Reviews written by registered user

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43 reviews in total 
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108 out of 144 people found the following review useful:
A cool show with lots of potential, 8 July 2007

This show has stylish, cheaply made and lots of fun. Donovan has a lot of charisma but Bruce Campbell and the other supporting cast really make this show pop. Miami is great location for this show. In the future it would be cool to see it move around season to season. The show is smartly written and avoids most of the spy standards. It would be nice if they reduced the amount of voice over. It tends to distract from the suspense, but it's not driving me nuts or anything.

I'll keep watching to see where this show goes, I think it has a lot of potential and is a great, light, fun summer watch.

USA appears to have a winner on its hands with this new summer show!

300 (2006)
2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Worth watching but poor acting and directing foil what could have been a classic war movie, 16 March 2007

Clearly, this film is not for everyone. The film looks utterly fantastic, but the reality is, this is a failed attempt at a breakthrough film. The battle scenes are magnificent; in fact I can't remember seeing a more interesting film about ancient war. Now before the fan boys pile on, ask yourself honestly about the poor acting, horrible directing and quite possibility the worst voice over ever heard in a movie and why it really put a damper on the party for some. I know people will disagree and say that it was supposed to be over the top and that is fine, but I think even less dialogue would have improved this film. Everything was drilled home in 50 point block letters and subtlety was completely abandoned. People in the Imax I saw this film with were eating up the endless catchphrases. Well, that's showbiz... I guess.

As a comic book movie, this was mission accomplished. Great villains, amazing action sequences that stylistically were like a dance and really, really bloody battles make this an action film for fans of the genre. And these elements reach right in and pull this movie out of the fire. And while I was not bothered by the no-name cast, the direction of these actors was bordering on criminal behavior. The over use of slow motion and not mixing up the technique really marred the overall product that was provided to the viewer. It really started to seem like a music video. Don't get me wrong, there were some amazing movie moments in this film, but the eye rolling at the ham fisted words really detracted from the movie as an overall piece of art it could have been. If Zack Snyder is really going to direct Alan Moore's the Watchmen, he needs to go and look up the words subtle and substance before he utters "action" even the first time during filming.

Much has been said about if Synder was trying to slip a conservative message into the film and a lot of things could be read or misread from this. Believe me, he wasn't that smooth. In my opinion it was a not so subtle way of portraying the hawk-like nature of the Spartan culture is ultimately what was being conveyed and not a slipped jab to eastern Asian culture as some have implied. But take what you will from the "they ask you to stand and I ask you kneel" remarks of Xerxes. That is the rhetoric of rulers and warriors and it's not always pretty. A lot of items in this film can have modern day parallels drawn. But ultimately it is just a movie. Relax. Followers of Islam should relax, Islam didn't even exist during this time.

I guess for me personally, the worst part about this film is how much potential was wasted. This is an amazing legend that could have really been translated into something we would remember for a long time, had some actor directing skill and improved dialogue, this could have been a masterpiece. I love and hate this film at the same time.

17 out of 156 people found the following review useful:
When you can't get enough money piling up montages... Cocaine Cowboys is for you., 4 February 2007

Leaving no tired coke dealer cliché untouched, this film will be coming soon to a wannabe rapper or drug dealer's DVD player soon... so pull up a black leather couch... if you must. Could this film be any more mediocre?

A lot of people will disagree, those people are the same dullards that make straight to DVD crap like this viable. The truth can be ugly.

This just in, apparently a lot of money was made in the 80s selling cocaine in Miami. Wow. I know that's a lightning bolt to most people but if you've seen one movie about cocaine sales you know it will not be complete with out 20 minutes of cash piling up montages and police photos of bloody bodies. Apparently the film makers only had access to a few photos of the people they are talking about and interviewing as you keep seeing the same photos over and over again.

If you've ever been to South Beach, you see wealth on display but it's also hard to imagine this place during the REAL heyday of the 80s. This film does manage to capture that part, so it has that going for it. The documentary style of this does seem to be hijacked from several other more recent films.

You find out all kinds of things about Griselda Blanco and her henchmen all of it basically the heresay of convicted felons and washed up out of the game former drug dealers. While the stories told are fantastic they seem plausible in this insane world the cocaine cash cow of the 80s.

The film seems to have a sort of self congratulatory glow about it.

Calling this tabloid journalism is giving it too much credit. This film is disgracefully exploitative and frankly really not that interesting or as shocking as they seem to give themselves credit for. This film hits all of the key cliché's when making a film about drugs, pointless violence, over glamorization of the endless amounts of money and basically ignoring the fact that most of these losers being interviewed seem almost too happy to tell you in an unflinching way how they shot someone or did this or that making all of this cash, meanwhile all they are in the end are idiots that didn't know when to quit. Wow, nice "Glory days". Congratulations dirt-bags.

I really feel the best way to see this film is cruising A1A in Diddy's SUV between endless Scarface and Carlito's Way viewings. Or, just don't view it at all and save yourself the 2 hours.

32 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
The silver lining of a dark cloud, 2 February 2007

Casey Affleck does a good job becoming the unlovable loser that you're actually interested in watching in this film. And for what it's worth, I feel like this film did a great job avoiding indie cliché's. Jim is not really overly inept or annoyingly stupid; in the contrary he's just kind of a high minded loser fumbling about for the same things most people fumble about for. Love, self respect and meaning in life. He's someone that's thinking somehow they are above the standard human fare because he has a specialization in literature.

Growing up in the Midwest I can say this captures Midwestern life almost perfectly. The tone of the settings, the reactions of the characters and even the fact that it appears to be shot in that brownish tan time between winter and spring which always reminded me of the Midwest no matter where I went. The supporting actors all turn in very good performances and it's interesting to look at.

This was a good movie. Steve Buscemi has mastered the art of subtlety and after seeing this movie and reading a few user reviews, I gather it's lost to a large number of people. Much like Ghost World which he starred in, he gives you hints and details that allow you to find character motivations and to flesh out their inner workings. In other words, he allows you to use your imagination. The film is like Jim, sad and brooding but with the hint of a good heart trying to find a way out. This is very funny and melancholy piece that's well worth a watch for people who enjoy films like this.

United 93 (2006)
Chaos and Disorder, 30 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, this movie in my mind accurately captured the chaos of that day all the way to the end of the film.

The hijackers were all played with a high level of humanity and I was glad for that. I had always pictured in my mind that these guys were scared out of their minds just like the passengers. I have to believe that nobody is totally cold blooded when they are on a suicide mission. Nobody sane enough to try something requiring so much thought out coordination would have that kind of resolve.

At one point you feel like the leader is about to abort the mission until a younger, antsy terrorist forces his hand. I've read people influenced by jihad almost act like they are affected by drugs, addicted to the violence of jihad, that was captured in one of the characters.

It overall was a great film and was handled with class. I know it sounds silly but you really felt like you were there, even though we have no way of knowing what happened. And above all, it took me back to that day more than any newscast; article or clip has done since then.

6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
"all you kids make me sick! BECAUSE YOUR DIRTY!", 30 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, so this is a "roughie" with trash and the tale of a perversion of a dainty young thing just trying to get some money for college. Aw shucks!

Implied slavery, degrading of women, pimps slapping their workers, "filthy" pinup photos sold trunk to dirty old men hand, dirty young men hand and anyone else who was buying "porn" in the age. It reminds you of how porn required so much more work than the modern age. This movie is a slow burn with some GREAT lines that you might find yourself quoting to your friends. I totally recommend getting friends together and drinking, heavily. You might find the start boring, but this has to be watched to it's blistering end. OK, it's not that blistering but it's FUNNY! A perfect picture of just how ridiculous drive in films were back in the day. Good stuff!

Miami Vice (2006)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Slick and pointless, 19 September 2006

This film looks beautiful. It's really too bad the plot could have passed for an episode of the 80s show. Yeah, it was a little more hard boiled and we get it Michael Mann, you can shoot at night with your special cameras. I was bored from the cold opener to the finish with what could have been great but simply lacked the screenplay to go with the execution.

Foxx is fantastic and that's really too bad for Farrell. Because he ends up looking like a b list star. Without getting too off subject, he was a miscast. I have no idea why he is considered A list when he hasn't actually been in a film worth seeing, ever. Such is Hollywood. Farrel is like this film, all hype and exterior with no substance.

40 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: Deftly Avoiding the Gong, 1 April 2005

While quite very obviously a well crafted lie sold as truth this movie does not fail to entertain and was one of the more underrated films of the year of it's release. A commercial failure the film was re-released later based on word of mouth buzz. This film appeals to a fringe audience that remains just out of reach of mainstream films. What do you expect from a screenplay written by Charlie Kaufmann? This film is a telling of the story of Chuck Barris, creator of various TV shows and all around uncomfortable guy. Barris holds many stations in life, TV producer, songwriter and CIA assassin. The meat of this story is not so much in his occupations but the mental condition and back story of Barris throughout the film. With something lurking just below the surface of an ambiguous nature you aren't certain if you should root for Barris or despise him.

Through various twists and turns you follow what is one half mockumentary and one half spy thriller the film plays it very loose and fast and it let's your mind run wild and free without the burden of tension that a spy thriller would give. Definitely worth a watch if you enjoy strong acting performances mixed with offbeat plots.

Clooney takes what is basically a poor mans "THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE" and makes a very entertaining and watchable film with great acting and stylish but reigned in technique. Finally a someone takes the theory of taking a bad idea and making a fine film and makes good.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A mosaic of human flaws and perfection., 1 November 2004

This is a film that strives to be "perfect".

This is a mosaic of human vignettes and stories woven into a tale of a team in turn shown as a metaphor for life. OK, well actually, this drama was about a West Texas high school football team in the late 80's but something about it rings so true to so many walks of life you can't help but see deeper meaning in it's messages. It's about a striving, pressure, the lonely nature of responsibility, hardships, overcoming challenges in life, greater goals and the power found in life philosophy put to use.

Top flight acting is abound with the usual quality Thornton provides playing a subdued Coach Gary Gaines with a quite dignity, but the real standouts come in the form of Lucas Black and Derek Luke in their roles respectively as QB and HB. One with stoic fearful dignity and another with flawed talented swagger, you really start to make connection on many different levels with the characters. This film could be a star making role for either of these young men.

Obviously after seeing this movie I would say, the production values are very high with excellent editing, cinematography and writing. You can almost taste the dusty roads and feel the dirty town of Odessa under your fingernails when the film is over. A certain amount of sadness and dignity surrounds the players where pressure above all has drained any kind of enjoyment from the game. The town is the protagonist, drawing the life out of its high school team in a vampiric nature feeding on the Panthers paths to glory. It can be at times depressing. Odessa, is told in the film to be a place to escape or be forever trapped in the browning pages of ancient history, seeking that fall season fix of football dominance. The film keeps a tight storyline by focusing on only a few key players but does have an expansive feel, epic in nature.

The film does not capture the depth of the book, the race issues, the academic logistics and the overall mania of MOJO, however that would be impossible without making this into a television series or at least a much deeper storyline. Not without trying though, it does take its swipes and endeavors to stay close with the source material for most of the film. The film definitely however avoids most sports cliché, but it truly is impossible to have a prolific sports film without a bit of cliché' just due to the repetitive nature of sports in general and the vast number of sports films available. It has been noted that a large amount of artistic license was taken with the Billingsly family, score of the final game, relationships, glossing over the racist nature of the town, the Carter negotiations and game and changing the final play to give it more overall cinematic impact. Hey, I'm fine with that, that's why the opening scene says "BASED on a true story". You have to get people in the door to tell your story. FNL tells a beautiful one. The movie ends with a grace that is oddly satisfying without being Hollywood, something tough to find in a sports film.

This movie succeeds where so many other films like this have failed by giving you a human bond with the characters. While it sounds entirely cliché, this movie had some very deep and inspirational moments not just for football but for life in general, I recommend it to anyone, I would add however you would be better served by the book, but I'm being realistic here! A highly underrated film, this is a piece that could be watched by a family, sports fan but above all anyone that enjoys well crafted film. 10/10

Saw (2004)
Wasted potential - Horrible acting, 1 November 2004

This movie had such promise, with an interesting trailer (which if you've seen you've pretty much seen the entire film) and an interesting premise they easily squander all of this with poor acting, worse editing and just an overall unpolished film experience. If you're reading this review, you've probably already read the premise so let's move right to the good and bad of this film.

Bad - First, the casting of Carry Elwes was the first strike against this movie, his overacting is not only hammy, it's just plain laughable. Need proof? See this film in a theater and check out how many people laugh at parts that are neither funny or meant to be scary. Danny Glover's character is decent but completely out of place. He disjoints the film but does add a bit of excitement into the climax. The pacing of the film felt entirely disjointed, you weren't sure the order of real time events and some of the plot seemed a bit ignorant. This film was not as smart as it thought it was. Comparisons to Se7en really should not have been made because it doesn't really even approach the level of intensity Se7en does. It's truly hard to care for ANY of these characters so I suppose in a way, the killer is the anti-hero of the film.

Good - Overall look of the film was gritty and honestly, the climax was predictable and unsatisfying but very tense. This is one of those "don't ruin the ending" films. But unfortunately they take a decent one shot script and decide to make a franchise out of it. How Hollywood. Overall this film is worth a single watch for horror fans and maybe even some discussion after but not much else. 6/10

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