Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Eiger Sanction (1975)
Offensive, lame 70's trash
A particularly bad movie, even for the 70's film making.
Offensive, misogynistic, racist, homophobic and just plain stupid, start to finish.
All the women in this sorry excuse for a movie are dumb bimbos whose sole purpose of existence is to get laid for money. The ongoing jokes about rape, race etc are in very poor taste, if not unacceptable. The script is beyond stupid, the acting terrible.
The only redeeming quality of this movie is the scenery, but there's nowhere near enough of it to make you sit through. The attempts at humor are incredibly lame, and Eastwood's "tough" persona gets old really fast. As a Clint Eastwood fan, I found this very disappointing.
The War of the Roses (1989)
Brilliant script, splendid movie
This gem of a movie oddly never got enough praise. It's a stroke of genius right there, and the whole thing is simply flawless. The screenplay is extremely clever and for once there are no compromises in this script. One can only admire the movie's commitment to the truth. It has a certain sincerity that I find absolutely refreshing, so those who call it "cynical" miss the point entirely. Marriage and its dissolution are dissected with a stunning finesse of psychological observation; it's all very funny, insightful, touching, ruthless, relentless. Three major stars in their prime (Douglas, Turner, De Vito)play their roles to perfection and deliver the best performance of their careers.
One of the best films ever made (don't watch it on a first date though!)
The best of Hollywood
The movie is a comical masterpiece, thoroughly enjoyable as unintentional comedy- the kind that is made with the straightest of faces.
I wish for once Aliens landed in a Mexican village and not in New York or Los Angeles. I wish for the world to be saved or doomed by someone other than American Presidents and their bravery or stupidity. Just for the sake of diversity, no other reason! Other clichés: good scientists vs. evil governments, dumb generals stuck in MAD mode, "love conquers all", and so on- you gotta love this stuff.
The idea of a superior alien civilization trying to put sense into the human race is pretty ridiculous. Just as stupid as putting an alien to a lie detector. Or having the said Alien meet another fellow alien in a McDonald's joint, speaking Chinese. The shameless McDonald's product placement is another stroke of moronic genius, and that scene will have anyone rolling on the floor laughing.
The encounter between Klaatu and the Nobel laureate was, again, laugh- out-loud cliché. Klaatu listens to Bach and has a sudden revelation on human duality. The Alien and the Man seem to share a mathematical language, so they gaze at each other and feel a connection. We are not that different after all. How deeply touching!
Now for the truly bad parts: the ungrateful, obnoxious little brat played by the child of a famous actor. This character is so ANNOYING, he spoils every single scene. Keanu's performance is in the "so bad it's good" category, and it's fascinating. The whole movie would be in the same category if it wasn't for the damn annoying brat.
Blue Velvet (1986)
David Lynch at his best !
When David Lynch made this movie, he still had it. "Blue Velvet" is so quirky, in that unique "Lynch" style, perfectly blending dark mystery with romance, irony and humor (a twisted sense of humor I might add). It is moving, scary and funny all together, it's pure Lynch: familiar but dark Americana, white picket fences, light and darkness, innocence and insanity, the mysteries of life and death.
Everything is top-notch here - the outstanding sound design, the writing, the acting (Why hasn't Dennis Hopper won an Oscar for this one?). I found Hopper's character to be very funny. He never crosses the line to being a caricature, but he isn't all that frightening either. All the scenes he's in are priceless, and he's totally unpredictable. It's a strange world, indeed.
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
It's about sincerity and closeness, and how this closeness is achieved through conversation, not necessarily sex.
The main attraction here is James Spader and his enigmatic character. The mystery around him is enough to keep you watching, and Spader's performance is captivating as usual. This actor has a sort of surreal edge that makes him fascinating. All the others are memorable in their roles, especially the younger sister.
Special credit must be given to the outstanding score, which emphasizes the dramatic build-up. It's discrete, mysterious and it's in the right places, and puts a neat finishing touch to Soderbergh's project. Because the movie does look like a filmmaker's personal project. It's very close and personal, with documentary-like sequences and private conversations filmed indoors. Everything clicks - acting, script, direction, and there is a satisfying simplicity to it. Soderbergh is known for his daring, smart experiments ("Schizopolis", anyone?) and this is one of his best.
White Palace (1990)
Unlikely romance, but not because of the age difference
It's not the age difference that's the issue here; this is a movie about the arbitrariness of attraction. The two protagonists seem to have nothing in common, except a deep sense of personal loss. They are worlds apart. Men and women often fall in love without a reason, or at least a reason that others can understand. It may be inexplicable, ridiculous, unbelievable, outrageous- whatever. It happens!
The only flaws of this virtually unknown film are the awful music/sound design and the terribly clichéd ending. Sarandon is at her best, while James Spader is unforgettable as always. All in all, a very underrated movie, with fine acting as its main strength.
Strange, Stylish, Fascinating
One of the great qualities of this film is the ability to constantly astonish with its relentless, shocking strangeness. "Crash" is most likely to leave viewers speechless, even those who are used to "weird" or unconventional. None of the scenes are gratuitous however, and "Crash" looks extremely stylish, as well as twisted enough to make one uneasy. Fortunately, this isn't 'cheap shocks' and the usual exploitation fare filmmakers throw in to stir some "controversy".
Perverted addicts leading corrupt lives never been more fascinating. These people are craving some basic fulfillment, but are doomed to never achieve it in life. Metaphysical allegory? Probably. It's also a cold analysis of self-destructive compulsion. What's offensive is that these characters never even stop to consider the moral implications of their actions - hurting others who don't share their "hobby". Even if they did, it wouldn't make much of a difference, because they simply can't stop. Like Lynch, Cronenberg doesn't spoon-feed the "message" to the audience, so there are no answers, only uncomfortable but equally valid questions. I guess it takes guts to ask them.
Dialogue is minimal and clever, and keeps the characters sealed. The narrative is filled with long pauses, eerie metallic riffs, empty glances directed inwards. Physical encounters are depersonalized and compulsive. There are always people around at the scene of sexual encounters or car crashes, and yet nobody bothers to notice or intervene. It's a surreal landscape of urban alienation that associates with voyeurism.
Steel-cold (the unsettling score hits the right note as well), clinical in its depictions, "Crash" has a clean sharp edge that only a handful of directors could walk on with such elegance, insight and a sort of detachment that has a dream-like quality.
All the actors are fearless and did a splendid job, especially James Spader, who is great as usual. He was born to play this role, with his other-worldly, strangely absent stare and androgynous beauty (It's surprising David Lynch never worked with him!). Spader's surreal performance is mind-blowing, as he gracefully carries along that creepy Cronenberg vibe. This is the same Spader who stole the show as the intriguing voyeur in "Sex, Lies and Videotape" and who would later do it again in the offbeat "Secretary". His other roles just didn't do justice to him. Likewise, Deborah Unger manages to turn into an abstraction, whispering her lines, floating in the same trance of addiction.
The sexual scenes are elegantly choreographed. It's bizarre, disturbing and at times funny altogether, with a pretty sick sense of humor that's absolutely fantastic to a minority of people who can appreciate it. "Crash" explores sexual compulsion in a sterile environment, you can almost taste the metal. This is Cronenberg's best work and one of the most fascinating, audacious films ever made.
Clearly not for everybody, but for those who enjoy the Absurd in all its complexity. Unforgettable cult classic to be watched in the uncut version.
The Thorn Birds (1983)
It's a classic for a reason
Never been a fan of love stories, but this one I enjoyed a lot, on repeated viewings. The story is dripping with passion and repressed desires, Oedipal complexes, love, hate, anger, guilt, sacrifice And of course, there's the eternal struggle between body and spirit, the search for truth and meaning, and its disastrous personal consequences.
The series is well written, and the acting is very good, especially from the supporting cast. Unfortunately, Rachel Ward is obviously the weak link. In fact, one of her very first lines, a simple exclamation like "Oh, no!" sounds unbelievably false. In addition, she seems to have a speech impediment, a lisp, which is very grating. She sounds like Daffy Duck. Casting Ward for this role was one gigantic, inexcusable mistake.
Nevertheless, the story is poignant, endlessly entertaining and "feels" real on many levels, no matter how outrageous it gets. The movie resorts to shameless manipulations, but it's the subtleties of fine acting and clever direction that elevate the melodrama and make it compelling. Art direction and editing are splendid! The story's twists and turns are plausible, and the characters' reactions are always reasonable - they remain believable to the very last minute, even if sometimes the dialogue gets overly dramatic (as in "exquisitely over- the-top"). Strong character development is one of the film's great achievements.
Christopher Plummer is simply unforgettable in a key supporting role, as well as Jean Simmons and Barbara Stanwyck, who often steal the show from Chamberlain himself. The chemistry between all actors is palpable, and it's a rare delight to see all those energies cross-fire. Take for instance Ralph and Mary or Frank and his mother- their encounters are sizzling! "Star Trek" fans will be delighted to discover John "Q" De Lancie in a cameo.
I was also very surprised to see that the "aging make-up" was excellent, in fact much better that what we see in movies today. The best part of "The Thorn Birds" is arguably the first episode, which includes, among other highlights, the legendary party scene. The last episode was a bit "overdone" in my opinion, more specifically the last 4 scenes or so contain too much unnecessary, explanatory dialogue, that undermines the power of those scenes. Less words would have been preferable.
"The Thorn Birds" never gets old, it's a classic for a reason. Die-hard romantics will cherish it, while cynics will enjoy it too for its heavy theatrics and great old-school entertainment value. It's a spectacular three-hankie like no other.
A WARNING for those who watch the DVD: there's a completely unnecessary "preview" at the beginning of each episode, where they show the outline of the entire film. It contains many spoilers and will ruin the whole experience for you. Movie trailers were lame back then, but these ones are galactically stupid. So make sure to skip that extra-footage!
I will start this brief "review" by stating the obvious, which is that Tony Shalhoub is an extraordinary actor. His intelligence and sensitivity just shine through every scene - he IS Monk in very single detail, and the range of his emotional nuances is amazing. Instantly recognizable and disarmingly vulnerable, Shalhoub makes a truly memorable detective.
To me, Monk, as a character, ranks right up there with Columbo. In addition to "Columbo", this series delves into some darker, more poignant aspects that are always compelling thanks to Shalhoub's great acting. Also the comedy is very well balanced with the tragic elements of Monk's persona.
The scripts are very good and entertaining most of the time. Maybe the "Trudy storyline" gets overdone every now and then, and the finale was disappointing and abrupt, but the writers did a great job overall. I also didn't like the "Randy" character - he just seems too cartoonish, too stupid to be a detective. Sharona, however, is perfect, and I love Bitty Schram's interpretation, she's authentic.
I never get tired of watching "Monk", it's incredible!
Columbo: A Deadly State of Mind (1975)
Intriguing, very entertaining
I liked this episode, mainly because the killer is so incredibly arrogant and vicious that he almost gets to Columbo. I haven't seen Columbo raise his voice at someone, and him getting so affected by another murder during his investigation sheds more light on his personality. I found the actress who played Nadia to be the only weakness of the episode.
I have always considered the series a character study as well, because Columbo always remains in a vague cloud of mystery, somewhat elusive. His solution to this case is brilliant and surprising. Great and entertaining as ever!