Reviews

67 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
7/10
Poor Scorcese
2 July 2003
I know the great Martin Scorcese was not the sole input into this film, and may be representative of how hard it is to make a truly excellent motion picture in this day and age. What didn't help was how DD Lewis tried to act like DeNiro the whole goddamn movie. Any moment I expected him to bust into a "you talkin' to me?"

The screenplay was flat out unbelievable and poorly developed, while DiCaprio, Daniel Day Lewis, and Diaz were all miscast. I wonder if Scorcese chose them or the studio did.

If Daniel Day Lewis is going to put on a DeNiro show for 2.5 hours, then why not just get DeNiro and make him look a little younger? Perhaps Bob wasn't interested.
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8/10
clever, well done
30 December 2002
For what this film was, I don't think it could have worked on the main criticism I have for it. The fast paced nature of the film combined with the many different characters leads one to be confused as to who is mad at who and who has what. However, I could follow it well enough to see absorb the skeleton of the plot and see Ritchie's creativity in storytelling. This film begs for a second viewing, and I will probably give it that. Highly entertaining and very creative. Tough to get the accents sometime though. 8/10.
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8/10
powerful gothic
30 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS

I really liked this film. As usual, Pitt's acting is great as well as everyone else (even the young Kirsten Dunst). The film was masterfully set in a very dark mood to reflect the feeling of Pitt's character. Anne Rice creatively humanized the vampire condition and gave them emotions. Because I understood the vampire's perspective, I didn't look at their killing as reckless or evil, but necessary. Harsh reality. Superb work, and would have gotten a 9/10 if it wasn't for the last couple scenes. Those could have been done much better. When Pitt walked out of the movie theater in 1988 you get this great sense that he's a walking anachronism. Then Cruise kills Slater to some cheezy song playing on the radio on the Golden Gate bridge while exclaiming "I've been listening to his whining for centuries." Poor, poor. More scenes like Pitt's sad exit from the movie theater would have been great. It is an unheard of event that a man gets to experience modern technology and transportation while knowing the inconveniences of the past. Not to mention the changing culture and morality. A greater focus on that would have made this film a 10, but no. 8/10.
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Tootsie (1982)
9/10
Women's issues for all audiences
30 December 2002
First let me say, that this is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. There's something about deceitful cross dressing (when done well) that makes people laugh. Some Like It Hot established itself with the same gag. Tootsie was a different movie though, it was far more serious and dealt with feminist issues in a way that wasn't preachy or annoying. For an example of that check out the abominable Adam's Rib with Tracy and Hepburn.

Dustin Hoffman is simply amazing. He is the reason you are drawn into this movie. His Dorothy Michaels is so convincing that its hilarious (because you're in on the gag too). This film is never silly though, because there are well-established relationships between the characters. Miraculously, the feminist message of the film does not come off as corny as most issue based movies tend to be. I wouldn't even say this is a feminist film, its many more things at the same time. That is why it is so effective. 9/10
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Caddyshack (1980)
7/10
Rodney has staying power
30 December 2002
You can't help but love Rodney Dangerfield. A lot of his jokes aren't funny, but he sells them... well at that. His persona is the joke and I laugh every time. Bill Murray just isn't that funny in this film except when he's undressing the old rich ladies with his eyes and talking dirty to himself. Chevy Chase was also hilarious and I'm not sure why. Comedy doesn't always have to make sense.

Why did they throw in a love story? This film could have been a lot better if they had more gags and more Rodney. Who cares? This film is still worth it, but will fade. 7/10.
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Charade (1963)
10/10
A treasure
30 December 2002
This is one of the most underrated film of all time and should be in the top 20 or 30 films ever produced. Why hasn't it achieved greater status among the great films of the 20th century? In my opinion, its even better than Hitchcock's great films of the 50's. There are three reasons this film is great, among others of course.

1) The plot is paced perfectly and you never know who is telling the truth. This movie is about trust. You cannot be sure that anyone is who they say they are and who's really after the money: hence the name of the film. I've rarely ever seen something pulled off so flawlessly.

2) Grant and Hepburn. Two of the most charismatic film stars ever with (at the time) their choice of scripts. Of course they would choose this absolute gem.

3) The dialogue. It brought be back to the great films of the 40's like Notorious, Big Sleep and Maltese Falcon. Grant's witty replies to Hepburn's questions are some of the best I've ever heard. I sat amazed at the brilliant writing.

10/10. Unquestionably one of the finest mysteries ever made and up there with the greats of all time.
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9/10
vastly underrated
30 December 2002
This film was hard for me to watch, but that was the point. The reason it was so effective was due to the helpless nature of the children being hunted by Robert Mitchum's terrifying character. You know they're naive and physically weak, so if Mitchum even gets close they're finished. This film likely failed because of its intensity, not because of its brilliance and excellent acting (minus the kids). Charles Laughton seems like a man who does quality work all the way around. 9/10
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9/10
lovely little film
27 December 2002
There is no doubt about it in my mind, Audrey Hepburn made this movie. She is just so captivating here, I spent most of the time just mesmerized by her charisma. Because of that, her occupation of wooing upper class men became very, very believable. If you don't get into Audrey, this film will probably seem rather mediocre. I was so into her persona that Mickey Rooney's incredibly offensive Chinese landlord character didn't even bother me. I just sat there wide-eyed listening to Holly Golightly say god knows what. Special film. 9/10.
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Spartacus (1960)
8/10
Good
27 December 2002
First off, any movie with Olivier and Laughton in two major roles has to have some redeeming value. They are two of the finest actors I've seen on screen and they lit it up in Spartacus. Yes, Gladiator ripped off Spartacus in many ways and then turned it into a melodramatic circus. For the critics of this film, you have to give it the credit of being realistic unlike Braveheart and Gladiator which were poorly done.

This isn't a real Stanley Kubrick film so don't go into it thinking you're going to see something innovative and ground-breaking. This is just a movie. Kubrick inherited the movie and the script mid-production (I think the story goes) and wasn't super pleased with the result of this film. Too many people were pulling him too many ways. I missed the homosexuality references, but that's probably because they were disguised and I wasn't looking for them. Sadly, I'll probably never watch it again. Very long film, but worth a viewing. 8/10
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7/10
funny, but too raunchy
26 December 2002
Now I have no problem with raunchiness, but this was just too much. Other than that, this was a very funny movie and I thought much funnier than the first two. Now that the lines and gags like "Yeah Baby" and "Behave" are well established, the first two movies don't hold up. Myers had to come up with something fresh for this one, and he did. The man is a comic genius and continues to impress, but I agree that he should retire the series.

Also, what's wrong with Michael Caine being in this movie? This is better than Jaws 4. If I were Michael Caine (with my position already established in film history) why not have a little fun? That's what DeNiro is doing. What would you rather be, austere and respected or approachable and respected? There is nothing wrong with not taking yourself too seriously. I enjoy it when serious actors do things like this. Take Christopher Walken in that Fatboy Slim video. hilarious. 7/10 for Goldmember.
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10/10
Put on your thinking caps
26 December 2002
Chomsky is one of my heroes, so I am a little biased. I consider myself a moderate, and I see Chomsky as a transcendent of politics. He spouts the truth, and tries to decipher incredibly complex institutional interactions. This doc will make you think about the world you live in like you've never thought about it before, being led by one of the premier thinkers of our time. Chomsky will be remembered far beyond the present, a true maverick and one of the few people intelligent enough to address societal and institutional ills and be right close to 100% of the time.

Do NOT dismiss Chomsky because you think he's a lefty nut. He's not a pre-Bowling for Columbine Michael Moore. Noam Chomsky is a distinguished intellectual in the truest sense with a near 100% accuracy in placing his words properly in sentences. When you hear him speak, try to focus on how clearly and concisely his ideas are discussed. Then look into his eyes and take note of his demeanor. A human body does not suit a mind like his. This documentary is a must for truth seekers and lefties. It is long, but you can watch it in parts. If you wanna have a great discussion, watch it with one or two other people. Its inevitable. 10/10
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The Limey (1999)
9/10
gotta respect Soderbergh
25 December 2002
I agreed with what Soderbergh said in the commentary about his critics' comment about "style over substance" in this film. You really did not get to know anything about the characters, which really affected your ability to get into the story. However, I found the settings so captivating and the Soderbergh's stylistic additions so interesting to watch, that I overall was very impressed with this film. It is one of those films that requires multiple viewings because I feel he was doing a lot here. I really liked his perspective on allowing the viewer to see the character's thoughts. That was very effective.

Overall, I think Soderbergh is overrated, but this is a great effort. 9/10
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9/10
Powerful film, emotional manipulation
25 December 2002
There have been few films that played with my emotions like this one (Lynch's Elephant Man and The Green Mile are a few others). Seeing this film just makes you angry... the characters are deep and the setting is ridden with conflict. This whole film is set in tension between Black and White culture, and the FBI vs. local authority. Many times I was asking myself, "can the FBI step in here? What is their jurisdiction?"

A brief homage to Gene Hackman. He is one of my favorite actors and I have yet to see him in a role that he has not performed masterfully. The whole time you knew that he was just a little smarter than Dafoe's "by the book" methods. The way Hackman made that subtly apparent is very admirable. I loved Hackman and Dafoe together in this film. I really, really got into it. 9/10
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6/10
Fails to amuse
25 December 2002
Now some parts of this movie were funny, but overall Christopher Guest annoys me to no end in all three of his major films (this one, Guffman, and Best of Show). At the time, when rock was king, this film was probably a lot more relevant. But I'm 22, and the old rockers and 80's hair bands were fading quickly when I started listening to music. I've seen VH1 documentaries and know enough about the "rock 'n' roll" lifestyle to get the jokes. I also get Guest's subtle, dry sense of humor and where the jokes are, but I just don't laugh. Perhaps I reject his basic tenet of humor based on laughing at other people's stupidity (in the way he does it). I believe this movie and the other two in Guest's pathetic trilogy are solely for that special breed of popular kids in high school that overtly or covertly relished in every moment of their supremacy. This one's for you, wodies. Then check out Guffman, you'll laugh your head off. 6/10
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7/10
OK
25 December 2002
Its good that film has a documentation of the disco era, and this is the definitive disco movie. However, it just isn't that great of a movie. First of all, Travolta's character is a joke. He could have had more depth. I just can't get into a love story when I know nothing about what's going on with the characters. There was no connection between me and them, and I found myself sitting patiently through the plot-based scenes to see more dancing and musical montages. 7/10.
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Rocky (1976)
8/10
Everyone loves an underdog
25 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS

I was very entertained by this movie, based on the fact that everyone loves an underdog (I am no exception). Seeing how Rocky's life was established in the first half of the movie made this film. This wasn't just a boxing movie, it was a film about a man's life. A guy who has been told he's a loser, and looking at what he has in his life you may think that too. However, this is Rocky Balboa and how he manages to hold his head up is beyond me let alone go 15 rounds with the champ. I also loved the fact that he lost the fight. He didn't lose, he won.

However, how this film beat out Network (one of my all time favorites), All the President's Men, and Taxi Driver is a shame. 1976 was an awesome year in film, but Network really should have won. 8/10.
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7/10
Several humps I could not get over
25 December 2002
If I would have seen this before seeing Grant in a dozen roles being suave and cool, I could have taken him seriously as a comedian. Imagine Steve McQueen being silly and stupid or John Wayne. It just wouldn't work. My favorite Grant role is in Hitchcock's Notorious, and I guess I couldn't buy into the convention of him acting in this way. Because of that, I wish I wouldn't have seen this movie.

Also, I hate every movie I've ever seen with Katharine Hepburn in it. Her voice and demeanor are repulsive to me, but she probably stood tall as a strong woman of her time (which explains her gut-wrenching role in Adam's Rib). If there were two different actors in the film I probably would have liked it, so if you don't have the same biases I have go ahead with it. All these people can't be wrong. 7/10.
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7/10
most overrated film on list
24 December 2002
With the exception of Toy Story 2 being in the 60's on the imdb user list, this one could be the most overrated film. The story and characters were poorly introduced. Upon watching this film, and I wasn't distracted or intoxicated, and I couldn't follow what was going on. Actually, I was distracted by Claudia Cardinale's beauty and her several close-call rape scenes. Other than that, the story was a joke.

I don't know if anyone will agree with me on this, but I think Henry Ford was miscast. All I could think about with him was 12 Angry Men and him being intensely moral. He does have a moral, good-guy vibe coming off of him as a villain... just look at the difference between him and Bronson when you watch the movie. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was a masterpiece with a great (well laid out) story and never a dull moment. This film must be for Spaghetti Western aficionados, because I'm not seeing the greatness here. 7/10
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8/10
frustrating dubbing
24 December 2002
If you really wanna get into this film, make the resolution on your TV fuzzy or take off your glasses. Watching Welles' poorly mouthed dubbed Irish dialect made this a challenging film to watch. I have no idea why he did it? Could he do the dialect consistently and well? Was he on a strict budget and did he find he was wasting too much time screwing up the accent? It was tough to watch and I expected more from Welles.

This movie had an interesting plot, but I really felt like there were holes. I shouldn't have to watch the movie again to catch something I missed important to my immersion into the story. The mirror scene is also a little bit dated like some of Hitchcock's scenes in the 50's. However, Welles' camera play and way of making film makes all of his films interesting and worth watching. This definitely could have been better, and something tells me it wasn't his fault as history tells me. Poor guy. 8/10
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The Amputee (1974)
8/10
Simply gruesome
23 December 2002
If you enjoy being disgusted (as I do), then you will love this. It is challenging to really make your audience want to gag (as I heard John Waters say once), and Lynch does it very well here. The 5 minutes consists of an amputee getting her wounds cleaned and it is not pleasant. Enjoy! 8/10
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10/10
Simply hilarious (a must see)
23 December 2002
I'm usually intensely critical of comedy, but this is a real gem. I laughed all the way through it. The acting was perfectly idiosyncratic and quirky making for hilarious sequences. I had no idea Lynch had this in him. This short used enough good ideas for a feature length film. Lynch shows here that his talent is very diverse. Kudos, my fellow Madisonian. 10/10
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Manhunter (1986)
6/10
A real stinker
23 December 2002
I can't stand a lot of these reviews for Manhunter. The people who praise Manhunter as being a great film and even BETTER than Silence of the Lambs of Red Dragon are the same people that say that CCR's version of "Proud Mary" is better than Ike and Tina Turner's. Please! Manhunter was a terrible movie. If I wouldn't have seen Red Dragon, I wouldn't have been able to follow it. Lector was hardly in the movie at all, and was not captivating at all. He seemed like just an average schlub in a cell. Hopkins' Lector draws you in and engages you in his sick genius. Nothing like that here. Dolarhyde's character wasn't developed at all either, not like in Red Dragon anyway. Whoever sings the praises of this movie has not seen good film, and they certainly haven't seen Red Dragon. 6/10
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The Alphabet (1968)
8/10
haunting
23 December 2002
This avant garde piece miraculously comes off without being cliché or dismissible (as is so common with artsy avant garde film). Peggy Lynch (I'm assuming is his daughter) goes through a sequence of harrowing events that had some connection with the alphabet. I particularly liked the bed-wetting and the dirt. The person I watched this with said the dirt looked very "inviting." I strangely agreed. Only Lynch could make dirt inviting. Very interesting work. 8/10
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9/10
Very interesting
23 December 2002
The repeating of the film 6 times is essential in order to become acquainted with the sequence and give you the opportunity to look in different areas of the screen to catch other cool visuals. I loved this little film, it showcases the twisted, genius mind of Lynch at an early age. This can be found with his other shorts on a new DVD that I just picked up. Its an amazing find if you can get a copy. 9/10
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Begotten (1990)
8/10
Not for the squeamish
22 December 2002
First of all, this is an art film and a good one at that. I loved the presentation and way it was shot. Very cool. Certain scenes were some of the more graphic horror sequences I've ever seen. This film did scare me, not because of suspense or shock, but because I was deathly afraid that I'd soon see something REALLY appalling. That did happen in a few places, but mostly at the beginning. This film also dragged and the 74 minutes seemed long. However, if you're into film you have to see this. To date, I've seen nothing like it. 8/10
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