Reviews written by registered user

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14 reviews in total 
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Timeless Sellers Tribute, 21 February 2008

I watched Trail of the Pink Panther again, 1982, a pieced-together story and tribute to Peter Sellers made 2 years after his death in 1980. I forgot what wonderful messes Sellers could create out of a simple room and pure innovative genius. Much of his work was spontaneous.

Peter Sellers died at age 56 of a heart attack July 24, 1980, he was schedule for corrective surgery that month. His only son, Michael, died of a heart attack at age 52, July 24, 2006, 26 years to the day from his father's death. He also was scheduled for corrective surgery that month.

Peter Sellers lives on, and I have ordered all of his Panther movies (ending in 1982), and "The Party" too. I got Trail of... because Joanna Lumley (from Ab Fab) was in it, at the tender age of 35. My sides still hurt from some of the never before stock footage they showed... and those looking for some meaningful plot or logic, have missed the point altogether...

Classic laughter.

4 Minutes (2006)
20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
A Must See Twice Film, 2 December 2007

Vier Minuten left me admiring a young actress, respecting our cultural achievements, and pondering freedom and what part music and literature plays in dividing us from the animal kingdom. Yes, I think this movie is a statement of cultural development in relationship to physical, mental, and emotional stress, anger, hatred, cruelty, and violence.

That is the Conflict theory of social progress.

It reminds me of all the rebellious youth who had something shocking, abrasive, antisocial, and yet astonishing to say in a new format. Hail, hail, rock and roll, Hip-Hop, Punk, Goth, New Wave, Rap, Swing, Jive, Big Band, and even Classical. We have come a long way since the days of Turlough O'Carolan or Steven Foster.

The plot is not as simple as you might think. Two women, both gifted, both abused and injured as youths, both driven. A father seeking redemption at the end of his life... a vast array of opponents meaning to deter hope and subdue expression. Movies have been built on oppression and hardship for a long time. It makes for a great story (like Purple Rain, for example).

Beauty and the beast... continuance, salvation, rebirth, dignity... you could ponder the factors of this movie for some time. The music itself is meant only to be representative, not sterling, and you must remember the settings. I found the opening hard rock song of the piano being transported to the prison absolutely fantastic, and the finale innovative, and yet reminiscent of the "Acid Freak Concerts" of the late 60s, oddly enough. Listen to The Rolling Stones - "Their Satanic Majesties Request", 1967. Maybe they even used the same piano and the strings in the same way. However, I won't tell you how this one ends....

Nevertheless, make no mistake: Hannah Herzsprung's performance throughout the movie is absolutely stunning, for lack of a better word. You will not forget it.

I had a great deal of trouble tracking down a copy of this movie, since DVD copies are hard to find. In the end, I was really glad I took the time, and now, I am tracking down the CD soundtrack as well... yes, I think it is well worth seeing the movie, and owning the music too.

If it only reminds us how to curtsey, and rebel at the same time....

Tampopo (1985)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Unique and Pleasurable Experience!, 26 April 2006

Sporting a potpourri of vignettes overstating the relevance and importance of food in relationship to life, death, love, duty and sensuality, Tampopo runs the plot like a thin ribbon through them all, creating a charming, and sometime disturbing comedy of unique character.

Some have called this no longer available film the "first Japanese Noodle Western", although that may be debatable. Several men gather around a widower to help her to create the best noodles, or noodle soup, in Japan, hence ensuring her future in a tough market. Will she succeed? What if she does?

The charm of this movie is in its innovations, the fresh faces, the clarity of the scenes, the richness of the backgrounds. Call it a satire, call it parody, call it obsessive at times... but nevertheless, it is unforgettable, however weak the plot is, and however faint some of the "acting" may be. It is all tongue in cheek, ha ha...

VHS format is hard to find now, and DVDs are prized, so if you get a chance to get this movie, at least see it once... it's a real treat.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Baseball, Payback, and Gross Vulgarity Still Mix, 23 April 2006

If you enjoy vomiting, crap throwing and smearing, burping, farting, farting on people's faces, booger picking, and booger eating... then this is just the movie for you! This movie is a 6th-grader's feast! I say movie, not film, because it would never rank (pun) being called a film, much less draw dignity from any critics or reviewers.

Aside from that, it has an interesting plot twist and a few moments here and there. Once you get past all the bodily functions you might even have a bit of fun seeing this once... but don't watch and eat your dinner at the same time!

In the end, this was a quick buck aimed at the grade-schoolers using 2nd rate, unemployed, or desperate actors... more power to them I suppose. At least they didn't pretend to have made a serious work.

Put this in your "Pre-Teen" category, or, not quite a "Teen" movie...

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Angelic Humor, 21 April 2006

Paul Hogan plays a criminal who steps out in front of traffic to save a child, and becomes an Angel... almost. He says he's on probation, sorta... but what are you to believe? Is he nuts? Hmmm. Maybe. The humor and light-sided religiousness makes this film a delight.

Don't worry about being converted or anything, this is an open-ended movie with morals, granted, but also with that special touch of human bonding, and what it means to love others.

Hogan's writing, directing, and acting career spans just 6 films that I know of, and this is a lesser known one... I had the feeling at the end that it was looking for a sequel, or a TV series. No such luck.

Magical, humorous, charming, disarming, alarming, and inspiring... see it at least once.

The '60s (1999) (TV)
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
The 60s As Viewed From Space, 18 April 2006

What the movie The 60s really represents (to those of us who growled around in the belly of America in those times) is the turbulence and diversity of the decade. Despite the exaggerated, stereotyped characters, the genuineness of the issues remains clear.

Not only were those radical times of change, but also very confusing times. Two basic things changed our world then: the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the overwhelming influence of the media. Those two new freedoms began social changes that soon became institutionalized.

From chaos came sensitivity, from disorder came values. Bear in mind however, that the bulk of Americans were not involved in this... they worked, they played, they watched the news... and slowly they became effected by the efforts and struggles of the minorities... the Civil Rights workers, the Political Activists, the Anti-War efforts, the War on Poverty....

The representation of the power of the press and TV in particular, was well reflected, although the conflict between the general public's attitude and those seeking to change things was at best ignored... and at worst, misrepresented.. Middle class Americans weren't all standing around angrily holding baseball bats, or disowning their wayward daughters. They were confused too. Let us not forget how Folk Singers suddenly became Protest Singers, and how The Beatles began an onslaught that killed the Folk-Protest Movement. There are no Beatle songs in the movie, or even any mention of them.

I think if you didn't live the decade, you might not have a sense of what the movie is about, the overall picture is a bit dim. At one point I held down a steady job while my sister lived at the Hog Farm Commune and went to Woodstock. At another point I was in Haight Asbury and in the Detroit Riots while she worked and played the housewife in Maine and Connecticut. Roles were constantly changing.

The movie depicts three siblings of a middle class family. They represent the hippie child, the political activist, and the active military personnel. Dad represents the typical attitudes, and mom represents the voice of reason, tolerance, and sometimes compromise... for the sake of peace.

The Black family comprises a minister and his son... disproportionately, I think. I assume the producers knew all the variables and had to settle on limitations, or else the film would have become a long, boring, documentary. Dad's message was that anger produces bitterness, and bitterness produces chaos. It was clearly a message directed to today's youth.

We are looking at a unique solution to social problems, and also how issues divide us... The 60s were unusual in that way, and only the Roaring 20s compare. In other words, this movie has a moral after all. In the end, it is our Collective Individualism that survives. Put that in your oxymoron list.

Everyone was a God, a Guru, or a free-spirited genius in the 60s. It was a time of magic and madness. No one will ever nail the 60s down right... it was too diverse (this movie is close). At least we can say we are not ashamed of it, that we learned and grew from it, and that for once, a generation shaped and changed America... for the better.

War of the Worlds Revisted, 17 April 2006

This is the first movie in years that glued me to my chair... the suspense and graphics were simply fantastic... I found Tom Cruise's role to be somewhat lacking as usual, but who cares about plot or characters? For that matter, Dakota Fanning stole the show, and if you want plot, read the 1898 book.

I thought the beginning and the end were very prophetic, and tied together well. Throughout the movie you have a sense of fear and hopelessness, a perfect combination! You should see this movie to remind yourself what is plausible... and for the sheer fun and thrill of it!

39 out of 50 people found the following review useful:
Classic Cinema Art - A "Must See" Film!, 8 April 2006

I spent a day watching "About Schmidt", with Jack Nicholson... and then the evening rambling through reviews, since my wife's perception of the ending differed somewhat from mine....

Conflict can often lead to enlightenment and discovery, but not so in the case of Warren Schmidt. In his case it leads to a life of complacency, denial, delusion, and passive-aggressive behaviors... and eventually, to a meaningless life of servitude devoid of passion or purpose.

Since my wife and I are around the same age as the character, and we ponder the same issues of our lives, the film had more significance to us. I found the work to be a cinema-graphic piece of art laced with symbolism and dark humor (at best). I likened it to previous movies like "Death of a Salesman", "The Apartment", "The Swimmer" (Burt Lancaster), or a short filmed called "The Bridge".

As a cautionary tale (or social comment) on the "American Way" of life, the messages it conveys are slightly exaggerated, but nevertheless there to be debated. We are talking about identity, achievement, interpersonal relationships, and the "average IQ".

In the end, I believe this film will become one that is studied in future classrooms, and it was brave of Nicholson to participate in such a character study and a work intended primarily for writers, actors, and directors. If laughter is "the sound we make when we are surprised (or shocked) by the truth", then the amount of humor you find in this film may be directly related to your own level of naivety or denial. After all, laughter can often be just another defense mechanism, right?

Some movies are straightforward, some are magical, some are mystical, and then, some are symbolic. This movie falls into the last category. The use of time, space, cognitive dissonance, and Irony abound in this work and challenge us to look, think, and feel.

Notes: we would have cut or altered the "Percodan scene" at the rehearsal (as overdone), also note- the cattle at the funeral who later appear on the freeway, inside jokes about Des Moines and Denver, Randall's "Certificate of Attendance", the look on Jeannie's face at the end of Warren's speech at the Wedding Reception, the use of "overstatement", details of wall decorations, and Warren's obvious attraction to the trite, idealistic, delusional, and superficial.

If you are a thinking, feeling, serious movie-lover, you should SEE this film once, and then STUDY it the 2nd time!

Alexander (2004)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Artistic Hogwash, 25 February 2006

Bottom line of this movie is Don't Bother... it is neither "historically" accurate, nor "culturally" accurate... in the Anthropological end, Alexander had NO purpose, no world vision, and NO scorching "cause" to battle for...

This is not to mention the massive confusion you will experience as to separating Persia, Babylon, Assyria, Macedonia, and Greece in a stew of inaccurate time periods for the sake of "continuity"?

Alexander's TRUE story would have been far GREATER, and shorter.

Other than some of the lavish sets, the rest is pure Hollywood amusement with stifled acting and poor character development... served to you at YOUR expense.

Enchanting and refreshing!, 27 October 2005

This film is dominated by the captivating performance of Keisha Castle-Hughes. compare her to Natalie Portman in The Profession, and you will note a mysterious difference. Keisha Castle-Hughes almost seems to KNOW the role she is playing, and the depth of her character is mystical.

In the end, truth and fantasy conflict, and you really want to believe this film is true... you want to follow her... That makes Whale Rider a powerful film. Couple that with cultural triumph, and you have a recipe for global pride.

This movie scores a 10 for originality and a 7 for screenplay... some scenes were dark and hard to view. However, like Local Hero, you must see this movie more than once to catch all the subtle and insightful parts. This is a vast treasury of characters in mere glimpses!

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