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Jim Stark (James Dean) is the new kid who is often in trouble. He is
arrested for drunkenness and finds Judy (Natalie Wood) at the police
station. She is distraught over his father disapproval. His well
mannered parents don't understand him. The gang from school picks on
him. Plato (Sal Mineo) tries to help but Buzz calls him chicken. Also
watch out for Dennis Hopper as one of the gang. Then he is challenged
to a chickie run.
It's the start of the disenfranchised youth genre. Others may have done it earlier but nobody did it quite like James Dean. He's definitely overacting but that's why it's so iconic. There are some timeless qualities but also things that are unique to the era. It can feel a little dated but it doesn't feel irrelevant. There is only one reason why this is a movie classic rather than old campy cheese. It's that James Dean commits fully. His acting is delivering a deeper truth.
Michael Felgate (Hugh Grant) is a funny art auctioneer managing an
auction house. He proposes to girlfriend Gina Vitale (Jeanne
Tripplehorn) but she rejects him at first to keep him out of her mob
family and her gangster father Frank Vitale (James Caan). They agree to
get married while keeping out of the family business. However that's
harder to maintain when mob boss Vito Graziosi (Burt Young) wants his
son Johnny (John Ventimiglia)'s garish painting to be auctioned off by
Michael for $50k. Then the FBI comes knocking on his door claiming its
possible money laundering.
It starts off really funny at the Chinese restaurant. It has a great promising premise but the comedy fades. It has Hugh Grant's flailing away without a proper partner to play off of. There is a funny bit where Hugh struggles with the mobster accent. Forgedaboud it! That was hilarious. The movie needs more moments like that.
It's 1962 Hong Kong. Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Chiu Wai Leung) is a married
newspaper editor who moves into an apartment. Su Li-zhen (Maggie
Cheung) moves in on the same day. Her executive husband is often away
on business. With his wife away with her sick mother, Mr Chow befriends
his beautiful neighbor.
There is a lot of midrange shooting style. In that I mean the camera is a little further away. It doesn't always directly shoots the subject. There are stuff in the foreground a lot of the time. At first, I didn't really get it and put me off. I thought it was an amateurish mistake. After 15 minutes, it's pretty obvious that's the camera style that writer/director Kar Wai Wong is using here. It's somewhat voyeuristic and beautiful visual poetic.
The mood is more reserved. The first 30 minutes is too perfunctory. Then it gets interesting as the lead characters start getting together. It's hesitant and awkward. It's different than the usual hot and bothered romance. It's a slow burn. It has mature feel about it. However it does walk the edge to being too slow and sometimes it falls right over.
Catherine (Carrie-Anne Moss) is still suffering after her 16 year old
son died in a car crash. Dale (Andrew Airlie) is her frustrated
husband. Jordie (Kevin Zegers) just got out of juvenile detention after
crashing a stolen car. Carl (Michael Riley) is his angry father. Walt
(Callum Keith Rennie) is a guilt-ridden college professor with an
autistic brother Dennis. They are all connected by one incident as each
has to search for normal.
There are some good acting here. I really like Carrie-Anne Moss. However it's just a tough movie to keep watching. It is a depressing movie to begin with but the three separate story lines make it disjointed and more difficult. It's never going to be a summer popcorn movie, but it's a little tougher than I even anticipated. The movie needs a few more connections with these stories. That's where the drama could truly explode exponentially. This could be even better if this movie is about Jordie, Catherine and Walt meeting and dealing with each other. It happens eventually but I would want this to be the entire movie. It happens a little too late.
Derek Charles (Idris Elba) is a successful asset manager with beautiful
wife Sharon (Beyoncé Knowles) and toddler son Kyle. There's the new
temp Lisa (Ali Larter) in the office. The office keeps her around as
his secretary. She becomes obsessed with him and then she gets handsy
at the Christmas party. Ben (Jerry O'Connell) is his co-worker. Joe
Gage (Bruce McGill) is his boss. Police detective Reese (Christine
Lahti) investigates the case.
Steve Shill is a TV director and that's the sense I get from this movie. He keeps hitting the audience over the head with Ali Larter flirting. It's obsessive. It would be so much better to have both people flirt. Idris Elba is playing it like a saint. It doesn't work. This is what HR is for. The movie makes no sense. The girl be crazy. I'd call the cops right after HR. He needs to do that in case she starts making accusations. I don't get this reluctance unless there was a previous case of him cheating. The story needs something to explain his actions. Why keep trying to explain it to a crazy person? It's just bad writing. Even a big cat fight can't save the really really bad writing.
In the futuristic city of Metropolis, wealthy residents live a bright
easy life up in the sunshine while the poor suffer down below
maintaining the machinery. The workers live in a deep underground city.
Freder Fredersen is one of the privileged who live in luxury above. His
father Joh Fredersen is the founder of Metropolis. Beautiful Maria
leads a group of children up to the surface and is quickly sent back.
Freder tries to follow but discovers the horrific working conditions.
He goes to the Tower of Babel to speak to his father but he is unmoved.
Freder switches place with one of the workers. Joh comes to see old
fellow inventor Rotwang to find him still obsessing about their mutual
love of Hel, Freder's dead mother. Rotwang has created a robot with a
devious plan. There are mysterious maps that have been discovered among
the workers. Freder is invited to listen to Maria as she retells the
story of Babel and the need for a heart to mediate between the hands
and the head. The crowd is restless for change. Freder wants to be the
mediator. Joh and Rotwang followed the maps to the meeting. Joh tells
Rotwang to make the robot into Maria to sow discontent with her
followers. Rotwang has a different idea to destroy the city.
This is the height of silent era movie-making. The story is fairly simple. The characters are clear cut icons of good and evil. The acting is definitely silent era. The images are ahead of its time. The fact that they are still influencing films of today says it all. This film will always be one of the cornerstones of silent movie-making.
Single mom Dottie Ingels (Julie Kavner) sells cosmetics in a department
store and dreams of being a big comedian on the Tonight Show. She lives
in Queens with her two daughters Erica (Samantha Mathis) and Opal (Gaby
Hoffmann) in Aunt Harriet's house. When Aunt Harriet died leaving
everything to Dottie, she sells everything to move to NYC. She works
her way in small bars. She gets Arnold Moss (Dan Aykroyd) as her agent
or at least his assistant Claudia Curtis (Carrie Fisher). She starts
traveling and the girls are left at home.
The big problem is that I don't find Julie Kavner funny in this or that she has a funny act. This movie is desperate for somebody with standup experience. She needs an act that is actually funny. Samantha Mathis is playing an Annie Hall type as a teenager. The standup life seems so unrealistic. If I could ignore her standup, this could be a cute Nora Ephron movie especially considering that this is her directorial debut. It would be much better to concentrate on Erica's POV which has the possibility of skipping more of the mom's act.
It's 1880s London. It's a haven for political exiles and refugees.
There is international intrigue and Mr Verloc (Bob Hoskins) is a spy
for the Russians. He lives with his wife Winnie (Patricia Arquette) and
her mentally weak brother Stevie (Christian Bale). Ossipon (Gérard
Depardieu) is a friend and an anarchist. The Russian ambassador (Eddie
Izzard) is disappointed with Verloc and demands that he attack the
Greenwich Observatory as an attack on science. The crazy Professor
(Robin Williams) makes a bomb for him. London police Chief Inspector
Heat (Jim Broadbent) investigates the bombing. For the last 7 years, he
has made an arrangement with Verloc to be his secret informant.
I'm not impressed with Patricia Arquette's flat voice in this. She just doesn't feel very British. Although she does have one great moment in the last half. Bob Hoskins is as good as this heavy handed plodding story allows. Director Christopher Hampton's shooting style is slow and tired. A more imaginative style is needed here. Hoskins could have been the center of a great paranoid thriller. This has no tension or suspense. It's dark monotonous mood sucks away all interest from the viewer. Everything is so stiff.
Murder writer Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is living in London.
After crashing her car, football star Kevin Franks in the passenger
seat is killed. The police finds various drugs in his system and
detective Roy Washburn (David Thewlis) is bent on locking her up.
Police psychologist Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) interviews her.
Adam Towers (Hugh Dancy) is dating his ex-wife Denise Glass (Indira
Varma) and wants to write about Tramell. Adam is also threatening to
write about a former patient of Glass who killed his pregnant
girlfriend. Milena Gardosh (Charlotte Rampling) is Glass's colleague.
Glass diagnose Tramell as being addicted to risk, but she is released
after a key witness is found to be unreliable.
It opens up pretty well. There are great actors around. The police investigation holds good possibilities. Sharon Sone and David Morrissey just don't have enough intensity. His character is too lifeless. I would prefer the movie stay locked with David Thewlis keeping the same dynamics as the original. A police investigation is much more exciting. All the sitting around and talking isn't that compelling. At least the original had Stone crossing her legs and had more fun with the material. This doesn't work as a mystery or as a thriller or anything else. It ends with a very annoying sequence where it becomes really stupid what Glass does.
Denim (Brad William Henke) is the 33 year old head counselor at a
children's home for troubled teens. Fellow counselor Natalia (Tania
Verafield) is pregnant and wants more from him. Mark (Keith Stanfield)
struggles as he is forced to leave the facility as he turns 18. Jayden
(Phoenix Henke) acts out when her father fails to show up.
This is a short from Destin Daniel Cretton that is the building block for his full length feature. Many elements in the later film has its origins in this one. The acting other than Henke is amateurish. It is pretty good effort for a short. It definitely has the feel of realism and no budget feel actually helps in that.
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