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Chasing Liberty (2004)
This movie is terrible. It's like the actors were phoning in their lines. The exciting parts were good but obviously done by stunt doubles. The scenery was good but undoubtedly faked. The crowd scene was the only good part. And the motorcycle rides were okay. The story was silly and unbelievable. This is obviously a movie for girls under the age of 13. I love Matthew Goode but even he couldn't save this movie. If you want to see Matthew Goode in a good romantic comedy try Leap Year. It has a better script, better acting (Matthew is amazing) and about adults unlike Chasing Liberty that shows immature, clueless characters.
Eli Stone (2008)
Eli Stone is a fabulous show
This is a wonderful show. I love it. It's not going to be popular because it is not formulary...it's different. It's not a bunch of stupid jokes or sappy, typical, Hollywooded-up same-ole-same-ole redneck entertainment. It's the real thing. Tonight, the season finale, it invoked real thought, real feeling and one of the key "messages" was from the client was representing...I'm awake now...
This show is for awake people. And if you don't get it...well, someday you will (like they said at the end of the best picture of that year American Beauty.)
This is a great show. I am grateful that the network is putting on something with a spiritual content. We need it. It for people who are awake have some depth and for people who might wake up and realize they have the capacity for depth. I am hoping the second season will not be long in coming. Let's keep Eli Stone on the air!!!
Gerry Butler Did Not Do the Singing for his role
Who did the singing for Gerard Butler? I know it wasn't him. Sounds definitely dubbed. But some people think he did sing it. I am sure he didn't sing anything on film until Phantom AFTER he had singing lessons. Sure, he sang after this TV series in a band on stage but that was just for fun,not professionally, and besides he and the band were probably as drunk as the audience. And what songs did he sing in this? Can someone list them? Someone put The First Time Ever on You Tube and said it was from Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married with scenes from that show, but I don't think he did any singing in that show either. I think it was from this TV show. Can anyone clear this up?
Gerard Butler "Gus" Singing?
I know I read someplace that Gerry did NOT sing these clips of songs, that it was dubbed in. Some people have posted the songs on YouTube claiming Gerry is singing them. He isn't. It was a short TV series, they don't sing for real on TV. I think it was when Gerry was in Phantom of the Opera and he was interviewed a lot on TV and he told the story of his singing lessons, etc. and that he didn't sing in Lucy Sullivan. After all, he's a baritone and the kid on Lucy Sullivan is not singing that deep. Listen to the companion DVD of Gerry singing the soft ballad on Phantom of the Opera...even when singing soft his voice is deep. So NO, he was not singing Lucy Sullivan. I hope they put it on DVD soon, even if it was not very good, it was Gerry and we fans want to see it.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
The Lack of Sense
Okay. SPOILER. The only way this movie & ending makes any sense is if the planet was earth all alone...Leo is not aware that he traveled in time...AND if he traveled at the end, NOT back to his own time, but into the future again (or as my husband insists into another dimension which would not work because the anomaly was a time warp not a dimensional warp or none of it would have taken place.) Anyway, if you go back in time and make sure that you and all the other humans don't exist, you would then never be born and therefore couldn't go back in time to change anything. If he were on earth the whole time the future aspect works better -- so the readings on the space module were shown rewinding in time in error. Why do that? There is not the remotest chance that someone could go through a time warp and find the exact time he left and get back to his home era and place (hitting it exactly would be like throwing a dart from earth at the stars hoping to hit a specific one.) I can only assume that somehow Thrase got loose, crazier than ever, and finished the task of killing off all the humans.
Sorry for any misspelllings.
Also why would Washington DC still exist and be the same as it was only with apes instead of humans? How would they even know to put Thrace there except they tore down Lincoln and erected their own statue in his place. The similarities could not have been random.
The only other possible explanation of the ending is that there really were no people at all and this astronaut is dreaming the whole thing. I hate that premise...it's a cop out.
Also, where was his chimp friend in the module those few days? Past, present, future? Could he have altered the course of evolution somehow? Evolution, as far as we know, takes more than 2000 years anyway...billions of years to develop language and speech, too. So DUH.
The movie was fabulous as far as costumes, acting, cinematography but the plot was terrible and awfully unsatisfying ending especially is you were expecting something like the awesome surprise ending at the end of the original Planet of the Apes which was an explanation not something that created total bafflement and left you wondering what the H***?
Also, will the message about being humane to humans and apes, why didn't they list the names of the real chimpanzees in the movie on the cast and credits? Who played Semos etc.?
Lady in the Water (2006)
Strange and Unique
This movie is a unique and strange work of art. It cannot be compared to any other movie made...the cinematography was very artistic and amazing to see, the plot was not predictable (unable to guess what was coming next.)
This movie is "adult fairy tale" or a mega-fantasy and as such was magnificent. I was thinking as I left the theater that this country needs more fantasy without war, killing, monsters, etc. This one was suspenseful, at points scary, and even humorous, but otherwise it was gripping in a wholesome, deep, archetypal way.
I especially like the fact that M. Knight played a bigger role in this movie than others. He is a genius, as far as I am concerned, in writing and directing. And not hard on the eyes either.
The movie is full of layers and layers of symbolism; so more than one viewing is advised.
If you go to see it, just watch it and don't try to analyze or compare it to anything you have ever experienced before. Suspend your disbelief (like your inner child wants you to, the way the people in the movie did. Thanks for that, by the way.)
It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will amaze you. (And yes, it is different than Shamalyan's other movies. SO? That's GOOD. We don't want a creative genius stuck in a rut or sucking up to hollywooded-up stereotypical pressure, huh?)
And above all, don't even try to compare it to any thing else. It stands alone and is incomparable.
I think I am going to purchase the movie when it comes out of DVD. I want to read some of the dialog on closed captioning.
Additionally, the lead character Paul Giamatti was beyond excellent. He's a gigantic talent -- this movie will help moviegoers overcome the Hollywood stereotype that a magnificent actor/lead character has to be pretty and sexy.
Be sure to see it with an open mind and enjoy the movie for what it is without trying to force it to fit a preconceived notion about stories and movies. It's a round peg and will not fit into a square hole.
My rating, beyond 10.
Mrs Brown (1997)
I must admit I watched this movie because I am hot for Gerard Butler. It was disconcerting to hear he and his brother with two different Scottish accents and the fact that the guy playing his brother is old enough to be his father. Anyway, I saw the previews to this movie years ago and wanted to see it and finally rented it. I liked it up to a point and then I felt the movie just sort of petered out. It didn't end it just sort of faded away. Billy Connelly is the real star and it should have been entitled Mr. Queen Victoria because his whole life revolved around her. I didn't think he had a great deal of influence over her, but he did have respect and affection for her and treated her like a real person instead of just royalty. Anyway, it just goes to show if you base a movie on a real life person, the story suffers. I thought Butler was too thin. I like him more filled out. (And didn't get to see him catching hypothermia in detail enough.)
Not What I Expected
Paltrow was excellent. She was so different in this. I did think that the story reminded me of what John Nash must have gone through, but he didn't have a daughter. He had an illegimate son by a previous girlfriend who average and a brilliant wife who was equally talented in the math field and who did not sublimate her life to his (even tho A Beautiful Mind did make it seem that way. I also read the book about John Nash. His son was as high IQ as his dad but exhibited schizophrenia at a much younger age and pretty much wasted his life (so far as far as I know at this time.) SO, it wasn't really about John Nash but a character that had the same sort of problems in life.It is interesting that one comment on IMDb was that there wasn't enough mathematics in the movie and my husband thought the movie was geared more to mathematical people. So...what can you do? I didn't expect this movie to be what it was. It was good just surprising. I am glad I saw it. There needs to be more movies that are not formula or romantic or typical plots. Sometimes movies based on stage plays are sort of one dimensional, no action just talking talking, and this movie was like that. It was acceptable as a converted stage play. I am not sure if the character played by Jake was a lover, friend, nurturer or what at the end, which is a lot like real life is. A friend would stick by someone in a major life problem like insanity and nurture them as best they could, but not necessarily stay in love with them.
Match Point (2005)
Knowing who the writer and director was.....spoiler
I selected this DVD because Emily and Scarlett were in it. I didn't realize until I got it home that it was by Woody Allen. As far as I am concerned his movies are usually weird if not awful. All the characters usually sound like him. I did like Deconstructing Harry and one other of his comedy movies. Anyway, I was surprised at how well the screenplay was. The story certainly gives you plenty to think about. I was literally feeling sick to my stomach when Chris was caught up in all that trouble and the suspense was killing me. I didn't really want him to get away with what he was doing but my instinct felt for him as he was trying to beat the odds and commit the perfect crime. I am glad that I knew it was Woody Allen's story, or I would have been really creeped-out. I think knowing the history of Woody Allen (his personal life that we DO know) and knowing the rest of his works, helps us deal with this distressing movie. First of all it seemed to be a British movie (prob, filmed in NY as I have seen those sets on TV shows, say Sex and the City or whatever) But not typically an American movie. So congrats to Allen being able to do that. And it's shocking to Americans to see a "bad guy" get away with murder. We are used to the bad guy getting caught no matter what; not so in foreign movies which rarely explain anything but leave it to the viewer to decide what is really happening. Congrats to Allen again for that, excellent! I have a feeling that the character Chris was acting out some of Allen's hidden or inner rage when acting on his driven-ness so to speak and blowing his lover (and his own unborn baby) away with a shotgun. I am assuming that Allen has felt like doing that on occasion given his history with women and children. Any other director and I wouldn't have understood it as well. Anyway, the story was also a comment on the typical wishy-washy Englishmen who are so stuck in societal demands that they have to play along and deny their real selves. An American would never do that. (A crazy American would only kill someone like that as a result of psychosis not as a thought-out solution, at least in movies.) This guy killed Nola for the sake of sticking to the British upper class traditions, she was a fly in the ointment and had to be gotten rid of, of course, like any other unpleasantness wealthy people deal with. Not only did he sell his soul for money and to continue with his upper class lifestyle, he saw it as the only "right thing" to do. Also, it was interesting that his habit of hitting the tennis ball right on the net so it falls back to you--making your LOSE, this time having the ring fall onto the ground instead of into the river--helped him WIN (or get away with murder--unless you see it that he lost again in having to live with his sins.) I can see a character such as he portrayed going right on with life, telling himself "OH WELL, water under the bridge", he did say collateral damage and he would force himself to believe that for the sake of his own sanity. And he would not look back or regret it after awhile of justifying it. Maybe he'd become a bit of a drunk on weekends and holidays but expected to do so and tolerated. He would continue participating in the typical stuffy English lifestyle as if there was nothing else he could do. His wife was obviously in charge of his life by then and he would just go along with it. I also thought, like some comments I read, that he could go on with this lifestyle and having blonds on the side would be perfectly acceptable later on down the line.
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
What I think
I finally saw the movie after hearing about it a long time ago! It was on TV, IFC. I think James Spader is a magnificent actor--still is on Boston Legal. I didn't "understand" the movie right after I saw it. It had to sink in first. I think the key is the title...it's about sex AND lies and the videotape of course. But the most important part is observing these four people and determining for yourself which are lies and which are not lies. I thought at first maybe Graham was in love with John in college and that's why he came there to haunt him. But NO that's not it. Near the end, Graham tells Annie that he is a pathological liar. I was married to a pathological liar and one of his kids is also one. They just lie to lie, even when the truth is no trouble at all. They would rather lie. (The make good compulsive gamblers, too.) And is Graham's statement (being pathological liar) also a lie, too? What else was a lie? I think (and I may be wrong or may change my mind) that Graham knew that John had had sex back in the old days with Elizabeth and he came to town to get revenge on John -- because John was basically a "successful" lawyer, and also a liar and a cheater...etc. He came to expose him for being the cad he knew John was underneath his proper lifestyle. So Graham came back to muck up John's life and he also came to have sex with John's wife. I think the impotence was a lie, and he set it up to get Annie to willingly offer to have sex with him. I think he achieved his goal. I don't think he was planning to get romantically involved and stay in town after the end of the movie. He was vindicated, maybe at his own cost. But he brought everybody down, didn't he? The characters hurt each other/helped each other and basically changed their lives by bouncing off of each other. AND, did you see in the bar when Annie came to give her sister Charlotte a birthday gift (after she was divorced from John at the end?) She was wearing the pearl earring of Charlotte's that she found in the bedroom. Perhaps to remind her not to fall for lies anymore from anyone in the future? Did you notice the pay of black and white in the houses, walls and clothes of everyone and also addition of reds and pinks? This was an important part of the movie. AND my gosh, was James Spader good-looking and sexy back then? Yum. He's so great in Boston Legal.