Reviews written by registered user
patherto

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43 reviews in total 
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Skyline (1984)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A sad-yet-funny loss of nerve, 3 December 2006
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Skyline" is the story of Gustavo, a young Spanish photographer who arrives in NYC in the mid-80s planning on being taken on the staff of "Life," "Newsweek," or some other fabulous position. He does have a few friends in NYC, and they sympathize with him, get him invited to parties and to meet agents, and he generally has a pretty decent setup going for him. But, Ah! Love becomes a hassle for a man whose machismo is hammered by his idiot-level English. He does succeed in having a couple of dates, but language remains his stumbling block (not to mention the fact that his photos of NYC are tired, old, clichéd images). As time goes by and nothing seems to be successful for Gustavo, he becomes increasingly depressed and discouraged. But there's hope for Gustavo—he just has to pick up the phone.

Skyline (1984)
A sad-yet-funny loss of nerve, 3 December 2006
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Skyline" is the story of Gustavo, a young Spanish photographer who arrives in NYC in the mid-80s planning on being taken on the staff of "Life," "Newsweek," or some other fabulous position. He does have a few friends in NYC, and they sympathize with him, get him invited to parties and to meet agents, and he generally has a pretty decent setup going for him. But, Ah! Love becomes a hassle for a man whose machismo is hammered by his idiot-level English. He does succeed in having a couple of dates, but language remains his stumbling block (not to mention the fact that his photos of NYC are tired, old, clichéd images). As time goes by and nothing seems to be successful for Gustavo, he becomes increasingly depressed and discouraged. But there's hope for Gustavo—he just has to pick up the phone.

6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Not much of a noir, 5 December 2005
5/10

All the bad guys sneer. All the good guys agonize. And, true to his status in this cookie cutter movie, John Garfield alternates sneers and agony. Good camera-work and a few well- done pieces (I must give credit to the kidnapping/murder scene) do not a film noir make. In true noir, *everybody* is guilty until proved innocent. In "Force of Evil," the schematic plot gives us a cornball melodrama in place of gritty "realism." I'm not a huge fan of Garfield—I can take him or leave him—and here, wearing his angst on his sleeve, I'll leave him. The whole plot turns on brotherly love…huh? The innocent young thing was cute, but she was on display way more than her part deserved. Tearing the cover off the numbers racket, ironic in these days of state-sponsored lotteries, just does not set my pulse racing. I'll give them a few nice shots, but almost any second-line director could have done this film just as well. If this is your idea of noir, you have some (very pleasurable) learning to do.

21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Just one question…, 9 October 2005
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I know this is one of the worst films ever. Boy, do I know that. I also know that by the 87th time you hear the "triumphant theme," you'll be thinking the same thing. So don't do it to yourself. Even if it's only trimming your fingernails, you'll have a lot more fun than watching this crime of a movie. But one question still remains: Why do all the people in "The Postman" cut the fingers off their gloves? Here in Frostbite Falls, I can tell you that is not something I would recommend to anyone. That's what "The Postman" left with me. How on earth did this piece of poop get a 5? What do you have to do to fail on IMDb? Okay, I'd rather see this film than "Battlefield Earth," but give me "Gigli" any day.

Toni (1935)
9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
A sad fate for a minor masterpiece, 18 September 2005
9/10

After a long search, I found "Toni" on DVD from Shanghai, China. The price was reasonable and so I bought. Unfortunately, the subtitling was also done in Shanghai. This leads to such subtitles as "An unfortunate elephant violates Se perfume w." About three-quarters of the way through, the picture begins to come apart electronically, and becomes practically incomprehensible. Given all the problems with this disc, I am still glad I had the chance to once more see Renoir's simple, beautiful masterpiece. The subtle distinctions in lighting (especially outdoors), the small but telling camera moves, the reserved yet powerful performances all show the hand of a master at work. Visconti may have been inspired from working on this film, but his films were always pedal-to-the-metal, all-out mellers. Renoir takes a story that's as old as the hills and gives it all of his love, respect and considerable talent.

7 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Pretty, ugly…pretty ugly, 26 March 2005
4/10

AALCC informs us that 14-year-olds can be pretty obnoxious and vicious. To those who don't know that, the film performs a public service. Otherwise, it's a lot of flashy videography with little or no reason for being. I will allow that the camera-work is sometimes striking, but also that it can be madly self-indulgent at other times. The actors occupy screen space and screen time, but do not compute as compelling human beings. I suppose the e-mail that flashes across the screen throughout means that you have to figure out which character has which moniker, but I simply couldn't tell enough differences to do so, and really didn't care anyway.

8 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Hang onto your laserdisc!, 23 January 2005
10/10

…because the laserdisc contains the nasty, wicked Producer's Cut with Henry Mancini's incredible score. The restored version has a few bars of the Mancini score coming out of a car radio in one shot. That's a shame, because the music is simply perfect for the film. I know Welles wanted only ambient sounds for "Touch" and I know he wanted the credits at the end so everyone could sit back and admire his opening crane shot. But his producers knew better, and created a taut, thrilling, fantastic film.

The ideal solution would be a Criterion-like release offering both the Nasty version and the True one. I can tell you which one I would watch.

18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Repeated viewings haven't diminished this film's touching perfection, 31 December 2004
10/10

After watching a not-too-hot film today, I pulled down "Antonia's Line" and once again fell into the happy trance I always get while watching this film. The other commentators have it right. "Antonia's Line" is a lovely, deeply moving fairy tale of four generations of strong, gentle women. The unusual quality of these women is that while (most of) them like men and sex, they don't become obsessed with either. And fellas, if you can't handle that it's your problem.

The real reason I'm writing is about the "If You Liked This Film" recommendation. "Kill Bill"??? Who picked out that as a companion piece???

23 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
There's a nice little film wandering around…somewhere, 31 December 2004
6/10

It's about 40 years since the last manned flight left the moon, and 40 years before that "Woman in the Moon" hit the silver screen. So we can admire the prescience of Willy and Werner in their multi-stage rocket and their depiction of zero gravity. But I struggled with the most non-ergometric controls ever engineered, the atmosphere of the moon, the presence of bubbling springs of water, and a divining rod(!?) used to find gold. The film also gets into trouble with its many and varied subplots—the two-men-in-love-with-the-same-woman subplot, the speculators-cornering-the-gold-market subplot, the evil-spy-network subplot, the cute-kid-stowaway subplot… It makes for a long film (my DVD comes in at 149 minutes) and a not very interesting one. The expressionist acting style wears after a while, and the slow-moving plot doesn't help matters. I loved the rocket launch (done by Oskar Fischenger, whose short animation films you should check out), and am able to put up with a fair amount of hokum in the name of entertainment. But this isn't one of Lang's best efforts.

Don Juan (1926)
3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Just how DID they record the orchestra?, 26 December 2004
7/10

I enjoyed "Don Juan" as the first feature-length film with a soundtrack, but I just can't see how the sound could have been recorded simultaneously with the film. There's simply too many cuts, and the sound is too closely in sync, for it to be possible that the orchestra could play while filming was going on. It must have been dubbed afterward—and as a lover of early sound film I am wondering just how. Did they set up a projector at Carnegie Hall and record there? I know Warners had a studio in New York—was it big enough for a complete orchestra? I also noticed that, while the synchronization was quite good, they couldn't pull off the sword fight. For the most part the fight shows the two men separately slashing away, and only a few scenes show the fight as it would usually be done, with both actors in frame. An enjoyable film, a tad longer than it needed to be, and the hisssssss of the soundtrack gets on one's nerves after a while.


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