Reviews written by registered user

6 reviews in total 
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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Terrible, uneven, depressing., 17 January 2008

While many people praise Spielberg's CE3K, I find the movie to be an utter mess of a film.

Richard Dreyfuss (Neary), who should have received a "Most Hapless" Oscar for his performance, is slowly driven insane - to the point of destroying his own family - by the titular encounters with alien life. Francois Truffaunt (who, perhaps, should have directed the film rather than perform in it), plays a scientist who is at best a tool of a shadow world government which spends the majority of the film frightening, imprisoning, and then killing those who have had the encounters and are attempting to put their lives back together after the damage done.

We, the viewers, are supposed to believe that the complete horror that encompasses Melinda Dillon's (Guelier) son's kidnapping by forces she cannot hope to comprehend is, somehow, uplifting and that the inevitable anger and confusion and depression other returned abductees will most certainly experience is a positive moment.

Quite the contrary, the movie would have been a good "conspiracy episode" for X-Files.

The film's apotheosis from perplexing extended chase scene mixed with the destruction of a family and one man's mind to some kind of spiritual experience is jarring at best. What this film and others show is that while people in general seem to think Spielberg is good at schmaltz, his best work is truly in visceral action (the gripping opening of Saving Private Ryan, the chilling Duel, and the incomparable Jaws).

Behaving less like a complete film and more like a handful of discarded screenplay ideas collected from the wastebasket and turned in as a rush idea, Close Encounters of the Third Kind does not uplift, it depresses. It does not elucidate, it confuses. It does not thrill, it bores.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A taut political thriller - 10 out of 10 for it's genre., 10 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mamoru Oshii has created an amazing work of political and military intrigue wholly different from the haunted proto-ghost story of Patlabor: The Movie. Although it parallels its predecessor in some plot elements (lone madman with delusions of affecting a world-change), the movie departs from all other aspects of "typical" Japanese cartoon work and enters a realm reserved for potboilers like Three Days of the Condor and The Hunt for Red October.

Commander Gotoh, caught between his loyalty to his men, his sense of duty and his relationship with one of his troops and a coming civil war finds himself on the sword point of a massive socio-political upheaval with overtones of covert U.S. backing. What it all leads to is a potential breakdown of civilian governance of Japan and an end to that nation's independent self-rule. The terroristic acts of a lone military mastermind who bears a grudge against short sighted bureaucrats - and has the reasons for his contempt proved time and again during the crisis he engineers - push Japan into a state of near panic as the military and the police including Commander Gotoh's Special Vehicles Unit face off against one another. Will the final showdown end in the madness of a civil war? Watch the movie, find out.

Forget preconceptions about Japanese cartoons, and discard the mental image brought up by the "giant robot" on the cover of the DVD. The "Labors" serve as mere background icons (much as the powered armor did in R.A. Heinlein's seminal Starship Troopers (not the execrable movie loosely based on that work)) and as subtle statements on the separation of men from society by duty and law.

Please, if you have a prejudice against Japanimation, don't let it override your judgment. Don't miss this one. It's that good.

Hoosiers (1986)
44 out of 57 people found the following review useful:
Easily the best sports movie ever made., 26 June 2004

A movie that defines the idea of the underdogs rising to meet the challenge of greatness, Hoosiers gives the audience something to cheer for. A tough-as-nails coach with a heart of gold, a team of farmboys with dreams of making it to the state finals, a small town pinning their hopes on their little high school - the movie has it all. It is well-paced, and is not overladen with side-plots and frivolities. There are no doped-up, foul-mouthed players, no need for gratuitous "party hearty" shots of the players behaving like hedonists or abusing their opponents. Some sports movies may trade in that stock and be considered "great" for it; this film doesn't and it's better for it. Superbly cast, superbly acted, and superbly executed. A worthy addition to the library of any sports film fan.

12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Completely Atrocious, 20 July 2003

Smith and Lawerence, in one of the most resoundingly unfunny and brutal movies ever filmed, stink up the screen for what seems like an eternity. Smith can act. Lawrence can ... well, whatever it is that he does other than "act". Put them together and add liberal amounts of Michael Bay and you get this piece of dreck.

Bad dialogue, bad acting, bad writing. Attention, stupid American moviegoers: this is NOT how an action movie is made. If you can pry yourselves from the TV long enough, go rent Hard-Boiled or The Killer or A Better Tomorrow and see how balletic gunfights and action are done.

If you absolutely positively MUST have car chases, try The French Connection or Bullit.

But back to this horror...Will Smith rattles off his lines with all the intelligence associated with a 'hood gangbanger. Martin Lawrence just throws a chicken-on-acid headtwitch and semi-coherent "Yeah!" in periodically. If he did more, it was drowned out by the up-to-eleven sound volume and "music".

-10 out of 10. Please, please, please don't go see this offense to everything. P.S. - racism is still racism when it comes from a black man; apparently neither Lawrence, Bay, or Smith thinks so.

The Hobbit (1977) (TV)
Liken it unto Jackson's interpretations., 4 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rankin/Bass' "The Hobbit" is, like Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy an interpretation of the book, not a direct translation of the book to screen - SPOILERS -

The elimination of Beorn, like the elimination of Tom Bombadil from Lord of the Rings does not as such detract from the pace of the film. If you know it's gone, then you in a way sense it's absence. If, however, you approach the cartoon as an interpretation, again, it does not suffer from the lack of that character.

I find the movie to be very enjoyable, although the missing audio pieces from the Sony DVD are puzzling.


10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Good military knowledge, well-presented., 11 February 2003

R. Lee pulls of a great program in terms of both historical relevance and his own inimitable humor and style. The show, surprisingly, doesn't focus merely on machine guns and guided missiles, but digs back into important - yet rarely considered - military equipment, personnel and history. When I first heard about "Mail Call", I was afraid that the History Channel would reign in the R. Lee Ermey we all know and love through characters such as Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann in Full Metal Jacket.

Far from it, Ermey acts just as irascable and tough-as-nails here as he does in any of his roles. Sometimes, the jokes are a little stiff, but overall everything seems to work well, and I must admit I do smile when he answers questions from younger viewers with all the patience and kindness of a first-grade teacher. (Please, no-one ever tell him I wrote that!)

If the show has any shortcomings, it's that it's only 30 minutes long. To dig into the real history behind some of the events, innovations and deeds he discusses would be far better served by an hour-long program instead of crammed down into a half of that time.

Overall, if you're tired of "blah" historical documentaries and watching the same grainy footage over and over, as punctuated by the droning voice of an unknown narrator when it comes to military historical shows, shut your piehole, stand tall before the TV and watch some "Mail Call", scumbag!