Reviews written by registered user
|107 reviews in total|
I'm a big Christina Ricci fan, but this remains her best work. It's also a sequel far superior to the original the director really lets his cast off the leash. But the show is stolen by Wednesday Addams, sent away to camp. There's a scene where she is forced to crack a smile that had me hollering with laughter in the cinema. Touch wood, remakes of old TV series seem to be on the wane at the moment, but this was one of the bunch that used love of an old show to do its own thing. In many ways an ultra-black comedy, it boasts a fantastic cast (I swear Anjelica Huston was born for this role) and a director caught just before the point he went downhill.
This is a short film about a man, a dog and a duck who enjoy bouncing together. A quite charming cartoon, the animation style brings to mind the old Pink Panther cartoons (with little mostachiod men getting angry), but is far more surreal. I especially like the jokes about all the things Bill can buy with lots of money, Alf and Fred's continued bouncing and, of course, the business venture towards the end. Minutes of pure silliness. It's a delight.
Miles better than A Bug's Life. The latter film was just bugs-in-peril...a bit like The Seven Samurai, yes, but essentially unimaginative (if funny). This takes Woody Allen ("the middle child in a family of 6 billion"), makes him best mates with Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Lopez, and sticks him on the run with Sharon Stone. At the same time, thousands of his fellows are massacred in a Starship Troopers-like attack by termites. Only in animation. It's exciting, it's clever, it's often hilarious, and it boasts one of the best ensemble casts ever put together.
Strictly speaking, I am voting for Redux here. My relationship with this film is strange. I first saw it, recorded off the telly, in the mid-nineties. I couldn't get on with it at all, and ended up watching it over about 4 sittings. Predictably, I didn't think much of it, gave it a low score, and didn't return. But when Redux was released in the cinema, I thought I should give it another try. And this time I was far more impressed. I don't actually know which scenes were added (stealing the surfboard? the Playmates?) but I don't really care. It's an epic journey through Hell. I haven't seen the famous documentary, but what's up there on screen is enough for me. Brando can sod off, though. I still don't like the ending. But the way Robert Duvall delivers `Some day this war's gonna end...' is just beautiful.
I'm not exactly arachnophobic. But, I'm afraid to say, when asked what the scariest film I've ever seen is, this is the answer. Sure, I was more freaked out by, say, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. But this one had me crawling up the walls when I was a teenager. The scenes where the spiders begin their wholesale invasion of the house...there's the TV set...the plughole...the keyhole...it's really the stuff of nightmares. And how often does Jeff Daniels get to be a hero?
The psycho-in-my-life genre threw up many classics during the 1990s, and I'm sure a sociologist could come up with reasons why. This is one of the very best, despite blatant implausibilities in its plot. A teacher, obsessed with terrorism since his FBI agent wife died in a terrorist attack, is teaching a course on, well, terrorism. He then decides that his new neighbours might be terrorists. Are they? Well, watch the film. The reason this film is so good, aside from the top-notch performances from some of Hollywood's finest character actors, is the ending, which is about a million miles above what I normally expect from these psycho movies. Hurrah.
This was one of those films that grew on me more and more as time went by. It's not so much that there are talking pigs and sheep and dogs and a duck that wants to be a cockerel (arf!) There's real tragedy in the character of Rex, a sheepdog voiced by Agent Smith who's too proud to admit his encroaching deafness. Then there's the care Farmer Hoggett takes over his beloved Pig when ill, that ridiculous dance and the climactic sheep-pig trial. The moment when silence is broken by a barely audible click, then the audience goes mad and Hoggett says...well, you know the rest.
There is little or no plot to this film, but what does that matter when you get blind angels, orgasmatrons, the mathmos, a villain called Duran Duran and Jane Fonda radiating naivite while blithely sleeping around with half the galaxy. And then there's that striptease opening sequence. Pure pleasure from beginning to end.
He's a character from the ghost world - if you repeat his name, he will come, and then you'll have the problem of getting rid of him. He is not Candyman. He is Michael Keaton, in perhaps the most bizarre performance of his life. Can you believe someone put this actor and this director in charge of their Batman franchise? It's an insane riot from the moment Keaton is introduced, and the smorgasboard stretches from ghosts dressed up as ghosts to Keaton's head on a snake to the famous "Day-O" sequence.
In many ways, this doesn't even feel like a Tim Burton film. Largely shorn of the dark tones and sinister shadows of Edward Scissorhands, Batman or Sleepy Hollow, it's more like Burton via Cameron Crowe, a comparison further held up by the presence of Billy Crudup. With Ewan McGregor present, however, together with themes of love-against-the-odds and magical realism, the comparison is more with Moulin Rouge! Add all of this together and you've got an enchanting tale. But it's not flawless - for starters, it's really quite slow. (*There follows some plot details, no spoilers*) While, in the present day, we follow Crudup's attempts to get closer to his dying father (Albert Finney), the film simultaneously shows us McGregor as a young Finney, in flashbacks that are almost certainly apocryphal. He becomes a "big fish" in his home town, then strikes off on his own, coming to a village called Spectre. It's at this point that the movie becomes a little plodding, but it picks up a bit once he spies the love of his life... In essence, it's a slightly uneven film with wonderful moments - the popcorn, the daffodils, Danny DeVito. And it's a rollercoaster ride through Tim Burton's imagination with giants, witches, mythological beasts, circuses, romance, sky-writing and fish. The cast is outstanding, although the most memorable turns come from supporting players such as Steve Buscemi, in great form. One stand-out aspect is the way it actually gets *better* towards the end. Films never do that, and certainly not fantasy-tinged films like this! So it gains an extra point for a truly wonderful ending.
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