Reviews written by registered user
|8 reviews in total|
This film is totally pointless and boring. Not even Peter Gallagher
can save this movie. It's a shame that such a good actor can only
get leading roles in TV movies like this one.
The film is far too long, being 130 minutes, the acting is merely adequate from most, the little kid is annoyingly awful, the production design is boring and dull (summing up the whole film) and the story is totally uninspiring. The woman who is supposed to be seducing Peter Gallagher's character doesn't pull off her role very convincingly and wouldn't make anyone want to leave their loving wife for her and why exactly Peter Gallagher pays her so much interest is beyond me. Further more, why his wife is still with him after his fling and even after he puts the dead woman's chopped up body in their freezer is even more of a conundrum. I haven't read the book `HOST' on which this film is based so I don't know how faithful an adaptation this is but the film doesn't inspire me in any way to track down a copy and give it a read, infact quite the opposite.
I can't think of one good thing to commend this film. Give it a wide birth, unless you suffer from insomnia.
Paul Thomas Anderson follows up Boogie Nights with a longer,
bigger, more rapidly paced film with even more characters than his
previous film(many of the same actors from Boogie Nights appear
in this film). Set around San Fernando Valley, the film charts an extraordinary
24 hours in the lives of the 12 main characters who are all from
different backgrounds, of different ages and with different
sensibilities. Each character is in some way connected to at least
two other people either prior to or during the course of the film. This film is absolutely brilliant and proves again what a truly
original and audacious writer/director PTA is. The writing is
extremely clever in parts being able to weave around, back and
fourth between all the different stories and characters. But of
course, a film as big and as complex as this has it's occasional
flaw in the writing (The amount of time Stanley Spector is allowed
to waste and then ramble on for on live television before they pull
the show off air and cut to a card is one such flaw). But the ending
is a work of genius and comes as a huge surprise. The directing is again, what else could one expect from this
director, astonishing. The long, dynamic, well rehearsed takes
help add to the sense of frantic urgency to some parts and slower,
remorseful drawn out moments to others. Only when it looks like
it's turning into a music video with the cast singing along to Aimee
Mann's `Wise Up' did I feel that it had gone a little too far. The acting is also a joy to watch. With the ensemble cast of mainly
character actors you don't feel that anyone is trying to steal the film
from anyone else. Tom Cruise's performance as Frank T.J.
Mackey a sex guru is a little over rated for my liking. Cruise is IS
good, but only as good as the other 12 strong cast. I prefer the
performances of the socially repressed John C. Rielly, the guilt
ridden Julianne Moore and the kind and quiet Phillip Seymour
Hoffman myself. The rapid and urgent score by Jon Brion is a very clever addition to
the film helping to hold it all together and make it seem like there's
always more to come and moves along the running time very
quickly. Three hours seems a little indulgent, but there is not one moment
or scene that I feel could have been cut and/or shortened to make
a better film. The cut is perfect and I never once got bored. Mainly
because you aren't allowed to get bored with the films manic pace
and not to mention how thoroughly entertaining and humorous the
whole thing is.
Larry Clark returns with something a lot more like Kids (in it's
style) than his previous film ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE.
Bully is about Marty and his relationship with his long time buddy
Bobby Kent who is constantly bullying him with both physical and
verbal abuse. The bullying wins Marty the sympathy's of Lisa, a
frumpy, lonely girl, desperate for Marty's attention. Lisa can only
take so much watching her new boyfriend get beat on by his so
called best friend and Bobby even rapes her himself, so she
decides to gather together some friends to kill Bobby.
This film, inspired by a true story, is really a performance piece
and all the young leads pull it off superbly. All of them adding
another string to their bow. Rachel Miner (Lisa) proves there's a lot
more to her than just being Macurly Culkin's wife (now divorced).
Nick Stahl makes a wonderful bully' portraying Bobby Kent
(Around this time IN THE BEDROOM was also released in which
he plays a drastically different character proving him to be a very
versatile actor). Brad Renfro (Marty) shows a more sensitive side
as the `bullied' and demands sympathy playing this repressed
character. Bijou Phillips (Ali) is phenomenal as the slutty friend of
Lisa. Michael Pitt (Donny) is hilarious as Ali's junky boyfriend. And
Larry Clark proves once more what a brilliant `visually real' director
The film is shocking, real and spookily entertaining. In particular
the last ten minutes of the film are totally brilliant with the choice of
music, editing and strong performances.
An absolute masterpiece. Easily the best work the cast and
director have done to date. Much better than kids.
For a start this film takes the prize for the most interesting and
unpredictable casting EVER. Patrick Fudgit whose most notable performance was in Almost
Famous as the sweet natured, mild mannered, well brought up
William Miller. A young rock journalist well out of his depth, in Spun
he plays a spotty, dirty, gawky, drug addicted, computer game
playing trailer trash kid with an obese mother. Mena Suvari who we all know from American Beauty as Kevin
Spacey's beautiful cheer leader love interest is here the
unbeautiful, constipated junky love interest of `Spider Mike'. Brittany Murphy who's been seen this last year in 8 mile and
looking pretty glamourous in the comedy Just Married couldn't be
any less glamourous in this film. And then there's the lead, Jason Schwartzman who's been seen
playing some colourful and interesting characters in Rushmore
and Slackers, couldn't be any more dull as a Ross in this movie,
simply going along with peoples journeys to score his next fix for
free. The film is about Ross and the druggies he meets along the way.
To help secure his next fix he agrees to do some `driving' for
Mickey Rourke's character who is the `Cook' and the boyfriend of
one of his friends, Nikki. This film may be hard to watch for some with a record breaking
5345 cuts and hard to watch for others because of it's content. But
this film is entertaining, funny and well acted. The odd casting
pays off as every single actor pulls off their part convincingly
without question. They are obviously having a good time playing
characters they normally wouldn't have the chance to play. This film is very stylised and quirky, even giving every character
their own logo during the opening and closing credits. The quick
cutting emphasize the drug use while the grainy pale look
emphasize the derelict area and situation these characters are in. Funny and entertaining, but not overly original and due to the films
content it's not for everyone. But this is a great achievement for a
film made by a first time feature director, Jonas Akerlund (whose
music video past is more than evident here in it's style), in just 22
A typical christmas movie, full of light hearted comedy, family
values and packed to the brim with sick inducing sentiment.
Thankfully, the comedy is actually funny (unlike many of it's
contemporaries), mainly due to the lead character Buddy played by
the new comic genius of WIll Farrell. Having found his
performances hilarious in `Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back' and
`Old School' my expectations for his performance in this film were
still fulfilled thankfully, despite it this film actually being pretty dire. It all moves along well enough and is moderately entertaining, but
the end was a little too much to stomach for me with the obligatory
sentimental christmas message. The story and ending are
painfully obvious and adds nothing new. Unfortunately all the best
jokes were used in the trailer so if you are after something fresh
and funny, just watch the trailer and save yourself an hour and a
A serial killer, thinking he's the sandman goes on a rampage trying to kill
families that match a certain description. He is caught by police just as
he's about to kill his intended victim, a little boy Griffin. The sandman is
locked away. He later kills himself and upon his reincarnation he takes up
from where he left off and sets out to kill a grown up Griffin.
Incredibly low budget and looks very cheap, but it's not the worst film in the world. It is infact moderately entertaining with a pretty good story. The production team make the best of what little budget they have, using some very low budget camera shots in places allowing them to spend a little more money on some bigger effects shots else where.
The acting and direction is fairly average but doesn't lower itself to being bad or too cheesy. The sentimental bulls**t is also thin on the ground which is pleasantly surprising for a film like this where they would try and make up for the lack of budget with sentiment and crap dialogue in the script.
Fairly good, watch it if it comes on TV but don't go out of your way to see it.
In his previous two movies Paul Thomas Anderson had a whole cast of geniusly
devised and underused characters all playing against and/or off one another
making huge ensemble masterpieces. Here he takes just one genius character
creation, Barry Egan (played by Adam Sandler) and gives him his own 90
With Boogie Nights and Magnolia both about 3 hours long each, 90 minutes seems a little short for this director, but this movie is, like I said, mainly about one character. However the 90 minutes doesn't seem quite long enough. Like PTA's other characters in previous films, he doesn't exhaust their potential and leaves plenty of room making you wish for more, which unfortunately you don't get (although there are a couple of inspired deleted scenes on the DVD).
The 90 minutes quickly slips by as we follow the incredibly shy and somewhat repressed business man Barry Egan as he deals with his verbally bullying sisters, a phone sex girl hell bent on getting money out of him and Emily Watson's character, a friend of one of his (seven) sisters who shows a lot of interest in him (She's even stalking him at the supermarket if you look closely).
The repetitive, hypnotic soundtrack, bright paint like visuals, blue light lens flare, hilarious performances and superb direction adds stacks of style and mystery to this little gem ensuring you'll want to give it a second viewing.
This film is absolutely brilliant and proves once again what a fantastic and intelligent writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson is.
But the best and most surprising turn comes from Adam Sandler who proves there's a lot more to his acting talents than childish, goofy, layabout, slap-stick comedy type characters he's become accustomed to playing.
Probably the best film of 1999. This dark comedy drama marks
two fantastic feature film debuts with Alan Ball as writer and Sam
Mendes as director (both winning oscars for their sterling
Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a man on the brink of a mid-life crisis, who suddenly becomes obsessed with one of his teenage daughters friends played by Mena Suvari. His daughter (Thora Birch) is, as Lester tells us; "a typical teenager. Angry, insecure, confused...". And his wife Caroline (Annette Bening) has an obsession of her own, her public appearance.
Life starts off on a downer for the Burnhams and their new neighbours the Fitts despite their lives looking good from the outside.
As life begins to improve (with most of the main characters finding what they think is love or new relationships) it soon all comes crashing down in the climactic final day.
The writing is nothing short of brilliant and made even more amazing by knowing that it comes from a first time feature film screen writer Alan Ball (who had had years of prior experience writing TV sitcoms - not that you'd be able to guess from the tone of this film).
The directing is on a par with the writing and Sam Mendes manages to get some brilliant performances from the great cast, who are all faultless. No doubt Mendes' theatre directing past played a huge part in directing the actors so well.
Another person worthy of a mention is the late director of photography Conrad L. Hall, another one of the five oscar recipients for this film.
All the elements in this film gel perfectly together to make one superb masterpiece. Not one person, either cast or crew, steals this film or does anymore than anyone else to make this film what it is. Truly an ensemble effort. 10/10.