36 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
3/10
Corn-pone
18 October 2015
This is one of those films, at least some films are like this for me, that lumber along until they are finally over, and I find that I was neither much interested as it progress or disappointed that it was over. One of those films where I am baffled as to what went wrong. Sometimes, I think that I just don't understand "directing" and when a film fails for me it must be because it was poorly directed. Film written, directed and acted my a single individual often have this feel.

The storyline in this one is really a bunch of best separated events somehow threaded together. The actor/director places himself way too often as the focus of the story.

In the end this film reminds be a moving picture version of those angst-ridden/tortured soul/lonely iconoclast album cover shots by solo musicians. Even Springsteen had some of those.
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7/10
you need to watch more porn
14 August 2014
I readily admit, I watched this film primarily to admire Charlotte Gainsbourg. How a woman, with such quirky features, can be so beautiful, is an aesthetic marvel. I think I may have even seen her private parts. The movie is replete with unsimulated sex. BUT,for many of us, in this age of pornography, the sexual imagery has lost its over-riding significance and impact. This film is to sex as the "Wild Bunch" was to gore. The graphic sex or the graphic violence gives legitimacy to the visual dimension of the narrative. You just need to be somewhat inured to this stuff to not let it overwhelm the film as a whole.

I liked it. It is a fantasy of a sorts; hyperbolic but enjoyable nevertheless.
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Jobs (2013)
5/10
bio of a total asshole... as far as this movie goes
3 April 2014
This film may have actually served my secret purpose; to dislike and disprove the merit of Steve Jobs. If the film is correct, Jobs was an absolute narcissistic asshole. But even more compelling, I saw Jobs to be nothing more than a verbose, quasi-evangelical delegator with virtually no design acumen or appreciation that design is not the simple act of declaring your wishes for a particular outcome. As an architect, a person who spent a lifetime designing objects for practical and aesthetic use, I can assure all you Job-philes that he was merely a vain-wannabe.

He invented nothing and couldn't run a company.

Sadly, the movie doesn't realize that this is the what is revealed. The film concedes his sociopathy,but itself, is duped by his reputation.

YUK
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Cloud Atlas (2012)
5/10
much ado about nothing
15 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I expected seeing this movie to be a life changing experience; being a person whose religious beliefs tend toward Buddism and the notion of past and future lives on Earth.

This film purports to deal with this issue philosophically, but really doesn't. It is merely a half dozen little novelettes performed by a small corps of actors; made up to look different but still suggest continuity of souls through the ages.

The novelettes are not very interesting. The high-jinks with all the makeup is distracting. And really undermines the credibility of the story when a particular soul coexists with himself in the same time frame. Just doesn't make sense.

There is some very good action involving that bad guy from the Matrix. And some gorgeous erotica (briefly).

Not worthy of the hype.
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5/10
old newspeak
1 September 2012
I read the book in high school in the 60's and assumed it was an indictment of communism. Before seeing the movie the other night I had convinced myself that it would be even more relevant in that it surely had to be about the capitalism/fascism mess we know live in. It isn't. It simply makes the point that individualism could be stamped out and that it could make for a very dire existence if the oppressor were as bad as one could imagine. I will have to reread the book.. maybe it is deeper than the film suggests.

Very atmospheric and economical filmmaking really. Great performances. GREAT NUDITY.. is this sense. The woman playing Julia is lovely, in a very ordinary way and to see her so exposed,quite hirsute in fact, is a revelation to one about how beautiful human beings can be. Our clothes are the first cell we inhabit.

I don't know. I just hope someone writes a 1984ish book revealing the dark underbelly of the society we have embraced, reflexively out of fear of the Orwellian world.
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10/10
It's all about Scout
1 September 2012
I think too much can be made of the civil rights issues in this film. They are brilliantly rendered, as so in the book. They point to an attitude our parents held that was abhorrent. As a significant plot feature, its give the book an all too apparent thesis. Too much can be made of Boo... too.

Reading the book and seeing the film, nothing that happens is significant except in as much as it is something that Scout addresses AND the brilliance of the book and the movie is the structure allows us to witness her witness it all, both as a child and as a nostalgic adult concurrently.

It is impossible to not love Scout. Her embodiment in Mary Badham is extraordinary. It is fun to view some of the documentaries about the film. Mary was every bit the tough tomboy that Scout was. The jewel of the film is witnessing Atticus turn her, and Jem, into loving and moral adults.. by himself and according to his own convictions. When Scout curls up in her daddy lap.... a daddy like me feels all of that love of and for a child once again. One scene.. the one about the watch is just lovely.

I won't discuss the movie making other than to say it so speaks of the era in every detail and of a time that, apart from the wretched treatment of our black brothers, must have been a great time to live.
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Fay Grim (2006)
5/10
crap.. I mean I hoped it would have been better
3 August 2012
I love Parker Posey. And I even admit Jeff Goldblum is becoming handsomer.

I just don't understand what this film was trying to do and most of all I wonder if it's amateur look and feel was deliberate. Every scene between characters has a look like maybe another take was in order. You simply will be astonished at how the action is handled.The plot is way too convoluted. I simply gave up at about the 3/4 point.

Most exasperating is the film seems to be going for funny. And it gets there occasionally but without conviction. This could have been a great spy thriller or a zany comedy. Not both. Damn.
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Ted (2012)
10/10
beyond funny
31 July 2012
They made this work. On so many levels too. First the animation. What??? It's animation??????? Second, if you like cameos, you will be richly rewarded. Third, if you like really dirty humor, and less dirty humor and just plain funny dialogue and situations this is a perfect movie for you. Certainly, it is Family Guy on overdrive and without the network in the way. My son and I were in tears at times. In an audience of twelve we all clapped at the end. I clapped!!!! Mila Kunis is one of our best actresses. See is just remarkable. Mark W. is every bit as good and watch for Giovanni Ribisi; one of my favorite actors. I won't go on but I can assure you you will enjoy this movie. Some of you won't. My wife wouldn't like it.... but that's a whole other story. I won't burden you with that.
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10/10
a good deed indeed
18 July 2012
My ex-girlfriend (reconnected with recently on FB after 46 years) said I really needed to see this. She was my best pal when we were both 11 and 12 in 1964/1965.

I don't think I was as colorful as the boy in this movie. I think she was as lovable as the girl in the movie. I think I still love her, all these years later.

They have a lot of fun in this film and venture close to manifesting love in gentle and sweet prepubescent ways.

An incredible cast you surely already know are involved and cudos to Bruce Willis. And Edward Norton. And the rest... all on hat island.

Really great shot setups. Intriguing use of absolute symmetry. It just feels right. Elemental.

The film is even spot on in regards to the relative physical maturity of the kids. The girls is, like girls in general, about a year ahead in terms of physical maturity. Not to suggest that there is nudity or anything purile but only that it is strange to recall how within that span of about 12 months at that age a virtual metamorphosis occurs for adolescents. No wonder they can feel that delirious mix of crush/romanticism. It is truly innocent and glorious; hope you remember that feeling too.

One of my favorite films. I will own it and watch it a dozen times.
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10/10
a hoot
16 July 2012
Rarely do I laugh like a hyena. Or at such ridiculous material. I think my young adult children thought I was losing it. They have yet to watch this film. Snobs. This kooky film is outrageous. It is mad cap and zany (the two most vile words ever in reviews because it so often refers to silly Brit sex comedies). But I relent and use these words to describe this slasher/camper/redneck romp. The characters are human cartoons and the predicaments and the consequences are hilarious.

There is no point in describing the plot. The film's name and the cover art tells you all you need to know.

This movie goes well with beer. Lots of beer. The cheap stuff.
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10/10
read the what really happened summary
16 July 2012
I was tempted to give this an 8. I loved the film but the ending...I just didn't get it. Then I read some other reviews and agreed that it was a common plot device and therefore was okay. But that is incorrect as well. To not appreciate the ending is to have not understood the film. The "what really happened" summary (available on the main page) is very telling. This film is a lot cleverer than it appears and it is very clever whether you fully grasp it all or not. And very entertaining in a dark comedy way. And in a romantic drama kind of way. And in a violence kind of way.

Christian Slater (who many of us want to hate) is just outstanding and so physically unattractive in this film that you can scarcely believe it is the same person; though clearly it is.

I will say no more. Just don't miss this one. Pay attention to the details. Spread the word.
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out of the mouth of babes
13 July 2012
I like to drink beer and watch movies. My theatre major son watches them with me. He drinks soda. I was mindlessly going along with this story until my son opined that it was crap. Suddenly the blinders of favorable hype were lifted. It was crap. The female protagonist is not a character to advocate. She sleeps with the best man upon first meeting him. No woman, substance abuser or not, is that reckless and slutty. There are scenes after scenes of superficial interactions between the wedding party members that are utterly unconvincing. The dishwasher scene and its finale are preposterous. I am embarrassed that I liked this film at any point. It is just that I adore Ann Hathaway as a woman and as an actress. This film is what you would get if Tod Solanz made a Altmanesque movie about a wedding. Something not remotely reflecting the lives of any people who ever lived on this planet.

Even if you suspend your belief in the validity of the emotions and actions of the characters, there is nothing to see here. Move along folks.
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Prometheus (I) (2012)
7/10
I was mislead...
13 July 2012
I thought this film was about the concept that humans were a GMO developed by a superior alien species. It sort of is but didn't really address that issue. All the while the film was running I kept thinking this is just a rehash of all the once original Alien devices.

Leaving the theatre my son informed me that it was actually a prequel to Aliens. Love Aliens as I did, I am tired of all of that genre and this film is really just a rehash.

Michael Fassbinder was great; as was Charleze Theron.As usual there were the "usual suspect" character types. The cocky black pilot... the angry menacing crew member...the damsel in distress... and robots. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Stunning visuals.
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Irreversible (2002)
3/10
do not back up
13 July 2012
I wish I could review this in less than ten lines. I haven't much to say about it other than I have watched it twice. The first time I was quite shocked and felt it was simply too hard edged. And I'd had a few beers and missed some of the continuity. It does play out in reverse you know. The second time I came to admire it quite a lot. I admired the filmmaking.

I spoke of it to a female friend who excoriated me for liking such a misogynistic film. On reflection,if you recut this .. if you reversed it you would actually see it for what it is. A horribly violent misogynistic piece of crap.. presented ass-backwardsly.
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The Stupids (1996)
8/10
funny I tells ya!!!!
13 July 2012
I haven't read a single other review of this film. That is next on my list of things to do. But I will say that this silly movie in uncannily funny. The credit goes equally to the four principal characters. If you like this movie it will be because you can appreciate when great actors can make the most trite comic premise work.

The movies is simply about a middle class family whose every member is dumber than a dog. They are on a quest to find out who steals their garbage regularly (sanitation engineers of course) and from there it proceeds and succeeds.

For example my favorite bit is when Tom Arnold reenters his car from the passenger side and concludes that he can no longer drive the car as the ignition and steering wheel are no longer in his direct line of sight ( or something like that).

Honestly, this thing is funny and Tom Arnold is a funny guy.
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Gun Shy (2000)
not what I expected...yay!!!
13 July 2012
I bought this on VHS. Used. Took eight years to get around to watching it. Lord is this funny! It pretty well taps into every comedic vein in the whole body of comedy. It manages to be hardcore drama peopled by nuts.... not unlike Snatch but with really nutty characters and wackier circumstances. Sandra Bullock, who I have always wanted to hate but always love every time I watch a film of hers is just "hot" and clever as hell in this. Liam Nessom is funny. Oliver Platt is hilarious. Hell, everyone is funny.

This is just one of the films you will be glad you found and were in the right mood the night you watched it.

I will say.. there is one scene that in an of itself is very, very funny that comes too early in the film and kind of gives away too much about one of the principal characters. You might agree with me on this.
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10/10
small wonder
13 July 2012
This is one of those real treats; a totally "out of nowhere" set of characters and a circumstance that generates really offbeat relationships and events. Sort of like the spin off movies that tried to emulate Pulp Fiction with a swarm of interrelating characters; but this time without the contrived action. Every character is interesting. Michelle Williams is terrific. As are the others but lets talk about Peter Dinklage. He is superb. His delivery and reactions are perfect; simply perfect. His stature is immaterial. I know it sounds insincere of me to say so. Clearly I am aware of his dwarfism. In this film his stature is material to the plot but immaterial to how he comports himself. I've seen him in at least one film where the dwarfism is not a plot device but is exploited as a comic device. And he was still great. In this film he is every bit as tall (taller really) than all his acquaintances. I hope he continues to find great roles.

There is a lot of funny stuff in the film. And wow.... this little gem made some money too!!!!
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Terri (2011)
10/10
great acting
13 July 2012
If I could cite only only reason to see this film it would be to see Creed Bratton do drama. Damn! His character is really interesting and pulls at your heart.

But it is John C. Reilly that makes the movie work. This guy can simply be anybody. This time he is an insightful and empathetic associate principal at the title character's high school, Mr. Fitzgerald. To have been an adolescent boy with an adult friend as cool and compassionate and as vulnerable as Mr. Fitzgerald, would be a blessing. Having briefly work as a sub teacher and can assert that a teacher like him would be putting him self at great risk by removing the wall between himself and a student. They should though;at least the teachers who are there to help kids.

I try to never discuss elements of the plot but let me say there is a female school mate of Terri's whose actions are very emblematic of the conflicting forces that a young girl might face. Surprising .. yet not I guess.
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Jane Eyre (2011)
can't get enough of her
13 July 2012
I too love the novel Jane Eyre; in spite of not being of the fairer sex. I've seen two film versions; this one and most recently the Willian Hurt/Charlotte Gainsbourg version. I somehow was more moved by the later which was nevertheless a film with some grave casting errors (supporting roles) and a botched compression of the last chapters of the book.

I think readers forget that the novel is not really as passionate as they seem to want the film to be. There is not all that much dalliance between the two main characters at all. They are both totally reticent by nature and there is scarcely a hint of their mutual regard until the later part of the novel. At least, I don't recall the narration in the book being explicit in revealing the emotions. It is like, in the book, the payoff is the wish-fulfillment of the reader even more than the characters.That would be hard to convey in a film. So,in this regard I think the Zefferelli film succeeds more. In my opinion a Fassbinder/Gainsbourg version with the Zefferelli sets would be superior. And I do agree with most folks, the man is supposed to be ugly. The greatest version will have an actress like Gainsbourg who is both ugly and the most beautiful woman alive simultaneously and an actor who is generally ugly on the surface and possibly much deeper until we are shown otherwise.

Finally, I would like to see a version that does justice to the back half of the novel where pressure is rising on Jane to marry the minister. That create great tension for the reader in the novel.
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Antichrist (2009)
you tell me...
13 July 2012
I have not given much thought to what this film is really about;only relived, in memory, so many of the images within it. Every image of Charlotte Gainsbourg is rapture for me. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and I got to see a lot of her in this film. And Willem Dafoe, quirky looking as he is too, may be as gorgeous to women as Charlotte is to me.

There is much sexual content for those of you who still get compelled by such; in this, the age of internet porn.

The opening "chapter", which supposedly sets the stage for the rest is stunningly good. After that, the film seems to be nothing but a series of stunningly riveting scenes. Makes life seem like just the void between your last and next orgasm.

I give it a ten because, whatever it set out to accomplish, it surely did.
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Edmond (2005)
10/10
Mamet all the way
13 July 2012
I'm a man, so forgive me for saying at the outset that Julia Stiles is simply gorgeous. And spectacularly great in this film.

Redbox sent me to this one, right after watching Oleanna. I can't believe I was unaware until now that it was also a Mamet piece. But it makes sense because there is the same thematic notion in so many of his works: a determinism of events, in a given environment and precipitated by circumstance. I am not at all sure that Mamet makes "statements" about social issues. I think he really just creates these fantasies about fate ebellished with the best dialogue imaginable. Like Glengary Glen Ross. Everyman in that play goes where he inevitably must go. And I guess by going along with him, as a spectator, we can fully empathize with him. Surely, at every step, we feel the same affects as does Edmond.

Next to Travis Bickle, probably my favorite character in film was the Jack Lemmom real estate salesman. Every bit as tragic as Willy Loman.

Edmond is a visceral film too. See for yourself.

Did I mention Julia Stiles?
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Panic (2000)
10/10
hit man with a heart
13 July 2012
I begin, so I won't forget later, by commenting that the child actor in this film is stunningly good. He nails long bits of dialogue in long unbroken takes. He adds so much humanity to the film.

It is pointless to opine about William H. Macy. He is a titan. But, god almighty lets not forget Donald Sutherland. He is the pinnacle of evil wrapped up in sheep's clothing. The mentor of his son, in a very disreputable trade. And god, I miss John Ritter! And Neve Campbell.. be still my heart.

Hit men movies are always enjoyable. What this says of humanity I don't know. But a hit man movie saturated with humanity is something yet again and I promise this combination makes for a very satisfying experience.
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Oleanna (1994)
10/10
grimm
12 July 2012
As in fairy tale. An incredibly interesting experience;watching this film.I don't think it is too be taken literally.I don't think we are to fully believe that this is a slice of real life. I think the dialogue, the details of the plot and the direction gives us clues that the film/play is metaphorical. There is some illogic in the circumstances the two characters become entwine within. This is okay. It makes us think about the details and not the plot line so much. Macy is brilliant. The girl by contrast seems superficial at first and then much more convincing in the second half. I somehow think this was deliberate.

Ultimately,it is a scary,scary film. No spoiler here. Let me only say that good intentions can be turned against one by another and the consequences can be tragic.

A day later and after reading many other reviews,let me add a comment. The girl speaks of her "group". This is the give-away. There is no group. The "group" is the force of society to pillory the individual at every opportunity. The man is real. The girl is a fiction. This is what makes the film a work of genius.
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Shame (2011)
10/10
here is what counts
22 April 2012
In a age when you can satiate yourself sexually so easily, it is totally incorrect to conceive of this film as being about sex. A patron of internet porn, I was startled to find that I was completely disinterested in the sexual content. Familiarity breeds contempt. This movie is about sibling love. About two damaged souls that really need each other to survive. It is really quite elemental. Like Lost In Translation is. Everybody is brilliant. The girl on the subway.... will forever torture me. The magnificence of this film is the twice told story of the girl on the subway. This was the best film I have seen in many years.

Incredible. Some siblings are not rivalrous. Some share a common experience. I hope my kid sister knows how much I love her.
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7/10
close to the real deal
25 February 2012
This is one of those films you hope that YOU will be the discover of. The quirky oddity you will recommend heartily to friends. Great cast. Great characters. Some pretty funny dialog. Plot... not so much. A little too convoluted.. just a bit, though. Peter Dinklage is always great. The entire cast is great. The female love interest, new to me, is really the female equivalent of what I wanted this movie to be; my secret discovery. She's lovely.The character actor, I recognize but can't name, who plays Buscemi's buddy was particularly good.

It's one of those films that could have been better but, not being an expert, I am not sure what it needs. I liked it though.
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