiction buffs. I am not. But I do like a good movie, regardless of it's genre. And this wasn't it.

The only thing that held the movie even slightly together is Matthew McConaughey. Otherwise it was totally unbelievable. The weather disturbances that are ruining the planet are unexplained. The protagonist just accidentally running into a secret NASA station is unbelievable. The 5 dimension thing is a cop out. Given the large budget for this movie, I'm surprised that they didn't have the kind of detailed and interesting settings and backdrops that one might expect in a movie that is almost 3 hours long.

And don't forget to bring your hearing protectors. I luckily did bring mine since I have tinnitus in my ears. Even my 28db mufflers were barely enough, as the seats were shaking slightly in a few scenes. I think that it is irresponsible for the movie industry to have such dangerously high db levels with no notification or advisory label.

Matthew McConaughey is at the peak of his career and has done some really great movies over the past few years. This one, however, is just a throw away.

The Party (1968)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
One of the best comedies of all time, 16 August 2013
10/10

When I first saw The Party in the theater in 1968, I broke down crying from laughing so much. Watching it again recently, it has - like all great comedies - stood the test of time quite well. A beautifully understated performance by Peter Sellers, playing an aspiring actor from India. Also an incredibly funny performance by Steve Franken (aka Chatsworth Osborne Junior from the Dobie Gillis Show) as a waiter who keeps getting drunker and drunker throughout the "party". Also a very nice performance by Claudine Longet. Two of the funniest scenes are in the beginning, when, as a bit actor in Hollywood, Peter Sellers refuses to die on cue in a Gunga Din-type scene, and then accidentally steps on a detonator that prematurely blows up a fortress before the cameras are rolling. But there are funny scenes from beginning to end. One of my favorite quotes is: "In India, we don't think who we are. We know who we are." The growing friendship between Claudine Longet and Peters Sellers is also done quite well

53 out of 86 people found the following review useful:
Well done., 4 April 2008
10/10

Reading some of the other reviews, maybe people thought this was supposed to be a heavy movie? If so, lighten up. This was (and was supposed to be) a light-hearted movie. And it was pulled off very well. Acting by Clooney, Zellweger, and others captured the spirit of the era, including humor, dress, and scenery.

The plot was not deep but flowed well. Clooney's character, Dodge Connelly, heads up a team in Duluth, and picks up a star college player. Eventually, they end up in Chicago, with Connelly on one side of the ball and the college star on the other. The birth of the modern professional football is woven into the plot. Clooney's age, 46, a bit old for a football player, was not covered up with make-up, but integrated into his character. I think that, in the movie, he was 40 to 45 years old. Zellgeger, as Lexie Littleton, a newspaper reporter who has to find the truth behind the college star's heroic war record, played her part very well too.

Very good directing by Clooney. You definitely felt like you were back in the 20's. Not overdone or underdone. One of those movies you walk out at the end glad that you went.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Craig miscast, 2 December 2006
6/10

A few brief comments. First, I liked Daniel Craig in other recent movies he's been in, like Layer Cake. But I think that he does best in a real, everyday kind of role, like Michael Caine. Secondly, there's a glib humor that you see in other Bond movies that is missing here, or at least a "believable" glib humor. Again, I think that's because he does best in "everyday guy" roles. Lastly, I found the fight scenes to be a bit freakish. Maybe it's just my age showing. Maybe the world has evolved too far downward for a Bond figure to be believable anymore. That's the challenge, to make a Bond (and a scenario) that is believable in today's world. But I do think that he gives it his best shot, and that it's a worthwhile movie to go to.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Not believable, 21 January 2003
2/10

Leonardo DiCaprio is once again caught in a historically flawed movie, only this time much worse than Titanic. I grew up in lower Manhattan and am a history buff. This movie is very, very overdone. Way too "Hollywood", too "stagey" (like that fight at the beginning, give me a break), over-violent, and (as in Titanic) with an liberal smattering of historical cliches. If the Five Points area was as depicted, everyone would have been dead ten times over. Not to say that it wasn't a very bad neighborhood, but it, and the characters, were not believable. DiCaprio was miscast as a tough guy (unlike in "Catch Me If You Can" where he was cast perfectly), although he did very well, given that limitation. The only reason that I give this movie even a 5 rating is that Daniel Day-Lewis gives an absolutely riveting performance as William the Butcher.

Very entertaining movie, 21 January 2003
10/10

The best vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio since Titanic, he outshines Tom Hanks in this true life story. From the opening credits to the closing credits, this movie really makes you believe that you're back in the 60's, and keeps you going from beginning to end. DiCaprio captures the part of the con-artist Frank Abagnale perfectly, in a very believable performance. He's 200 percent on the mark. Tom Hanks is good as the detective, maybe not 100 percent on target but still good. Christopher Walken is excellent as Abagnale's father.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
wonderful winter tale, 22 February 2002
10/10

This is a wonderful movie filmed in English in Yugoslavia in 1988 about a boy who wants to buy a new pair of ice skates to compete in the annual competition. Along the way, he comes across a truly magical snowman with the voice of Roger Moore, and a sinister fishing boat captain. The scenery is quite beautiful and the acting very special in an un-Hollywood kind of way. Though technically not a Christmas movie, I would put it in that category because of its' message. This is a very good movie for children between the ages of 6 and 13 but is captivating enough for the whole family to enjoy.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wow!, 22 February 2002
10/10

OK, so a few FBI agents fall off the edge of the earth. Still, the movie holds together quite well, obviously better for those who have seen the TV series, but even for the uninitiated as well. The acting is great, the directing is great, and the music is great. Maybe a bit macabre in places, like in the beginning, with the autopsy. But powerful and even poignant towards the end, when you finally realize what has been happening. Best viewing for those who can relate to the use of the surreal as a vehicle. Really, quite a movie. None other like it.