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The Beast (2001)
Too bad it never made it!
i've seen a lot of clips of this show (mostly out of order, and with giant plot wholes) but every scene I've watched was so entertaining. I sorta wish something had come of the show. The writing and acting were great. And the whole cast seemed to have some great chemistry. I loved Elizabeth Mitchell's character and it's funny about all the Lost folks showing up here. I swear I just saw Jacob in a scene. I knew Naveen and Liz were in it, but now him too! Too funny. The story lines were thoughtful and captivating. Even all these years later, it seems like it would have made great TV. And although a news show might, be a used story line I think this had an interesting spin with the 24/7 internet frenzy that was coming about at that time. I guess this just goes to show that even a great show can fail if it doesn't hit at the right time or find an audience.
Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
straight to the heart
Just saw the film. I thought I might be let down as I've been waiting with anticipation since I saw the trailer on youtube. I can say that not only was I not let down by this film, but that it superseded them in the most refreshing way possible. There was something I noticed about the movie. It had great comical moments, but it was not the funniest film ever. It had great acting, writing, and was filmed beautifully...and yet I'm sure that it is probably not the best film ever. What I loved about it though was that it was NOT like most films of late that try so hard to be the best film ever. You know the ones with the fancy film work and the melodrama...the lines written that are asking for an Oscar. Sometimes those just irritate me because they are trying so hard to be a great film and they forget to tell a great story. The film makers didn't forget that here. I was not distracted by anything. Everything came together in this film that I felt like I knew the people and I wanted to know what happened to them. I liked it because it reminded me that we're all human. I love that.
Good....even great, but not exceptional.
Before my review, I'll admit that my reasons for seeing this film were shallow. I of course went to stare at Brad Pitt and because I really like two of the actresses who were thrown on the screen for a few seconds. Of course, I was given much more than I expected, since I really had no expectations (I find it dangerous to have any when you go see films lately).
I knew about the length. I had no issues with the length. I can't say the same for the guy snoring in front of me (I tried to wake him up by gently kicking the back of his seat...he was missing a great film folks!). I loved the pacing of the film actually (and not just because it makes my $8.50 seem more reasonable). The slow deliberation of the film was absolutely necessary for the times and the people it was studying.
The film itself was obviously beautiful...but nothing particularly special in my opinion. It simply reminded me of films like "Cold Mountain" or "Legends of the fall." Although I did love a few shots with the light on the hardwood floor and the scene where he gets shot. It was nice to look at, but was there anything new? Not really.
The cast was probably one of the films strongest points. First let me talk about the more supporting characters. Both Paul Schnieder and Sam Rockwell were awesome. It might just be that I already like them, but really they both gave a lot to their characters. I can't see the film without them. As I mentioned before I also really like MLP and Zooey, so my only complaint is how little they were used. In actuality it probably would not have been as good if their roles were any larger. The film was a study of two men and the world they lived in...I suppose it was right to accentuate the lack of women in their lives. It would have been a sellout to do anything else.
Okay, so Casey Affleck....is he that annoying in other roles, or just a really good actor? I can't say because I've never seen him otherwise. All I know is that he annoyed the snot out of me throughout the film, but in a good way. If that was the goal here, it worked! I was captivated by his acting and my annoyance. I'll have to see him in something else to give a final verdict on how good he is. I suspect that he might just be annoying, because I find the same with his brother.
Brad Pitt. I was kinda disappointed actually. I don't know if he's been type cast or maybe has just reached the peak of his acting abilities. To be honest, I'm kinda getting bored with Mr. Pitt. It seems to me that he was just sorta "there" in the film. They could have cast anyone else with a semi-big name and gotten the same needed effect. If they hand him an award for this role, I'll be really confused.
The writing and overall story telling were the absolute best features of the film! I saw this film and the new "Elizabeth" film on the same day. Of the two films that attempt to delve into the psyche of historical figures, this was by far the better film (of course the first "Elizabeth" was better than both). I was just thinking...maybe they could have cast Cate Blanchett as Jesse. I think it would have been the same. Haha. No seriously.
Anyhow, my final verdict is this: It was a good film, but not exceptional. I feel that we should expect work like this on a regular basis. Films like this should be the standard, not the exception.
Surf's Up (2007)
So, I thought that this film was very cute. I was kinda worried after reading some other reviews that honed in on the potty humor (bodily functions and pot-heads) in the movie. I was glad to see that these moments were not what the film was relying on to entertain me. And, I actually laughed at one of the potty humor moments (glow worm poop....silly silly). I was sort of surprised that most of those moments didn't even get a laugh from the kid audience I was sitting in, but rather the "physical comedy." It's not a Shrek film. And to me that's a good thing because that means that this film will last beyond the pop-culture jokes that those films rely on to get laughs. It is a just a good little heart-felt story. It's not the best story I've seen: that'd be Lilo and Stitch, but it ranks up there.
I think the best thing this film offers is the beautiful animation. I feel that I've gone on a little vacation from the arctic to Hawaii. The voice talent is fun and perfectly cast.
There is something that bothers me though: a missed opportunity for Zooey Deschanel's singing. During the scene where Big Z sings and plays the ukulele I was just waiting for her to take over the song. It never happened. What were these people thinking? I mean Zooey plays the ukulele!!! And then as the credits rolled I was still shocked to find that they only had Jeff Bridges singing a track. This was really the only bummer in the film, if you ask me. In fact, they should go back and have her do a song for the DVD extras...then it would a perfect movie.
It Should Happen to You (1954)
It has been awhile since I saw this film, but I still remember it as one of the funniest I've ever seen! I laughed so hard my contact came out. When I left the room I was still laughing to hard to put it back in! I felt the comedy in the film comes more from the crazy antics of the great Judy Holliday than Mr. Lemmon. This will surely make anybody who sees it crack at least a few grins.