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9 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Anarcho-Socialist, Participatorial Democracy Pitch Works, 25 April 2005

Anarcho-Socialist, Participatorial Democracy Pitch Works. Can rowdy youth, labour, management and capital achieve harmony? 1941, 10 years later they''d've gotten called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and blackballed out of Hollywood as Reds for this movie. After decades neck deep in film, I'd never seen this and was wowed and zowed. Jean Arthur headlined, was beautiful and excellent it was really old Charles Coburns movie. Cummings young and pretty dashing. S.Z. Sakall, the Butler, the friendly Jewish character of Casablanca and so many others on the screen with Coburn was high end silver screen. I was pleased and a bit surprised that the jerk Code censors at the Hays Commission let some of the raciness through, especially the Beach scene. The beach scene and much of the rest of the movie had an odd personal and public intimacy, from a blend of the acting, directing and extraordinary cinematography.

Life imitates Art and vice versa, 15 March 2004

This movie is about several husbands and wives, especially Woody and Mia about to divorce over a young lover. At the time of the movie's release, long-term mates, Woody and Mia were the hottest news item in the world (even the Times and TV news were electrified for a week), because Woody was exposed for having an affair with Soon-Yi, Mia's very young foster child, whom Woody would soon marry. It was briefly a scandal to match Michael Jackson for sheer take-over-the-worldness. Even my wife and I were going through something a bit like it at the time ('94), though we stayed together in the long run. This is one of the ten best Woody Allen movies. There aren't too many directors with ten bests. Catch it with your spouse.

Yes to Darlene Cates!, 20 December 2003

I won't try to write this with flourish, just tell it simply. Lasse Halstrom's direction of this perfectly cast movie is top-notch. Then there's the fact of having Depp and di Caprio, the best actors of their generation in Hollywood. He's done some excellent work since this (Titanic, Celebrity and Gangs of New York) but to my mind, this should have been his Oscar (an Oscar which the Academy has so far denied him for anything), and I don't know that he's done anything better. Tough role, teen with a brain birth defect. Depp as the overwhelmed oldest child needing romance and relief is also superb. Steenbergen and Juliette Lewis were both good. With this, I expected better work from Lewis than she has panned out: a shame. The surprise here, however, is a wonderful performance by the center of the story: the 500 (yes, 500 pound, according to her imdb bio), mother of Johnny, di Caprio, the two daughters – all troubled. The realistic depiction of the pain and the courage are extraordinary. It's a heart-warming tearjerker but that doesn't convey 'Gilbert Grapes' depth. Perhaps better to say that it is in what was once called the great liberal tradition of genuinely engendering compassion.

Hulk (2003)
Hulk Smash Evil Military-Industrial Scum, 12 December 2003

I bought the Hulk from the first issues and for years later. At first I was concerned at the 'updating' of the origin story but adapted comfortably a few minutes in. Ang Lee's direction, the cinematography and effects were truly at a new level of technical excellence. It was always a joke that the Hulk would expand from skinny Bruce Banner into the giant Hulk and somehow the pants didn't burst off of him and then shrank back when he became Bruce again. Ultraviolence is always acceptable in comics or cinema, not so full-frontal nudity, especially male. Maybe this says something about the 'buried trauma' of our society that makes it so much like the Hulk.

The acting by Bana(Banner), Connelly(Betty), Elliott(General Ross) and Nolte(Bruce Banner's father) was all appropriate and fine. I had actually expected that this movie would be a gross, shallow brute-force-only kind of affair and was enthusiastically surprised to find it none of these.Casting was great. Ross (looking just like his comic-book character) and Talbot exemplify the archetypes so nearly universally despised. Too bad Jack Kirby didn't live to see this.

Great touch of the Arabic music in the soundtrack (which rose up when the heavy desert battle scenes occurred). Most Americans and most humans prefer to root for the underdog rather than the dober-men in olive drab.So gratifying to see high-tech tanks, copters and jets reduced to rubble. The movie took on the evil of militarism and correctly portrayed the demonic weapons development industries.In this jingoist age, I was surprised to see this allowed by a usually official-line tethered Hollywood.I imagine this movie made a lot of warmongers squirm in their seats and call for more pressure for 'patriotic' spin in tinseltown. If there are working theatres in Baghdad now; I doubt the 'coalition' allows this movie played there. Nolte's speech about all the misery caused humanity by these people had us on our feet, going "YES!"

11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Voila! Great Marie, 27 November 2003

Great silent Mack Sennett slapstick with Charlie Chaplin and Marie Dressler. Sennett is Sennett; it is great Chaplin, though he was dissatisfied (probably because he wasn't directing it, too); but the thing that really makes this movie great is Marie Dressler. The way she carries her considerable girth is a major element in the comedy and her big face and huge eyes are strictly for howling. Marie was born in 1868 and died in 1932, half in each century, a life in theatre and film. Such a shame she didn't have more time to live in the talkie era: I think she would have become one of the huge names of film. There's only one Marie Dressler. She shines in 'Dinner At Eight' and 'Min And Bill' both of which, among others, included Wallace Beery, a great foil for her talents.

11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Bizarre from the bizarre., 27 November 2003

Remarkable movie by Nic Roeg starring David Bowie. Nic really knew how to get the best out of rock stars, also doing the fabulous 'Performance' (with Cammel), with Jagger and these two movies being his best work. Such a perfect role for Bowie and done in his youthful heyday. I don't think anyone else could've done the role justice. No it's not a musical.My favourite lines in the movie are the CIA guy saying "This is modern America and we intend to keep it that way" (when threatened by the future-shock tech Mr.Newton has brought; also, "Yes, I think you've had enough, Mr. Newton." Great effects, especially the sex scene, parts of which were banned in the US when first released.

Earthbound (1940)
6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
1940 Special Effects, 10 October 2003

Dig those 1940 special effects, Wow! Super-imposed ghost is the star. Lots of funny scenes, especially in courtroom where the murdered man's ghost is trying to help expose the real murderer. Actually this movie is mush for muddled minds, great for late night or lazy afternoon.

Flawless, 8 September 2003

I'd seen Dr. Strangelove a dozen times in the '60s and early '70s. Then, working in a theater in D.C. in '75, it was playing there for months. I got to know every scene like the back of my hand. It got to a point where I was looking for a flaw, any glitch or lack of any sort. None. I later read that Coppola had also called it precisely 'flawless.' Kubrick became renowned as a perfectionist to a nutty degree. In The Shining, for instance, Jack Nicholson threatened to walk off the set after more than 150 takes on one scene. The camera-work was crack-of-the-whip smart, yet unobtrusive. Black and White, the movie comes across as chromium. I think it is the very best Peter Sellers, playing three roles superbly, all funny. George Scott, also never better, imitating a bomber is priceless. Sterling Hayden as the crazed General with the 'precious bodily fluids' obsession is amazingly reality-based considering the fanatical rightwing's focus on fluoride as one of hundreds of elements of the 'International Communist Conspiracy.' Strangelove was certainly Slim Pickens high water mark as the atomic age bronc-buster.

It works both as a comedy and as an edge-of-chair thriller. The level of satire is profound: questionable if a major studio would risk such intelligently dangerous material in today's equally jingoistic atmosphere.

I can't imagine that any cinema cognoscenti anywhere would do a top ten list of directors without Kubrick well up on it. This is one of this un-prolific artist's very best, which, as the director of 2001, Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Barry Lyndon; is saying a whole lot.

What's the fuss about? Great film art about as good as it gets.

Dracula (1992)
Second Best Dracula, 8 September 2003

To tell the truth, I'd rather watch this than any other Dracula and I have many times. But, I just can't bring myself to say it's the best, because I've still gotta give that to Bela Lugosi. Third goes to the bizarre Dracula by Warhol (well, Morrissey, really). I could get effusive about this movie but won't. It is rather true to the Stoker novel with the addition of 'prequel' data about the said source of the vampire legend, Vlad the Staver.

The sets are extravagantly gorgeous, the interiors lavishly opulent and almost smell of decay. Everybody dies over Coppola's Godfather series but or Apocalypse Now. They're great movies but I can't watch any of these again whereas I'd watch Dracula again right now. I think it is the most artistic direction of Coppola's career to date. The casting and acting are superb. I love Gary Oldman and this is my favourite of his. So sensitively portrayed with such a commanding presence.Keanu Reeves has always been a bit stiff but that trait is used as an asset here. Dracula's brides are definitely the stuff of arousal and Dracula's gay side exposure was eloquent with little verbiage. The capper in the acting category was the brilliant touch of Tom Waits as Renfield.

Get comfortable and immerse.