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231 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
More songs about animated films & food, 8 February 2013

I just recently caught this mind blowing little short (and I do mean short..only 2 minutes)at a festival of Academy Award nominated short animated films. Despite the short running time, I laughed my a** off, big time. It's basically some kind of (very)surreal cooking show,where a pair of hands whips up a batch of Guacamole,using all kinds of household objects not associated with food. The results are pretty wacky (in a good way,of course). Veteran stop motion animator PES (who also did equal justice to cooking up a bowl of pasta in his earlier short, 'Western Spaghetti')weaves a few trippy moments of silliness (and also pulls down a cameo as the pair of hands) that some will get giggles from,others...probably not so (it depends on the grasp of surrealism). Not rated by the MPAA,but nothing to offend the staunchest of bluenoses

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
An obscure gem from MGM's glory days of animation, 7 August 2012

I just recently had the open window of opportunity to see this rather obscure MGM animated short which was obviously produced during World War 2 (references to donating rubber to the war effort are abundant here). A nameless donkey is dismayed to find that his neighbours have donated far more rubber than he,causes him to search out more rubber to donate. He finds an old tyre tube buried in the ground, but when he tries (over and over again)to dig it up,he finds the tube has a mind of it's own,and has a rather sadistic agenda to carry out on the hapless donkey. What follows is seven funny minutes of what MGM seemed to do best,produce a well animated (some brilliant animation,and use of Technicolor)short that must have had them rolling in the aisles,back in the day. Unfortunately,little is known of whom ever worked on this short (no animation supervisor/director,or screen writer listed...'tho Michael Lah,who worked with Tex Avery on some of his funniest work for his MGM era is listed as one of the animators). Don't let this throw you from enjoying a well produced short from an era that turned animation into an art form. Not rated by the MPAA (which,at the time was called The National Board Of Review),but perfect entertainment for the whole family (if you can find any youngsters that would have any relevant interest in the history of animation)

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
For hardcore Neil Young fans only, 14 June 2012

As much as I've always enjoyed the music of Neil Young (starting with his stint in Buffalo Springfield,thru C.S.N.Y & (most)of his solo out put, I found this curious little film a head scratcher. It seems to start out as a documentary, Neil Young in various phases of his career. Starting with some blurry video footage of Buffalo Springfield,in a television appearance,thru some sparse footage of Crosby,Stills,Nash & Young (gee...who would have thought?). If this film had pretty much stuck to this premise,it would have made for a satisfactory documentary. The problem is that Neil opted to let his film go totally out of control,careening into some abstract episodes that even most midnight movie fans would have found utterly confusing (no matter how much Marijuana they're behind). Now,don't get me wrong. If you think I'm some typical old fart that can't deal with anything out of the ordinary (I list films such as Eraserhead & El Topo as personal head movie favourites),guess again. Part of the problem of personal vision films is that sometimes the vision is so personal, the only ones that could grasp the message is the artists themselves. I'm not saying 'Journey Through The Past' is unwatchable, it's just that there is a treasure trove of much better stuff out there. It's still worth at least one look (for those who were not born yet & want to get a better idea what the 1960's & 1970's Hippie counter culture was all about). Originally slapped with an R-rating by the MPAA,this film contains much pot smoking & salty language. Pretty tame by today's standards.

Blue (1993)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Rest in Peace...Derek Jarman, 17 January 2012

Derek Jarman was a British film maker who's films were an acquired taste for some,and reason to delight for others. He started out as an painter, and got into film from being a set designer for such films as Ken Russell's 'The Devils'. He started out making simple (but never simple minded) 8mm films,moving eventually to 35mm features. Along the way, he experimented,resulting in films such as 'The Garden'. In 'Blue' (a.k.a.Derek Jarman's Blue),he was nearly blind,as a result of AIDS, and wanted to film his final testament. The result is nearly 80 minutes of what appears to be blue light struck leader (generally used at the beginning of each reel of film,so as not to allow direct light on screen),augmented with spoken text,some of which by some of Jarman's favourite actors (Tilda Swinton),with various realms of music (classical,ambient,etc.). As with other experimental/expanded cinema, this film will leave some cold,and delight others. Not rated by the MPAA,but contains some naughty language

Cropsey (2009)
15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
A Real Life Freddy Krueger (or...Cropsey will get you if you don't watch out), 22 August 2010

As most of us growing up were told by (some,'tho thankfully not all) parents & older siblings/peers..."the bogyman will get you if you don't watch out",just to scare the living crap out of us. In Staten Island,New York,a real life bogyman was apparently doing so. Between 1972 to 1987,several children went missing in the area of Willowbrook State School for the mentally disabled. The prime suspect was one Andre Rand,a former inmate at Willowbrook in the 1950's,and who would be found creeping around the abandoned building. Andre Rand was eventually captured,put on trial & convicted for several grisly murders. Cropsey (Rand's nick name)attempts to try & make some sort of sense out of what could have happened (and makes attempts to try & clear Rand's name). Did Andre Rand commit all of those gruesome murders,or is he (Rand) just being used as some kind of scapegoat to pacify the community of Staten Island? Life long Staten Island residents,Joshua Zeman & Barbara Brancaccio direct this riveting documentary,from a scenario conceived by Zeman. Cinematography is by Chad Davidson & edited by Tom Patterson. Not rated by the MPAA,this film contains some truly disturbing images & testimony that will haunt you for a long time after,as well as a bit of rough language. Not a good choice for children.

Get Low (2009)
18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Prisons Without Bars, 22 August 2010

You have to admire Robert Duvall. For fifty,plus years now,he has starred in countless films portraying characters that are somewhat left of centre. In Get Low,he plays Felix Bush,a hermit who has,for the most part,retreated from society,due to some mighty dark daemons he has been carrying around for far too long. Felix is old & feels his time for shuffling off his mortal coil is not far away. Felix is either feared or hated by most of the people that live in the town (as far from his land,as possible). Felix gets the idea of having a funeral party before he bids farewell. He gets assistance in the form of two workers at the local funeral parlor,Frank Quinn & his partner Buddy. The three of them plan the mother of all funerals to take place on Felix's land (a mighty feat,considering most of the townies want little or less to do with him). In the midst of all this,a woman from Felix's past turns up (Mattie Darrow)to make things even more interesting. All of this makes for a multi layered story that,despite the dark subject matter,will have your head in the clouds (trust me). Besides the superb work of Robert Duvall,as Felix,there is ever so fine work from the likes of Sissy Spacek (where has she been lately?),as Mattie Darrow,Bill Murray,as Frank Quinn (ever deadpan as always),and Lucas Black as Frank's business partner,Buddy. With Bill Cobbs,Lori Beth Edgeman,Gerald McRaney...and featuring Gracie,as Felix Bush's mule,Gracie (who would have thunk it?). Aaron Schneider,working his way up from cinematographer & film editor for television projects,directs & edits from a screenplay written by Chris Provenzano & C.Gaby Mitchell,from a story by Scott Seeke & Provenzano. Cinematography by David Boyd. The film's musical score is composed by Jan Kaczmarek (incidental music),and legendary Bluegrass musician,Jerry Douglas (for some of the American roots oriented musical score),as well as some nice use of some actual 1930's period popular music of the era (Example:does 'If I didn't care'by the Ink Spots strum a familiar chord with you?). This is tasteful film making,with top notch acting from a superb cast. Rated PG-13 by the MPAA for a few outbursts of rude language & some adult themes

6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Building Walls Of Brick/Building Walls Of/Around Emotion, 21 August 2010

Jean is a construction worker,who is invited by his son,Jeremy,to speak at his school on what he does for a living. While there,he is somewhat taken by Jeremy's pretty (and younger)school teacher,Vernonique Chambon, who after is thankful for Jean's speech on building. When Jean discovers that Veronique is a one time musician,specializing in the violin,he is further smitten with her,to the point of stalking her via daily telephone calls & parking outside of her flat and just waiting & hoping she will make an appearance. This may sound like the trapping for a psycho killer horror film,but goes in a totally different direction. Up to now,Jean & Veronique were both emotionally distant people,even to their individual families. Will they find one another,or will they merely drift apart? That's for you to find out. Stephanie Brize (Entre Adultes,Le Bleu Des Villes)directs & co writes the screen play,with the assistance of Florence Vignon,from the novel by Eric Holder. The film's striking cinematography is by Antoine Heberle,with editing by Anne Klotz. The cast includes the great Vincent Linden (Betty Blue,Welcome,School Of Flesh),as Jean,Sandrine Kiberlain,as Vernonique Chambon,Aure Atika,as Jean's loving wife,Anne Marie,Arthur Le Houerou as their son,Jeremy,and Jean Marc Thibault as Jean's Father. With Bruno Lochet,Michelle Gaddet,Anne Houdy & Jean Francois Molet. This is a film that is in no hurry to tell it's story,as it's pacing is V-E-R-Y slow (take note any & all fans of Michael Bay,or any other director of over the top bombast:you will be bored out of your skulls,so steer clear of this one,for both your benefit,as well as movie goers that have no issues regarding slowly paced films). Spoken in French with English subtitles. Not rated by the MPAA,this film serves up a few outbursts of rude language & some brief adult content (but nothing too graphic & explicit)

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
You May Want To Take A Pass On That Sloppy Italian Dinner Before (or after) This Film, 20 August 2010

Tom Six is a director from the Netherlands who's films are something of an acquired taste (he has not always made it easy for audiences to warm up to his dark humour). The Human Centipede (First Sequence)is another addition to his back log of films. In this one,two attractive young women from America,Lindsay & Jennie are traveling through Germany. They are invited to a party one night. While driving to the party,they experience a flat tyre in the middle of some dark woods. Walking around for hours (and in a rain storm to up the ante),they come upon a house in the middle of nowhere. They find out that the owner of the house is one Dr.Heiter,a once brilliant surgeon,who had successfully separated conjoined twins,but was kicked out & had his license suspended for unethical experiments. It seems the good doctor is looking for human victims for his latest experiment:the construction of a human centipede. What follows is an exercise in what is being regarded as one of the sickest,grotesque moments in cinema (which I digress:certainly there are things way more gross & disturbing out there,either in porn,underground video/film release, or on-line). Either way,most audiences are in for a corker of a roller coaster ride at whatever cinema will screen this. According to legend, Tom Six is currently at work on the next episode of this film,which is being co titled "Full Sequence" (and will make this film seem like 'My Little Pony',in terms of shock value). Dieter Laster plays what has to be one of the most deranged mad doctors since Udo Kier played Baron Frankenstein in Paul Morrisey's 'Flesh For Frankenstein' (released in the United States as 'Andy Warhol's Frankenstein',which was for it's time pretty extreme,as it received the dreaded 'X'rating for it's gory content),as the intense & deranged Dr.Heiter. Ashley Williams is Lindsay,Ashlynn Yennie is Jennie,Akihiro Kitamura is Katsuro. With Peter Blankenstein,Andreas Leupold,Bernd Kostrau & Rene de Witt.

Tom Six writes,directs & edits this parable in unorthodox medical experiments that will obviously thrill some,and totally disgust others. You have been warned. Spoken in English,and German & Japanese with English subtitles. Not rated by the MPAA,this film contains outbursts of strong language,bloody violence & some truly disturbing images that are grotesque.

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
More Thrills From Steig Larsson, 1 August 2010

It is one year since Mikael Blomkvist has been cleared of a slander charge that could have landed him in jail for some time,and Lisbeth Salander has disappeared without a trace. Mikael is back writing for Millennium,and is currently writing a piece on sex trafficking in Sweden from eastern Europe (and,as usual,getting himself in deep doo doo with those who would love nothing better than to silence Mikael for good). When two murders indirectly linked to Lisbeth occur,the police figure Lisbeth Salander is to blame. In due course time,Lisbeth & Mikael are back together working on trying to clear Lisbeth,who finds out some eye opening truths about her past. It's up to the pair to sort out the complex jigsaw puzzle,and try to make the pieces fit. Daniel Alfredsson directs from a screenplay written by Jonas Frykberg,based on the second installment of the millennium trilogy,'Flicken Som Lekte Med Elden',by Steig Larsson. The film's cinematography is by Peter Mekrasinski,with editing by Mattias Morheden. Noomi Repace returns as everybody's favourite kick butt computer hacker,Lisbeth Salander,as well as Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist. Adding to the cast is Lena Endre,as Mikael's co worker & girl friend,Erika Berger,Georgi Staykov,as Alexander Zalachenko,and Mike Spreitz,as Ronald Niedermann,what has to be one of the most intense baddies on screen since Richard Kiel's performance as Jaws in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. Also new to the cast is Yasmine Garbi,Jacob Eriksson,Tehilla Blad,and keep your eyes open for a brief walk on by veteran actor,Per Oscarsson. This is a taut,intense thriller that although not nearly as brutal as 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' (not too much,but there are a few certified seat squirmers in store),but still packs a punch. Spoken in Swedish with English subtitles. Rated 'R' by the MPAA,this film contains strong sexual content,graphic nudity,some rather unpleasant violence,including flash backs of a rape,and strong language. Leave the little ones home.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Tale Of A Man Who Truly Was One With The Earth, 24 July 2010

When Akira Kurosawa's film, 'Do-Des-Ka-Den'(1970)was deemed both a critical,as well as box office failure,Kurosawa found it difficult to obtain financial backing for film projects. In 1974,after a failed suicide attempt,he decided to seek money from outside Japan for a film. Good fortune came in the form of a trip to the former U.S.S.R.,where he was offered to direct a film adaptation of the classic Russian novel, Dersu Okhotnik,by Vladimir Arsenyev,a tale of a friend ship between a Captain in the Russian Army & a elderly man,Dersu Uzala living in the forest. Kurosawa jumped at the chance,and to make a long story short, in 1975,'Dersu Uzala' was released in the U.S.S.R. to acclaim,and eventually released world wide. It's easy to see what would make this beautifully shot,edited & directed tale of a simple man of the Earth, and the friendship he shared with a (so called)learned man,who would learn much more as a result of that friendship. Akira Kurosawa (The Seven Samurai,Ran)directs from a screenplay written by Kurosawa & Yuri Nagibin,from the novel Dersu Okhotnik,by Vladimir Arsenyev. The film's breath taking cinematography is rendered by no less than three directors of photography:Fydor Dobronvov,Yuri Gantman & Asakazu Nakai. The film's editing is supervised by Lyudmila Feiginova. The lush music score is by Issak Shvarts. The cast is headed by Maxim Manzuk,as Dersu Uzala & Yuri Soloman as Captain Vladimir Arseniev,with Svetlana Danilchenko,as Mrs.Arseniev,and Dimitri Korshikov as their young son, Wowa. With Suimenkul Chokmorov,Aleksander Pyatkov,Nikolai Valkov,and others. A well written screenplay,superb acting,lush cinematography,and a sublime musical score make for this,a film that should be experienced by those who are sick to death of the usual garbage from the septic tank that has become Hollywood. This film was produced in two editions:the original Soviet version,filmed in 70mm,in six channel stereophonic sound,and a 35mm wide screen "scope" version (alas,in mono sound,only). Sadly,there are only two surviving 70mm stereo prints of Dersu Uzala available:1) in an unsubtitled print,that is currently in a film archive in Moscow 2)The only other 70mm,stereo print is only available in Sweden (with Swedish subtitles)in a film archive in Stockholm (all other prints are 35mm scope,in mono). Spoken in Russian & Mandirin with English subtitles. Rated 'G' by the MPAA,this film has absolutely nothing to offend,making it a perfect family film

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