Reviews written by registered user
|15 reviews in total|
I like "Halloween III". Some people consider it to be one of those "so bad it's good" kind of films, but they're wrong. It's competently made and much better than the "Halloween" films that appeared after it. As sequels go it's pretty strange, though. For starters, Michael Myers is nowhere in sight. This second sequel has nothing to do with the two previous films in the series (personally I couldn't care less about that) and the plot is downright weird. What's strange about it is that there's very little symbolism at stake - something which is rare in occult horror films. Normally, filmmakers seem to feel that they need some sort of psychological excuse to show us unrealistic horror. Not so in "Halloween III". We never get to know the main characters and get only the most superficial impression of their personalities. The sinister goings-on in the film have nothing to do with the personal traumas of the protagonist - he's just there because he has to be, in order for the plot to move on. In this sense, the film is refreshingly "naive". The atmosphere or tone of the film is why I like it. It has that "midnight movie" feel, mainly - I think - because of the soundtrack. Music is rarely used, but always effectively like in John Carpenters "The Thing" (1982). And there are some almost surreal images thrown in along the way, like the one where snakes surprisingly appear from within the pumpkinhead.
I had two reasons for watching this swashbuckler when it aired on Danish television yesterday. First of all, I wanted to see Gina Lollobrigida - and here I wasn't disappointed. She looked gorgeous. Second of all, through reading about the film I had gotten the impression that it featured absurd humor not unlike that which can be found in Philippe de Broca's films. On this account, however, I was sadly disappointed. I found the jokes predictable (apart from a few witty remarks on the topic of war) and the characters completely one-dimensional. Also, the action scenes were done in a strangely mechanical and uninspired fashion, with no sense of drama at all. I kept watching until the end, but I got bored very quickly and just sat there, waiting for the scenes with Lollobrigida.
"Selvmordsskolen" is one of the best Danish films of its period inspired by the cinematic French New Wave. It uses the ideas and aesthetics employed by French filmmakers of the time - Godard in particular - but at the same time it is, very much, a Danish film. In the Sixties, Danish film basically meant comedy, and the actors who appear in "Selvmordsskolen" are all well-known comedy actors in Denmark. Axel Strøbye in particular gives a noteworthy performance (actually several noteworthy performances), but Jørgen Ryg is also well-casted as the main protagonist, credited simply as "the man who wants to kill himself". The film, however, is by no means an ordinary Danish comedy, and many Danish audiences were confused by it. Watching its darkly humouristic portrait of a modern welfare society which has no room for individuality or artistic ideas is very much like reading a book by the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno - or watching an episode of the British TV series "The Prisoner". There are many moving scenes, and the end is deeply disturbing. Not before or since has Danish cinema produced anything like "Selvmordsskolen" (the title literally means "School for Suicide"). It is a true masterpiece and is highly recommended.
Since I bought the DVD containing the second series of this absolutely outstanding British sitcom I've watched it more times than I care to admit in a public forum. The Office is a rare thing indeed: a comedy show that is intelligent, incredibly well-written and superbly acted (Ricky Gervais is a master - a natural born talent!). It really left me speechless. What really makes this series unique, though, is the fact that it refuses to be superficial: there are no heroes or villains in this show, the problems are real and so are the characters. No easy solutions, just human warmth and cutting edge humor. Thank you Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, you've given us what is undeniably one of the funniest sitcoms ever.
Compared to director Kevin Connor's later ARABIAN ADVENTURE, this is a masterpiece. However, that's not saying much. In fact, AT THE EARTH'S CORE is a silly fantasy adventure in which Peter Cushing - who appears to be on something strong - and some other actor (whom I don't know) use a giant digging machine called the "Iron Mole" dig their way down to the Earth's core - only to find that the inside of the Earth is pink and populated by ape-like creatures who have enslaved the humans. There's also a giant bird that controls the apes by means of telepathy, and we get to see it blink its eyes in closeup throughout the film. Most importantly, Cushing and what's-his-name also encounter the lovely Caroline Munro in the subterranean caves. And here's what I've really got against this little flick: why oh why is it that whenever Munro's in a movie, she only gets approx. 5 minutes of screen time? In THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, MANIAC, DRACULA AD 1972, GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD - always she's in the background! How can Kevin Connor possibly think that we'd rather listen to Peter Cushing's fake accent and look at some ridiculous ape-man whose voice sounds like a scratched cd than gaze at the beautiful Munro? I don't get it. Please, somebody direct a movie where this English brunette is on-screen all the time!
Petra von Kant is Rainer Werner Fassbinder at his very best. Every single cut in this film looks absolutely gorgeous, the photography is stunning, and the actors look as if they haven't got a single feeling left to feel - except bitterness. It's also one of Fassbinder's most relentless and uncompromising dramas; the atmosphere of despair and loneliness is intense and effected me deeply, and the humor one finds in some of the director's other films is almost totally absent. Disney fans should probably think twice before viewing.
No point in mincing words: Brad Anderson's Session 9 is the best horror movie I've seen in a long time. It's intelligent, well-written, it's completely unpredictable, it looks great (I didn't really notice until the second viewing how well the editing and the photography work together), and the soundtrack is downright creepy. Until recently only two films had managed to make me lie awake at night: Dario Argento's "Opera" and Tobe Hooper's "Texas Chain Saw Massacre". Well, now the list includes three films. Honestly, there is no excuse not to see this one, folks. Horror doesn't get any better than this.
First of all, I would like to say that I agree with jotix100 (see below) that aesthetically (and, perhaps I should add, intellectually) this film has a lot in common with Playboy. However, the last time I looked, pornography - and Playboy, as far as I'm concerned, has nothing what so ever to do with pornography - sure was a lot more interesting than "Lucia y el sexo", and a lot less pretentious as well. In short, if this is pornography, then I have to say that pornography has become sadly unprovocative. I'm employed as a film critic, so I had no choice but to watch Medem's film. But I would have preferred watching a Jenna Jameson flick any day. Or a Godard for that matter.
How this awful cartoon managed to get a an "above average" rating is beyond me. It is terrible in every respect: the "music" is insanely bad, the artwork isn't much better, and somehow the film manages to turn everything that's interesting about dinosaurs into boring klichés about friendship and the importance of not stripping old people of their dignity. Unimaginative, an insult to children's intelligence. My favorite moment is when the dinosaurs decide to have a little snowball fight after the freeze sets in...
Well, at least after Sleepy Hollow and the incredible waste of celluloid that is Planet of the Apes it should be clear to everybody that Tim Burton is one of the two most overrated directors of our time (the other one is called David Lynch). Apart from some mildly scary effects there is nothing interesting at all in this film. The actors walk around like zombies, and who can blame them for not being terribly interested in what's going on. The original Planet of the Apes was certainly no masterpiece, but then again: compared to this, maybe it was. Avoid by all means.
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