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The Pianist (2002)
Without a doubt the best film I've seen in years
This movie came along at a time when I think, the public needed to see a story like this, testimonies like 'The Pianist' always need to be told, but for a while, it seemed that people were getting fed up with these old holocaust stories especially when, post September 11, we had more recent events to worry about. It's a film made, among other things, to remind us that it's thanks to the un-sung heroes of the world that we're even here at all. Whether it's a person simply proving his will to survive, or a decent person in the enemy's uniform who has nothing left to lose.
Roman Polanski is one of the greatest directors who has ever lived and thank God he was able to make this masterpiece.
The preposterousness is what's so fun
You have to see a movie like this once in a while, I'd just seen 'The Pianist' and was so shaken, naturally, by that masterwork, that seeing XXX in the same day, on dvd let me escape a bit. Why anybody expects this movie to be less laughable that it is, is the mystery. With Xander on his flying motorcycle and (sorry for the SPOILER) clutching onto a ski-lift support while an avalanche barrels down on him was really funny! Vin Diesel is engaging, I like his funny face and one can really spot potential there as an actor, he just needs more experience, so don't write him off just yet please. This movie is definitely for a certain audience and it shouldn't be taken seriously under any circumstances.
And thanks again for saving Prague, X!
I wanted to experiment with this
I don't think a film should be just for fans of the genre, whatever that may be, it shouldn't be elitist and should try to appeal to anybody interested in being entertained.
So , knowing absolutely nothing abut X-men, having never read the comic book, I decided to see this with the kids, hoping to be led into the story just a bit and get something out of it.
Instead words like 'mindless', 'clichéd', and 'predictable' kept cropping up. Even my kids seemed bored.
A waste of some fine actors like Ian McKellan et al, and an opportunity for Halle Berry to wear a platinum blond wig.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
The Last Word in Cool
Steven Soderberg really outdid himself this time, a different look and feel from his other films, lots flashier but just as rich and loaded with wonderful secondary actors. I've got nothing against Clooney, Pitt, Damon and the rest but this movie belongs more to Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould (who just leaves you wanting more of his delightful number), Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle and Julia Roberts in a sweet, subtle role.
It's a bit preposterous as far as the heist is concerned but why not? Everything else here is too.
I'd give it an 8 over 10.
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Open to Interpretation
And isn't that the best type of story? I've watched this movie with about 20 different people and it's very interesting to hear all the different theories. It helps to see it at least a couple of times to absorb it all in and now in hindsight, I feel as I did at first that the film lacks a bit of warmth, except for the scenes between Cruise and Cruz, who have got beautiful chemistry, and the film will seem very dated in about 10, 15 years time, especially the horrendously long disco scene, but this movie will go down as one of Tom Cruise's best. And there are some remarkable scenes thanks to Cameron Crowe's directorial skill, notably the first nightmare scene that was actually filmed in a blocked-off Times Square at 5 o'clock on a Sunday morning, and the heartbreakingly sad scene when Tom is drunkenly chasing after his friend Brian on a nightime New York street knowing (imagining?) he's in his dream woman's arms.
Another great bit of acting by Penelope Cruz when she removes David's mask and the suspense is great and Penny is right on the money.
If a film has to have at least 5 great scenes in order to be any good then this movie has that in spades.
I'd give it 8 and a half over 10.