Reviews written by registered user

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]
15 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

Scrapbook (2000) (V)
91 out of 112 people found the following review useful:
How can you like a film that has nothing but a woman being tortured?, 9 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not so outrageous but more…bland, this attempt at shock seems rather sophomoric and immature, like a frustrated filmmaker trying desperately to get some attention. It comes across as being more of a vehicle of publicity for the makers rather than someone making a film because they love the medium and have a story to tell.

Not at all stylistic or intelligent as say, 'Henry' or 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', this film is rather ephemeral and I would be extremely cautious of anyone who tells you they have seen this film more than once, and run in the opposite direction from anyone who tells you they enjoyed it. Why? Because it's pointless and sick. A woman is kidnapped, raped and tortured, then escapes. That's it, the whole film is a woman being tortured. Now you see what I mean?

Shot entirely on digital (they were right, ANYONE can make a movie these days), and with bad lighting, this is certainly no pleasure to watch, and despite its extreme nature, the characters are badly written and very clichéd, like the sensitive side to the kidnapper, I laughed inside at the stupidity of it! This is a very graphic film and I don't actually know anyone I would recommend it to, and its graphicness is all it has going for it. It's pointless, unwatchable. I mean, you'd have to be a sicko to want to watch it more than once, since there is no artistic value, no plot and is just 90 mins of a woman being tortured (note: this has already been done 15 yrs previous, in the guinea pig series of films, and they're just as pitiful) and quite frankly, it's boring.

I've read a few reviews of this film and some people seem to think it's groundbreaking. It isn't, no one is interested in this film, it's too lame.

9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Great acting, excellent simple, pure storyline, 9 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One day someone told me I would like this film. I had not heard of it before, but when they outlined the plot I thought it sounded interesting. So i took the 'plunge' and bought it. And they were right.

Not previously familiar with Lancaster's work after seeing this I think he is an amazing actor. They way he seems so childishly oblivious to events in the beginning to his shattering realisation at the end, the guy is incredible.

Lancaster is a guy who one day decides to swim his way home, via all his neighbour's pools. Stopping for chats and drinks Antwan (and even a frolic in some woods with a buxom blonde teenager!). It appears at first he is doing this for fun, then snippets of things that some neighbours say unveil a darker story. This is a weirder film than it sounds, they way things happen and the interactions with the neighbour's is occasionally surreal.

The fact that this film is so good should serve as a reminder of how today's blockbusters rely on ever more grandiose action and sfx scenes to carry their films, If this film was written today I don't think it would have a chance of being made, where has the art of story-telling gone? With little or no sex, violence or sfx, this is similar to The Graduate in that it is a very pure and simple yet incredibly interesting story, and for such a restricted location/storyline, there isn't a dull moment! Highly recommended.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Predictable and slushy ending lets down otherwise great film, 9 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm a big fan of low budget independent film-making. Not because I consider myself art-house or above the commercial whore that is mainstream cinema, but because I appreciate characters over action and special effects. Character development in said films is often much more satisfying and unpredictable and the indies tend to take more risks with storyline than any Hollywood tripe. Though I could name better character/story-based little/no action offerings (Elephant, Gummo, Bottle Rocket, it's just about on a par with Lost In Translation) Garden State is still an excellent example.

**spoilers** It's about a guy, who returns home for his mother's funeral, it about his relationship with his father, which he needs to reconcile, his odd relationship with his old pals and his new relationship with Natalie Portman. It also contains a very interesting family secret.

Lets get one thing off my chest first of all though; the ending. Why? The last ten minutes are so predictable and gooey-eyed I almost couldn't look. It's not that it was a happy ending that bothered me, it's the fact they sat in the airport crying, with him saying he was leaving, he gets on the plane, then he comes back. It was just too obvious and Hollywood-esquire. It also seemed tacked on at the end, I guess he couldn't think of anything better.

Now that's done with. This was a good film, it was funny and interesting, it had some cool characters and some wonderful scenarios (like in the hotel, and the canyon). It was pretty clear this was a debut attempt, but that hasn't affected the quality, it just seemed like a first attempt somehow. Of course the pacing was intended to be slow but at points it almost became lazy, like his first night back and he's at the party and everyone's taking drugs, it just seems to go on a bit longer than it needed to.

Bad points behind I really enjoyed this film and will certainly be adding it to my collection. It's just the type of film I adore, the kind where you could argue not much actually happens, but for the characters involved it could be a life changing experience. Little stories about little people. Character development, God I love it!

2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
and i'd heard so many good reviews..., 30 December 2003

You really do have to suspend disbelief to watch this movie. Peter Sellers is a retarded gardener, when 'the old man' dies and Sellers has to leave the house he gardens for, he is involved in an accident and taken in by a very very rich man, who happens to be close friends with the president, Sellers is mistaken for a genius and gets on tv, has Shirley Mclaine fall in love with him, becomes front page news and everyone adores him. Sound far fetched? To believe the characters in the film (including the president) think he is some sort of genius from his random ramblings is a bit much and I found myself quite tense/embarrassed through most of the film, thinking he was going to be caught out any minute. He gets away with it however and there is a somewhat lose ending. Sellers as ever is fantastic, though I feel he did better performances and had better characters in 'Dr.Strangelove' and 'Lolita' Still, it is quite an interesting movie at points. There is a fantastic scene where Sellers walks on water, and it is worth watching just for Sellers alone, but too boring and unrealistic to watch twice.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
i can't believe people think this has good sfx, 19 September 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

---spoilers ahead, though you've undoubtedly read them already--- the film is very slow to start off, as with the first one (which is just as boring and pointless and also full of bad effects) stating an 8mm snuff film was sent to someone as a 'present'. The 'film' then goes on to reenact this 8mm film. This is where it all goes wrong: The first GP film was made (I presume, as it has no merit to it) to make people think they were watching a snuff film. It appears the second installment has been made for the same effect-but we are told it is a reconstruction-why? this makes the film pointless because it has no reason to exist, only to bore people out of their brains. A man spends 30 minutes cutting a woman into pieces. wow. And the point is? Gore in films like Evil Dead, Evil Ed, Bad Taste, Braindead etc., is FUN, it's great and I love it! With no story, gore on its own is just plain boring and pointless. And these great FX that other reviewers go on about? You mean like the bit where he cuts off her leg that is so obviously made of rubber, as it flops about in his hand, or the bit where he pulls her arm off and you can see the inside of the arm is made of sponge-These are good FX?!?!? Lame, very lame.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
you have to question why you are watching it, 18 September 2003

I am a curious type and have been trying to seek out ever-more extreme films since I can remember. Today I have seen the 1st installment of the Guinea Pig series. It was not what I expected. The most worrying thing is there is no storyline, therefore why watch it? This is what I asked myself during the film, not because it was boring, but because unless you get some sort of sick pleasure from watching 3 men torture (albeit fake) a woman for 45 minutes then why bother? There is only a few lines said in the whole movie. Just one torture scene after another.

I have to reiterate, it is not disturbing because it looks or seems real (because it doesn't), in fact it's not even disturbing, it's just that there is no reason to watch it unless you want to see a woman get tortured for 45 minutes. In that sense I believe this film is 'bad'. There are few people I will tell I have this in my collection, I wouldn't want to be branded some kind of sick woman-hater. In fact I might get rid of it, I would become quite worried if I ever felt the need to see it again. Watch it once as a curiosity if you must but pray you never have the desire to see it twice.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
fiction or fact? i dunno, i just dunno, 13 September 2003

I'm pretty much half and half on this movie. While I did enjoy it to some extent, it wasn't because it's a good movie (which it isn't). I enjoyed it because it reminded me of my teenage years, though I was a teenager in the 90's, I was into 'glam' via Suede and the Manics, though obviously in no way as extreme as people were in the 70's. I also enjoyed the films visual flair, its bright chirpiness-it's a rare thing for Britain to be represented in this way, I guess only an American could do it. And it kinda passed by quickly with no boring parts. It's very similar to, but not as good as, Almost Famous. What I didn't like about this film is that I didn't give two hoots about any of the characters. It was also too 'in-yer-face' at times and some subtlety would have been nice. And I'm not sure if Ewan Mcgregor acted really badly in this or if his lines were so crap he didn't have much choice. Bale does a good job though. I think the film fails most of all by not knowing what it wants to be, fiction or fact. while the characters and some situations are obviously based on Bowie/Pop, the rest of the film is quite extreme in it's fictionalisation and this doesn't do it any favours. This means the film has no target audience - Anyone that lived in the 70's might want to watch it to be 'taken back' and to reminisce, but will be (and have been) disappointed by it's lack of factual foundation. Anyone not from the 70's might have an interest in watching it if they are a fan of 70's glam, and would like to see a film that represents those times (kinda like how The Doors film chronicles 'The Doors') but again, the fact that the facts are obscured, and that this really isn't a masterpiece, means there's no real point in watching it.

74 out of 111 people found the following review useful:
flawless, 7 September 2003

Browsing through IMDB I was shocked to see this film has only scored 6.7! The brilliance of this film is undescribable, I first saw it when I was about 11. It changed me! I wanted to be a teenage vampire and live forever! I have probably since seen this film more than any other, I haven't a bad word about it. Fantastic effects, acting, writing, and the music, believe me you'll be straight out to buy the soundtrack once you've seen this, and play it as if it was one of your favourite albums. Everyone is great in this film but Feldman was born for this part, he's like an older version of 'Mouth' from The Goonies, in many ways this film like an older brother to Goonies and cousin of American Werewolf. They truly don't make movies like this anymore, they finished in the 80's (Gremlins, Fright Night, American Werewolf in London, Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead, I'm sure there's more...). What more can I say?

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
MOR, 6 September 2003

Typical thriller, has been done many times before. Simple plot outline; cop Liotta becomes obsessed with Russell's wife, and he tries to bump off good ol' Kurt so he can have her. This is beyond predictable, it doesn't even try to make you guess, the plot is the plot and there's no thinking outside the box here. I guess then the only reason to watch it is to see how it develops, but nothing is done originally or interestingly. There's not really anything to say about this film, it's not particularly bad, but there's no good points either. Russell plays Russell and you know what you're gonna get when you see him in a film. Ditto Liotta. Stowe has an annoying Cher-esque voice. I read the plot outline and I could see the film in my head, it was so obvious and basic. I watched it and it rolled out in front of my eyes exactly as I had imagined. I felt not a drop of emotion throughout. I have no feeling towards this film, it's as if I never even watched it. Considering this, it's a pretty pointless film isn't it? Still, I'll give it 3/10 for some reason.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
badly written, 4 September 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had high expectations for this film since I'd read a lot about it, and love 'Deranged'(written by Ormsby, produced by Clark). Sounds great on paper, especially after reading The Monkeys Paw. But it lost something in the conversion to film. Some of the directing is awful, lots of zooms, which never look good. On the other hand, I do love the low budget, grainy film, badly lit look as it makes it seem so much more real and creepy and unlike any mainstream film. Probably why I love early Romero films too. This is ultimately let down by the writing though. **spoilers ahead**. Andy has been brought back from the dead, by his praying mother (unbeknown to her). He starts to rot unless he has regular intake of blood. The end was almost good but could have been so much better had it made sense, Andy and his mother are on the run from the cops, he makes her drive him to a graveyard, where he proceeds to drag himself into a shallow grave he previously dug, and try to bury himself 'alive'. It was ruined by the fact the whole movie through Andy had shown no emotion. Had it been clear from the start he wanted to be dead like he was supposed to be, and resented his mother for bringing him back to life, it would have made so much more sense. Instead there is no reason for him suddenly wanting to die when he has been happily killing random people previously. That said, the last 20 mins are enjoyable, and Andy is very creepy in the drive-in scene. But it does take a long time to get there. The gore is minimal, there's a total of 3 deaths (not including the dog), the first we don't see, the second is death by syringe, the third is a strangulation, oh, there is one more, a guy gets run over, but it's a bit odd because he appears from nowhere. Bit disappointing there. Andy's make-up is great. If you like cheap, creepy films then it is worth a watch, though Deranged is better, as is Maniac, and Romero's Crazies, Martin, NOTLD and DOTD.

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]