Reviews written by registered user
|8 reviews in total|
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It's 8/09, and I've just seen the DVD..a very 'difficult story to follow and decipher' on one viewing.However, no pro critic,or contributor to this Web. explains what "I believe is Irena's reason for becoming a maid in this household".All observers point out her past as a Sex Slave/prostitute in the Ukraine,but no one explains specifically why she has pin-pointed this family ,and in particular the little girl,to work for. The family are jewelry producers...the wife,I believe,designs and makes expensive jewelry. Among Irena's flashbacks to her earlier trade,we see her lying, battered by her bald client,with a specific piece of jewelry in her hand. She turns it over and 'We see the name of the family for whom she now is a maid in Italy'..YES, I believe that she departs from the Ukraine and her sexual slavery to seek out specifically this family..and this child.Why? Recall the flashback scenes when the sex slave girls are delivering newborn..lacking contraception,or for other reasons, these girls are apparently impregnated by their clients,who refuse to use condoms, and seemingly Irena not only is impregnated,but delivers a baby girl, who is purchased by an Italian couple.YES, the pimp gets the dough.So, what links Irena with the Italian family who adopts a foreign born infant.Check the name on the piece of jewelry in Irena's hand. And,lastly,why does Irena 'demand that this little girl',with a mental disorder which causes her to accept being a victim,learn to defend herself against all aggression,particularly little boys who push/hit her,causing her to fall and be injured.We must ask," why didn't Irena rebel against her Pimp.. and being victimized as a sex slave, and would she have allowed her own daughter to accept being a 'defenseless victim' . YES, she loves this little girl and completely devoted to her..and may even plot to recover her abandoned child..here in Italy..Welcome comments..
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Given that most professional and others have summarized the movie's plot,with descriptions of the main characters, I'll restrain my summary to ask the following questions. Why has NO critic even mentioned the 'significant' dream at the end of the story in which Brooks' ,presented first as reality, enters his college aged daughter's bedroom, and plants a kiss on her face. With that ,she whirls around from under her sheets, holding shears in her hand,and proceeds to stab him in the neck, apparently leading to his death..Then, we see his wife roll over from her side of the bed, stir Brooks awake, and alludes to his 'bad dream'.. I am seeing a 'strong' correlation between this father- daughter conflicted relationship, Brooks' being pursued by Moore's character,Detective Atkins, and her revealing to the Thumbprint killer that 'she became a cop because her father rejected her as a daughter...having preferred her to be a him, following him into his multi million dollar company..YES, we learn that Brooks rejects his daughter's goal, to enter his multi million dollar company,even on the ground level,preferring that she return to college...the last place she wants to be. Meanwhile, Brooks adopts male protégé Smith, and is willing to train him to become another addictive serial killer, for the 'sexual thrill of it', when Smith demonstrates trust and faith in Brooks. YES, this all becomes very thick with ancient Greek Sophoclean tragic themes, but,then again , I didn't write this plot,develop these characters, and plant a significant dream at its conclusion...So, HELP!
I've now read comments ranging from our external reviewers ;where are James Berardinelli and Roger Ebert when I want them? from July through August 26..We went to see the flick last night, after weeks of my procrastinating,due to the apparent' content. You've had prior opportunities to read summarizations of the plot,so I'll skip this.Personally, I did not laugh during most of the flick, whereas many in the audience laughed or giggled in many of the scene appropriate moments, including my partner,leaving me to wonder why I felt 'emotionally flat' with a few exceptions. I enjoyed seeing Alan Arkin's role as Grandpa, but realized later how absolutely despicable his character was, and how several ,but few critics, point out how naive or ignorant the parents were of exactly what Gramps was doing behind closed doors in their home, and with their daughter. That Gramps was addicted to profanity, sexual fantasies, and heroin seemed only an ' annoyance' to the family. That they had NO clue what dance "routine" he was teaching Olive, and seemingly what won her acceptance into the Sunshine contest in Redondo Beach is 'unbelievable',if not incredibly ignorant, given the source of the routine. As several pointed out, there is the obvious comparison to, or subtle reference to Jon Bonnet Ramsey, and her Mother's motivation to relive or recast her own dull life by grooming her daughter for a Beauty Contest which robs children of their innocence,and which arouses vile passions in some Karr's to exploit more than the momentary fame and fantasy. Horribly, this Satire portrays Grandpa's foisting his aged,drug induced fantasies upon the only 'innocent' character in the story, Olive, while all others, so obsessed with overcoming their own feelings of failure and inadequacy , eventually succumb to the Passion of getting Olive to Redondo, to enable her to become a winner, not losers, as they are, and ,in so doing, fulfill Gramp's dying wish, to have his Granddaughter become his real,live Fantasy Tramp; as he warns his grandson, to fornicate with every young girl he can before it's too late, seemingly the ultimate lesson he has learned from his dissolute life and the guiding principle he gives to his posterity. One might just wonder if behind 'closed doors', behind the parents' backs, he did more than teach Olive a 'trampy dance routine.' And this is the legacy he bestows on his family, which unites them in their 'humorous' efforts to rush Olive to the Sunshine of Redondo Beach, or is it to the "Little Miss Bitches" contest. Or, possibly the above is all 'sour grapes', since I could not exalt in the laughter of witnessing a family's descent into the despair of worshipping 'false idols'. YES, optimistically, we may foresee a brighter future for the Hoover's, if Mama, Papa, Uncle, son and daughter have learned anything from their travail-travels, and from burying a decrepit Old Addict, or will the Hoover's have to await a Roosevelt to imbue 'social responsibility' into their morally and apparently financially bankrupt lives.. My, My! Wasn't this a hoot? But go to see it anyway, and judge for yourself, exactly what is some damn funny in this tragic tale..
Follow up to Danny..970 and others who greatly appreciated Roeg's beautiful rendering of a very complex,multi layered story, despite attempts to simplify this film as a Horror/erotic flick ,matching Christie and Sutherland.. IF anyone here,commenting on this film ,has not seen Walkabout...it is a MUST,particularly if you are trying to understand the 'multi-levels' of symbolism and thematic material in DLN..Recall the clash of cultures,civilizations in Walkabout, which begins with a suicidal Modern father,determined to kill his children in the Outback..the children survive,rescued by David , the aboriginal teen..Roeg ,utilizing ghostly death scenes, merges ancient and modern psychological human frailties and strengths..as the three adolescents discover each other, their inner resources, will to survive and flourish in an Australian society that had remained segregated and disparate.. Remember, in DLN,we have John Baxter, a rational scientist, apparently assigned to assist in the restoration of an old Venetian church. His premonition regarding the imminent threat to their daughter,Christine's life, occurs as he peers into a magnifier,viewing ,analyzing a slide,possibly, a mosaic fragment from the wall of the church ; recall later the significance of his climbing the scaffolding to match a piece of mosaic into the mural and his almost succumbing to an accident. Of course, he blames himself for not acting earlier to this 'vision', premonition, but offers no 'spiritual', mystical interpretation, unlike his wife,Laura,who dwells in the 'images' of her daughter's spiritual being..And, upon arriving in Venice and meeting the blind sister,Laura is actively seeking to 'communicate' with Christine,and encourages John to open up his steadfast, scientific, rationalist thought stream to their daughter's spirit.. YES, the primary conflict is within John Baxter, the scientist, rationalist, who proclaims our daughter is DEAD, nothing remains..And yet he cannot completely deny the blind sister's observation, that he has the GIFT.. of prophesy, premonition,of foreseeing future events..possibly Christine's imminent death, but guiltily he is powerless to alter her fate, and seemingly his own. What drives John ultimately to pursue the rapidly moving,fading appearance, resembling Christine? Yes, we are left to cope with this enigma. But , if guilt is a universal human attribute, it remains an irrational force that arouses our compelling curiosity, drive to comprehend, and need to obviate.. IS John's 'mysterious' death simply the culmination of his own prophesy..the camera zooms in on the jagged shape of the carotid slit...we have seen it before..several times.. His death,although he defeats several attempts on it, has been prophesied, forewarned by several.But the persistent rationalist remains in Venice,steadfastly to complete his work, but internally dealing with the Blind sister's compelling vision, which she shares ,as a gift, with John.. For the non spiritualists among us, 'point to your last emotion's cerebral source', which only may enable us to better understand the erotic, purely sensual scene between John and Laura a little better.
March 11,'06.....Oh! Why did it take so long for me to discover this gem? Only tuned in to view it as NCAA playoff's went to commercial, and then stayed with this "Spoofy Comedy" until the finish..Carl Reiner's directorial skill is only matched by his choices in 'shooting', editing..brilliant..I have been to recent comedies, a few, including Wedding Crashers, which was well done, BUT ,for scene to scene, shot to shot comedy, Fatal Instincts wins, 'high heels' down..Few of the Cameos get credit, but Carl's friends , almost all appear... I wondered where he was going with the wonderful tenor sax player following Lana, and then I hear a trumpet player, Doc himself...If you haven't seen it, SEE IT, and look in 'unsuspecting' places for Doc's trumpet..Brilliant, Thanks to Carl Reiner.....
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MILD SPOILER.RE.characters,plot Since I've read several External Reviewers, and Comments by us amateurs, and can agree with many comments observations, I'll focus on the Sheriff, Sam, a friend to Stall's family and both symbolic of bucolic law enforcement in Millbrook, and friend to ALL...Why does he disappear from the story, particularly after he reveals to Tom and Edie that HE KNOWS about Joey Cusack,and probability of Tom's true identity? He tells the couple that he has researched story out of Philadelphia, the biographies, violence, disappearance of Joey after a violent attack on mobster Fogaty ,Ed Harris,...The Sheriff,Sam's role in town , is to maintain the calm,law abiding citizenry, as he tells Fogaty..."We'll keep an eye on you!" Then we see him in the mall, eying Edie and the daughter,implying threat to Stall's family, despite his intent, to bring Joey back to Philly to confront his issues there. It disturbs me that the Sheriff disappears from the plot/storyline, after he states his increasing interest in,concern for Tom's/Joey's history and their AFFECT upon his role in Millbrook, today and in the future...WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN/will be the Sheriff's confrontation with Tom/Joey after Sam reads the NEWS from Philly, of which we learn he has more than a nodding familiarity and an Eminent Domain responsibility..PLEASE writers of scripts for film, don't introduce and then drop characters like hot potatoes; if they are significant, as Sam appears to be, then bring closure...YES, I agree. Some things are best left in the imaginations of readers/viewers,but this lack of "obligatory scene" leaves a giant gap in Millbrook's future....
but in this case I/we wanted more than a few giggles/smiles;I wanted belly laughs. And the surrounding audience was more than ready; they were primed, laughing at the 7 minutes of Coke commercials preceding the flick, and were in hysterics at the previews including Nickleson's latest. Thus when Geof.Rush opens with an 'off the edge' scene' , hyperventilating into the 'infidelity' theme and variations, I thought my fondest wish would be realized. His and all the supporting actors "cameos' were well written/directed for desirable effects. My disappointment falls on the leads and their rather 'flat', monotonish deliveries, lovely to look at but there's NO chemistry here relationship. Their less than edgy scenes aren't 'crisply written', and some scenes were plain dull..It's the absurd characters- 'Inserts"- that kept my eyes open...eg. senior law firm head... Since the 'surrounding female audience' sustained their hysterics thru much of the film,I presume I must accept responsibility for my own 'null & void' reaction: One man/womans comedy is another's flatliner..and Yes, I/we have enjoyed most other Coen flicks and loved "Iost in translation", and Mystic River....and desire to take any surrogate grandchild to see Elf, Cat in Hat... etc....PS. We've previously enjoyed/thought highly of Zeta-Jones in Chicago and her dramatic roles, and am still waiting for a role for Clooney..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoiler Warn: After reading numerous comments re.this question, and many Official Critics, I was curious as to why no one mentions Connie's "testing" her risk level, scratching at an edgy romance that shows/implies 'rough sex",commencing with the 'slapping' mutually enjoyed by Marcel and Connie,while ending in her being rear ended as the final degradation..Some point out her possible motives as being "boredom", reaching mid life crisis, guilt from an all too 'perfect' marriage and lifestyle..very comfortable..However, we learn too little of her/their backstory/past to comprehend if her 11 year marriage merely covers a shadowed past...child abuse, rape etc...No, I don't dismiss the possibility that Connie is just another suburban housewife, like her aging friend who warns her of disastrous consequences, who represent 'unfulfilled' adult/ female achievement,seeking adventurous romance to attract males all too willing to reassure these women of their 'worth'. We see Connie raising money for charities..do gooder, but in this story,she and friends from upper mid.class seemingly have no professions/self fulfilling endeavors.. Their lives lead to an unfulfilled ending, something like this director's choice for final scene...