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7 reviews in total 
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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Mean spirited?, 1 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't really see how the previous reviewer came up with that one! Doesn't the film-maker show us that it's the aforementioned society that's mean spirited?

The film's a poignant, haunting critique of a world that doesn't allow its citizens any real individuality, doesn't allow people to sit on the outside in any way. Conform or be conformed? That is the ultimatum.

The scene when the school children had to pledge allegiance to the USA-ian flag disgusted me beyond belief. Seeing that made me so glad to have grown-up in a country that doesn't instill that kind of unconstructive nationalism in it's people at such a young age.

It's fascinating to see/hear the twins talking in their invented language, it's mythical, it's beautiful. But the way in which their exclusive communication is destroyed by institutionalised science and education is heartbreaking. The tragic events that occur throughout the making of this film contain so much truth about the state induced uniformity of the modern world, the affects of cultural displacement on it's people, the vulture-like behaviour of the media and ultimately, the complete and utter failure of the USA-ian dream. It's absolutely spot-on.

It's an extraordinarily sad tale, but one I highly recommend seeing if you can. Also, check out Gorin's equally relevant documentary from the 80s. "Routine Pleasures"

My Sister (2004)
0 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
It's about offal...., 25 July 2005

....and contains a horridly heavy-handed message about the importance of retaining cultural identity while living in a foreign land.

Wonderful performance by Stella is the only thing that holds the film together. Uniformly wooden performances from the rest of the cast and some really pretentious cinematography that adds nothing to the story. Not to mention the worst music score i've heard in years.

This film is nowhere near as good as the film-maker likes to think it is and I am not a fan of stick your fingers down your throat melodrama, but hey, a lot of film-illiterates in the audience seemed to like it.

Apparently I have to submit 10 lines of text for my comments to be accepted and for a man of many words when it comes to film, i think it shows just how little i thought of this short that i couldn't muster up those required 10 lines. (oh, now i have!)

p.s. And hold on, I just came back and saw someone comparing the visuals to Bertolucci and Wong Kar-Wai, oh dear!!! get some perspective!!! Little over-board don't you think??? Both those film-makers have an extraordinarily tight method behind everything that appears on screen, something which is completely neglected by this film-maker.

5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Please be honest with yourselves.........., 16 May 2005

.....this film isn't very good at all. It's tacky, dull and ultimately makes a mockery of it's themes and characters. Paying homage to equally dull and ill-conceived "art" films like Vertigo (neither film has anything interesting to say) is not clever and neither is the way this film turns in on itself through the ridiculous second half.

Almodovar is lucky he has the ability to surround himself with good cinematographers, composers and actors, as this film would've be a complete embarrassment without them. It was like a glossy, over-done episode of "murder she wrote". There are so many holes in it. The frames within frames aspect was over-used and obvious, to name but one.

It seemed to me that Pedro was not comfortable with this material, it's far removed in form and style from his better work. The film director in the film (oh! how clever) summed it up when he said he was feeling very uninspired at the outset. Maybe Pedro was trying to tell us something?

There's nothing worse than an established director making films for the sake of it. I won't rush to see his next one.

9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
The raping of the senses, 28 April 2005

I think Gasper Noe should refund the price of my admission ticket.........what a load of rubbish!

This film is such an aggressive, tacky exploration of the notion of consequence, that i could never possibly recommend it to anyone. Noe's work is far too self-important, his bombardment of the senses leaves no room for objective viewer contemplation of anything they've witnessed, in the same vain as horrid A-merican action films. But his main fault is a lack of anything interesting to say.

All I felt after this experience was ashame at being part of the male species, I will never think about sex in the same way again. Noe has an extraordinary problem with his own masculinity, almost an embarrassment. I feel it's wrong to 'force' that onto others with wildly overblown scenarios.

I'm reluctant to even post any comments about a film that's been spoken of too much already and I find myself having to finish by saying that this is one of the worst films ever made.

9 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Please stop shouting!!, 18 November 2004

What the hell is all the fuss about? Anybody who says this film is visually stunning obviously haven't seen great films such us Psycho, The Virgin Spring, Breathless, Late Autumn and the wonderful L'Avventura, which were all released in the same year.

This film was obviously highly influential on every Italian-American movie made since, but just like those films, I really didn't like it. Vischonti obviously wants us to believe this is the most important story ever told. The dialogue, characters, performances, music, visuals and running time were all horribly overblown. Shouldn't the film have finished after Rocco's had his first boxing match and he's talking about the hate that's built up inside him? That was the peak!, but no, this film-maker felt the need to indulge us for another 50-odd minutes of some of the most repulsive people ever filmed, just shouting at each other and becoming more and more repulsive for no apparent reason. How's anyone supposed to relate to this? I didn't understand any of the character's motivations.

Oh dear!! 6/10 from me and that's generous. Watch "White Nights" for a Vischonti film that's at least slightly subtle.

9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Manson!!, 2 January 2003

Marylin Manson made more sense in 2 minutes than Moore did in 2 hours. Did you notice that the word 'fear' hadn't even been mentioned until the interview with Manson. A horrible mish-mash of over-elaborated statistics and passion.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Maybe American Beauty was a fluke!!, 21 October 2002

British director Sam Mendes follows up his wildly over-rated debut film American Beauty with the even more average Road to Perdition. You probably know the plot line; so I'm not gonna bother summarizing it?


Is it an epic gangster movie, brilliantly filmed, acted and written with a terrific moving score? Is it a gripping tale of revenge and betrayal? A coming-of-age classic where father and son unite to put right the wrongs that have been bestowed upon them? Some people would have you think so, I'm afraid I'm not one of those people.

It's the screenplay and the two main actors that really let the film down. David Self, writer of 13 Days and the 1999 re-make of The Haunting, wrote the adaptation of the Max Allan Collins & Richard Piers Rayner novel, presumably of the same title. The characters are poorly written, under developed and uninspiring. The dialogue is easy and the plot borders on ridiculous. The story is uninteresting, the pacing uneven and the content emotionally shallow.

The music is dire. It's far too similar to other Thomas Newman forays, such as American Beauty, Six Feet Under & In the Bedroom. While they were moody, atmospheric and ultimately moving pieces, this score is far too loud in places and totally inappropriate for the period and tone of the picture. It just becomes annoying and clouds everything Mendes is showing us.

Sam Mendes' direction is solid, if completely unspectacular. He attempts to bring an obvious darkness to the picture, but needs to do a little more than heavy rain and low lighting to achieve this impressively.

Hanks and Hoechlin are wooden in the lead roles and there's not much chemistry between the two. Hanks being badly cast IMO. Someone with a bit more emotional depth & complexity would've been better for this role. I've heard people say it's interesting to see Hanks play the bad guy, but he's not really the bad guy is he? He's a good guy that does bad because he has to. The 'other', darker side of Michael Sullivan isn't played upon enough either, after showing the potential to be the most interesting aspect of the film. You don't get any sense of history between Hanks and Newman, so don't care when Hanks has to kill Newman to revenge the death of his wife and son, Peter.

Hanks ends up being boring to watch, and it's difficult to feel sorry for a man who only ever plays roles where you're forced to feel sorry for him. His character really isn't that different to recent films his done. Hoechlin is obviously a newcomer and maybe a more experienced director could've got a better performance out of him.

Other than that, Paul Newman is good as Sullivan's boss John Rooney, my only criticism would be that he's just not in it enough. Jude Law brings that quirky British cheekiness to his role as the assassin (Harlen Maguire), but again, he doesn't get enough to play with. The shootout scene between Hanks and Law is probably the best of the film. The supporting cast includes 2 fine actors completely wasted in nothing roles, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Anne Sullivan (Hanks' wife) and Stanley Tucci as Frank Nitti, the gangster who protects Rooney and his family from the revenge seeking Sullivan. Worst of the whole cast though is a terrible turn as Connor Rooney (Newman's son and killer of Hanks' wife and other son), by Daniel Craig, who? Exactly.

The ending is predictable and conceited. I understood that Hanks didn't want his son to grow up like him by shooting Law before his son could, I didn't need to be told that by Hoechlin in his horrible little speech at the end, saying that we should love, accept, respect and forgive our fathers for all wrong doings, just because they're our fathers. B*ll*cks.

This is supposed to be a tale of regret, redemption, revenge, self-discovery and the building of a true father - son relationship. It doesn't explore any of these elements intelligently, therefore doesn't really work on any level. It doesn't inspire to become better friends with my father. You can't help but think the whole thing was devised and made just to win Oscars. The more I think about it, the less I like it.