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ardentayu

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8 reviews in total 
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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
I Couldn't Stop Laughing, 4 August 2009
9/10

This is really very funny, provided that you like shock humor, crude humor, situational humor, ridiculous circumstances, etc. I didn't even think the preview I saw looked that funny, so I was surprised when the story got underway and I couldn't stop laughing. The main characters' personalities vary so much that much of the comedy too comes from the quirky character traits they have - and how that causes each of them to react differently the absurd situations they have gotten themselves into. This R-rated comedy is a nice departure from the films of Judd Apatow or the comedies of Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler. I'm not saying I don't like those other guys, but sometimes it seems like those are the main comedy options (along with romantic comedies or family comedies). Well, here's a new, original, hilarious comedy. Loved it!

G.P.S. (2007)
13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Good for the Budget - Fun Thriller with Cool Bonus Features, 1 May 2009
7/10

I saw this on DVD, which means I got to see the Behind the Scenes Bonus Features that go in depth into the making of this movie. There are more than 2 hours of special features.I didn't intend to watch them all, but they pulled me in so much I ended up watching most of them. After seeing those, I have a real appreciation of what the filmmakers went through to get their first feature made on a tiny budget, so I give them a '7.'

The movie itself is really fun, but it's not flawless. It had me laughing out loud at a couple of the funny characters, and there were some very suspenseful scenes in the second half of the movie. I think the biggest problem is that the suspense doesn't really start up until halfway through. The first half almost plays like a comedy, the second half like a thriller. If you know that going in, you can like it anyway. But it is a little disconcerting to the viewer as the tone changes dramatically at the midway point.

I'm glad they embellished GPS treasure hunting (or geocaching) to make it highly competitive, otherwise it wouldn't have been exciting. People are literally racing each other to get to the next hidden cache. There are some beautiful locations and some cool stunts. Overall, a really good first effort, and from what the director, producer, etc. said in the bonus features, it's obvious they learned a lot in the process to take with them to their next movie.

26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining and Funny; At times, Shocking and Touching, 26 January 2009
8/10

I saw this at Slamdance and I really enjoyed it.

It's about a struggling filmmaker (Leelee S) who takes a job editing porn, but it's really more about her character's journey into her own issues (of the past and present) ... and the fact that this self-discovery takes place amidst the porn industry, well, that adds a good dose of humor and a bit of sex.

There's some laugh out loud moments, usually in the form of shock/crude humor or irony. There's also some drama and romance mixed in there, so it's honestly hard to classify it to one genre of film.

It's a lower-budget indie, but it has a great cinematic look with great performances by all the actors. Jamie Kennedy adds some air-headed humor, and Kristen Johnston adds some cutting humor (loved her). The actor opposite Leelee (Matthew Davis) initial appears as a jaded, cynical character, but of course, there is more beneath the surface and it's rewarding to see his character slowly unveil.

Fun movie, overall. Why an 8 and not a 10? I guess my only criticism is that I got a touch bored somewhere around the middle of the film. Perhaps the shock of the shock humor had lost it's shocking value by that point but we weren't yet to the meaty drama. I don't know. To me, it kind of lagged briefly before getting back on track.

But that's a small thing. Most of the time, I "found bliss" when watching FINDING BLISS.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Dark and Sad, but Well Acted, 27 August 2008
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Were Joaquin, Mark, and Jennifer all amazing in their roles? YES. Was the subject matter unbelievably depressing? YES.

I guess I should have expected that, given the plot circumstances – Mark Ruffalo's character kills Joaquin & Jennifer's son in a hit & run. It's obviously going to be a bit dark. I could have done with a touch of hope sprinkled somewhere in there. Every scene with Jennifer as the grieving mom is filled with so much pain that it's almost unwatchable. I think because the entire movie stays at a sad, low level that it can cause the audience to turn off their own feelings and stop feeling for the characters because there aren't the ups and downs. There isn't a breather or anything lighter in quality before the story plunges into darkness again. It's all dark, so the darkest moments lose their intensity because there is no juxtaposition of emotions.

The best scenes were the ones between Joaquin and Mark, as Joaquin has no clue that Mark was the driver and Mark knows very well that Joaquin is the father. There's immense tension when these two people have to interact. Mark's character shows the audience the extreme pain of being on that side of the accident.

The Ape (2005)
8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Oddly Funny – original indie flick, 3 March 2008
6/10

This is a pretty funny movie. James Franco is quite a comedian, which you wouldn't know from seeing some of his darker, brooding roles. Go into it keeping in mind it is a dark comedy, mostly conversational piece, indie, odd story. Harry (Franco) rents an apartment so he can get a break from his distracting family life and finally put pen to paper. The big catch is that a gorilla is already living at the apartment. The gorilla is an actor in a suit, not a real live gorilla, which I guess I would've realized was the case if I'd looked more closely at the cover art. At first I was disappointed, because I expected there would be a real monkey in the movie. I quickly got over that because the actor in the gorilla suit was quite funny and crude.

It does get a bit repetitive and there are very few locations, so I did begin getting bored mid-way through after my initial reaction to the uniqueness of the story began to wear off. I imagine it was a hilarious stage play (which it was adapted from), but I do think it probably loses some of its charm in translation to the screen. I believe it was a one-act play, so they had to "pad" the story a bit to make it long enough to be a movie. It probably would be strongest in one-act length (45 minutes or so).

Overall, it is unique and I laughed out loud many times. You can watch it and analyze some "deeper" meaning because there are definitely layers of metaphor throughout the story…or you can just watch it and laugh.

In Bruges (2008)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Funny & Quirky – good suspense in the end!, 13 February 2008
9/10

I loved this movie. I saw it at Sundance. Probably best classified as a dark comedy, IN BRUGES has a mix of comedy, drama, and action. There are a few violent scenes. Great job by writer/director Martin McDonagh.

The movie made me laugh from the opening note: Colin Farrell's voice over during the opening credits asking "Where the fook is Bruges?" The movie follows two hit men stuck in Bruges awaiting the next order from their boss. Farrell is dealing with some of his own personal demons. Much of the first half of the movie is talking heads, but due to the clever writing and comedic moments (often cynical and not-PC), the movie never gets stale. Both lead actors – Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson – are the superb and they make the perfect odd couple. It is nice to see Colin Farrell playing a role other than the cool, slick guy. Farrell's character verges on whiney, but that is part of what makes him endearing. Ralph Fiennes add a bad guy to the mix of eclectic characters.

8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A Good, Family Story – Pacing is a bit slow, 10 January 2008
7/10

The story concept of "A Lobster Tale" is very interesting. A poor Lobster Fisherman named Cody (Colm Meaney) finds some magic, green gooey substance caught in his lobster net. This "goo" proves to have healing powers. Because he has a limited amount of the magic substance, he and his family must make decisions about who can use it, when, where, and why… Therein, begins the family's problems. Suddenly they are most popular people in town, because everybody wants to get a piece of the magic substance. This scenario provides the characters with difficult decisions and ridiculously amusing situations.

I though the acting was great. Cody's son (played by Jack Knight) nailed an emotional scene, and other actors rounded out a strong cast –Colm Meaney, Alberta Watson (recognized her from "24"), and Graham Greene, who was very funny as a slacker cop.

My biggest criticism is that the movie was a little long. The middle section where the townspeople are continually confronting/begging him got very redundant. The pacing definitely could have been sped up through the middle section of the movie.

Otherwise, it was a really nice story with some good messages, some emotional moments, and some ironic/understated humor throughout.

10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
One Location, yet It Stays Fresh!, 4 January 2008
8/10

Despite the fact that this movie takes place in one location, it does not drag or get boring - that in and of itself is a HUGE accomplishment! I thought the story was great how it put the main character into a sticky situation. All the characters had distinct personalities, which kept their conversations entertaining. The psychological suspense was strong. It's a movie wrought with tension. I applaud an indie filmmaker (Jeff Probst) for pulling off a good movie on a budget that is tiny compared to the studio budgets.

If you liked it, watch the director's commentary. Jeff Probst is very open about the process and how this film came into fruition (before he got his Survivor gig, by the way).

If you are looking for an indie film with some humor, psychological suspense, and good acting, check out this film.