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Scorsese's best pic since Goodfellas
30 November 2013
The last few Scorsese pics left me a little disappointed. I had begun to think Marty had become a 'gun for hire' and that his brilliance may have been spent (his earlier works were some of the best movies ever made). I attended a screening of The Wolf of Wall Street this evening, and was expecting to be unimpressed. I am happy to say I was completely blown away. This pic is Marty at his best. I laughed, I cringed, I related (with fond memories as well as a bit of guilt) and I TOTALLY believed every unbelievable moment. A good book, a great screenplay and a delightful cast were formed and molded into what I believe should get Scorsese a best director Oscar, and likely a Best Picture Award for the movie. Leo DiCaprio has grown into a versatile actor and his creation of this super hero dirtbag's roller coaster ride in this crazy (true) story is really honest and delightfully entertaining. Jonah Hill pulled out all the stops too and this is definitely his best work. Thank you Mr. Scorsese for delivering the goods so brilliantly!
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Timely and thought provoking entertainment
18 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If Helen wins another Oscar for this, it will be well deserved. Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy, and Ann-Marie Duff all give fine performances. Paul Giamatti shows us a side of him we have not previously seen. Pure villain. A villain fueled by ruthless passion for a noble cause. IMO Michael Hoffman has contributed to the world in an important way by making this movie and releasing it at this time in history. While Tolstoy's thoughts on private property were definitely out of the box and the precursors to the Bolshevik revolution therein equally as radical, these things all touched the nerve of the masses as a result of a society who's financial state was extremely out of balance. This director is finicky about the material he chooses. He could make pictures every year were he willing to jump on the Hollywood band wagon. He chooses his projects wisely. In this case, he wrote the script as well as directed so it's totally deserving of the DGA sanctioned "A Film by (MIchael Hoffman)" credit. And not only does he use his skills to teach. And he does so in a highly entertaining fashion. That is a rare, and much needed pursuit these days. A great little picture, entertaining as hell, and it leaves one thinking about such things in the light of today's global economical downturn.
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Nine (2009)
Tedious, and painful
8 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Lots of money spent giving incredibly beautiful visuals with some extraordinary performances by a stellar cast, in this monotonous dull and lifeless movie. What a shame. The cast obviously poured their hearts out, and worked their asses off. The production design and cinematography are award worthy. The directing is absolutely horrendous. Atrocious. Horrible. Hey Rob, where you put the camera is really important. I couldn't see inside any of these characters! I never felt sympathetic, empathetic, or even slightly connected to any of these characters. Sad, cause the actors brought it. The movie never showed it to the audience. When Guido (Daniel Day-Lewis) kneels at his Mother's (Sophia Loren) feet and admits his faults, we see his hair back-lit. I will bet had the camera actually looked into his eyes we might have had something there. One hour and forty five minutes into the movie, the conflict with the wife happened. Finally some real drama. Had that been the first scene I might have decided to care about this man's journey. Kate Hudson's number was the highlight of the film, although completely disconnected from the story. But then again, everything is disconnected. And there really is no story. And making a film with an Italian sensibility in the English language is probably an impossibility. Remember when they dubbed "La Vita e Bella" into English? That, like Fellini's work was beautiful in Italian. It sucked in English. I say, leave the making of Italian films to Italian filmmakers. Uhhhgggg. Thanks for the free screening, But I sincerely wish I could have those two hours back.
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delightful, highly recommended
28 February 2003
This is a delightful film. While it steals devices from "Waiting for Guffman," it proves to stand on it's own as a hilarious mocumentary. Highly recommended, superb acting, and very well written. Was the crowd favorite at tonights screening in Los Feliz.
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